It’s true – science says so.
It was chaos. It was mental. It was heaven.
Mum was one of six, so our extended family was about 34 cousins at last count.
We had no money but it never really mattered. Home-made parachute tracksuit pants hung next to home-made happy pants that were handed down from our cousins. The pantry was strictly Black and Gold, holidays were had in the backyard and on special occasions we’d split one bottle of Woodies Lemonade and dive into yet another boiled chocolate cake.
It was the best of times and the best of times.
We were never bored. We taught each other how to play games and ride bikes, we snuggled into cubbies during storms, our backyard basketball and cricket games were always evenly split: 2 on 2.
As a child, my big family was joyful and funny and amazing. As an adult, it’s even more so. Having siblings as an adult is like having the best, best friends in the world who will do anything for you and you for them.
But today, when I read about a five-year study that concluded big families are the happiest, it made me really sad.
Because for me, it was so true. But at this stage in my life, having a big family is also a dwindling option.
The study interviewed hundreds of parents from a range of family setups and found that parents with four or more children were the most satisfied with their lot. They enjoyed – rather than felt overwhelmed by – the chaos of a big family. The disadvantages, such as the expense and time pressures, were balanced out by the joy their children gave them.