May 25, 2010

Today at a women's group a middle aged woman I had just met asked about my children.
L's 2, Ben's almost 9 months, and I'm 24 weeks pregnant.  I'm getting used to these questions and now know that what people really want to know is how close in age the 3 will be.

"You're going to have Irish triplets," she informed me.
I am not because none of them were / will be born within 12 months of each other.

A little bit later she asked, "So are you done?"  But it didn't sound like a question.
"No!  I'd love to have more."
"How many more?"
"I'll gladly take as many as God will give me."

"What does your husband do?"
"He's a teacher."

She didn't respond to me after that.

I'm not sure how to interpret that conversation.  Either she disapproves of my family and the choices Travis and I are making, or she was never able to have kids and something about me made her sad.  I'm not quite sure which one is correct, but there was little enthusiasm in her tone, body language and following silence. 

I suppose that wherever her heart is, my response is to pray.


  1. first of all - those pics of your kids are gorgeous!!!!!

    i can't imagine how all of you gals do it with all the "judgers" out there. you're right, though, who knows what this lady was all about but it makes me mad, too, to hear from you or from our other friends the comments that they get. i thought i had it bad with people always asking me when i'm going to have kids, but i can't imagine the other side of those comments. in a sense, they are kind of the same... annoying, none of their business, and a bit rude, but i'm sure it's harder for you moms.

    anyway, keep those gorgeous pics coming!

  2. I'm sure you get enough of those kind of comments from strangers at the grocery store-you don't expect to get them in a Catholic women's group! Good for you for your witness!

  3. I think women have the terrible habit of judging too quickly instead of supporting and understanding other women. I do it myself enough sadly. I think it does stem from our own insecurities. This women may feel guilty for not having more children. I would like to add more but have a crying baby. I am sure you understand. God Bless!

  4. People say strange things to pregnant women. I am 34 weeks along with my third baby (1st boy) and in the last month or so I have various people say to me:

    **My children are so beautiful that I should be a surrogate so I wouldn't have to work for a few years (aside from the moral issue, pregnancy just isn't that fun)

    **I should stop driving when asking the car repair shop about seat belt adjusters (and who is going to pay me?)

    **This baby will be extra special since it is the last one (how she knows that, I don't know because I didn't tell her this was the last baby)

    **I'm sure you're finished now since your husband has his boy (umm, what?)

    **You should name this one caboose (says my grandmother, mother of seven)

    For some reason, people feel liberated to tell pregnant women whatever is on their minds. I don't take it personally, but it does reflect how society views children these days.

  5. Bonnie,
    I saw this post awhile back and have been thinking and praying about it off and on. I wanted to come back and say I think your impulse to pray in the situation is so, so, good, and to try and think the best of the other person.

    People who say goofy things like, "You have your hands full" or "You're having Irish triplets!" (that one made me LOL) are not necessary judging you, and thinking so makes one defensive. Better to be cheerful and use humor if possible to deflect.

    Also, I'm reminded of the line from Narnia (is it from The Horse & His Boy? and a couple of other of those books) that "no one is told another's story." You don't know her story. That's why praying for each other is so helpful both for ourselves and others.