My "big" famliy?
The Reason I say This….
While on vacation with my family I was asked multiple times questions like: why do you have so many kids, and do you really need a stroller that big? (Obviously you do not see the 3 small children standing in front of you?). I was slightly offended by these comments (though I have heard them and many more before). I started to wonder why people think 3 children is too many. Maybe it is because I had 3 children in 4 years (yes, I planned it that way; I am asked if my kids were a mistake often also). Maybe it is because most people think 2 is the right number and often now people say 1 is good for them. Whatever the reason I have started to notice that society as a whole says 2 kids with 2 parents. When ordering tickets for a trip the family size that is included is 2 adults and 2 children. Want to rent a hotel room, have 3 kids be ready to be told you need to rent 2 rooms. Want to camp at the camp ground you better have the extra money to pay for your “extra” child. Now why is it that as a family of 5 we are getting looked at a little differently?
Children are a blessing….
Children are blessings from our Heavenly Father and should be treated as such. A large family is a blessing from the Creator, a true gift from above. So why are we being made to feel like we have 1 too many blessings? I think maybe some people do not understand or are unaware of this fact. Then I remembered: Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. Psalm 127:3-5 NIV. They are from the Lord my precious gifts that I am so lucky to have. Then that annoyed feeling started to pass away from me. As I let that go I started to see why people would feel that way. My kids are loud, surely they are not the best behaved children in the world, and they talk constantly (well the older 2 do the baby he just yells but that is his talk!). I could now understand why people thought/think I am crazy, but I have to say I find joy in my children were others may find fault. I find peace in the moments they hug me and love in the kisses I receive from making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I see what others see but I know that they are the most precious gift.
Being a Mother Brings Understanding of Others….
I feel as though seeing my children through the eyes of others is a great blessing also and being a mother has prepared me to be able to do so. With children you have to have empathy for their feelings and understanding about why they are acting or reacting the way they are. By doing this you are able to take a step back with other adults and see why they may feel the way they do more easily than ever before because you are doing it constantly with your children. Having empathy for a situation can help you to feel more at peace with another’s feelings and give them a sense of comfort when they are understood just as it does with a child. I know it sounds like such a simple thing but when someone offends you it is hard to see a situation ANY situation from their perspective at that point (even if it is just about your stroller).
After I had finally forgotten about the rude comments from earlier I had a woman with 2 older children approach me and tell me that I deserved a gold star for not only having 3 young children but for taking them on vacation and doing it so effortlessly. Effortlessly, I thought, wow she must not been paying attention on that bus ride. Then I thought why not get a gold star for being a mommy! I do feel like I have accomplished so much just by taking the kids on vacation! Boarding a bus even with a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 5 month old baby IS an accomplishment. Every single time I take them all to the store myself I feel like I have won a war and conquered a nation! I think more mommies deserve a stranger to say WOW and in a good way. I will be doing this more often because mommy needs love 2.
My Recommendation for a "Big' Family
If you do have a family that is larger than the average 4 person make up I suggest when going on vacation that you do whatever you can to try to save money. Call ahead to your hotel and discuss with then the number of children that you have and see if they will be charging extra fees due to your family size. MAKE SURE you are checking the Internet for savings in the area you will be visiting. Citypasses in the large city give you a great option for saving money and still being able to see the sights of the area ( www.citypass.com ). They were wonderful for our family two years in a row! Also check around the places you may be visiting because printing tickets online usually saves you time and money (what person with children doesn't need more of those two things?!?).