Monday, November 23, 2015

The Struggle is Real: 10 Every Day Challenges Big Families Face

Lets face it, life changes in numerous ways as more and more children come into your family. When you were only a parent of one or two, life was pretty easy and things were fairly simple. But, as you add in more kids, life got a little bit more complicated. As a result, there are challenges we face when raising big families that other parents just don't have to deal with. Although the list is quite endless, here's my top pick for every day challenges big families face:

Finding a Car
Finding a car big enough to accommodate your entire family that's not going to suck you dry with the cost of gas is a HUGE challenge. As kids, we all thought we would be driving the "cool" car. We didn't say "yay! I can't wait to drive a van!" If we have 1 more kid, I'm afraid our only option will be to drive a bus.

There's Never Enough Chairs
No matter where you go, whether to the movies, a doctor's office, or the bowling alley, there are never enough chairs for everyone to sit together as a family. If you're anything like us, we end up with a kid or two sitting on our laps, a younger sibling sitting on the lap of an older sibling, or they all just gather around and plop down on the floor.

Restaurant Tables are Too Small
It never fails, whenever we eat out, the tables are just too small. We will walk in and the hostess will ask "how many?"As soon as we give the answer, the blank stare comes across her face with an "ummm, hold on" as they scramble to try to find a way to put tables together. And, don't you just love how you're always seated near the back of the restaurant?

You Create Traffic Jams
Have you ever noticed where ever you go, you create traffic jams? You go grocery shopping and your family takes up half the store isle. You get in the car and the person waiting for your parking spot has to wait forever as you all pile. Or my favorite, the look you get when you say "excuse me" as you walk in front of someone (like at the video store) and they say "no problem" but then the look of shock appears as the long line of people passes in front of them.

Socks, Socks, and More Socks!
The more children we had, the more I became acutely aware of how many socks are in this house. And, the real challenge is determining which socks belong to which child. I eventually gave up and now just throw them all together. I don't care whose socks you wear or if they even match as long as you have a sock for each foot.

Someone is Always Starving
It doesn't matter if you just made dinner or just had a snack, someone is always starving, despite just having eaten 10 minutes ago. You hear "I'm hungry" so often, you basically become immune to it.

Homework Battle
The biggest challenge for us is the homework battle! So many kids doing so many different things and every one needs help. One second you're doing pre-algerbra and the next second you're trying to get your brain to backtrack to remember the order of the alphabet. 

Your House is an Obstacle Course
It doesn't matter how often you clean or how often you nag for the kids (or your husband) to put their stuff away, your home is always equipped with an obstacle course. Navigating the the endless shoes thrown on the floor or little bodies laying all over the floor, you can never just walk in a straight line. And, if you're a klutz like me, you WILL trip over everything in your path. Hey, at least the legos scattered all over the floor act as a built in security system.

You're Always Late
No matter how early we wake up or start getting ready to leave, we are always late. Even with a "15 minute warning," it never fails, just as we are walking out of the door, someone is missing a shoe, someone is in the bathroom, and someone else is still in their pajamas. 

Bathroom Battle
When we moved into our new home, we lived in a fantasy where we believed 2 bathrooms would be enough. Ha! I'm about to go buy a porta-potty. I've come to find, there can NEVER be enough bathrooms in a house. Someone is always in the bathroom, which gets worse as they get older, and someone always has to go. I fully admit, my boys have peed on a few trees in my backyard a time or two...

Raising a big family is awesome and a true blessing. But, we certainly do face challenges that other families simply don't have to think about.

What are some of the challenges your big families face?

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