Asinine Questions

Friday, October 05, 2007 14 Comments A+ a-

“Oh, you have two kids? What do you have?” Whenever I hear this question, I inwardly groan. I hate telling people that I have both a girl and a boy, because I know what is going to come out of their mouths next. “Aren’t you lucky? A boy and a girl! One of each; the perfect family!” And this comment, this response, really annoys me, for several reasons.

  1. “… the perfect family.” Really, is there any such thing as a perfect family?! We all know the answer to that one, of course not. As much as I love my kids, I mess up, every single day. As much as I love my parents, they didn’t do things perfectly. There is no such thing as a perfect family.


  2. “Oh a boy and a girl!” What about my friends with two girls, or the friends with all boys? What does this statement say about their families? Are they less than perfect because God gave them one sex? I can guarantee that their response would be a heartfelt, adamant NO; of course their family is perfect for them. And as the oldest daughter in a family of four girls, I take even more exception to this statement. Blech!


  3. “One of each...” I don’t even know where to begin with this part of the above statement. I have a friend (who I hope doesn’t hate me for posting about her father-in-law) whose father-in-law firmly believes that you should only have as many children as to replace yourself and your spouse. He was absolutely appalled to hear that my friend desires four children. So apparently, according to society’s standards, the perfect family consists of two parents and two children.

The above question is usually accompanied with this one. “So, do you and your husband plan to have any more children?” And they wait with bated breath while an internal debate rages inside my head about whether I want to answer that question truthfully or not. Do I want to tell them, no, of course not, our family is already “perfect”? Or do I want to tell them the truth, we want one more (two more, if I had my way) and watch their face contort into a look of disbelief, because seriously, how could we possible want one more child?!

I know that I seem to have lost my marbles, or at the very least, turning something small into a big thing. But these questions and the forthcoming responses really burn me up. I just don’t understand how anyone can put such little value on life. God has blessed us with two healthy children, who just happen to be one male and one female. The gender never mattered to us, just the health of these babies. And in one sentence, that person has cheapened the families of those with one gender, including my sisters and me.

And if God so chooses to bless our family with another child, a very much wanted third child, we will get on our knees and thank Him. Yes, we may add to the growing population but children are such beautiful gifts, gifts that I do not take for granted. And at the heart of it, I don’t answer to man, I answer to my God. I guess now I need to start working on my reactions to these questions; if only people thought before they spoke!


[Disclaimer: I don't mean the casual conversations that happen in the stores. Or the casual comment between friends. I mean the people who actually believe that one boy and one girl is the perfect family. I mean the people who are absolutely disgusted that I would dare have a third child. Yes, there are well-meaning people in the world who mean nothing by those statements. But then there others who truly feel as though they are right and want to impose their ideas on me. Those are the ones that drive me crazy.]

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

14 comments

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Christina
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7:24 PM delete

I hear ya! I get the "Oh, 2 boys...you MUST have a girl!" comment ALL THE TIME. It gets old. As if I could actually "choose" to have a girl next anyway. :-)

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Amy
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10:12 PM delete

I get fired up about this too, Jenn...especially when people assumed that because we had another boy this time that we will for sure have a third to get our girl. Grrrrr! You know how I feel about having boys and I believe "perfect" for our family means whatever we're given.

p.s. we would like a third, but not because we want a girl--we want three healthy children:)

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Kati
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10:17 PM delete

I totally agree! It's amazing how many times "arn't you lucky" comes out of peoples mouths when we tell them about Kallen and Kynlee!

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Amanda
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6:19 AM delete

well the other day I told Amy (who has commented above) that I think she would have a gorgeous little girl. I meant nothing by it except what I said. They would have a gorgeous girl if they ever had one.

People have said that stuff to me too but I have never taken offense because I think people just try to make conversation and don't know what to say. I honestly do not think that people say things like that because they feel what you have just said in this post. The truth is, we all say stuff that offend others and we don't even realize it. And despite what some say, the majority (not everyone) with the same sex do desire to have the other.

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Tom
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12:07 PM delete This comment has been removed by the author.
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12:09 PM delete

Well, "blessed is the man whose quiver is full" America's population is decreasing anyway. You're just trying to help :)John is number 3 out of six kids, you wouldn't believe the horrible things people have said to his parents!

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O Mama Mia
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1:01 PM delete

Oh breed on! These people are total tools.

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Paula
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3:22 PM delete

I hear that too. Actually from my husband. But only because he think we should stop with two. I tell him, no way! We don't know what God wants yet. It is WAY TOO EARLY to make that choice.

You are right, there is NO perfect family. And if there is, it is a family/children that are loved and wanted!!

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Amy
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9:21 PM delete

Hey Jenn...I just wanted to say, for the record, that Amanda's comment didn't offend me whatsoever. I actually took it as a compliment.

I just wanted to clear that up!

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Sarah
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4:20 PM delete

Just be secure in your decision to have three and don't worry what anyone else thinks. And try to give people the benefit of the doubt, because I betcha most of the time they're just trying to affirm your blessing, having one of each sex I mean. Of course we all "just" want healthy children, but I also think it's natural to desire both sexes. In our limited view of God's plan for us, we present our desires to Him and then wait and see what HIS will is. We know that God will give us what He deems perfect for our family and we simply can't declare what that should be for anyone else. Bottom line, let's not judge each other on those personal freedoms we have in Christ, nor on our own individual struggles or desires. The fact that you even felt the need to justify your position speaks volumes about the way we need to focus more on our own journeys and walks with the Lord and simply love each other and encourage each other the best we can, even when we don't see things the same way.
Love, Sarah

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5:25 PM delete

I agree. I'm lucky because I have healthy children.

I know people who don't have health children and they feel as if they are the luckiest people in the world.

I think sometimes people just can't think of the right thing to say! So they end up opening their mouth to whatever is on the otherside.


Jillian

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Nancy
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9:15 AM delete

Hi Jen,
I've been a reader for a while but don't think I've ever commented before. Your blog is such an encouragement to me!!

We just had a our third--a boy after two beautiful little girls. What gets me is when people ask if my husband is happy now that he has a boy. I'm never quite sure how to answer. Of course he's happy to have a boy! But he was just as thrilled to have two girls before that! I know people mean well, but the assumptions people make can be so frustrating!

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Elise
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6:45 PM delete

I appreciate what Amanda said, giving others the benefit of the doubt.

But those reactions you speak of have been hard to take in the past, because of our losses. I just try to remember that they don't know my history - it's not personal!

And then I dream of all the little ones who will someday fill my home... boys or girls, it matters not. :)

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Joy
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1:29 PM delete

It has been too long since I've dropped by here and I don't have time to catch up on all your posts... but I wanted to drop a quick comment here because I totally feel this, way too often. Well, you know, I have 4 kids so there's those "are you crazy?!" comments but there are also the "oh how perfect, 2 boys, 2 girls" comments too. And I've been so snippy and kinda rude lately, even to good friends, when this comes up. Ack, I need to watch my tongue!

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