I was confronted with it again today. That feeling of being abnormal because I have more than 2 kids.
I was on facebook and took this quiz, "How Many Kids Will You Have?" just for kicks. My result was 2. While in reality, I have 3 kids. 3 is my number. I don't want nor need anymore than that. But nevertheless, I wanted to see what it had to say.
I had always envisioned having 3 kids. Don't ask me why, I just knew that was my number. Of course, before I had kids of my own, I thought I wanted 4 or 5. Let me just say, your first pregnancy is a wake-up call. We'll just leave it at that. After Seth, I was beginning to settle into thinking 2 might be a good number, so when I was pregnant with Joy, I was trying to convince myself I was done. But as soon as I saw Joy, I knew I still wasn't done. I felt content, but not complete. Of course, just as Seth and Joy were out of diapers and becoming more self-sufficient, and I began putting the notion of a 3rd to bed, lo and behold, I found out I was pregnant with Skye. My life is just ironic that way.
Perhaps one main reason I feel 3 is a good number is because I was the oldest of 3. To my husband, 2 always felt natural, I'm guessing because he is one of two. Its no secret three is an odd number, but in my mind, its always been a good number. I hear people who are trying to map out their families say that they only want an even number because they don't want an "odd man out." Well, let me tell you, that happens sometimes, no matter how many kids there are. But as you get older, its good to have allies on the sibling front. Like me, my parents thought they were done with 2 (myself and my sister). But I am incredibly grateful that God knew better and I have my brother. The main reason being, when we were going through the roughest patches with my sister's addictions, I had my brother to lean on, and he had me. Had it just been my sister and I, who would I have had to lean on? That solidified for me the feeling that there is strength in numbers.
Anyway, back to the quiz. After I saw my result, I started reading other peoples' results, and I realized I was the only one who had a result that was lower than the number of kids I have. But granted, that is because everyone else only has one or two kids, not 3. So again, I am made to feel abnormal.
Personally, I don't consider 3 a big number. Its MY number; I am one of 3, and I have 3. And I have friends who are one of, or have, 4, 5, 6.....even 7, kids! My friend, Holden, is #3 of 12! Yet, I am constantly made to feel like I am wierd or "brave" or whatever for having more than 2 kids. People at the grocery store, the church, the elementary school.....comment that I need more hands, or that I have my hands full.... Or, my all-time favorite line, "you must be rich to be a stay-at-home mom with 3 kids in this economy." Really? Am I reallyTHAT odd?????
I read something recently that said the average American family size has grown over the last few years. My generation, overall, is producing more babies per family than former generations. Only a slight increase, but nevertheless. And yet, the ancient notion of the "perfect" family lives on.
Yes. I used to hear that all the time before I had Skye, that my family was "perfect." Perfect strangers would tell me, "You have the perfect family. 1 little boy, 1 little girl." But apparently, now that I have 3, I no longer have a perfect family, but an abnormally large one.
Which begs my original question.... Since WHEN is 3 a big number??? Since when does having a thrid child take you from "perfect" to "brave"? Why are we still hanging onto this notion that the "All-American family" is comprised with only 2 kids? I know lots of people who grew up in, or have, families with 3 kids. Since when is being "All-American" limited to those with 2 kids - no more, no less?
Anyway, I have this feeling I made my point about 6 paragraphs ago and am now just talking in circles like a puppy chasing its tail -- its fun, but I'm getting nowhere!