Friday, May 13, 2011

Because I Want To

For some reason, some folks find it acceptable to openly comment and criticize the way a man and wife choose to raise their family.  And when a couple makes decisions that take their family outside of the 'normal' or 'average' range, well... the commentary, it does begin to fly.  

Since we've received a few such remarks from different directions lately, I thought I would take advantage of the ol' blog platform to address them.  

#1 - To those of you concerned about our children's education and eventual preparedness for college and beyond:
I could tout all the benefits of homeschooling.  All the research and data showing how well homeschoolers do in college.  But that's not what you want to hear.  I will tell you this: we know these children better than anyone.  With the exception of their Creator, we love them more than anyone.  Their entry into adulthood is why we do what we do.  It is at the forefront of all we do.  
If, along the way, we need professional help to aid us in that preparation, we have enough sense to know when to seek it.  

#2 - To those of you concerned about potential overcrowding in our 3-bedroom home:
You can rest assured that each child has his (or her) own bed, pillow, and toothbrush.  Believe it or not, we even each get our own plate, fork, and cup at every meal.  (And what if we didn't?  I don't remember Laura Ingalls feeling deprived or resentful when she and her sister Mary shared a tin cup as they traveled across the prairie.)
While sure, a little extra storage here and there might be nice, we see no need for a larger home.  Why would we, when almost every day 3-5 of us voluntarily squeeze into spaces smaller than that of a department store dressing room, just because we like each other?  
Bigger home? Nah. Bigger chair? Maybe! ;)
#3 - To those of you concerned with our ability to provide love and guidance to more than 2.2 children:
I provide for you a visual, shared with me by my very wise father:
When you have a baby, your heart is filled with a new, unique love.
 Some people believe that with each new addition, that love must be shared.
 Heaven forbid you add 'too many' children, making your love splintered and small.
 What they don't understand is that each new addition...
... swells your heart with a greater supply of love.
Instead of anyone ending up short-changed, you find yourselves blessed with a houseful and heartful of love, care, and attention.  In other words... love doesn't divide.  Love multiplies.

Any questions?  I promise you wouldn't be the first. ;)


Linda Jacobs said...


I can't believe people are so insensitive!

My husband's grandmothere gave me the best advice when we got engaged: Listen to what everybody has to say then do as you damn please!

And I have!

Anyone who reads your blog can't help but see the positive and nurturing environment you've made for your family.

Tiff said...

I loved the visual!!!!
Don't you just love when people want to share their opinions with you and are so "encouraging"! I hope you can sense my sarcasm!

Karen@Candid Diversions said...

Good grief. I didn't think you and I knew any of the same people in real life. ;)

As for the crowding thing, the 6 of us live in a 2 bedroom house. I'd prefer another bedroom (or 2...) but we're doing just fine without it. It's a want, not a need.

Keep on doing what you've been doing! You're inspiring! :)

Keri Mae said...

When we got married: When are ya gonna have children?

Baby #1: When (or are) ya gonna have another?

Baby #2: You're done now, right?

Baby #3: Um...was this planned?

Baby #4: You know what causes that, right?

Baby #5: You're done now, right?

Baby #6: (silence)

Looks like you've got at least two more to go! LOL

Love to you!
Keri Mae

Cindy said...

Just do what I do, pretend those full of advice people are invisible. Some people feel threatened if you do not fit their idea of what 'normal' is. I would like to be able to say they have well meaning intentions but most of them do not. Take if from an old lady, they do not merit a single minute of your time worrying about it. Just brush it off.

Kylie said...

It was so inspiring to read your blog entry!!! God bless and give grace to keep living for Him as you love your littlies and your God-given family!!!

Michelle said...

You are absolutely right that it is you and hubby's choice. No one else's! And your family is awesome, so what you are doing is obviously what God has planned for you!

I like the dressing room comment...we have a large house, but we are usually all in the same 2 rooms (living room and kitchen) anyhow. Oddly enough, we had some people tell us our house was TOO big, and we were getting too much. Did they think to ask if we truly feel that God has a reason for us having a big house? No, of course not. (We don't know what the reason is, but we both felt and do feel that He will use the extra room for something special.)

P.S. Your daddy is a smart man. I really like his visual!

SHALOM said...

Awe...what a beautiful way to share the blessings of what the Lord has said the fruit of the womb is a reward and children are a heritage. I feel sad for the people who have a warped perspective on the most treasured things in life (which are not things) like children who will one day take care of us in our old age if God doesn't tarry before then. I love the Duggars for having children and home schooling them on top of it , while disregarding their critics, possibly praying for them, and continuing to raise their children in the ways of the LOrd. I have a disease that causes infertility in most women who have it, so I look at all four of my children as a gift, and the two in heaven that were not born, as a treasure awaiting! Blessings to you for writing about the most important issues. .

Erika Shupe said...

Great story, great message. What would the world be like if we all had fathers with foresight like yours? The thing I keep in the back of my mind is that the pagan world is not having children so it is only a matter of time before they are gone and our children remain. Now if only we can keep their hearts and send them off in the direction of Christ.

Thanks for sharing!