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Mom of 5: What’s It Really Like?

What is life like for a Mom of 5?

I’m not sure what might have brought you to this post. Are you a fellow Mom of 5 and you are looking for encouragement? Perhaps you are a Mom of 4 and you are pregnant with your fifth or adopting your fifth? Maybe you’re just curious about Mom life and the search engine powers that be brought you to this post. Whatever the reason that you’re here, I’m glad you want to know more about my life. It makes me feel seen, and valued for you to be here.

Why so many kids?

This is probably the number one question I get about being a Mom of 5. When I was pregnant, it was the worst! Complete strangers would make jokes about how I must not know how getting pregnant happens, as if this was an accident. Or they would ask if I had all girls and was “trying” for a boy or vice versa. Being pregnant was a trying time for me in dealing with the general public. There was a definite palpable distaste for someone choosing to have this many kids. And it felt yucky.

Not an Accident

However, I still haven’t answered the question as to why we have so many kids. I generally answer this question with an even more outlandish statement so that inquisitive minds are clearly convinced that this was intentional. I almost always respond with, “Well, I wanted to have 10 kids and at least I made it halfway!” This generally gives people the idea that this was, in fact, completely intentional.

Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to have a lot of kids! I used to play daycare and school as a child. No, I don’t come from a large family. I didn’t even really know many large families at a young age. But it was a desire placed on my heart from as early as I can remember. I just always wanted to have a big family. It seemed fun, and happy, and like it would mean a house full of love and energy. And in fact, it does mean that.

Now, some may ask if my husband had the same desire to have 10 kids. Absolutely not. He was certainly not baby crazy and had no intention of having 10 kids. When we did premarital counseling, which I recommend for all couples, this was clearly a sticking point. So we agreed on 3 for sure, and that we would take each additional one by one. I made it to 5! The reasons were mostly medical that we had to stop at 5, but my husband was also relieved to have our family complete with five. Mom of 5 became part of my identity.

Is life chaotic as a Mom of 5?

No, my life is not chaotic. Is it busy? Yes. Do I juggle many schedules, personalities, and needs? Absolutely. But I am up for the challenge. I’ve always been a Type A personality. I enjoy being busy, getting an A, and having my life and space organized. This is a great match for having a lot of kids. I don’t generally allow my home or my life to be chaotic because it’s one of my highest priorities to avoid that. There’s a difference between chaotic and busy. We are busy. We are not chaotic.

What does schooling look like?

If you’ve read any of my blog, you’ll know that we are a hybrid homeschooling family. This means that my kids attend a school two days a week and they are home three days a week. On homeschooling days, that does mean that there are times when our house can feel like Grand Central Station. The piano teacher is coming and going, a driving instructors takes a teen for a lesson, a friend visits in the afternoon, there’s theater practice or soccer or gymnastics or something in the evening. And then there’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Don’t get me wrong, it requires a lot of organization and energy. But it can be done, and it can be done well.

In fact, I wrote a whole book about our homeschooling life! There are schedules, recommendations for time management, curriculum, and more. It’s an essential and practical guide to the nitty gritty of how I organize my life. Since I also run my blog and social channels, as well as have a University job online, working at home presents even more challenges to our schedule. I cover work from home Mom life in the book as well!

Homeschooling Simplified: Practical Tips and Encouragement for the Journey by Amber M. Shimel

If you are interested in homeschooling, I have lots of resources on this website that will help you figure out if it’s for you. It’s not best for everyone. But if you’ve always wished you could give it a try, I believe in you! I truly believe that homeschooling helps our home be much more calm because it allows for a more relaxed schedule. Doing homework in your pajamas is about as relaxed as it gets!

Do you actually like each other?

Yes, we actually do. Of course, I don’t have a crystal ball. And I can’t predict future. I can only pray, do the best I can day by day, and with the grace of God, we will continue to like each other. No family is perfect. And ours isn’t either. But we do actually like each other and enjoy spending time with each other. How did this happen? As I have my firstborn graduating from high school soon, I have at least one childhood to look back on and reflect on. I think a few things were really important along the way.

First, being respectful to each other guides so much of my parenting. I am constantly reminding the kids to listen to each other, to be respectful when someone else is talking, from the youngest to the oldest. We don’t talk over each other. We don’t shout. Allowing each person to be heard and respected is extremely important to me. And it’s something that I hope will follow my children into their adult sibling relationships.

Second, we actively try to find things to do together that we all actually enjoy. During the teen years, or preteen years depending on when puberty hits, I think it can be really easy for parents to have mostly negative interactions with their children. But during these difficult years, if I have one negative or corrective conversation with my child, I try to have double the amount of positive interactions in the near future. I really try to find things that we can share and mutually enjoy. Having shared interests is important in any relationship. And the parent child relationship is no different.

Mom of 5 at Disney World

Finally, we center our lives around our faith. We go to worship together, we make time for personal devotions and group devotions in our homeschooling day, and we discuss the intricacies of having a personal belief system. I certainly do not shy away from hard conversations and difficult topics. And I’m honest with my kids when as aspect of my faith or our faith community is difficult or challenging for me. I want my kids to know that while it’s sometimes not easy to believe, it’s of the utmost importance. Not all good things are easy.

Life as a Mom of 5 is Wonderful

It truly is my greatest blessing. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. We love hard, we work hard, and we play hard. On my website, you’ll find lots of information on homeschooling and Mom life, but you’ll also find even more on our Disney trips, travel, and theme parks. We love to have fun and make memories. Thank you for being here and for reading my thoughts. And if you’re about to enter or are part of the Mom of 5 club, welcome! It’s the best club in the world!

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