How do you manage big families?

How do you guys manage big familes. I just moved in with my boyfriend and went from taking care of myself and 2 kids to 2 adults and 5 kids. I work 40 plus hours, go to school and he can’t help because he works from 4pm to 6am and i work 7 am to 4pm.

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Day by day. Take a few moments to breathe every day.

First…. Set a schedule/routine/chore charts. Everyone, including the kids, does their part. Next? Set up everything for the next day before bed. Have everyone pick out their clothes, pack backpacks and lunches and have jackets and shoes in order by the door. Meal plan and prep on your days off. Crock pot meals are great for busy school nights. You can prep it before you leave for work and have him turn it on later in the morning so that it’s ready for dinner. Or he can even prep dinner so all you have to do is throw it in the oven when you get home. Point is…. If you set a routine and EVERYONE chips in? Life is so much easier!

Teach the kids to chip in. My 7 and 13 year old do their own laundry. They even have their own color of towels. I do mine, my husbands and 2 year old laundry. Each night they have a small chore to do to help me out. They each have a bathroom to keep clean as well.

Sounds familiar…I had 3 kids and he had 3 kids. We all do our part. Everyone deals with their own rooms and laundry…him and I both cook when needed. I clean mostly when I have time which is rare with 6 kids all in different sports I’m a teacher and he works alot!!! It will work out! Just find balance and also time for yourself, it’s very important!!! Do you both have exes who have the kids sometimes too???

I work 2 jobs equaling 80hrs a week my hubby also works about 80hrs a week. I’m kind of OCD when it comes to this: I have a color coordinated calendar/ chore chart. Their towels, hair brushes, anything that there’s multiple of & can either say that’s mine or that’s not mine is color coordinated to the chart. Most of my kids are old enough to do their own laundry, each person has an assigned laundry day.
As for food: I have a snack shelf in the fridge and another one in the pantry.
Lunch all they have to do is make a sandwich. Dinner I do alot of crockpot meals when I work nights. I’m also teaching the kids how to cook.


You have to be organized! Your family is a community- everyone contributes to keep the community going. As the children age they get chores, but also privileges. Like staying up later than the other children, getting to go on sleepovers, or even earning points towards a new game or extra time on social media.
What ever you do, don’t make the older children responsible for the younger children unless you have rules that everyone follows and there’s a difference in how you compensate them.

You have to be very organized, stay consistent on a schedule, meal plan ahead, assign chores, crock pot and oven recipes are clutch too. You will find your groove and on the days that it all seems to fall apart, it’s ok to cry but get back at it the next day! You’ve got this! :two_hearts:

We have 7 at home (5 grown) and one on the way. I work nights, he works days. It’s organized chaos. I take kids to school and do breakfast lunch dinner and clean house and do all the bill pay and budgeting etc. He goes to work and gets them to bed

Same day by day just breathe. Do what you can.

He can help. He can do laundry. He can grocery shop, meal plan, cook ahead. He can check homework, pack lunches, lay out school clothes. He can scrub toilets, wash dishes, dust, sweep and mop. I work M-F, 8-3. My hubs works 4 days 9am-9pm, 4 off, then 4 nights 9 pm-9 am. He doesn’t get a free pass because he is employed!


Coming from a sibling group of 12, WE ALL HAD A CHORE STARTING AGE 3

He can definitely help. Every responsibly should not fall on you. It is also his house and they are also his kids. If he has time at home by himself it would be even easier for him to do things. Cleaning, dishes, laundry, running errands, getting groceries, meal prepping. There are countless things he can do to contribute to the household.


My husband and I have 7 all together. I cook abd make the kids do chores. I also ask my husband to help. I also work 40 hours, he works at night so I ask him to help with bed time for the Littles. And I cook very large meals. 6 live here full time. I also do at least a load of laundry a day

It’s all about divide and conquer. Although you work opposite schedules, I think he can help you out. When he wakes up around 1pm he could have the house cleaned (dishes done, and throw a load of laundry in washer, and prep kids lunches or whatever). That way when you’re home you can come cook, homework, kids shower/bathe, and you finish up whatever you need to do and relax. Otherwise you will be exhausted doing everything. Create a daily schedule/ plan together & divide and conquer :kissing_heart:


Why can’t he still help? His schedule shouldn’t excuse him from carrying his fair share at home. They are called life skills not wife skills and he can still help clean, do laundry, dishes and if kids are still home during day he can adjust his sleep schedule some (occasionally even) to help with children. You do adjust some to what is needed to manage that size of a family. Make adjustments as you need to help make things more effective and run smoother as you see fit. Give children age appropriate chores so that they help whether that’s laundry, cleaning (at a minimum their spaces) and even helping with meals.


He can help meal prep and start laundry in the morning, you can take over in the evenings and give all the kids a job to do.


Looks like he got a great deal moving in with you.

How does he manage his kids when he has such a difficult work schedule? He must have had some solution before you moved in.

He can help. You both work. You also go to school. Tell him to make time.


You need help or some kind of change asap!!!

Maybe he can’t be there physically with all the kids all the time, but he can put on a crock pot and cook a meal, clean the house, wash clothes, etc. It shouldn’t fall on you. Ever. There are a thousand ways to make someone’s life easier without physically being there

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So you just free babysitter and house cleaner :joy:

Did you move in to be a babysitter, cook, and maid? No. He needs to do whatever he was doing BEFORE you moved in with his kids…. There shouldn’t be much difference, as far as “responsibilities” go. Instead of cooking for 2 or 3, you cook the same meal for 5. Instead of doing laundry for 2, you do larger loads for 5, and everyone should chip in whenever and wherever possible—children and boyfriend included.

Moving in with someone before getting married gives you both an opportunity to give each other a “preview” of what life will be like, together, with the curtains pulled back. However each of you decide to show each other your true colors—make sure you pay attention….

Everyone likes to say “he/she wasn’t like this before we got married”, but they have been, are, and always will be EXACTLY who they are. People don’t magically change, for the better or worse. People will show you exactly who they are, over time; it’s your responsibility to watch/listen, take notes, and respond/act in a way that serves your well-being, as well. If this isn’t what you signed up for, speak up. If he doesn’t make adjustments to accommodate, you have a decision to make.


This is not a good way to start bonding two families together. Can any grandparents help. Otherwise someone needs work differently.

That’s how it was growing up. We always had a big family and we still do.
Soup soup soup lol that’s what we mostly ate and something good 2-3x a week

Make a schedule of chores depends on their age. You both need a teamwork on how to manage things. Don’t take all the responsibilities on raising his kids. They are biologically his so he need to help. But not dump everything on you

What did he do before you??

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Key word was can’t help, it’s more like don’t want to help!!

How did he take care of his kids before you?


How did he manage his kids before you moved in?

I dont work. We have 5 kids and I just simply cannot work outside the home. I have been trying to find something at home that I can do with my 3yo still home but not having luck. I probably won’t be able to find something.

Sounds like he’s using you for a live in maid/ nanny.


He can help in his off time just like you do right.

Hire a teen to come help afternoons, hire a cleaning service but make the kids do their own chores. Swap time alone with neighbors so they watch your kids while you get stuff done, and vice versa. Hubs works 14 hours a day 5 or more days a week? That’s a lot. Does he get weekends off? He has whatever chores he’s good at on weekends.

Do schedule down time, me time and family fun time for everyone while you’re trying to get everything done. No one remembers dustless furniture, but the love shared is most important.

When do the kids leave for school? I’d make Dad do breakfasts & lunches for the kids when he gets home. He can get dinner ready when he wakes up or he can throw stuff in the crock pot before he leaves for work. He can do little things like switch the laundry too.

Develop a list of chores each kid can do and text it to him. He can look at it and suggest changes on a break or whenever he can. Once it’s finalized, have a meeting with the kids and let them have some input into which chores each prefers (but mix it up every 3 months so everyone learns to do everything well). They get rewards (gold stars, extra screen time, they get to pick dinner menu or dessert once day that week, group applause) for doing their chores well and no reward & everyone can scowl at them or boo them if they forget or do it badly.

Maybe schedule time on weekends where you put on some peppy music (rotate who picks the soundtrack) when everyone cleans up and does chores together.

Good luck. Your schedules sound insane even without kids. You are doing an amazing job already.

Personally this is something y’all should have had planned
Pre make allot of crock pot food whenever one of you has days off
Study times and bath times and everything on a schedule


Outsource what you can, cleaning etc. Make friends with your crockpot, freezer meals are your friend. He still needs to help you work as much as him.

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Live in separate households. How did he manage before you were in the picture!

It takes a village- if you can- hire a house keeper.

Def dish out chores to the kids! Easy meals. And that man of mine would figure out ways to help. Period

This is exactly how it was when my husband and I got together. I had 3 kids. He had 2 kids. I put everything on a schedule. And its been 5 1/2 years and I still have everything on a schedule. I wash clothes Wednesdays and Saturdays. The older ones fold their own clothes, help clean up and dishes. My 3 older boys help with cutting grass. They help with all chores except mopping because I do that. Everyone helps keep their rooms clean and their bathroom clean.


I have 6 young boys, schedules and short cuts! We have clothing bins all the kids help with laundry they sort it into bins. At night they have a small bin for school shoes and new outfit for the day. We have 2 chores per day, before school chores and after school chores. On weekends we do a big clean up.

OK he’s a boyfriend so he needs to be present with the kids. If it were your husband and those were y’all’s kids together, I could understand doing what you have to do. Here in there is whatever even but if this is every time the kids are at the house… he’s going to have to find a different schedule.  i’m all for teamwork makes the dream work, but again this is just a boyfriend. 


He can help by starting dinner in the crock pot so it will be ready for you and the kids. He can throw a load of laundry before he sleeps and put in the dryer when he wakes up. You can fold when you get home. He’s a grown man, not a child. If he wanted to, he would. Don’t let a boyfriend turn into a grown man child husband.


How did he manage to look after his 3 kids before you came along with your 2 ? Get him to do 50/50 end of


How was he managing his 3 children before you moved in together?

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He can’t help? What did he do with his kids before you moved in?


It takes a village momma. See if you can get some friends to stop by from time to time and maybe help out. Even having dinner with you. Would be helpful another set of eyes is magical


He certainly can help. Don’t be fooled. He has at least 5 hours between work n sleep

Nope we are a family of 7
Him working nights is not an exuse to not help for 10 years mine has worked nights and he still does school pick up, helps w sports, and one day off should be his day to be like what do we need done today laundry? Dishes, groceries? All the above?
It takes two partners to run a household, manage schedules etc and while i may be the main one, we have to be a team in order to have it functioning

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What are you doing, moving in with your boyfriend and all his kids? Are you that desperate?

Find a new boyfriend with no kids? :joy:

He “can’t” help? Why not. He works 14 hour shifts daily? Probably not. He should be doing just as much as you

He just got a live in maid and babysitter…he can’t help or WONT help…he CAN…help…what did he do before you moved in…

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This is a bit lacking in information. How many days off do each of you have, are the 2 consecutive days, split days, etc? Does he do anything towards the home? You left out a lot of information, so no one can honestly talk down on him. How do we know that he doesn’t take care of everything else home wise?

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Talk to your boyfriend about how he managed the schedule with his kids before you moved in and see what you can do to modify the schedule to help accommodate the changes. Have the kids do age appropriate chores.

Small children should not be doing laundry.


I personally think something doesn’t add up about this situation. Does he work 14 hour shifts every day? If he does he should be able to hire help. If he doesn’t then he helps on his days off. He probably moved you in for free help with his kids bc no one works 14 hour days every day of the week


Age of children let both set of children help too

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How did he manage before u moved in
Wheres the other mother…this seems odd that u move in and have to do all this plus school plus work

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Who helped with his kids before you moved in together?

  1. He can help, just not with tou at the same time.

  2. The kids can help

  3. Be organized

I have 4 kids and I work 7p-7a and my husband work 7a-5p. Here’s some things I do:

  1. All my kids have chores. One does dishes, another puts away, one has recycling, they all walk the dog and take care of poop.

  2. I do laundry and clean on my days off. My husband does laundry and cleans on his days off.

  3. I have a white board in the kitchen with the meals for the month. I meal plan for the month and meal prep. That way when depending on who’s home they or I will cook the meal or I throw it in a crock pot.

  4. Every appointment is on the calendar.

Having a large family takes a lot of communication and teamwork.

Can I ask why you are expected to do everything and he “can’t” help because of his schedule? You work one less hr than him on swing shifts meaning one of you is off and one is on at a time, he is fully capable of taking care of the kids and doing things just like you do…

Meal plan and prep for the week on your day off
And divide household chores, unless the kids are all toddlers they can also help with chores


Who says he can’t help lol

Move out and don’t do things that stress you out or you’ll be managing your meds for going crazy

I had five kids and ran a Catering business You just adjust and do it. You got this


Never take on someone else’s kids unless there a millionaire and there thingy ejaculates champagne

Who took care of his kids before you moved in together?

See I got more questions:

  1. How old are the kids?
  2. Do they live with you guys full time?
  3. How did he manage before you guys moved in together?
    I really can’t offer advice because I don’t know the whole situation.

So who was helping him before???


Give older kids responsibility. I am single mom of four. A two year old can match socks. A four ye old can put dishes in sink or dishwasher. A six ye old can wash clothes. Let older kids. Over 12 help watch younger kids

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Did you not know he had 3 kids and what his work schedule was?
Did you guys just meet and move in together immediately?


Schedule everything ! Good luck :+1:

I have 4 kids, family of 6. Everybody has to pitch in to make it work, dad, kids, everybody.

What did he do before you?

I was more organized and my house was cleaner when my husband and I had a combined 7 kids. I had lots of lists and the kuds were responsible for making their beds each morning, taking turns doing dishes, feeding the animals and they had to pick up their toys each day or they would go into the “Saturday box!” If they lost their stuff to the Saturday box then they would have to put all the stuff of theirs away on Saturday not sooner!

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What do you mean he can’t help ?? He can help if he wanted to he just don’t want to and you let him get away with that crap .

How was he taking care of them before? Sounds like he got a free babysitter

I come from a big family and ended up with an even bigger family with 9 people to feed and it is a challenge. I had really big pots and pans for cooking in and all the kids helped with chores including doing their own laundry when they got big enough to reach every thing. Dad worked nights so it all fell on me and I worked during the day but I found a way to make it all work and the kids did their part.

You stay on top of things. Every day laundry, everyday straighten this or pick up that. Have them help with taking trash out, washing laundry, taking laundry to their room and putting it away, vacuuming, sweeping. Know what you’re cooking dinner the day before lol. Weekends I do my weekly shopping.

He’s got plenty of time to help after he gets some sleep.No way I’d put up with that for just a boyfriend.Three of those kids are his he should be helping a he’ll of a lot more

Lots of smoke breaks. Or breaks in general.