Skip to main content

Oregon Family Magazine

8 Things Big Families Will Understand

01/31/2018 08:54PM ● By Sandy Kauten
After the birth of our triplets two years ago, we went from a family of five to a family of eight overnight. It was a big adjustment for everyone, but we have settled into a comfortable routine.  It is evident that there are parts of my daily life that only other mothers of large families will truly understand.

The housework never ends

Lots of people means lots of stuff. School papers, shoes, dirty clothes, dishes, and toys can quickly take over the entire house. Large families manage housework by sharing chores, keeping up on daily tasks, and changing their perspective on what “clean” means. In a large family, you clean for the allotted amount of time and move on to the next thing on your to-do list. Within minutes, the house is usually “messy” again anyway.

You get a lot of attention in public

Large families aren’t as common nowadays, so when a large family goes out in public they attract attention. This comes in the form of anything from open mouth stares to questions like “Are you done?” or “Are they all yours?”. While some people are critical, others appreciate  seeing a big family out enjoying time together.

It is really loud

When I explain to people that our family is loud, I don’t think they fully understand what this means. The noise in our home is not only loud but constant. Someone is always talking, singing, playing, arguing, listening to music, or watching TV, often many of these happen at the same time. In order to be heard over each other, the kids talk louder and sometimes at the same time. It is literally never quiet. A mom of many knows that if she hears silence, the kids are most likely up to no good.

Someone always needs something

A mom of any number of children knows that she is never “off-duty”. Moms keep information about the location of household items and details about countless family related information in their brains at all times. In a large family, someone always needs help with something, can’t find something, or needs something - a drink, diaper change, homework help, or a ride somewhere. Our kids, and even our husbands, turn to us first when a need arises. We are taxi drivers, nurses, teachers, coaches, counselors, chefs, housekeepers, cheerleaders and more.

Food goes fast

It takes a lot of food to feed several growing bodies. Eating out is a treat because it costs a small fortune and, consequently, home cooked meals are the norm. Moms of many are usually good at meal planning and stretching ingredients. They also know that when a favorite food is in the house, it won’t last long. A large batch of cookies is usually gone the same day.

There is no excuse for boredom

In a big family there is no excuse for boredom because there is always someone to play with. If you don’t like what one sibling is doing, you can join another activity with another group. In a large family, you always have enough people to play a game of kickball or duck-duck-goose. Plus, you know if you mention being bored to your busy mom, she will start passing out chores to lighten her load.

Sharing is a way of life

Kids in big families learn to share early in their lives. Clothing and toys are passed down the line until they practically fall apart. Often times no one remembers who the item originally belonged to and it becomes public property. Kids also share rooms which is both annoying and fun. While many kids from large families dream of having their own room, they also enjoy having a slumber party every night with their siblings.

There’s a lot of love

The best part of having a big family is that there are so many to love. Watching the kids laugh and play together or seeing an older child comforting a younger one instantly warms the heart. Kids in large families have built in friends and always have someone in their corner Those moments make all the hard work that goes into mothering a lot of kids worth it.

Moms of many know that each child is an individual and recognize their unique gifts and differences. Each child is part of a family, a team that works together, and celebrates successes of each other along the way.