Transitioning from a family of seven, where there is always noise or someone at home, where you have to eat dinner quickly if you want seconds, fighting over the tv remote or racing to avoid being stuck in the middle seat of the car, to a small family of two is a HUGE change.
The biggest change for me was how quiet my house seems now that it was just my husband and I; once we brought our pup home the sound level picked up a tiny bit. When Elton is at work, the only noise in the house is when I have the tv playing in the background while I’m getting some work done and it can get lonely after a bit.
I am the oldest of five children so I felt like I needed to grow up faster than other people my age. I would be in charge when my parents were gone and learned how to cook dinners for seven people, do laundry, and make sure the house was always tidied up. But it taught me responsibility which I greatly appreciate and also gave me more time to bond with my younger siblings.
When you’re a kid living at home, you automatically expect there to be food stocked in the pantry, the thought of someone having to actually go grocery shopping doesn’t usually cross your mind. It’s very different when you have your own house as an adult and must remember to go the store to buy groceries for the week: food doesn’t magically appear, people!
My family ate dinner together every night and that was our time to discuss how our days went. I never quite realized how much those talks meant to me, something about hearing my parents vent about work or listening to my siblings tell their school stories made me feel closer to them. Don’t get me wrong, my husband and I discuss our days at dinner as well but our stories can seem repetitive since we both have our own routines we stick to. Cooking for two was one of the biggest challenges for me because I have been so used to cooking meals large enough to feed seven people. When I first started cooking for my husband, we had leftovers every night and it would make us laugh. I didn’t realize this would even be an issue so it was a shock to me. Due to this, it’s safe to say that cookbooks and the Tasty app are now two of my favorite things haha.
When you grow up in a large family, there are so many traditions you have built over the years so holidays and birthdays seem longer than when it’s just thetwo of us. We both can’t wait to have our own bigger family so we can build our own traditions as well. For example, Christmas morning at my house would consist of all the kids waking up early and going downstairs to go through the stockings and “Santa” gifts, then we would sit in a circle and each take turns opening presents from each other. After this we would always have our Christmas breakfast and then spend the rest of the day with each other and our new gifts. Christmas morning with just my husband and I consisted of the same schedule except now, as adults, the excitement to wake up early wasn’t all there. We slept in late, opened our stockings and presents (Koda got his own stocking too which was so cute), then we cooked up an adorable breakfast and spent the rest of the day watching Christmas vacation and cuddling on the couch. It was a similar routine to my large family routines but I really missed the excitement and craziness of having so many people in the house.
The most obvious difference of leaving a large family to start your own married life is the amount of bills you are responsible for paying, insurance, phone, Internet, electricity, and even rent/mortgage payments. This adds up but one thing my dad taught us kids about was how to manage our money, so I have taken those lessons and applied them to my life now (big thank you to the pops). Luckily, my husband and I have great communication skills when it comes to managing money and other adult responsibilities so no problems there!
Another huge difference of going from a large family to newlywed life is that I now have the freedom to come and go as I please. Living at home, my parents always went by the “my house, my rules” motto so curfews were enforced so I always had to keep an eye on the clock when I was out with friends. Now if I wanted to leave my house, I can just jump in the car and go; there’s no need to check-in with anyone or ask permission.
I always knew that I would miss my siblings and parents when I left but there are days when the ache just hurts so badly. Luckily for me, I live close to my brothers and the state where I grew up with all my friends but I still can’t wait for the day that my whole family is together again. Thank goodness for social media, Internet and FaceTime. If you have a large family, enjoy every second you spend with them because it is a huge difference leaving them and you never know how much you’ll miss them until you’re gone.
Until next time…