I have had a post in my head for awhile discussing larger families. We have what most would consider a larger family, with four kids and the potential for more either naturally or through foster/adoption. Here in Virginia, many folks we know have three kids, but four is more unusual and more than four is very unusual. Growing up on Long Island, almost everyone I knew came from a two kid house with just a few three kid households.
I find it odd that complete strangers find that they have a right to comment to parents of larger families and to ask very personal questions.
I get asked a lot if we have a large family for religious reasons. I understand that many families do have more children based upon their belief that God determines their family size. I respect their beliefs, but being that I am in no way religious, and lean more towards a belief in multiple gods, I am not putting my fertility on that :)
Folks with lots of kids are often asked if they know what causes it, or if they plan more, and why they have so many. I find this so strange as most would not walk up to someone who has no children or only one and ask them if they know what causes pregnancy...what happens if they say no?? It seems that as fertility and births rise, the need to be respectful of others privacy drop! I actually had someone at my children's fall festival ask me if I was having more, how many more, why I have so many, what I do for a living, etc and she was someone I had never met, didn't work for the school OR have kids AT the school! Does that seem a little much to anyone else? Why does she care?
It is also assumed a lot that I don't work or I am uneducated....imagine the surprise on people's faces when I explain that I am getting ready to finish my doctorate and I am a professor. There are large families where the mom stays home full time, and ones where mom works....as long as the family is happy and functioning well, does it matter what goes on in the household?
So here it is, this is why WE have chosen the family that we have.
I really love my kids, I think they are fun and interesting and they fill my life up in a way that nothing else can. I really enjoy having a house full, I love that they will have siblings to grow up with, to share life experiences with and to depend on. I have made this family my priority, the people on this house come first before anything else. The next thing in line is my job, because it brings in income to support all these people I love, and then whatever is left I give to people outside our family. I don't have a lot of friends, I really don't have the time nor the inclination to deal with the drama that often occurs when others are in your life. The friends I have I treat like family, I love them, care for them and would drop anything for them....that is why I only have a few of them!
I believe in fate, and I honestly believe that the children Ryan and I have been given are the ones we are meant to raise. For now, we are meant to have these four little people in our care and we have CHOSEN not to do anything to permanently remove the option for more children. Being that I am not even 35 years old, the idea of Ryan or I removing the possibility of more children just doesn't feel right to us, and we know that with that comes the possibility that we will have another child. Health wise, I need to be sure that I can handle it should it happen, but that is between me and my doctors, and should they determine that another pregnancy would be a danger to my health, then and only then would be remove the possibility.
I will discuss the environmental impact and "green" factor in relation to larger families in another post this month :)