We help to get rid of prejudices that have been forming in our society over the years.
The birth of four or more babies at once is a great event not only for the family, but also for the whole country.
On May 20, 2019, for the first time in Poland, a woman gave birth to six children at once - two boys and four girls. This event became so overwhelming that the president of the country Andrzej Duda himself congratulated the young mother on Twitter. And the Busby fives, born in America in 2011, even became the heroes of the TLC project "Five Plus", which airs on the channel on Sundays at 12:45.
But when the first wave of euphoria subsides, young parents go headlong into worries - it seems to many that they completely dissolve in children and lose themselves.
We debunk the myths about large families that have become entrenched in our society, and we are trying to figure out if there is even a grain of truth in them.
Myth 1: many children are very expensive.
Of course, the more children there are, the higher the expenses for their maintenance, therefore, before thinking about replenishment, you need to plan everything in advance at least several years in advance.
How strong is the financial cushion, which of the parents will work, who will take care of the children, will it be possible to hire a nanny and sometimes ask for help from relatives, will the decree be paid and to what extent, will mom or dad be able to work remotely if necessary, and so on.
If the decision is taken in a balanced manner, then serious financial surprises can be avoided.
According to Anna Fedulova, a mother of five, book reviewer and author of the @bookafish blog, the more children, the more investments, including financial ones, are required. Food alone costs a decent amount, but at the same time it teaches good planning. Therefore, in Anna's family there are no extra expenses, new-fangled gadgets every six months, extra clothes that no one wears anyway - "everything should be counted, everything should go into business (food, education, health)."
Families with many children, as a rule, do not tend to waste money, which significantly saves money.
In addition, large families, in addition to the minimum monetary compensation, are provided with a number of benefits that they, according to the 2018 study, often do not even know about.
Children from such families are entitled to free school breakfasts, lunches and uniforms, reduced fare in public transport, free medicines (up to six years old), priority admission to kindergartens, preferential and sometimes free vouchers to a children's camp, free visits to museums and exhibitions (on certain days), and families are provided with discounts on utility bills and a sparing transport tax.
Myth 2: in large families, the younger ones wear things for the older ones.
The stereotype that in large families children wear things one by one and go about in rags is so widespread that it is found even in the fictional magical world of J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter's best friend, Ron Weasley, came from a large family in which all the younger brothers were forced to wear the clothes of their elders.
In the real world, this practice is increasingly in the past: the mass market offers options for budget and high-quality clothing for any age.
And with the help of online ad aggregators, you can find new (or practically new) things almost for free: they are often given for a symbolic amount, when the size did not fit or the color did not like.
Myth 3: in large families, children receive less attention from their parents.
Another popular opinion is that in large families, parents cannot pay their children the same amount of attention that they would have given to their only child, so children are forced to compete for the love of mom and dad.
As Anna Fedulova says, this has nothing to do with reality: in a large family, love is not shared, but multiplied. And children, of course, are not rivals: they are brothers and sisters who are born to go hand in hand with each other.
By the way, there is another similar opinion - supposedly, as soon as one of the children turns 18, he immediately flies out of the parent's nest, just waiting for this moment. In fact, as the example of Anna Fedulova shows, a large family can be a very friendly team, where everyone has everything, there are no people who sleep and see themselves alone, and everyone's personal boundaries and rights are respected.
Of course, there are some peculiarities, since the standard rules no longer work here.
A large family is a self-sufficient society that exists only thanks to developed internal laws.
Children in such families are more independent, responsible and resourceful, they grasp information faster.
“No one here will run after you with a spoon or beg you to put on a jacket. As well as monitoring and checking if the school backpack is assembled, if the homework is completed. Your decision is your bumps. After all, our parental task is to direct and teach, and not to do instead of a child. And if you do everything for ten, then mom and dad will just break apart,”Anna comments.
Myth 4: parents don't even have time to sleep.
It would seem that in order to keep up with everything, parents in large families must somewhere to get an extra couple of hours a day. However, it often happens that four, five and six children are easier to manage than one.
It's all about organizing time: when there is no extra free minute, resources are spent very efficiently and with maximum benefit.
Mobilizing and streamlining processes allows you to get more done.
For example, it's better to keep your home tidy by setting aside a little time to do small things every day than to do a grand 10 hour cleanup once a week. Cooking for several days at once and for a large number of people is also easier than buying groceries every night, coming up with recipes, chopping ingredients and washing dishes.
When current household chores are performed automatically, it is possible to carve out the time that used to slip through our fingers.
Anna Fedulova clarifies: “What does it mean to live for yourself? Throw endless parties, go to beauty salons, waste precious minutes mercilessly on shops, questionable events and cafes? If so, then there really is no time for that. But there are truly useful things. Each of us has time for sports, hiking, playing and dining together, studying and traveling.
After all, we only live once. Time does not like being killed - this was said long before us."
Myth 5: parents shift responsibilities to older children.
There is also an opposite, but no less popular opinion that in large families, on the contrary, it is much easier for parents in everyday life, since part of the household chores can be safely shifted to older children. Moreover, they can be entrusted with taking care of the younger ones.
Of course, it is useful to gradually involve children in some household chores, but literate parents will never abuse this. They understand that children are just children, regardless of age.
Elders should not turn into nannies and housekeepers, they have their own affairs, lessons, hobbies, hobbies and friends.
If they go to the same school, the elder may well take the younger to classes and take him home, but there is no need to force them to do their homework, bathe, sit in the evenings so that the parents can go somewhere together.
Of course, if older children volunteer themselves and enjoy spending time with the younger ones, that's a different story, but not a single wise parent will forcibly turn a child into an adult ahead of time.
Myth 6: you will have to forget about rest and vacations.
You won't go on a journey with infants too much - it's true, although this does not stop some, especially now there are many devices on the market that free mom's hands (the same slings, for example).
You may have to reconsider your views on the usual vacation: with very young children, choose not planes, but trains or even travel by car.
When the children grow up, they can be sent for one shift to the camp, and the parents can go on vacation together.
However, you don't even need to leave the city to have a great time!
Cinema, museums, exhibitions, concerts, quests, parks and zoos - everywhere there are certain discounts and benefits for large families, the main thing is to find something that will suit every child's taste, and not force everyone to go to a master class on modeling from clay, if someone is not happy with it.
So, the parents of the Busby family from the TLC "Five Plus" project - Adam and Daniel - always strive to choose a pastime that would please all six children, and if someone does not want to join, then the parents try to find a compromise, avoiding the categorical imperative "No, because I said so."
You can always split up: dad will go with some children to the park, and mom with others to go karting (or vice versa).
Myth 7: parenting with many children is hard, thankless work.
Any parenting is, of course, work, but not hard labor. The more children there are, the wider the list of tasks and financial expenses, however, the return is many times greater.
Moreover, in the 21st century, you do not need to hand wash a ton of linen in a cold river, and cooking is made easier by multicooker, blender and other smart appliances.
If funds allow, then you can sometimes order food or use the services of cleaners, freeing up time for personal matters.
You should not wait for some ideal abstract time when “it will be easier”: in infancy with children some difficulties, in kindergarten others, at school the third, in the student body the fourth.
Everything will never be deliciously easy - you have to enjoy every moment, watching how children grow up, helping them become who they really want to become.
If everything is done correctly, it is possible that they will also want to start a large family in the future.
Anna Fedulova adds: “With one child it is harder, and much more. The only child in the family is the most difficult chess game in which parents receive unconditional check and checkmate every day. This can only be compensated for with outside help: grandparents, artificial society (kindergarten and school) or on our own.
If you are ready to play "Turnip" day and night, ride a horse, draw, sculpt and dance in circles, then perhaps this is for you.
Today, as before, not everyone can afford to have one child. But four, on the contrary. There are many more such parents. Society only needs to understand and accept this. Then the matter is small."
Photo: VOSTOCK, frames from the TLC project "Five with a plus"
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