I love watching reality TV shows that teach me something new or interesting. Reality TV has come a long way and lately I have been watching some stuff that has been showing me new perspectives and views. I don’t particularly enjoy the trashy reality shows, but I will admit that I have watched a few of them from time to time.
A trend I have noticed on TV lately is that reality shows love to feature large families. Shows like Sister Wives, The Willis Family, Kate Plus 8 and 19 Kids and Counting draw large audiences, and I can see why. Everyone wants to know how these families are able to function with so many children.
I started thinking; could I have ten (or more) children? Obviously I can’t since I’m too old. But what if I had started in my early twenties and continued having children into my forties? Could I do it? Am I cut out to spend my days and nights and most of my life raising children? After careful consideration, and several glasses of wine, I came to the conclusion that I could not. And here’s why:
I need alone time. Every day, around mid-afternoon, I start counting down the hours till bedtime. Four hours till bedtime. Three hours and twenty minutes till bedtime. 1 hour and thirty minutes till bedtime. I love my child and spending time with her is the best part of my day. But sometimes, I just want to use the washroom or take a bath without having company. There is no possible way that any of these moms with the mega-sized families get alone time. Most of them have more children than they do rooms in their houses.
I’m not super organized. I’m a moderately organized person. I don’t lose stuff and I tend to keep my desk, office, bedroom and house in an orderly fashion. However, with ten plus kids, you need to take your organizational skills to a whole new level. These mamas need to plan and organize almost every detail of every single day. Because with ten or more people in a household, if you don’t have a plan, shit is going to go wrong and quickly.
Patience. I like to think that I can be a very patient person. I don’t mind explaining something several times and I can keep myself amused in long longs at the bank or the grocery store. But eventually, my patience dwindles. Right now, my daughter is at the age where she likes to test me. She knows she’s not supposed to touch the TV, pull at the curtains or pull at cords. Yet she does these things all of the time. Sometimes she’ll even reach her hand out towards one of said areas and before she touches it she will stop and look at me, as if she’s checking to see if I am watching. This is with one child. What the hell is it like when there are ten? And these TV moms, well most have the patience of a Saint! I realize TV is super edited but at the very least, they are putting on a good show for the cameras!
Money, money, money, money…MONEY! Kids are expensive. Clothing, food, recreation, activities, RESPs, dental, medical and all of the other expenses really add up. The average cost of raising one child from birth to eighteen years of age is nearly $250k. That’s a lot of money. If you have ten kids, that cost is now up to a whopping 2.5 million! How do these families afford it? I realize that reality TV families are making money from their shows, but how do the rest of these big families without TV shows do it? I can’t even imagine what a grocery bill for one month must look like if there are 15 people in the house. I’d need to work around the clock to be able to even come close to affording that kind of life.
Sleep. I don’t get enough sleep. I haven’t slept through the night in over a year. My daughter rarely sleeps through the night and even if she does, I don’t because my bladder is permanently screwed up from pushing out a baby, meaning I wake up at least twice a night to pee. I have high hopes that by the time my daughter is two that she will be consistently sleeping through the night. I have to wonder though; how do the parents of these massive families get any sleep? Even after their kids go to bed there’s laundry, cleaning, paying bills and all of the other things you need to do to run a household. When do these people sleep? Or do they sleep at all?
Large families do seem like they have a lot of fun. I am sure that despite all of the people, laundry and lack of sleep that they somehow make it all work. I’m pretty confident in saying though, that ten kids is about eight too many for me. I like to think I can handle what life gives me but I am not sure if I could find enough wine to keep me sane if I had (and birthed) that many children!
So kudos, parents of big families! You are obviously rocking it and doing a great job. I’m sure I could learn a thing or two from you but I think I’d rather use that time sleeping!