Full Hands, Fuller Hearts
It's always interesting to hear the reactions of people when my husband and I step out with all of our little babies. Oftentimes, we get the "Oh bless your hearts......your hands sure are full." Whenever someone says that I reply, "Yes, but our hearts are so much fuller." And this is true.
Believe it or not, the above statement is one of the nicer statements that people say to us. For some reason, it seems that if a family has more than one or two children people feel the need to comment or pass judgement. It's like America is still obsessed with the notion of the "perfect family" of one mommy, one daddy, a girl, and boy. Guess what America? There is no perfect family.
I mean you would not believe the things that come out of people's mouths when you're a mom to many! People feel the need to comment on or ask about our sex lives and reproductive plans. I mean, these are topics that aren't up for discussion with anyone besides my God and my husband. People like to ask if you "planned" to have this many children, as if you get a pass if one or two kids were mistakes. God forbid you may actually want every child that God blesses you with. Do you want more? Surely, you don't. Why do you have so many children? People want to know about your financial situation, your religious beliefs, the list goes on.
I have even had a close family member ask me to not have any more children.
Yup...................just like this," Please don't have any more children."
I now have three more. One in heaven, and two here on Earth. Thank you God!
Maybe you're pregnant again and may feel some type of way because of people's reactions to you having more children. If you are pregnant...CONGRATULATIONS! PRAISE HIM! Maybe you're already a mommy to many and have been through these types of interactions before. I'm sure they make your blood boil. Here are some tips to navigate these unnecessary and insensitive types of conversations.
1. Keep Cool. Remain calm when someone comments on the number of children you have. Keep cool and reply to them respectfully and politely. You may brush off what they say, or sternly put them in their place should the comment be truly offensive and inappropriate. You may even want to take this opportunity to educate them on the inappropriate nature of their comments. Some people truly have no idea how ignorant they are being....that's why they're ignorant. Despite this, God challenges us to be kind to those who may not give us the same treatment.
2. Never let anyone's comments seep into your heart. No matter what anyone says, never let anyone's comments about your family affect your state of being. Don't let anyone steal the joy that God has placed in your heart. Many people wish that they could be so blessed to have what you have.
3. Rejoice. Rejoice in the gift of your children. The Bible says:
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
I don't know what I did to deserve my babies, but let me tell you...I sure am grateful for God's blessing in my life. And you should be too! God has given you a special responsibility. He trusts you with one (or many) of His own. What an honor! He has given you a love so unconditional. Through parenthood we get a glimpse of His love for us. How amazing is that?! So rejoice and praise God for all of your babies. He's so good!
4. Be Proactive. I'm never really an advocate for breaking relationships, but if you have friends or family members who continue to say insensitive things to you about your children, always feel the need to comment, or say less then nice or positive things to you about your family...you may need to cut back on your interactions with them. Parenting is a hard enough job without someone sending negative vibes your way. Don't keep putting yourself in a situation where your feelings keep getting hurt or you feel uncomfortable. Don't give that person an opportunity to take a jab at you. When you are around them, keep the conversation light and polite, then excuse yourself.
5. Pray. Pray for those who say negative things to you. Clearly, they need it. Pray that they would gain discernment over what should and should not come out of their mouths. Also, pray and thank God for blessing you with your sweet little babies.
Keep these things in mind if you're ever in these types of conversations. Also, if you're someone who just happens to be reading this post, then I implore you to be mindful of what you say to people. You have no idea what struggles people have faced or are facing.
Real Moment Here: My grandfather asked me if I believed in using birth control because I'm having a lot of kids. I calmly told him that that's between my husband and I, and that I welcome any children that God sends me as I know what it is to lose a child. He looked at me and said "You've lost a child?" He didn't even remember that I had just had a miscarriage a few months earlier (even though I recovered at his house)! My grandma had to remind him! I know that he didn't really mean any harm by what he was saying, but I bet he sure felt bad after that quip.
Remember this verse:
“Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.”
Mothers, please remember that whether you have one...or a ton of kiddos God is shining His light on your family! Never feel bad about that! Be encouraged, and thank God for his blessing!
Thanks for getting through this post!
Blessings to Your and Yours!