Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We should all be so lucky

Being pregnant, and usually with six kids in tow, I sometimes get asked:


"So, is this it?"

or

"Is this your last one?"

or 

"So, are you done after this one?"

or any variation along the same lines.

My favorite response is to say "I hope not! After all, I'm ONLY thirty-three years old, so I should have at least 10 more years in me!" ***smile*** followed by "We just still think children are a blessing."



By making it sound like the person asking was implying I might be done because of my AGE as opposed to the sheer NUMBER of kids, it usually has them backing off quickly.

You know, having babies with a loving and devoted Dad is really fun. It builds and strengthens a marriage. So why stop?

Attacked by his girls after getting home from a business trip

Most parents would agree that they could not imagine life without any single one of their children. The loss of a child is probably the greatest grief a parent could ever have to endure. So why, why, why do people willingly sign up for such a loss? Why go to great lengths and spend money to withhold such blessings? Do parents really think any subsequent children would be loved and cherished less? That once we had them, we would miss them less if we were to lose them? Anyone with more than one child knows this to be untrue. 


"[...] being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered."

(1 Peter 3:7)


19 comments:

  1. What a great way to respond. A subtle way to get people to think on the inappropriateness and rudeness of their comments. I pray God continues to bless you:)

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  2. Some parents do very well having many children, some do not. I have a friend with 11, she's a great Mom, great wife, and has great kids. I have a neighbor who is one of 23 children, same Mom, same Dad. The family is African American so no reality TV show but all 23 kids graduated from high school, went to college or the military, and all are law abiding citizens. But not everyone can handle having a large family. Look at Andrea Yates. Had she stopped at 2 or 3 her kids would likely still be alive but with each pregnancy her post partum depression became worse. She never should have had 5 children. She'd have had more had she not drowned them. My mother had the first 4 of us in 4 years in a time without automatic washers/dryers, which meant just laundry alone with cloth diapers was a full time job. One child was terminally ill. I became a parent through adoption, I have 3 children. I always wanted 12 but after being a parent I know I would never have been able to cope with 12 kids. I don't care whether a woman has 1 kid or 20, as long as each one is loved unconditionally and Mom is happy.

    As for building and strengthening a marriage that only works if the marriage is already strong and both spouses are committed to each other and the children. The worse reason to have children is to make a poor marriage better. It won't.

    As to comments from strangers they should keep their opinions to themselves. It's up to each woman as to how many children she has. It isn't anyone else's business.

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  3. Very well written.

    I love reading your blog and I love your family.

    God bless you.

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  4. What a sweet picture, I can't believe how big Anna looks! Great answer, and so true!

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  5. We love those comments too.:)

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  6. Your comments about parents choosing to not have more children caught my attention. If I could respectfully disagree, I don't think couples always choose to stop with a smaller family because they don't think they will love them as much. Finances and health issues are a couple of the reasons, along with many others, that some couples choose to not have a big family.

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  7. Put a brick on those childrens' heads, who said they could grow so fast?! Although, with the grace of God, you'll have little ones for a long time, more than your husband can hold at once! (I'm impressed he can lift all three young ladies at once, his work out plan must be a successful one!)

    God bless you, Dad, and the seven,

    Mindy

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  8. Your girls are wrapping Dad around their little fingers aren't they. What a sweet little bunch of giggling swallows! They are adorable. You *are* lucky to have those children, they are beautiful, smart, sweet and well behaved.
    How is it any other people's blessed business how many more do you want?! You are not on food stamps, your husband *can* support your family. Why don't they ask these questions to "mothers" who pop out kids like they were blowing soap bubbles, are on welfare and foodstamps and do nothing, nada, niente the whole day but surf online in their dirty rundown house?

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  9. Some parents think that the next kid will be FED less. Having faith does not mean putting logic on hold for many believers. If 5 is a struggle 6 will likely be a bigger one. Some may feel or even know that their bodies can not handle more children. Some know that mentally they cannot handle a Duggar-size bunch or anything close.

    You can't miss something you never had and more importantly don't want! Does a woman miss her 8th child when God only gave her the opportunity to birth 7? Not if that 8th was something she never desired and never existed. Although a woman who desires more children will eventually feel grief because eventually her last child will be her LAST child. So if we are talking about grieving a child who never existed, a woman who wants more children is at significantly more risk of dealing with that than a woman who actively prevents future children because she doesn't want any more.

    And then there are the woman who don't have more children (or any children) because they cannot conceive..but that is another story.

    Most people asks questions like the ones you listed to make small talk. Most people don't care if you have more kids or not but ask this type of question as an ice breaker or just to engage in a conversation. Kind of like when someone says "how are you today?" They aren't invested in your day and it isn't a loaded question, it's small talk.

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  10. There is one thing that I cannot comprehend. How come that people that dislike you keep coming back and between two offensive comments they keep looking for your approval and sympathy? Why? Why you? If they keep offending you why do they want to churn out sympathy out of you? And why are they surprised if you don't give a hooping font about their problems? I don't get it! *scrathes my head*

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  11. Your response reminds me of something my sister said once. She was in our hometown while she was pregnant with her first and ran into someone she knew, who commented on her pregnancy (something like "Oh, how nice!"). Barely a year and a half later, she was in town again, pregnant with her second, and ran into the same person.

    This time the person said "What, AGAIN?"

    My sister shot back "Not again -- STILL!"

    I think she got it from Erma Bombeck but it was still pretty darn funny.

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  12. Some husbands and wives want a large family, some choose to stop at 1 or 2.

    Me? I NEVER wanted children. I honestly don't have the patience for them, and the pitchy cries make me extremely angry. I had my tubes tied at 20 because of this. Why would I want to bring a child into the world if I couldn't even stand the thought of caring for it?


    Some people might think I'm a bad person, but I know myself better than anyone. If I had a child I would not be a good parent, probably not even a decent one.

    Having a large family suits you? Great! Other women choose different paths based on their individuality. Great for them, also.

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  13. I love seeing large families. But, it is something that I don't want for myself. I have 2 children - a boy and a girl. That is all I know I can handle, because I have to work. It would be unfair of me to add anymore to the picture.

    Just to discuss God's writing on the subject - in my opinion God gave us the option to controll our family size by giving a woman a cycle that, in most cases, is very easy to track. Go forth and multiply doesn't necessarily mean a large family. Having just 1 means someone has multiplied.

    Whatever works for you and yours I fully support. And, I love reading about your little ones.

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  14. Beautiful photograph of your husband and girls! :)

    I just recently stated this (I'm only 30 and hope to have 10-15 good years left in me yet!) to my female doctor. She rang to express her condolences upon our recent miscarriage. I told her that it was God's will, but that I hoped to be back in one day with more "good news". She said "Oh...you're going to have more then?" This same lady asked in a shocked voice "Was IT planned?" When I excitedly went for my pregnancy confirmation appointment with my 1.5 y/o on my lap!

    You are so right...we should all be so lucky! :)

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  15. I have to agree with Stephanie, I love seeing big families too - if they are like yours! Clean and looked after. Only in this case.

    I find it rather sad though, that you seem to have surrounded with nice and decent people and yet they cross the line with questions like this. I would tell them in a split second to mind their own business, there would be some bad blood for about a few days but then these inquiring minds would learn what's the line for them. Like in kindergarten. Your children are not burdens on you. And as for how many more you want it's between you, your husband and your deepest beliefs. The rest should keep their sniffers out of your private business.
    Love to your family.

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  16. Please do not confuse the sadness a mother may feel when she feels she has reached the end of her childbearing for whatever reason , and the heart breaking grief of losing a child you expected and loved dearly. Knowing two women, one in each position at this moment, I can assure you their emotions toward the situation are very different. Please do not disrespect mothers of angel babies by implying the choice to no longer have potential babies is in any way like the sorrow of saying goodbye to a real baby.

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  17. We've got 2 children, I've had 2 miscarriages. Pregnancy and birth are horrible for me, hospitalisation for HEG and Pre Eclampsia. We'd like one more, then, I think we'll stop. We don't use contraception, we use NFP which is safe, effective and easy if used properly. I'm ambivalent on family size, what works for us is not what someone else would choose and vice versa, other people's choices on family size are not my business! ;)Big families are great, so are smaller ones!

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  18. To the last Anon:

    Well hats off to your strength and open mindedness. Seriously, I marvel your strong will. I cannot handle peer pressure and I have done things in my life that women "ought" to do because I cannot handle any pressure, comments, remarks so I cowardly escaped into the hassle free zone. I love big happy and healthy families too. I read here because the pictures cheer me up, the baby is adorable, the stories are funny and thought-provoking but such a large family is not something I could handle even poorly. Yet, I cannot picture myself as a mom of 7 or something. I highly respect women who look after, feed, clean so many little ones. I don't have that kind of confidence, I know I'd be a failure and I don't want to end up being like one of those horrid loud, dirty, mentally rundown people like in the movie Age of Stupid. (Zsuzsa and her family are a biggg part of slowing down the trashification of the nation. We all owe them a big thanks...)

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  19. Um, apparently someone does't know what multiplication is. Having one child is NOT multiplying. If you have 2 parents with one child...when the parents die, there is only 1 human that took the place of the 2. That is a decrease, not an increase in population. The rate of replacement is like 2.1 or something in America I believe...which is not multiplying either, but barely replacing ourselves. In my opinion, 3 is not multiplication either, because if u have 2 parents, 3 is still not to the point of being a multiple of 2. 4 is finally multiplying, because there is more than a mere replacement for each parent. .....I'm just sayin'... LOL

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