An Insider's Look at Mormon Culture

Who Could Ask for More?

I am not one of these Mormon women who measure their self-worth by the size of their posterity—kind of like men who measure their worldly status by the size of their truck and number of cars, boats, 4-wheelers and other toys cluttering their driveways and yards. Maybe that’s because I grew up in the ‘40s and ‘50s when Mormons who had survived the Great Depression were having only two or three children. Those with larger families were generally considered poor and ignorant.

By the ‘60s, over-the-pulpit Mormon rhetoric rivaled that of Catholics in condemning birth control and extolling large families. Six-child families were good, eight better—and producing 11 offspring made your calling and election sure.

By the time I graduated from BYU, I aimed for a family of no less than eight. I settled for five and if they followed our example, we would now have 25 grandchildren. Fortunately, they did not. The earth looks replenished enough.

Two of our daughters produced no children. Jaycee’s divorce left her too scarred to make another marriage attempt and she shows no interest in taking on the responsibility of single parenthood. Aroo and Biker opted for no children—not a decision I ever considered, but it feels right to them. Lolly and Doc have four—and are over 40 and through. Wort and Cooky have two and may have decided that’s their limit.

 The Techies have only one. Another would be nice, but Techie II had a tough time getting Little Pistol here, and I hate to think of her taking another health risk. I haven’t offered my opinion. They would just ignore it and label me an interfering mother/mother-in-law if I did.

Seven lovely grandchildren are a bounteous blessing. Who could ask for anything more?

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Comments on: "Who Could Ask for More?" (4)

  1. I wanted 8 before I got married. I wanted 5 before I had one and realized how expensive and exhausting they are. Now two or three will make me happy I hope.

  2. Always wanted two. Got two and was satisfied.

    Remarried at age 37 to a wonderful man with no biological children but who has proven to be the absolute best father to my daughters as well as three other stepchildren. My baby basket was removed at age 35 or I would probably be the mother of an 18 year old. That thought makes me sad for what could have been and at the same time horrifies me.

    Have five grandchildren with whom I have wonderful relationships. The last one had problems as an infant and resulted in two surgeries on my arm. Yea, it’s complicated, but she broke me of wanting any more. Funny thing though, she and I share the strongest bond of them all. I mourned this year when she started kindergarten.

    I love being a grandmother.

    • Numi,

      Thanks for sharing your mixed feelings about having children. A late in life baby is a horrifying thought, but also sad that you may have missed something wonderful. And being a grandmother is the very best!

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