Mommy Talks : Monica Poliquit

Mommy Talks

Can you imagine running a household with 5 kids, 2 pairs of which are twins? I can’t. Our guest for today’s Mommy Talks will share with you her personal story and experience about caring for a household with many kids.

Ms. Monica Poliquit is married for almost 5 years to her wonderful husband, Dennis. They have 5 kids — 7 year old Gaby, 6 year old twin boys Jaime and Joaquin, and 2 year old twin girls Sophia and Jessica. They are also homeschooling their kids.

Chris: Hello Monica. Thanks for agreeing to be featured today! Can you share with us a little bit of your work at home? Who takes care of your kids while you are at work?

Monica: I’m a work at home mom, currently an editorial assistant for “The Modern Teacher,” a nationwide distributed teacher’s magazine that’s run by my grandmother (so grandma’s my boss!). I have two wonderful yayas who take care of the twin girls, ‘coz the older three can take care of themselves.

Chris: How do you manage to take care of such a large household? Please give some tips.

Monica: I manage the house by dividing the work — my yayas primarily take care of the younger girls, and chores like cooking and general cleaning. I’m in charge of homeschooling, my husband, and the older three kids. I give chores to my older three, like making their beds, watching their baby sisters, folding the laundry, setting the table, and tidying up their room. Sometimes they help around the kitchen too, and we make our own breakfast. I try to make the older three independent from their yayas– have them pick up after themselves, dress themselves, and take a bath by themselves.

My husband and I share duties in bringing up the kids. I homeschool them during the day, while he’s off at work. When Dennis arrives home, he asks for a report from the kids as to what they learned during the day. This encourages a healthy discussion that deepens the knowledge for the day’s lessons. We talk constantly about how to properly bring up the kids, and we both have to have the same values, ideals and goals that we want our family to grow in.

I must make make special mention to my yayas, because without them, I don’t think I’ll be able to handle everything that needs to be done daily. I am so blessed to have them! Would you believe that I prayed for kind, loving and responsible people who I can trust my kids and household with? God truly answers our prayers! If you’re looking for a yaya/household help, pray for one! And take good care of them, and have an open, trusting relationship with them because they are also your partners in running the household and support in raising the children.

Chris: How do you manage your time and divide it among your kids and hubby?

Monica: We roughly have a schedule which we tend to stick to. Regular must haves are Bible study with papa, homeschool during the day, and breakfast and dinner together. We all hop in bed when it’s sleeping time.

I try to do my work while we homeschool, especially if the kids are just doing some writing exercises. If not, I stay up a couple of extra hours at night to complete my tasks.

Dennis and I make sure we have our date nights every week! Either a dinner or movie out without the kids, just the two of us. Sometimes, we take the kids out individually or in pairs for quality time with mama or papa. A family outing is a huge production for us, just by our sheer size, but we try to go out whenever we can. And, of course, we attend church services together as a family.

Chris: Do you regret having such a large family? Why or why not?

Monica: I can’t say I regret having a large family, because the twin births were not planned at all! Our twins are a first for both sides our family, and so it caught all of us by surprise. On some days, our situation can be tough (sibling squabbles, tons of homeschool work to be done, bills to be paid, housework to do, etc) but we cannot imagine not seeing five smiles, hearing five laughters, and having five sets of arms wrapped around us. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Chris: What advice can you give to mothers who are in the same situation as you are?

Monica: a. Communicate and Delegate — you need to communicate well with your husband, household help, kids, and sometimes even your extended family or friends. Also, lessen your load by delegating tasks to other members of the family who can do it well. For the mommies, remember this: as much as we try, we cannot handle everything by ourselves. If you need help, ask and ask nicely. Make sure your goals and values as a family is known by everyone.

b. Schedule and Plan — it helps to have a family calendar so everyone in the house knows each other’s schedule. Also list down everything that needs to be done. This helps in prioritizing your tasks. And plan your meals properly, so you can maximize the food you buy. Sticking to your lists and schedules will help get things done quickly and efficiently, thus freeing up your schedule for surprise coffee dates or family outings.

c. Pray — Start the day right with quality time with the number one man in your life, God. Reading the Bible and praying helps focus our minds to what is the underlying theme throughout the day — all for His Glory. When our lives are aligned with his vision for us, everything seems to be easier. I strive to be a Proverbs 31 Wife, though I must admit I am still working everyday on it 🙂 But it helps to have a goal, right?

Chris: Thank you so much for sharing so many tips with us, especially about handling a large household. May you continue to be an inspiration to other moms out there!
You can check out more about Monica in her own blog, The Teacher Mama Chronicles. They are also featured in this month’s Smart Parenting magazine!