In 2009, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar brought having a supersized family in vogue.
Before those days, extra large families weren’t on almost anyone’s radar.
What you don’t know is that supersized families have been around LONG before the Duggars, and they will remain to exist long after the Duggars.
In Biblical times, Jacob had 12 sons (that’s not including his girls).
In Modern times, different religious organizations have been known to have numerous children.
Here are some myths about large families that need to be corrected.
15 Myths About Large Families
1. All Large Families are Religious
For many years, Catholics and Mormons seem to have the corner on the market on very large families.
But there is an entire sect of Protestants that have supersized numbers.
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Despite the fact that religious groups probably account for most giant families, there are definitely non-religious families with tons of kids.
2. All Large Families Homeschool
Just because the Duggars do it, doesn’t mean all of us with large families homeschool our kids.
What’s even more strange is that if a large family DOES homeschool that doesn’t mean ALL the kids are homeschooled. Some kids might be in charter schools or even (gasp) public schools.
3. Children are Unplanned
Thinking that all the children in a large family are unplanned is like making the assumption that all children in a two-kid home are planned. That’s just not reality.
Just like the rest of the world, children in supersized families fall into all different “family planning” methods.
Some are planned. Some aren’t. Some have a mix. Some let God decide every birth.
Everyone’s story is different.
4. The Older Kids Have to Take Care of the Younger Ones
The idea that older children are required to take care of younger children in all large families isn’t true.
Depending on the family structure, a mom might choose to delegate non-sibling chores to children or not. It’s kind of a personality thing.
Just like in the “regular” world, you have Type A parents and Type B parents.
Another idea that’s a myth is that older children dislike helping their younger siblings. Many times I have to fight my older children to even hold my newborn! They love cuddling with a new baby as much as I do!
5. Children of Large Families Don’t Get Individual Time
With all those children, it must be impossible to spend quality individualized time with each kid, right?
Honestly, I actually believe the opposite is true.
As I’ve had more children, I’ve been more diligent about making sure that each of my children has a specific time when they get to spend time with me. I think I was MORE selfish with my “me-time” before I so many kids.
6. Large Families Shop Only at Goodwill
The Duggar’s mantra is “Buy Used and Save the Difference.”
While I love this in theory, have you been to Goodwill lately? Their prices on clothing and shoes are SKY HIGH! And I’m not going to pay $3.99 for a Hanes t-shirt with holes or a bike helmet with duck tape…yes, I’m serious.
I love Goodwill and I definitely buy stuff there, but usually, if I’m diligent I can find nice and better-priced clothes at WalMart, Kohls or Target.
The same thing goes for many other thrift stores, especially here in Austin where thrifting is the hipster thing to do.
7. Large Family Parents Live Off Government Support
Sure, some large families live off government support. Some, but not all. Some, but not most.
There are many non-large families that live on government support. What’s more alarming and upsetting is that the very people that SERVE AND DIE for our country are forced to live on government support. (Source: NBC.com) I’ll also take a leap here and assume that many of our elementary school teachers are utilizing government benefits because of low wages. Also, many of those amazing people that adopt foster kids also use SNAP and WIC.
Let’s just lay off anyone who is not abusing the system yet receives money to live and eat.
8. Large Family Parents Are Born with TONS of Patience
I always find this one funny. I’m sure if you asked anyone who knew me in high school they would too.
There is nothing special about a mom or dad of a large family in the area of selflessness or patience.
We get angry, learn from our mistakes and yell just like the rest of the parents out there.
If we have “more” patience it’s only because we’ve had more chances to fail and learn from those failures.
9. Large Family Members are Uneducated
Personally, I have a college degree. So does my husband. He actually has two and multiple tech certifications.
I think if we can just get through our brains that making broad-stroke assumptions for any people group isn’t smart.
10. Large Familie Only Live in Country/Remote Areas
Not all people who decide to have large families live in some podunk town on the outskirts of Tennessee.
Not all supersized families live in Utah either.
Some live smack dab in the middle of very metropolitan areas.
Comedian and large family advocate, Jim Gaffigann, lives in a 2-bedroom flat in NYC. Take that Arkansas!
11. Large Families Dress the Same, Don’t Wear Makeup, Only Wear Skirts
I’m just going to put it all out there. Judgement and all.
I wear yoga pants…to the grocery store…to church.
I’m sorry. I do. I try to cover my bum…but somedays I just can’t. #SoSueMe
I also wear makeup, sometimes lots of it.
That said, I’m a huge fan of modesty (yes, I’m a hypocrite) and do usually and mostly only wear skirts. I also headcover at church.
My five daughters don’t head cover or wear skirts. Heck, we don’t even all go to the same church.
Try putting all that in your “large family box.”
12. Large Family Kids Always Have to Do Without
Having a supersized family DOES mean sacrifice, but not always.
If I have a child that is especially gifted in music or gymnastics, they get to go to a class.
My kids know that if they want something all they have to do is ask and I will work my hardest to make sure they get it…or at least something comparable as long as it’s within reason.
I pretty sure that most large families are probably the most resourceful people on the planet when it comes to making sure their children aren’t deprived.
My kids don’t always get what they want, but when did giving any child everything they wanted become a good thing?
13. Large Families Have Messy Houses
The Duggar family have “jurisdictions.” In my house, we call the chores.
Whatever you name them, large families have to maintain some sort of structure to keep things going. While one families house might look like something out of a Better Homes & Garden Magazine, another’s house might be packed with stuff everywhere.
My sister’s house is spotless most of the time. Like I’m pretty sure you could eat off her floors. But that’s her personality, it was like that before kids and I’m sure it’ll be like that after kids.
My house is mostly clean most of the time, but you can’t eat off my floors. It’s definitely cleaner when the kids are gone, but isn’t everyones?
14. Large Families Need Lots of Space
Unlike the Duggar’s 7k sq ft home, thinking about owning a home larger than the one I already have (approx 2,000 sq ft) stresses me out.
I would actually love to downsize.
We bought our home in 2006 when we only had one kid and one on the way. We never imagined that we’d be filling those four bedrooms with nine people!
More space, to me, means more areas to clean.
No thank you.
15. Large Family Parents Don’t Have Time to Go on Dates
The more children you have the more necessary it is for the parents of tons of kids to get away.
Just like I’ve made provisions to spend quality time with each of my children, I have been just as diligent to make time for my hubby!
C’mon, I have to, right?
We have to make time to make more children!