If you have children that are boys, or an older or younger sibling that is male, you probably know a little about what it’s like living in the same house as a teenaged boy. But can you imagine what it would be like to live with ten of them? Us either – so we asked our houseparents for some insight! (Not all our houses are restricted to male clients, but some are! Not all have ten beds either; some have less.)
Some of the highlights of living with ten teenaged boys are just what you’d expect: a lot of fun and laughter! But there are some not-so-bright sides that our housemoms decided to share, in hopes that you could relate and get a laugh!
- Playing games every day! A favourite is “hide and seek” – but not in the traditional sense! Every day, mixing bowls and baking sheets are hidden and our housemoms get to hunt for them each morning! Chocolate chips and other sweets also often pull a disappearing act, but those are never found again.
- Dust bunnies! Even though our houseparents work very hard to keep our homes clean, living with teenaged boys means that there will be dust bunnies that magically reappear no matter how many times an area has been swept or dusted.
- The coat room is also an area that will never stay clean, especially in the winter. Ten coats, 20 boots, 20 mitts, 10 toques, and a few ski pants all heaped on top of one another, with unzipped backpacks spilling out sneakers, homework, and old lunches holding down the pile – one can only laugh! (Probably because if they didn’t laugh they’d cry.)
- A lot of houses experience the missing sock phenomenon. But when you have ten boys living together, it gets much worse: missing towels, missing shoes, missing homework, and missing winter jackets (at minus 40 degrees Celsius) are just a few of the things our housemoms deal with!
- If you are the main cook in your house, you probably know how hard it is to find something that satisfies your entire family. With ten boys, it becomes even more difficult – there will always be someone who doesn’t even like pizza!
- On that note, grocery shopping for ten growing children is no easy feat. Our housemoms frequent the grocery store three to four times per week, because if they tried to do it all in one trip they’d never be able to haul it all.
- Breakfast can be equally challenging – despite having ten different types of cereal on hand, there is never the magic box that “everyone” likes. (But popularity does hedge upward with the sugar content!)
- That could be because teenaged boys are somewhat fickle: our houseparents swear that if something has been declared a favourite this week, it will fall from favour by next!
- A highlight of summer is watching the van filled with kids, adults, and gear leave for a camp trip after a whirlwind morning of packing, running back and forth for forgotten items, and big hugs goodbye from their housemother. As they round the corner and fade out of sight, the biggest sigh can be heard from each housemom, before they turn back toward the unit to go inside and (finally!) have a coffee break!
What are some of the challenges you deal with in your home?