Recently, someone asked why I have so many children. She said she has two children, both very planned, and she always wonders why people choose to have more, especially when having a large family can seem so draining, both financially and otherwise.
This is a fair question.
It’s especially fair since I tend to spend so much time bitching about how hard it is to mother all these little monsters and I write a freaking blog about being broke.
Here’s the thing: I’m just complaining so the rest of the world doesn’t get too jealous.
Years ago I had a piano student who was the eldest of four children. One day her mother came to get her after a lesson, and the poor woman was practically covered with kids; there was a toddler clinging to each leg and a baby in her arms. At the time, I had one two-year-old daughter and often felt like I was going to lose my mind. I looked at that mother and said, “I cannot IMAGINE having four kids.” She smirked and said, “I cannot imagine having one.” I didn’t get it then. I do now.
Let me show you what happened the other day while I was locked in my library dealing with health insurance:
My two big kids decided to put together a tea party for their little sisters. They baked chocolate chip cookies. They made lemonade. They set out sliced lemons and bowls of sugar on a table covered with a fabric remnant they found in my sewing bin.
They made faux petit-fours out of hamburger buns and peanut butter. Seriously, check these things out:
My son even put on a suit jacket so that he could be their waiter. Zoë hauled out her American Girl dolls (all gifts from my mother) and set them up as party guests. Then she whispered to me that maybe it was time to hand them down.
And what did I do? I did NOTHING. I talked on the phone to Healthcare.gov – it was a LONG conversation.
Would this have happened if I had just one child, just two children? HELL, NO.
This is why I have such a large family, this right here:
Is every day a tea party? Of course not. You should have seen the mess in the kitchen and heard my children fighting about who had to clean it up.
Will they be this close when they grow up? Who knows? I can only hope so.
But at the end of the day, when the cookies were gone, the craft project and science experiments cleaned up, the dresses and dolls put away, I had this to remind me of just why I’m running this crazy circus.
I’d say it’s worth it.