I’m the youngest of 8 kids and I always wanted a big family. I loved that there was always someone around to talk to, play with, or to just be there for you and love you! And maybe the reason I’m more ok with the noise and chaos is because I associated it with family time and love while growing up.
After Jacob and I got married and had our first son, our goal family size went from 8 to 6, because being a parent was harder than we thought! And after having 6 kids in 4 years, I thought our family was complete. I had done my part to multiply and replenish the Earth right!?
But God had a bigger plan for our family and with a lot of faith and courage, Jacob and I accepted that plan and had 4 more children in the next 5 years.
At first I felt bad for my children. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stressed about my children not getting enough attention or feeling guilty that we can’t do this or that because of our family size. And unfortunately I still think this way occasionally, but I’m getting better. And I’m realizing the benefits of having a half a dozen siblings within a few years of you.
First, like my childhood, there is always someone to do something with. Your twin is not your favorite person at the moment? No problem, choose someone else to play with! Your personality clashes with the sibling closest to you? No worries, play with the one above him, or below you, or the baby! There is always someone to love and play with!
Second, you will never feel lonely. I pray my children will always feel a sense of community and love in our home and family! I’m aware that problems arise, personalities clash, and people get on your nerves, but at the end of the day we’re a family and we’ll always be here for each other!
Third, it will help give them a better foundation of love. As a mother I feel like one of my most important jobs is to model and give love. They will learn a lot from just living life throughout their years, and they will be able to cope and handle that life better if they have a foundation of who they are and know they are loved. I can’t think of anything better than knowing there are at least 11 other people out there who think you’re pretty great, even if at the moment they pretend you don’t exist, like I’m guessing will happen in their teenager years. When push comes to shove, my children like each other and that’s got to be great for their confidence and sense of self.
So I started wanting a big family because that’s what I knew and what brought me joy, but I still feel like it’s best for us because it helps give my children more friendship, love, and confidence. BUT that’s my family and what’s good for my family. I feel strongly that our size of family is ultimately what’s best for our children. There are so many benefits to having a small family, or one in between. (Trust me, I spent years thinking of them as I doubted what was best for my family!)
Each size and family is different and that’s the way it’s supposed to be, and the sooner we accept and embrace our individual family the sooner we can start living life to the fullest!