When people find out you come from a big family, they usually ask "What's it like?" and when people find out you have your own big family, they usually ask "How do you do it?" Well, here's what it's like and how we do it, parable-style...
Adding another baby to an already large family is like adding another star to the sky, they brighten your life and add more beauty, but can easily get lost in the shuffle.
Feeding all these children is like going to a Las Vegas all-day, all-you-can-eat buffet. Except you are the chef, waitress, dishwasher, and entertainment. Tassles not included.
Being a parent to many is like playing the longest football game ever. You're the quarterback AND head coach AND the ref, and your team always wins, so the losing team better just get used to it.
Children are like junk food. You want them and love them, but sometimes you indulge too much. That's when you need a juice cleanse and can go back feeling refreshed and unclogged.
In a big family, children are like high school cliques. You have the big kids, the littles, the middles, the babies, the boys, the girls, the teens, the school kids, the preschoolers. They are constantly being reclassified depending on the event.
Parents of many kids are like the Apostles. They speak in tongues, so that their kids don't know what they are saying.
A bathroom visit in a big family's house is like a celebrity phone hack. What should be kept private has become public.
A perfectly clean house with lots of kids is like the planet formerly known as Pluto. Out of this world, and doesn't exist.
Groceries in a large family are like a lesson in economics. High in demand and low in supply.
Going anywhere in public with all the kids is like being a card shark. All you do is count, count, count and hope nobody notices.
Getting everybody to appointments and activities is like learning to juggle. You try your best, but inevitable end up dropping a few balls.
Breaking up fights between lots of children is like refereeing the Superbowl. You try to be consistent and honest, but end up with everyone thinking you're so unfair.
Playdates for kids in big families are like facial tattoos. Highly visible but not necessary.
Living with a big family is like living in a frat house. There is always fighting and partying going on. The toddler acts drunk, the baby is up all night, there's dried vomit on the floor, and people end up asleep in someone else's bed.
Getting everybody cleaned and dressed to go to Mass is like running a marathon. It takes forever, and by the time you're done you're ready for a nap.
Holidays in a big family are like a Monster Truck Rally. Loud, fun, dirty and expensive. Ear plugs are recommended.
Watching all your kids grow up and navigate their way through life is like watching a car accident. Disturbing and sometimes horrific, but you couldn't stop it and you can't look away.
Having a house full of perfect children is like having a stable full of unicorns. It's just a myth. They are all donkeys.
Potty training tons of kids is like labor. You know the end is worth it, but there will be lots of sweat, tears, poopy accidents, and yelling before it's over.
I hope you know I'm joking, because having a big family is truly beyond compare. Where there is fighting, there is love. Where there are financial struggles, there are deeper riches. Where there is testing, there is patience. Where there is boredom, there are playmates. Where there is hurt, there is forgiveness. Where there is selfishness, there are endless opportunities for generosity. Where there are failures, there is support. Where there is need, there is grace.