“Are These All Yours?”

Yesterday was my first shopping day with all six kids.

It was a day I had been dreading just a little. You see, as some of you know, going out in public with six kids in tow is an invitation for rude comments.

“Are those all yours?!? You poor thing”

“Wow! That is a lot of kids! Why would you do that to yourself?”

And, the most recent one, said to me while I was pregnant with V –

“You have all these and you are going for another?”

Now, I don’t really care what people think. But two things really bother me about this weekly onslaught.

The first is that my kids are usually really well behaved. Someone will see me in a store, with all these little lovelies following behind and not notice that they are all calm, helpful and obedient. They will ignore the smile on my face and the sweet dispositions of my kids and call me cursed. They insult my kids by calling them baggage while I am enjoying them as the blessings that they are.

The second thing that bothers me is that these things are all said in front of my kids, making them feel unwanted and burdensome. It gives them the idea that we as a family are weird or freakish or stupid. That makes me mad.

But back to my story….

….So, yesterday was my first shopping day with all six kids. Halfway through Costco, I got the first, “Are these all yours?” comment.

He was a cute little old man and I was careful to smile big when I said, “Yup! All six of them.” And, you know what? He was so sweet as he smiled at the baby and patted The Boy on the head and said, “How wonderful! It reminds me of when mine were young. We have four…”

I love those comments.

The next two commenters were in the parking lot, and both were smiling, happy people who congratulated me on the new baby and said what beautiful kids I have. (Okay, so one said, “It looks like you have a kindergarten there!” but he followed it up with, “Good job, Mama!” so he gets a pass.)

And the rest of the day was the same. All through Trader Joe’s, Joann’s, Jamba Juice… Everywhere I went yesterday I was met with smiles, kind words and not a single disparaging look. (Well, one disparaging look, but he was kind enough not to say what he was thinking as we stood in line behind him at Trader Joe’s)

I don’t need society’s approval, and I can handle the stupid things people say, but what a nice thing it was to get a pass yesterday.

Yes, these are all mine. And I am the happiest woman because of it.



9 thoughts on ““Are These All Yours?”

  1. I Love this! I find that when Orbison an elderly person asking me about my kids, they are usually pleasant and reminded of their own large family. 🙂

    How nice to get a whole day of nice comments!! I, For one think your children are gorgeous.

  2. Love it, love it, love it! I got a comment at the store when I had my 2 boys with me and a noticeable belly (something about having my hands full)….really?! I don’t even qualify for those comments yet! And oddly enough, at 33 weeks pregnant, I’m still open to the idea of more! Now, Keith on the other hand….lol.

  3. When I notice well behaved children in a public place such as a store, I usually say something softly to the mom or dad about how great it is to see children with self control and manners.I do this because I have comments made to me about my kids behavior and it feels lovely.The other day at Trader Joes getting the stuff for your enchiladas we made you a box of cereal fell to the ground and one of the kids went to pick it up and put it back and then it fell again. This older man picked it up and put it on the shelf for them and my kids thanked HIM. He came up to me while I was browsing the tea and complimented on the politeness of my child and said you just don’t get that these days with these children. Music to my ears.
    I’m happy to hear of your successful outing. Nothing pisses me off more than judgmental people with rude looks.
    P.S Your children are such wonderful little people and gorgeous too!

  4. First of all, it makes me chuckle inside when people make such rude comments at …. COSTCO! Seriously, people. We are buying in bulk. They shouldn’t let you in the door without atleast a pair of children! hee hee 🙂

    Second, I love that you got a ‘pass’ today! That makes me really happy. Yay, babies! I get comments like these and I only have three! You’re an awesome mommy, and a great inspiration to me. The mothering talks we had when I was preggo with Zoe still influence my mothering today. Love you, Shelly!

    Third, oh-my-goodness-Vera-has-so-much-hair! I love it! What a beautiful baby. And random fourth comment — I love the diaper skirt you knitted, it’s beautiful 🙂

  5. Amen momma!! My girls are older and we don’t get as many comments now but I always hated when I would get personal comments about how we choose to live our lives when they see the amount of children I have(and I only have 4!) It warms my heart to hear your response and they way you handle the situations when they arise!

  6. Same with us! In fact, it’s usually when my kids are acting up (just a little) that I get MORE comments about how wonderful they are. When they are quiet, more of the “Bless your heart” type stuff. (rolling eyes). I’ve never had anyone out right rude as the “You poor thing” but someone DID say that to my mom the other week when she had all four of mine in the store with her.
    Glad you are feeling better!!!

  7. We may not have more than two but I come from a family of 7 children. I LOVED it. 🙂
    You have a beautiful family♥
    (…and I loath when people say insensitive things like that at all but especially in front of kids. Ugh!)

  8. I get comments about the number of boys I have. Things like “there’s a special place in heaven for the mother of boys” as though having boys is such a horrible thing. Sigh. I love my boys and wouldn’t have it any other way.

  9. I only have one….and we probably won’t have a large family because I’m not the best baby maker 😉 but not for lack of trying….big families rock! I think it’s awesome… we hope to have more 😀

    You have a beautiful family, and I love hearing about them…. and all parenting things…I’m such a newbie parent!

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