I can't imagine not having a large family, and I'm not talking about my four kids. I am very fortunate to have a very large extended family. My dad was one of 14, and several of my aunts and uncles live nearby.
My cousin and I just took a road trip to northern Oklahoma for a surprise 70th birthday party for one of the uncles. We spent most of the trip talking about how great it is to be a part of "the family." If anyone is struggling with health, finances, etc., we know that we can count on our family for encouragement and support. When I got the news that my dad was going to need emergency bypass surgery, I was able to breakdown in front of one of my uncles when I was not willing to do that in front of anyone else. He was there with us through it all, and several aunts traveled to Oklahoma City to spend time with us as well.
As I said at the beginning, I can't imagine what life would be like without my extended family. And because of our choices, my children will grow up having a relationship with their great aunts and uncles in addition to my cousins. Actually, my kids have more grandparents than just their grandma and papa, and I'm glad.
Yes, family can be demanding, frustrating and somewhat irritating, but they're still family. And I wouldn't want to live my life without them.