Sunday, January 4, 2015

Herd of Children

We have five kids.  To us, it doesn't feel like "too many" because this is just our life.  However, sometimes I am reminded, like tonight, that having five kids seems like an unmanageable or undesirable amount of children to some.  Recently, at a a Christmas school function, a parent of one of the kids' classmates referred to them as our "herd of children".  I smiled and responded that it's not that different than having three, like them.  Jokingly, he responded that he would take my word for it.

With our youngest now over 3, I find it amusing that some people still wonder how we (and other big families) do it.

Like most parents, I cannot imagine life without any one of my kids.  Yet, I know some parents will cringe at the thought of caring for any more kids than they already have.  Despite compelling evidence to the contrary, most of us are fairly set in our opinions of how many children we want.  Therefore, I share with you my thoughts on my favorite 10 things (no particular order) about having a big family, not because I think it will persuade anyone that having lots of kids is better than they thought.  Rather, to share my perspective on why some of us are "crazy" enough to love having a big family.

10. Love truly multiplies.  I did have some doubts early on whether there would be enough of me to be able to love all my kids how I wanted to love them.  The moment the twins were born, I knew I was foolish for thinking that way.  I didn't just love them.  My understanding of love grew.

9. They love, help, and inspire each other in unexpected ways.  From helping each other with breakfast before mom and dad get out of bed to learning to give a meaningful apology, their emotional intelligence is amazing.

8.  There's always a party at your house, er, our house.

7.  It's a lot easier to get most labor-intensive tasks done with 5 little helpers.  They need a lot more direction than adult helpers, but they love to clean baseboards, walls, and windows, which most adults hate to do.

6.  Nothing else in life seems as challenging as raising a large family.  Really, it's not as difficult as some may think, but it definitely makes my "day job" seem easy by comparison.

5.  I love to be busy, yes, insanely busy.  At the end of each week, we've probably averaged 15-20 extra-curricular events, as well as the day-to-day madness of getting ready for school and work and attending any family or school events we might have.

4.  I am humbled to be surrounded by a house full of little people way more amazing than I ever was.  I love to watch as our kids develop their talents and skills, and I see so much promise in them that I hope I am lucky enough to watch them grow into adults.

3.  Every outing, even simple ones, can really be an adventure.  Some days it's exhausting.   Many times, it's fun, challenging, and some time even exhilarating.

2.  Someone is always ready to spend time with you, no matter what you're doing.  Some days I'm just excited to think about how the kids will react when I tell them what I plan on doing that day.  Many/most things are new experiences to them, and I love to be the one to introduce them to the world.

1. It will never get old and never be less amazing to hold your tiny newborn and feel the hope and power of the miracle in front of you.

I'm sure it does not sound any more appealing to some, maybe most.  Either way, it doesn't really matter.  We're the ones living it, and we love it!

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