Building a Legacy by Elisha Grudzinski

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The following is a guest post by Elisha.  (See bio at the bottom).


“Wow, you must have your hands full!"
“Don’t you already have 4 kids?”
“How on earth will you pay for all their post secondary education?”                         
 “They only get more expensive you know!”                                          
“It gets way harder as they grow up...”                                            
“Will you be able to give them enough time/love?”

Sounds pretty discouraging eh?  These are all statements I’ve heard from many people over the years when expressing my desire for a large family. Now that we are pregnant with baby number 5, statements I hear all too often.

I come from a family of 5 kids. We were raised in a very loving, Christ-centered home with very committed parents. Never do I remember feeling like there were “too many” of us, or that we didn’t have the things that we needed. Therefore, leaning on my own personal experience, I find these statements to be somewhat hurtful and non-factual.

But who decides how many is too many? Is there a “right” number of children to have?  Since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted to be a mommy. My children bring me the utmost joy and my husband and I have committed to; no matter what; stay committed to and connected with our children.  We raise them in a God fearing home, with good morals and values. Our home is a “safe place”, where you will always be loved and accepted no matter what. Because of this, our children are (for the most part) respectful, loving, caring thoughtful and responsible kids who love the Lord and each other whole-heartedly. 


All this to say, who does get to decide? I feel the number of children you have is a personal decision between husband, wife and God. As parents, we get to decide what we think we can handle, and then God decides what we really CAN handle. I also think this decision will be different for everyone based on the experiences in their own lives.  An only child for example might want lots of kids as they felt lonely growing up, or they could decide that one was perfect and go for that, and vice versa. Some people are born with a desire for many children and because of circumstances out of their control are not able to do so, whereas, sometimes, you could only want one or two and end up with many due to multiples and “surprise” pregnancies…sometimes even more than they feel they can handle.

In this case, these types of negative comments can be very hurtful and make a person feel unequipped. I think as parents, brothers, sisters and friends, we need to encourage parents constantly for the great task they have taken on.  Parenthood is tough stuff, and once the children are here, why not just be positive, and if you think someone is ill-equipped, don’t be rude or hurtful, roll up your sleeves,  and dig in.  It takes a village to raise a child and you can help!


Here are my responses to those often heard comments:


"Wow, you must have your hands full!”         
                       
Yes! My hands are full… full of Love!

“Don’t you already have 4 kids?”                                      
I do! Do you really ONLY have (insert number of children) kids? *snicker*                                                                     
“How on earth will you pay for all their post secondary education?”                            
 I have no idea where our life will be in 20 years or if all of my children will choose to attend post secondary education, and I don’t feel that is a factor in our decision.   

 “They only get more expensive you know!”                                       
Yes and no. We are committed to living counter-culturally and teach our kids that “stuff” is not what is important and we don’t play into society’s “you need all this stuff to be happy” theory. We live frugally and plan to continue to do so. If our kids really want something as they get older, they can get a job and contribute themselves.                                 

 “It gets way harder as they grow up”                                            
We feel as long as we stay committed and remain an integral part of their lives, it doesn’t get harder, just different, and we plan on walking the walk with them the whole way into adulthood.             

“Will you be able to give them enough time/love?”                                 
It is unbelievable how much time you can find when you get rid of the distractions (tv, computers, etc)! Our kids have very little “screen time” and therefore in the few hours between coming home from school (4:20) and bed time (7:30) we play games, read books, do crafts, play outside, bake and we even manage to eat and bathe! And the latter is a no-brainer; anyone who has ever had a child knows that your love just grows. No matter how many children you have there is always love left to give. Your capacity to love will always increase with each child.




I feel our children have experiences coming from a large family that others may not get to experience. They have an increased ability to learn life skills such as sharing and helping. They are also part of something “bigger”; a family unit that they are required to contribute to. They also get to see that we put our values in people not stuff by living out the daily 'yes' to each other and some 'no's to the extras.

The opportunity I have to help shape and mold these people into the great beings they are and will become is enough for me.  Nothing could make me happier. So no, we don’t have “too many” kids.  Promise.

So please, let's try to offer love and grace, and be encouraging to everyone. You never know the path that person has had to walk, and the things they are dealing with. Don’t judge others based on what you think is the “right choice” because every family is different, and I feel we are creating honest loyal people who will contribute to society in a positive way, and in our day and age, I think we can use a lot of that!  No matter what people say, stand true to your desire to focus of what’s important in life. Our goal is not to build a bank account, we are building a legacy!




In love,
Elisha Grudzinski


Elisha is a 28 year old stay at home mom. Married to Will, they are parents to Michael (9), Elizabeth (7),  Leah (5), and Luke (20 months) and are blessed to be expecting their 5th child this summer. Elisha is passionate about motherhood and encouraging other moms to reach their full potential. The family has recently moved to Norfolk County for more of a country life style. In her tid-bits of spare time, Elisha likes to read, do puzzles and take long baths.



Linked in:

TheBetterMom.com

3 comments:

  1. Hi to your guest poster today. Elisha, I can relate to you very well. We have seven children, mostly grown. Sometimes it was very easy to raise them, sometimes it was hard. Some took the easy path to adulthood, keeping their eyes firmly fixed, some struggled. But I noticed something. My friends with 2 children experienced similar things....and their children often struggled harder because they did not have the calming influence and guidance of siblings. I grew a thick skin when well meaning folk expressed awe (with a side dish of disgust or indignance) over our large family. Nowadays we are just two parents raising two teenage boys. People say, "these are your boys? You must have started your family late in life." (with a side dish of "what were you thinking?")We love that God blessed us with each unique kid we have. And in my 50s, if I could be an empty nester, I'm sure I would hate it. For me, this is just what I need. God knew.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awsome...well put sister! as as i am your sister i can agree compleetly growing up in a big family as long as there love is a wonderful gift. i felt blessed to expirence being the youngest of 5.

    The only thing i would say is a strach here is the long baths. Yes they are somthing you enjoy but i remember the long baths you took as a child and with all the amazing peopele growing up in your home they seem to get shorter ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wonderful words ... children are a blessing from the Lord ... I'd rather fill my life with blessings than with worldly status quos or earthly accomplishments.
    And congratulations on your new baby to come! :) Five is FUN!

    ReplyDelete

I cherish your comments:

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground