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Thursday, July 12, 2012

What NOT to say...

I got involved in a discussion with some friends the other night. One of them had posted an article that she had found online that listed things that shouldn't be said to someone who is childless. We came up with a whole list of things that shouldn't be said to someone who has "a lot of kids" (and yes, I know that "a lot" is subjective).

So here's the list that we came up with, in no particular order:

1. You know what causes that, don't you? As if having several children automatically means that you're an idiot or something. Yes, we know what causes children. Really, we do. At the risk of sounding crude, some of us really enjoy what causes children. But at the same time, some parents did not plan to have as many as they ended up with, some parents might have adopted or taken in someone else's children in an emergency, and some parents might have *gasp* planned to have a whole bunch of kids!

2. Oh, you have your hands full!!! Usually said to me at the grocery store when I'm in the middle of pushing a "car cart" with 120+ pounds of kid in it, trying to maneuver it through the aisles without taking off an end display or amputating anyone's body parts. I love when people ask me that and I only have 3 of the kids with me - I just smile sweetly and say "not today, I only have 3" and continue walking.

3. Are they all yours? Duh. Do you really think that I'd voluntarily bring this many kids to the grocery store/library/church function/doctor appointment? Yes, they're all mine. I have always hated that question for so many reasons: (a.) It's rude. (b.) It makes the kids feel like we are freaks because someone doesn't believe that they all belong to me. (c.) On the off chance that I do have someone else's kid with me, it makes that kid feel like an outsider.


4. Wow, your older kids must help you to raise the younger kids. What a shame. While this may be true in some families, it is not true in mine. I am raising my kids. Yes, the older kids help with the younger ones - it's only natural - but they are not "raising" their younger siblings.

5. I wish that I could have that many kids so that I could qualify for public assistance too. Wow. Really? I can't even begin to list the reasons as to why this one upsets me (and yes, I've heard it several times) so let's just leave it as one of the things to NEVER say to anyone. Never. OK? Good.

6. Were you trying for a basketball/football/soccer team? Yes, because that's my life goal. I want them all to forego their individuality and play the same sport for the rest of their lives. Get real - I can't even get them to play nicely together for an hour at a time! My actual plan in having 5 kids is so that I can have a brain surgeon, a lawyer, a dentist, a rocket scientist, and a movie star. I want to live in the lap of their luxury - or at least have them put me in a really cushy nursing home.

7. You must spend all of your time doing laundry! Thank you, Captain Obvious! Yes, I spend a great deal of time doing laundry - their laundry - but yet mine rarely ever gets done. So while they are clean and neat, I look like I just landed a starring role in the next "People of WalMart" video. Every time I get ready to throw a load of mine in, there's another load of peed-on sheets materializing....and you can bet that the stinky stuff gets washed before mine does.

8. I just don't know how you do it - I would go crazy! BWAHAHAHA!!!! Are you insinuating that I'm NOT crazy? Look at me - I have 5 kids! I could probably be diagnosed as clinically insane if I had the time to go see a shrink, for crying out loud! Yes, I'm crazy - but it's all a part of my charm, and it helps me to not take life so stinkin' seriously. For real.

9. Feeding all of those kids must be a challenge! Nope. I make a big pot of food, and put it in the middle of the kitchen floor. They all come running to it like a herd of wild animals and they fight to see who gets to eat it while I sit on the couch and eat bon-bons. Seriously? I make supper. I put it on their plates. They eat it. I clean up the mess. It's no worse than a dinner party or cooking for the extended family. It's all about perspective, people. Really.

10. I bet you can't wait until they're all in school! Duh. Of course I can't wait, and you want to know why? Because I can spend the first 4 hours that they're in school running around the house cleaning and doing laundry and actually getting it put away, and then maybe spend 2 hours running errands and going to the grocery store alone, and then spend an hour or so making phone calls while they're not screaming in the background - and then I go pick them up from school and it all starts over again. And if I get to the school early, I might be able to grab a 5-minute power nap before the bell rings and they climb into the van.


Long story short - think before you ask ridiculous questions. And if you ask them anyway, and you get a snippy answer - don't judge that parent. We all have good days and bad, and sometimes what you might think is an innocent question might be the very one that pushes the parent over the edge from Oh-I-Can-Handle-This to Come-Closer-And-I-Might-Just-Rip-Your-Head-Off.

71 comments:

  1. *giggles* I just noticed the tags....*snorts* idiots, bahahahaa!

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    1. Yeah, well, I really let the inner snark fly on this one!

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  2. More!!!!!!!!"luvin it"

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    1. Apparently I need to let the inner snark fly more often, huh?

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  3. LOVE this...yes, I have officially entered the realm of "a lot of kids" with this pregnancy and nearly everybody I know (and don't know) feels the need to point that out in some way. Most of the time it rolls right off, but there are days.... :)

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    1. Aw, Momma, you still have one more to catch up with me! ;) It's funny though how sometimes it's no big deal, and then sometimes someone asks the most idiotic question and we just want to snap. I just hope that people start to think a little more before asking the idiotic ones.

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  4. OK - I feel your pain! For a while I had 6 kids (3 mine - 3 his) and it was a form of pure hell - since I had to put up with "You're not my Mom" and "My mother doesn't do it that way...". Now, your next challenge is to let us know what you would LIKE to hear from people - or nothing at all? I LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!!

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    1. Thanks! I appreciate it so much!

      I get that kind of stuff from my kids, sort of - I get the "but we don't do it like that at Dad's house" crap all the time. That can be so irritating too.....

      I like the challenge....I might have to work on that one!

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  5. As a mom of 6, I get these moronic questions all the time! Usually I really have to hold back to avoid smacking people....My middle four are 2.5 years apart, and I've actually had idiots ask if we tried making the next child while still in the delivery room. Or people assume that we must have a blended family. But we don't, and even if we did, what difference does it make? I'm not sure why people think they are allowed to say such idiotic things. But one of these days I'm going to lay the smack down. :)

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    1. Do it! I dare you! LOL

      Let's see...there are 20 months between my girls, then close to 3 years until the next one....then I think it's 20 months and 17 months. So yeah, they're all close in age. The way I look at it is that I got the diapers out of the way in a hurry! ;)

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  6. SOMEONE STOLE MY REPLY.

    IT WAS AMEN.

    MY MOM AND DAD HAD FIVE KIDS. ONE DIED AT SEVEN. KIDS NEVER UNDERSTAND UNTIL THEIR GROWN AND MARRIED WHAT THEIR MOTHER DID FOR THEM AS CHILDREN.

    GRANNY

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    1. I'm actually one of seven - but my oldest sister was stillborn. My brothers (twins) are almost 21 years older than I am! LOL

      My kids are starting to understand - the girls especially. I don't think that they want to admit it yet, but every now and then they'll make a comment about appreciating what I do for them. It's a process, for sure!

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  7. I love this! I only have 3 boys so far, but I get so tired of the stupidity and the "you have your hands full" comments! They are 19m, almost 4 & 6yrs old! I love my very busy boys and its no ones business but mine and my hubby!! And "yes we would like a girl, but so far God has blessed us w/3 boys!" These were great things and I occasionally have extra kids w/me and then it's even funnier!

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    1. I love when I have extra kids with me - then the strange looks that I get just multiply (faster than my kids! ha!) and I have even more fun with it!

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  8. We just had a baby and our children are 13,10,8. Now a newborn and I get all the time I thought u learned wht was causing that. Well yes I do thank u.

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    1. Oh wow - so you get the smart remarks about "starting all over again" and crap like that, huh? Luckily I don't get that since my kids are so close in age, but several of my friends have gone through the same thing and they've told me that they get tired of it too. Good luck!

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  9. I've heard a couple on my end as well that I might share another time (ha ha, teaser!). People really ought to think before they speak... but is that not really the problem? We're talking about a culture that lines up around a building 1,000 deep to get a new phone...

    Love you babes and all the kids too!

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    1. Love you too, sweetheart!

      I think it might be about time for you to do another guest post....hmmmm?

      Delete
  10. As a mother of 5 children, all boys, ages 9-14, I have heard all of these plus some, many times!! I don't think people know how to think before they speak! The one that really gets under my skin is "WOW! You look great for having 5 kids!" Seriously people?! NO! I look great, period!!

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    1. LOL that's awesome! I've gotten that one too, although not as much lately. I must be letting myself go......LOL

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    2. ha ha, I have 3 great boys but love taking out my nieces and nephew, the ages are 8,9,9,9,13,13,and 15... it's hilarious to see the looks on people faces.

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    3. That is awesome, Sara! I love to do the same thing - throw a couple more kids into the mix and just run with it!

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  11. "Do they all have the same father?"

    That has to be my favorite. If they do or do not, that is really none of anybodys business, they are all mine and that is what counts!

    "WOW, they are so well behaived, I wish MY kid would act that well in public."

    Get a clue, it didn't happen naturaly that they act well in public, they were taught to behaive or else.

    I have 3 boys and 1 girl, they are now 9, 12, 13, and 18.

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    1. Yep, I get the same father question quite often too - and then their jaws drop even farther when I tell them nope, there's 3 fathers involved. There are times that I like to just go straight for the shock factor!

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    2. You could tell the busy bodies there were 6 and really up the shock factor! lol

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  12. unbelievable the crap that can come out of peoples mouth. one reply could be"they r all mine now that ive took them from their parents i killed".(bonus,if they have kid/kids with them)oooh! ur kid is soooo cute,can i add them to my bunch? or just say nothing,stare at them 4 at least 10 seconds.walk away shaking ur head.

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    1. OMG - that has to be the best. response. ever. Definitely going to have to remember that!

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  13. I agree!! Having 4 in 4 years I have had many comments..one of which is "kids raising kids" That one is another annoying one, yes we may be young, but that doesn't mean we don't know what we are doing! Now 11 years later we have 2 more making that a total of 6 and seriously, I do want some more.. :) Have you ever noticed the people making comments don't usually have any kids of their own.. that is another thing that drives me crazy, people without kids giving parental advice!! Love your post BTW!

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    1. Oh exactly - it's usually the people who don't have kids (or don't have them with them) who are the mouthiest! I have several people in my life who have no children, and who honestly have had very limited experience with children - and they are the ones who like to tell me the most about how to raise my kids. Ay yi yi.....

      Thanks!

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  14. Not an insult but I guess it's another stupid question... why do you have so many pee soaked sheets to wash?? Your kids don't look that young and even when mine were, I woke them once in the night to avoid that hassle. Just askin.... go ahead yell at me

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    1. Not going to yell at all - it's an honest question. Two of the boys still have issues at night. Not every night, but just enough to be annoying. And it somehow magically coincides with the day that I need to do my own laundry! LOL

      I do try to get them up during the night - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

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  15. thank you for not taking offense... just wondered and you were quite gracious to answer.

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    1. No problem! It's generally pretty hard to offend me! I usually *try* to respond to every comment but I've been slacking on this post - I'm not used to this much traffic!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

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  16. Lots of responses on this topic Amy! I only have 2 so I haven't heard those comments but my mom had 4 in 5 years and she use to say that she got the 'you know what causes that, don't you?' all of the time!...and strange looks.

    I think your kids are adorable!...and you too,...and the dude also!

    Hugs, Beth

    p.s. We LOVE the quilt!!!

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    1. Oh Beth, I'm so glad that you like the quilt! :)

      4 in 5 years - I can only imagine the comments that she got. I had my 5 in about 7 1/2 years, and the last 3 came pretty quickly so yeah, the comments are so interesting at times!

      I can't believe the responses that I've gotten on this - it's amazing!

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  17. Thanks for sharing. So awesome and so true. I have 4 myself and people say stuff like that to me all the time.

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    1. It's so funny how so many people can relate to this - I had no idea that it would be such a popular post! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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  18. I get some comments like this but the one I get the most is related to the age range of my kids (step kids included) Our oldest is 31 and the youngest is 3 1/2. I usually get told "that is quite an age range!" as if I wasn't aware of the age range! Yes I have a large age range what is the big deal?!

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    1. LOL really! Like you didn't have a calendar or something! Sheesh!

      My brothers are almost 21 years older than I am - people who don't know us used to mistake them for my father and thought that my mother was my grandmother whenever we were out!

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  19. Yup! Yup! Yup! Yup! I have a similar post about moms of twins. Because people open their mouths and don't even think. Ugh. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Kristen! I can only imagine the comments that you would get with the twins - I'm sure that they're even more creative!

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  20. This was a fun post! I have six. Ages 3-22. One set of twins. I think I have heard just about everything. Thanks for all the inspiration, Amy!

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  21. Love love love this!! You nailed it!! Everything is right on!! I hate every single one of those dumb comments!!

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    1. Aren't they annoying??? Glad you liked it!

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  22. i am so sending this to my daughter. she has 2 sets of twins. one set is 3 and the other is 4 1/2. when we go to the store people would ask her if she was the girl that had all the babies. like we just grabbed babies in carriers on our way in. duh.

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    1. OMG! I literally just busted up laughing! That is too funny!

      But wow, 2 sets of twins! That's crazy. I'm guessing that she had all 4 in diapers for at least a little bit of time? I went about nuts with all 3 boys in diapers at once, but luckily that didn't last very long.

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  23. People used to say the "you certainly have your hands full" comment to me and I only had one boy! Haha. It used to make me mad because I knew that translated into your kid is an obnoxious brat.

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    1. Ugh, no way! They'd say that with only one kid? Wow!

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  24. I have 3 kids and Chief has 1. People used to ask if my 2 little ones were twins, as they are only 19 months apart. Yup I only feed the big one. I starve the girl.

    My youngest son has Autism. My favorite comment was...."Why would you risk having another child?" On one very trying day I told the person that I wanted to create an army of super geniuses and take over the world. My son has Autism not the plauge. No one thinks before they speak anymore. Whatever happened to manners?

    This is on my sister-in-law's Facebook in her "about me" section....We have six sons. Yes we have figured out what causes it. NO we are not trying for a girl! NO we are not "getting fixed"! and NO we are probably not done yet...there I think that covers all the usual questions, did I miss any?

    You have 5 kids. So what? You're raising them, not letting them "grow up" on their own. I for one am very proud of you.

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    1. OMG I love those comebacks! Those are awesome!

      People really are rude anymore - I don't know how it happened, but it just seems like it's getting constantly worse as time passes. Although I do remember when I was younger, I would go places with my mother, and she was (is) an "older" mom. She was 42 when she had me. I've never known her with anything other than completely gray hair - and strangers would ask her if she was my grandmother when we were at the store. Like it was any of their business!

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  25. As the 4th of 5 children, I say, "Amen!" My mom was actually asked, "Don't you think you've had enough?" when she told people she was pregnant with my little brother.

    #9, btw, is my favorite.

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    1. Ugh. I hate those comments!

      I like #9 too!

      Thanks for commenting!

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  26. I can agree with you on every point. I am the mother of 10! (3 biological, and I married a man with 6, We made the last one together) Sometimes people say things that make me wanna slap the crap out of them. But it's my life, i chose it, I'm living it, and if they don't like it, they can get to steppin'! People don't realize how hard it can be for a Mother of so many. Still, at the end of the day i thank GOD for everything, and prepre myself to do it all again tomorrow. Keep on keepin' on, and if no one else tells you, YOU are AWESOME! ;-)

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    1. Thank you so much! It might be hard and it might be chaotic, but I wouldn't change it for the world!

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  27. I've only got 4. but they're 14, 10, 7 & 3. so i get many on your list when i'm just crazy enough to be out with all of them lol! Thank you! I closed the genepool with #4 as i ended up with a c-section and he was a 'surprise'.
    Many thanks again! you've hit the nail on the head!

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    1. LOL it's always a challenge to take them all out in public isn't it? People with fewer kids don't always understand that just a simple trip to get a gallon of milk can be an adventure for us!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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  28. I've only two children But they are ten years apart. So I get a lot of stupid comments regarding one raising the other. I'm also short so before I gained a bit of weight I got a lot of remarks about babies having babies. While I appreciate that you think I look young, I had only one at a young age. And honestly I took better care of him at 17 then some parents that had their children at the so called proper age.

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    1. Now see, I get the opposite. I've been asked several times if my youngest one is my grandson!! *gasp* I mean really, I know I don't always look stellar, but come on, really? LOL

      Honestly, I don't think that age matters much - like you, I've seen very young parents who have done an amazing job with children, and some "older" ones who take no responsibility whatsoever.

      Thanks for commenting!

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  29. You're doing a fabulous job raising your kids! I love your blog! I only have one child, and I get multiple stupid comments too. Most of them involve "When are you having more?" My responses vary, but they usually involve some sort of snarky answer. "I'm not, we decided to stop at perfection" after 10 years of trying, I had to have invitro to get my son. They used 3 embryos, I could have potentially ended up with 6 all at once. I just prayed a lot, and asked God to give me what he thought was best. I have my beautiful son, and that's all I need.

    The worst is when my MIL who never liked me anyway says it. "Why on earth would I have another one and give you more reason to come visit?"

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    1. Oh my goodness, Indigo, I don't know why I didn't see your comment until just now! I have so many friends who only have one child, and they get the same questions as you - and it's just as rude as the questions that I get for having 5.

      Thanks so much for coming by!

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  30. I have to say YOU ARE AMAZING to me!!! You inspire me to do better on days I don't have the energy/motivation to do so. I have 3 kids, 1 daughter and 2 sons--they're great but a lot of work. I am married but feel like I'm a single mom a lot of the time...actually I feel like I have 4 kids--he's like a small child, except I don't mind taking care of a small child...because he's a child! My "husband" is a grown man, yet expects to be taken care of but yet have the "benefits" of a wife! Sorry, just had to vent. Just wanted to say keep up the good work!

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    1. Thank you so much! I appreciate the kind words! And yeah, I know what it's like to have a husband that is more like a kid - I had 2 of those! ;) Hang in there - you got this!

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  31. Hahaha, My friend has 5 kids, and always want to borrow my daughter, just so she can say "heavens no, they arent all mine - That one we borrowed" :)

    People are just as bad when you have only one, with the "you ONLY have one..." . There might be a reason besides choice for just one. Some of us wish we had a passel of our own.

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