Broken Daughters

Picking up the shattered glass of fundamentalism


Eric and Leslie vs the mess of the world

I really have to get this rant off my chest. Please note that I’m not attempting to judge the Ludys for who and what they really are, I don’t know them so I can’t say; but I do judge them for the picture they show to the community.

The Ludys. The perfect couple within the home school/courtship movement. While they teach fundamentalist values and views, they still seem so “normal”, so “perfect”, so… everything a girl could ever want.

I grew up with the Ludy’s books. I used to be a HUGE fan of them, all of them, especially Leslie’s books on beauty and femininity.

While most people consider Eric the bold one with the harsh sermons, I tend to disagree. Eric might be just as crazy as Leslie, but Leslie is the one with the most dangerous message.

Her “hobby” of sorts is to pick on other women, specifically women with children, who don’t do as awesome as she does. In pretty much every book I remember reading, she comes up with a story of how she met a married woman who ‘was shattering her childhood dreams of the perfect marriage and family’ (not an exact quote). For example a woman who looked very ‘messy’. We do not learn what “messy” means by Leslie’s standards. On all the pictures we see of Leslie, she is perfectly styled. Perfect hair, perfect make up (yes girls, sorry to shatter your dreams now, Leslie ALWAYS wears make up), perfect dress and style. Maybe she has a good sense for it, maybe she has a stylist. Either way, not everyone is that lucky to have one of those two, or even both. We learn about that messy woman that she looks tired, her hair looks tangled, and her clothes look kind of… well, messy. That might just be that this woman has a different type of hair that’s hard to control, that she doesn’t like make up and that she hasn’t as good of a sense for clothes as Leslie does. But rigid old Leslie’s comment stands there, on its little throne, judging every woman who can’t be the way she is for whatever reason. And of course, that’s one of Leslie’s secrets for the perfect marriage. Be like Leslie, and your husband will treat you like the queen you are. If you want to convince yourself, I beg you to read an article in the July/August 2011 issue of her online magazine (the newest one with the red cover). The article starts on page 86, it’s called “Mothering with dignity”. You can find her magazine at setapartgirl dot com. I refuse to link directly to her.

Another thing that she loves to pick on (see aforementioned article) is the houses of people. Leslie seems to be a very clean woman, because so far I haven’t read a word of praise in her books or magazines about other people’s houses. Nothing seems to meet her standard. She picks on the messiness of the house, the interior, the furniture, everything. And she doesn’t stop there – she seems to never get enough of telling people just how great she’s at decorating and how much better her family runs when everything is tidy, clean and beautifully decorated. Again, she shows that she simply has an eye for style, but that’s not what I’m criticizing. It’s the fact that she actually has the money to do as she pleases with her house. She has the space, the money to buy beautiful things, the style. Not everyone has that. But by her judgement, these people aren’t to be accepting, they are just a negative example for a christian family. They don’t live what christianity means. She never fails to put people down when they don’t meet her standard of living.

Growing up as a girl, I wanted to be like Leslie. Well styled in my pretty white picket fence home with my awesome “warrior-poet”. She seemed like everything she did was because of Christ, because that’s where her energy came from. And growing up in a house with 14 people, I also knew that something was wrong with us. We didn’t have the money to decorate much, or paint walls, or buy pretty beddings. My mom didn’t wear beautiful clothes and perfect make up. Home school wasn’t heaven on earth with peaceful children. Much of the opposite is true. I wondered why we weren’t like the Ludys. And I’m glad to tell everybody that I now know why we never were like them: Because the Ludys, especially Leslie, is so obsessed with the picture she’ll see of herself in the christian community. She obsesses over details nobody would blame her for. She has a natural gift for style and beauty, and that’s fine, but she uses it against people who don’t have it. She puts everyone down who doesn’t reach her standard for a “christian” wife and mother.

Leslie’s standards are far beyond what is possible for a family with 6 plus kids. I’m sorry to be so harsh, but Leslie has only four kids. I have raised more than that before I was 18. If I had only four, my house might never be messy as well. I might have the time to style myself as well. But not everyone is made for that and I firmly believe there are people who are pushed to their limits by one or two kids. That’s fine too, until the Leslies of this world come along and judge everything you thought was ok in your life into oblivion.

At the end of the day, Leslie is nothing but a overperfectionist woman, something that reminds me of a OCD, with which she tortures everyone who can’t be like her. And I despise her for telling growing girls that they have to be just what she is up to a point where girl entirely lose themselves in the process. Where nothing but a mechanical shell is left, trying to achieve a standard set by her highness and goddess Leslie, and not by Jesus. Legalist anybody?



When good things happen to bad people – wait, what?

Here’s just an assembly of today’s thoughts on God. Very random, not many answers.

God, that’s that big teacher up in the sky, living outside of time, in heavenly Jerusalem, from where he will judge the good and the bad.

But before he judges, he makes sure to be all loving and caring, making us learn. He’s basically the boss teacher. And I have to admit, his style of teaching is unconventional, to say the least.

I have been taught all my life by my dad. My dad’s voice was God’s way of speaking to me. God speaks through dads.

My dad said that bad things happen to bad people. Like tsunamis, or earth quakes, or something like that. And when those things hit, they swipe away only the bad ones. The good ones are taking away into safety by God himself before hand. This always made sense to me.

But then why do bad things happen to good people? And likewise, why do good things happen to bad people?

Imagine there was a really evil man. Let’s go with a pedophile. He meets a woman whom he marries. She’s godly in every way, inward and outward. She possesses all qualities of a P31 woman and she cares for him every day of her life. They have a hand full of kids, all just as godly as the wife, being obedient, cheerful and just overall good kids. A family, who’s just as godly as our first family, lives in the house right next to them. Now one day, the pedophile dad loses his discipline to ignore his sexual preference and goes abusing the godly neighbor’s little boy. What’s up with that? What went wrong? Why are two families being punished when really nobody did anything ungodly?

Imagine being a wife for 5, 10 or even 50 years and you find out you have been lied to all of your life by the person you trust the most. That’s a straight punishment. Imagine one of your kids being hurt or abused by somebody evil. That’s a punishment too. Why does God punish good people?

No worries, we have an answer for that too! It’s because God teaches us. I said before that his methods are a bit unusual. God teaches us by doing bad things to us. He tests us and our faith.

Why does God have to test us when everything, all events of time, are just the way he designed it. If he could foresee everything we’d be, do and have, where’s the need to test?

Why does God make us so we need teaching? I thought creation was good, creation was perfect. After all God is perfect. Why did he make us defect beings who need teaching like a pack of naughty kids? There’s only one answer I can give: God is a mean boy.

He likes watching us suffer, he likes us as defect beings, because that’s the only way we can humour him with our sad attempts to get through life. God used to show that a lot more back in the day, when he ran around punishing people for wearing the wrong pair of shoes, screaming and yelling at them because they weren’t worth a second of his precious time. He would come down and ‘spank’ the humans, because remember? Spanking = love.

That’s really all I’m getting from the God I have been taught to believe in.

It reminds me a bit of ants. Remember playing in the garden, watching an ant colony, deciding to kill one and let the other escape? You would catch some and put them some place else to see where they would do, if they’d make their way back. You kill some random ones to see the reaction of the others. I sometimes feel like God is just a mean boy, enjoying the power he has over a bunch of ants. Would the boy be sad if all ants died? Certainly not.

But then there’s Jesus. He’s so different, no wonder that bunch of spanked kids loved him, viewed him as the Messiah. He is loving, caring, not judging, not punishing. Sometimes I feel like God and Jesus are from two separate religions.

Jesus is really the only reason why I haven’t abandoned religion all together yet.


Giving pieces of your “heart” away

Caution: Explicit language.

When discussing dating and courtship, one of the most popular lines to defend courtship is the belief that when dating, you give pieces of your heart to each person you date. This belief is again based on a belief that all forms of dating mean that you “fall in love quickly”, that you end up having physical or sexual contact on the very first date and that you are certainly not finding a suitable spouse by dating.

Now obviously, the godly courtship doesn’t face any of these struggles – yet another belief. When courting, you’re not supposed to fall in love. It’s ok if there is a “spark”, but anything more wouldn’t lead you into a courtship simply because the danger of giving a piece of your heart to the “wrong” person is so big. So essentially, you should not be or fall in love with your courting partner.

I was raised in this belief and I was very strong in it. I was obsessed with guarding my heart, hoping it would please my parents, especially my dad. If I had to draw a picture of myself for you, imagine I’d be the princess sitting on a throne in a spotless white dress. My dad was a strong knight, guarding the gates to my castles, slaying every man who wasn’t clean enough for his taste. And even once he let somebody in, he was eager for the man to stay at the opposite side of the room, not letting him anywhere near me or my heart.

Only when the time of engagement comes a courting couple is allowed to actually try to start feeling something. But in some groups (not all of them), you’re still not allowed to touch. You can tell these couples by looking at them – a lot of times, they use some kind of device, like a stick or a piece of fabric, that they both hold on one end, as a replacement for holding hands. Every form of physical contact with the opposite gender is feared to “give something away”.

Now I can tell you from personal experience, the term “heart” is just a cover-up for something entirely different. Heart stands for virginity, better yet, for hymen. Essentially all the big fuss boils down to that. Any form of touching the other’s body is considered a harm to the girl’s heart/hymen.

As a young woman growing up, I had some “female problems”, nothing bad really but I felt like I should see a doctor just to make sure it’s all normal. My mother had huge issues talking to me about it, I couldn’t ask her a thing. I approached her with a lie, saying that I felt something was very wrong and I needed to see a doctor, knowing she wouldn’t let me go for the real reason. And yet, she denied me to see a gynecologist. I asked her why that was, and her answer was that there can’t be anything wrong “if the seal isn’t broken”. That was her euphemism for hymen. My seeing a doc would only lead to my “seal” being broken. And then what would I tell my husband? It would make me look like a liar. Every girl who’s not a virgin tells her husband that she isn’t “sealed” because of sports, the doctor or something else. Every guy knew that was the typical excuse. This conversation scared me. I was honestly afraid I had already broken my hymen by accident and would look like an adulteress. It cost me some sleepless nights and long prayer sessions.

I know they all say that the hymen isn’t what makes a girl a virgin. But while they say that, they mean the opposite.

Years ago I overheard a story my dad told my mom. It was about a guy and a girl who had just gotten married and were very unhappy. On their wedding night, he didn’t feel any resistance when breaking her “seal”, and neither was there any blood. The man felt robbed of this experience and was sure his wife actually wasn’t a virgin before marriage. He even thought of getting a divorce on the base of adultery. My dad felt sorry for the man, agreeing that he has a good enough reason to be divorced from his wife.

I started thinking about it and realized that it really wasn’t about the heart. All the planning of a wedding boiled down to defloration. What the bride should wear, something that was easily accessible and sexy at the same time. The fact that our weddings end at 10PM. That the place we spend our wedding nights at is usually in maximum half an hour distance. The fact that no christian fundamentalist man cares about planning the wedding, only about when and where the wedding night will be. I felt exploited. Back then I was courting Harry and I realized that the biggest virtue I had to offer wasn’t my meekness, my simple mind, my godliness, my biblical approach, nothing of that compared to my biggest virtue: I had an intact hymen.

At the end of the day, dating vs. courtship isn’t about the heart. It’s about the man opening a woman like a can of diet soda. If he doesn’t get to do that, it’s like somebody spit into your can of soda: You don’t drink it, you throw it away.


The girl at the supermarket

Growing up I never realized what was wrong in my family. There was a lot of stress, anger, fear and negativity, but I never realized why until I left the movement.

See, as a kid and teen, I was very into the movement. I was proud to be part of a group of people who was following the Lord. Even though you’re not supposed to feel superior to anyone on earth, you still do, secretly, inside your own four walls. Yes, of course we were all sinners, but at least we were saved. We weren’t so much on the lookout for other people’s sin, but much more pitting people who weren’t “saved”, who would surely go to hell. Yes, we were better than them. Jesus didn’t love us more, but he used us as an example. We were Jesus’ pride, because we weren’t going to hell, we tried to follow his commands as best as we could, in short, we were superior to the people of the world. The people of the world, that was everyone, religious or not, who didn’t live the same way we did.

I took immense pride in that. Four years ago, there wouldn’t have been a chance for me to even think of leaving the movement. I pitied the leavers so so much. I pitied them, looked down on them, saw them in the fires of hell. Quivering daughters? Those poor, idiotic girls who left the right path for something that was not God’s will. Whenever a daughter left her home and the movement, I was the first to pity her. I was the loudest among the girls who felt the need to curse that woman, making sure everybody knows that they can’t leave the movement because we were right and the others were wrong.

And though I longed for what the other girls outside the movement had – free time, girls nights, nice clothes and friends – I didn’t allow myself to want any of that. Instead, I got angrier and angrier with them. They were so wicked, it made me want to cry and pray. And praying I did. I remember praying many many nights that these girls would see the light and come to our side, be saved and live by our rules.

I remember a day at the supermarket, one of the very few occasions I could leave the house for, I saw a girl in skinny jeans and a tank top, lots of cheap but pretty jewelery on her, and a very nice hairstyle. I stared at her. I tried not to but I did. I don’t think she saw me, but I remember how I thought that those jeans were looking great on her. That her hairstyle looked so summer-y and messy and nice and the jewelery accented a kind of vintage look about her. She had nice make up on too. As soon as I felt the jealousy creep up inside me, I started an inner rant about her, how bad and wicked she was. The hair was much too short for a woman! Doesn’t she know that short hair is a shame to women? And the pants, so manly, she isn’t supposed to wear a man’s clothes. Especially not when they accent her backside! And the jewelery? She certainly isn’t humble and quiet! She’s wicked in her way to show off her richness. Yes, that girl at the supermarket was the walking incarnation of satan. I talked myself into such big rage that I threw around all food for the rest of the supermarket visit.

Not until I was 18 I realized where all these feelings came from. It was because I was not free like scripture promised. I was not filled with inner joy even though I believed to be filled with the holy spirit. Everything my parents told me to be true for women seemed a lie.

This girl at the supermarket was the image for everything I’d never be. Free. Happy. Filled with a healthy self-esteem. Being worth something without ankle-length skirts and a husband to submit to. This girl at the supermarket would live a good life without all the “rules” I had to stick to. She could choose whom she would marry one day. She would choose to have her kids and when. She would choose whether she wanted a job or not. She could choose what to wear, how to cut her hair, what shows to watch and books to read, when to go out with her friends and whom her friends were. I could not. I would get married to a man who would tell me all these things and more. I would have to keep the budget he would allow me, too low and always yelling at me for spending a dime more than he would like me to. A man who would not care whether I wanted sex with him, and if I refused, he would “take what is his biblical right”. I would lose everything – my soul, my body, my mind, my spirit, my dreams and wishes – in order to be all consumed by him, to be part of his body, to function as nothing more than a third and forth hand for him, and once a year an incubator for his seed.

It hit me. There I was, sitting in the tiny cage of christian fundamentalism, looking at all the birds free to fly away.


Training up this child – Part 7 – Sitting, waiting, wishing

To understand the events of my teen and young adult years which lead up to this point, you need to understand my mindset.

Love. Love isn’t an emotion. Our hearts are evil. They are so inexplicably evil that you should never, ever, under any circumstances, trust it. If your heart says left, you better go right.

“Love” in a fundamentalist sense means that you submit to your husband fully. You put up with him abusing you. That’s love. You put up with him not making enough money, having his babies every year, cleaning his house and washing his laundry, cooking his food and fulfilling his sexual needs not because of affection but because of “love”, the love that doesn’t know affection for each other, only duty and submissiveness to an authority.

You don’t submit to your husband because you love him. You submit because it is your duty. Imagine there was a law against public spaghetti eating. You would submit to that law not because you love your state, but because it is your duty – and you don’t want to face the negative consequences.

My family and the entire circle of friends and other QF families used to be very amused by people who get married because they are “in love”. Granted, there should be somewhat of a spark, but if it’s really necessary, friendship works too. The emotions towards a potential partner were pretty much out of the frame. Unless of course, you already were in love.

Being in love without really “knowing” each other – that means, being through a courtship process and already engaged – was absurd. Those people were following their hearts. And hearts are evil. Your heart says left? Go right. And that’s exactly how way too many families treat their daughter’s relationships and feelings.

I’m particularly saying daughters here. Sons are an entirely different story. Sons may actually have feelings toward a girl they aren’t courting yet. Somehow, a man’s heart seems to not be as deceitful as a woman’s. He shouldn’t speak about love just yet, but telling the girl’s dad that you are very fond of her won’t hurt your image.

As a woman’s heart is such a fake piece of tissue, a woman should never ever make the first step in a relationship. She shouldn’t show any, ANY signs of interest towards a certain person. A girl has to sit and wait for Prince Charming.

In some families this goes as far as the girls not being allowed to pick up activities which one could see as “fishing”. Activities that can fall under the “fishing” term: All sports with mixed genders. All church groups with mixed genders. Wait, let’s make this short, all activities where you could possibly meet men old enough to be married.

A girl who does this is usually shunned by the extra holy families. She is flirtatious, offensive and very unladylike. She is immodest, overly sexual and rebellious. She’s not the type of girl any man with biblical views would ever consider marrying.

A godly lady was to wait without any sign of affection for a guy to apply for a courtship to her father. She’d be expected to agree to her father’s wish, considering that he might already have turned down 20 guys who weren’t good enough. She will marry this guy not because of any emotion she might or might not feel, but because she can put up with him. That’s right, marriage is about being able to put up with it.

My family applied all these laws.

For me, that meant that as soon as I hit puberty, I wasn’t allowed to do anything where I could meet guys without an authority (hence a parent) around.

I was to stay at home. The only things I was allowed to go out for was shopping with my mom and to church with the family. I wasn’t allowed to have wordly friends. I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere with my fundamentalist girlfriends. They weren’t either, so I could pretty much only meet them on family get-togethers.

I could not talk to men without a parent in hearing range. I was at home, sitting, waiting, wishing, and wondering. How would my Prince ever find me if he never even saw me?!

I asked my mother how I was supposed to find a man I could marry. Her answer was “Be patient and wait for God to bring him to you. God’s plan is perfect, don’t disturb it.”. I was only partially satisfied with that answer. Little did I know that “the one God had planned for me” was already closer than I’d like him to be.

Read the previous part here, or the next part here.

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Please note that I don’t hate the Duggars or question their life choices. From what you see on TV, the Duggars are a healthy and good family. Though having that many kids isn’t for everyone, I think the way they handle certain things is something others can learn from.

I used to love and admire the Duggars. There wasn’t really agreement about them in our family and friends circle or even at the church. Some said their daughters were too worldly. Others said they shouldn’t have gone on TV. Others again said it was a great mission that they were working on.

Thought I hadn’t seen many episodes back then, I still loved them. I looked at my family and saw that we weren’t remotely like them. The Duggar family members look so happy, so content, so joyous. In my family, there was fear, anger and constant struggle for basic things in life. I don’t see that fear in the eyes of the Duggar girls.

I wondered why the Duggars were so different from my family. Since I left the movement, I began to realize that they didn’t have to face the same struggles we did. We didn’t make a bunch of money from our own TV show, with which we could build a house, have Dad around most of the day and be free from financial problems. I don’t blame them for making money the way they do by any means. They made the right choice. This show pays their bills, and that gives them time to work together as a real family. They did what was best for the kids, and I think anybody who frowns upon that needs to get real.

But back then, since we didn’t have a TV and I wasn’t very educated on media business, I didn’t realize that. It never appeared to me that they could be paid for making the show – don’t laugh at me, hehe. I really had no clue.

So, I began to “research” what caused the Duggar’s happiness. Unfortunately, I used the bible. That’s not exactly the book you want to look at when analyzing a TV show like I did.

First, of course, I worked with P31. I analyzed my mother. I realized that she fit into the P31 pattern pretty well, except for the happy part. She wasn’t cheerful. She didn’t smile at the future. She didn’t even smile at the present! Why was that?

I figured it was partially because her husband didn’t praise her in presence of the church elders. My dad actually never said anything positive about her. He didn’t even talk about her in any way. He hardly ever used the term “we”. It was “him”. He did everything, and we, as a family, were only a piece of him.

Why did he not give her praise then? I stumbled over yet another idea. My mom might not be submissive enough. I checked her behaviour for a few days after that. It lead me to believe that this just couldn’t be the cause. My mom was so submissive that you couldn’t tell she was there until you fell over her. She never talked back. She never made one single decision. Not the tiniest one!

Everything she said had the feel of a question directed to her head, my dad. Shall I make breakfast at 7? Should I wear a blue blouse with the white skirt tomorrow? Does Lisa need to eat up or might she stop now?

Long story short, no matter to which bible character I compared my family members to, I couldn’t find faults. I just couldn’t. We did everything the same way. We were so biblical, you could’ve written our behaviour down and would’ve ended up with the bible.

I started to dislike the Duggars. Why could we not be the same? Why don’t we kiss each other? Why don’t my parents kiss? Why don’t they shower us in laughter and I love yous? They were so perfect, it was a disgust to me.

Now that I’m out, I can look at the Duggars differently. I now know that they had a choice to make their lives really good, and they took it. Everybody else would have made the same decision, and those who wouldn’t, well, I’d straight out call you dumb as a rock.

I still think there has to be more to it than just the money. The Duggars have different views. Their girls are allowed make up and pretty clothes. The shirts the girls wear would’ve been rated too tight in my family. The girls can express themselves. They are partially encouraged to get an education. They go out. They are allowed to go out without their parents! They have a freedom I never experienced.

I’m jealous, but not in a bad way. I’m so happy that for some families, the things that made my life miserable work for others. Call me crazy, but that allows me to keep a spark of faith in God and the Bible. It can’t be all that bad when there’s healthy, happy families living by it.

I feel that I need God at this point, but I’m so clueless how to deal with him.

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What being a Proverbs 31 Women really means.

If you don’t know about the standards Proverbs 31 sets for wives, I will post a link with a detailed explanation shortly.

Proverbs 31 is a wonderful passage of the bible. However, it’s literal meaning has been perverted into a system that no human being can fulfill. You might say “No way! The bible does ask for the best, but it’s not impossible!”. I partially agree, but the way I see P31 put into practice is just utopic.

Let’s look at the day of an actual P31 woman. She is married. Her husband works at least one, most likely 2 or more jobs to provide for the 10+ kids. Like many fundamentalists, they live in a very rural area where any other person who could help lives at least 30 mins away (by car). Her kids are naturally homeschooled.

Her day starts very early. Depending on the ages of the kids, it might just start at 4 AM. For the sake of fairness, we’ll be suggesting getting up at 5:30 AM which is a perfectly normal time for a mother with that many kids. The very little ones might have kept her away during parts of the night, and now every form of sleep is impossible. She gets up and has about 10 minutes to prepare herself, get dressed etc. If possible, she will take another 10 minutes to herself to read the bible in silence. After that, she has 10 minutes to start the breakfast business up. At 6 AM, she will start waking up the kids. The smaller kids might need her help getting dressed and teeth brushed, unless she has bigger daughters who help her with that. Either way she will keep a rough overview over bath times and what’s to wear so there are no fights and nobody ends up wearing something she didn’t pick out the night before.

During this, she will run back and forth between the kitchen and the kid’s rooms. Breakfast for 12 people will need to be prepared. She makes several loads of toasts, readies bowls, milk and cornflakes, makes coffee. She also prepares a lunchbox for her husband. It is now 6:30 AM and her husband wakes up (or has woken up shortly before). He gets ready and shortly after, her husband and the kids are ready for breakfast. They (hopefully) sit down together for a quick bible time in the morning. Her husband will leave the breakfast table at 7 AM and go to work. She is now alone with all the kids. She will start collecting laundry around the house, clean up breakfast, get dishes ready to be washed. The older kids might help her, unless they get some time off at this point. Once she has finished preparing laundry and started the first load to be washed, homeschool starts. It is 8-8:30 AM. The older kids sit down and do some early morning silent work. She will do a first run with the smaller kids on reading and writing, and maybe basic math. Now it is about 9:30. It’s time to start preparing a lunch meal, unless the family eats cold lunch. In my family, a full cooked lunch was normal. Once she has prepared the basics for lunch and things that take a longer time started to cook, its about 10 and the older kids get to work on the harder stuff which they need mom’s supervision for. She teaches for two hours, always running back and forth between lunch, laundry, the smaller kids having their troubles, and the older kids with their questions. This goes on until about 12. Now it’s time to bring full attention to the meal and give the kids time to relax before lunch.

Lunch is between 12:30 and 1 PM. it takes her some time to feed the smaller ones as well, so the older kids might already be relaxing, doing chores or reading and playing while mom is still busy feeding lunch. After the small ones are done, she and the older kids do chores around the house: Cleaning, more laundry, more dishes, more cleaning, maybe some garden work. Depending on how much work was there to do, school starts back up at 2 or 3 PM. The older kids do silent works while the small ones get another repeat of reading and writing lessons, and then again the older kids with harder stuff. Maybe dad come home some time of the day to eat, so he would have needed some attention to have a meal as well.

After school, the clock reads 6 PM. It’s time for a meal again and prepare the messy house for the return of the husband. The smaller kids will get a last feed and bath and will be taken to bed soon. The older ones help with this. During laundry, cleaning up and cooking, the wife might take some time to freshen up for her husband. The husband comes home from work and eats with the family (or at least the part of it that’s still awake). It’s maybe 7 PM. The husband now has time for his bible studies. The wife will iron today’s laundry while the family sits and listens to his bible study. At 8 PM, the older kids prepare for bed. Wife is still ironing, picking out clothes for the next day, checking her schedule for the next day (doctor appointments? any special events? Do I have to bake for church? Is there sewing work to do the next night? Do we need to fit grocery shopping in? etc etc). Between 9 and 10, the older kids go to sleep on their own, or at least retreat to their bedrooms. The wife might do some last touch ups on the house and prepare paperwork, look at the homeschool schedule, and such things, and of course run for one of the babies that’s woken up. At about 10 or 11, the husband wants to go to bed. It’s now the time to fulfill her wifely duties on him. He falls asleep while she runs for the baby again.

12:30 AM Baby cries

1:30 AM Toddler cries

3 AM Baby cries again and won’t fall asleep for an hour

4 AM Toddler cries. She’s awake anyway.

4:30 She goes to bed for a final hour of sleep.

Including very little naps, the wife might get a total of 6 hours of sleep on average. She might have to do some work at home to add to the family income. If there are special days like birthdays and holidays, the work adds up more and more. More cleaning, more cooking, more everything, and not only for a day, this usually increases the stress for a week.


Not all christian families are like this. I do not judge big families. I love big families and kids especially. If you can do it, by any means go for it! But you must realize that being a wife and mom to many kids is not a full time job. It’s 3 full time jobs and some extra hours. In a healthy family, the father should take some of this weight on his shoulders and help his wife with cleaning, cooking and child raising.