Welcome to this weeks edition of 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage This week we’re sharing how we get our large families ready and out the door for church on time.
I feel a bit like a hypocrite because we don’t have to leave for church until 10am. Combine that with the fact that we’re generally up by 6 or 7 AND the fact that we are indeed sometimes late, um yeah, I’m not so sure you want to be taking advice from me either.
We have company in our home for lunch nearly every Sunday. So much of our plan for getting out the door includes preparing for guests.
Prepare Saturday evening
Each Saturday at around 5 or 6 we stop our projects and prepare for the Lord’s day.
- Regular chores are done so the house is tidy and clean
- The table is set for company
- We set up extra tables and chairs if needed
- Food is prepared for lunch on Sunday
- All children are bathed
- We lay out clothes for the next day
- Family worship
- Prompt bedtime
Set the alarm for Sunday morning
Give yourself more time than you think you need, set your alarm and get up. Now don’t fool yourself by thinking, “I got up early, so I have plenty of time to_________ before I start getting ready.” That doesn’t work in our house, trust me we’ve tried it. Get ready first.
Our breakfast every Sunday is a bagel with a glass of juice. Not only is this a special treat for the children, it makes preparation and clean up a snap and allows the kitchen crew to have a more restful beginning of the Lord’s Day.
Have the children eat and brush their teeth in their pajamas
The reasons for this are obvious, right?
Use the buddy system
Have older children help the younger children get dressed or make sure that someone checks those little ones before you leave.
Not that we’ve ever had a kid make it to church without shoes in the winter on or anything like that, but double checking those littles may save you some embarrassment.
Leave time to fix hair, make beds and clean up messes
The 6 year old has her heart set on french braids, someone spilled juice on the floor and I forgot to scrub the potatoes for lunch. It seems that we will always have those last minute things, so we plan extra time to finish lunch preparations, braid hair or wipe up that spill.
Plan some more extra time
After everyone is ready Mark likes for our family to be able to sit down and prepare for worship before we leave. Most of the time this happens for most of our family, but having extra time does provide a kind of ‘on time’ insurance for those last minute ’emergencies’ that tend to pop up,
like when your fully dressed 1 and 3 year old discover a bag of sugar and make a sweet, sticky mess of themselves.
You’d think with all the ‘extra’ time suggestions that our family would get to church with lots of extra time, but we don’t. How about you?
Visit the other moms of many to read how they get their brood out the door:
This post is part 1 in the 4 Moms series on church and large families:
Part 2: Keeping Little Ones in Worship
Recent 4 Moms posts:
- Bread Baking 101
- Favorite books for beginning readers
- Q & A: Bible versions for kids, baby equipment and more
- Spending individual time with our kids
For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.