You know the stereotype that goes along with being Catholic: We all have tons of kids – Just a bunch of breeders. In this day and age anything over 2 children is considered “crazy.” So when families start to get above 4 and 5 kids, it can really turn some heads.
I asked one time on my Facebook page how many kids it takes to make a “large family.” I got tons of answers. It seems the average was 7+. In fact, some people that have over 10 still said they didn’t see themselves as a large family. I am 36 and my wife and I have 4 kiddos right now. They are 8, 2 1/2, 18 months, 5 months, and we have no plans of stopping. I wouldn’t consider us a large family. I always just say we are a growing family and that we are on God’s plan.
We spend a lot of time around other large or growing families. Plenty of stories are passed around about funny looks in public, ridiculous questions, and common assumptions made about large families. Here’s a few common (and generally wrong) assumptions about large families.
The Moms are Fashion Challenged and Amish-like
Not that Amish outfits are a bad thing. It might be nice to know exactly what you are putting on for the rest of your life. I have met some very fashionable moms and dads that are in charge of large families. It is possible to look nice with less.
They Are All Sex-craved Maniacs That Can’t Stop
As a matter of fact, fertility can be a very heavy cross to carry. We don’t want to make a person every time we have sex. Sometimes, we even want to space them out a bit. My wife and I have gone very long periods of abstinence. Are those periods frustrating? OH MY GOODNESS, YES!! But we are happy to do it. Marital abstinence is Biblical and has its benefits. It is a great time to connect with your spouse with your clothes on. It can be deeper, more loving, and a perfect opportunity to grow together.
They Have No Other Hobbies
I don’t know how many of you have been told, “You need to find a better hobby.” I find it to be a very irritating thing to hear. Guess what, I have plenty of hobbies. Raising a large family is our vocation. Puzzles are a hobby. Believe it or not, I am able to fit many hobbies into my baby filled life. Not only that, I can include my kids as they get older. Maybe teach them a thing or two. Personally I love woodworking, video games, working out, hunting, working out, beer,…Believe it or not, there is time for a life outside of your kids that you eventually get to share with your kids.
They All Aspire To Be Like The Duggars
No! No, we do not. That’s a lot of weddings to pay for.
People With Large Families Must Have Grown Up In Large Families.
I grew up with one sister. My wife was raised an only child. My whole life, I always had the number 5 in my head. Abby, my wife, wanted 1 maybe 2. After we joined the Catholic Church we both fell head over heels in love with the idea of having more than two kids. The wonderful thing about opening your life up to God’s will is that you never know how many times he will bless you with a baby.
Finding Out You are Pregnant Is Probably Never Stressful
When I talk to people about how many kids I have, so many of them say “There is no way I could handle more than 1 or 2.” or “I would lose my mind, 1 is enough for me.” I just want to tell them, not every pregnancy starts out as a joyous occasion. Sometimes, people want to bang their head on the wall or run screaming for the hills at the thought of another child. Eventually that worry and turns to joy, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t stressful. I guess that’s what prayer, church, Christian friends are for.
Large Families Only Homeschool
Homeschooling is great. That is if you can do it. It is not for everyone. Some kids do better in a private or public school setting. Some parents aren’t cut out for it. There is no shame in that. I stay home with the kids, but I will not be homeschooling them. I don’t have the patience or skill set to homeschool. As long as we can afford private school, that’s where they are going. And trust me, there are plenty of large families doing the same thing.
No TV or No Cable
I don’t know how I would keep my sanity or get anything done without a TV.
The kids are all best friends and get along great
With that many personalities in the house, do you really think everyone always gets along? Come on, now.
They all drive a mini-van
Well, we have a minivan. We are even considering upgrading to a 12 passenger van. But, I promise it’s not true for all of us. I have seen kids dropped off at our daughter’s Catholic School in trucks, SUVs, cars, clown cars…
They must be Catholic or Mormon
This last one came from one of my best buds who is expecting his fourth and is Protestant. Being heavily involved in the pro-life movement, we have met tons of large families that are not Catholic or Mormon. I can even tell you that some of them are not even Christian or religiously affiliated in any way. Some people just want more than a couple kids.
I am sure I missed a few. Feel free to add a few in the comments section. I would love to read some of the other things people have heard. We are all in this together, right?