Large families can often struggle to deal with conflicting commitments, keeping a home in order and making time to maintain relationships. Here are ten smart tips that will help you navigate the major challenges that come with being part of an extremely big family.
1. Get everyone to help out
If you are living with a large family, everyone needs to pitch in. It can be useful to assign particular types of chores to different family members, or to have a schedule that allows chore allocations to rotate depending on the week. A chart on the wall can help everyone to remember who is supposed to be doing specific tasks.
2. Be organized
Being part of any family requires organizational skills, but large families will simply descend into chaos if you do not have routines and plans in place. In particular, if you are raising lots of children, then you need to have set places for important items (such as car keys), and you should use your smartphone’s calendar to carefully schedule everyone’s unique activities.
3. Use hand-me-downs
Do not buy new sets of clothes for each child in a large family. Instead, save time and money by keeping clothes in good condition and passing them down to younger children. You can also ask other family members to donate any clothing that is too small for their children.
4. Make time for each relationship
There can be huge numbers of one-to-one relationships in a large family, and each of these relationships requires nurturing. Do your best to spend an equal amount of special time with each family member, and monitor the household for signs that someone might be feeling left out.
5. Initiate a ‘ten-minute tidy’ routine
You will be amazed at how much better the house will look if you ask everyone in the family to participate in a ‘ten-minute tidy’ at the end of the day. When a large family works together, you can get a lot done in a very short amount of time.
6. Be ruthless
It is tempting to keep every little thing that your children create and to hold on to all the souvenirs you pick up on trips. However, extremely big families need to find creative ways to store all of these items or accept that most things may need to be photographed and then thrown away. There simply will not be room to hold onto every keepsake.
7. Buy in bulk
It can cost huge amounts of money to feed an extremely big family, so it makes sense to become a member of a warehouse store where you can buy in bulk. On a related note, it can be helpful to plan meal menus well in advance so that you do not need to go shopping as often.
8. Color code laundry
Use permanent markers on all labels so that you will always know which pants, skirts, and shirts belong to which family member. You can also make a small colored mark on the soles of socks to indicate their owner.
9. Use a tent on vacation
If you want to have fun family vacations without breaking the bank, it is a good idea to think about investing in a tent and planning an outdoor trip. Hotel rooms can be incredibly expensive for large families, and enjoying nature also gives the family a chance to enjoy more space than they are used to having at home.
10. Make time for your romantic relationship
If you and your spouse are raising a daunting number of children, your romantic relationship can easily become neglected. Try to find good babysitters and helpful friends who are happy to look after your children so that you can have regular date nights with your spouse.
It can be very difficult to juggle all of the different commitments and needs in a large family. However, keeping the above tips in mind should help you to improve relationships, run your household, and maintain good communication.