To the momma with a gaggle of kids . . . and expecting another,
I know you’re overwhelmed. Kids are overwhelming. It’s a lot, it’s a lot on you, maybe it even feels like a lot on the whole family. And . . . it’s hard to escape the what will everyone think? trap. But I’m here to tell you what you already know, to remind you . . . big families are awesome.
Here we go, reasons in no particular order:
1. Kids keep us young.
Yes, I know it doesn’t feel like that when we’re exhausted, and some days are certainly long. But being around and keeping pace with the life and spirit of children keeps our own soul youthful. And, aside from you, younger siblings keep your other kiddos little longer. The days of fort building, backyard swinging, and imaginative worlds seem to hang around a bit longer for the older ones who would have otherwise moved on.
2. There is magic in the moments when a family smiles and giggles together over the adorable antics of a little one.
Your heart lights up to see a smile spread wide over the faces of your older children as they delight in their sibling. Nothing sends a big kid into a fit of belly laughs like the hysterics of their pint-sized sidekick.
3. Teamwork really does make the dream work.
Big families have to rely on one another, have to share the load, to get by. Everyone may feel the squeeze of limited time for me, but the bonding and belonging that comes out of this is the real deal. Watching your children grow to think and feel outside of themselves, pitch in as regular helpers and problem-solvers and do-ers, it feels like you’re doing something a whole lotta right.
4. You find out who your people are fast. And they are awesome.
Yes, your crew is too much for some. There might be a sting or two over an invite that doesn’t come because of the size of your troop. But the ones who get you, they are treasures. They don’t think twice about helping change a diaper, digging through your junk drawer to find a Band-Aid and patch up a knee, or taking on a pile of dishes so they can stay a little longer and keep the conversation going. They show up when you’re in the thick of it because they probably are too. They don’t need the pretense of a pristine house to savor every sip of coffee and chat together.
5. You’re the fun house.
Despite having a house full already, big families often live with their door swinging open and making all feeling welcome. Guests know life is happening here on a big scale, it feels contagious, and they want to be part of it. The kids in the neighborhood seem to find their way to your living room, to your yard, and you’re not one bit sad about that.
6. Everyone secretly wants to hold and sniff this coming baby.
Yep, even the ones who might dole out unkind or judgy comments about all things not their business (like the size of your family). Even them. They are dying to get a baby snuggle even if they’d never admit it.
7. You love and are so excited for that sweet pea already.
Life is always crazy, perpetually moving fast, but for a minute, it all slows down and the rest of the world filters out while you take in the awe of your squishy babe. Your heart may be beating hard wondering how you’re going to add another life to a pretty full circus train, your brain is running a ticker of every detail to be juggled . . . but, oh, those tiny fingers, those little lashes, bitty rosebud lips, the joy of your eyes meeting theirs for the first time—your soul already knows this next perfect piece to your family.
8. It’s gonna be great.
Just like the others, in an instant, you will struggle to imagine a life that didn’t include him or her. You’ve got this momma.
I could go on, but my brain stopped when I got distracted by a kid. (It’s a side effect of having a fairly large family, but, worth it!)
Originally published on the author’s Facebook page