Grandmother had 11 kids; she put her younger children to bed in tomorrow's school clothes to save time

Lefty Graves

** This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events as told to me by my father, who experienced them firsthand; used with permission.

To say my grandmother was a busy lady would be an understatement. My grandmother had her hands full with being a farm wife and raising her 11 children while my grandfather worked out in the fields providing for his family.

Large families weren’t unusual in those days. Many had a lot of children, so there would be plenty of people on hand to help with the farm chores. However, along with 11 children comes a lot of work for the parents.

My grandmother found herself exhausted by the time the 11th child came along, and she wasn’t feeling well at all, so my grandfather took her to the doctor to see what might be happening. According to my father, who was about 14 then, my grandmother's doctor told my grandfather she was overdoing it and needed a break.

My grandmother was paired up with a lady that was supposed to be able to help her streamline her daily routine, and one of the methods that was recommended was that she should put her younger children in their school clothes the night before so that she could save time in the morning when they were preparing for school.

This seemed to work wonderfully, and everyone made it to school on time. My grandmother was less stressed and more able to focus on living her best life by taking time for herself and planning for the day. All my aunts and uncles graduated from high school, and many of the 11 went on to college.

My grandmother shared some other great tips with me when I had my first child, and I still follow them to this day. I know that a lot of people would think it odd to dress children for school the night before, but it worked very well for my grandmother, and I so appreciate her words of wisdom as I became a new mom. What great tips did your grandmother share with you?

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Lefty has been writing online since 2000 on various topics, including youth mentoring, addiction recovery, parenting, gardening, advocating for seniors, sustainability, farming, and an eclectic mix of other topics. She resides on a farm with her family in Northeastern Washington state.

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