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.'