This was an actual conversation my husband had recently with someone:
Friend: “So, are you miserable yet?”
Husband: “What are you talking about?”
Friend: “Are you miserable—you have like, a lot of kids.”
I would chalk up the conversation to this particular person being incredibly rude and offensive or even naïve, except this is not the first time someone has made similar comments to us.
Another personal favorite of mine is, “You know, there’s a way to prevent that from happening.”
For the record, we have four children. They are amazing and individually they each bring us immeasurable joy. Together, they fulfill our sense of purpose and make us feel like the luckiest two people in the world.
I try to laugh off the comments or flat out ignore them but truthfully, I’m really tired of people assuming that we must be miserable because we have a large family. As if having so many kids was a form of punishment and couldn’t possibly be a conscious choice we made.
As I overheard that conversation the other night, all I could think about was what if one of our kids had overheard it instead of me?
Would they worry they were a burden to us?
Would they think there was something wrong with our family?
Would they hear us laughing off the comments and think we agreed?
You may look at our family and think we’re crazy for having so many kids.
You may look at us and wonder how we keep up with the ever-growing grocery bills or have time to get each child to their activities.
You may look at us and truly not understand how someone could be so content with a big family.
But the truth is, you don’t have to understand. You don’t even have to approve.
I’m not asking you to raise my children. I’m not even asking you to come watch them for a few hours so I can run to the store.
All I’m asking is that you stop judging. Stop judging something you don’t understand. Stop insinuating that our life choices have caused us regret and misery.
If nothing else, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
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