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4 Moms Discuss Noise Control

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4 Moms on Parenting

Here is a reader question The 4 Moms are discussing this week:

While I am accustomed to the noise that my children produce (which I don't consider too excessive), my family often makes comments about it and seems annoyed by them after a short period of time. How do you deal with your children's noise, especially when company is over?

Here's where I admit that I have no idea how to answer this question.

You see, we are a loud people. I come from a long line of loud people, since I have a sister who was born deaf, and another sister who is hard of hearing.

And my husband is a loud talker. We often tease that when he's on the phone he doesn't trust that his voice will transmit through the phone line, so he has to talk loud enough for the other person to hear him all the way in Kansas, or wherever he is.

And the apples, as they say, don't fall far from the tree.

Plus, we are laughers. And funny-story tellers. And showoffs. Yep. We're one of those spicy families.

So, whenever we are in the presence of those who I suspect are uncomfortable with our rowdiness, I do a lot of holding my index finger up to my lips and saying, "Shhhhh!!!" and "Hush!" and "Not so loud!" and "Why don't you go play outside?" and "I am so sorry. We are a loud people..."

What I'm trying to say is that if you get invited to our house, you may want to be prepared for a whole lot of lively.

Now, you might have better luck getting some real advice about noise control from one of the other members of my 4 Moms team.

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Large Family Moms Answer Questions About Bath Time, Quality Time, and Doctor Appointments

4 Moms on Parenting

How many kiddos do you bathe at a time?

I have bathed as many as 3 little ones together at one time. This included an independently sitting baby, a toddler, and a 4 year old.

These days I encourage the 3 and 5 year old to take a bath together, and everyone else takes one by themselves.

How do you make quality one on one time with your spouse happen when you have all littles (8, 3, 2, 2, 2, 1)?

I remember the days well when Mama and Daddy couldn't leave the house alone unless a babysitter was hired or grandparents were in town.

During those days, we enforced a strict 8:30 bedtime and often watched movies together while enjoying a snack of popcorn or ice cream.

It was a rare and special treat to have a babysitter take care of the kids while we left the house.

If you have grandparents who can help out, or even friends you can trade free babysitting nights with, that will allow you to have a special night out.

If you don't have anyone to help out, make use of the early bedtime and save a movie and a special snack to enjoy with your sweetie once a week.

How do you keep pencils and crayons OFF the floor???

Do you have someone named "Not Me" who lives in your house, too? It seems whenever I walk into a room and say, "Who left these things on the floor?", that rascal, Not Me is at fault!

We solve this problem by having frequent "tidy up" times during the day. We all storm one room, and as they say, "Many hands make light work."

How do you arrange your doctor/dentist appointments?

I try to stay away from the doctor's office unless absolutely necessary. We don't do "check ups" or "well visits", so I don't worry about scheduling those. I'm pretty sure having 8 healthy children qualifies me to determine for myself whether they are progressing normally or not.

For dentist appointments, I try to get them in 3-4 at a time. I leave one big kid home to watch the little ones I don't take and haul the rest in together.

Just this month we have had 7 dentist appointments over 3 different days. (I have one more to go.) So far we have 5 out of 7 kids that are cavity free!

Now, be sure to see what questions the other large family moms are answering.

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4 Moms Discuss Managing the House and Nursing a Baby With ONLY Small Children

4 Moms on Parenting

How do you manage the house with ONLY little ones? How do you find time to nurse the baby when all of your children are young?

Managing the home is a big job, no matter the number of children you have.

Managing the home with only small children is like herding cats.

Managing the home with only small children while nursing a baby is like herding cats on crack.

What I'm trying to communicate is you have a big job ahead of you, but you are just the lady to do it, with some planning and determination.

Here are some tips:

  • Making a schedule for your day can keep you on track and help you remember what is highest in priority on your list.
  • Keeping a basket of read aloud books next to the chair you nurse the baby in can make that a sweet time for all. Call the children around and let them listen to you read as you feed the baby.
  • See these tips for nursing and managing the home.

Be sure to see the tips my 4 Moms partners share.

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4 Moms Answer Questions About Bedrooms, Family Meetings, and Church Camp

4 Moms on Parenting

The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are answering questions about bedroom arrangements, family meetings, and church camp.

Here are the questions we got from readers on our 4 Moms Facebook page.

Some of you have all girls and one boy. What age does he get his own room?

Our only boy is now 16 and has his own room, but he has occasionally shared a room with a sister.

When he was 5 years old, there was a short period of time that he shared with Madison, our oldest and his closest sibling in age.

Then when he was 11 years old, he shared a room with his baby sister, Emelyn, who he is still very close to today.

Ideally, a boy would not share a room with a sister, but having an only boy and 7 sisters presents a special challenge. We are blessed now to have plenty of space to give him his own room, but when we didn't we made do the best we could.

Do you conduct family meetings? If so, how do you structure them?

We do have family meetings, but not on a regular schedule. When we are going on vacation, as we will be soon, and need to talk about travel arrangements and logistics, or as we are starting a new school year, or if we have a special announcement to make we will call a family meeting.

It usually goes something like this:

Mom and Dad: Everyone come to the dining room table. We have some things to talk to you about.

Random Kid: You're pregnant again?!

Me: No, I'm not pregnant. We need to talk about packing for vacation.

Kids: (disappointed) Awwww!

I would say we find a need to call family meetings once every couple of months, but we would be fine with having them more or less, as needed.

Since we eat dinner together around the table, we do a lot of informal meeting anyway.

Do you do sleepaway camp? (You know, like the week long Christian camp thing kids go on with their youth groups.) If you do, at what ages? If you don't, why not?

Once our kids approach the age of 12 or 13, we consider whether they are mature enough to spend a week away from us at church camp. We have allowed some to go earlier than others, and we have revoked the privelege of going to camp if a lack of making good decisions at home is seen.

We like that our children who go to camp are there with siblings who will gladly rat out any mischief or disrespect. Thankfully, this has never had to be reported to us.

Now, be sure to see what questions are being answered by the rest of my 4 Moms team.

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4 Large Family Moms Answer Questions on Breakfast, Preparing for a New School Year, and Funerals

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4 Moms on Parenting


"How do you psyche yourself up to begin preparations for the next (home)school year?"

This is always difficult for me because I like to enjoy the dickens right out of summer until the last possible minute. For us, that includes lots of late nights camping out on the trampoline, sleeping late, swimming, and reading whatever we want without having to write or grade a report on it.

So basically, August comes creeping up on me and I'm all, "School? Curriculum? Whuh?"

I know. I might have to turn in my Homeschool Mom card.

But I usually manage to carve out a few days in mid to late August to go through the books and supplies in my curriculum closet to see what can be re-used (I re-use a LOT) and what needs to be ordered. I always try to buy used curriculum if I can.

When it is time for school to start, I post the new schedule, and everyone gets shiny new supplies. I arrange those on the school table for the kids to find in the morning on the first day. They love this tradition, too. It's like Christmas!

"What are your favorite summer breakfasts?"

"How does your family cope with death and grieving? Do your children attend funerals, or not?"

My children haven't experienced the death of a grandparent or sibling, but we have lost dear friends or Sunday school teachers who we had seen and hugged the week before.

We do take all of our children to funerals with us. There have been tears and questions and we handle that the best we can.

Although it doesn't compare, our children have also experienced the death of pets. I think this has given them a little practice in knowing that sometimes we lose those that are dear to us, and that is part of life.

Now be sure to see what the rest of my 4 Moms team is tackling in this week's Q&A!

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4 Moms Discuss Nursing Babies


How do you nurse and get everything else done around the home without having older children or family around to help? Do you have a method for nursing and walking around? If so could you describe how? Any other suggestions for multitasking? Do you nurse while writing?

Here are previous posts I have written on nursing babies:

Now, I have a good news/bad news answer for this question, and you probably know what's coming.

The bad news is you can't get everything done around the home without help while nursing a baby. Since a newborn needs to nurse every 2-4 hours, that means you will be taking a break from most of your activities and sitting or lying down with the baby.

The good news is every 2-4 hours you get to take a break from most of your activities to sit or lie down with your baby! You will need plenty of rest (and water) to keep up your milk supply, and nursing is the perfect time for that.

This means you will have to prioritize your "to do" list to make sure the most important things get done. Some of the things that get done when there isn't a newborn in the house will fall by the wayside, and you want to arrange it so those things aren't critical to anyone's survival.

My "to do when I have a nursing baby" list looks something like this:

  • Feed the people. 
  • Clothe the people.
  • Talk nice words to the people.

Anything beyond that list is extra credit, and I nominate myself for Mother of the Year.

There are things you can accomplish while sitting and nursing a baby.

  • Read silently.
  • Read aloud.
  • Color one-handed.
  • Sing songs.
  • Type one-handed.

You can also stand and walk while nursing a baby, and sling or wrap can even allow you to do this hands free, with a little practice. The key to this is positioning and a baby who doesn't mind the sling. Once you get the hang of using a sling for nursing, you can do lots of things simultaneously.

  • Wash dishes.
  • Fold laundry.
  • Make sandwiches.

Above all, give yourself a break. The nursing season is so short in the grand scheme of things, and you won't want to look back with regret on how you wished it away. If the laundry sits in baskets while you nurse your baby, the world won't come crashing down. Do what you can and let the rest go.

Now, be sure to see what the rest of my 4 Moms team has to say about getting things done while nursing a baby.

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