Monday, October 25, 2010

Order In Our Home-- a short series (part 1)

Originally I wrote Order In The Home, but I erased that and changed it to Our Home... because really, what works for me might not work for you.  Having five little ones in the house is a true challenge for me.  The oldest is not quite 8 years and the youngest is not quite 8 weeks .  Noise reigns.  I don't like noise. Between the boys who can't seem to speak quietly even when they are sitting beside me and the baby who cries when she is hungry (or wet or tired), some days I walk outside and forbid anyone to join me just so I can get a minute (literally a minute) of quiet. 

But it is not just the noise.  I'm challenged by the simple demands of dressing and feeding and teaching five little ones seven days a week.  I need order. and I think they thrive on it, too, even if they don't realize it.  I love the overall sense of calm that comes when everyone knows what is expected of them.  It is that realization that even when I am overwhelmed (which is daily), there are things which are certain. 

One place where we expect order is the dinner table.  We allow breakfast and lunch to be relaxed, come-and-go meals, but we have a set of standards for our evening meal.  We eat together at the table.  (The only exceptions are when Brian is working late or if someone is sick.)  We participate in conversation together.  No one is allowed to get up until they are excused...and no one is allowed to ask repeatedly to be excused!  Everyone has to eat what is on their plates, though we show grace.  We don't say "yuck" or "gross" at the table...

Our biggest challenge is keeping the toddler in his seat.  We generally put away the highchair when our kids reach the 16-18 month range and have learned to climb out of the straps.  After that, they are  moved to a regular seat at the table.  They love the freedom, sometimes a little too much! 

Our dinnertime is not a rigid or rule-filled meal.  It is simply a mealtime with the expectation that everyone will be polite (even if they are a bit loud) and put others first.  Isn't that what order is about anyway-- knowing that your place is almost always below someone else? 


  1. Great post... and its nice to hear that other Mamas struggle with the noise and need order. I am desperately trying to cut down on the chaos. I'm frightened by my desire to have more children because I barely make it somedays and I only have 3.... Thanks for being so open and transparent.

  2. A home with five kiddos is not always quiet is it? Yet, I desperately need some quiet in my day. :) I also remind myself that all too soon I will miss the noise.

    I loved your post and look forward to reading the rest.

    And how long did my daybook take? Would you laugh if I said a couple of weeks? Seriously!! I've been trying/wanting to work on one for the last couple of Mondays. Monday mornings are just not the best time for me to work on a post. :)


  3. I'm happy to hear about this series...I crave order, though our home rarely feels ordered these days. Your dinnertimes sound a lot like ours...

  4. I feel like my three by them selves make as much noise as 6 when they want to,when my 4( so with 7 kids total)younger siblings came to visit i swear it was actually quieter LoL
    Walking outside is great for relaxing when your at your limit ,i do that too.
    definitly order is the key to sanity alot of the time:)

  5. Meal times are pretty much the same way here. Breakfast is very laid back, lunch a little less so, and dinner is our most 'formal.'

    The noise in our house is crazy too. I am constantly reminding everyone to use inside voices...and the wood floors don't help.

    I have to have some sort of Quiet Time each day. At nap time...and we're still (months into it) struggling for a new routine for this.

    I have found, that if I'm desperate...I can read aloud, while allowing the kids to draw or color...and amazingly, they quiet and settle down. We may be doing this a lot more.

    off to read part know, since I'm not gonna be writing my own post...


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