Children–whether you have one, or six, or more–are always a blessing from the Lord! Children are often seen as a burden, but we know that they are worth every momentary “hardship.”
I think my friend Rebecca said it best: “People are weird about (more than two kids), like three is the octomom or something!”
We discovered our Christmas surprise the first week of December. And though we were a bit shocked, we were happy. How could we not be happy about another child?
But, oh, three children in today’s culture? In today’s shaky economy? After making the announcement to family and friends on New Year’s Eve, I think we heard it all:
- “Erin, I feel so sorry for you.”
- “You should try (this form of birth control). It works great.”
- “If I got pregnant when my youngest was only a year old, I think I’d pass out.”
- “Maybe y’all should get something permanent done after this.”
- “Well, maybe it will finally be a boy this time.”
- “Your house is too small for three kids.”
- “Well, I personally can’t afford more than two kids.”
Now, I know many of these people were–at least partly–joking. But, who knew three kids was the end of the world? What happened to children being a blessing? But today, it seems many people view them as a burden.
I’m sure glad my parents didn’t view me that way. Although she had a college degree, my mom invested her 30s and 40s in her three children. She was there to defend me when my first grade teacher said the word “luscious” (which I had spelled right and used correctly in a sentence) wasn’t a word. She marched up to the school with a dictionary in hand to prove her wrong. She was there to chaperone children’s camp when my diabetic sister couldn’t have attended without her. And she sat on the sidelines of every one of my younger brother’s basketball games.
Now, I’m not saying it’s every woman’s calling to give up a career to raise children. What would that mean to my single friends or to my friends who have been unable to conceive?
But in a time in a country that touts itself on being all about women’s rights, why is it looked down upon when an educated woman–perhaps one who could have a career in journalism–chooses, instead, to stay at home and take care of her children?
And since when is three children too many? Why should another child not be welcomed as much as his or her older siblings were?
And as to whether or not we can afford another child: I am thankful that in my pre-kid days, God gave me the opportunity to visit an orphanage in China, mud huts in Africa, tin shanties in Peru and small concrete houses in Costa Rica and Argentina.
If I’m ever tempted to wonder how we will be able to afford three children, I pray God will take me back to what I saw in those places.
Although I didn’t say it out loud, my response to the statements above are:
- “Well, I don’t feel sorry for myself. Children are blessings.”
- “My choice of ‘birth control’ is between me and my husband, and no one else needs to know about it.”
- “I’m happy my children will be close in age. In fact, my toddler and this baby will be the same age difference as me and my younger sister.”
- “Any surgical procedures to alter our fertility is again between me and my husband.”
- “We would have been thrilled if we had had a boy, but we are equally excited to have another girl. Besides, we won’t have to buy a thing for our third girl.”
- “Though modest for our culture, our house is gigantic compared to the homes of much of the rest of the world. And it suits our family just fine.”
- “God will provide for all our needs. We may not be able to drive the nicest cars, wear designer clothes or take elaborate vacations, but, really, do those things really matter?”
Do you feel like children are a burden or a blessing? Has anyone ever made you feel like you have too many children?
“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.” ~Psalm 127:3 (NASB)
*This post first appeared as one of my “Motherhood” columns in the Mooresville Weekly newspaper.
Dear Humbled Homemaker,
It was interesting reading this particular post of yours, because as a mommy of one, I feel the exact opposite! It seems like the average family these days has 3-4 children. I honestly have no close friends or acquaintances that have only one child! I get questions like “Why on Earth would you only have ONE child? You need to give your son a sibling!” “Your son is going to grow up spoiled!” “Your child is going to be bored without a brother/sister to play with.”
Well, I feel that it is spectacular that I can give my undivided attention to my one and only child! It is not a crime to grow up as an only child, I am one myself! My husband and I do not spoil our 5-year-old, but we surround him in love that doesn’t have to be shared among siblings.
So you’re right. Children ARE blessings, and sometimes 1 blessing can be just as special as 3!
It is sad that people can’t mind their own business and ask questions like that! My very best friend/college roommate and her husband are BOTH only children, and they are BOTH incredibly adjusted, selfless, giving individuals! It’s the heart attitude and obedience that matters. 🙂 And I agree–1 child is just as much a blessing as the 22 the Duggars have (or is it 21? I can’t keep up!).
It’s as though “culture” is never satisfied. I am a 32 year old missionary who just came off of a successful career a year ago and I see where the Lord has soften my heart to having children and I am ready to embrace my womanhood through doing so; however, I am complete annoyed by the comments opposite to the ones list here such as “when are you going to get married and have kids? You should have at least two by now!” Good thing I ceased living for others many years ago, because you will pull your hair out trying to please people/family. If you have more than 2 kids people judge and if you do not have any by a certain age people judge! You are so right, people just need to mind there own business. When I tell them I am fine waiting on God’s timing they continue to press me and try to hook me up with every troubled 32 year old they know…..how exhausting.
Loved your blog and all the comments! Keep up the good work, all of you wonderful women!
I like what you said there Nicole, stop living for others. Very important, and a lesson I am still in the process of. I have 4 beautiful kids, 2 boys and 2 girls. My fourth has health issues. I get the comments all the time. Are you done yet? When is Mike getting fixed? Have you gone yet? When are you going back to work? And yes, agree kids are a blessing not a burden, I love my wonderful family as chaotic as it is, they are best friends.
I’m so sorry you get rude comments! 🙁
You never “have to share ‘ love with other children, God gives you more each time you have a child. That’s everyone’s choice but this offends those who then may feel they aren’t fair to the more than one child they have. I got more each time I had a child. I do however feel you should stop having child after child if you cannot support them yourself and depend on the gov’t for many of their needs. There are so many ways to prevent them if you cannot provide food, clothing, and shelter for them yourself. No, not putting down folks who need help at times, but those who use it and keep having children all the time. We used WIC for a short while while hubby was unemployed, but as soon as he got a job we were off. Good luck to all.
Extremely well said mommy of one.
Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents
Erin, this is very well written. 🙂 Children are a blessing, the Word says so….and we are commanded to “be fruitful and multiply.” Good job, honey!!! I want as many children as the Lord decides to bless me with.
“As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them..” Psalm 127:4-5
Thanks, Stacy! 🙂
I agree with Stacy! Well put! Children are a blessing! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I come from a family of two. My sister has 5 blessings and I have 3…right now. Psalm 127:4-5 nails it! And God has commanded us to be FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY. God is the designer of the family and we need to die to ourselves and live as He commands. It may not be ‘comfortable.’ But not once have I regreted a new life coming into our home…I often ponder, will I love this one as much, equally, do I have more to give? God provides a love for our babe like NO other. Each one is precious and unique, a sweet gift. I believe it is just a taste of how He feels about all of His children that populate the glove. Oh, how He loves us!
Congratulations on your blessing!
And may God fill your quiver!
Thank you so much, Theresa!! It is amazing the love He gives us for each one!
We had 3, all planned, and were then blessed with a bonus. We’ve never regretted having 4 children. Could we afford them? I chose to stay home with them and this meant things were always tight (a real splurge maybe once a month was in getting a half gallon of ice cream), but we survived and now have 4 beautiful, well adjusted children who are all very close as adults. Could we have given more materially with only 2 children? Of course, but we would have never had the joy of having given life to, and gotten to know our 2 youngest?
Things are really tight here as well–but the Lord recently provided a new job for my husband, which will “cover” our new surprise blessing! It’s so neat to see Him work like that!! I love what you said about missing out on the joy of your two younger children if you had given more materially to your older two! Everyone asks me if we will “try” for a boy since we are about to have our 3rd girl. Honestly? I would LOVE a house full of girls if that’s what the Lord gives us!
Jill @ The Prairie Homestead
I’m just pregnant with my 2nd, but already people have started making those comments…
“You’re having another one ALREADY??” (my daughter is 2 1/2…)
“Oh good- since this one is a boy, you can be done now.”
“This is the last one, right?”
And my favorite– “You should have added on to your house instead of building that deck this summer.” (since when is a 3-bedroom home too small for 2 children and 2 adults?)
I’m sure the comments will get increasingly worse if we end up with 3 or 4 children. It’s hard to explain to my childless friends that yes, I actually WANT more– even though they are hard work and “inconveient” sometimes… They truly are a joy and a blessing.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Erin- it’s so nice to know that someone else is in the same boat!
Thank you, Jill–and I am SO excited for you!! I have a friend with 2 boys and a girl (all very close in age), and she recently told me that at least we will have the “excuse” or that people may think it’s more acceptable, etc. for us to have a 4th since we don’t have any boys yet. What a sad reality of our culture! And you can tell your friends that your blogging friend lives in a 2-bedroom townhouse and is about to have her 3rd!! So glad to know we are in the same boat!! 🙂
Children are 100% a BLESSING!! We were suprised with #3 earlier this summer-our third in about 4 years! I have gotten comments like, “Don’t you know what causes that?” and “Oh you poor thing, you are going to have your hands full…” Yes, I do & yes I will! 🙂 but God has given us these special gifts and will enjoy every minute of having them! Whether you choose to only have 1 child or have more than 1, every child is a personal Gift from God, made in His image!
Our 3 are all within 4 years as well! Our oldest just turned 4 in June…and baby #3…well, she was due one week ago, and we’re still waiting! 🙂 I have heard both of those statements as well. Congrats on your pregnancy!! 🙂
Maybe because I’m a generation older I never heard those comments even though my 3 are 3 yrs. 5 mos. apart from 1 to 3. A couple times from MIL as the last a c-section, ( placenta previa), came when we had no insurance. her birth plus a tubal, easy when you’re cut open, was paid in full via cash. After 4 high risk pregnancies, 1 miscarriage, we decided it may be better to quit. Now ours are almost 30 , little past 28, and 26-1/2. They were exactly 20-1/4 mos. apart each. All have full time jobs and pay all their own expenses. Only the middle is married, but no grands. Good luck everyone.
I think this generation has changed. I’m so glad you didn’t hear the negative comments!
After having the ‘million dollar family’ for 1.5 years people were SHOCKED when I told them I was pregnant again. “But you have a boy and a girl!” not to mention my husband has a whole host of medical issues, we don’t own our home (we rent) and we’re not wealthy by any means. My youngest child (another boy) is still very much a blessing!
Although I’m very glad that God chooses to work in my body in such a way that I won’t have 2 close in age. It takes at least a year (often times a wee bit longer) for my fertility to return after having a baby thanks to breastfeeding. He knows I would have a hard time dealing with 2 toddlers so He makes it so I can’t have 2 close in age. 🙂
I think some people were shocked when we told them as well–I think family even moreso than friends! We rent our home as well–and are not wealth by any means either! And, like you, we are so thrilled for our 3rd! I agree with you–2 toddlers at a time is tough…God gives us grace, thankfully!!
Thanks for this post. I’m expecting my 4th and all of our children are close in age. Our first two are just under 17 months apart, then my 3rd came 22 months later. This baby will be born when my 3rd is about 21 months old. It’s not easy, but it’s great. The kids are all interested in more or less the same things, so family outings are a lot easier. The older two play well together (for the most part…they are 3 and 4, after all) and the youngest is slowly learning (he’s 16 months.) We may not have cell phones or cable (let alone sattelite), we may 99% of our clothes used and use hand me downs, and I’ve never bought a starbucks coffee…I just can’t justify spending that much money on a drink. We don’t take vacations away..in fact, my husband hasn’t had a vacation in a few years because he keeps having to use his time for when a baby comes! But really, how could anyone look at a child and say “I wish I had gone on a cruise instead of having you in my life.” Or, “I wish I had an iPad instead of having you” ? While having this many kids this close can be hard and the idea of having 4 kids 5 and under (3 of them active boys) plus knowing that it is likely we will have many more (I’m only 27) is a bit scary, we know that they are blessings and it’s always worth it.
I think when people say “I couldn’t do it” or “I couldn’t afford it”..they are trying to imagine it with society’s standards of lifestyle…which tends to be “get what everyone else has, even if you can’t afford it. Missing out will make you miserable.” And of course every parent wants to provide the best for their child…just society teaches a messed up perspective of what actually IS best.
I’m so excited for you, Savannah! Congrats on your pregnancy! It is so much fun when they start playing together! I am excited to have 3 girls close in age. I really pray they will be close friends!
And I agree–there are SO many ways to make it work! As Christians, we have to get over “society’s standards”! We buy most clothes used or on clearance, don’t have cable, don’t take elaborate vacations, etc. either…but it’s so worth it!
Oh my…I hear you! My 2nd and 3rd are that far apart as well. And by my 4th pregnancy we stopped hearing “Are you having anymore?” and started hearing “Are you guys done?”. Yes our 4th was a surprise (we were actually hoping to adopt for #4), but that doesn’t mean we weren’t happy for him to come! It is amazing that some people just butt right in and give an opinion where it is NONE of their business! We also homeschool, and it is interesting that when people see we have 4 and we homeschool they automatically assume my husband must make a lot of money. It is a choice and a sacrifice, but it is mine to make thank.you.very.much. 🙂 Much joy and love to you and your family for this baby and however many more you are blessed with 🙂
It is amazing what people feel is OK to butt in and say!! Since we are having a 3rd girl, people often ask if we will try for a boy. I say: We would be thrilled for a 4th girl!!
Absolutely! We have girl, boy, girl, boy. After the 2nd baby, 1st boy everyone assumed we were done since we had the ideal boy and girl…we never cared! We were just happy to have them 🙂
Michelle W. Flannery
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
As a teenager, I determined that I wanted eight children. I stuck with that for years, but as I grew older than number had to decrease. In the end, I didn’t marry until I was 45, and by then, children were no longer possible for me. It still hurts, being childless, but I’ve walked the path I was meant to. Stopping at just two children would never have been for me, though. There were three of us in my family. I’m a twin, and our brother is seven years older. My husband’s son and his wife have five children (stairsteps). My daughter-in-law’s sister has 10 children, and both of these families are happy, thriving, and successful. No one is on welfare, and no one is without a quality education, including college. Large families are possible, and a blessing when you do it right!
Thanks so much for sharing your story–and I imagine the Lord has given you opportunity to “mother” others through your influence even more than you realize!
Maybe God will bless you with adoption
Thank you for post.
We just had our fourth child (3, 2,2, and 6 months). Our house is loud, fun and hectic most days. However we know God has called us to raise these wonderful children. When we go out we get comments like those most of the time and much worse. However we always try to respond in a Christian manner. Thank you, we are not weird b/c we have a bigger than 2 family. We are just doubly blessed. I too, have chosen to come home with our children. I have two degrees and we have chosen to give our best to our family first. Careers, more education and more stuff will always be there, its these times with the little ones that pass so quickly.
It’s great to find other moms who are on the same page! Our house is loud, run and hectic as well!! Blessings to you and your 4 little ones!!
Leigh Ann @ Intentional By Grace
Such an encouraging post, Erin! I cannot wait to “meet” your littlest one!
Thanks, Leigh Ann! We all need a skype date! 🙂
I have 3 boys that are 4, almost 3, and 1….I heard all of those comments as well. It was really sad for me to tell people when we were expecting our third because of the reactions we got. When people saw me walking around with my big belly and two boys they would always say, “oh are you finally getting your girl?” My oldest one time turned around and said, “no, we are having a brother!” I get the are you going to try for a girl. I get a lot of I’m sorrys, like it’s a bad thing to have 3 boys. I love my boys. I wish people saw children for what they really are. Thank you for this post. I hope your little lady comes soon and that you labor goes smoothly.
Thanks for sharing! It sounds like you’ve had a very similar experience to ours–except we are on our 3rd girl. Like you with your boys, we are absolutely THRILLED to have 3 girls!
Thank you for your post! I grew up the oldest girl of 8 children, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! Would love a big family myself…
I don’t think I’ve ever heard someone say: “I wish I hadn’t had so many siblings, etc.” Hope you get that big family you desire!
First post I have read from your blog and I loved it! My hubby and I recently became pregnant and couldn’t be more excited, happy or grateful to God. Our families are overjoyed and even our work colleagues who do not follow the ways of the Lord couldn’t be happier for us. So why then are my Christian friends disappointed. Their congratulations and hugs are for lip service only. I have been told on several occasions that we should get our financial ducks in a row, and that I should also be working full time if we’re to even consider trying! I had someone ask me not 5 minutes after I broke the news if “we can afford to have a baby…you know financially and emotionally”, insinuating that we should not be having children! I will leave my ranting there, hehe.
I was terribly hurt but have come to learn through prayer, thought and much discussion that I should not worry what other people say. We base our opinions on what we know, I was raised with the values that children are a blessing and marriage is a full commitment, in every sense- obedience, servitude and spiritual. I am blessed to have the hubby I have (knabbed wink) and our little bundle of love and joy who is soon to be brought into this world!
Thank you for your post, it has blessed and encouraged me to no end! Xox
Hi Abi! First of all, congrats on your pregnancy!! Second, I am so sorry to hear of all the negative comments from your Christian friends! I can say we heard much of the same (as I wrote in this post) with the announcement of our 3rd. If we waited until we “could afford” children, we would have never started! I pray you can enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and know that the Lord planned your little one from the beginning of time!
Wonderful post and comments! I just started following your blog and I really enjoy it. I have a boy (4) and a girl (2). Me and my hubby just started talking about when to try for a third child. Blessings to you and you family!
Thank you so much, Frankie…it’s nice to “meet” you!!
Tami @ UnlimitedBookshelves.com
Having two teens and now on the way, I wondered why God was giving me another child when I haven’t done so great with the first two. I recently read a book that helped me realize I was treating my children (whom I love dearly) like burdens rather than blessings.
Thankful for the prompting to change!
I’d love to know what book that is!! Congrats on your pregnancy–and thanks for sharing!! 🙂
Anne @ Quick and Easy Cheap and Healthy
We are currently expecting our 3rd. Our family is very supportive, but other people look at you like….why? We had a girl then a boy and we were told that was perfect. Because we want to that’s why. I heard someone say once that children aren’t what is so expensive ….. lifestyles are.
Congratulations! That is what needs to be said when you find out a couple is expecting,What a Blessing!
I have 7 children, and believe me, I have heard every rude or intrusive comment many times. One of my favorites – ” Don’t you know what causes that yet?”. I used to be hurt or angry when people would say such things to me, but over the years, I have come to realize that I really feel bad for those making the comments, most of them will never experience the joys of a large, loving family.
My very wise Aunt Polly, who was blessed with 8 children told me, when I was expecting my 7th, ” don’t worry about what others say, when I got older, I found out I needed all 8 of my children.” I am sure she was right.
Hi, Erin…I have enjoyed reading your post today, as it was just what I needed! I have 3 children, boy 15, boy 12, and girl 8. After the birth of our daughter my husband and I regretfully decided to have a tubal. It has been a regret of mine almost since the day she was brought home…Recently we have looked into having it reversed and I have been so troubled. I want another child terribly but the comments of our own family members have me a bit discouraged. Yes, financially money is an issue, as my husband is our sole provider, but I am almost 35 and feel that if God has laid this on our hearts than we need to follow through sooner rather than later. Children are a blessing and I know God will provide. Prayers would be appreciated for our family as this is a major decision to be made… Oh, and congratulations to you!!!!
Thankful for God's Grace
You should check into Blessed Arrows. That is where we found a doctor for my husband’s vas reversal when the Lord revealed to us that He is the one in control of the womb (especially Genesis 30:1-2). The purpose of Blessed Arrows is to raise money for those who cannot afford the reversals (both vas & tubal). May God provide the funds and the fruit of the womb!!
Thankful for God's Grace
p.s. I can’t wait to get those questions;-) That will mean that God has answered our prayer for more children! One comment I get a lot with my current three are “Your hands are full” and I usually respond with “My heart is full too and we pray that we are blessed with even more children!”
Thankful for God's Grace
I just had to let you all know that the Lord answered our prayers and our first reversal baby was born at home on July 2013! Thank you, Jesus!!!
I was delighted to read this. You listened to God’s call and he rewarded you richly. Praise God! Congrats on your blessing last year. I hope you are doing well. We are expecting our 6th blessing in Aug 2015 on our 10 year wedding anniversary 🙂 After 4 children, the comments just got downright mean! My family being the worst and my mother needing “time to process it”! We are letting our family up to the Lord. We don’t ask everyone to make the same decision, but it seemed right for us. And I am not saying that it’s easy. With each, is more responsibility and its hard to carry that many… but we have never regretted it and the joy cannot be replaced.
Congrats on baby #6!
THANK YOU! This is a beautiful post and I completely agree with you. I’m currently pregnant with my third (and so far, haven’t received any of the comments you’ve mentioned – most of our family and friends are very supportive). A friend of mine said she received similar comments when she was expecting her third (and she’s now having her fourth). Both my husband and I came from families of three kids, but we want a large family and know quite a few families with 8, 9, or 10 kids – happy, smart, beautiful families whom I admire greatly. Anyway, congratulations to you, blessings durign this pregnancy, and thanks for sharing your heart.
I wanted our third so badly, so did my husband…who hadn’t been that sold on our second. But I miscarried last year. Now I’ll be 40, so I guess it’s over. Amazing though, how many commented that my miscarriage was, “for the best”. I’m wondering whose best.
I’m so sorry someone said that about the baby you lost, Christine! :'( That is horrible, and so so so inappropriate. We got pregnant on our honeymoon, totally a surprise, and then I caught Influenza and our baby died, all in the first few weeks of her life. To this day, only a tiny handful of the people who know (and it’s been six years) actually accept that it really happened, and expressed sorrow for us. I can’t tell you how many otherwise wonderful people said it was better to believe there had been no baby (we knew I was pregnant, but hadn’t been able to see a doctor yet), or that God needed her in heaven more than we did here on earth, or that God must have known we weren’t ready (apparently, He gave us a baby, then decided we would be bad parents, and took it away again). People can be CRUEL, and I’m sorry you experienced that.
That is so cruel! Thank you so much for sharing your story, Alena!
At 40 it might not be over! I have an almost 4 year old and a 16 month old, born when I was 36 and 38 respectively, and now we are expecting baby #3 this September, almost 5 months after I turn 40! You never know what is in store! Some think we are nuts, since I have risky pregnancies and of my age, but we are feeling very blessed!
I am a mother of five and grandmother of 8 and each and every one of them was a blessing. I and my daughter-in-law have heard many of these statements. She just gave birth to her 4th daughter a month ago and the cruel comments keep right on coming. She just smiles and says, “I want an even dozen of whatever I can get.”
I have 5 daughters and a son, they are all grown now. When I was expecting my 5th my mother said it is just obscene to have so many children. She had given birth to 5 children. When I was expecting my 6th my neighbor who had given birth to 6 children 30 years earlier said it was unfair to children to have them be born in this day an age, about 20 years. They grew up fine and people still tell people how unfair it is to give birth to children in this day and age. Now many of my children are having more than two and they get the same thing you do. Every day and age has been a “bad time to have babies” all we can do is love them and take care of them.
I have 4 little boys currently, and trusting God for more if He wills. I to stay at home and live on a very tight budget, and home school. It’s not easy, and when people make their comments, it’s annoying at best. But we trust the Lord for our family size because He know’s best, man’s opinions and ways don’t work, and leave you with regrets. The world needs godly seed.
Great post. I am happy for you. Similar thing happened to me when I had my third child. Worse when I had my fourth! But I feel so blessed. Every moment of the day I thank whoever has to be thanked for giving me this much happiness.
Mom to Four.
We had our 5th this September and my parents are VERY unsupportive of more. Like tell me often that we have enough. Um, according to who? Is it God saying this or society? Because proverbs 3:5,6 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all things look to Him and He will make straight your path.” I think I will trust in the wisdom of the Lord God Creator when it comes to creating. He has always provided. Every time we have another baby my husband gets a big promotion or pay raise just in time for the new baby. The miracles we have experienced by having “too many” have left us speechless more than once. Oh, the comments sometimes can be ruthless and right in front of the children. My poor hubby gets battered and bruised by the guys at work but to have the honor of raising up arrows for our Lord, nothing is sweeter. We are blessed beyond measure. Yes, our home is starting to feel too small (only a modest 3 bedroom) but the joy that overflows these walls makes us appreciate them. It’s all in your perspective. We choose to please God above men. Th rewards are great and the years are short.
I’m so sorry your parents are so unsupportive and that you get so many mean comments. 🙁 Congrats on baby #5!! That is awesome!
Well said Erin. I think there are too many people having children when they don’t actually want to be parents and they can’t understand how we love being around our kids and doing things with them. Sure, my kids do things that drive me crazy sometimes, because they are kids and lets face it they like making weird noises for a lot longer than I would like most of the time, but for the most part I think being a mom is the best thing ever and I love seeing how amazing the kids can be every day.
I can totally relate to this as I have six, ages 9 , 7, 5, 3, and 1 year old twins. I never imagined having six children and was wiped out at four. God blessed us with two more(the twins) and I can’t imagine them not being here. We get comments every time we go somewhere and it can be tiresome. Some handle it better than others but I wish people would keep their thoughts to themselves. They don’t know us and their questions/comments are quite personal. God has different plans for each of us and I wish we could all be supportive and encouraging rather than judgmental towards one another. Thanks for sharing!
We had a 7yo dtr and 5yo son. I wanted another so much. I was just getting to the point where i was just getting to be ok with God’s plan when he gave us another son. People were very shocked and said “oops” Um…no people…more like a “thank you so much for such a huge blessing” And he is too.
I would be thankful for another surprise at this point too!
It is sad that people would say that, children are a blessing and it is a bleaiin to have 3 children so close in age (or more with different ag difference…) I have always wanted to have lots of kids and a happy marriage and. Happy family, but unfortunately I have one son who is four and nothing promising looking in the future ;( it is so sad to me that people who can have babies don’t, I mean understand why, but what about the parents that would love to have more than one, I just turned 26 but my life doesn’t look to promising for my sons father to come back to me wholey or for us to have more children (who would want to bring a child into.this life like that anyway) maybe someday a miracle will happen and I will be happily married and with lots of children and. Happy family…god bless you all -lenah
I’m so sorry the father has left, Lenah. 26 is young. I pray you have a bright future and more babies ahead of you!!
I have 5 ! They range from 30 to 40 years old now. Would of had nine but had 4 miscarriages , one in between the five I had and then 3 after I thought wouldn’t be having anymore because it didn’t happen for years. We didn’t do elaborate vacations but we did do many things with them especially on weekends. I was a stay at home mom and loved every second of it. Just enjoy them because it’s true they grow up fast and before you know it they are gone. I still miss not having them all at home. Congratulations on Baby number three!!!
Thank you for writing this. It is difficult to have three children in a world where two is the norm. I am so thankful I have three beautiful children, and even more thankful that I am able to stay home and raise them.
Thank you–I feel the same!
Congratulations!! Children are the biggest blessings you could ever have!! I have been so blessed with 8 beautiful blessings ( 3 are adults and moved out on their own) and my happiness increased 8 times!!! I obviously go thru a lot of people saying this and saying that.. but you know what I don’t care!! After having my 5 kids I wanted another child/ren but was afraid of what people would say or think. Finally, after 6 years, I decided I wanted more children. I gave it lots of thought and prayer for two years and then decided that is what the right thing to do and I had enough strength to stand up to others and not let it bother me. I did a couple of things to help with support and that is prayers, a support group, and my husband. My support group was online at Babycenter. You will be amazed at how many women are going thru the same things. 🙂
Good Luck and know that God would never give you anything you couldn’t handle!!
Thanks for sharing!!
Love, love, LOVED these thoughts. Thank you for sharing! It’s funny, my husband and I have 3 girls and have been praying hard for another baby for a year and a half. Starting the fertility road now. My 3 are all really close and we LOVE THAT. Granted, there are difficult moments with having them so close, ha ha, but they hardly ever ask to play with friends because they play with each other. Who better to have as a best friend than your sisters?? I’m grateful we had ours close together because now, I’m not sure we’ll get as many as we hoped, if any more at all. But Congratulations on your pregnancy! One of my favorite quotes, “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” (David O. McKay) 🙂
Thanks for being a voice for children and families! You are doing wonders!
Thanks for sharing, Allison! I love this: “No other success can compensate for failure in the home.” <---Amen!
I have 4 children, and at one time 3 under the age of 5. I have had some pretty rude comments from family especially. But to me my children are my treasures. I wish I could have had more but a tumor stopped that in its tracks. We live on a tiny amount of money since I am a stay at home mom, and I always think its so funny when people who make 4 or 5 times more than us say they cant afford children. I think it’s because what they mean is they cant afford children and their speed boat, new cars, expensive vacations, and pricy technology. We have learned to do without allot of “things” but I am so glad I have my children instead of the newest smart phone. For our family size we live below the poverty level, but still have name brand clothes (thrift stores), a nice home, go on camping trips every summer, and my kids still get to do all the activities their friends do. It comes from being really frugal and learning skills that save money. What I mean to say is lack of money shouldn’t be what limits your family size. There are always ways to get around that.
I agree that lack of money can’t be an excuse for some things…there is always a way to spend less!
This is a great post. Thank you for sharing. Far too many people are intimidated by the idea of have lots of children. We need to change our culture’s mindset to embrace children as a blessing – whether God blesses us with one or many.
Thank you, Sarah.
I started with identical twins boys. Then another boy. My parents thought two was enough. Then a girl. They were fine. I’m one of four girls. Then another boy. Then the comments started. But they stopped when they just figure I’m a lost cause and I enjoy them all. The big ones help the little ones. Three more and a few miscarriages gives me eight children on earth and at least 3 in Heaven. The current age range is 33-11. Two were born when the first two were in college.
What causes it? Well, last time I checked, it was legal for married couples. My last one was born when I was 43. They don’t cost all that much. We love hand-me-downs. Now my grandchildren can where the same clothes their daddies wore! I’m pretty frugal. We don’t go out. We homeschool. No TV. Lots of ways to save money or not spend so much.
Three are married, five are still at home. My children are my retirement. We are a close family and love to all be together for any of those 22 birthdays we have each year and holidays!
Thanks for sharing your story, Sheri! It sounds like you have been greatly blessed with a wonderful family!
I have 1 boy and 2 girls right now and am currently pregnant with girl #3. I had miscarried this past fall and got pregnant again within weeks. I get the friends and family with their snarky rude comments, too. In fact, I seem to have lost my best friend over this pregnancy. She has made several rude comments about me trying too quickly to get pregnant again. The truth is we tried for 3 years to get pregnant and had to use medical intervention for our twins. 4.5 yrs later we had a surprise baby with dd#2 and 4.5 yrs later we were surprised with dd#3 too. Our family situation isn’t perfect and we aren’t always happy, but this is the life that I have and we make it work the best that we can.
Congrats on the pregnancy, Jenny! I am so sorry you’ve received rude comments–especially from friends. 🙁
I so needed this to read this post and the comments today. Thank you Erin.I have 4 children , ages 13,12,8 and 13 months. My husband and I just found out we are expecting number 5 ! I know I am going to hear it all, I have heard negative comments since our 3rd and although not many people know we had a miscarriage in Oct 20 14 when our youngest was 9mths, I also was told then by my mother-in-law that maybe it was for the best.Now I worry about going through the same thing again but pray for a healthy baby, I know some people esp.my husband’s family will be very judgemental. We are on a very tight budget and I do stay at home , along with home school my 2 oldest but our kids have all the love they need and still get the attention they need.
First of all, congrats on #5, Catharine! That is wonderful! I am so sorry you’ve had some rude comments–especially the insensitive comment after the miscarriage. I hope your family will see the wonderful blessings that are your children!
I am pregnant with our 4th blessing right now. When he/she is born, it will make 4 kids in 6 years for us. The ugly comments only increase with each pregnancy. They are intrusive and some, even degrading. I have to bite my tongue to keep from yelling back. Most people don’t know that this is actually our 6th pregnancy in 6 years, we just lost 2 early on. 🙁
Congratulations on your 3rd blessing!
I’m so sorry you’ve received rude comments, Leslie! Congrats on baby #4!!
Great post, Erin! I have 8 and my oldest was 12 when my 8th was born. It took 8 for us to feel at peace with the size of our family. We just always felt like there was more room in our hearts. AND most importantly, I REALLY felt the Lords favor when I was pregnant ~ participating in LIFE in a very special way, as if confirming our step of faith. Children ARE a blessing and I’m so thankful for my big family! If we have any more, I’d like to adopt. But, people have actually looked at my husband and said “What’s wrong with you?!” I think they were joking (sorta) but still . . . a bit rude. I have no high and lofty ideas that my big family is any more spiritual or righteous than other families of whatever size. I just know that for us, THIS is our walk of faith. THIS is how the Lord is drawing us into a closer walk with Him, because it’s hard and it makes us realize our need of Him in a big way. The Lord wants our hearts, NOT our self-righteous acts of big family or small family or whatever it is that gives us that false sense of worth. HE is our worth and we live before Him. The culture and even many Christians will always have an opinion. Good thing we don’t answer to them. 🙂
I’m so sorry you experienced so many rude comments, Lisa! 🙁
I can not thank you enough for your words in this post! I too believe exactly like you and just as you said above, I got the same questions. It is truly refreshing to see others who see the truth. Thank you for sharing.
I am so glad you were encouraged!
Although she had a college degree, my mom invested her 30s and 40s in her three children.
Not sure what to make of this statement. It seems to imply that women who have a college degree and choose to work in their 30s and 40s are some how not investing in their children.
I didn’t mean it that way at all, Beth. 🙂 I just meant that my mom made the choice to stay at home. I actually am a working mom now as well. I work from home.
Thank you for this! I am a teacher. Recently, during parent/teacher conferences, a student came with his mother and siblings. As this sweet, smiling woman ushered her little troupe of 7 kids into my classroom, I quickly went to a shelf and pulled down several puzzles and placed them around the room for the younger kids to have something to do while we talked. After we finished, I sat with one of the youngest and helped her finish her puzzle then gave her a high five for her accomplishment. I was so surprised and touched the next day when I received a very sweet e-mail from the mother thanking me for my kindness and saying how nice it is to meet people who don’t look at her and her children like a traveling circus. I was so sad for her that she was made to feel that way. I agree that children are a blessing and all I saw when I looked at this “little” family was a big blessing.
I’m so glad you were a blessing to that mother, Elizabeth!
Hello! I just stumbled on to your wonderful blog and I love it!! I come from a large family of seven siblings. I remember always being so proud that I had so many brothers and sisters. I loved seeing peoples’ reactions when I would tell them that I have two sisters and five brothers. In my culture it is not unusual to see families with more than six, seven or even 16 kids. But sadly American society has made having multiple children some kind of bad thing. People I know that themselves came from such large family will go as far as to call a couple a “baby factory” simply because they are choosing to exceed the American normal of two kids. I just think it’s sad. It’s your choice how many kids you want and if the Lord blesses you with your desires, more glory to Him! I also have three girls, ages 8,5 and 18 months and we are certainly planning to have more. May God continue to richly bless your family!!
Thanks so much, Anastasiya! I definitely think it’s a cultural thing in America, and it is sad!
Thank you for this. We just found out we are pregnant with #4 and I am not looking forward to telling family and friends. Ugh. We are an anomaly in both our families, who only ever have more than two kids. Now that we will have double the “norm”, I am not looking forward to the comments. My absolute favorite is, “you know what causes those, right?”
CONGRATS on baby #4, Lindsey! Every baby is a blessing!!! I hope telling your family and friends will go much easier than you think.
Yes! Yes! Yes! I have 2 girls and a boy and my heart longs for another baby (my youngest is 10 mo old). I went to vote not long ago and had all 3 with me. The woman checking me in asked if “that was a boy” (I had my youngest in the carrier). I said it was a boy and she proceeded to say, “oh good. I’m glad you finally got what you wanted and are done now.” I was so shocked and upset the only thing I could think to do was turn to my girls and tell them how much they were wanted. So sad
New International Version (NIV)
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to[a] those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
we are due with our third – a complete surprise – in february.
when i was a little girl, i wanted two: an older boy, and a younger girl. i got that. picture complete. i never planned on three, and if anyone knows autism, you dont surprise an aspie! so it took a few months to get used to the idea (good things pregnancies last 9 months!)
i dont care which it is this time, we arent finding out like we did with the other two. we dont have any solid names, but we have a good pick for a boy. we hvae had toys/clothes for both, but i kept practically nothing except the REALLY special outfits, but my sister has girls and my nearby friend has boys, so hopefully we will have it covered ? LOL
but really? im obsessive compulsive. (as an “accessory” to my autism). and i still need God’s help letting go of some of that complusiveness. i can see already how im letting go. i am so grateful because it was exhausting to be that way i was before.
every single child serves a purpose to change you, mold you, and turn you more and more into who GOD wants you to be.
i wouldnt say i would have 20 kids or anything, but now that 3 is something im used to, i wouldnt be torn up if there were a #4. we wont be proactively trying, haha, but if God has that in the plans, then ok.
we are a one income home, and a small one at that (3 bedroom double wide). usually only a couple hundred over the “limits” for much assistance.
but you know what? the houes i grew up in was smaller and it was a nice childhood. 🙂 more space is just more to clean and heat. 😛
Thank you for writing this article! We just found out we are expecting #6 in December…just in time for Christmas!!! No one we know personally ever gives us a hard time. In fact, my sil has 5 and plans on 1 more as well. When I take the children in public I always talk to them first about how we should act, etc. So when people stare or ask questions, they almost always end up saying how wonderful the kids are! And I can always mention that my mom had 9 kids and that takes the heat off me. If people are outright rude, I tell them that perhaps one reason I have “so many” children is because I know what it is like to bury your own baby. (My first daughter was stillborn at 39 weeks). That usually shuts them up. But I reserve that only for the Super rude 😉
I have always said each of my children were a blessing. After #5, however, I did implore the Lord to please not bless me anymore as I was getting to old for this!?
This cracks me up, Nancy! I just did this after #4 😉 . LOL
I am 22 and got married when I was barely 21 to my wonderful husband whom it took us only nine months to commit to each other and get married. I’ve been told every nasty thing about how foolish and flat out stupid to get married so young and so quickly. I don’t even think I’m that young but many others disagree.
The first four months of our marriage I used birth control. I cried for four months because I felt so sad about not having children. I prayed and prayed and asked God what to do… Long story short my husband and I decided to trust the Lord with our fertility. Oh even just saying we were trying earned us a lot of grief from friends and family. We were told we were stupid and selfish for having children before we were “ready” what does that even mean??
Nevertheless we stuck with our convictions and we got pregnant the first month!
Unfortunately I miscarried at five weeks. We were completely heart broken. But then the Lord blessed us with another baby just 23 days after we lost the first.
Unfortunately I miscarried that baby also…
I felt like people were relieved that we lost the babies because we were “clueless newlyweds” trying to have a baby. It’s been 7 months since we lost the second baby. But we are still trying and praying. That’s all we can do. Part of trusting God with our fertility is also trusting him when our fertility seems to not be going well.
We have absolutely no intentions of using BC at any point. Because we feel so strongly about if God gives us the babies he will help us provide for them.
I know the likely hood is we will have many children because of my age even though I had the miscarriages. I know we will always get hassled by others no matter what we do or how many children we have. And that’s okay. We don’t follow people but God. It’s hard to trust God. Especially when everyone tells you you are stupid to do so. But one baby or 10+ babies is not a mistake or oops in God’s plans. They are all a blessing.
Oh Renee…I am so very sorry for your losses. I am also so sorry the people reacted that way. You are right–each and every child is a blessing!!