Primarily written by Adrienne, a homeschooling mother of seven, ages 10 and under. She chronicles life, laughs, struggles, and lessons learned as she raises a larger-than-most sized family and tries to figure out what she's doing day by day.

With occasional posts, Alexandra, Adrienne's older sister, writes of her ranch life in Nevada and raising four sons, ages 5 and under. Life is never dull and her boys have given her some pretty awesome stories to tell.

Stick around awhile, and you're sure to laugh, nod, smile, be encouraged, and see what life is like with a big (little) family.

8.22.2011

(Some) comments unwelcome.

I never realized having (a lot of) kids (in a short period of time) required a thick skin.

Turns out, a thick skin – and the ability to bite your tongue - is quite useful.

We get lots of comments. Always. There is no such thing as anonymity anymore. But when people act disgusted - then what do you do? And why do people care how many kids anyone else has?

At my ripe old age, they assume I’m hard of hearing. I haven’t broke the news that I’m not to anyone yet. But today, when I heard (and certainly not for the first time),

“Did you see all those kids? And she’s pregnant! Oh. My. Gosh! That’s insane! She must be crazy! Doesn’t she know what causes that?" I was sorely tempted to speak up.

I didn’t. But the comebacks? They are still coming to me, hours later.

I could have joined in and pretended I’d seen someone else who had fit their description. That might have been fun.

I could have jumped in and asked them if they knew what was causing it. Because maybe, just maybe, that would have embarrassed them.

But I doubt it.

The first thing that comes to me is “You do know I can hear you, right?” but I never go there.

I have looked people in the eye though. That always invokes an interesting response. They usually look away.

The thing is, about 90% of the time, my kids are not the ones melting down in the checkout line.

That’s usually the kids of the commentators.

But the little old ladies – the 85+ year old ladies – they reminisce about their own 6-10 kids and tell me I’ll never regret this when I’m old. I love them. And the one who said she’d had 6 kids that I met the other day – she was so proud to have beat me out in how fast she’d managed it.

She’d had 6 kids in 5 years.

Now those comments had to have been even more interesting than the ones I get.

If you ever, ever hear me tell any mother of any number of kids that her hands are full, feel free to slap me. No one actually needs to be told that they are busy. It’s usually pretty obvious to them. The reminder that this is a lot of work isn’t necessary.

I got 10 hugs at bedtime. (Because two hugs allows for procrastination, you know.) And that makes it all worthwhile.

3 comments:

Sarah Thompson said...

Totally agree with your thoughts on this! I'm always hearing how I have my hands full as I'm carrying Joel in the front pack and Owen on my hip and I think "really? I didn't know that!" But my new response to this ever growing old comment is "Yes, full of blessings!" That usually makes everyone step back and agree and its a good reminder for me as I try to put Owen in the shopping cart and not bean Joel over the head with Owen's foot!

Adrienne said...

Right there with you, Sarah. I far prefer the times I get those comments when all is together and no one is screaming (or getting hit in the head) and life isn't chaotic. We have plenty of those moments. The worst was at our (big) homeschool co-op last year when Sterling kept walking when I didn't, I went searching for him having parked the stroller and told everyone to stay put in the hallway - found Sterling crying and then went back to find Ruby had went the other way. All after I'd gotten the "hands full" comment and I'd replied how much fun we have. Blech!

Kristin said...

People are ridiculous. I would love to see the reaction of someone if you asked if they knew how it happened. But that probably isn't the nicest option.