I had the awesome opportunity to go to my first blog conference – SoFabU OTR Dallas – last weekend. It was great to meet some new bloggers, meet a couple I had already connected with online first, and take away some valuable information. As I am now 32 weeks pregnant, there’s obviously no hiding the fact that I am with child. Many correctly guessed that it wasn’t my first pregnancy (I am a parenting blogger after all). I said, no, it’s my fourth. I have twin five year old girls, and a two year old boy already.
I thought it was awesome though that so many at the conference also had twins. I sat at a table with two other women who have twins as well, and met up with another blogger I’d been in touch with before the conference who also has twins. And I didn’t even get a chance to talk to everyone, let alone ask about their progeny. But, there may have been even more twin moms among us the 50 or so of us there than I knew!
But, for many who commented on my large girth, I was surprised that many of the comments I received were not about me being crazy for having four kids (which I have come to expect): no, many instead (unnecessarily) started defending their position to stop at two children or three children.
And I totally get it. Not everyone wants more than two or three children, clearly, if you look at the majority of family sizes today. Some can’t or weren’t able to have more than the one, two, or three they were blessed with.
And some just really felt overwhelmed once they hit that blasted third child (which apparently many women think is the hardest, most stressful, number of children to have, though I am not one of them) where they are now juggling more kids than they have arms and eyes.
Some were just done, and felt that they were good-to-go with the 1-3 kids they were given.
So, I wanted to assure you, mothers out there with 1-3 children, that you do not need to defend your baby-making decisions with me. I am not looking down on you for stopping after you had just a few children, no matter what genders or ages they are (meaning I won’t give you the “you need to keep trying for that boy” comment). If you came to your decision open-hearted, open-minded, prayerfully asking for inspiration and guidance on the matter personally and with your husband, there is nothing at all to be ashamed about or to feel defensive about with me.
Because I do believe that the choice to have a child, or another child, is a personal, spiritual one, and isn’t something to take lightly. I have my own strong opinions about what I want for my family and how large I want it to be, but I am also open to whatever promptings I receive from God, and trust that however many kids I have, I will be able to manage them and my life.
I don’t know all the reasons why you, a mother of two or three, chose (or didn’t really choose) to stop at that number. But, the choice was ultimately yours. I may not have made the same choice (oh, wait, I clearly didn’t), but it doesn’t mean I think you are less of a mother, just as I am not more of a mother for having more children. I don’t believe in making child rearing a competition anyway.
So, you may not fully understand large family living, nor I smaller family living. But, that’s what’s great. We can each teach each other something from what we know from our choices and experiences.
So, please, don’t feel the need to defend your small family when confronted with my soon to be six-member family. I sure am trying hard not to feel the need to defend my decision to have a larger family, because I don’t really feel like I need to. The choice was ours, and I am 100% happy with that choice, even if baby #4 will be coming along a little sooner than our original plan.
How many kids do you have? Do you feel the need to defend that number?