Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sweet Words are like a honeycomb...

so starts one of my favorite Proverbs.

I have written here many times of the unkind comments that many families struggling with infertility face from others.

Lerin reminded me this week about the unkind comments we who have more than one or two children also face.

I will admit, I have been the victim on both sides of this fence. More recently, I have faced the ire of strangers for having two toddlers and being pregnant.

I have often commented on how people rudely assumed after Joey was born that we were done because we had a girl and a boy. Even if we were done, God wasn't. That's why we are having Will.

Many people feel as though we should have stopped after one since Shelby was diagnosed as PDDNOS. Oddly enough, some of the most vocal people in this camp, are parents of other PDDNOS or ASD diagnosed children. I went to a parent meeting one time in which I was the only mother of a girl on the spectrum (not unusual) and also the only parent of more than one child. One mother actually said to me ,"I can't believe you could be fair to either child in this situation!" I have been assured by Shelby's therapists that these parents are by far in the minority, that most families they work with have more than one child and happily welcome new children. A very good friend who we were close to before having children whose son has Asperger's syndrome often commends us on having more than one child as well and wishes she had had her son younger and given him the gift of siblings. So, there are definitely two sides to that story as well.

When someone says something to me I try to have a charitible answer ready. I have heard it all, "You know how that happens, right?", "But you had the perfect set-up!", "Aren't you exhausted?", "Are you done yet?", "Aren't you going to be outnumbered?" and "You know there are ways to prevent that." The last one I heard last Friday at Big Box Mart where I was shopping alone and the woman who said it actually pointed to my son growing in my belly. As insulted and hurt as I was, God gave me grace enough in that moment to realize what a truly ignorant person I was confronted with. And in that moment I had the perfect answer, "Why would my husband and I want to? We get a beautiful baby at the end of it!" The woman was clearly taken aback. We were at the check-out line and she was in front of me. After she left, the cashier looked at me and said, "Wow, that was great!" I just smiled and said thank you.

I realize that for many I may meet, my pregnancy may also cause pain inadvertantly. As many of my friends began having babies early in my marriage and month after month went by with no results, while happy for my friends, I also felt a pain that no one I knew could relate to. I know the feeling well of wondering why others are deserving of the blessing of children while you are not. It is very hard to accept that God's answer to that prayer may be "no" or "not right now" when the desire to have children is so strong. I have not readily been the target of comments that may stem from that type of pain or anger, although I have met women who have heard them.

People are imperfect and our responses are often imperfect, especially to situations that we do not understand. I wrote a small successes post a few weeks ago about praying for the sanctification of others. I honestly believe that a small prayer for the person who makes a rude, judgmental or otherwise silly comment will help in some way.

So, for those out there struggling to become mothers and those who are abundantly blessed, hold your heads high and keep on praying. God will hear those prayers.

1 comment:

Lerin said...

Thank you for both the comment on my entry and the link here. I really appreciate your thoughts on this... thanks to you and a couple of other moms, I am realizing that moms with many are not the only ones fielding rude comments!

Definitely prayer is the best thing! I am realizing that I should feel sympathy for these poor souls than anger/annoyance. Saying a prayer and responding gracefully is the best solution!

Bless you and your sweet family. Going through both sides of the issue makes you uniquely able to relate to both situations!