The Craziness That Comes with Having a Large Family

Having a house full of pitter-pattering feet was always a dream of mine. In fact, I have wanted to be a mommy for as long as I can remember. Having a large family, at least large by American standards, was never in the plans however. After baby number one and baby number two arrived and we settled into a comfortable, suburban lifestyle, my husband and I were 99.99% sure that our family was complete.

Notice how I did NOT say 100%…

That .01% led to identical twin girls a few years down the road. You read this correctly. Our number of kids DOUBLED in about 30 seconds. When the twins came along, our oldest was seven. FOUR GIRLS UNDER SEVEN. The twins have truly completed our brood and we are SO done now. Unless I become a victim of immaculate conception there will be no more McCarthy babies from neither myself nor my hubs. We doubled down on the sterilization after the twins were born. I do love having this house full of unanticipated girlies and I would not change it for anything.

That said, there are some unpleasantries that come along with having a large family. Some I considered…some I never saw coming. The latter are the ones that bring me to my knees begging for mercy.

Drowning in the Laundry

I am not kidding when I say that laundry is crushing my will to live. No matter what tips and tricks I try out it is always there in my closet – taunting me. Each and every single morning of my life the basket overflows with the prior day’s offenders. The cold hard facts are there are six people in this family. Let us assume that we each wear 4 – 5 items of clothing a day – that’s 30 items to wash, dry and put away. Not a big gig right? Wrong! So so sooooo wrong. Sports and workout clothing – double that thirty; towels – throw a five onto that number. Now we are 65 items of dirty torture. WAIT! The night-before jammies go into this sick and twisted equation as well, so we need to throw an additional 10 onto the ever-increasing number. We are up to 75 FREAKING CLOTHING ITEMS that must be washed every single damn day! This is IF the toddler twins do not destroy the first two or three outfits that we dress them in.

I have tried to have my husband help out in this department, but he is beyond useless. Once the freshly cleaned clothing makes it upstairs he asks who this and that belongs to over…and over…and over again. So even when I hand the task over I am still stuck with the annoying job of Laundry Supervisor. What a sick and cruel twist this is!

I distinctly remember folding teeny tiny pink baby onesies when I was pregnant with my first baby. I relished in the task, loved it actually. What I would give to go back in time and kick pregnant me’s ass. I seriously wonder if anyone out there has had to go to counseling or get on medication over having to do this much laundry every single day.

Feeding an Army

Well maybe not exactly an army, but that is what it feels like every single Saturday. Every Saturday my husband and I consider taking a second mortgage out on the house just to pay the grocery bill. I have tried the couponing – I am dreadful at it and always end up spending more money than I thought I would. I have tried pairing down the list and just buying the bare essentials. That always results in an angry, hungry husband and me having to go BACK to the grocery store mid-week. Oh HELL NO. One time a week is enough to put me right over the suburban edge of sanity. When I load those mountains of milk, cheese and bread onto the checkout belt I am always reminded of Noah’s Ark. I buy two of everything. One box of cereal would not last more than a day in my home.

Loading Up the Gang

This was one of the first things that I realized was going to be a giant pain in my postpartum ass after having the twinnies. A quick trip to the grocery store to grab milk no longer existed. Now I have to REALLY weigh the pros and cons of leaving the house. Is it really worth it to pack up supplies, load up the screaming kids, and drag everyone into the store all for a gallon of milk…then turn around and go home? It is bad enough that this dreaded process is repeated at least twice a day with the school run?

Weekends away look like you are moving across the country. When our family stays at a hotel for a few nights we are loaded to the brim. Suitcases stuffed full of clothes, jammies, stuffed animals, blankies, hair brushes, books, snacks, drinks, just-in-case medications and emergency supplies, diapers and wipes. Everyone grabs their favorite pillows, their iPads, other electronic devices, 14 Barbie Dolls and a plethora of random crap that should not even exist in this world. Heaven FORBID we leave for a weekend away without three rocks, a few marbles and two broken pencils.

Dining Out with The Clan

You will burn more calories dining out with your large family than you will actually ingest. There is in fact no dining even involved when I take my giant family out to a restaurant. I eat nothing, my husband manages maybe a few bites and the kids end up with half of their meals on their clothes and the other half on the floor. They cry, they squirm, they attempt several hundred high chair escapes. The bathroom is visited 28 times at least and the bill is always over $100. Eating out with four small kids is basically the worst idea ever. EVER.

There is nothing easier about raising a clan of small and demanding humans. It is hard work and takes devotion, persistence and a lot of prayer. Even with the many hurdles that having a large family presents on a daily basis, there is nothing better than the hugs, smiles and love that these many small humans provide.


My Random Musings

Kristin McCarthy

Kristin McCarthy a 34-year-old stay-at-home mom of four girls including identical twin toddlers. She excels at Pinterest fails, writing, and keeping the kids alive and somewhat happy. Lover of booze and cheese, hater of Thomas the Train and Caillou.

Kristin is a regular writer at Suburban Misfit Mom and has been featured on BonBonBreak, Sammiches and PsychMeds, and The Erma Bombeck site. She is also the satirical, ranty mastermind behind the blog Four Princesses and The Cheese.
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8 thoughts on “The Craziness That Comes with Having a Large Family

  • December 10, 2016 at 3:43 am

    Oh I always wished for twins, I find even with 3 it is hard having to load them all up to get anywhere and do so much laundry, my ironing pile is sky high right now!!! The hardest thing I find though is holidays, all the best packages are for 2 kids and 2 adults so annoying, But yes I love having the noise and chaos (most if the time) #mg

  • December 8, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I love how you finish this – worth every hurdle! Just try to go into the hurdle with your leading leg! 😉 Thanks so much for linking up to #AllSortsofBlogs 🙂

  • December 6, 2016 at 4:15 pm

    I have twins and that is hard enough without siblings on top! The laundry is horrendous with just two kiddies xx #AnythingGoes

  • December 3, 2016 at 8:33 am

    I love this! My boys are much older now– 12, 10 & 9 & it does get easier; well some of it does. Those grocery bills are HUGE! I buy 5 gallons of milk a week– 5!! And I don’t even drink milk.

    But they are old enough to do their own laundry and often do. When they were small (like yours are now) I put a hamper in each person’s room and washed and dried just one person’s per load. I also had 5 laundry baskets so I could always keep them separate; with three boys so close in age it was impossible to tell their clothes apart (plus they often bought matching shirts or pjs’!). This way my husband can help fold clothes too because I am no longer being asked “Who’s is this?” He just folds what’s in the basket and puts it right back in that basket. Then I deliver it to the room it goes to.

    When the kids were small we learned that take out was so much better than eating in! Even now we don’t eat out much; the kids can certainly sit and our meals aren’t so chaotic but after spending hundreds on groceries each week the thought of spending another 100+ so I don’t have to cook seems nuts.

    Leaving the house is still a bit crazy; we can’t go anywhere without kindles, a few stuffed animals, a blanket… and overnights or vacations?! Forget it– we had to buy a Tule rack to put on the top of our car to hold our suitcases and the inside of the car is still packed to overflowing.

    But you’re right– I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.

  • December 1, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    I have 4 boys, would have happily had more, but husband said enough, I then registered as a childminder , which was amazing, getting paid to spend time with children!

  • December 1, 2016 at 8:13 am

    Arghhh crazy I only have one child and it’s totally cray so I can not imagine the craziness of a big family. I think I might go totally bonkers. Thanks for linking this up to #coolmumclub x

  • November 30, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Great post! I only have 2 kids but I also loathe going out to dinner. It’s never the relaxing “I didn’t have to cook” feeling that I hope for. And the laundry – I can’t imagine double the kids with the amount I already do. Good luck to you!! 😀

  • Pingback: The Hurdles of Raising A Large (and unexpected) Large Family

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