A question that Todd and I get all the time is HOW did you ever raise 11 children? Well, when you have 2 children and 2 parents, that’s 1 parent for each child correct? EASY ,right?
Imagine 10 children with 2 parents (we have 11, but we never had all 11 living at home at the same time. By the time our youngest was born, our oldest was away at college! So that’s 1 parent for every 5 children.
Envision its time to go visit Grandma or go to church. By the time we found and put on 10 pairs of shoes, put 3 kids on the potty, make sure the diaper bag was packed with diapers, extra clothes, snacks and books, put on 10 coats and hats. Whew! we were exhausted and we just wanted to stay home!!!
Have you ever heard of the phrase Work smarter not harder? Developing systems for your family will save countless hours of time, and it will keep everyone more joyful all around. We started the Buddy System, which is so simple, yet made the job of raising 11 kids much easier!
We matched an older child with a younger child. When it was time to go somewhere, the older Buddy was responsible for finding and putting on shoes, jacket, hat and walking them to the van. And if possible, hooking them into their car seat or booster seat. (Our 12 passenger van we called the Blue Whale!) That van was our jam! The kids actually cried the day we got rid of it!!
My job would be the baby, diaper bag, diapers, snacks, and extra clothes. This system decreased my work load by 500%
The benefits of the Buddy system besides the obvious:
1. It helps raise children to think of others before themselves.
2. It teaches them skills like how to be nurturing to a younger sibling.
3. They realize that they are contributing something helpful to the family.
4. Helps them establish a work ethic. Learning to work is a Jaussen thing. If you teach children the value of hard work, they will go far in life. We’re going to dedicate an entire post to the importance of teaching children a work ethic, stay tuned!
To this day, my older children are very good with children. They are nurturing, good at occupying and entertaining them, and they’ve moved smoothly into parenthood themselves because of this.
I encourage you to try out the Buddy System. Let me know how it worked for you.