well, that's a new one

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chatting with moms this afternoon at an easter egg hunt -- okay, okay, so grace attends a lutheran school, what can i say? -- i had a mom deliver a response to the "she's having SIX kids!" remark made by another mom that caught me off guard. she looked me straight in the eye ... i of course was holding my breath with a smile frozen on my face waiting for the slings and arrows ... and she said, "you're a better woman than me." blinkblink. i blurted out, "it's not a contest" and laughed thinking to myself, oh, that was a smooth response, you dork. but, she didn't seem to take offense because she laughed too and said, "no, but you must be great at it to be so blessed." i was thoroughly perplexed. i didn't know how to respond. i wanted to say, "hey there are a lot of really bad people out there with lots of children" or "there are a lot of really holy people who can't have children" but it didn't sound right inside my head, standing there in the middle of a park full of laughing children. i finally said, "you're right. we ARE blessed. thanks."

i truly was unprepared for the "family size" pendulum to swing that far to the other side. i want to have a response that conveys the fact that "hey, i'm no better than you" but that also confirms that we know we are blessed and try not to take our wee ones for granted, but it's so difficult. especially when i'm practically always on guard and in defense mode when it comes to family size comments.

is the grass just always greener on the other side of the fence?


You did that. Say thank you. You can even say that it was wonderful to hear. Your response was perfect.

It is hard to accept compliments, but just like you wouldn't tell your husband after he compliments the new 'do', "oh your hair looks just as good as mine," you don't blow air up someone's skirt for recognizing that it takes a special kind of person to gracefully accept and want as many children as God will give.

hi :)

i don't know if you've met renee from crazy acres - http://3acres.blogspot.com/ - but this lady has seven (7) children and deals with these types of comments all the time. and handles them pretty darn well.

i would have had 10 children if the Lord saw fit; but i am blessed to have three and a four Godchildren so i am on my way to 10...

you are blessed. don't let anyone steal your blessing by making silly comments. i just wrote an article for an online newspaper about remaining silent - one of THE most difficult things for this writer to do, but sometimes, it's necessary in order to get God's point across...

peace & blessings,

The words you are looking for are these:

"I'm no better than you, God just loves me more."

I think the "contest" answer was right on. Mothering isn't a contest.... It is hard to know what to say some days. We only have 3 kids (living kids, that is). Do I mention the two that didn't make it? They are as real to me as the 3 that lived, but then you get into opening your personal life up to people to whom it is none of their business. I'm sure some pious types look at us and think "Contraceptors!!" when they don't know the first thing about us. Either way, I'm delighted about your babies, and think you are blessed too!

A priest was giving an example of an uncharitable assumption, and used the example of assuming a couple married 15 years with only one child were using contraception. It's so hard to believe anyone devout would assume that of anyone else who hasn't announced dissent from Humanae Vitae -- in fact, I try not to even assume that about the non-"orthodox" or non-Catholics with small families. Chances may be very great that they believe contraception is okay, but we don't know and it's uncharitable to assume that they stopped after a boy and a girl because they thought that was the perfect family or whatever.

It's hard to believe people aren't aware of variations in fertility and other factors that could lead to "only" having three kids without the use of contraception.



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This page contains a single entry by smockmomma published on March 23, 2005 10:36 PM.

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