I always bristle when someone comments my life, or our home must be chaotic. I think they are saying it will be messy, unruly or somehow lacking peace.
I think the intent is amazement and tiny bit dis belief. The idea of putting yourself with 10 kids who are not your own is not a calm image, I get that!
I have worked very hard to create space, create chore expectations, create rhythms that allow for calm. The nights that are explosive with events, energy and need throw off the balance for sure. But overall this house of 12 does make room for the quiet.
It took me a long time to understand I am an extroverted introvert. I love my kids around me, but I desperately need everyone to be quiet and read a book, immediately! My favorite days are when everyone is engaged in a project, a book or coloring but silently sharing space. It does happen!
Being introverted together, being stubborn about wanting things clean and having less things, insisting on regular chores and individual responsibility creates a peaceful atmosphere. Of course there are nights, like last night, that remind me why we try to take on less! Remind me I need to make peace and down time together a priority even if it means swimming against the tide.
For now I am going to read my devotional, put some laundry on the line and wash my floors. A precious moment with 8 at school and two sleeping is very rare...and peaceful!