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When You’ve Raised 11 Kids

  • You keep buying the huge, family size, even when there are only two kids at home now and you have a smallish (or at least “normal” sized) family. 
  • Following from the first bullet point above, you consistently use your giant pots to cook huge amounts of food… which then becomes leftovers because it’s way too much for your family now.
  • You are stunned when you realize boxes of cereal last longer than one day.   Not only do they last longer than a day, the cereal gets stale and you have to throw it out.
  • You continue to buy half gallons and gallons of ice cream, recalling the days when these lasted an hour or so if you were lucky. After a while, you have six or seven untouched half gallons in the freezer, developing freezer burn.  Your 17-year-old keeps saying, “Mom! Stop buying ice cream!”
  • You panic and go into crisis mode when the dryer breaks down because you forgot you no longer have four in diapers and one or two who occasionally wet the bed at night. If your panic is full-blown, you drop what you’re doing and race to the laundromat half an hour away to dry your wet clothes, when it would have been absolutely fine — and completely possible — to just hang them up to dry.  There aren’t that many of them anymore.  It’s not like the old days where if the dryer broke down, you covered every fence, every door, each nail and all doorknobs with drying items.
  • You always, always, always rock gently back and forth, to and fro, as though you are balancing babies on your hip or in your arms or on your back and you are calming them. You rock in grocery lines, waiting for the bus, standing in the bookstore, pumping gas, talking to colleagues.  There are no babies for miles around; still, you rock.
  • You wake up every mornng at 4:30-5:00 a.m., without fail. You don’t know how to sleep in.
  • You can sleep anywhere.

This will be part one. 🙂




6 thoughts on “When You’ve Raised 11 Kids

  1. heehee.. oh that is fabulous Heart!! I’m not quite at that point yet, still have 5 at home, but already I notice some differences. I cannot imagine not buying in bulk.. and you know with my daughters living and planning to stay in the same area as me I can see myself continuing to buy in bulk and take half of it over to them, lol.

    I have two pre-schoolers and the day I end up with just them at home life WILL be odd. l am going to experience having the nuclear family!! Assuming there is not some layabout young male refusing to move out.

    We were in the supermarket the other day and there was cous cous on the clearance rack for a pittance.. without even a discussion my kids started piling it ALL into the cart, like 30 packets. It’s just automatic, when there is a massive sale of something you like you buy all of it.

    And I hear you on the dryer. I have a spare washing machine in the garage for the day the current one dies. Raw panic over appliance death is deeply ingrained.

    Posted by Arietty | April 18, 2009, 1:34 am
  2. I’m giggling at how familiar this sounds to me even though I’m only adjusting to having one toddler instead of two teenagers. I always wanted a big family but sometimes it’s a good thing when you don’t get what you want.

    Posted by noordinaryspider (formerly known as anonymom) | April 25, 2009, 7:13 am
  3. i love the rocking one 🙂 – i wonder sometimes what it must look like to people when i’m *not* holding a baby and still rocking rocking rocking as i talk to them. i try to stop, but it’s so automatic now…

    Posted by stephanie | May 27, 2009, 10:41 pm
  4. lolz 🙂

    Posted by Jeyoani | June 1, 2009, 6:03 pm
  5. Another one. You never stop feeling relieved that, when shopping for clothes, you can buy things without worrying whether or not they have buttons in the front or can be lifted easily (for breastfeeding).

    Posted by womensspace | June 3, 2009, 6:29 pm
  6. I rock constantly. I do have a 2 yr old and a 3 1/2 year old but even when I’m not holding them… I am rocking.

    Posted by Kim Yamaguchi | June 9, 2009, 1:28 am

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