Note from Naomi: Today's post is a guest post from Caroline, a wife and mama to five, soon to be six (!) wee ones. She has written about her experience of being a parent to more than the average number of children, and you can check out her blog over at Mums Misbehaving!
My name is Caroline and I've been watching Cbeebies straight for 11 years. I have a very large family and I wouldn't change that. Being a mum to many, may look like hard work - and it is - but it is a rewarding experience and my children are the best thing that have ever happened to me.
What a cliche!
I have three older children who are all very mature and responsible, my eldest girl is in grammar school and so therefore we are all beneath her and humbled when we are blessed with her company! My twin boys are eleven and are in their very last year of primary school. Then we have the little ones. My toddler is as unreasonable and demanding as the next toddler but just that little bit worse. She has big hair and big attitude. She is the boss of the entire household and we have to remember that... at all times. The baby is a lovely little thing, she came along two years later and is very much the calm after the storm! Finally, we have bump! I will very soon be mum to three boys and three girls.
So much has changed since my first child to my last child as well. The shock of my first baby will be an experience I don't think I will ever forget! Then the twins came along. It was hard work, I can't lie. Three lots of nappies, three lots of feeding, three of everything.
Three times the love!
This time I will be doing it again with three young ones and three older ones but I know to relax a lot more and enjoy it. Don't wish that time away, it truly is precious.
It gets easier as you get older though and I find I am much more relaxed and less prone to panic, having several children is much easier than just one - they play with each other and always have company, they learn to share faster and interact well which I think gives them a good head start into nursery. The older ones take a general interest in the younger ones but mostly find them to be an annoyance. I am 20 weeks pregnant right now and haven't been able to find the words yet to explain that there will be another addition to the household.
I am stuck driving a Zafira because let's face it, a two seater convertible is just not on the cards, and holidays are more than likely going to be caravan trips in North Wales for the next few years. Money is tighter, but love and affection is free. One good thing about having a very small age gap between babies is of course, reusing cots and chairs. I will now definitely get my money's worth from the expensive bouncer I bought a few months ago.
With so many kids, the house is always busy and there is always something that needs doing. There is not much sitting around relaxing here! If it isn't cooking, it's washing and cleaning, maybe homework and then chasing kids around to brush their teeth. Actually brush them. Not just dab toothpaste around their chops and hope I don't notice. If you happen to pop in, you won't be offered a cup of tea but you might be passed a bottle for the baby or have a toddler to entertain for a little while. High heels have been swapped for flat comfortable shoes and a luxury really is a lie in. I will miss all this one day so am making sure I enjoy every minute of it.