March 23, 2012

Five Things Every Stranger Should Know Before Speaking to Me

Dear Stranger,

I recognize that it is human nature to pass judgement upon first impression. I really do. We are all guilty of, at one time or another, jumping to an inaccurate and on occasion, unkind conclusion about someone without knowing them at all.

But I hope you'll forgive me when I point out that my life is none of your business. So please don't feel like you have a say about it, even if in some strange way you think you are helping. And I state that not in anger, but simply... saying. 

So before you say anything to me about my children, there are a few things you should know.

1. Please don't insult me or my children by asking them if I plan on having anymore kids. It is not a topic my husband and I discuss with them. Although since for some reason you must think we do or should, I would like to know just how you asked your toddlers to decide for you how many more children you can have.

2. Really? Wow. Not that you deserve a response on this one, but yes, I do know how "all this happens". By "all this" I assume you mean creating these small human beings with their own independent thoughts and feelings that will some day grow up lead their own lives and have an impact on society? And no, I don't want reading material about it. My husband and I are quite good at what we do and we rather enjoy it.

But next time, just for kicks and giggles, I may just say no, and then ask you to explain it to me.

3. Don't ask about how I'm going to afford to send all my children to college. It's called earning, saving, budgeting, and hard work. Then teaching my children how to do all that too.

I have some uh, reading material about what all that is, if you would like it.

4. Yes, my "hands are full", and yes of course I'm busy. A parent with one child has their hands full too. And I have a number of amazingly awesome and incredible friends and family members who'd give up a kidney to have their "hands full".

Now, I totally understand that the "full hands" comment it sort of the universal saying when you can't think of anything else, and I don't fault you for it. But maybe you could come up with something original like, "Those are some wickedly awesome Superwoman skills and I think it's fan-tabulous that you have your own Superhero Squad!"

We'd be best friends forever.

Besides, I like having full hands, especially when they're full of wiggly, giggly, cuteness.

5. If all else fails, just smile and tell me how cute my kids are.

If none of them have their hair combed, tell me you love the way it sticks out in a big poof-ball.
If they dressed themselves and are wearing a striped shirt with plaid shorts and knee-high florescent socks, tell them how totally cool their socks are.
If one... or all of them, is screaming and hitting a sibling, smile and tell me you have days when you feel like doing that too.

Because at the end of the day, none of us are perfect and I personally don't need strangers to try and make me feel guilty for not being a better parent.

Especially because I suspect that they aren't so perfect themselves.

The only thing that you need to know about me is that, I love my family.

I feel I should add that this post was written in good humor and is in no way meant to make anyone feel bad. I just secretly want everyone to call us "The Superhero Squad".

Because THAT, would be awesome.

The End

22 super cool people speak:

Neisha said...

I love your post!! I only have two kids so I've never gotten asked some of the questions you have but man, are some people dumb!!

Sue said...


How cute your kids are!


PS. Did I get that right??

Amy said...

You're awesome.

And your kids are really really cute.


Wonder Woman said...

Thanks for this post. I needed to remember what's most important -- loving my family.

Your kids really ARE adorable, and I'm not just saying that. It is NOBODY'S business and I can't believe how rude other people can be. Please, PLEASE tell the next person who asks that you don't know how "all this" happens. Then blog it. I'm serious. It will make that person think twice about asking someone else such a personal question.

Love you and your blog, lady.

La Carter said...

So at first, I was like, well how many kids do you have? And then I counted and I was like 5? That's it? It's not like TLC is going to be knocking on your door anytime soon to make a show about just 5 kids. And then I was like, people annoy me.

Megan Jones said...

Wow. My first thought was how much I love that first picture of Savannah! The close up one that's all artistic and stuff. LOVE it! I'm not entirely sure why individuals think that it is okay to ask a total stranger about their family planning, due to either a whole gaggle of kiddos, or none at all. I can relate to your situation, just from the opposite end of the spectrum.

And I totally agree with Wonder Woman about asking someone "how this happens" and then blogging about it.

I admire you for your family. Your ups, downs, and everything in between. Keep it up!

Jennifer said...

Two things to say:

1) I also have 5 children.


2) AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amy H. said...

Oh Serene, you are the best. I felt like standing up and cheering when you wrote that a mommy of one has her hands full too. I think you just showed your true super hero stripes. And look they are glittery pink and totally match your shoes. Way cool!

marcie said...

Isn't it funny how people completely leave behind any sense of boundaries or commonly accepted rules for interpersonal behavior when they see a pregnant woman or a woman with little kids? I couldn't believe some of the comments I got when I was pregnant the first time, and even now. How about I rub your belly and tell you you are exploding?! That would never fly! I don't get it.

ElizaO said...

Love all the family pictures and I am definitely going to have to try some of those responses!

Also, you should carry a hidden camera around - I'll bet you could totally work up some fantastic Youtube moments!

Momza said...

So enjoyed this, Serene. Being a Momza to seven yahoos, I too, have felt the glare and heard the same comments from total strangers in my early parenting years. For me, I just smiled and said, "I didn't plan on having such a large family, but God had other plans and I'm so grateful. It's never boring that's for sure!" And I meant every word.

You're wonderful! fitting.

Heather S said...

i'm loving the last picture (and this post as always). i started at the bottom.. gazing at the cute kiddos.. one by one. get my way to the top.. bam.. there's daddy making a face!! :) bahaha that is awesome!

Shaylee Ann said...

Awww! I love you, Serene! (and your Super-Awesome Superhero Squad)! I seriously want to actually meet you some day. I have a feeling we'd be great actual friends. ;)

Honestly, after reading this, it makes me want to have lots and lots of kids, close together, just to spite those people who don't agree with multiplying and replenishing the Earth. Yeah, but that wouldn't be very nice of me, seeing that my kids are certainly destined to be as amazing as my husband and I are (whoever he is) and I don't want to make them jealous. Haha. ;)

Really, you inspire me. And you really are amazingly good at what you do. Congratulations, and keep up the awesome baby-making skills! ;)

Oh, and I also want to say that from what you've blogged, and from the pictures I've seen, and just from what I imagine, your kids are growing up to be pretty fantastic little people. :)


Missk said...

Well said, totally loved the article! I almost felt as though you were writing about me haha. Its nice to see someone finally admit they pass judgement on first appearence. I do also, its just what you do. But everyone else seems to deny it.
All other statements, i totally agree with. I am a mother of 3 children myself and nothing made me more grrr when people start to question things. :)
Anyways popped over from your link at blogfrog. :)

Royalbird said...

I love the college comment. I'd like to tell people who ask that question that there is no law written anywhere that a parent must send their child to college and pay for it all. We'll do our best to help out, but I think college means more if the person in it pays for most of it themselves.

And from another mom of five kids, I have heard every single one of those. Even from my own parents, who had six of us!

Carrine said...

Oh, I hear ya! I have 6 kids that are 11 and under!

Lisa S said...

Oh I loved this post..and you have ninja skills

Katherine Athey said...

Totally love love love this post!!!!! Wow! amen. That's really all I can say. When you emailed last week you asked me if any one had offered us reading material on it and I haven't had time to respond. No, can't say I've gotten that but of course I always get, "Don't you know how that happens?" I usually say, "yeah, and apparently it shows." My other favorite is when they say something stupid like, "You guys need to get a television, or your husband needs to do this or that." Like he's the only one involved. Makes him pretty mad. :)
Anyway from what I can tell you already have your super hero squad and whether you add to it or not is none of anyone else's business.

Sarah said...

I love you Serene! If it weren't 11:35p.m., I'd call you right now!
Love this!
Love you! Love you!

Christina said...

Thank you SO much for this post! I also have 5 children and feel like an alien all the time. Your funny posts always make my day!!

Larsen said...

I haven't talked to you forever....but when I came over to read your blog, I was only two post behind, so I feel good about that.

The next cheesecake I make, it's all yours baby!

This post is funny. Though I know you well enough to know that there is a seriousness to it.

General Conference is coming, I should make one for that. You gonna be here in IF? Call me!

hjsmith said...

Thank you. And yes you are a superhero squad(: loved it(: From one crazy mom to another.....cough I mean one super hero mom to another(: hehehehe

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