Monday, May 7, 2012

Life with:

Who says you can't photograph five children all smiling??

I get asked how I manage my life with five kids alot.. When we take them all out as a family as we did last Friday night to the football..We are stopped and receive comments about how lovely they all are..How alike they all are..

But mostly comments run along these lines:

You have FIVE kids? (Incredulous looks are a must with this one)
You MUST be busy.. (ah duh..)
How do you cope? (Just like everyone else)
Your husband needs to find another hobby....(How rude..)
When are you having the next one? (????)
You don't look old enough to have five children? ( well shucks..But are you expected to be grey with THIS many?)
How do you manage to get out of the house? (I would go mad if I didn't)
I could never cope with five...(Well I do...Rasberry to you..)
You must be a supermum...(No just regular ..but busy..)
The poor little guy-being mothered by four sisters.. (really that's his big problem?)
Do you have triplets..( no but close I suppose..)
Are they all yours? (Ummm no.. two of them belong to that person behind me and I thought I would steal them and make my life that little bit more chaotic..)
Won't you be glad when all the baby days are over? ( no I'll be very sad..)
I was once referred to as 'The Little Old Woman Who Lived in The Shoe...." You know how the rest goes.. That haunts me still. The person saying it thought they were being humorous..

What is the stigma attached to having large families? Most people who make those comments make me feel like some kind of hippy made good? Their incredulous looks. As if I shouldn't be well dressed or fit..I should be crying into my cereal every morning..."Why me?".. Mostly I take the comments with good grace and even offer up that he was a 'surprise baby'..But it does hurt a little.. 
 Nobody has ever suggested I have remarried or have step-kids thank goodness..I think my kids all look alike enough to have been spared that..

I don't FEEL like I have too many kids? But then I do catch a glance of myself in a shop window marching along with two in a pram and three following and well - I suppose I look busy.

We don't all fit on one medicare card.. Milla and Rylan are on their own..
A family ticket to anything - doesn't come close to covering us..
Invite us all to a party you are having and we MAKE up the party by attending..
I buy meat and veg in BULK.
I can only just fit all of our names on a birthday card..
I have bags of clothes in various sizes in all manner of cupboards..
Our rumpus room is a three-girl bedroom.
If I don't wash clothersevery day it CONSUMES me...and I don't LIKE to wash clothes everyday..
There are toys in EVERY corner of our house - on a good day.
We have five bar stools..
I haven't slept through the night entirely in four years.. ( I did get some between kids 2/3 and 4)

On one hand I worry that having five has been selfish. My kids don't do extracuuricular activities.. They probably won't attend a private high school... They rarely get one-on-one time with either of us..I am quick to get flippant with them..I am very busy and this makes me impatient with them ALOT... Getting sick is horrendous..Aaarghh..It takes an age for them ALL to get and recover from gastro...The bigs had the better part of last week off from school as an example..

But on the other hand..They are so close. The big girls are so gentle and supportive of Milla and Rylan. I do actually get time to myself because they ALL play together with very little argument.. They dress and bath him for me..We do cheap family things..Ride our bikes..Play at the park.. TOGETHER.. He idolises his sisters. Watching him trail them around the house is pure delight..Jemma loves to read Milla a bedtime story now and then..Giving me some space to get other things done...Getting the theme here? 
I have had the pleasure of being pregnant four times.. I have breastfed them all and enjoyed babyhood five times over.. I am now doing the kinder thing all over and I am loving it.. I think I will be bereft when they are ALL school age.. I have been a mother to babies for ten  and half years.
Having new babies with older kids has also been pure delight for the bigger girls.. The excitment of all their firsts are tripled.. They have an appreciation of being a mother that I never had until I became one myself.. They can change nappies like a pro..They get him out of bed. Brush his teeth.. Help Milla LEARN to put her clothes on herself? How do they know to do that??  Milla is into Harry Potter..Ha..Runs around the house chanting 'spelliarmus' with a fake wand.. She sits and watches the movies with her sisters and cuddles into one of them in the scary parts.. Funny I would never have allowed the bigs to watch those movies at her age...

Really...For me... five is pure joy. I love every moment of the rollercoaster ride..Seeing how they are together is I think, my greatest gift. I could never have seen my future as the mother to five...But I can't imagine a day without any of them now...  I try everyday to kiss or cuddle each of tell them that I love them or ask them about their day or listen to something inconsequential they have to say to me - that is of very high importance to them.. That in itself consumes ten minutes of my precious time  - LOL!

I truly don't see myself how strangers see me..  Crazy..Busy..Mad...Supermum..

They are my kids..Sure there are alot of them..But each of them is totally divine..



  1. I would say you have five gorgeous blessings - enjoy every minute of them. Being a mum is hard work and rewarding at the same time; so I would say that all those people with negative comments really do admire you!! (if that makes sense) I hate how this society really shuns larger families when it really is just beautiful.
    You sound like an amazing mum ☺☺

  2. I am very proud of you my dear, you are so very blessed. You do it all with such a positive outlook and take it in your stride. It is a great thing having older siblings to help out, I only wonder if Tobey and Lilly will be the same...

    I miss you!

    Mel xx

  3. such a gorgeous post!! i am one of 5 kids myself, and i love it...

  4. Celeste this is a beautiful post! I admire you as you are a beautiful woman with 5 adorable children. I love how you keep it real......who cares what others think....your children will be amazing adults because of the way you have bought them up.x

  5. Here here to each and every comment and that is coming from me, the mother of 4 who still gets all the comments you do. I sometimes feel like I should have my ciggies in my t-shirt sleeve and be on I like the crying into cereal
    Yes it is busy but I sooo look forward to big loud Christmas's with grandkids one day (even though they are still loud now). My sister has 5 too and my SIL 3 so yes, we do make our own parties very easily.
    You are super duper fabulous and your kids are just gorgeous. Love that photo.
    Great post. You must scrap all of that.

  6. Well I congratulate you! I have 4 and I wish I had more. Now that the 3 older ones are in their 20's it is good to see them grown up, but I miss all the baby, pre'school stuff.. I was the youngest of 5, my dad was a farmer, we were brought up simply (another way of saying we were not rich) and now that we kids are in our 50's you realize time and again how blessed we have been to have been a part of a large family.. you have this bunch of people in your life that help each other.. when my dad had a massive heart op a few years ago we all banded together and were support to get through it all for mum... your kids are a blessing, and you are blessed... you do what you need to do, and I dont understand why people have to have an opinion on things that are no business of theirs.. good on you I say.. I love your photos, hearing your light hearted journalling about family life, I would rather be reading that than the gossip mags about unreal people who are up themselves.. Have a wonderful week and I know your Mothers day is going to be super duper with your beautiful kids!!

  7. love this post ;)
    i get the same thing with my 4...but i wouldn't have it any other way. giving them each other i think is the greatest thing we can give them. They have relationships that some kids NEVER experience and I think THAT is worth crying over ;)

  8. oh, and i have FIVE siblings myself and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

  9. Beautiful post Celetse. I'm hearing you xo I'll never forget the 'vintage chair photo shoot" when we both had all our kids for the afternoon you were at the front of the line I was at the back of all ELEVEN of them! perfect photo moment except I didn't have the camera on me and we were crossing a busy road!

  10. What a lovely post :) I love the outlook you have, and the way you have of saying things. How lucky you all are to have each other.

    Oh, and I can relate to the bit about Harry Potter - I have a 3 year old who also knows about him and chants spells!