Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Transformations #21, Addendum

To sate my readers' curiousity, here is the secret I couldn't tell before.

My wife, as most of my readers will know by now, is was pregnant with our sixth child (see that link before offering your congratulations).

She doesn't relish being countercultural with quite the same passion as I do, and dreading the reaction of those around us who don't understand our lifestyle choice and the priority we put on following the Church's teaching on life issues, she has asked me to keep this news quiet for a bit.  Even with five children, we often draw stares or comments like:

  • "It's called a CONDOM."
  • "Time to tie those tubes!"
  • "Are you done?"
  • "Was it planned?"

I can't even begin to convey how offensive I find such remarks.  They a complete invasion of our privacy and quite rude. No stranger in the supermarket would ever dare say to a family with no children, "Are you infertile, or just selfish?"  So where do they get off making such comments about families with lots of kids?

At any rate, my wife and I had a bit of a dispute over how appropriate it was to hide our news from the people in our lives who don't 'get' us, and I agreed to postpone our formal announcement until a time of her choosing.  This was a difficult decision for me, and I made it by sheer act of will for the benefit of our marital harmony.  That act of will is the growth moment which I could not share before.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. :(

    Actually, as a childless couple, you DO get rude comments. I have and do get the following:

    "When are you finally going to have kids?"

    "What's wrong with you?"

    "What are you waiting for?"

    "You're getting "up there" (in age...I'm 32) you don't have much time left!"

    "You should have had them younger"

    I could go on and on. And yes, these can be from strangers, friends, and family alike.

    The bottom line is, they don't know why we don't have kids. They don't know if we are trying, delaying because of a health issue, or if we are infertile. They have NO idea and hearing these comments is like taking a bullet.

    Children, having children, and sexual issues are all very personal choices, and should remain as such. People should reserve their stares and comments, as they have no idea how much they can hurt and affect others.

  2. Anon, thank you for your insight. I would still maintain that those of us with large families are more of an anomaly in modern western culture than childless families, and that we attract more than our fair share of the scoffing. Twice in the last two days, after announcing our recent miscarriage to various associates, their empathetic responses have nevertheless included recommendations to get sterilized.

    But it's nice to know that the nosiness doesn't all land on us. Ultimately I think you and I agree: outsiders take way too much liberty in voicing their opinions on our family sizes.


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