A post in response to a mama worried about the newest addition and how in the world does a mama make time for the things that need to be done each day and for all the little people in her  life……..  So many people address the logistics – cleaning the house, making the menus… But, truly, is that what we mamas worry about?  After all that stuff will get done.  Or it won’t.  And at the end of the day, who really cares?  But we can make ourselves heartsick worrying over the investment of time and energy in our children.

No, I think I know what you’re saying. You’re not worried about the logistics… Or are you really? It sounds like you’re worried about the relationships, the time, the INVESTMENT of commitment we pour into each child. I mean with little ones around they’re so physically demanding that sometimes you worry about having enough time and energy to pour into the older ones. It sounds to me like you aren’t worried about how to get clothes clean, or how you’ll change diapers again. It sounds to me like you’re worried how to divide the 24 hours you’re given into each child so that the real investment is still there. I get that!

And there are days!

But oh my. What in the world would I do without #5? Or #6?

Everything in life is a trade off. You’ll always have to prioritize in order to make what is important happen. With five kids, or eight, you’ll have that. There WILL be times when your oldest gets ignored… If you choose to call it that. We prefer (since she’s almost 14) to think of it as giving her a little space/time to figure out who she is. It doesn’t mean we ignore her, but it doesn’t mean I couldn’t hover if I wanted to, lol.

That said, Ana and I make sure we CARVE OUT TIME because it’s a PRIORITY.

This last weekend we left the kids with Daddy for a bit and she and I went to check out the local bookstore (we just moved here) and our local yarn store. Last year we took knitting classes (something that interested both of us) and now we have an interest we can share. I like to knit, but she likes to dye, so it binds us together a bit. We both LOVE reading, love books, love talking about authors… It gives us a reason to get away, have a cup of tea, or coffee, or cocoa together.

Our second oldest likes outdoors. He and Dad are joining Scouts together. It will give him some one on one time. He’s almost 11 and he and his dad need to CULTIVATE some activities together as well.

There are families of four who don’t bother to carve out time together. There are families of 12 who work hard to make sure they come together at night to share a meal, talk, play games, read, and cultivate relationships.

Trust me, it has NOTHING to do with family size. Those of us with really large families are so aware of it that we go out of our way to make sure no one gets lost in the mix. Those with small families can sometimes not work so hard because they don’t worry about it as much! The perk of a large family is that it keeps you aware that it takes work to keep up on a relationship with each individual child, kwim? I also think being part of a large sib group takes a lot of pressure off. For example our Elizabeth loves plays, drama, etc. So do I!!!!!!!!! If we didn’t have Lizzie, I’m telling you right now, I’d be dragging Ana to plays, lol. But Ana is free to have her likes/dislikes because I can have mini-me (Liz) to tag along with me.

I know it seems overwhelming. I have those days. The kids are talking about “needing a baby brother” and the current baby is seven weeks old. It’s taking a lot of self control not to bite the children. Um, do they know how much work this takes?! But I’m telling you it’s all worth it. And yes, they have days when they’d really like to not have toddlers going through their “stuff” or drawing on their math…… But at the end of the day they are REALLY close. And I wouldn’t trade my life with anyone else. Our new little one may have some serious issues. We’ll see. The first eight weeks of her life have been really, really hard. We’ve been up against some things we haven’t faced before. But she’s an absolute gift from God Himself. And I’m pretty grateful I have her. And my kids adore their Baby Ella. As she hits or misses milestones, we’ll walk this together. And I have a hard time believing my kids will ever resent her from “taking” their time/my energy because they aren’t raised to think that way. We’re a family… Not just a group of individuals thrown together by happenstance. It’s never about one, but about the family. And I think they’re better human beings because of it.

Have a blessed day.