Here is a three-part question from reader Leah, who actually wrote some time ago and I am so, so sorry for the delay:
…First, are your boys rowdy and full of more energy that the energizer bunny?
Yes! Sometimes it can be out of control. Other times I can get it under control quite nicely. Your first step towards sanity and joy is to embrace that fact that having a bunch of boys close in age is going to make life wild. It sounds like you have a good grip on that fact!
How do you deal with very very rude comments of people saying “you have 5 boys ? I’d kill myself or be nuts and are you gonna try for a girl?” I’d love to go in public without being asked rude questions!!
This can be so tough! Especially when my boys were all little (and shorter than me) we seemed to draw all kinds of attention when out in public. I’m sure we looked like some kind of Boy Scout troop most of the time! It’s true, people can be rude. And there was probably a season when I would have offered a list of witty comebacks for your “Schooled You!” pleasure. But I will admit that the few times I’ve actually shot back at someone making a rude comment, I walked away feeling really bad about myself.
So all clever retorts aside, the best witness to life we can offer anyone — whether they are kind strangers or rude ooglers — is to love life and bring joy everywhere we go. I realize that might sound crazy because you are also bringing FIVE boys with you everywhere you go, but really the best thing to do is focus on the amazing adventure that is your life with five boys. And if the comment is just too crazy rude, you can say what my mother has always taught me to respond: “What a thing to say.”
Lastly, how do you keep your house up? I really enjoy your website and glad I know someone else in this world that has been chose by God to have 5 sons. Do you know any online groups of moms with large families? Anyway, thank you for your time. I know your busy like me!! God bless, Leah
I’ve been thinking about this one a lot lately, especially because a few of my friends have been calling for advice what with the new year and resolutions for peace and order.
My quick answer to you would be: the easiest way to keep your house clean and tidy is to have less stuff.
That’s not always realistic, is it? Big families have lots of stuff, right??
Except, honestly, the more I think about it, the more I just don’t think that has to be the case. My boys, for example, all have their favorite clothes they wear. Boys can be very minimal with their wardrobes. The way I look at the amount of stuff we own is: my house is *this* big, my playroom closet is *this* big, our dressers are *this* big. My job is to make sure what we own fits neatly into those designated spaces.
Stuff is the overriding issue with organization and with cleanliness. If everything has a place it goes, then it’s easy to pick up a mess. If everything is in its place, it’s easy to clean the house.
I will be happy to take questions on that particular topic, because I know it can be a challenge!
As always, thanks for writing. And I’m sorry my reply was so very delayed!