Out and about
Since having our third child we have noticed something kind of …..well, strange about how people look at us. (Specifically me since I’m the one usually out with them on my own) The looks that you get range from the ‘aww, how adorable’ looks to the ‘holy moly, you’re crazy and i want to avert my gaze, but I can’t help but be shocked’ look. The former being from older ladies (consequently the same ladies who think Ez is a girl and Keely a boy!), and the latter being from other mothers who have it all together, carrying their coach bags with rhinestone studded cell phones in hand while their 4 year old screams for the new Hannah Montana shoes. Now, I know that 3 kids goes against the average household of 1.7 children, but I don’t really understand why it’s such a big deal when I go out. Normally people will say “oh my gosh, how do you do it? You must be a saint!” To which I reply “nope, not a saint in any way, shape, or form, it’s all by the grace of God, they’re a blessing to me!” which meets with an even more interesting look and a smirk and then them walking away. (most of the time…I have had the occasional person either agree with me or ask me something else related to children).
Now, believe me, I do not walk around with all 3 kids saying “yes, mommy!” to me when I ask them to be quiet or hold onto the cart while walking, or even NO to yet another car or Thomas the Train. My kids DO show their true corrupt nature while in the local Walmart at times. I mean, no, they’re not hitting me or calling me names, but their not always obeying either. So, the whole “saint” sentence boggles me. But I do not recall once anyone saying the aforementioned sentence when I had 2 kids. Does anyone else with more than 2 notice this, or is this just me? I’m getting used to it, but quite frankly it can be pretty frustrating…not only because I now feel like there is some sort of stigma associated with having more than the normal size family (which, really, 3 kids? Not that big of a family!), but even more so because Ezra is starting “get” what these people are saying and asks me why they say it. The implication of what they’re saying being that kids are too much work-making them feel unimportant and a burden.
Anyone have any good thoughts or things that I could be saying to these people in front of the kids that show how much I love them? I have some ideas, but I know that in those moments I have sometimes wanted to actually tell them what I’m thinking. Thankfully God gives me self-control at those times and helps me to remember the verse “a soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (prov 15:1).