KRISTINA BEERS: Large families are a blessing

I have two sons who are currently university students, leaving me “only” three at home.

Those three still leave us above the national average (newly comprised) of 2.0 children per family.

It astounds me how much our life has adjusted to this new dynamic. This weekend alone, we accomplished some home-improvement projects that had been un-done since we built our home. In 2004.

I cook without having to double a recipe (with the exception of pancakes this morning; I do believe I’ve got breakfast set for the week!)

I have also found a little more money left over in the grocery envelope, along with the household fund. I have tucked it away, and will continue to do so, for the holidays when the house will be, once again, full to the brim and for next summer when they return to live and work while saving for the next year of education.

In contemplation, I could get side-tracked and feel like we are on the wrong side of the ball when it comes to saving and accumulating stuff — like cars newer than 2001, a running recreational vehicle and a boat that doesn’t leak, because we have so many kids. I could especially feel that way since I am actually discovering how expensive they really are — with two gone, I feel like we’ve gotten a raise (we didn’t) and more time (nope).

Yet, in truth, none of that matters. I would not trade a single one of those boys for sake of pinching fewer pennies. Honestly, I wish we had more children, mostly because I know my vocation in life is motherhood. American society is barely at “replacement” rate; if the trends continue, we will have fewer and fewer precious souls on this Earth.

For me, I am a better parent for having more than two kids. If I had less, I would be losing my mind in a deep depression and feeling like I lost my identity right now. Luckily, I have three pesky teens at home who keep me on my toes, sharpen my debate skills and make me dream of their college applications to assist in this transition. Not only assist, but to let me settle down and see that peace and true joy persevere.

As a speaker noted during the World Meeting of Families last week, “Thank God for large families.” I agree.

Kristina Beers lives in the Remus area with her husband and five sons. She shares her thoughts on parenting teenagers and young adults on the first and third Saturdays of each month on the Pioneer’s Family and Friends page.