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11 Things Moms of Many Know

large families

 

Sure, you can be a wise veteran mom without having a passel of kids. But there’s something about adding that fourth or fifth little one to the family that knocks you over the head with certain truths about motherhood and family life.

Here are the 11 most valuable things I’ve learned as a mom of five kids —  along with great quotes from fellow moms of many that prove I’m not alone.

 

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  • There really is enough of you to go around. 1 of 11
    There really is enough of you to go around.
    Lots of parents worry whether they'll be able to love baby #2 as much as baby #1. By the time you get to baby #3 or #4, you start realizing that love is infinite. "I remember wondering, could my heart grow to be so big as to love another? And there I was, mesmerized as I took this picture, with my swollen belly and overflowing heart," says Lisa Douglas, whose seven children are pictured above.
  • Many hands make light work. 2 of 11
    Many hands make light work.
    Yes, big families create more mess. But there are also more people to chip in and help clean it up.
  • Parenting is all about controlled chaos. 3 of 11
    Parenting is all about controlled chaos.
    In any day, there will be moments of madness and moments of calm. You'll be a lot happier if you can learn to appreciate the calm moments when they come and find a way to cope when it gets crazy! Photo: Kathy Buckworth and family, credit Steve Uhraney
  • Kids really ARE all different. 4 of 11
    Kids really ARE all different.
    "I'm amazed at how different all four of my kids are, starting with each pregnancy. As they've grown it's even more apparent - and fun! A couple of my kids are complete opposites, yet still best friends and playmates. And they seem to fall right into place with their strengths for their sibling's weakness...I admit this makes life easier on me and I love seeing them work as a team." - Stephanie Precourt, Adventures in Babywearing
  • Moms need to take care of themselves. 5 of 11
    Moms need to take care of themselves.
    A lot of moms try to be everything to the first kid. By the third or so, the survival mechanism takes over! "Taking time for yourself isn't a luxury, it's a necessity!" says Sarah, a mom of four who blogs at Tumblewieds. credit: Selah Photography
  • Love multiplies. 6 of 11
    Love multiplies.
    "More kids, more love - not just more work!" - that's what I think of when I see my crew hugging on each other (which they do suprisingly often)!" says Veronica Janak of her beautiful family, above. Photo: Bobbi Rattai.
  • They grow up fast. REALLY fast. 7 of 11
    They grow up fast. REALLY fast.
    Logically, we all know our kids are growing right before our eyes, but there's something about seeing your fourth child slip on the t-shirt you swear your first was wearing yesterday to drive the point home. Pictured: Kim of Prairie Mama and her lovely crew.
  • Teenagers are awesome. 8 of 11
    Teenagers are awesome.
    Teens often get a bad rap, but I love having "big kids" in the family. They're hilarious and smart, and nothing is sweeter than watching a lanky 15-year-old boy playing princess with his little sister. Plus, can you say "live-in babysitter"? It's lovely knowing I can run a quick errand by myself. Pictured: Author Meagan Francis & kids.
  • More kids doesn’t always mean more work. 9 of 11
    More kids doesn't always mean more work.
    "With a large family, you never have to hear 'I'm bored!' Built-in playmates are the best," says mom of six, Jennifer Applin.
  • Siblings don’t have to be rivals. 10 of 11
    Siblings don't have to be rivals.
    "I'm a firm believer that children in big families can be great friends. My five kids are very, very close, and it was so great to see them excited for my oldest to come home for Thanksgiving break," says Stacey Nerdin of Tree, Root and Twig.
  • This, too, shall pass. 11 of 11
    This, too, shall pass.
    It can be hard to believe at times, but moms of many have seen enough chaotic moments come and go to understand how fleeting they are. Pictured: Christine Young of From Dates to Diapers and her 7 kids.

Would you add anything to my list?
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