Finding Quiet in a Crowded Home

I have been in the homes of large families where peace reigns, for the members of the family, are by nature, calm and quiet folk. However, this is not the case in my own home, in which 9 children out of 12 are still living at home; for us silence is a commodity that is rare and precious. This is because we are a boisterous bunch. Consider also that 7 boys (the other 2 are girls) add up to a heck of a lot of testosterone—the hormone responsible for aggression. Then there is the fact that 4 of my at home children are teens filled with adolescent angst. Is it no wonder that I crave a lull in the storm that is my home?

I guard my alone time with jealous zeal. Mornings are supposed to be mine; the time when my kids are in their various slots, at school or at work. In practice, it is an unusual morning when one child or another is not at home; with so many kids someone is always ill or on holiday. It is very hard to swallow down my resentment when I realize that once again, I will not have my alone time.

Savoring the Peace and Quiet

But those marvelous times when all are out of the house, I savor the quiet. It is hard to decide whether to use the time to focus on housework, or blow it off while sipping lots of java and playing Spider Solitaire. It is remarkable to me that washing dishes becomes therapeutic in the stillness of those mornings. My thoughts seem to tumble into order as I work; a cheap form of self-therapy.

Getting Brave

Sometimes I am really brave and I keep one child home from school to give him time alone with me. This is a sacrifice, but I know it is a good tradeoff for both of us. Each of my children must know that they are unique and deserving of my full attention. I, on the other hand, might miss out on the experience of knowing my children as individuals if I never sacrificed my quiet time for the pleasure of spending time alone with one or another of my brood.
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