My fiancé and I have been together for over 12 years, engaged for 2.
Together, we have 5 beautiful children, and each of us have 1 child from a previous relationship, bringing our total to 7, 6 of whom reside with us. We've been through a lot emotionally and financially, but through it all, my love for him has never wavered, and has only grown. Despite the amount of love I share with him, however, loving him can be very hard at times.
There are times when you meet someone and you just naturally vibe with that person, to the point that every time you're in that person's company you're comfortable. That's how it was with a former friend of mine who I'll call “Kay". Kay is a few years younger than me, but we both share a lot of the same experiences and interests, and everything just meshed. We met at work and immediately hit it off. We took our breaks together, arranged to have our desks near each other, ate lunch together and even hung out after work—we were tight.
I cannot count how many times I’ve been given the side eye, or had my sanity questioned, when I tell people I am a mother of six.
More often than not, the shade comes from other women of color more so than anybody else. Honestly, it is both disappointing that I am judged by my fertility, and annoying that I’m expected to defend my reproductive choices to others. We live in a society where so many women are fighting to have their voice heard, where women are fighting for their reproductive rights to be acknowledged, fighting for their rights to breastfeed their children in peace and have their periods without shame, yet I’m shamed for being blessed with fertility.