Welcome to This Simple Balance!

My name is June.  I live in North Carolina with my husband and our four children (7, 5, 3, and 1-year old with hopefully more to come one day).

The Unexpectedly Big Family

I didn’t start out wanting a big family. In fact, before I got married, I vowed to wait a long time before having kids.

Even after catching “baby fever” and having my first child at 23, I still never pictured having this many kids! Or wanting more!

But there was something about continuing to add to our family that brought us deep joy. Each child brought with him a unique personality with something to add to our family, something unique they will all eventually add to the world, too.

We loved each one so much that despite all our misgivings and reservations about having more kids (you know, the typical money, stress, I’m already overwhelmed and how the heck can we handle one more kind of things), we decided to take it one kid at a time and one day at a time.

Search for Solutions

Still, when I had my fourth child in January 2016, I knew something had to change about the way we did life.

I was overwhelmed, exhausted, frazzled.

Up until the summer of 2016, I tried to do it all.  I was meal planning, keeping the budget, shopping for all the best deals for EVERYTHING, cleaning morning, noon, and night it felt like.  I took the kids out almost every day, keeping a brutal pace that just wasn’t sustainable.

We were (and still are) a growing family living on a medium-sized single income with student loans still to pay off.  I thought saving money was the most important contribution I could make to our family.

I tried to be intentional with the kids, but I found that I was doing so much for them, when what I really longed to do was to spend more time with them.

There just never seemed to be enough TIME.

You see, I move slowly…and I’ve come to like that about myself.  Maybe it’s just since having kids, I’m not sure.  But it just didn’t seem like my slow, plodding pace would ever allow for the family size I wanted and the values I held dear.

Simple Living (the biggest trend, I know)

But then I started reading blogs like The Art of Simple, Simple Homeschool, and The Lazy Genius, and read books like The More of Less, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Notes from a Blue Bike: The Art of Living Intentionally in a Chaotic World.

I, like many others in my generation of mamas, tasted burn-out and found that minimalism and simple living offered solutions for the slower, less cluttered life we craved.

But this isn’t just another simple living blog.

A Real Life, Big Family Blog

It’s real life in a big, growing, ever-changing family.

We are far from perfect parents. My husband and I both have our vices (I yell more than I would like, for example).

Our kids watch too much t.v.

We don’t make them try dinner hardly ever. PB&J and fruit is a perfectly acceptable substitute (more yummy leftovers for those who can truly appreciate them!).

Bedtime is never what it should be.

Despite all these things, I’m learning to embrace our imperfections. I’m becoming more confident in who I am and in our own unique family. I’m figuring out how to embrace the chaos that is big family with no end to the little years in sight.

My Mission

My mission is to help parents who want big families to see that it’s possible, to show that you don’t need to be the perfect parent to keep growing your family. I also want to share some tricks I’ve learned that keep the chaos levels relatively manageable.

I want this to be a community of readers who troubleshoot each other’s problems and support each other. I don’t have it all figured out – the things that work one day get thrown out the window the next, to be perfectly honest.

Come follow our big family journey and share your own!

A Few Things about Me

1) I love Jesus. If you don’t, it’s o.k. A lot of what I share is pretty free from anything religious or preachy. But you should know that my friendship with Him and pursuit of Him is behind everything I do, and I often ask Him for solutions to my everyday problems and overwhelm. He sustains me on this big family journey.

2) I love coffee, except when I’m pregnant. I know, it’s number two after Jesus. What can I say?

3) I love homeschooling. It’s another thing I’m passionate about – showing people that homeschooling is doable and doesn’t have to look like traditional school. While I see us homeschooling for years to come, we will take it year by year and never say never to any educational option.

4) I hate bugs. I scream around bees and spiders and huge ugly millipedes. I know I shouldn’t, and I’m teaching my kids to be scared of bugs, but I just. Can’t. Help it.

5) I studied Deaf Studies, American Sign Language, and Guidance Counseling in college. In fact, I have a master’s degree that I’ve never “used” and we are still paying for. I’m sure it’ll come in handy one day.

6) I am naturally a strong “J” on the Myer’s Briggs scale, but my husband is showing me the surprising benefits of being a “P”.

7) I’m a borderline introvert/extrovert, quite possibly an ambivert. The number of kids we have and my husband’s extreme introvertedness push me back and forth across the line, depending on the day.

8) I am a recovering perfectionist. You can’t tell because you often need to go from one extreme to the other to find balance.

9) I order the same coffee at Starbucks every time (a grande vanilla latte with whip, no foam). I love going to the same restaurants I already know I love and watching the same movies over and over. I pretty much avoid any new experience that could potentially waste my time, energy, or money. My husband tries to get me to branch out.

10) I sing when I’m trying not to yell. The kids all know mommy’s trying not to be angry singing voice. It usually doesn’t help that much, and it sounds pretty ridiculous if I actually stop to listen to myself.

I’m glad you here, and I’d love to hear from you! If you’d like to get in touch with me, click HERE, or just sign up for my e-mail list HERE.

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