Every time I leave the house with my girls I inevitably find myself on the receiving end of a game of 20 Questions, in which my kids, my sanity and my reproductive organs are the main topic. These conversations often include gems such as:
1| Are they all yours?
2| Oh you poor thing, all girls huh?
3| Are you trying for a boy?
4| Ever hear of birth control?
5| They have to be twins, right?
6| Are you trying to be the next Duggar family?
7| How can you possibly manage four kids; are you insane?
Most of the curious folk I encounter aren’t asking me these questions with malicious intent, but the fact that so few people lack a filter for proper manners is tiring, at best. If you add it all up, I’m easily losing weeks of my life answering inappropriate questions to quench the thirst of nosy people with nothing better to do than gawk at my sheer awesomeness.
Because, duh, I’m awesome. Like whoa.
Now, I can understand being questioned if they are all mine, because each girl looks completely different from her sisters. Different facial structures, different body types, different colored eyes…even their hair colors are all different. Growing up, my brother and I looked like twins; two little blue-eyed towheads. We were so similar that no one ever thought we belonged to anyone but each other and our mom. In general, when I see a woman with a trove of kids, I assume they are hers unless she tells me otherwise. It’s the polite thing to do. I never mind the compliments about how gorgeous my kids are after I say yes, though!
The other questions leave me feeling angry and defensive. Why should I have to explain my choices or circumstances to a stranger? It’s not anyone’s business what my reproductive plans are, and I certainly don’t plan on inviting anyone into my bedroom, or doctor’s office, to observe. But since we’re on the subject, let’s talk about the reasons not to have kids.
I’m not having more children. I can’t have more children; I had my tubes tied. The reason I had so many children so quickly is because my body likes to ovulate far more than once a month. Period or no, those eggs are dropping. Of course I’ve heard of birth control. I’ve even found myself pregnant, twice, while properly using birth control. My ovaries pay no attention to the hormones I try to feed them in the hopes that those eggs stay put. I often find myself on the receiving end of snide comments about being irresponsible, and have even heard them from people who were supposed to be my friend, which stings, because anyone who knows me, knows that I take responsibility seriously. These kids aren’t simply a result of oops, I did it again.
Try getting that Britney Spears song out of your head, I dare you.
Even if I could have more kids, I wouldn’t be trying with the sole purpose of having a boy. It’s always been the joke among everyone that we had four girls on a quest to have a boy, which is nonsense to me. That’s like telling my girls that they aren’t enough for me, that my life isn’t complete unless I have a little boy running around. How would you feel if someone told you your parents had another kid simply because they didn’t feel like a family with just you? My girls aren’t a means to an end. They are the end. They are perfect. Our family is perfect because of each of our daughters. I don’t need a son. Lord knows one day far too soon I’ll have sons-in-law, and that is scary enough. So to ask me if I’m trying for a boy, or tell me you’re sorry I had all girls is insensitive, and rude. Not everyone wants both girls and boys, and that’s OK.
Also, it’s cheaper. Hello, hand-me-downs!
I will admit that life with four daughters only 4.5 years apart in age from oldest to youngest is no walk in the park. It takes hard work, and at least once each day I find myself silently threatening to dropkick a kid through a window. It’s not impossible work, though, and though the rewards are few, they certainly are wonderful and far outweigh the bad.
Going for five isn’t in the cards for me. I’m not going to be the next Mrs. Duggar. I’m also not creating my own basketball team. I’m just a wife and a mother of four beautiful girls, with no agenda, and no need to change our family. Why question a good thing?