I would guess it is expected that most people these day will eventually have children. Some of those who chose to have children will stop after one wonderful (or difficult) child. And while every family’s reasoning is different, I would say it is typical for the American family to have two children but three is not unheard of. Above that, though, and you’re walking in the realm of the less encountered “large family.”
A lot of people pass judgement when they see a large family, a woman with “a lot” of children or a pregnant woman with other small children in tow. (I put “a lot” in quotations because everyone’s definition of a lot is different.). And many people take it upon themselves to share their personal views and opinions and ask these women and families insensitive questions.
I received my share of such questions and statements when pregnant with and just after the birth of my third child including the completely ridiculous “You got your boy, you can be done now!”
Now that I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy and clearly expecting, I’ve started getting more attention as I go about my regular routine with my three children.
Mostly I get a lot silly comments and stares but I can guess what they are thinking and I have friends who have been asked all sorts of ridiculous questions about large families. So let me answer some of those questions for you so perhaps you don’t ever feel the need to ask a stranger again.
Don’t you know where babies come from!?
This is not my first time at the rodeo, I am very aware of where babies come from: they come from the warmth, comfort and love of their mommies bellies after 9 months of growth, nourishment, love and sacrifice and hours (or even days) of preparation, labor and delivery. Perhaps YOU don’t know where babies come from?
Were you trying to get pregnant?
The fact that someone would even ask this question implies that babies and pregnancies are either wanted or unwanted. I once had the gall to ask a friend this very question and her awesome answer not only put me in my place but also made me feel like a total ass and helped me realize not only the ridiculousness of my question but the fact that I had no right to ask the question to begin with. (She replied: “we weren’t not trying…”)
Are you crazy?
As a matter of fact, I am. I’m crazy in love, crazy exhausted, crazy busy, crazy unselfish, crazy tired and yes, probably a little crazy in the head. But I can’t even imagine what I’d do without my crazy life (other than sleep, maybe…)
You really have your hands full, huh?
Yes, it’s true that I have more children than I have hands but that doesn’t mean my life is overly complicated or stressed. The only way I could see not having my “hands full” is if I had no children to care for at all, I really don’t find three children that much harder than one and I don’t expect four to be any worse. Plus, as most mommies will tell you, my hands may be full but my heart is overflowing.
Do you get any alone time?
Well, no, not really. But that’s partially my choice. I could send my older two to school all day and put my toddler in childcare but then what would I do all day? I love the time I get with my children. Do I dream of a trip to the toilet without company or interruptions? Sure, but they’ll be gone before I’m ready so for now I just try to enjoy every second I have with them (key word: try.)
Are you going to have more?
For us, this is baby number last. I never wanted more (hubby wasn’t even sure about this one!) and I think I currently in a state of a perfect mix of excited and terrified which tells me I’ve met my limit. I know we will be happy and fulfilled with our family of 6 but I also respect anyone who wishes to have more. Nothing is more joyful in life than the love and presence of a child, or many!