If you have a lot of kids close together in age you may be considering this book. I hope this honest review will help.
I wanted to read this book for a long time.
At nearly $30 price tag (sometimes higher) I had a hard time spending that kind of money. On one book.
Then I got pregnant (surprise!) with my 5th child… and I had a hard time coming to terms. How would I get everything done? How could I hold it all together? How could I meet all their needs and still maintain my own sanity?
Well, I’m 38 weeks pregnant as I type so, I can’t give those answers. But I did buy Large Family Logistics and read it cover to cover. I’ve created a video with my honest thoughts about it below.
An Honest Review of the “Large Family Logistics” Book
Here are the pros and cons of Large Family Logistics, in my opinion.
The Positives of Large Family Logistics
Here’s what I loved.
1. The “You Can Do” Attitude
The author has 9 children whom she homeschools. Oh, and she lives on a farm. Not a hobby farm, a proper farm. One would look at her from the outside and think she is the epitome of superwoman. That said, the book was neither condescending, sanctimonious, nor “I’ve got it all together” in nature. It was encouraging, empowering, and helped you to feel you – too – could get it all done.
“Efficiency saves you time, and we all appreciate more time.” Amy Brenneman
2. The Systems
Her entire book is chock full of systems. It’s how she gets everything done she needs. There are food systems, bill paying systems, chore systems, family time and devotion systems, and on and on. She doesn’t just wax on and waste time about how her life works so well, she actually gives step by step super practical systems that she lays out in explicit detail.
“Managing the home is a biblical duty of wives and mothers, and sometimes that managing involves managing others who are helping you.” Amy Brenneman
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3. There’s No Filler
If there’s one thing that super duper annoys me, it’s when someone spends 25% of their book/podcast/blog post/course talking about how great and successful they are and they don’t get to the point. Ain’t nobody got time for that. This book is all useful, no filler.
Each chapter is short, to the point, and only as long as it needs to be. She weaves her philosophy into it, obviously, but it’s a quick read that you can use as a reference. It doesn’t have to be read in order.
4. Revealed Major Flaws in my Homemaking
As I read the book I had tons of “Ah Ha” moments. A lot of “Oh, THAT’S a good idea” thoughts. But instead of feeling guilty, overwhelmed, or inadequate I just felt encouraged to start doing things better. That said, I was and still am pregnant so I haven’t put everything into practice I’d like to.
I am waiting until postpartum to begin a few of the new systems, but I found it to be a revealing book. If she can homeschool 9 kids, run a farm, and never run out of food in her fridge or pantry… I can learn a lot from her!
The Negative of Large Family Logistics
Here’s what rubbed me the wrong way about the book. In fact, it’s really the only thing. It is, however, woven through the fabric of the book so on quite a few occasions I found myself shaking my head and thinking… “Wow, whatever pastor told you that needs to step down and read the Bible more.”
It’s Super Patriarchal
I am a firm believer men and women are created differently, have different gifts, and bring different talents and roles into a family. But I felt this book took it a bit too far. I think this type of environment she’s describing creates a rife breeding ground for abuse. Of course most marriages don’t have an abusive partner. Praise God.
But if you believe your husband is emotionally or verbally abusive, do not read this book. She says, at one point, if you call your children in for a meeting or a talk, to tell them that you are talking to them on behalf of their father. That you, as the mother, don’t or shouldn’t be using parental authority in your home. Because, to her, in every single area of your home and life, the buck stops with Dad.
She says that you, as the homemaker, should not make your own goals. Instead, you should sit down with your husband, list out his wants, needs, and desires, and make those your goals. Spend your days fulfilling your husband’s goals in your home.
Respecting your husband and creating a home where he feels welcome and loved is admirable and godly. Abdicating your person-hood and identity to your husband is neither biblical nor wise.
Acting as though you cannot make your own decisions in your own home without getting “clearance” from your husband, and refraining from having your own goals is just crazy to me. My opinion, of course.
On the whole…
For the systems, ideas, strategies, and encouragement… I highly recommend this book. If you have 4 or more kids (less than that this would seem like overkill) this will be a great reference or resource for areas in your home that just don’t work right. That don’t flow. You’ll see what can be possible and stop feeling that you are destined to a disastrous home until the kids leave.
You are NOT lazy, disorganized, or unmotivated. The fact is, if your home feels chaotic,it’s your systems. With easy efficient systems, habits, and routines you can start to have the home (and home atmosphere) you crave without working yourself into a frenzy.
Take this quiz to see how well your home systems work then get free and easy hacks to help make your home more tidy, peaceful, and organized.
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