2. If your kids embarrass you in public by behaving badly (especially all at the same time) simply walk away and pretend they are not yours. Dark glasses and a disguise might help when argumentative children run to find you screaming, “MUM! He/she hit me right here and said “****”...........Mum...Mum??” Just keep on walking…
3. Get to know other families with lots of children, so you can avoid feeling freakish. Especially families with lots of boys.
4. Practise a variety of responses for the countless times you will hear people say “You’ve got your hands full!” Best to have a few alternatives just to jazz it up and save you from utter boredom. Such as "Do you want to babysit?" or "We just don't know how to say no." Or "Actually I left the other 5 at home." Or try "Would you like one? This one is going cheap today - any offers?" For ultimate shock value just break down and cry, "Thank you, thank you.....here you go." then walk away weeping, leaving your kids with the lovely stranger who bothered to take the time of day to recognise your immense workload.
5. Found a commune.
6. Realise (and take advantage of) the benefit of having the older children “help bring up” the youngest, and close your eyes/mind to the “older” influences they might bring. Ignorance is bliss.
7. Don’t worry about mess. And more mess. And wee all over the bathroom. It will happen whether or not you worry about it.
8. Don’t get wound up by mothers of fewer numbers of children saying how much they are looking forward to the school holidays so they can spend time with their offspring. And then the same mums saying (a couple of weeks later) what a wonderful holiday they had…..REALLY???? No - I said: DON'T get wound up.
9. Equally don’t get wound up by other mothers of lots of children who appear to be cool, calm and collected at all times. All is not what it seems. Unless they are saints. Which is unlikely.
10. Pay your babysitters handsomely. You need them to be available at a moment’s notice. Recognise that they are doing an excellent job coping with your motley crew. And you need headspace. A lot.
11. Remember there’s always someone else with more children than you. Unless you’re the Duggar family with 19 kids and counting. No idea how you’d keep sane with that many.
13. At the end of every day sneak a peak at each of your sleeping children, and remind yourself what it’s all about. It's lovely and worth it - it's just that sometimes there are too many of them ;-)
14. And actually, if you can't remain sane, then that's ok. It's "normal" to lose it a bit, and give in when things get too much. As one very wise (anonymous) person said, "Only the insane have strength enough to survive. Only the survivors determine what is sane." In which case we may be sorted!
Angelique & Becky x