Have you ever heard that bit in Jim Gaffigan’s stand-up special Mr. Universe called 4 kids? Where he talks about his big family? One of my favorite parts is when he says,
4 kids. 4 kids! If you wanna know what it’s like to have a fourth, just imagine you’re drowning…and then someone hands you a baby.
Are you perhaps thinking about expanding your family or wondering what it’s really like to have a large family? I may be able to help you out then because I have 6 children. Today I’m going to interview each of them (well, except the 1-year-old) to get their perspective of what it’s like to be in a family with 6 kids.
We’ll start with the oldest, my daughter who is 13, and move down from there to my boys who are 11, 9, and 7, and then to the youngest girl who is 4.
What is it like being in a family with 6 kids?
K(13): Busy. Always busy. And loud, all the time. And always hungry, or maybe that’s just me. It’s always very messy around here. Yeah.
N(11): Uh, let’s see. There’s always someone eating. There’s always someone to play with. When we get sick, we all get sick.
D(9): Fun. I’m cooking food mom! [After he was done cooking I asked the question again.] Annoying sometimes.
B(7): Fun and lots of playing. Loving.
C(4): Being friendly.
Does the mess bother you?
K(13): No. Not at all. Well, if it’s the table yeah, because then you can’t eat. Other than that it’s fine.
What are the negatives of being in a large family with 6 kids?
K(13): I wouldn’t exactly say negatives. Just probably, a lot more cleaning up than if it was a family of say 2. You barely get time to yourself, unless you’re in the bathroom. And even then there’s people pounding on the door.
N(11): When we’re having a movie night, we have to make sure it’s safe for the younger ones. Also, you have to do your younger siblings’ laundry.
D(9): You have to go to the store every week, unless you buy a lot of food. Can’t watch stuff that younger siblings can’t. Have to include [them] sometimes even though they are very annoying.
B(7): Cleaning. Getting forced to eat Brussels sprouts and stuff you don’t like.
C(4): Being sad. I’m sad when they aren’t here.
What are the positives of being in a family with 6 kids?
K(13): You never run out of people to play with, even if half the family is sick. There’s a lot of Kids Baking Championships. There’s a lot of food. And a lot of books which is good because I like to read. And a LOT of imagination.
N(11): I already told you that. There’s always someone to play with and there’s ALWAYS something to do.
D(9): Having enough siblings so that we can play, like if one doesn’t want to play I can play with the other one. Being able to do fun woodwork with dad and my brothers. Having enough kids to have teams for nerf gun wars. Being able to have Kids Cook Offs against each other.
B(7): Having someone to play with, like playing catch and games.
C(4): Being happy. When they’re all here.
What do you wish was different?
K(13): Maybe more bedrooms in the house. And maybe a bigger house. But other than that I think it’s good.
N(11): We lived in the middle of nowhere. Because there’s always something to do there plus there’s lots of animals not houses, phones, computers, tv, stores. None of that stuff. No electricity.
D(9): Not having annoying siblings.
B(7): That our kitchen could be much bigger and our living room could be cleaner. That the living room would clean itself.
C(4): I don’t want crazy stuffed animals.
Why more room?
K(13): Ummm, because you get up in the middle of the night and try not to kick someone on the way to the bathroom. Then everybody could have their own bedrooms and you could decorate however you like. Also, I’ve always wanted a double story house.
Does it bother you being the oldest?
K(13 – oldest of all 6): Maybe just the oldest in general. Because then you have to take care of more stuff than everyone else. It doesn’t matter that it’s 6 though. You’re always the first one to help in the kitchen and you have more stuff to do than everyone else. But the best part, you’re always the first to tell somebody to do something and they have to listen to you because you’re older. Then you’re always last when it comes to pinatas and it usually breaks before it gets to you.
N(11 – oldest brother): No.
D(9 – one of the oldest): Not really, because I’m not the first or second oldest.
What are the perks of being the oldest?
K(13 – oldest of all 6): You get to do more stuff than everyone else. You get to spend the night at your friend’s house and no one else can yet. And you get bigger birthday parties, except for maybe the youngest. You get to do stuff first, like watch THE HOBBIT. Yeah…
N(11 – oldest brother): Um, my brothers usually put me as the leader. That can have ups and downs sometimes.
D(9 – one of the oldest): I can use a sharp knife when I’m cooking. Being able to reach high stuff.
What is it like being the 4th child?
B(7): Fun. I like to play with the baby.
What is it like being the youngest girl?
C(4): I want more stuffed animals.
Anything you would like to share with moms who are thinking of having more kids?
K(13): Do it! Because if you have older kids, they can help you with the younger kids. And they’re very helpful…most of the time.
N(11): Mmmm…I’ve never been asked. I don’t know what I would tell them. I think it’s a good idea because there’s more siblings to play with because if one is having a rough time, you can always go play with another one.
D(9): I would encourage them to. Because it’s fun having other siblings.
B(7): I would say, have more. Because you get a bigger house. The more kids you get, the bigger house you get.
C(4): You should get more.
What wise words do you have for another oldest sibling of many?
K(13): Ummm, just remember that you can do stuff before anyone else can so you shouldn’t complain about the stuff you have to do that no one else can.
N(11): Don’t always tell them, “Do this” or else they won’t want to listen to you, but ask them, instead of telling them. They’ll listen better.
Anything else you would like to share about being in a family with 6 kids?
K(13): “Now is now, it can never be a long time ago.” That’s my all time favorite book quote and it’s still my favorite, it’s from The Little House in the Big Woods.
N(11): You don’t have to do as many chores because there’s more divided out between everyone else.
D(9): I like having Grandma and Grandpa close by.
B(7): Good. Fun. Playful. Chores. My brothers and sisters made me a Neapolitan milkshake and French fries and a hamburger for my birthday presents and it was good and I was surprised.
C(4): That I like other people just not mean people. I love everybody.
So, what do you think? Are you planning on having more kids now or have we totally scared you off the idea of a large family? Stay tuned for part 2 where I interview my husband and give my thoughts as well.