As a mother expecting her ninth child, I sometimes feel like a walking social experiment in modern America.
When we first announced we were having another baby, we were met with some sad reactions, even sadder, by people we know and love.
What they said doesn’t matter. And by the way, sometimes a face says it all.
I believe with all my heart that a ninth baby should be just as celebrated as a first baby!
I realize that in this era in America, that seems a far stretch, but it doesn’t make it any less true. Children are blessings from the Lord.
Unfortunately, we’ve experienced enough negative reactions to our number of children, specifically this pregnancy, we’ve learned what those typically say about the disapproving person.
What Your Negative Reaction to My 9th Pregnancy Tells Me About You
1. You are Narrow-Minded
You live in first-world America. Probably grew up here. It’s not entirely your fault that you think every family should only have 2 or 3 children; you probably grew up in that family. You think in terms of providing for a family on the average American income. You think of children as expensive, limiting to both your finances and your free time. Why would anyone want to “have to” get a bigger house or a bigger car or a bigger table or pay for a bigger tab at a restaurant or more college tuitions?
All American ideas. All modern ideas.
And those viewpoints don’t reflect God’s (timeless) Word that says children are blessings. Maybe you read the Bible, but you interpret that children are blessings but should be limited. Whether or not you choose to have unlimited children is your conviction, but a negative reaction to my choice to have “a lot” of kids shows me where you really stand on the matter.
What if God intends for you to adjust something else besides those material things? Family size doesn’t have to be determined by income. There are all kinds of options. Have you thought about those? Have you explored crazy ideas like living below your means or growing your own food, or the kids sharing rooms, or buying used cars?
What if you could live differently? What if your kids work hard and earn scholarships? What if (gasp) they work their way through college?
Family size doesn’t have to be based on income. Or modern standard of living. Or what you THINK you should get to have.
2. You are Selfish
Here are the comments we’ve heard that reveal your selfishness (or pandemic modern American entitlement) to me:
“Why would you have so many kids and do that to yourself? Are you insane?”
“Don’t you wish you could use that money to buy bigger, nicer things? You could have X,Y, or Z!”
“How are you going to pay for all that tuition!? Don’t you ever want to retire?”
“I would have to drink more if I had that many kids!”
“Don’t you wish you could have girls’ night out?”
“Don’t you want a life of your own?”
“That’s too many! It’s rude of you to have such a huge carbon footprint!”
Seriously, people? Is life really so much about you? And you think everyone thinks the same way you do? (More proof of narrow-mindedness.)
Can life not be about something grander? Something more noble than your free time? Your cute life? If it gets messy, then, aw shucks…..What have we done?
It’s such a sad epidemic in our self-serving society of limiting children because they’re believed to be an inconvenience.
Stop and think about it. What does this reveal to you about people today? They’re selfish. And that makes me sad. I’m not angry at the disapproving people. God has used the hurt to show me a deeper compassion for people and where we are in our country today. God have mercy on us.
So next time you see a large family, please think before you speak. Next time your weird relative that home schools and grows their own food (teaching their kids how to hunt, fish, protect, defend, serve, honor, love, and respect – all at the same time) calls you and tells you they are expecting their umpteenth child, can you reach deep within and find a true, celebratory word of congratulations for them?
In the meantime, I’m happily anticipating the arrival our our 9th baby boy, and only feel sorry for those people who have behaved so sadly in the past. I pray God opens their eyes to the beauty of His Creation, and their hearts to see the blessings from Him.
Are you the mother of a large family? How are YOU processing people’s reactions to your family size?