I have a handful of “friends” who have informed me that my family is too big, as if it’s a scientific fact. They typically say it one of these two ways: “Your parents had too many kids,” or “Your mom had too many kids.” Besides being stunningly rude, this is absolute hogwash. Those judgmental people will probably never learn half that things that people from big families learn. Personal experience and news articles tell me that:
1. We have better emotional intelligence than others. We’re more sensitive, probably from seeing lots of different people up close. We don’t see other peoples’ shit from a distance, we’re in the shit alongside them. Within my own family, I have grown up with extreme right wing views, very liberal views, artists, a politician, a medical worker, and a physical trainer. I have dealt with aggressive, soft spoken, imaginative, strict, helpful, unhelpful, strong, pleasant, bitter. To some degree, I have had a close view of the variety of life– and I’ve argued with every single one of those varieties.
2. We have spent a great deal of time with our siblings. As siblings, we actually support each other. Mom and Dad don’t act like our support machines, there to provide for absolutely every need we have. Believe me, none of us cried the first day we went to kindergarden. It was just another day, surrounded by a mob of kids.
3. We have a degree of loyalty that others do not have. I’ve heard about siblings from small families that don’t talk to each other for years. Some petty difference kept people apart. WELP, when you belong to a big family, you don’t have the privilege of holding intense grudges. Wanna know why? Because those people constantly surround you. You go to a family event, and BAM–three people who you hate are literally sharing your soda with you (we ran out of soda a half hour ago). No one can escape this large family amoeba. Probably not even death would stop it, so you might as well just deal with your stuff.
4. You learn you’re not the center of the universe. In contrast, so many people from small families find themselves endlessly interesting. I had one coworker who would meanderingly discuss what she wanted to make herself for dinner. Every. Single. Evening. It was torturous. Luckily, when you grow up with a big family and tell a boring story, someone will tell you to your face that you’re being a self-serving dullard. Everyone’s patience for others’ self-indulgence had already run out. Your s*** doesn’t smell like roses, darling. Nobody knows that like family.
5. Most families have houses that are probably quiet and well-ordered, and someone immediately freaks out when someone rearranges even a small part of it. Guess what? People that care too much about their stuff BORE EVERYONE. Welcome to a big family, where everything belongs to no one. Did you leave a bar of soap in the bathroom? Well, everyone just used it, and now it’s gone. Also, that food that you left in the fridge is gone. Deal with it. Go talk about it with one of the twenty people hanging out in the kitchen.
6. The more siblings you have, the lower chance you have of divorcing a spouse. Turns out you can get inoculated against feelings of annoyance.
Instead of assuming that my family is deficient, perhaps people should start feeling jealous of its size and wonderfulness. #realfamilieshavecurves