Sunday, May 18, 2008

Logistically speaking

It's not easy being a large family. We tend to do things as separate entities. For instance, Doug usually takes Meg and Drew to the grocery store while I stay home and the girls nap. Or, Doug will play outside with Meg and/or Drew and I putter around inside while the girls nap (I sense a pattern). But seriously, when we go places as a family, we have to plan ahead. If we are going somewhere that requires a purchasing anything bigger than a gallon of milk and the store does not have the double seated grocery/shopping cart, we can't all go together because of the behemoth double stroller we have for the twins. If we do require the use of the double stroller, then we must shop strategically. Therefore, we can go to BJs (which is like Sam's Club, but closer to our house) without the stroller as we did today, but we cannot go to the local grocery store.

Being a large family is different than what I'm used to. I come from a family of 4~my parents, me and my brother. Doug, on the other hand, is also from a family of 6. He is the youngest of 4 boys. How his mother survived is still beyond me. I digress. We take our kids everywhere we can, when we are both together. Meg's hockey; check. Meg's softball; check. But we aren't always together. Lots of times I'm doing things on my own, and Doug will meet me there. Even getting to a 5:30 softball practice requires military precision and logistics. All kids must be fed starting at 4:30. Meg must be done with eating and into softball uniform by 5:00. We must be out the door by 5:20. I feel a bit like a drill sargent. At times, I find myself almost yelling to keep some sort of order (actually, I yell. A. lot. I don't deny that).

We are finally coming into a saner time with the four though. The twins are more predictable and enjoy going outside. We still have to watch them like hawks, since rocks are tasty, and while we live far from a main road, we are in the woods and the girls like to wander. Meg and Drew can play outside for hours. And starting later this week, we'll probably have a hard time getting them to come in at all, as their new playset is arriving AND being installed (thank you Mom and Dad). I'll post pictures when it's set up.

I am hoping, as the twins grow, that life as a big family mellows out a little. However, as Meg plays soccer, hockey and softball, I have a feeling that we'll be running to and fro a lot more instead of slowing down. And I'm sure the logistics will get even more difficult to manage, or maybe easier as the kids are able to handle more on their own. My expectations need to mellow out too, I guess. I want things to run smoothly, and most of the time they don't. I have to learn to go with the flow. Because before I know it, it'll just be Doug and me here and what will I do then?


AndreAnna said...

I love the thought of big families, and know there's no end to the amount of love you can give to your children. But this post reminded me why we are stopping at 2. :)

Sam said...

Kristin, I don't know how you do it. But when we think of it, and I honestly hate thinking this way, but I don't know how my grandmother did it with TEN!!! And my other grandmother with SIX!! But they did, and they did a great job and by the sounds of it you're doing a great job too.
I envy you.

Thia said...

As I parked the jeep at the grocery store today, a mother with three boys was on her way to her car. As I watched her, I wondered just what in the world I am going to do after August. Three kids! oi!

Heather said...

I can't imagine four kids! But even with all the planning, I bet you have so much fun.

Jess said...

I think you handle things beautifully.

My husband is one of eight boys. Oh yes. Eight.

And i'm the only girl with three brothers.

Hubby wants a big family (our ideas of big are not the same) but I know I'm just not that girl. I can't do it. It's not just about the not wanting to do it. I cannot.

You handle yourself so beautifully and with such humor. If I ever end up having four (my big) I hope I can do it as gracefully as you.