I have five kids, and I’m pregnant with number six. I’m not visibly pregnant yet, but I’m already dreading the asinine comments I’m sure to get if I dare to venture outside the house with my belly sticking out and my family in tow. Because, you know, with five kids plus another on the way, I don’t have enough stress in my life—I need rude comments from strangers to raise my blood pressure to nuclear levels. I know I’m not the only mom of many who feels this way, because I often commiserate with my fellow large-family mom friends, and we happen to get many of the same comments.
If you do happen to see a distracted, cranky pregnant lady riding herd over several (three-plus) energetic children at the grocery store or wherever, please do not say the following:
1. “You’ve got your hands full!” Yes, thank you, Captain Obvious! This comment is pretty innocuous in the grand scheme of things, but really, we hear it at least once a day. That’s not an exaggeration. We get it pretty much any time we’re out in public with our kids, and sometimes we get it even if we only have two or three of our kids along. It gets old really, really fast.
2. “Don’t you know how that happens?” Actually, no, we don’t. It’s 2015, we’re educated women, and yet we have no idea how babies are made. Will you tell us? In great detail? And please make sure a nosy 5-year-old is listening because she loves to chatter about inappropriate subjects with store clerks and random clergy.
3. “Please tell me you’re getting fixed/your husband is getting fixed after this one is born.” First of all, jerkface, we’re not broken, and neither are our husbands. Our reproductive systems are obviously functioning at peak efficiency. Second of all, when our reproductive choices become your business, we’ll let you know. Or, we can make a deal: If you don’t ask me about my sex life, I won’t inquire about yours.
4. “Are you trying to overpopulate the earth?” No, we’re just trying to outnumber the idiots. We can add you to the list; it’s already gotten into the hundreds so we’ll have to try for twins next time, or triplets. Either way, our kids are the ones who will be paying for your Social Security in about 20 years. Maybe you should be thanking us.
5. “How do you do it?” We have no idea. Really, we don’t. If you think we have some amazing secret for keeping ourselves sane with this many kids, then we’re going to have to disappoint you. If we had such a secret, we’d be writing best-selling books and making scads of money so we could hire maids for our houses instead of conscripting our children into household chores (maids throw fewer tantrums and don’t try to spray their siblings with Windex). We just take it one day at a time and deal with problems as they come. And when we’re not pregnant, we drink wine.
What can you say to a pregnant mom of many that won’t make her want to rip your head off? Here are some ideas:
“Wow! What a beautiful family!”
“You look fantastic!”
“Can I get you some chocolate?”
Or you could just smile encouragingly in our general direction and not say anything at all. We appreciate silence since it’s so seldom we experience it. But believe me, we’ll notice the smile and breathe an inward sigh of relief that we aren’t on the receiving end of one of the comments mentioned above.