The Glasgow Courier - Serving Proudly As The Voice Of Valley County Since 1913

By A.J. Etherington
Valley County Voices 

The Best Part of Raising a Huge, Tremendous Family


Not that I mind, the shocked faces, or even looks of pure horror, I get when I inform people that I am a father of four awesomely well adjusted and outstanding children, and oh by the way my wife is also expecting our fifth. I usually kind of chuckle saying, ‘while I’m a good little Catholic boy,’ under my breath, while they regain their composure and try to hold back the questions obviously racing through their minds. Sometimes though I am attacked on some principal stemming back to when they were children in a family of six or seven, and unfortunately their parents failed them. Other times we get juvenile comments about the cause of pregnancy while we laugh awkwardly trying not to offend someone. In those cases I smile shrug and say, ‘while we get along just fine,’ and the best part is we do.

I tell most people that once you have two kids, three kids is easier and it actually gets easier the higher you go in my opinion. Granted my insurance pays every cent of having a child, and we are smart enough with our money and saving that we still have all the baby necessities, so that helps. But with money aside the only other issues are time and patience, of which my wife and I find ourselves practicing daily. We take the time to talk to each child, even the ones that don’t talk back, we acknowledge their emotions and help them overcome them, and we make time for each child as often as possible, getting them into sports, art camps, skating, swim lessons, Boy Scouts and 4H. It isn’t easy by any means but it sure is worth it.

On the other side, we also force the children, to an extent, to play together, to solve conflicts together, and to construct their time together. It is kind of fun to watch a twelve-year-old learning the superhero names from a three year old, or watching a one-year-old pick out a movie with an eight year old, but it does teach them patience and love for sure. The other thing it does is create friendships for life, and I cannot wait to see my kids working together as adults like they do as kids.

The best part of it all is that our children are better people, granted with many natural flaws, but for the most part they are more empathetic, less selfish, more independent, more compassionate to their siblings, more understanding of their parents, they value their family, they enjoy having fun alone and as a group, and they know what hard work looks like. Those are the best parts for me, but I am certain my wife and our kids would tell you something completely different and that is also the best part of raising a huge, tremendous family.


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