February 27, 2012

Dentists and Dirty Looks

Sorry I skipped the Recipe Round-up this week. All truth be told, I didn't get around to grocery shopping until Thursday night, and after that goofy vlog I did on Friday in which I said, and I quote, "I hope we have a good weekend too, and no one ends up puking like they did last weekend..."

Ya, guess who was reacquainting their face with the toilet a few hours later? Huuhh? That right, MWAH!

It was so.... not awesome. My stomach muscles still hurt from that. Then all day Saturday I was super nauseous and light-headed. At least Hubby was rather grand and delicious, and cleaned the house for me. At least by yesterday I was feeling all better.

Then I discovered that my dinner list is lost. Blast it all.

I promise we'll do it next week though!


I took all five children with me to the dentist last Thursday since the three older kids and myself all had appointments.

My children weirdly love going to the dentist. They get to watch TV on the ceiling and pick out prizes. Fixing cavities and needle pricks are apparently a small price to pay for such delights... er, something.

We always have the same hygienists work on us so obviously over the past couple years they have come to know us rather well, even though we only go in every six months.

The hygienist who always cleans my teeth is this really sweet, young mommy of two. She just had her second baby a few months ago.

Every time we go in she peppers me with questions about how many more kids I want, how closely my kids are spaced, was it all planned, how do I deal with this situation or other, how do I feel about this or that, what are my outlets to all the craziness, how do I rejuvenate as an individual, etc. I do my best to answer her questions without drooling or spitting on her, or biting her fingers off while they are in my mouth.

Because that would be awkward.

When we finished up this last time, she smiled and said, "I just love talking to moms like you who aren't afraid to admit they love being a mom or to have lots of kids. It really inspires me."

For some reason this made me pause. I don't know exactly why it stuck with me so, but in truth I never really considered that having children, or loving them and actually wanting to be home with them, would be something someone would consider "inspiring". It both uplifted and saddened me.

In truth I don't care how many children someone decides to have. (outside of certain bad or terrible circumstances of course) It's not my place to pass judgement. Since I can never truly understand someones upbringing, personality, desires, needs, or capabilities, nor will I know all the good or bad things that have happened in their life that have shaped them into who they are, why would it ever be my place to judge someone who has one child or eight?

I've seen the judgement passed both ways. Some on those who have no or few children, and some who have a crazy amount. But I've known people who have struggled for years on end and spent oodles of money to get that one or two children, just like I know people who have become pregnant while using two or three forms of birth control.

I can still quite distinctly remember my "oops... surprise!" pregnancy with Jacob. My third baby in less than three years, the disapproving glares, the snide remarks, and the questioning of my intelligence was all a little too much for me at the time. It got to the point where I was actually quite embarrassed to go out in public because I dreaded the reactions.

Now, that I am a older and hopefully a bit wiser and tougher, I only feel sadness for those people who belittled me. They did not understand the situation, they did not know me, they did not know how tough it was for me. They simply... judged me.

By the time we were all done at the dentist, it had been two and a half hours. HOURS!

Do you know what happens to a group of toddlers after they have been trying so hard to be good for HOURS in a small space?

Ya... they start to not be so good anymore. In the last half hour before we left, I had stopped Alayna from jumping on the puzzles, broke up four fights, told the kids to stop running and screaming through the doors, and to not bother anyone with a stinking touch phone by asking if they have any games on them! Gah!

As I trudged out the door, dragging my by now loud and whinny children behind me, who also happen to be starving since it was almost 6pm and they hadn't eaten since lunch, I could feel the judgmental stares boring into my back.

And I confess, in the moment, I felt quite embarrassed.

If only those people knew how good the kids had been for the first two whole hours we had been there. And instead of passing judgement, they could have just... held the door open for us.

What that little hygenist doesn't know, is that she too inspired me. She simply saw the good. And sometimes, that's all we should do.

I hope I too will always pause before passing judgement and remember that most of us are simply doing the best we know how.

16 super cool people speak:

Amy said...

I hope I can be like that too. I never want to pass judgement on someone like that because I hope to have my kids close together too.

Speaking as a former dental professional, I have to say that your children's behavior is so normal. We had people with one or two kids (who are older than yours and should know better) who would walk around the office like they owned the place. And I also have to say that the way you describe them behaving for the dentist when he works on them is awesome!! There's nothing worse than an uncooperative child in the dental chair. Props, Mama.

Do me a gigantic favor though... if you have an appointment at the dentist and it's JUST you (you're the only one with a cavity/cleaning) please, please, please try to find a babysitter. And I say this in the most loving way. Bringing your baby is one thing. They just sit there and look adorable. But we once had a patient who came in for her filling and brought all four of her very active children (this is a 45 min. appointment). It's hard to focus on fixing a tooth when you're telling the patient's kids not to touch that, play with that, crawl under that, or hang on that. Craziness! Anyway. Hope you don't take offense to that advice because I love ya.

Hoo! Sorry about the novel. Thanks for the great story!

Renee said...

Wow! I feel judged too sometimes but it is not up to others to judge you. God is the only one who should judge you and I know it is hard sometimes to not feel like others are doing just that. I try every day to not look at others and their lives because I feel like people are judging me for not having kids. "Wow, she is 37 and still has no kids, she must be selfish." or "How sad she can't have kids maybe we shouldn't invite her to our group when we go out. We might dicuss kids and she would feel bad" That last one actually happened to me, lol. I lost a really good friend over just that. She actually said "I am sorry I am having a get together and it is all Mom's, you might feel out of place." Wow that comment made me feel really out of place. LOL

I feel like others judge you when they feel bad about themselves. You are a wonderful Mom and a very strong Mom. My favorite passage from the bible is:

MATTHEW 7:1-5:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast the mote out of thy brother's eye."

Mama Smith said...

A lesson in judgment...I have always felt that when we take our eye off of ourselves in working out the "bugs in our own lives"...the adversary always WINS...because...we are here to IMPROVE ourselves...for that judgment day...If we are so busy looking at others...our own neglect of our "BECOMING"...will fall short...and hence...so will be our ETERNAL REWARD...of being with our Heavenly Father forever...We are on ASSIGNMENT...to IMPROVE OURSELVES...not our NEIGHBOR...The only assignment given to us about our NEIGHBOR...is to LOVE THEM!

Sue said...

Good advice!


Amber said...

I think that moving to a completely different place than what I am used to, and really questioning my religion, has given me pause to consider what I used to believe and what I currently believe.

When I hear people call others selfish for either not having enough kids or having too many kids, what I really hear is their inner struggles coming out.

I would never criticize a person for their size of their family, I would only suggest they look inside themselves at why they are having children (for example, if you don't really like children, you probably shouldn't have a bundle, but if you love all the stages and could see yourself parenting for the next 30 years, have as many as you can!) and forget what advice people have told them.

I still feel sad that I won't be able to have as many as I once hoped, but I understand that putting my family through another pregnancy in which I would be on 3 months of bed rest is not something I can consciously do. However, I also know there are other options if we do decide to add to our family (thankfully).

As for those people passing judgment on you, perhaps they are curious as to why you have so many and how you really handle it? And if they are truly judging you for your decision to have children--who you clearly love and care for--then maybe they need to re-evaluate what's really bothering them. There are so many issues in this world, like children dying of hunger and wars, so is it really important to judge a person's childbearing/rearing decisions? I don't think so. It sounds incredibly self-righteous and outdated to me.

Brittney said...


Stacy said...

I so feel you on this one.

On Valentine's Day this year, I had two kids with RSV, mastitis, and contracted a UTI. My midwife wasn't in the office and the ob/gyn that was there wouldn't just call me in a prescription. I decided it would be a grand idea to take all four of my kids, meet dad for lunch, then have him watch the kids while I popped in and out of the doctor's office.

You know what they say about best laid plans? Yes. My kids tore up the restaurant, my husband told me that we weren't getting paid the next day as scheduled and he didn't know when we were going to get paid, and he couldn't take the kids after lunch. So then I had to take all four of my kids to the ob/gyn's office.

No one was dressed well, the boys had a hacking cough, and they all started running around the waiting room. People were staring. Staring. I could feel their stares and feel them thinking "She can't control the ones she has, why is she having more?" I wanted a big sign to wear that said "I Am NOT Pregnant!" Thought you might appreciate that story...

Now that I've left you a blog post of my own, I'll leave with this thought: I learned after 5 years of trying for a third to never ever comment on someone's family planning choices. Ever. Because I have no idea what is going on. The end.

hjsmith said...

Sarah, thank you for sharing your story and your amazing thoughts. I do understand and know too well the stares and comments. Some who I took as didnt mean to be hurtful and others who suprised me from whom the comments had come from . I love all of our children and know it is alot for others to take in. When we had all the kids in the room for the ultrasound for baby number 7 the nurses were wow these are all yours??? you know how the stream of questions go(: I also know the feelings at time of being embarrassed and then feel guilty I ever felt that way no matter how my children were behaving. it doesnt take much to hold a dorr or offer a little help (; and it is always greatly appreciated.
Anyways! I will end my ramblings there but know you are not alone and I thank you for sharing this experience and your feelings. Then I too dont feel so alone(:

marcie said...

The last two times I have taken my two kids grocery shopping I have gotten a loud, condescending "wow" from two different ladies. Granted, Owen was screaming at the time but I still wanted to march back and give them a piece of my mind. Some people!

Vanessa said...

You are an inspiring mom, and woman. I know what you mean... I live in the volunteer stated... It's true.. As you enter in the state it says right on the sign as you drive in... Welcome to Tennessee, the volunteer state. They did however forget to put... Where you are only allowed to have 2 kids, and if you do have more. we will voluntarily give you our opinion and thoughts on the subject. Apparently I had a perfect family when I had a boy and a girl. Then we went on to screw it up with another girl. (how dare us?) The comments are like this. "Well.... You are done now right?" or "wow, 3 kids? I guess you are trying to stay busy at home???" or "Oh have you changed your birth control method since the last ooopsie?" (hum.... her name is Annabelle thankyouvverymuch) So when I answer that we actually want a couple more, they look at me disgusted and walk away. CAN YOU IMAGINE if I told them that I had 5 miscarriages just trying to get them here? That everyone of them was planned... AND wanted with every fiber of my being. And that if I have to have another 5 lost pregnancies to have the next 2 or 3 I will gladly do it. They would probably create a conspiracy to retrieve my uterus. hahaha... You go girl and take your kiddos with you. and if anyone has anything to say, just leave an open dirty diaper on the hood of their car.

Lindzena said...

How wonderful that you were able to receive that comment! I agree, taking care of a bucket of kids is a commendable activity, especially when you truly love it and are good at it. Any naysayers just don't have enough on their own plate - they have to peer into other people's lives for their own gratification. It's no one's business, and it is pathetic when people have to care that much.

Jami West said...

I am in tears with goosebumps reading this. I'm not just saying that. You inspire me every time I ever spoke to you at Wymount and with all of your REAL blog posts. You are an amazing mother and I cannot even begin to understand why anyone needs to judge! You are so many mothers' heroes! I am so in love with your family and just hope I can be half the mother you are.

Carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Garvin Smith said...

But judging is so much FUN, because it's so carnal, sensual, and devilish!

Randy,Sarah,Zanna, Jossilyn said...

My BIGGEST pet peeve! It just drives me CRAZY, absolutely CRAZY, when people feel like the only way to live is how they see fit and, therefore, we are free to judge and make comments that not only hurt but are also so very, very narrow minded. My biggest pet peeve = judging others. Funny how I was just doing that very same thing this morning about my neighbors that have yet to shovel their own sidewalk this whole winter but have no problem coming out and just staring at me while I shovel mine with my kids in tow. I kept thinking how lazy they were, and now here I am complaining about people that judge. Huh...
One of my favorite things = people that are so amazingly awesome that they inspire you to be a better person just by being them. Someone like you.

Serene is my name, not my life! said...

I enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts. Some of them really touched me and I appreciate you all taking the time to comment. It gives me food for thought as well.

I heart YOU!!

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