The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en + 1 Truths About Living With a Heap of Kids…

September 26th, 2014 · 30 Comments

It is birthday season and last weekend my birthday skidded past alongside life as we know it. We are only half way through the birthdays of this month… I usually blog something totally different to normal for my birthday and this year I thought I would bring you Se7en+1 opinionated opinions about living with a heap of kids.

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So many readers have asked, is there a reason why we would choose to have eight kids (we didn’t, we would have had heaps more if the father person and I had met sooner), and then live in a two bedroomed home and without a car… there must be a story behind that. There isn’t really, life leads you down a path and like most people we took that path. That sounds terribly unintentional, it isn’t… we always wanted our kids to be part of a gang of kids and our own personal rent-a-crowd appealed in every way… So this post is for all of our readers, who gasp… and would like to know the thinking behind all the action over here…

Just Quietly Destroying The Myths of Living With Se7en + 1 Kids


    Very often one of the first things folk say when we mention that we have eight kids is… shew we must be wealthy…

  1. We Are Not Overly Wealthy: We have EIGHT kids!!! “Financial Wealth” is not ever going to be our middle name. On the other hand, our kids have food to eat every single day and clothes to wear mostly. So we are in fact better off than heaps of folk around the world. We have everything we need to get a long and so much more. I think the intentional part is defining the difference between what we need to survive and want we want.
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    Well you must have a huge house…

  3. We Don’t Live in a Ten Bedroomed Mansion: This one always makes me smile, with eight kids when in the world would I ever find the time to clean a huge house. I really want to have a small house, in fact I need to have a small house. We have a regular home with a lounge and a kitchen… two bedrooms and a bathroom and in a moment of insanity we added another bathroom – one more bathroom to clean. Our house might not be huge in the “each child has it’s own room” sense, but most folks’ homes around the world could probably easily fit into our kitchen.
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    Gasp so your kids share a room… they must fight all the time.

  5. I am not Sure that Sharing a Room is the Source of All Conflict: Take a look at the world, the largest protagonists don’t even share a continent. Our kids rooms are where they sleep and read – they have a space to sleep and plenty of books, so there really is nothing to fight over. There is only one thing that they do fight like crazy over… and it is not toys, art materials, clothes, stuff… if you don’t actually own stuff then fighting over stuff is a non-issue. However, our kids do feel very strongly about INJUSTICE in general, and more specifically the potential injustice from the person dishing up meals. “He got an extra-morsal of dinner, she might have received less porridge…” Food has to be distributed evenly. Now that is a matter of world peace, and I am not exactly kidding about it.
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    Well you must Drive a Bus…

  7. We Don’t Own a Family Car: This fact often leaves folks with their mouth literally hanging open, but after years of our car breaking down wherever we went it finally broke down forever about a year ago and we haven’t looked back. The father person has a small car for getting to and from the city for work, we live about 45 minutes from the city centre. Occasionally it is a pain to be without a car, but to be honest it has been fairly liberating, our days have freed up immeasurably, we have time to amble to the store, the beach, the library… in fact we are within walking distance of everything we need for our day to day living. When we have to go further, we have had to ask friends for rides and this it turns out is a good thing. Friends like to help out, I don’t think we are meant to function as totally functioning little units… Just as I like to help friends out, friends like to help us out. We are meant to depend on each other.
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    Your House Must be Full of Kid’s Equipment…

  9. Our house is full of stuff, but not a lot of clutter: We don’t have a heap of stuff. We aren’t minimalists, by any means, but we just don’t have a heap of gear. It never gets so cold that we need snow gear, we have one raincoat… why would all of us want to go out in the pouring rain at a time. We store like things with like – so toys with toys out the front door, shoes with shoes behind the front door, backpacks are squashed flat and in the closet. Linen, well that is on the beds, and towels are hanging in the bathroom or in the swimming bag. Basically, we keep what we use and whatever we don’t use we give away. The only thing we have a ton of, and I mean a ton… is books. As for kids’ gear, we just don’t. Just as I teach my kids that the candy companies are out to get them in the check out aisle, I firmly believe that most baby paraphernalia is marketed at adults and we don’t actually need it. Your baby won’t grow up better, braver, stronger, cleverer or even wealthier… because you bought certain baby products. But manufacturers really do know that you know that, so they aim at where parents hurt the most and here again: your baby will not necessarily sleep better because you bought a specific stroller, swing or even socks (yours or the babies). Just not true. So the only evidence that a heap of kids live in our house is that there are ten toothbrushes in the bathroom. And dare I mention only one bottle of shampoo.
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    Well Bedtime Must be Crazy…

  11. Half My kids at Least, Still Sleep in my Bed: Long may that last, we are firm believers in the family bed. I have found that eventually kids do beg for their own bed, but until then I am happy to toss them all into bed at the same time most evenings, read a couple of stories and drift off to sleep chatting about their day. Everybody likes a good story and we have never had a problem with folk heading for bed or with kids getting up after they have turned in for the night… why would they want to leave where it is warm and cosy, when they are tired after a good day of playing.
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    What About All the Laundry…

  13. We Constantly Declutter: We have a strong policy of one on and one in the wash… everyone pretty much owns the same clothes: two pairs of shorts, two pairs of longs and a couple of t-shirts. Everybody has a warm top or a sweater and a bathing costume… We do laundry every other day… and really the laundry pile can never get that huge because we run out of clothes long before the laundry pile can get too crazy. We have found that for most tasks, it is easier to do a “little” more often than a huge mountain of chores when they build up.
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    And the se7en + 1th…What About the Chaos…

  15. Well There is a Background Noise Around Here: We think we lead a quiet sedate life… and we do. Mostly everybody is quietly doing their own thing… reading drawing, playing with legos, building a house, drawing. Quietly busy… tinkering away and getting on with their lives. However, almost each person is whistling their own tune, humming their own song and one or two are beating their own drums and one, just one, is always playing the trumpet. So while the quiet is quiet for us… the background buzz can be a little overwhelming to those not quite accustomed to it. It’s our normal and we like it, just one person missing can leave everyone feeling a little lonely. I guess when you live as part of a crowd that’s the way you like it.

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Tags: Home Truths · Our Events

30 responses so far ↓

  • 1 laurakim // Sep 26, 2014 at 8:47 am

    We aren’t 10 but we are still a larger family at 6. I get asked a lot of these too but only once people get over the “YOU HAVE FOUR KIDS” shock *sigh*

    We have a 3 bedroom house and initially I was very adamant that we need a bigger house, the kids rooms are small but 2 beds do fit comfortably in. But we have been 4 kids in the house for 7 months now and its actually working out just fine πŸ™‚

    I still do worry about when Cameron (the 12 year old) becomes a teen and needs/wants a space away from the toddler. But we will cross that bridge when we get there.

    Also I find the more kids, the less stuff because there simple is no space, so I also declutter all the time. We only have what we need (well almost – its a work in progress).

    My kids go to school so a car is kinda vital and I do love my bus. LOVE IT :))
    laurakim´s last blog post ..The day I met Nianell and was reminded to Just Be!

  • 2 Lecia // Sep 26, 2014 at 9:27 am

    Oh my goodness, this made me laugh out loud and smile big! Thank you for writing — With my seven I can begin to think that we might need a bigger house or larger vehicle, and then I come here and am reminded that less truly is more and it is so FUN to just be so thankful and enjoy these times with my little ones. Bless you and happy birthday!!!

  • 3 Marcia (123 blog) // Sep 26, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Happy birthday for the 22nd?

    I’m very cross you didn’t mention it on your blog earlier so I could brave the postal system and send you something. But never fear – a Kindle book will be whizzing its way through cyberspace (isn’t it wonderful?!) soon as I’m done browsing my selections πŸ™‚

    If I were in CT, I’d for sure take you out for a lasagne, salad, and a coffee Italian icecream πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    A very happy birthday to you, albeit belated!

  • 4 Phyllis at All Things Beautiful // Sep 26, 2014 at 10:51 am

    What a beautiful peek at your lovely family life. Happy Birthday!
    Phyllis at All Things Beautiful´s last blog post ..Lego Challenge #33: Monochromatic

  • 5 tami // Sep 26, 2014 at 11:06 am

    Congratulations on your birthday Se7en. I barely cope with 2 kids worth of washing, cooking and conflict management. You deal with 4 times as many. You are my hero! πŸ™‚ xx
    tami´s last blog post ..Exploring Cape Town: Castle of Good Hope

  • 6 Cheryl // Sep 26, 2014 at 11:47 am

    Love this post. Makes me wish you lived next door. Although I suspect my children would be over all the time. Leaving my house empty!

    So easy to get caught up with the “more” and forget the “less” leaves more time just to enjoy what you have. I’d rather my children were out doing and experiencing life than playing with the latest gadget. Would love to know how you handle the peer pressure, on the children, for the latest “must-have”.

    Happy belated Birthday. I hope they spoilt you rotten.
    Cheryl´s last blog post ..Five minute challenge: Passata

  • 7 Christi {Jealous Hands} // Sep 26, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    I love this post – I told you in a comment a few weeks ago I’d have a whole lot more kids if I had it to do again, and this is why! Happy Birthday, friend!

  • 8 se7en // Sep 27, 2014 at 1:15 am

    Hay LauraKim… I also thought that my kids would need more space as they became teens… but like most parenting, whatever I’ve thought has not necessarily come into play. I thought you couldn’t parent without purity food, and I had huge plans for all the crafts I would do with the jars. Still waiting to buy my first jar, just as soon as I need it!!! Similarly I was convinced, not sure who by… that my teens would need their “own space” and lots of it… I decided to cross that bridge when we got to it, we haven’t got there yet. Turns out my guys really like hanging out together, it is great for the younger ones (the admiration society) and the older ones (responsibility training in action)… And I reckon they are making memories for years to come. Would love to be a fly on the wall when they are in their seventies and they are saying: “When we were young… we used to stay up chatting all night and our parents never knew about it at all.”
    From one perpetual declutterer to another… have a fabulous weekend!!!

  • 9 se7en // Sep 27, 2014 at 1:37 am

    Oh Marcia, And there I thought I was doing exceptionally well to mention it at all!!! 21st!!!! And you will not believe it, but a friend came over on the day and brought an entire lasagne for the whole family… Lasagne heaven over here. So totally taken care of!!! Thank you for the book, you are so clever to gift like that – I am in awe of your cyber abilities!!! Have a fabulous weekend with you and your family!!!

  • 10 se7en // Sep 27, 2014 at 1:39 am

    Phyllis, How lovely to hear from you and thank you so much for the birthday wishes. I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend!!!

  • 11 se7en // Sep 27, 2014 at 2:32 am

    Oh Tami, Thank you, and ha… conflict management – I like that expression, fits exactly. I think two may be just as much work as eight!!! Hope you all have a fun weekend!!!

  • 12 se7en // Sep 27, 2014 at 2:34 am

    Hay Cheryl… I have a feeling that we would be fabulous neighbours and our kids would disperse either side of the hedge!!! I am going to think about the whole peer pressure thing and keeping up with the Jones’ for juniors, it is a potential post… Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

  • 13 se7en // Sep 27, 2014 at 2:35 am

    Oh Christi, Thank you so much for the lovely comment… you always leave the loveliest comments… hope you have the most fabulous weekend!!!

  • 14 Debbie // Sep 27, 2014 at 7:09 am

    I loved reading this – your easy conversational writing always inspires me. I’m not going to rush off and have 6 more kids! but we might just pass on a bunch of clothing.
    Have a fabulous weekend.

  • 15 auntymuffin // Sep 27, 2014 at 9:29 am

    great principles of living! great post!

  • 16 Thrisha // Sep 27, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    thanks for the post. I grew up in a large family, and your post so beautifully speaks of why I cherished my childhood, thanks for the reminder.

  • 17 Lori // Sep 28, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    love this post and this glimpse into your beautiful family life! πŸ™‚
    Lori´s last blog post ..Why β€œdo what you love” is not terrible advice

  • 18 se7en // Sep 29, 2014 at 1:33 am

    Hay Debbie… Love your comment!!! Hope you all had a very fun weekend, lots of love from the gang!!!

  • 19 se7en // Sep 29, 2014 at 1:34 am

    Thanks Aunty Muffin, hope you had the most brilliant weekend… and hope you have a great week…

  • 20 se7en // Sep 29, 2014 at 1:36 am

    Hay Thrisha, thanks so much for stopping by and glad your memories are happy ones!!! Hope you have a fabulous week!!!

  • 21 se7en // Sep 29, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Oh Lori, Thank you, I so appreciate you stopping by… hope you have had a fabulous weekend and wishing you the best week ahead!!!

  • 22 Nita // Sep 29, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Happy Belated Birthday, Se7en, wishing you many Happy Returns! Enjoyed your post a lot πŸ™‚

  • 23 se7en // Sep 29, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Thanks Nita, Love that you stopped by… Hope you have the most fabulous week!!!!

  • 24 Shannon // Sep 29, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Happy birthday! I very much enjoyed your post. Especially “Friends like to help out, I don’t think we are meant to function as totally functioning little units… Just as I like to help friends out, friends like to help us out. We are meant to depend on each other. ” …but really all of it encouraged & inspired me, as usual. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • 25 Katja // Sep 30, 2014 at 8:35 am

    If my husband and I had met sooner, i believe we would have more kids, too…oh, well and if i would not have medical problems. But as it is, we have three beautiful childrens, we are happy over the moon! I really love the way you look at life. You are a great person. Happy birthday!
    I love your post. I do not comment a lot lately, but i read all of you posts. “Take a look at the world, the largest protagonists don’t even share a continent.” – that is so true and i do not know why, but it makes me smile how true it is this sentence. Have a great week!

  • 26 se7en // Oct 2, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Hay Shannon, Than you so very much, for the birthday wishes and the very kind comment. I so appreciate it. Hope you have the best day ever!!!

  • 27 se7en // Oct 2, 2014 at 2:43 am

    Hay Katja, So good to hear from you… Thank you for your lovely comment and I hope you have a fantastic week too!!!

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