The truth about big families

1624Clare and Tom308The Sydney Morning Herald reported  that “less than 2 per cent of Australian women have six or more children.” Well I must know so many of that 2%.

I know families of 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and even a few with an even dozen. Whenever there is a movie about big families you always see children hanging from fans, piles of horrible food and a mum on the edge of a breakdown. Perhaps that’s why the general public feel they can be so rude to those with a brood. I come from a family of 6 and my Mum was often asked by strangers “Why didn’t you buy a television” or “You poor thing” or “How do you remember their names?”. My Dad was asked why he didn’t “cut it off?” So I thought I would share a few home truths – here are 10 things I know about big families.

1. Babies come cheap Before you protest please hear me out. Many people having a baby, think they need to buy every useless gadget on the market. You can buy a pram for a couple of thousand dollars. We got ours free, second hand. There are plenty of ways to waste money on a baby – from expensive designer nappies to buying trendy clothes they will wear for a week. In the end the baby doesn’t care about the money spent on them. They need lots of love and cuddles. Even their food is free at first.

Of course children become more expensive as they get older and parents have to make sacrifices. So they might not own the flashiest car and they might have to have their holidays at the coast rather than going to Europe. A mother of a big family might not spend her days getting a manicure and shopping the credit card away – but wouldn’t you trade all these things for a beautiful new person?

2. Big families does not mean chaos Some of these Mums with big families could have been the President of USA – their homes are run with such precision and order. With more children there just seems to be more strategies put in place. Older kids help out with housework and looking after the younger ones. You rarely see kids hanging from the fan or throwing their breakfast at each other.

3. Big families are more fun The fun and laughs are just multiplied. There is a variety of big personalties and you’re never lonely. I had the best fun playing with my brothers and sisters. We had amazing games of charades, tug-a-war, cops and robbers and putting on plays. And even in the tough times, big families know how to have laugh. If someone is sick or dying from a big family, the love seems to carry you through it.  Just recently I’ve been to two different funerals – both people were from a large family  These were not lonely people and it was beautiful to see so many gather to honour their life.

4. Parents of big families still have fun I have so many memories of my parents laughing. Parents of big families appreciate the good things in life. Like anyone else, they enjoy that good meal, having friends over, a glass of wine, a cup of tea, a good TV show. Of course they love each other. And so more children come. It has to be a daring a love – a love full of trust.

6. Every big family is different I think the personalities become even stronger with more kids. You want to stand out from the crowd and you need to speak up to be heard. They tend be more passionate about their passions whether its sport, singing or drama.

7. The heart is made for loving many people It goes without saying that I never forgot my 5 siblings names. I could even remember the names of all my friends brothers and sisters. Even if they had 6 or 12. And I knew my Mum loved us all. Her heart just kept on growing.

8. Big families don’t need a chef Growing up I was more used to cooking for 8 than 2. And I think I’m a better cook for it. My Mum can cook for 14 at very short notice. She often entertains large numbers with very little stress.

 9. Love bring more love As my parents grow older I can see their generosity will be rewarded. They won’t be left alone in a nursing home like so many of our elderly. Their example means that we all love babies and so they are able to meet many grandchildren. My Grandfather has met five great grand children already.

10.  A Mum who has many children still looks beautiful There are some very good looking Mums out there who have had 8 or more children. Its miraculous but true! And all these Mums with many children have something gorgeous about them. Its all over their face and eyes – I’m not sure if its more joy or pride. They are are mums with gumption – not timidly dipping their toe into life but charging ahead like a battle axe.

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