Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Are You Going to Have More Kids?

Today I became aware of the inspirational story of how three tiny triplets, born 3 1/2 months early, have journeyed through the trials, tribulations and joys of life. They are now 14 months old, about Wally's age actually, and healthy little bundles of busyness. Their mother is from my hometown of Rockford, Iowa so I was surprised that I had never heard of this family before. If you are interested, her blog is . Have tissues ready if you decide to go back and read posts from the time around their birth. It's the stuff Hallmark commercials are made of.

I did read some current posts on her blog as well, in fact the last post, updated today, discussed the offensive and tiresome questions mothers of multiples are too frequently asked, such as: Are they all  yours? Are they natural? Did you breastfeed them all? etc. I'll admit that I have asked many of these questions to mothers of multiples. Human minds are intrigued by what they deem as different and unknown. I suppose those questions do become daunting though. Duly noted.

One question that I found noteworthy that this mother tires of answering was, Are you going to have any more children? But it wasn't so much that question, but her response that interested me the most. The author stated that this question bothered her because she posed that a mother of three singletons would never be asked this question, so why should she? Well, her rationale isn't completely right, at least in my experience. I get asked that question constantly. Every week I'll bet. And although I don't have triplets, I do have three singletons aged four or under. Honestly, you would think my frazzled composure, t-shirt stained with boogers mixed with dried orange juice, hair that hasn't had the time to be combed (okay, washed) in three days, or the turrets-like "Stop that, Come here, Don't hit" tick that floods out of my mouth-gates would be answer enough.

I think that people see families that have three (or more kids) and think, "Well, I guess they have thrown all limits out the window, I wonder how many more they'll have," and so they ask. Because mothers of three or more singletons are asked that same question all the time, I just really wanted to clear the air a little. To be frank, I think anyone who asks someone with any number of children under two that question should probably rethink why on Earth that would be a good time in that mother's life to inquire on that particular subject.

Although I never get asked, Did you know you were having three at once?, like a mother of triplets might, I do get asked some of the other questions she posed in her post. Such as, How do you do it, they are all so young? Or, How do you get it all done?. Now not to downplay at all the incredible strength it must take to raise multiples, especially premature ones with elaborate health concerns through out life, but I do believe that stress is relative, it is subjective, and it is hard to really know how other mothers feel or why they make the decision they do.

Twins, triplets, quads: much more work than I can fathom. Having more than one baby at a time would truly test my sanity. Honestly, I am not sure I would have been able to handle three baby Hazel's at one time. But I do think that all moms regardless of whether they have one, two, three or six kids deserve recognition that being a mom is hard. And not just moms, dads too.

I guess  no matter your situation, strangers ask inappropriate questions all the time to parents. My kids have odd names, daily I get, Is that a family name? Is Gus short for anything? What are their middle names? (That last one irks me the most because what the person is really asking is, Wow, you really named your daughter Hazel? Man she is going to hate you. Hopefully she has a middle name that she could use instead when she gets older. What is her middle name? And you should see them cringe when I say Luella. I almost get enjoyment out that actually... )

So, I guess I can answer the question that inspired this post, Are You Going to Have More Kids? As far as I know, unless God has more Walters surprises for us, I am not planning on having any more biological children. Josh and I do actively entertain the idea of adopting a child in the future. By child I mean no bottles, sleeping through the night, and potty trained. I have had either one or two children at a time in diapers consistently for nearly 5 years, with at least one more year to go and I am ready to be done cleaning up other people's poop and pee.

Seriously though, Josh is from a family of four, I am from a family of three, so we like the idea of having a healthy-sized family. I guess when strangers ask me that dreaded question, Are You Going to Have More Kids?, I'll just continue to smile, shrug, and remember that mothers of multiples get asked more questions more frequently than I. Selfishly, I suppose there is some solace in that.

Okay, enough, enough. I know. And to all of you that prefer my blog to be filled with my kid's pictures rather than my narratives, don't worry, more videos and photos are waiting to be uploaded.

What a great time to say Happy Mother's Day to all mothers reading this (especially mine, thanks Sue, job well done, I love you).


Emily said...

I'm so glad that you commented so that I could find your blog also! I do remember you! How could I forget Penny Lee's school of dance? :P

And thanks for clarifying that you get asked some of the same questions. I guess, then, it kind of baffles me that other feel the need to comment on the number of children that other people have, regardless of whether they are multiples or not. Since the birth of our babies it has really been brought to my attention that some people just really lack filters as to what is appropriate and what isn't!

You also brought up some good points with that I agree whole-heartedly! I honest to goodness think that it is easier to raise triplets than 3 young, singleton children. Think about it; mine are going through the same thing all at the same time. Sure, teething really stinks, and in the beginning the sleepless nights were hard, but I think that it has to be easier to do it this way than to have a baby crying, a toddler getting into everything, and a 3 year old that can't understand why you can't drop everything to attend to their every need at THIS. VERY. INSTANT!!

And as a side note, I'm one that always asks about names. I love finding out what people have named their children and why.

Now I'm going to find some time and go back to read what you guys have been up to!

Our Family of Five said...

Emily, Oh nonononoo! I never intended you should feel like managing what I am sure is a crazy life and NOT easier than mine. At all. I can't imagine assembly line style diaper changes, feedings, bottles burps, baths, clothes changes, and on and on and on I am sure the list goes... And after your gentle reminder, maybe I'll reconsider the name question. Maybe people are just honestly curious as to why we chose the names we did ;)

totalktoreba said...

This was one of my favorite blogs of yours, Traci! Beautiful, honest writing!!!!! I get asked this question too, and I now will never ask anyone this question. Happy Mother's Day to you! You do a wonderful job and your kids are so very lucky!