Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Dear Person-Who-Thinks-I'm-Crazy

On Black Friday, I had the crazy idea to go shopping--with the kids, of course.

It wasn't the best idea in the world, but sometimes you just want to TRY something, you know what I mean?

So I did. I packed the kids (which was a 15-20 minute process, because it involved diaper changes, coats, socks, boots, diaper bag full of just-in-case supplies, etc.), and we headed to town.

My first stop ended up being a dismal failure. When I walked into the store, I realized that all the carts were in use. ALL of them. And carts are pretty much my BFFs, when I'm shopping with three.

I told the girls they were going to have to walk around the store, while I carried Matthias, who was strapped into his carseat. By the way, Matthias-in-carseat equals extremely heavy. Just saying.

I gave the girls strict instructions, but sometimes even good little girls can be incredibly tempted by wanting to touch everything. I was getting frustrated, and the girls were roaming.

Rachel asked if she could go play with a toy oven, and I told her "no," which led to a very loud outburst of tears. So there I am, leaning down to try to calm my 3-year-old, and I felt like the whole store was watching.

That's not true. It just felt like that, and it's not a good feeling at all.

I finally decided that it wasn't worth standing in line to buy one item, so I grabbed the carseat, and told the girls to head for the door. On my way out, I passed a display covered in men's shirts, and I accidentally bumped the carseat into the display--which knocked down a pile of perfectly-folded shirts.

While all of this was going on, a woman passed by, and didn't say a word. I was really hoping for a Good Samaritan!

All this to say, sometimes shopping with the kids can be hard. Something motherhood in general can be hard. Often times pregnancy isn't easy.

And many, many times, while we're dealing with all of THIS, we're also dealing with the criticism that comes with doing these things.

"So... you're pregnant again? HOW many kids do you have?" "Have you ever considered putting the kids even in a part-time day care?"

This is the best part (excuse my sarcasm): Someone asks you how your pregnancy is going. You respond, that it's not always easy... you have such-and-such symptoms. It's hard taking care of three little ones, while you're 6 months pregnant.

The questioner responds, "Well, YOU'RE the one who's not using birth control!" Yep. Just like that. Thrown in your face.

Or, they don't say anything. Nothing. It's like you talk about your life, and they just stare at you.

It's okay... people might not understand completely why I'm doing what I'm doing. But it's also "okay" to still be nice, even if you disagree with us.

So, to you relatives, friends, or even strangers... if you see a mom out-and-about with her small children, offer to return her cart. If her children are being well-behaved, compliment her!

When a mom finds out she's pregnant, congratulate her! Say you're excited for her. Ask if there's any way you could help her.

I know I'm not supposed to be living for the approval of men, I know that. It's just... I want to encourage people to give a cup of cold water--you know, words full of encouragement--to us mothers out there, because there are many days that even a smile will brighten our day!

I would know. I've been there. ;)

4 comments:

  1. Tricia, I'm totally preaching to the choir here, but this is what I would say to myself in this situation as well as you: If you feel confident before God in your choices, it really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. So BE CONFIDENT! :-) And if you realize that you've made a bad choice (like trying to do too much at once with the kids--I've been there!), forgive yourself and move on! I've spent way too much time stewing over random rude comments or defending my actions (usually just mentally) to people who don't really have any business offering me advice or criticism.

    Also, it may be that the people who are the most rude are the ones who are having a bay day or are hurting on the inside themselves, and they just take it out on anyone who gets in their way. Not to defend them, but I'm sure we've all had those stressed-out moments (maybe minus the actual taking it out on people). So remembering that *they* may need a word of encouragement may be helpful as well.

    Anyway, I'm sorry you had a difficult day that day. I do truly understand. Just trying to offer a little of the perspective that I know *I* need sometimes. :-)

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Jessica. I always appreciate hearing your perspective! :D I know, I know... I need to be more confident. Good reminder.
    I also totally know what you mean about the people just having a bad day... there's one lady who has checked me out at the grocery store who just *stares* at Matthias, especially when's fussy, and it's really hard to pay calmly, while holding him, while's she's staring at me. :p But I've thought that about her... maybe she has a really hard life, and so she doesn't appreciate whiny babies!

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  3. Have you ever thought of a baby carrier like a Beco or Ergo? The Beco was livesaving for us, and is much better on your back along with baby's head. My husband liked to wear the black beco with the buckles since it looked manly. The baby carriers are expensive, but can be resold for a very good value, and with all of your current young children and plans for more, they will be worth their weight in gold. Some people call it "baby wearing" since the baby carriers are colorful, and your child looks like a part of you. (Of course you get even more staring at when the teenagers in the grocery store are convinced you are wearing a baby inside of your shirt). Sometimes you can find the wraps for cheap in a thrift store being sold as curtains. (I don't recommend the snugli type ones, if you are interested as I felt like they were some sort of back torture device. They are usually what I was able to find the most of in the Thrift stores though).

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    Replies
    1. This is all very good to know! I have a baby Bjorn carrier, which I really liked when my babies were little... But now it might put too much pressure on my back, as you suggested. Thanks for the recommendations!!

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