Having a super-sized family in a small family world is interesting to say the least. We get stopped wherever we go by well meaning people who comment on our family size. We understand it is an oddity to see one mother leading 6 children through the grocery store or park, but we are upsetting the norm, and offering an easy target for comments. Being out during the day with a large family when other kids are in school makes us stick out even more.
In an attempt to make errands and basic life easier I have found working as a team really makes even the most mundane task doable. Every member of our family has a job, down to the baby, whose only job is to make people smile and add comic relief - think drooly baby grins!!
I integrate our large group into any setting by always giving everyone some task to make them feel special. At the grocery store, carrying our reusable bags, which are super light and have handles, is a perfect task for the 2-4 yr range. The 12 yr old is team leader and toddler coordinator, and the 5-11 age range is cart picker, list holder and label readers.
This obviously takes some organizational time before the shopping trip to coordinate everyone but we have been known to tackle a shopping list in 15 minutes from car to checkout. That is, when people aren’t stopping us in every aisle to say how brave I must be to take all those kids to the store!
By Niki Johnson