I know I’ve done many posts about my childhood and family but I don’t think I’ve ever specifically addressed the fact I am from such a large family. It’s funny because in the Mormon world six kids doesn’t necessarily feel unusual or particularly large (my brother in law is from a family of 10 kids if that tells you anything).
My situation is even more unique because of the age gaps between all the children. Many people looking at my family might assume we are a blended, Brady bunch style but that is not the case. My parents couldn’t have kids for a long stretch of time and then after 10 years of waiting started again. They literally have been raising kids for over 30 years of their lives. I don’t know many human beings that can say that (and they still have six years to go with minors at home!).
I will be the first to say I don’t think I could do what my parents have done- especially with my mother’s tough pregnancies (full bed rest for the last 3). I’m not the best at managing stress and balancing emotions (this is partly why I found my mission so difficult). I also have never felt like I am the greatest with kids (I know it is different for your own but still 30 years of parenting! I don’t think I could do it!).
I think given I’m 30 and not in a relationship, the likelihood of my having six kids anyway is slim to none . I’m actually kind of weird in the Mormon world because I don’t feel a huge need to have children. I’ll be happy if the opportunity comes but I’m perfectly content loving my nieces to pieces.
That said, if you are thinking of having a large family I will provide you with a list of the pros and cons.
Older kids get provided with many leadership opportunities.
For an independent kid like me it was good to be given meaningful responsibilities towards the survival of the family (cooking meals, cleaning, watching children etc)
The more children in a family the more sacrifice each member must make. Sacrifice can be hard but it also bonds family members together in a way no other type of love can.
Harder to feel lonely in a big family.
Always someone to talk to or play with.
As adults it is wonderful to have siblings to bounce ideas off of and share experiences. Its different than a friend.
It is also nice to see the diversity within a family and neat to see and share common personality traits and interests between siblings.
Gives many opportunities to serve siblings and work together on projects.
It can be a lot of fun!
Food is cheaper by the dozen
Parents get lots of grandkids to spoil at the end
Parent time is stretched
Parent money is stretched
Parent patience can be stretched
Sacrifice can be tough on older children
More kids, more opportunities for fights, jealousy, tantrums, anger, rebellion and tempers
Everything will not be fair between siblings (I don’t know if it necessarily should be)
Because of the stretched resources in both time and money children may miss out on some experiences
It may not be possible for parents to be as involved in the minutia of their child’s life as other parents of small families
That’s some of my thoughts. Whether you are from a large or small family what do you think some of the advantages/disadvantages are?