Thursday, March 20, 2008

You Look Great to have 5 kids!

Do you have ANY, I mean, ANY idea how many times I have heard this phrase? First, someone sees the twins, "Oooohhhhh, how precious. Are they your first?" Mark grits his teeth, crosses his fingers that I'll keep quiet & say, "Yes & it's just wonderful." But, I CAN'T! I can't just stand there & lie & say they're my only two because I have earned the right to say I have 5 kids & gosh darnit I'm going to say it LOUD & say it PROUD. The reason he hates that I always have to divulge this information, because he knows what's coming next. The sighs, the gasps! the mouths dropping to the floor & then, "Oh! You look great to have had 5 kids!" or "God Bless You! How do you do it?" or his favorite, "You must really have your hands full."

I've got all kinds of lines up my sleeve for these comments, been doing it ever since I had 3 kids all 3 & under & a deployed husband, but the one I can't seem to let go is the one where they are amazed at how I look after having 5 kids. The next time someone says that I'm just going to have to speak up. I can't let it go any longer. My response: "So, just how am I supposed to look since I have 5 kids? Am I supposed to look haggard & tired & really overweight? Am I supposed to look like I haven't slept in days nor had the time to think about the clothes I was putting on this morning? Am I supposed to have spit up stains on my shirt & food on my face? Am I supposed to look like I haven't showered in days or even considered putting on deodorant? Just what is the image of a mother with 5 kids? Since you know so much, TELL ME! JUST TELL ME HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LOOK?" I'm angry at this point, just livid, and probably yelling which will lead them to see that the changes having 5 kids has made in me are all on the inside, not the out because then they'll think I'm a crazy lady who doesn't get enough sleep or has far too much on her plate with 5 kids, so they'll feel sorry for me & walk away having nothing else to say & they'll whisper & sigh & think, "That poor girl." Yes, girl, not woman, because people still think I'm not a day over 25, which makes the fact that I have 5 kids even more insane. And will I feel any better for having let it out on the next person who says that to me? No, I won't, because even though I have 5 kids & I don't get much sleep & I have a lot on my plate & my hands are full, so is my heart & my life is amazing & I make the time to take care of myself as well as my kids & I am a composed person with manners, so I will say, "Yes, I have 5 kids & I am so blessed. Thank you," and then I will walk away with a smile thinking, 'You did good. You held back. Next, please.'

7 comments:

Hornes said...

I loved this post! You must get so tired of all the lines-I'm sure you have heard them all!! To add one more to your tally-you do look great....but knowing who you are I know you would look great if you had 1 kid, 5 kids, or 15 kids-that's just who you are! You have every right to be very proud of the kind of woman, mom and wife that you are! Wear your mismatched stripes with pride girlfiend!

Chandi said...

Perfectly put!!! I'm sure you get it even more living out of the state of Utah. I get tired of the way people treat me when I venture out with my kids. I have been treated so rudely, and have received so many snide remarks. It ticks me off, and makes me cry at the same time. I wonder at how insensitive people can be. Anyway, you are a wonderful, poised, talented, on-top of things mom. It really does make me happy to know that you have things in life for YOU. Things that you enjoy.

AmyBeth said...

Some people are so rude! My mom said that she used to get a lot of rude comments and wierd looks, when she would go out with all 7 of us. Im proud of you for having 5 kids!

GRodenberg said...

OMG I can so relate! Except for the deployed and 3 under 3 part...haha! I LOVE it when they say that! I am so proud to say I have 5, since noone does anymore! And I really love it when they say I look to young or good to have 5. According to Kennedy, I am HOT. When I acted surprised at her compliment she said, "Please Mom, have you seen all the other mothers?" So I guess other mothers with less than 5 may have messy hair or outfits, don't excercise or take care of their skin etc. Who knows? All I know is that I am lucky if I have done my hair and brushed my teeth before I go to the grocery store. So who am I to argue if they want to tell me how good I look!!!!!

Tara said...

Why are you offended that people think you look great for having 5 kids? Man, I would take that as a compliment!

Tara said...

Reading Chandi's comments makes me wonder why you guys get so many comments about your kids - I NEVER do. Poor Chandi has had some nasty things said to her. Only when I was pregnant with Alex and had both Zach and Ben with me did me give me funny looks or say something.

Well, okay, I get told that I have my hands full several times a week, but it doesn't bother me whatsoever...of course I have my hands full! Nobody ever says it rudely or anything. What's the big deal?

Good topic, Maria!

mom/caryn said...

You do have your hands full... your hands are full of sunshine and memories in the making. You do look good... and it comes from the joy you feel in being the mother of five more than from using a toothbrush and comb before you left the house. It's the inside beauty pouring out of your eyes and your smile that makes the big brown eyes and gorgeous chestnut hair and dcute outfits that you put together from tag sales and thrift shops come together to make you "look good". A simple, "thank you, I am blessed" is the perfect verbal response. It's also the perfect internal response. Maybe the day will come that you'll let it go for what it is.

Chandi's had experiences where woman treated her as if she had no right being out in public, taking her children into restuarants or dressing rooms when they might be noisy or her stroller might be in someone's way. That was kind of what it was like when my children were the ages of yours. We were expected to stay at home with our little ones. She's been hurt and offended and angry. I understand your feelings... I've been there... but, I can see from this vantage point, that it just wasn't worth putting my energy into to be upset over anything that anyone had to say about me, my kids, my mothering, etc.