The Porch Light copyright by Revka (2006-2010). All rights reserved.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Financially Irresponsible?

Can I tell you something that really irks me? I get really annoyed when people think they have the right to dictate how Mr. Incredible and I should plan, run, or manage our household. One of my biggest pet peeves is when well-meaning but incredibly thoughtless people question our family size.

"Are all of those children yours?"

"Is this the family, then?" (asked by someone who had just learned we are expecting a son - as if we keep having children only because we want a son)

"I hope you have a large income to take care of all those kids!" (as if we are being financially irresponsible to even think of having what most people consider to be a large family)

"There's more to taking care of children than just clothing them. What about college?"

Like I said, these comments most often come from well-meaning, genuinely nice people who apparently believe that families should not have more than two children ... at most. They audibly worry about how we will take care of our family and pretty much question our sanity, more so with each new blessing that is added to our family.

Here is what I would like to say (I usually just keep my mouth shut while they run theirs):
  • You had your family, and I'm sure you would not have appreciated others trying to tell you what size family you should have. Please grant Mr. Incredible and me the courtesy of planning our family as we believe God has led us.
  • You may not understand this, but we believe and have repeatedly seen that as long as we are obedient to God's direction in our lives, we will not lack for anything we truly need. (Notice I didn't say want - that's an entirely different situation, and God only promised to provide that which we need.) As our associate pastor is fond of saying, "God never calls us to a task for which He will not provide."
  • No one can live their life simply by what looks good on paper. Obedience to God can make the plan that looks horrendous on paper turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to you. The Lord has graciously provided for our needs and continues to do so as our family grows. We trust that He will continue to provide for us in the future as He has promised.
  • Don't worry about college. Frankly, I don't intend to give my children a free ride through college. I earned my way through college by going on contract and working 15 hours a week during the school year and 40 hours a week during summer and Christmas break. I left school with no debt; on the contrary, the school owed me about $6,000. I do want to assist my children, and I don't intend for them to have to take out a loan from Tuition Wise or any other student loan company, but they will definitely earn their degree in more than one way.
  • Children are a blessing, not a burden. I have three girls now and will have a son shortly. Which two do you wish had never been born? If you can't pick two now, why would you wish we had rejected them before they were born?
  • Yes, I'll have my hands full, but is that really so bad? A life that is poured into others is generally happier than one absorbed in self. I hope that my children will grow up to be strong Christians and productive citizens. What a legacy to leave - much better than mere riches!
Now, those are not all gracious responses, and as I said, I haven't actually said any of these things - only thought them. *smile* Please share how you handle this kind of situation. I'm sure some of you have dealt with this before me and can offer better replies than what I have written.


Shoshannah said...


Peggie said...

I can relate. I had 4 kids in 5 years and then 5 years later we had another. The comments were awful, even among Christians. My late husband would answer those with their perfect families (2 children) by saying this: "God commanded us to multiply. When you have only two you are replacing, not multiplying. Following God does not start till at least 3".

People usually shut up!

Revka said...

What, no advice, Sho? *laughing*

Revka said...

Great response, Peggy! I had to laugh, but it's nothing less than the truth. Thanks for sharing.

DramaMama said...

I couldn't resist commenting! First of all, I have heard of other large families receiving such comments. GRRR...good for you for exercising control in those situations! But I also think having an outlet to write/say all the things you want to respond with is good. My hubby and I want to have 12 - it seems God's plan is not for that to happen naturally, so we're knee-deep in foster and adoption processes. But when I tell people we want 12, they joke and tell me I'll be dead before #6 or I'll have a head of white hair or better say goodbye to time w/my hubby. Why do people say that stuff?? Is it that they don't think I can do it? Or do they not know how to say that they admire people like you or others who have more than 2? Sometimes I think that's what it is. They wonder how we do it. They have 2 and can't get it all done, so when they hear of you having more and having a balanced life, they might be envious. I'm not trying to insult those people...just maybe they speak before sorting out their emotions. At least that's my rationale! And Peggie, I'm going to remember your hubby's response!

Revka said...

Hey, dramamama! Thanks for stopping by and contributing your thoughts.

It's funny; when I was growing up, I used to say I wanted 12 children. Now 6 (or 7) seems like plenty for me. :) More power to you for wanting 12, and I hope you are able to get them!

Yes, having an outlet to blow off steam is a good thing. :) I really can't figure out why people say such thoughtless things. It was the same way when I miscarried our first baby. Kind people would say the most cruel things.

Thanks for the encouragement and for taking the time to leave your comment. I'll be stopping by your blog. :)

cami said...

i agree with you so much! it irritates the poop out of me when comments are made like that. i just mostly grin and bear it but somedays its easier said than done.