Even when my now husband and I were just dating, we talked bout the size of our “potential” family. We both agreed we wanted to have a “big” family. From what I recall, we agreed that 4 kids would be perfect. 2 boys and 2 girls. We might have even talked about 5 at some point, but who knows. We just wanted lots of fun and excitement and a full house of visitors when we are old and gray and big dinners and big adventures and lots of love.
When we got married I was still quite “immature” (yeah, we’ll use that word) and was nowhere near ready to be a parent and have a tiny human depend on me. I couldn’t even depend on myself. But before I knew it, oopsie whoopsie, I found out that it’s NOT true that you have to be off birth control for several months before it’s “out of your system,” (thanks for that tip to the innocent, pals!) and I was- bitterly, for a bit- making a tiny human. My son was born and he was precious. He truly was a gift to us. Then, another lesson was learned- albeit a little too late- and when my son was 5 months old we learned we were going to have another baby, and we were sore afraid. (See what I did there?) So we disproved the myth that there’s no time for- ahem, you know- when there’s a baby in the house.
We got plenty of comments and looks when people realized the difference in age our two kids would be. I really appreciate them feeding my utter terror of the situation I was going to have to face as well. So sweet. Ha. (I’m kidding mostly, not everyone was so discouraging.)
So there we were with two Irish twin BOYS. Fighting and hitting and yelling and running and wrestling and screaming and disobeying and throwing and ignoring and— how long can blog posts be nowadays? I felt like I’d NEVER be able to have another child because I couldn’t add to this chaos. It isn’t fair to those around me, and what if I can’t handle it myself? You can’t just give a real, live person back and say “Nevermind, I thought I could manage you, but I can’t. Maybe someone else can.” I mean, for pete’s sake people frown upon doing that with animals, surely they wouldn’t accept it with PEOPLE?! (Ha. Or would they???) Either way, we waited a bit and decided eventually, that it was now or never. We had our third child when our second boy was 2.75 years old. And praise the Lord Jesus she was a girl! I really wanted to wear one of those shirts my whole pregnancy that said, “Yes, I’m pregnant. Again. Yes, we know how it happens.” Mainly because I was proud that we actually figured out HOW it happens, or rather we figured out how to for sure NOT let it happen for about 2 years straight! But I did not get that shirt. Instead, I just answered those questions when people asked. Our happy little family is still chaotic, but when it’s sweet, it’s sooooo sweet.
And now I have come to the whole point of this blog post. It is well-passed the time we would have liked to have had that 4th child we always planned. We never wanted any of our kids to be too far apart because we wanted them to grow up with a tight sibling bond (and extra reasons to fight).
So why have we put it off and why is it worth writing about? There’s one main reason I’m scared to have a fourth child, and that is:
What will other people think?! Or worse- – – SAY??
Yup. That’s pretty much it. I am worried about the judgment, the looks, the disapproval, and the lack of understanding and grace. We live in a time and society where big families seem to be viewed as annoying and irresponsible to most and they seem to be disapproved of while the families with two children (one boy and one girl, of course) are “perfect.” Don’t get me wrong, to some, that is perfect; but some of us just thrive off of pressure and anarchy. Like me. You might think my choice to have more than three kids is questionable. But guess what? I think your choice to only have one is weird. I’m kidding. I don’t judge people for that, because that’s not my journey. That’s your journey. And only YOU can embark on YOUR journey. 😉
I do know this: what I DON’T want to hear for the rest of my life- from a stranger or anyone else- is, “Guess you shouldn’ta had so many kids.”
I feel like I will be inviting scrutiny every time my family does something not “perfect” or “ideal.” Each time something negative happens to bring attention to us people will be thinking “Guess you shouldn’ta had 4 kids.”
- Each time one of my kids has a meltdown.
- Each time we decline a dinner invitation to save money.
- Each time we are late to a family function.
- Each time I accidentally start leaving the store without one of my kids. 😉
- Each time I forget to fill out a certain paper for school.
- Each time I say my kids are driving me nuts.
- Each time I tell my guests that they won’t be able to sit on the couch because it’s covered in laundry that needs folded and put away.
- Each time I say I’m sick of dealing with diapers or trying to potty train.
- Each time I have to ground or scold two kids at the same for who-knows-what.
- Each time I complain that I don’t get enough “me” time.
- Each time my kitchen floor is sticky and dirty dishes are left on the table.
You get my drift, right? Is all of this really so bad and is it all just because we had “too many” kids? At the end of they day, we are two loving parents who can provide our kids with the things that they truly need and all the love that any child would want.
Whether you have one kid, no kids, or 4 kids…
Life is messy.
Life is exciting.
Life is heartbreaking.
Life is sweet.
Life is hard.
Life is worth it.
Whether you have one kid, no kids, or 4 kids…
Life… is a beautiful ride.
…Do you feel judged about decisions such as this? Do you find yourself “judging” others? Please, respectfully leave your comments!!!