I sometimes wonder if I give off a false sense of “okayness”. I mean, I’m not sure if I accurately portray the fact that it’s flippen challenging to parent many (many) kids while maintaining your sanity, career and marriage all at the same time. I’m sure that having a big family (AND a blended family, nogals) may appear to be very Kardashian-esque… you know, all quirks and light-hearted bickering while eating salad in the kitchen at midnight. But 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 many (many) times, 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 don’t know what “alone” feels like anymore. It also takes a touch longer to “snap back” because you have additional lives to care for.
Pro – You become an expert memory maker because you have a few more people to make memories with. I mean, now that we’re more than 4 people everything is ‘next level’ and I can’t help but be a little bit (read: alot ALOT) extra, when planning special celebrations, or weekend activities.
Con – You become an expert 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.
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. And when you’re sitting at the supper table, enjoying the symphony of voices, as everyone tries to tell their story at the same time, 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 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 school concert.
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 tissues up into tiny pieces while he was watching a soccer game. 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! KIDDING! I love my kids… I can’t imagine having a quiet life and being able to actually sit on a couch without someone needing me.
So even though I joke around about it, 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.