Wednesday, May 20, 2009

So many Questions!

In having a large family we are often faced with a lot of questions from strangers and even people we know. Some of those questions are:

How do you do it?
What about over population?
How can you afford it?
All they all yours?
Do you know what causes that?

I came across a really good web page (www.plomp,com) in which parents of large families were asked these questions and their answers are recorded. So I decided to post them. I think if people were educated and read some of these answers, there would not be such disdain held toward larger families. Today I posted answers to two of the questions. I added my answers at the end of the other replies.

Lots & Lots of Love, you have to have alot of love to give because that is where I think my patience comes from. If I didn't love my job (mom) I couldn't be a decent mom. I'm not the best by any means , I screw up more than my share but then I learn from my screw ups (sometimes!!) & move on to the next phase of life. Prayer plays a big part of my sanity as does this board. It means alot to have people that are in my life that understand my goals for parenting even if their goals vary from mine, all of you always at least TRY to understand, unfortunately we can't always say that for our real world friends & families.
I guess for me it just takes alot of mistakes & being willing to learn from them, & admitting to your family.... "hey, I messed up, forgive me?" then move on. Hope I didn't bore ya!! (bamachic)

I DON`T KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!! One day at a time, one skinned knee at a time,etc. (ellentracy)

My husband's favorite saying: God takes care of fools and children (which covers our whole family!) (7webbers)

What's to do? I have a lot less work to do than the family with only one or two kids. I don't have to entertain my children, they entertain each other. I don't have to jump every time one of my kids needs a drink or a cookie, they have an older (sometimes even younger) sibling to do that. I don't have to do homework with my kids, they have each other as tutors. Of course, I am the "Supervisor," "Judge," or "Referee" which ever you want to call me.
I work full-time and my husband has been a househusband for the past 16 years. (I have to confess I would trade places with him in a New York minute. If only he were willing.) Once again, I could talk your ear off about this subject. (motherof11)

I don't know...but it works! (jgonz)

Only through the grace of God. And I do have a lot of helpers! it is just getting them to help sometimes~ (happymomof8)

Don't ask me.......We're still trying to figure that one out still LOL (sparen)

1. The Lord's help and strength 2. Because we love our kids (luv5kids)

1. Because I love it! 2. I wouldn't feel our family was complete w/ just 2 or 3. (6kidsnow)

With a strong faith in God, knowing that he'll always provide if we believe in Him. (kclfarm)

On a wing and a prayer...and about $600 amonth for groceries. (teel)

I do it because I WANT to do it and LOVE to do it! (fetcher)

Very organized, follow routines and reduce clutter. (tead)

Take One Day At A Time...It All Has To Be LOVE (jerikay61)

Lots of love, patience, cooperation and communication (midawhar)

With lots of prayer and patience, and realizing that kids are more important than a spotless house, trendy clothes, new cars, and carribean vacations. Children are on loan to us from God, and it is our job to bring them up in a way pleasing to Him. They are my most valuable possession. (ckarmom)

First of all, I do not do it all. What does not get done in a day has to wait. Secondly, I depend on the Lord. I ask for His help, guidance and strength. Thirdly, I delegate responsibilites. Even the youngest have some chores. Lastly, I do not over speculate thinking I have to be all things to all of my children. This way they learn to have their own relationship with God too. (Ange)

How can you afford it?
I don't even know......hehe. You have to scrimp on some things but that is not to say that the kids miss anything. My hubby is military so of course, we live frugally.(yes all you civilians.......we are underpaid!!) We buy what is on sale, make what we can't buy & when in the USA grow the rest. Coupons are my friend & so are clearance sales, I start shoppping for Christmas the day after Christmas...etc. (bamachic )

Buy in bulk and hand-me downs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (ellentracy)

Bulk food, sewing, gardening, hand-me-downs, mostly being careful about needs vs. wants. Everyone gets a few things just for fun, but not every time we go out and usually inexpensive treats. (7webbers)

"I" don't buy brand name clothes. If my kids want them, they save their money and buy them. My oldest kids are the worst about name brand buying of Nike, Jordasche, etc. I accept hand me downs from people at work all the time (the clothes are usually like new, since the people giving them to me only have 1 or 2 kids).
I buy food in bulk - a can of ketsup, 25 lbs. of powdered sugar, anything that is a bargain. When something is on sale I stock up. I've had as many as 25 boxes of cereal at one time (I don't pay more than $1.50 for a box of cereal). I use a lot of coupons. I freeze flour, oatmeal, crackers, bread and much more when it's on sale. I have enough food in my house to last three to four months. I never pay full price for shampoo, bar soap, dish soap, laundry detergent and other staples. I use a coupon when these items are on sale.
We have never been without. God provides very well for my family. I'm sorry to admit I forget to thank Him each and every day for all my blessings. (motherof11)

It is true~ God will supply ALL of your needs! I have worked less and less with each child and now am just teaching Childbirth Classes. When we had 2 I was working 32 hours a week and we thought we were struggling! GOD provides! (happymomof8)

Buy in bulk, shop 2nd hand, live out in the country in a cheap house and do without a lot of things. I think you spend what you have and I'm happy about how I'm spending my money. After living as students with kids I feel like we have lots of money. We have enough to eat, roof over our heads, clothes on our backs and great medical care plus lots of extras. (mabear7)

Making home and family more important than things! I could double our income if I went to work tomorrow, NO WAY. No one else is raising my children. Also, I really don't need fancy homes, cars, furniture or clothes. We camp for our vacation and love it. I buy kids clothes at Thrift stores, (it's great when value village has 1/2 off day), consignment shops etc. They don't look like orphans in fact they wear alot of Osh Kosh, GAP and Gymboree. The difference is that I didn't go into debt to buy them. Our house is perfect for us and our mortgage is very affordable. All our cars are paid for and none of us is very materialistic. (6kidsnow)

Knowing the difference between "wants" and "needs"! Also, believing that God, our children, families and friends are the true "riches" of this earth. (kclfarm)

You always just seem to be able to afford it. (teel)

Garage sales,thrift stores and never turn down a hand-me-down. (mplschic)

My Aunt Always Told Me That if you wait until you 'can afford kids' you will never have any. Kind of tend to believe her!!! Can you ever REALLY afford them...they are always in need (or want) of something aren't they? (jerikay61)

Coupons, clearance sales, thrift shops, previously owned cars. (dimjo)

By deciding what's really important. Things are not as important as our children. (fetcher)

Whats one more mouth to feed (vlnm)

It doesn't matter how many kids you have, you spend whatever you make, so you may as well spend it on many. (cbrouse23)

defining wants vs needs, wise comparison shopping, new is not necessarily better..... Almost all our foods are generic brands or from grocery outlet stores. Never pay full price for anything, wait for a good sale. Thrift clothes and hand-me-downs can be great! Doesn't have to be brand new (furniture, car, house, etc) just clean and orderly. Enjoy inexpensive family times (rent videos, hiking, camping, ball games, park, etc.). Splurge occasionally together. Save up for big items, have whole family work on saving up for an item. Limit gift giving expenses (there are very creative things to do for gifts that don't cost a lot).
Create a budget as a family and live within that budget (not my strong point here!!). Teach your children to shop wisely also and about budgeting. Even my teenage daughter has learned she can find good finds at the local thrift shop when it comes to clothing. We don't make our children feel like "we can't afford that" but that we need to budget it in and work towards it. Can we find it a better deal elsehwere? Do we really need that item? Is it of good quality and is it a good investment to purchase it? It makes them more grateful for what they have.
Most importantly, define your NEEDS versus your WANTS. When in a pinch financially, we were shocked at how little we actually could live on when we got rid of wants (phone extensions, newspapers, cable tv, clubs, subscriptions, etc) and streamlined to only needs (food, clothing, and shelter come first, then other needs). (sevenin79)

Because I do't care that my furniture comes from Walmart and not Ethan Allen... I don't care about eating in fancy restaurants or going to Hawaii every year. Because my kids look just as good in hand-me-downs and clothes from the thrift store and because I am rich in LOVE. (tead)

I had to comment about the furniture not coming from Ethan Allan. Recently I needed MORE dressers, 3 more to be exact. Now we are christians and so I prayed about it since I could not figure out how we would ever get 3 dressers. With in a week we found 2 and a friend (mom of 5) called up and said that she had an extra! The 1 was perfect for my new baby girl w/ Daisy shaped drawer pulls and carved spirals on the side. 2 needed to be painted, I just finished painting the 1 and for my 5 dollar investment in paint a have an ADORABLE dresser! I painted the dresser blue, the drawers green, 3 handles yellow and 3 handles red. My friend (mom of 1) came over yesterday and was astounded at the sight of this dresser! It LOOKS like an Ethan Allan. Those are the best pieces of furniture of all, not the ones that you look at and wonder if you're ever going to pay it off before the kiddos destroy it. I'm also just about done reupholstering my couch. I saved $700.00! (xccow2)

Also prioritizing, but also not insisting that everything be new, not requiring that play clothes be "name brand" classy outfits (we save those for outings and church--and they usually come from a garage sale, store sale, thrift shop, or bag given to us). When we do buy something new we make sure it is made to last (4 boys-can hand everything down) and "classic" that is not dated by the picture on the outfit or style. We drive old cars, do simple things for fun, rent movies instead of going to the theater (tho occasionally we see a movie in the theater as a treat), camp instead of staying in fancy hotels, eat simply but healthy, don't worry if our furniture doesn't match as long as it's clean and neat, etc., etc., etc. (oh yea, we don't go out and buy all the latest toys either--and yes, our kids are HAPPY!!) (4boysrus)

By prioritizing. We look at every 'want' very closely to determine if it is a necessary thing that will improve our lives, or if it is more like something that will take up time and money that could better be spent somewhere else. Learning to be a wise consumer. the 'best' brands aren't necessarily the most durable, and you can find used clothing in new-like condition for a fraction of the cost. Also most brand name foods have a generic equivalent. What is time-saving in the way of foods isn't always the most nutritious or economical. (ckarmom)

We stick to our budget as closely as possible. We ask, "Is it necessary?" before we make a purchase. We shop sales and use coupons. We give our own haircuts most of the time and we have older cars. Most of all, we ask God to provide and He does. (Ange)

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