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Have a Lovely (Long) Weekend.

Have a Lovely (Long) Weekend

What are your plans for the weekend? After begging for years, the boys have finally worn us down and we are going to Chuck E. Cheese’s. Please wish us luck! :) Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

Homeland’s sixth season premieres this Sunday!

Three-ingredient macaroni and cheese.

The one question I ask new entrepreneurs.”

This cartoon made me laugh.

A sweet mindfulness game for kids.

Michelle Obama’s got late night show hosting skills.

What life was like in 2007, haha.

Beyoncé and Solange on the value of being control freaks.

Four couples built tiny houses so they could live next to each other!

I read this book about autism on the plane last weekend, and it was fantastic.

One way to raise 12 kids. (Wow!)

Groomsmen goals.

A pretty shirt.

Also, for parents-to-be: I wish this awesome breast pump had existed when I had my babies. Developed by fed-up parents, the pump uses water instead of air to make pumping more comfortable, efficient and quiet. Bravo.

(Photo by Kendra Smoot. Entrepreneurs and 12 kids via Swissmiss. 2017 via Jocelyn Glei.)

  1. Robin says...

    I was kind of on board with the family of 12 (not how I would do things, starting with having 12 kids, omg, but okay, I get the value of learning to clean/fix cars etc) and then I got to the ‘vacations’. That poor long suffering woman. At least let her stay home with her bloody washing machine and hopefully some babysitting help! Camping BY HERSELF with AT LEAST three kids under 6?? Most likely also while pregnant/ caring for a newborn? Every year, for at least a decade? brutal. Ugh, I feel scarred just thinking about it.

  2. Bonnie says...

    I am 40-some pages into “In a Different Key” and am hooked! Great writing and story-telling about a complex condition. I’m so taken with the book that I have convinced my husband to try getting the authors to speak at an autism symposium he is organizing.

    Thank you for pointing out this book and posting your “weekend” entries; I look forward to them every Friday.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m so glad you’re enjoying it! the whole book read like a new yorker article — i really enjoyed it.

  3. Loved the “one thing I ask new entrepreneurs” because I just opened my own stationery shop a few months ago and ALLLL the business books recommended spending some time working in a store (or whatever your “field”) before you opened your own AND I ALREADY HAD. I felt so much win! I worked full time in a local stationery chain for three years after college so my time was DONE. Done and dusted.

  4. Lauren E. says...

    Wow, that family of 12… Some of it makes a lot of sense to me, and some of it makes me a little sad. One rule that weirdly stood out was being forced to take AP classes. I was smart enough to test into AP but when it came down to it, I was so stressed out with the work load that I couldn’t sleep and ended up in tears at midnight trying to get my homework finished. I have a hard time believing every single one of their 12 kids was perfectly happy and not at all affected by being forced to take advanced placement classes.

  5. heather says...

    I can’t stop thinking about that family of 12.

    We have three small children (oldest 4 years old), and at least once each day all three kids are crying about one thing or another at the exact same time and want to be held by mommy at the exact same time and will try to push each other off of my lap, scrabbling around like whining puppies, so that I’m trying to comfort them at the same time I’m scolding them for being unkind to one another. I can’t even imagine having nine more children lined up behind them, also wanting a turn on mommy’s lap. I suppose we’d probably get pretty disciplined, too, just out of sheer necessity, so that the house didn’t cave in around us and our hearts didn’t split apart. I’m so grateful that – stretched as I feel – I do not have to push my kids to be sufficiently independent not to need cuddles. (But also, I should probably make them clean up after themselves a little more. )

  6. Hillary says...

    Oh. My. God. THAT BREAST PUMP. After lugging a hospital grade breast pump for 12 months with my first, I am starry-eyed over this beaut. Glad to be reading this post in my first trimester so I can start saving up :)

  7. April says...

    I am an avid reader of Cup of Jo, and I have to say… some of the comments about the family of 12 make me sad. It says the father of the family works at the same aerospace engineering company as my husband. These engineers have to have incredible precision and order within their work as the slightest nuance could spell disaster for an airplane. As the wife of one of these individuals I can say that some of the ways my husband expresses love is through the order and thoughtfulness he brings (I would be lost without him!) Just because this family has a lot of rules doesn’t mean they are joyless or lacked love. If you read the comments of the article, one of the 12 kids was responding to reader questions and he seemed pretty happy with his parents approach.

    Just a reminder to keep up the kindness and understanding this community is known for!

    • t says...

      Great reminder April!

  8. AR says...

    I haven’t watched Homeland in a while! There are a lot of TV shows right now I don’t know how I can possibly watch all of them.

  9. Marianne says...

    Someone commented that they know one of the 12 kids. Can we get an exclusive CofJ interview with her? Would be fascinating!

  10. Christina says...

    For those looking at the price of the pump, look into what your health insurance does! I’m very fortunate that ours let’s me get a new pump with every baby up to $700 for reimbursement. Then your only out of pocket a couple hundred bucks.

    It’s is expensive, but for someone who had to exclusively pump I’m all heart-eyes over those silicone flanges. AMAZING.

    • Hillary says...

      I know right?! I’m drooling over this thing like it’s a piece of meat.

  11. Jean says...

    Not helping your kids through college when you could afford to do it seems a bit…mean. I get the importance of instilling independence but it’s hard to learn when you are panicking about how to pay your tuition/looking forward to years of postgraduate debt. Obviously this is the reality for many American students but it seems weird to me that the dad of 12 kids would see that as something to show off about.

    That said I did like his car strategy, I’ve always said that if I had a kid I’d buy them a decommissioned sidewalk snow remover as their first vehicle :)

  12. Carrie says...

    I don’t see where it says the family hasn’t been together in 20 years (if so then yes, something’s off)…but I have mixed feelings about these parents! In some ways I wish my own parents had pushed me like this (school especially!) but to keep saying over and over how they had all this money but wouldn’t pay for college or weddings- I don’t know, seems kind of cold and weird to me. What about *their* duties and responsibilities? It’s like these kids were an experiment.

  13. Big fan of your blog and all of your tips! I’d like to give you my own… I always buy from this store in Brazil, they have handmade products made by craftsmen in small cities all over the country, all put together in one store. They also have a brick and mortar store in a beach city called Trancoso, this is their website: http://www.divinostrancoso.com.br. Hope you all like it just as much as I do! =)

  14. Aga says...

    I was about to forward the breast pump to a friend who just had a baby UNTIL i saw that it’s $1000 USD? That’s insane!

  15. den says...

    i mean, full offense, but that raising 12 kids article REEKS of abuse and something else going down in that house…surely there must be a reason why that family hasn’t been together in almost 20 years /:

    • Stephanie says...

      I know a woman who was brought up like this– her parents were super aggro about chores, but stingy with affection. She’s fine but she’s not wild about them, and she’s not raising her kids like that.

      For me, it doesn’t work because it’s not the way I want to live, and I’m selfish. I want to stay in a hotel sometimes. Other times, I want a snack. And I don’t even know what to say about forcing 12 kids, all likely very different, into all the AP classes.

  16. Julia says...

    Hi Joanna!

    I was curious to ask you and other readers what you think of this hands free breast pump the hands-free Willow? I am so curious to hear if it actually works well. I don’t have any kids but am planning on starting a family soon so I am wondering if it is worth it. https://www.babble.com/parenting/willow-hands-free-breast-pump/

  17. Kitty says...

    I actually kind of enjoyed the 12 kids article. Although I will 100% pay for my kids to go to collage (I’m in Canada so the financial burden is less than American schools) I think it’s imperative to teach children about chores and responsibilities. I grew up in a hippie household where I was allowed to choose my schools, my classes, etc and in reality it made me lazy. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized I didn’t want to be a waitress the rest of my life and went to school to have a career and a future in which I can retire.
    There are several comments made here that imply that these kids had an unhappy childhood but we have NO idea about their childhoods and whether they were happy or not. Although I don’t completely agree with the article, I think these folks did the best they could and I think they probably raised some pretty good kids. The life they chose is not necessarily for me, I have one kid and I hate waking up before 8 but I commend them for trying and for putting it out there for the world to see.

    • Emily says...

      I agree. I ended up being lazy and still have to fight it off and try to have a strong work ethic which I learned from marrying someone who has one!

  18. Anna says...

    While I’m always happy to hear about people learning more about autism (as I am autistic myself!) and how it’s a difference, not a disease that needs curing, I’m somewhat annoyed that the book mentioned doesn’t seem to feature many actually autistic people, just people around them (and even worse, autistic reviewers stating that the book promotes the need for a cure from a parent’s perspective – the idea makes me feel sick to my stomach). Unfortunately, so often, autistic people are often ignored, and instead the focus goes to their parents/loved ones and how tough it must be for them, leading to ignorance/awful treatment of autistic people.

    While I haven’t read them yet myself, I’d recommend reading books by actual autistic people if you’d like to know more, it would be an awesome way to go! (The two on my wishlist are “Nerdy, Shy, and Socially Inappropriate: A User Guide to an Asperger Life” by Cynthia Kim, and “Life on the Autism Spectrum – A Guide for Girls and Women” by Karen McKibbin.)

    Nothing about us without us! And thank you for such a lovely blog.

    • MissEm says...

      These are good points, Anna! I’m glad you shared them. I’ve worked as a teacher’s aide with children with autism in the past and am always interested in understanding better. If you’re willing, I’d be curious about your thoughts re children and adults who are very much in their own world bc of autism, the sort of “glass wall” idea – is a cure or something along those lines appropriate in those cases, in your opinion?

  19. Nina says...

    I’m sorry but where is Naya getting their information? Formula feeding does not cost $5,475 per year. That is insanity! While many of us know formula is not cheap, it’s about $4K cheaper than that. Another thing: Naya doesn’t compare the cost of this product to existing breast pumps, only to hospital grade pumps (which are, of course, more expensive.) I’m sure this is an excellent pump (and for that price, it better be) but I find it pretty outrageous that Naya is spreading false information. I despise companies that prey on vulnerable new moms.

    • I saw that too. $15/day for formula. Is it made of lobster? Holy cow, we were more like $15/week here (which is just under $800).

    • Karen says...

      I’m exclusively breastfeeding my baby but out of curiosity I saw on Kelly Mom that the financial cost for feeding formula for a year on the high end is $3,164, low end is $816. http://kellymom.com/pregnancy/bf-prep/bfcostbenefits/

  20. Huge red flag that that family with 12 kids hasn’t been all together in almost 20 years. No special events, reunions, anniversaries, weddings, holidays, anything??? Hmmmm.

    And there is no way every single kid took every single available AP class, and participated in a sport, and was home for the 2 hour study hall and 5:30 dinner (not to mention each supposedly building their own cars and computers from a pile of parts). Are you telling me that not only did they foil food allergies by their strict meal protocol , but that there also wasn’t a single child in that dozen that had any sort of learning disability, or emotional issue, or lack of athletic coordination, or lack of handiness necessary to build machines? That is impossible even with 2 kids. That just tells me that this father either cruelly ignored the individual needs of any particular kid, or was clueless. That’s not “being a parent, not a friend” – that’s just trying to shape 12 people in your personal image (you egotistical $%^).

    That whole thing reeks of bullshit — or of the absentee provider Daddy not really knowing what was going on in that household while he was off at work making all that money he wasn’t spending on his family. Who wants to bet some of it was sent off to the Trump/Pence campaign?

    • Brittany says...

      I am not here to refute all of your points, but as the oldest of seven I can tell you that it pretty much takes divine intervention to get us all into one place at the same time. I think the last time my entire immediate family was together was six years ago and that was with my four youngest siblings still at home. Now there are two left at home, and the five oldest are spread to the four corners.

    • Mer says...

      They probably haven’t been together because the dad won’t pay for the plane tickets! Ha!

    • Emmanuella says...

      Political accusations aside, I agree with your comment to a large extent. You raise some very good points, particularly about each kid having to be a superstar academically, athletically and emotionally when he and she may not be equipped. I myself am one of twelve kids and we are all SO different, I can’t imagine a cookie cutter upbringing with all the strict rules like the ones listed in that article. It sounds like either there was some wiggle room that they’re not telling us about or not all their kids were 100% happy with the how they were raised. Who’s to say except the members of that family but it does make a reader wonder. In reading the article, it also seemed like something too idealistic and unrealistic for a lot of families to strive for.

  21. Amy says...

    Not to beat a dead horse, but as an educator, I can’t help myself from chiming in about this gem from the parenting article:

    “All the kids were required to take every Advanced Placement class there was. We did not let entrance scores be an impediment. We went to the school and demanded our kids be let in.”

    1. That level of entitlement is disgusting
    2. That attitude among white, entitled, well-off parents is partially responsible for kids of color being underrepresented in AP classes (upper middle class white kids are much more likely to have entitled parents who have the confidence and time to waltz in and make such “demands”)
    3. Most kids would not benefit educationally from being placed in a class that their teachers felt was beyond them (I say “most” in acknowledgement that teachers will err occasionally)
    4. When kids who are not ready to learn at a pace or level of rigor of a class are admitted anyway for reasons like pushy parents, it is incredibly unfair to the kids who were correctly placed in that class with an expectation that the course would serve their abilities and move at the pace appropriate from them
    5. Good, functional schools would never allow this (speaking as a math dept head who has lots of experience explaining to parents why their kids are not in AP calculus :)

    • Stephanie says...

      I so agree with this. I live in a very good, very affluent school district where virtually every parents feels their kid is off the charts smart. They’re 100% the types to go argue with the school about everything. But then post articles on FB about how bad helicopter parenting is.

      I’m guiding my kids towards AP classes, but more like how I’m encouraging college. When the time comes, we’ll consider the circumstances and speak with the counselors. If a little push is needed, fine but I’m not like you must take ALL THE CLASSES!!! LET MY KID IN!!!

    • Alexia says...

      As a high school senior, I have to guess their school does not offer many AP classes. I think College Board offers 32 classes total, but even my school, which has the most AP classes in the state, offers only 22. In order to take all those classes, kids would have to have 8 junior/senior year and 3 fresh/Soph year which has NEVER happened (18-19 is normally the high).

      Anyways, the parents sound very entitled. I doubt their kids could do all they said they did, unless they took less than 2 APs/year.

  22. Val says...

    We were just in NYC for the holidays with our 3.5 yr old. We loved it and took the train/stroller mostly. We did not see a lot of other kids in the trains though. How do people with kids in Manhattan/Brooklyn get to places?

    In the article about raising 12 kids the dad implies that food allergies happen because the kids don’t eat a varied diet. Allergies are not something you can control. That article seemed too smug to me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I agree, the article was really intense! I definitely would not raise my kids like that, but I find it fascinating how people have such different approaches.

      Kids I know here typically take the train or walk everywhere. Since our kids’ schools, their friends’ apartments, our doctors/dentists, and our go-to playgrounds are in our neighborhood, our family life has become a 10-block radius! :) I think that’s true for a lot of people, and then we take public transportation or the bike when we go to other neighborhoods to see museums, other friends, etc. Not sure about other families, but that’s true for us! Hope that helps!

    • Rachel S says...

      I thought the same thing… the writer of that article came off as really smug… like, “We were perfect parents and now we have perfect children and grandchildren.” I thought he had some good points and there were some things they did that challenged me to give my kids more responsibility, but I was definitely turned off by the smug tone.

    • Lisa says...

      I was wondering the same when we visited with a six month old. Most subway stations only have stairs (and we had to ask a friend how you get on the platform with a pushchair). I used the sling but since it was so hot, neither the baby nor I were happy with that arrangement for very long.

    • Lois says...

      I agree with you, Val, on the allergies comments. As a mother of a kid with a life-threatening food allergy, I have run into this attitude before: that my son is “needy” or I have coddled him and caused this allergy somehow. It’s not only annoying, but shows a lack of understanding out there about the seriousness of food allergies.

  23. Make the Mac and cheese and skip Chuck E. Cheese! That’s my new rap.

  24. Christine says...

    My kids love Chuck E Cheese but that place is germ city 😀

  25. Alex McKellar says...

    Did you read the story that went with the cartoon? Heartbreaking, really. A couple who have lost connection and live almost separate lives. A stark reminder of what happens when couples forget that a marriage needs to be treated as a living thing, needing water and light and attention and work. I so hope they find their way back to each other.

    • Suzanne says...

      I know – the cartoon was somewhat amusing but the actual article quite sad. I’ve been in a situation where circumstances can cause temporary distance to occur in a relationship (although not quite to that extent) and the advice given is very wise. Worth a read for that, rather than for laughs.

  26. Just so you know, Chuck E. Cheese serves beer. ;)

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha thank you, ann :)

  27. Aaaaghhhh! The Michelle Obama clip made my heart smile and sing, but also cry … Please, Michelle, run for president!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank god there are better options these days!

  28. Jill says...

    About the parenting article – super interesting. Those people are amazing. Personally, I can’t be that perfect, so I think I’ll settle for mediocre parenting instead. It’s ok, my 12-year- old is very kind, doesn’t litter, thinks about others before herself, is stubborn, has time to listen to Taylor Swift and has to do homework before anything else. She puts herself to bed by 9 pm and insists she practice volleyball most days. However, she does like Doritos and {ringles and ice cream and I let her have snacks and a treat every day. She will clean her room when asked. Oh well, I can’t be perfect, but I can’t live with so many rules!!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      you sound like a wonderful mother!

  29. Nina says...

    Chuck e cheese rocks! It’s not the same dark, sticky mess as when we were kids. It’s clean, safe affordable, and the games are really fun. We take our 7,5,and 2 year olds about every other month and we all have a blast. Seriously, it’s a gem. (Just eat lunch beforehand,the food had not changed! )

  30. Laura says...

    I’m disappointed to see you wish a happy (long) weekend without so much as a mention of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  31. Sarah says...

    As a working mom who is currently pumping and nursing, I was super excited to see the Naya pump. However, I was completely discouraged once I got to the website. A price tag of $1000 is absolutely insane! I understand R&D costs, but that is out of reach for 99% of Americans and I highly doubt insurance is going to spring for that. Such a bummer.

    • Jacque says...

      I read it as satire…anyone else? I mean the building of the cars and 5:15 breakfast—this is comedy people! (I hope😳)

    • Karen says...

      I agree that the Naya is expensive but I was close or at my Out of Network deductible this year so my insurance will cover an Out of Network pump at 70% which brings the cost down to a more palatable level.

  32. P says...

    While the CupofJo link to the article rightfully acknowledges that this is “one way to raise 12 kids” (and implying that it is “one way” to raise kids at all), the author of the article doesn’t seem to make that same claim. Instead, this remarkably tone-deaf essay reads as a self-righteous primer on how to “successfully” parent. In addition to being overwhelmingly smug, the article is particularly grating given the lack of acknowledgment of privilege. While the author notes that he has a “prosperous job”–this isn’t in order to acknowledge that his wealth has allowed for particular opportunities, but rather that they made choices with their wealth as a means of parenting in a particular way. That the children could take Advanced Placement classes or that the parents could spend two hours a night of study time– this is only possible for families who live in areas where these are options and for parents who have jobs that allow for this. Furthermore, for many parents, the struggle to provide is not a path to raising entitled children, it is a life goal that many would consider a gift to their kids. The use of coded language about the kids marrying people with the “same ethics” to support some point of pride is also hard to uncouple from the photograph of the blazingly non-diverse family at the top.

    • Sheila Kaminski says...

      I had the same take away. Our experience is that sports or any other extracurricular things occur between 3-8 at night. With 12 kids, how do you attend a game and stick to the 5:30 dinner time? I’m closer to the oldest child’s age so I know it wasn’t normal then to follow travel sports etc, but parents still watched a couple events. And for economies of scale, why not assign kids to laundry days? It would be a waste to have a child wash only their own clothes. Ehh. I’m annoyed.

    • Lisa says...

      It all just sounded so joyless to me. They lost me at the bit where they said they could afford nice holidays, but went camping instead. Screw that. I’m not spending my time away from work trekking up and down mountains and sleeping on the floor to prove a point (especially with children!). If I can afford it, I’m all for comfortable beds and somewhere with a pool.

    • Kirsten says...

      Yea, I had a hard time getting behind that article, especially because of the tone and self-righteousness of it. And I love that you pointed out the non-diverse family photo! That was the first thing that popped in my head when I read that “same ethics” line.

      I did like the part about young kids having chores and about teaching kids certain practical life skills. Before I was allowed to get my driver’s license, my dad forced me to learn how to change the oil, change a tire, prove that I could manage a skid on ice (terrifying), and do routine maintenance on a car. At the time I hated it, but later it felt so empowering to know what to do when the tire popped on the highway! If I had had to build my own car, however, I likely would have just biked…

      Granted, I’m just now pregnant with my first child, but in my experience working with other young children I think that people often underestimate their abilities as regards household duties. In many cases, young kids enjoy having ‘adult jobs’ and can be fairly proficient at things like sweeping, or feeding chickens, or chopping up vegetables with a dull knife. I don’t think I’d have my toddler using harsh chemical toilet cleaners (!), but I’m definitely planning on raising my kid to participate actively in the work of running the house in an age-appropriate way.

      As a side bar, I was raised always having to do chores, and my husband NEVER had to do them (which I found totally mind-boggling). Let’s just say that to this day he struggles to understand how I “just know” so many life-task things that he’s still sometimes learning in his 30s (things like how to use a lawnmower. And how to iron a shirt. And how to get stains out of laundry). I’m totally convinced it was the chores.

    • Beth says...

      The dad just sounded really controlling and like those kids had no space to be human. He kind of reminded me of my cousin’s husband who styles himself as the best father in the world because he has such high standards for his kids. Meanwhile, he’s just really kind of an a-hole with kids who act entitled regardless of his high standards for personal responsibility. Something in the water is not clean with that article. I wonder what the wife would have to say…

    • Stephanie says...

      I know a family like this, except they only have two kids. The dad is just super dogmatic and opinionated about a zillion things, so they have a lot of goals and rules. Everything they do is incredibly deliberate, like a parenting book and church parenting class on steroids. They’re nice and all, but I get kind of sick of the sort of implied perfection and judgment.

    • Stephanie says...

      I looked the guy up– he’s an engineer in my industry, not some real estate tycoon or something. He was making good money but they’re far from the Rockefellers. I think he might be a little delusional, and I’d like to hear from the kids.

    • Emmanuella says...

      So what are they to do- marry someone non-white to prove that they’re open and accepting of other ethnicities? I think you’re reading too much into the “marry people with same ethics” line. Don’t get me wrong, 80% of the article creeped me out but I wouldn’t come down on a family for marrying people who look like them. Love is love and it’s not fair to pass judgement like that .

  33. Pippa says...

    Facebook came out before 2007…

    • Rachel S says...

      Yes, but I think it became public in 2007… like anyone could have an account. Before that, you could only have an account through your college and it was limited to college students. At least, that’s how I remember it.

  34. Tracy O says...

    Joanna, I am not fan of Chuck E. Cheese, but you are a nice mom to take your boys there. May the force be with you and download coupons before you go! And, because forewarned is forearmed, bring adult and child ibuprofen with you – I am not joking.

  35. Be The Heroic You says...

    “Three-ingredient macaroni and cheese.”

    I have a 3-ingredient macaroni and cheese recipe too. I cook the necessary amount of macaroni for whatever hungry crowd is present and when it’s ready I’ll drain the water and then add the cheese that’s popular to the still-hot macaroni. The residual heat and a couple of minutes of constant stirring create the homemade macaroni and cheese I prefer even if I’m not in a rush.

    1 – Macaroni (or your preferred pasta)
    2 – Cheese of choice
    3 – You as chef

    I saved the best for last on account of me being positive. Naturally. Have a good weekend all.

  36. lea says...

    the family of 12. (insert liz lemon eye roll here). this is very similar to the way i grew up. big family, very strict rules, taught to be very independent and support myself financially from the time i was old enough to get a job. my parents also gave me that last line “not your friend, i’m your parent” so many times. if you asked them i think they’d tell you we are close but i will tell you we are far from close. i tell them next to nothing about my personal life and chose to live across the country from them. i love my parents but it still stresses me out to be around them to this day. i can tell you this, i am my children’s parent and also their best friend. ride or die from day one :)
    i hated this article… self-righteous bragging parents.
    guess you could say it brought up some old family baggage for me haha

    • Aimee says...

      Oldest of ten here, and I had the same reaction to this piece.

    • Julie says...

      Agree!

    • Jill says...

      I hear you an agree with you. See my comment above, I’m late to this, should be at the top.

    • Could not agree more.

    • Sheila Kaminski says...

      2nd oldest of 8, strict but loving family. We all live within 5 blocks of each other and practically raise each other’s kids. We saw failure and had each other’s backs. Humor and kindness won the day. He never specifies how they paid for college. It’s not plausible today. Community college, yes. But if your parents are affluent, you qualify for no aid. Scholarships are possible but highly improbable. I just can’t with this one Joanna.

    • Em says...

      I had the same reaction, Lea. I don’t have kids of my own but I grew up in a really rule-heavy family sort of like the one in the article. I’m now 32 and have a distant, perfunctory relationship with my parents. I felt like they simply applied a list of rules to my childhood and now, many years later, it’s like I can’t get past that formality to form a personal relationship with them. I talk to them once a week on the phone, we share pleasantries and that’s the extent of it. Of course hindsight is 20/20 but I always wonder if it could have been different.

  37. Abesha1 says...

    I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something in that 12- kid article was off. And anyway, it didn’t explain how they paid for college. Or who exactly was buying the investment properties he says they taught them to manage…?

  38. Mary says...

    I think the article on the family was inspiring. I wonder if they ever went to CEC. I worry I am failing in instilling such strong values in my own kids. I think we can all agree we want our kids to be good adults.

  39. Meg says...

    I think the coolest new breast pump that is going to change the game is the Willow and it’s $430.

    • hannah says...

      it’s really cool that there are wearable pump options now for people who are into that! except you’d have to factor in the cost of buying the extra storage bags and replacement accessories after you pay for the pump so it would add up to much more than the initial $430. neat concept though, glad to see companies are innovating in this area :)

  40. Veronica says...

    What annoyed me was the title. It is not explained how the children actually paid for college. Did they get paid for chores, or were the expected to get a job for spending money in addition to all of the tasks demanded by their Draconian upbringing. My parents were fairly strict, but one thing they tried to give us was the security of knowing that they would pay for our education, to the best program we were accepted to that they could afford. I think raising children to be self-sufficient adults is important, but you certainly don’t have to run your home like a military academy to achieve it.

    • Sasha says...

      I agree so much. I do think children need loving boundaries and responsibilities send order….But there was no love expressed in this list. There was no room for following a child’s interests and passions and differences. We love to camp and back pack too, such wonderful adventures. But last year when my youngest wanted to go to Costa Rica, to a wonderful resort, her paying her own way at 17, I said absolutely!!! One of the best things I’ve ever done with her. What good is $ of you can’t use it to enjoy your life with your kids, at least a bit?
      And as a mom of two girls with serious food allergies, his comments about that just piss me off. My kids weren’t picky, we ate a hugely diverse diet, and they both developed allergies as older teens. No one did anything wrong. :(

  41. Sabrina says...

    My three boys love Chuck E. Cheese’s! They always ask to go there for their birthdays. But I finally gave in and now I see how much fun they have there. Have fun!

  42. Olma says...

    I don’t know what to make of that post about the 12 kids. It is hard to make a judgement when it is written by the now old Father.
    I’d love to hear from the kids but I can still imagine that there was probably a lot of fun in the house with so many kids, no financial hardship and two parents who obviously put some thought into their upbringing.
    I kind of wish though that a one of them broke out, quit college , moved back home, played drums all night, gorged on edibles and got fat.

    • Olma says...

      Oh and got that all illusive speeding ticket :)))

    • Haley says...

      ‘Gorged on edibles and got fat’ 😂

  43. Megan says...

    Sorry, but the family of 12 seemed to be a bit freaky. Too many rules and not enough fun!

  44. LJ says...

    I started reading you in 2007!!! That makes me feel old!

  45. Jessie says...

    You should also read Neurotribes, if you haven’t already. One of the best books about autism out there (not that I am an expert, but I am a mom to an autistic child…so, yea- I’m a bit of an expert! ;-)

    • Andrea says...

      Yes, Neurotribes is THE most incredible, riveting book about Autism and neuro-positivity that I’ve ever read. (And I’ve read a lot.) Totally changed me.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you!!!

  46. Trena says...

    I am the oldest of 12 children. My youngest brother is just now 10. I just want to make sure everyone knows, you don’t have to be this strict to have a large family.

    My parents had firm rules (because how else can you keep track of twelve children), but tempered all their actions with a deep and resounding love. They gave us things because they loved us and wanted us to have everything that they could afford. When you’re in a big family is comes almost automatically as a given that there are things your parents can’t give you, like a college degree. But I know my parents would have, could they have.

    We never wanted for anything. That isn’t to say there weren’t some tight years, but they were full of love. And we aren’t spoiled because they gave us things. Things don’t spoil people, it’s how they are given.

  47. Vicki says...

    My kids would DIE of joy if I gave them a car or computer and tools and told them to change the oil/fix it/build it! If only I were more competent with a screwdriver, I’d feel more confident that I could do something besides cry if they poured a few gallons of oil into the radiator! But from the very beginning, they’ve been learning that they *can* do things! Genius. It didn’t sound like a rigid or joyless upbringing at all — it sounded like a grand adventure! What a fun article to read — thanks!

  48. Kati says...

    Good luck!! I have nightmares from having to go to Chuck E. Cheese’s for birthday parties when I was younger.

  49. Sharon says...

    I have a feeling that the family who raised the 12 kids may have a case of selective memory on exactly how all that went down!!! I doubt that 12 kids built their own computers, cars, took every AP and each played a sport and still managed to have breakfast at 5:15 am! Oh and below the pic, it says that they were photoshopped since they have not all been together since 2008…. I wonder why? :)

    • Zoe says...

      Actually it says 1998 which sounds even worse!!!?

    • Kim says...

      Yes it says 1998?? Mmmm they obviously are not a close family? Wonder why? Sounded strange.

  50. Andrea says...

    With the 12 kids article, I see basically a way big families cope and thrive. With that many kids, you need a system and an approach to beat back the chaos. I know many larger families and the ones that have the best outcomes are those where the parents direct and set expectations. The worst are where the parents can’t get it together and the kids live in squalor, watching television all day long.

  51. Angela says...

    That article about the parents about the 12 kids is basically how to run an orphanage. Also – yes, the kids were independent and well-rounded and smart and hard-working – still doesn’t explain how they paid for college themselves unless the author just means that he trusted them to take out loans themselves.

    • Christine says...

      Totally agree!

  52. Just when I get excited that my insurance now covers breast pumps, and the Medela I paid so much for with my first kids is now free, they make a better breast pump and charge $1000. I’ll never be able to keep up… lol.

    • Karen says...

      Lol, I know! Definitely look into your insurance though. I was close or at my Out of Network deductible last year so my insurance covered the Naya pump at 70%.

  53. I’m so relieved to read that I’m not the only one who was slightly horrified by the 12 kids article! I read it this morning, and just kept thinking it was a harsh and joyless way to raise a family. I’m all for expectations and hard work, but their approach was a little to strict for me. I would love to hear from the kids! I had a very strict upbringing and I don’t look back on it fondly. I consider it more of a hindrance than a benefit. I raise my own kids very differently because of it!

    • lea says...

      agreed! i am exactly the same way. this article reminded me a little too much of the way i was brought up. i consider my upbringing a cautionary tale and am very different with my own kids. i have a very complicated relationship with my parents, we are not close, and i am only really close to less than half of my siblings. i now have two kids and i love that we are a close tight knit family. i do have rules and expectations for my children and teach them independence but i will always be their best friend for as long as they want me to :)
      i am am a strong, responsible, college educated person…yay…but i do not look back on my upbringing fondly either.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree it was really intense! i found it kind of fascinating. i can’t image being around all those rules. so different from the loosey-goosey way we run our house.

    • Becca says...

      I know one of those kids in that family and it’s super fascinating to chat about her upbringing. She’s super cool and smart and positive about her parents’ approach. From her description, her summer vacations were completely unbelievable!

    • Laura C. says...

      Yes sisters! I got horrified too! First of all I started to feel sort of guilty because my girls (5 and 3) just go around the house playing and running and making lot of noise… but then I read again this: “A 3-year-old does not clean toilets very well but by the time he is 4, it’s a reasonably good job.”
      I mean- that it is not suitable for me, thank you. A 3-year-old cleaning toilets??
      Nonetheless, I got some ideas; it’ is time for them to start to do some chores like making their beds or helping to set the table.
      But, building your own pc? C’mon.
      Loving you CoJ sisters!

  54. Amelia says...

    A video collection of speeches and sermons given by Dr. King. http://www.mlkonline.net/video.html

    This year, more than ever, vitally important to remember his vision and leadership.

  55. OMG…Chuck E Cheese. Make sure to get plenty of hand sanitizer lol

    • Lena says...

      My theory is if we go right when they open it is less gross. Just a bit less but less.

  56. Kim Bloom says...

    I just can’t with those parents of 12. I appreciate the values they are working to instill, but my goodness….you get one chance to be a kid.

    • Caroline says...

      That’s exactly how I felt when reading the article! Parents should be the ones to clean the toilet and do the laundry. Save those types of chores for when the kids are teen-agers.

  57. I always love these round-ups of what you’ve been reading/watching around the web… gosh life in 2007… lovely and nostalgic AND I WANT BESTIE ROW!

    http://www.englishgirlinnewyork.org

  58. Jules says...

    $1000 Breast Pump? HAHAHAHAHA ok, Gwyneth ;)

    • Karen says...

      I am not at all Gwyneth status, but hospital-grade pumps are even more than $1k!

  59. Ellen says...

    That breast pump looks great, but it’s so expensive…

  60. Sarah says...

    Oh, I thought the post about raising twelve kids was inspiring! So many young people nowadays (myself included) struggle with feeling ineffective and not knowing how to “adult” in the real world. (It’s tough out here!!) Those parents taught their kids how to work and be self sufficient. Maybe it felt restrictive for the kids, but I bet they’re happier adults as a result. Got me thinking about what chores to assign my almost-three-year-old.

    • ks says...

      i agree sarah! while I also agree w/ the other readers of it felt potentially restrictive – I loved the idea of growing up with the continuous message of ‘figure it out’ – ‘use your brain and your hands’ – ‘be curious’… that curiosity about the ‘how’ and the ‘why’ being a skill that I think is wonderful to have not only for the practical things in life but the bigger questions that surround us at work and at home. x

  61. S James says...

    The family with 12 kids sounds horrifying to me. It would be like being in the military, nothing but rules.

  62. Wow, that article about raising 12 children certainly was interesting! I’d be curious to hear what the kids think about the way they were raised now and what they thought about it when they were still living at home.

    Briana
    http://www.youngsophisticate.com

  63. That’s my fave mac and cheese recipe :) Have a great weekend!

  64. Sarah Beth says...

    That pump looks great, but… it’s $1000. That’s a lot to outlay at once, and certainly more than I could have spent when preparing for my baby. Many of us rely on the insurance-funded pumps that we can get for free (thanks obama, while we still can!) My trusty workhouse Medela pump in style got me through 12 months of 4 pumps a day!

    I do hope, though, that families that can afford those pumps do buy them, bc it will help bring the cost down and make them available to more people!

    • Kirsten says...

      I totally agree. I’m pregnant now and watched the video like “Yes! This sounds like a great idea!” But then I scrolled to the bottom…

      $1000 is more than I can afford to spend on ALL the things I need for my new baby–but here’s to hoping this technology gets cheaper over time!

    • Karen says...

      Yeah, I love my Naya pump and its water technology. It would be great to see them roll out a next gen version with the same technology that is less expensive.

  65. irene says...

    I saw the three-ingredient mac&cheese link earlier this week on another blog I found from your site — 3 Chairs. Coincidence? :)

  66. Teree says...

    Phew, that ’12 kids’ description of the set of rules and schedules and such stressed me out.

    • Brianna says...

      Me too, especially the advanced placement class thing. I took AP courses in high school, but for history and English only. I didn’t have the grades for math/science AP (plus a learning disability). No amount of begging on my parents’ part would have allowed me into AP courses for those subjects. Not only that, they wouldn’t have put that kind of pressure on me (and they expected me to get good grades, and I did, but they also understood where I struggled and got me the appropriate help so I could succeed where I was with math/science).

    • Beth says...

      At least the poor kid wasn’t grounded for an imperfect attempt at changing the oil! Yikes.

  67. Sarah Christine says...

    Scrolling through that 2007 Buzzfeed link (the year I moved to NYC!) and lo and behold, there is my high school prom date as the Facebook page example!! No idea why! Thanks for the random jolt of awesomeness in my day, so funny!

    • Felicia says...

      That’s awesome!

  68. that breast pump! making mamas happy everywhere. AND 2007 what a year! my first year of college! feels like yesterday.

    xo, brittany
    http://www.notablob.com

  69. Alison says...

    I kept reading that post about raising 12 kids hoping there was a punch line or it was satire! I mean, to each their own I suppose! Yeesh!

  70. Katherine says...

    Hey Joanna! Have you heard of the breast pump Willow (willowpump.com)? It comes out this spring, is nearly silent and fits in your bra. Pretty cool. :)

  71. Suzanne says...

    Ha! Your comment about Chuck E. Cheese made me laugh. My kids were asking for a while, but then it kind of dropped off. I am saving it for a literal rainy day. Enjoy!

    • Abbie says...

      My mom told me that you could only go to CEC on your actual birthday and I think I was 12 before I figured out that wasn’t true. I was wondering how they possibly stayed open with so few customers a day…then it finally dawned on me!

  72. I’m not sure what it’s like in New York, but here I learned never to go to Chuck E Cheese on the weekend. The best time to go is a random Tuesday morning when no one else has the day off school. Preferably on a warm and sunny summer day when everyone else is outside. Good luck!