1. Lower the bar.
We do not live in House Beautiful. We have spots on the kitchen floor that sometimes don't get cleaned right away. Our socks and underwear are not folded. Sometimes entire loads of clean laundry are never even folded before the clothes get worn again and of course find their way right back into the laundry. Really, is it necessary that underwear be folded? Other than the wearer, who's going to know if it isn't?
We do not eat together at every meal. For breakfast and lunch many of the older kids fix their own food and eat it at their convenience. This is one practice that I have mixed feelings about. But it is reality in our household. Each of the older children has been assigned the task of fixing and feeding each of the "littlies" (the children under 8) thereby eliminating the need for me to fix breakfast or lunch. That right there saves me about four hours a day in the kitchen.
We eat very simple meals. Hamburgers, baked beans and carrots. Baked chicken, baked potatoes, lettuce. It's never a Ritz Carlton menu. This allows the oldest 5 including my 10yo to take turns making dinner relieving me of those duties.
There are almost always dirty dishes in the sink, more at some times than others. If I made it my goal to have a clean kitchen at all time I would be in the kitchen most of the day. If the dishes make it into the dishwasher by bedtime I'm happy.
The kids don't get to go to everything they want. I have to carefully pick and choose which errands I can combine including chauffeuring kids to activities. True, our children aren't as involved as those from a smaller family might be. But the advantages they gain far outweigh this minor disadvantage.
Stay tuned for more in this series...
Gotta run! Come back and visit soon!