Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Mark of a Big Family

I've taken it upon myself to create a list of things that big families commonly experience.  This is an unscientific study, but my own personal observations.  If you can relate to most of these, congratulations you're probably a big family!  However, if you can relate to many of these items, but have an only child...I say just wave the white flag of surrender and have more children. 

1.  One package of the family car decals just isn't enough.

2.  One person's idea of stocking up is your idea of a week's worth of groceries.

3.  A full size van is luxurious.

4.  You either have, or have contemplated answering your phone with: "thank you for calling the funny farm"

5.  Your 6 year old can change a diaper, while your 4 year old makes peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while you're having a conversation with your 8 year old about why it's important to lift the potty seat while he pees on in the potty.  (That's a whole 'nother post.)

6.  You're used to getting stared at when you go out.

7.  Strangers ask you strange questions about your personal life.

8.  You have a handful of witty comments for these strange questions.

9.  When you get together with other big families, you compare notes on who has gotten the strangest question.

10.  You can't remember your children's birthday's and may have gotten them confused on legal documents.

11.  You can't afford to have birthday parties at those fun places, because your children make up at least 1/2 the guest list included in the package.

12.  Other children will attach themselves to your entourage when you're out...and you don't notice.

13.  You have to count heads when you're out to make sure everyone is with you, and then ask yourself "wait, how many kids do I have again?"

14.  Going out with 2 kids is not that big of a deal...anymore.

15.  When people marvel at how many kids you have, you smile and think, "You have no idea what you're missing."

How about my fellow large families chime in, what are some other things that are common to large families?

Please note that Anchored In His Grace has moved to a new web address.  www.carolinenixonsblog.com


  1. Hilarious! Going out with only 1 or 2 kids is what I call a vacation. ;) And I've only got 3!

    Yes, I might've gotten kids' birthdays confused, mainly because I think "Born in 2011 & born in 2012? That can't be right!" Except that it is.

  2. My second and third are 13 months apart so I get/ got confused constantly with their birthdates and years :) now qith five total I have hust accepted I need a birthday cheat sheet in my purse just in case.

  3. Mama to 8 here.

    When a few older ones have left the nest, you downsize to a 12 passenger van and it feels so new to you because it is only 8 years old!

    Your younger children have never seen the inside of a restaurant.

    You have to list off all the birth years to get it right.

    When you make dentist appointments, the receptionist tells you to go sit down while she figures it out and makes the appointments and hands you the list. And you still show up with the wrong child on the wrong day.

    Your older children can take younger ones to the dentist, dance class, soccer practice and they think it's normal.

    You buy multiple packs of everything including things labeled "family size".

    You tuck your little ones in at night and you never get impatient because you know it is fleeting and you wish you could comfort your older ones in such a simple way.

    You never misplace your cell phone because it might be an older child calling with just a few minutes to chat between classes and you wouldn't miss that call for the world.

    Children you don't know show up at your door because there is always someone to play with. They stay for dinner.

    Your kids don't ask to have people over for dinner because there is always enough. And you actually went half way through dinner before you noticed your 13 yo's best friend sitting at the table.

    You know that the saying, "The days are long, the years are short." Is true but at the same time, you try very hard not to calculate what you have spent on diapers during your mothering career.

    1. These are great, Arden! I can't tell you how many times I've thought, "family size? That's not family size!" I enjoyed reading your list! Especially down sizing to a 12 passenger van!

  4. You leave 15 mins earlier then you need to , because you know it will take AT LEAST that long to load and unload the van.

    People at the library think that you are a "school" field tri

    Your heart is so full that it SOMEWHAT makes up for the fact that you get VERY little sleep (1/2 the night waiting up to make sure the 18 year old is home safe and the other half feeding the 2 month old)!

    1. Yep, I've gotten the field trip question before; and I'm thinking 15 minutes to get out of the house is good! Thanks for the response...I knew I'd forget something. :)

    2. Or you're up at night having one-on-one time w/ the 18yo and just when you get to drift off to sleep the 1yo wakes up! (I also have 8)

  5. We're expecting Baby 5 in a few weeks, so I still don't consider us a large family...but we're getting there! I could related (from experience) to all but 3 of your points. Maybe we're getting bigger than I think?
    My hardest birthdate experience was when I switched doctors and I had to name (on the spot) each of my children, oldest to youngest, and give their birth date, weight, and age of gestation when born. It's a good thing I didn't have to give social security numbers as well!

    1. Wow! That's impressive you were able to remember all that on the spot!

      Before my 5th, I didn't consider our family to be big either; but everyone else did. I felt official once our 5th made her grand appearance. Congrats on the new baby! Blessings to you as you wait until his/her arrival!

  6. You have been told you are ruining your husbands life because of how many kids you have AND you have some sort of physiological problem because you evidently love being pregnant

    1. I am so sorry you had to put up with those kind of comments. How rude!

    2. I agree...rude. I find it difficult to come to grips with how discouraging some people are. My hope is that you are encouraged along the way of raising those beautiful blessings. What a wonderful privilege and honor to be entrusted with these gifts of growing children!

  7. You get asked if you're going to have a tv show (my reply: NO THANKS! lol)

    To get new clothes is a special treat - especially for the young ones.

    A large pizza from Sam's Club is a snack/appetizer before the "real" meal.

    On birthdays: you have a birthday to celebrate almost every month! And you don't "have" to invite anyone over to have a party.

  8. Expecting our 11th in 4 months... and we had a good chuckle at most of these.


    1. Oh how wonderful! Congrats on baby 11! So happy to help a pregnant mom get a laugh. :)

  9. We are expecting No 7 early next year LOL

    - When a whole box of biscuits or chips goes in one snack

    - The laundry basket is never empty

    - Family tickets (for movies, theme parks etc) don't even get near saving your family money

    - You have to put a 'watch for children' sign at your rural driveway

    1. Congrats on the new addition! Love the "watch for children" sign idea.

  10. Mom of 5 boys and 1 girl.

    Your can shout out a number in the park and all of your children come running (1,2,3.. for us 3!)

    You can shout out a number at home and that particular child will come to you. (all of our children's names end in "an" BAD idea).

    A school play is a treat, because movie tickets would be well over $60 before snacks

    You have to learn the drop off/ pick up rules for three different schools ( and church classes). (preschool elementary and High)

    People are always assuming you have a lot of patience and patients.

    People assume you are free to babysit because Hey, what's one more.

    You look at your husband and ask if the two neighbor kids went home because it's nine p.m. and you have to go around making sure only your children are sleeping there.

    No one from school shows up at a birthday party but that's ok because between your own and the neighborhood kids there's plenty.

    Your 5th grader can change diapers, scramble eggs, dress and play with your 3 yr old and your 18 month old and does so just so you can sleep in. ( Yes, he actually did this for me. <3 )

    1. Funny, our 3rd is the one we call all the time too!

      How sweet of your son to take care of all that for you! What a special treat!

  11. When I read this to my oldest, she commented, "We make up half the first cousins!"

  12. Love it!! All true!! And here I was thinking that I am the only one that answers the phone that way. Usually I say "Hello, funny farm, head funny here!" It usually gives people a laugh.

    With so many kids (I have 7 plus my mom now lives with us so I care for her too) I have to have a sense of humor!!!

  13. Absolutely! A sense of humor is a must!

  14. I was part of a large family as a teenager thanks to foster siblings (4 in house, 1 grown, all of us girls!). Not as large as some but here's what I remember:

    1. Christmas, Easter, Halloween... Holidays are the best! So many people to share the excitement. Just don't photograph mom til after cuz she always looked frazzled. Lol

    2. You could play any sport in the yard and had enough people.

    3. There's always someone to play Barbies with.

    4. Dinner each week included spaghetti. It took me forever to stop making it as an adult because I hate it but you're supposed to have spaghetti night, right?

    5. I totally remember my sister being in charge of driving me places. And who went to the doctor or dentist? Mom kinda let that one slide as long as we looked healthy.

    We're expecting baby 3 in March which makes us only a medium family (and we may stay that way for a while because this one is causing full time morning sickness). But I love that God surprised us out of my husband's idea to stick with two! I just keep remember the awesomeness of my childhood!

  15. Congrats on having your 3rd, Angela! It's wonderful to hear from children of big families; I always hear great things!

  16. My great grandmother had 21 children. It is amazing she remembered her own name, let alone all her children.

    My grandmother broke away from the norm having a small family with only 7 children :)

    Loved your list. Funny.