What defines a “good family”? Is there an actual definition of that term? Some people may think so. However, making a black-and-white definition of what is a “good” or “bad/unhealthy” family would be discounting the many cultures, ideals, morals, and overall differences in the world.
One thing I think we can all agree on, though, is that ‘love’ is a necessary ingredient to have a happy and supportive family. And that’s exactly what Robyn Christopher recently shared with the world when she submitted a post to ‘Love What Matters‘.
Robyn came from a broken home and so did her husband Christian. When they met and fell in love at a young age, all they knew was that they wanted to create a family full of the love that they had lacked.
“Two kids coming from two broken homes. We had no idea how to make life or marriage work, but we were young and in love. All the odds were against us; we both had a lot of dysfunction in our lives growing up. No one in our lives had role modeled healthy relationships. No one had gone to bat for us to keep us safe. No one had taken the time to guide us. But we were determined,” she wrote.
And even though Robyn and Christian knew they wanted a family, they never expected to end up with as many kids as they have today. At the young age of just 20 years old, the young couple’s life changed forever.
“I don’t think we ever imagined having a big family; it just happened. We had Darby when I was 20 and Chris was 24. As soon as I had her, my entire world changed. I was quite the party girl before having her, and after, I had zero desire to go out again. I spent my 21st birthday nursing her and rocking her in the crappiest little duplex you can imagine. We were broke, and I was the happiest I had ever been. Being parents was the most amazing gig either of us had experienced.”
The couple fell in love with their daughter and the idea of creating a bigger family. By the time Robin turned 35 years old, she would have 7 more kids. Of course, this is many more kids than the average American household – just 1.98 (let’s say 2).
Because of their large family with 8 kids, Robyn experienced judgment and criticism from complete strangers.
“The amount of rude comments I received over those years were astounding. ‘Don’t you know how that happens?’ ‘Who is going to pay for their college?’ ‘Are you done yet?’ ‘Are you crazy?’ ‘How do you afford them?’ And on, and on, and on,” she explained.
Of course, the mom of 8 brushed the comments off her back because she was absolutely in love with her family and all of her kids. They were all extremely close and their household was full of so much love and support. Something that so many people never have.
“My kids have something money could never buy. They have the biggest support system and the most people who love them unconditionally. It is my greatest joy to watch them together. They are each other’s best friends.”
The Christopher kids range in ages from adults to lots of teens and one little one. The proud mom says that she loves watching her big family grow and learn together. They celebrate holidays, have traditions, and lean on each other when anyone is having problems or needs support.
“These kids are the funniest, smartest, most amazing kids I know. You do not have to be a typical family with two kids and two full-time working parents to have great kids. You can be a stay-at-home mom, build forts, go hiking, play all day with your kids, and they will turn out better than you can imagine. In a world of more, I am grateful we had less.”
You might be asking – how on earth did she afford all of these kids? And for Robyn, the answer was simple – prioritizing.
“We had less money, but more love.
We had less toys, but more love.
We had less dinners out, but more love.
We had less friends, but more love.
We had less vacations, but more love.
You don’t need to have all the new toys, trips, or name brand clothes. But, what you do need, is unconditional love. Pour your love into your kids, and I promise you they will pour that love into each other. The sacrifices we made financially have paid off a million times over.
How did we afford them? I color/cut my own hair. I have never had my nails done. You get the idea. We prioritized what was important to us, and it was always them.
Also, college. They are smart, they are athletic, and they are hard workers getting scholarships. But thank you for your concern random folks.
You don’t have to come from a great start to create something great.”
The bottom line is – love can conquer all. It’s best never to judge anyone because we are all on our own paths in this life. As for Robyn and her beautiful family? They’ll continue to love one another and we’re sure as time goes on, grandkids will grow the family even more!
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