The Parish Hall > Family Life

How to raise a Catholic family w/ no Grandparents

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DyingGaul:
As noted in my previous intro, many of us were born into Ignorance.  I'm a fairly new Catholic and I have 3 children under 3 currently.  I would like to have more but it gets more difficult with each new one for one primary reason, We have little to no grand parent assistance other than my own father who can only assist on weekends do the multiple businesses he runs (her father is deceased).  This makes the infant stage extremely difficult. Both our mother's have had multiple husbands (5+) and are not really that interested in their grand children aside from photos and a few hugs with them. 

My question to you all:  When I go to Latin Mass I will see families similar to ours but with 6 or 5 kids under 7.  They seem to manage them well at Mass (which we're working on), but how do they manage so many kids during their day to day lives?  My wife is doing her best but she did not grow up with a highly participative mother so she is having to learn everything about child rearing as she goes (likewise I grew up with no active mother at all).  She is having much difficulty when it comes to dealing with the children and gets stressed very easily. Any advice from those who had large families would be greatly appreciated. 

Thank you all

clau clau:
I would suggest talking to others on the phone. Try to make friends with people in the parish and maybe arrange family visits from time to time.

A trouble aired is a trouble shared.

I know its hard.

I'll say a prayer for you.   :pray1:

The Curt Jester:
My wife and I have three within three years of each other with very little assistance from family because of distance.  It's certainly not easy managing them all the time, especially if I have to be away or at work, but as they get older, it is becoming easier.  The older children will eventually assist with the younger ones.  The fourth child shouldn't be as hard as the third.  There are also families at church who are willing to lend assistance if necessary, although I realize that doesn't help out with the day-to-day activities.

Just go for it.  You never regret the children you have, but you do regret the ones you didn't have (to quote my pastor).

Christina_S:
3 under 3 sounds brutal! I've heard from parents of big families that it gets better after the first three and the transition isn't so difficult. We live across the country from my in-laws and parents, and the lack of support can be such a struggle.

For your wife, I would have two books to recommend. One is How to Raise Good Catholic Children by Mary Reed Newland. Content is basically what's in the title. The other is A Mother's Rule of Life by Holly Pierlot. This covers how to set up a daily routine that is effective for not only practical matters, but also for your budget, your marriage, parenting, and most of all, personal holiness.

See if there are any older kids from church who would be willing to help out with the little ones during the week. Plenty of trad teen girls have experience working with kids and love the opportunity to get out of the house, even for babysitting.

Find out what you and your wife each need in order to feel supported. If you know each other's love languages, that'll help. Maybe she needs an evening to herself once a week to enjoy some quiet time. Maybe you want some kind of gift or physical reminder of her affection. Whatever it is, find a feasible way to make it happen and keep up the teamwork.

diaduit:
Very good advice here.  You are probably at the worst time now but once your eldest reaches 5 or 6, you will find it starts to get a little easier. For now, invest in developing friendships in the trad community and I would hire a teen girl to come in once a week to give you and your wife a break.  Another thing I used to say to hubby was seeing the dishes washed after dinner or the hoovering done for example was worth far more than any bottle of perfume or flowers (while still nice to get) and it actually makes the wife want to please her husband more.

Another thing is look at chores that can be outsourced or made easier, I do my grocery shopping online and get it delivered.  If you can get a cleaner for 10 per hour for example (not sure of where you are from so it might be entirely different), 2 or 3 hours once a week can get bathrooms, floors and surfaces clean or 5 hours once a month and do bedrooms and bathrooms and floors.  Obviously if budget not there then don't.

Lastly, don't and I mean don't look at other families and think they have it ordered.  It just isn't true.  My bottom floor house remains clean and tidy but the 'ahem...lived in look', my upstairs is quite the opposite and because I don't let people ramble around my house, I don't see it as a priority to mind.

Freeing up the chores a bit can take the pressure off your wife where the kids are concerned and getting some free time through paid help might be the way to go otherwise. To be fair, there is not a lot of 'hands on' at the moment with kids directly given their ages, so take some of the daily grind off her hands where you can so that she doesn't feel swamped with all of it.

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