Thursday, December 8, 2011

Time For Each One

Like I said, I'm going to do a post on a few ways that we make time for each one of our children, so here it goes!

1. One major "life style" way is to homeschool and not work outside of the home.  A while back when I had 6 kids, I took out a calculator and figured out that because I don't have a job and because I homeschool, I spend more awake hours with my children then someone who has 2 kids but works and sends them to school. Haven't done the math lately, but I think I'm still ahead or at least close.

2. Another thing about homeschooling is that in insures that you do get some one on one time daily with each child...even if it is just going over their school work.  So, I try to always keep that time with them as fun as can be and not end it in tears or frustration.

3.  Take a different child with you when you have to run an errand.  Or when you are driving them to or from an extracurricular activity, have some alone time.  Talk to them, ask questions and really listen.  I know it's tempting for me to just turn on the music and zone out, but you have to proactively interact with them.

4.  Express lots of love, encouragement and single them out in the midst of all the other children. This is something else that large families have to concentrate on doing, so I think it actually gets done more and of course with more of an audience.

5.  Eat dinner as a family every night together and actually "put" your kids to bed instead of just sending them to bed (even though I know as they get older, that is so very tempting to do). Bedtime is such a good time to connect with them at the end of the day, especially for the father.

6. Set aside a "date night" with each child a couple of times a year.  We've dropped the ball on this lately, but it is one of my New Year's resolutions to start this up again.  Plan a schedule and rotate parents taking a different child out.  We were really good about doing this a few years ago and all my kids still talk about it.

7.  Make yourself available and focus!  Another good reason to be a stay-at-home mom, you are always there when something arises and they need you.  And when they do come to you with a problem, a joy, a dream, a joke, etc. be sure to look them in the eye, touch them and give them your undivided attention.

I hope this helps some of y'all out there and answers any questions or concerns you have about children in large families not getting the attention they need.  I think they actually get more attention and love because there are more persons in the family to begin with!

Well, these things help to remind me too and I would love some other tips from you Moms of Many out there!


  1. Good thoughts. Some I've done so long that I might not even have listed them. If someone asked me that question, I suppose I would have racked my brain thinking "How do I do one on one with every child daily??" Well, the squeaky wheel does get the grease!

    Truth is, many people's way of life is different than ours. Like, we nearly always shout "Lunch time", or "Dinner time" and gather together. Also for devotions, school times, running errands...

    Yet, many families these days do not experience the joy of that simple thing. So, for me, it is something to be intentional about, something to ask God for help with; yet something I could work on to do better. Good thoughts.

  2. I love these tips! I've only got two so far, and another on the way, but I would love a large family and always appreciate the advice you share. Plus, I think a lot of your ideas are applicable to smaller families, too!

  3. Thank you for sharing this. After 23 years of parenting, it's good to be reminded, to get back to the basics.

  4. I don't believe I've properly introduced myself. I am a homsechooling mom of six from 23 to 4 months. My youngest has down syndrome. So I am just starting this journey. I am enjoying your blog and have placed it on my blog roll.

  5. I'm sorry I keep leaving comments, but I just went and read all of your down syndrome posts, and I just wanted to tell you that I went through all of the same emotions that you did, shock, denial, fear of the future; and my husband also knew a few weeks before she was born and didn't tell me. If you go back to my blog and read the post update on Samantha, you will sense the fear, shock and desperation in that post. I am at a different place now; I am still processing it to some degree but have worked most of the issues in my mind and am really enjoying her. Holding her is the most wonderful thing.

    Here is the link to that post:

    And if you would like to see pictures of her now, you can go back to the beginning and scroll through. There aren't too many posts, since she is so young.

    Well, anyway, nice to meet you and thank you for your blog.

  6. These are all wonderful tips. I have a significantly smaller family than you (four boys), but I still struggle to find time to spend with them individually.

    I am a stay at home mom but I don't homeschool at this point - my oldest 2 are in 3rd grade & 1st grade at a public school. I've considered homeschooling, but the timing hasn't felt right to me yet.

    I love what you said about bedtime too. I also find that bedtime is when they most want to talk to me and share things from their day. Almost every night I lay down on the floor in their rooms after they're tucked in for a few minutes (they always want me to do this) & listen to them.

    Here's a question I thought of. Sometimes during the day, I feel like I have them all talking to me at once. They all want my attention at the same time. I've tried reminding them that they can't interrupt each other, or that sometimes I can't answer them right away if I'm in the middle of something. But, I feel so 'in demand' at times & it makes me frustrated & then I get snippy with them. Any thoughts on how to handle that? What do you do when they all seem to need you at once?

  7. Karen, I totally know what you are talking about! That can be so hard, especially when the one who was first talking is the quiet one that never opens up much or the older one who isn't home much. I always hear myself saying, "one at a time" over and over again. I also many times get too irratated at the one interupting and have them quiet down. I try to deal with one who was talking or having issues first and then deal with the others, but as you know, many times if it's a baby or toddler issue then they can't wait. Maybe some other moms have a method or trick for this problem. If you do, please tell us! In the mean time, I just chalk it up to all of us learning patience and putting others' needs first : )

  8. Great encouraging post! love it! =)
    As for the chaos of interruptions, we instill the "3 B" rule. You cannot interrupt unless it is an issue w/ Blood, Barf, or a Bathroom problem. Obviously, the littles are addressed as necessary til they learn this. =) This rule is especially useful during our schooling hours. *smile*
    I love grasping any one on one moments with each child too!
    blessings, Sheri


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.