I get a lot of questions from people about raising a large family. I think that’s kind of funny because I personally know a half-dozen families that are larger than ours, and I am no expert. That said, this forum seems like a good place to talk about it because when you adopt a sibling group, you can go from being a small family to a big one in a hurry.
Here is the main thing I would say. When you have two kids and two parents, as we did for 11 years, you can pretty much do anything you set your mind to. You can sing in the church choir, you can home-school and work part time from home; you can go on short trips, or you can take a three-week trip to Italy. It is all pretty manageable with two kids. To be fair to our kids, I should state that I do have the most amazing, adventurous, good-eating, and flexible kids. So that makes everything fun and easy.
When you have five kids, life becomes suddenly about the logistics. Even small things become challenges. For example, yesterday I had to take my car to the shop since a previous repair did not “take.” Unlike the last time, I wasn’t able to plan an entire day of staying home, so I requested a loaner van. Emphasize the word van. But my guy at the garage made a mistake and didn’t reserve a van, so they didn’t have any. The guy at the desk couldn’t understand why this mattered. “I have five children and three of them use boosters or infant seats,” I explained. “We don’t fit in a regular car.” Dear Hubby had to work from home, so I could leave part of the crew behind as we went about the day’s errands. At the grocery store, I have to think about who can ride in the cart and who can walk and whether one of the teens has to come to push an extra cart since all our groceries rarely fit in one car anymore. I only shop at stores with carts that hold two kids.
All of that said, I love the challenges; I truly do. Every time I look at my fab five, I am simply astounded that I have been so blessed. It is truly miraculous to have such a large and loving family. Eventually, the logistics do become second place, and it all becomes more about the love.