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Home » Raising Kids

The Blessing of Big Families

Submitted by on April 26, 2011 – 5:12 am 68 Comments
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I’m often surprised, and completely caught off-guard when people react as if I’m crazy when they see how many children I have. As if three (and one on the way) is a lot! I understand that nowadays most people have only one or two children, but why is more than that so inconceivable?

I can’t help but be saddened a little for those who say things to me like, “You’re having another baby? Have you lost your mind??!” And there’s the incredulous, “How many more are you going to have?!”

Statements like these make me take a closer look into the family of the one who is making such comments. And all too often I quickly understand why they would ask such a thing; most of these people haven’t learned to enjoy their own little ones. The children are usually disobedient, and a burden to their parents.  It’s not that I don’t think they love their kids, they simply don’t seem to cherish them as the blessings that they are. It’s hard to enjoy a little holy terror. (Though it’s not the kid’s fault he’s so awful, he’s only doing what he’s been taught and allowed to do.)

Another statement I often hear is, “How can you afford so many kids?” Which also speaks volumes of our society today, and where our priorities lie.

My husband and I hold to the “old fashioned” view that children are still a blessing from the Lord. Why would we want to turn that away? Have you ever been around a big family (4+ kids) and heard the mother say, “Yeah, I think we should have stopped with 2.” I dunno, maybe you have. But my experience has always been that the families I know with more children than average tend to want even more. Why? Because they enjoy them.

I’m not saying I plan on producing as many children as I possibly can. No. I’m just saying that I’m not opposed to more. Do I enjoy being pregnant and enduring childbirth? Uh… no. A big no. But the fruits of that “labor” are so incredibly precious. And worth every moment. And if the Lord decides to bless us with a number 5 in the future, then I will be overjoyed once more.

Please don’t misunderstand. I know many families with only one or two children who hold them dearly, but are very happy not having more. I understand that big families aren’t for everybody. But if you are one of those people who gawk at a young mother with a trail of children following her at the grocery store, please don’t be quick to judge.

I must say though, for as many rude comments as I hear (and sadly, even from family members) I also am blessed by strangers as well. Often people will come up to me while I’m out and say something like, “What a beautiful family you have!” or mention how well behaved the kids are. And I truly am blessed by that.

It’s nice when people notice the children for the precious gifts they truly are instead of looking on them as if they are supposed to be a burden. No, they aren’t always perfect, but my children are NEVER a burden. And it hurts me to hear people talk as if they should be viewed as such.

I don’t regret any of my children, quite the contrary! And I’m sure I wouldn’t regret another if the Lord plans to bless us with any more.

Those of you who have large families… what do you say when people make rude comments about how many kids you have? Or when your family acts like you are crazy?

Generally, I look at them just as incredulously and pronounce what a blessing my children are. I’d love to know how you react.

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  • Lindsayjane says:

    I am expecting my fifth child and surprisingly don’t get too many comments other than ‘don’t you own a tv?’ To which I reply ‘no, I really must get one!’. At my antenatal appointment, when I was expecting my fourth, the doctor wanted to discuss having a c section so that I could have my tubes tied which I thought quite funny. Kendra, I think you and your family are lovely and real inspiration to me on how to live frugally and enjoy your family rather than following what society now perceives as a successful life chasing material possessions. You are doing an awesome job!

  • Jen says:

    I have 2 kids 18 months apart and I wouldn’t have done it any other way. I wasn’t even back to work off maternity leave when I found out that we would be having a second. Every time I am in the grocery store I get ” I bet you have your hands full” Yes some days I want to rip my hair out and yes my coworkers think that I am crazy for wanting more but that is what I choose to do. I have just gone back to work as of last week and really really wish that there was a way that I could stay home with my children and have more. Hopefully my plan is to work for aboutb 1.5 years and get most of the debt paid off so that I am able to have more children and stay home with them.

  • Julia says:

    I got married at 18 and had my baby boy ten months later. He is now almost seven months old and I am dying for more children. I hope to hit the double digits someday :) My husband had 14 children in his family and they are so happy. His father was raising 5 children on about $10/hr and they do not feel deprived at all. He only has happy memories from his childhood, and I hope we can do the same for our children. Kids are a blessing, but most people do not look at it that way.

  • tracy says:

    I found all these comments surprisingly interesting. 1st regardless of my personal thoughts on family size, it amazes me that people can be so rude. I have told moms, ‘wow u have your hands full’ but mean it as a conversation starter more than anything…ANY mom with ANY number of children has her hands full. I grew up as the oldest of 5 & I think the hardest thing for me to see in large families is that the oldest child/children end up helping to raise the younger. I feel as the oldest that I truely missed out on many of the joys of childhood because I had to help mom w/ the littler ones. I, myself have twins & u couldn’t pay me to have another baby. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children more than life itself & I am a stay at home mom but God only gave me two hands…one for each child. My children deserve the best I can give them and even with just two I am not able to give the one on one attention I feel my kids need and I can’t imagion spreading my attention any thinner. Even as a child, I don’t remember getting any time w/ my mother, she always had a baby on her hip or on her boob. I do understand why some woman want more children but I honestly don’t know how they do it. – on another note, I have never understood why family’s a lot tend to stop after 3 kids (or any odd number of children). From what I observed, when there is an odd number of children someone is always left out, there are never equal teams, someone always has their feelings hurt. Just my 2 cents from a small family :)

  • Toni says:

    Having raised three children (each of which have three children), I just have to comment. I can remember when I had my third child that suddenly we no longer fit the “normal family”: everything it seemed came in sets of four- dishes, “family packages” for entry to activities, even recipes. (I would never enter contests that featured a giveaway family trip because they would be for four. Living on a tight budget, I always thought about who wouldn’t get to go.)

    Life was hectic, challenging, and frustrating then, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was also rewarding, fun and endlessly interesting. My goal was to raise responsible adults. They are! They all have their individual interests but are very close and to and supportive of each other.

    We live far from each of our children now that we have retired to Mexico, but now we can travel to visit them and host our grandchildren for several weeks during the summer. We love how our grandchildren love, respect, and enjoy us. Our lives are truly enriched by our children and grandchildren. Thank God for our Big Family!

  • Anita says:

    Hi, my husbsnde and I have 6 childern 5 of which have been born in 5 yrs our youngest still breast feeding. I want to starte by saying, that every eldery women I’ve ever spoke to said they wish they would have had more childern,some of which had good sized families.See we know that fulfillment does not come from a clean huge house and a lexus in the drive.We (meaning all you good people) have figured this out! I believe that it takes awhile for some others to come to this concluison and by the time they do it is to late, and so they are left bitter and with regret, they see us and realize what they, to could have had if they didn’t let the voices of the world,make their decsion for them. I know that this is not the case for every family, I know it is hard for those who want more and can not.God bless you all! Anita

  • Ashley says:

    My husband Paul and I married at 19 and 24. We have three children ages 4,2 and 4 months PLUS one on the way! I hear the rude comments all the time. The most actually come from my own mother. But the one that irks me the most is something that my brother in law (who has no children) says- “Don’t ya’ll ever play board games?” He even bought us one as a present one Christmas so that we would “have something else to do”! One of my SIL’s also refers to us as “rabbitts”. This baby that I am pregnant with now was quite the suprise! But a blessing in God’s timing all the same. We love and enjoy our children, I stay home with them and do my best to raise polite, well behaved, smart, Godly children. It truly is a shame how we as a society have put money, status, possesions above having a family to love and care for. My dream is that when I’m old and gray my children and grandchildren will come home to visit, call me with questions and stop by unexpected to chat…..and I plan to enjoy every minute of them from now until then!

  • Jessica says:

    Hey Kendra.When I go out in public with my children, people will say…AND HOW OLD ARE YOU…I guess because im soon be to be 23 that I am WAY too young to be having children. Maybe they say that because I have a two year old and 5 month old twins. It upsets me when people say that. Like you have to be a certain age to have children. Also, Like you said I do love when we go out and people will say “what a beautiful family” I have. I love every single one of my children. They are the greatest gift I have ever recieved. People always say to me also, ARE YOU HAVING ANYMORE. What is it any of anyone elses business if Justin and I decide to have another child.

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