How I Learned to Love the Chaos of My Big Family

I have a big family and I came from a big family. It’s not quiet in my home. It wasn’t quiet in my home growing up. When I was a kid the TV would be on in one room, maybe a radio on in another, a wrestling match that almost always ended with a broken lamp, and maybe a fight or two – all going on at the same time. And I loved it!

Second Generation Chaos

There’s a little less wrestling and a lot less TV in my house, but the noise and chaos remain. We have a school age son learning to play the violin. We have triplets worn out by their first year in kindergarten who occasionally melt down in tears. We have a mom who whistles and sings and dad who shares his loud music collection. There’s fighting, yelling, and more than one conversation happening at once. Our nearly dead clothes dryer squeaks so loud you start looking for the earplugs and sometimes there’s food burning on the stove, setting off the smoke detector.

And it’s not just noise -it’s a little bit lack of organization and schedule. I don’t know if it’s me or being raised by hippie parents, but my body does not want to be on a schedule – I feel a physical aversion to it. I’m like a toddler who doesn’t want to go to bed on time, even though she needs the sleep. My brain throws itself down on the floor in a complete tantrum, “I don’t wanna do the same thing at the same time every day!”

My Calm Friends Have Peaceful Homes

I’ve had the privilege of visiting my calmer friends’ homes, where there is less yelling and more patience. The space is cleaner, neater, more organized. A load of whites is done every Wednesday. The vacuum is run every day. There’s no faint scent of “litter that should have been emptied yesterday.” It’s so nice to walk into a space like that. And not just the neat part, but the calm part. Some of my friends just exude peace and to be near them is like stepping a sweet scent. I feel calmer when I’m near them, just being around them helps keep my crazy at bay. Now, I’m not saying these women are perfect. I know there are no perfect moms.  

I used to think this was my goal – the calm, neat home. To curb my temper. To clean up the house. To run a load of whites every Wednesday. To get my act together. But now I know better. My calmer counterparts are not my goal. They are not me. It’s in their nature to be calmer and more peaceful. That is one of the reasons I love them and love to be around them. But, calm and peaceful is not my default setting.  

My New Goal: Embrace the Chaos

So instead of trying to be something that I’m not, I’m going to start embracing who I am, to appreciate my nature.

What that means is yes, our house is filled with noise and chaos, but that’s not a bad thing. The noise comes from dance parties, sock skating, tickle fights, and attack hugs. The chaos that begins with a burned dinner ends in a pizza party. Embracing the chaos means throwing out the schedule to play my violin along with my son, staying up late on a school night to let the kids watch the Princess Bride, and throwing a birthday party for our guinea pig. These are great times for our family: loud, joyful times. And they’ll be great memories for my children.

Already I’m more content at home, now that I have given up trying to be something that I’m not and trying to make our family like someone else’s. Now we have the freedom to be our amazing, loud, crazy big family.

 

 

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Comments

  1. I can so relate to what you wrote here. I grew up in a home where everything was always neat and clean. That gene is not a part of my DNA make up. While I would love to walk into my house and think I am in a model home, I know that is never going to happen. So, I with you will also continue with chaos in my house and cherish the memories being made.

    • Right on Eileen! I used to give myself such a hard time about being on the messy disorganized side. Now I’m trying to focus on the positives. It feels good to give myself a break!

  2. caitlinshappyheart
    October 29, 2015 - 8:53 am

    Oh this is such a wonderful post! It’s so good to embrace who we are. Yes, there’s need for improvement, but there’s pros and cons for both ends of the spectrum! I’m closer to the disorganised end of the spectrum also, so can totally relate to what you have written here! And probably your photo too. My triplets have been known to hang out in the book shelves with the literature dumped on the floor at times also!

    • Thanks for your comment Caitlin! We decided to get our triplets a triple bunk bed so they wouldn’t have to play bunk beds in the bookself any more!

  3. Meredith Spidel
    July 28, 2017 - 9:54 am

    Exactly! Here’s to embracing and loving all the crazy 😉 xo

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