To my surprise, I’m a mum of five. It still feels odd saying that. With five children, I’m a prime target for comments about the size of my family. Often I’m asked, ‘you’re done now?’ or ‘the shop is shut, right?’.
Once you have one child, you’re asked when you’re having a second. If you have two sons, people ask if you’ll try for a girl. When you have a pigeon pair, people don’t understand why you’d want a third child. If you have five kids, people assume that you’re done having kids. Because, more than five is crazy, right?
When I told my [female, childless, barrister] boss I was pregnant with twins she said ‘Jesus Christ Claire. Only the freaky families way out in Western Sydney have five kids’. Such a beautiful way with words. At that point I was still coming to terms with the whole twin thing. It was not the response I needed.
For a while I thought we’d be a family of five. Although my heart was telling me we’d have four children. Four and we’d be done. Never five. Five was way too many kids! Then, the fourth pregnancy was twins and that made five kids. Now, here I am, 6 months in to life with five kids. It doesn’t feel overwhelming. Yes, my hands are full. Overflowing, even. Yes, we’re busy. That’s an understatement. But am I ‘done’? Maybe.
Five and out
I suppose it’s an understandable assumption that with five kids, we’d be finished having children. But the reality is, the size of my family should only matter to Mr Wallace and I. Mr Wallace is well and truly ready to ‘shut up shop’. And that’s no doubt a wise decision. Meanwhile, I’m a bit ‘Hi, my name is Claire and I’m addicted to kids.’
For now I respond to the ‘you’re not having any more kids, right’ comments with ‘never say never’. But really, I’m scratching my head about why the size of my family is so important to others. Maybe I ought to say ‘mind your own womb’. Or is that too forthright?
What unwelcome or inappropriate comments have you received about the size of your family?
Linking up with Kylie for #IBOT