Chris Donnelly is one of four top blogger candidates hoping to join the momaha team. We’ll have blog posts from each of the finalists this week. Tell us what you think of Chris’ post by leaving a comment at the end of this column or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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My wife and I recently went on our semi-annual date night. With each passing year and each child added, the actual activity has changed from the traditional dinner and a movie to something more akin to our regular activities (a trip to Target or Costco) … just with the ability to finish a sentence.
This weekend’s activities: A hamburger and a stroll through Hobby Lobby. We are expecting our fourth child in December, so my wife’s romantic walk locations are pretty limited.
I love going out without our kids when we are expecting because I firmly believe that there is a segment of the population fascinated with pregnancy and terrified of parenting at the same time. These people usually ask the obligatory questions like, “Oh! When are you due?” and “Is this your first?” Those questions are always enthusiastically delivered. It’s watching the response to the answers that I love.
“I’m due in December, and no, this is our fourth,” brings a completely different reaction.
On the rare occasion that the person asking is a parent of multiples, their eyes will light up with delight, but that is pretty rare. Normally you can see the discomfort grow in their eyes and the potential, socially acceptable responses leave their minds only to be replaced by, “Don’t you know what causes that?” followed by uncomfortable, forced laughter.
Yes, I am aware of what causes that.
“Don’t you know what causes that?” ranks right up there with “On purpose?” on the list of bad responses to someone telling you how many kids they have.
Yes, it was on purpose.
I’m not sure what causes this level of surprise at our number of children. A fear of being outnumbered by little ones? Financial concerns? I suppose any number of things. In response to their response, though, my mind always immediately goes to the easy comebacks:
“Don’t you know what causes that?”
“Yes, I do, and I better not find the man responsible.”
“No…that’s why we decided to name this one Oops.”
The logical, and truthful, response I have never taken the time to share with these questioners. I can speak for my family when I say that, no, we are not in fact insane (or Catholic or Mormon for that matter). We simply enjoy being parents and like to think we are pretty good at it (although I am sure opinions will vary).
We have three great and challenging boys that we have been able to raise and provide for, while also remaining desperately in love with each other. People have different sizes of families, and they have what works for them, but this works for us.
So the next time someone tells you their “kid count,” hold the surprise; big families are still around, some much larger than ours. And, for most, it was a choice.
Chris Donnelly is married and the father of three boys — ages 6, 5, and 2 — and a fourth on the way in December. Chris is an eCommerce Manager by day and Cub Scout den leader-kid wrangler-story reader by night. He authors the blog daddy-musings.com.
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We’ll have blog posts from each of the finalists this week. Make sure to read blog posts from our other candidates, including Cathy Keck Adcock’s “Give a kid a chance… foster a child.” and Tunette Powell’s “Romney, PBS: The price of a boy’s smile”.
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