It is time for Thankful Thursday day 2 and the topic today is Family. If you missed my first post about this new series it is here Gratitude Challenge This one is a challenge for me, not because I am not grateful for my family, but because I am unsure of how to narrow it down. I am going to focus on some of the lessons I have learned growing up in our big crazy family. So without further ado, here is 10 things I learned growing up Questad.
1. I learned how to get along with people: When you grow up with 10 siblings in a small house you learn to share. We had only 4 bedrooms and only one bathroom for most of our childhood- personal space did not exist! You learned to do everything quickly, speed shower, eat quick, and forgive fast. Our family home didn’t have enough room to hold grudges.
2. I learned that happiness looks different for everyone: In our family there is many different marriage and parenting styles, incomes, churches, political views, education levels, family sizes and personal preferences. But I truly feel like we are all striving to live our best life, and even though some of my sibling’s lives may look different than I have or would choose- they are honestly happy and well that just makes me happy!
3. I learned that many hands really does make work light: My mom used to say this and I would roll my eyes (if dad wasn’t watching). But as I get older I see how true it is. When there is an event, be it a wedding, party, bridal shower or whatever you can guarantee there will be an entire team of Questad women there to help cook, set up, serve and clean up. It makes it so much less threatening to host all 100 of us that show up! Not to mention it is way more fun to clean while gabbing.
|Sibling and spouses besides Shane (someone is always missing)|
4. I learned to have an opinion but be open to hear others: You only have to hang out with my family for about 5 minutes to realize that we all have our own opinions and are not shy about sharing them. This is both a blessing and a curse, but since we are being positive I will focus on that side of it. I learned to not be afraid to speak up in a discussion even if it is not the popular viewpoint. But just as importantly I learned to hold my tongue, because as the saying goes, sometimes peace is more important than being right. Although I am still very much a work in progress on both of these. I also have learned how important it is to discuss things with people who do not share your point of view sometimes as it can really open your eyes.
5. I learned everything I know about being a wife and mom: When you are number 10 in a family of 11 you babysit early and you babysit often! Even though I am still amazed at how little I know after years of preparation, I am so grateful for all the practice. I have a whole team of parenting experts at my beck and call whenever my kids are sick or sassy. I also have got to watch a lot of marriages go through ups and downs and am so thankful for my sisters who have served as my mentors in my own marriage. Their advice and help has been invaluable!
|My sisters (minus Wendy) and mom|
6. I learned responsibility: My parents had 11 kids on a fairly tight budget, and even though they had much more financial freedom by the time I came along, they could simply not afford to spoil us. This meant I got jobs young and worked my way through life. I am not gonna lie, I really hated it when I was younger, and it seemed like none of my friends worked. But now I am so thankful for the work ethic, and sense of responsibility it instilled in me.
7. I learned how to cook for a crowd: When even your average weekday dinner drew a crowd of at least a dozen mouths to feed you learn to cook in large quantities and this is something mom passed on to me. The only bad thing is that this translates into a LOT of leftovers in our little family. Just ask my husband!
8.I learned to do pretty much anything with kids climbing on your head: Before Tri-Cities stole our family away there was a steady stream of kids in and out of mom and dad’s house. I learned to do homework with kids on my lap, play piano with kids banging on the keys next to you, or cook with kids hanging on your ankles. This is a very useful skill to have as a mother of 3 kids under 5 and one that would have taken years to perfect otherwise. As an example while writing this post I have cooked dinner, cleaned the kitchen, wiped butts, fed the baby multiple times, changed diapers and got the kids ready for bed. It was typed mostly one handed while bouncing a baby (so please excuse type-Os’s and spelling errors). I am very glad I got a jump start on learning to multi task with kids!
9. I learned the power of unconditional love: When you grow up in a big family, it is only to be expected that people will sometimes make choices others don’t approve of. Sometimes it is you, sometimes it is a brother or sister, niece or nephew. But no matter what road you wander down, you can still come home pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee or diet coke, and chat all night till the sun comes up with which ever family member happens to be around. There is always times when you grow closer or drift apart from each other but everyone is always welcome with open arms
(Well figuratively open arms, us adults aren’t all that huggy, but we are working on that!). Our parents have always set such an example of unconditional love in my life.
10. I learned the power of a support system: I have always known how supportive my family was but I have seen it so much clearer in the last 5 years. Between my dad passing away, my wedding and babies I have relied on my family so much! Someone always is there to listen to me whine, help clean my house, watch my kids or celebrate with us. Life is so much easier when you don’t have to struggle through it alone.
There is so much more that I could write and so many reasons why family is a blessing to me, but seeming how it has taken me about 4 hours to write this much I better leave it at that. I am so blessed to be a part of this wonderful and crazy family. We are far from perfect but I hope I can build my family to be very similar, and I hope this post made you think of some of the lessons and blessings you have received from your own family.
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