Even though my blog is called “Larger Family Life”, and I claim to blog about living life the larger family way, I really am not sure whether I have a large family or not. I mean, how many children must you have before you are classed as a large family?
I suppose one indicator is thinking back to when people chose to become more vocal with their comments and opinions. I’ve been trying to pinpoint when the comments started. Perhaps when we had Harry who is the fourth child, I think it may have been.
When you are parents of a single child you may find yourself often asked if you’ll be having any more, along with “only child” comments. Two children seems to be society’s accepted number of children, moreso if you have one of each as you are then considered to have the perfect family set-up. Three children is where you’re starting to step over the line. I mean, why a third when you already had the “perfect” two? Surely this has got to be it, right? So if you do get to four, well, that has got to be it.
It just does.
Anyway, I digress. Like I said, the comments, I believe, became more noticable after number four. But when Eddie was born we seemed to have stepped into new territory, where the remarks would begin to come through thick and fast. And when we found out we were expecting number six, when Eddie had only just turned four months old, we were officially labelled insane.
I’m not going to go into the comments side of things too much in this post. I’ll be saving that for you for another time so you have something to look forward to, you lucky, lucky people ;-). My reason for this post is to say that personally to me, seven (or eight) doesn’t seem particularly large. I know of several families much larger than my own. I feel like a bit of a fraud when I write out my posts on this blog, which claims that I’m blogging about living life the larger family way because, quite frankly, it doesn’t feel like I do. The Duggar’s with their eighteen children are a large family but us, we’ll we’re tiny in comparison.
Even with the whole family in one room it doesn’t feel like we’re all there. It feels like someone isn’t there. Always. And not just to me, but on different occasions and at different times one of us will comment on how “It feels like somebody’s missing!”.
Yes, we’ll count heads. Then we’ll count again. And go through the names. But it feels like there are fewer people present than there are meant to be. To us, a real large family isn’t us. It’s more than we have in our family. We don’t feel particularly large, but we are to others because that’s the reaction we get from people. The comments, the looks, the people trying to discreetly count how many of us there are as we walk or drive by all indicate that we’re a little… unusual, for want of a better word.
I’m sure that when I had two children, or even three for that matter, I would have thought that any more would have definitely been classed as a bigger sized family. I knew someone who had five children and saw the “How many?!” reactions she would get, and even that I had given myself when I found out. That was certainly a big family in my eyes and something I couldn’t imagine myself being a part of. Until I got there. And then it didn’t seem such a big deal. It didn’t seem any kind of a deal actually. It was just my family.
What is the magic number then? How many children would a family have to be considered a large family? What do you think?
This has also been posted at the Lots of Kids: 4 or More Blog.