Friday, April 03, 2015

10 things you really shouldn't say to moms of multiple children

With JB's truck in the shop last week, I had to drop him off and pick him up from work. One of the evenings, we went into the ER to wait for him. However, when it is really hopping in the ER, JB will text me and ask that we just wait in the car.

So there we sat waiting at the car. And while we waited, I saw a lady walk by with four children. They looked to range from ages 1-7.

I remember thinking to myself, "Wow. She has got her hands full!"

Later, when JB got into the van, I asked him about the woman I had seen with all the kids. He told me that she was one of his patients that day as one of her kids was sick.

"Super nice lady," he said. "A really good mom."

"Man," I said. "She has got four little kids. I wonder how she does that!"

JB looked at me and burst out laughing.

"What?" I said. "What's so funny?"

"Wendi, she is YOU!"

I sat there for a moment, dumbfounded. While my goodness she really IS me. That is what people see when they see me take my little crew into the library, the grocery store, or the doctor's office.

I tell you that story to tell you that I really am not offended when people make comments about the number of children I have. (And not just the number but the fact that I have our children who are all so young.) Okay, so the guy who asked me if I was running a daycare service and the man who asked me why I was pregnant again when I already had three did bug me a little.

But generally, I enjoy these comments.

That said, I did find a post floating around Facebook recently that provided a list of things you shouldn't say to a mom of many. You can click here to read this article in its entirety.

And here, is the list (with my peanut-gallery comments out to the side.)

  1. "Boy, you sure have your hands full!" My response is always You should see my heart.
  2. "I don't know how you do it." I don't know how I do it either. I really don't. 
  3. "You know how that happens, right?" What's funny is that in our case, one-half of our brood did NOT arrive via sexual intercourse (Isaac is adopted and Hannah was born via IVF). For that reason, I find this comment hilarious. 
  4. "Looks like Dad needs to get a fishing pole." I actually haven't heard anything this egregious. However, I did have a woman once say to me, "I guess you didn't wait six weeks," when she saw me pregnant and holding little Isaac. These comments also make me smile at how incredibly outspoken some people are and how clueless people can be about the WHOLE story.
  5. "Are they all yours?" I actually find this comment appropriate. It does seem unbelievable that I have four children within five years. I'd find it interesting too. This gives me the opportunity to share that God's plans are often not our plans.
  6. "These all from the same lot?" Sort of.
  7. "Lots of helpers!" And lots of work that needs helping for!
  8. "Are you done? Are you having any more?" I actually am not shy about the fact that we are currently calling it quits on more children. (We may adopt again but no more biological kids for this mega-pregnant-sick mommy.) While I don't think it is anyone's business, I don't get offended by this question.
  9. "Enjoy these days. They grow up so fast."I actually LOVE hearing this. It is a reminder to me while I am trying to wrangle my brood through Kroger to enjoy the moments. I appreciate the reminder from veteran moms that all-too-fast you find yourself on the other side. I NEVER want to forget this.
  10. The silent stare. I don't get this much in Tennessee. Here, I feel big families are appreciated. But in South Florida I did get this quite a bit, and I admit, this one can bother me a little bit. 


Dana said...

#3 is actually my personal pet peeve. I always respond with "yeah, lots of money on fertility drugs and many, many uncomfortable procedures!" We have 4 kids too but due to the range in ages we don't get a lot of "hands full" comments. With my firstborn being in college and my baby in 2nd grade we do get a lot of people who know us via one or the other acting totally shocked that the other exists, lol. (for example a mother in my daughter's 2nd grade class asking how many kids we have and being shocked when I mention my 19 year old. Or meeting my son's roommate's parents and them shaking their heads at having to go to little league after dorm move in day)!

Emily said...

"You should see my heart." - LOVE that. :)

mom.of.4 said...

i've said, "and so is my heart" or "better full than empty!" often! as for how does it happen? LOTS OF PAPERWORK! ha! 4 adopted kids, stair stepped!