Tuesday, January 13, 2015

So You're Thinking About Having a Large Family

Maybe you're just starting out on the journey of parenthood or maybe you already have a few children or maybe you're a young woman just thinking that you'd like to have a family above average in size, either way this post is for you.  I had someone ask me what are some ways a couple could prepare for having a slew of kids.  Well, here are some things that came to mind.  Some of these I wish someone would of told me when I was pregnant with my first few.  I always knew that I wanted a large family, but when we first got married my husband agreed to 5.......well that doubled! Anyway here goes......

1. Make sure that you are healthy.  Start taking vitamins and watching what you eat. Not that you have to be a health fanatic but you want strong bones, good immunity, and healthy iron stores.  

2.  Start exercising, if you don't already.  Nothing too intense because intense exercising can decrease fertility and increase risk of miscarriage.  But do begin to do some form of exercise just about everyday.

3. Be at a healthy weight.  Not too thin but as close to your ideal weight as possible.  Believe me, gaining 35+ pounds 5 or more times, then nursing which makes you starving, can wreck havoc on your weight if you are not careful.  I'm glad that I started this whole process of having 10 kids (actually 15 pregnancies) technically under weight according to my doctor's chart.  

4. If you are not an organized person, read some books and try to get your house, daily schedule and life pretty organized.  No one need be a fanatic, but you need some order and routine.  Your house should basically have a place for everything and everything in it's place, as they say.

5. Have some savings in your bank account.  Of course, there is no amount of money that some people ever think is enough and then because of that they don't have children.  But I do think when a couple first gets married they should live on the husband's salary and bank the wife's.  This achieves 2 things, you get used to only living on 1 salary and you grow a savings account. 

6. Make sure that you and your husband are close and able to communicate well.  I remember that my husband and I went on a few marriage retreats and couple's seminars with our church and they were invaluable.  You think that you will have time to do this later in life, but once the kids come it's harder and it's just wise to lay a healthy foundation. 

7. Learn how to cook. Nothing fancy, but practice making healthy meals and learn to like it.  A large family mom is basically running a small diner.  Take a cooking class, get some cook books, practice on friends, whatever but get to the point where it's second nature.  Read up on nutrition while you're at it too : )

8. Make sure you know how to do some basic sewing and mending.  Most young women now-a-days never learn to sew.  It's great to be able to mend things, decorate your home on a budget and even sew clothes if you're really brave. 

9. Think about where you are currently living and if it's the best place to raise a family.  Living in large cities is glamorous when you're single or even newly married but it's hard to raise kids there.  Start to think about how you want your kids to be raised.  Is it important to you for them to have green grass to play in and build forts or is being near a fancy art museum more important to you. 

10. And really probably the most important, be involved in a church community.  Nothing is more special, helpful and fulfilling as living along side a group of like minded people.  It's so great to have other young moms around as well as older people, singles and college age adults to help and encourage.  You want your marriage and family based on the Lord.  Raising a large family takes His strength, believe me!


  1. Vicky and I miss you guys at KPIC so much! I was the oldest of ten kids, BTW. Still, being in a familiar area, near family, and going to the church she grew up in with people who've known her all her life keeps Vicky more engaged with life. And, Dad's in his 80's, so having me on hand is a blessing for him as well.

    SHALOM upon your house, keep celebrating God's goodness and enjoying your family. This was the first Christmas tree I decked in 30 years without children around.

    Tom Smedley

    If you have interests in the Lynchburg, VA area (Liberty University, e.g.), my dad rents vacation cabins reasonably close to Jerry's Place, including a six-bedroom lodge.

    1. Thank you Tom for all your encouragement! We would love to visit that cabin sometime and I'm sure with 10 kids, at least one will go to Liberty : )

  2. What a fantastic list. Thanks for the reminders of things I've already found to be important but need to be better at doing. I have 4 children 5 and under and don't plan to be done yet. I also have a fantastic church community as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It really is invaluable to have that support system in place! I love checking in on your blog now and then. Thanks for the good example you set as a Christian woman.

  3. This is a wonderful post for me to read! I love that you put an emphasis on health! My health had become so much more important to me since losing Ezra. Thanks for writing this Becca! Your blog has been such a blessing to me! I'm curious, what type of prenatal vitamin do you take?

    1. Hi Emma, so glad you and your new little "soon to be born" are doing so well! I love Rainbow Light Prenatal Vitamins. That is what I used for years pregnant and nursing.
      blessings on you!

  4. Hi Becca! Happy to see this post! I'm a Mama of 9 and I agree with all of your advice. Some of it I wish I had known way back when. My question for you is how do you deal with facing the end of the baby years. I am just two months postpartum with my 9th, and about to turn 44 in a month. My time with these last two little ones, born after I reached 40, has been so incredibly sweet. I would like to think there is the possibility of just one more, but know I have to face the end of new babies in the house very soon. Any advice on how to face this transition with grace and peace? Thank you very much. I so enjoy your blog, and have learned so much from you! :)

    1. Robin, I felt the same way when I had my youngest at 43. I wasn't really ready to be done but just trusted the Lord. I really have a peace about it now though. My husband and I are enjoying life without a baby in the house....we're able to travel more, put more time into our older kids and just kind of take a breather. Just trust the Lord. He knows what is best for us and will give you grace to accept this baby as your last if it truly is. Enjoy this special special time. hugs to you

  5. I love this post! Myself and my husband have been blessed with one child and have been trying for another for two years. I hope one say to have a family as big and beautiful as yours is. Wonderful advice too - I love to sew and cook and we are working hard on our budget and organisation!

  6. Well, I hope I'm not doing double comments, but looks like my first didn't go through??
    I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and since I have been working my way through your categories ;). What a treasure it has been for me!
    I just had my 4th baby last week and I truly am loving every minute of it! I have a 6, 4, 3 year old and newborn. I think motherhood gets sweeter with each one! Nt sure whats in store for us with me 29 and my husband will be 41 in the next few weeks. I'm not sure if I can ask him to father a child in his mid-50's ;). But, I guess The Lord knows all things.
    Quick question, we are hoping to build in the next year or so and are in the planning stages. Do you find a separate homeschool room a must? Also, I'm considering a bonus room to have for sewing, crafts, basically project room. What are your thoughts on that?
    Thank you for sharing this lovely blog!

  7. Thanks so much for this wonderful piece of wisdom! I am an organizing and planning kind of person and being prepared is important to me. Right now I have 4 kids, 5 years and under. As we are hoping and praying for a big family, all your points are so helpful! We are planning on building a house next year. It's hard to find floorplans, that work for big families. So if you don't mind: I'd love a housetour! :)


Thanks so much for your comments! I love them and they keep me writing. I really do read each one.