Imagine Sharing and Cherishing the LOVE of 9 children raised on a Hobby Farm in southern Ontario, Canada !
When people look at Melanie Jean Juneau their eyebrows shoot up, their mouths drop open and they sputter, ”YOU had 9 children?? This is because she is 5’ 1” and weigh 104 lbs. She was pregnant or nursing for 17 years without a break.Melanie has been pregnant 10 times is healthy and happy and I has her BBB back. (That would be her Before Babies Body). She and her husband discovered fulfilment and joy.
This is her first of many Happy Stories about the LOVE her family Shares among themselves and with you.
Paul Cody: Melanie, as a child what activities did you love doing that you passed on to your children?
Melanie Jean Juneau: As a child, I loved to read and as a mother, I loved reading to my children.Well written children’s books are thrilling. As soon as they could read, they would proudly take turns reading the same beloved book over and over again to one of the toddlers. All of them are now avid readers. Carrying on our family tradition one of my daughters just had a Book Baby Shower for her unborn baby. It warms my heat to see my son reading to his 18 month old daughter, who in turn delights in picking which book he will read to her.
— I also enjoyed crafts, drawing and painting and crocheting so I made sure we always had paper, child-proof scissors, paint, crayons and glue. Our kitchen decor was Early Childhood because i liked to show case my kid’s art. Again even as teens, my kids would indulge in crafts by either helping a frustrated younger sibling or creating their own gifts or art pieces to decorate their homes. Claire paints and draws constantly and the others have a creative flair which can make something beautiful out of nothing. For example, Marie made her own mobile, spray painted an old dresser, stencilled designs on the walls and made her own curtains and slip covers for the rocking char in the baby room.
My own mother practised a Montessori approach to child rearing without realizing what she was actually doing.She included my sister and I (yes I have only one sister and had never held a baby before my first born) in everything that she did. I too gave my children buckets of warn water to wash walls and floors with me and always involved even toddlers in baking and cooking. All my kids can cook and are shocked when
Melanie: they go to friend’s homes or to university and discover that most young people can’t, won’t and don’t cook or bake, especially from scratch. Their favorite meals are old-fashioned meals like roast chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables but now they also teach me the new, ethnic meals. Oh I almost forgot, One of my daughters, is a red seal chef.
Sometimes when we were all baking, my husband would come into the kitchen, look at the flour which covered everything and everybody, close his eyes and silently turn around and walk out. It made me laugh because his mother wanted a clean, efficient house and so shoved the kids out of the kitchen and even out of the house while she cooked or cleaned. My way of mothering is messy, slow but a lot more fun.
When my oldest boy was 13, he had to take Home EC and was learned how to make pretzels. What did he do as soon as he got home? Why gather all his siblings together and taught even the smallest toddler how to roll out yeast dough and make their own, unique pretzel!
It is never too soon to give a toddler a “job” — picking up the toys his younger sibling drops from the high chair, for example. What a pleasure it is to see a toddler running to get a diaper or hold a baby. They are bursting with joy and pride. The secret is to delegate, each according to his or her talents, but never to order around kids like troops. I always make a conspirator out of everyone. The older children helped the younger ones with homework. They chop wood, help fix the car, weed the garden, take care of the animals. If teens are still treated like little kids or overindulged, they don’t have a purpose but our teens knew we NEEDED them, that they were important.