What Not To Say To Big Families

Hey y’all! Blog post numero quatro!

Today we’re going to talk about my family. Yes, that small army I call a family. Yep, the baseball team, the van clan, the crew. All the riders of the “short bus” and “Church van”.

So when I go to the grocery store, I can rack up quite a “ticket”. The cart is always full to overflowing and lately I’m shopping alone. To the public, who does not know my family situation (11 people), I am quite a sight trying to push my barge of a cart around Walmart, HEB, Kroger, or wherever I am.

I get mostly weird looks for this, but every now and then some one gets a brave hair and asks me what on earth I need “this much food” for. (I’m stocking up for WWIII, duh!)

Me: “I have a big family- 11 people.”

Nosy shopper: “Whoa, are they all yours, because you look way too young!”

Me: “I’m the oldest, not the mother.”

NS: “Oh wow, why so many kids? Is your poor mother done yet? I bet she never gets a break!” (Nah, my mom is just some baby factory. She doesn’t enjoy any of her kids AT ALL.)

Me: “Um… We’re Christians and we let God decide how many kids he’ll give.” (I feel like these people would be offended if I asked them why they only have 2 kids, so why do they have the audacity to say mean things to us?… Just a thought…)

(This last response, from our friend the Nosy Shopper, varies from person to person. Here are the top 4 most common responses I’ve gotten. No particular order.)

NS: “Well there are plenty of kids available for adoption! Tell your mom.” (Do they realize this is the same argument people use when talking about breeder puppies vs. shelter dogs? Children are not pets! We would LOVE to adopt, but we haven’t yet. Every time someone says this to me, I just want to look them straight in the eyes and say ” So how many kids have YOU adopted?”)

or NS: ” So do y’all not believe in birth control?” (Seriously? I’m a complete stranger to you. Why are you asking me this???)

or NS: ” Do you do all the cooking and shopping for that small army you live with? Well don’t work yourself too hard.” (Implying that I am my mother’s slave)

or NS: ” Your life must be so hard. I had a big family and it was miserable.” (Usually this person will tell me they had 3 other siblings, to which I internally laugh hysterically.)

Basically people don’t understand what would possess someone to have a big family. Not every Nosy Shopper is rude or intends to be. But the general idea of society is that big families are oddities. We can’t go hardly anywhere without being questioned or looked at funny. We aren’t personally offended by this game of 20 questions, but it’s still not awesome to hear that you’re contributing to “overpopulation”. (Yeah, people believe that stuff…)

Don’t get me wrong! Lot’s of people are sweet too! We’ve had people buy us meals, pay for our groceries, and say sweet things to us about how they wished they’d get to see more big families around. We love people like that because they are encouraging. So all of you nice folks out there, thank you! And no, we’re not judging you if you only have 1 or 2 kids! God provides each family the number of kids they should have.

The Bible says in Psalm 127:3-5 (Our family verse)- “Lo, Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them…”

Children are NOT a burden. Children are a blessing. Children are NOT a nuisance. Children are the next generation. Children are NOT an inconvenience. Children are irreplaceable. Children are NOT financial obligations. Children are fun!

When is our society going to put the value back in children? ALL CHILDREN. Children in the womb and out of the womb. (Don’t even get me started on abortion, that will be another post.)

So next time you see a big family, smile and be kind! We’re not as weird as you think… Well maybe…We’d be happy to answer any respectful questions you have. We are not unapproachable! We just wish people were more considerate when questioning us, perfect strangers. If we could just never talk about the “population epidemic” again, that’d be great.

Seek Adventure!

Ashley Tackett

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