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Growing a Large Family

By Molly Thornberg |

Growing a Large Family - Not Today's Normal!

Growing a Large Family - Not Today's Normal!

My husband and I married 13 years ago. He comes from a family of 6 kids, and myself a family of 3 kids. When we talked in our early marriage years of what we wanted for our family, we both agreed a large family is what we wanted, despite society’s perception of more than 2 children as “too much work”. I remember telling a friend who had asked how many kids we wanted “4 would be great”. The look and response I got from her – she thought I was down right insane!

As our family grows, it’s not easy but I don’t think life was meant to be easy. It’s all in the planning to keep our life managed, not expecting much now but keeping focused on the rewards of the future.

Family Planning.

We spent many years planning and waiting to see if our plans would work out as we hoped. Life threw some curve balls at us with infertility 2 times and then surprised by unplanned pregnancies while on birth control. Each challenge has brought us to where we are now. We are “Mom” and “Dad” to our large family of 3 children soon to be 4. We couldn’t be more happy with what the future holds. That being said, our dream is not the popular dream.  What has happened to the large family concept?

Sacrifices.

As a working mom who is pregnant, with 3 other kids in various schooling and activities life is busy. I have a great husband who is an awesome co-parent. But there are sarcrifices.

We knew that there would be many and obstacles that 4 children can bring to the table.  The $169 round-trip deal to Las Vegas would of been a no-brainer a few years ago for me and the husband to get away. Now a days, our get away is a good movie late at night or the occasional date night when we can bribe a family member into watching the little ones. Our carpet and house is always dirty. The kids may not be dressed to the nines. Sleeping until 10 am is considered sleeping in. Going out to eat is a circus.

But does that all really matter? Our family has unity and connection that money and materialism can’t replace. There is no happy pill that could fill my heart with more love than these little people we’ve created.

The Future.

My husband and I often talk about the day, 30 years from now when our house is full of our children and  grandchildren. Sure, we will pay the price now with time, stress and money – but we are placing our bets that it will be worth it in the end.  It may not be the answer for every family, but for ours this is our dram.

No Regrets.

I find it interesting how many people comment to me, “I wish we had another baby, BUT…..”. The “but” is then followed with a list of excuses, everything from age to money to stress. I want to live my life with no regrets. Lord willing.

The Average Family has 2 Children (source: cia.gov).

2 children is the average family size. Is it money? Time? Stress?

Rarely do I hear of families having more than 4 children. If there are more than that, they are always labeled so. “Oh you know Stephanie, she’s the one with 5 children.” Or they have their own reality show. (PS. Not that we are planning for 19, but I heart the Duggars.)

What Has Happened to the Large Family? Is it a Dying Idea?

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About Molly Thornberg

digitalmom

Molly Thornberg

Molly Thornberg is a wife and mother of four. She worked in web design and social media marketing before quitting to pursue blogging full time. On Digital Mom Blog, Molly shares "geeky" DIY projects, discusses the latest technology news, and talks about her life as a parent. Read bio and latest posts → Read Molly's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “Growing a Large Family

  1. KateTietje says:

    We were always told…”You never regret the children you do have, only the children you don’t.” We’ve taken this to heart and excuses (barring serious health complications or other such) will not stop us from having children until WE are done. I do believe families with (any) children should be able to care for them, provide for them financially, etc. But supposing you want a large family (we do) and can care for them, why not?

  2. Digital Molly says:

    I am with you Kate – and do agree that financially how many ever kids you have – manage responsibly! Happy baby making (until you are done, of course :) )

  3. Annalisa says:

    I am from a large family, the youngest of 9 kids and my grandparents had 13 kids. I also want a large family at least 5. I love a large family.

  4. momperson says:

    I know what you mean. Hubby is from family of 5. I am one of 2 kids. We have 2 children now and we want to have 4 more. We also want to adopt. We’ve wanted a big family since we started our relationship. For me and him it was a deal breaker, so it’s a good thing we both wanted a lot of kids. When I tell people how many kids we want people are shocked. Most tell me I don’t know what I’m talking about. I tried not to get offended when people found out we were having a boy. Since we already had a girl, they constantly said things “Like how perfect! Now you’re done.” I gritted my teeth and said pleasently, “No, we want 6 kids.” That gave them something to stutter over. I wish more people realized what a blessing children are.My friends that have 2 children are often saddened when they hear me talk about wanting to have more. They tell me that for many of them the truth is they weren’t done, but they let what other people think, debt, and fear stop them. Now they don’t have an option. I’m sad for them.

  5. MamaDay says:

    As for the whole “green” effect of a large family, I do believe it is quite the opposite of what most people conceive it to be. When people with only two kids get through the conveniences of life (disposable diapers, purchasing baby food, new clothes, toys, etc) you do see an effect on the environment. The truth be told, when you begin to look at the “larger” families out there (I’m talking more than 4) you begin to see a trend of “green.” Not because they are necessarily environmentally aware of what they are doing, but simply because they see the benefits of saving money and healthy living, which often displays a “green” effect! Growing gardens, preserving food, using hand me downs, buying used clothing, cloth diapering, small farming, and simply becoming self sufficient! Many of those with larger families see the benefits of living healthy, healthy co-working (involving both parents and children in shared work), healthy eating and overall lifestyles – striving to be benefits to society!! As a sibling in a large family, and growing one ourselves, husband and I are doing all that we can to spend wisely, make wise decisions, and to NOT be a burden to anyone if we can help it. We depend on the least possible, use ourselves to benefit others, and teach our children to do likewise! It’s not that we are concerned about the environment, we are concerned for our own health and the children’s health, both mentally and physically, and make the wisest decisions concerning the financial needs of our family! And in all matters, to teach these things to the children as they grow, so they can pass it on to however many children they have!

  6. Denise says:

    My husband and I want at least six children. I am one of four and my husband is a single child but we believe children are a blessing from the Lord . . . why would we want Him to stop blessing us? We hope to adopt as many as possible after we have a couple of our own, so maybe six is just the starting number. :)

  7. Sally says:

    Molly, such a great post. I’ve been stressing about having a 3rd and all the expenses that go with it. I love going out and having fun as a grown up and having date night with my husband. He on the other hand has always emphasized how much he enjoys coming home and spending time with family. I’m really starting to share his sentiment. Nothing can replace the excitement you feel when your kids are enjoying life and all the extra-curricular activities they participate in. Even movie nights have gotten to be so fun with lots of junk food and soda. We save so much money spending time with our children rather than going out and spending it on a pricey dinner. Don’t get me wrong, he better still take me out, but now it doesn’t have to be 4x a month. I can’t wait to bring our 3rd into the world and enjoy time with her.

  8. Julie says:

    I am sure this will be an unpopular response BUT- I believe that a lot of people are now starting to understand that the world’s resources are finite and that people continuing to have a lot of children is not the most responsible choice as a citizen of the world community. Our earth can only support so much life and if people don’t control the size of their families, we will be faced with widespread famine and shortages of other resources sooner rather than later. Every new person born creates that much more pollution and strain on the earth. Our species is no longer at the point where we need to procreate as much as possible to ensure our species survival. There are plenty of needy and unwanted children out there if the only goal is to just have a large family to love and have your house one-day filled with grandchildren. Is it necessary that they are all biologically yours? So for the person who asked “why not”, there are certainly plenty of valid reasons why not.

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