Warning: 10 Truths About Having a Huge Family
Posted March 9, 2016 by Prairie Wife - 8 comments
I love our huge family!
I take great pride in the fact that The Cowboy and I have five children.
They are a blessing and a joy.
That being said there are a few things I wish someone had taken the time to tell me about having a huge family…
1. Your number of brain cells diminishes with the birth of each child.
I’ve discussed the perils of pregnancy brain, and I am here to report that it doesn’t go away when the baby comes out. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself standing in the middle of the room trying to remember what the heck I was there for. I have been known to say to my kids on multiple occasions “Hey you, whatever your name is, come here!” My only solace it knowing that my kids now have higher IQ’s because of all my brains cells they have stolen. Note: If you breastfeed you will have even fewer brain cells because they leak out in your milk…
2. You will never sleep.
This may seem obvious, a lot of kids means a lot of babies, and we all know that babies don’t sleep. But what they never tell you is that it’s not just the babies that keep you up. Children in large families are born with a secret communication system. They use it to take turns tag teaming you. When the baby finally starts sleeping through the night an older child will have a hacking cough that will keep you up. When that’s over another child will “step up to the plate” and begin sleep walking or having night terrors. Tag teaming little punks…
3. When one kid gets sick it sets off a chain reaction of doom.
One of the benefits of having a ton of kids is that they all learn how to share at an early age. Sadly this means they share not only toys but germs as well. The average cold takes three days to come in, stays for three days, and then takes three days to leave. Let’s say that makes for about four days of a miserable sick kid. Now take those four days, add one for an incubation period and then multiply it by the number of children you have. This means that if you have five kids like me, you will be dealing with sick and cranky kids for 25 days. Let’s also remember that mom and dad will get sick when all the kids are finally full of energy and feeling better!
4. You’ll need a calculus degree to figure out medicine dosages.
This is directly related to the above comment. Keeping track of medicine dosages when you have five children is nearly impossible. Squinting at the label at 3 in the morning and trying to remember the age and weight of the screaming child currently in pain, then doing the math required to make sure you are giving them the appropriate dosage. Well, it’s a feat of intelligence that makes my brain smoke! At this point I have learned to have them line up by age and open their mouths like baby birds as I pour in the medicine.
5. Hearing the words “I got a part in the Christmas Program” will instantly make your left eye twitch.
I’m all about Christmas; I love it and everything that comes with it…except for the Christmas Programs. We currently have three Cowkids that are school age. This means that this year we had three children that needed to spend two months practicing lines and songs with us. I could recite their lines even now, word for word for you. Christmas Programs are scheduled on various nights depending on the ages of the children, so we had two nights in one week where we had to sit in overcrowded hot gyms, keep the two littlest Cowkids under control and strain to hear children sing off key solos while doing creative ninja poses to try and film our special little snowflakes. After the programs the kids get ice cream and The Cowboy and I get a shot of whiskey. Imagine what it will be like when all five are in school?
6. Valentine’s Day cards will be coming out your A$$
Sorry to be vulgar but this is one I seriously wish I had been prepared for. Going and buying Valentine’s Day cards seems fun right? Each kid gets to pick out a box…except the boxes either have 12 and they need 14 or they have 28 cards and your child only has 16 students in their class. Each kid insists on picking a different type of card. So, if you’re like me, you just sigh, let them, and plan to use the leftovers the next year. Hah, good luck with that! You’ll either forget where you put them, or have a child that refuses to use a combination of cards, or insists that he is now “too cool” for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This year I put my foot down and made them use all the extras…and I swear we still have about 50 left over! Also, let’s just pause and imagine the chaos that is all these children writing names, crossing them off the class list, and putting all the cards safely in a large ziplock bag.
7. Your house will never be clean.
Lots of kids equals lots of mess makers. I can clean the house from top to bottom and it will look absolutely trashed in less than half an hour. We have a beautiful mudroom that we custom built, with cubbies for each child. Take a look at the picture; they still throw everything on the ground. I’ve learned to just breathe when they track mud across my freshly mopped floor, and in the end I keep things as organized as I can. If anyone comes over and comments on my full to the brim sink, I have no problem showing them where the sponges and soap are located.
8. Band Aids and Gum will become more priceless than diamonds.
As a babysitter I would hand out Band Aids and gum without a thought but, something about that changed when I became a mom. I don’t know why, seriously I don’t…but now my kids have to basically be gushing blood from a wound before I’ll let them get a Band Aid. And gum, well that my friends, is the bargaining tool of the century. If I need to ensure my Cowkids behave perfectly, all I have to do is either offer them gum before or, immediately after the event to ensure angel like behavior! Warning: This can dangerously backfire if you have promised gum but realize too late that you have run out.
9. Naptime is sacred.
My friends call me the Nap Nazi and frankly it’s a badge I wear with pride. You better believe that when 1:00pm rolls around my house will be locked up like Fort Knox and the ringer will be off on my phone. This is my me time, my time to catch up on much needed sleep, my time to breathe and do absolutely nothing productive. Even though some of the Cowkids are too old for naps they know they better get their butts in bed with some good books and stay quiet. They are under strict orders to not disturb me unless they are bleeding enough to need a band aid, or are smelling smoke.
10. Your life will revolve around poop.
One child needs to poop “right now” just as you are ready to head out the door. Another one just pooped and is now screaming “wipe my butt” while you’re trying to make an important business call. Child three hasn’t pooped in two days and now has a tummy ache. Child four pooped and it is now leaking out their diaper and onto your leg. Last but not least child five has “green with little m&m’s poop” that you fear is a sign of an inevitable plague that is about to descend on your family…
Which warning surprises you the most?
I’m sure I’ve forgotten something (see above comment about brain cells) so tell me, what do you wish you had know about having a huge family?
Copyright: andreypopov / 123RF Stock Photo
Categories: Life As It Happens