Quickly off the top, I think it’s an absurd statement.
But I have 4 kids. Not 2 heads; 4 kids. And yet the comments I receive are interesting so say the least. It’s a talking point and it really shouldn’t be.
I get the usual “geez, that’s a lot” type comments and more interestingly I get the “you must really love kids”.
Well I know I love my kids. I like the idea of kids; if you want some, good for you. If you don’t want any, good for you too. I wouldn’t say that I love all kids universally.
Sure, 4 kids is not the average. But average is a just a mathematical term. If the average was 1 child but you had 2 would that be a lot? Or is it because the average is bordering on 2 children and I have 4 it seems to blow the numbers out a little?
A few weeks ago I was renting a car and was asked if I would like to upgrade to a large sedan.
“Yes thank you that would be appreciated. I have 3 kids and a small car would be a tight fit,” I said through my sleep haze.
And I thought to myself, 3 kids? I have 4. Why would I say 3 kids if I have 4? And before I could answer my own query the gentleman behind the counter says, “3 kids? Geez that’s a lot these days.”
Hmmmm…after that comment I didn’t feel like telling him the truth. Best left alone.
Sure the reasons we have kids has changed. We don’t need children so someone can look after us in our twilight years. We don’t need children to pass the farm down to. We don’t need to have children to give us meaning; that bit of perception was disproved years ago.
If you ask people like Dick Smith, having children isn’t even in the best interest of the greater good. Peter Costello wouldn’t agree.
We have children simply because we want to.
The other interesting thing is that we measure our like for something by quantity. I’m not saying it is an accurate assessment but it’s a quick judgement we all make.
You run 6 days a week? You must love exercise.
You work long hours? You must love your career.
You have 600 CD’s? You must love music.
You have 4 children? You must love children and love being a parent.
Yes I do but I have not changed. I am the same parent I was when I only had 2 children.
I have come across so many mothers on Twitter and the general blogosphere that have 4 or 5 or 6 or 8 kids. Admittedly more than are in my general ‘in real life’ social circle.
But we’re not a rarity and we not more “mumsy”. Like we have an affinity with umbilical cords and placentas.
We still get cranky; we still hide from our children occasionally because they drive us nuts; and I’m sure we all, at times, sit and think ‘what the hell have I gotten myself into?’
The reasons I had 4 children are my own. Nobody questions a couple that only has 2 children. These families just fit nicely in with today’s societal norms.
But having more than your average doesn’t prove you love your children more; or that you take your job as parent more seriously.
We all work hard for our kids and we would all take a bullet for them; quantity has nothing to do with it.