The Benefits of my large Family

Me and my Mum, Our Babies
When it comes to raising children some  people say it takes a village, some say it comes with experience.  I'm pretty fortunate as thanks to my large extended family,  when my son was born I had both. The last year has been pretty incredible for our family- there's four women in my family who have had babies in the space of the year. 
Being a new mum is hard, you suddenly feel like your friends without kids don't understand you. But after the birth of my son I automatically had a tribe who understood me. I'm pretty sure having our children together has bound us closer together and for me personally has been a huge buffer against PND.

Here's 5 (of the many reasons) I love being part of a big family

1. I have back up- All the time. 
My  Sister, My Mum, Our babies
When my milk came in on day 3 and froggy (who was tongue tied) wouldn't latch, it was my mum I turned to for help. As her baby ( my younger sister) was only 10 months old and still nursing, she was great support, as was my sister, who came to stay one weekend when my husband had to work.

2. I know my son will benefit from it socially
Studies have shown that children who have large families have less behavioral problems, adjust better at school and have better empathy skills. Kids from large families are also less likely to get divorced .

3.It makes me a better parent
My family are the ones I go to for advice. Sometimes I try and support them too. We share links to interesting articles on parenting babies or breastfeeding on facebook. We take care of each other when we're stressed out. We push each other to go out, do messy play  and most importantly have fun with our kids.

4. There's always someone else's house to  trash
Very important on days you've only had four hours sleep and you can't face cleaning up. There's always plenty of toys, nappies and clothes on hand when you need them!

5. A child can never have to much love
My Tribe R-L My brother, my husband, me, my son, my mum, my youngest sister (15 months), my eldest brother, my niece and my eldest sister 
Jean Leidloff talks about it the need for constant infant interaction and support by a community in the Continuum Concept  and Hilary Clinton famously paraded the phrase It takes a village to raise a child.
There's a lot of evidence that points to a more of communal collaborative to child rearing creates a positive force in a childs life. I feel really blessed that my boy has so many involved in his world that truly love him to bits.

Some great ideas on how to bridge the gap between your kids and their extended family



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