It is with great regret and frustration, that I bring you this blog post.
While reading the Facebook Fan Page of one of my fellow mama’s she posted a status about a run in that she had with someone commenting on how “full” her hands were with her – wait for it – THREE CHILDREN.
The day before she posted, I happened to post a status message wondering about the fairy world that I live in. One where parents of children with less than desirable conduct, commenting on how many I have. And believe me – I figure if your children are PURPOSELY disrespectful and rambunctious, there is definitely something you can do about it.
There are a lot of things that I have learned since having children. How to break up sibling fights that are about to start from a simple eye glare across the room. How to cook dinner with one child hanging on my leg, and another in the crook of my elbow. How to help with homework, when the child that you are helping doesn’t really even want to do homework in general.
What I can NOT for the life of me figure out, or accept, is how open people are with how many or few children they think that I should have.
For a little background. Mr. Houseful and I had the cellist when we were 20 years old. Juniors in college and not as in love as we thought we would be at the time. We got LOTS of unsolicited advice about how we should have “known better,” and how I should DEFINITELY make sure to keep my skirt down and legs closed so that I could at least seem semi attractive to a future suitor.
Fast forward seven years after the birth of the cellist and we’re living in wedded bliss and we get pregnant with the ladybug. Now, I WON’T tell you how many people asked me if I was pregnant when I walked down the aisle, or how many people commented on how fast we got pregnant right after marriage, or even how many people commented on the age difference between the cellist and the ladybug. I won’t.
Then there was that time in 2009 where I got pregnant when the ladybug was only 8 months old, we were dealing with some cardiology issues with her, and I lost the baby. One person offered me this sage advice: Well, you have two already. Maybe you all shouldn’t be trying for another one so soon after having the ladybug. Interesting. Maybe you should wear a muzzle whenever you go out into public.
Then we go away to a marriage retreat, and get pregnant with the twizzlers. I stayed pretty quiet about the fact that I was pregnant with TWO babies for a while. Mostly because I was scared that I would miscarry again. I got all types of comments here as well. You all are pregnant AGAIN?! Don’t you watch television?! After this one, you should stop.
Imagine the irritation when the news that I was having TWINS came out. There was waitress at a Joe’s Crab Shack in Houston who actually APOLOGIZED to me for having twins. As if having two babies at one time is something to feel sorry about.
On the opposite side of that, are those people who feel that they should make you feel bad for your lack of children. Not knowing if some of those people who they are chiding about not having any pattering feet in their houses are trying with all of their might, and possibly money TO have a baby, and the “well-meaning” person is doing nothing but rubbing salt in the very open wound of the recipient. Imagine how many times you’ve asked someone about when they are going to finally have a baby, and they’ve actually been trying? I know that I am indeed guilty of this HUGE faux pas, and I’m sorry to everyone that I have ever done this to.
Sometimes, going through something makes you more empathetic to a situation. Other times, it’s knowing that one of your close friends may be dealing with their desires not being fulfilled immediately.
Which then leads me to say – NEVER is it okay to approach someone and comment on how many children or lack of children they have. NEVER. Those who have more than what you think they should are pretty aware of the amount. I mean, THEY have them.
I am going to start answering every “OMG, you have FOUR children?!” with “WHERE?!?!?!”
It’s even more frustrating to me, when other mother’s do this. Especially mother’s with THREE children. Honestly, you have ONE less child than I do, and you want to split hairs here? Let’s not.
While I know that the amount of capitalized words are many, I want you to know that this is honestly a PSA of sorts. I’m really trying to save you from approaching that mother who may have missed her morning cup of coffee, or had that child who may have thrown up all of the Cheerios in the back seat of the car. That mom who is just trying to figure out what she is going to make for dinner tonight. Who needs to figure out how to get one of her children to practice that she loves, and the other to a sporting event that he loves. The mom that loves being a parent, but may be short on patience with adults.
You don’t ever mess with a mama bear and expect not to come back a least a little scared.
Having children is a blessing. Unless you know that families’ financial situation, don’t go throwing around the “but I pay taxes and therefore pay for their children,” argument either. It’s just not nice.
And with that, dear HoNey’s, I bid you adieu, as I go and snuggle with MY Houseful.