My Family is a Real-Life Brady Bunch and I Love it!

Often times when I tell others that I have seven younger siblings, I get surprised responses like, “How do you deal with that?”, “I feel bad for you,” or “Your house must be so crazy.” While it can get a little hectic at home, I would never want any sympathy from anyone because of it; having seven siblings was the best gift God has ever given to me.

Before you ask, yes, we do all come from the same two parents. I am the oldest child at age twenty, while my youngest brother is two years old. There are six girls and two boys, just like a real-life Brady Bunch. 

Being a member of a big family has enlightened me with valuable lessons that I may not have learned otherwise. I grasped the value of love and the importance of family at a young age. My siblings and I were the last ones in school to have iPhones, we did not own any name-brand clothing (unless they were hand-me-downs!) and we have never experienced exotic vacations. Sometimes growing up, I questioned why my friends all had the newest Wii game or why they had twice the amount of Webkinz that I did. I constantly wanted to have play dates at my friends’ homes as opposed to mine because of how much more they had. 

Oldest four sisters on a hike this summer.

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It took a little bit of growing up and maturing to conclude that I was always the one who had more. There was no price on the unconditional amount of love that I was blessed to come home to everyday or the indeterminable laughs I have shared with my brothers and sisters. There is nothing quite like a Christmas morning with eight excited kids running down the stairs, or a family dinner outing where the restaurant has to pull together three separate tables to fit all ten of us. My fondest memories in life are the simple times such as playing UNO or Otrio on a family game night, bringing all seven of them to McDonald’s because it was what we were craving, or taking up a whole pew in mass on a Sunday morning. There is no monetary value on the seven built-in best friends that I have. 

Being the oldest of such a large family has held me accountable of trying to be the best role model possible. While I am far from being the perfect role model, knowing that I have seven people looking up to me has pushed me to set an example of what a strong work ethic looks like, whether it be academically, athletically or in the work field. My siblings have made me want to be a better person so that I can reciprocate the joy they have given to me. 

The youngest sibling, Teddy!

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Sure, we will never be rich, because feeding eight mouths and sending eight kids through college is expensive - but the biggest downfall of having seven siblings is how much I miss them every time I have to go back to school. I commend my mother for being able to give birth to eight kids, and for having the patience to raise us all. I do not think I would ever be able to do that, but I do hope I can also have a big family, so that I can give to my kids what she has given to me - a life full of love, happiness and support.