Check Yourself

I’m pissed. (Yep, here we go. Brace yourselves.)

So, it’s not really a secret that husband and I would love to have more kids. Love. I adore our three kids more than anything else on this planet. I always will. Always.

So I need someone to explain this to me:

When I told a few family members and friends over Christmas time that husband and I were considering a fourth child, why did they have to give me that shocked “you’re kidding me?!” look? Or start LAUGHING?!

Why, when I said I’d love for Buddy, Peanut and Bear to have a baby sibling, did they have to twist that wonderful thought into, “Wow, don’t you think that’s a little extreme?”

Why, when I said that husband and I just don’t know if we’re done with our family yet, did they have to respond with, “Wow, that’s crazy!” or,  “Don’t you realize how much that will cost?” or say with disgust, “You’re not going to be like the Duggars, are you?” or, “Aren’t you afraid you’ll get more stretch marks?” or, “I just hope you realize the responsibility you’re taking on.” Or, this one made me laugh at the sheer gall, “Don’t you think you have enough to deal with with Peanut?”

In light of my resolutions post saying I am going to make more of an effort to stop caring what everyone else thinks of me, I have a few (very many, actually, but I’m going to try to keep them to a minimum…) choice words for you, family and friends:

Who the hell do you think you are?!

Let me address each of your awful questions and/or statements individually:

1.) Laughing in my face – Yeah. Um, no. Next time you want to laugh in someone’s face with baby news, you might want to check yourself. So, you think it’s hilarious that we’re considering a fourth child… okay… well I think it’s hilarious that you’re still living at home and you’re in your mid-twenties, but you don’t see me laughing, do you? A little self-control, if you please.

2.) The bug-eyed look – Really? Did you suddenly forget how to control your facial features? That look leads me to believe that ALL of that praising and ALL of those compliments that you gave me about how fantastic of a mother I am was all a lie. It makes me wonder what you really think of my mothering skills. So, good job. I don’t trust you anymore. (And for the record, I don’t need your fake praises to feel confident in my mothering skills. Husband thinks I’m a fantastic mom to his kids, and his opinion counts for ten million of yours.)

3.) Asking me if I think it’s “a little extreme” – Uh, what’s extreme? Having four kids? What if I told you that I wouldn’t even mind having five or *gasp* six kids?! *cue fainting*. Is it because you think we can’t handle four kids? Or is it because you would never have four kids therefore you think everyone else in the world is crazy to want four kids? Listen, just because you can’t handle cooking dinner without getting distracted and burning it doesn’t mean we’re not capable of keeping up with four kids. And let’s be honest… if anyone should populate the world with lots of kids, it’s Husband and me. At least our kids are going to be happy, healthy and well-adjusted members of society.

4.) Telling me I’m crazy – That’s not new news. But, really though? That was totally unnecessary, you asswipe.

5.) Asking me if I realize the cost that will go into a child – BAHAHAHAHAHA! You’re just so… wow. We’ve already got three kids, one of which has special needs which translates into many medical bills… What makes you think that we don’t understand the costs that come with a child? Oh, is it because you raised kids 20-40 years ago and you know everything about everything when it comes to raising kids? We aren’t rich, but we understand how money works and we’re good with it. Money is not a concern for us. And frankly, it shouldn’t be your concern either.

6.) The Duggars – Can SOMEONE explain to me why considering a fourth child is comparable to 19 kids?! I think this is where the question, “Don’t you think that’s a little extreme?” comes into play…

7.) Mentioning stretch marks as a demotivator – Coming from someone who has never had a child, I get that you totally don’t get it. Bringing a child into the world is worth stretch marks. It’s worth an episiotomy. It’s worth a C-section. It’s worth labor pains, morning sickness and nine months of discomfort. It’s worth all of the scars and trauma. When you have your first child and hold them in your arms for the first time and hear their little squeaks and warbles, you’ll realize just how stupid that question is.

8.) Telling me you hope I realize the responsibility I’m taking on – Uuhhhhhh… You’re kidding, right? So, what were my first three kids for? Practice? Well, then. If the first three were merely practice, then I’m confident that I would “mom” the hell out of a fourth child with my ability to feed, bathe, swaddle and burp. I will annihilate diaper rash, scrapes, cuts and bruises with ease. I can withstand crying, whining, screeching and wailing for hours without breaking down. I’m the multitasking master and organizing guru. I manage five schedules with ease and I still find time to read a new book on my Kindle every week. Seriously, do not lecture me on responsibility or I will full-out punch you where it hurts most.

9.) Using Peanut against me – For those of you who try to dissuade me with Peanut, Do. Not. EVER. use my daughter against me. Ever. This one, I am not joking about. How dare you. How. Dare. You.

And here’s the thing. I just said we were considering a fourth. Considering. As in still weighing our options. As in it’s very likely that we may not even have a fourth child. The fact that this handful of people reacted so negatively really hurt because these are some people who I love and trust the most. When I told them, I thought I was sharing possibly exciting news. But the response I got just floored me. What have we done to get a response like that? What have we done (or not done) to make these people think we’re not responsible enough, not smart enough, not financially stable enough? And what made them think it was even remotely okay to say some of these things? The only person that I would ever let speak to me like that is Husband, and even then… well… my response is never pleasant.

All I’m saying is that you don’t have to understand the reasons behind wanting a lot of kids. If you don’t think it’s for you, then that’s totally fine. Kudos to you for knowing when you’re done (or not starting at all). Just don’t pass your judgement on to families like ours who would love to be large and in charge. Would you like it if I asked you invasive and personal questions about your life choices or told you that I think you’re crazy? No? Then why do you think it’s okay to ask me these things?

And you know what? Scratch that… I honestly wouldn’t even mind the questions if they weren’t so rude and presumptuous.

Now that said, yes, I would have to agree with some of you that there are quite a few families out there that raise large families irresponsibly and their kids suffer for their irresponsible decisions. But, you’re our family and friends… you know me and Husband. Do you really think we’d let that happen?

So here’s some words of advice from yours truly on how to make it up to me: I love hot chocolate. I don’t like chocolate cake, but marble is fantastic. Never, ever give me food with coconut on it. I am always willing to put aside time to receive an apology. Goldfish crackers and toe-curlingly delicious. Feel free to ask questions and share your concerns, but you had better sugar coat it so much that I don’t know you’re doubting my mothering prowess. I don’t mind flowers, but I prefer handmade gifts that are difficult and frustrating to make. Especially ones that draw blood. And, of course, the quickest way back to my heart is by showering my kids with love and affection.

And for those of you that reacted positively, and those of you that nearly pooped yourself with excitement and told me to get pregnant RIGHT NOW… you all rock my socks off. Thanks for your love and support. (But if we decide against a fourth, please don’t murder me…)

******

Okay, this is where I step back and give you a friendly slap on the shoulder and tell you to wipe that confused and terrified look off of your face. If you couldn’t tell, most of this was written with extreme sarcasm. I’m upset by the comments, but I’m not actually that angry. I still love you guys, just… maybe check yourself before you say things like that from now on. Kapish?

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