Surviving with 5 Kids

People keep asking how I’m doing now with 5 kids (If you don’t know how we managed to get 5 kids, see the end of the post). There’s really no short answer, so I figured I’d compile a list of ways my life is different now. Here’s what I came up with so far. (You moms, especially moms with multiple kids, will understand some of this.) Oh, and by the way, they are ages 2 months to 5 years old.


  • Sticky floors and furniture have become a way of life.
  • Crying and screaming have become background noise.
  • babycrying
  • My food and coffee often have to be reheated several times.
  • A night without baths is like 5 weights lifted off my shoulders.
  • Peppa pig, Dora, and Team Umizoomi are constant friends.
  • Dora_backpack-running
  • Taking only 1 or 2 kids to the store now seems like a piece of cake.
  • With so many baths, dishes, and washing of hands, my fingertips are like sand paper.
  • I live at Walmart…and the doctor’s office…and the health department.
  • I don’t even need to plug in my laptop charger over the weekend because I don’t have time to be on it.
  • I see or talk to my YFS caseworker nearly every day and am very grateful for her.
  • The dog gets fed when we get to it…generally after the kids go to bed.
  • Toilet paper, Kleenexes, and remotes are no longer in their normal places.
  • IMG_03781
  • Laundry and dishes are a never-ending job.
  • Taking medicine is built in to morning and bedtime routines because someone is always on medicine.
  • I use the word “timeout” about 200 times a day.
  • I’ve started saying “going potty” when referring to myself.
  • Our Tahoe is crammed with car seats and booster seats.
  • Sleep has become an elusive dream.
  • 122-75101-mm_babymeme54-1406927575
  • With new kids, sick kids, and court, I have already been absent more times than I usually am for the whole school year.
  • It seems like for every 1 thing I check off my to do list, 2 more things go in its place.
  • to-do
  • I feel like I live a week in every day.
  • A child always wants a hug, to be held, or just to be near me, if not all 5 at once.
  • On weekdays, I hardly have any energy for anything after the kids go to bed.
  • I often give up what I want to do for what I need to do.
  • I often give up what I need to do for what I really need to do.
  • I’ve learned things like:
    • Hell hath no fury like a child about to get shots.
    • Lysol wipes are a must have in a bathroom used by a young boy.
    • Cereal is meant to be spilled.
    • spilled-milkcereal-601x400
    • If a child or baby isn’t crying or being fussy, leave him or her alone, even if it means you’ll have to clean up something later.
    • Starting bedtime routine at 7 means they may be in bed and asleep by 10.
    • With 5 kids, the likelihood of at least 1 having an emotional meltdown at bedtime is extremely high.
    • If 1 gets sick, they all get sick, so you might as well have them all drink from the same cup and get it over with.
    • Kindergarten is a lot of work for a parent…especially if that parent has 4 other kids.
    • kinder sight words2
    • A trip to a store by myself is a peaceful retreat.
    • A child sleeping is precious (this is meant to be both sarcastic and genuine).
    • I’m extremely grateful for my amazing husband and couldn’t do this without him…seriously…I’d die.
    • I’ve learned that every child is a unique miracle and worth every ounce of energy and time I give him or her. I’m also reminded every time I sing, “I stand…in awe of the One who gave it all,” that no matter what I give of myself to these kids, it will always pale in comparison to what Jesus gave us. Remembering this gives me strength and conviction.
  • highres_22994145
    • Lastly, I’ve learned the importance of scripture and staying close to God. Several times a week, if not once a day, as I go about my duties and think about all I have to do, I feel anxiety rise in my chest like an overwhelming flood about to drown me, and I have to recite to myself, “I can do anything in Christ who strengthens me.” Thank the Lord, the waters always recede. The only way I can possibly do this is with God’s constant presence and help.

Thank you to all who’ve been praying and/or who have helped out in some way. We are truly blessed!!!

(For those who don’t know, we had 1 foster daughter a while ago who eventually left us after 16 months. While she was gone, we decided to move on and get another foster daughter. A month later, we got the 1st girl back with her 2 brothers. We though 4 was a lot then! Then they left us again. In the meantime, a few months ago, our other foster daughter had a baby sister and we took her in. Then, a month later, we got our girl and her brothers back again! We never wanted 5 kids, but what were we going to do…say no, we won’t take back the boys we loved and the girl we loved even longer? Of course we took them back!)


~ by Dusty Crabtree - Author of Shadow Eyes on November 2, 2015.

7 Responses to “Surviving with 5 Kids”

  1. God bless you Dusty!

  2. Dusty thank you for this post I am a foster mum too and you have touched my heart with your honest account of a day in your life. xxx

  3. I love this account of your life right now. You can sure write. I am proud of my niece and her husband.

  4. Does it help to remind yourself, it doesn’t have to be perfect?

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