I was a mother of three children, raising them on my own, and not having many problems. Then I married a man who had four children from a previous marriage. I was thrown into a whole new world. Our children range in age from 3 to 12 years old. They are one three year old two six year olds one seven year old, one nine year old, and two twelve year olds. I thought my days of having children that were not in school were over and I was very surprised at how hard it was to adjust. You see I had begun working from home when all of my children started school, I was used to peace and quiet for eight hours a day where I could complete each of my tasks and focus completely on what I was doing.
Having added four children to my family was changing everything about my life. This is how I overcame and pressed on. During the day, the children are allowed to play school is out and we live on a fairly large farm. The older ones are responsible for looking after the younger ones while they are outside. They are also allowed to pay video games or watch a movie while I do my work. I had problems with this at first but then I realized the kids did not want me with them every second of every day. They wanted to be kids and enjoy their childhood.
During the day my husband is at work so I am responsible for feeding the children all three meals in between working. After each meal, the oldest three are in charge of the cleanup and doing the dishes. This works well because they want to get it done so they can go back to playing. After all of my work is done for the day, and before my husband gets home it is time for everyone to pitch in and get the house cleaned for Dad. It is important to me that he come home to a clean house each night so he does not feel stressed when he gets home. After cleanup which really doesn’t take that long with 8 people, it is time to get everyone bathed and calmed down.
I speak to the children each night about being on their best behavior when their Dad comes home from work because he has been working all day and doesn’t need to deal with misbehaved children. I explain to them that he is tired and just wants to relax and spend time with them when he gets home. This ensures a pretty peaceful night, we do have a three year old and one child with autism so there are nights that do not always work out that way.
When I took this on I was afraid I would not be able to do it, but it all comes down to teaching the children what you expect them to do. My husband is more of the sensitive one who sits and talks things through with the kids where I am more of the disciplinarian, but it works well for us and we have been able to make it work with a family of 9.