When people hear that I have five kids, I get usually get a funny look. If I tell that to an audience where I’m speaking, I often get awkward laughs, with an ever so slight head shake, as if to say, “that guy is nuts!” The response I typically don’t ever get is, “wow, what a blessing.” But, that exactly what it is, a blessing.
Sure, having five kids is a little chaotic. Sure, having five kids means not having much (or any) downtime. Sure, having five kids means money stays tight, groceries are increasingly expensive, and patience is a precious (and increasingly rare) commodity. Sure, having five kids is hard, but, it’s also amazing.
As my friend Jeff (who also has five kids) recently said in a talk he gave, “you never look at one of your kids and go, ‘man, I wish we never had Billy. Having a kid is always a good thing.'” And that’s true. As difficult as some of my kids can be from time to time, there is never a time I wish they weren’t there. The times that make my day difficult are many, but the payoff is huge.
One of the most impactful things I can do for this world is to raise my kids well, giving them the tools they need to change the world. So, while some see five kids as an enormous obstacle to overcome, here is how I see it. I get five times the hugs, five times the kisses, five times the infinite love of a child. I also get five times the hand drawn Father’s Day cards, five times the kids birthday parties, five times the cool kids toys that I get to play with and five times the daddy child dates to get breakfast.
But, I think most importantly I have five opportunities to shape my children into good, caring, loving people that will become good parents for their children. I have five opportunities to teach my kids to become people that will change the world. I think that is an amazing amount of influence and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.