I’m astounded my post "Things I Would Never Say to a Parent with Two Kids" caused so much hubbub. To date, I’ve had over 23,000 hits and a lot of great comments.
I learned a few lessons with that post.
1. Everyone hears rude comments. I was unaware that insensitive comments really are made to women with 1 or 2 children, to women with none, to women who wait to start their family, single women, etc. I was blessed readers would share their hurts and their stories to enlighten others (especially me) with grace.
2. People are amazing. I heard a lot of great ideas of how to answer the insensitive questions people ask. The comments had me laughing for the past few days and also renewed my desire to be gracious in speech.
Today’s post is in honor of all my commenters who took the time to share their stories. I chose some of the best comments and listed them under the common questions women hear. I ended the post with some great wisdom and encouragement from my readers.
Thank you all for reading and for commenting.
Janet’s husband ~ “We keep trying for an ugly one.”
Shaylene ~ “I smile and say, ‘Yes, and do you know what? When I was 13 I wrote in my journal I wanted 3 girls and 2 boys, and can you believe it, my dream came true?’ I say it with pride and enthusiasm. After that comment, they’re are all happy for me.”
Janet ~ “And once, when a store clerk asked me if they were ALL mine, I told her, “Do you seriously think I would round up a bunch of other people’s kids to keep me company while I attempt to try on clothing?”
Lynnaire ~ “When my oldest son was around 10 , if we were walking around town, he would walk at the front of us all and try and read people’s faces. If he saw a strange or disapproving look we would hear him say “yes they are all ours!” . . He got so tired of that same comment that he took it upon himself to inform before they could ask lol.”
Nic ~ “No. They are all God’s, but He loaned them to us for about 20 years.”
Kendra ~ “Yes, and I like it.”
Family of Blessings ~ “No! But maybe you could explain it to me in detail and maybe draw me some pictures so I understand?” White.As.Ghosts. They walked away, not another word. . I was charitable in my tone of voice, but done with their questions. We need to build one another up and not question the actions of everyone.”
jk2b2g ~ “…but next time I might say “I got an A in college biology 101, so yes, I do understand how that all works.”
Jim ~ “You know, we’re still not exactly sure what causes all these kids, but we’re pretty close to figuring it out. We’ve narrowed it down to two or three things. We’ll keep working on it and let you know.”
Paula ~ “I’d grin and say, “Well, I guess we’ve figured it out pretty well, don’t you think?”
Hollye ~ “I never want my kids to think they are a burden or hindrance. My reply is always, ‘Oh yes! Full of love.’ “
Jennifer ~ “Why yes I do! I am so blessed!.. I have always wanted a large family and my heart aches that I can’t have more children while at the same time It is almost bursting with joy that I have my 4 sweet babies, and people have the nerve to tell me in a negative way that I have my hands full!!!! Your right, I do, I am sooo blessed, it is a true MIRACLE that they aren’t empty…….”
JoDeen ~ “I look them straight in the eye, smile a big, genuine smile, sometimes giggle and in my kindest voice say, “and a full heart, too. My kids love when I am accosted. They walk away from those situations knowing I think they are the bomb.com! Love multiplies, it doesn’t divide.”
Kathi ~ One cashier at the grocery store said…”My you must really like kids” to which I replied…Nope it is just the sex I like. That shut her up. (Forgive me Lord)
Momza ~ “I love having a large family! There is always something going on and we enjoy our time together. We are down to the last three at home, and although I am an active Latter-Day Saint mom, I bet I could raise these last ones as a drunk. lol”
Renee ~ “I was at a wedding when pregnant with my 7th child, the man seated across from us – a stranger- said “WOW!! Don’t you guys have a television?!” It had already been established that he and his wife only had 2 children, so I calmly replied, “Yes, but we don’t watch it much. You on the other hand must have a big one and watch it quite often…” He and his wife wen rather red, and he had the grace to stutter back in reply, “Yes…actually we do” We are now friends “
Carla ~ “I came from a moderately large family (five kids) and my dad was always saying things like this about US. (I remember him telling someone that our large family was caused by my mother being hard of hearing. At bedtime, he’d say, “Do you want to go to sleep or what?” to which she’d reply, “What?”)
Carlie ~ “I had someone ask me if they were all planned and I told them no, only one was planned, but we just had so much fun that the birth control just couldn’t keep up with the swimmers……sure made them blush fast.”
Jackie ~ “When I look at large families, I think how wonderfully blessed they are and God formed each one of those children. It’s awesome to see large families, especially in this culture.”
Kathi ~ “When people would express their sympathy for how many kids I had I would just say that I thought of myself as lucky.”
Carean ~ “He rights the desire of our hearts…and there is no greater place to be than in His will…as the bible says…children are a gift from God…blessed is he who has his quiver full…he will not be put to shame when he meets his enemy at the gates!”
Dawn ~ “I would not change one minute of my crazy, loud life.”
Cindy ~ “I would not trade them for the world.”
mithriluna ~ “It’s definitely an opportunity to share about how wonderful it is to have a large family.”
Jennifer ~ “ I have fulfilled my biggest dream in life and am working on my life’s purpose, I have become a Mother.”
Jennifer ~ “I think a great all-around small talk comment anyone can make to anyone else about their family size is, “”What a beautiful family you have. You must feel so blessed.”
Sonja ~ “The main thing is we need to be gracious to each other, forgiving and accepting. And trying to remember to think about our words before we speak “
Barb ~ “For me, the point is acceptance that every one is doing the best they can, with what they have for tools at that time in their life. As humans, we do have a lot to learn about grace, acceptance and humanity. Love to all….”
AshMac ~ “But I have found the secret to dealing with such comments: Understand that people, ALL PEOPLE, including you and me, are sometimes insensitive and rude. Practice grace, be grateful for your blessings, and let the joy of the Lord be your strength. “
ndev2Niki ~ “We humans sure need a lot of grace to live with one another, don’t we?”
Shirley ~ “Basically we can commiserate with each other on how annoying/intrusive/hurtful these kinds of prying questions are but if we don’t inform the people doing the asking that they’re being inappropriate or hurtful in a firm but gentle way then we just perpetuate the cycle and nothing ever even has a chance to change.”
Family of Blessings ~ Answer the asker graciously or have a little fun. But know that we can never stand in the shoes of another. Not everyone CAN have children. Not everyone WANTS to have children. Not everyone WILL have children and many are combinations of those. Every life is a blessing and a gift from God Himself.”
abreininger ~ Hopefully your blog post can help people realize that every family is different and that they should keep their judgments and comments to themselves.”
Mandi ~ I wonder why people seem to feel like they should judge one another instead of loving one another.”