Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Inquiring Minds

Yesterday, after dropping my husband off at the airport, I decided to stop at Trader Joe's on the way home. I was not feeling well at all, but needed some food and the kids were already packed up and had their shoes on, something I did not want to have to do again later. It was an interesting experience.

The kids were being good and mellow at the store, they knew my morning sickness was particularly bad. Still, I ended up getting sick, and wondering if people who heard me through the bathroom door would think I was either hung over from the night before or had some terrible illness that I was passing around the store.

Anyhow, I finally made it to the register. Most of the people who work there recognize our family. They always ask where the kids are when I go shopping without them. I have seen the young guy who checked us out yesterday many times. As he was ringing up our stuff, he asked: "I hope you have some backup at home?", and I really didn't understand what he meant, so I asked him. He glanced to see if I had a ring on my left hand, and then said that he meant a husband to help me with all these kids. I said I did, and added "I'm expecting our sixth, I better have a husband at home." I added that I had grown up in a single/remarried home, and that I would never ever do that to my kids.

Then he went on and started asking "Are you ...?" and I said "No, we are not Mormon". I get asked that a lot because there's a huge Mormon community in this area. Plus, we're white, and all our kids are blond, so it fits the preferred racial profile for Mormons who not very long ago thought that people had darker skin to the degree of their sinfulness. Then he said "Well, what are you, because clearly you must have some religious conviction about having children." I told him we were Christians, Baptists. He added "Yeah, because Christians think it is a command of God to procreate."

At this point, I corrected him. I always take slight offense when people act like I only have kids because I "have to". Do the Bill Gates and Donald Trumps of this world make money because they "have to"? No. They do it because they like money. We like children more than any earthly riches, and the more we have, the more blessed we are. So I told him that no, it was NOT a command of God to procreate. I said that the Bible teaches that children are God's reward and blessing, but that the number of children was to be left in God's hand. I added that some people are infertile, and they certainly were under no command to force pregnancy at all cost to fulfill some commandment of procreation. I think he understood what I meant, and I think he really was just curious and not antagonistic.

It always amazes me that those of us with "large" families (and I honestly don't consider five kids a large family, I feel like we are just getting started) have to explain why we do not artificially alter our bodies chemically, surgically, or otherwise to perform different from how God designed it. I am not doing anything - how can that be wrong? This philosophy is especially obvious in the expression "we are trying" or "are you trying?" referring to people who are trying to get pregnant. I am never "trying". People on birth control are the ones trying not to get pregnant, while I am just being me - a woman.

If other people practice birth control methods that do not take the life of their unborn (which is what hormonal methods, implants, IUDs, etc. do), I disagree with their opinion in my mind, but I would never personally confront them about that. It's their loss, not mine. They are the ones missing out on the blessings that God may have had in store for them, which is punishment enough.

Yet, our society thinks there is nothing wrong with a man questioning a woman that he doesn't even know publicly and in front of her children about her reasons as to why she is not popping a bunch of artificial hormones. I mean, he's not the one who has to feed and care for all these kids. In fact, I am helping keep that store in business, with as much food as we go through on a daily basis. And again, I don't even think he was trying to be smart with me.

Well, they have their treasures, and I have mine. :)


  1. It sounds like you're taking this a little personal. My grandfather grew up poor in eastern NC, he was one of nine kids and people back then had way less money than they do now, especially down south where poverty was worse. If you follow the Lord plan he'll take care of you, just don't worry about what other's say or think. They're the one's who have been brainwashed by this post modern secular america mindset. you see, and I was just thinking about this the other day, but when social security was created many americans stopped having as many children becuase they knew the govt would be there to always take care of them. when this whole system collapses things will go back to normal.

  2. Are you a part of the Quiverfull movement or are you in agreement with their principles?

  3. Wow. We want at least a semi-large family, and after reading your blog and some other blogs, I know we're going to get asked those questions once we get to our 5th or 6th child. It used to be normal to have families TWICE that size in America... less than 100 years ago. For example, my great-great grandma was one of 12, and that was totally considered normal. It's not like they had more money back then either, because they were actually poorer and didn't have nearly the kind of healthcare we have today.

    I've always been against hormonal birth control and anything that has the possibility of killing an unborn child, but I hadn't ever seen anything "wrong" with the barrier methods, because I didn't think they could do any harm. Well, just recently I read an article (actually a few articles...) that say condoms can cause a woman to have pre-eclampsia. The reason is that when a couple uses them, the woman isn't being exposed to her husband's sperm, and so when they stop using them and she gets pregnant, it's very likely that her body will have a negative reaction (pre-eclampsia). Of course, I know that pre-eclampsia is also nutritionally-related, but I have also known women that were pregnant and didn't eat right and never got it (while I know others that did their best and still got a mild form of it). It's something that made me reconsider the birth control issue a little... I'm still not 100% against it, since I had a c-section and I'm not really supposed to get pregnant again till my son is a year old at least, but now I'm sort of wishing we would've made different choices before I got pregnant in the first place.

    Maybe someday you could do a post on different birth control methods and how they affect pregnancy. :)

  4. About your birth control issue: There is no way that I could possibly become pregnant, if you get my meaning. Unfortunately, I have terrible endometriosis and if I don't take hormonal birth control, I cannot work because of the pain from the cysts. Is it still wrong for me to take birth control?

    Also, I know you're convinced that a traditional family setup is the best. But I grew up without a mom (who really didn't want me in the first place), and I'd at least like to think that I'm relatively successful and well-adjusted. By contrast, one of my best friends grew up in a household with both of his parents and was abused by both of them. There are people out there who can attest to being miserable in their two-parent homes, and people like me who grew up alright without having a mother or a father in their life.

    I know I've posted this before, and you're probably sick of hearing it, but it just crosses my mind occasionally when you post these types of posts. I'm also curious as to what you think regarding my endometriosis. Since unless something drastically changes I am not going to become pregnant any time soon, is it still bad to take the medicine?

  5. Zsuzsanna, You might want to look into a homeopathic remedy called ipecacuanha. It might be helpful to ease/alleviate your morning sickness. Be well and God Bless you and yours.

  6. I was one of five kids (that's all God gave my parents, who did not use birth control) and even we were looked at funny all the time! I think it's very good that you don't have your children in public schools, because at mine the kids would always make me feel humiliated for having a supposedly "big" family. Silly, isn't it?

  7. Ginger is my best friend for all day sickness during pregnancy. It tastes good, comes in lots of forms, and really helps (that's what a lot of those "morning sickness" helps are, ginger). I don't know if you have tried it or if it will help, just thought I would pass it on.

    And please take heart on the comments. Being the parents of a small family gets comments. Being a family of children with extra needs gets a LOT of comments. Being a lot of things gets a lot of comments. Basically, you just have to meet up with someone a bit different than you and comments fly. I have finally learned to just let them roll right off my back. I only engage if I feel the person actually cares and isn't just wanting to be rude or build themselves up.

  8. In complete agreement! I love that when people ask if I work I can say "yes". I am doing the work of the Lord and obeying His word "that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully."
    God is good, I am so blessed~mom to 4 (soon to be 5) sweet blessings!

  9. Sad that our society has adopted this view of large families. I came from a large family but don't ever recall hearing any comments. But my mom probably did! LOL!

    At least you were able to educate this young man a little and throw in a little witnessing...who knows what the little seeds did once they were sown. Alot of times, some people just don't realize that their way of thinking is wrong and when they meet someone who makes them think, they really appreciate it! Good post!

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. I love this post! We have six kiddos (2 biological and 4 adopted) and we get all kinds of questions! People stare and make comments, which I've learned to get used to. We, like Hilary, catch a lot from church folks too. When we adopted our last son, a former church member asked sarcastically, if this was "another one?" She was one that I could sarcastically tease, so I quickly told her that I didn't remember asking for a donation from her! She chuckled, but I ruffled her feathers a tad! lol I'm an only child who married a man from a family of six kids. We both wanted a large family and the Lord blessed. I wouldn't change a thing (not even the stares and silly questions)!!!

    Be Blessed!

  12. Thank you for this post! We don't have a large family, in fact we don't have any children at all yet. We have conceived once but miscarried. We pray that God will bless us with children, but we are leaving it in his hands. We have the opposite issue, people don't ask me about restricting pregnancy, but ask me why i haven't hoped my self on meds to force myself to ovulate or used IVF. I personally don't believe in taking control away from god when it comes to conception, creating a child should be between a man, his wife, and god, not a man his wife, and their fertility tech. I typically get looked at like i have grown a third head,not just a second when i explain this.


Your KINDLY WORDED, constructive comments are welcome, whether or not they express a differing opinion. All others will be deleted without second thought.