Monday, March 1, 2010

Love it, had to share it, so glad to be living it!

*** borrowed from the blog of a friend, Thanks Lyndi!

From the National Catholic Register (no, I'm not catholic, and yes, I do get asked that a LOT!)

By Matthew Archbold

Why Big Families Might Be Easier

A woman said to me recently that my five children were very well behaved. It’s one of the best things I can hear so I thanked her. Then she asked me “how do you do it with so many?”

I told her that I don’t think I’d be a very good parent of one child or two. She didn’t believe my answer but honest to goodness, I sometimes think that having many children is easier than just one.

Why big families are easier:

Patience. I never have to teach patience. My children know that I can’t drop everything for them if I have a baby in my arms. So true!

Work Ethic. My children have learned to work because there are always chores to do in a small house packed with little messy lunatics. And they all learn quickly that sometimes they have to clean up a mess even though they didn’t make it. This is a lesson they don't like learning, but it is part of being a family. We clean up after each other, because we care for one another.

Humility. My children have learned it’s not always their turn. They’ve accepted they can’t always get their way because other people have to get their way sometimes. They’ve learned that some children are better at certain things than they are. Jessie hasn't learned this one yet, but the others are EXCELLENT turn takers!!

Foreign language skills. You can learn a lot of Spanish by watching ten years of Dora the Explorer that you just can’t pick up in two. And now with the Diego spin off I’m practically fluent. And now, we can even learn Chinese ;)

Laughter. The children have learned to laugh at the insane non sequiturs of younger siblings. They’ve learned that laughing just feels better when seven people are doing it along with you. We laugh All. The. Time. around here... seriously, if you need a good laugh, just call me, I'm sure one of my kids will crack you up in no time!

Competition. Do I really need to go into this? Everything is a competition in big families. The children compete over who reads faster, who drinks their milk faster, who gets to the bathroom first…etc. Everything is a competition and they’re all keeping score. I'm just glad another parent wrote this article, it makes me feel so much better about me kids, LOL. EVERYTHING is a race or a competition, even who gets out of the car first and who gets buckled first. Sadly, Kami races me and always wins (because I am buckling 2 kids into a 5 point harness!!!)

Balance. The floor of the front room of my home is a minefield of toys and childhood paraphernalia. Just walking through the room requires great skill and balance. I’m absolutely convinced my two year old will be a favorite for Gold on the balance beam in the 2016 Olympics. (She might have to lay off the cookies a little but I’ll deal with that later.) If you've ever been to my house when the playroom wasn't JUST picked up, you KNOW how true this is!

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you just give it to the baby because you want a little quiet. Not all the time. But sometimes. Yep, glad to know this family does that too....quiet is a necessity sometimes, even IF bribery is involved :)

Just say “No.” Being able to say “no” may be the most undervalued skill in this world. The need to be liked is pervasive. The need to be cool even more so. Having brothers and sisters teaches children to say “no” about 143 times a day. It’s a good skill. You mean it's okay to tell my kids "no"?? Who'd have EVER thought that?!?! LOL

Praying. They learn that nothing beats praying together as a family. AMEN!!

Nature/Nurture. Having many children has taught me that nature has a lot more to do with who my kids are than nurture. This is helpful, especially when your children misbehave you don’t have to feel bad about it. Just say “Stupid nature!!!” and blame your spouse’s genes. I'm gonna just sit here and smile, not saying a word!

Name calling. You can occasionally call your child by the wrong name and still not be considered a terrible parent. They know who you mean just from your tone. Sometimes if you need something done you can call the wrong name and someone will still show up. That helps. I'm surprised m kids know their names, I feel like I never call them the right one. Sadly, I don't get them mixed up with each other as much as I call them someone else entirely! The other day, I called Jordan "James", that's Bill's brother, he doesn't even live here!!!

Spying. My children have learned that they can’t get away with anything. I have spies who look a lot like them who are willing to drop the dime on them for anything. Even at school I’ve got a child in just about every grade. If they do something I’ll hear. That keeps them nervous. And I like keeping my kids a little nervous. Insert evil laugh here :)

Friendship. The children have many friends. They’ve got girly friends, crying friends, fun loving friends, consoling friends, and crazy friends. And they all have the same last name. And they’ll be there forever for each other. No matter what. There is always someone to play with and they can never say they are bored (if they do, they get to play candyland with the little ones!)

Love. I think my children have learned to love because there are others around them to love and who love them. I honestly can think of no better way to teach children to love than siblings. And this, THIS, is the best part of all. They learn to love a variety of people and personalities right here in their own house. We may be a family, but we are all different, yet we still love one another. What a great life lesson my kids have learned that some adults can't even master. They love each other for who they are, not who they want each other to be. They accept each other's differences and respect each other because of them. THAT is what being a family is about. It's the one place you should always always always feel LOVE! And in this house, their is a LOT of love!


  1. Hi...thanks for leaving the sweet words on our blog about Martin. I've been waiting for two free seconds to check in on your blog to see who the little ones you are going to be bringing home and was so happy to see their sweet little faces. I will be so happy to follow your journey to bring them home. If there's anything you can share about what you saw of Martin in your video, of course, we'd be happy to soak up any detail. We've been praying a lot about C. also. Pls email when you have a chance :)

  2. I read it this am and it made me laugh and smile... thanks for sharing this... I can relate to many of the things in it.

  3. LOVE IT! And it is so true. We have so much fun as a BIG family.

  4. As a mom of 5, I totally agree. Much easier than 1!!!