Sunday, September 6, 2009

Family Size

Recently some of the blogs that I read have been discussing the Duggar Family. Although their book is on my pile to read, this blog post is not about that.
This summer when Ram went to a retreat, there was one other mother there with one child. The Lambs were completely wild for the church service and it took this other mother plus me to try to keep a little control on them. It was just too different-not our church (and a chapel too), not Ram as the pastor, church at bedtime for the Lambs, church after traveling a long day before, etc. But it got me started thinking how different my life would be if I "only" had Lamb 1. I do my best to keep the Lambs all happy and quiet and busy coloring or something during church. We work with Lamb 1 a little during the week to prepare him for Sunday morning. Sometimes I sit with church members that help. But the majority of the time, no one is helping Lamb 1 find the correct page number in the hymnal and pay attention. If he's quiet (and he usually is), he gets no attention. How different my life would be if I could help Lamb 1 follow along in the service.
On Saturday, we went to Storybook Land in SD. For some reason, it caught my attention the family size of the people attending the same day as us. It seemed like the majority of them were mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, and one child. There were a few other 2 or 4 children families. I did not notice any other 3 child families like us. The ones with 1 child, that child got all the attention. Our family, Ram tried to chase the 3 Lambs and I tried to take photos of them. Ram took all 3 Lambs on the carousel by himself while I took photos. Lamb 3 got a little too brave at the end of the ride and tried not holding on at all. Ram had to try to watch Lamb 2 and hold on to Lamb 3 then. Lamb 1 was completely on his own.
A friend of mine with 5 children says she likes having 5 because they were forced to grow up a little faster and learn how to do things on their own and also to help each other. We only have 3 so I'm not sure about 5. I think even with 3 I still help the Lambs more than they need to be helped. It's just easier to do some things for them in an assembly line than to wait forever for them to do it themselves.
Lamb 1 and 2 take turns going by themselves with Ram to the local cafe to get some alone time with him. The other one gets some alone time with me (usually with Lamb 3 playing in the background). I think we do a pretty good job of giving each child some alone time with us.
I'm sure that those of you with more than 3 children would agree that it's hard to imagine life when you "only" had 3 children. I know there are advantages and disadvantages to having 3 or more children, just as there are advantages or disadvantages to having 1 or 2 children. I'm thankful for each one of our three Lambs. And I remember how blessed we are to have 3 Lambs when I think of all my friends with fertility problems. Sometimes it's just nice to take some time to imagine how life would be different if we only had 1 or 2 Lambs. Hopefully that thinking will help me to come up with ideas to teach each of the Lambs to help themselves better.

1 comment:

Dakotapam said...

Obviously, family size has been on our mind a lot lately. We'll be in a strange situation once this abby is born. All four older boys are in school full time and Ethan, the youngest will be nearly 6. So this abby will be like having only one child. In a way, I'm selfishly looking forward to that! When we just had Andrew we were to unsure of ourselves as parents to even enjoy him fully. With this one I will enjoy him/her thoroughly. This is most likely our last child. Although I am opposed to chemical birth control, I'm not opposed to family planning that takes into account the knowledge of fertility God has given us. As rough as pregnancy is on me physically, it would not be fair to my family to go through this 18 or 19 times. So, five it is. And to me, five is a lot, but not completely unmanageable. I think we'll fit in our three bedroom home just fine!