Wednesday, July 16, 2008

How many kids???

When people find out I have 7 kids I generally get one of two responses:

#1) "OH, I know a lady with 12 kids. She home schools, works full time and runs marathons every weekend!"

In which case I feel like a slacker and think I had better get started making more babies right away!


#2) "How in the world do you manage 7 kids??"

In which case I just say rather proudly, "It's nothing really, it's all in what you get used to."

Of course my two oldest offspring have somewhat left the nest. The oldest lives in a nearby apartment and we never know when we will be blessed with her drama company, and the next daughter is attending college so she only visits when she can. That leaves only 5 children at home full time (I am already starting to feel like a slacker!)

So on Saturday night, as my two teenagers boarded the Chartered Buses to head to the beach with their church youth group, I was suddenly overcome with a feeling of freedom I can't ever remember feeling before. Like a huge weight had been lifted off of my shoulders.

My husband and I left the parking lot of the church with 3 little kids, and because there were half as many mouths to feed we headed out to dinner. We requested a table for 5, not the usual table for 9 that requires a 2 hour wait. We were able to enjoy adult conversation while the children colored on their place mats and giggled amongst themselves. YES! 3 is so doable!

Sunday was a day of leisurely watching the kids' sporting activities. After dinner Quin and I read for awhile in the hammock while John took the girls to the pool. Everyone was settled in by a reasonable hour and the house was quiet!

Monday was a day of organization. I filled 3 large trash bags in my teenage son's room. I cleaned the closets, changed the bedding, sprayed Fabreze and did more than 12 loads of laundry. There is not a sock in this house that is dirty!

Tuesday was a day of getting haircuts and having a birthday sleepover.

The plan for Wednesday is to go to the movies with Grandma, which translates into "a free afternoon for mom!"

Over the past few days I have discovered I am actually hearing myself think (I have heard of this phenomenon but can't remember the last time it actually happened to me!) Yes, this is the life. I can manage 3 kids. I can stay on top of them and clean up after them. We may even be able to afford them!?

Today as I was basking in my "mom of 3 coolness" I got a call from my college daughter. She is coming home this afternoon and bringing her boyfriend and his dog. By Saturday the teens will return from the beach and it will be a full house once again. Blaring stereos, TV's and raised voices will replace the peace and quiet that has been my life this week.

So as I was looking at my reflection in the mirror this morning, a conversation played out in my mind:

"How in the world do you manage 7 kids?"

"Only by the grace of God!"


Krista said...

Very cool. I need the grace of God with my two; see now I feel like a slacker! LOL

I am glad that you enjoyed a week of peace and quiet.

Going to make more babies, JUST KIDDING!

Sista Krista ;)

Runner Mom said...

You rock, Mama! Enjoy your easy day!

tiggerdaisy said...

GGER830You are totally hilarious! :) I have a 10 month old and we are trying for another. Yet, I can barely keep up with my husband and daughter right now! ARGH! But as you say, God's grace is in abundance, and He will surely see me through!

Prayers and blessings,

Yolanda said...


I can't even imagine!

Enjoy your afternoon as your three enjoy Grandma.


Teri said...

Enjoy your afternoon off today!

No wonder you run...I'm just sayin.

Kim said...

I am SO in awe of you and your ability to handle 7 kids. HONESTLY...some days I think we had 2...too many...and that's sad since we only have 2 kids!! lol :-)

Enjoy your "time".....I'll be thinking of you come Saturday.


linda said...

I'm so glad that God gave you these last few days of rest...hopefully you're now refreshed and ready to handle what the weekend holds!

At times I so wish I had had more kids. The thought of having a house full of adult kids at the holidays is so appealing to was the raising them to adulthood part that stopped me!

Paula (SweetPea) said...

I admire you for mothering seven kids. I don't think you just "handle" them but rather lovingly mother them. I hope you are showered with love every mother's day. (Well, should be every day but then we are talking about teens and kids.)

I'm glad you had a breath of fresh air with the lighter load. May God continue to give you spurts of time like that to refresh your soul.

I cannot imagine 12 loads of laundry. That's more than one load per person. Of course if you changed all the beds, that would be several loads just there.

You need an award.

Someone give this woman an award!

:-) smiles,

RefreshMom said...

I'm glad you got some "quiet" time; I can imagine how little you get!

I have nothing but admiration for those who manage large families with grace. I feel outnumbered at times with just my two!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Good post, Kelley. Good writing. Good story. And my goodness, what a good mom! Don't let anyone tell you differently.


Laurie Ann said...

My hat is off to you, Kelley. The grace of God is what it seems that it would take. I'm so glad you enjoyed your semi-down time and peace and quiet. I know I was grateful to get it just on the weekends my bonus daughter would visit her mom. So you got your vacation after all (sans sand, huh?)

Carol said...

Too funny! You are THE woman. I am in awe of you. I can hardly manage my two!!

Tracy said...

You are truly one amazing Mom! I cannot imagine. I once kept my sister's five kids while she and her hubby took a weekend trip to Florida...for that whole weekend, I didn't have time to shower, brush my teeth or probably even brush my hair! To think of adding two more (and then friends) to the mix...can I just say I respect you in a whole new way!? ; ) I love that God has blessed you with a little bit of easy this week. = )

Amy Wyatt said...

So glad you are enjoying a little extra time... but I know you miss them terribly. I have only had Spencer this week since ML is at Nanny's while we are at dog camp. It seems way too quiet. The first day it was glorious... but it has been replaced by a deep urge to hear that little high pitched voice running through the house. She comes home Friday and I can't wait. This is the longest I have ever been away from her. I think I am about to find out what it is like to have three though because Lucia will be like adding a child :-) I may have to call you for some tips.

Joyful said...

Loved this post Kelley. Every day is truly by the grace of God!


Love ya,

Kelly @ Love Well said...

The ending of this "story" made me laugh. It's so true. Grace for each day and each season.

Jami @ livelaughlove5 said...

Kelley - you are too cool! I love ya!! :)

Kathy S. said...

Kelley, I think it is wonderful that you have 7 children!!

Being the oldest of 12, and having had many responsibilities-babysitting at 8yrs old while Mom went out to help Dad milk cows. I got the kids up and dressed and fed and ready for school (the 5 after me at that time). And then there was the gardening, farm chores, no sports,etc.

I ended up only having 2 and now have some regret about that. My life is suddenly occasionally too quiet.

Glad you got a time of refreshment!

Mari said...

I must be a tremendous slacker because I am exhausted just trying to handle two drama queens. God is definitely pouring out grace in your life. I applaud you for not running screaming from the house on a daily basis!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

That's my answer - only by the grace of God!

And it is so funny how when even just one is gone, you think, oh, this is EASY.