Do you often feel like you need to "defend" the size of your family? I do. And there aren't that many of us!
Either I'm dealing with nasty looks or comments like "Oh, you're having ANOTHER one" (said when pregnant with my 3rd) when I'm out and about with my four boys or I'm trying to explain why I ONLY have four kids. I either have too many or not enough. I can't win!
I wonder sometimes why I feel like I have to defend my choices. I also wonder why people ask the most impertinent questions and seem to feel entitled to very personal information. In asking questions about my adoption one woman asked if I was raising my husband's illegitimate son from an affair he had had. Uh, NO. There was no affair. Just an adoption. Why jump to such crazy conclusions?????
One of my sisters is unable to have children of her own. She has endured years of people asking hurtful, personal, unthinking questions. Why do we do this to each other? Why do I feel like I have to tell everyone I can't have more children for medical reasons? Why can't I just be content and tell people to mind their own business? Why don't they mind their own business? Why don't I?
One of the things I struggle with in defending my "large" family is the question of courtesy. Let's say we want to buy a snack. We go and stand in line and wait 10 minutes or so. We finally get to the front and there is a single person behind us. Do we let them go first? Do we order and make them wait? How about at the grocery store when I have my cart LOADED with two weeks worth of groceries and I'm about to put them on the conveyor belt. I notice a person behind me with half a cart. Should I let them go first?
My husband and I debate this all the time. He calls it courtesy to let the single person (or several single persons or smaller families) go first. I claim that if I stood in line and have "done my time" I should not feel pressured to stand aside. I also don't want my children feeling like we have to apologize for having four kids. That because we 'have so many people' in our family that we need to feel like we're a burden and thus let others go first. I constantly wrestle with being 'thoughtful' to those around me and helping my children feel that they are just as valued and important as those with fewer (or no) kids.
Am I even making sense? For the record I like to let old people and pregnant women go ahead of me in almost any situation. But what is the proper thing to do in other situations? Why is buying a Slurpee such a moral dilemma????????