Re: Tell me how you told *less than thrilled* parents
Honestly, I've gotten used to the negative reaction from my family and it's gotten to the point where I just don't care. Most of my family is out of state, so it's not like it really makes much of a difference. Our contact is mainly by e-mail. We can't afford to fly our large family out there and booking a hotel with so many kids is already proving challenging, so we just gave up on making the trip until we have a car to make the drive. Then we'll probably go out in summer and camp because the kids love camping.
Thankfully my boyfriend's family is a bit of a mix. He doesn't talk to his mom because of problems in her past. He doesn't know his dad and has some issues with his step-dad. That leaves his sister who is really hopeful that we'll have another girl, but would take another boy, and his aunt and cousin, who both think we need to try once more for a girl. That's definitely made the idea of more much easier on both of us.
Most of our reaction came from friends. I had a few people tell me flat out that I need to stop having kids because I we couldn't afford it, not that she had any business knowing about our finances. I've been told that I'm just desperate for a man to support me and I'm just using my kids to live off my spouse and child support (because I'm a divorced mom). I've had people inform me that "the state pays for the surgery", and therefore that should be something I look into. Then there's the comments about birth control, which I think are awful. It's not that I don't believe in birth control. I just can't be on it because it causes some really negative side effects. Instead I'll "take my chances" and see what happens. I'm probably going to have the surgery when I turn 35 because women in my family tend to have too many health problems after 35. I don't want to risk any serious complications. However, as long as I'm healthy, I don't see a problem with it.
It also doesn't help that I'm not religious, which seems to be a minority in the large family department in my experience. It's hard to find people who understand because I can't say I'm doing what God wants of me or anything like that. I'm simply having the family that feels right to have. I'll know when I have enough children when it's either no longer safe for me medically to have any more or I'll just know it seems like we've got the family we're destined to have. A lot of people don't get that. Many can understand when it's a religious choice, but a spiritual, non-Christian choice seems foreign to them.
It definitely hasn't been easy, and we only have 4! We're not actively trying for #5, but we're definitely not avoiding it either. We've talked about it, and we've both decided when it's time, it's time. Once I get closer to 35 we'll start thinking about taking a more active approach. We've talked about the potential for twins since a high school friend of mine is pregnant with twins. We've talked about realistically having time for two more before I turn 35. It's not a stressful negative conversation, and I think because we talk so openly about it with people we know, that's also helped. Of course, we still get "When the kids outnumber the adults, that's when you're in trouble" comments when it seems like everyone has a bad day at the same time, or when we're just going through trying times as my daughter is getting into that preteen phase. Thankfully it's mostly just playful teasing. I think the fact that we can still be so happy, playful, and fun about it definitely helps keep other people feeling positive about our decision. They may not understand it, but since we seem happy enough, they really can't find a reason to mock it.
Things are going to get really crazy when my boyfriend starts getting visitations with his son, which he's fighting for. Then we'll have my two, his one (during visits), our three together, and whatever other children may come into our lives after that. I never thought I'd be so happy to be thinking of the joys of such a full house when I was younger, but now I can't picture it any other way.