Sunday, July 29, 2012


... ...in which I explain why my siblings and I have decided to have big families.

So, the other day, a sibling called to say they were expecting. With my little sister’s twins expected in December, this brings my parent’s grand total up to 21…can you even believe that. It was exciting, surprising and all around wonderful. And then it happened. Someone we were sitting with said, ‘What are you guys trying to do? Compete against each other to see who can have the most babies’. She didn’t say it kindly, she said it with a tone of judgment and anger. It got me thinking for several reasons. One, of course, is how rude people are to big families. It is AMAZING. Second, she clearly doesn’t get it. So, I decided to explain why my siblings and I are open to life (from my perspective)…. I am going to take this opportunity to explain to readers, my children, etc…why we keep havin’ babies. Because really, it is probably much simpler than you think. There are four reasons.

We have a KICK !@# mom 

A lot of people of my parent’s and grandparent’s generations were born into big families. They have bad memories of that reality. They saw a mom that was tired, but kept going, kept having babies because she felt she had to. We didn’t see that. My mom never did one. single.thing for herself (except maybe shopping the ‘sales’). Popular wisdom would say ‘how sad’. She woudn’t say that. She was a stay at home mom who was complete content to raise her children. She was joyful 90 % of the time (who can be that 100%), she planned awesome trips for us, she cooked dinner and packed our lunches every day. She never once complained about missing out on something. For her, us kids were everything. We brought her completion and pride. We knew that. We never felt, growing up, that our mom was sacrificing for us to the detriment of herself- she loved us, she loved her life, that was all we knew. Because of my kick bootie mom, we didn’t think parenting was hard (she tricked us, it is hard). Because of my kick bootie mom, most of us couldn’t wait to be moms/have children/etc…
Because of my kick bootie mom, we all WANT to have a big families.

We have a kick #$% dad 

Our dad worked hard every day at a job he didn’t really dig. It was a good job that gave him enough money to keep my mom at home and to provide for us. My dad never went out with friends after work, he always said he would rather be home with us. My dad NEVER brought work home, he might have pulled in crazy hours, but work was work and home was home. My dad called EVERY DAY at lunch time to check in with our family. When one of us would answer, we’d say ‘how’s work?’ and he’d always say, ‘miserable’. Work was NOT my father’s God. It was a means to an end to have his family. My dad passed on many, many promotions because he wouldn’t move his family, he wouldn’t work crazier hours, he had priorities squared away. My dad made it VERY clear that my mom and us were the most important things in the world. We didn’t have the biggest house, we didn’t have cars bought for us, we didn’t get college paid for, but we had our FATHER- PRESENT, EVERY.DAY.OF.OUR.LIVES. Because of a kick bootie father, we weren’t afraid to suggest to our spouses that we be open to life. Because of our kick bootie father, we value the time that we have with just our immediate family units.
Because of our kick bootie dad, we all WANT to have big families.

We have a kick @#$ family
Growing up, I always thought my older brother was the coolest. In retrospect, he was the captain of the tennis team, so how cool could he have been (sorry Regis)? I loved having an older sister who defended me against Shelly Compton with her friend Puja when I was in 10th grade. We fought, but I LOVED her. I loved having a younger brother and sister who I could form a ‘band’ with. Using our casio keyboard, we wrote the Mega hit, ‘Do You Remember When’- and ‘1 + 1 don’t equal 3’…songs still sung occasionally that CRACK my husband up. I LOVED having a little sister. The baby I used to take shopping as a toddler. I got to live out the ‘Teen Mom’ fantasy when people asked me if she was mine.  Our family kicked bootie. Not many of our peers question why we are all procreating with wild abandon. I think, with a bit of pride, a lot of them know how kick bootie our family was. Because of our kick bootie family, we are fans of the big family. Because of our kick bootie family, we want to give our kids the gift of multiple siblings.
Because of our kick bootie family, we all WANT to have big families.

We dig the Catholic Church’s Teaching on life
We were raised to think the Church is an avenue that brings fulfillment, life and joy. We never thought of the Church as an oppressive, women hating organization. We have pride in our faith and have sought to understand why the Church says what She says. We really truly dig the challenge of working with God to determine our family size. It is because we dig the Church’s teachings on life, that each of us, very early on in dating our partners, explained that openness to life will be a must in our marriages. Thankfully, they all decided to go on this crazy journey with us.


That being said, being open to life and having big families is HARD work. Because of a kick @#$ mother, a kick @#$ father, a kick @#$ family and a really cool Church, I don’t think any of us realized how hard it would be. Yesterday, we took the boys to Walmart, it took a LONG time to get ready to go, it was stressful to be in the store, both boys cried at different times. After having to nurse and change the baby in the car (while being afraid I was going to be clubbed from behind so that someone could steal my baby…I watch too much tv), I turned to the husband and said, ‘man, this two babies thing is HARD.WORK. huh?’. He agreed and we laughed.
It has been hard for some of my siblings when their openness to life has brought them a bundle o’ joy they weren’t quite ready or prepared for. It is hard now that we have 2 under 2 and a bit nervous about the risk that a 3rd would bring us if he/she comes too soon and we have another back-to-back c-section. It is hard, but I think I can speak for all my siblings when I say, it is worth it.

We can’t wait to watch our babies grow up. We have so much pride in the fact that family pictures cannot keep up with the amount of babies that keep coming  So, my friends, we aren’t in a ‘competition’ with one another. We aren’t crazy. We aren’t brainwashed by a nasty, mean, institutional church. Rather, we just had a really great mom, dad and family…and we want to duplicate that reality in our adult lives.

Whew, I am glad I got that off my chest! Happy Sunday


  1. The words are right out of my mouth. So well stated i shared. Great job sister. Every reason is the reason i have for having a big family. Makes me want to have 14 more. It is worth it...every zany second, every sleepness night, every load of laundry, every hour worked....WORTH IT!!!!!

  2. Love this!

    And a fantastic tribute to your parents.

    blessings (and congratulations for all the new babies)

    and can I say I LOVE the new header picture - definitely frame-worthy

    1. Ha! We just bought the frames yesterday :)

  3. This kick bootie dad is pretty proud and happy right now. He knows he has a kick bootie wife and some kick bootie kids!!!!!!!

  4. Well spoken dearest niece! The entire family shares in your joy! Whorah! Go Buckleys!

  5. Back on the blog scene and your post brought tears to my eyes. I always yearned for siblings and a present father too would have been great, so I have the opposite inspiration to give my kids all that I never had...a big, bigger family. Family is so, so, so important. I can't tell you how sad it was to deliver meals for Meals on Wheels and see these lonely old people with no family. You are right in that it is hard but worth every second because "the creation of beauty reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator." We are participating with the Creator and the grace that flows from that is something those opting out of will never experience. God Bless Mary! See ya in a few!

  6. Oops that should have said, "the beauty of creation reflects the infinite beauty of the Creator." More coffee please...