Howdy, howdy friends! We’ve been doing our 4 Moms series for quite a while now, and I’m feeling a little more casual. Maybe I’ll even let my hair down while you’re here, literally. The hair clip feels just a little too librarian these days, though some of my older readers might remember why I always wear my hair up during the warm weather.
This week, the 4 Moms are answering questions from our readers. [email protected] Olives will be talking about baby books, family worship and camping. Smockity will tackle road trips, honoring your husband in the small things, and preparing for a new baby. The Deputy Headmistress is keeping us guessing, but it’s sure to be enlightening!
Here are a few questions from my own mailbag. As promised, the first one deals with what we wear:
1. Jodi asked, “Would you mind sharing what has led you to wear ‘mostly skirts most of the time’”?
Our choice to wear mostly skirts (and dresses) most of the time is a cultural statement.
We don’t believe that there is anything inherently sinful about a woman or girl in pants or shorts, but we do object to the androgyny of our culture – the insistence that there is no substantial or meaningful different between the sexes. This philosophy is lived out many ways, but one way that we see it is in the often indistinguishable differences between girls’ and boys’ clothes.
Even the styles that were considered specifically masculine or feminine not many years ago have now blended and blurred so that too often the only way to tell which gender a garment is intended for is by which rack you found it on.
Because of this, one way that we choose to counter it is by dressing in a distinctly feminine way when we go out in public. Our girls wear clothes that could never be mistaken for boy clothes. Ditto for the boys: no tight legged low-cut jeans that look like they came off the girls’ rack.
2. What do you do about internet rules, filters etc for the kids?
We use Covenant Eyes internet accountability software to keep all the members of the family accountable for the sites they visit. This isn’t a filter (which often blocks useful and appropriate sites) but a reporting system that flags suspicious sites for review.
The children are generally limited in their recreational time online to 15 minutes/day on Facebook. Additional internet time is by permission only. Of course most requests are approved. Usually they want to write a blog post, type up a poem or short story, research a current topic of discussion, pursue an entrepreneurial interest, practice typing, etc. As long as the time is being used wisely, we don’t have a hard fast rule about how much time each child spends online.
3. I know families are loud and our houses are loud but where is the line for too loud? I don’t expect our children to be silent in the house but sometimes.. Just curious if you have any rules about this?
I’d scream for help now, but you probably wouldn’t hear me over the din.
I come from a very large, very quiet family. My parents’ house is living proof that not all families, and not even all large families, are loud. I and my 13 siblings are soft-spoken, and we take turns talking. Sometimes we just sit quietly and enjoy each other’s company.
I married into a very loud – er, exuberant family. They talk a lot, and they do it loudly, sometimes all at the same time. They are – and we are – the life of the party. I’ll admit that it took me years to adjust, but now I love it…usually…
When my own children were all small, I fought the gene pool. I kept the TV volume very low when they watched movies to encourage them to speak softly. I corrected them consistently for playing too loudly, and our house was usually quiet until Daddy came home and riled them up.
But then they grew up. I was soon outnumbered, outweighed, outvoted and out-talked. The preacher blood runs strong in my husband’s side of the family, and even if we don’t believe in women preachers the girls still get the preacher lungs to pass on to their sons.
There do need to be limits, and I’ll be the first to admit that our family of loudmouths is the LAST family you should be asking for advice in this area. That’s probably not the answer you were looking for, but I’m just keeping it real here. Real loud.
4. I have 3 girls, two are very close in size to each other, and one is very close in size to me. I struggle with sorting socks and unmentionables! Since you have more girls than I do, I thought you may have some insight into keeping track of who’s whose of those items which the kids don’t want to share..
The trick is to buy different patterns or colors and then to remember which pattern or color belongs to whom.
And the trick to that: have your children sort the laundry. Quite honestly, sorting the laundry is one job I just can’t do myself. My girls share and swap clothes so often I’m entirely lost, and they know it. I can handle mine, hubby’s, the 2 boys’ clothes, and little Bethany. The bigger girls are on their own.
Another solution that we use on occasion is to have each member of the household pull his/her own belongings out – either while the laundry is hanging on the drying rack, or by scattering a freshly dried load on the sofa or table for all to see. Of course in this case, somebody has to help the very young ones, and I always do my hunney’s laundry for him.
5. Bath Schedule– With so many kids…how do you or when do you get baths and showers in? Do the older siblings bathe the babies?
The older members of the family shower daily, some in the morning and some at night – both, if we’ve been jogging or otherwise worked up a sweat.
The younger ones bathe as needed, sometimes more often than others. Their baths often come in the afternoon or early evening, and the older ones often help the very young ones. If several little ones are having baths in a row I often tell the bigger girls to each choose one little one to help and we can run them all through in short order.
I always bathe the newest baby, though. It’s my maternal privilege. 🙂
That’s it for today. Do you have a question you would like to see addressed in a future post? Let me know!
Do you have different answers for any of these questions? I’m all ears.