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I Have 7 Kids By Choice

Posted by Wes Schaeffer | Aug 24, 2016 8:30:00 PM
 The Schaeffer Family of Nine, 1/17/14

I've always loved kids and family and friends and cutting up with cousins and goofing off with goofy uncles and tickling babies and hearing how I'm "growing like a weed" and I even don't mind hearing about the ailments and the aches and the pains the elder family members are going through because growing old is part of life and I enjoy—and hold sacred—every moment of life from conception to a natural death.

The Schaeffer 9 Hawaii The Schaeffer Nine, Hawaii July 2015

As I write start update this on 1/17/14 2/11/14 8/21/16, my oldest son is 19 and is about to leave for his second year of college, which begins in Berlin and concludes in Buenes Aires.

My second son is 18, he just got a job at P.F. Chang's and will be starting his first year of college in about a week.

My oldest daugher is 16. She's driving, working at Chick-fil-A, learning ASL, and is a second mom in the house.

My fourth child and second daughter is 14 and is a superstar soccer goalie. Two days ago in the tournament final they lost in a shootout. It was the only goal she allowed in four games. Her opponents hugged her and the mother of one of the players on the other team commented on our team's Facebook page what an incredible goalie she is.

Two weeks ago she started high school, choosing public high school over homeschooling. (I'm still sad...but she told me to get over it.) Tomorrow is her tryout for the high school team. Wish her luck.

"The Littles" as the next three are known will be turning 12 in November, 9 in October, and the baby turned two in April.

Between the 6th and 7th births we had three miscarriages, so there are three Schaeffer baby angles in Heaven now, so our 7th on earth is really our 10th child.

Crazy, huh?

But you know what's crazier?

Ever since we had our third child in under three years—4/22/97, 4/17/98, 2/7/00—people have always said,

"Boy, you sure have your hands full."


"Bless her heart. That poor little mama doesn't know what she's gotten herself into."

Or asked:

  • Don't you know what causes that? (Yes we do...and we like it very much.)
  • Don't you own a TV? (Should we turn it on more often or less often? That one always confused me.)
  • Are you done yet? (Oh, you mean like a loaf of bread?)
  • Are you Catholic or Mormon? (I'll drink to that.)
  • You should get a traveling sales job. (Would that make me want to snuggle with my wife more or less?)
  • Don't you know how much college costs? (We sure do and we think it's over-priced and not mandatory and we're also not obligated to pay for it for any of them.)
  • How can you spend enough quality time with them? (How many trips to the mall does it take to equal 15 minutes giggling with eight other family members at the park or in the back yard on the trampoline or playing jump rope in the cul de sac?)
  • You should get "fixed." (Apparently everything is in perfect working order so maybe you mean I should go get "broken." Why do we want to break what is working as God intended?)

There's an old adage in persuasion/negotiation/manipulation/obfuscation that goes

"if you get them to ask the wrong questions, it doesn't matter what the truth is."

Edmund Burke said

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Do not allow evil to triumph. Do not do sit by and do nothing."

The Devil succeeds when he gets us to define good as bad and bad as good.

People now think having a large family full of love and bickering, giggling and tantrums, hugs and kisses, stinky diapers, and loads of laundry and love is bad, but

  • living alone, and
  • "seeing the world", and
  • "sowing your oats", and
  • living out of a suitcase, and
  • doing yoga alone on a tropical beach, and
  • posting pictures of it on Instagram (how can you do yoga and take pictures?), and
  • remaining childless and making your business or your dog "your child" is good.

(And why is the attire and the routine and the liturgy of the yogi "enlightened" but the attire and the routine and the liturgy of the Catholic mass "stifling" or "antiquated"? But I digress.)

Look, we're all called to our own vocations and sometimes the journey is rocky and hard and cold and wet and confusing and difficult.

But it's hard to stay the course when we see all of these "sexy," fun-loving, jet-setting, partiers getting interviewed on TV or posting their exotic photo shoot on their blog telling us "you can have it all" if you just attend their 3-day pitch fest conference, join their mastermind group, buy their DVD, or enroll in their membership program for 18 months at half of your disposable income per month!

But most of us have nothing in common with most of these gurus like the:

Single guy who was sleeping on his friend's couch

and finally got motivated to build a business and now he's living large and running a membership site that shows people how they, too, can fly around the country, dancing and drinking at bars and interview other partying entrepreneurs, or the

Single woman who threw caution to the wind

and quit the Corporate America gig and now leads a nomadic life and conducts webinars from exotic beaches and sleeps at friends' homes around the world and only visits with family every couple of years, or the

Married woman whose husband hates his job

so she "slaves" away (with no kids and a house-cleaner and her husband makes 6-figures on Wall Street), builds a consulting/training/speaking business and once that's successful the husband quits his job and joins her, or the

Single guy who hit a lick in business and quit cold turkey

because, although the work was financially rewarding it was sucking the life out of him, and slaved away in obscurity for six months before launching a risky venture and hit it big, (I know this guy. He's a great guy but readily admits his story is tough for others to do.) or the

Divorced guy with sketchy "academic" credentials

who makes his living teaching about relationships and communication to throngs of people that pay to hear his story, hoping to find the secret to relationships and communication, or the

Divorced woman who makes her living teaching people

to be inspired and follow their passions, which is actually just her own thinly-veiled journey to find exactly that, while fighting off or ignoring her own emptiness inside, or the

Progressive that wants you to believe "raising a business"

is as important or difficult or meaningful or fulfilling as raising a child so you should worship her sex appeal—aptly-demonstrated in her tight leather pants—and be motivated to follow her.

I will stipulate

that being an entrepreneur and starting and building and running a successful business is hard work and anyone—ANYONE— that is making it happen deserves respect and it's worth your time to analyze how they did it to see what you can gleam from their journey and apply to building your own business.

Just realize, the examples I described above are all real and they are prolific and they are informative and they are the exceptions, not the rule.

Learn from them all.

Emulate their techniques and tactics but realize the grass is not greener and it still needs watering and mowing. (Isn't it interesting that the grass you water and take care of tends to grow nice and green? Funny how that works, isn't it?)

Success is defined in many ways, not just in the size of your bank account or how many followers you have on Twitter or what exotic island you call home for Christmas.

I'll stick with the Bible's version of success as we see in Deuteronomy 7:14,

You will be blessed above all peoples; no man or woman among you shall be childless nor shall your livestock be barren.

Since the beginning of time and creation, which are one in the same, children have been a blessing. (CAN I GET AN AMEN??!!)

Now if I can only get my homeowner's association to approve livestock, I'll really be in the money!

If you need more help growing your sales, check out the following resources scattered around this site and a few others I operate, such as:

Good Selling,

Wes Schaeffer Infusionsoft Sales & Sales Training Signature

Topics: Family, Lifestyle, Life Lessons, Entrepreneur

Written by Wes Schaeffer

Wes and his wife just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They have seven kids, which means Wes is motivated to find what works and help you apply it to grow your sales so he can buy diapers, groceries, braces...and bourbon.

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