Tips For Managing A Big Family Part 1Saturday, February 25, 2017
As salaamu alaikum!
Today I want to share some tips that I've learned to help manage a big family. As you guys may know I am currently the mother of 6 awesome and kids and I'm the auntie to 6 beautiful kids.
Everyday is an adventure that requires love, patience, hope, understanding, sternness, and learning. So far it has been about two months I believe of trying to do all of the above and while on this journey I want to share some of my tips for making this work.
I know everyone is wondering how am I holding up and how are the children managing things. Al Hamdulillaah!
First, let me remind myself first and then you guys that everything that happens is truly by the permission of Allaah alone. I thank Allaah for this life that I have and I pray that from what I learned and still learning that it is a benefit to you guys.
Ok so lets get this party started with the tips! In shaa Allaah
1. Remembering Allaah
There are some times on this journey that it gets seriously frustrating. I may find some days where I want to just stay in the bed and eat fast food just so I don't have to do a lot of work. But, that's not something I can do because I have to handle my responsibilities. When I feel tired I have to remember Allaah and call on Him to give me ease or to ask for guidance. I'm always in need of Allaah. When I feel alone or overwhelmed I pray about it and ask for strength.
2. Schedule, order, routine and repeat
We have to have a schedule, structure and routines inserted into our daily life. When the children have none of these things happening then they go bananas! They literally are running all over the house, in and out of the bathroom, asking a thousand questions or fussing and fighting. 12 children without a schedule is the most chaotic thing to wake up to. Al Hamdulillaah for the chance to be able to wake up but if you can choose to wake up with some peace of mind and calm than it is truly a blessing. When my nephews first arrived it was perhaps 3-4 days of kids running and playing all over the place. I did not want to implement a schedule or anything just yet. I notice that all the children love structure. They don't like to be left trying to figure out what they should be doing. Al Hamdulillaah. Everyone has fallen into place and with everyone having an understanding as to what they need to be doing then it truly makes the days a lot easier.
3. Delegate all the things
So we have some children who wash dishes, dry the dishes and put the dishes up. That's three children occupied so far. Then you have one child picking up toys and another child picking up trash. And now that's 5 children occupied out of 12. Since we have two children that are one years old then we assign a older child to watch them and now that means 9 children are occupied. And the 3 other children may be assigned to picking up clothes and shoes or any other job that needs to get done in order for the success of the household. Every child minus two can handle their own weight. We firmly encourage each child to finish what they started. For example if they are eating or playing they must put up their plates and debris. Same with toys before they can move on to something else they would like to do. It is a simple concept but very powerful when practiced consistency. In shaa Allaah you'll never have to clean up. This saves me and my husband time and allow us to do other things. My task is normally the emotional support, server, cleaner, and manager of the children. My husband is the captain of this ship and he cooks when he isn't working, watches the children when I need to run an errand. He enforces the rules because having a man in the house for many reasons makes the children submit more without bucking the system :). Ma shaa Allaah. My husband is someone I will discuss in the next tip.
4. Having a spouse that supports you
I cannot stress this enough! I don't do any of this by myself! My husband is my biggest supporter. He is the one that I go to when I feel like it's too hard. May Allaah bless him Aameen. I think without my husband helping me out and enforcing rules I would be stressed out. It means a lot to me that he goes to work and then comes in and helps me out. Even if it is late at night he jumps in and helps put the children to bed or stay up with me while I clean up. So having a spouse that supports you is such a necessary way to manage a big family. I can write a whole new post on how much this man helps me and how much it is necessary.... Subhana Allaah
5. Make meals stretch
We go to Costco and pick up a big bag of organic brown rice and quinoa! My husband will cook a boneless leg of lamb and he tells me to cut a piece of it and I cut it up with my cooking scissors into small pieces and put it with my mix veggies and rice. This allows me to have a lot of meat leftover to freeze and use whenever I need it. Bread runs out fast here and our next step is to invest in a bread maker so that we can make that stretch as well. Breakfast is usually oatmeal. In order for the children to not get tired of the oatmeal train we dress the oatmeal up with raisins, mangoes, cherries, raisins, flaxseed, chia seed etc. Oatmeal is always different unless I run out of fruit :). For lunch we may do another rice dish with hot-dogs or a sandwich. Also when we go to Costco we buy bulk items for our staples and get our small items from Aldi !
Ma shaa Allaah there are so many more things I want to add!!!! Please visit the blog again to read the rest of the tips! If you have any tips to add then please comment below and share with a sista!