Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pregnancy Shaming: Why I make No apologies for Wanting More Than Two Children




I recently saw an interview with actress Amy Adams about how she doesn't want any more children. She has one daughter and that's all she intends to have. She said in response to being asked about having more babies, 

“People really give you a look. They’re like, ‘When are you having another?’ And you’re like, ‘I’m not.’ And then you feel like a bad person. They’re like, ‘Don’t you want to give her a sibling?’ But I had so many siblings that I’m like, ‘God, no!’” (Chelsea Lately).

This got me thinking...Why are women made to feel bad or wrong for only wanting to have one child or, God forbid, not wanting to have any at all? Is this just another topic to add to the never ending list of mommy shaming trends? 

And what about those of us who want more than the standard two babies? I remember when I announced I was pregnant with my third and someone looked at me like I was crazy, like I had decided to run off and join the circus. I had people tell me that since I had a boy and a girl, I didn't need any more children. Really? They'd say, "But you've been so lucky to get two healthy children, why do you need any more?" I was dumbfounded by responses like this. It never occurred to me that if you have two healthy children you shouldn't want to have any more. In the same way women who choose not to have children -for whatever reason- or families who choose to have only one child shouldn't feel bad for their decision, those of us who have or want more than two babies shouldn't be made to feel like fools when we move forward with our plans. I make no apologies for wanting more than two children. 

I've seen it happen with friends where they have two children of the same gender. A close friend of mine has two girls and is always being asked when she's going to 'try' for a boy. She laughs and says she's finished having babies, but still gets asked -by the same people no less- when she will get pregnant. These are also the same people who think that if you have two of the opposite gender you shouldn't have any more kids. What happens when someone ends up with four or five of the same gender? They just get looks of pity and people assume they just kept 'trying for that boy', which is a complete insult in my opinion. I wasn't aware that there was a quota on how many babies one could have based on the gender of the children they already birthed. 

The choice to have children, for many couples, is a major decision and not taken lightly. Many couples also have some kind of idea of how many little ones they want to have, however, that number can change over time (yeah, going through childbirth once could make anyone not want more babies). And I've come to realize that there is no right position to be in when it comes to this topic... if you want no kids, you're selfish; if you have a boy and a girl but want more, you're crazy; if you have two of the same gender and don't try for a third of the opposite gender, you're weak; and if you straight up have a household of kids you're questioned. None of those scenarios are rightly justified. 

So the next time you have the urge to ask a pregnant woman how she could possibly want to have another baby, or your childless friend if she's come around and decided to get pregnant, remember that unless she's asked for your opinion, you probably shouldn't share yours.



18 comments:

  1. good for you!! i love this. i am doing a free fragrance giveaway if you want to enter :) http://www.xoxokat.com/2014/12/free-fragrance-giveaway.html

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  2. I have that problem too. I had 2 boys and when I got pregnant with my third everyone kept asking what we were going to do if it was another boy. I just answered with love it. I wanted another boy because I have been there done that. I got the girl I love her to death but I still want that third boy. Its like people are the baby police who feel the need to control other peoples baby choices.

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    1. Yes, it seems that way... and that's sad. We should all just be grateful that we have our beautiful babes. I also wanted another boy because it just seemed easier. Have a wonderful week!

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  3. I have two girls, a boy and am expecting my fourth. Luckily I'm not far enough along for strangers to interject opinions yet but I've already had friends share their feelings that another boy would be great so we'd have two and two. After my son was born, people would constantly say "you got your boy, you can be done now!" but I didn't WANT a boy, I've always wanted four kids and would have been perfectly happy with four girls! I try to just make a polite comment and just walk away but always mumble under my breath as I go...

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    1. I love this.. perfect example! Thank you for sharing! xx

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  4. Sometimes I think people are seriously just trying to make conversation and have no clue that it is irritating! We have 4 girls and 3 boys and I am STILL getting asked if we are going to even it out!

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    1. I agree, how many appropriate questions/comments are there to ask a pregnant woman? But yeah, it's pretty irritating. Is it weird that I'm a little jealous that you have 7 children?! Lucky mommy!!! xx

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  5. We have two girls, the youngest is 3 and I'm still hopeful that we might have a third. Most people are either shocked that I want another or say knowingly 'ah, having one more try for a boy'. I have never wanted a boy child - if I had one I know I would love it but if I'm honest when I imagine my dream family it's three little girls. You're right - everybody has a different magic number and we shouldn't impose our opinions on others. I'm soooo jealous of your number three bump though. Maybe by the end of this year.......

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    1. Thank you for sharing! Best of luck for your third bump...!! xx

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  6. I have six girls. I've never had anyone be mean but my husband has. People are usually polite or supportive, especially when they get to know us, but almost always they are shocked. I've learned to be kind no matter what and mind my own business. Good post. Following on g+ :)

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  7. I do think men have it a bit harder because they are suppose to be not as emotional when it comes to how many kids we have, like, it's always up to the mother or something. That is not always the case. Thank you for sharing! xx

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  8. I have two girls, and I get 2 different questions, one when are you trying for a boy, and other people who tell me that I am too old to want more kids, that I am crazy for wanting more.
    I don't know, either thing always makes me feel bad, because I would be happy to have more kids, a boy or girl, and the fact that I am older and my kids are practically grown (14 & 9) doesn't mean that I shouldn't have more. Everyone should be allowed their choices and it's no one's business but their own.

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  9. This is a great post, and hopefully will get people thinking. People can be so insensitive, even of they're not intending to be. Thanks for opening up this dialogue.

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  10. Good for you! It's amazing what people choose to be judgmental about!

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  11. Good for you - I have two grown daughters and they are my joy!

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  12. It's just amazing how people think they can get all up in your business! We have one child and don't plan to have more, and people think we're doing our daughter such a disservice by not giving her a sibling. Now that I have a child, I've found myself open to more family types. I love seeing people with lots of children, and I now love seeing couples with zero children that don't intend to have any. It's such a personal choice either way, and we should all support one another in our decisions. =)

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  13. Love this!! People are so judgemental it drives me crazy. Good for you to go for what you want. I always am doing better when I am not worried about what others think. And your true friends support you no matter what :)

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