Mega-Moms

March 8, 2009

Siblings

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — kmomof12 @ 1:08 pm

I’m reposting an article I wrote in 2006. It’s archived over at Largerfamilies.com’s old blogger site. With the death of my brother in law, Tom’s younger brother, this weekend. This post seemed poignant So I’m sharing it here…. (this was written before Sean was born)

If my kids have nothing else in life, they’ll still have siblings. Someone to give them a hand up, someone to watch their back, and even someone to knock them down a peg when they need it. Growing up I was the oldest of three kids. I never wished for more siblings but I always knew I wanted lots of them for my kids…like my dad had.

My dad was one of thirteen children. His family is one of the closest tight knit groups I’ve ever met. I came to appreciate what it meant to have lots of siblings in Oct of ’97. My dad went in for by-pass and heart valve replacement surgery. He was convinced he wouldn’t survive. While my grandmother, mom, sister and I sat in the waiting room, my dad’s siblings came to visit. Some staying only a few minutes while on their lunch break, most staying with us all day. We took up a good deal of the waiting room and I felt a bit guilty. Not because I thought it was too much. But that others couldn’t have the support we had, especially when things got scary (he recovered and is doing well).

That day in the hospital reassured me I had made the right decision to have my then 8 children. There have been many times when I seriously doubted whether I was doing anyone a favor by giving them siblings. Some days it seems like all they do is bicker! It can get so bad that I’ve resorted to the…”With brothers/sisters like you….who needs enemies?” line. One time in particular when the bickering had been non-stop, I was down on myself about it. WHY can’t my kids get along? What am I doing wrong!?!

A friend pointed out that most siblings bicker. My kids just have more siblings to bicker with so it seems worse. When I looked at the individual instead of the group, I realized she was right. She also pointed out that they resolve the bickering and go back to being friends in no time. I must be doing something right. :o)

Having over 21yrs between my oldest and youngest I’ve been concerned with how they would relate. I’ve worried they’d become more aunt or uncle’ish to the little ones. So far, that doesn’t seem to be happening. I was pleasantly surprised on Monday night to find that everyone would be attending Olivia’s kindergarten graduation ceremony. They’ve attended so many in the past, I thought they’d “find” better things to do. Instead she had the biggest (and loudest) cheering section in the place! While people looked at us like we were uncivilized. I watched Olivia, standing on the stage, beaming from ear to ear, waving away while they cheered.

Something you hear spoken negatively about when a mega family is mentioned is…. “The younger kids are raised by the older ones.” I’ve tried my hardest to make sure this didn’t happen to my kids. Having kids was my choice, and is my responsibility! I did it for not only my older kids sake, but my younger ones as well. Afterall, who wants 10 parents…two are enough!

Nurturing is a totally different story. My kids can nurture each other all they want. It’s not only a big kids helping the little ones either. Yes, it’s great for a skinned knee to be able to get 10 extra kisses to make it feel better. But, the little ones have just as much to contribute in this department. A little sister climbing in a lap, wiping away tears and giving a bear hug can do way more then a mom’s shoulder can when a teen is dealing with heartbreak. Taking a break and snuggling with the baby is a great stress reliever for the college kids. Seeing your little brother admiring you with those…”Are you Superman?” eyes makes making the right decision a little bit easier.

I’m not sure how many siblings my kids will give their kids. As of now most say there’ll be many. I’ll take that as a sign that having a ton of siblings hasn’t harmed them too badly.


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Kim is a mom to 12 kids ages 24yo to 18mos. She can also be found at her personal blog Musing Rambling and All Around Blathering, her food blog Growlies for the Gang and at LOK’s Large Family Cooking Blog

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February 16, 2009

Now it’s personal

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — kmomof12 @ 2:53 am

I’ve held off on posting over the Octuplet birth and ensuing large family geared stories, including one of the articles that talked about my family. Oh I started a post many many times, then I changed my mind. I read the comments from “my” article, and came running here ready to justify, defend and explain myself. Then I thought….why bother? I’ve never needed anyone’s approval before (otherwise I’d have only had 3 kids). I don’t know why I’m looking for it it now. Besides the people that are commenting there didn’t seem to have the capacity nor the desire to see the other side of anything.

Then I started seeing blogs around with opinions on this topic and I was surprised. There were the moms with “smaller” large families that thought having 14 kids was over the top. Or went beyond a mother’s limits. HUH? So YOU don’t like it when people with 2 or 3 kids criticize you or think you’re crazy. But because you’re part of the “club”, it’s ok for you to think the same thing about someone else? And there was those that thought the cleanliness of her house made her a less capable parent. In that case I shouldn’t have been able to parent any kids (I’ve been a messer all my life) Yet I still didn’t end up posting here about it.

Now I HAVE to, because it’s gotten personal. Where in the past comments and disapproval came in veiled or overheard conversation, tidbits being passed on by someone else or disapproving looks. Now it’s no holds barred. Everyone feels it’s ok to say what they’ve been thinking all these years. It’s like we’re walking around with “Kick Me Please” signs on our backside and everyone’s waiting in line for a turn. Tom won’t tell me everything that’s said at work but I guess it’s been brought up a few times. He has mentioned that they’ve said…No one should ever had that many kids. And that they should send her (octuplet mom) to China, they’ll bring her down to one kid really quick. (His first response to this idiot was….What kind of truck do you drive again?)

All along I’ve sarcastically said…Let’s give everyone a lifetime carbon allowance. When it’s gone, their life is over. Then we’d see who’s kids lived the longest. Now I’ve cut back the sarcasm and say…give us an allowance, when you (or your kids) go over…then you have to pay! Then we’d see how fast everyone starts backpedaling. What!?! Penalize me for being able to afford luxuries in life? Well, my children are my luxury, so what’s the difference? But I won’t be able to buy whatever I want, live in my too big for my needs house, travel or drive my 1 ton truck without being penalized! You got that right.

I can guarantee you that when one of my children reaches adulthood, the amount left in their allowance will be a lot greater then a child raised in an average family. I was once a part of group which aimed toward 90% reduction in carbon output. I can assure you that even before I joined the group, my family of 14 (all the kids were living home then) was AT the national average or below in almost all seven categories, except maybe food. Not 3x the average, not double the average…AT the average of an AVERAGE household of 4. So each of my kids get 1/14 of the household allowance, the kids in an average family get 1/4.

Yes, I know…everyone is going to start the…but then they grow up and become adults and create their own households. First off, most kids (I know, there’s always the exception) live according to how they’re raised. So they should continue their frugal (money and resource) ways. Secondly, I don’t know too many large family kids who move off and live on their own. It’s not in them to be alone. They’ll most likely find roommates and then eventually marry, maybe even to *gasp* someone from a small family. (after all those kids have to have a house and family too).

I don’ t know how many times I can say it to people. It’s not the kids that are the problem, it’s the lifestyles the kids are brought into. It’s consumerism. It’s corrupt government, rulers, etc that cause starvation in the world. It’s industry that creates double the emmissions of all living people in the US. We are .5% of all those people. Why are we being brought to the forefront in this dilemma? Why are any of my children any less important or precious then someone’s 1 or 2 children. Why are they less important then YOU?

I’ve been known to be my sarcastic self at times when dealing with over population people at Tom’s work. I tell Tom to tell them…if it’s so bad for the earth for us to be here. Then do your part…find a rope and use it. After all, you are breathing in precious oxygen, eating up resources and creating greenhouse gases. Funny how fast they decide the earth isn’t in THAT bad of shape. It’s always easy to hold a stance…when it only effects someone else.

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Kim is a mom to 12 kids ages 24yo to 18mos. She can also be found at her personal blog Musing Rambling and All Around Blathering, her food blog Growlies for the Gang and at LOK’s Large Family Cooking Blog

February 2, 2009

What’s that sound?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — kmomof12 @ 3:05 am


Oh yeah, it’s the sound of that mega family in the corner…sucking all the resources out of the government and earth. Or so a good portion of society would have you think. With the birth of the octuplets a few days ago the rhetoric has increased. It’s very often that one assumes a family with more then the average kids is being supported by government assistance. Being one and knowing quite a few mega families myself I can say it’s highly unlikely. Even if they were getting WIC or such it’s barely putting a dent into their support. I mean just how far do people think 4 gallons of milk a month go for a family of 14? (btw…the answer is 2 or 3 days) Besides looking around the WIC office I can assure you…it’s not overtaken with large families. It’s the young, most likely single, moms that fill the place. Not that I begrudge them help. But you don’t see anyone tearing them down for using all the government resources like you do the mega families. The fact of the matter is that EVERYONE in this country, unless they are a hermit…uses government services…they are protected by the police and military, they can visit libraries, go to school, use hospitals…all of which receive government funding.

The over population/save the earth people are all over us. We’re the scrouge of earth. All those little anklebiters are sucking up all the good earth’s air and water. The fact of the matter is that mega families are an efficient unit. Our needs don’t grow expotentially to our family size. It costs us the same to heat our house as anyone with a similiar house…no matter how many live in it. Actually it might be cheaper with all this extra body heat. lol A lightbulb lights a portion of the room whether no one is in it or 100 people are in it. While we have more kids we tend to buy less or the same products then the “average” family. We tend to utilitize our things longer (hand me downs). We tend to make our dollars go further by shopping 2nd hand. When we travel we’re getting the most for our gas mileage as our cars tend to be full when being used. We buy things in bulk as packaged products aren’t enough for our family, using less packaging. And all these habits are passed onto the kids so they are more efficient adults.

What I want to know is why aren’t these people who are touting to put severe limits on an extremely personal thing going after the true culprits in this carbon footprint scam…..Industry! The below graph shows the breakdown of what/who contributes toward greenhouse gas emissions in the US.

So why isn’t everyone yelling and screaming to make factories more energy efficient and less polluting. Why isn’t anyone smashing the auto industry for suppressing extremely efficient running vehicles? Why isn’t there more talk about building up the public transportation infrastructure? Why aren’t there incentives for everyone…industry and residential to utilize renewable energy like solar and wind power. Why can’t it be more affordable? I’d be jumping at the chance if it didn’t cost more then my whole house to implement.

I’m guessing it’s just easier to point their finger and blame one segment of the population.

November 6, 2008

All good things must come to an end

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — kmomof12 @ 12:27 am

Being done having babies.  I know for myself that’s one thing I was hoping would never end.  It kills me to say Yes when people ask if we’re done.  I always want to put a disclaimer on the end of that yes…but I don’t want to be!  Except that would be too personal and take way too long to explain to an enquiring stranger.  Even now trying to talk about it, I find it hard.   Not because I’m so torn over not having more babies.  On the contrary, I’ve been blessed to have peace in this part of my life…for the most part.  I admit there are times when I’m a bit melancholy.  Like last Tuesday at a friend’s baby shower.  Or yesterday when the old hag came for her monthly visit.  Just the excitement of…hmmm I’m late…can I be pregnant?  and taking that test…even if it’s negative…is something I can miss.

It amazes me that I have so much peace over it.  I thought for sure I’d be a mess.  After all I AM the lady who’s always pregnant and has a lot of kids.  I can’t believe the number of people who ask me when I’m due.  Yes, I have a belly that makes me look pregnant but it’s their assumption that the babies won’t stop that prompt them to be so presumptious.  If I only had two kids I think people wouldn’t risk being wrong and asking me the “when are you due” question.

I think part of the reason this process has been a bit easier for me this time is that I’ve had practice at getting use to being done.  Yes, I said this time.  You see, I believe in God led fertility, my husband…not so much. Yes, he’s gladly accepted the children and for that I’m extremely thankful.  While pregnant for my 9th my husband said we were done.  We made an agreement if I had to have a c-section that would be the sign that we were to be done and I’d have a tubal.   She was a vaginal birth so a tubal was avoided.

One day I asked my husband if he ever thought of having another baby.  He admitted he did and that month I ended up pregnant with #10.  With that pregnancy the complications came on early.  This helped cement my husband’s resolve…we were done…pregnancies were too risky and he was getting too old.  He didn’t want to be the elderly parent at graduation.  We had the c-section = tubal pregnancy agreement again.  He also mentioned getting a vasectomy if it was a vaginal birth.  It was a vaginal birth so a tubal never happened…neither did the vasectomy (thankfully!).

I tried to respect his stance, I went through the motions, did things that needed to be done, but I didn’t have peace about it.  There were times when I seriously considered “sabotaging” things so a pregnancy was more likely (initiating when I knew it wasn’t “safe” or attacking the latex raincoats with pins hehehe).  I knew I couldn’t live with the guilt if I’d done something like that to him.  And if he’d found out, it would be a serious problem within our relationship.  So I did what any reasonable person would do…I talked to him.

During the conversation I let him know that I didn’t want to be done and therefore was giving birth control over to him.  I would truthfully answer him if he asked me where I was in my cycle.  I also wouldn’t stop and remind him if he needed to use something like I had been doing.  If I was to never have another baby, sobeit, but it wouldn’t be because of my actions.  This lasted for a few years until I suddenly found myself pregnant with #11.

His first question when seeing the positive pregnancy test was…how did that happen?  lol I realized then that giving the responsiblity over to him was a good thing, there was no doubt that this was meant to be, not something that was plotted. I told him he wasn’t the only one in control and that I probably ovulated early making cycle day 8 an unsafe day afterall.

This pregnancy was AWESOME!  I was the healthiest I’d been in decades.  Even with bedrest at the end, it was a fairly easy pregnancy.  She was a baby that hated the head down position so a c-section was a fairly good posibility.   Luckily she decided to cooperate and was a vaginal birth so a tubal was avoided again.   I noticed something strange after #11 was born….my husband wasn’t as adamant that we were done as he had previously been.

A year after #11 was born I found myself pregnant again.  Unfortunately this pregnancy ended in miscarriage.   I really didn’t want my childbearing years to end on such a sad note.  Luckily my husband didn’t say anything about being done and we were pregnant again within a few months.  While this pregnancy wasn’t as great as #11’s, it went fairly well although delivery did not.   On the second day of my induction my water broke on it’s own, I was fully dialated and ready to push but baby boy didn’t want a normal delivery.  He was presenting with his shoulder and he was stuck hard.  We tried a lot of different things to try and move him out of the birth canal but nothing worked.  There were no if’s and’s or but’s about it….I needed a c-section.   And as has been the status quo for almost 11yrs…c-section = tubal.  I was done birthing babies.  There’d be no more itty bitty ones in my life (until I became a grandma that is…but not yet).

I wish I could explain how and why I’m at peace about it, but I can’t.  I truly thought I’d have regret and remorse over this, but I don’t.  It has to be totally from God, it’s all I can attribute it to.  The fact that the signs were so clear according to our long term agreement helped tremendously.

I’m enjoying my last little bundle as much as I can but I’m looking forward to the future too.  There is more to having a mega family then having babies.  There are kids growing up, exploring, learning, and maturing into adults.  There is having conversations with your kids that don’t involve gross bodily functions or schoolwork.  There is life after babies.  I can either fight it, or accept it.   I’ve chosen to accept it.  Don’t get me wrong, as I said earlier there will be times when I miss the baby part of being a mom.  Hopefully it won’t become a burden and I can get through it easily enough.
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Kim is a mom to 12 kids ages 24 to 1yo. She can also be found blogging at her personal site Musing Rambling and All Around Blathering or her slightly neglected food site Growlies for the Gang

October 4, 2008

Do I HAVE to?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — kmomof12 @ 2:14 pm

For the 19th time in a row we attended Elementary School open house.  I was quite tempted to try to get out of going.  I mean how many times can you go and see the same reading corner and be excited about it?   While getting ready to leave it occurred to me…we have to go to 8 more of these!   27 years of elementary school…WOW!  That’s insane!

It was interesting to notice the different teachers’ attitudes toward us.  One teacher we’ve had many many times through the years.   She seemed to blow us off with almost a…you know the drill…attitude.   She acknowledged us as we walked in and then concentrated on all the other families.  Walking up to them and shaking their hands, explaining different areas in the room…different topics they’d be covering, etc.   It was only when I saw her standing alone and approached her, asking a specific question did she talk in full sentences to me.   Oh well her loss.  It made me really appreciate the teachers who seem to relish visiting with us each year.  To be amazed at how the littlest one has grown.   To visit with old students and catch up.   To ask…How are things going with you Mrs X?

I can be either of those teachers at times.   It’s a work at times to keep the freshness in my attitude.  To try to be as excited to do something like open house with #9 and 10 as I was with #1 and 2.  To be just as creative with Eileen’s 4th grade solar system project last weekend as I was with Michelle’s in 1995.    To not give up in all areas of parenting…fun or not.

How easy it would be to just not bother.  To let someone else do it, like an older sibling.  To not get off my butt and do things with these kids.  After all my body isn’t the same one I had when I only had 2 kids.   It likes to complain and LOUDLY!  I’m slower and creakier.    I have every reason to slow down and beg out of things.  Except for the fact that these kids NEED me!  They need me to be energetic and fun loving…not some old fuddy duddy.  They need me to be adventurous and explore the world with them.  They need me to relish each opportunity to do something with them.   And yes, they even need me to follow through with whatever consequences I put forth in a situation.  Even if it’s the last thing I want to do.  So what if I’m sick of being the “bad guy”.  So what if it seems like I’ve said something a thousand times about this already.  I need to deal with it as though they were the first and only!

It amazes me how many people expect me to go to work once Sean is in Kindergarten.  Like once I stop chasing kids out of the toilet ten times a day, I’m slacking or useless in society’s eyes.   Since when does kids being in school mean  they don’t need me home anymore.   It’s when they are in school that they need me the most!!  The daily dilemmas and peer pressure they experience can be amazing.  To come home and not find me there to talk to….just because I don’t have someone home ALL day…doesn’t make sense.   There’s still stuff to do here.   There’s still times when they’ll be home during the day.

Besides many corporate workers are eligible to retire after they have 25yrs under their belts.   Why can’t I semi-retire with 23yrs of chasing toddlers under mine?

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Kim is a mom to 12 kids ages 24 to 1yo.  She can  also be found blogging at her personal site Musing Rambling and All Around Blathering or her slightly neglected food site Growlies for the Gang

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