It happens, regularly. We are sitting at a restaurant, standing in line, or walking through the mall. We get a stare, it is the middle of a school day! Or, I start seeing the eyes counting my kids, I put my head down, walk a little quicker, but it still happens. The questions, the unsolicited advice, and the frustrations!
Here are 5 things I hate hearing as a parent!
Are they all yours?
As they count the number of kids holding on to the buggy. I want to say, “No I just enjoy grocery shopping with a few extra kids. It’s kind of like a hobby!” I don’t say that… but maybe one day I will 😉
You finally got that boy!
They say this after seeing my line of 2-3 girls, then the boy. This one really gets under my skin because what is it saying about my girls? That we kept trying till we got the “one” we wanted? I’m pretty sure most parents are just trying for an adorable and healthy baby.
Why aren’t they in school?
This irks me to no end! Why? Because I reply we homeschool, which then results in more questions, which then results in pure frustration…
Are you done?
I’m sorry, but really? Why do complete strangers feel the need to ask this question?!
Wow! You have your hands full.
Depending on my mood I ignore this comment, or say “Why yes I do, can I borrow one of yours”. Or on a good day “Yes, isn’t it a blessing”. Ok, I may not really say either of those, but I want to.
Now, keep in mind I only have 3 kids. THREE! I may go out sometimes with my niece which gives me four. But even then it is not like that is a huge amount of children. That used to be a typical family size.
This attitude towards children makes me wonder when our culture started looking at children as a burden. Typically, if I see someone who is “older” they will look at me with a twinkle in their eye. I get nice comments. Like “Wow, they are all so well behaved”. Or, “I remember when mine were that young”. Or even a “Good job mom!” But the younger crowd, not so much.
I know people don’t always mean these comments to be negative. I have asked “Are you done?” to my friends before. Not really meaning anything by it, but just having conversation. But, most of the time you can tell when someone is just being rude.
So, here is my piece of advice for those of you who HAVE to say something to moms while they are out with their kids-watch what you say!
If you see a mom with a group of kids, compliment her.
Even IF the kids are throwing themselves off of or out of the buggy.
Even IF you think she has way too many kids.
Even IF snotty nosed children get on your nerves.
If you see she could use an extra hand-offer to HELP HER! Don’t judge her.
And follow this old saying “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Just smile, and keep on walking…..