women’s was always destined to be a mother of many; however the journey to get there has not been quite as expected. After having children’s, husband and wife grew a heart for foster care and decided that we could open our home to children who needed a safe place to land. As of right now, we are preparing for a sibling group of 3 to join us for a while. That will mean 7 kids under our roof.
Let me be clear. This is not an easy path. Life is busy and sometimes chaotic — but we really do love it. Our bio kids know that they play an important role in sharing their home and parents with some children less fortunate than themselves, so we manage to make it work. Along the way, I have developed, adopted, and adapted a range of strategies that work well for us in our family’s day-to-day management. Here are 8 large family tips to make your life run just a little bit more smoothly as a big family.
Keep a schedule
we literally couldn’t function without my family schedule. Over the years, I have tried a range of scheduling methods, but I am in love with my Master Plan family planner right now. It helps me keep track of activities for the kids as well as appointment and it is a great little size that looks lovely on my kitchen counter.
Get a slow cooker
Seriously, there are so many easy meals that you can throw in the pot to make dinner times a breeze. Some of our family favourites include sausage casserole, soups, lamb shank stew, roasts…and the list goes on. This is such an easy way to feed a large family and keeps costs down on the grocery bill.
Get rid of unnecessary bedding
Washing bedding for a large family is never fun. I have learned to do away with items that make for extra washing, especially for the younger children. My older children have quilt covers on their beds because they can make them up themselves. The younger children just have a quilt with no cover and a fleece blanket that can all be thrown in the washing machine. We also only use fitted sheets and no top sheets. This makes the process of re-making beds after washing much, much quicker.
Contain the mess
It is impossible to keep the entire house completely clean with a large family. I have learned to lower my standards over the years and as long as the kitchen, dining and living rooms are tidy, I am happy. The children are responsible for deep cleaning their rooms each weekend but if they get too messed up during the week and we are busy…I just shut the door.
Simplify your laundry process
I used to spend hours each week folding and sorting laundry, especially when my kids were too young to help in this space. I have since learned to keep it simple. My husband bought me a clothes dryer that has an excellent energy and water rating so I don’t feel guilty about putting most things in the dryer. I also hang as many items as possible which cuts down on the need for ironing (ironing? — who am I kidding? I buy clothes that don’t need ironing). Each child also has a basket where I place their smaller items for them to put away themselves.
Having a big, busy family can at times be very challenging but the fun times certainly outweigh the stress. As with most things in life, a little planning and organization makes for an easier ride.