Thursday, August 20, 2009


I remember when we had our third baby and realized we were outnumbered. It was a little bit scary. But we obviously overcame the fear and had a few more. I know a lot of people think I'm crazy. Somedays I think they are right.

Last winter I was visiting with some dear friends from college after a baby shower for one of them. Someone said they weren't going to have more kids because they "just want to be sure they do a good job with the two they have." Was she implying that I couldn't possibly be doing a good job with five? I'm sure she didn't mean it to be offensive. Being a woman and a Mom I tend to over react. But it did get me thinking about if I could possibly do a good job being so hopelessly outnumbered.

Big families live life differently. It may appear odd or abnormal or even unhealthy to the untrained eye. They drive large vehicles, shop in bulk and have lots of bunk beds. It becomes more of a herd mentality or zone defense.

Sometimes, we are unable to play board games or go certain places because of the little kids. The age span means varied interests. The bigger kids don't want to play in the kiddie pool or do play dough anymore. We can't up and go out to dinner or a movie because it just costs too much for seven people. We have to limit activities and sports because we can't be in five places at once. Everyone has to help out with chores because there is a lot to do.

So does having a large family hold us back? Sure, in some ways it absolutely does.

Is that a bad thing? I don't think so. The kids are learning patience, sacrifice and teamwork. They can occupy themselves and learn to play together because I'm usually too busy doing laundry to play. They are becoming close friends (that fight a lot).

There's sacrifice on the parents end too. Having more than two kids means committing decades to parenting. That's right, decades.

Tomorrow night we are going to a wedding. The groom grew up in our church. There are six kids in his family. He's in the middle somewhere. They never had a lot of money or a fancy house, but seeing those kids as adults is so amazing. They are such a close knit family and do everything together. They have grown up to be thoughtful and caring. And that gives me hope!

I love the activity and energy of our big family. And it's a good thing I do since it's too late to change my mind!

1 comment:

Peter and Nancy said...

This was so good for me to read! We are waiting for number four, and will have a 10-year age span between our oldest and youngest. Mentally, I know the benefits of a larger family, but what I mostly see at school is smaller ones, it's easy to feel overwhelmed. Thanks for this post!
-- Nancy