Monday, October 31, 2005

You Can't Have Too Many Kids

Now that we know why some parents believe that they should cut off the child-bearing at two or three, we should consider the opposite side. What do moms who have five or more children have to say about their family atmosphere?

The first lesson of a big family is teamwork. While we may cringe at the price of feeding a family of 14, we should consider how much work this family can accomplish in a short time. Cleaning the living room or doing yard work is much easier with that many people helping out. In addition, having a large family will teach the children about teamwork. Because they rarely will do anything alone, these children will have to work together to complete tasks, live in the same bedroom, and otherwise co-exist.

Plus, these families are fun! We should not forget that point. Moms and Dads who decide to have a large number of children often do so because they want to have fun. There is always someone to play with. There is never a shortage of things to do with this many people in the house.

Many a harried Mom and Dad wonder, "how can she make it with eight children?" Well, it forces organization, according to these parents. Neither your finances nor your sanity can afford the stress of disorganization. That means that you are forced to keep yourself together. You will learn to create cubbies for the children's work, prepare the night before, and find a place for everything in your house because you have no other choice. A family with many children would explode from the chaos without some sort of organization in place.

Large families can promote individuality. While that is not true for all large families because some of these parents expect cookie-cutter children, in other families, Mom and Dad do not have time to hover over the children. Instead the kids must figure out who they are and who they want to be on their own. This type of individuality can be very freeing.

Finally, large families teach children responsibility. In many families, children have precious few responsibilities. Instead they depend on the adults to dress them, set the table, and take out the trash. There is no way Mom and Dad can handle all of these tasks when they have a herd of little ones running around. That means that parents have to learn to delegate responsibilities to the other children, and the children must complete their chores for the house to run properly. Not taking out the trash can be a disaster in a huge family! These families, then, can teach children responsibility more so that living in a small family, where not pulling one's weight is not such a tragedy.

Whether you decide to have a huge family or only one child, be sure to experience fully the moments that make up your life. Do not just keep having children to relive babyhood. Enjoy your babies while they are little and then allow them to grow up!

By Julia Mercer

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