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.