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5 Things that Have Saved Me as a Mom of Many

Mothering many children has been the most challenging yet most rewarding adventure of my life. Here are 5 things that have saved my bacon these past twenty years as a mom of many.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PG. The opinions and text are all mine.

5 Things that Have Saved Me as a Mom of Many | Life as Mom

When I had my first baby, I was 25, young, and figured I had it all figured out. That first couple weeks as a new mom, my own mother came to stay with me. Bless her, she tried to give me advice, but I wasn’t having much of it.

I was intent on making my own mistakes.

Twenty years and five kids later, I’ve learned that I decidedly don’t have it all figured out. In fact, I’m still making it up as I go along — and making quite a few mistakes in the process.

I’ll admit humility was probably the thing I was most lacking back in 1997. I see myself in younger moms and wonder if I should say something. And then I realize they probably don’t want to hear it. They want to make their own mistakes, too.

Still, I think it’s helpful to get a heads up from time to time, even if it’s from a total stranger on the internet. Here are five things that have saved my bacon over the years as a mom of many.

5 Things that Have Saved Me as a Mom of Many

1. Embrace the chaos.

It took me awhile to realize it, but once I did, I was happier. There was a season in my life when I learned to accept that my house would always be loud and the boys’ bathroom would always be gross. It wasn’t that I was happy with either option, but I realized that there were some things that as a mom of many I needed to make peace with in order not to lose my mind.

This was just a season, mind you. Once the boys were old enough to take care of business properly, I insisted that they do so. The four of them are now responsible for the two bathrooms that they collectively use and they do a pretty good job keeping them clean and tidy. Likewise, our house is pretty quiet most days, much to my introverted satisfaction.

In the middle of those early years with six kids under 13 years of age, however, it was necessary for me to embrace some level of chaos instead of fight it. It was better for all of us that I relax a little instead of being that nagging, hassling wife/mom.

5 Things that Have Saved Me as a Mom of Many | Life as Mom

2. Plan as much as possible.

That said, plan as much as possible. When one has many children, there is no real possibility of being overly structured and planned out. It really can’t happen. Unless you are a veritable drill sergeant, the sheer number of kids will make it virtually impossible; there are just too many variables of personality and agenda in the mix for you to possibly have your own way all the time. Rest easy.

Put your worries of going overboard aside and plan as much as you possibly can. Your future self will thank you for packing nonperishable snacks in the car, having spare shoes in the trunk, or leaving 20 minutes early for an appointment.

When you are a mom of many, something will come up. So plan accordingly.

3. Adjust your expectations to suit the season.

I am a recovering perfectionist. While I quickly learned #1, I didn’t really apply it early enough to myself. For years I lay awake at night berating myself for all kinds of mistakes I’d made during the day. I wasted time and good sleep over my humanity.

As a mom of many, it’s important to realize that you won’t be able to do all the things that you dreamt of doing when you were pregnant with your first child. You have to adjust your expectations of life and of yourself to suit the season you’re in.

There’s a reason that us older moms tell new moms to sleep when baby sleeps. We know what lies in your future, sister.

There will be time for all kinds of amazing adventures and projects as your kids grow and develop and sleep through the night. Sometimes, done is better than perfect, so give yourself a break.

 

4. Don’t run out of necessities.

Shopping for and feeding a large family can be a full time job. I’m pretty sure that there’ve been seasons as a mom of many that all I did during a day was cook, clean, and clothe people. We both know that all work and no play makes Jane a very dull girl, indeed. If we can stock up on necessities and save ourselves some running around time, we can rest and play a little bit more.

Over the years, I’ve learned which items we needed to stockpile so that we would never run out. Today this appears to be laundry soap, toilet paper, and dishwashing detergent. Not too long ago my stockpile included diapers and wipes. Lots of diapers and wipes. Finding good deals and stocking up were ways that I could stem the tide of continual and repetitive tasks that might threaten to knock me over.

Are you a mama with babe in arms? Did you know that you can shop at samsclub.com or through the Sam’s Club app and get $3 off plus free shopping when you buy any Luvs diapers? Get these high-quality diapers for as low as 11 cents each.

Fun fact: this was my target price for diapers a decade ago! I’d say that’s a great deal! The savings are automatically calculated when you make your online order.

This special is not available in-club, but you can easily download the app in ios or android.

5. Learn to be humble.

Pride goes before the fall, doesn’t it? Learning humility as a mom of many will take you far. It seems counter-intuitive in this culture, but trust me. If you’re honest about your limitations and willing to ask for help (what I think are part of being humble), you will be a great mom. Your kids will respect you for not pretending to know it all, and you’ll feel better not trying to do more than you can gracefully accomplish.

It’s one thing to make your own mistakes. It’s a whole other ball game to actually learn from them. When we do, though, we reap huge rewards.

5 Things that Have Saved Me as a Mom of Many | Life as Mom

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PG. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Comments

  1. Hi Jessica,
    I’m a mom of many too. We have children the same ages. I was just thinking yesterday that I wished that I could go back with my current brain, wisdom, and experience (also our current curriculum!) and parent my kids! Even then, though, I would make mistakes. 🙂 We homeschool and I feel like I am much more relaxed in my attitude now (although still somewhat of a perfectionist). My advice would be “Do not worry what other people think. Do not worry about living up to other’s expectations. Be your own person and personality.” I think there is a lot of pressure when you homeschool to prove that learning is occurring. Also really enjoy each moment-early childhood really does go fast!

  2. Hi Jessica! Oh gosh, reading your post was reading about me too! I’m a mom to 6 under 13 and 1 otw🤗. It’s always enjoying to read of a fellow mom with a crew and just getting that “you understand it feeling” from just reading your post. I call our chaos, controlled chaos, some days are better than others, by one day we’ll miss it and wonder how it flew by so fast.
    Jessica from AK

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