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34 A note to moms with lots of little ones: don't give up!

Let me back up. This past week, a fellow homeschool mom with 2 young children asked the question of 2 of us with "more" children: "Do you find it hard to keep up with housework, dishes, etc., with more children?"

My response was not anymore. : ) But my girls are 14 and 10, and they help a great deal. In fact, they have the sole responsibility of cleaning the kitchen. They alternate weekly responsibilities, as follows:

Child A: wash dishes, wipe counters

Child B: dry dishes, put them away, put away leftovers, sweep floor

They also help with daily and weekly chores, which are divided between Mom and the oldest three kids. So, although our house is not always magazine-spotless, it stays fairly clean.

I did, however, answer the mom of young ones that in the old days, my kitchen was messy and the housework was kind of hit and miss.

The answer is training and consistency.

And there is a payoff! My oldest is 14, and lately I see a lot of maturiy and responsibility in her. Since this pregnancy has been more difficult for me, it's also difficult on the rest of the family. Many times in the past weeks and months, she will wake up early, get breakfast for the younger kids, do her chores, and start her schoolwork - allowing me to sleep late.

She also enjoys cooking, so she will routinely ask me, "What should I make for dinner tonight?" That is a question I enjoy hearing! Sometimes I have a plan, and she will take over, and sometimes she will plan a meal, make the shopping list, and even purchase the ingredients. She takes pleasure in coming up with a good meal. And her homemade lasagna is yummy!

Over the summer, we started studying Character Sketches. One of the character traits we learned was Initiative: Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it. She really took that on, and has helped our house to run smoothly!

Last time I visited my midwife, she had some concerns about my going into labor early. This has never been an issue for me! She told me to 'do nothing' for the next two weeks until I'm in a safer delivery time-frame. Several friends asked if I needed meals or babysitting. It's nice to say that we really don't, because after years of training, my kids are able to function even when Mom isn't. : )

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