Who would have thought that having 4 children would be such a controversy? Now that we're expecting our fourth in the summer, the comments are starting up again. I say "again" because there were some people who felt that our third pregnancy was just a tad bit overkill. I'm normally a pretty quiet gal, and I don't usually pick fights. However, I'm wondering how to respond to some of these people.
I don't mind so much about my family or friends' opinions. I know they love us, and I can usually understand their point of view and their own preferences as far as family size. The strangers at the grocery store are a bit much, though. Perhaps it's easier to spout an opinion to a stranger you'll never see again.
Here are some comments that I've received (usually followed by our casual mention of baby #4 coming, or followed by a strange old lady rubbing my belly and asking if this is my first):
1) Oh, geez, I couldn't do it!
2) What? Are you crazy?
3) Yeah, like you needed a fourth!
4) *unbelieving wide-eyed stare*
5) Well I'm glad it's you and not me!
6) hehehe, your husband must be getting his fill *wink wink, nudge nudge*
7) Why don't you just get a pet?
8) Was it planned???!!
9) I'm going to get you guys some condoms for Christmas!
10) Ever heard of a vasectomy?
All in all, I must say that I agree with #5. I'm glad it's us, and not them, too. Will this be our last? Likely, but not necessarily. I don't really think it's our decision in the end. I like our kids. They are smart, healthy, cared for, loved, nurtured, clothed, warm and educated. Richard is an awesome daddy. I try my darndest, and Rich seems to think I deserve a thumbs-up as far as parenting. We aren't perfect, but perfect is boring, anyway.
There are some comments that are worth paying more attention to, though. They sound a bit like this:
1) Aw! I'm so happy for you!
2) I always wanted a big family.
3) Oooh! Another baby!
4) If you need any help, I'll watch them for you!
5) That's great news!
6) I grew up in a big family and it was so much fun.
As far as I'm concerned, having more kids doesn't mean family life quality goes down. Rather, I think it's like love - meant to be multiplied, not divided.