Know what's funny? I replied to this when I had only four kids, and now I have seven!!! It was fun reading what I wrote all those years ago. I still have no idea if I'm done. Now that my kids are 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, almost 2, and 6 months old, my life is SO MUCH MORE fulfilling than it was even then.
I haven't slept through the night for 12 years.
My husband is 11 years older than I am; he turned 48 yesterday.
I want to address your attention and sports team questions though...
I have had times where I feel guilty about not being the one to give the attention that is needed...but at the same time, when I see a sibling give that attention, it warms my heart. Because know what? I won't be here forever for them. I'll die someday. And they will need to depend on each other for love and support. And what better way to build that foundation? I love seeing my older kids read to my youngers. I love seeing them scoop each other off the ground when they fall. I love seeing how tender my 12yo son can be toward his baby sisters. If I would have stopped when I first wrote the previous posts, there would be no baby sisters for my 12yo to have a tender moment with. Only two sisters to throw mud balls at (which is what they did today).
When I had only four kids, I still signed my older two up for every sport. Because that is what good parents do, right? I wasn't going to be that bad mom that let her family size dictate her kids' schedule. But my kids really aren't sports fans. Dragging them to baseball practice on a sunny afternoon when they would rather play outside sucked. So I quit doing sports. Now, if they really wanted to do something, we would move mountains and make that happen. Right now we take family classes at the YMCA and the boys do scouts and the girls take dance. The kids are busy four nights a week. But really, it isn't that bad!
I think the hardest thing about having a large family is how other people treat us. They have no problem openly commenting about birth control or acting like we are doing something wrong by having so many kids. My kids like having lots of siblings. They don't like feeling like they are somehow "wrong" by being alive. And the way people question us in public makes them feel like there is something wrong with our family.