I have heard the question over and over. “Are they all yours?” “Don’t you know what causes that?” “You must be Catholic.” “You must be Mormon.” “What were you thinking?” But I have never, ever, ever been asked, “How much fun is it?”
To answer: yes, they are all mine. No, I did not foster, adopt, or steal seven children that all bear some genetic linkage to me. Yes, I know what causes it. It’s called sex. Which I have obviously had at least 7 times. Yes, I am Catholic, though not practicing. I always forget to give up or stick with giving up things for Lent and I enjoy a nice steak on Fridays sometimes. No, I am not Mormon. Although I would like to visit Utah. And I was thinking, I love my big family and I feel incredibly blessed to have all 7 of my children. Most of the time.
And they are fun. They are stressful, worrying, staying up nights with sick and scared ones, incredibly infuriating, overwhelming loved, never a quiet or dull moment, and I would not trade it for anything. Well, maybe for an all expense ADULT only vacation but than I would miss them and want them back.
I have a big family. I am not ashamed of it. I enjoy knowing that my children will always have a great relationship with their siblings (once they learn to like each other and not try to knock each other off) and that I found something that I rock at.
I am a good wife. I am a good sister. I hope I am a good daughter. But I am a great mom. I am not perfect. I make mistakes, I get impatient, I forget what eating a hot dinner is like. I am raising 7 people to not judge by appearance, to forgive and eventually be able to forget, to think for themselves, and to be contributing members to society. They make me a better person by not hesitating to tell me when they think I’m wrong, by knowing how to love someone unselfishly and with all of their flaws. My children say thank you and your welcome and hold open doors. They are my imperfectly perfect gift to the world. And you do not even have to thank me.
I have never went up to a parent with one child and said, “How selfish to only have one.” I would never put someone down for not wanting to have children. My little sister only has two for gods sake. I do make fun of her for it, but I don’t judge her for it. So why is it okay for complete strangers to make remarks about my family?
If you did not birth them, raise them, or pay for them, than you have no right to judge me or question me for my family size. And I won’t judge you for yours.
The only difference for me, at least, is that when I take all of my children and my SO out in public, I smile and answer, “Yes, they’re all ours. Yes, we know what causes it. No, I do not care to discuss my spirituality with you. And they are a joy to behold, aren’t they?” before bolting to make sure #7 isn’t choking on #6’s barbie shoes and that #4 is not putting #5 in a choke hold. God, I love my family!