Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What It's REALLY Like Living In A Large Family!

Ever wonder what it's like having a large family? 

What its like having a large family

Life with a large family can be busy, wild, costly and loud; but life is also, never dull, nor lonely and overflowing with love and joy.  I absolutely love looking in my rearview mirror and seeing a van full of beautiful faces smiling back at me. :)

It takes a tight, team effort to run an efficient household and a sense of humour definitely helps.  

Here is my view on what it's like having a large family:

Making compromises

A lot of time and energy goes into decision-making in our home.  After all, four voices need to be heard (well the baby doesn't count yet, but you get the idea).  Family votes are a frequent occurrence.

Yes, they're all mine

I unload child after child out of the van and people look at us as if we're the Von Trapp family.  The comments, whispers, looks and stares are constant.  Sometimes they're friendly, other times jokingly sarcastic or even out of line; nonetheless, it's a way of life we've come to embrace.


I bet you thought I was talking about taking a deep breath... I'm actually referring to the way my children eat.  They are like puppies who are fighting the litter to get their share...worried that a sibling is going to gobble up all the food.

Extra time

Setting the table, laundry, cleaning and even preparing for craft activities or buckling kids into the car takes double, triple, quadruple etc. the time.  Many times people ask me how long it takes to get out the door on my own with my four wee ones.  When they were younger it took about three hours and some strategic planning around feedings and changes.  Now that they're a few years older, I can pack up the bag and the kids and be out the door in under an hour.

Called it

Kids in large families "call" things.  Each time they leave a room, they're paranoid a sibling is going to take their seat, their toy, their drink etc.  While en route to her time out spot the other day, my three-year old whispered to her sister to guard her toys while she was there.


We choose our outings extra carefully when it involves admission costs for six.  Being sure to read the small print on coupons made for families of four.  We often take advantage of free and/or affordable activities.  When we do purchase tickets to a show or concert, it can be challenging finding six seats together.

More...just more..

More voices to be heard.  More eyes trying to see what someone is pointing at.  More children waiting for their turn to roll around.  More diaper changes.  More groceries.  More laundry.  More opinions.  More bedtime stories.  More laughter.  More to love...


Leanne is a stay-at-home mom, & in her spare time enjoys studying natural nutrition. She is also following a deep desire that runs in her heart, by reigniting the flame she once had for writing. 

She hopes that you will come by her blog & join her! 
Anchored by love is the story of her heart.

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& did you miss any of these posts from our large family series??

 large family myths

 large families


  1. I'm surprised that only having 4 kids is considered a large family. It seems like a pretty average sized family.

    1. I guess it depends on where you come from, your background, etc.

      My friend Leanne & I are from Southern Ontario. Here we are both considered to have a very large family & treated as such when we go out.

      National averages in Canada range from 1.1 to just under 2 chidlren (depending on which stats you read). Most people have 1-3 kids that I personally know.

      To see a family with more than three children (especially close together in age) is often treated with disdain.

      I grew up in a family with 4 children myself, & even then my parents were treated as 'crazy' for having that many. I think a few generations ago it would be different of course due to different birth control techniques available.

      Thanks for stopping by the blog & commenting. Love when people feel free to share their thoughts :)

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  2. Yes to all of this, but when did 4 kids become a big family? I'm one of eight children and so is my hubby. And hubby's dad was one of 12! Six children to me seems adverage. 10 or more is large to me.

    1. Wow, that's pretty amazing! I couldn't imagine growing up in a family of 8, but I do have a couple friends who grew up in even larger families than myself (I grew up in a family of 4 children & my parents were treated as 'crazy' compared to other extended family members who had only a couple children each).

      In our area, six is definitely not treated as average, and eight is seen as really really large! But I'm sure there are pockets of larger families everywhere. You just don't see them out much in our local cities, and even in the country where we reside there are hardly families with more than two children.

      I personally think when you can relate to the 'persecution' of having a larger family than the average, than you can have a voice to share your experiences with others.

      My friend Leanne has four, but they are also very close together in age. She is a busy Mama out & about a lot, receiving the comments/'advice' that 'kind' strangers have to offer... I can relate to how she feels at times.

      As said in my blog, I currently only have six, and I get the, "Are you done yet??" question quite often...sad, that our society has changed views on children from only a couple generations ago.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by the blog & taking the time to comment :)

  3. I am the oldest of 7 (ages 24 to 11) … can definitely relate to some of these! Can't count the times we've sat around the supper table and my father has said "one at a time!" because everyone feels the need to express their opinions ALL AT ONCE!!

  4. I think that four is the beginnings of a large family, because with the four you have all of the dynamics that Leanne outlines in this post. I know that, especially in my family, four was an amazing amount of children. Can you imagine how they feel about my fifteen children?

    This post brought me back to when I had many tiny ones and no helpers, Those were precious years, but also the most labor-intensive. I think Leanne has done a superb job in describing a life spent loving children.

  5. We have four too and absolutely love every second!

  6. Great post! Loving it! Pinned and tweeted. Thanks for being a part of our party. I hope to see you tonight at 7. Lou Lou Girls

  7. I sure can relate to these being from a family of six! Too funny. I'm the oldest too so I was the main one calling stuff...or asserting my claim since I was the biggest lol Stopping by from the Mom 2 Mom link up! -Jess
    Sweet Little Ones



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