Being a father – and of more than three children – is surely not easy. Taking care of nine children is a big challenge. There are more men, than we think, who, apart from career, decide on big families. ‘The Sunday of Youth’ managed to talk to one of them – a doctor psychiatrist Marcin Sztuka and his family.

Pride, joy, sense of fulfilment and also a desire to be more for children, wife and also care about the existence of the family- these are everyday feelings of the father. Marcin also experiences them. What he has in his heart, in relation to his family, children, is in one simple phrase – fascination with life. Many children in the family which he set up with his wife Ola 21 years ago, is a conscious choice for them. He does not conceal that there are sometimes difficulties: too small flat (what is 90m2 for 11 people under one roof!), because conflicts happen more frequently among so many children, than in families of the average number of children, because the common time of spouses is like for a medicament – their patients submit their matters all the time. However, this experience of being a father and supporting children in their development is very important for him. He is happy about every small and quite a big human being at his home.

Suitable suggestions

His fatherhood is evolving all the time. Throughout years he has been asking himself questions about various issues and has been looking for answers for them. The first of these questions related to what is the most important in life. In various phases of his life there were various answers. First he thought that the presence at home was the most important, spending maximum time with children. However, it was difficult to implement for economic reasons. At present he is working in a few places and although it undoubtedly is not convenient for him, he comforts himself with the thought that he provided his older children with so many things that they can pass the baton on to their younger brothers and sisters and they support those children for whom he has little time. He appreciates the fact that finishes his work within 24 hours: that he does not have shifts, that he sleeps at home and is in the evenings, when he can cuddle his children, bless them and have at least a few words with them. He thinks it is extremely important not to multiply money than it is necessary. He thinks that trespassing this border is always at the cost of the time which is reserved for the family.

Multi-threaded mission

An Enthusiast of Life is a term which suits well both him and his wife. The fact that it is impossible to accept the reality only from one point of view is the basic truth which should be accepted by all fathers. This is just the multi-threading of life which brings a necessity of simultaneous care about each of its sphere. For example, recently he has felt that he spends very little time with his wife. He is trying to change it and he is happy about her every suggestion in it. Fatherhood is an adventure for him. He can be with many people, who were given to him as a gift from the very beginning. It is a kind of mission of life which gives him great satisfaction. That’s true that everyday life is full of many problems, which he, as a father, has to face. However, he feels that these problems relate to mainly outer issues. According to Marcin and Ola it is not the number of children which would be the basic difficulty, but, for example, the fact that they live in the city centre, where there is no garden in which younger children could spend their time with a great advantage for themselves. An obstacle are outer matters, not the human being. Marcin appreciates his wife very much, who is, undoubtedly, an initiator of the family life, and who searches such solutions which make it easier to find them, because in his opinion, in every sphere of life which relates to children, a lot can be won (for example, his wife who is also a doctor, gave birth to children at home, four of them have experienced education at home). He and his wife discovered that a solution to problems is not life without children but organization of life with them in such a way so that it would be satisfying for everybody.

An idea for life

As a representative of the male part of the society he intuitively feels that children are incomparably something greater than career. He is aware of the fact that he finds his life a bit easier, especially when he hears other men, who are making a balance of their lives, saying what was their disappointment, frustration and what was an enduring value. He has many possibilities to receive many discoveries and experiences from them. This is what he would like to share with others because it is an idea for multiplying the good in the world. According to Marcin and Ola Sztuka it is sharing life, positive values with others, creating good relationships in the team, which is the family and in this way influencing others. Are they successful in it? It must be evaluated by those who have already had a chance to meet the family. One is certain: nobody go past them indifferently, but these meetings inspire many people. In opinion of Marcin many children in the family are simply a kind of variant of the reality with which one can confront to see whether it would suit somebody. As a psychiatrist he knows that many outer blockades connected with having many children, although the blockades might seem to be objective, in fact do not go beyond the area of mind. Reasonable reflection on this problem can cause a change in the way of thinking and opening oneself up to this kind of experience.


"Niedziela" 25/2013

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: redakcja@niedziela.pl