My mother is the middle child out of seven. That's right, she has six brothers and sisters. My mother in law has around 14. My father in law tops the charts with something like 17 siblings. This was only two generations ago. Now I walk through the grocery store with my three children and I get stopped multiple times with the comment, "Wow, you sure have your hands full!"
It's not the comment in itself that bothers me. It's the tone of voice. That little hint of something that insinuates that you think I'm certifiably nuts because I have more than the "average" 2.5 allotted children. Or worse, that repulsive question, that I honestly cannot believe a stranger would ask, "Don't you know what causes that?"
I'm sorry. I truly wasn't aware that children were some kind of communicable disease that must be prevented at all costs. The most hurtful of all the comments come from family members who seem to think that we are just determined to put ourselves in dire straits with each pregnancy that occurs.
I love children...especially my own. I dreamed of children my whole life. In large quantities. In fact, I remember telling Alec before we were married that I always saw myself having at least 4 or 5 children. Now, with 3, I still feel that way. I had a quite horrid childhood and I daydreamed about the lives that I would give my children to help transport me from the things going on in my own. I know MANY people with more children than we have. Many more. Makes me wonder the comments THEY get.
When did having three children become so abnormal? When I was pregnant with Aron, several people told me that they figured we were "done" now since we had one child of each gender. Is that the only mission in having children? To ensure that you have a boy and a girl? Would they have said that to me if Lydia had come before Aron? THEN would it be acceptable to have a third child?
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." Psalm 127:3
Now, before you say anything. I do not judge at all the number of children someone else has in their family. That is a decision between you, your husband, and the Lord and it is none of my business. I do not think someone is "less Christian" if they only have one child or that they are "more godly" if they have fifteen. We do not consider ourselves Quiverfull and have no plans to try to catch up the Duggars, but even if we did, what' s the big deal? Having children is an individual family's decision and quite frankly, in my very honest opinion, the outside world should have no commentary on the matter.
I just don't get the mentality that so many parents these days have about their children. They have them because they think they are supposed to, then spend the next 18 years complaining about how much they are driving them crazy and then hurry them along so they can get them out of their hair.
My children are such blessings to me. It makes me deeply sad that they are growing so fast and every time I'm struck with the realization that they have moved up into another developmental stage I feel a little twinge in my heart, that reminds me that my time with them is so very fleeting.
Does this mean that they are perfect little angels? Absolutely not. Do they ever make me feel like I'm going completely batty? Most definitely. Quite often, really. But, I still wouldn't trade it for the world. Despite all the times when I feel like I'm completely lost when it comes to discipline, despite all the times when I've changed twenty diapers and cleaned up the fifth spilled drink of the day, despite all the times I have to reread the same storybook for the third time in a row, my children are precious to my heart. Every day my children make me smile. Every day I get to watch them learn something new about this great big world that God made. Every day I get the opportunity to help shape and mold three little hearts towards the Lord. Every day I hear a precious voice say, "Mommy, I love you." So, yes, I have my hands full. And I love it.
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