An Army of Kids

122 Comments

I have a mere three kids and I constantly feel overwhelmed by the insanity and chaos at home. I am in complete awe of people who have four, five or six children. Seriously. You people are my heroes.

Then, there are the people who have twelve kids. Or fifteen. Or the Duggars with an army of kids. Those people, I’ve never been much in awe of, because I’ve been too busy thinking they are fucking insane.

Grocery shopping, meal times, doctors visits, bath time… I get a headache just thinking about it all. Honestly, it sounds like hell. I’m quite certain I would drown.

At least I was, until this week.

This week, Lily finally started with some regular household chores. She’s in charge of folding the laundry and tidying the playroom, two banes of my existence. Her allowance? Three bucks a week.

Three bucks a week for my most dreaded tasks. Three bucks a week for organizing, folding and putting away little shirts, shorts and bathing suits. Pairing socks. Separating Lego’s from Transformers. Building train-tracks and tidying playschool houses.

OMG. It’s the best thing ever.

Is this how it works when your kids get older? You pawn off your dreaded tasks onto them in return for money you’d still be otherwise still spending on them?

I’m beginning to think the Duggars might not be so freaky after all.

Comments

  1. 1

    OneHonestMom says

    Although I’ve heard that the more kids you have, the easier it is, I am just not willing to try it out….I mean, it’s not like they come with a money back guarantee. Two is more than I can handle..thankyouverymuch.

  2. 2

    Jennifer says

    I keep trying to get Baby Girl to do some chores (unload the dishwasher), but I’ve been unsuccessful. I need to try harder.

  3. 3

    Julie says

    Pretty much sums it up. We have six kids. Five of them are 19 and up and moved out and on their own. When they were home we never owned a dishwasher… after all I have FIVE of them. Now that it’s just me, hubby and our two year old… a dishwasher is a necessity! :)

  4. 4

    Carolyn says

    First I’ll admit, I like watching The Duggars. They have well-behaved, thoughtful children.
    But you got it right, they pawn off chores to the older children. I saw an episode where the mom was left with 6 of the younger ones and had to call in reinforcements, something I’d totally do.
    As for my kids, they’ll get some chores and rewards. I think it’s a good idea to involve them.

  5. 5

    Alison@Mama Wants This says

    I think it’s time I start adding to the brood. Laundry folding and tidying up??? Magic words.

  6. 6

    vanillasugarblog says

    that photo of all those kids is kind of wild.
    all i keep thinking is what is their grocery bill like?
    what kind of hot water heater do they have?
    LOL for real

  7. 8

    Anne says

    As soon as I saw the title of your post and the picture, I had this mental image of the Duggars rallying their army of kids to invade the neighboring farms and annex them in the name of Duggar.

    I clearly have not had enough coffee today.

    Good job getting Lily to do chores!

  8. 9

    By Word of Mouth Musings says

    My kids rely on my anal nature being unable to pass by a pillow without fluffing it, that clearly I am up to getting it all done myself … hmm, must fix that.
    Altho living in the eternal showhouse has served well in the general tidyness of life. (maybe we will just keep on moving, what a fab master plan)

  9. 10

    Elisa says

    I have four kids and it is a LOT of work, but the older ones do help out. They aren’t really willing to do many chores (even for money!) but they help out with the younger ones for free, giving me more time to get things done.

  10. 11

    Kristin says

    My husband sometimes sees families like the Duggars and others with lots and lots of kids (Ghenghis Khan or SisterWives, for example), and he bemoans not having spread his genetic code as much as these folks. I tell him he can go to a sperm bank and go at it, but I’m fine with my two.

  11. 12

    Cammie says

    My daughter is 13 and she has been expected to help out around the house for quite a while now since it has just been her & I for many years. She carries her own laundry to & from the basement, folds and puts away her clothes (folds mine too if I wash everything together!) , unloads the dishwasher, takes out the garbage, and will help sweep & mop if I ask her too. Of course she has to clean her own room as well. The joys of having her be able to help out around the house outweighs the hormonal PMS insanity thing that she has going on right now … mostly lol.

  12. 13

    Angie says

    I think that this is disgusting! It’s like breeding for some statement or some religious sacrifice! I don’t think it’s completely normal for HUMAN BEING to have such an astronomical amount of chitlins! For animals, maybe like dogs or cats or creatutpres trying to keep their breed alive! We are not meant for litters of kids! I think it’s irresponsible to have so many children, they got kids taking care of kids under that roof!

    • 14

      Missy says

      I don’t understand why people get so angry over it.
      The family supports themselves. They are not on welfare. They make their own money and support their own children on their own.
      What does it matter how many kids they have? it’s not affecting you.
      How is it irresponsible when they are financially supporting their own children?

      • 15

        Kate says

        I think any more than 5 children is hugely irresponsible. The resources they consume, the clean water? schooling? I think it’s selfish on the part of the parents.

        • 16

          Leslie says

          No what would be irresponsible is if they had that many children and didn’t care for them. I think they are a little crazy having so many children but that is their choice and they aren’t hurting anyone.

    • 17

      Emily says

      I can’t imagine doing it myself, but they seem to be raising responsible, loving, intelligent children. What’s wrong with wanting to send as many good and kind people out into the world as possible?

      • 18

        Dairinn says

        Unfortunately, there is a fine line between teaching your children to be responsible by having them help out with the younger ones and making your older kids raise your younger ones. My mother is the oldest of 8 and her youngest sister is 19 years younger then her. When she left home, at 18, her youngest brothers, who was about 3 and 1 at the time, wanted to know way there mommy was leaving them.

  13. 19

    Missy says

    Yep. The day they can do chores is the best day ever.
    And they don’t consider them WORK. They even like doing things to help me out with the younger one; getting him some water, putting some crackers in a bowl for him, etc.
    That’s how the Duggars do it. I remember watching one show and they said that each older child is assigned a younger child to help watch over.
    Each week, they rotate which older child is in charge of the laundry.
    It really does get easier the more you have because the older children can contribute to chores.

  14. 20

    Katie Martin says

    I am one of 9 children (by the same mother and father, who are still married, god bless them). I now have 2 of my own and think everyday how on EARTH did my mother survive and not kill each and everyone of us. Yes, it does get easier as they get older. Being #5 I definitely changed my fair share of dirty diapers by the time I left for college. But we were never paid for chores, didn’t get an allowance and didn’t know any different. My mother was incredible, she cleaned, cooked, drove carpools EVERYTHING. And rarely asked for help from us. To this day, I am in awe of her. My kids are 2 and 5, and they do chores, put away their own toys, love cleaning toilets and bathrooms, vacuum, wash dishes. Granted I have to help them a bit, but I LOVE it!! My mom cracks up at them cleaning…. but hey – better them than me :-)

  15. 21

    Carolyn (temysmom) says

    I have three too and it has been a crazy roller coaster ride… until recently. Now my oldest is old enough to stay home and watch her sisters. OMG… FREEDOM! I can run to the store, I can go get my hair cut, I can finally leave them at home and be free for an hour or two. AND… she makes my coffee in the morning, she helps her sisters and yes, she does dishes and folds clothes. She gets $6.00 a week – I would gladly pay $20… but don’t tell her. Shhhh. I’m not having any more kids but it would be so much easier for me if I had a baby now that I have live-in help.

  16. 24

    Tasha says

    I have 7. I hope that doesn’t put me into the “disgusting” range of breeders. Believe me, it wasn’t a religious sacrifice. The only thing I sacrificed was my uterus and that was bad enough.

    My kids are: 17, 13, 11, 7, 5, 3, and 19 months. The older ones do help a ton. It is part of being a family and making this thing run. Note: I didn’t say smoothly. I’m content with simply running.

    I always tell my friends with 3 or so little ones under 5, how they should def not be in awe of me. I am in awe of them. I may have 7, but I have a lot of extra hands to help.

    • 25

      Nery says

      Wow! I admire u. We were 7 kids at home and yes, the big ones were much help to my Mom. Big families are the best!!

      • 26

        Scary Mommy says

        I didn’t say disgusting, I said insane. :) But, you are not either. I just don’t know how you do it!

  17. 27

    Aimee @ Ain't Yo Mama's Blog says

    I guess I’m pretty lucky. I only have one 3 year old (and one on the way) and he has clearly inherited OCD-ness from both my husband and myself. He always puts his toys and books away without asking, likes to help me with laundry, and loves to sweep and mop. He even loves to brush his teeth and bathe. Just like his parents, he hates clutter and dirt…but he seems to have it a bit worse than us. It’s like we created an extreme strain of OCD in this kid. The upside is that he is absurdly organized and clean for a 3 year old. The downside will undoubtedly be the future therapy bills.

  18. 28

    kat says

    I just had my 4th 3wks ago. My house is like a circus, thankfully my older 2 are now is school. My 3yr old is still adjusting to having a younger brother. When it comes to cleaning my 5yr old is more than happy to help in exchange for a new toy, my 4 and 3yr old not so much, they refuse to do anything.

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