What kind of nut has 4 (or more!) kids?
A year ago, this is something I would have said either in private, or under the influence of two glasses of wine at a party among similar company. Why would anyone deliberately have four children? Remember, I’m the one who wrote a highly critical article about the Duggars based on over-population concerns. I’m a crazy environment blogger. A nug of knowledge I hold in high regard is the way “overpopulation” can be applied to a different sized family depending on lifestyle. An eight-member family living off a few drops of kerosene a day in India has less of an environmental impact than, say, a family of four who will all drive cars in their lifetime and drink bottled water. Mantra: Bigger families are selfish. As is sometimes the case in life, personal beliefs come in conflict with life circumstances and we’re forced to eat our shoes. Mea culpa.
I never seriously considered having a third child. The idea that we might have another baby after the second was nothing more than a mental device for dealing with the emotions of my “last” pregnancy and allowing myself to let go so she could grow up, wean, sleep in a big girl bed. If I invented a hypothetical third baby in my mind, it was just easier to usher the second baby into her deserved next stages of life. Come on, we all have that friend who nurses or diapers well past the kid’s demand and we all know why. It’s her last baby. We need to be needed. And so, my imaginary friend, the mythical third baby, lived somewhere out in the never land of the future along with that memoir I’ll write one day and the 10 pounds I’ll get around to losing.
In a feat I judgmentally reserved for teenagers and couples with one unscrupulous partner, I got “surprise” pregnant this past Spring. As anyone who has followed this blog for more than a week knows, it ended up being twins. That meant four kids. Me. With four kids. While four is certainly less than 19 kids and counting, it sure felt like a lot to me. We did have the space, after all, and we’re in a good public school district. Eventually I not only adjusted to the idea, but embraced it full force. I reasoned: if anyone is going to have four kids, it may as well be us!
Where are the liberal Duggars?
Where are the big families with lefty ideas to add balance to a world where it seems only conservative families have high numbers? I got a double infant carrier. Let’s do this. I CAN DO THIS.
Halfway through the pregnancy, past the point when I had mentally taken for granted I was going to be the mom of four, we lost a twin. We’re back down to three. Also, in just a little smidgen of anti-climactic sting, they’re all girls. I’m not sure what this adds to my mental soup right now, I’m just throwing it out there. Hi, I process all my feelings publicly on the internet. Grab a drink!
A certain blogger who has been critical of me in the past often makes a great point in her writing: Feelings are just feelings. I’m not saying I’ll have another baby after this. I’m not saying I won’t. Maybe once this ordeal is behind me, I’ll discover the idea of a fourth baby is what kept me sane, but it’s an option I never have to act on. Maybe I’ll do some self-discovery and decide my heart was opened to the idea of a fourth baby for a reason. Who knows! Maybe I’ll just go nuts and dance around a bonfire, cackling.
OR Maybe, this whole episode has been an elaborate lesson to teach me to mind my own damn business and not judge another person’s family size until I’ve been in her four-plus momming shoes. Touche, Duggars. I always did envy your hair. CALL ME MICHELLE!
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Filed under: Large liberal family