I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Large Families...Fact or fiction

There are many perceptions about large families out there. While we are only a family of 7 I thought I would confirm or debunk some myths you may have heard. Some are reality and some perceived reality. So here we go...

They're crazy...this very well may be true but I think a little crazy goes a long way in raising many growing children, don't you?

All large families have messy houses...this may be true at times but I think if you visited the average large family you would be pleasantly surprised at the amount of order and cleanliness. We have only 5 children and our house is clean and messy several times a day. If you have visited a messy large family house chances are you didn't call first. Or if you did, other things were more important.

They don't know what causes it...I can assure you that they do. They just like having children. The Bible says that children are a gift from the Lord. They also may just really like Christmas.

They have really high grocery bills...yep this one is true. No way around it. Everyone has to eat. Although I will tell you that large families have some very creative thinkers and their bills might not be as high as one would think.

They don't have time to spend with each child...this is more of a challenge. Have you ever noticed though that you will see mom's or dad's of large families out shopping with a child or two instead of going alone? This is a perfect opportunity to take care of basics while getting some quality time in with one or two children. Who said important conversation can't be had over a produce table or a bulk bin? I know that I have had some great ones with my kids in the car on the way there. It takes effort but it's not impossible.

The kids have dirty faces and/or not wearing clean clothes...from time to time one child may slip out of the house and have missed the hair line or clothing check line. But I challenge you to look past the PB and J reminder and dust on the pants. Are they happy? Does it appear that they are loved? That will tell you what you need to know.

I guess I have done more debunking than confirming. I feel sometimes that large families get a bad name. Large families are large because they choose to be. Most are dedicated to family and take that job very seriously. I have seen my fair share of families with only 2 or 3 kids with untied shoes and mismanaged hair. No matter how many children you have it's hard to catch everything. I have also witnessed kids with no parents, not enough to eat and craving for love and attention from someone, anyone. So I guess what I'm saying is while childen in large families may not get everything on their list at Christmas or have their own room what they do have are some pretty important things that kids would give their front teeth for. Love, family, food, siblings to play with and so much more. Next time you see a large family out on a picnic, bike ride or grocery shopping don't ask them if the kids are all theirs. Pat them on the back and say "You're doing a great job!" It will mean so much.


Anonymous said...

Very good...and true!...post.


Lori in KY said...

Yep, Angie, I agree with everything you said! :)

We recently had a couple of friends over. They hadn't been to see us since we moved from our 2200 sq. ft. to our temporary living quarters (just over 1000 sf).

They said they were talking on the way over about how with 10 of us in here, they couldn't imagine how we could possibly make it work and still be liveable. :)

She told my husband later that she was very impressed with how organized and calm our little house is.

See...just because we are many doesn't mean we are chaotic! Thank you for pointing that out!