“He that raises a large family does, indeed, while he lives to observe them, stand a broader mark for sorrow; but then he stands a broader mark for pleasure too.” Benjamin Franklin
Well, Benjamin Franklin only had three children that we know of – so easy for him to say right? What about large families? My mother came from a brood of eight. She was the second born, so became one of the caretakers of the youngers when she was old enough to change a diaper. Large families are not as popular today, but I still know a few and they seem to function amazingly well. In a way it’s like having a built in assembly line at times.
As times change and mother’s responsibilities reach beyond the walls of the home, women are choosing to have smaller families. It’s pretty much a balancing act when it’s necessary to add bread winner to the list of motherly duties.
When I thumb through old, old photographs of long gone ancestors, they usually contain large families. In those times it was as necessary to produce offspring as it was to make hay or milk cows. Those children would help in the running of the family business. Same was true for city folks who were just getting by. For the poor, large families would bring in more income. For the wealthy, the size of a man’s family was a status symbol of sorts.
Large families today are not as common. Being a stay at home mom is somewhat unusual, yet many women choose to do so and in addition are home schooling their children. I say, hats off to these women. I commend them especially because I know I could never done that myself. That doesn’t mean you should feel less of a mother for not staying home.
Whether you have one child or ten of them, you are a mother. A mother is required to love her children, care for them, provide for their needs, to nurture, nourish and nurse them. There are no rules for being a good mom, but once you hold that precious, new life in your hands, you know that this is a gift that only God can give. The responsibilities that come along with it are huge, but God chose women to birth children because He knew we were the ones with the tender hearts, the soft,gentle compassion and the built in need to nurture.