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Large Families and College

Several weeks ago when I was shopping at Costco with my four little ones, a gentleman ran (yes, he ran) to me to ask if all the kids were mine.  After confirming it, he saw my tummy jetting out and with surprise he said, “Wow. . . and you have another one on the way.”  His inquiry didn’t bother me a bit since I’m already used to being asked that question.  But an older lady nearby looked at me with almost an accusing tone for having so many kids.  She told me that her niece is a doctor and is barely supporting her two kids through college.  Which was clearly her not-so-tactful way of saying that I obviously couldn’t possibly rake in enough money to support my FIVE kids through college.  According to her worldview, having so many children and presumably not having the means to pay their way through college is the essence of irresponsible unthinking folly.  In other words, family size should be planned based on the economics of future college education.

How did we get to this point as a culture?  What a sad state, when potential children are primarily viewed as entries in the expense/cost column, rather than blessings given by a God with an unlimited pocketbook!  And when people have so bought into this mentality that they harshly address a stranger who has more than they think is a “responsible” number of children.

As I began to compose this post, my husband asked me, “Are you sure you haven’t written about this topic already?”  I’m going to blame my pregnancy brain for the time being because my husband is indeed right: I already wrote about this topic two years ago when we were expecting child #4.  I find it funny that once again, the college question for large families is such a huge concern for most people.  Instead of rewriting my thoughts on this topic, I’ll just point you to TWO posts I have already written.  My viewpoint on this topic hasn’t changed and I stand by my previously written posts.

“What About College?”

“What About College?” Part 2

Whenever I get asked the college question, it’s usually during a shopping trip which does not lend itself to a thorough answer like a blog post.  So, I asked my husband for a quick and easy answer to offer to folks just so I don’t appear totally clueless.  He told me to say, “Through savvy financial planning and a simple faith in God.”  I thought that was an excellent answer.  That’s what I’m going to say next time someone asks me.

Posted in Children.

5 Responses

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  1. from_rebecca_j says

    Fantastic post Lois!


  2. Ann says

    Lois – Even though we “only” have two so far, I’ve run into this same thinking too. I wrote about it here –!5AF5E82455F39BCC!295.entry

  3. Becky Schell says

    Good comeback, Evers! I always want to say to people who take that tone with larger families, “Which one would you put back?”

    Though the Lord did not bless us with a bunch of kids (He did bless us with two beautiful children ..ummm…adults now), I have many friends who have full quivers and I love the dynamics of a big family. Many of them home school as well and as the kids come of age, they are bright, industrious and do attend college.

    From what I have read about your children (been watching them grow since last year’s Shepherd’s Conference), I expect they will do very well indeed.

  4. Violin Mom says

    I nominated you for a blog award. Come see my post about it at .

  5. Jimmie says

    Interesting that the SAME reasons are given here for why having only one child is best — education costs. Of course, here the costs begin at the very earliest steps because there is no free education.

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