What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, April 20, 2012

People these days




Is it really Friday already?  Seriously?  Boy, did this week fly by.  

This whole blogging bit slows down drastically when life speeds up and I guess life has  won over the last two weeks.  This is heartening to me, though, because not blogging regularly isn't something BAD-but something actually GOOD.  I like to think that my inconsistent blogging reveals that the real consistency is where it ought to be- lived out in the day to day.

Basically, what I am saying is, I think my priorities are right.

Now is a great time to thank you (THANK YOU!) all for coming to visit me even if I don't make a job out of blogging; even if my blog posts are a wee bit on the sporadic side and even if, when I do blog, I blather on about silly stuff because I don't have time to do the deep stuff swirling around my head justice.

 This week, in particular, has been a flurry of activity.  Monday was a congregational meeting with our church.  Tuesday I spent 4 hours learning to spin (and got to borrow a spinning wheel to practice on!).  Wednesday I spent hours changing organizing the granary.  Thursday I spent the day wallpapering.  Saturday my sister, my Mom and I are going out to breakfast to celebrate Moms birthday.  These big cornerstones of the week were surrounded by the many little drop-in-the-bucket pebbles of...laundry, housecleaning, schooling, organizing, cooking, reading and surprise visitors dropping by nearly every day.  It has been crazy.

A few chatty things about last nights' escapades, for your entertainment.  (Or not.)


~ Last night after wallpapering most the day away, I took the two littlest to the store to get a mirror for the bathroom.  I had seen one that was PERFECT last week; just what I was looking for, perfect for the space AND on clearance at Big Lots.  

I didn't buy it at the time because I wanted to talk to Matt about it first, I wanted to measure the space, I wanted to see if it would be further reduced and I had to wait for Matts paycheck.

So last night I go there and look-and ta-da!  It was still there.  One left!  Way too high (and way too heavy) for me to safely bring down so I went to the counter to get a  worker.  Then-seconds later.  SECONDS.  RIGHT BEFORE MY VERY EYES, a lady finds a sales clerk walking around and asked to buy it.  The sales lady was taking it down and I said, in absolute shock:  

"Are you buying that or just looking?"

She practically snarled at me that she was buying it. 

To which I responded with an inaudible groan of shock and disbelief.  My jaw was literally on the floor and I was frozen.  

As in, could not move.

And the lady got this most awful, smug smile on her face-turned and walked away.

I couldn't believe her.  I couldn't believe it.    I left the store totally stunned. 

I mean I would have probably given it to another person who wanted it so badly, but at the very least, I would have given a friendly and apologetic "Oh, I am sorry!"  

Not a nasty "beat ya to it and I'd do it again!" look.  

That was store ONE.

Store TWO was second chance mirror store.  Home Goods.  Much higher quality, much higher class store than Big Lots.  And cha-ching!  They had a beautiful mirror for only $5.00 more than Big Lots.  (Totally shocking!)  It was bigger than the other and more creamy than white, but I would take a gamble and buy it anyway since it was the only one they had and I never wanted to watch a mirror slip through my fingers right in front of me again.


I go to the register with my two children and the cashier, who is about 50 years old says "Oh, what beautiful children!  And so well-behaved!"  then she added "You certainly have your hands full!"


I laughed, then, and replied "This is only half of them!  This is like a night off for me!"  


I could tell-I just KNEW what was coming.


The uncomfortable shuffling of feet.  The raised eye brows.  The hurrumphing under ones breath.  


Eventually she was able to speak.


She asked how old the other two were and I said 8 and 6.
She asked how old these two were and I said 3 and 1 1/2.


More awkwardness.


The brilliantness that escaped her lips next was:


"Well.  At least the other two are in school all day so you don't have to have them around."


WhaT?!?


If I didn't care so much about making people uncomfortable and if I weren't in utter shock at the hatred people have toward children, I would have responded:

"We homeschool.  I actually LIKE to be around my children, believe it or not."

Instead, I picked up my jaw from the floor (again)-managed a weak smile-and left.  

Since when did people become so selfish, rude and hateful of everyone but themselves?  Wow.


I wonder, why can't I run into any of you great people who always say nice things to me-while knowing full well that we have FOUR children (gasp!) and that we homeschool (gasp!).  And that we occasionally wear skirts (gasp!) and muckboots (gasp!)?  
 And yet, you seem to like us anyway?


So a question:  to the second lady about the children.  Would you have made a wise crack like I thought of doing or would you have reacted similarly?  I always worry about hurting feelings but maybe, just maybe, it is time to be blunt. 


What do you think?


 

26 comments:

Terri said...

I would have smiled sweetly and said, "Oh, I homeschool and I love having my children with me!" Honestly, you'll never change her opinion and life is too short to try! You don't have to have a snarky response and can be very nice. And then go home and thank God that He gave your children to you and not to her! LOL

Bonnie said...

I would have been sweetly snarky. Enough to let them know they are rude, but without stooping to their level.
I also let them know I have 9 brothers and sisters, so really, this isn't a lot.

My favorite all time "wow-people-have no-decency" comment was the lady who asked me if all my children had the same father. Yes, she really did. But then caught herself immediately afterward and said they must, they all look alike. B. told me I should've said yes, they all have the same father, its the mothers we're waiting on the test results for.

We don't get too many crazy looks, but then we don't really go anywhere either.

Off to basement organizing now. Ta ta!

Marlene Bibby said...

Be blunt! Who knows some day it may change one person's attitude. We need to try. Be proactive like when sharing the gospel. God can do wonders even with ornery people. Look at me!!!!

Bonnie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacy said...

I have no kids, but I was homeschooled, so I've heard it all.

Sometimes people, when trying to make small talk and confronted with something unusual, say stupid things, not because they're mean, but because they don't understand. Sometimes they're really trying to relate, and she probably thought that she was saying something you could relate to - she probably sees flustered and agitated young moms with kids come in there all the time. You're the exception, not the rule. :)

I would have said something, but kindly. "No, we homeschool, I love being around my kids all day! They're a ton of fun!" Sometimes it's great to just run them over with positivity and happiness. :)

Lindsey's Photographs said...

Were expecting #5 and we homeschool. Seems after so many the comment are less and people prefer to say it behind your back. :P so I would have been joyfully blunt. Saying we have 3 more at home and we homeschool and love it!
I am shocked however how people are so quick to say "well if this is your last one" um sorry there is no number. It amazes me how people will say how well behaved and precious your kids are and then throw in there "but thats it, right?" :P No! I want 10!

Peggy said...

I would have thought of a dozen things to say after I left the store. Not my mother. One Sunday she and I stood in front of the bldg. waiting on my father. She held my youngest brother and I held the next to the youngest. There were 6 of us at the time. A little old lady came by, stopped and said in a very sarcastic voice "Mary, just HOW many children are you goin to have" Mama smiled sweetly and said "Oh, this will probably be all of them. We finally figured out what was causing it". I was to young to understand why the old lady turn red, blubbered something and huffed off. It sure make me smile today.

constant lurker said...

What I try to remind myself of is the basic principle of "no matter what you're doing, you're doing it wrong," that people seem to use to interact with each other.

I am unmarried, childless, and 43. So in my case casual chat tends to "aren't you worried about your old age? didn't you want to be a mother?" and similar sorts of "what's wrong with you?" questions. For some reason, women get targeted with these all the time, whether they have zero children or twenty. I just keep in mind that I'm not doing it wrong, and that if other people don't understand the satisfaction that comes from my lifestyle, well, I probably don't understand the satisfaction that comes from theirs, either, or wouldn't unless I knew them well enough not to be passing quick judgment while waiting to pay for my groceries ...

So rest assured: you ARE doing it right :)

Quinn said...

I would surely have told her that we homeschooled but I can only deviate from my people-pleasing self so far and would probably have left it at that (Unless the conversation went farther. Then who knows?) Thankfully and surprisingly, I get less flack in the real world than I used to when I had much fewer children. I think all those publicly educated folks out there have a hard time counting as high as seven ;D And it's a good thing too because I usually head out with my husband along with us and while he responds in a such a friendly tone they might not figure out he's actually being smart about it!

Mary said...

People, seem to be doing this always. Anything other than their *exact* same choices seem to make them uncomfortable ? I don't really care much about strangers or non-christians, but I used to get hurt a lot about what christians say. More so since they throw the 'you are going to hell or you are doing things wrong because *insert verse*' says so.

My choices are different from yours in some and similar to yours in others. There have been periods where I have worked outside the home and others where I have stayed home with my children. In both cases, these decisions had to do with *our family* and nothing to do with others. So I just smile and say, 'this works for us' or 'this works for our family'. Subtle barbs especially from christians has I hope made me more eager to give grace to others than rush to judge.

Your choices are yours Rebecca, you make them for your family and I think with prayer like me. You may not always be able to articulate why you made them, but don't feel guilty or angry. The only people you are answerable to are God and on earth, I think like I am to my husband, you are answerable to Matt.

Rebecca said...

First of all, I think that MOST people who say things like that aren't really trying to say something mean. It just comes out that way. Second, I would have responded gleefully that I enjoy being with my kids and am proud to have them home for their schooling. Some people just see glasses half empty. I don't believe we have so much influence on changing someone else's attitude but we can still keep ours intact.

Lavender Rise said...

I likely would have bit my tongue like you. We have seven now and I don't homeschool any more, but I never came across anyone who was so clueless/rotten about us having four AND homeschooling. Wow! It's a hoot when we dare to venture out with seven -- especially since the first four are blonde and the littles are ebony. We adopted them from the Philippines. If you can watch slyly, you can really see that we are messing with some people's minds.

I hope your mirror fits and looks beautiful!

Blessings!
Deborah

Tracy said...

I'm painfully blunt. PAINFULLY. It gets me into trouble. I never intentionally hurt someone's feelings, but it happens.

Anyway, once, when I had three children, ages 3 1/2 to infant, and older woman gave me a disdainful look at the grocery store, and said, " I KNOW what you do with your spare time!"

I replied, "LAUNDRY!"

I learned, when my children were young, when someone said "Boy, are your hands full!" to reply sweetly, "Better full than empty!", and to leave it at that.

...they call me mommy... said...

I'm with Bonnie, sweetly snarky!...I usually say something like, "Oh I LOVE being at home with my kids, it's my dream job" or whatever...usually, that makes them pipe down a bit. The most irritating one to me is when people say, "Don't you know how that happens?" I'm tempted to say, "No, can you tell me?" ;) >:} People are so rude, so noisy, and so irritating!

Sorry about your mirror! :(

Bonnie said...

Ha! Amy I always want to say " Yes we do, and from the looks of things, we're pretty darn good at it!"

Caroline said...

Bonnie,

That's not so Christian, to hope her mirror broke on the way home. What happened to turn the other cheek? Did Jesus say, turn the other cheek and reply with sweet snark.

I don't think so. We can never assume we are better than others because we do X, or think Y. We don't know their situations; we don't know their histories. We simply meditate on these situations, ask for guidance, and move on. We don't share the stories to make us feel better about ourselves, or our choices.

My two cents.

Victorianlady8 said...

Rebecca, I am so sorry for you! I just want you to know, that I am so happy you have been blessed by children! I also want to share how different people are now....when we had our first 27 years ago :O people were kinder, they liked children and said ah...when they saw them...we have eight children from 27- to aged 3 yes, shock! As we went along to stores etc..people would make different types of comments, oh you have your hands full ..to which I would nice reply, I am so thankful, when so many women have empty hands :( continue on for years until 24 years later haven given birth to our Precious Number eight at aged 45 the comments are rude and embarrassing...like don't you know how that happens by now? or you can stop now! strangers...people I don't know can say such embarrassing and rude things to me in FRONT of my children! We are now a society of hate children...love dogs! yes, we want people to have a dog or an animal but have children and we believe we are now the children police and in charge of who has what! I say SHAME on them! I rejoice with EACH AND EVERY GIFT that the Lord has blessed us with and I praise Him for having wisdom that I would never have had if He hadn't asked me to give him the control of my womb! Love and care....and oh to sit and spin together!

Riahli said...

I have four as well and I've had people say the rudest things to me, and it always shocks me the negative things people say about children. I have a hard time saying anything back, I don't want to be rude or embarrass them or cause a scene, so I usually don't say what I wish I could say. I think of great come backs way later on... ha ha! People ALWAYS say to me "wow do you have your hands full" and for some reason that one bothers me so now I say "yes and my heart" and smile and move on. Makes me feel better anyways. :)

Bonnie said...

Hi Caroline!
Just to clear the air, I was NOT hoping the mirror broke! Unfortunately my sarcasm can get me into trouble, and you are absolutely right in how my comment came across, so I've deleted it- thank you for pointing it out!

As for being "sweetly snarky", I make sure people know that I enjoy, love and appreciate my children, and don't consider them a burden, but worded so that hopefully they will stop and think the next time they want to make a negative comment about a large family. Most of the time though, it seems to go right over their heads.
Blessings this weekend~
Bonnie

Bobbi Anderson said...

Rebecca im so sorry. It shows how far we have come from understanding the blessing that children are. I must confess i did not truly understand until i began the adventure of motherhood myself!

the latest one that made me swallow hard and inwardly frown was a lady said to me in response to the fact that my two children are 14 months apart was she said "well you know how that happened now dont you" i just smiled and said yes and thought to myself, we plan to make it happen as many times as God allows!

on a lighter note i was just looking at this tutorial and thought of you : )

Blessings dear one! Hold up your chin, you and yours are precious in the sight of our ALMIGHTY creator!
-bobbi

http://thecottagehome.blogspot.com/2010/06/vintage-hanky-tote-tutorial.html

Anonymous said...

I always have to wonder about adults who make comments like that about children in front of children! Don't they ever think how that makes the little ones feel?

Jen in OK

Crazy library lady who got your phone number for a play date and then lost it said...

I think it is so important to remember that every moment is a teaching moment for our ever attentive little ones. In that regard I try to answer with a smile and love in my tone while still sharing my values and joy. I do hope that sharing my joy may change that person's view and I believe that it is so important for my children to hear and learn how to give an answer for their beliefs.

I also think that it is important to surround oneself with like minded people who will build you up and support you on your journey. Several years ago we sadly left a church with a very large children's program. While the children's program was a huge focus, the grandparents of the church were constantly discussing how ridiculous it was how many children their adult children were having (anything over two was ridiculous unless you were trying for that evasive gender and then that gave you a pass for one more but that was your last acceptable chance.) I feel that the timing was perfect because several months later we were expecting our third when my second was only three months old. It was so encouraging to go to church and have people not begin the conversation with, "are you happy?" but rather their first response was congratulation and the assumption that we were ecstatic.

In my own snarky way though I must admit that I really enjoy answering how old my children are. Currently I have a four year old and two two year olds. This is always followed up with the response, "oh twins". No I respond with a smile they are 10 months apart (my son was born three months early). That always brings an eye brow raise:)

Anonymous said...

Love the chicken peeking out of the wagon...so sweet. Can't wait
to see your bathroom when it's all
finished.

God bless,
Janet

Rebecca said...

Thanks for all the input everyone! Glad to hear everyones' opinion on the matter and hope to be more prepared in the future for a positive response.

Caroline~ one of the limits of technology is that it can not relate the tone of words as we sometimes hope it will. Sarcasm or teasing can come off as something totally different. I know, because my well-intentioned words on this blog have often been taken ~completely~ wrong.

I know Bonnie well and certainly know that she never would have really wished for the mirror to be broken. It was said in a fun-loving, jesting sort of tone which I only know because I know her so well.

Bonnie~ Good girl for the sweet response at a chastisement! If only I handled myself so well when I were tsk, tsked.

Crazy Library lady~ well HI! If you ever want it again- you can email me at sgrbear724 at yahoo
I really appreciated your thoughts-I often think about how my children are listening to my responses. That is, in part, why my flabbergasted silence irritated me.

Mrs. Rebekah S. said...

We have three children here and are so joyfully expecting again after a miscarriage last year. I thought the comments while expecting our third were bad enough--after all WHAT were we thinking of having ANOTHER when we already had a boy and girl! (Sarcasm.) The comments are only worse and more insensitive this time--even from those who knew how crushed we were when we lost our wee one. When someone raises their eyebrows and says, "You have your hands full." I usually smile broadly (and genuinely) and reply, "Delightedly so!" I home educate in a country in which it is still relatively rare and especially in this region, so I get a LOT of strange looks and comments on the rare occasion we're out during school hours. I tell people I looked forward to having children and teaching them all my life and couldn't imagine not having them around. Strangers seem always to be surprised by how our children all get along--and I always wonder, compared to what? They still get on each others nerves at times, but we're a generally happy group. Most days. ;)

As to the mirror--that is just.plain.sad. When triumphing over someone else over the acquisition of a mirror from Big Lots elicits that kind of demeanor it's just baffling. Glad you found another with which you're pleased. :) I've gotten so when we see displays such as that, I tell my children we should probably stop and pray for the person, because they must need it. I hope that doesn't sound arrogant, as it'e truly not meant to be so. I just truly mean that if that's where they're at, they would really benefit from knowing real Treasure not found in material things.

Anyway, my two cents. Have a lovely day!

Nicole {tired, need sleep} said...

I try to keep in mind that we are being an example... if I had the presence of mind and weren't blinded by anger, I'd probably put my arm around my children (who had to hear what she said!) and say something along the lines of, "Oh my children are a joy to be around and I am so thankful to have them." And left it at that. It might help her see how hurtful her comments could be to children themselves, and it might make her see that her feelings about children do not HAVE to be so negative. Sometimes it's easy to get in a negative frame of mind and just having someone else show a different point of view by their actions or a simple comment can help the person rethink their own feelings. It is such a shame that seeing children as burdens has become so prevalent... you are doing a wonderful job of working against that view! :)