Last night, I decided to look up blogs about big families. You see, everyone else I know routinely reads blogs about families similar to theirs (adoptive, blended, military, etc.). I came across 2 things in my searches. The first wasn’t a surprise…most large families are religious. There is a lot of talk about giving their fertility over to god. The common term is “Quiverful” after a reference in the Bible about a man’s quiver (arrow bag) being full. The phrase has been made popular by the Duggars, who seem to be the only example of a big family that the average person knows.
The second, more surprising fact: By every definition I could find, my family isn’t big. Given the reactions I’ve gotten ever since our 3rd child, I was pretty shocked by this. Growing up, I knew almost no one from a family with more than 2 kids. My family was the “big one,” often explained away by the fact that we were a blended family (as though no one would choose to have a family that size).
I’ve seen this same thing in tv shows my whole life. Can you name a single television show with a family that has more than 4 kids with no twins, no blending, and no adoption? Society seems determined to teach us that no one would choose to give birth to more than 4 kids. Hilariously enough, even the Duggars have twins. Their 2nd and 3rd kids are twins (which means Mrs. Duggar has had 15 some-odd VBACs, but that’s a whole other post).
In my day to day life, I’m subject to a million comments about how big my family is. On the internet, my family is on the big side of average. Over and over again, a large family seems to be defined by having 6 or more kids. Average size is 3-5 kids. Guess I really do need more kids…