Recently, I made a quick comment reflecting my opinion that four children in America today does not in my mind, represent what I would call a “large” family. After a couple of comments, I knew I had irritated more than a few readers. I posted the question on Facebook, inquiring why my opinion is offensive, to which I got widely varying responses. I thought and thought about all this as many of you so kindly took the time to respond with your thoughts on this topic, and I think I learned a few things. Having pondered it, I wanted to apologize if I offended anyone at all, and to bring it up one last time.
I will say that I know my opinion is largely formed by the fact that I live in a bustling household with nine males on a daily basis. In the original post, I mentioned “large family bloggers”, and no one probably realized I was making a connection there, that I was actually really saying I disagreed with bloggers with 4 children calling themselves “large family bloggers” giving advice when they knew where there other black flip-flop was. I usually can’t find my other black flip-flop….. See my point?
Here’s where I am now, thanks to many of you.
Family Size: Whose Business Is It, Anyway?
1. It’s nobody’s business but your own. It’s between your husband, you, and ultimately, God.
2. Everyone’s situation is different. Three kids for one single mom is a huge (albeit wonderful) load to manage on her own. Two kids might be a lot for a military family. Ten kids may be another mother and father’s dream.
3. It’s all relative, and what’s a lot for one family may not be for another. Although historically a dozen or more children might have been the norm, it’s not today, and that’s not where we live. We have different, very active, busy schedules. Juggling the events and work and school and play of even two kids, let alone four, six, or eight can be an enormous job for two able-bodied parents.
4. It’s best not to discuss what your opinion is at all on what constitutes “large” or “small” or whatever, because everyone’s interpretation of this is personal, based on historical data or not. People get defensive if they think you’re judging them or labeling them or discrediting them (even if you’re doing none of those things.)
5. Family is family. Family is beautiful. It doesn’t matter if you have one or two or ten or twenty. Maybe four is big for you. Maybe it isn’t. You be you. Be the best mama you can be. Who cares if you’re labeled small, cute, average, or in my case, crazy? Your family size is perfect for you. And whose business is it, anyway?