You know that kind of rage you feel when your ears get hot! That’s the rage that overtook me the other day and only my good breeding and the fact that my parents raised me to be polite and respectful are the only reasons I held my tongue.
That and the fact that talking to a wall would have had a more receptive reaction. How dare someone question me about how many children I have, two is enough for us. That’s our business.
I was talking to a mom I have NEVER met before despite our daughters being in the same class at school for over two years. We were ‘sharing’, getting to know each other and she said she had four children which I was surprised about because I only knew of the three who were all in the pre-school/primary school. She explained that her older child was in the high school. She saw the surprise on my face, and when I asked if she was planning on having any more she said “Yes, maybe another four.” My reply: “My goodness, you are very brave.”
When it came time for me to divulge how many children I had, I pointed to my two and replied: “Those are my two. Two hands, two kids. I won’t cope with more.”
Her reply: “You are lazy. You should have more.” And walked off!
I was shocked! And then came the rage.
I couldn’t believe she said that. How dare she?! Not only did she call me lazy, she was judging me to be of a lower standing than her.
Now let’s be honest, everyone judges everyone else a little bit, but what you think and what you say are two different things. Even though you think something, if you respect the other person’s choice, then don’t verbalise your judgement.
Here was a stranger, judging me for ‘only’ having two children and not continuing to breed. She doesn’t know me at all. There are many many reasons why I might ‘only’ have two children, such as:
- Financial responsibility – including school fees, medical expenses, being able to provide the absolute best we can.
- Fertility – what if I wasn’t able to have more, she doesn’t know. That’s not the case, but it could be.
- Support structure – do I have help with my kids, are there grannys and aunties and family around to help care (No, I have none of that)
- My choice!
Now, if I were to be a bitchy cow and put my ‘judging hat’ on, here’s how a reply might go:
- I have NEVER seen you before, lady – you are clearly extremely busy with the four children you currently have and therefore are not able to do school drop off or pick up ever – not once in two years; or even attend even ONE parent’s evening. No, I don’t want a medal, but I am grateful that I am able to do all that for my two children, I’m giving the two of them all I have and sometimes I feel like I’m spreading myself too thin as it is.
- You spent two minutes watching your 3rd child play in a tournament where she played four games, the rest of the time you were NOT there. In fact, no one was there to watch her. I assume you were trying to watch all four of your children’s games – I’m not sure.
- You are clearly far better off financially than I am, good for you. Either that or you are over committing yourself and I would be interested to know if your potential eight children will all get to go to university one day. (Yes, I’m being bitchy, but I’m still p’d off). At least with ‘only‘ two the chances of us being able to financially provide a high standard (and costly) education to our girls and help them have a good debt free start in their lives is far more achievable than if we were to have 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 kids!
- Do you not care about your own health? Are you just a baby making machine who plans to spend 20+ years just breeding. At the age of about 35 (I’m guessing considering she has a teenage child) and giving each child a 2 year creation/pregnancy/birth recovery/feeding period, four more will take you into your mid 40s. Isn’t that high risk to mom and baby, especially after so many children? *I’m not a doctor.
Now I’ve got that off my chest, I will remove the ‘judging hat’ and behave like the adult I actually am.
I applaud people who want to have big families, I am happy for you, you are very brave and clearly far more adept at this parenting business than I am. Parenting is hard, much harder than I ever expected. You have your reasons for having a large family, and ultimately, it isyour choice. It isyour family.
If you want to have one child, I’m happy for you. You have your reasons. It’s your choice. It’s your family.
If you want to have no children, I’m happy for you. You have your reasons. It’s your choice. It’s your family.
But please don’t tell me I’m ‘lazy’ for choosing to ‘only‘ have two children. It is MY choice. I have MY reasons. It’s MY family.
Why are people still judging each other in this day and age?
Well written and explained
Her words demonstrated a lack of compassion or understanding, especially if you had wanted more and for some reason were unable. I have four, I always wanted a large family, but I applaud those who have more than four as I know I couldn’t manage it. Now that we have them and I know what it’s like I have to confess there are many days when I feel I have really taken on more than I can handle, but obviously I wouldn’t send any of my kids away. Although it’s tough going, when I had two I always knew in my heart I would regret it if I stopped there, and I don’t, they are my treasure. But we know it’s hard being a parent, surely it’s better to help and not harm in the process of supporting one another?!
Exactly. We all know how much we can manage. Thank you for your kind words.
This is just unbelievable! No one EVER has the right to judge your life choices, as long as they are not directly upsetting another human being. Honestly you’re great and this was an important experience to share. #DreamTeam
Thank you. X
I’m happy with 2, too. 2 boys. People still say, “You should try for a girl!” Nope. Not gonna happen. I would love to have a daughter, but I don’t want to be out numbered more. Plus, having more than 2 helps over populate the world.
People often ask my husband if he doesn’t want a boy, but I know he doesn’t. He loves his girls and we are raising them to believe they can do whatever they want, even though they aren’t boys.
I cannot believe she called you lazy. But step in her shoes for a minute. You asked her first about how many she was planning and then called her ‘brave’. I know that sounds like a compliment but I hear from a lot of parents of big families that they are tired of being told they are brave and must have their hands full. (And she was probably sleep deprived lol. Ok, sorry, uncalled for. ?)
Let’s all put the ‘how many kids are you planning to have’ question in the same drawer as the ‘how far along are you’ question. You know, the one glued shut that we never under any circumstances open.
That still sucks though. Hopefully you don’t have to see her much. First impressions can be difficult to overcome.
I hear you, but in this case she was deadly serious and I although I realize ‘brave’ may have been annoying to hear, I was paying her a compliment as I could never cope with that many kids. She was being rude.
Agreed though, hopefully I don’t see her very often again.
My mouth is still open – I’m so shoacked with what she said.
I know! Thank you. I was starting to think maybe I was in the wrong but I certainly was NOT rude!
I am the youngest of four, and chose to have no kids, I’m a GINK.
Quietly horrified that a woman would choose, to have 8 kids!! (Remember Octomum?)
What’s a GINK?
Yes, I remember Octomum. Eeek.
GINK green no kids – is my choice.
But I appreciate people who choose to have a small family. You and I need the next generation.
My jaw just dropped when I read this. Even if you have one kid you definitely are not lazy! Any parent can attest to that. Kids do not equal laziness of any kind. In fact, as a parent you would LOVE to be lazy sometimes! I’m shocked and appalled that she made that comment right to your face when I’m sure she has heard from many people that they are crazy to have a family of 8 kids. If she knows she feels strongly about their decision to have 8 kids, then she should respect that you feel strongly about your decision to have 2 kids. I have so many words I could say on this but I will cut it off there because I could go into “judging hat” territory too :)
lol … thanks. Leave it for me to stick my neck out and say it all.
I think you have to do what is right for you X #globalblogging
Wow! That is a very bold thing for someone to say.
I personally only want two as well…I understand why people want more or less or even none. Having a child is a huge life change no matter what number he or she is.
It’s massive. And every individual knows how much they can handle and cope with!
OMG!!! that is the height of rudeness, I have two children as well and people definitely put on their judgy hats when things like this come up, thanks for a great post!!
Thanks Sandra. I did hesitate about posting this story because everyone has an opinion but in the end I don’t believe I was in the wrong or rude.
I had a friend who had 5 boys she used to get some really awful comments like did you keep trying for a girl. People don’t think before they speak. Just brush it off! Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime ?
Yup … my husband actually has 3 daughters and is always asked: “Don’t you want to try for a son?” … ummm “No.”. He is 100% happy being a dad of only girls.
? yes, yes, yes. We actually hoped for girls each time, I guess it was what we were familiar with. But in no way did we keep trying for a boy. In fact if truth be know the third was a bit of carelessness on our part, if you know what I mean…
Seriously- do people even hear themselves anymore? Like really. Thanks for linking up to globalblogging. One kid, two ids, twenty kids. Its all parenting, its all hard and great and whatever. Lazy my ass!
I can’t believe she said that to you? I would have lost my shit right there! Good on you for keeping your cool… P.A.R.E.N.T.I.N.G is hard, full stop! #globalblogging
Thanks hun. I am really bad at on the spot come-backs. I now have a million things I could have said to her but the moment has passed. Her and her opinion really do mean nothing to me.
Absolutely.. I would have probably said something I would of regretted.. Me and my big mouth ?
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Oh my god I would have been outraged! I hate it when people think they can just comment on your family decisions…I completely agree and think we are fine with just one (plus Emma’s step-brother). Everyone has their reasons for wanting or not wanting more! Thanks for linking up to #dreamteam x
Exactly. It’s none of anyone’s business which we should all remember. X
Yup two’s enough for me too! I love the fact that people do have big families, but I don’t want that. I love our family unit of four. But we have got a dog, almost like a third kid, but not quite!
Seriously though, I cannot believe how rude some people are. You are happy – that’s good for you. Ignore and move on! #Brillblogposts