When you’re a mom to a litter of littles, you’re subjected to some pretty moronic remarks made by strangers almost as if your tiny posse is an open invitation for outsiders’ opinions. Calling my clan a litter might be an small exaggeration as there are only three and they aren’t animal offspring as the definition usually implies, but when you’re constantly surrounded by three children under the age of five, nothing is a more appropriate terms than ‘litter’.
Anywhere we travel in public, we aren’t safe from fellow passerby’s comments about my family dynamic and after years of this, I’ve realized #filterfree isn’t only specific to photography. Without a doubt, when me and my crew are out and about, we encounter one of the 7 questions and comments below – maybe not in that exact form, but some derivative of the statement’s meaning.
1.) Don’t you know how kids are made?
Why yes, yes I do know how kids are made. How do you think I came to have so many so close in age? In most cases, this leaves me grossed out and uncomfortable as the focal point of this brief discussion has now become me and my husband engaging in sexual relations and conceiving my children. It’s even worse when they follow up their question with a wink, head nod or even on a rare occasion, they choose to include bodily gestures referring to some sexual act. Ew, strange old man I don’t even know. I didn’t sign up for this disgusting game of Pictionary.
2.) Didn’t you know what you were getting yourself into?
Usually, I overhear this one as I’m dealing with a public toddler meltdown or a crying fit because I didn’t give in for their plead for candy or a toy while shopping. For starters, no one truly knows what they’re getting into when entering the wild adventure of parenting. Secondly, STFU. Even in a most-unpleasant moment as I’m overcome with minor embarrassment and can feel public shame with three screaming children, I wouldn’t trade them for anything. In those trying moments, I’d give anything for support, but instead I receive harsh criticism and judgement.
3.) Are they all yours?
Yes. All three are mine. I grew each of them for nine horrendously long months in my uterus and shot them out my vagina. This often triggers follow-up questions into whether or not they were they conceived naturally versus IVF. I then find myself diving deeper into my fertility and I awkwardly end up referring to myself as “fertile myrtle” and quickly find an exit.
4.) Do they all have same dad?
Seriously? Yes, they all have the same father and before you ask, yes, I am married to him. Oh, you want to know if him knocking me up was the reason we married? No, we were married before we got pregnant. Does any of this matter and why do you care? Is my love for my children any less valid if they each had different fathers or if I wasn’t married?
5.) Were they an accident?
I’m guessing this is asked because who in their right mind willingly have three children so close together. Well, I guess you can call me crazy, because I actively chose to have my children right after another. Is this life for everyone? No, and I wholeheartedly understand why. It is hard, exhausting, stressful and a glimmer of hope for a full-night’s sleep never seemed so dim. In either case, back off stranger.
6.) You’re not going to have anymore right?
Again, I realize three children is more than most would choose to have, but how can anyone assume one’s perfect number of offspring aligns with another. I love our clan and honestly, I’m still struggling with whether or not we are done. My heart wants another, but my head and realist living inside me screams ‘No!’. So, am I done? I don’t know, but after pouring my heart out to you, hopefully you know better than to ask a stranger this question again.
7.) Your life must suck!
I’m not going to lie and say it’s always sunshines and rainbows. There are some rough moments – when three children are tired, crabby, or sick that’s definitely not fun. But I’ll take this anyday when I see the strong bond they’re forming or when I’m surrounded my so much love and cuddles from my littles. So, no. My life doesn’t suck. I may be tired – all the time – but never do I hate my life or regret my choices leading me to this place.
If you’re a mom of littles, you feel this pain all-too-well. No, I didn’t ask for random people’s opinions and no matter how many times I find myself discussing my family planning choices with a stranger, I’m still trying to understand why my presence provokes others to share their less than kind remarks.
Oh, and while reading this list, if these questions sound familiar and recall regurgitating these rude remarks to a parent of tiny humans, maybe it’s best you keep those comments to yourself. Remember, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.