Sunday, June 01, 2008

Family Size

The average American family is reported to have 2.5 kids. So why does everyone stare when I take my 3 to the store with me? I realize that there are a lot of people out there who only have 1 or 2 children. I also realize that there are a lot of families with 4 or more children. When I have all 3 of mine in the shopping cart people look at me like I just brought in the entire Van Trapp family. Today I even got eye rolls. I will admit that my toddler was screaming his head off most of the time which probably contributed to some of the staring and eye rolling but I could see the looks these people were giving me. It was as if they were thinking I should have stopped after the first one or that I didn't know what birth control was. I can be a sensitive person at times but I am not exaggerating here. After church we went to Target and got a bite to eat at the food place. The boy threw down his sippy because he was mad I gave him water and when I picked it up and stood up there were 5 tables of people staring at me giving me mean looks. Kids will be kids. Most of these people had children with them. Now you can't tell me that their child has never had a melt down in public before.

I constantly hear comments about how I have my hands full and how do I do it. I love to hear these because they usually compliment me on my family and I know they are thinking that they would be overwhelmed. I take those as compliments that I am able to pull myself together and raise my family. When I see a large family I usually think how cute they all are together and that that is one busy mom. I would never roll my eyes at kids. I would never roll my eyes at a mom that is just trying to control her kids in public when they act up.

I can't help but wonder how we got to this point as a society. Why do some people look down on medium to large sized families? Do they automatically think that they just have kids they can't afford? Do they think that one or more of the children will miss out on bonding time? There are so many views about family size out there. Everyone has strong opinions on the subject. Different opinions make the world go round but do we need to negatively affect those who do not agree with us?

I was an only child. Biologically I still am. I now have a wonderful step-sister( Hi Mere!!) and step brother but I was raised as an only child. My grandma only has me as a grandchild. After I was born there was not another baby on my mom's side of immediate family for 19 years until Makayla was born. I never wanted to have just one child. I didn't expect to get 3 in 3 years either. My family is not considered large by any means. But it is to me. It is because I never knew what it was like to have more than one child in a house. My whole family is learning. I read a lot of blogs about larger families and I have my eye on several books about raising 4+ kids. I want to read them because to me our 3 child family is a large family. There are a lot of techniques to be learned from a mother with 8 children.

It was rather embarrassing today when the entire food court was looking at me and all the stares caught the attention of those checking out and leaving causing them to do the same thing. My shopping cart may be full but so is my heart. And as for me I thank God every night that I have 3 chairs filled with babies at my dinner table.

*Disclaimer* Family size is a very personal thing and I hope I did not offend anyone. This was basically directed towards the rude people in target today.


Antonia said...

Dude.. if I was there with you today, I would have seriously asked everybody what the hell are they looking at?? lol..

People are so rude, they don't think before they act. I am sorry you had a bad day at target.

People maybe upset you have 3 and they can only have one, that's why they stare at your kids, and your sweet kids are crazy! haha :)

Nobody should ever feel bad for having a big family, it is a gift from God, each and every child!

I love how you said you thought ppl looked at you like you brought the entire Van Trapp family.. that was priceless! :) Love you and your kids!

Beka said...

Your kiddos are great, the people staring are the ones with problems. I'm so torn right now with having more children or not. I want to be able to provide for them, give them the things they need or want (within reason). It's a tough choice. I plan on leaving it up to God once the baby gets to be a little older.

Tricia said...

When pple tell me my hands are full... i tell them my heart is even fuller!

Shawna said...

As a fellow mom of 3 I totally understand, I get that kind of reaction myself a lot too! But I think 3 kids is pretty average for family size. But I'm used to being from a big family though so I try not to let it bother me. I'm the oldest of 8 kids total due to divorce and remarriages so between me, my brother, 4 stepbrothers, 1 stepsister and a half brother we are all so used to the stares and dumb questions from when we were younger lol!

Santiago Chiva de Agustín said...

Hello. I think that you would enjoy this video. When the European society discovered that in some years there will not be enough children, some, companies, celebrities and associations have prepared in Germany this video in 2005. In it they explain very well some reasons to have children.
In the United States the low number of birth is not a big problem yet, but it could be in the future. I hope that this video help to every family to think.

Santiago Chiva
Granada (Spain)

Sarah C. said...

I loved your comment about how blessed you are to have those 3 little babies. :) I didn't find your post at all rude. And, add me to one who thinks you are amazing to care for your family. Some days it's a struggle for me with "just" DH, me + 2 cats. LOL

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

I was raised with 3 other siblings and I love being a part of that many kids in a family. It was tough at times but for the most part it was great, we always had someone to play with or talk to etc. Now as adults we are best friends and confide in one another. I only have 2 kids and there are times that I regret only having the 2 but at the time that's all we could afford so we did what we could. Go check out Michelle's blog....she has 7 kids and deals with alot of the same things you were talking about.... I think you will enjoy her blog.

Mere said...

Hello sister of mine :)
Let them deal with it....I applaud you for doing as FABULOUS as you have done with my three nieces and nephew! There have been rough spots...and motherhood is a learning experience, as my mother tells me all the time! And for me...I WAS raised with you...I only have a few memories of life without you...but Brent has NONE! For have always been there! Wow!...weird huh? I guess our age difference helps!

Love ya, Mere