"My goodness you sure have your hands full!"
"Are those ALL yours?"
"Don't you know what causes that?!"
"Don't you and your husband have some other hobby or watch television every once in awhile?"
"Wow, I'm sure glad I'm not you, I'd go crazy every single day!"
These are just a few of the comments I hear when I take my children out on various errands. Honestly I've been hearing them since I had my second child(Anna) because her and my oldest are only 12 months apart, and apparently having lots of children close in age means people forget that things like pointing, staring, and making rude comments are in fact rude things to do. Judging by some of the things people say, it would also appear that many people believe my children can't hear them.
But of course they can hear them. They also understand, on some level, what's going on. But more importantly, I'm realizing, is that they're waiting to see how I'll react to all these comments.
And do you want to know the truth? Generally, I smile and just keep walking. I've never been one for confrontation and drawing unnecessary attention to myself, and it just seemed easier to smile, nod, and ignore. But really is that the message I want to be sending to my children, or even the strangers making these comments? Despite the comments, clearly I know what caused "all" these children. I don't want my kids to think that I think they're a burden, and I certainly don't want complete strangers at the grocery store to think I feel that way about my own children(no matter how frazzled I might be looking at the time!)
I was challenged recently by how I'm handling these types of confrontations by an article I read over at desiring god. The author has 6 kids under the age of 7, and at one point had five kids under the age of five. Here's the quote; "When my little girl told me, “Your hands are full!” I was so thankful that she already knew what my answer would be. It was the same one that I always gave: “Yes they are—full of good things!”