Thursday, October 21, 2010

Can't answer the wrong question

Last week at Bible study, I was sllloooowly leaving the building with Camille headed out the door, Cole dangling from my arm and Georgie 20 feet behind me. A young-ish preist was talking with someone I know and he asked if "all these kids"(meaning mine and a few other random chillin's) knew each other. I said yes, through Bible Study and indicated which ones were mine. He said, "I love large families. When I see a mother out with her children, especially if they are running around being children, I say, 'Thank you for being a Mom.'"

I love it. So much better than what I normally get which is, "Wow, you sure are busy!" as Miss Size 2 and in kitten heels clicks by me, never bothering to open the door for me and my double stroller... with a kid on my back. That? That is annoying.

I get asked, too, if we wanted four children. The complete answer is more complecated than a yes or no and to fully explain it you would have to know our faith, our journey as adults, my medical history and so much more. I could never do it justice so I just say yes, we want all our children. This is 100 per cent true.

Then there is the question, "Do you want more children?" And I hate this questions. Why? Because as Jen at Conversion Diary says, there is no right answer to the wrong question.

I can't say, "Not right now" when the kids are behaving badly because that indicates that they are being so awful, no one would want them. What message does that send?

I won't say, "I can't handle anymore" because, again, says something about them, about how children are such a handful their parents can reach a limit. While that is true and that I sometimes feel overwhelmed with all the work young children require, it won't always be like this. I know that this too shall pass and one crappy day or week doesn't mean more children shouldn't join our family.

I think sometimes saying, "I don't want anymore" can reject a potentail child you have waiting for you. I would hate HATE for any child of mine to one day find out that we didn't want another baby. I would hate for them to feel like we didn't want THEM because WE wanted to put our mortal limits on what God might have in store for our family.

Friends use the phrase, "open but not hopin'" to indicate that they are open to life but not hoping for another baby. It's funny... but bothers me in the same way as "I don't want anymore."

"Do you want more children?" is the wrong question. It's a question that should never be asked, except between spouses and medical professionals and patients. It should never be asked between family members, friends or strangers. The only input people should have about your family is that they will love and except any child you bring into this world.

And when people ask me? I know what my husband and I plan for our family. I know the here and now. I don't know the future. I don't know what God has in store. My response? "We will love and accept any child given to us" just like we have in the past.


  1. I too have gotten this questions and I often say, "We are not planning for it because we feel very content with what God has given us. However, if He gives us more, that would be just fine too." His plans are often so different than our own and I am totally okay with that....most of the time. ;)

  2. It's funny, because that's the only question I'd be ok with people asking. We only have one little one right now and he's two and a half, so everyone expects us to have more. I get, "Are you going to have another one?" "When are you going to have another one?" "Time for another one." Nobody thinks about the possibility that maybe we want more, but it's not in our control. We've been trying again for a year now and had three miscarriages, but nobody wants to know that information. At least if people just asked, "Do you want more?" I could just say, "Yes," instead of trying to answer an even more awkward question.