Thursday, September 3, 2009

When did family size become a public opinion poll?

I love pregnancy.

I love babies. I even love the kids that the babies turn into.

In a perfect world where I would be rich and far more fertile, I would have at least six kids. I would also not be high risk, on bed rest most of the pregnancy, and have had too many miscarriages.

We have three living sons. We really hope to have a forth sometime in the near future.

I have been asked on more than one occasion, "Are they ALL yours?" Umm there are only three of them? God forbid I decide to share that we want more. There are usually two responses; first there is the, "OMG WHYYY would you do that?", and the even better, "Ohhh, you want a girl huh*?".

Which leads me to the question, when the hell did it become socially acceptable to voice an opinion on the size of any family?

As you can guess this little tirade is care of the Duggars announcing number 19 is on the way. I personally am in awe she has been able to carry so many healthy babies. I am also not at all surprised she is pregnant again, but you know what? It's none of my damn business, how many kids they have. I am shocked at how strongly people are reacting to the news. I am sure the Duggars are secure in their choice of family size, but I can bet some of the barbs being thrown their way hurt. Now imagine a woman is NOT secure or sure about the size of her family,or doesn't have a huge support system, how does she react when people make rude comments?

I have seen a variety of sides of the family size spectrum. I have a friend who only had one child and for a variety of personal reasons was done with the baby making. For many years she really wanted more children, though she didn't readily talk about it. She had to endure constant questions about "when the next baby was coming?" or comments like "you should have more so your daughter isn't alone". All those comments were hurtful to her. I also have a friend who is pregnant with baby number five. The things people have said to her are equally hurtful and the actual disgust people express is mind-blowing, "you are pregnant AGAIN?" or "why on earth would you want so many kids?". Luckily this friend is in a good place and laughs at those people.

I just wish people would consider that when they make snide comments about family size, they realize that there are people with feelings attached to those comments. Am I saying that people don't have a right to an opinion? No. And of course families like the Duggars open themselves up to public opinion by having a TV show. I am not innocent of this either, I found myself caught up in the OMG AGAIN talk today, this post is just as much to remind me, as it is to rant.

*For the record we are NOT trying for a girl. I really don't care, I just want a healthy baby. That used to seem so cliche to me, but after losing four babies, it's the God's honest truth.


Sarah R said...

It is for exactly those reasons that my hubby and I haven't told our family that we are considering a reversal. I simply don't want to hear their nonsense.
Since my youngest is the one with autism, I've even heard some family members say, "Wow, I bet you wish you'd stopped at 2." NO. Just because he's not *perfect* in the eyes of society doesn't make him any less precious to us.
I think for most people, they comment out of ignorance. But for a few, they do it to be hurtful.

Aunt Becky said...

There's one thing I've learned over the years: people will judge you for ANYTHING. ANYTHING they can. It's hard to handle sometimes. I'm sorry. Family size is up to you and your husband.


mom2nji said...

Aint that the truth? It seems mothers in particular are just looking for something to rip apart. I think for most it comes down to insecurities.

SageMom said...

This is true...

I love being a mom. I'm a mom of two boys and I've been thinking I may want another baby. It's not to try and have a girl, but it's simply because I love being a mom and I just picture having a big family (not as big as the duggards).

It really is unfortunate people are judging.