Despite your explanation, your question deeply offended me and still does, as it would any mother. The question itself, innocent or not, is inappropriate.
Allow me to explain why it makes me so angry...I'm tired of defending myself. I don't think I should have to because it doesn't matter why I'm in my situation, how I got there, just that it is as it is. It irks me when someone tells me that it's my fault for being in this situation, they were my choices, I didn't have to have children, I chose their father, etc. (I'm not saying that you're saying that, just what has happened to me in other conversations.) I'm not stupid and I know that they were my choices, but it shouldn't matter. If someone is asking for help and is genuinely overwhelmed, exhausted, etc., why deny them the comfort they seek? Is it really okay to leave someone to suffer because you think they earned it? People should have mercy on those who are suffering, whether it is internal or external, because that altruistic action may reciprocate when you make your own bed and have to lie in it.
People have asked me that question before, gullivera, and they're lucky they walked away unharmed, but it wasn't an innocent question from them, but rather like the way Michelle explained it, which is exactly the way I took it. "You shouldn't have had a baby if you couldn't take care of it" is what I've heard before. Which to me, is a completely disrespectful, indecent, horrible thing to say to a mother holding a child that is overwhelming her and I reciprocate that disrespect whether it's right or not.
Noone in my family really helped me because that is what they believed and because they all thought I should have had an abortion. My husband didn't want me to, though, citing religious reasons at me that would condemn me. I sided with him because it was another chance to have a normal pregnancy and a second chance for him to treat me right, but he was kicked out for a drunken rage that endangered my life when I was five months pregnant, two weeks before Christmas. During his rehab, he sent no money. I did everything alone after that with absolutely no support system and during the second and third trimester, I felt more connected to her than anyone else and wanted her because noone else did. I spent the first year of her life defending her existence vehemently, but questioning it myself because of all the negativity. She won everyone over, of course, but I am still judged for my situation, for being an "idiot" for having too many kids. It infuriates me and makes me crazy that so many people out there view me and my children like that because they only care enough to poke fun, but not enough to lend a hand or a small comfort or maybe it's to excuse themselves from feeling any responsibility towards a fellow human being. But when I am overwhelmed, who can I turn to? When I hate that I am alone with so much work to do, who will listen without judging?
Not that things are that way all the time now. I proved everyone in my family to be sorry for what they said or did and they have learned their lesson because things happened to them, too, for which I did not treat them the way they treated me. Things are also much better and more supportive since the time when I first posted this thread, so it is irrelevant to my situation now.
Anyway, I'm done with this. This is the last time I will even read this thread because it's gotten out of control and I don't feel comfortable here anymore.