The fertility police can be either well-meaning or downright rude. An encounter with them can be as simple as a shake of the head or as complex as lengthy inquiries about the proximity of the children's birthdays or unsolicited advice about the most effective methods of contraception.
One place where I frequently run into the fertility police is the grocery store. There, one woman called me crazy. Another nearly fainted in the soup aisle while I was shopping with my daughter Kathleen, then a month old. This distraught woman insisted on telling me what it was like to be the mother of not only a newborn but also of a three-year-old boy (the "curse" of the human race, as she put it). When I told her I also had a three-year-old son and six children in all, she started muttering to herself, "Six children, six children, six children...," and made a beeline away from me. She did not utter a peep to me in the cereal aisle.
Being open to new life and not cooperating with the contraceptive mentality of today's culture makes a Catholic parent a walking sign of contradiction. Apparently, seeing a family with more than two children causes a searing jab in the consciences of some people who had considered the issue of whether to have more children moot. Why else would complete strangers tell me their darkest secrets about using birth control, along with their reasons for avoiding having another child, some even graphically describing "cutting and burning those tubes"?
I had my kids fairly close as we didn’t have the opportunity to start a family until our early thirties. (had to get married FIRST)
I could not believe the unbelievable rude comments made to me by perfect strangers during my third pregnancy about not knowing what causes “that” (meaning pregnancy).