“FIVE children?! Ohmigosh really? FIVE children?!” Since moving to New Zealand, I hear this a lot. Apparently, most people with any sense, have A child. Or two. Or at an extreme, three. But five? And over? That is cause for amazement/horror/consternation/bemusement. Closely followed by, “You don’t look like you have five children. You’re too young/beautiful/thin/
smart to have that many children.” (tell me more!)
It can be flattering to have people tell you that “ohmigosh you look way too young to be the mother of five children!” But people exclaiming over my abundant fertility can also put me on edge. Because sometimes my paranoia radar tells me that people are really thinking, “ohmigosh you islanders and your teen pregnancy, no-family planning, dole bludging, over populating rabbit habits!”
And then I want to shout – Yes I have five children but no, I was not betrothed when I was 7, exchanged for ten cows when I was 12, and then popping out little coconut savages when I was 14. And NO, I did not have five children because I’m on a social welfare benefit and can get more money that way. Are u nuts? An extra fifty bucks a week in no way makes up for patiently loving that @$#%@&*% brat who keeps eating his goobies, giving other kids black eyes at school and eating more food than I do. And NO, I didn’t end up with these
brats darlings because Im dumb and dont know anything about birth control. I actually WANTED to have them.And actually, if pregnancy wasn’t a matter of life and death for me – I would have ten children. ( Insanity expresses itself in many different ways) Yeah, I’ve crazy/dumb enough to want lots of children – SO WHAT!?
The truth is, I never dreamed of being a mother when I was a kid. And I don’t actually like children very much either. (Just my own.) But I’m thankful that my parents were crazy/dumb enough to have six children because I liked growing up with a motely crue of siblings. And I do feel blessed that I can now be the mum of five fabulous people. Lots of children means I will probably never be rich. Or have a moments peace.But I do enjoy the breathless joys and unpredictable nuttiness that goes with running after them all. So I guess i need to lose the defensive aggressive attitude the next time somebody gives me their gut reaction when they count the fruits that HRH and I have.
How about you? Did you grow up in a family of many? Or one of few? Pros, cons? Do you think I’m imagining the negative thoughts when people in NZ meet another P.I family with a flurry of children?