Friday, October 16, 2009

What is it Really Like to Have 9 Kids?

I'll tell you...

(P.S. This is a long and cumbersome description of my day. If you do not wish to read every word, I've highlighted key words that should help you understand what a day in my life is like. Enjoy.)

POST ADDENDUM: After reading some of the comments left on this post, I feel the need to let you know that this is not necessarily an average day. However, days like this probably occur more often than I'd care to admit.

7:15 Wake up to the sound of the twins playing with the automated ATM machine in their bedroom. They sleep in my bed with me, so they often get out of bed before I do.

7:20 Get dressed, then walk bleary-eyed in to the kitchen to take my thyroid pill, thus giving it time to dissolve for half an hour before I can eat.

7:25 Place twins in their high chairs with a bowl of cereal.

7:30 Make sure all of the people who need to leave for the high school or elementary band are almost ready to go.

7:40 Make sure the 7-year-old girl is awake to tend the twins while I take the older 4 to school, then encourage the 3-year-old to get dressed so he can come along.

7:something: Take the 4 oldest to school, then return home.

8:something: Remove twins from high chairs, then make 3-year-old boy and myself breakfast.

8:something: Sign various forms for the 7-year-old girl, brush her hair, load up the 3-year-old, the twins and her and head to the elementary again.

8:something: Return home, change twins diapers and get them dressed, or, if I don't want to look for clean clothes, just put another clean blanket sleeper on them.

8:40 Spend time on a forum where we discuss motherhood, religion, blogging and the like. Spend time explaining why Mormons don't drink coffee.

9:00 Commit to getting off the computer for an hour, put on itunes, and jam out while cleaning the kitchen after breakfast. It's always hopeful that the 3 three and under cooperate and play in the playroom while I do this, but more often than not, the twins are taking dishes out of the dishwasher I just put in, or throwing away plastic cups in the garbage can, or spilling cups of water the other kids left out and slipping in it. A lot of times I just give up on the kitchen.

10:00 Start laundry, and fold two or three loads.

10:30 Snack time, which today consisted of 4 bananas eaten out on the front porch so I didn't have to clean high chair trays again.

11:00 More computer time.

11:30 Begin to prepare lunch for the 5 kids who will be returning.

12:something: Load the 3 three and under into the van and drive to the school again to fetch the 2 elementary kids and bring them home.

12:something: Ask the 9- and 7-year olds to babysit the twins while I go to my room to put on my make-up and do my hair for the upcoming luncheon I plan an attending without so much as one child on my hip.

12:something: Greet 2 of the older kids for lunch as they arrive and explain what we're having and how they can serve themselves. The 17-year-old boy had his special football lunch at school again (see THIS post), so he didn't join us. This sometimes makes me a little happy, because he gets really disappointed and saddened if I don't make good lunches. It's kind of like when your husband is out of town and you and the kids can just eat mac'n'cheese and everybody's happy, right? Same thing with the 17-year-old boy.

12:something: Realize that Twin B has fallen asleep in his highchair, so carefully try to clean the mac'n'cheese off his face and carry him to bed.

12:something: Rejoice when I hear my babysitters voice as she plays with Twin A and the 3-year-old boy.

12:something: Greet the babysitter, then tell her I'll be right back after I take the kids back to school.

12:something: Take the kids back to school, but this time, baby-free.

12:something: Return from school, change Twin A's diaper, take him to my bedroom to nurse him to sleep, only to realize that Twin B has woken up. I lay down with both of them, but when Twin B realizes that I am nursing Twin A and don't intend on nursing him at that exact moment as well, sleep flees his mind and he begins to wail.

1:00 (The time of my lady luncheon) Stop nursing Twin A, who cannot get to sleep with the racket coming from Twin B, fish for two cute outfits and 4 left and right shoes for the twins, take them to the living room where the babysitter is still waiting, tell her that I'm just going to take them all to the luncheon with me, since I just think it's too much for her to take care of all 3 three and under while they are actually awake for 2 hours.

1:20 Finally finish getting twins ready, then realize I hadn't finished making the guacamole I was working on earlier, so go to finish that, not cleaning as I go.

1:40 Leave for luncheon, with the 3 three and under and the guacamole and the babysitter, to drop off at her home.

1:45-3:45 Enjoy the luncheon more than I thought I would, as it was outside and the twins had a cat to chase while they weren't pawing at my clothes trying to get me to give them more stir-fry and chips and salsa and pouring their cups of water on my knees.

3:45 Realize it is way past time to pick up the kids from school, run off with the twins in my arms, leave the 3-year-old with my sister-in-law at her request, yelling back to the hostess that I would come back and get my dishes later.

3:47 Pick up kids from school.

4:00 Take 13-year-old boy back to school, after he retrieves his pads and helmet, for football practice.

4:05 Continue to encourage the 9-year-old boy to find his piano music for his piano lesson at 4:00

4:10 Send the 14-year-old girl to take the 9-year-old boy to his piano lesson, sans music.

4:15 Am told, upon the 14-year-old girls return, that the piano teacher wasn't there. Hallelujah. One less trip to make this afternoon!

4:30 Encourage kids to do homework and try to clean something.

5:00 Ask the 14-year-old girl to take the 7-year-old girl to dance class.

5:00-5:30 Try to comfort 3 fussy boys who didn't get naps to speak of.

5:30 Place the now sleeping Twin A in bed, knowning that now he will never go to sleep at his regular bedtime.

5:35 Sit down while holding Twin B and talk on the phone to the 20-year-old girl.

6:00 Pick up 7-year-old from dance class.

6:20 Greet boys who have returned home from football practice, am told by the 13-year-old boy that he needs black pants for the band concert, to which he is to arrive in 15 minutes, remind him that he doesn't own a pair of black pants, so what does he expect to do about this, look at the blank stare on his face, suggest that he call his cousin, who is about twice his size, to borrow his black pants.

6:20 Send the 14-year-old girl to Cousin's house to retrieve said pants.

6:25 Iron 13-year-old boys white dress shirt and cousin's black pants.

6:30 Take 3 oldest kids to school, along with the 5 littlest for the ride, to prepare for band/choir concert.

6:40 Return home and dress twins and 3-year-old appropriately for band concert, after exhausting all babysitting strategies, stuff half PB&J sandwiches in baggies in my diaper bag, along with wet wipes and diapers.

6:45 Realize that the 3-year-old boy is completely, stark naked, yell at him and make him cry, feel bad, then help him get dressed and brush his hair.

6:55 Head out the door to the concert.

At the concert:

-See a large table of baked goods, become annoyed that I wasn't informed that there would be baked goods because I bought no money, listen to the kids ask if we can buy the baked goods, please, ask if they take credit, am told no, turn and walk into the theater with 5 dejected individuals.

-Sit down and wait for the concert to start for 20 minutes. (To see why that's a tragic occurance, click HERE.)

-Enjoy a few numbers with both twins on my lap, the 3-year-old having gone to sit with Grandpa and Grandma. Yes!

-Send twins out with the 9- and 7-year-olds.

-Leave the theater to go supervise all 4, then stand in the open door of the theater for the rest of the concert and try to keep Twin A from running all the way down the isle to the stage. Twin B just wanted to stand by me holding my hand, as he was developing a fever, which was less work for me. I'm sorry he was getting a fever, but still, less work for me.

-Wait for 3 older kids after concert, while trying to maintain control of the 5 little ones in the crowded lobby as the vast audience was leaving.

9:00 Arrive home.

9:10 Change the twins' diapers in preparation for bed. Realize that no one had eaten since snack time after school, so feed the twins and 3-year-old the smooshed sandwiches from my diaper bag.

9:20 Put the 3-year-old to bed, at his request

9:25 Do scripture study with the family.

9:30 Change the twins again, dress them in their sleepers, give them a drink of water, encourage them to follow me into our bedroom, read them a story, offer them more water, to which both of them shake their heads no, lay them down, their heads on pillows on either side of mine, place their covers on them, turn out the lights, say a prayer for them outloud, then drift off to sleep with them, which wasn't supposed to happen because when I woke up, it was...

11:15 Go to the living room to find that the 13- and 9-year-old boys had not gone to bed, but instead had fallen asleep to Madagascar on the couch and recliner.

11:16 Send them to bed.

11:20 Begin turning off all lights and checking doors, then hear the 17-year-old boy coming out of the game room. After asking him if he needs help getting anything ready for the football trip tomorrow, he declines and goes back into the gameroom. I ask him what he is doing, and he says he is going to watch an episode of House. I ask if he minds if I watch it with him. Normally, he wouldn't be watching a TV program this late at night, but since he will be traveling on a bus for four hours during school hours, I thought, "What's the harm?"

11:22 Make myself a burrito, because I realize that I, also, had not eaten since snack time.

11:30 Watch House with my 17-year-old son.

12:10 Just as we are about to figure out why the young man is having all of his brain seizures and heart stoppages, I hear the 3-year-old boy crying down the hallway.

12:11 Ask him why he is crying, walk back down the hallway with him back to the bedroom, only to realize he has woken Twin B, lay down with both of them in my bed and wait for them to fall back to sleep.

12:30 Write this post.

And where is my dear sweet husband during all of this? Out of town on business in a quiet apartment. I hope he rested well.

1:32 Good night...

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alessandra said...

My head is turning, and I feel deadly tired only "reading" this!
That' why I could not have had 9(even less) kids.

alessandra said...

It seems, that I often forget something to say...maybe I'm old and that explains my previous comment.... I only wanted to specify my vote to your poll...I answered that I can't decide, well, it's not that I don't like your current background, it is that I was affectionate to the old one. :D

Kami said...

You are a busy busy busy lady! I thought my life was chaotic having four kids at home!! :)

Amanda B. said...

Even with only four kids... I can relate to this! I have had days near this crazy. Fun, huh?? ;)

Pedaling said...

i couldn't do it.

NatureGirl said...

Whew! Keep up the good work!

alexis said...

You are at once inspiring and terrifying me! I too plan for a big family--3 boys so far!

Cassie said...

Why do the kids come home for lunch? Is that by choice? Just thinking it might be a little easier if they stayed the whole school day. Two less trips!

Janelle said...

You make me feel like my life is easy. I laughed all the way through it but I realize that you probably didn't do much laughing during your day.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

That's a great question, Cassie. The kids come home for lunch because there is no cafeteria at either the grade school or the high school. I could send them with a sack lunch, but because of the current kidnapping/extortion problems our area is having, I would just as soon have them come home. I know, crazy that we live like this, but this is home!

The Farmer's Wife said...

hey are a good woman Jen! And how is it that we have not discussed the thyroid issue???? That will have to be our next the next football game! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Thought my day was busy. Don't know anyone who has anything on you. Can't imagine! You will be blessed my friend. You will be blessed. :)

Unknown said...

Wow! May the Lord bless you dear Sister!

Jeff and Chelsy said...

wow....and when did you pick the 3 year old up from sister in laws?

Taylor at Household Management 101 said...

Wow, and I thought I was busy. Now I know better, and feel humbled.

Also, I noticed my site was listed in your Homemaking Blogs section. Thanks for the link, I really appreciate it.

Momtothreebabies said...

I love this! I found your blog on mormon mommy blogs and i adore it! come visit me!!! im at ! lets be friends!!
love, jaelle
have a wonderful day!!!

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Janelle, I did laugh myself a few times, like at the luncheon and while watching House, and probably a few other times, but not too much!

Jeff and Chelsea, my sister-in-law brought the 3-year-old back home immediately after we returned home at 4:00. There is actually a LOT I left out of this post!

Momza said...

oh. my. goodness. Too much too much Momma!
Something's gotta give. As a mom of 7, I've had to learn to prioritize my time and energy.
My goodness. I'd be bonkers. As long as you're happy, that's what matters.
Wow. Seriously. too much.

Keeley said...

*Mouth open*
Bless you, bless you, bless you for all you do for your family. Hang in there!

Jenna said...

Ah! What a day! As the kids get older it sure is harder to get to bed earlier, isn't it? I go for about as long as you each day, but I start several hours earlier and then end about 11pm. By the end of the week (today) I am bushed!

You are earning blessings in heaven!

Linda said...

I hope this doesn't sound mean, because its not meant to, and I realize this is only one day. But I was wondering when you clean the house. I only have six kids and I am running around all day long with them and doing all kinds of errands and feel like I am so disorganized because I don't have time to clean my house..just because I am a stay at home mom, doesn't mean I stay
Oh do you manage housework? I would love to know.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Momza, don't worry, not every day is like this! Like Wednesdays. I love Wednesdays. Nothing but cub scouts, a somewhat peaceful dinner, then maybe a movie with the kids.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Linda, your question doesn't sound mean in the least bit! Very ligit question! So, I spend time cleaning in the morning, but where we get a lot done is after school. Each of the kids has 2 chores, then must spend 30 minutes babysitting a baby so I can accomplish something. At dinner time, on a normal night, one of the kids will be my dinner helper and the other four will clean up their portions of the kitchen. Someone is delegated to give the twins a bath, someone takes care of the 3-year-old while I put the twins to bed, etc. Unfortunately, my husband is away most weeknights, but home on the weekend, so that helps. We are definitely trying to find something else that works better though, believe me!

So, Linda, to sum it up, my kids help with the housework tons, oh, and I forgot to mention that every Friday morning, for four hours, I have a lady who comes in and either babysits or cleans house to help me get caught up. We love her!

Anonymous said...

wow girl! you are one busy momma!! and do you know what stuck out to me the most? that you FORGOT TO EAT!!!!!!!!!!!
i only have 2 kids... no wonder i never forget to eat... actually i think i FORGET to STOP eating! ;) lol!

emotional diva said...

Your day sounds oddly similar to my own! I do not have 9 children, but I do run a therapeutic home child care. I have 2 children of my own, planning on more and then i have 12 children in my home that i care for, 6 of which are under the age of 3. The others are 3 & 4 and then my own are 5 & 7. I look forward to the end of each day when it's just myself & my 2. =)

Blessings to you and kudos to your brevity!!! =)

Rose said...

I can't get over the fact that you have 9 kids.

Kate said...

Did I miss something, or did you mean to imply that you left your 7 year old alone and in charge of younger siblings?
Not trying to be rude/judgemental at all. I'm just shocked.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Good question, Kate. I was wondering if anyone would think or say anything about that, but because I'm trying to be really honest in my writing, I decided to leave it in.

The school is about two blocks away, on old Mexican roads, so I do feel comfortable leaving her in charge for less than 5 minutes. I realize not everyone would do this, but I'm okay with it.

Midwest Mom said...

What's funny about the end of your post (because that is one. busy. day!) is that my husband has a tough time understanding exactly *why* I am exhausted when he comes home from a business trip.

He'll make sure I know that 5 days in a hotel wasn't a vacation...

Um. okay... (At least he's had peace & quiet, though!)

;) - Julia at Midwest Moms

R Allen said...

It takes me 4 hours to fold three loads of washing. You truly are miraculous.

Linda said...

Thanks for the info about cleaning. I have tried so hard to get my kids to help. That is my problem. I have two that go to school from 6am to 6pm plus two saturdays out of the month, plus mutual plus sports and I kinda feel awful asking them to help. Then my oldest works and bums around when he is not working..but because I don't ask the other two to help he feels I shouldn't ask him. So really I have one who helps out with a few chores and then my two littles are just a little too young. = P
But I guess, I better get them to help me out before I lose my mind. LOL
Thanks so much for sharing your day!! We just need to make it from one day to the next when we have large families.
You are awesome!!!

Brandie said...

And I thought three kids under 6 was bad. Who knew I promise to complain less this week and don't be mad if I copy you and do a post like this! Oh so fun!!! You are a multi-tasking wonder.