I am considering drafting a letter that I can have at the ready every time I head to the grocery store, park, lake, community center, you know, anywhere were there are other people.
The letter would say something like this:
Yes, they are all mine.
Yes, I am busy.
They are each about 18 months apart. Yes, really, they are that close.
Yes, we did have each of these children intentionally. There were no “accidents”. And, we are not radically irresponsible (at least not in this regard).
Yes, I have my hands full.
Yes, I am happy.
Yes, we do plan on having more…and no, we aren’t seeking your permission or approval on this point. Thanks anyway.
You see, one of the most shocking things I have encountered as the now mother of 3 is just how opinionated EVERYONE is about our choice to go beyond 2…with two children still so young. I laugh with my husband because literally EVERYONE I meet while in the line at the grocery store, or at the park or pumping gas says one of the following two things:
My, you are busy.
You sure got your hands full.
People have actually yelled one of these two phrases at me from across the store. It’s like they see a mom with one kid strapped to her chest, one in the back of the cart and one in the front of the cart and they just HAVE to say something.
Generally I like simple small talk with the random people I encounter each day–it is a nice break from the constant WHY answering I am usually engaged in with my son, but only 7 weeks in to being a mom of 3 and this is getting really old.
Why is it that 3 kids ages 3, 1 and 7 weeks is so shocking? Some people literally look at me like I have done something wrong. Countless people say that key phrase “you certainly got your hands full” and then shake their head and walk away. I don’t need help…but if it looks like I do why are you just walking away?
I don’t get it. When my first child was born people oohed and awed. I’d have to keep random strangers from kissing him. And then my daughter came along and even though they were close in age people were just tickled to see a boy and a girl. But now with #3 people are either confused or irritated.
Most irritating of all is people that actually know us and decide to just shrug off our “radical” decision by simply saying, “oh, that’s right, you’re Catholic.” And we are Catholic, but that feels like an insult.
But, I really didn’t want to rant and rave here (too late, right?).
The whole situation leaves me feeling sad mostly–and not sad for myself. I am so deeply blessed. I have three healthy children that all love each other. How can I feel anything other than blessed?
Sure our life is loud, and our house is far from perfectly clean. My goals for this blog have been put on the back burner and sometimes no one is dressed around here until after 10. But I’m happy to live this crazy life, to drag 3 kids (sometimes screaming) through Walmart and then head to the beach where my daughter will eat sand, my son will steal other kids’ sand toys and I will nurse the baby non-stop. It’s hectic, it’s tiring, but I am thrilled to have #3 here…and I hope God allows us to welcome many more children in the coming years. And I mean that–MANY more children.
So, take that world! I am busy. I do have my hands full–but I also have a very full heart.
Thanks for letting me vent,