10.16.2015

Just some thoughts...

Hello there! I'm happy to have some time this morning to post here. These last 6 months have left me feeling less than wonderful but I sense a shift coming. Raising five kids, ranging from teens to toddlers to babies, is not easy. I mean, it is really difficult. I try to explain it to people and emphasize the hardships but my words never do it justice.
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I'm not complaining about life but to pretend it's an endless series of precious, magical moments* would be a lie. I read how other women romanticize motherhood and God bless them if they really feel as though their hearts are constantly bursting but I honestly don't feel that way most days. But I don't think it has to be super special all the time. I certainly have moments throughout the day in which I feel blessed but they are just that, moments. Then it's back to being a referee, a taxi, a cook and a milk bar. Maybe these ladies are just pointing out those fleeting moments?
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Sometimes I think I should be talking about motherhood here on my blog more often, seeing as how I do have 5 kids, but I always end up back at the same thought which is basically "what would I say?" I would never give advice as I am no authority on parenting. And the whole parenting style stuff is not for me. I don't like labeling. I had our first son at 20 so being a mother has simply been my life for almost 17 years. I suppose I could talk about being a young mother and what that was like or maybe my 6 six years homeschooling or natural birth vs hospital birth or maybe some more controversial topics like immunizations and circumcision. I have opinions and thoughts on all those topics but you'd end up feeling like Woody Allen in line at the movies in Annie Hall and say to yourself, "What I wouldn't give for a large sock with horse manure in it" haha! That may be a little extreme but I think/hope you get what I'm saying.
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Anyway, one topic I would like to start posting about is feeding a large family on a tight budget. I feel like this is one area in which I might be able to give advice or helpful tips. I remember back when I just had my two oldest kids and I was hanging out with my friend who had 5 kids and she was making sandwiches and it took a whole loaf to feed her family. I was floored because a loaf lasted us a week. Now I'm in her shoes and it's pretty gnarly. Let me know if you'd be interested in reading about that and I'll start working on it.
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Oh and I had listed this skirt in my shop last month but after wearing it yesterday I decided I didn't want to part with it. Now I'm really happy no one bought it :)

I had planned to tell you about Neil Young's concert that we went to Wednesday but I've run out of time. Plus, he deserves his own post!

*Don't let these photos I took yesterday fool you! I know they look peaceful but the day was the exact opposite of how they look! They are proof that looks can be deceiving. I won't bore you with all details, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Happy Friday
♥ anne

35 comments :

  1. Yep, you have a good life. It's just as it should be. It's rich, full to brimming over, fun, has teachable moments, it's everything you need it to be. Mom on! And that time to yourself? You earned it. Just continue to share the good, 'cause it's all good, with us.

    Be well.

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  2. Hello, I love your blog :) It would be cool if you shared more about motherhood. My husband and I got married this summer and hopefully in the coming year we will be ready to have children. I want to home school our children and have a natural birth. I would love to learn from you and your experiences. Also, it would be cool to hear your views on vaccinations and other topics and would be much appreciated. :)

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    1. Thank you! Congrats on your marriage!

      Since this post was so well received I'm definitely going to talk about all things motherhood more. I'm happy to having you reading along :)

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  3. Just love your honesty. As a mom of 7 (2 married now - but five at home ages 17 down to 4) - I can certainly relate. Parenting really is a personal journey isn't it - as far as our styles, etc.. and yes, it is a discipline to find the beauty in as many moments as possible, but really it is a lot of work. Over time though, I have learned to find joy (for the most part) even in the dishes and toilet cleanings. I would love to hear more about feeding on a budget. We grow some of our own and make lots from scratch but insist on prioritizing organic and high quality food - super expensive.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you! I too have found some joy in chores. Having a good attitude toward the more mundane things takes practice but isn't impossible (thank goodness!)

      Yes, it is expensive to eat healthfully! We do our best to try and stay mostly organic but it can be challenging. I'm definitely going to start a growing food on our patio in pots. I'm excited! Glad to have you here in the conversation and look forward to more food talk in the near future!

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  4. Toil, Toil, Brick and Bone. 'Till this woman's heart is stone. - This is a poem I wrote yesterday to make my sister laugh. It was inspired by being a mom. :) I appreciate your honesty. Thank you!

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    1. haha! I love it!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  5. But in all seriousness. I love this post, your honesty, getting a glimpse into your world, and I would love to hear about your skill in feeding your family, because frankly, it amazes me. The snippets of snacks and meals you post are so healthy-looking and feeding two adults, home-cooked/ local or local-ish/ organic food, I'm still floored by our grocery bills. Fucking floored. I know there's a lot where I could trim the fat, and our grocery budget is often one of the first places I save from when I need to give to charity, or do something special, but damn. Footloose and childfree, I feel like I could learn a lot from you darling, and I'd be so so so stoked if you wrote more on the realities of motherhood/ parenthood. It's actually really hard for me to separate the two extremes of parenthood from each other- where people are like "It's the most wonderful, fulfilling magical journey ever, AND I just wish I could go to the bathroom by myself FOR ONCE." The nitty gritty of real life is why I started reading blogs in the first place anyway. Keep 'em coming, girl.

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    1. Thanks Milla! Yes, it totally seems like there are those two extremes. Very interesting!

      I'm excited to write more about food because I know you all will chime in with good advice too! I love learning from each other!

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  6. I love this. I would love to learn more about feeding a family on a budget! Right now it's just us three, but soon we'll be four and our budget will be even tighter. I also love your honesty about motherhood. I feel the same as you, that some moments are magical but it's also very hard. It's nice to hear that someone feels the same as me, I was beginning to feel like I was strange for not loving every moment of motherhood! 💖

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    1. Yes! It's easy to start feeling that way isn't it?!

      I'm working on a food post so hopefully I'll get it posted soon. Thank you for commenting and being a part of this space. xo

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  7. Actually, how do you do it? We spend too much already and I only have two kids, and ditto on Milla - the food pics you post look healthy and yummy. I'm basically a ....rotate the five meals that I know how to cook with one hand behind my back kind of girl....right now. Steve cooks once, and we take-out once. I would have loved to hear about your homeschooling experience, I am really interested in alternative ways to educate (weird because I work in a school, but by the time I've come into the school equation, I am an alternative educator for the child/ren). I started with a rather ignorant p.o.v on homeschooling - to gradually seeing that homeschooling really benefits children in a long lasting less stressful way than conventional school. And you know, I know, that parenting is (to be quite frank)...........shit..........and infuriating for a good portion of the time. Sometimes you just have to laugh (because of madness - the lunatic kind). love xo

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    1. haha! yes! And maybe some angry, alcohol induced punch dancing!

      I schooling post could be interesting. I've now homeschooled, private schooled and public schooled...

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  8. I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to hear more about feeding a family good healthy food on a budget. For example I know you love soup, and that's a healthy cheap way to make a big meal, but how do you teach toddlers to eat soup? It is sooooo messy and they won't let me feed them or help them ever! I bet there are a lot of parenting questions you could share your experiences with and it would be comforting and helpful for us all to read. I am going through this weird pushing-phase with Polly right now that is troubling me, she pushes babies who are a little bit smaller than her right down! I have to stay by her every moment when there are other children around. It's not out of anger, it's almost playful, but it hurts them and surprises them and they cry! It is obviously her testing boundaries but I don't know exactly how to react (besides the obvious, moving her away, comforting the other child etc.) to nip it in the bud and turn it into something positive in her growth. Did any of your five ever have a phase like that? Anyway, your blog is so honest and your writing voice so candid and realistic and warm that I'd love to read anything you ever had to say about parenting your five children, even if it were just experiences you had and how you decided to handle things. And yay for the moments of peace and bliss that can sometimes cast a rosy glow on everything for a little while. ;)

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    1. Aww thanks Heather! Having to keep a very close eye on your child when they are around other kids is exhausting, I feel for you! About pushing (or banging your head on the ground when you get frustrated like Maggie is doing) I think it's best to realize it's a phase and will pass. One day you'll realize wow, they aren't doing x, y or z anymore. I try not to make a big deal about these phases (although that can be tough) because sometimes I feel like if they know they are going to get attention from them, they do it more. Does that make sense? When I see Maggie getting frustrated and ready to whack her head I try to pick her up before she can do it or I've stuck my hand under her head to protect it and I do tell her no but I try to remain calm and not overly acknowledge it or freak out. I hope that helps a little :)

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    2. See I knew with five kids you'd have more perspective. It is SO HARD for me to keep in mind that it is just a phase. I have been trying to minimize it lately (she talks about the pushing obsessively too, so I know it has become a Big Deal to her) and I think it's starting to die off already. Instead of talking about how she pushed this or that baby, I try to always talk about how she also hugged (totally too hard) or shared with them. She likes to be a friend to babies so in the long run I think this will help.

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  9. Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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  10. Love you and honesty in this post!
    I admire that you can keep your own creativity and art and still have 5 kids!
    I only have 2 and have hard time to have some time to do my art.

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    1. Yes, it can be very hard but I'd be even crazier than I already am if I didn't! hahaha

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  11. I shit you not, I was just coming to your blog to say hi and ask if you'd given more thought about posting recipes for a budget!!! My internet dreams came true! I think of you whenever I go grocery shopping, seriously. When I saw you last, our convo touched on this, and damned if my bill has only gotten bigger. I have total recipe fatigue/ lack of inspiration too. TELL ME ALL THE THINGS.

    And mama, I hope you know I am so with you on the reality of parenthood being the moments of sparkle on the irritating and mundane pile of poo. I'm actually self restricting my internet use right now, one of the big reasons being that I want to be more present and emotionally available for Fern, and using the Internet as an escape hatch from said pile of mundane poo gets in the way. At least weekly I have the thought, "Man, if I find one kid hard, how does Anne do it?" So tell us...how do you? Xoxo

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    1. How do I do it you ask? I escape to the internet! hahaha! jk! I take one day at a time. More like one moment at a time. When the kids talk about things that are a month away, I tell them that is way too far away for me to think about! I have enough trouble with today, I don't need to be thinking/worrying about things that are a month away. To be honest though, I don't know. I don't feel very successful a lot of the time but I've learned to not be overly harsh with myself. I get frustrated and overwhelmed a lot too but I'm working on that. Being way more organized would improve my quality of life by the bucket loads! So, lots of pile of poo days here! hahaha I basically rambled on and said nothing at same time. BUT, I am working on food posts so... Love ya Mary!!!

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  12. I am very happy to visit this blog. it was nice all

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  13. I would love to hear your thoughts on immunizations! It is a tough/controversial topic. I struggle a lot with my thoughts on this for our two daughters (right now we vaccinate on a delayed schedule) but I'd love to hear how you handle it with your kids/your experiences.
    Look forward to reading about how you feed your family on a budget too. Actually I look forward to reading anything you write!
    Kate

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    1. Thank you!

      I'll be honest, I'm pretty scared to write about vaccines publicly. I stopped vaccinating when my oldest two were around 5 and 2 but I probably won't ever post about it. People get SO heated on both sides and I don't have the energy to try and defend myself and my decisions. I know a lot of people think that non vaccinating parents did a couple web searches and decided against it but that is not the case with me. I've been reading about it for over a decade and haven't changed my mind yet. A book I found to be particularly helpful is titled The Sanctity of Human Blood by Tim O'Shea. I also want to add that I'm not judgmental about people who do vaccinate but I think we should be free to have the choice.

      Thank you for your comment and I look forward to more :)

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    2. Anne,
      Just wanted to say thank you for responding. I don't blame you for not wanting to post about it. I really appreciate hearing your insights tho and I'm definitely gonna check out that book! Thanks!

      Kate

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  14. Hi Anne. I love your blog, reading from London, England. We're having our first baby, and are hoping to be blessed with a large family. Tips for feeding a family healthily on a budget would be a real blessing, as we're hoping to cut back so we can afford for me to stay home. Eleanor

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    1. Oh wow! Congrats on your baby! I'm so happy there is interest and I hope my upcoming post will be helpful. Thank you for reading along!

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thank you so much for stopping by. please feel free to leave a comment! i love reading them :)


anne