Easter this year didn’t go quite as planned. Instead of Easter lunch and an egg hunt with Sean’s mom’s side of the family (something we’ve done every year for the last 9 years), the kids and I headed to church without Sean, grabbed pizza and Starbucks, visited urgent care and then grocery shopped and filled prescriptions.
While having a husband with the norovirus and a sinus infection myself was not part of our plan, it really wasn’t a bad day, and I have to admit there was a sweetness to seeing my big girls step up to the plate and help with the baby through the appointments and shopping.
But what really struck me were the number of comments about our family size that we got while we were out.
You know the ones…
“Wow, you have your hands full!”
“You must be one tired mom.”
“How many of them are there?!”
“Oh, just one boy?”
And all of this even though my baby belly probably still looks like leftover baby fat from the last baby rather than another little one on the way.
This is a huge pet peeve of mine, so I’ve written about it before.
Oh, not the comments themselves…the reaction to these comments.
Because while people complain about the things people say to them when they’re out and about with their larger-than-normal crews, I’ve never found the people saying them to be anything but sweet, encouraging, and friendly.
And the people we ran into yesterday were the same. Not one of them meant anything negative, even though there comments included things like, “Your husband must just sit and rock in the backyard!”
Because honestly? I AM tired and my hands ARE full. (The words coming out of my mouth on this particular day included a constant refrain of, “Please stop quacking. Being respectful of other people means not being loud and obnoxious. Please don’t touch. Walk behind the cart. Single file, guys. Jack, sit down.” And on and on and on.) And some days? My husband WOULD like to escape to the backyard to rock.
Each of the people who commented on our family did so out of kindness. They were mostly older people, people who I assume have children and grandchildren of their own and remember some of the chaos of those days. They weren’t being rude; they were just trying to connect with a busy mom on Easter Sunday .
I get so frustrated when people complain about these type of comments. Why do we assume the worst about people who are just being friendly? Why are we so defensive about our family sizes that we take offense when someone comments (with a sparkle in their eye) about the number of kids we have?
I’ll be honest here. When we found out Jackson was a boy, I was prepared to be offended by the comments about Sean finally getting a son and the assumption that we were finally done adding to our family now that we had our boy and, oh, the poor boy growing up with four sisters. But you know what? The people making those comments aren’t being rude either. They’re just being friendly! And while we would have been happy if Jack had been a girl, it IS fun to have a boy after all these girls, and Sean and him DO have a special bond.
Now, instead of getting offended, I just laugh and nod. And whatever comments come as my belly continues to grow, I hope that continues to be my response. Life is too short and there are too many real tragedies to be offended by a friendly cliche from a stranger!