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MOTHERS WITH BIG FAMILIES my 2 cents
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amother






Post  Mon, Dec 18 2006, 1:06 pm
The original OP here. I guess it does depend on the character of the parents if they are calm and know how to balance than its good but if not than it doesn't matter how many children. I guess I even see it in myself and I only have once child that I m not doing wel coping with one. The amother who has a big family I realy would like to talk to you and learn from you on how you manage. Do you have an annonymous email? Thank you to those who understood and who put in their good input. it realy opened up my eyes especialy the last posts from people with big families who didn't feel the pressure and feel that they got the attention and b'h are very good people with good midos and all.
Honestly the first response that was given by crayon hurt me very much I thought it was very discusting and it hurt me more because unfourtunately I hear that kind of a response I hear a lot from my husband who at most of the time doesn't care as to what I have to say even though its important I come to this forum to talk and say what I think not to get this kind of a response ''and who asked your opinion'' and if I were yael I would kick this lady out. yes I m that hurt!
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mama247




 
 
 


Post  Mon, Dec 18 2006, 1:15 pm
I agree that this family op is describing is not just your typical large family spiraling out of control. This is severe emotional abuse that , even in the most disorganized large families, you don't regularly see. So I think the controversy is over this specific family and not over large families in general. It is unfair of op to make generalizations like this based on the messed up family she was unfortunate enough to have a connection with. As you can see from many of the posts, there are so many happy, normal large families out there. I know tons!!! And as for kids going off the derech . . . it's happening to all kinds of families and is a product of so many factors and certainly not just family size. And just my own personal experience: I am going on number five, b'shaah tovah, and I am so much more in control now than I was with number two or three. And I think it's sooo great for my kids to have a lot of siblings close together. But of course, everyone has to have what they can handle and a sheiloh should be asked when neccessary.
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amother






Post  Mon, Dec 18 2006, 2:28 pm
I too am the oldest of a family of 7. my parents house was never tidy, and most of the time I used to go out to babysit so that I wouldn't have to stay at home and clean. I do remember sometimes feeling like I was the cleaner, but I was never yelled at personaly to clean. all of us as a whole had our jobs to do, and my father expected us to keep our own rooms tidy, & clean up after ourselfs from supper... me as the oldest was expected to wash dishes, but if I didn't do it, my mom never made a fuss, she would just do it or leave it.

its sometimes hard, its sometimes easy, maybe you (original amother) went to peoples houses at a bad time. you cant always blame the parents... maybe they thought they could cope but when the 5th came along they saw they couldnt.... I know that my house always used to be spotless when I was a kid, but when there was 7 kids at home, and since my parents didn't pressure me to stay at home I was most of the time out... my mother had a realy hard time. she didn't get a cleaner b/c my dad would have a fit if something would go missing...

theres always a reason... and I think we should be more dan lekaf zechus. this world needs more fair judgement. even if something seems completely wrong to you you have no way of knowing why or when. remember that we are like small flies standing on one patch of a big picture wondering why on earth people call it a beautifull picture when its only a bunch of colors!!

I dont agree with many things like abuse... the poor girl from the russian family you spoke of, I feel so bad for her... but if she copes, evern if its wrong, & its horrible to say but maybe its her tikun. this doesnt mean you shouldn't help her!! I think you are doing a gr8 job by being someone she could turn to and tell about these things... but sometimes theres not much you can do!

good luck... & just remember... its not to do with how many kids u have, its to do with ur attitude!
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amother






Post  Mon, Dec 18 2006, 2:45 pm
btw I wanted to add....

I was very happy with my biiig family.. and always wished my mom had more!

now I am starting my own... my baby is a few months old, and I love him to bits. I dont think.. no I KNOW that by the 2nd I'm gonna be stressed out and finished, but I also know that by my 3rd, I'm gonna feel more settled and less stressed...

I DO get a bit stressed when the baby screams, but doesnt every new mother? the trick is to learn and keep learning about child rearing, and make sure that you take a vacation every so often so you can keep up your energy. those women with 13 kids and happy familys did not get there easily!!
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purplegirl




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 5:28 am
lst wrote:
And as a side point- I am pretty new to this site and I was just noticing in different threads that I've been reading-some posters who disagree dont exactly state their opinions in the nicest ways (to say the least). Why do the answers have to be written in a nasty or sarcastic way. Is it helpful to insult someone or get someone upset just because you disagree with something they feel. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but why can't it be done nicely. Does it really benefit the poster to write their response in a not nice tone?

Yeah, I'd like some insight into this too. It can get pretty ugly. I agree with OP about kicking some people off Mr. Green It would make the forum safe for everyone else. It's very volatile as things stand now.

And OP... why did you have to mention that the family is Russian? Same goes had you mentioned it was a certain kind of Chassidish, Sefard, or poor, etc - you're giving people of a certain class/description a negative image. I know you don't mean all people in that category are dysfunctional, but I just think it's extra information and unnecessary. Avak Lashon Hora, perhaps? Guess why I'm so sensitive... Mr. Green

And for the record - I know a family of 13 kids where each child is appreciated and loved as an individual and they are calm and love each other and have a blast. I wish my mom (with 1 child at home now) could appreciate my brother a fraction of 13kidsmom loving her kids. It's in the mother, not the # of children. But I understand OP, and might have written a similar post - peole reeeeaaaallly have to gauge their capabilities and not put their kids at risk. That could mean having 3, or having 10, depending on the woman.

Okay, I'll stop now. Mr. Green
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amother






Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 12:04 pm
original OP here to the last poster you are right I should not have mentioned that the family is russian. the family I lived by during highschool was american so it doensn't make a difference. I think its more has to do with what each mother/woman can handle and some people just loose patients or because of other life stress let it out on children. I m very happy for all those who came from big families and came out fime remember that was like at least 5-10 years ago children do change and the world too.
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amother






Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 12:46 pm
I have a large family & I do expect my kids to pitch in within reason. I would if I only had 1 or 2 also. Children need to learn how do things like cook, laundry etc. O bviously 1st priority is school but life skills are imp too. That said, I know what you mean. I also have seen some families where the kids run the house. But I find that is regardless of the size. One friend I grew up with is 2nd oldest of 4. She & bro were teens when mom had 2 more. Friend was in charge. By the time we were getting married she kept saying "I already raised 2 kids I'm not having anymore" B"H she now has a bunch of her own kids.
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redhot




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 12:51 pm
amother wrote:
I have a large family & I do expect my kids to pitch in within reason. I would if I only had 1 or 2 also. Children need to learn how do things like cook, laundry etc. O bviously 1st priority is school but life skills are imp too. That said, I know what you mean. I also have seen some families where the kids run the house. But I find that is regardless of the size. One friend I grew up with is 2nd oldest of 4. She & bro were teens when mom had 2 more. Friend was in charge. By the time we were getting married she kept saying "I already raised 2 kids I'm not having anymore" B"H she now has a bunch of her own kids.


why?? why do kids NEED to learn how to do laundry and cook? It is the type of thing u figure out when u need to!

I think parents who justify forcing their own responsibilities on their children, use that lame justification as an excuse for their own laziness/disinterest in doing it themselves. sorry-thats my opinion.
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amother






Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 1:25 pm
What about the boys who ruined clothes in yeshiva b/c they didn't know how to do laundry. Or the kids in camp that keep the whole bunk from an activity b/c they couldn't finish whatever they were supposed to do? Or the girls insem that live like slobs- leave the trash overflowing, dishes in the sink etc until their roomates switch rooms? There is a big diff between slave labor & teaching responsibility. BTW any good parent "forcing their own resposibility" on their by teaching is way less lazy than the parent doing it themselves. The truly lazy parent would rather shirk their job of teaching the child. I spend way more time teaching than doing it myself.
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bandcm




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 1:28 pm
Sthillmom - I happen to agree with you there.
To add my voice to the chorus - I am the second of eleven kids, and the oldest is a boy. I think growing up I had the least amount of responsibilities of all my friends. My mother very rarely expected me to do more because I am the oldest, because I am a girl or whatever. We all had plenty freedom and time to study, hang out with friends, etc. My mother had a cleaning lady three times a week, even though my parents are both in chinuch and NOT well off. I think my mother ran the house as a teenager and didn´t want to do that to us.
I didn´t know how to turn on a washing machine until I went to seminary, and knew next to nothing about cooking. Guess what? I am now married with two kids and doing quite well with the housekeeping and cooking, despite my grievous lack of education.
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Flowerchild




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 1:39 pm
teaching responsibility does not mean that a child/ren, need to do all the house work or do dishes every night or laundry, clean after everyone etc, thats not respnsibility thats hoarding work on a child because the adult is either tired or finds a convinient scapegoat to do it for them. teaching responsibility means cleaning your plate after you finished eating, putting your dirty clothes in a hamper, cleaning your room, helping your mom or dad out when they ask, but not all the time every day.
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shalhevet




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 2:20 pm
sthillmom wrote:
amother wrote:
I have a large family & I do expect my kids to pitch in within reason. I would if I only had 1 or 2 also. Children need to learn how do things like cook, laundry etc. O bviously 1st priority is school but life skills are imp too. That said, I know what you mean. I also have seen some families where the kids run the house. But I find that is regardless of the size. One friend I grew up with is 2nd oldest of 4. She & bro were teens when mom had 2 more. Friend was in charge. By the time we were getting married she kept saying "I already raised 2 kids I'm not having anymore" B"H she now has a bunch of her own kids.


why?? why do kids NEED to learn how to do laundry and cook? It is the type of thing u figure out when u need to!


Why learn to read and write? They'll figure it out when they need to. Rolling Eyes
By teaching your child to do laundry, cook, tidy up etc you are teaching them important skills. It also builds self-confidence. My oldest daughter (aged 12.5) made doughnuts this afternoon, and she is thrilled by all the compliments she gets. My second dd (almost 11) tidies and washes the floor in the living room every erev Shabbos and she absolutely glows from satisfaction. And yes, they are also preparing for their tafkid in life as wives and mothers, be'ezras Hashem.

Of course they shouldn't be expected to do too much. Their schoolwork and school activities come first and they know it. But why shouldn't they enjoy (and yes, they enjoy it) taking their siblings to the park? There is a difference between a child spending maybe an hour or two a day total on helping (depending on age and circustances) and having them spend hours being a second mother.

Quote:

I think parents who justify forcing their own responsibilities on their children, use that lame justification as an excuse for their own laziness/disinterest in doing it themselves. sorry-thats my opinion.

Having children helping out (you stay responsible) can be a chinuch tool and for the child's benefit. They are learning responsibility and self-esteem. I am, of course, advocating this in moderation and not as an extreme amount of time; leaving time for schoolwork and social activities too.
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redhot




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 2:40 pm
I never said or implied that cihldren should not have responsibilities. I just do not think doing one's own laundry and cooking supper for the family should be among them!

I think it IS very important for kids to have some chores-but I would not say that a child NEEDS to do his own laundry to learn how, or that my daughter must cook dinner for the family when in high school so that she will know how to do it when she gets married.

and shalhevet- are u comparing reading and writing to laundry and cooking?? strange comparison.
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amother






Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 7:53 pm
The post you quoted from ME said nothing about children doing their own laundry or cooking supper for the family.I seem to remember writing " pitching in within reason". Must be feeling guilty or angry about something. Helping doesn't mean doing ALL. Where did you get that from my post. What about Kavod Shabbos? My children know there is a way to welcome the Shabbos Malka & everyone wants to be a part of that. Even the little ones who want to set the table or vacuum(they all seem to love that). Additionaly as s/o else wrote, kids feel satisfaction & a sense of family when participating. Let go of your bitterness you'll feel better.
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redhot




 
 
 


Post  Tue, Dec 19 2006, 8:15 pm
amother wrote:
The post you quoted from ME said nothing about children doing their own laundry or cooking supper for the family.I seem to remember writing " pitching in within reason". Must be feeling guilty or angry about something. Helping doesn't mean doing ALL. Where did you get that from my post. What about Kavod Shabbos? My children know there is a way to welcome the Shabbos Malka & everyone wants to be a part of that. Even the little ones who want to set the table or vacuum(they all seem to love that). Additionaly as s/o else wrote, kids feel satisfaction & a sense of family when participating. Let go of your bitterness you'll feel better.


the post I quoted from you also underlined the sentence I was addressing. the one about children needing to learn how to cook and do laundry. I used that idea as a stepping stone for my opinion on those who take it to the extreme. I did not say that you do the extreme form. I said (and I quote myself)

'why?? why do kids NEED to learn how to do laundry and cook? It is the type of thing u figure out when u need to!

I think parents who justify forcing their own responsibilities on their children, use that lame justification as an excuse for their own laziness/disinterest in doing it themselves. sorry-thats my opinion.'

I said nothing about you. I said those who put their own responsibilites onto their children.

and no-I am not projecting or feeling guilty. My children dont even wipe themselves yet, let alone cook the whole shabbos meal or do laundry!!! LOL

(and no, I did not have to cook or do laundry growing up. I had to straighten my room, make my bed, and put my dirty clothing in the hamper, so I am not angry about anything from my past. its just the way I view this)
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amother






Post  Wed, Dec 20 2006, 7:08 pm
OP here Sthill mom these are the families I saw where the responsabilites are pushed on kids cause the mother is too tired or its a punishment. I do believe children need to learn how to take care of things but with in reason and to me my childs homework is more important because I think if you put serving dinner, washing dishes and all that before homeowork than that in my opinion gives child the message that heck school is not important for my mother and than when the mother sees the grades on report card she is surprised and the child has nothing to say. On the other hand I lived in a dorm and seen girls who are clueless about cleanliness and just basic things again there is time for that I can teach my daughter how to do laundry in the summer and make soup and iron and knit and sew buttons when she doesn't have school work and projects and tests.
BUT A BIG YASHAR KOACH TO ALL OF YOU MOTHERS WHO HAVE BIG FAMILIES AND ARE RAISING GOOD FRUM CHILDREN I HOPE YOU CAN SHARE YOU SECRETS AND HASHEM SHOULD PROVIDE YOU WITH ALL YOU NEED.
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mirikush




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Dec 23 2006, 9:22 pm
I feel as the the op is lumping all 'large families' together! Yet there is abuse just as much in large families as there is in small. (I've seen it in lots of small families) Yet our large families stick out the most and get the most amount of mussar regarding birth control than others regardless as to our own situations. I get comments ranging from 'you're pregnant again!!', ' you must really want another daughter!" 'have you considered taking birth control' and my all time favourite just after #7 was born..."you are going to take some time off and take the pill aren't you" from a virtual stranger in the community.
Of course there are times I feel overwhelmed with work (mostly around school holidays and when people make stupid comments!) but the majority of the time I sit back with a silly grin on my face and just breath in the smell of my beautiful nesahmas that I have been blessed with. We may not have an xbox, or go on outings everyday of their school holidays and don't buy them nosh everytime we are in the shop, they sometimes wear their siblings or other peoples handmedowns but they are not neglected!
I have to tell a story of when we just recently moved (6 months ago) back into the bagel belt. MY DH and I still had to work and the kids had to go to school etc (normal stuff) We were surrounded by boxes which we were slowly unpacking!! The local girls school offered us help after school which we immediatly leaped at....after all how helpful would it be to have an extra pair of hands etc in the afternoonA! At the same time one of our boys didn't wipe himself properly from the bathroom. he is also a typical messy kid (he actually requested that I provide him with a wet wipe in his lunch so that afterwards he would remeber to wipe his face and hands after eating) and the school playground has tanbark which makes everything dirty. But anyway we got called into the school by the schools psychologist. My DH came home fuming. He was told that they had complaints that the boys stunk, were dirty and must be neglected. He got mussar about giving them showers every day (in winter) The thing is everyday before they went to school we ,made sure if that they had not had a shower the day before we would check to make sure they were clean. (I am paranoid about this even before this incident) and had no odours. I have a nose like a bloodhound and would never allow a child out the front door smelling. Everyday they would have clean clothes (everything!) But I cannot control what happens at school!!. They play in the dirt etc.
Anyway I believed that would be the end of it. NO!! Not by a long shot. The next day the head of the girls school calls and says that she was called by the school psychologist and asked to do a home visit and that maybe her girls could help bath the little ones!! Now I was fuming. After this incident I refused to have girls come into my house partly because I was afraid that they would report the mess (unpacked boxes et) and we would get a reputation. my kids were not neglected...it was just the circumstances of the time...yet all it takes is one nosey parker to make assumptions and spread lashon Hara. This would never have happened if we had had only 3 kids.
If anything this whole incident has made me much more uptight. And that has affected my kids. I am now more aware of the judgemental behaviour of other people in the community!
Incidently the psychologists is the same person who made the remark after I gave birth (she is not frum).
So there it is. Be careful of your assumptions and guard your tongue! You never know when you are making incorrect judgements.
ps incidently the girls were hopeless at pairing socks. I think they need to bring into the schools 'sock pairing 101' they should teach them that A. size does not necessarily make a pair, B colour does not make a pair c and complete opposites are usually not a pair!! d. when in doubt don't!
I am still finding oddly paired socks till this very day. Confused
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TzenaRena




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Dec 23 2006, 9:44 pm
mirikush, what or where is the bagel belt? Confused
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Tefila




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Dec 23 2006, 10:03 pm
Yep I know of a family that has 12 children the mother looks wonderful and the kids are happy thriving responsible adults b"H. but b/c as kids they were so skinny the school social worker was making home visits after recieving some stupid complaints that kids weren't well fed. So she came and told the mother that she was neglecting her kids by not supplyoing them with more vegtables.. Anyways now that this social worker has kids of her own she apologized profusely to this women for giving her a hard time she now knows as a mother of one how hard it is to get a child to eat the daily does of vegtables
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mirikush




 
 
 


Post  Sat, Dec 23 2006, 10:54 pm
Hi sorry...the bagel belt is also called the borsht belt ie the frum community in Melbourne (and I guess other jewish communities!)
In Melbourne it is centered in one main area with smaller satellite communities further out. The main community is refered to as the bagel belt, borsht belt, schnitzel belt etc (at least among those people I know) because it is the centre of Yiddishkeit (ie shuls, schools shops) We had the misfortune of living in one of the satellite communities for 11 months. We had to commute each day, the kids missed out on misabos shabbos etc etc etc....
Anyway that is the bagel belt. Very Happy
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