Friday, November 23, 2012

#PayItForward: Guest Post from @Dumbsainted

Today I am pleased to feature a wonderfully talented writer and blogger. "Dumbsaint," as I will call her because she likes to keep a certain level of anonymity, brings humor, passion, and insight that you don't find many places. Her blog is called Crazy Dumbsaint of the Mind. She is unafraid to tackle any subject, always putting herself and her opinion out there. Whether I agree or disagree, I enjoy reading her posts because they always make me THINK. When someone is passionate about something, and presents their argument with grace and humor, along with that passion, I listen. Sometimes, it even makes stubborn old me change my mind.

This post she wrote for us today, however, I agree with wholeheartedly. You see, Dumbsaint is the complete opposite of DKL as far as demographics. While I am a married parent of one child, she is a single parent of six. Still, we both get an unwanted earful from yahoos who find a need to comment on the size of our respective families. I am pleased to present this post that she wrote in response to my "What to Expect When You're NOT Expecting" post from last week. Enjoy, then go follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Save your breath for blowing up water wings, you breeder!

I was once seriously punk rock. Well, I still am pretty punk rock but there are some huge differences. When I was a 16 year-old riot grrrl, I saw a woman with a bunch of kids in tow and under my breath would sneer, “F*cking breeder!” Now at nearly 40, I am the f*cking breeder.

It was sort of like one of the fertility goddesses in her omnipotent glory thought it would be the most hysterical thing ever to make me the Poster Girl for Failed Birth Control. That snarky Goddess may have intended it as a curse but dammit - I showed her and accepted all of my crotch trophies as blessings.

Not everyone sees my family and others like mine as being blessed and wow, are they vocal about it. Rudely so. I suppose that's my comeuppance for being such a little punk.

There was this one time, a few years before the birth of Offspring #6, I took my family to a community Fall Harvest Dance. There were two women standing by the entrance when we walked in, chatting about their Mommy stuff. One of them stopped talking and actually head-counted my kids out loud. She turned to the other woman and said, “Wow, FIVE kids!” The other woman wrinkled her nose in disgust and said, “It’s so irresponsible to have any more than one child.”

Amazingly, my vagina may double as a clown car for small humans but I do still have the ability to hear. Parts of my brain didn't come out with the afterbirth. I’m not stupid. I can tell when people are being judgmental a$$holes.

That one time was not an isolated incident. It happens frequently, in fact. There is nothing like a Mama out in public with her spawnlings to make hyper-opinionated people forget how to behave like they’re civilized and polite. The brain filter that inhibits stupid things from coming out of their mouth fails completely and next thing you know, they’re asking a total stranger, “Don’t you know what birth control is?”

Other actual things total strangers have said to me:

“Are you done yet?”

“Don’t you know what causes that?”

“You must be a good Catholic and not believe in birth control.”

“You know, there’s Pills you can take to stop that from happening….”

“Don’t you care about the planet? “

“Did you ever consider having an abortion?”…said while looking at my 3rd trimester pregnant belly

“How can you possibly LOVE all of them?”

…and even more! Those are the greatest hits.

Underlying it all is the obvious assumptions that I'm really, really stupid. So, not only are they asking me personal questions about things I have chosen to do reproductively with my body but they're implying I'm a moron. If the person learns that I've never been married and had the nerve to have 6 kids out of wedlock (*gasp*), then I'm a slutty moron. It's amazing I'm not wearing a prison jumpsuit yet. Luckily for those people, I preach tolerance and non-violence to my children and I'm no hypocrite. At least not that I would ever let my kids witness.

I suppose it’s fortunate that I live in an area where people are more concerned about the havoc my reproductive habits are causing on the planet and its resources instead of concentrating on how economically feasible it is to have a large family. Yeah, we're not doing so well economically right now but it wasn't always that way and seriously, is it really anyone's business? It isn’t. If they are not personally providing all the monetary funding of shelter,clothing, food, and the other essential ingredients of parenting (love, for example), it doesn’t concern them.

It takes a lot to offend me but seriously...when someone is questioning why my children are on the planet and whether or not they should exist at all, that's pretty goddamn offensive. It's also extremely insulting to suggest that one of the biggest tree-huggers ever wouldn’t know how to raise a large family with the least amount of impact on the planet. A childless couple lived next door to us for a while. On garbage day, they put 4 times the amount of trash out as our family of 8. They each had a car. (We have none and either walk, bike or use public transport). Yet no one at the playground was leering at their butt, trying to see if they used disposable or cloth diapers! Sheesh.

If it's any consolation, my children who are old enough to ponder upon such issues have all decided that they probably will not reproduce biologically. They will not perpetuate their mother's oh-so- irresponsible propagation of life. Instead, they would like to become a parent to the children who didn't have what they were born into - a family that loves and cares for them. Can you imagine the monumental effect it would have on our world if every single person who concerned themselves with the activities of breeding matriarchs focused their attention instead on the living and breathing children who happen to have residence on the planet with no place to call home or people to call family?

Oh, I get chills thinking about it.

*Blog title inspired by this great episode of The Simpsons called MARGE VS. SINGLES, SENIORS, CHILDLESS COUPLES AND TEENS, AND GAYS]


  1. This is awesome!! I'm sorry people were so rude to you. You have a great way with words.

  2. Preach it, sister!!! You seem like a pretty level headed lady and I respect that :) I must admit, if I were to see you in public my head would be spinning, I have a 4 year old daughter and GOOD LORD I CANNOT IMAGINE HAVING 6 OF HER!!! Undoubtedly, if I did, I would have far less hair but plenty of love to go around, so God bless you for doing what you do. Don't take shit off people, it's your life and you make it work and it makes you happy and it seems your kids are on the right path (adopting? i always said i would do that... then i had one and was like 'whoa! how did that happen' lol). Just call me a faithful reader, 'cause I'm hooked.

  3. Yup. I have three kids, I'd love to have another. I go out with my nieces and nephews quite a bit, and sometimes I like to tell people who count heads that they're all mine. (all nine of them) Will have to check out your blog, now that I followed Crazy Dumbsaint here. I'd follow her anywhere around the interwebz.

  4. I heavily empathize with this! I have five - four with my ex-husband and one "out of wedlock" with the boyfriend. I've heard all of your greatest hits, and even had family members suggest abortions. 100+ years of feminism, and we've come to a world where people still can't mind their own vaginas.

  5. I feel your pain... I have 5 sons (yes, all boys... let us pause for a moment of silence in memory of my sanity) but I have an 8yr gap between my 2nd & 3rd. My adult son lives on another continent, and my 19yo is rarely seen with us... yet even with 3 in tow, I STILL get the milder of those comments. When people say OH 3 boys, you must be busy! I get a kick out of saying... oh actually I have 5... these are just the youngest lol. The looks on their faces are just hilarious.

    1. I have a 7 yr gap between my 1st and 2nd/3rd (twins) .The twins are almost 16 so it is getting less commo for us all to be out together but yes, even witb the younger 3, people comment. And the my Faux- Hubby will say Oh, we actually have 8....
      (His 2 children from previous relationship) . Hilarity.

  6. I "only" have four and don't get TOO many comments (too many being completely relative), but I think that partly because the homeschooling, fairly crunchy group I hang with had a family with 7 children and another with 6 children long before I started hanging with them with my mere four. I completely agree about how it isn't how many kids you have, but how you live that makes a difference for the planet. We've always lived in very tight quarters, first with my MIL in her double wide trailer, than in a single wide trailer, and now in a small, older farmhouse-style place in a city that actually has a decent sized yard. It always amazes me how much less trash we put out than the people around us! In the trailer park, we'd put out a bag or two a week and the people around us who had one or no kids would have bags piled high, well over the six bag a limit week. Now, we live someplace with curbside recycling and trash pick up is no longer included in our rent, so we don't put out any! Almost everything is either composted (now that we live someplace that is allowed) or recycled, and we save what little trash we have for a couple/few weeks and then take it someplace when it is on our way rather than paying to have it picked up. Our utility bill is lower than the smaller families we know, we use almost exclusively pre-owned items (usually found for free on Freecycle or hand-me-downs from others in our homeschool group), and grow a good chunk of our own food. If we end up buying this place, I'll probably end up figuring out a way to produce ALL our food on our 1/5 acre lot! I want to put rainbarrels (and eventually maybe a graywater system) in to water the garden even. It boggles my mind how people with so FEW children can gobble up so many more of the planet's resources than us. Maybe it is because they have fewer investments into the future?

    1. I feel weird for being a bit of a garbage judger but I'm appalled at the amount people on my block put out. We also compost, recycle or reuse nearly everything. We put out one trash can about once, sometimes twice /month. We also don't ever buy first -hand. Well, maybe occsssionally but it's rare . The growing food is the hard thing where we live right now but before, we grew quite a bit of our own. We're really striving to be self-sufficient, which seems like it's a lot more "responsible" lifestyle than so many of the people who criticize us!

  7. You already know I love you...ALL OF YOU. JUST the way you are. Not that u need my reassurance, but there, take that!! <3 Cyn
    A.D.D. Music Mamma

  8. As the mom of a herd myself, you know I love this already.

  9. I love this post, and the response to it. I love your writing, Dumbsaint and was happy to introduce you to DKLers who haven't met you yet. It's great to know we're all in this together no matter what size our family is.


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