Monday, March 11, 2013

The Last Question- Part Two

So here is my question for you, the other day on a blog called Death by Great Wall in a lecture she went to on having multiple adoptions and having your home become not a home but another orphange how do yo find time or spend time with each child to make sure they feel special. We have 4 children ad will be adding a child from China come fall. While I know this is what the Lord wants me to do I am worried that my children will feel like they have less of me. So do you have a formal system of who gets to spend time with you or what do you do???

I wanted to answer the other half of the question regarding time spent with the children.
And the challenges of allocating time when there are many children.

I do not have a formal system. Although I do have a bit of type A in me and would love to have a schedule - I cannot find the time to make a schedule AND if we didn't meet the goals on that schedule- well, it would just drive me crazy.
So no schedule for us!
Actually part of having a large family is flexibility!
We need to be able to readjust every time the circumstance change a little.
A schedule would be too inhibiting.

Since we homeschool we are together A LOT.
It's a good thing and I love it!
I love spending everyday with my blessings!
I love knowing where they are at with the education!
The more time we spend together the better things go at home!

I do have an afternoon each week to myself - which I also love and I come back appreciating and loving the children even more!
In fact when I have my time away I am usually praying for the children as I go about my errands.

On weekends we usually do a fun outing such as
Mall of America, Zoo, sledding, Sky Z*ne (the trampoline place).
In the nicer weather we take walks, go to the park, go swimming, boating and so much more!

Do my children want more of me?
YES, they do!
They will always want MORE of you no matter how much time we give, they will want more.
I think that is the nature of a child.
As parents we need to help them find the balance.
Balance between us, their siblings, their friends, their activities, their alone time, etc.
we need them to have this balance so we can remain somewhat sane, balanced and happy!
(Actually I want more of something too- more chocolate cake with fudge frosting BUT balance is really important when talking about chocolate cake, too!)

Your child will notice the difference when you add a new sibling to the family.

But if you take the change in stride there will be a better chance that they will, too.
All children deal with it differently.
Our Anna will often sneak away from the crowd and sit on our laps.
She also put a sign on the office door saying that it is her office and no visitors please!
I thought it was adorable and insightful for her to do that!
She then would spend a couple hours in the office alone putting together a 300 piece puzzle with no one around to "help" her or mess up the pieces!

Hubby and I always welcome lap sitters when we are visiting on the porch!
We have time to talk to the children and then after awhile... only Mommy and Daddy get to talk.

Often, when I am on the computer I will have 2 doing my hair and one on my lap.

Getting "enough"attention-
We love that our children enjoy getting attention from us (the parents).
But it is just as satisfying seeing them interact with their older (our bio) children
AND their other siblings.
Those relationships are priceless!
It is a win win for everyone!

When a 27 yr old teaches a 13 yr old a new card game and then the 13 yr old teaches the younger sibs the same game
 an 8 year old works with a 4 yr old teaching him how to write his name
a 7 yr old helps a new 7 year old with her mittens while playing outside in the snow
12 yr old with learning challenges shows a new family member that is 10 yrs old where the clean clothes go...
and thing like this happen every day in a big family!
Every Day!
It is beyond heartwarming!

It is hard to balance time and attention but I find that our children let us know what they need in their own way.
As parents we "read them" and give them what they need.
Often on my Wednesday afternoons I will bring a child or two children and we will have lunch together.
Often times Daddy will take just one or two on errands.
We alternate who sits next to us in church based on who we see "NEEDS" to sit next to us in church.
And we position the children for the best possible outcome-
in other word they are quiet and we don't have to walk out with anyone!
(FYI- we have only walked out once with one child when he needed to go to the bathroom!)

I do not want to miss a moment of their lives - and adding more can mean I am a bit busy and well, I may only hear about the first tooth falling out and not get to witness it firsthand.
in the big picture I have to be thankful for having the experience whether it was first hand OR second hand

 Listening to the child, as they explain every detail of the event can often be even more adorable and entertaining!

I cannot justify not bringing a child home just so I can be present and involved in every milestone and event of our family.
I would be sacrificing too much,
 I would be sacrificing the life of the other child.
They would never know the love of a family and the warmth of a home.

So together,
 hubby and I have made the decision to bring the children home and give them some
"mega family lovin"!

Since we have many children, it is true that our children may have less than a child in a smaller family BUT they have a FAMILY and that's what really counts!

My thoughts are-
 free yourself from worry and enjoy!
Your current children and your new child have so much to gain from adoption.
They will see God at every turn and it forever change them!
They will all want more of you than you can possibly give so balance your life as best you can and PRAY every step of the way!


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post! You stated so wonderfully exactly how we feel about raising a large family. We too do similar things to make sure everyone get attention. I love your idea of Mom's afternoon out! I will have to try that! Thanks so much for sharing your family with us!

Kim said...

What a terrific post! I love homescholing for the exact reasons you stated. It give us so much together time, and we are hands on with everything our kiddos do.I love the interaction that all my kiddos have together from teens to toddlers. We are often asked that same question. Family life is so much different than institutionalized life, but then people that ask the question often have no concept of how a large family works. I appreciate how candid you are about life within a large (in your case Mega) family. Your mega-family is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!

Sammy said...

Also, I don't work outside the house. So, people that only have 2 kids may not be spending as much time with their kids as someone with lots of kids, but stays home. We also "demand" our older kids hang out with us a lot. : - )

Rebekah said...

Jean, you explained this well. The idea that a large family could compare to an institution is ridiculous. When in Ch*n*, one of our guides was raving about how wonderfully the gment took care of the children. After several minutes of this, she finished very matter of factly, "They have all they need! Everything but love." I think that sums up a lot.

likeschocolate said...

Thank you so much to the attention you gave this question. I guess I just need to turn it over to the Lord and he will fill in the rest when I fail short. I definately know we are doing the right thing. Now I just need to be patient the next 6 months until we bring baby girl home.