I love big families. I love the constant noise and fuss. I love sitting around the table with a huge family eating dinner. I love seeing all the stockings hanging. I love the fighting and laughing and playing. I love it all.
I’m one of 4 kids in my family.
I have 3 kids of my own (so far!).
My cousin has 4 kids.
And (ironically enough) all of my close girlfriends want 3-4 children. At least for the time-being.
But for some reason, my Nana thinks I should stop (and be very happy and content) with 3.
As if it would be a complete personal insult to her if I had a 4th baby. (OK, I’m exaggerating a bit here, but it’s still in the arena of truth!)
On Tuesday evening, Nana called to wish my oldest son William a Happy 3rd Birthday. They had the best conversation a 3 year-old could have with an 88 (“and a half,” I know she would add) year-old. I heard a lot of “uh-huh”… and “greats”… and then the finale, “Are you coming to my party, Nana?” (That is, after all, most important to a 3-year-old.)
Then I got on the phone with Nana. I was in the middle of telling her how blown away I am as to how fast the 3 years went by… and where did the time go… when I was cut-off with the –
“I hope you’re done with 3!”
Okay… insert my smiling face here and understand whole-heartedly that my Nana loves me and is truly looking out for my best interests. BUT, she does know that I want (at the very least) one more baby.
There are limited responses (that are PG-rated) that you can come back to with a remark like this. And there are certain factors that I must keep in mind:
1. She’s concerned about the expense of many children.
2. She’s thinking about my well-being
3. **She’s 88 (and a half!) years old and I have to be nice.
4. **She has 3 boys and she wants me to be just like her.
But it got me thinking. Regardless if I have 4, 5, 6 or 100 kids, I’m the one (along with my husband… I’ll throw him a bone here too) who will be carrying the baby for 9 months.
I’m the one who will be getting up throughout the night for feedings. I’m the one who will be carting around diapers and wipes and binkies and toys and books. I’m the one whose car will be dirty with crumbs, crayons, poopy diapers, dirt and all the stuff that goes along with kids and cars.
I’m the one who will be crying in the parking lot of school on first days of school.
I’m the one, Nana. (OK, along with my husband, except for the carrying of the babies, crying in the parking lot, cleaning the car.)
OK? I’m the one!
Not anyone else.
It drives me crazy when I get the comments regarding how many kids one should have or chooses to have.
And this brings to mind my favorite comment of all from my friends with one child: “I know I have one child, but he/she has the personality and energy of 10!”
Really? And you know that because… ??
So to the adorable and well-meaning Nanas of the world. To my girlfriends who stare at me with wide eyes and jaws to the ground when I say I’m ready for a 4th…
I have always wanted a large family. I think I can handle it. I hope I can. It’s just something I want for my life and for my children. I know it will be a lot of work. I know it will be an expense. (And no, I’m not even thinking of college yet.)
My husband and I have considered all of the angles… and at the end of the day, we still want 45 kids. Kidding, of course. I mean 4 or 5.
Okay ladies, I can get off my soap box now.
And Nana, I love you more than anything! I promise I’ll do fine.