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October 20, 2008

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J.C.

Oh, Kim, unpleasant to say the least, but who knows what kind of seeds of contemplation you may have sown in this woman's heart during this encounter... You never know. :) Hugs to your ten! That picture of your daughter kneeling is just exquisite.

shelly

Precious! The picture sums up your whole post. that is our goal!
Sorry for the awkward moment, but you were witnessing to that girl!

+JMJ+ at TotusTuusFamily.blogspot.com

As many times as I hear people relate conversations like these I am incredulous!

People dare to ask and then dare to minimalize those of us who see children as a gift.

Our society has put some crazy spell on people...that a child can hold you back...from what? greatness? It's a pride in this life and this world with total disregard for the next, the lasting, the eternal.

God bless you for your witness, your humor.

Melissa

I'm always inspired by those blessed with large families, never shocked. If only my husband had my same dreams for a house full of children!

Thank you for reminding me what a blessing my sweet little ones are. I only have 2 (so far) but they have added more joy into my life than I ever knew possible!

Nadja

I love these tales of encounters with those on the "children are a burden" front. I have only five, but I started having kids late (35) and had them in seven years. I wish I'd started sooner!

Anyway, even with only five I often hear, "You have your hands full!" But what an image of poverty is someone with empty hands! As for the (rather rude-sounding)comment, "Better you than me!", I can usually counter with a smile and say, "I agree!"

God bless you and your bounty!

Jen

Beautiful, beautiful post.

Karen

I, for one, and I believe my family, are very blessed to be able to share with you and your crew around that table. I am sorry that people are so small minded that they cannot accept that it is a blessing to have a large family. I do regret that I only have 5 but one day, God willing and the creek don't rise, I will get to have lots of grandchildren be around. It is the big families that my boys like to be around the most.

Wendy (back) in VA

Oh, Kim, bless your heart! I feel so sad for people who think of a child in terms of money and stress rather than joy and love. Maybe you broadened her horizons. :o)

Christie Groth

Well quite frankly, I would have loved to have had a house full of children. I was only able to have 2 and they are nearly 8 years apart. I wanted kids so bad that I kept children...charged very little money...and treated them as though they were my own. This much I can tell you from experience....MORE IS EASIER THAN LESS. I would have never believed that if I did live it myself. Both of my boys were virtually only children and they needed constant attention and never had anyone to really play with. They had no "friends" to grow up with...no one to compete with...basically mommy and daddy and no one else. :-( I and my husband, being only children too, can surely feel how lonely they had to be. Families with many children are incredibly blessed! YOU ARE INCREDIBLY BLESSED!

Ritsumei

When you run into people like that, remember that there are people like me, who only wish that we could be as fortunate as to have 10 children. I struggle with infertility. My one son is a miracle. We are currently working and praying for a second. I'd take the praying baby any day of the week. You are so blessed to have the brood that you have. They are surely blessed to have parents that cherish them as much as you clearly do.

Kathleen

beautiful post.

Theresa

Lovely, Kim!

Chris

Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for your humility. And mostly, thank you for your witness to the culture of life. Reading this post was a wonderful way to begin my day. GOd Bless your beautiful family!

Margaret in Minnesota

Though your murmured responses may have sometimes *seemed* lame, your witness NEVER is.

And yours is a beautiful, beautiful witness.

I will offer up my next Mass for you, dear Kim--for a safe delivery, certainly, but also comfort and peace throughout these last long weeks.

Barb

And for every 10 or so nut cases that I meet who go on and on and on about large families and how 'rich' we must be (how funny is that one?!), there is the one Christian who makes the comment about big families being a blessing. It is a sad commentary on our society! I'd never voluntarily eat a Big Mac anyway, big family or not. Tess is darling, can't wait to hear about the latest baby when she gets here.

Angi

What a lovely story. It is so sad that everyone feels that they can comment on the size of someones family. With my smallish family (4 girls) who are very close in age, I get very rude comments. I particularly dislike the double trouble comment about my twins (though at times it is true ;) ). Sorry to vent on your lovely story.

Keira

You'll have to forgive those of us who don't know how to respond appropriately. I know you are living within your religious teachings. To others, however, our religion is the earth and all it's bounty, which is struggling to survive our massive population growth. Have you figured out that if each of your ancestors procreate at your pace, you will have 100 grandchildren and 1000 great-grandchildren? If we all had 10 children, the earth would be out of oil (life as we know it) and fresh water (life itself) before any of us could become great-great-grandparents.

So please, next time you pause to take a breath to answer "10", please consider it may not be everyone else who doesn't understand.

Kim

I was where you are - for many many years. I am not there now. I have absolutely no fears of overpopulation. I sincerely doubt EVERYone would have ten children. They couldn't given today's staggering infertility problems. Even aside from those there has always been a natural flow of health and tragedy, war and peace. Populations grow and are decimated in a flash. I trust God has it all worked out. He always has.

I am also pretty certain that the woman I spoke with was not concerned with global crises. If she was I sincerely doubt fast food would be such a high priority for her. For those of us who are concerned about simple living it is not an option. That is why our family chooses to cook from scratch vs purchasing packaged goods, why we buy used or go without, why we are green at home and teach our children to do the same to an extent we have not seen in our peers. We also stress care for others because the problems of today stem less from lack of resources and more from poor distribution. The few have the most. Those who have ought to be sharing. Not by force but by conscience.

From what we have seen a typical consumer minded small clan uses far more resources than our larger bunch. In fact many families in humbler situations could live comfortably on what one average US family feels is necessary. Therefore, we take nothing for granted.

At any rate - this was and usually is not about the planet but about the wallet and the convenience. It was about the poverty that is viewing a swivel seat bolted to the floor and dinner in a styrofoam box to be the best vision of quality family time. This is a tragedy, as is viewing children as the problem instead of the possible solution. Who can say but that my tenth child (or your 4th or whatever) may just hold the answer to our world's problems?

I do appreciate those with sincere questions and concerns like your own however and while I do protect my corner of cyberspace for my family this is not meant to be an ego booster. So I publish. We do understand the problems. We just have a different understanding of their root causes, their scope, and their ultimate solutions.

cheryl

That picture is beautiful. I showed my kids and they all said, "Aaaaaw."

And what an interesting conversation you had at the store. I get lots of questions and comments about having five children. I usually think the people are clueless, but sometimes I think "but for the Grace of God, there go I" because I was not always open to life. I've always admired those with large families though. I admire you too. I'm still into buying frozen foods, using disposable diapers and eating out at Friendly's with my family. But maybe someday...

Molly

lovely Kim, thank you for your faith and witness.

Rebecca

Beautiful post and beautiful family, Kim.

Cammie

what a beautiful and encouraging post. I am so blessed to have read this today. My kiddos are young and some day's are trying, it is easy to loose focus and forget the whole point of this journey. Thank you for these sweet words.

Lisa

Perfect, Kim. I wish the whole world could/would understand and be blessed by what you know. We know it here, too and never take for granted the blessing.

Cay

Kim,
Beautiful and well-said, as always.

I believe you wrote a lovely--- practical even---blog post not that long ago about how big families are (often) more environmentally conscious and earth-friendly than smaller families. If I had time I'd go looking for it...

Maria

Beautiful, Kim...I put this on my blog referring others here...

We really need to change the culture where our thinking about children is concerned. We "talk" about being positive but our mental viewpoints convey negativity because that's what people expect.

Thank you for saying it how it really is and should be.

Alexandra

I get the, "You've got your hands full." with my two. And I think, but I only have two! What's not full, zero? Children are precious; life is precious. If God has blessed you with the fortitude, an open heart, and ability to conceive many, then more is beyond wonderful. It's sanctifying grace - every child you lead to God multiples your blessings. God bless you.

Ritsumei

I love your response to the population comment. It's just perfect. My faith believes the Lord said "For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare."

Of course God will make a planet that has enough to go around for the Children that he sends!

kat

This post shows one of the great benefits of the internet. It connects those of us who live a different life than the average and gives us a community. I am currently expecting our 6th and I can't believe the comments I have received from the hospital staff, "You have 5 kids, OMG!" What helped me focus on the blessing I have been given was logging on to my favorite blogs and reading other moms of many posts like this one.
Thanks!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry

I am constantly amazed at how brazen people can be - how presumptuous their questions and comments.

I'm also incredibly impressed with your grace in handling the situation.

Danette

What a wonderful encounter for that woman. I'm sure it made her stop and think. I clearly remember a time when I met a woman with nine children. I had two and my jaw was on the ground. I never knew people even had that many children. We are now expecting number seven and can't imagine how empty our lives would be without these blessings. Keep up the good work!

Alice Gunther

How is it possible I did not comment on this post when I first read it? It is marvelous. (And has me back to re-read yet again.)

Alison

Hello from England! You've made me feel better. Am currently expecting baby number 6 in 4 days time and have a few complications which has meant I've been in and out of hospital over the last 3 weeks. Here in the UK, having 6 children means people assume they have different fathers - a sad indictment of prevailing culture over here. To be the proud parents of 5 beautiful, healthy children with another due in a few days - God willing - has not gone down easily with our parents either. (I am a convert to Catholicism, my husband is not but is soooo supportive, and our parents come from no or very little faith background).

Whilst being in hospital this past week, my children have been told off by the midwife on duty on the ward for merely existing and when she found out this was baby number 6, she shook her head and tutted repeatedly. She lives alone with a dog... She is there to help bring life into the world yet apparently there is a limit to how many lives that should be.

We are alone in the area we live in for having a larger than average family, even within our own Catholic parish. Our children are constantly met with stares and looks of disgust when we all go out together: we have had to try hard to help our children cope with this, especially with the encounter between the midwife and my 8 year old son's reaction to her. Sometimes it's tough to witness to life - paddling against the flood of prevailing attitudes! I am fed-up with having to justify my children's existence without feeling nasty when responding. I am also fed-up with being asked, "Is that it now?", even by strangers and members of my own extended family. I wouldn't dream of asking how many times a week they... well, there's just no need to go there, is there?! It's as though they think having babies is a phase you go through, a selfish indulgence (!) or addiction that you really should grow out of.
Prayers and blessings for a safe and holy delivery, Kim.

Katie S

I have stood in that place several times, my way blocked by over excited people who want to examine the kids and pelt me with questians. We have 7 children and are loving every minute of it. Congratulations on your coming Baby! How exciting for you and you family :-) God has indeed been very good to us!

Jennifer (Et Tu?)

This is the best blog post I've read in a while.

Just the other day I was remembering that before my conversion I met a lady at my midwife's office who was pregnant with #10 (I was expecting #1). I cringe now to think that I blurted out like a moron, "Are you DONE?" (I wasn't judging her, but I was shocked -- I'd never met anyone with more than four kids).

Anyway, it's funny that with three under five and one on the way I now get comments like that too, and when it's all said and done I may very well have 10 of my own!

We'll have to keep that checker in our prayers. You never know. :)

mel

Lovely, just lovely. :)

Megan

Very well said, Kim. And doubly so, with your response to Keira. You have shown us how to respond to folks lovingly and with conviction.

Thanks for the reminder.

:)

Mairzie

Beautiful! God bless you and your dear family. Thank you so very much for sharing this.

Mairzie

Alison

Thank you Kim for this very moving post

Kristin

A beautiful post... from a new reader who luckily stumbled onto your blog :)

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