Sophomore shares experience of living with five siblings

September 12, 2017 — by Stephen Ding and Andrew Lee

After a long and stressful day of school, many students enjoy returning to a peaceful home and a fridge full of food. But being the third child of six, sophomore Daniel Burgos considers himself lucky to have something to eat, let alone be in a quiet room.

“There are five to six kids in the house at all times, so it's pretty hectic,” he said. “We usually have a nanny just to clean up for everyone, and when she leaves, no one bothers to clean up.”

Even though they live in a large home by many standards, Burgos feels that the size of his family makes it feel small.

Aside from maintaining a clean house, transportation is usually a problem for the Burgos family. Even with a Honda minivan and a Cadillac, the family still finds it difficult to fit everyone in their cars.

It often feels like a mini circus on the road whenever the family travels: both parents, six kids, a nanny and sometimes a friend, he said.

Besides 15-year-old Daniel, the kids include Siobhan, 17; Gabriel, 19; Julia, 13; Elena, 11; and Bridget, 11.

According to the Census Bureau, only 2 percent of U.S. households have four or more children, and only 1 percent of households hold more than seven people.

As a member of a rare American household, Daniel has experienced unusual situations with his siblings.

One of these memorable moments occurred when the family left Julia at a gas station on a road trip to Los Angeles.

Daniel said the family had the habit of taking a head count after each stop just to make sure everyone had been accounted for. But this time, it wasn’t until 10 minutes after they had left a gas station that someone finally noticed someone was missing in the car.

As scary as it sounds, this has always been an issue for the Burgos family, especially for the younger children.

Despite the challenges of having a large family, Daniel still appreciates the company of his siblings. Even with their own separate interests, the family members find time to enjoy with each other.

“We don't have too many common interests, so we just chill,” Daniel said. “We all go to a pool or something like that and have a barbecue, but that's as far as it goes.”

Daniel also finds his siblings to be an efficient team when working together.

“There are a lot of hands to do all the work,” Daniel said. “It’s for chores mostly, but we can [can get a lot done]. Whether it's yard work or tasks around the house, we can finish it really quickly. It's like having a little workforce.”

Daniel also feels that sharing with his siblings is a big part of his life. Especially when it comes to shopping for new clothing,  budgets have to accommodate everyone.

He said one of the biggest examples of sharing in his family occurs during Christmas. There are always lots of presents under the Christmas tree, but they all eventually get distributed among all six children.

“Sharing helps our parents financially,” Daniel said. “Bulk shopping at Costco and purchasing off-brand clothing are also some compromises that our family has to make.”

After years of living in a family of six children, Daniel has a firm opinion on whether couples should have big lots of children.

“Don't do it,” he said. “Two siblings, two kids. That's it.”


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