So, what size is your family? Yeah, I know, that is being a little forward isn’t it. It is a topic that comes up in our house every now and then though. Currently we have three kids. We are currently in the process of adopting our fourth. Hopefully she will be home with us by the end of the summer. I remember getting comments from friends and family when we announced we were pregnant with our third. He heard lots of, “Wow, already?” and, “You want a big family huh?” and, “You know you will be out numbered don’t you?” Seriously, when was three kids a large family? Don’t you people watch TLC? Anyway, we received similar comments with the announcement of our adoption as well. No one said it to be hurtful, and it wasn’t, but it has prompted conversation.
For starters? We have talked about what size of family we want. To be honest, we don’t know. Our pregnancies have become progressively more difficult and adoption simply takes a lot out of you, emotionally, physically, and financially. So to that end we will just have to wait and see what God has planned for us. For now I would say we are in a holding pattern, well after the addition of our new daughter we will be. Despite the holding pattern, the topic of family size still comes up regularly. Just the other day my wife sent me a link to an article titled, “Large Families: Blessings or Burdens?” It is a great article and does a great job of looking at family size historically and addressing some of the more modern questions and concerns around large families. I highly recommend you hope over and read it.
One topic that kept coming up in the article is that of family dynamics. Mary Oystn, from Owlhaven.net, mentions it several times. It is also one of the most appealing aspects of large families for Kim and me. As an example, Mary gives the following quote in the article:
“Sure, there are times when they [her kids] fight, but much of the time they truly enjoy each other. Sometimes people fear that kids in a big family won’t get enough attention. But having a big family is not about depriving kids of relationships—it is about providing them with more people to love and who love them,”
We are friends with several large families and they seem so relationally rich and emotionally full. I am not going to say smaller families aren’t, but there is something about the larger families that make you stop and admire them. Not for simply surviving, but for how they interact, support, encourage and care for each other. Okay, okay, to be completely honest, Kim and I have always said that we would like a large family, we just weren’t sure if we could survive that many infants. I guess we will just have to wait and see where God leads us. I am sure it will be somewhere we are not even anticipating right now.
Okay, so this post really isn’t going to do much more than to give you something to think about. I am not going to say that 12 kids is better than 2, or anything silly like that. Just trying to get those wheels turning on what your family may look like in 10 years. While you are thinking, here are a few gems I have picked up that float around in my head regarding families:
- From our Weekend to Remember marriage retreat; From a large study a few years ago, the most unhappy group of people were couples in the 20 & 30 with children at home.
- From the same study; the happiest people (by far) were older adults with grown children. Proof things get better, a lot better.
- You may be out numbered, but as long as you can pick up more than one at a time you can still win!
- The best toy your kids will ever have is Dad. Mom runs a really really close second.
- There is nothing funnier than the fashion sense of a two year-old.
- Parenting is not a science. I don’t care what the book says! It isn’t an art form no matter how may markers your kids use on the wall. Parenting is a way of life and it lasts a lifetime.
- Our kids are our legacy; who they become in the future is most influenced by who we are in the present.
- Moms are the most amazing creations God ever breathed into existence!
I would love to have your take on the subject. Large family or small family? Concerns with either? Observations? Let me know in the comments.