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Love in a Large Family

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Apollo (2 1/2 months) and Tilly (12) 

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Large family stereotypes amuse me almost as much as homeschool stereotypes. You have the Kids-Raising-Kids stereotype where you here all about how the first two or three children do all of the raising/cooking/disciplining of their younger siblings…while the parents? I don't know…watch TV? Gamble? Blog?

*Um, no*

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Then you have the Run-Wild-Half-Neglected children who run amok in a house full of filth and grime. 

*dirty house? Check. Neglected children? Not a chance*

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And of course the
Captain-VonTrapp-Run-Your-House-Like-A-Military-Bootcamp stereotype.

 *I wish*

And speaking of families, check out Hilary's blog for the conclusion to their adoption roller coaster. If you've not heard their story, click here to catch up.


  1. Crystal Tallman

    I think you guys are amazing parents, with wonderful, amazing children! God has truly blessed you with a wonderful family full of love and kindness and many great blessings!!! 🙂

  2. sarah

    We run ours with, “Come see us any time. Make an appointment to see perfection!” In which case the appointment is never made. Or it’s run by “Mom thinks she’s super Mom, but is really a normal Mom in disguise!” I’m not sure how often I’m super mom – I think about once a month when the house drives me nuts and I insist things get a good cleaning… Also, thanks for the Lego Unit study link. We’ve been really liking it!

  3. Erica

    I envy Tilly in those pictures, I’ve always wanted a baby brother… even though now its not physically possible. I lovee that last picture!

  4. Stephanie

    I grew up in a large family (well, larger than average, not as large as yours) and I loved it. I had other friends who also loved growing up in a large family. I now have a large-ish family myself.
    However, I find that the reason there are steroeotypes is because there is an element of truth in them–there are enough families like the stereotype to give it credence. The “unsocialized homeschooler” stereotype is a good example. Most homeschoolers are well-adjusted, but as a homeschool student/grad I was not one of them. I WAS unsocialized and socially unskilled. I knew several families who fell into the same category. Unfortunate, but true.
    In the interest of being honest with myself about having a large family, and in attempting to avoid some of the pitfalls, I’ve talked extensively with moms of many and siblings of many, alike. I’ve never encountered a mom who regretted having a lot of kids. I have talked to a number of young women, usually the oldest girl in the family, who ended up exhausted and burned out because she was indeed expected to be a second mother (or sometimes even the primary caregiver) to her many younger siblings. Some of them were expected to cook, clean, shop, homeschool, train, sew clothing for, and even discipline their younger siblings. It does happen. In most cases it wasn’t because mom was unloving, but because she was overwhelmed and just checked out. Or because she did not have adequate help from friends/family/church/husband, and too much responsibility fell on the shoulders of her oldest daughter.
    So while many older children in large families love the way they grew up, as I did, others have not had such a pleasant experience. All the girls I talked to love their younger siblings deeply, but they are worn out from too much responsibility at too early an age.

  5. Renee

    Stephanie I totally agree with you, stereotypes are there for a reason, and I have personally met ALL of the family stereotypes I just mentioned. I just think its hilarious when someone decides in their own mind which one we are. Anytime I run into someone raised in a large family I ask them how they liked it (or didnt like it). I then follow up by asking what they wish their parents had done differently. I am VERY interested in how people from large families feel about the experience.

  6. Lou

    I really really really wanted a large family. It didn’t happen (one brother). So then I always said I’d have 12 or 20 kids or something. (For a couple of years around the age of 7 I also wanted to be a nun. And I refused to believe I couldn’t be a nun WITH lots and lots of children….!!) Anyway, it wasn’t to be unfortunately, so instead I surround myself with friends’ kids and get to be a loved aunty. Which is nearly as good. Especially when all the friends get together and then we usually have about 6-10 or occasionally 14 on camping trips….ok, so that is nothing to you, I know!

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