Thursday, May 31, 2007

Interview with the matriarch of a large family

As a woman with a large family I am often curious about other peoples' experience with thier own large families, I'm sure many of you are too, especially if you don't have the experience yourself. So I've recruited some people on some large family message boards to answer some questions and give us a little insight into thier lives! These will post every so often on this blog.

The first volunteer was Heather from the Large families message board on babycenter

Did you always know you wanted a large family? We always knew we wanted more than 1 or 2, but we never had a set number in our heads.

Do you use birth control or are you of "quiver-full" mindset? How did you come to that decision? We used/use birth control.

How many children do you have? 5

How many do you want? It looks like 5 may be it unless we come into money. We do want to be able to help with college and go on an occasional vacation and be able to send them to summer camp etc. 5 is our financial limit to be able to still do that for now.

What are the biggest challenges when raising a large family? LAUNDRY!!! Also, there are not so many vehicles to accomodate 5 carseats without spending a lot of money and getting a vehicle that is bad for the environment. I am hoping the proverbial "they" come up with an environmentally friendly large vehicle that is affordable at some point.

What are the biggest rewards? I could go on and on and on. A parent may burst with pride on a Friday night because their son hit a beautiful triple. I get to do that 5 times as often. When I sit and read a story, I have 3 little ones on my lap. You know how exciting it is when you see the lightbulb go on in your child's mind, the one who has been struggling with Algebra? I get to see that lightbulb shine 5 times as bright and 5 times more often. When my 5yo learned how to ride a 2 wheeler for the 1st time, she had 6 people cheering her on. Our home is full of love. Each one of my children have a full network of fans to help them out and cheer them on as well as 14 shoulders to cry on. Really, I could write pages, but you get the idea.

Mike and I have been married for almost 9 years. We have 5 children and for now, that is all we are comfortable with affording. We have a 4br/2bth home on an acre. We will add on or buy a bigger house in a few years, but we are very happy. My husband hunts and fishes. The bigger kids have begun to share this with him as they get older. We both play poker and tend to steer towards outdoor activities. I also love to cook. I used to work until my 4th was born. Me not working was the deciding factor to adding to our family. Trying to juggle more than 3 with ever changing schedules, and all the illness children have, made the work/daycare thing impossible. Life is actually much less chaotic now that I stay home even though we have 2 more children. Sometimes the noise level gets high and I have to remind everyone to take turns talking or NOBODY will be heard, and we do have 5-10 minute qucik pick ups daily. The kids have all learned that if everyone just pitches in for 10 minutes, we can get it all pretty well cleaned up (toys and clothes etc) so we can all enjoy what comes next.

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