By Kim of
During our season of having just two children the celebration and congratulatory responses were “on and poppin”! We were treated ‘normally’, received smiles and given friendly comments. According to society and cultural standards, WE FIT IN! By the time our children increased to four, the opinions, comments, and judgments were shot at us like darts with FIRE! Even the nice comments seemed to be laced with a hint of sarcasm and humor. What is wrong with a young, black, married couple having more than two children? Why does it seem, at times, that we make people uncomfortable?
I remember when we were on baby #3 the famous comment would be, “Oh look, you are trying to start a football team!” In the back of my mind I would be like… “Uuuuhhhhh it takes more than three to start a football team, but whatever.” Now that we have four children the comments are, “You are the football team” or “You are trying to out beat the Jacksons!” Once again I’d think to myself, “You simply cannot count my friend!”
A myriad of other questions would proceed like, “Sooooooo are you going to move into a bigger place or get a bigger vehicle?, ” as if we did not consider the major changes associated with the growth of our family size. Sometimes there would be a dead silence when we announced the birth of our fourth child, as if someone just died… Really?!
The most hurtful response of all was made by a family member we highly regarded and respected, after the birth of our fourth child. It was a recommendation, suggestion, and encouragement to stop having MORE children. The rationale was, according to their perspective, having more than two kids is simply crazy in this day and age!
Do people make these comments when celebrities have multiple children? Is it because we are not multimillionaires? Is it because they fear us asking if they can babysit? LOL, I would sit and wonder “What does it have to do with you?”
We can laugh at the comments made in the past, as well as those made even now, because we have accepted that having our MANY babies are a blessing from God. Despite the odd looks when our troop invades grocery stores and spills out of our van, I am now full of peace and joy because Christ gave us four healthy, lively, intelligent, unique children. He has given us the responsibility, as well as the privilege to “train them up in the way that they should go” (Prov 22:6), teaching them to be beacons of light in this dark world.
Unlike before, I’m no longer in tears at the comments and looks of others. It was discouraging being fearful of sharing our pregnancies with others, particularly the third and fourth. No mother should be made to feel that way when embarking on one of the greatest joys and journeys of this life.
On the flip-side, there have been numerous encounters in which we received wonderful comments from strangers in passing. Not everyone frowns or is intimidated by BIG families. Because the encouragements are few and far between, we always take them to heart! Last month we took a trip back to my home town in NJ, and it was interesting to view the faces of folks as we waited at the gates before boarding our planes. I’m sure they anticipated the longest plane ride ever with a pack of loud, crying children. Well, we have the testimony that plane rides with our four small children are wonderful. The kids humored most of the passengers, who were amazed at how polite and obedient they were. Of course there were a few outbursts here and there which was expected (they are children after all), but before getting off the plane we received so many compliments. I can not lie…I expected the worst as well… shhhhhhh. But our children exceeded my husband’s and my expectations.
So If you are a mother with more than two children, or considering having more than two children, here are words of encouragement for you:
1. Expect the negative comments and ill facial expressions, but don’t receive them! Not receiving them means not letting them discourage you! Don’t be discouraged!
2. Pray and ask God how many children you are to have, and to prepare you for everything that comes with multiple children.
3. Be confident and stand firm regarding the decision you and your spouse have made concerning the number of children you desire to have. You are not having children to please family members or strangers.
4. Do not allow your current financial state or living condition to (solely) influence your decision. Remember that God can supply all of your needs. God is ultimately in control of how many children you will have. If He allows you to have them, He will help you provide for them.
Kim is the author of where she discovers what it means to be a woman of GOD, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend and entrepreneur.