What has having a big family taught you about motherhood?

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19  Answers

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Grace.
Having grace on myself and everyone else especially little ones around me. To be the Mother of my big family is impossible without some planning and orderliness. I’m a free spirit, orderliness doesn’t come naturally to me at all, and I’m also a perfectionist, thus the need for grace on myself and my little ones. To experience the grace of the Lord on me in my daily struggle, when I have no idea how to do it, and joys when things just fall in place, is often so overwhelming, and something I hope to extend to my children without hesitation.

Selflessness.
Motherhood also, without a doubt taught me selflessness, while making me feel like a Queen! My personality type need purpose and a reward to keep me going. Having this big family give me divine purpose for my life in the here and now, but also a hope and an expectation for my life in Heaven. In the messiness of serving my big family day after day, with often the same things to do and say over and over again, I’m constantly reminded of the reward of raising the next generation with the purpose to change the world for the glory of the Lord. I’ve been born for this purpose. In doing anything else I would miss the joy and ‘Well done’ of God and that makes me do the next thing, in the great responsibility of raising my children. 


By being a Mother I’m setting the example of being selfless, self denying and self sacrificing to my children. In a World where everything is often about me, myself and I, there is no other way to teach my children the joy of serving by being with them all the time, let them see my life just as it is, with its chaos and failures, but much more, the triumphs and hope in this all.

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Well in starting with the obvious…when you sit down in maple syrup and it is still dry… it is indeed a good day. I have lowered my expectations concerning housework (and just about everything else)…although I am still a laundry fanatic. The more I watch my kids grow the more I realize how little I truly know. My children teach me more than I ever thought was possible to know. Each child is so amazingly different.

Certain truths I learned along the way include:

• Pick your battles carefully otherwise you’ll lose the war (especially with the teenage crowd)
• Take whatever moment you can find to connect with each child…don’t wait for the “perfect” time it might not ever happen.
• Teach your children unconditional love…this has to be the hardest. I may not like or approve of what you do but I love you regardless…no matter what.
• If you buy they will eat it…period.
• Babies cannot ever be spoiled. So rock, hug, snuggle and repeat often because too soon they are grown and gone… (only after first spending about 8 years of being embarrassed of you for merely existing)!
• You will learn in time that everything has a funny side (otherwise we’d have jumped ship ages ago)! It may take weeks, months or years to fully appreciate this.
• Live your life the way you want your children to learn to live theirs …they imitate you more closely than you will ever completely know.
• One of the biggest gifts to instill in your child is self-confidence and unshakable hope without which they are prey to a host of negative influences and resulting outcomes.
• Money is overrated. Time is priceless. While cleanliness is next to godliness…it also at times is overrated.
• Crayons melted can be easily cleaned out of the dryer!
• Bedtime is something that can only happen after the afternoon school bus arrives home (in spite of how you may personally feel to the contrary).
• Feed, nurture and help to support the gift of faith and trust in God and His providence.
• A best friend who loves and enjoys all your children (and still visits you in your chaos) is rare and to be treasured.

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That I didn't know "everything" after a few kids. All children are individuals that have different needs. There are surprises around every corner and as I suspected, life is very amazing and rewarding with a big family.

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Having a big family has taught me patience, humility, and the ability to not sweat the small stuff. I spent so much time in "survival mode" when six of my children were under the age of six, that it taught me to focus only on what was most important and forget the rest.

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It has taught me that I do not know what the heck I am doing.

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That it's crucial for my own character to be growing, not just the children's, as the Lord leads me. That I must have a plan/schedule in place for our week in order to be productive and balanced. That I need to be *proactive* and *on purpose* instead of reactive in life with the children, and that this is far less draining than letting the urgent or whims rule everything. And that all these principles are Biblical - providing excellent examples of how the Lord's instructions to us in His Word are really the only to live life successfully in His eyes and with joy and *life*. *smile*

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Motherhood? I used to believe that being a Mother meant being in control. And my OCD brain thinks being in 'control' is actually controlling the children. And as a first time mother I sure spent a lot of effort and my energy trying to 'control' my twins. However, now, 7 children later, I feel that 'controlling' my children may be too harsh. I don't want to take away from who they are, so now I simple try to guide them.

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Patience! Many people think that moms with large families must have been born with tons of patience, but the reality is that we often learn it through the process of raising so many children.

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Motherhood is hard. Too hard to not enjoy it along the way. I remind myself of this constantly. If things aren't fun, if I'm not enjoying being a mom, something's wrong. That's when I take a step back and see what I can do to add a little more fun into our lives.

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Having a big family has taught me so much about motherhood! I like to say that I started off with ten theories about child rearing and no children. Now I have ten children and no theories! :)

One of the most obvious things I've learned from having a large family is that no two children are alike! Parenting strategies that worked for one child don't necessarily work for another child! As a mother, I've had to learn to look at each child as an individual and parent them accordingly. Some children require strong discipline to turn from disobedience and foolishness, while others only require a word of admonition and correction.

Another surprising aspect of motherhood is that you should not treat all of your children exactly the same. That's because of my first observation above. Some will require more firmness than others. Some need pushed and some need reigned in. One size fits all mothering usually doesn't fit anyone very well.

Another thing I've learned is that children don't quit needing their mothers when they reach their teen years! Young adults need a mother who is involved and willing to spend time listening and helping them figure out who they are, what they believe, and where they are headed. A wise mother will make time to listen and encourage and "coach" her young adults and find ways to enjoy them and have fun together.

In one word, mothering requires TIME.

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I've learned a thing or two about patience.
I've also learned that all the control stuff I thought was so important when I had the first kid or two aren't so important after all.

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Oh, haven't you heard that you know everything UNTIL you are a mother?!

I thought I was a great mother when I had one child. When we had our second child, I thought that things were still pretty easy and I gave myself a lot of credit. With our third child, I acknowledged that some children were definitely more challenging and I still thought I was up for the task (given time and grace!).

Now, with six children, I know that I hardly know anything. And what I did know, I'm forgetting (which is why I blog), or has proven wrong! I'm realizing that motherhood is more about GRACE than anything else.

My tendency is to try to control things. I tried to control my children's behavior and my responses and our environment. This seemed to work well eleven years ago. Now, my children are growing up and there are more of them and I'm learning how to shepherd their hearts. I'm seeing that to really love them well I need to know them and embrace the mess and let GRACE come in and cover up the hurts and the fears and the embarrassment. I'm HUMBLED to have this privilege of sharing life with these precious people and I am trying to humbly rely on Our Savior.

Motherhood is more about shepherding than it is about directing or controlling. (That's just an illusion of control, anyway!) This job of mothering is really a job of service and pouring out my life for others. I have an innate distaste for service and yet I'm seeing that God can change my heart so that I delight to serve and love. From conception, I gave myself for my children (my body, my time, my energy...) and even now, daily, I give myself for their benefit. That is more than I can do on my own, naturally. I'm seeing that I need supernatural strength to mother well.

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That being a mother is hard work. All mothers think that they fail sometimes and we are our biggest critics. We should support one another much more!

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Having a big family has taught me that there is a dichotomy about motherhood; we have to be very, very sensitive, grace-filled and loving while also being tough and strong.

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To focus on what's really important. I used to think it was making sure my children were well-dressed and presentable all the time and that my house looked as close to a magazine as possible. When you get to a certain number of children, it helps to clarify what is really important... focusing on who each of my children is and how to help them become the best person they can is far more important than whether each child's socks match.

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That motherhood is challenging no matter how many children you have. It was hard when I only had one, it was hard when they were all little, and it's hard now that they're growing up. Motherhood is sanctifying, and I pray daily that I will meet the challenges God places before me with boldness, strength, and grace--because I do fail often.

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Having a big family has taught me many things through out the years here are a few of them:

To pick and choose my battles. If it isn't going to make a difference later in life or harm my children then I need to think what does it really matter.

How to take advantage of all free time after kids are in beds :)

To trust God when I am having a rough day. Start each day with prayer and trust that he will get me through anything.

Laugh at the things I want to cry or yell about.

Each child is so different and has their own personality that needs to be flourished and loved for who they are.

You can't spoil babies, holding and snuggling them while they are still little will do them no harm and will give you an amazing relationship with your child.

Kids grow up so fast do all the loving that you can while you can. Cherish every moment you have life is to short.

Kids bounce back from even the most horrible situations faster then you could ever imagine.

Nursing your baby when possible is the most amazing bonding experience between a baby and their mother possible. It also gives them so much better nutrients.

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No one moment is more important than the others. It's about the little things, and

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#1 All Children are Unique

There are really no solidly true, "All boys ____." "All girls ____." "All teens ____." "All 2 year olds ____." Every child is uniquely created and gifted by the Lord, and we need to learn how to parent each one in the way that they need to be uniquely parented. (Even our identical twins needed to be parented quite differently, which created quite the challenge sometimes.)

#2 Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

#3 Organization and Discipline are a Good Thing . . . otherwise you may quickly have a riot on your hands.

A mother of a small family may "let things slide", while a mother of a large family knows how quickly things can slide right out of hand.

#4 It's Okay to let a Baby Cry (as long as it's not all day every day).

#5 You Cannot Spoil an Infant (they never get held too much)

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