5 Reasons I’m Glad We Have a Large Family
As I'm rounding the corner into my second trimester of what will be my fourth (and hopefully last) pregnancy, I have to admit that I have some reservations about becoming a mother to four kids that are ages six and under.
Not only will all my kids be spaced exactly two years apart, but in today's day and age, it definitely feels like a family of six is considered a “large” family. My husband and I both grew up in families of six, so having four children in a family doesn't sound that unusual to us.
That being said, when I recently found out that we are expecting number four, I definitely panicked a bit. Were we crazy? What would people think of us? Is having four children completely irresponsible?
Eventually, my misgivings gave way to common sense. Every parental unit knows what is best for their own family, whether that be one child or 19, so it is completely pointless for me to waste time wondering if other people “approve” of my unconventionally “large” family. What matters is focusing on the good that my family can bring to the world and to each other. So today, I'm focusing on some of the benefits that our family of six has.
1. Our children will always have each other. While I know there's no guarantee that they will grow up and stay close, of course, it brings me great joy and comfort to know that my children will always have each other to lean on in good times and bad. To this day, I am still very close to all three of my siblings, as is my husband to his, and I am grateful to have them in my life.
2. The special moments happen more often. Honestly, is there anything more fun in life than hearing a baby's first belly laugh or watching those first shaky steps across the living room floor? Having the “firsts” over and over with each child somehow never gets old.
3. My older children will learn how to take care of babies. Babies are a part of life, and my children have grown up around tons of cousins, family members, and, of course, our own family, giving them plenty of practice for taking care of babies. From helping change diapers to even help with feeding, I think there is much for older siblings to gain from learning to help mom and dad with the littlest members of the family.
4. Security. I don't mean security in the terms you may be thinking–financial security or security that there will be someone to take care of us in our old age. (Although, now that I think about it, not a bad idea either …) What I'm talking about is the security of knowing that we have created a family that will stay together. I have to admit that I'm somewhat of a loner; I enjoy my time alone and having a large family has forced me, in a way, to embrace the blessings of spending time together and learn to be less selfish. Plus, think of the fun at all of our future family gatherings!
5. Large families can benefit children as they grow. Obviously, that's not to say that children in smaller families won't turn out to be perfectly fine and happy, but there are definite characteristics and strengths to be had in siblings of large families—everything from learning to share to decreased risks of food allergies and obesity, which I find very reassuring.
Do you come from a large family? Do you have a large family? What are the benefits you have seen?