I live in Utah, so it should not come as a huge shock that I have 5 kids. Many people have larger families here. However, every time I am out with my 5 kids, which is a lot during the summer, I get the same comments ALL THE TIME. Such as: “Are all of those children yours?” “How many kids do you have?” “Is he your last?” “I’m glad it’s you and not me.” “Wow, you have your hands full!”
Yes, they are all mine. Yes, I have 5 kids. Yes, Madsen is my last baby. I’m glad it’s me and not you too. Yes, my hands are full, but so is my heart. Often times I wish that I was bold enough to respond by asking them if they are financially helping me or providing free childcare? If the answer is no, which it is, then you probably should not talk to me about the number of children I have, or that I could answer like this article about questions asked of larger families.
All of those questions aside, I think people really do wonder why. Why would we choose to have 5 kids? Justin comes from a large family and I come from an extra large family. Both Justin and I love having lots of brothers and sisters. Our siblings are some of our best friends and greatest blessings and are big parts of our lives. On any given day, you can find text messages that have been sent on a family string where we are all communicating and take interest in one another’s lives. Both my mother and Justin’s mom have worked hard to keep and make sure that our relationships with our brothers and sisters are preserved and nurtured. We both grew up in homes where were expected to treat our brothers and sisters with respect. That did not always happen and still sometimes as a adults it doesn’t happen, but at the end of the day apologies are given and accepted because we are a family.
When Justin and I got married we planned on 4 kids. It seemed like the perfect number. However, we ended up with 5 because 4 just didn’t feel right. There are sacrifices involved in having a larger family, but we were, and are, willing to make them. I wanted my children to have brothers and sisters and cousins. I work hard to try to help my children get along and have each other’s backs. Again, this is not perfect, but they are learning and they do love one another. I remind my children often that one of the gifts that I have given them is their siblings. Someday, Justin and I will be gone, and in my opinion life would be pretty lonely without brothers and sisters to help support each other.
So, the reason I have 5 kids is because I really do love being a mom. I loved and still love having a big family. I love watching my kids together, and I hope someday they will recognize, like Justin and I do ,that your brothers and sisters are one of you greatest gifts.