I didn't grow up with a large family. It was me, my mom and my younger sister. However, both of my parents came from large families. My maternal grandmother had 7 kids and my paternal grandmother had 12!! Growing up I never thought I would have ANY kids at all. If future me would have come back to the past to tell teenage me I was going to have 7 kids I would check myself into rehab right away because obviously future me was on drugs! But here I am with 7 kids and no drugs so I must be crazy.
People ask me all of the time "How do you do it with so many kids?" by "It" I think they mean not run screaming into the night never to return, not ball up into the fetal position with a bottle of the hardest alcohol I can find or feed and clothe them all. I'm pretty sure they mean the latter but hey I pat myself on the back for not doing the first two.
Truth is when it comes to having 7 kids the following facts are indeed my reality.
There is always fighting: Now I know all siblings fight but in my house there can be several arguments going on at one time. I can't referee them all at once so I either break up the most hostile one or I leave them all alone. They'll tire out eventually.
Food doesn't last: It's bad enough there is always a cashier that thinks we're having a party when in actuality I'm just doing my weekly shopping. Some times I just smile and go with it. However, no amount of food will last for too long especially in a house with teenagers.
Your's, Mine and Ours: Having 7 kids means having a house full of kids that aren't always our own. I personally don't mind them having friends over but hubby is another story.
Ok So most of the time we are having a party: 7 kids means 7 birthdays, then there's holidays and anniversaries and parents get parties too right? Out of 12 months of the year we only have 2 when nothing is being celebrated.
My house is a mess: There is only one time out of a 24 hr period when my house is clean... when we're asleep. The house gets clean after dinner only to be destroyed again the next day.
Team No Sleep: All parents are a part of this team I've just been on it for the past 16 years. I've grown to look at night time as grown up nap time.
Money lasts as long as sleep does: Everyone needs something at the same time. Shoes, school supplies, field trips, diapers, friend's birthday, a puppy and a partridge in a pear tree.
So you see my reality is the same as every other parents its just in bigger doses. Raising kids is raising kids, there's a lot of money and work involved but there's also a lot of love. So I guess the next time a parent asks me how I do it, I'll tell them "The same as you just 7 times the work."