I’ve got an announcement to make that’s going to offend some people. And, to be honest, I’m quite looking forward to seeing their reactions on my social media feed.
No, I’ve not decided to run away to live in a Mongolian yurt and live off the land, or to let my body hair grow wild and free. The thing is, I’m pregnant. With my fifth child.
Yep, my fifth.
I can already predict some of the quips coming my way. Probably similar to the reactions to my fourth pregnancy:
‘Do you have a TV?’
‘Do you know what contraception is?’
‘Are you mad?’
‘How can you support 4 kids?’
Listen to Hello Bump month three: The real cost, and how to tell the boss. Post continues after audio.
‘You just love babies, don’t you.’
Although most of these were accompanied by smiley face emoji’s and probably made the author think they were comedy genius, it’s made me think very long and hard about what these comments told me about the people making them.
It’s just not cool to have a large family anymore.
I get it. When we spot yet another Facebook pregnancy announcement from an already large family, we tend to jump to the assumption that this is a couple who choose to produce kids with wild abandon. They love babies. Cute. But that’s no reason to keep having them. And, for some of us, it’s almost impossible to hold back what we really think in our comments.
Whether we admit it or not, we all have strong opinions on what constitutes responsible parenting. With an Australian average of 1.8 children per family, freely available contraception and legal termination, in 2018, large broods are an anomaly.
Admittedly, they’re an anomaly for a reason. Kids are expensive. And hard work. They need attention, love, discipline, structure and a constant stream of stuff for their growing minds and bodies. Most of us find that one, two, or possibly three of these little people are enough. And we tend to think that couples who choose to have more than three will most certainly be cutting corners on every one of the above list, as it’s impossible to provide all these things for a group of kids.
So, it’s within our rights to speak up, hey? It’s just not cool for anyone to have a large family anymore.
How much do you actually know?
And this is where my interest lies. Because in the moment you tap away with a cheeky comment on someone’s big news, you’re telling me two important things:
Your opinion is based on nothing but, erm, personal opinion.