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20 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Large Families, But Were Afraid to Ask

Our family size has been the topic of many conversations.  People are always asking us various questions, some with genuine interest, others out of rudeness.  It never ceases to amaze me what people will ask or will say behind our backs instead of asking us. There have been times where I have been hurt by what I have heard.   Many would be shocked to hear some of the comments we’ve endured from people who think that it is crazy to actually want a large family.  Society has conditioned us to believe that children are a burden and that we should want material things for ourselves instead of the joy that children can bring into our lives.  I find this sad and always say a little prayer for those who are so ugly to us when they question about our family size.  I pray that through meeting our family they will come to understand the happiness that comes from being open to God’s will in all areas of our lives.

There are those, however, who leave me feeling uplifted  after speaking to them about our family.  These are the people who look at our children and see the joy they bring.  They see their smiles and the sparkle in their eyes and say, “Oh!  You are so blessed!”  Sometimes these people will tell us about their own families, some of them also having large families, others having small.  Each one though understanding just how special each and every child is and how truly wonderful it is to be surrounded by such love.  I say a prayer for each of these people I come in contact with as well.  I thank God for their understanding and love.  They can’t begin to know how much their comments mean to me.

Blessed indeed!

I thought I would address some of the most common questions or comments that we, as a large family, get from those around us.  Again, I realize many are said in jest or out of true curiosity, but many are not.  I hope to dispel some of those false beliefs that follow large families wherever they go.

  • Yes, we know what causes it.  No, we don’t need a television or another hobby.  This is probably the number one comment we receive.  I can assure you that not only do we know what causes babies but we thoroughly enjoy it as well!
  • No, we don’t believe that everyone should have a large family and no, we aren’t judging you because you don’t have a large family.  We believe that God has called us to have many children.  He may be calling you to a completely different lifestyle.  What is right for us won’t necessarily be right for you.
  • No, our older children do not raise our younger children.  Yes, they do help out with the little ones.  Just as in any family of any size, each and every person is asked to help.  Helping does not equal raising.
  • Yes, it is much harder to have many children at home, even when you have older kids to help out.  Having a mix of ages means having more problems to deal with in a greater range of areas.  It’s not just a matter of having little ones who don’t know how to share; it’s little ones with colic, middle children who are struggling to find where they fit in with their peers or at home, and older ones who are facing broken hearts, peer pressure, and growing up.  It’s far more complicated that just having children of one age.
  • No, we don’t make a lot of money.  We aren’t rich nor do we live in a huge house.  Quite the opposite in fact!  We budget, scrimp and save.  We buy the necessities first and then the “wants” second.  Our house is small yet filled with love.
  • Yes, it takes a lot to feed this many people but probably not near what you think it does.  We make the majority of our food at home.  We don’t eat out much at all and we meal plan.  This saves on how much we spend on food.  I imagine we often spend the same as many small families. Most people are surprised to hear what our actual food budget is.
  • Yes, we use a tremendous amount of toilet paper.  Perhaps other large families don’t go through near what we do, but with 8 females in the house and only 4 boys, toilet paper is like gold here.
  • Our cost of living per person is less than most other families.  As I said before, we live in a smaller home, we wear hand-me-down clothes, we shop at discount stores or thrift stores, buy on clearance and only buy what we need. We do purchase some of those “wants” but only if we have the money in hand to spend.
  • Most large families are very environmentally friendly.  We are conscious about our “footprint” here on earth.  We grow a garden.  We recycle, reduce and recycle as much as possible.
  • No, we don’t want our own reality TV show nor are we competing with the Duggars or any other large family.  Why would we continue to have children that we have to support financially, emotionally, physically and spiritually just to compete with another large family?  This makes no sense at all.
  • Yes, our children fight.  Sometimes they fight like cats and dogs.  Sometimes they get along so well I wonder what’s going on.  Our kids are normal in every way.
  • No, I’m not always patient.  I’m human and have human faults.  I get frustrated and irritated. I yell.  I’m often not happy with my own reactions.  I pray each day, sometimes all day,  for God to grant me the patience I need to get through each day.
  • Yes, we are able to give each of our kids the love and attention they need.  In fact, they probably get more attention and love because there are more people to love on each person!  When you have a large family you don’t have to divide your love, your love naturally multiplies!
  • Yes, we are obviously able to have “alone time”.  We make taking time for each other a priority.  This is one thing that holds our family together.
  • No, we don’t know if we are “done”.  We are leaving that to God.  We have trusted Him so far, why would we change that now?
  • Yes, we have our hands full, but so are our hearts.
  • Yes, we know we will have a lot of weddings to pay for and yes, we are looking forward to it! Marriage is a blessing and a Sacrament.  We believe it is an incredible gift that we will get to be a part of so many.
  • No, we don’t wish God had given us more boys than girls.  We know that He has given our family exactly what we need.  We love each and every child because they are gifts from God, not because they are boys or girls.
  • No, we don’t expect that all our children will have large families.  We pray that they will be open to God’s will in their own lives.  This may mean they have large families, small families, or that they don’t have children at all.  We know that God will lead them to their vocation and we hope they will follow Him.
  • Yes, we are Catholic and no we don’t have a big family because our Church or the Pope says we have to!  Our faith teaches us that all life is sacred.  It also teaches that as long as we feel we have no grave reason to not have children that we should be open to God’s will in our lives.  The decision is always left to us to discern.  Over the years we have prayed and assessed our own lives and have seen that we want to be open to life, we want to embrace these teachings and we want to welcome any and all children God chooses to bless us with.  Our arms and our hearts are open to God’s will.

We know that having a large family is not the norm these days.  We also know that having a large family is a calling and vocation.  It isn’t for everyone.  We know that it is for us.  We know that God has called us to be open to life.  I feel very blessed that He has found us worthy of this calling.  I know it is only with His help and grace that we can raise such amazing children.  I am thankful that He continues to put people in our lives that love our family and can see what joy our children bring.  We know that while we often struggle God will always provide us with the material needs we have to raise our ever-growing family. He also provides for our spiritual and emotional needs as well.  We only have to ask Him and He is there.

Is there a question you’ve always had but never been able to ask about large families?  If so, I can try to answer them! Leave a comment and I’ll answer the best I can.

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About Michelle Fritz

Michelle Fritz is a daughter of God, a cradle Catholic, a Georgia peach, a devoted wife of almost 30 years to amazing husband Mike, and an eclectic homeschooling mother to eleven living children. She has experienced the loss of 16 babies in her call to be open to life, but knows that God is always loving and always gracious. She and her husband know that they have an army of Saints already in heaven! In addition to her vocation as wife, mom, and homeschool teacher she also holds a Masters in Theology and has recently taken on the role of Youth Minister for both the middle school and high school groups at her parish.

  • Clarissa - It certainly is not for everyone…my body would never allow me to have a lot of children…I am blessed with two. I think it might be fun to lead a troop of children every day….I had the energy when I was younger. As long as the older children are not taking care of the younger children-I think it is fine. I have known too many older sisters who came from large families who never had their own children because they felt they did enought taking care of. They were enjoying relaxation in their adult years….like the roles got mixed up somehow.September 3, 2012 – 5:20 amReplyCancel

  • Monica - Love this article! So well written , humble and inspiring. thanks for sharing your large family with us.September 3, 2012 – 8:47 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Thank you Monica!September 3, 2012 – 10:02 amReplyCancel

  • Beckie Williams - Thank you for sharing your story. I love it. Your family is perfect. God Bless you and your family.September 3, 2012 – 11:03 amReplyCancel

  • meghann @ midgetinvasion - Yeah, I can’t even imagine the comments you get, considering the amount of comments *I* get, and we only have four! I bet you can imagine the looks on their faces when I tell them I would have loved to have one or two more. Even though Hannah is 6 now, I still am not over wanting another baby. Maybe God will see fit to make it happen for us, somehow. Or maybe He won’t. We’ll just have to wait and see!

    Your kids are awesome and I love them to pieces. Hopefully we’ll be able to get together again before the three year mark, lol!September 3, 2012 – 11:05 amReplyCancel

  • Lorry - Wow! We are kindred spirits! My husband and I get so many of these same comments! We have 8 wonderful boys, aged 6-21. They are truly the blessing of our lives! We just went through the marriage of our eldest.. He and his wife
    will be an additional blessing to our boys as they experience love and marriage at a younger age! Maybe even nieces and nephews! At the wedding, our second eldest thanked his older brother for giving him something his dad and I could never seem to give him – a sister! Lol
    One wonderful comment people make about our boys is how amazing they will be as dads and husbands, because of the need to care for others, help out with every aspect of the home, – really their life experience is forming wonderful men!September 3, 2012 – 12:46 pmReplyCancel

  • Carolyn - What a beautiful children you have! We have four ourselves ( three here and one with our Lord) I often get comments already. We have only been married 8 years and I hope to be blessed with more children. Your family is an inspiration to me and many others. A friend with a large Catholic family is what inspired me to convert to catholicism. And now here we are, my husband and I are both converts. Thank you for sharing, reading your blog made me smile. 🙂September 3, 2012 – 1:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Seth - Did you ‘decide’ each time to have a child? We practice NFP, because my wife is the breadwinner, and being pregnant while working is hard on her. We appreciated the two year gap, and will likely wait until another two years between before we have a third. How much of it is a decision to aim for fertile times and how much of it is an abandonment? Have you seen yourself as making a choice each time? Already we have had people ask how we plan to pay for a third child. I never know how to respond to that. I would like to have a handful of kids, but it’s really my wife’s decision whether we have many or few. We have been blessed with safe deliveries, but I can’t imagine having less than two years of recovery time. Complications during pregnancy increase with age- when does a couple decide to cease? Have you and your husband decided on an age past which you would not have children or is that another abandonment?September 3, 2012 – 1:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Clarissa, thank you for your comment! Yes, it’s not for everyone which is why I wanted to make sure I included in there that 1. we don’t judge others who don’t have large families and that what’s right for us is not right for others and 2. that we don’t expect all of our children will have large families. It’s a shame that you know people who feel this way or that this has happened to but I’m sure it doesn’t just happen in large families. I know many who have decided that they never want kids for various reasons. The majority of them come from small families.

    I think we each have to discern what is right for our own families. Thankfully we are encouraged to do just that!September 3, 2012 – 2:24 pmReplyCancel

  • Karyn - I’m wondering if you hit a number where things really got difficult and/or you weren’t sure if you could really handle more? Numbers three and four were a fairly easy adjustment. Number five is a very easy, lovable baby but I’m finding I’m feeling much more overwhelmed, like I just can’t get into a new groove. Is that just the way it is once you get to a certain size or was there a sort of “breakthrough” number? Thanks for this article!September 3, 2012 – 2:34 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Seth, thank you for your questions! There have been times in our lives we’ve made that choice, especially early on, but later in our marriage, as we’ve grown and discerned much of our family planning has been left to God to decide.

    I wish I would have included in the list that many large families don’t always have it “easy” when it comes to reproduction. There have been times we’ve suffered from secondary infertility and other times we’ve suffered devastating losses (I have written about two of those losses here… one is called William’s Legacy and the other is Are You There God, It’s Me Michelle). After 12 miscarriages throughout our childbearing years (many in our early 20s!) we know that pregnancy is hard, precious and a gift. I guess in the end we’ve decided that God’s timing is best for us and our suffering can be beneficial too.

    As for trying vs abandonment I would say that for us there have been times we’ve “tried” and other times we’ve just not worried (and other times where we’ve used NFP when we had a grave reason). You asked about a cutoff age for having children. With my last delivery (my son was breech and the doctor encouraged me to push even after we knew he would not come that way and I ended up with a ruptured bladder and uterus) I was told by one doctor not to have any more children and another told me to just wait at least a year. We have discerned that for us we now have a very grave reason for avoiding. That said, with NFP we are also open to God’s will if He decides that we do indeed need another child. However, we will never “try” for another child again. As much as it breaks my heart, and it does, if we have more children it will be not because of us but because of God only. I suppose that means we don’t have a cutoff point for pregnancy.

    For those asking you when you will have another child, my response would be, “Gosh, we just don’t know! I’m sure God will give a sign when the time is right!” This tells people that yes, you may have more children but that it is between you, your wife, and God. This also says that it is up to YOU to discern what is right for your family, whether that means waiting, trying or just letting go and letting God decide it for you.September 3, 2012 – 2:41 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Karyn, my #5 was a handful and made me scratch my head and wonder! 🙂 However, that said, #6 was born just 18 months later and my husband always jokes that we didn’t learn our lesson! Really though, after #5 it got a little easier. I will say though that when I had my 9th I sat in my living room with all the kids and suddenly thought to myself, “Wow! All these kids are MINE!” It suddenly seemed like a lot of people. Numbers 8 and 9 are Irish Twins so maybe that had something to do with it too. But, it didn’t take long until we settled into a routine and things got a lot easier. There are definitely days I feel overwhelmed but I know that I have so much to be thankful for and that tomorrow is another day where I get to start fresh again and erase the mistakes and frustrations of the day before.September 3, 2012 – 2:45 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Meghann, I hope we do get together again… and way before the 3 year mark!! LOL

    Lorry, I can’t wait for my children to get married! I know that their spouse and children will add so much to our family too. I love that your son’s sense of humor! 🙂

    Carolyn, thank you! And I’m so glad that you had such a wonderful model of faith that helped you find your way home!September 3, 2012 – 2:47 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Thank you Becky!September 3, 2012 – 2:53 pmReplyCancel

  • Misty - Outstanding article!! I think people imagine that you have 4,5,8 toddlers to care for when they think of big families. My friends with teenagers actually have it easier than the family with three young children, because the teens are so independent and WILLING to help their younger siblings. Our three older children (ages 11,9,and 8) fight over who gets to play with and care for our 2 year old. We’re having another baby in January and they are ecstatic and already vying for the privilege of helping with the new sibling. I am profoundly grateful we didn’t listen to conventional wisdom and close our hearts to more blessings, because the hardest part was when they were all so young and had such intense needs.September 3, 2012 – 2:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Jamie - I just wish we could publish this all over the place. People are so judgemental and don’t want to understand. Our children are 25, 21, 19, 3 and 1, with two in heaven…we are about to announce number six. I know that many will shake their heads and talk behind our backs, even family and that hurts me. On the other hand I was leaving the store a few days ago with my girls and a man stopped me and said, “You have a beautiful family, God bless you.” Now if I could just get people to quit thinking my girls are my granddaughters;-)September 3, 2012 – 3:20 pmReplyCancel

  • Kelly M. - Great article Michelle. We “only” have five and I’ve heard many of the same comments. Anything above two children, especially more than two less than two years apart, makes heads turn and tongues waggle. I just try to always be positive and answer any and all questions with a smile or joke. Maybe our large, happy family will convince some family to consider “just one more.” I’m sure you’ve inspired many people you don’t even know about!September 3, 2012 – 3:22 pmReplyCancel

  • St. Gregory the Great Cardinal Martini John Carr | Big Pulpit - […] 20 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Large Families – Catholic Sistas […]September 3, 2012 – 3:31 pmReplyCancel

  • CA Rhoades - Beautiful post!! My favorite line was “yes, our hands are full, but so are our hearts.” What a lovely sentiment 🙂September 3, 2012 – 3:54 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Thank you all so much! <3September 3, 2012 – 4:49 pmReplyCancel

  • CLQ - First, I would like to thank you for being open to this vocation God has given you. What a special gift.

    I have two questions. How do the kids feel about being part of a big family and how do they handle the comments from people?September 3, 2012 – 6:25 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Thank you!

    Question 1- the kids love being from a large family and they have never once been upset when we’ve announced another baby on the way. In fact, they beg for more siblings!

    Question 2- Most of the time the laugh them off but we have had them cry before when they have overheard some of the ugly things people say in front of them (one comment was that it was too bad we didn’t have more girls as then it might be “worth it” to have so many kids) When that happens we reassure them that those people’s opinions don’t matter and that we know that God has blessed us with exactly what we need and who we need in our lives. It’s also a great chance for us to teach them patience, understanding and how to take the higher road. Still, it hurts to know that sometimes random strangers can hurt your kids so much.September 3, 2012 – 7:01 pmReplyCancel

  • Tammy - I only have 3 but I have a ton of friends with big families, to the concept isn’t foreign to me. My only curiosity is: how many gallons of milk do you use in a week?September 3, 2012 – 9:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Fr. W. M. Gardner - Michelle,
    It sounds like you would not be a strong proponent of birth spacing per se; that is, aside from the possible difficult situation that might arise…?
    God bless you and your husband for building a strong, faithful, child-rich family. We need those large Catholic families, and lots of God-fearing and family-loving young Catholics.
    I hope you have a whole flock of grandchildren… and maybe a priest or religious sister in the mix!
    Deo gratias!September 3, 2012 – 9:51 pmReplyCancel

  • Holly - Lovely, Michelle! XOXOSeptember 3, 2012 – 10:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Tammy, our milk consumption isn’t as high as many I know as we try to limit it and only drink it with a meal or in cereal. We typically go through about 4-5 gallons a week.

    Thank you Holly!

    Fr. Gardner, we pray each day that God may call one or more of our children to His service! I hope we are so lucky! As for spacing of children, for us it hasn’t been right to limit but I know for many others their reasons may be different than my own. I can’t judge what is right for them so I honestly can’t say that I don’t agree with birth spacing simply because for their family it may be best. I do think that many would be surprised at how God will provide for all your needs when you turn everything over to Him. I think many people are scared though to do so. Thank you so much for your support!September 3, 2012 – 10:30 pmReplyCancel

  • TM - We have only three kids. I went into our marriage thinking no kids! How I grew in my faith! Looking back, I realize I feared kids because it conflicted with secular societies views of success. I went thru cancer last year and now we are finding out we may never have kids again. It is devastating to hear you can not have kids no matter what age or how many you have. All I can say now is, cherish your fertility! It truly is a blessing from God!
    And thanks for the article Michelle. I’m always curious how mothers of large families do it. Fascinating really. You truly become the CEO of your family.September 3, 2012 – 10:50 pmReplyCancel

  • Suzanne Walther - Thank you for your article. As a mother of 7 living blessings ages 20 to 4 with 11 miscarriages, before, during, and after live births, I have had similar experiences. My all time favorite scenario was a woman in a grocery check-out line announcing to all in earshot, “I would NEVER let my husband do that to me!” to which she was answered, “Obviously, my husband is more handsome than yours.” The comment that most surprised me was from the Minister of Music’s wife at a friend’s wedding reception, “He’s kept you on your back!” I was speechless fortunately, because there were so many people that might have heard me give a ghastly reply. I have had so much fun since thinking of witty comebacks. I sure hope I don’t have the opportunity to reply to that one again;)September 3, 2012 – 11:12 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - TM, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry for what you’ve gone through. I love hearing stories of those who go into marriage thinking they don’t want children but then have them. Their stories are always so uplifting and wonderful! They truly realize how blessed they are!September 3, 2012 – 11:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Bruce in Kansas - We have ten children, but it doesn’t seem like too many. I can’t imagine our lives without each one of them. It is a lifestyle choice and it ‘s not for everyone, but how much joy and laughter – oh my gosh!September 3, 2012 – 11:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Suzanne, I’m so sorry for your losses. We have experienced 12 and regardless of the size of your family losing a baby is just devastating! I have to confess that I also try to think up witty comebacks and then pray I don’t need to use them 🙂 Most of the time I forget what I came up with anyway so I suppose that’s probably a good thing 😉September 3, 2012 – 11:30 pmReplyCancel

  • 20 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Large Families, But Were Afraid to Ask - […] Continue… 0No related posts […]September 4, 2012 – 9:50 amReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Bruce, it’s funny how we naturally grow around our children, isn’t it? I always tell people that it would be one thing if I got the all at once but God has been gracious and sent them one at a time so we can get used to the expansion each time 🙂 You are right… it’s not for everyone but for ME it is heaven on earth!September 4, 2012 – 1:11 pmReplyCancel

  • Lionel - Hi Michelle,

    You are blessed indeed.
    I am also planning to have a large family like yours. My wife is pregnant with our first baby. (Pray for us; will keep your family in our prayers too.) You are really blessed. I love your family pictures. Thanks for this inspiring article.

    In Jesus
    LionelSeptember 4, 2012 – 1:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Thank you Lionel! Congratulations to you and your wife! I will be keeping you in prayer and I thank you so much for your prayers for our family too.September 4, 2012 – 2:10 pmReplyCancel

  • alvaro - Simply beautiful! From another member of a large catholic family from spain (7 kids and I am the 3rd). Thank you and god bless you.September 6, 2012 – 4:30 pmReplyCancel

  • Catherine - God bless you and your beautiful family! Thank you for your living witness and beautiful example for other families.September 7, 2012 – 3:48 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Thank you!September 9, 2012 – 12:13 amReplyCancel

  • Robin - What a lovely family you’ve been blessed with! I’m 29, have been married for 7 years and we’re expecting #5. Our oldest is 6 and was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed and could use some prayers if you could spare a minute or two! We love our children more than anything and absolutely recognize the blessings that they are, we’re just soooooo tired and finding it difficult to find joy in the little day to day moments. I know that this will all pass and the happiness and joy will come flooding back…..It’s why we keep having children, despite all the negativity we face from strangers, some friends and even some family! God Bless parents everywhere whether they have 1 or 25 kids! It’s the most important job there is and by far the most rewarding!September 30, 2012 – 1:39 pmReplyCancel

  • Kailie - I’m only 15 and I know I want to be blessed with about 10 kidsMay 16, 2013 – 12:25 amReplyCancel

  • Randomly Fascinated - I am not catholic but I have been feeling God speak to me over the last several years asking me to trust him in this. I have to say, it terrifies me. I am afraid of so many things, of having “too many” children, of fitting them in our under 1000 sq ft house, of being pregnant again (currently pregnant with my second, and wishing for a couple years off), of getting pregnant again quickly after giving birth (with my first my period came back after only 6 mo even though I nursed him a full year), of my body breaking down and in some way not able to handle another pregnancy but getting pregnant again anyways, of experiencing miscarriages, of having enough money, those are all I have thought of so far, but the devil keeps bringing more up. I am really really trying to give it all to God. I know that he is intimately in control of everything, and that he is perfectly capable of dealing with each and every one of my fears and that each and every child he gives is will be a blessing. But I am still scared. I actually found your article because I was researching how many children catholic families have to reassure myself that not every one of them has 12 kids, that sometimes God chooses to bless people with smaller families (I hope that that is not offensive, it is me acting out of fear, not judgement). I have been coming to realize that pretty much any form of birth control (for me) is saying that I don’t trust God, that his plan is not best, that I know better, that he can’t take care of my needs, my children, or my body. Obviously I don’t want to say that, so I am working on trusting him. Sorry this is so long, I just needed to share it with someone and you seem to have a sympathetic ear 🙂July 1, 2013 – 12:35 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Thank you for your comment! I completely understand what it’s like to be scared to turn your fertility over to God (and for all the reasons you listed!). I just had my 11th child and am still scared some of the time! I can tell you that it has been the hardest but best decision I have ever made. The heartache that has come with all our losses has at times been devastating but the joy that has come from children who have made it to our arms has been equally amazing and overwhelming! The thought that God thinks we are the perfect ones to raise these children is just mind-boggling to me! I am so very thankful for His trust.

    Not all Catholic families have large families. In fact, most do not where I live. It’s very possible to be Catholic and have a small family 🙂 However,I wish there were more people who were open to having a large family! At times it’s very lonely knowing that others don’t have the same views I do on being open to life, they don’t understand how my life is and what it entails, and they often just can’t make that connection with us. Still, there are others who have helped us so that we can be open to God’s will and without them we would never be able to succeed the way we have.

    We also live in a small house… right now we have about 1500 sq ft for 13 people. Our house is originally 1250 sq ft but we finished our 1/2 basement and put 2 rooms down there. One doesn’t even have a window or closet but the girls who stay in there don’t mind 🙂 Space is what you make of it. You could have a huge house with lots of square feet but if it’s not set up right it won’t accommodate a large family either. I can promise you though that even with 1000 sq ft you can make it work!

    Don’t think about all the what ifs right now. When you are open to God’s will He provides for you. There will be setbacks and the devil will hate that you are following God and try to make a mess of everything for you, but in the end God always prevails. If you ever need a sympathetic ear, I have two of them 🙂July 1, 2013 – 5:29 pmReplyCancel

  • Another Mom - Hi Michelle,

    I only have 3 so far and even I get some of the inquiries you get with a much larger family. People are just amazed by others who seem to strike their own path and rebuff the secular “culture”. The “are you done?” question is rude and I get it too but I find others are often caught off guard by a response of joy, gratefulness and grace. It’s refreshing to even the secular-minded to be reminded that children are blessings and not burdens and there really is no such thing of “planning” your life or family. Things happen or cannot happen. All is grace. God bless and thank you for accepting more souls to fill the heavens:-)December 1, 2013 – 4:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle - Another Mom, thank you so much! It is so nice to come back to this article and still be getting positive, uplifting comments. I appreciate them so much and feel so blessed to be able to share our lives. I often look around and me just astounded at my blessings. They truly are a gifts from God!December 8, 2013 – 6:14 pmReplyCancel

  • Blessings to you : ) - Blessings to all of you. I wish we always trusted in GOD. We started out not trusting in God and after our 3rd gave up birth control to leave it in God’s hands. Of course, i continued to worry about how many children God would give me still. We then lost our fifth and sixth babies in second trimester due to genetic birth defects. Now, it is not my time I guess because I havn’t gotten pregnant in a while. Now i worry if Ill ever have another baby…go figure..not to mention the added worry if I did get pregnant again with a baby with a severe birth defect….soo many mixed feelings just trying to trust in Gods plan : ) I love reading about other big familes so thank you!March 31, 2014 – 10:33 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle Fritz - Thank you! I completely understand those worries, every single one of them. We have suffered much in being open to life but with that suffering has come unspeakable and unfathomable joy! Trusting in something outside of ourselves is so hard but so worth it. Prayers for your beautiful family as you live our your faith <3April 3, 2014 – 8:31 pmReplyCancel

  • Maria - Michelle,
    I just came across your article, in looking for support and encouragement. My oldest is 11 and I am pregnant with #7. I don’t know ANYBODY with this many so close together (though I’m sure they’re out there somewhere), and it is very lonely. I feel that we are doing God’s will, but I also feel so incompetent that I can’t understand why He keeps giving us more! I don’t want to screw up their lives! Because even our best never seems quite “good enough.” I guess I just never envisioned myself in this role and it’s hard to get on top of things, ever.
    At least the children are excited about the baby. Were you ever not excited? I wish I could be… Anyway, thank you for the great article. 🙂July 10, 2014 – 9:40 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle Fritz - Hi Maria, thank you so much for your comment and congratulations on #7! I think that every good mother has the same thoughts as you… am I screwing up their lives? Will I be able to love them all enough? Will I be able to give them each the attention they need and deserve? The fact that you are asking these questions tell me that you are a wonderful mom! Someone who is not wouldn’t worry about this at all.

    As for being excited, after my second child I was told that I would never have any more children. We grieved and then we decided to move forward with our life plans… I went back to school and we were looking to buy a house. Then I found out I was pregnant with #3. I cried and cried. It wasn’t that I didn’t want her but that we had moved on from that mindset of more kids and I was back in school to finish my teaching degree. But that day when I went to the mailbox I got an invitation to my sister’s baby shower and on the front of the card was a message that I knew God waited until just that day to give to me. It said, “All babies are a gift from God.” I knew that was right. When I told my husband he said, “It’s all going to be ok.” and it was. Later when I was pregnant with #4 (who was also a surprise, but who I was excited about!) and I told my in-laws about her they were so upset and called her an accident. I told them that no, she was a surprise. A surprise is a gift from God that we didn’t know we wanted or needed but that God truly knew we did.

    Things will be ok and it’s ok to be nervous or not excited yet. Once your sweet little one is here you will love him/her every bit as much as the others and you will wonder how you ever lived without this newest sweetie in your life. I will be keeping you in prayer. <3July 13, 2014 – 10:04 amReplyCancel

  • Anne - I needed a little uplifting so I typed in “Catholic large families” and your blog came up. My husband and I have 5 children: 6, 4, 2, 1 and 6 mos. We have 2 in Heaven and we just miscarried the second at the end of March and then we were going to wait at least a year. Last week I was feeling lightheaded and no energy so I went to the doc and he said I was pregnant. My husband and I were so surprised. Problem is, I have a close family member who was telling me recently that I should space my children 2 years and that to have them so closely causes miscarriages. She put my husband down as if he isn’t respectful. Now I am pregnant again! I am planning not to tell her until after baby is born in December. I have just been feeling so low all week. 🙁 I need to give it to Jesus and not let her opinion get to me. When I was pregnant with my 6 mo old she said we were propagating like rabbits. My husband reminds me that the devil attacks families so if anyone is feeling low like I am, we have to pray for each other so that we don’t let the devil win. God will get me through this; let’s please pray for each other everyday.April 25, 2016 – 2:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Michelle Fritz - Dear Anne,
    First of all, congratulations!! I am so excited for you that you have another life, chosen just for your family, on the way! What a tremendous blessing <3

    Second, your husband is right... the devil likes to attach those who are living their lives in accordance with God's will. While a large family is not for everyone, God obviously believes that it is right for you. Your family member could be speaking to you out of perceived love or concern, or she may be jealous or just rude. I have no idea but I do know that in the end, her opinion doesn't matter, God's does. However, that doesn't always take away the sting of harsh words.

    Since writing this article I have had another child. We were told not to after the birth of the baby in the picture above. I have written about it extensively here on Catholic Sistas. I didn't deliberately get pregnant but 5 months after Jake was born I found I was expecting again. I risked my life (and his) to keep the pregnancy. I lost some friends and family along the way who decided that I was irresponsible for choosing life. It was difficult to have people being so terrible to me when I was already facing so much. In the end, my decision was based on faith and my love of God and my family. Thankfully we received a miracle but even if we hadn't I would not choose a different path.

    Since Leo's birth in May 2013 we have lost several more babies. Most of our friends and family have no idea that this has happened. We have had friends tells us "don't go getting ideas about getting pregnant". They have no idea how much their words hurt. We try our hardest to not allow others to hurt our feelings but when you are talking about the people I love most in the world- my family- it does hurt. We just give it to God and know that He will see us through.

    We will be praying for you! I pray you have a healthy pregnancy and I pray your heart will know that this little one is the perfect soul to add to your family. (((HUGS)))April 25, 2016 – 2:51 pmReplyCancel

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