I’m a huge believer in giving the benefit of the doubt to everyone! I try so hard to understand someone’s perspective, history, context and opinion. But as my kids get a bit older, and I’m out with them more frequently, I’m starting to become the object of many comments regarding their age gaps.
“Wow, you must have your hands full”
“Wow, you’ve been busy”
“You must be exhausted”
“So how old ARE they?”
Usually it’s the tone or look accompanying the comment combined with the fact that I’ve literally just met these people that makes the comment feel less like an invitation to gush about my kids and more like a time to defend our family’s very fabric of being. The snarky responses in my head were starting to pile up, and that’s not like me. So, my friend and I came up with some great ways to deflect those comments that sometimes feel negative.
But, the more I thought about it, I realized it’s not a typical age gap and most people are just commenting on the wonderful circus that is all of us out and about.
My hands are full, we are busy, I am tired and they’re 4,3 and 1. It’s so hard not to project my own insecurities, but giving someone the benefit of the doubt makes me imagine for a moment that the situation isn’t a dig at me or “the very fabric of my family’s being.”
Although I wouldn’t change a thing, there are times when I feel overwhelmed by the demanding ages and stages my kids are in, and it probably makes me more sensitive to those kinds of comments. And while I do feel like the days are long (and years) I know that one day I will mourn these younger, wilder, cuter ages! Maybe I’ll even miss the comments from strangers about our funny little lot, trotting around town in a chaotic cloud of giggles, shrieks, and mispronounced words.