In Defense of Big Families

“When I was a kid, I didn’t love big families. I was the oldest child initially of two kids, then three, then four, and so on until we reached a staggering-to-most-people seven. After I had moved out, an eighth was born and shortly thereafter two step siblings joined as well.

I had an overall pretty happy upbringing, but living in a house with seven kids is not always easy. There wasn’t much personal space. As a teenager, I never had friends over. We weren’t poor, but having a very large family is a major financial commitment that my parents pulled off largely thanks to dedicated frugality. All of which is to say that growing up in a big family wasn’t often bad, but it was often annoying. I’ve written before about delaying the decision to have kids of my own for financial and career reasons, but part of that choice also had to do with feeling like I had already raised several kids.”


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