By Contributing Writer, Candace Sabo
As a mom of many, other moms are always curious as to how I keep my sanity with so many children. But the truth is, whether you’re a mom to one, two, or ten, we will all face moments when we feel like we could very well lose our sanity!
As my friend Vicki says, “If you have two children, God gives you what you need to handle those two. If you have ten children, God gives you what you need to handle ten.”
It may be that sometimes moms of many need to be a bit more creative in how we maintain our sanity, but I think overall, it’s important to maintain a routine and be consistent no matter how many children you have!
Here are some of the ways that have helped me keep my sanity in an ever-growing family!
Christ, My Help
If you’ve been following my blog long enough, you’ve heard me say this many times. Honestly, without Christ in my life….the source of my strength, wisdom, and perseverance…I don’t know how I could possibly do this job! My current season doesn’t allow much for a regular quiet time, but I continually go to Him throughout my day, asking Him for help and wisdom. He is faithful!
Since my older girls were little, we have always required our kids to observe a two-hour rest time everyday! From 1:00 to 3:00 in the afternoon, everyone must be napping, reading, or enjoying a hobby quietly! The three younger ones take naps. The rest of the kids must read for the first hour, and then they are free to draw, build with K’Nex, or play quietly in their beds with a few small toys. I have a couple who will read the full two hours, and others who want to enjoy a hobby the second hour. My 17-year-old usually continues school work, reads, has computer time, or paints. I’m fine with whatever they choose as long as they’re QUIET!
If we’ve had a rough morning, quiet time saves my sanity for sure! It frees me up to read, to write, to eat without vultures surrounding me, to finish up chores or begin prep for dinner…and sometimes I just sit and enjoy some rest myself!
There are many times throughout my life when I’ve had to forego rest time for myself due to a new baby who is on a different schedule than the older kids. In fact, just in the last few months, my youngest has finally gone from two naps (10am and 3pm) to one nap from 1:00 to 3:00. So when I am in that season, I just enjoy alone time with the baby and know that eventually she or he will adjust to the “family” schedule.
Bed time is just as important to me as rest time. All of our kids, except for our 17-year-old (our oldest is married), go to bed at 8:00! Not only am I tired and ready for quiet by 8:00, but this is a time for my husband and me to be together. ALONE! Since we’re usually both nodding off by 10:00pm, this gives us two hours of quality alone time.
Our 17-year-old usually has her computer time after the younger ones have gone to bed. Other nights, she’ll stay with us to talk or enjoy a movie!
Everyone Pitches In
This is self-explanatory, I think. Mom does not do everything around here. We all work together to run and manage our home. Part of being a parent is knowing when to delegate responsibility. Responsibility is good for children. It teaches them much about team work, hard work, and service. I certainly do a lot as a homeschooling mom of 10, but I don’t do it all!
A Sane Husband
Some days, when my husband walks through the door after work, I’m quite sure the heavens have opened up, the angels are singing, and the bright lights are shining upon him!
He is my hero, to say the least. He is a big help and definitely keeps me sane!
I know there are moms out there who may have husbands that aren’t as helpful, or perhaps away a lot due to work, or not in the picture at all. Don’t lose heart, Moms! God promises to equip us for the task, and it is through our weakness that He is truly magnified!
Perspective is two-fold. First, how do we view staying at home to raise children? Do we see it as a blessing and a privilege? Or do we often think, “I could be doing so much more!” Your answer to this question could make all the difference in how our days turn out. If we find joy and purpose in raising our children, we are more likely to stay focused on our mission and keep our wits about us. If we feel like what we’re doing doesn’t matter, or make a difference, we’re more likely to see this job as a burden to be survived.
Sometimes, on the really tough days, I remind myself that our kids are gone in a blink of an eye. Just yesterday, I gave birth to my oldest daughter. Now, she’s all grown up and married! A blink of an eye! Savor these little years, difficult as they may be! You’ll never regret the precious hours spent with them!
Perspective is everything!
What helps you keep your sanity as a mom?