If you have a question you’d like to see answered here on the 4th Thursday of next month, please leave it as a comment on this post so that this super-organized mom will know where to find it at midnight on the 4th Wednesday of next month.
Quit laughing now and read Q&A’s from the other moms:
All done? Or did you decide to read mine first?
Big Family FAQ
1. Could you write a post about breastfeeding? (Maybe you have in the archives…) If you do it, why? For how long? Joys and difficulties along the way? Have you still been breastfeeding while pregnant?
This is a huge topic, and you’re right: it should be a post in itself, or a series of posts. But I want to give some quick answers now just to get started. I breastfeed for a variety of reasons: breastmilk is the ideal food for an infant, created by God for that very purpose. It’s convenient: always just the right temperature, always in stock, no worries about bottles and formula and sterilizing…just find a quiet corner and a baby, and you have everything you need. It’s cheap: just eat a healthy diet (which you should do anyway) and drink plenty of water. It’s good for the mom too, reducing the chance of breast cancer and several other diseases. And I like my babies; I enjoy spending time with them bonding this way.
I’m exceedingly thankful that I have been able to breastfeed each of my children with very little trouble. I did have thrush with our 3rd child – cured with plain yogurt applied topically – and our 9th had some latching problems that caused her to gain slowly at first and caused me great physical pain, a problem solved by $5 nipple shields from Babies R Us. Tip: They sell them in single packs. After I congratulated myself for having the presence of mind to catch that fact and buy two, I realized that you can only use them one at a time. You only need one. Duh.
Most of my babies have nursed between 12 and 16 months, and to the best of my memory none have ever tasted formula. We start giving tastes of food around 6 months and as they begin to eat more and more table foods, they gradually nurse less and less. At some point the balance between breastmilk and solid food shifts, and then I find that I’m pregnant.
Eventually the baby and I, who have much in common when it comes to memory power, simply forget to nurse, and weaning is accomplished. Yes, 7 out of 9 times have been just that simple. There are certain advantages to having no short term memory.
2. One thing I’ve been wondering, is how you have the “anatomy” discussion now that you have added boys to your family. I have 3 young girls (under 5), so we haven’t had to have the boy / girl anatomy talk – yet.
We don’t really have The Anatomy Discussion. We’re far more casual about the subject. Everyone changes diapers in our house, and the little ones often take baths together. We don’t necessarily use all the correct anatomical terms, but we all know that some of us have “girl stuff” and some of us have “boy stuff,” and we don’t object to the anatomical terms unless they’re being used for vulgar humor.
We take a similar approach to the birds and the bees. We breed dogs; we own chickens; we used to breed gerbils as snake food and rabbits as pets; and hubby and I smooch freely in front of the kids. Our kids have a pretty good idea of how reproduction takes place, and they understand (on their various levels) that sex is a great blessing and a lot of fun – inside marriage. They don’t know or need to know all the details, but sex is not a taboo topic and we answer questions freely as they arise.
3. My children are 3.5, 2 and almost 6 mos. Today they were such a joy that they are at nap and I actually miss them. But on Monday, I actually broke down and called my husband to come home early and rescue me, something I have never done, not even postpartum. Please tell me this is normal?!
That sounds perfectly normal to me. If your kids don’t make you crazy sometimes, something is wrong.
You may think I’m kidding, but I really do think that God uses children in a big way for our own personal sanctification, smoothing our rough spots and helping us to see our flaws, weaknesses, and sins. Those lessons are never easy.
Besides, kids are sinners just like the rest of us. If it’s not your own sin driving you batty, it’s theirs.
4. Clothing storage! How do you store clothes for all of your kids? What about socks and underwear? PJ’s? I have six kids so far, and storing these things is starting to become more of an issue (even more so for the boys). Do you limit how much they have? Special methods to organizing these things?
You do not want to take my advice on clothes storage, unless I’m advising you not to do it my way. My way involves rubbermaid tubs of clothes stored under the house. They are labelled by size, and it seems like a good system on the surface. The main problem is that we forget we have them and we buy what we need at a thrift store instead. Not very thrifty, is it?
Then a small child decides that the shelves under the house look like a fun place to climb, and the tubs are unceremoniously dumped to the ground where all the clothes spill out. The story doesn’t end there: we don’t notice the spilled clothes until 3 weeks later, by which time they have been rained on, chewed by puppies, and have several eggs stashed in them because apparently they are more comfy than the nesting boxes in the chicken coop.
See? Don’t store clothes my way. That’s my advice. I’d love to hear yours.
Oh, wait. I just reread the question, and you want to know about the stuff we’re actually using daily, not the stuff that’s being stored for another time. Um, oops. How about if we store your question for another time? In a rubbermaid container on the shelves under my house?
Upcoming topics to be tackled by the 4 Moms:
- Dec. 30 - Teaching children to do their chores: If you’re doing it all yourself, then you missed your promotion.