Wednesday, August 3, 2011

"Yes, they are all ours."

Something rather intrusive happened when we started having children.  All of a sudden complete strangers were all up in my reproductive business.

I remember being pregnant with our first and shocked at the attention I received.  I could no longer go out in public without someone talking to me.  For a shy girl who would much rather go unnoticed, this was not an easy thing.  But, I was a proud mama and most of their comments were sweet.  What I was not happy about was that people I barely knew thought it was OK to just reach out and rub my belly!

Two years later came baby #2, this time a baby girl.  Everyone was so happy for us.  They thought that we had achieved the ultimate goal:  "The perfect family".

Then came baby #3 and people stopped being so nice.  Our perfect family was no longer cute...it was "a handful".

With baby #4, people were downright confused"Are they all yours?!"
And then just plain rude.  "Are you getting your tubes tied?"  "Do they all have the same father?"  "Better you than me!"

They also started to insult my children.  They assumed that we had been trying for another girl, and since we had another boy, our child was not wanted.  "Oh, your poor girl with all those brothers!"  The princess of our family certainly did not feel like she needed pity.

When I showed up pregnant with our 5th child, people put us in a whole new category.  "So, are you like those Duggars?"  "You should have a camera crew following you around!"

I've also been surprised at how much encouragement we've received.  For every one negative comment, we have probably heard five positive ones.  We are always being commended for how well behaved our children are in public.

I've had countless grandmothers pull me aside and say, "I just love your big family! My only regret is that I didn't have more."  And then they go on to tell me they had 7 children!

Over the years I haven't known how to react to all the comments.  Many times I just smile politely and walk away.  But lately I've been feeling very convicted.  I've been reminded of the Bible verse:

"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.  Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have..."  ~I Peter 3:15

Our faith absolutely has inspired our desire for a large family.  We are not trying to make a radical religious statement.  We have simply prayed that God would give us His heart for children.

Now that my baby bump with #6 is becoming more obvious, there has been a whole new set of questions and comments.  But this time around I am seeking wisdom in how to respond.

I want to encourage the weary-eyed mothers of little ones.  It does get easier.
I want to challenge the grumpy baby boomers to view children differently.  They are not a nuisance.  They are not a drain on society.  They are blessings.  They are our future.  Their innocence should inspire all of us to live differently.

We feel truly blessed to be given the gift of our children.  We now have a home that is so full of love and laughter it is bursting at the seams.

13 comments:

  1. Yay!!!! I get to be the first (on this post, at least) to say congratulations!!!!! I LOVE big families. If our living situation were different, I'd have a passle more. We're good with 4 at the moment, but I don't feel quite done yet... ;) You go, girl! Raise those little children of the kingdom!!! :)

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  2. Beautiful, Crystal :-)

    People always have to say something weird about everything. About small families too. People keep badgering me about when I will have more. People always ask me when I am having more and challenge me when I tell them I'm not having more. I don't think the reasons, my heath being a reason included, that I'm not having more are anyone's business.

    But someone always has something to say about something *sigh*

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  3. #6???!?!?! CONGRATULATIONS! i'm so happy for you guys!!! i love reading all your blogs! thanks for sharing!

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  4. as a mom of 9 i totally understand and agree with you on the rude comments. i get the are your tubes tied question all the time or the you must be trying for another boy(no actually i was hoping the last would be another girl thank you very much)good for you momma and god bless

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  5. Yes, I love this. I have a heart for many too and I love every aspect of your family. People are rude and just plain dumb. I think that your life and the impact you are making in the world is huge!!! You are making a difference in the world creating and raising a family that is an army for him. Don't fret over what others say. You kids are some of the best behaved kids that I have ever seen. (and I have dealt with A LOT of kids...A LOT) I love hanging out with your family. LOVE IT!!!! and as far as being asked if "they have the same Dad" I get asked this often......unfortunately this is because people commit to a baby before they commit to each other. (I think it comes with our age...I am sure you give a much better response to these questions then I do.....hahah....cause I am so spicy to these remarks) The world is broken and in those negative comments made to you, you can see it. You are just seeing a broken world and even Christians judge (when they shouldn't) and have been effected by the worlds view..."the easy way and the way that "we need to think ahead instead of GOD WILL PROVIDE"....aren't we supposed to go forth and multiply. Some of us aren't as good at multiplying as others. :) Soooooo wish I was!!!!

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  6. Congratulations, Crystal! I didn't realize you were expecting again. Children are indeed a blessing, and you're right, it does get easier. :)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  7. Thanks everyone!!! We are so excited to be adding another little one to our family. Thank you so much for the encouragement. God has blessed me with so much support that more than makes up for all the negativity I get.

    And Amanda you are so right...people have to say something about everything! I don't know who taught these people their manners...but when I was growing up I learned "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all!"

    It is much more sad when it comes from other Christians...

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  8. Yay! Congratulations!!! XOXO Don't let the negativity of others weigh you down. We all know that Go(o)d wins in the end! :)

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  9. Best comment i ever received after becoming a foster mommy. "i'm sorry you can't have your own children." haha i wanted to scream at the random lady in the church foyer but instead I said thank you and walked away. Even if I can not give birth to a child, I do have my OWN child....hmmm, maybe people are just trying to make themselves feel or look better.

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  10. I'm pretty much in awe of you- I have two little boys & most days I wonder how I'll survive! Congrats on your newest blessing that's on the way!

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  11. I don't know how I missed this post! Wonderful news! Need more Jesus lovin' and servin' mamas and daddies like you two! Thank your for your encouragement over on my post. Also, I love all your tips... as a family of soon-to-be seven in a 900 sq foot par-renovated old farm house... I'm going to have to take "organization" and intention to a whole new level!

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  12. My sister tells me stories all the time about the looks she gets when she takes her 4 into the grocery store. I'm so sorry people can be so ignorant and intrusive towards the lives of others. I'm also glad to know you have the love and support of so many. As an individual with 12 aunts and uncles (plus their spouses), I wouldn't have wanted any of my grandparents to have less than their 7 each! And on another hand, I ALWAYS wished I had more siblings. At least I have lots and lots of cousins ;)

    Love, Brittany

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  13. I can't believe people are so rude! I'm a one-and-done kinda girl (my son is 14 months), but isn't it up to each of us? I would never make comments like that to other people. I was lucky, too, that nobody ever tried to touch my belly except my mom, husband and doctor!
    Well, I'm impressed by your big family and that you can manage to homeschool, to boot! Go, girl!

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