12.25.2016

Rambling (maybe a little venting) over coffee: " ....that woman can't properly love and care for so many children."


" ....that woman can't properly love and care for so many children."


What I'd like to say...  "You mean YOU couldn't properly love and care for so many children."  But I can't because this is a comment made by someone online, not in real life. 

The woman she was talking about had 5 children but realized her heart was called to adopt two more children and later, decided to open their home to foster care and were currently providing love, food, clothing, attention and all the kisses and hugs and snuggles a little 5-month old could want for.

And yet that woman was judged by people online because that woman can't properly love and care for so many children.

Perhaps it's ironic I ran across this little online argument tonight.  You see, over the last week I've found myself thinking about some of the friends I grew up with or kids I went to school with that had large families.

My very best, oldest and dearest friend is the youngest of ten children.  A classmate of mine from 2nd grade through high school graduation is smack dab in the middle of 12 kids.  Another friend was one of 8, another one of 7.  Almost all my friends and classmates came from families of at least five children.  Our family was small; we only had four kids. 

As an adult one of my friends is Mom to eight.  Another, Mom to seven.

These women absolutely properly love and care for so many children. Because they like mothering, love children and truly enjoy what they do.

I know of a family in my Dad's childhood hometown who had 21 children.  18, 19 or 20 children wasn't unheard of, although most only had seven or eight.

The woman that made the rude and arrogant comment was a mother of  'only' two kids.  By her own admission, she finds parenting exhausting and difficult and from her own personal stories, posts and comments; makes mountains out of molehills.  Everything has to be dramatic with her.  And with just two kids, still considers herself an expert of sorts.

Yes, some people have just one child; find it exhausting and realize they could never be a good parent to more.
Others have two kids and exclaim "That's enough!  Oh my gosh how do people do this?"
Three puts some people over the edge.  Four?  They can't even imagine.  Five?  They declare no one can ever raise five children with enough time and love to go around!

Speak for yourself!  Just because you aren't good at something, why would assume everyone else is like you? Feels like you?  Thinks like you?  Has your level of parenting skills or interest in children or raising children?

I can't play guitar. I can't do ballet gracefully.  I am awful at making decisions on things like paint colors or decorating a house.  I think learning the rules to football or other sports is confusing and difficult! I can sing though. And I can draw fairly well.  I don't mind public speaking at all and I find babies, toddlers and parenting in general to be pretty intuitive and easy.  Exhausting, yes.  Frustrating?  Sometimes.  But yeah... it comes naturally and easily to me. 

After the birth of my first child, I stopped in the office to for a visit and to show my co-workers our new little daughter.  My boss knew my and my husbands family all lived 2000 miles away and my mother was not staying with us during my maternity leave.  I'll never forget her asking me (in complete seriousness) how I knew how to take care of the baby if my Mom wasn't there?

Blink.
Blink.
Blink.

What the heck?

Well, I am the oldest of four kids.  I've babysat for other people since I was 10 years old.  I went to school for early childhood education because I loved kids and well, to me, caring for an infant was as easy, instinctive, intuitive and used simple common sense.  In my mind:  How could you not know how to care for a baby?

Just because SHE hadn't known how to care for her first born all those years ago.
Because SHE found parenting confusing and stressful.
Because SHE went on to only have the one daughter and never had more children.

(Then again, she was completely flabbergasted when I showed up to work one day with my hair in a French Braid down my back.  "How did you do that without anyone helping you!?"   Her daughter was 21 years old at the time and would come to her mothers house or stop into our office every morning she wanted to wear her hair in a French Braid because her Mom had to do it for her.)


When I was a Mom of three, my neighborhood Mom friends all had just one or two children.  And struggled!  One went crazy during her maternity leave with her 2nd child and couldn't wait to return to work.  Staying home with 2 kids (even though one went to preschool 5 days a week) was too much.  Another was frantic and stressed to find something to do and some place to go with her kids every single day.  Seriously.  Every day they had to 'go' somewhere, 'do' something.  Every second of the day had to be filled with someone, something... she was always fretting, rushed and things were chaotic.  And that was just two kids.

Yes, for those women, 5, 6 or 7 children must seem like an impossible feat!

But for those who have different interests? Different skills, talents, callings in life...  those women who feel instantly comfortable, blessed and 'right where they are meant to be' with 5, 7, 9 or 12 kids?  WHY is this any of your business?
It's not.

For the rude commenter with just 2 kids:  I'm sorry you don't have enough love in your heart for your second child.  She must be woefully neglected!  You don't have enough time or energy for her and not enough love to spare.  Apparently humans can only love 1 child... right?

What?  You do have enough love for your second child?  Because people can love two kids?  Not just one?

Well, why is two your magic number for capacity of love?  Why not 3 or 4 or 7?

A Mother loves her fifth baby just as much as her first.

A human mother does not 'run out' of love.

My friends with 10 and 12 kids in their families have the most amazing, talented, loving, awesome families!  My friend with seven children has so much love to give that she also works as a pediatric nurse.  Their home is clean and organized (and beautiful! I'm jealous of her skill in Scandinavian decor), meals are made, children fed, school, sports, band, choir and dance schedules are balanced.  And guess what?  She has so much love and talent to give that she also works as a pediatric nurse.

Ah yes.
Some women can raise large families and run their homes quite well while other women struggle with just two kids.

Everyone is different.

So don't judge someone else based on your own feelings of inadequacies or your own inability to parent more than one or two kids.  Some women just have a natural love and ability to be a mother to more.  Some (like another very good friend of mine) are called to not be Moms at all.  No interest, no want and no urge to ever have a child of her own although she's a great Aunt to her nieces and nephews.  She knew back in high school she never wanted to have kids.  She and her husband love not having kids - although she is a teacher and great at it!

My Grandmother did a kick-ass job of raising 7 children.  Every one of those adult children were gathered round her bedside when she passed away a few years ago at age 94.  She raised my Dad and his siblings in a 3 bedroom farm house and never had extra money (they were farmers in the heartland of America).  But the kids grew loved, cared for and cherished!  Because Grandma was of those women who found raising up children to be second nature and certainly not rocket science! 

But apparently rude commenters with only 2 kids feel the need to judge any women with more than four or five little ones.  That woman you shamed and judged probably finds raising her eight children easier than you do with just your two.