What It's Really Like Raising A Large Family

by Susie Johnson
Originally Published: 
A married couple with seven children posing outside for a photo with two boys sitting on  a square b...

When you’re raising a large family, you hear the same comments and questions over and over again…

Your grocery bill must be huge!

How many loads of laundry do you do each week?

I can’t imagine how you do it!

I get it. It’s unusual, especially in this day and age, to have lots of kids. And people are curious.

So let me tell you what it’s like. It’s not like what the Duggars show you on TV. I wouldn’t say it’s like John and Kate Plus 8, either. With seven children in one house, five of them under the age of ten, it’s more like this:

1. Someone is always crying. Always. But you soon learn the difference between fake crying and real crying. Between I’m pissed crying and I’m hurt crying. And before too long you can determine whether you need to call the paramedics or put in your earplugs from two rooms away.

2. Someone is always in your way. You know when you are walking with your two-year-old and she is directly in front of you and walking at .2 miles per hour and all you want to do is get in front of her so you can walk at a regular pace but you can’t get around her? Yeah. That. But pretty much all the time. In every room of the house.

3. Something is always lost. Always. A shoe. A book. A pair of goggles. A remote. A phone. A Kindle. A DS. A sippy cup. A blankie. A homework paper. You are constantly searching for something.

4. The sink is never empty. And neither is the dishwasher. If you aren’t looking for something that is lost, you are either loading or unloading the dishwasher.

5. A matching pair of socks does not exist. You just go the the box of socks in the laundry room and hope to find two that are actually yours.

6. From November to April, someone is almost always sick. As soon as one kids gets rid of it, another one catches it. And the cold relay goes non-stop until the temperature is consistently above 60 degrees.

7. There is no need for playdates. You can play two-on-two basketball, kickball, Marco Polo, hide and seek, tag, badminton, and volleyball. You can make movies and play Spades and Twister and put on a play without inviting anyone over. Ever.

8. Something gets broken pretty much every day. A plate. A glass. A picture frame. A window. A phone. A nose. A promise. A heart.

9. There is a lot of rushing. You know that scene in the beginning of Home Alone where they all oversleep and then they are running around like maniacs to get to the airport on time? That. But like every time you need to leave the house. For school. Practice. The grocery store. Anything.

10. There is a lot of noise. And yes, the crying and whining and arguing can be annoying. But there is also a lot of other stuff. Sometimes the noise is welcomed. You know when your kid is laughing? Like a real belly laugh and you could just listen to that forever? When you have a lot of kids, there is a lot of that noise. And that doesn’t suck. At all.

And there is a lot of cooperating.

There is a lot of sharing.

There is a lot of supporting.

There are a lot more hugs and a lot more I love yous and a lot more kisses and a lot more hands to hold and a lot more children to watch sleeping peacefully

And that makes it all totally awesome.

Related post: 10 Nosy-Ass Questions People Ask About Our Big-Ass Family

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