The last few years have been rather busy; moving back to Kelowna, getting kids in schools, changing jobs and working in a start up while also trying to develop my own businesses.
Our day-to-day life is not quiet either. Getting 9 people to work, school, events, appointments and friends houses while breaking up fights and mediating disagreements while also making sure homework is done, food is on the table, lunches are made, clothes are washed, people are in bed at a reasonable time and that the house is somewhat clean is very challenging if not overwhelming.
The birth of our twins last summer was, I think, a turning point for us. It took us to the limit of what we could do with our current habits and routines without going insane.
To make a long story short, the twins joined our family a week into my 2 week vacation, which was great, unfortunately they needed to spend a 2 weeks in the NICU, meaning I had to go back to work before they came home. Our new vehicle also arrived at the same time.
As the kids went back to their various schools and I continued to work there seemed to be a lot less time to do things and a lot more conflicting appointments. One day I think we had to be in 4 places at the same time! We were coping, but there was an increasing background tension and a lot more frustration than normal in the house and there was a feeling of being controlled by life and not us controlling life.
Parental leave to the rescue :)
I wouldn't call parental leave with 7 kids a break, but there is now some time to get some of the more important jobs done around the house and get focus back on the family. It also gives us time to find the routines that work for us and reduce some of the chaos while we have 2 parents in the house (although that's another post altogether).
Some of the changes we've made in the last couple of months include; moving bedrooms around to consolidate messes and bed times, donate/throw out toys that no-one is playing with, move computers into a dedicated room and solidify chore expectations and consequences. So far these are just experiments, and we're keeping what works and changing what doesn't, but there seems to be some improvement on the surface.
I suspect the adjustment will take a long time for everyone in the house, but at least we're on the way...