Thursday, August 12, 2010

Think Before You Speak

Perhaps this is not something worth posting about, but I really cannot believe the things people will say to perfect strangers.  Since I am so obviously with child I have been getting questions about my procreations. 

When the children are not with me they ask, “Is this your first?”

“No, our third…”  All three are about two years a part.  No big deal.  Though challenging at times, aside from getting married, having children is the best thing that has happened in our lives.

If the children are with me, people usually call out even in passing, “Oh, well you’re going to have your hands full.”

I just reply, “Yep.” with a slight level of disdain.  Yeah, I do not really need folks to point out my hands are full.  I am quite aware that my hands are full.  My heart is awfully full too.

People also ask if we are done.  To which I reply, “We’ll see.”  I don’t usually take offense to this.  Everyone has their own beliefs on the matter and a natural curiosity.  It’s just natural small talk.  But personally, I really think, “None of your business.”  I mean what we are really talking about is a prudential, personal, perhaps spiritual, decision between a man and woman in the privacy of their bedroom.  Who are you to ask about how many and when?

I guess what really irked me recently was I thought I was in a safe environment in which I would not get these kinds of questions.  A woman asked me if this is my first and I said no that I had a three and a half year old son and a one and half daughter and this is our third child.  To which she replied, “Oh! Are you just getting it all out of the way at once.”  As if my procreating was too frequent and too much for her tastes.  Maybe so, but one shouldn’t assume everyone holds the same views on procreation as you do.  Do you think I walk around asking people what kind of contraceptive they use and then scoff at them when they give their answer?

My initial reaction was to drop my jaw.  Lady, did you just hear yourself?  Am I “getting this pesky thing out of the way?”  Is that what you did?  Do you view your children’s lives as inconvenient and you cannot wait for them to grow up?  Are those questions you want me to ask you?  But my audible response was, “No, kids don’t scare us.  We will see what the future holds.”  She responded by offering me her children.  I accepted her offer.  She was in disbelief that I would want them.

I know I am going to have to start getting used to this kind of behavior from the general public, since we have already achieved more than the average number of children allotted to the average American family.  I stare when I see a large family too.  I marvel at the parents skill in managing their family.  It’s quite a feat.  I will have to come up with some wittier responses to bold inquiries.  However, before you go asking people about what’s going on in their bedroom, think before you speak.


Kacy said...

Ugghhh, I'm already getting comments too, and this is just #2. Strangers have inquired into the sex of our baby, and when I tell them that it's a boy they'll say something like, "Oh good, now you'll have your girl and your boy. You can stop." I simply replied that we might have more.

I can't believe I had this conversation TWICE!

I also ran into a pregnant woman at the Farmers Market inquiring about whether or not goat cheese was safe during pregnancy. I told her that I was pregnant too, and had been eating this goat cheese for a while. She then said something like, "Wow you're pregnant. You realize you already have a baby on your back." (Fee was in the wrap.) Ugghhh, it was so rude!

And don't even get me started on the rude stares and comments when I nursed Fee at the DHS office.

Here's a post with some good comebacks for the future:

I'm still trying to figure out how to respond to the girl and boy means you can stop comment.

Janet said...

When I was pregnant with my now 3yo, my eldest daughter was 15. I received at least 1 comment everywhere we went because me 15 yo was always with me to help me out.

"Oh my G--, I feel so sorry for you." or "Just when you were almost finished..." or "What were you thinking?" or "Are you married to the same man/is this your second marriage?" or "Goodness, how many more do you have at home" or "Are you stopping now?".

I think our culture has become so rude.

Kayleen said...

I go back and forth between feeling slightly amused and feeling sorry for people who have been so brainwashed. They have just fallen into believing children are a burden and get in the way of a happy, easygoing lifestyle. Maybe it's my personality, but I usually feel pretty confident about giving them a run for their money. Unless I am in a hurry I usually try to use it as an opportunity to say that we love children, yes it's difficult but it's a good thing I married a great man, that our population will die out if we don't reproduce, etc. :) I really think it's our job to spread the word about the dangers of thinking so selfishly and to help people see that we are indeed full of love and joy because of our children, you know? But I do feel for you and everyone else who encounters unbelievable comments. Everyone has their own personalities and ways of dealing with it...I'm sure as long as you continue to practice your faith and love others you will touch people the way God wants you to. You have cute kids so that's a bonus!! :)

One thing I do like to say is that since so many people only have zero to two kids we get to fill in the gaps!

Oh, and I noticed in People magazine today they are featuring the Duggers, and the big question - "will they have more and is it good for their family???"

Michelle M. said...

I get the "you have your hands full" all the time! The thing that bothers me the most is when people assume we are done because we have a "big" family. When I had a boy and a girl, people always said, "well, now you have one of each, so you must be done!" I always say that we hope to have more, and I get some crazy looks. But it really doesn't bother me. I know that my family isn't complete and that big families are the best :)

Get ready for lots more comments when you go out with all three!

Anne said...

eh.. Mum has 10, and ppl think Caellainne is her grand daughter (which, admittedly, is totally possible).

What these folks don't realize is that the more children you have, the bigger your "hands" are, so they're never really full :)

thanks for being such a great witness to true Love and Life :)

Anne said...

also, when I do have kids, I'll just go for shock value:

"Oh, Taylor's always wanted 23" :)