A certain person I know has, for years, said negative and demeaning things about people who have large families. Things like “they’re crazy”, “they must be nuts”, “how can they give their kids enough attention”, “it’s ridiculous (or irresponsible) to have that many kids”. And so on.
Believe it or not, I have kept my mouth shut — taking it with a grain of salt each time.
That is, until today.
I have had it up to my hairline and beyond with these kinds of remarks. It doesn’t help that this person and I had a heated discussion yesterday regarding the dumbest advice I think I’ve ever been given by a person who has no right even breathing a word on the subject considering this person’s lack of responsible behavior in a certain area. That is vague on purpose.
My parents raised 7 children. My paternal grandparents raised 13 while my maternal grandparents raised 8. To say I come from a big family is the understatement of the year. I believe I have somewhere around 75 first cousins with both families combined. I have no idea how many of those cousins have produced children of their own. I’m sure the numbers now are well over 100 with first and second cousins combined. And we’re still having children. Some of my first cousins are still under the age of 10. I think a couple may even be under age 5. Huge family! Absolutely humongous!
In my family segment, my precious parents (who have been married for over 36 years) have their ninth grandchild on the way (our wee one). One of my sisters is trying to get pregnant with her 2nd. One of my sisters has three girls. My brother has 2 girls. My youngest sister just got married last weekend. Two of my siblings are in serious relationships, but not married yet. That leaves a whole bunch of room for more nieces and nephews for me and many more grandchildren for my parents of awesomeness. I think Christmas, one day, will be unbelievably expensive for all of us. Yikes!!
So for anyone to condemn large families to me is like calling my entire family a bunch of idiots.
Not a good idea.
It’s an even worse idea while I’m all chock full of hormones and 8 months pregnant.
Yeah. Dumb move.
So I did what any upstanding young woman with her third child on the way would do. I shot the person dead and now I’m going to jail.
Nah. In my mind I wanted to rip out hair and poke out eyeballs though.
First of all, both of my lovely heathens were fighting and yelling in the seat right behind me. The person on the phone heard the commotion and said “what would you do if you had 10 of them”. I said “I’d throw every last one out the window”. We chuckled. Then the person said “well what do you think about people who do have 10 kids then — they are nuts, aren’t they”? I stopped the chuckle right then. “You know what” I said. “You’ve been saying derogatory things about people who have a lot of kids for many years now and I’ve put up with it. I’ve been patient. I’ve been kind. But you must understand that when you say things like that you are putting down my entire family and that hurts my feelings. I don’t like it even a little bit and it doesn’t amuse me.” The person sounded taken aback and said “what well I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, I just mean that I couldn’t handle it”. I received and accepted an apology and then quickly got off the phone.
Right after that the girls at Subway started in on me having a girl and a boy already and what made me decide to have another child since I have one of each. I must be crazy they say and all three laugh it up. I played along. Deep inside I was painfully aware of the way I am viewed by society. I have too many kids. I am crazy to want more. How do I do what I do? Why? How? Ha ha ha this is so funny and entertaining.
It’s not funny. It’s not entertaining.
I am proud of my family. I am proud of my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, and cousins who have decided to grow their families despite what anyone else thinks or says. I had a wonderful childhood. I would change nothing about it. I love my family deeply.
I’m sick of being the butt of jokes. I am sick of being the circus who just arrived because it’s oh such a novelty to ask Heidi to tell the whole room full of people how many cousins/aunts/uncles or whatnot she has. I can hear the circus music play as the laughter fills the room along with the wide-eyed expressions on the faces of unbelieving or astonished people.
My family is not a circus.
My family is not crazy.
My family is awesome.
If it were up to me, I’d have more children. Not the natural way, however. But if Rich would open his heart to it I’d certainly adopt — at least one, maybe more.
I love kids.
I grew up surrounded by love.
My family may not have lots of money, but they sure do have lots of love.
An overabundance of it, in fact.
And. It. Makes. Me. Proud.