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December 3, 2012

How I Do It: The Foundation

Baby V - 5 Weeks
I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!  The weather was beautiful here, and I actually had the chance to attend a party on Saturday night (my first night out, since V was born!).  V did great while I was gone (slept almost the whole time), and the hubs and I had a great time catching with up friends.  Thanks MF for being an awesome babysitter, as always!!
If you missed my post last Tuesday, I wrote about how I was going to start a new series on Mondays, called 'How I Do It.'  To re-state what I wrote last week, after several comments and emails from readers inquiring exactly how I'm able to handle four children, while keeping it together (or at least appearing that way), I've decided to begin a 'How I Do It' Series, where I'll explain everything from how I handle disciplining my children, outings and errands with four, even fitting in that most coveted time of showering!

Without further ado, here we go...
The Foundation

To begin with, I was raised in a large family.  My dad is the oldest of six kids (five boys and one girl), my mom was the second in line of four (three girls, one boy), and I'm the oldest of six girls.  So I guess it's just in my blood, to want to have a big family, too.  I'm still super close with my family, and am so thankful for that.  My sisters and I still chat all the time, and now that all eight of us (including my mom and dad) have iPhones, we have an ongoing group text message.  So whenever we have news, even small news, or a photo/video to share, etc., we text it to the group.  The one problem?  If you miss even a day of not checking your phone, you're bound to have around 200 text messages that you've missed.  Like I said, we talk to each other a lot, but I LOVE it!  We're definitely an energetic, talkative group of people...so everything's usually very lively when we're around, and we thrive on competition.  Games are our forte.  Any game?  Board games, cards, watching games, etc.  We even all watch Jeopardy every night, and feel sorry for those sisters that have been married off, and their husbands aren't as into watching it, as we always have been.  I had friends growing up (especially my friends that were only children), that would call, and want to come over just to sit in our kitchen and watch (like a sitcom)...and seriously, everyday WAS a sitcom in our house.  Just imagine...six girls (7, counting my mom), 7 hormonal women, drama at its best, and no boys to help intervene.  We definitely got the "Your poor dad" a lot.

I babysat a lot of families growing up, as well.  I've always had a genuine love for children, and thought it was so great that I could get paid, doing what I loved to do.  Once myself and my sisters were all of age to babysit, can you imagine the jackpot a mother had, if they needed a sitter?  Honestly, a mom would call the house, and talk to whichever sister was their primary babysitter, and then if they couldn't do it, the sister would pass the date off to us, and it was up for grabs.  There was one mother that wouldn't even share her babysitter(s)' names (aka us) with her girlfriends when they asked, because she didn't want to lose her goldmine of having six sitters in one household!

I loved all the families I babysat, and still miss them so much!  There was definitely an array of families that I cared for.  One family I babysat one summer had twins - still don't see how parents with multiples manage.  Everything you do, you have to do it twice!  And there was a family of FIVE I sat for one summer, and it didn't bother me at all.  They were sweet kids, which made it super easy!  I had one family that the children would have me sit and draw pictures of their Webkinz, every time I babysat.  Another family, the children would want me to sing songs to them.  And another, they would want me to sit and do art projects with them.  My favorites were probably the "gamers" - the ones that loved to play board games...as long as they didn't cheat!  Everyone I ever babysat lived in my neighborhood too, making it super convenient.

While I still babysat after college, I then became a teacher and had to "raise" around 25 first graders, so I still feel like having four is a piece of cake compared to that.  That's one reason on outings, I seem to get along well because I always compare it to how challenging it was to keep an eye on my entire class on field trips!  And also with my children, I don't have to prepare weekly lesson plans, write progress reports and report cards, etc.  So in my mind, having my own children, and not other children/students, makes life so much easier!

I taught for five years, and stopped after W was born.  And from then on, I took on the role of "mother," and have LOVED my job ever since!  Yes, there are times when I look at the hubs sitting on the couch at night, relaxing, while I'm finishing up the laundry/cleaning the kitchen/packing lunches etc., that I think how nice it would be to have a job that had a start and end time, but nothing compares to being a mother.  And I am so grateful to be able to stay home with my children, and maintain the control I need, even if that involves working overtime.  I thank my parents and my Lord for giving me such a strong Christian foundation, and my main goal now is to instill Christian morals and values in my four children. 

I'm not saying it's easy, life with a large family definitely has its challenges, and we all have our own vices, but I strive to reach for my goal, and hope that they see a Christian figure in me, and the hubs.  And that's what I'll be sharing with y'all each week...a look into our world, and how I handle and raise my four children.  Now come back to me in five years, ten...fifteen...and I know this whole series will be completely different.  But that's what's so neat about life...as your children grow - physically, mentally, and spiritually...so do you...and that is an amazing thing.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more installments of the 'How I Do It' series.  Next week, it's all about Disciplining (y'all, I'm strict!), and some topics later on: Limitations, Sparse Space, Family Involvement, Rewarding Good Behavior, The Napping Hour, Bedtime, Bath Time, Laundry, Showering, Meal Times, A Tidy House...I swear, I could write a book!
___________________________________________________________________________
The winner of the Godwin Gifts giveaway is...
Caroline
She wrote:
Your sister's crafts are too cute!
1. I follow your blog
2.I blogged about your giveaway on 11/29 http://prettyinprep.blogspot.com/
3. I would choose the Lilly coasters or Chevron Mix
4. I added Godwin Gifts as an Etsy favorite
Congratulations!
Please email me within the next 24 hours, at sweetsouthernprep@gmail.com, and I'll get you in touch with Mary-Chase, about which coasters you want, and shipping information.

Thanks again to everyone who entered!  Mary-Chase has graciously offered to give all SSP readers  10% off, through next Monday (December 10th).  So hurry and get your orders in, to have your gifts ready before the Christmas rush!  When ordering, just message her and tell her SSP sent you, and she'll apply the discount!

Hope y'all have a great start to your week!  Still can't believe it's DECEMBER!  My favorite month of the year!  First, my birthday (the 18th - I'll be 32 this year!), and then a week later, CHRISTMAS!

Merry!  Merry!

9 comments:

  1. I think this is going to be my new favorite series! I still feel overwhelmed on outings with two and you have TWICE that. Keep it coming!

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  2. It seems like you have found your "calling". Can't wait to read more!!!

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  3. This is fabulous. I just had my second girl oct 18 and I'm struggling to adjust with two. Looking forward to reading more.

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  4. omg I am so excited about this series! I don't have little ones yet but I am a total planner and can't wait for your do's and dont's. I stopped reading lots of my favorite blogs when I took on a new role at work this last year and I can't believe you have had another baby!! You had just had L the last I remember!!

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  5. Great post! Looking forward to hearing! I have 2.

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  6. Thank you so much for starting this new post topic, I cannot wait to sit down and read this first one! But I just had my lil man #2 this past weekend so I'm so far behind on my blogs and Pinterest! Can't wait to read up, thanks again!!!

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    1. Congratulations, Dina! Hope you and your newest addition are doing well!!

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  7. Thank you, we are doing awesome, boy it's so much easier the 2nd time around! I have somewhat of a clue this time :-) ha ha!

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I love hearing from my readers! Thanks so much for your comments!