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.