My friend, Melissa, called me today to tell me about a comment she received from a stranger while shopping with her 4 small children at Walmart.
An older gentleman (?) asked if they were all her children, and when she responded that they were, he replied, "You have my pity. I feel so sorry for you."
Of course, she was shocked that someone, a complete stranger, would be so rude as to pity her for cherished blessings!
I told her to buckle up, because she is bound to hear more of those kinds of comments when she is out and about with her children.
Almost every time I am in public with all my children I get remarks about my family size. Sometimes people comment on their good behavior or how helpful the big kids are with the little ones.
But then there are those comments that make you wonder what in the world possesses someone to be so rude to a stranger.
Here are some of the things I have heard from grocery store cashiers, customers, or random people in public.
- I would slit my wrists.
- Are you going to get your tubes tied?
- Better you than me.
- I hated every day at home in my large family.
- WHY do you have so many children?!
- When are you going to stop?
- I feel sorry for your son.
- Don't you know what causes that?
- That's what puppies are for.
- Do they all have the same daddy?
- I hope you are done!
I usually succeed in letting the rudeness roll off my back, but I have been known to say something sarcastic in return. (I know. SHOCKING!)
"We're just trying to outnumber the idiots," or "We keep saying we'll stop when we get an ugly one, but it hasn't happened yet," are my favorites snarky responses.
And every time someone says, "Better you than me," I say, "I couldn't agree more."
I do add, "Each one is a blessing," "We don't regret having a single one," before I turn to go, and so far I have refrained from asking whether their mothers ever taught them any manners.
Because of these experiences, I appreciate more than ever the support and positive comments I hear from people about our large family and I always make sure to encourage parents I run into who have their own large crew.