Mommy Soup

How soup for 7 really works.

Not A Big Family

on March 15, 2013

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…

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6 responses to “Not A Big Family

  1. Robyn C says:

    The Waltons. Seven alive children, one dead twin, and one miscarriage.
    Little House on the Prairie had four girls by birth, and one son by birth who died in infancy. (That all happened for the real Laura Ingalls too.) Then there were three adopted. (That didn’t happen.)
    The Cosby Show had five kids by birth.
    (Yes, I really am sitting here thinking of all the shows I watched as a kid, in chronological order.)
    Days of Our Lives, the Bradys had/have 4 kids and the Hortons had 5. On Santa Barbara, the Capwells had 4 too.
    I’m sure the people on All My Children had a big family. I mean, look at the name.
    I’m going to be awake late into the night thinking about this, you know.

    • You do realize that you just pointed out that the Waltons had a set of twins (though, one died) and Little House on the Prairie only had 4 surviving children, right? 😛

  2. Robyn C says:

    Max says, “Good Luck Charlie.”

  3. Robyn C says:

    Just the Ten of Us – even without the twins, they still had 6.
    The Partridge Family.
    I can apparently do this for days…

  4. Ally says:

    I ‘only’ have 4 children and I get annoying comments too.
    The ‘you must have your hands full’ comment is currently the most frustrating. I haven’t thought of a witty response yet! I never know whether to agree (‘yes, yes, it’s hectic’) or disagree (‘no, no they’re not, see, my hands aren’t full). If I agree, do I risk sounding swamped and overwhelmed? If I don’t agree, they probably think I’m just in denial!
    I was looking for ‘big family’ blogs too! That’s how I found you.

    • I tend to hold out my hands and say, “They’re not full.” It’s fun to see people’s faces when I point out that I can wear one on my front, one on my back, and the older 2 kids can each wear a baby and I’ll still have free hands with 7 or 8 kids.

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