When you have a large family, you hear a lot of misconceptions about what it’s like to have more than two or three kids. Myths about large families are heard more and more.
In fact, you hear some downright strange (and sometimes insulting) things that make you wonder if everyone thinks the same thing about large families. So, I’ve decided to tackle some of the common myths we hear and set the record straight.
- Yes, we planned on having this many children.
When people see me with four kids in tow, they sometimes chuckle and make a comment like “Wow- did you plan to have that many?” or “Are they all yours? Wow.” Yes- we planned for and were excited about each and every one of these amazing human beings we are lucky enough to be parents to. There wasn’t an “Oops!” moment to be had, but if there had been – we would have embraced it just like we embraced the others.
- No, we don’t all dress the same.
Maybe it’s because they’ve watched The Sound of Music one too many times, but people sometimes think that we should all dress the same in a large family. I don’t know about your kids, but if I tried to get all of mine to wear matching outfits, we’d never get out of the house. (In my own little dreamworld, it would be cute… but to my kids, it’s not going to fly).
- No, we don’t all drive extended vans.
I had to laugh the other day when a sweet elderly lady in the grocery store stopped me when I was trying to wrangle the kids and keep them from throwing cookies into the cart and asked, “How do you, you know, transport them all?! Do you have one of those really long vans? Or a bus?” Now, I’m sure some large families need and want a large, extended van and that’s fine. We opted for a larger SUV and, yes, there’s plenty of room for all of the car seats.
- No, my pantry isn’t huge and we don’t stockpile enough food for a year.
Don’t get me wrong, we have a large pantry and we do stock up when there are sales or specials, but my entire basement isn’t a mini-grocery store…although that would be amazing (and expensive!). I think people have seen or heard of a particularly infamous large family that had enough food on hand to feed an army and assumes that all large families do the same. We definitely look for savings where they can be had and take advantage of coupons when we can, but not all large families have huge pantries.
- No, we don’t all homeschool.
Some large families homeschool, but many do not. Homeschooling is a personal preference and if it works for your large family, great. If it doesn’t, no worries. Just because there are more than three kids in a household doesn’t mean homeschooling is automatically the right path.
- Yes, my kids get new clothes.
Along the same lines as the matching outfits, people tend to feel sorry for my youngest kids, because they assume they never get new clothes. Yes, hand-me-downs are a lifesaver and, when we can use them, we use them. That being said, each of the kids gets new clothes as needed. They all grow at different rates and have different preferences, so it’s simply not possible to just wear hand-me-downs. Besides, they all deserve things that are new and reflect their own personalities.
Having a large family is fun and chaotic, stressful and amazing, and downright wonderful. Finances can be tight, but isn’t that the way for all families – not just large ones? The most important thing to remember is that most large families wouldn’t change a thing about their lives. It’s a great thing to have built-in playmates, older siblings who have your back, and someone to talk to whenever you need it. What are some of the myths you hear -or have – about large families?
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