The responses that I get when I tell people that I have five kids range from “wow, you are busy” to the predictable “you know what causes that, right?” But the most common thread among those surprised reactions is the idea that having five kids must be hard. The funny thing is, it’s not hard most of the time, here’s why:
- They play together. My kids have built in playmates and enjoy playing with one another. Yes, they do fight and during those times I sometimes do wish my hair were long enough to pull out. But, all in all, they get together really well and love being around each other.
- They help each other. When one of the kids can’t find their shoes, which happens about once every hour, I think, I can send one of the older kids to help them while I remain comfortably in my chair. I don’t think this makes me lazy; I’m teaching the older kids to be helpful…..
- We teach them to be self-sufficient. My kids make their breakfast and pack their lunch for school. Sure the kindergartener may need a hand with a few things, but luckily the older kids are there to lend one most of the time.
- We work together. Yard work with four extra helpers goes a lot faster (my fifth child is only five months, he can’t work in the yard just yet). Picking up sticks before mowing the grass is done in no time! Oh, and then they help cut the grass too.
- We hold them responsible. Each kid is in charge of keeping one room in the house clean in addition to their bedroom. That doesn’t mean they have to do all of the cleaning in that room, but they have to make sure it gets clean each day. By doing this, our house stays in order and my wife, and I aren’t constantly someone else’s maid.
Though the five reasons above do make having five kids much easier, I will confess, there are times it’s hard. Like when:
- You are trying to get the kids to pick out a donut at church but not actually touch every donut in the box.
- Getting out the door on time, with every kid dressed and wearing shoes.
- Bedtime routines spin out of control with a million extra steps (per kid).
- You have multiple kids that suddenly can’t find their toothbrush. How do you lose a toothbrush anyway?
In the end, it’s worth it and a lot of fun. I’m thankful for the opportunity to parent a bunch of kids; it makes me better in every area of my life. It also reminds me of what is important on a daily basis. It also forces me to buy an inordinate amount of toothbrushes and batteries.