Sugar Skull Family
I am a stay-at-home mom of seven. Yes, Seven… and yes, they are all mine (well, I share with my husband).
The most common question I am asked (after, “You know what causes pregnancy, right?” and “Are you done yet?”) is “How do you do it?!?” I’d like to state, right off the bat, that my husband, parents, and sisters are my lifeline, and I couldn’t “do” much without them. My aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents are also very supportive. We are lucky enough to visit with them for birthdays and holidays.
My husband (then boyfriend) and I got pregnant when we were 17 in high school. I had my son two months before my graduation (at the age of 18), and we got married at 19. My husband joined the Army to support us, and today (22 years later) we have seven kids ranging from the age of 3 to 23. Five of those (the first and then the last four) are boys.
I am very close to my parents and two sisters. Literally. We live within a few blocks of each other, and see each other daily. My father has been living with ALS for more than 14 years; instead of getting nurses to take care of his needs, my mom, sisters, and even my eldest son take care of him 24/7. Well, my mom does the 24/7 thing, the rest of us help with the physical care in the mornings and evenings.
We are practicing Catholics, and are active in our parish. The “domestic church” is a large part of my parenting model. The other part is my “coach” parenting model.
I have a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. My little sisters both have Masters degrees, but I have the most kids, so I win.
There are days that I long to rake everything that my husband and children have neglected to put away correctly into a trash bag and toss into the dumpster. Most days, though, I love them and am reasonably patient with the chaos of our lives.
I’d like to add to the plethora of advice and parenting tips out there by showing what works (or doesn’t work) within the dynamics of my large familia.