I told my mom that we are expecting. She was not at all happy for us. Her first comment was, "I hope you don’t have any more after this". Sigh, why can’t she just rejoice in the new baby that I know she is going to love like crazy?
There are so many aspects to having a large family that people with one to three children don’t understand. Outsiders look at those of us with large families and see parents with boundless patience and we must be wealthy to afford them. Plus we must be either Mormon or Catholic.
But there is so much more than that and what they see isn’t even near to reality. I have 6 darlings that I love to pieces, but I am not always a patient woman. Sometimes my treasures drive me nuts. That is the reality, I am a sinner too, in need of my Savior. That hasn’t changed because I have 6 children. We are far from well off. We struggle and trust the Lord to provide for us. To the world that looks awfully foolish, and to most of the church it appears to also. But that is what the Lord has called us to. We are neither Mormon nor Catholic, just believer’s in Jesus, trying to live life the way the Lord has led us.
Large families have many struggles that smaller families never know. Such as a small shopping trip equals a cart that overflows and is heavy. We can easily spend $100 just on socks for everyone. The cute adorable cars that smaller families can use would never work for us. When we tell folks we are expecting again, we aren’t met with tons of congratulations. We are mostly met with looks that clearly ask if we know when to stop and what causes pregnancy.
Large families are extremely creative, we have to try to stretch everything, and fit everything into a normal living space. I do more dishes in a day than some folks do in an entire week. Laundry is overwhelming if it is left for once a week in a large family. And the noise level is just a bit higher than the home with only two children.
But we have so many more blessings too. I get so many snuggles, hugs, and giggles each day, it is truly a blessing. When doing the chores, there are a lot more hands to do the work, so it gets done faster. There is always somebody to talk to or play with. My heart is so full with the love of these special little people, I can’t imagine not having my home full with them. Life might be a tad easier with only two, but my life is so blessed with my houseful.
Large families are strong. We don’t just go with the flow. We are used to being odd, and going against the current. It has made us stronger, we can laugh with you when you make comments about our family size or the directions we have chosen to move our family in. Large families get hurt to. Even though we are strong, we have tender hearts. We have learned to run to our Father with our heart hurts and to comfort each other. And we have learned to seek those like us, even if it is hard to find them. And this large family has learned to not judge those that have fewer children for whatever reason. The Lord has us all in different places.
So the next time you see a large family out and about, don’t just quickly assume anything about them. Don’t put them in a box. They are pretty much just like you. And you large families, next time you are watching the average size family, don’t put them in a box. Just know that we are all called to different roads in life. For us this includes many children, and I am so thankful for that.