Ask the kids: Do you want a big family?

I asked earlier this week what question you would ask the children of a mega-family.  I want your questions to help with a secret project, but in the meantime I thought it would be fun to put the questions to my own children.

I’m starting with one that we hear quite often from friends, family and strangers alike.  I was really touched by how much their individual personalities came through in their answers. Believe it or not, these answers are totally uncoached and unrehearsed.  Am I the only one cracking up over Perry Boy’s answer?

Do you want a big family when you grow up?  Why or why not?

Deanna (17):

I like big families and I would feel perfectly comfortable having a big family but I don’t have my heart set on having a certain number of kids.  I feel equipped to have a big family, but at the same time I wouldn’t be hugely heartbroken if I only ended up having 2 or 3 kids.

I don’t believe in using any form of birth control – I very strongly believe that because I believe that God won’t give me more kids than I can handle and He won’t give me any kid in particular that I couldn’t handle, like a child with Down’s syndrome or autism.  If I couldn’t handle a challenge like that, He wouldn’t give it to me.

Besides all that, I want to have at least 20 grandbabies. I can’t wait to be a totally awesome grandma!

Kaitlyn (15):

Of course! I love kids and wouldn’t want to miss out on any of my kids that I might have had :) . I love being a part of a big family and can’t imagine anything else (and I don’t want t0).  Lord willing I’ll have at least 50 grandkids to love and if I do my job properly I’ll have a steady stream of babies for all my life…

I always feel very proud of my parents when we’re all together and get complimented and I can’t wait for people to see my family! I think having a big family is a great public witness too.

Besides just loving kids the Bible makes it very clear that God wants us to have lots of kids. “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth…” I don’t think it gets any clearer than that! God doesn’t say “if you want to and if it’s convenient for you I’d like you to have some kids”.

Lydia (13):

Yes, partly because it would seem very boring to have just 1 or 2 kids.  Also for Biblical reasons: “be fruitful and multiply…” and “children are a blessing from the Lord.”  And I like babies!

If God did choose to give me only 2 kids, it would obviously be because He had other things in mind to occupy me.  But right now 2 kids sounds very boring.  I think it would be easy to be content with anything more than 8 kids, because less than that would seem like a small family to me.

Megan (12):

Yes, I want at least 12 so I can say that kids are cheaper by the dozen.  If I go above 12 – heck!  I may as well aim to beat the Duggars!  But why do I want kids?  Growing up in a large family, I think if my parents had had less kids I would probably spend all my life wishing  they’d had more.

Natalie (10):

I do, because kids are very fun and the older ones would be very helpful.  I want my kids to have the same sort of life that I do, but I hope it’s even better for them – sometimes my sisters pick on me.  I just want a big family so I can see how hard it is, and it’s fun to be loved by everyone in a big family.  I think it would be nice to have between 10 and 20 kids.

Becca (9):

Yes!  I want a big family because it’s fun to see babies grow into kids.  Baby toes are so cute, and it’s fun to look at all their tiny clothes.  I like it when people say, “Wow!  Your baby is so cute!”  Also, I like to cook for a big family.  I think it would be fun to teach kids how to cook and read.

Rachael (6):

I’m fine with how many kids God wants to give me.  If He gives me a lot, I’ll be happy, but if He only gives me a little that’s ok too.  But I hope He gives me a lot!  I want 20 kids! – No, wait –  I want as much as God gives me.

Perry (4):

I want a bunch of kids!  I’m gonna have as much as God gives me.  If I stop having kids, then I want to adopt a little bit more.  I’ll adopt as many as God gives me, too.  I want to adopt ALL THE ORPHANS IN THE WHOLE WORLD!  And I’ll build a huge house, with a lot of bedrooms – no, with just one bedroom like we have, but really huge so all the kids can share it!  And I’ll be their dad, and my wife will be their mom.

And I want you to have some more babies.  I want 2 more brothers so we can have 2 teams and 2 people on each team, and we can play good guys getting bad guys.

[slightly condensed because he repeats himself and because nobody can type as fast as that kid talks when he's excited.]

Comments

  1. It was fun to read this today and see that you’ve listened to Perry Boy’s advice. He now has 2 more brothers to play with! My 7 yo son is also trying to custom order a brother. He doesn’t have quite as many girls in his life as your Perry, but it’s getting close- 3 sisters and 3 nieces.

  2. So so sweet! I love that you posted their answers. People need to understand how the large family feels. There are so many people out there saying terrible things about large familes but they dont take the time to ask the family themselves how they feel about it. Thanks for sharing!

  3. It’s so nice to see that there are children who want to have large families. They understand the Bible’s command to be fruitful and multiply. I am seventeen and I want a large family. I will be happy with whatever number God gives me, even that means no children, but I would love to have at least ten. Children are definitely blessings and I pray that each one of these children sticks by what God says and allows Him to be in charge of the womb. If we give God His rightful place in our life, everything will be alright. :)

  4. How wonderful that your children view children as blessings! They obviously know that’s how you feel about them. :-)

    I grew up an only child. While I always somehow thought of larger families as ideal, I could never quite picture myself with more than one… until I had one. Then I began to realize what amazing blessings children are, and wished for more. We now have seven, from 12 years old to 11 months. I’m so thankful for each one!

    Thanks for sharing the awesome responses! My favorite answers, though, came from young Perry! What a sweetheart!

  5. I have to say that it warms my heart that your chilren love children. That is a huge part of loving people in general since children are just little people and hopefully our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as adorable and so much fun!
    I am the oldest of 8 children. When I was the age of your oldest quotwd here I would have answered this question exactly the way that she has. I wouldn’t have needed to be coached either. I could tell you the reasons and verses for large families better than I could tell you the verses about the gospel or caring for the poor. I had been coached my entire life.
    I have three children now and I am done. We had twins or it wouldve only been two for us. It honestly scares me to admit that on a blog where even your childrens answers to this question border on making this militant and where they view NO birth control as an essential to their faith.
    let me stress that I would never have bee able to discern that fear of rejection or hell or disappointing my parents as my motivation at the ages of your children. I just thought we knew the best, most godly way.
    I also want to point out that the human brain is not fully capable of logical thought until the age of 23 and does not come into a critical thinking mode AT ALL until 11 so if a child is told something is an absolute before that age it is much more difficult for them to ever think critically about it in the future.
    I hope that your children continue to love children, but I also hope that they will consider other viewpoints on this someday – views that are just as supported by scripture as the one they hold now.
    blessings…

  6. Hannah C. O. says:

    That’s a very interesting question..I wonder what the answers would be from my siblings?? :) I come from a family with 9 kids, and I’m currently expecting my first.

    I don’t want to have a family as big as my parents’..but this is because of my own human limitations when confronted with my own siblings, who I have to admit can often be overwhelming. I think if my family was more disciplined I would be more in favor of having as many kids myself. In reality right now I’m at a “let’s see how having one goes, then think about whether we want to try to have more” mode..but I doubt my husband and i do anything specific to prevent more kids unless we have severe financial or emotional issues.

  7. Christina, I don’t pretend to speak for Kim, but we have the same view on birth control so I thought I’d throw in our two cents. We don’t think (non-abortive) birth control is “evil”, but we don’t use it. When my wife and I first married we tried using barrier methods and natural family planning. I still had a year of college left and I didn’t want to have a baby before I graduated. The more we thought and prayed about it though, the more we felt like we were trying to control God. If children are a blessing and God is in total control of our lives, then who are we to assume we know better than him when a baby should come? Why are we willing to trust God in other areas but not here? So we decided to forego our wisdom and trust God’s. Did he send babies during times we weren’t expecting or didn’t feel were ideal? Sure! Have a regretted a single one? Absolutely not! I came to realize that my perception of right timing and number were WAY off. There’s no way we could have learned this without fully giving it to God. I’m not saying God did not call you to be a nurse. I would never presume to tell someone I’ve never met that. What I can do is tell you from personal experience that people very often make their own plans and then demand God approve them. Everytime I’ve tried to wrestle control away from God and insist I knew better, it has not gone well. There’s a difference between what the world’s wisdom says is best, and trusting in God to do what He knows is best.

    I would just encourage you to pray and examine your heart. If children are truely the blessing the Bible says they are, why do we try to stop them from being born? If God is truely in control of the Christian’s life, why would he send them in numbers or at times that we could not handle it? Are we really giving God free reign in our lives to do as He knows best, or are we forcing Him to conform to the way we imagine our life should unfold?

  8. Hi, I have been reading your blog for some time now but I never comment. Your family is beautiful. I am wondering, your daughter mentioned not believing in any form of birth control. What about the kinds that are not abortive, such as condoms or natural family planning. (sorry if this is to graphic for you). I am a christian, pro-life, married nursing student who has no children yet because I believe that God called me to nursing school and then to be a mother. I do not believe that I could be the mother God called me to be while in school to in order to stay true to both of the callings God has placed in my I have had to use the above listed forms of birth control. And I have a clear conscience before the Lord. I am wondering why you feel that ALL forms of birth control are evil. I also would like to point out that God’s command to be fruitful and multiply comes from Genesis where God is commanding the first man and woman to fill the earth. I do not believe that that commandment is for us. Humans have been fruitful and we have multiplied…and we have filled the earth. I believe that this verse is being taken out of context. Do you follow every commandment of God from the old testament?

  9. Great post! I love that your children have such great attitudes. From reading your blog, it seems like you and your husband have super attitudes too – especially when things come up that may not be the most fun (a pipe bursts – an accident). Needless to say, I would love to “mold” my children to have cheerful attitudes also – towards children of course, but also to the ups and downs of life in general and to have a good work ethic. Besides being good role models, are there any extra things you do to ensure that your children follow in your footsteps – or actions that you take if you hear grumbling, etc towards a chore? Thank you! Keep up the good work!

  10. Thats awesome! Im looking forward to alllllll those kids bringing home grandbabies to yall!

  11. Thank you so much for posting those!! How precious:) (I actually cried!lol) We have three boys spaced 5 years apart. Sometimes I wish we had more but God is in control not me. I have a friend that has 7 and I have to watch myself not to be sad I don’t have 7. God is good to give us what He thinks we need. I love the three I have and hope there is another in my future! I like baby toes too:)
    Shorty

  12. Thank you, I love all the answers. I truelly think it shows how loving your family is and how secure your children feel in their worth and value and the safe loving haven of your home.

  13. that’s great! I hope my kids want kids, too!

  14. I loved reading their answers!! :)

    Kathryn, I too am one of two children and spent my entire childhood begging my parents to have more babies. Their answer was always, “When you grow up you can have as many babies as you want, but we’re not having any more!” I always wanted more siblings, and know plenty of people who had only one sibling and wished for more. To me, a bunch of siblings is worth more than expensive luxuries or opportunities during childhood, as special as those things also are.

    I am currently pregnant with my 5th baby in 6 years and Kim’s blog was my very first (EVER!) exposure to such a concept as allowing God to open and close the womb as He sees fit – I never heard of such a thing before that, and I had just had my 2nd baby at the time (exactly when Perry was born). I’m glad to see the fruit here of such great parental “molding”, and would also like to share that they happen to have helped “mold” me a little too! We now accept all the precious blessings God sees fit to give us, and could not be happier! I can only hope that my husband and I are able to “mold” our own children in such a healthy and Biblical way.

    So far, my 5yo (my eldest) has almost 4 younger brothers and is VERY eager for more. Nobody feels unhappy about lots of little ones taking up our time and attention here. They are all self-admitting “best friends” and get very excited about new babies on the way. I hope they stay this positive about being part of a big family as ours grows! :)

    Thanks so much Kim for putting your beliefs out there on your blog, despite persecution over them. For me, it has meant 3 more sweet sons! :)

    • Alice,
      Wow! You’re so sweet to take the time to tell us all this! I never dreamed our blog would be used by God the way it has, but I love hearing about it. Thank you for the encouragement.

  15. Oh, Perry’s answer made me cry! I know the feeling!

  16. I LOVE little Perry’s answer! ‘I WANT TO ADOPT ALL THE ORPHANS IN THE WORLD!!’ You go, kiddo! Just save a few for me!

    My husband and I are both members of ‘normal-sized families’ of ten and we agree with Perry! We want to have as many as God gives us and adopt as many as God gives us!

  17. Love your children’s comments. Especially glad to see the thoughfulness of the older ones. I’m also glad to see that they have been raised in a large family in a way that allows them to view having a large family as a very positive thing. :)

    I’m one of only four (and one came to our family by way of adoption). However, I have always wanted a large family, and my parents have always been very positive towards the idea. They are doctors and their Catholic and homeschooling patients always loved them because they were pushing the Pill and sneering at having a 7th or 10th child. All for of us children consider a large family a Very Good Thing, although circumstances may not allow us all to have as many children as we might like.

    I think that your children like the idea of a large family because they themselves feel valued by their parents and been taught that a life with many kids can be a joy rather than a curse.

  18. BTW Kathryn, I was one of two and so far I now have 10. I didn’t like having so few siblings and I wished for a bigger family.

  19. Those are great answers! I’ll have to ask my kids and see what they say. Maybe on a day when clean up timegoes better than today…

  20. Love their hearts… Perry’s answer made my day.

  21. …was thinking about it, and I also think that this many people are just plain influenced by their own family makeup.

    I have one sister, and growing up I thought that was just perfect. I always had someone to play with, we’ve always been very close (though we did fight a TON when we were little…and I hated her until I was about 4; we’re only 2 years apart, now we’re the best of friends) and we both got plenty of attention from Mom and Dad, plus my parents were able to afford to pay for private dance and music classes that many of my friends with larger families weren’t able to do. From the time I was a teenager on, I can remember thanking my mother profusely for have 2 kids and not more.

    I’ve never known anyone who wasn’t happy being one of two, but I do know a few only children who wish they had siblings because they feel nervous about the burden of their parents end of life care resting solely on their shoulders–they’re worried that they’ll make the wrong decision or won’t be able to cope.

    On the other end of the spectrum, I’ve mentioned this before, but my husband is one of 8, he and another friend of our who is one of 10 came very very abusive (both physically, and emotionally) families and are completely repelled by the idea of having many children; BUT my sister in law is also from a huge (loving, happy) family and wants to have many children herself; another family I know adopted 8 siblings and some of THEM want to adopt a bunch of kids too.

    I think it really does come down to how someone felt about their own childhood in a lot of ways–I had the happiest childhood ever with two kids, and I’d be happy with two kids in our family. Someone else who had a rotten childhood with one sibling might wish to have more or fewer children.

    One thing I am thankful for though is that my parents (even though they REALLY want to be grandparents) never pressure DH and I; my parents have always encouraged me to follow my heart and my dreams and supported me even when I did stupid stuff (like dropping out of college to get married at age 20 for example….)
    Even when I was real little my mom would say “I’d like to be a grandma someday, but when you grow up, you do what you’re led to do”–something like that.

    Oh, and FWIW… my little sister and her BF say they want to have one or two biological children and adopt little girls from all of the countries where it basically sucks to be a little girl (they want a big Jolie/Pitt type family :) ) Maybe everyone just is different…

  22. the brainwashing is working….mmmwmwwwwaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahaa

  23. I love the responses. I didn’t post a question because so many others had already asked. In my opinion the best indicator of whether or not a child enjoys their life in a large family is if they want to duplicate it when they are grown.

    I know several children from large families who don’t want a large family themselves. Although, most that I know do want as many as the Lord will bring them.

    We all “mold” our children to have our views and outlooks and habits. Some towards a life pleasing to Lord in keeping with the scriptures, some toward a life of regret and heartache…and everything in between. Parents mold their children whether thy “try” to or not.

  24. That’s great!
    My great-great- grandmother had 9 children, great-grandmother 11,
    grandmother 2 and I’m the middle of 7!(hope to have as many as the lord gives me(whitch I pray is A LOT!?))
    Alot of big familys!haha
    you should see our family reunions!?

    great answers!!

  25. It is so nice to see a family that loves being a family! We have 10 and I would love more!
    Perry you go for it ! Someof ours are adopted some are “homegrown”

  26. What a testament to the wonderful way you’re raising your children! I’d love to have as many kids as you have, and I love that your kids are so well-loved and well-taught that they realize big families are not strange, they’re part of God’s design for us. This really warmed my heart. Thanks for posting!

  27. As for having “molded” children… I can only hope to “mold” mine just as well as you have obediently “molded” yours.

  28. Ahhh, Perry… That is so cute! Isn’t your whole reason for having children so that you can form good guy/bad guy teams? LOL!

  29. I love these- particularly Kaitlyn and Megan’s! In contrast to Shari, I hear children valuing what has been demonstrated as valuable to their parents… a wonderful thing, especially since it is valuable to God, too! We *only* have 3 (expecting #4) children so far, but we take them as God gives them, and treasure them as the blessings they are!

  30. I think it’s pretty common for little kids to say they want to have lots of kids when they grow up. The thinking tends to be very literal “I’m a kid; kids are good!” and “more= better.” My mom tells me that when I was around 2 I said I wanted to have (first 10, then 100) children…by the time I was 15 I wanted “none, no way” mostly because the little kids at the library would run around and get in my way when I was trying to study, lol.

  31. wow your 4 year old is very talkative :-) love this post!!! You are ding a great job mama, and your fruits shows :-)

  32. I hear children that have been very molded by their parents in their belief.

    • Shari,
      So do I. Do you think this is a bad thing? I’d rather be the one molding my children’s beliefs than let it be done by Hollywood, teen magazines, or unbelieving peers. Somebody is going to mold them while they’re young and impressionable. You don’t really think children mold themselves free of any outside influence, do you?

  33. Love all the answers!!! I really have to agree with Megan. I am hoping to beat the Duggars…but of course, that is all in God’s hands… But just so I’m ready, I’ve already picked out 22 baby names (boy and girl names) with the second names already attached… So I think I’m pretty confident in what I want, pray for, dream for… I’m only fourteen though, so I might be jumping the gun… But I’m just really excited… Can you tell???

    Dreaming away here…………..

  34. I LOVE this!! Thanks for sharing.

    Perry Boy is hilarious as always but Rachael is just precious!

  35. I love their answers! It is wonderful that you are passing on the legacy of a godly heritage.
    God bless your dear family!

    ps…I really love your little Perry’s answer! What a sweet heart!

  36. I love their answers! So sweet and funny!

  37. ALL THE ORPHANS IN THE WHOLE WORLD. Has he been watching Nacho Libre? What a cutie

  38. Love all their answers! As you know, we’re expecting our 2nd baby this winter (the siblings will be roughly 24 months apart). I have a boy already, and this one is a girl.

    We’ve already heard the, “Oh that’s perfect! Now you’re done.” comments from people and it’s like…hope not! A boy and a girl is a good start, we think! ;p

  39. Oh my, Perry’s answer is so funny! “ALL THE ORPHANS IN THE WHOLE WORLD!” I don’t think you could build a house THAT big, lol!

  40. Love it! Now there’s two of us cracking up over that boy’s answer! (And I can almost hear his expressions and speed of talking…)

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  1. [...] by Valerie on September 13, 2010 I enjoyed Ask the kids: Do you want a big family?, so I thought I’d ask my own kids the same question. (If you click through, be sure to read [...]

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