Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald

Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew

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05 September 2008

Unsolicited advice/commentary

I have a blog, as you know, and here in this forum I say what I want and expect feedback... that's kinda how this whole thing works. You can either relate to me, or feel provoked by me, either way I'm all ears for whatever you have to say. There are, however, many circumstances that I really don't care to attract advice or commentary.
For instance, when I'm walking down the street with my children.... I'm not a walking billboard that says "please, tell me what you're thinking." Likewise, if I'm in a store, hallway at church, sitting down at a restaurant, or well... pretty much anywhere other then spewing my thoughts and asking for opinion, I don't care what you have to say, and I REALLY don't care to hear it.
The conversation usually starts something like this:

spectator: "wow, are they twins?" (referring to Noah and Nyah)
spectacle (this would be me): "no, they're 15 months apart, he's the oldest."
spectator: "really, so how far apart is your girl and the baby?"
spectacle: "they're 20 months apart."

**here this conversation can go to a few different places. Usually I get the "wow mom, you have your hands full" or "I'm sure they keep you busy" or "so you're done right?" or my favorite "how do you take care of all of them?".... last night however the conversation went like this:

spectator: "wow mom, you need to take a break. They're too close."
spectacle: "actually, we really like the 15 month spacing, they get along really well with each other."
spectator: "I'm talking about you, you need to give your body a rest in between all of these kids, you're going to wear yourself out... it's too much."

Yes, yes, I can appreciate the concern. However, the overall disapproval despite the fact that she did comment later that it looked like I had things under control and was doing well, is really annoying coming from a COMPLETE stranger. I had never met this woman before, didn't solicit so much as a hello from her, and here I get some nice advice shoved down my throat.

My irritation wasn't so high last night as it is on the days that I get the super ignorant people that love to tell me that my kids are close. Really? Didn't notice. I love the stares, those are good, but I especially love how people don't even know how to handle themselves these days. Yes, I want a big family.... yes, my kids are close... no, it isn't impossible, it's actually fun, and why do you care?

I loved a blog that I found through www.lotsofkids.com. The mom was trying out some thoughts reverse of what people say about large families, and you have to admit, they sound pretty ridiculous.

"You poor thing, how do you manage with just one child? You must be so selfish and lonely. You also must have so much time on your hands, what do you do with yourself? How do you do it? Your life must be so boring."

No one says these things! However, you show up with a couple of kids close in age (heaven forbid that they're little and you're pregnant), or have a large family and you're automatically a spectacle that people must come and converse with!

I'm just happy there's "crazy" people out there like me. A couple of good friends to keep you going is all you need. In the world there's so much of tearing people down, it's good to be uplifted, especially when you're doing something you know is right. I have never felt more inspired and centered then when I knew that we needed to have our oldest two. Having never been pregnant, or ever had the desire to be, I didn't know what I was feeling with my oldest.. it just seemed right. Then our little Nyah, Noah was so young but I just kept getting tugged at that she needed to come and join our family. I had the biggest confirmation of the correctness in that choice when Nathan gave Nyah a blessing that said she would be the reason that her older brother would go on a mission. How does that work? What if I would have completely ignored the spirit? I know God's plan can't be foiled, but what about my little Noah? What experiences would have been lost without her? And as fiesty as she is, I can't imagine my home without her sweet spirit. Would we have the desire to have a large family if we hadn't had her right away? Would we have be content with just Noah? I can't imagine the things we would have missed if we hadn't been listening, and those experiences are by far the some of greatest achievements of my life (the first would be marrying a wonderful man who allows himself to be open to the spirit.)

In closing, CHILDREN ARE NOT A PLAGUE THAT THE EARTH HAS BEEN SMITTEN WITH! The last I checked we were all kids at one point. It's a good thing your parents wanted to have and keep you, right? I was adopted, so already I know that a human life is pretty precious. A white, unwed 20 year-old who wound up pregnant with a black man's child when it wasn't the cool thing to do could have made an "easy" choice and gotten rid of me. Instead, she went through 9 months of pregnancy... which isn't fun for anyone who's tried it.... and gave birth to a child she wouldn't be able to watch grow up. It's absolutely heart wrenching to think of that, but I'm so proud of her. I have had a wonderful life, great parents and siblings, incredible oppurtunities, and now an appreciation for things that I wouldn't have without my experiences.

God's work and glory is to bring about the immortality and eternal life of man. What good can we do in helping Him in this mission if the spirits that are meant to be here aren't being born?

As a favor to me... I know all of you are good, helpful people who read this, but let's try to consiously be aware of those around us more often. We've been instructed to be encouraging and help those with large families. Maybe the next time you see someone with a lot of kids, think of something you can do for them. Maybe you could hold a door. Comment on how cute one or all of the children are. If you have some in your ward perhaps you can offer to babysit or do something with them. There's such a huge stigma there (even in the church), that any help is appreciated. (Although I would caution to not go with the "wow, you're amazing, I don't think I could even do that" approach... it gets old.... maybe just stop at amazing and tack on a good job?)


Michelle Jamison said...

You are amazing, good job! :) Not to patronize you! But I honestly think you are! My mouth dropped open when I read that, who gave her the right to tell YOU what is good for YOUR body??? Eww, some pepople's children were not raised right! I was wanting to read about how you went off on her and used your intellectual prowess and go off on her! I guess you saved that for another post. In the mean time, keep it up, you honestly inspire me. In fact just tonight I thought of you as I was cleaning dishes and thinking about what creative things you were coming up with to do with your kids, could you make that a post, I would love to hear what you are doing, I know you think it is just ordinary stuff, but the rest of us need a little help to be more ordinary like you!!
Oh, and you have me intrigued about how Nyah will help Noah go on a mission, I will be interested to see how that plays out in about 16 years!

H-Duck said...

Wow! I thought that my sister-in-law was getting crazy commentary from complete strangers about her current pregnancy, but I hadn't really thought of what crazy stuff people might say to her after her baby is born (which is scheduled for this week).

I am about a month behind her with my pregnancy and for some reason I haven't yet encountered many kooky comments from strangers. My favorite kooky comments to her that I like to laugh about because they are so silly have been the stranger in the grocery store who felt compelled to tell her that his wife never got that big with any of their five kids. And the ward member who, knowing that my sister-in-law is scheduled for a C-Section, went on and on about how God didn't intend babies to be born that way and babies born that way have really low IQ's. Wow! People are kooky.

I really enjoyed this post. Especially since you emphasized doing what is right for your individual family regardless of what kooky stuff other people say. Yea to that!

Oh, and if you are totally confused on who this is,it is Heather P. I was in your ward (but we recently moved away). I got to your blog through a comment you left on someone else's blog in the ward though I can't remeber exactly whose. I am hoping you remember me. I don't know if it helps you to place me if I tell you that I have two kitties and one is a munchkin breed (has short legs).

And I know you just explained that your camera isn't working, but I wanted to request that you post a picture of Nigel. I want to see how cute he is.

Brown Ohana said...

Cherie-that happens to me all the time even though my kids are almost 3 years apart, and especially now that I'm pregnant. Trust me, if I could have had mine closer in age, I would have. Anyway, you are awesome and I love reading about everything you do with your family, it's really an inspiration!

Natalie said...

Well I can literally say I know what you mean. My first three are 15 months apart and my fourth came 25 months after that. I love that they are close. It was hard for awhile there but now that they are older it is a little easier (most days)
Oh and we are not alone. Just recently I ran into a girl at the mall who had her kids about the same months apart a mine and she looked completely happy.
I still get the YOU HAVE YOUR HANDS FULL almost daily but I have learned to take it as a compliment. Some people go a little too far with their comments and I too wish they would keep it to themselves.
It is good to know other moms out there are doing what they feel to be right no matter what the outside world says!!!

Jenn said...
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