Family Planning…

I’m wondering if this topic is as over talked about and as under THOUGHT about for you all as it has been in my experience.  And by this, I’m talking about all the gratuitous opinions people have inserted on my personal family planning throughout my married life thus far.

Over the first few years of marriage, too frequently I would get comments, (or overhear comments) about why I hadn’t begun having children yet.  How I was living selfishly.  I particularly would hear a flurry of comments, often second-hand, every time we would travel.  One of our greatest trips was to Europe to do a semester abroad, but I remember all too well some of the hurtful comments said about me and my lack of off spring and how I was putting myself first rather than starting our family.  I had no idea that my own personal family planning was in fact, community planning for my family!  It wasn’t anyone’s business what was or wasn’t happening in my home.  What if I just wasn’t ready to have babies?  What if I had a serious medical condition? Or what if we just couldn’t get pregnant?  The last was our situation.  In fact, I had my first miscarriage only a couple of months after our wedding, AND I was on the pill.  That experience, and the fact that I already knew I had a medical condition called PCOS (which can often make conceiving and carrying a baby to term difficult) is why we decided to begin trying for a child right away.  For us, we would have been thrilled to get pregnant right off the bat, and despite our difficulties and heartache over a couple more miscarriages, we truly enjoyed the few years we had to ourselves before our beautiful first baby boy finally came along.

I always felt so blessed to have had the time that we did and that our baby boy came to us at last, healthy and strong.  But surprisingly, it wasn’t long after that I began to hear the whispered and often loudly interjected judgments on why I didn’t have a second child.  Again, it just wasn’t anyone’s business.  This sounds so logical to you, I’m sure. But the things ordinary people can say are just…appalling and beyond inappropriate.   I rarely told any one of these unpleasant folks of the struggles we had conceiving, but on occasion when I just had to have a human moment (rather than a “Jesus” moment)  I would say,  “I can’t have more children because I have cancer.”  Never will you shut someone up faster than with a comment like that!  It’s a little cruel, and certainly not true, but I sure as heck hope that individual learned not to stick their noses in others’ personal and very private matters.   In my case, after our long struggle to get pregnant with our first baby boy, we decided to begin trying for baby number 2 as soon as we were able.  My husband, Ty, was deployed to Iraq during the birth of our son, so baby boy was actually 9 months old when Ty got home and we began again.

(Seriously, how darling is that little chubby baby!?! LOVE!)

For us, we figured if we happened to get preggo right away, having two babies close together would be better than waiting another year or two only to find ourselves at another fertility clinic and then who knows how long after that before getting a second baby.  So all of this was going on, while I’d get the continued (however more occasional)  comments on my family planning.

In the meantime, we made lots of fun memories together:

It was about 18 months and a long bout of fertility treatments later that I finally got this:

My husband was once again deployed, only to Afghanistan this time, but we were elated!!

And then of course, if you’ve been following me, you’ll know I ended up with TWINS!! Which, in case you were wondering, I am pretty sure the VERY best people to get twins (and the ones who appreciate it the most) are one’s who’ve struggled with infertility!   And yet, the crazy comments commenced shortly there after!  I actually wrote a whole post all about it here (and some here).  Now, I get it; when a person looks like this:

 (getting admitted to the hospital delivery day with the twins)

people are bound to say a thing or two…or three or four!!  And they most certainly did.  But the comment that I would get (and STILL get constantly) that is the most frustrating, and to me, the most invasive  (which that’s really saying something because I have had some seriously crazy comments!) is this:  After explaining that I was having boy/girl twins they say; “Oh, so you’re done, right?”  Frankly, at that point during my pregnancy, I NEVER wanted to think about having another baby EVER!  But I was so offended by their presumption…or really, their more than implied judgement that having more would somehow be wrong.   First of all, shame on you, that’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS! But second of all, why on earth are you so concerned about people who are financially, emotionally and physically able to take care of and love their children.   One lady in particular, after I told her that I didn’t know if I was done or not and added that I ALSO had a 3 year old at home, went on to tell me about her pastor and how he had 7 children and that she felt inclined to tell him he needed to stop.  She told me she had said, “You know what causes babies, right?” I think she thought I was going  laugh and agree with her.  But all I could think is with all of the ills of this world, why shouldn’t this man and his wife of 20 some odd years who are good, moral individuals and able to provide a loving, healthy and happy environment for their children have all that they want? What better way to combat that.  (And DO NOT for one second think I’m going to entertain the illogical fallacy that the earth is over-populated and can’t sustain the life on it as is…if that’s where anyone’s mind went, please do your research.  Just as ONE example, farmers, especially in this country, are so productive that they are paid to NOT produce in order to control for higher prices.)   

Truthfully, I don’t know if I’m done or not…I tend to think I might not be, but what ever I choose and what ever you chose for your family, the point is it’s YOUR CHOICE!! And some idiot doesn’t get to tell you what’s right for your family or mine.   They can take away my extra large diet coke (I’ll just order TWO!) but keep your nose out of my bedroom business!

Would you seriously want to deprive the world of all this cuteness??

I’ve lived in many places, some where large families are the norm and others where there is a strong bias against big families.  I would often hear comments about others with multiple children (while I just had the one).  I believe family planning is very important, as well as deeply personal.  Many people do make poor choices and having a large family only complicates matters.  But I’ve seen such beautiful, successful large families that inspire me (not to have 10 children per say, but to be a better mommy).
I think the word “successful” is key because it is a very dynamic term.  I think all too often, society views success through a strictly financial  lens.  While it is important to be able to provide a stable, healthy and LOVING home, financial success doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing from person to person.  Having the means to raise up good children and to help them become moral, contributing members of society is what truly matters and the number of dollars in your wallet doesn’t equal about of love in your heart.  (Although, having a few seems to help. 🙂 )
Have you guys encountered this on either end of the spectrum?  What have been your experiences and how did you respond?
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  • Camille

    Your babies are darling cass!ReplyCancel

  • I commented on your facebook but felt like I should comment here too. I’ve written posts very similar to this, people assume that because I have twins I’m done. They make the exact same, “So you’re done,” or “Get it done in ones shot,” comment and then seem shocked when I tell them I want one more. I’m not racing out to get pregnant RIGHT NOW as I do want to change some things about my life first (my career) but it grates on my nerves when people make such presumptuous comments. I’ve always wanted a few kids and to adopt one because I feel like I have so much love to give. And so far, my kids are pretty fantastic little beings, why would I not want to bring more into the world?ReplyCancel

  • Missy

    I so agree with you. Family planning if a very personal issue. I am on the having lots of kids close together end. I am currently pregnant with our 3rd child in less then 3 years. The comments about how crazy it will be and if we can afford it…. go on and on. We also get asked if this was planned. I think that is an unfair question for the child. How would you like to be known as the surprise? This one, as all of our children have been, was planned. We are so excited to have them this close. WE are also so grateful that we can have children and love them so much.ReplyCancel

  • Cassia Denton

    I’m so sorry for the terrible comments! This is exactly why I’ve been thinking about this so much lately. Everyone has their reasons for not starting a family right away, or for having a big family! And who’s to judge? (apparently a few too many people!) lolReplyCancel

  • Whitney Denton

    I recently read an article by a woman living in NYC stating that it would cost over a million (I think it was even over 2 million) dollars to raise a child in her current environment and therefore for the sake of cost chose not to have any children. I think it’s a great tragedy in our society when the people start placing more value on fat wallets, the environment, and any number of things over the great opportunity to raise/create the next generation.ReplyCancel

  • I love this! We just got married about 6 months ago and people ask me ALL THE TIME when we are going to start having kids. My response is always about how I want to enjoy being married a little bit first. I want to give attention to my husband before I have to give it all to kids. And people always tell me that I’m being selfish by thinking that way. Honestly, I don’t see what’s wrong with that. I want kids to be brought into a happy marriage with a great foundation. I want to be ready to give them all they deserve. But I feel pressured all the time to have kids, even though I may not be ready.ReplyCancel

  • I’m not sure how I missed this post earlier, but how TRUE it is. I have 4 children and my youngest is almost two and I can’t tell you how often while I was pregnant, or since she was born that I have heard…So, Are you done yet? It drives me crazy because, YES I believe I am done- but why should I feel obligated to tell YOU? And when I tell people maybe not, I hear “but you get so sick while your pregnant, it would be really selfish for you to put your family through that again!” (seriously) And its true, I do get really really sick while I am pregnant- but I almost didn’t have my 4th for that very reason…and it was REALLY REALLY HARD! But yet, as I watch her playing I can’t imagine my life without her, OUR life without her- because she belongs to each member of our family. We all call her OUR baby. So if I choose to be done- or if I choose to go through it again, its up to my husband and I. And that should be the end of the story…but alas, when I drag my crew to the park for a playdate today, I will probably have this conversation again.ReplyCancel


MyMommyStyle Meet Camille

Hello! I am Camille, a wife, mother of four, Disney obsessed, certified teacher, and reality optimist. Motherhood comes with its ups and downs, and I hope while you're here you'll find something that makes your #momlife easier!


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