Last time around during pregnancy I heard the typical labor horror stories that people like to tell new mothers (and came away with one of my own). This time around the stories and comments are a little different. And they’ve become so typical and expected that sometimes it’s hard not to laugh.
It starts with:
“How far apart are they going to be?”
Upon hearing the answer “just a little over 24 months” a series of other questions/comments follow.
Usually it’s a variation of the question: “What are you going to do if they hate each other?” or the comment: “They’re going to fight all the time!”
Since I’m now noticeably pregnant I’ve found that I can expect this on pretty much every trip into town. And it’s so predictable (and ridiculous to bring up at this point) that it’s hard not to laugh.
I’ve noticed that these particular comments only seem to come from people who are around the age of my parents’ generation, while people who are younger and older have their own opinions on the matter.
People who are a generation ahead of the baby boomers have been far more likely to encourage us and talk about the wonderful relationships they had with their own siblings and how it’s so important in old age to have big families because everyone is there for each other.
And I’ve met a lot of people my own age who came from little families and who want to have lots of kids.
Only women in the boomer generation really seem to have a lot (negatively) to say about the matter.
I do wonder at the reason behind these now typical comments. I think it may be a combination of factors. The first might be that I’m probably around the advice givers own children’s age, so they’re used to giving motherly advice to people in my age group.
The second factor I’ve thought about is that they were the generation that was so “empowered” to “control their bodies” and their “sexuality.” Family sizes plummeted in a lot of these families in the last generation or two and I think they sometimes see having two so close together as a sort of carelessness. After all, reproduction had become something to be controlled and regulated when they came of age and children, for many, were no longer a blessing.
I could explain that this was exactly how we hoped things would turn out, but then they’d really think I was crazy.
You see, whether they’re getting along wonderfully or fighting like cats and dogs (and I know we’ll likely have plenty of both, especially if God continues to bless us) I believe that having more children will be a blessing to our entire family.
And that leads me to my second favorite question, from people who know we plan on homeschooling… “But HOW will you EVER socialize your children”
But that is the topic of another post (coming soon I hope!)!
I'm always so uncomfortable with questions that venture anywhere near this topic; it just seems so personal to me. But I find that it's very prevalant. I have the opposite "problem" but with the same sort of intrusive result - I have just 1 child (and hope for more!), but I get the, "you are going to have more, right? It's not fair to a child to not give them siblings." I always think to myself, "what about people who medically cannot have more? Wouldn't this comment make her feel awful?" I also get comments about how any second child I may have would be "so far apart in age" from my first, but I could write a whole separate post about that :)ReplyDelete
Hmm... well my sister and I are just under 24 months apart (birthdays are 10 days apart) and we got along real well as children, and even now as adults. So I say those people who make the type of comments that they'll fight can't always be speaking the truth. Don't you just love it when people make comments like that?!ReplyDelete
There's a discussion going on over at another blog I follow about homeschooling. So far it's been pretty negative. If I had more knowledge about homeschooling I'd give more thoughts on the subject. It's http://nowealthbutlife.com/ if you want to take a look.
Actually Cammie, I think the number one reason people give out so much advice/drivel is to feel self-important. Maybe. :)ReplyDelete
My mother (boomer generation) came from a large Catholic family of 8, most of which were less than two years apart.ReplyDelete
There were always moments where some of them didn't get along, but that happens, I think, in any situation where people are living together in close quarters.
And as for socialization-well, they all went to public school but I believe when there's enough people around (such as what will occur in large families), the socialization will happen just fine. Plus, there are plenty of homeschooling groups in every major city, so when the time comes I'm sure there will be plenty of other families for your children to mingle with.
I think your point about the baby boomer generation is a good one. It's interesting to see how the people in our generation are more of a mix (at least in my experience): some of them repeat the boomer control mantra, while as you say others want a big family, and others are so into relativism that they won't judge you no matter what!ReplyDelete
That must be so frustrating! Often outside of the Catholic sphere - and inside of it, too - people often forget that human life isn't something that we're supposed to manipulate for our own ideas of perfect. It is, every time, without exception, a miraculous joy! You probably have more patience than I would have.ReplyDelete