Friday, June 6, 2014

Criticism Galore

I came across this article shared by a friend on Facebook and boy does it hit the nail on the head! I am pregnant with my third child and feel like everyone has an opinion about it. You would be amazed at some of the comments we have received, some are very sweet and encouraging but most make you want to say, "Wow, did that really just come out of your mouth?" 

The most insulting was received just 2 weeks ago while attending Sebastian's Gymboree class. Jonathan used his lunch hour to join us for the class, he was holding Paisley and getting her ready while I took off Sebastian's shoes on the bench near another mom and her son. Out of nowhere, she eyed Jonathan and Paisley, very obviously, then moved to Sebastian and I...with an awful look on her face and clearly without thinking, she rudely asked, "How old are they?" I am asked that frequently, typically in a sweeter manner but I responded with "1 and 2." Her next comment was so rude I didn't even know how to respond, "That's what I thought, that's too close! And your pregnant again." Jonathan is generally very quick witted and even he was taken back. He did respond with "Well we can't change it and wouldn't even if we could." We both quickly departed the waiting area and I smoldered for awhile wishing I had been quicker with a come back but then being thankful I wasn't because it would not have been nice. 

I realize we live in a society where two children is the norm...where more than that is out of the ordinary and where having more than two children in as many years is even more unusual, but I thought we lived in a society that embraces free will and individuality. I am proud of the fact that my family is a bit out of the ordinary, dare I say "unique!" I am ashamed to say that when I found out I was expecting my third child, I was overwhelmed with happiness followed by a terrible fear of not wanting to tell anyone due to judgement. We waited much longer then previously to make our news public for that very reason. Our friends and family were supportive but even they couldn't help but say the obvious. 

In the article, she shares several popular quotes from nosey individuals and I am sad to say, I've heard them all. The one that angers me the most is "Don't you know what causes that?" I always want to respond with, "No, I'm very ignorant, please educate me on how a child is produced!" 

Anyway, just wanted to share this article for all the other "unique" families out there who have to deal with the same nonsense. Did I ever imagine my life playing out the way it is? No, would I change it? Never! How many more kids am I going to have? I don't know, that's the beauty of life!

Large family shaming: Just stop it already

posted: June 4, 2014, 11:02 am

My youngest child is going to turn 9 this summer, but that doesn’t mean people have stopped questioning my decision to have a large family. I get it, I get it. Large families are rare in our society. We are something of an oddity and people always want to know, how do you do it.

Still, that doesn’t mean that a random stranger has the right to question me about my procreating habits, my reproductive organs or the state of my bank account. This includes my husband’s reproductive organs and “job situation” as well, thank you very much.

So we have six kids. I have to count their ages in their birth order, or else my mind will draw a blank–16, 15, 13, 12, 10, 8. That’s a lot of kids. I understand this. No, we didn’t plan to have that many, but that’s really nobody’s business. The truth is, I planned on being an artist and living in a loft somewhere fabulous. It’s funny how your life changes–what’s even funnier is how you are perfectly okay with the changes along the way.

I read this post yesterday and it made me smile: To the lady ashamed of being pregnant with her fourth. Been there, done that. You are expecting again and you are over the moon happy–another baby! You are so excited because babies are pretty awesome. Then someone comes and rains on your parade.

Another one?
I don’t know how you can afford to have so many.
Don’t you know what causes that?
Was it planned?
Better you than me!

I just can’t with all of it. The comments (some innocent, some downright rude) just keep coming when all a pregnant woman wants to hear is a simple congratulations. And maybe a smile. Is a smile too much to ask?

If babies and families are a blessing, then why are mothers often shamed for their choice to have a large family? My husband and I kept the news of our last child to ourselves for weeks because we didn’t want to deal with the added stress of negativity. What a bummer. I loved this quote from Tales from the Mommy Trenches:

Because your last child deserves just as much excitement as your first.


Now that I’m a mom with teenagers, I make it a point to always smile at young moms who are pregnant and juggling young children in strollers. If I can, I try to offer a few kind words. Oh, your son is adorable and so well-behaved. You’re doing an awesome job, mama. Something. Anything.

Being a mom is tough, whether you have one child or ten.
Be kind.
And if you’re not paying their bills, mind our own business.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you guys! I always wanted to have a large family and was a bit disappointed when things didn't turn out that way. I think it's wonderful to have so many and close together. Enjoy your little munchkin <3