so many babies

I have a 2-year-old, a 9-month-old, and my husband and I are trying for two more. I don’t usually go sharing my family plan. I don’t make public announcements about it.

Well, unless you count this very public blog I’m writing on right now…

The thing is, I love being a parent. I’m confident in my decision and quite frankly, I’m not looking for opinions. I’ve always wanted four kids. That’s all there is to it.

But when you’ve had two children back-to-back, it opens up a door for people to inquire. “How many more are you going to have? What’s the stopping point here?” At some point it seems society determined that two kids is “normal.” Three is acceptable, but most people will assume that last one was…ahem…unintentional. If you actually shoot for four, especially here in the over-priced and over-crowded state of California, there must be something wrong with you.

People don’t hesitate to offer up their opinion on the matter, either. They think of it as their educational duty. They want to share overpopulation statistics and first-hand knowledge about difficulties you have yet to face. They want to SAVE your poor children from a cramped home and overtasked parents. You’ll hear everything from psychological theories to first-hand accounts of neglect.

I don’t even have these hypothetical third and fourth children yet and already I find myself in the awkward position of explaining their existence.

I think the fact that they aren’t here yet makes people feel comfortable telling me I shouldn’t have them. I’d certainly hope they wouldn’t tell me to abandon ship if I was already knocked up with another! It’s kind of like sharing kids’ names: it’s best to wait until they’re already out and the ink is printed on the birth announcement. Then it’s too late for people to disagree.

So what’s an attempting-to-concieve mom of two to do? I could lie about it. When people ask, I could easily tell them we’re going to wait and see. But what happens when I turn up pregnant a few months down the road? Everyone will assume it was an accident. Is that more socially acceptable than actively hoping for a third? I’m having to choose between that bizarre situation and numerous weird conversations in which I justify the size of my family.

It’s getting really old explaining how we’re going to configure ourselves in vehicles, at restaurants and on rollercoasters.

So please stop asking.

About 

Chelsea Day runs the family blog Someday I’ll Learn, where she and her husband tackle domestic life, including cooking, cleaning, parenting, organization, money management and more…one day at a time! They aim to simplify life for other busy parents with helpful tips and a healthy dose of reality.

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12 Responses to Stop asking how many children I’m having!

  1. I have 4 in CA and I get comments about how many kids I get everywhere I go. I hate to even bring up that I’ve actually had 5 but one passed away but that does tend to stop the comments pretty fast. Honestly, I wouldn’t turn down one more. I hate to think of the comments I would get then! One older couple actually followed me to my car one day to “make sure I wasn’t going to have any more”. I’m not sure what they thought was going to happen as I walked through the parking lot!

  2. Erica says:

    I have 5, 4 boys and then a girl. It wasn’t like we kept trying til we got a girl, like she was a carnival prize or something. All day I get comments along those lines. And then they ask if I am done. Like this is Thanksgiving dinner and I got up for 3rd servings or something. I always feel about asking about THEIR gynecological exams and issues. This is really one of my pet peeves. I wish people would stop, what the heck do they care what I do. My kids are dressed fine, fed fine, have basic manners, get love and attention, they do extra curricular activities etc. I would go for 6 if my I could get my husband on board!!

  3. I felt the same way with one. Everyone felt the need to tell me how terrible I was just for planning on having an only child. Everyone thought my second daughter was an accident when she was definitely not. We just didn’t feel compelled to share our decision to try for a second baby. The point is people always think they know better than you. I think no one knows you and your family better than you. Do want makes you happy and ignore the rest of them.

    • Chelsea Day says:

      That’s the other thing. Once you make comments favoring one parenting style or decision, everyone holds you to it like you’ve made some big commitment. Parents learn, grow, come into new circumstances and change their minds all the time!

  4. I totally hear ya! We have two now and people seem very happy that we are at two and make the comment, “so you are done then?’ in a very assuming way. My response is always, “Im having so much fun I just don’t feel done yet.” Then again I haven’t successfully potty trained them yet, that might turn the tide for my ‘done feeling.’ ;)

    • Chelsea Day says:

      We were mid-potty training and then left on an extended vacation that threw a wrench into things. I always think long-term. It’s not like he’ll go off to college still wearing diapers! I actually used to work in elementary school and as much as parents worried about it, we never had a kindergartener come in un-potty trained. They figure all these developmental milestones out when they’re ready.

  5. I have 5 and have gotten “the look” from people many times especially when I tell them my oldest is 20. Yes I started young but I did figure out how it happened and waited until I got married to start again. But still. I think I have done a pretty good job with my kids so far. I do remember especially after my 3rd getting those questions of, “You are done, Right?” or “Are you having anymore?” in that I hope she says no kinda way. I always wanted 4 much like you. Call me crazy, call me kooky but I have this thing for even numbers and since I wanted more then 2 and less than 6, 4 seemed like a perfect number. Now the 5th came into our family through adoption and she was a teenager. I would adopt more in a heartbeat but I don’t see that in our future.

  6. [...] you done having kids? Are we going to have any more? As Chelsea let us know last week, “stop asking me if I’m having more kids! It’s a question that gets asked a lot! The other question I still get all the time is, [...]

  7. Or you could be like me and accidentally have a fourth! And I sure do hate the comments “Oh you finally got your girl!” Oh yes, people, I was obviously in some kind of baby-having challenge.

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