Sunday, January 30, 2011

"Well, you know what they say: If you don't have anything nice to say about anybody, come sit by me!"

~Clairee Belcher, Steel Magnolias

It's time we had a talk. Again. And maybe this talk isn't necessarily for YOU, but I'm sure it could be beneficial to someone you know. So feel free to recommend this post to others. It is my mission, after all, to educate the public on what NOT to say to us Mothers.

I. YOU'VE GOT YOUR HANDS FULL!
If you see a mother, with any amount of children, the words, "You've got your hands full." are unappreciated. Because here's the thing... WE KNOW. And chances are, even if the little monkeys are hanging upside down from the side of the shopping cart, pleading for extra boxes of sugar-filled cereals, we Mommas may feel that our hands are full. But not nearly as full as our hearts. So back off. If you feel compelled to comment in such a situation, "Bless your heart." or "Hang in there." (with a sympathetic smile on your face) would be the better way to go.

II. Y'ALL DO KNOW WHAT'S CAUSING THIS, DON'T YOU??
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. It's just not funny. And by the way, we DO know what's causing this. That's our problem. We LOVE doing it. If you feel compelled to comment on this subject, DON'T.

III. YOU'VE GOT FIVE KIDS?? BUT YOU LOOK SO NORMAL!!
"Thanks. Hey, could you help me find my other three sister-wives?? Our husband dropped us off an hour ago, and said he'd be right back, after he got the oil changed on our school bus that we use, since there are 27 children between the four of us. I must have gotten left behind while I was nursing my three-eyed baby. HELP ME!!!"
Seriously though, that comment gets made all. the. freakin'. time. It happened again, just last week. It really irks me the most when said in front of my children. As if, something is wrong with there being FIVE of them. Okay, so five may seem like a lot to some folks. But here's the thing, those of us with large families don't see our kids as a NUMBER. They're all super fun, super neat, super awesome kids with completely different personalities. So lay off the whole number thing. Which leads me to my next one....

IV. YOU'VE GOT FOUR BOYS??? BETTER YOU THAN ME!
"Yep. My kids would agree." I've actually said that one. Because it's true.

V. YOU LOOK GOOD TO HAVE FIVE KIDS.
"Awww, thank-you. But what if I only had one kid?? Would I look good then?? No?? I mean, what is it exactly about my body that shows those five kids?? The fact that I'm 30 lbs over weight, or the permanent bags under my eyes??" My suggestion with this comment, is stop with, "You look good!" or comment on my cute diaper bag, (compliments of my Momma). Otherwise, I'm going to walk away feeling chubby and calling you a liar.

VI. HAVE YOU THOUGHT ABOUT HOW YOU'LL PUT THEM THROUGH COLLEGE?
"Why, are you interested in making a donation??" I've said that before, too. You wouldn't believe how many total strangers have commented on college tuition these days. First of all, that's none of your business. Period. Second, Bert and I both went to college. That's where we met. So duh, we're kinda aware that such a place does exist. So unless you would like to offer us a scholarship, don't worry about it.

VII. ARE YOU GOING TO HAVE MORE??
Hmmm. Where do I even start. Again, it's just none of your business. And this goes for every woman, kids or no kids yet. I have friends who would love to have more, but are dealing with fertility issues. So to them, it's a constant reminder that things aren't working out as planned. For me, it's a constant reminder that people are too dadgum nosy. So if you're wondering, just wait about nine months. If you see her nursing a new baby, she was planning to have more. Which brings me to my next one...

VIII. DID YOU BREASTFEED THEM ALL??
"Yep. Wanna see my battle wounds?" Truth is, I did breast feed all my kids. But, it's not something I pride myself on. A fed baby is a healthy, happy baby. That's all that matters. I hated breastfeeding. Mainly, I did it because it was FREE, and sometimes convenient (read: when we were at home). I breastfed all of them for different periods of time. Some kids got cut off after only a few weeks, others longer. Hail was the only one who made it a whole year. And only because he REFUSED bottles, and could nurse on both sides in less than eight minutes, plus he didn't cut any teeth until he was 13 months old. So, it wasn't too bad with him. And honestly, he's the CRAZIEST one of the bunch, so if we were a case study, (and we probably should be for many different reasons) one might conclude that breastfeeding exclusively for that amount of time did not get the intended results. And NO, I don't have any regrets, nor do I feel guilty over any of their feeding situations. They are ALL healthy, thriving, happy, intelligent children. And if I had it to do over, I wouldn't change a single thing. Well, not where breastfeeding is concerned.

IX. DID YOU MEAN TO HAVE THEM ALL SO CLOSE??
"No. We don't know how this keeps happening." Okay, so truth is, I'm fertile myrtle. Some were expected a little more than others. And again, if we had it to do over, we wouldn't change a single thing. Obviously. So, just don't ask about that.

X. YOU'VE ONLY GOT ONE GIRL?? I'M SO SORRY.
"I'm NOT!" Idiot. This one upsets me for two reasons. A.) Her Highness has no idea that she's missing out by not having a sister. Please quit reminding her that her life could be incomplete. Granted, I have two sisters that I love deeply and adore. But in life, all you know is what you know. So, reminding Her Highness that she doesn't have a sister is like reminding me that I'm not a millionaire. There's really no point. Because I'll never be. And she'll (most likely) never have a sister. And both of those reminders could make us sad, so stop it.

B.)This one really upsets me when said in front of my boys. I do realize that while they may be covered in dirt, wrestling in the floor over the last stick of gum found while plundering through my diaper bag, or laughing hysterically over the fact that one of them just "Pooted and it weally weally 'tinks!" those crazy, zany boys are still MY boys. And though they may embarrass the mess out of me at the grocery store/church/school/park/restaurant/sister's dance recital/pool/playdate/office/birthday party/ball field/and everywhere else we ever go, I could never love them any more than I do. I would literally kill for them. And may, if these ignorant comments don't stop.

So, it's your civic duty. Please inform all the socially inept people of the world. So I don't end up in a state penitentiary... Where I would live in a secluded cell, with only a bed and one toilet to clean... and might actually get to sleep through the night... and eat without cutting up other people's meat... and only one outfit to wash and fold... and... hmmm... wait, what? Oh, ummm, yes, please feel free to refer any/everyone you know that might could use this reminder: If you don't have anything nice to say, go sit by Clairee. Us mothers don't have time for it.

Note: These can apply to a Momma of ANY number of children. Five is just the number I have. So, if you've been referred here by a friend, please make a mental note that saying these things to ANY MOTHER is unappreciated.
Sincerely,
Big Momma

25 comments:

Kiera said...

I hear ya sister! :) You totally crack me up! I love you!

The Hills said...

Hilarious, but I can totally understand your frustration! People keep telling us we need to have a girl...if we happen to have another child...that we aren't trying for, it will most likely be another boy...and we couldn't think of anything better!

Voice of Reason said...

"And she'll (most likely) never have a sister." So ya'll are done. Obviously you have finally figured out what was causing it.

Robin said...

LOVE. My pet peeve is "Are y'all going to try for a boy?"
Uh, yes. Of course because my daughters do not have penises (penii?) therefore they are completely useless to us. Ptooey.

Ole Miss Mom said...

Amen!! and AMEN!! I get "I don't know how you do it" a lot. Well, I just do. I had to hold my tongue at someone this morning. It was an old lady, and I just didn't feel like biting her head off. I did COMPLETELY ignore though. So maybe she got the point.

Tesney said...

LOL! I'm so over the adoption comments that I go to my snarky replies now. I don't even care what people think about it anymore. Same for the big family comments...make them think before they speak!

Dana said...

I do see a major hit of injustice in this.. I only have girls. But apparently, I don't have to have boys to know what that experience is like. Your description of your boys fits my Chloe just right.

Whitney said...

I wish I had 5 kids hanging all over my grocery cart. I have...wait...lemme check..none. :( This is why I am always blogging about my sister's children. They are a blessing; all children are. Who cares how many any one family has? I know a family that has adopted 15 children! And they're doing an awesome job raising them and so are y'all Holly!

Mandy said...

You took the words out of my freaking mouth!! I laughed, nodded, and said UH HUH a gazillion times. You are so much better at writing these feelings out than I. You rock, my friend.

The Incredible Shrinking Woman said...

Rushing to change my poise pad from the belly laughter... Freaking AWESOME!

Lindy said...

I'm sorry if I've ever made any comments about all the testosterone in your house or asked if you were going to have any more. But, are you? Hahahaha! I'm kidding!

Love, L
p.s. I am with Whitney, I would love to have 5 kiddos! Big families rock!

Sara Elizabeth said...

As always you are right on the money!

The Howell's said...

This is great!

NikkiMc said...

Well, I would agree, but I'm "supposed" to be too busy crying over the lack of and trying to conceive the elusive girl-child!! Really, God DOES know who needs to be here! I love your zany kids! Get well so we can play!

Papa said...

We love it!! Been there and heard them all!! It sure brings back old times.

The Corleys said...

As with all of your posts, I absolutely loved this!! Your family is so cute!!!

Shannon and Andrew said...

I get SOOO mad when people see us with Abbie and say, "you finally got your girl." Especially when it's in front of our younger boy. It's like we made a mistake with him so we had to keep trying. We still get comments. Thank you but we have three wonderful children who we love deeply and honestly the girl we "finally" got was a surprise. Yes, our original intention was to stop with ONLY boys, gasp, gasp. Our family is perfect just the way we are.

L Rukes said...

GREAT post!! I always forward these to my best friend who's a mom of 4 - 3 girls and one boy, all under 7, and gets the exact same kind of comments. Way to support the 'moms of multiples'!!

Hyperactive Lu said...

OH MY GOSH!!! I needed to read this today. You cracked me up. I think I've been asked each one of those questions at least once... expect the girl not having a sister. For us, having 3 boys and pregnant with final no. 4, we get "is this a girl?" "do you want a girl" "sure hope its a girl" blah blah blah!

Again, cudos to you for writing it all out! This is hilarious!

Bonnie said...

Hi Holly, You probably have no idea who I am, so I thought I would let you know. Meghan Thomas Hays is my daughter. I started reading your blog through her blog. All of your posts make my day! They are all so real, funny, and honest! In my opinion, you should write a book with all of your stories. You would sell millions!!!! Please keep your blog posts coming. I do truly enjoy them! And if you ever decide to write a book I will definitely be one of the million that buy it! Bonnie :)

angela said...

wow. i am going to print this out and hand it to people when they say stupid stuff. i have one, and one on the way. they will be two years apart. the first question we get is "so you're gonna stop now, right?" and the answer (when i'm feeling polite) is "no, we are going to wait until my husband is done with school". actually, i want five kids. i will only have four b/c i have to have csections. but i am not sure what my four kids have to do with you and why you care so dadgum much about how many dadgum kids we are going to have. people absolutely kill me. unfortunately for them, my husband is a proud smarta** and gets pleasure from putting people in their place in the most amusing of ways. ;p

Al your Pal said...

My question is...WHY ARE YOU NOT ON A NATIONWIDE SPEAKING CIRCUIT??!!! I'd PAY to come hear YOU SPEAK! My comment about #6 is--YOU GO GIRL!!!! BTW, I need to come sort your socks again! That was an awesome trip! Love, Your Cuz Al

expatbostonians.com said...

I'm the mom of a little girl. I'm having #2 and we just found it's another girl.

The next person who assumes we're having another child because we MUST want a boy is getting punched. Don't piss off the hormonal pregnant lady who is still puking at 21 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Bwhahahaha! Coming from Rants from Mommyland. I have 3 boys. I struggled w infertility for several years before becoming a fertile myrtle (7yo and 4 yo fraternals who were conceived naturally and spontaneously - God is funny). I love your sense of humor and would add 1. I HATE questions about - are you trying? VERY insensitive even if the family has proven fertile before. So, I started replying - do you mean, am I intentionally having unprotected sex with my husband around the time I am ovulating? Well, yes - yes, I am. Do people not understand that that is really really private? ~Shannon~

kerijeanbean said...

I have three kids and get the comments. I totally agree it is no ones business how many kids I have, how I plan to raise them, how I plan to pay for things, or whether or not I breastfed any or all of them. They are my kids and I love them all.