The Real Truth of Having a Big Family

Written by Selena Thor



What’s it like having a big family? With three sisters and two brothers? And being the second oldest in the family? It’s happiness and laughter filled with screaming fights and endless teasing. To get even more specific, there are distinct pros and cons that I find line up very closely with my family.


Pro #1 - You Will Always Have Someone to Turn to

If one sister doesn’t agree with you, you move onto the next two in hopes that you’ll find agreement. It’s almost as if there’s an endless list of siblings you can go to if you’re in need of help (literally)!


Con #1 - What Is Peace and Quiet?

I haven’t taken a nap in my house - ever - and that’s a fact. Why? Because there’s constant stomping and yelling and screaming and noise EVERYWHERE. My youngest sibling is nine years apart from me, which means he’s still in the very early stage of childhood adolescence as I write this. Kids want attention and are loud and playful during every second of the day. What does that mean to me? I had to learn how to tolerate it. I also had to learn how to find creative spots and times to take a nap.


Pro #2 - Their Closet Is My Closet

What do I pack when I go home to visit? NOTHING. Because having three sisters means having three different wardrobes to choose from. Honestly, I wouldn’t know where to shop or how to style my outfits without them. Wearing their clothes is like test driving a piece of clothing article. Do I like how this cardigan looks on me? Yes I do! Does it mean I have to go buy it? Nope, because it’ll always be there for me to wear it (occasionally).


Con #2 - Sometimes, Sharing is NOT Caring

With a big family, I was always accustomed to sharing (hence sharing wardrobes). That also meant I never got my own room until I was 16 and that I had to share a single bathroom with three sisters and two brothers - which still happens when I go home to visit. Although it isn’t ideal, you learn how to get comfy in that tiny space.


Pro #3 - Each Family Member Brings a Different Perspective

Although we’re fairly similar (duh - we all grew up in the same household), it’s fun to see our different personalities come together and see how they complement each other. I’m a planner, so I’m always organizing these fun adventures we can go on. Two of my sisters are photographers so we’ll have pictures and videos to remember that moment. My youngest brother is the jokester: you can always count on him to say the weirdest and funniest things. My other brother is the daredevil: he isn’t afraid to take risks. And my oldest sister? She’s the leader. Do not argue with her because you will not get your way; that’s the perk of being the oldest.


Con #3 - One Second, There’s Food. The Next, It’s Gone

Feeding six kids is a lot. We would finish a box of cereal - family sized - within two days. One trick that I learned when I was younger: Eat fast! If you didn’t eat fast, you couldn’t eat seconds. Yeah, sharing is caring, but sometimes, food is more important.


Although having a big family is like an unpredictable roller coaster ride, it’s a ride I wouldn’t want to get off of. Getting to share your journey with your siblings is a priceless experience. Not only will they always be there for you, but they will support and love you unconditionally. They’re my personal cheerleaders who encourage me everyday. 250 miles is a long ways away, but a phone call is all that I need to close that gap.


Going to a restaurant in Minneapolis is never the same as going to a restaurant back home in Green Bay, Wisconsin. I catch myself saying “A table for seven, please” when really, I just need a table for two. It’s a daunting realization I have every single time, to realize that the space between me and my family is a little over 250 miles away.