Top 10 things I’ve learned from a big family
BY MEGHAN MALONEY ON DECEMBER 18, 2014
I am the third of five children, with three brothers and a sister. This is completely normal for an Irish Catholic family like my own, but we usually get pretty strange looks around here.
My parents are used to hearing comments in the grocery store like, “Are all of them yours?” and “Wow, you sure have your hands full!” While any public outing is chaotic and probably embarrassing for my parents, I could not imagine what life would be like without my siblings.
My big family is part of my identity and has shaped the person I am. I have learned how to have patience, how to deal with chaos, and how to find humor in every situation. Here is a BuzzFeed-style list of 10 good and bad things that my family has learned over the years. And to my friends with big families: I’m sure y’all can relate.
1. “There’s the quick and the hungry.” This is a daily saying in my house. Slept late on Sunday morning or came late to dinner? Sorry, we ate it all. Fend for yourself.
2. There’s no such thing as “having your own room.” All of us have shared a bedroom and/or bathroom since birth. At least we’re prepared for college roommates, right?
3. What’s mine is ours. If you want to claim something, you better hide it; “calling” it means absolutely nothing. From socks to the Double-Stuf Oreos to shotgun in the car, anything’s fair game around here.
4. Vacations are not relaxing. Getting seven people through airport security is no simple task, but as we always say, it’s not a good vacation unless you come back more tired than when you left.
5. There was always someone to play with. From backyard soccer games to having enough people for a basketball team, we grew up with automatic friends. And who else could I have forced to be my students when I wanted to play school?
6. Your reputation precedes you, for good or for bad. I am always known as “Danielle and Patrick’s sister” and yes, you will be getting more Moloneys after I leave.
7. You don’t always get what you want. In fact, you rarely get what you want when there are six other people in the picture.
8. You will never be alone. Even when you want to be.
9. You’ll learn patience whether you want to or not. For example, we watch each other open Santa presents one at a time on Christmas morning. It’s like a two-hour process.
10. Siblings are forever. Forever bothering me and forever best friends, and life would be quite dull without them. I guess y’all are okay, ya losers.