Society’s View of Large Families

ChelseaFamily, Pro Life, Vocation4 Comments

This week Our Sunday Visitor has an article about large families, something that our culture doesn’t understand. OSV editor Gerald Korson offered his opinion of society’s view of large families in a seperate column of the paper and I found it very amusing. Here is a bit of it:

Here’s how society’s perception of family size appears from our side of the maternity ward:

Child No. 1: In today’s culture, everyone is entitled to have a chid. No problem there. It’s a birthright. It can be a boy or a girl – it doens’t matter.

Child No. 2: You’re allowed a second child, as long as it’s the opposite gender from your first. “How wonderful! You have one boy and one girl,” we heard when our second child came. “Now you can quit.” Quit? At 25, we’re done having kids?

Child No. 3: The culture allows you, if you insist, to have a third child, but only if you failed to get a matched set with the first two. Call it a mulligan. If you have two girls, you go for a boy; two boys, and you’re after a girl. if you blow it and get another of the same, too bad. You get no more do-overs.

Child No. 4: Now you’re just getting ridiculous, especially if the kids are close in age. You’re officially christined “Fertile Myrtle” and “Virile Cyril.” Knock it off.

Child No.5: People begin to suspect you are nuts. Or just plain irrisponsible. Or both.

Child No. 6: The diagnosis is confirmed. Besides, a family of eight is simply impractical. Most minivans seat seven. Now you need a full-size van or nine-passenger SUV, or one of those classic early 1980s station wagons with the fake wood panelings and the fold-down third bench seat (I recommend the 1983 Pontiac Parisienne).

Child No. 7: By now, anywhere you venture as a family, you are inevitably asked, “Are they all yours?” Take no offence. Between day-care, field trips and the proliferation of blended families, it’s actually a legitimate question.

Child No. 8: Since No. 5 you’ve been hearing that timelessly coarse quip, “Don’t you know what causes that?” You have permenant teeth marks on your toungue from trying to suppress snappy sarcastic replies. (One wouldn’t think of making remarks about fertility to couples with few or no children. Why are large families fair game?)

Child No. 9: Neighbors, strangers and even a few well meaning friends have pretty much given up on you long before now. They compare your progeny to sprting events: With nine, you’ve got a baseball team.

Child No. 10: You’ve gone American League and added a designated hitter.

Couples with large families aren’t necessarily better parents, better Catholics or more blessed than others. We’re simply blessed in a different way – and, like all persons of faith, we are called to raise up our blessings for the greater glory of God.

Previous posts:
How Can There Be Too Many Children

4 Comments on “Society’s View of Large Families”

  1. Over a decade ago, I read a column by a woman about the rude questions you are apt to receive if you have a “large” family. (And remember that to some people “large” means more than two kids.) Things like, “Another child? You must have been trying for that girl,” and, “So, this is IT, right?” and, “Wait. You mean you might want MORE?” and, “Holy —-! Don’t you people believe in the pill?”

    Man, I wish I could find that column.

    I understand that we shouldn’t say nasty things to childless people/couples, but isn’t making such over-the-line comments to people with several kids just as offensive?

  2. It really is, but, obviously they do not see it that way. It is interesting how society scoffs at people who take advantage of their fertility in order to bring more life into the world and then sympathizes with those who are infertile so much that they even encourage employing scientific methods of becoming pregnant (which often result in multiple births). It’s just complete ignorance if you ask me. If you find the article let me know!

  3. I’m the 7th of a family of 8 children and I’m grateful that my parents chose to have a large family as compared to their siblings who had 2-3 children each…or I would not be here typing!

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