What Not To Expect When You Have A Big Family


What Not To Expect When You Have A Big Family

Love the idea of a big family? There are definitely many, many bonuses to having a big brood. But there are also a few things you just shouldn’t expect. For example:

Me Time:

This can be a great thing. Many mamas rely on some me time in order to maintain some sanity. There is no harder job than raising small children, and getting away from them once in a while is key. Here’s the thing, if “me time” is really important to you, than being a mama of many is going to be a challenge. Admittedly, I have the good fortune of not craving traditional “me time.” The thought of a day at the spa or poring over magazines in a coffee shop doesn’t appeal to me, at all. My “me time” looks more like doing an activity with only one or two kids. If “me time” was a sanity saver for me, I’d be in big trouble.

Date Night:

I know, I know, date night is important. Couples swear by their designated “date night,” so they can get out of the house and act like grown-ups. For many years, going out meant hiring two babysitters, because putting six babies and small kiddos to bed was too big an ask for any one person. The cost of two babysitters along with whatever evening activity we were doing just made the coveted “date night” not financially feasible. This doesn’t mean we don’t carve out time as a couple. Parents of many children are generally pretty strict with routines and structure. We ensure our kids go to bed at a reasonable time. Once in bed, there’s nothing wrong with cracking a bottle of wine and chatting on the couch. That’s just as enjoyable as going on a date out of the home—and certainly a lot easier on the bank account.

One-On-One Time:

A couple of years ago, we went through a contrived process of setting up “one-on-one” time with our kids. The decision was based on pressure I was feeling because people kept asking me how I could possibly have this “special” time with each individual child. In the interest of saving myself future therapy bills, I quickly devised a plan. After setting up an elaborate plan, I realized I could rely on my parenting instincts rather than what people told me my children need. Mama knows best and has to trust that. So, I ditched the ridiculous plan and now respond to my kiddos needs the way I know best. One-on-one time can be a chat in the car, doing the grocery shopping, or taking the dog for a walk. It doesn’t have to be a day of shopping or some other expensive excursion.

All of these times that are defined as “special” are important, but it can be a challenge for parents who have decided to have a big family. What kind of special time do you enjoy most? As a parent, what have you found the most difficult to do without?

For more from this Mama of Many, check out: "Do Your Kids Have a Love/Hate Relationship?" and "Do I Have a Favourite Child?"


Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Five Years at YMC!

Time Flies When You're Having Fun!

Happy Bloggerversary to me! Five years ago, I wrote my first post as a Yummy Mummy Club blogger. This is how I introduced myself then:

About Julie Cole

Since it’s my first post here at the Yummy Mummy Club, I thought it might be appropriate to tell you why I’m here and give you the low down on my little life.  So, here’s the scoop:

I’m a busy mama expecting baby #6 next month. I’m actually heading into c-section #6, which makes me a bit of a science experiment. I had my fifth kid when my eldest was six years old, so I’m a fan of packing them in tight. The gap between baby #5 and baby #6 is by far the biggest I’ve ever had, which is a whopping 2.5 years. I usually cut baby’s first birthday cake hovering over a belly full of the next baby.

Yes, I have my babies one at a time.

No, I am not aiming for a show on TLC.

Oh, and I have babies because I want them, not because I’m taking whatever a Higher Power sends my way. In light of some reality TV shows, I feel compelled to mention that.

This pregnancy is a good example of how things change dramatically as you experience more and more pregnancies. I don’t really know how many weeks along I am, I certainly don’t know what developmental stage my fetus is at, I have not had any blood tests or glucose tests done, and I was 10 weeks late for my first appointment with the doc.

Same casual attitude applies to the kiddos. I’m not likely to run off to the doctor for a case of the sniffles and I actually let my kids play outside—in the FRONT yard. Gasp!

Parenting experts have a lot to say about everything kid-related and I have done my fair share of rejecting many expert opinions. Indeed, I'm a bit of a snob about it. Most of the experts have reared one or two kids and, from my perspective of having graduated with honours from the Parenting School of Hard Knocks, my lessons have trumped a lot of what they're preaching. Regardless, they're probably right and you should probably listen to them. But if you wanna get it straight with no guff, I’m your mama.

Official non-expert status and casual mama approach aside, my collection of little peeps are the top dogs in my life. I dropped out of a legal career and started a business (Mabel’s Labels Inc.) for the simple reason that I wanted to hang out with them more. Throw in an autism complication, and mama’s job just got busier—educating, advocating, and being political!

So I look forward to hanging out with you here at the Yummy Mummy Club where I will share my experiences of life in the trenches as a mama of many!

For more of Julie's blog, check out: Why It's Time To Retire The Word "Busy" and Sibling Room Sharing.