It's not quite a quiver full, but it's a start!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

All I want for Christmas...

Is a kind word from a stranger. I don't think it's too much to ask. In fact, it's the comments of strangers that led to my first post. The attitude that I'm crazy for taking on parenting, for loving it, for feeling blessed to have three children under three. The comments were hurtful enough, but the sheer amount was what really hurts my heart. I never realized how widespread in our society the "parenting is so hard" mindset truly was. Am I saying parenting is a piece of cake? No. But like I stated in that first post, when did we get to the point that we figured only a few "supermoms" can actually enjoy parenting and do it well? When did we forget that God has called us and equipped us to handle every situation we face as mothers? Why are we so quick to complain about parenthood rather than to celebrate it?

When I go out with my children, it is for the most part an enjoyable experience. I mean, we have our days...missed nap times, bad attitudes, not feeling well...but 99% of the time we are laughing, smiling, truly enjoying each other. So to have our nice time together interrupted by strangers who feel the need to comment on "how full" my hands are, how I "need a hobby" (apparently if you have 3 children all you do is, well, you know...), "how crazy" people think I am. Based on the comments I receive it's apparent that people believe my decision to have my children (to have so many, and to have them close together) is selfish, I should be miserable, and I am just setting myself up for failure. And it's not just me. It's a common thing for my friends to be at the receiving end of these comments as well. A woman told me friend, in front of her children, "how sorry" she was that they were all hers (well, she whispered it so I guess she felt  that made it ok.) And do not get me started on comments made about my friends who have adopted or biracial children. All of us have anywhere from 2-4 children. Hardly a large number, in fact a pretty normal number in my opinion. Let's change this. Let's change this parenthood attitude. We obviously cannot change other people's opinions on how our family should look, but we can pass on to others how much we love our families. We can encourage each other, and hopefully one day these discouraging words will be the ones that are few and far between rather than the good ones. When we see a mother in the store with her children, to share an encouraging word with her, rather than to make these comments that imply she should be embarrassed or miserable in her current situation. Obviously, I know these judgemental comments and sideways glances aren't going to go away, but it would be nice if I would get a "You must have so much fun with your children" or "Your family is so blessed" while I'm out with my family more often than getting the negative comments. I don't ever want my children to believe that I feel the same way about them as these strangers. I want them to know that they are not a burden. That I don't just view them as hard work. I want them to know they are loved, cherished, and pretty darn great. It would be nice if they were made to think I'm not the only one who feels this way! How wonderful if my children could grow up in a society that valued them as much as I do.

Despite all of the negativity, I've had those special moments, when people have said something encouraging to me. When my children are screaming in line for candy and I tell them no. To have a fellow mother say, "You're doing a good job." Rather than giving me a pitiful look or telling me to "just give it to them." The time a lady who had 5 children purposefully came across the restaurant to tell me to "Enjoy them because they are such great blessings." Today, to have one of those horrible moments after my 3 and 2 year old held the door open for a lady with a walker. Her daughter (who was a fully grown woman) instead of making a comment about how sweet my children were, looked at my baby in the carrier then at my older two and says, "You finally got your boy. Congratulations on that one." The fact that my older son (who has long hair) was wearing all blue escaped her I guess. But even if Kason were my first boy, why would I be more grateful for him? And why was this the comment she felt was the most important thing to tell me at the time? After that, to be so discouraged yet again, only to have a sweet women tell me a little later on, how "precious my family was, how wonderful my kids are, and how blessed I am." That comment turned my yet again defeated attitude into one of hope and joy. Because I do hope that people see the love and happiness I feel for my family. I pray that we will look for opportunities to encourage other mothers, and I pray that we will never be a source of hurt or anger to them. I pray that, one day, a kind word from a stranger will be commonplace rather than the exception. And that is what I want for Christmas.


  1. Excellent, While I have never had this experience I am not sure how I would have reacted to have someone say something like this. My family is no one business. What ever happen to the saying if you haven't anything nice to say don't say anything at all. Thanks for linking up to the NOBH

  2. As a young mom of 4 children (I had all 4 by the age of 24) I can completely relate to your post! Not only that, but I got a huge amount of questions like "What are their last names?" As in, they couldn't possibly all be for the same man... and they are... all for my husband. They just assume in todays society, that no young couple could stay together long enough to have four children together?! How horrible is that? I have also been told by people that they "feel sorry for me" or "wouldn't want to be me"... or "don't know how I do it." I LOVE my children... and I wouldn't give any one of them up for anything! My oldest is a girl, and my second a son... I had lots of people tell me I should have "quit when I had my pair". Who said I just wanted a pair?!

  3. Adventurer, I'm so thankful that you have not had to experience this! I'm glad to know that not everyone has had this experience. It's just so widespread where I am, and it was the one thing that truly shocked me when I first experienced it!

    Angel, so many people tell me to just "ignore" these comments. And I get that, but like you said it's all about their thoughts behind the questions. I too had a boy and then a girl, I get comments about that as well. Comments like, "You had the perfect family. Why did you mess it up?" Mess it up? By having another child? I understand some of these comments are probably just because people don't know what else to say...but what a discouraging mindset, and completely unneccessary!

    Good job to all the mommas who are loving their children and living out their calling!

  4. I think it is a mindset these days. Life is expensive and busy and many people just can't figure out how or why anybody would actually want more than one or two kids. I get lots and lots of comments, kind and less-than-kind. Most of the latter are from people who simply don't understand. I think a smile and a brief, but cheerful, reply does the most good. We can SHOW the world what a blessing children are even when we can't tell them.
    And by the way, I think your children are beautiful and that you are VERY blessed!!!!!


Thank you so much for stopping by and I hope you found encouragement and joy from my posts. I would love to hear what you have to say! It is my responsibility to make sure all of the content is uplifting, respectful, and true. Any comments that are viewed as personal attacks, false accusations, and any use of profanity will not be tolerated. Thank you, and please leave a comment that I will be able to post so others can be encouraged through your words as well!