Growing up, I desperately wanted to be apart of a large family. Both my parents are only children so our entire family consisted of six people. There were times when I used to dream of what it would be like to live in a house FULL of kids surrounded by aunties and uncles and big family gatherings.
And so…. the exciting news for us as a family is we are expecting baby number 4!
I have spent many hours dreaming of who this little baby will become and what it will mean as we transition to a ‘large’ family.
The reactions to this pregnancy have been a little um, interesting. Most responses have been giggles and comments like “Are you serious?”, “Your’e crazy”, “That’s a big family!” and my favourite “4 kids…How on earth will you afford it?”.
So to answer those questions…..
“Are you serious?”
Yes. Yes, I am.
Perhaps I am crazy. In fact, I know I’m a ‘little’ crazy. But I truly love being a mum. I love seeing my kids personalities and strengths unfold as they grow and being apart of nurturing who they will become. I also love seeing the bond develop between my kids, watching them play and interact together knowing that they get to experience the unconditional friendship of not one but soon-to-be three siblings.
“That’s a BIG family!”
I don’t think there’s an ‘ideal’ family size. I don’t think large families are better than small families because as I said, I loved growing up in a small family. I think they all have their pros and cons and we make the choice that is right for us. So please don’t judge my large family just because it’s something you may not want for yourself.
“How on earth will you afford it?”
If my children only wore designer clothing, had designer bedrooms and the latest gadgets, and I continually felt pressured to buy them ‘stuff’, I probably couldn’t afford it. Thankfully, I have discovered the difference between a ‘need’ and a ‘want’ and have made the choice to live simply and frugally. We use the money we save from not buying these things for activities, outings, holidays that we believe will truly enrich our kids lives.
Sidenote: My kids are always neat and well-dressed but we don’t spend much money on clothes at all. We welcome hand-me-downs and I’m a passionate op shopper! If you see my boys in designer labels (which occasionally you will) be assured I didn’t pay full price for it. It was either something I got significantly reduced, online or from an op shop.
Judge me for having a large family? I dare you!
I remember the first time I ventured out to my local shopping mall with my 3 small children in tow. I had the newborn in a sling, one boy in the stroller and the other on a skateboard at the back and for some reason was also trying to do my grocery shopping. My mum (thankfully) was with me at the time and whispered to me, “have you noticed that everyone is staring at you?”. I had noticed but didn’t understand why. My gorgeous mum was very encouraging, “Honey, perhaps it’s just because you ‘look’ younger than you are” or “It IS unusual to have three children so close together”. I remember deciding at that point that what random strangers were ‘thinking’ or ‘assuming’ was really not worth worrying about.
I understand that large families aren’t for everyone but we are really excited that we get to experience this for the 4th time! I plan on enjoying every moment as I strongly suspect this WILL be the final chapter!