Julie Cole: The Baby Machine


5 Things Big Families Need

Items you never thought would make it on the "wish list"

There are some things that make living with many small people a heck of a lot easier. I’m pretty sure that every item I list as essentials are things I swore I’d never want at some point in time. Now, I wouldn’t be without them:

  1. A house in suburbia

Life is good when you can send your little people out into a nice, big, fenced-in backyard and know they can’t escape. Fill the yard with swings, a sandbox, and a water table, and we’re talking hours of outdoor fun on a daily basis. And when they tire of that, the kids can ride their bikes around the neighbourhood without much fuss. And really, it’s easier to find a house that big families can actually fit into when you live in the suburbs.

  1. A pool

I never, ever wanted a pool. They always just seemed like so much work and a huge safety risk. We got a pool by accident a few years ago. The only house listed that fit our criteria happened to have a pool. Now I would never be without it. It is a built-in entertainment system keeping my kids active and outside all summer long. It’s a beautiful thing.

  1. A big car

A mini-van is not my big car, it’s my “run about town” car. When it’s the whole crew, we pile into a giant gas guzzling hunk of ridiculousness. But, it can fit my whole family complete with all their sports equipment and other stuff. Trust me, it’s a lot of stuff. I’d be lost without that beast of a vehicle.

  1. A nanny

I can see if you’re at home with the kids you might not need a full-time nanny, but I can assure you, you need help.  A 6:1 parent to kid ratio is pretty tricky to manage. I finally got a nanny when my fifth child was born and my oldest was six years old. That represented the end of having to wake up sleeping babies to go do a school pick up. I should have had help sooner.

  1. A dog

That may sound crazy, and a few years ago I would have agreed. But my kids are getting older now and since getting the dog a year ago, I wouldn’t be without him. They bond over this dog by sharing funny stories and teaching him tricks, and they walk him constantly, which is a win-win because it tires everyone out. The kiddos have shown an incredible amount of responsibility taking care of him.

Yep, I look at this list and I can guarantee that at some point in my life I swore up and down I wouldn’t want any of them. I suppose at some point “six kids” was not on the list either, but I wouldn’t be without a single one of those either.

Was there something you never thought you’d wish for, but having kids changed that?

If you liked this, you might also like: "What Not To Expect When You Have A Big Family," and "Parenting Wins...That My Kids May Disagree With."