So I started this post a few days ago, then I was inspired by food allergies so I just put this aside. However after the day I had yesterday I feel like I need to reexamine my thoughts on this.
I’m used to receiving comments about having all boys. I’m even used to the snide looks or looks of shock but yesterday went above and beyond everything I’ve experienced.
We had a busy day of errands, definitely not how I wanted to spend our first official day of summer. We had an allergist appointment for my oldest son, R, because his allergist is leaving the practice. We had to get some money from Husband to pay bills and we had to go to speech therapy for C. Yesterday was what I love to refer to as “adulting”. I normally do my adulting with just the younger 2 but since it’s summer they all tagged along. The boys were really excellent in the waiting room. When we got called back, they all WALKED (gasp!) to the door and filed in, no fighting or arguing. I was really impressed with them. I was confident. I was thinking to myself “Heck yes! Let’s show them what a big family looks like!” and then a comment from a doctor came. He said “What is this a doctor’s office or a parade?” Excuse me?! I just did a half smile at him and lead the kids into the exam room but that comment stung something fierce. I was in shock that he actually said that, whether he was trying to be funny or not. Truth be told, he was more annoyed that we were walking in and in the way.
After we left the doctor (where I had more comments about the size of my family and having all boys) and had lunch we went to speech therapy. As we were quietly walking into the building a group of people were leaving. One woman counted out loud and said “Oh my goodness! 5 boys! I am so sorry. How horrible!” I didn’t even look at her. I just walked past, got on the elevator and tried to not cry. I received at least 3 more comments after that as we were sitting there waiting and in Walmart. However the last comment I received was how wonderful having boys is and how big of a blessing they are. I thanked her, through my tears, and said she was the first positive comment I’ve received all day.
I suppose 5 boys is intimidating. I suppose we look overwhelming when we walk in somewhere. I suppose people tend to forget their manners because they want to be witty or funny. Guess what? You’re not original. You’re not funny. You’re rude and offensive. My beautiful boys are standing there taking in every negative comment that’s been said. They hear it all. They start to ask me what’s wrong with being a boy. They want to know why people are so rude.
Why is this okay? What makes a perfect stranger thing it’s acceptable to make snide comments about children? Is it because they are children and they think they don’t understand? Is it because children don’t deserve the same respect? Let me clear the air for you.
- Yes I have 5 boys.
- Yes I know what causes that. It’s apparent we enjoy it.
- My uterine ongoings are none of your business.
- Yes my house is loud and there’s never a dull moment.
- No I don’t want to keep trying for that girl. You want to know what happens when we keep trying for “that girl”? I lose babies. 5 of them to be exact.
- Please don’t say how sorry you are that I do have 5 boys. They’re standing right there and taking it all in.
- Yes my hands are full but so is my heart. I have more love being showered on me than you could ever imagine.
- Every single one of my children are a blessing. Every. Single. One. They’ve shaped me into the woman I am.
- I’m not being silent because I’m a pushover. I’m being silent because I’m praying for strength or I’m praying for you because you’re being that rude.
- My boys think I’m the greatest woman who has ever walked the planet. They love me unconditionally and without fault. Be jealous.
If you ever see a big family in public, for the love of God, please don’t make a negative comment. If you ever see a family with all boys or all girls, please don’t try to be funny. I promise you they’ve heard it all before. If you see a mom struggling, don’t tell her how sorry you are or how her hands are full. A nice supportive comment means a lot more than a snide sarcastic one. Tell her what a great job she’s doing. Tell her that she’s an awesome mom. Tell her that she has a beautiful family. Be nice. Be supportive. I promise you she needs it.