Tips for Growing Families in Small Spaces

A growing family is always a blessing… but it also comes with a lot of challenges! Our “shrinking” home seems to be one of them. Check out this post from Knoxville Moms Blog that appeared on October 8, 2015, and see if these tips can help you manage your small space too!

Tips for Growing Families

When my husband and I bought our home in 2009, we were so proud to get the keys to our first house. Our daughter was just 15 months old, and this 1400-square foot, 3-bedroom rancher was the perfect space for our little family of 3 to spread out. The realtor described it as a “starter home,” which made sense considering we were just starting our family and our life as homeowners. What I have learned that term to mean 6 years and 3 more kids later is “place you don’t want to stay for very long.”

Don’t get me wrong; I love our house! We have a fantastic yard, unbelievable neighbors, and the most picture-perfect screened-in patio for morning coffee and Sunday afternoon naps. But when we brought home our 4th child in August, each of those 1400 square feet seemed much smaller than they did in 2009. Still, we have managed to make our situation work. While expanding our frontier may be on the horizon, in the meantime, here are some of the tips and tricks I have learned for making a growing family work in this same little house.

  1. Get organized. As much as I hate to say it, surviving a big family in a small space starts and ends with organization. Get rid of things you don’t use, or put them in storage. Rotate clothes and toys so you only have to contend with small quantities at a time. Label everything so you can easily find less-used items that are tucked away. Actually file stuff in the filing cabinet! (Yeah, some people really do that! I am not inclined to be one of them, but desperate times call for desperate measures.)

Click here to see the rest of this list on the Knoxville Moms Blog! I hope these help you!

15 Reasons I’m Not Sleeping Right Now

“Sleep when the baby sleeps,” they always say. But that’s not always reality for new moms. When this post first appeared on the Knoxville Moms Blog, I had a 6 week old newborn baby keeping me on my toes and off my pillow. There were lots of other things keeping me from sleeping, though. Read on to see what’s on my list…

15 Reasons I'm Not Sleeping

Newborn babies are glorious. Their sweet smell, the softness of their brand new skin, the way their tiny bodies curl up in your arms… There’s just nothing like the perfect little love of a newborn.

There’s also nothing like the slew of new mom advice we get from experienced moms when we are expecting. This isn’t my first go-round as a parent, and still my favorite nugget of wisdom is the one that may be hardest to follow: Sleep when the baby sleeps.

As one of those experienced moms, I make this suggestion all the time. My own mother often reminds me that sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture, and buddy, I can see why! I have learned to sleep whenever possible. However, having just welcomed my 4th little bundle of joy, that blessed state of REM seems more and more elusive. Believe it or not, this parenting thing has gotten more complicated with all these tiny people in my house! Even right now, as my baby is blissfully sleeping in the other room, here I sit writing this blog for you. At any given moment, these are a few of the reasons I am not sleeping right now…

Click here to see the rest of this post on Knoxville Moms Blog! Hope you enjoy… and get some sleep!

Full House: 5 Reasons Big Families Rock

You may have noticed I took a little (uh, long) hiatus from writing over the last few months. I’ve been a little busy gestating, birthing, and raising a brand new human! This was my first piece after the baby was born, and it posted on Knoxville Moms Blog on August 26, 2015. Hope you enjoy a little look-see into my new life as a mom of 4!

Thanksgiving 2013 at my aunt's house... I think we counted 77 people in this picture, not to mention those not present and those since added by marriage or birth!

Thanksgiving 2013 at my aunt’s house… I think we counted 77 people in this picture, not to mention those not present and those since added by marriage or birth!

“So, are we tying your tubes today?”

It seemed like a rather innocuous question coming from the admitting nurse before my 3rd C-section.

“No, ma’am, not today,” I replied coolly. She looked up from her clipboard with a surprised stare I would see over and over again through the years.

“Really??” she almost gasped.

The nurse was only the first person that day to question my decision to leave my reproductive hardware uninhibited. The anesthesiologist and a surgical assistant both asked and responded with the same bewilderment. Never mind that I was only 26 and, in my mind, entirely too young to make such permanent decisions about my family. Everyone seemed so confused: why would anyone want that many kids?

We have all heard that oft-quoted (and probably inaccurate) statistic that the average American family has 2.5 kids. That little .5 is just enough for society to nod approvingly at the smaller, 2-child households while letting those crazy 3-kid parents slide by with little more than inappropriate offers to explain “how that happens” and endless comments on how full their hands are. So what about those with more?

Just a few weeks ago, I delivered my 4th little bundle of joy, and while that hardly qualifies us for a reality TV show, as one friend recently said, “4 kids is the new 10!” Large families are just in our blood: my dad is one of 9 kids, and my mother-in-law comes from a family of 17 children! (Yep, 9 and 17, same two parents each, all single births. Insane, I know.) A lot of people have valid concerns about having so many children, and I’m not here to debate that. But whether there are 4 or 14 kids, here are just a few reasons why big families are awesome…

Click here to see the rest of this post on the Knoxville Moms Blog! Thanks for visiting!