I always love writing articles, but this month I got an extra fun assignment from my friend and editor, Jane Schneider. "Would you tell us what a day in the life of a mom of many looks like?" she asked.
Well, here it is, the good, the bad and the busy.
A Day in the Life of: The Sims Family
When folks find out I have ten kids, the inevitable question is, “How do you do it all?” My reply is always the same: I could never do it all, so I just stick to the important stuff.
5:00 am The baby slept all night so I wake up before the alarm, grateful for an hour of quiet before anyone stirs. I flip on the fireplace and the coffeepot and settle in for my daily dose of prayer and scripture.
6:30-9:00 I send three pairs of kids off to three different schools. Because half of my kids have sports after school, I leave a simple but hot breakfast on the stove. Then it’s on to lunches, where the sandwich assembly line resembles a game of solitaire. After I walk my youngest kids to the bus stop at 9, I chat with the other moms, loving their unhurried pace. If weather permits, I take the baby for a walk—the only workout I can fit into my life right now.
10:00 I am not a meticulous housekeeper, but the kids gain on me if I don’t tidy up. I am soon over the housework and stop to play with Hope, 13 months. She is my late in life surprise, and admittedly, I am about half grandma with this one.
11:00 Hope watches Barney Goes to the Zoo in her high chair while she eats lunch. The same DVD every day, but she will watch the whole episode, interacting with the animals. I am delighted she can be contained for 45 minutes.
12:00 Bath time. Hope plays with her rubber duck family and tries to drink the tub water. (Now I know where the “Mrs. Lucy” song got its inspiration.) After her bath I rock her until she dozes off, finding it easy to take the time to feel the moment before slipping her into bed.
1:00-3:00 No matter how full the sink, the hamper or the “to do” list, I rest, write and recharge until the baby wakes up. Calls from my husband or my third child at the USMA are the only exceptions. My son often calls mid-day, and I love hearing about life at West Point and grow nostalgic thinking of how proud my parents would be.
3:20-4:15 Six kids return from school. Younger kids ride the bus home, but I must pick up my athletes. Since I am the only driver, I do a lot of running and I am counting the days until the next one gets a driver’s license I am thankful I usually have someone to watch Hope so I don’t often have a crying baby in the car seat—about the only thing that still gets under my skin after 25 years of babies.
4:00-6:00 Hope shifts, homework and hamburgers. Mom Dot, my 86 year old mother in law, lives with us and is a tremendous help with homework, quizzing the kids on their various subjects. Four kids taking a half hour “Hope shift” gives me two hours to tidy up again and cook dinner, always while listening to Sinatra. I call on whoever is around to set the table, joking with the kids that I know where they’re hiding.
6:00-7:00 Dinner and dishes. It is challenging to wait until 6:00 to serve (in my mind, dinner must be conquered) but family dinner time is a priority. I wait for my deserving husband; he is the breadwinner, after all, and my recent college graduate, Bethany, to get home from work. Eleven people around the table brings a lot of chatter, and I can't help but smile when one of them raises a hand for a turn to talk. Silas says something about kindergarten and Mom Dot mistakes it for the Pentagon. “Being half-deaf makes life interesting,” she laughs. Someone checks the calendar to announce whether it is boys’ night or girls’ night to help with dishes.
730 Hope to bed. I love listening to the quiet as I rock the baby one more time.
800-9:00 Somewhere in this hour we have family devotions (complete with some wriggles and giggles). The time of connecting every night is vital to family health and I am quick to give credit to Captain Fun for starting this tradition. Afterwards, the younger ones go to bed while the older ones finish up homework.
9:00 I see my oldest son on the caller ID and eagerly answer. Recently relocating to ND to pursue a Master’s in aviation, he has forgotten about his new time zone. He reports he and his sweet wife like their new surroundings even though the high today is 4 and the low is -14. I enjoy talking with my oldest and find it hard to believe he is a grown, married man.
10:00 Fall into bed knowing I will be doing—and loving—all the important stuff again tomorrow.
"This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Memphis Parent Magazine, February 2013