Enormous families are fascinating to me.
I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s because I have only one sibling. Or that my mom was the second youngest of nine. Or maybe it’s because I watched a loooot of TV growing up. Those Cosbys, all those teens on “Eight is Enough,” the Bradys, that kooky blended family in the oft-repeated Saturday afternoon movie, “Yours, Mine and Ours.” Everyone had so much fun! All problems were neatly solved in fewer than 30 minutes with enough time to spare for a hug on the side of the bed!
Of course, my friends who came from really large families make it clear it’s not always peachy.
ABC News has a kind of all-over-the-place piece about some of the negative aspects of large families. One person, Rachel Carroccio, the fifth in a brood of 10, sheds some light on one of the most complained about aspects of the Duggars — the fact that their older girls, for the most part, take care of the younger kids. The boys aren’t expected to do that as much.
Carroccio, 28, said she and her sisters, too, raised the younger siblings when their mom went out to work. As a result, they burned out on childcare.
From ABC News:
“None of us really want many kids,” Carroccio said, referring to the girls. “My brothers, on the other hand, all want to have kids. I have one brother about to have his fifth child.”
Purely anecdotal, but of the people I know who came from really large families, the younger ones tended to have fewer — or often zero — kids. I’ve always wondered if that’s because they were born into a crowded house, so why the hell would they intentionally force themselves to share space ever again? Or is it because they see the older ones covering grandchildren production so, you know, they’re off the hook. Perhaps it’s something biological, like, DNA is surviving just fine with me.
Did you come from a big family? Do you have one? How do you think the size of the family you grew up in influences the size of your family now?