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Table for Eight: Raising a Large Family in a Small-Family World Paperback – October 2, 2007

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Parenting in a complicated world
Strategies to help you be the best parent you can be. See more
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Meagan Francis is the mother of four and a full-time professional writer. Her articles have appeared in such publications as Literary Mama, Salon, Brain, Child, Parenting, and Baby Talk. She is the writer of “Mama-Rama,” a weekly syndicated column that takes a fresh look at modern motherhood, and her essays have been reprinted in the anthologies Literary Mama: Reading for the Maternally Inclined and The Best of Brain Child.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha (October 2, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592576737
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592576739
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,509,564 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
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4 star
37%
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Top Customer Reviews

By Kelly VINE VOICE on December 31, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really hate to not give this book 5 stars - I really WANTED to love it. There is such a need for books like this.

But this book wasn't as great as it could have been.

First, I expected with a title like this that it would be about families with 6 or more kids [I have five, and was looking for advice from those "experts" with more than I have!]. The author has 4 children, and many of the mothers she quotes through the book have 4 [or even 3 children - which might seem humorous to those with mega families to think of a family with 3 kids as "large"]. She did have some mothers of larger families contributing in some places, but their advice was fewer and farther between.

Second, I felt like the book had a negative tone. Like "yeah, having a bunch of kids is exhausting, noisy, hard...but you CAN live through it" [which it certainly is like that some days :) ]. But there was not much counterbalance - having a bunch of kids is also FUN, exciting, entertaining, and wonderful in a way that is totally unique. There are GREAT reasons some of us choose to have a lot of kids. I didn't get any sense of that reading this book. In fact, if I read this book when I only had 2 kids, I might just stop there! I would be afraid to add more children!

The author has an awkward chapter in the beginning of the book about "how big families happen" and she goes into an explanation of her own big family that seemed kind of defensive - according to her, she didn't "plan" to have all those children, they just sort of kept happening by accident. Which is just fine - many of life's greatest blessings are "surprises" from God.
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Format: Paperback
I really can't say enough good things about this book. The author offers a good look at what different kinds of large families are like and gives loads and loads of practical advice on organizing and raising a large family. I have four kids myself and found good advice in this book. I also liked that she links you to other resources (books and websites) for larger families.
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Format: Paperback
I recently received a copy of Table for Eight, Raising a large family in a small family world by Meagan Francis, and I have come to one single conclusion after reading it and that would be that anyone who has or is thinking of having a large family should have a copy of this book. Kids are great, but even one or two can be challenging, and once you get up to four and beyond, it's a whole new ball of wax.

Oh, I know, many moms, especially those of us with lots of kids, know it all and don't need any advice, but my take on life is that until you cease to exist, you're learning.

Of course, I headed straight for the food chapter: Feeding Your Flock, and all I have to say about this is that the advice there is sound, sound, sound. There's info there (and all over the book) from real moms with many children who have been there, done that. There are also menu planning and pantry charts (click here for more of that type) to help keep your food stores and tummies full. The only thing I would add at all would be ALDI.

I really like the chapter Having Fun, since we tend NOT to have enough of this. We did go camping a few years ago and had a blast for very little cash, but that's been it. This chapter has websites and ideas I never thought of.

I also like Keeping the Household Running, not just for the great tips, but also for the fact that one of the Additional Resources is the URL to Lots of Kids, where I am on staff.
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Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book because I’ve always wanted a large family, and becoming Catholic had nothing to do with that. I knew that if I couldn’t physically give birth, I would beg, borrow or steal to get me some kids. I’d adopt a kid from China, a black kid, a special needs kid, foster kids, older kids, you name it. You can tell me that my life is all wrapped up in my kids and I have lost sight of who I am as a woman, and I will just say, “thank you.” I started wondering that if this works for me, why do so many people try to bring me down rather than support me?

You can find my comprehensive review here: [...]
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