It is quite rare that I get hold of the remote control in this house. I’m normally stuck losing the will to live watching obscure programmes about truck drivers or things with subtitles that drive me up the wall. Thank the television gods for Sky+ I say. Anyway, the other night, my Other Half wasn’t around so I got the remote all to myself and I got to watch 15 Kids and Counting on Channel4 and judging by Twitter, many of you did too! (For those of you that didn’t, it was just what it says in the title, a new documentary exploring the lives of some of the biggest families in the UK.)
And I was completely fascinated.
This blog post isn’t meant as a review of the show. I think there was enough judgement flying around the interwebz as the show aired and I certainly don’t feel the need to add to it. But it definitely made me think. You see, as bonkers as it all might seem, I sort of kind of get it. I’m not sure I would ever go on to have another eleven children but I completely get the whole thing of maybe j u s t o n e m o r e.
I have four wonderful children and I count my blessings every single day. It isn’t that I am not happy with the family that I have. I honestly and truly couldn’t be happier. And I think it is in fact because I love my big family so much, that I would never say no to having more children. It’s the whole never say never thing. If I am like that after four children, then I can totally hand on heart understand why another mother would feel just the same even after fourteen children.
I am sometimes quite envious of people who say that they are ‘done’ at one, two, three, four or more children. But I just don’t think that I ever will feel that my family is complete. But that doesn’t take away from the fact of just how happy I am. It’s really very hard to explain. And I don’t think I am doing a very good job of it. No doubt some people will read this and dismiss me as being completely mad. You see, it’s not that I can’t be happy and be grateful for the family that I have – I am! Very happy and very very grateful!
I have a wonderful life and feel so lucky to have my big family (although my four make me look like an amateur compared to the sizes of the families in this show of course!) When I look at every one of my babies, I am amazed that they are mine. They still bowl me over every single day. I remember when I was in the latter stages of my pregnancy with my second baby, I became consumed with worry that I would never be able to love another child as much as I loved my firstborn. I didn’t know how it could be possible. But of course I quickly learnt that the more children I have, the more love I have. It’s not a case of sharing my love between my children, it’s more a case of multiplying it with every single child that I’ve had. And that’s an amazing thing for a soppy daydreamer like me.
I have talked before about how I found the step from two children to three the most difficult of all. There was quite a large age gap which meant going back to the baby stage after almost seven years often left me feeling like I was a first time mummy all over again. Plus my third baby was a particularly awful sleeper nursing almost hourly for the first few months of her life which is such hard going at the best of times never mind when you have other children to look after too. There is no sleeping when they sleep, you have the school run to do and everything else that comes with having older children! But for me at least, once I mastered three, having four didn’t actually feel any more difficult. Our fourth baby actually came along as a very happy but very unexpected surprise and I think that reinforced my never say never philosophy. The more children I have had, the more confident I have become as a parent and so in turn, I have enjoyed my children more and more.
I think once you have ventured into the larger family territory yourself, your perceptions of having lots of children is totally altered. And it actually doesn’t sound altogether crazy to have so many children. It actually sounds pretty amazing. Is it really that strange that I would want to carry on having babies..?*Photo credit