Thursday, 11 December 2008

Caught me by surprise

Those of you with more than the 'average' amount of children can share my frustration I am sure when you are out and about with the whole family.
I lost count 2 children ago at the comments from strangers. Yes, strangers, people who do not know me or my family, have never met us let alone every laid eyes on us before.

Many, many comments have been flung our way. Some jokingly, some with a laugh, some in a sarcastic tone, some quite rude. They all seem to meld together over time.
"Don't you have a TV?" "You've got your hands full" "Don't tell me you're pregnant and already have 4?!" (That one stung. How sad must ones life be to say something nasty like that)
"one, two, three, four....." (this one I find very odd. They are clearly counting in their heads as I can see them nod their head as they look at each child. Should I congratulate them on counting to five? Adding that they can now count almost as well as my 2 year old?)

I have my good days and my bad days. Most of the time I shrug it off. After all, comments that come from others tell me about them and the kind of person they are. I don't need to be told I am crazy, or must have rocks in my head. I don't, and am not. People saying things like that tells me that they cannot see the bright side of life.
They see 5 children and think of fighting, screaming, struggling, not coping with their own 2, let alone any more.
I see 5 children and think of laughter, kisses and cuddles, snuggling together to read a book, playing in the back yard together, helping each other, always having someone there to talk to or play with... I could go on.
Don't get me wrong there are times when it is crazy around here. Moments when I long to go for a walk on my own and have quiet. It is just part of the whole package that is our family, just like any family. You can tell my focus, from the title of this blog.

Then, when you think you have heard it all, something strange happens. It is so rare that you feel light headed as it catches you off guard. A few seconds go by as you compute what has happened. Did she? Was that? Then you smile, someone said something lovely about your family.
A few weeks ago we headed of to a shopping centre. All 7 of us. We needed to buy a few things and so off we all went.

I took a deep breath as we walked into the entrance, thinking to myself to just focus on keeping us together and not look at other people. 10 seconds in the door a woman, I'd say in her 60's stopped and looked at us all. As we walked closer to her she smiled and said "What a beautiful family you have, how lucky you are"

I stopped, in shock, my brain focusing on every word before it hit me. A compliment, she said something nice. Hold me so I don't fall!
Hub and I smiled back at her and said thank you so much, and that we think the same.
I kept smiling for the rest of our shopping trip. It is so heart warming to have someone else see our family the way we do. To see the good in having a larger then norm family, rather than focusing on (what they perceive as) negatives.

Then a week later we were out walking, the kids on their bikes as we walked up to the supermarket. Bubs was on my back in the wrap. She loves it, and so do I.
A woman was walking towards us and took note of the children flying by her on the bikes. Then she us, and bubs on my back and smiled saying "Oh and you have a bubby all snug on your back too. Wow, that is just great, such a lovely big family"
Again we smiled and said thank you. It really does warm the heart to hear nice comments.

So if you are out and about and see a large family, please don't hesitate to smile and tell them how wonderful their family is. You really will make their day. And you never know, it may be me and mine.


The Husband said...

OK so can we get a TV NOW???

tiggy said...

LOL, I get those comments all the time.
One of my friends told me the best comeback ever to the TV question.

"Yes, I have a TV. My other seven children are at home watching it".

We have also had some great comments. my favourite one was "Seven kids? Wow, you must have a wonderful time at Christmas and birthdays would be an instant party!" That comment keeps me buoyed.

Becky Hopkins said...

I have only just had my second baby (2 weeks ago) and found it very disconcerting throughout my pregnancy when strangers commented on my having a toddler and being obviously heavily pregnant. The worst thing I found were medical professionals, midwives and pathologists that would comment on how I would have my hands full and make me feel so very nervous at the prospect of Bubby's arrival!
I think big families are beautiful and I love how you describe life with 5 children! I hope you get more of those lovely comments that warm your heart.

Hearts and Hands said...

Aww Tiggy, what a wonderful comment to brighten your day and warm your heart. It is lvely knowing others out here can see the fun, love and enjoyment our families can bring.

Ugh Becy, how annoying!! Why would they think people have their hands full when number two is soon to join the family. Remeber, if you can, comments like that are a reflection of the other person, and not you. It tells you a little something about their own lives and ability to cope.
Congratulations on your new bubba! I am sure your toddler is enjoying having a new baby.
Thank you so much for your lovely comments. Maybe you will join us in a larger than average family? :)

Hearts and Hands said...

Oh and to you, dear Husband, why get a TV? I can think of something much more fun ;) ;)

To others reading, yes we do have a TV, lol