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.