Why We Love Our Large Family
Although I receive the quintessential “you’ve got your hands full!” comment frequently, the most accurate and true response I give is “You should see my heart!” I have five kids under the age of eight, and I LOVE having a big family! Is it full of chaos, noise, and mess? You bet! Is the laundry endless? Oh, yea. Is it also full of lots of love and childrens’ laughter and memories? Yes, and that’s the best part!
Having a Large Family Teaches Kids Patience
Every time I’ve brought a new baby home, the older kids become a little more patient, with mom and themselves. They realize how small and helpless a baby is, and are a little more accepting when mom needs to sleep in because she was up all night nursing the baby. The kids know mom isn’t going anywhere and start practicing patience early. With nurturing, kids in a large family learn selflessness and patience, two things the world absolutely needs more of right now.
Endless Supply of Hand-Me Downs
One of the best perks to big family life is once you have more than three kids. there are plenty of clothes to go around. I keep bins of clothes labeled by size in our basement so anytime someone outgrows their clothes, I head down to ‘shop’. It’s too much fun is it seeing an outfit your firstborn wore endearingly donned on your 5th baby. My friends and family have been more than generous in sharing what they no longer need for their kids, and I love having clothes the next size up for my constantly growing firstborn who seems to outgrow clothes in his sleep.
Having a lot of little kids close in age means we also have plenty of toys for them to play with. When it’s one of their birthdays, everyone feels like it’s their birthday too, and the new toys are shared by all. It can feel overwhelming with the number of toys five kids play with, but one trick I learned is toy rotation. I keep baskets hidden away in our crawlspace for a rainy day and cycle out toys when the kids are sleeping. This way, the toys are less overwhelming and the kids are more likely to play with a few favorites than having too many to choose from.
Big Family Life Teaches Kids Independence
Because mom is split in many directions, like tending to the spilled milk while the preschooler asks for water, my preschooler sure learned how to grab a cup and get water instead of waiting for mom to do it! Or if mom is stuck changing a diaper and the kids want to start a movie at that very exact moment, you can bet the kids learn how to use the remote quickly. I love how independent my two-year-old is now, going assertively to the cabinet to grab a snack like his older brothers. My oldest would never have done that, and still occasionally asks me if I can get things from him that he can do himself, unlike his younger siblings who were thrown into the trenches forced to sink or swim. Independence is sowed early in big-family life, which hopefully creates independent adults who are not afraid to take initiative and do things confidently in their own way.
Nothing brings more joy to a parent than bringing a new baby home and having an older sibling dote on the new baby. In our family, everyone fights to hold the new baby, or fetch a diaper. I’ve heard two of my kids in conversation arguing that they were the baby’s favorite sibling. While the younger siblings may not fully understand the gravity of a new little person, the older kids know that in a short amount of time, that little baby is a new friend by your side ready to play at any time.
That said, with five kids, someone’s always up for a party. Never underestimate the power of one little person to rally the next. Before you know it, they are all playing a game of freeze tag and I have been silently sipping my coffee in peace. In all honestly, the best part of having a large family is seeing the love grow between your children. Sure they have sibling quarrels, but when it is my time to depart earth, the kids will always have each other.