Now I know that having a big family may appear to be very, you know, Kardashian-esque. All fun and games and bickering while eating toast in the kitchen at midnight. And yes, I’m aware that you all know the exorbitant costs of caring for many (many) children. But I sometimes wonder if I give off a false sense of “okayness”. I mean, I’m not sure that I accurately portray the fact that it’s flippen challenging to parent a lot of kids, while maintaining your sanity, career and marriage all at the same time. Having a large-ish family is not all TV sitcom moments and learning life lessons the quirky way.
So to prove a point (aka my kids are all napping and I have nothing to do because I’m boring), I thought to list the pros and cons of having a big family:
Pro – After giving birth twice, you’re basically your own midwife and your babies practically “walk out”. I know, the visual is gross, but you get the gist. You kinda know what to do and you’re more aware of your body and what it is capable of, so birthing your third, fourth and fifth kid is less daunting.
Con – After giving birth many (many) times, your body forgets what shape it was in, pre-babies. I mean, hello, the last time my body didn’t have someone attached to it, was about 6 years ago. I don’t know what “alone” feels like anymore. It also takes a touch longer to “snap back” because you have a few other lives to care for, before your own. And you suddenly have problems you never thought you could have. (Remind me to tell you about my umbilical hernia and postpartum hair loss).
Pro – You become a super saiyan memory maker because you have a few more people to make memories with. I mean, sure, we had fun when it was just us and the boys. But now that the smallies are here, everything is next level and you can’t help but bubble over with excitement at the thought of surprising them with a puppy or something as cool. (But, I mean, what is as cool as a puppy?! Still working on Hubstopher to approve this one!)
Con – You become a super saiyan memory maker and therefore you are permanently tired and broke. Consider the fact that you now have to feed many (many) faces and paying a 50 bucks entrance fee is suddenly not as affordable because there are six of you. Which is why we need a puppy. Yes, I’m still stuck on that. Moving on shall we?
Pro – You permanently have little arms around your neck or little voices filling your head with entertaining stories or older kids bombarding you with their big ideas and dreams. Sometimes it all happens at the same time and you catch your husbands eye and share a “isn’t this moment absolutely perfect?!” grin. It feels good to belong to a grand group of various sized people who each have their own personality.
Con – You permanently have little arms around your neck… like, constantly. Like, my child is practically a limb I never knew I had. Also, their little voices do not have a volume control or mute button. And yes, its wonderful to hear your older kids big dreams but seriously, they often aren’t that realistic and it takes all the patience in the world to not want to tell them to go read a book. You catch your husbands eye and give him a death stare while trying to say the words “take your children away from me!” without, you know, actually saying it because that would make you a terrible parent.
Pro – When it comes to marriage, adding many (many) kids to the package makes it somewhat sweeter. I mean, you have miniature versions of both of you running around being all cute. The two of you get to work towards the common goal of raising your kids to be decent and successful adults and you feel a sense of accomplishment at each prize giving and
lame school concert. I mean, a school concert is like a “well done, you’re someones parent” celebration… now multiply that by four. Cool, right?
Con – When it comes to marriage, adding many (many) kids to the package sometimes means that you forget that your husband was your boyfriend a few years ago. He has since graduated to driver, dog poop pick upper, shop runner and the person who allowed the toddler to tear your whole box of tissues up into tiny pieces, while he was watching a Liverpool game. Having a whole bunch of kids can kinda steal your identity, if you let it, and it takes some effort to maintain the spark in your marriage when you’re both drained emotionally and physically. And no, attending yet another school concert does not qualify as a date. Put some effort in, would ya?!
Pro – Your family photos are lit. I mean, there are a whole bunch of you and you’re all wearing outfits in the same colour scheme, so it’s very much Brady Bunch vibes. People see your photos on Facebook and Instagram and comment to let you know how blessed you are and how inspiring your family is and that you guys are parenting goals etc. I mean, life couldn’t get any sweeter than that.
Con – Your family photos are lit. No, I mean, one of your kids actually set your photo album on fire, while you were trying to cook, bath the baby, help with homework and have a constructive conversation with your husband, all at the same time. Jokes aside though, people see your photos on Facebook and Instagram and comment to let you know how blessed and inspiring you are and you say thanks (with a smiley face emoticon and/or a ‘lol’) but deep down you KNOW that its merely a fluke and the work of the Lord that you’re all still in one piece because raising a large family is pretty intense!
Okay, okay, I must admit, I gosh-darn love my big family! Is it hectic? Uhh yes! But do I regret having many (many) children? Uhhh yes again! LOL KIDDING! I love my kids… I can’t imagine a quiet life and being able to actually sit on a couch without someone needing me.
So even though I joke around about how “exhausted” is my permanent state of being, I am so thankful for my many (many) children and I look forward to receiving many (many) returns on investment once they are able to buy me Mother’s Day gifts.
Disclaimer: Whatever family looks like to you, I’m sure it’s beautiful! I am simply sharing from my own personal experience – i.e. a large family, with many (many) kids.