Monday, February 23, 2009

Interview With a Mega Mom: Part 2

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Read Interview With a Mega Mom: Part 1

(Here we are a couple of kids ago with some extra neighbor kids thrown in for good measure.)

Another reader question: "In the stress that comes with everyday life, lots of children to care for, errands that need to be run, etc...what do you do to maintain a positive and joyful attitude?"

I remind myself that my children and all the responsibilities that come with them are a gift and I am serving my Lord when I am serving them. It is also imperative that I stay very focused on God. If I lose that focus and don’t talk to Him daily and read His word, my attitude suffers.

Also, I think the single most important thing when fighting negativity and not being joyful is to have a heart of gratitude. When we stop and realize how many blessings we have, it is almost impossible not to be thankful and have an joyful attitude.

I'm sure you've heard all the comments I have, and then some, when you go out with all your children. How do you respond graciously to nosey or rude people?

First of all, we try not to let it bother us. Because we are so large, we draw a lot of attention, which gives us many opportunities to talk to people.

No matter what the comment, we try to respond in a Christian way, knowing we have a unique opportunity. Contrary to how they probably view such a large family, we want to let people know we feel blessed to have so many children and we think children are a gift from the Lord.

We always try to express that in some way.

I recently read a debate about "Me Time". Do you think it is necessary for moms to have time to themselves each day? Or husbands and wives to have "dates" each week? What are your general thoughts about "Me Time"?

I have actually thought a lot about this issue lately.

I have seen several women use the “me time” in a bad way. Those women who live with that expectation are often times selfish.

God called us to be helpmeets and to take care of our home and family—it is a full time job and God never said it would easy. I do, however, think it is fine, and necessary to tell your kids on occasion, when you are about to “lose” it that Mom needs to go in her bedroom for 15 minutes and cannot be disturbed. Sometimes we need to get away for a few moments to regain composure.

I also think it is beneficial to have time out alone, or with a friend once in a while, as long as it is not overused and you have provided for your family.

Sadly, I know a woman who “takes off” one night a week and just leaves her husband and kids to fend for themselves. She won’t cook a meal for them or anything. I think the issue is not having time away, but the attitude behind it. If we think we deserve “me time” I think it is a problem.

As far as “dates” with our husbands, I think that is important. Not only does it keep a couple connected and close, but it models that to our children. They need to see us make time for each other, and they are happier when Mom and Dad are happy with one another.

Our kids love when we go out (which is usually only once or twice a month). We usually let them have pizza and watch a movie, so it is a special time for them as well.

Will you tell us about your fabamundo laundry room?

Well, last summer, my sweet husband decided that with 11 kids, I deserved a laundry room that was actually bigger than a closet. (I think he was tired of the piles of clean and dirty clothes all over our bedroom.)

We had a one car garage, separate from our two car garage, that my husband used to house his tools etc. He gave up “his space” and had it converted to a giant laundry room.

It has 3 washers and 3 dryers (the largest ones made). I have a long folding table with rolling baskets underneath. It also houses an extra refrigerator and a large upright freezer. We had built-in shelves put everywhere there was a space. One section is for extra pantry space. The room also serves as a family closet, so all the kids clothes are stored there. There are floor to ceiling shelves all labeled with the kids’ names and 45 linear feet of hanging space where clothes are separated by sizes.

It is nice because I can fold clothes and put them away right there—no toting baskets up the stairs.

There is also an outside door so when we drive in from getting groceries, we can deliver them right into that room and not have to walk through the house.

My husband originally wanted to keep the garage door, in case we ever move and someone wanted to convert it back to a garage. I told him that no woman in her right mind would give up a room like this.

This room is a tremendous blessing to me and makes my huge task of laundry a lot less overwhelming.

Thank you, Karla, for taking the time to answer our questions and encourage us!


Anonymous said...

What a great post!Thank you for sharing.


Brenda said...

How can you tell us about a laundry room of this capacity and NOT INCLUDE PICTURES????

I mean...I know she's busy and all...but I would LOVE to see this room!!!!

queen shenaynay said...

What a testimony to the power of love.

If I may do so kindly, I would like to gently suggest that it is not necessarily a sad thing when a woman takes a night off without cooking for her family. Sometimes this is precisely the family's intended gift to her in fully giving her the night off. It does not hurt children to learn to show gracious, selfless appreciation for their mother in this manner, and in fact it can lead them to learn a good many life lessons and skills.

One family exercises wisdom in caring for one another in a different way than other families, because they are a different set of people with different needs. This is good.

I do understand and appreciate what Karla is expressing in terms of heart attitudes and priorities. I need mine checked regularly! Thank you for a wonderful interview with an inspiring mother.

Erin said...

Love the clever use of space they already had to fit the needs of their family...

Nikki said...

Very encouraging interview! And I'm with Brenda, I want to see pictures of her laundry room! It's so faaaaaaaabulous!

Smockity Frocks said...

Good news, Ladies! Karla says she's working on photos of that laundry "facility" of hers.

I'll post when I get those.

Kim said...

I am looking forward to the pictures too! Karla sounds like a mother who finds herself at His mercy ... what a beautiful place to be.

And I love the way she views the blessing of responsibility and service. Gratitude is such a perfect way to approach our day-to-day life.

Lockwoods said...

Hi Connie! I'm catching up with all your recent posts; there just isn't much computer time here! :)
Anyways, I just HAD to comment on this post because, well, I cried (I'm pregnant and do that regularly) simply because she sounds so much like me. While I know quite a few families with many children, I have met very few that have them so close together. With our oldest being only 12, I felt we must have so much in common. I would love to get to know Karla better (not that she has lots of time to meet new people or I will actually find time to sit down and write her in the near future...but I have high hopes :) ). Could you ask her if I could have her email and then, if she says yes, send it to me?
Oh, and btw, while I cried through these posts (happy crying mind you), I quickly began laughing as I read many of your other do that to me...I just love you! :)
Have a wonderful day and I am praying you will feel better soon.

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