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Ink Slingers Martina

Eleventy billion quips you’ll hear about your large family

{please read ONLY if you have a sense of humor kthxbai}

 

 

Ok, so maybe not eleventy BILLION quips, but it’ll sure feel that way after a while. I don’t know why but, for some odd reason, I don’t have much experience with negative comments from strangers. I can’t figure out if it’s because of my winning smile – I exude a “can do” attitude when I leave the house {are you laughing at me???} – or if it’s because my laser beam stare {i.e. death glare} comes out when I suspect someone is going to let something incredibly rude or crass roll off their tongue. I hope it’s the former…it’s likely the latter.

Over the years in my online community, we have had many-a-discussion about the comments received from strangers about family size. I’ve never really considered my family size to warrant the comments some of these women have received, but in the event that someone makes one of those comments to me, I am now ready and able to identify the comment, the tone, whether it was genuine or baiting and assess how to respond…if at all. A smile kills the snarky intent of some folks.

So you can imagine when I announced our newest addition recently in our group {boosting us into the family-of-eight category – I posted “I may or may not be pregnant. That is all.”}, one of the gals decided to do her own spinoff thread of the anticipated responses I would be sure to hear and the following quips ensued.

**disclaimer: Catholic Sistas cannot be held responsible for loss of any liquid  that comes out of any orifice. Read at your own discretion. The end.**

 

She posted – What Martina is going to hear from strangers and “friends” in the next few weeks and years? Go. I’ll start. 

 Haven’t you figured out what causes that yet?

You are going to have your hands full! ::said with patronizing expression::

Are you NUTS?! 

Get a hobby…

…*another* hobby… 

Are you trying to keep up with the Duggars?? 

Can’t {husband’s name} leave you alone for two seconds? 

What, are you going for a football team? 

You need to stop having babies. There is no way you can have that many children and give them all enough love and attention! 

Breeders. 

Let me guess…you must be Mormon…or CATHOLIC!!! 

Now that you have a half dozen kids, are you going for a full dozen? 

Ever heard of cable t.v.? Satellite? Netflix? Hulu? 

Clearly {husband’s name} and the Catholic Church are oppressing you. 

You and others like you are the reason this world is overpopulated! 

You can sleep when you retire…

…just not with {husband’s name} 

This is your last one, right? 

You look great!! For a woman with 6 kids. 

Don’t you know what causes that?

You know, for the cost of raising that baby, you could feed fifteen starving children in {pick any impoverished country}

Well, {husband’s name} can’t leave you now…divorce will be too expensive!

I bet your uterus is just about falling out of you by now!

Y’all don’t get out much do you?

Good Lord, how old are you? Do you think this is safe at your age?

I bet this one will just fall out of you during delivery.

At least you have older kids…they will raise this one for you anyway!

HA – as if this is actually going to be a difficult pregnancy!…don’t they just WALK out at this point??

I’ll pray for you. You’re gonna need it.

It’s a uterus, not a clown car. 

See, I told you NFP doesn’t work…

Remind me not to let you in my car in 8 months!*

*Sigh*…if I had that kind of money I’d be a baby-making machine, too.

I bet your house is HUGE!!!!!

You’ll never be a supermodel now!

Better you than me!

I can’t imagine your grocery bill. Wow!

You’re so LUCKY you can stay at home with them.

You should get your own show. I mean, who in their right mind has SIX kids???

Tell me they aren’t all yours!!

You know you can do more than just make babies, right? Or does your husband not let you?

Have you had a recent head trauma?!?

You might need a walker the last month…**

Texas is in a drought and you want to add MORE kids that require water?? You must not care about Texas!!!***

Don’t you know you’re supposed to keep your toothbrushes on OPPOSITE sides of the sink??

I suppose you’ll be buying one of those 12 passenger vans, now. 

I’d go with the 15 passenger so you never need to upgrade again…of course, you’ll be killing the environment driving it, though.

Are they all from you?

You’re SO socially irresponsible!

Was this one on accident?

I know what you’ve been doing!

You know, they’ve figured out what causes that now…

Absolutely NO self control…tsk, tsk…

Are you getting your tubes tied/husband getting the big V after this one?

How many are your husband’s???

How many times HAVE you been married?

Are you sure they’re all yours? I didn’t know Mexicans could have blue-eyed babies.****

Are you done, YET?!?!

Way to kill the earth. 

 

As we all joked about these and had a good laugh, I realized that most people {with the exception of some who are just all drama} say these things with all sincerity. They genuinely feel like these comments are wanted, appreciated or that it will spur on a fruitful discussion. I’m actually not sure why private issues like fertility have become such common place topics to bring up with strangers. Why some feel the need to comment on others’ fertility or offer their own story as an example {validation, perhaps?} I’ll never understand, but I find that each of these comments represents an opportunity for us to be an example of Christian charity and a beacon of the Faith to shed light where there may be none.

The times that questions have come up for our family, I have usually made light of the situation. Typically if we are at a place where we pay for a service, I will casually say, “Oh, so-and-so, don’t you know we are just helping you out! We’re bringing you more business!” For future situations, I do hope that I will be able to avoid the temptation to respond in snarkines, or just offer it up when someone is baiting or blatantly unkind. I know those days will come. And I hope that I can make Jesus proud of me, whether it’s through example, word, or deed. So, friends, when all the world is pushing for people to check children off the commodity list, two and one of each, please, know that your example of being open to life is well-received whether you hear it from someone directly or not. This is one of the ways that we can be a visual example to the secular world of our desire to be counter-cultural.

Embrace it. Own it. Love it. Share it. Don’t be afraid. Kill ’em with kindness.

Share with me how you’ve responded charitably to comments you’ve received from strangers about your family size in the combox.

 

 

* #4 was born in the car after a less than one hour labor. Um, yeah.

** I am officially AMA {advanced maternal age – 35} now. Booooo…

*** Just to connect dots…I live in Texas. And we’re in a drought. Still.

**** When you have my lazy Mexican DNA that meets with bossy German DNA, you have re-donk-ulous potential to have kiddos who are EXTREMELY white…it makes for some interesting conversations with people…until they see my other kiddos who actually look more like me.