Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Friday 24 September |
The Blessed Virgin Mary—Our Lady of Walsingham
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

6 Tell-tale signs you’re from a large family

SIBLINGS

Shutterstock-shurkin_son

María Verónica Degwitz - published on 02/15/19

Families with lots of kids have unique experiences that set them apart.

Families with many children are less and less common, and these days they’re often seen as a curiosity or simply a bad idea. Who in their right mind would want to embark on such a chaotic adventure? Who can afford it? Nevertheless, many of us grew up in big families, and we have certain common experiences which, for better or for worse, distinguish us from those who grew up with just one or two siblings.

Here are some of the experiences that set apart those who grew up in, or currently belong to,the “tribe” of large families:

You never wear new clothes …

… unless you’re the oldest sibling. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about school uniforms, swimsuits, jeans, or formal suits or dresses; in your family, items of clothing pass through 3 or 4 hands, easily. If you’re one of the younger siblings, you’ve surely had to use mended hand-me-downs—unless maybe you were lucky and got something new because an item of clothing your older brothers or sisters used was so worn, torn, or frayed there was no way to save it.

You’re an expert in treaties and alliances.

In large families, there’s a delicate balance of agreements and arrangements. One of your brothers is your “partner in crime” when you get into mischief; another one plays sports with you. One sibling makes you laugh; another makes you cry. You share a room with one, and a closet with a different one. This delicate balance gets built up over time, and teaches you that in life, whatever differences you may have with someone, there’s always something you can share.

Leaving the house is a whole odyssey.

Have you ever tried to go to a restaurant and ask for a table for 12? If you come from a large family, you’ve experienced it many times, and you know it’s not easy. A reservation is practically a must. Vacation trips are even more difficult; coordinating so many people to follow just one plan can take a lot of time … although that family time is so fun and enriching and the final photos look so great that it’s totally worth the effort.

Nothing is entirely yours.

Forget having your own computer, tablet, or even a calculator for your exclusive use. When you’re part of a large family, you know that, even if that object is nominally “yours,” in practice you’re going to have to share it all the time. Not to mention the gifts given to all of you to share—the ones that don’t even have a nominal owner, but which are part of all the siblings’ daily lives.

Your family has more traditions than a small country.

The only way to keep family plans from becoming completely chaotic is to convert them into “traditions.” So hello to Game Night, Sunday Brunch, and Family Day, to name just some of the ways parents find to spend family time together in an organized way in which everyone can participate.

You’re never completely alone.

We could say that this is the best part of being a member of a large family. Although there’s always noise and some degree of disorder, you know you will always have someone beside you—whether to console you, keep you company, or bother you—and that always fills your heart.


MOTHER WITH CHILDREN

Read more:
Why I ended up with too many children


FAMILY

Read more:
Why kids from big families have an advantage in life

Tags:
ChildrenFamily
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SLEEPING
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
2
OUR LADY
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
3
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
4
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
5
Tolkien
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
6
ANMOL RODRIGUEZ
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
7
CHILDREN, PRAY, ROSARY
Aid to the Church in Need
What happens when a million children pray the Rosary?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.