Before we talk about the pros and cons of big families, let me tell you what it was like as an only child. Growing up, I always remember wishing I had a sibling. Of course, there were pros to being the only child, like I never had to share my toys, I was always the center of attention (in extra curricular activities especially), and I could always do what I felt like doing (which was basically writing songs and performing in front of my stuffed animals) I’m sure it was helpful financially for my parents, but at times it was lonely, and it really still is at times.
I’m more introverted than I would like to be and I feel like that’s from growing up alone. You’re probably thinking how are you lonely, lady? You have a husband and four kids?! But it’s a different kind of lonely. I don’t have a blood related brother or sister that can come over with their children and have a cookout with us, or vacation with us. The list could go on all night. But I remember praying for a sibling when I was a child, and when I met my husband, God answered that prayer. He had a brother and a sister. I love them as if they were my own siblings, and their children, my sweet nieces and nephews.
“My Tribe is made of little people, with big potential, to accomplish the enormous”
We currently have the most children in our families, and I love it. So if you’re wondering if you should expand your tribe, here’s the pros and cons of having a big family, from an only child.
I’ll get these out of the way so we can talk about the pros of big families.
- It’s hard. It’s demanding. Everyone always needs something. Someone is always calling me to wipe their butt, or someone needs a diaper change. Someone wants to show me a cool new thing on their games or someone wants to do my makeup and nails. It’s not that I don’t love being their mom and enjoying those things with them, it’s just that I’m tired. Then the mom guilt sinks in and I feel like I’m not giving them all the attention they need. So, I think like all moms, I’m just doing my best. It’s also hard because my kids range from 10 years to 8 months. So everyone’s needs are different. I don’t know if being closer in age would be much easier though, more diapers, less independence. My older kids are the role models for their three year old sister, so she did do things earlier, being four years younger than her sister. She potty trained faster because she wanted to be a big kid too. So either age difference I feel like there would be good and bad.
- “It gets easier as they get older” Yes, it does get easier because the older kids help out more. But, I have to find balance here, because I don’t want my older kids to feel like they are always sacrificing their needs or wants, for the younger ones. They didn’t have these babies, so I try to only ask them for help when I really need it. If I’m cooking dinner and the baby needs to fed, my girls are quick to offer help. I try to let them lead in the helping department so they don’t feel like it’s a chore. I want them to still get to be kids!
- It’s sad. Only because the babies of the family seem to grow up faster than the older ones did. They want to be big kids sooner than the others did. So cherish that newborn phase, because before you know it, they’ll be brushing their teeth all by themselves, and not needing you to rock them to sleep.
- You’re alone. In this territory at least. Most people stop at one or two, so going to three or four or ten leaves you in uncharted waters from your family and friends. So you basically have to figure it all out yourself. No one understands why you can’t go to the mommy & me class, or why you don’t want to, because they don’t understand how tired you really are or how hard it would be to get three or more kids out of the house, dressed, and on time. It’s easier to just stay home!
- You’re almost out of diapers, then, you have another baby and time starts over. Your other kids are more independent, but now you’re back to square one with around the clock feedings, changing diapers, and late nights. But it does go by way too fast.
- You’re gonna need a bigger car. And probably a bigger house. More kids equals more money everytime!
- Name calling. No I don’t mean being rude, I mean you will get your kids names mixed up like all the time. Sometimes I say all four names before I get the right one.
- Bedtime routines take a little longer than before. Well atleast when you have three girls, who are three very different ages, sharing one room. Baby girl goes to sleep first at about 7 pm. Next is my three year old around 730-8 and then my oldest daughter goes to bed. If they all go in there at the same time, they keep eachother up! Big brother has it easy in his own room being the only boy AND the oldest. But when we build our house next year, they’ll all be in their own rooms!
- Everyone thinks you know what you’re doing. This is the worst. I’m on year ten of being a mom and I still don’t know. First time moms, I feel ya! None of us know what we’re doing. By the time we think we’ve figured it out, it changes again. What works with one kid WILL NOT work with another!
- Strangers look at you weird. People who have no business telling me anything tend to say the most rude things. “Are they all yours?” “Do you know what causes this?” or “You need to get your tubes tied” Wow, just wow. I consider all my children a blessing! Thank you very much.
Now that I said all I can think of as a “con” to having so many, let’s talk about the best parts.
- Built in best friends. I love seeing my older kids sing and play with my younger ones. They help eachother out all the time. They teach eachother things! From ABC’s to how to play Super Mario. I love watching them make memories together.
- It’s never boring…or quiet. EVER. But it’s fun.
- My hands are full, but so is my heart. Seeing their relationships grow together and how they love eachother is the best.
- I can shower, or pee alone again. They are always doing things together, so every now and then I don’t get followed to the bathroom!
- Their social skills are amazing. They’ve learn to work together and make a great team! None of them are shy, unlike their mother, but I’m trying to work on that hahaha.
- There’s always something going on. There’s no time for boredom. It’s gymnastics class or playing games together, getting groceries or going to the park. Karate classes or putting on fashion shows at home. We’re never bored!
- They learn responsibility early on and they are not self centered. They see what it takes to care for a big family everyday and they have learned to be less selfish (especially with their toys) and they have learned to help each other out with chores, because when chores and school are done, they can have fun! TEAMWORK!
- Lots of potential grandchildren and cousins! I hope they have bunches!
- So many different interest + personalities. It so exciting to see who my babies will become and what they will pursue. My oldest wants to program computers and create video games. (We use Tynker in our homeschool for beginner coding & it’s great!) My oldest daughter loves art. My three year old is the music kid. They’re all so different and love different things! One’s very reasonable and logical, ones the prankster! We’re always learning something new together!
- SO MUCH LOVE. There’s so much love to go around. Hugs and kisses all day long. It’s really the best.
The days are long, but the years are short mamas. My oldest will be graduating in 7 years. I know that’s still a little while, but I blinked and he was in junior high. How?
I will end with this, the pros and cons of having a big family differ from person to person. If you want another child, go for it. Find your ideal number of babes, and have them, raise them, & love them fiercely. Don’t worry about the judgement, or the ugly comments from those strangers. Be a SAHM or a working mom. (You can read my post about being a SAHM HERE) Don’t worry about figuring it all out, because somehow, you will. You’ll never regret having another child. But you could regret not. You’ll blink and they’ll be all grown up one day. Cherish every minute of the time you get with them, whether that is one child or twenty-five children! You got this mama!
I hope you enjoyed reading my two cents on big families! I never thought I’d have such a big family, but I feel truly blessed to be a mom of four!
XOXO, Mama Morse
How many children do you have? Do you want to have anymore? Let me know in the comments!