Our Big Family Story

Katie Guest Post 500

Now this is not my big family story, but the big family story from a wonderful family I know. Katie is kindly sharing her journey as a mother as part of the motherhood theme for this month. (Katie also contributed many fab tips in the Planning With Kids book.)

The first time I read this post by Katie I cried. This post tells such an honest and beautiful story of the family life of a big family. You can also clearly feel the love and respect Katie has for her husband, her kids and herself. So from me – thank you Katie for sharing your gorgeous story with my readers. xxx

*****

We are a family of two parents (Mum and Dad) and eight children. We are fairly heavily weighted with our eldest, who is twelve years old, being the only boy. So! Seven daughters with our baby eighteen months old, and one set of twins who are nearly three.

If anybody had told me at the age of eighteen that I would find myself at the ripe age of thirty-nine with eight children I would have laughed, or maybe cried, or most likely not believed them! I remember telling my now father-in-law that there would NEVER be a time that I would not work I had not studied this long and this hard for nothing! I was going to make something of myself and the arrival of children was not going to stop me!

After baby number one (1999) I resumed work three days a week when he was eleven months old. We desperately needed the money, and to be honest, I was going crackers at home. I had gooed and gaaed. We had been for daily walks. Dropped in to the Grandparents. Visited the park, the zoo, read books, played trains, cars, banged saucepans, eaten play dough. My God I thought I was going insane! It wasn’t him that needed stimulation, it was ME! I needed some adult conversation. I needed to use my brain for some higher order thinking. I needed to laugh and chat with people daily. I felt incredibly isolated. My parents cared for him two days a week, and one day a week he attended childcare. My husband always dropped him at childcare and I had the glorious job of picking him up.

What I had not accounted for was the difficulty I would have leaving my baby regularly in someone else’s care. I remember walking into childcare one day and seeing our ‘baby’ sitting on a little chair independently. I had not even known he could do that. My eyes filled with tears. I felt that I was missing all these precious moments that I could never experience again. And yet, I really needed to work. Not just for the money, or my career, but more for my mental well-being.

Then, baby number two (2001). It was getting better. I was busier. So, back to work one day a week when she was six months old. Baby number three (2002) was born, and that was the end of my working life to date. I was happy to finish working at this time. I seemed to have acclimatized to the pace of being at home. I was used to having the children around me all day, and I had relaxed, let go, and was enjoying my role. I had friends who were in a similar position and I felt well supported.

Most importantly, I have a husband who supports me in my role as a stay at home Mum. Financially, emotionally and physically. My husband is a commercial property developer (a really, lovely, grounded one!). We are incredibly fortunate that his hours are flexible and he pulls his weight BIG TIME around the house and with the children. Otherwise, I would not manage. My Dad was telling me the other day what a fabulous husband I have. “Yes Dad, I know. I chose very carefully!” “No,” he said “It was good luck”. Ohhhhh……no!. I remember thinking when we were getting married, “Oh well, if I am a totally dreadful mother, any children we have are going to have a totally fabulous father.” I was so right (about him!). I am not ‘Mother of the Year’ but I do try to pull my weight!

At the end of the day, we are in this together. When things are at their worst, and we feel like failures. When the children are attacking each other or telling me they hate me or hate each other or hate our big crappy family, we look across the room, lock eyes and quietly smile to each other. We can see the humor in the worst of them and us. We don’t expect them to be perfect. We certainly aren’t. We understand that being part of a big family is horrible sometimes. It’s horrible for us sometimes too. We do our best, and get it right most of the time, and I think this is enough. We totally love them, and we encourage and support them the best way we can. We try to keep it real and about them and not about us. Their achievements are their own and whilst we are proud of them, the glorious and victorious moments are theirs.

Help!

Even though I am a full time stay at home Mum, it takes a lot of help from different people to keep our show on the road. We have a nanny one and a half days a week. We began this twelve months ago when one of my parents became unwell. My parents had been such a steady and enormous support to our family. And did so willingly and lovingly. We had not really factored in a time this support may not be there. So, we had to readjust and draw in regular help from outside the fold. It has been a total Godsend. The idea was that our nanny would look after the children whilst I got around to jobs like – cleaning out the pantry, tidying the children’s wardrobes, and gardening!

The reality is that when our nanny arrives I high five her out the door and I only come back if I ABSOLUTELY have to! I can only do this because our nanny is beautifully kind and capable with our children. My parent’s in law take the twins when they are able to one day a week, and we have a fabulous extended family whom I know I can call on. We have an amazingly divine community of friends who help us with drop offs and pick ups. It has been an enormous leap for me to say to people “Yes thanks, that would be great,” when an offer of help appears. I like to think that between my husband and me we can manage ourselves, but the reality is we can’t.

These one and a half days I spend shopping (for groceries, and often items of more significant pleasure). I go to the children’s school assembly once a week. I try to take one of the school children out for lunch each week We attempt to stay within the confines of the school lunch break, and the school has been very supportive and encouraging of me doing this. The children totally love it! And so do I! They choose where they would like to go and what they would like to eat. It is usually a local café. We get to chat – a little or a lot, depending on the child. It is such a really special time. When they see me enter the playground the school children all come running to see whose turn it is to be lunching out!

I also try to meet my husband for a coffee and a bit of hand holding (I still love holding his hand!). We get to have an uninterrupted chat about whatever is topical for the family at the moment. And savour the peace.

Meals

I am a great fan of the weekly menu planner. The children generally choose a night each. I encourage the bigger children to flick through cookbooks or use the internet. Staples are chop suey, chicken schnitzel and veggies, and teriyaki chicken. I shop once a week at night at the local supermarket with a detailed list. I find having menu planned and prepared a list saves a lot of indecision and money. I buy fruit and veggies twice a week from a great local green grocer.

Most days, I bake something for afternoon tea. I love cooking and baking, so it’s a little bit of home therapy for me, and gives the kids enormous delight when they arrive home from school to something scrumptious! Sometimes the stay at home littlies help me, and sometimes not, depending on my level of patience on the day. There are always plenty of offers of assistance to lick the bowl. Then it’s fruit until dinnertime at 6pm.

Washing

Relentless! I am ALWAYS washing. I no longer hang clothes on the washing line – in fact; we don’t have a washing line. Everything (except woollens) goes in our fabulous dryer, which shrinks nothing. I used to iron everything – until number eight. Then, I told myself I would give myself a twelve month reprieve from the daily ironing of anything I could lay my hands on. And the more stressed I was the more insane items I ironed. (think cloth nappies, dish cloths….they do stack neatly when ironed flat….I know…what was I thinking?). I now do a lot of smoothing. And do you know what? You can hardly tell the difference! All those wasted hours!

Grooming

The manifestation of my slightly obsessive nature has become firmly entrenched in the children’s appearance. I am completely adamant that their hair is brushed (sprayed, gelled – whatever it takes to control it) each day. I still brush all of my children’s hair, from the twelve year old down. I realise this is a total rod for my own back and completely stupid and I should let go a bit. Loosen the reins. Relax. Well, I can’t. I think it stems from the fact that I don’t want us to be a big, SLOPPY family. I want the children to know that we care about caring for them, even though there are a lot of them. That it is important to present yourself well. The children must have a bath or a shower each day. It clears and organsises my head somehow that they are neat in appearance (and don’t smell!).

People sharing time with our family will often comment quietly to me, “You’re very lucky”. I know their intent is kind, but seriously, I feel it’s far from luck – its hard work! I had to carry all eight babies for forty weeks, or thereabouts. I did not have easy pregnancies. I was sick- constantly. And the births hurt – a lot! And truly, that was all the easy bit. We are devoted to our children in the most grounded and real way we know how. Giving up my career – I really feel I have sacrificed something else that may have been great. I am certainly not complaining, and I do not regret my decision. I am just trying to do my best at the job I have chosen. I would not change a thing – most days!

You only get, as my brother-in-law says “One dance around the chook house”. So we are trying to make it a good and memorable one. I am conscious of the children’s memories of their childhood. The bits that will stick.

I am a more generous person these days. Motherhood and probably life in general has done this for me. I am faster to compliment (often random) people on clothing, hair, children, children’s behaviour that I admire. I would never have done this at eighteen. I was far too busy waiting for people to compliment me.

I had my ‘Planning With Kids’ book out on the kitchen table last night. My Dad was proudly showing my brother the ‘features’ I had written. This morning, my two year old tore out the tribute page that Nicole had written to me, and I was actually quite fond of. She ripped it into tiny pieces and threw it with great gusto on the ground, looking at me defiantly. “*!+#!!!**!!” I thought to myself! It really is all a work in progress!

Katies’s Chocolate cake

I would love to share my chocolate cake recipe. I would hate to think how many times I have made this chocolate cake! It makes quite a big cake. I use a square tin, or two loaf tins.

Ingredients:

  • 125 grams unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups SR flour
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • Dash vanilla in 1 cup full cream milk

Method:

  1. Mix dry ingredients (I don’t sift – ever!)
  2. Add wet ingredients
  3. Beat together with electric/hand mixer for approx 5 mins
  4. Bake in moderate oven (160 C) for 40-45 mins.

Ice with chocolate icing. Approx two cups icing sugar, 1/3 cup of cocoa, one tablespoon softened butter and water to mix.

Has motherhood taken you a journey you never expected? (And Katie you are an amazing mum!)

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks Katie – I loved reading this (and your tips in Nicole’s book). I love that you take short-cuts and are honest about that (I only have 3 – though I had them in 3 years – and I take a LOT of short-cuts!) I love that you are honest about how sometimes being in a big family is no fun. I love that you are doing such a fabulous job caring for your children each as individuals (e.g. the lunch date) and I LOVE that you are your husband are so connected and on-board through all of this.

    I would love a large family (maybe not 8 kids, but we will see what God has in store!). At the moment I really feel the conflict of the working world and going back there (I need to work 600 hours in the next 1.5 years to keep my qualifications up-to-date, as I have been on so much maternity leave lately!), and the desire to just be with my children. I will be putting them in care 2 days/week next year and, with my 3 year old also doing a day of preschool, I feel like I am losing her already!

  2. says

    Fantastic Post, Katie! My life is nothing like my 18 year old self would have envisioned it…..I had grand plans for a career + family – to be THE supermum! But…my baby boy didn’t like to sleep, my daughter arrived 18 months later, & then 2 years later my little guy was diagnosed with a very serious illness where we spent months in & out of hospital. I gave up my career to look after my family. I now work part time, have started my own home based business & manage the home/family & edible garden. Motherhood is definitely a journey of the least expected – but each & every cuddle tells me it is all so worthwhile!!

  3. Jules says

    Thanks Katie for a fantastic and honest post. Your comments about not being perfect and to not expect this of your children ring true with me. Love them for who they are. You are lucky and blessed.

  4. says

    Katie

    So loved reading your story. Obviously I related to much of your story (I’m also 39 with a large family- 9 children).
    Your lunch with your children just melted my heart, so lovely. Totally with you on the menu planning. Actually I only do the supermarket shop once a month (hate shopping) and also shop at night, so much quicker.
    A question re the dryer (so intrigued that you don’t hang, I’ve just bought a second line, found an old hills hoist!) My experience is to now buy semi-industrial, stove, diswasher, washing machine. I haven’t yet gone that way with the dryer but it has now died. What model have you found does the distance?
    Oh yeah I get those odd comments:) I pay my oldest girl to iron, she’s off to Uni next year, not sure that the boys are that keen for money;) I’m afraid I’m not as diligent in some of your other areas, I guess we all have our pet ‘have tos’. I have to have a tablecloth on the table, crazy I know.
    Motherhood has sure stretched me to be a much better person, I know I’m far less likely to ‘fly off the handle’ then when younger.
    Thanks for sharing:)

    • Katie says

      Erin! Hello and so pleased to meet a family with greater numbers than ours! I have a great insight into the demandds of your life, as you do into mine! Our dryer is a Miele, and it is fabulous. I picked it up second hand 9 years ago. It has not skipped a beat! They are very expensive, but do appear on ebay from time to time. It is worth keeping an eye out because you will normally pick up a 2-3 year old macine for less than half price. Thanks so much for your very kind comments. I feel a very kindred connection to you. I wish you and your family great happiness! x

      • says

        Katie
        Kindred spirits:) Your children are so gorgeous. Checking out Miele’s now, thanks so much for that. It just made my day and made me smile to read of another large family:)

  5. says

    What a lovely and inspirational guest post to read. This couldn’t come at a more timely place for me. I really feel ready for baby number three, I’ve been thinking about it for the past 12 months, and now I know it the right thing for our family. Reading about how you do it with a large family is heart warming. I understand its not all roses and that it can be challenging…but that is life, and I am always up for a challenge.
    I too struggled with being stay at home when my first born arrived. I needed the mental stimulation too. Fortunately I could find in some part time online study. And now that I have found blogging, the opportunity to write and create and connect with mothers all over the globe gives me that mental stimulation I need.
    Motherhood has challenged me in ways I never thought possible. I have had to learn to become far more patient and tolerant, and meditation helps with this, as does baking. I am going to give Katie’s chocolate cake recipe a go this arvo.

    • Katie says

      Hi Nicola. I’m slightly nervous at being the final incentive for baby number 3. I love babies – so of course I think another is a fabulous idea. Just promise me you will think of me when things are going swimmingly and not pear shaped! Good luck to you and your gorgeous ones! I appreciate that you took the time to read my post and comment! Kindest regards, Katiex

  6. Tanya says

    Katie,

    Thankyou so much for sharing your beautiful, story, journey and tips. We are currently trying for number four and even with three I am starting to find I need to start spending more quality time with the older two especially. So I will definately be trying the date lunch idea.
    I also was wondering if you could share the brand of dryer you use. My dryer shrinks everything and as a result I try to hang out everything. It would just be nice sometimes to throw a load in the dryer just to catch up. At the moment I only use it for towels.

    • Katie says

      Hi Tanya! That is most exciting that you are trying for another gorgeous baby! Each one is seriously unique and totally precious. Our dryer is a Miele and is very expensive and fab. They appear from time to time on ebay – so keep an eye out. The only things I don’t put in the dryer are woollens and some delicate items. Good luck and thanks so much for your lovely words. Katiex

      • Tanya says

        Thank you so much for taking time out of what must be a very busy day to get back to me! I will be keeping my eyes peeled. Sounds like it is worth the investment. Cheers xxoo

  7. says

    What an amazing story-thanks for sharing.

    Your story makes me think that mothers experience joy and hardships whatever their situation.

    I had planned on having three kids in three years so I could be at home with all of them before they each started school and before my family leave had lapsed. That was my grand plan. Life had other plans for me.

    My daughter was quite unsettled in her early months and thinking of a second child was – well it was just unthinkable. Sadly now we’ve been trying for many, many, many months to conceive our second. It’s tough, but maybe I was only meant to mother one child. Who knows?

    I have not yet had the desire to return to work. My daughter is the best friend I’ve ever had and I enjoy her company too much to leave her. Like you, the thought of missing out on her growing and developing makes me sad.

    I do feel extremely isolated though- and it’s really getting me down. I tried to start my website to combat that feeling, but funnily enough that has made me feel more isolated at times. Any advice on that topic would be greatly appreciated Katie or Nic.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Katie says

      Dear Jackie, I really enjoyed reading your response. Life is certainly unpredicatable. Plans really are only that – aren’t they? I think that plans are perhaps a way of us trying to gain a little control over situations that are difficult to foresee the outcome to. I remember so clearly that feeling of isolation. I felt incredibly disconnected from the life that I had known before children, and a lack of surety that this life I appeared to have chosen was actually one I wanted. It didn’t seem to suit my personality. I was very sociable, and it was very one sided talking to a baby. Anyway, it took time. I had to build new friendships with people that were in similar situations to me. I had to join play groups, gymabaroo – all these groups! – and I used to drive home smirking quietly to myself with my baby in the back seat wondering who this person was that I had become? Some of the girls I befriended during that time I no longer see. But if I ran into them tomorrow – there is a sisterhhod there of togetherness at a very different and difficult time of our lives, We all got through it – and enjoyed a great part of it – and possibly trudged through the rest. So hang in there! Do whatever works. It could be returning to work – it might not be. It might be trial and error. I wish you luck. Enjoy your gorgeous daughter. Thanks for your lovely comments. Katiex

  8. Gin says

    Katie and Nicole, I would be interested in hearing how you made the decision to have a large family. Did you always think you’d have lots of kids, or was it a case of “just one more” each time?

    • says

      We had always said we would like four and then we would see what happened. A bit like the footballer cliche, we took it one baby at a time and made sure we were both okay to continue to expand our family.

      Our biggest gap is between babies 4 and 5. I knew instantly after baby number 4 was born that we still had room for one more. It took Mr I a little longer to realise that!

    • Katie says

      Hi Gin! When I was 17, I told my mum that there would be NO children forthcoming from me. I was going to be a career woman! Ha! Plans change! I remember seeing my sister-in-law with four children and thinking that looked kind of nice. And fun! We really took it one at a time – and then two at a time – and then back to one! Somebody said to me once that I would know when I was done! And they were right! But we had one more after that just to make sure!
      Katiex

  9. jo says

    The best guest post on Planning with Kids – honest, intelligent, practical, heart felt (plus much more) – thank you Katie for sharing your story :)

  10. Jacquie says

    Thanks Katie for sharing your story – really honest and full of love. It’s great to see how you actually manage your time and the needs of your husband, children and yourself. I have 3 boys and work part time and I always love hearing other people’s stories!
    Nicole – I’m really enjoying this theme of motherhood with all of these guest posts. I think without using labels at all it’s a really nice snapshot of quite a few different types of families and mothers and how they all operate etc. :-)

  11. Nicola says

    Katie that is a brilliant story, I love that you are so honest. I have 3 kids, also born in 3 years, and it has ruined my body but enriched my life so much. I love being a stay-at-home mum yet I feel I am constantly judged for not returning to the workforce. I agree with an article I read recently that we are a part of the new feminism, we are excercising our right to mother!

    Minding such a variety of ages must be hard. I find that so many articles promote ‘craft’ and ‘going out’ as great things to do with small kids, but with a toddler always ready make too much of a mess, as well as always having a child needing a nap, these things aren’t always possible.

    I love these posts Nic, they makes me feel human. Thank you: )

    • Katie says

      Hi Nicola. I just had to reply to you. I get the bit about the ruined body. In my head I still think I look 25, but when I get up in the morning, I feel about 65! I used to do craft – with gritted teeth! Summer is better because you can craft outside – and leave the glitter there. I often tell the kids that painting is for ‘at kinder’ and ‘pets are for other people’. i know, I’m going straight to hell! Katiex

  12. Cristina says

    Dear Katie and Nicole,
    Thank you so much for sharing. As Nicola said, your posts make me feel human. I am forty and my youngest and fourth child is nine months, and I am exhausted, specially today after a long night of coughing and not sleeping, but I know I am lucky, for having my family and my husband, our parents, and so many friends always ready to help. It’s true. We cannot do it alone. And yes, knowing that makes me more patient, more thankful, less selfish… Katie’s post made me cry and laugh, and I share that obsession for my children not looking sloppy, specially because I live in a small town where having four children has been a local event and keeping my job a local scandal. Just one question, my English dictionary doesn’t have this: what is “SR flour”? Best from Spain.

    • Katie says

      Hi Cristina. When reading your comment I can’t stop reading silently with a Spanish accent! Thanks so much for your lovely comments. Very pleased to hear of another person’s obsessiveness with grooming. SR flour is self-raising flour. It is so hard when the kids are sick! I will go to extensive lengths to avoid illness these days – particularly anything gastro based. So excited to hear from you! Katiex

  13. says

    Brilliant post! Such honesty with the good and the bad. Thank you – makes me feel so much more normal. Really enjoyed reading it.

  14. Annabel says

    Wow Katie I really really loved your post. I printed it off to show my husband. He doesn’t believe in reading blogs! We have five children and hope for maybe one more next year. I want to scrape in that last one before I turn forty. I read out to him the part about sometimes things are horrible, and how you lock eyes with your hubby across the room and know it’s all okay. I’d love to do the coffee and hand holding outings, but none of my time is my own for that.
    Just right now I am feeling intensely isolated, lonely and alone through my mothering journey. I have no family support and no real life friends to help, and as well as that I am homeschooling our two eldest boys and will follow suit with the other children as they grow.
    My only connection, really, with the outside world is on blogs, seeing how other large families get by and to see that you are real and things can be “horrible” sometimes, but still okay. It was so great to read an honest account from you!
    And you know what I like the most is that you even take the time to jot down a quick reply to peoples comments. I have made a comment here and there on other blogs and some small part of me finds it aloof that the blog owners never manage a reply. For someone like me who feels so alone, one little return comment can make my whole entire day!
    Oh PS. I will be making your chocolate cake this weekend! xx

    • says

      Annabel,

      Can’t believe I’ve now found two mums (you and Katie) both the same age as me and with large families:) ! Annabel I just wanted to give you a {{}}. some days life is insane, some days smiling at your husband across the room seems to be as close as you can get.
      Like you we also homeschool, and I do know what you mean about some blog writers not responding to your comments. I do promise however if you’d like to come over to my blogging corner I will respond:)
      As I get ready to send our oldest off to Uni I really can’t believe how fast the years have flown, treasure it all, the crazy, the humbling and the grand.

    • Katie says

      Dear Annabel. My heart is breaking a little reading your comment. I understand the loneliness and the isolation. Mothering can be, at times, a very solitary experience. I know that I used to spend a lot more time talking to my friends on the phone, and now, sadly, I just don’t have the time. And if I do, I usually can’t hear what they are saying for the kids screaming. I think the fact that you have five children, no family support and are home schooling two of your children (whilst caring for 3 others) is an amazing commitment and accomplishment. I am not sure that I could do it! I listen to the radio these days. It’s like having a friend in the room, and you can tune in and out, and you actually learn a little about what is going on outside of your own little microcosm. I am not sure how to help you with the limited social support. Is there a group in the area where other mum’s that are home schooling catch up? I would really struggle without the support of my friends. I have made a lot of new and lovely friends as the kids have become involved in activities, such as ballet, football and swimming – is this possible for you? Seriously, life is horrible sometimes. Some days, I do think “What have we done?”. I start thinking about the thouseands of meals I have to cook and dish up ahead of me, the thousands of loads of washing, the shopping, the cleaning, the homework (not mine!) -then I stop – because it really is totally overwhelmimg. So I just take it one day at a time. And I try to make the most of each 24 hours. And I know that when things are totally crappy – they can only get better – and they ALWAYS do. If there is absoloutely any way your husband and you can have an hour together, even once a fortnight, I highly recommend it. It is so wonderful for you and your husband and will have a lovely flow on effect to your children. I think it is enormously important to nurture your relationship with your husband. I sometimes think, one day the kids will all have left home and it will be just my husband and I – so we had better keep this thing great! I hve you in my thoughts and I wish you great happiness with your family. I hope the chocolate cake goes well. I have made it today for my now 9 year old’s birthday. Take care! Katiex

      • Annabel says

        Oh Erin and Katie! Thanks so much for your lovely words. I had a little tear reading those, to think that someone not only read something I wrote, but responded to it with words other than “mmuuuuuum” lol.
        Now I feel special, just for that little minute, that somebody knows I’m alive!
        Kudos to the large family mumma! And thanks for hearing me! xxx
        I do agree I need to nurture my marriage. He is a great man. This time we have really is going superfast, isn’t it?
        Annabel x

        • says

          Annabel
          I’m going to take a guess and assume all your children are under 9? Life is soo tough at this stage{{{}} It does get easier but that is no real help at present I know, so the best I can do is send {{{}}} and let you know I’m happy to listen.
          (aussiethreads@gmail.com)
          “I think it is enormously important to nurture your relationship with your husband. I sometimes think, one day the kids will all have left home and it will be just my husband and I – so we had better keep this thing great!”
          I often think of this, my children are great, wonderful, but my husband is the whole reason kwim? One of the saddest stories I remember hearing as a teen was of a couple I knew who one day realised their children had flown and they had nothing to say to one another. I was so determined to nurture my marriage. Just little things, a love note in the lunch box, an quick email to say ‘I love you’, a ‘date night’ watching ‘your show’ together. Sending you best wishes.

  15. says

    This is a gorgeous read Katie. I so enjoyed reading about your lovely family. I really struggle with meal planning. I want to do it but I find it so hard to look past pretty much the day I’m on. I think it’s time I deligate a night to my two oldest children. They would love that.

    • Katie says

      Thanks Kelly! It took me such a long time to get the meal planning organised. I must say I love waking up in the morning, knowing what I am going to preapre for dinner that night. But even more exciting is the fact that all of the ingredients are in the cupboard/fridge and I don’t have to drag four littlies out shopping with me! The kids do love participating in meal planning (with a little guidance). Can’t eat nachos every night of the week! Take care. Katie

  16. deanna says

    I have fallen in love with this site.I am almost 38 years old and i have 8 children from 18 months to almost 16 years. When i wasn’t a mother i would never have dreamed of having such a large family. Although there are a lot of ups and downs with such a large famiily i honestly believe that telling myself that i am the best mother i can be and that i can only get better. I find that a dryer is my savour to being chained to the laundry. Music to me lets me tune myself back into the world of sanity. Like Annabell i to feel isolated through the lack of family support but i always see that what i do not have in them i have in my children and their father(to all 8). HIP HIP HOORAY for us mothers of large families who have populted this beautiful country of ours. Thanks heaps for your story Katie and thank God for the Planning Queen. Your contribution to all us mothers is a wonderful and lovely thing to have in the wonderous world of motherhood.Thanks heaps.

      • deanna says

        Thanks for your hello I think there is more of us out there just sometimes we don’t get to “see” because we are busy with our large tribes. Cheers.

    • says

      Thank you Deanna for your lovely comment. What a wonderful family you have. I also use music as a way to keep my sanity!

      Katie is away this week and I am not sure what. if any, internet access she will have to be able to repsond at the moment.

    • Katie says

      Hi Deanna! So gorgeous! Another mother of 8! Am so pleased to hear you are a fan of the dryer too. I also use music, for myself and the children to try and change the mood of the moment. If the kids are fighting, I find putting some music on really helps them focus on something else otheer than trying to kill eachother!. Thanks for your comment! Katiex

  17. says

    That is such a beautiful post and soon as I have finished my reading my open tabs I’m off to make that chocolate cake.

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