Dear “And You Will Have Kids”:
I am pregnant with my second child. Our children are close together, and I am amazed at the rude comments, unsolicited advice, and personal questions I get from total strangers when I am out shopping or going about my life.
How do you handle this?
Yes, it is amazing how some people feel the need to share personal information or ask you personal questions when you become a parent. I could list many “amazing” encounters I’ve had with total strangers. Once, at a doctor’s office, I had a man come up to me. He made a big deal out of counting the number of my children (at that time I had 3 of them and was expecting my 4th child). He then announced loudly that I needed to find myself a new hobby!
OK, I guess it was clever of him. He laughed at his “joke” anyway. I didn’t think it was funny. I looked him right in the eye and told him that I was very happy with my hobby and smiled at him.
After my fourth child was born, a lady came up to me in the grocery store and asked me if ALL of these children were mine. I smiled and told her that no, they weren’t ALL mine. They were half my husband’s.
In both cases, the rude commenters had no clue what to do and walked away without saying anything else.
I’ve found that humor is the best way to deflect rude commenters. Another good tactic, if you are brave enough, is to ask them why they want to know. You can also ignore rude strangers and just continue on your merry way.
When I was younger, I allowed myself to be hurt by the many rude comments I received from total strangers when they saw our large family. I’m getting better though. Think about it, how rotten must someone’s life be for them to feel the need to take pot shots at total strangers? How incredibly desperate or pathetic must their life be that they take pot shots at a pregnant lady with a young child? The answer is pretty pathetic. That has helped me to keep perspective about the whole thing; I hope it helps you!
My grandmother often said to me, “No one can put you down without your permission.” She was right; simply refuse to give the naysayers permission to ruin your day or to put you down.
Congratulations on your new pregnancy and your growing family. I wish you the best!