As a mother of 5 I get this line often, "Oh, you must be very busy!" It makes me cringe to hear that people think I am busy. It reminds me of the bible verses that talk about being a busy body. I've tried to purposefully not be "busy" so that I can be available to do what the Lord wants, and be available for my girls and for Pete. But, for some reason every time I hear this I just smile and say, "Oh, yes" or if I am really on my mental toes I say, "it's the best kind of busy!" Now I would like to come up with a new response maybe something like, "oh, not really they are great little servants and take care of me!" Okay I really wouldn't say that. Maybe I could try, "really were not busy we just enjoy being together."
Putting in the effort to manage our time and have a peaceful schedule has always been important to me. I find that when the children and I are over extended we seem to get caught up in chaos and crabbiness. Each family looks different in what they can handle for time commitments, but I wonder how many are forsaking peace because it is so easy to get caught up in the business of life?
A few of the things that have contributed to the peace in our house are keeping a schedule, eating healthy, staying consistent with expectations and discipline, good communication and boundaries. We know that if we keep the children out past bed time they are more prone to melt downs. If we don't eat well the children will nag for snacks. If the schedule permits too much free time the children probably will get out of control. These are all easily remedied by being fore thoughtful in what we commit to and what we do. Some simple direction from mom and dad can make all the difference.
I am still searching for the perfect reply to people when they assume that having a big family is a trial on our time. It is a pure joy to be tried and I want the joy to shine through and not the trial part! I hope that if you see us out and about you see some polite, respectful , joy filled children who are laughing and smiling! Each day we make the choice to encourage chaos or peace. I don't always make the right choice. But I hope that the peaceful days are more than the chaotic ones.