Life With Seven Kids

Lot's of Laundry, Lots of Dishes, Lots of Kids, Lots of Love.
Mom of seven (and one on the way!) blogs about kids, farming, life and love.

Shauna is a winner of Top 25 Moms With Big Families - 2013

What has having a big family taught you about motherhood?

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.

What tips do you have for meal planning?

I like to make 2 or 3 dinners in one afternoon or evening --that way if one kid doesn't like something I've made they can have another dinner. That's not why I do it though. I do it so it can all go in the fridge as "leftovers" and we have something already prepared to eat for dinner or lunch for several days.

I also try to cook a bunch of meat and use it throughout a week or so to make meals. Grilling up 5-10 lbs of chicken at once can be used for tacos, Caesar salad, chicken with veggies, and /or chicken pot pie. Cooking a huge roast (beef or pork) can be used for a roast meal one night, tacos another, and BBQ sandwiches for yet another. Cooked meat can also be frozen for later use.

I know some people like to do monthly freezer meal cooking all at once but that doesn't work for me, I do it like this.

How do you get your children involved with chores? Please share what age these tips are appropriate for.

We all work together and we teach them from a very, very young age that mom and dad work hard for a nice home, food, our cars, Etc. Working hard and keeping our home nice is just part of life. We teach that we show thankfulness for our home and to Daddy who pays for our home by keeping it nice. We have so many older helpers now that the younger kids just naturally know they have to help by watching their siblings. The under six crowd clean up toys, attempt to sweep (we go over floors after them), unload a little bit of dishes, help fold diapers and rags. Six and a half is the age that we REALLY start expecting kids to help out beyond just cleaning up toys. We do keep chore charts, but mostly we all pitch in and I write what needs to be done on a dry erase board. They know to look at the board after breakfast. The teens take turns doing meal clean up -which can be a big job. Sometimes I have reward stickers for the younger children. We try to keep it fun and we play music and dance sometimes! After a particularly long work day (like today when we had a bunch of yard work) we take a break and have an ice cream. I thank my kids a lot for their help and I do not take them for granted. I wouldn't want to be taken for granted!