Why Did You Have So Many Kids?



my oldest daughter is ducking behind her dad and I am pregnant with our ninth child

The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people.

When the words The Joy Of Mothering popped into my head as a title for my short stories it was like an epiphany for me because those few words verbalized my experience living with little people. The very existence of a joyful mother of nine children seems to confound people. However, it has been far from easy, rather it has been a long journey through confusion, guilt and public condemnation to reach the point where I can now shout loudly,

“This is my call, this is my vocation, this is my witness to the world.”

After the birth of our fourth child, Michael and I struggled to understand exactly how we were meant to live our lives. We were discussing an article by an author whose main premise was that letting go of control and trusting in God was not some abstract principle but a day-to-day practical call that included the surrender of our fertility. Of course we practised natural family planning but I was one of those rare people who could conceive long before ovulation.

As my doctor said once, “Ah, I remember reading about a woman in New Zealand, two years ago, who conceived five days before ovulation.”

I raised my hand and chirped, “Well, you can add me to that list!”

Although we could not imagine how large our family would become, the words of that article resonated within both my husband and I. Guilt lifted off us and a surge of excitement, a sense of purpose welled up from within. Although it took time to really believe that none of our children were simply a failure of the natural family planning method. Many small experiences kept reinforcing the truth the for us that God called each of our children into being with our co-operation. We’d stumbled blindly at times and then a burst of clarity would shine light on our purpose.

For example, twenty-five years ago, I once again slipped into panic mode, worrying if I was pregnant with my fifth child. Suddenly a wave of peace enveloped me and my whole body relaxed.

I heard these words within me,

“This is your call. This is your vocation. This is your witness to the world.”

All sorts of objections rushed into my head,

” What on earth do you mean a witness, a witness to what?- stupidityy? People don’t understand. They just think we are irresponsible or idiots……”

Then unexpected joy bubbled within me and I sensed these words in my spirit, “I am with you.”

Once again a blanket of peace wrapped like a blanket around me. It was an actual physical sensation and I was at peace, my mind calm and my spirit felt strong.

That was it for me; I understood and I said “yes”.

Though I still cringed under disapproval from society, I always understood that my children were saving me by compelling me to dive deeper into my spirit. They challenged me to dig deeper, discovering the power of eternal Love at my very core. A love that can stand strong against all opposition.

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17 Comments on “Why Did You Have So Many Kids?”

  1. Elaine Plummer

    February 10, 2013


    Wonderful family for a reason!

  2. Helena Fortissima

    February 10, 2013


    I enjoyed growing up in my big Catholic family. Wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

  3. melanie jean juneau

    February 10, 2013


    that is encouraging as I look at my kids

  4. on thehomefrontandbeyond

    February 10, 2013


    I love the idea of a large family – I had two sons who were born prematurely — they are healthy as horses and in their twenties now, but I had no way of knowing that when we decided to stop at two – forget what the outside world says – though it already sounds like you do – your inner compass is guiding you

  5. Kassey

    February 10, 2013


    :) !! love the witness to the beauty in a large family

  6. determined34

    February 11, 2013


    Love your blog I have nominated you for a Very Inspiring Blogger Award :) D 34 Check out this link to know morehttp://wp.me/p2X7Ju-CE

  7. nothingprofound

    February 11, 2013


    My sister-in-law came from a family of 15. I was instantly adopted into the brood. it was so much fun having all those new aunts, uncles, and cousins. Good times. “All that matters is that you live the life that is right for you.”

    • melanie jean juneau

      February 11, 2013


      ahh, thank-you so much….it is an odd life but you are correct, “All that matters is that you live the life that is right for you.”

  8. lexiesnana

    February 11, 2013


    My dad came from a family of thirteen kids,my mom only two.Guess which family we liked to be with the most growing up?My cousins were like brothers and sisters to me.

    • melanie jean juneau

      February 11, 2013


      my husband comes from 10 and I have one sister- guess where we liked to go?? Out to michael’s parents’ farm. Actually who else would even think of inviting a huge family to dinner?

  9. Angie Alaniz

    February 11, 2013


    I think you have a lovely and very blessed family and it shows.

4 thoughts on “Why Did You Have So Many Kids?

  1. Like birth control methods are fool proof – I have one kid (six total) for every kind of birth control known to man at the time…except abstinence! I like your mindset on it best, though; that of putting it into the Lord’s hands. Grace and peace to your and yours.

    May the Lord bless the fruit of your labor here on the web as well. 🙂


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