Minor Rant About Having Children

I follow a number of birth boards. And a number of them cause strong emotions to erupt from me on occassion. And while this overall is pretty innocent, there is one line that just grates on me.

“I think she went to get away from all the craziness at home.”

So backtrack to a few days ago, when I began reading “The Strong-Willed Child” (insert all your praise here – I’ve heard it all, trust me). The introduction refers to a woman boarding a bus in L.A. with seven “rambunctious” children in tow. When asked if they were all hers or if there was some kind of picnic going on, she replies “They’re all mine, and believe me, it’s no picnic!”

Okay, here’s my problem. I have two kids. I love pregnancy. If I could be pregnant all the time, I probably would. Yet there is a cold, hard reality after the pregnancy – you have to raise them, too.

So my first question is why on Earth would you have this many kids? I mean, let’s think about this logically. If you have a baby every 12 months – which you shouldn’t be doing anyway (insert remark about higher rates of autism in babies closer than 24 months apart) – your oldest will be 7 when you had that last one. Really, in seven years, with 7 kids, it didn’t suddenly dawn on you “Wait… this is a lot of work. Perhaps I should not have any more right now”????

Yet maybe you wanted a big family, and you appreciate your big family. So insert my other rant. Please, by all means, tell me if this isn’t fair. If you go to the hospital to get away from the “craziness” of your kids to have another kid, should you be having more kids? I understand needing a few hours to yourself. I still don’t get the taking-a-vacation-by-myself-to-get-away-from-the-kids thing. I’m a firm believer in the “you had kids and now you get to take care of them” theory.

Before you say “but you don’t understand, my kid is so hard to handle”, remember – I’m reading Dobson. My kid is insane. While he may not trump everyone’s kid, he trumps most in level of activity, general naughtiness, and sassing. He also suffers from RAV, or “random acts of violence”. (Yes, I created that term myself.) He’s equal to approximately four of my little girl, who is not yet two – and I figure probably at least two of any “normal” boy. So I get it – kids can be hard.

So at this point I will repeat – I love pregnancy. I’d have a million babies if I could. But I know that I cannot be a devoted mother right now to more than two. If I have more than two, I might just become clinically insane (extended vacation) or get pregnant to have more babies so I can go to the hospital (vacation), or simply duct tape them all to the walls. Okay, not really on the duct tape.

Does this mean I will never have more? I do not know. All I know is right now I cannot handle it, right now it is too much to think about, and right now it would lead to my certain demise.

My point is that if you are going to have kids, I feel you should be committed to having them, not then looking for excuses to get away because you can’t handle it. And if you are lucky, like me, and have an insane one (or more, you poor soul!), then it’s probably a wise idea to obtain a good, sturdy, reliable method of birth control and take one day at a time for a while until you’re sure that you won’t be seeking hospital visits for a break (not a relaxing place, anyway!) and grumbling about how your life is no “picnic” with the kids you have.

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