There are a lot of “lists” out there detailing sound advice on matters of what not to say to your children or what not to say in a job interview… I’m going to give you a top ten list that could Save. Your. Life.
When you get married, the buzz question from well-meaning family and friends automatically is, “When are you going to have kids?” When the baby finally comes along, the hype is a little less, but everyone now wants to know the ETA of baby number two. After your second child, people sometimes ask if you want to have more, but two is an acceptable number of offspring and the masses, generally, leave the issue alone.
But when you have four, five, or more kids – EVERYONE has questions or commentary on the matter.
The Top Ten Things to NEVER Say to a Stressed-Out, Crazy Mom of Five:
10. “Are they ALL yours?”
Why does it matter if each child attached to my hip was also once attached to my uterus? Must I have stretch marks and a loose cervix for them to all qualify as mine? This question is particularly tacky in front of my children. Here’s why: I shouldn’t have to label and distinguish them to you, particularly in their presence. It makes me… and them uncomfortable. I feed them, I sing them to sleep, and I am dragging them around the grocery store, suffering your inquisition. Yes, they are mine. End of story.
9. “No wonder you look so insert adjective here (exhausted, stressed, homicidal).”
You are either stupid or very stupid to ask this question. Because here’s the truth: I am exhausted, stressed, and homicidal a lot of the time. Don’t be stupid.
8. “You look great for having five kids!”
I’m still trying to figure out if this is a compliment or an insult. I mean, I look great opposed to what? Would my current physique be a disappointment if I were merely a mother of two? Urrmm? My second thought is, of course I look great! It’s not like I have a whole lot of time to just sit on my butt, right? There is ONE time that this rule is excusable: If I am in my bikini by a body of water. If that is the case – bring on the praise!
7. “You must be really fertile!”
Unless you are my doctor and you are discussing options of shutting my ovaries down permanently, you are never, EVER allowed to compliment or criticize my overly productive reproductive system. Period.
6. “I hope you’ve had your tubes tied.”
Really? Don’t ask this unless you want to see how it feels to have your tongue tied.
5. “You know that is what got you into this mess.”
Not that Daddy tries to hump my leg in public or anything, but we are a very affectionate couple. Trust me, we don’t need a reminder of the birds and the bees; our birth-control begins with the screaming for pancakes at around 7AM every morning.
4. “Can you do insert favor here for me?”
No. The answer is no. You know why? Because I have FIVE kids. I’m resentful every day that I need to take a shower because I don’t have time to afford it. The last thing I want – or need – is to do something for you. I’m going to begin using this response – “Sure, if you’ll babysit.” I’m sure that is a certain cure for neediness.
3. Here’s the story, of a lovely lady…”
I’ve never heard that joke before. You’re really funny. Ha. Ha. Ha.
2. “Imagine when they all go to college! Yikes.”
My oldest kid is nine, and currently, my biggest financial fear is how much our health insurance deductible is because our youngest son was apparently born half human-half chimpanzee. Please don’t remind me that I will have 5 children in college at the same time and that it is probably going to cost both of my kidneys to send them all. Trust me, I haven’t forgotten.
And last, but unfortunately not least…
1. “What’s one more?”
I’ll tell you what ONE MORE is. ONE MORE equals out to somewhere around $216,000 over the next eighteen years, based on recent numbers posted by the ASDA, Expenditures on Children by Families. This astronomical amount does not even include getting five through college and then sending the ONE MORE baby. ONE MORE means, now that all five are finally able to wipe their own butts, I’m buying diapers and getting my pillows pooped on at 3AM. ONE MORE means, now that all five are able to feed themselves, my boobs are utters once again and there are smashed peas slung all over the walls in my kitchen. ONE MORE means, having a house-full of pre-teens and a terrible two-year old. People who suggest this ludicrous ONE MORE theory, act as though we may be contemplating adopting another beta fish.
Are we contemplating it? Not directly. I’m currently contemplating if there would be enough Xanax in the world for ONE MORE.