I have a blog, as you know, and here in this forum I say what I want and expect feedback... that's kinda how this whole thing works. You can either relate to me, or feel provoked by me, either way I'm all ears for whatever you have to say. There are, however, many circumstances that I really don't care to attract advice or commentary.
For instance, when I'm walking down the street with my children.... I'm not a walking billboard that says "please, tell me what you're thinking." Likewise, if I'm in a store, hallway at church, sitting down at a restaurant, or well... pretty much anywhere other then spewing my thoughts and asking for opinion, I don't care what you have to say, and I REALLY don't care to hear it.
The conversation usually starts something like this:
spectator: "wow, are they twins?" (referring to Noah and Nyah)
spectacle (this would be me): "no, they're 15 months apart, he's the oldest."
spectator: "really, so how far apart is your girl and the baby?"
spectacle: "they're 20 months apart."
**here this conversation can go to a few different places. Usually I get the "wow mom, you have your hands full" or "I'm sure they keep you busy" or "so you're done right?" or my favorite "how do you take care of all of them?".... last night however the conversation went like this:
spectator: "wow mom, you need to take a break. They're too close."
spectacle: "actually, we really like the 15 month spacing, they get along really well with each other."
spectator: "I'm talking about you, you need to give your body a rest in between all of these kids, you're going to wear yourself out... it's too much."
Yes, yes, I can appreciate the concern. However, the overall disapproval despite the fact that she did comment later that it looked like I had things under control and was doing well, is really annoying coming from a COMPLETE stranger. I had never met this woman before, didn't solicit so much as a hello from her, and here I get some nice advice shoved down my throat.
My irritation wasn't so high last night as it is on the days that I get the super ignorant people that love to tell me that my kids are close. Really? Didn't notice. I love the stares, those are good, but I especially love how people don't even know how to handle themselves these days. Yes, I want a big family.... yes, my kids are close... no, it isn't impossible, it's actually fun, and why do you care?
I loved a blog that I found through www.lotsofkids.com. The mom was trying out some thoughts reverse of what people say about large families, and you have to admit, they sound pretty ridiculous.
"You poor thing, how do you manage with just one child? You must be so selfish and lonely. You also must have so much time on your hands, what do you do with yourself? How do you do it? Your life must be so boring."
No one says these things! However, you show up with a couple of kids close in age (heaven forbid that they're little and you're pregnant), or have a large family and you're automatically a spectacle that people must come and converse with!
I'm just happy there's "crazy" people out there like me. A couple of good friends to keep you going is all you need. In the world there's so much of tearing people down, it's good to be uplifted, especially when you're doing something you know is right. I have never felt more inspired and centered then when I knew that we needed to have our oldest two. Having never been pregnant, or ever had the desire to be, I didn't know what I was feeling with my oldest.. it just seemed right. Then our little Nyah, Noah was so young but I just kept getting tugged at that she needed to come and join our family. I had the biggest confirmation of the correctness in that choice when Nathan gave Nyah a blessing that said she would be the reason that her older brother would go on a mission. How does that work? What if I would have completely ignored the spirit? I know God's plan can't be foiled, but what about my little Noah? What experiences would have been lost without her? And as fiesty as she is, I can't imagine my home without her sweet spirit. Would we have the desire to have a large family if we hadn't had her right away? Would we have be content with just Noah? I can't imagine the things we would have missed if we hadn't been listening, and those experiences are by far the some of greatest achievements of my life (the first would be marrying a wonderful man who allows himself to be open to the spirit.)
In closing, CHILDREN ARE NOT A PLAGUE THAT THE EARTH HAS BEEN SMITTEN WITH! The last I checked we were all kids at one point. It's a good thing your parents wanted to have and keep you, right? I was adopted, so already I know that a human life is pretty precious. A white, unwed 20 year-old who wound up pregnant with a black man's child when it wasn't the cool thing to do could have made an "easy" choice and gotten rid of me. Instead, she went through 9 months of pregnancy... which isn't fun for anyone who's tried it.... and gave birth to a child she wouldn't be able to watch grow up. It's absolutely heart wrenching to think of that, but I'm so proud of her. I have had a wonderful life, great parents and siblings, incredible oppurtunities, and now an appreciation for things that I wouldn't have without my experiences.
God's work and glory is to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man. What good can we do in helping Him in this mission if the spirits that are meant to be here aren't being born?
As a favor to me... I know all of you are good, helpful people who read this, but let's try to consiously be aware of those around us more often. We've been instructed to be encouraging and help those with large families. Maybe the next time you see someone with a lot of kids, think of something you can do for them. Maybe you could hold a door. Comment on how cute one or all of the children are. If you have some in your ward perhaps you can offer to babysit or do something with them. There's such a huge stigma there (even in the church), that any help is appreciated. (Although I would caution to not go with the "wow, you're amazing, I don't think I could even do that" approach... it gets old.... maybe just stop at amazing and tack on a good job?)