- Family and Parenting
Yes, I have more than two kids and no, I'm not "fixed", so bug off.
What's an average family number now?
Let's face it, in today's world it's no longer normal to have a large family. That idea is fairly new, however most people don't realize it. The idea that the "perfect" family is two parents, two kids, and a dog is as assumptive as thinking all green things are plants. Oddly enough, a simple Google search will reveal the sheer wrongness of that though, quickly returning with "2.5" as the answer. How is that the "right" answer anyway? Half a child? The popular consensus is that it means having two and being pregnant, which results in 3, 4, or more if multiples happen along, so that pushes the notion of only having 2 even farther from reality.
What would our grandparents have done if someone told them they shouldn't have more kids? They'd have made more and laughed in the face of adversity. Sure, most ran farms and having more little hands to do work was a plus, but even if there had been more birth control options back then, large families were normal and nothing to be embarrassed or ridiculed over. Thinking that our grandparents had kids "way back then" is also wrong. Generally our parents are only 20-30 years older than us, so that's only been 40 or so years ago, and how did they manage getting them to work anyway? I can't even get mine to put dirty clothes in one place!
Just in personal family, one grandparent had 5, and on the other side there were 4. Lets extend that some and look at great grandparents, which had 12, 16, 8, and 9 respectively. No, not all children survived to adulthood, but most did. No, they didn't always prosper in life and may have all slept in a one room hut, but they took care of their kids and worked hard. Let's look at one of the reasons most think you shouldn't have large families now, that both parents have to work. Okay, I get that, times are different. What were our grandmothers and great grandmothers doing with all those kids? Well, strapping them to their backs and working the fields, canning food, feeding animals, cooking, cleaning, making all the clothing, and well... I could go on forever. Is that not work? Have those "people" saying these things ever had kids? Working a salary or hour position or not, kids are work! But now, because we are working in offices or at other jobs, it's "too much work" to have more than two? I don't buy into that one bit!
Let's see how it adds up.
How many children do you think is "average" to have now?
Why all the questions?
Despite the fact that it was commonplace just years ago, now families with more than two kids are looked at as though they are all green, and I don't mean the bio-friendly all green. Questions seem to spew from the mouths of strangers, family, and friends alike. If you only have one it's, "You don't want him/her to be alone do you?". If you happen to have one of each it's, "You're done now, right?", but if you have two the same gender it's, "You are gong to try for a girl/boy now, right?". Once you have one of each or three it's, "Don't you know what causes that?". Well yes, we do, that's why it keeps happening, we kind of like it! "Did you keep trying for a boy/girl?" Well, I'm pretty sure that despite some old wives tales about gender swaying, whatever sperm meets the egg is going to be the gender that we get, and we are pretty dang happy as long as we have a healthy baby! I mean, when they yell it's a boy/girl, most of us aren't going to yell, "put it back", now are we? "Well, you are/did get/getting fixed after this one, right?" My favorite response to this one is, "Do you own my uterus?" I mean really?
"I bet you like all that welfare money, huh?" This is the one question that bugs me the most... to assume that because we have more than two children means we are on welfare is just preposterous! Most states don't even have cash payments anymore for one, and those that do require hours a day in a classroom to learn about proper employment search practices, parenting, and so on. Some pay out as low as 26 cents an hour to do said classes. Do you really think our children are as healthy, happy, clothed, and our rent is paid on 26 cents an hour? I sure as heck don't think so! With more than one or two children, how would we make that work anyway? I mean, child protective services would have a field day if we left kids at home to attend a class now wouldn't they?
They are ours, not yours.
To start out, I was embarrassed every time someone commented or asked a question because it made me feel like they might be right, but now I come back with force. Sometimes, I admit, I am more hateful and angry that I would like to be, but these people don't pay any of my bills, and they therefore don't have the right to say anything. We provide for our kids, my husband works 16 hour shifts to do so, and then I do odd things from home as well as working on his days off. We have a little money in savings, all of our bills are paid, they have clothes to wear (no, not name brand unless I buy them used, but places like wal-mart and target carry brand new items for $3-$5 a piece and they are cute!), they have their meats and veggies every day, they are happy, they are well adjusted, and they are OURS! That's right folks, OURS! Not yours, not his, not hers, not theirs, but OURS! How we provide for them, our financials, our mental state, and everything else is our business and no one else's. If you asked anyone else that, you would run the risk of getting a verbal lashing that would move a mountain, but alas, you save those things for those of us that you deem it okay to assault with your words of, well, I guess not so much hate as ignorance. It is indeed my body, and I will grow as many, or as few as I want to. Now if I weren't taking care of them, or was dumping them on this or that family member every chance I got, or giving them away, neglecting, abusing, or abandoning them, then I could see opinions coming. That is however far from the case, as it is with most large families. I mean hey, if we still have them and they are still alive after colic, trust me, we aren't giving up now! The goal is in site!
I have now began to ramble, so I apologize. As you can see, this is a big issue that those of us with larger families deal with. It's not just us, everyone that I talk to with more than 2 or 3 children seem to deal with it in one way or another, and it's NOT okay. If you are with me and have this kind of issue, I'm sorry you have to deal with it. If you are not with us and realize that you have said these things, please realize how hurtful they can be. I will cover more in depth on these things in future posts, but for now think on this.