The post below on the Prado family sparked many emails, and discussions in my own home, about what it takes to be like them. While we don't know what they're really like with the cameras off, all evidence points to their holiness, and their happiness.
As the father of four very young children, many people see photos of my family in social media, or see us for an hour or two in public, and ask us how we're so happy and have so much fun. My wife and I always laugh later, as these people aren't privy to the stress that hides at home, when no one's around, and it's just you and the children. Yes, there is fun, and there is happiness. But there's also yelling, stress and many prayers to Our Lady for peace in our home.
What I'm often told by families we know that are bigger than ours with older children is that "it gets easier." Once the children can help at home, do their schooling without complaint, take care of each other, etc., it gets easier.
We believe our readers, many whom homeschool and have many children or know they will most likely have many children, may be facing the same issues. And, in this Catholic desert many of us suffer in, there isn't always a lot of good examples around us. Many, unfortunately, can only turn to the internet for support.
Volunteer: We are looking for a mother or father (or both) of large families who have peace in their homes and have found joy with their many children to submit their stories to Rorate. Our readers need your expertise and your guidance -- they need you to help them see the light at the end of the tunnel!
A couple of prerequisites: One, we need to hear from parents of truly large families. We don't want to set an arbitrary number, but let's say six or more children. Also, we want to hear from families whom homeschool. While having a large family with children who go to school is in no way easy or not meritorious, it's a whole other thing to homeschool those children, and we need to hear from you. And, last, we need to hear from traditional families. That isn't to say we don't want to hear from families who attend the Novus Ordo. But we would expect those families to live fully traditional lives at home and explain how that brings peace and joy.
If you've had that peace and joy at home from your first child on, tell us how! If you struggled at first then found that peace and joy, tell us what you did to find it. Tell us about your religious lives at home, your discipline methods, whatever you believe brought Christ's peace upon your families.
If you have the time to write us, send in your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org. Don't worry about the grammar, the length, etc. Just jot your stories down and send them in. And tell us if you want to stay anonymous or not. Pictures are welcome as well as links to family blogs.
If you don't have the time but can comment, please do so in the comments box of this post.