The dynamics of family has changed a lot over the past few decades. The teen pregnancy rate has significantly dropped, women are waiting longer to have babies, and the average size of families has shrunk. Long gone are the days of people having at least literally a dozen kids (My grandfather had 11 siblings). Today, families are relatively small and more couples are deciding to remain childless. With that being said, these new trends puts me at the butt end of a lot of jokes and unwanted comments because I have a large family.
Now, if you have been following my blog, you will know that a super big family was not really in our plans (Then comes baby in the baby carriage…Lots of babies). We planned on 4 kids and not only did they come close together, we overachieved and while on birth control baby #5 popped up and surprised our asses. Now that the overall OMG we are about to have 5 kids shock factor and fear has been put behind us, it’s been a lovely 5 months of lots of adjustments and such. It has been crazy at times getting everyone ready to leave the house and running errands. The laundry is a complete nightmare and someone is always up to something….but oddly I wouldn’t change anything.
If you would have told me 8 years, hell even 29 years ago that I would have a large family, I would have hysterically laughed in your face. But now, this is my reality. I have 5 kids. FIVE kids….FIVE…F-I-V-E.. ONE< TWO<THREE<FOUR<FIVE!!!
There are a lot of double standards that come with the comments in regards to the size of our family. When it was just Cameron, everyone asked if we were going to try for a girl or have another one. We had Kennedy and then everyone said that things were “perfect” because we had one of each. Cody, everyone was like awww they get a new sibling. Kali, everyone was like OMG you are pregnant again, 4 kids?! and finally Kendall basically everyone was like WTF!? A lot of unwanted comments came from people who I know and although some were just trying to be funny, I wished they would keep their comments to themselves. This goes for strangers as well. I don’t see anything humorous about the size of someone’s family. I understand that it is a little weird now to have more than 2 or 3 kids. I get it, I totally do. But, for those of us who decided otherwise, your comments just seem really well, shxtty.
I don’t need you to tell me how many kids I have. I know how many I have, they came out of my vagina. It really bugs me when people say something and throw in “well you do have 5 kids”. The number of kids I have, has not stopped me from accomplishing things, fulfilling my dreams, or living my life. Our culture has taught us and programmed us to look at multiple kids as irresponsibility. It has taught us to alienate those women who may be single moms who have multiple children. I have seen countless times on Facebook where some guy rants about a chick having too many kids etc. Or they won’t date someone who has more than XYZ kids. You know what? I appreciate stuff like that because to be honest I wouldn’t want to be with anybody who is shallow like that anyway. The size of my family may make me less desirable by some and I don’t care. I am not speaking in terms of dating because I am happily married, in love and well taken care of; but in terms of friendships. Most of my good friends have large families as well. We have this “weird” lifestyle in common.
I do find it funny when I go out with my family that people stare, make comments etc. You would think that being an interracial couple would ruffle some feathers, but having a large family seems to be the focus now. When you have a large family, here are some typical comments and questions you will get:
- Bless your heart
- I couldn’t do it I have (insert number of kids) and I have a hard time keeping up with them, I can’t imagine 5
- You must love being pregnant (Actually I hate the whole pregnancy process, I just want the baby)
- Y’all need a TV in the bedroom
- Your sex life must be amazing
- Do y’all have any hobbies?
- Are you on birth control?
- You must be (insert religion) and don’t believe in birth control
- Are you done having kids?
- How many more are y’all going to have?
- You have a basketball team
- Time for a mini van (This will get you cussed out. I have a nice SUV that accommodates us and all of our shxt)
- Your husband’s pull out game must be weak (we are married grown adults and not careless teenagers, why would we be using the pull out method? btw that shxt doesn’t always work)
- How do you ever have time for yourself?
- Is he getting fixed now?
- Are you getting your tubes tied? (yes I am going to take the parts that are removed and strangle you with them)
- Y’all are trying to be like the (insert family that has an entire congregation)
- You do know what causes that right?
- My favorite: Don’t ya’ll know where babies come from? (Yes, lots and lots of sex because we like sex)
Now, I used to get upset by the comments. Like really pissed off. But now, I expect them and laugh and comment back. There is no reason to be ashamed of the size of your family. I tell this to other large families too often. I have had people privately tell me they would love to have a large family or want to have another baby, but are worried about what people will say. Well those people are not paying your bills, those people are not helping you tend to your children’s needs, those people are not helping you do laundry, buy groceries, change diapers, or anything constructive. If you want more kids and can take care of them, have them. Be fruitful and multiply.
We tend to care too much about the opinions of others even when we don’t think we do. I know I was hesitant to announce my last pregnancy because I simply did not want to be bothered with all of the stupid comments and jokes etc. I wasn’t in the mood. I was not embarrassed or anything like that, just at some point everyone gets tired of other people shxt.
Here are some of the misconceptions I have heard about having a large family:
- It’s expensive: To be honest, our society has taught us that basically everything costs your soul. Going to college, getting married, and having kids. I see it as it is as expensive as you make it. If you buy all name brand designer clothes etc then yes this will be expensive to do with 5 kids. However, if you only buy certain items name brand etc, take care of those items and pass them down to the next child if they are in good condition, then you get your monies worth. Having multiple children allows you to really get the true value out of certain items like cribs, carseats, etc. The other costly thing is transportation. If you have a car you will likely need to upgrade to an SUV with third row seating or a van. For us, it was actually cheaper, because I had a 5 series BMW and traded it in for a Yukon and the car insurance went down. As far as food, buying in bulk saves you money (There will be another post in regards to how we “afford” a large family)
- If you have multiple kids, it is impossible to give them all individual attention: We do things the same way we did when it was just Cameron. We read together, do special things together such as for the girls, I paint their nails, we play video games with Cameron, we take the tots to do things while the older two are at school etc.
- If you have a large family you must have grown up in one: Nope, actually there are 3 of us kid wise in my family and as far as my husband goes, he has 4 half siblings total split between his biological parents.
- This one is my favorite…You are on some type of welfare: I am just not going to comment on this one. Actually yes I am going to comment. It always tickles me when I go to grocery shop for my family (usually about $400 bucks every trip) and the cashier asks how am I paying? or the customer behind me makes a comment about the two carts and automatically assumes food stamps.
- I haven’t heard that dumb joke or comment you just made about my reproductive life before: If I had a dollar for everytime…sooooo original
- The older ones raise the little ones: How in the hell are they going to do that when they are little ones themselves?
Although initially the thought of a large family sent my anxiety over the edge, now that I have one it has changed my perspective of a lot of things. It has shown me that I am capable of doing more than I think I can at times, and it has pushed me harder to become a better person, because I have multiple human beings that I will send off into the world one day. It has taught me that I have just that much more love to give.
It has also taught me how to maneuver the multi-kid tank buggy at Target.