No, YOU Must be Busy

Picture it. My living room, mid-winter, a playdate with a few girl friends and their preschoolers. I was on a maternity leave with our fourth baby and needed to vent.

“Four boys. Are they all yours?

Wow. FOUR boys – you must be busy.

You know, I’m getting a little tired of being asked that. What? Since I have all boys they must be holy terrors that run me ragged? I don’t think I like the implication that having male offspring automatically means I live in a zoo. Humph, I bet if I had a mix of boys and girls I wouldn’t get asked that. I bet if I had ALL GIRLS no one would say that to me. Sure, I have temporarily misplaced a son in grocery store. And there was that time that I couldn’t find one of them in the library, but that’s because they are little, not because I have too many or that they are boys.

Ok,  they are MOSTLY good boys.
Ok, they are MOSTLY good boys.

When strangers gawk in disbelief that I can smile while carting my four young sons around, I feel defensive. THESE ARE GOOD CHILDREN. They don’t run out into traffic, they haven’t broken any bones (yet. There was that gash to the head during a game of Naked Run, but come on, every kid does that).

I’m not some freak show that people can just come up to me and comment on my procreation. I WON’T BE YOUR DANCING MONKEY.”

My friend slowly sipped her coffee, placed her mug down and calmly asked, “well are you?”

“Am I what?”

“Are you busy?”

I pondered this question for a few seconds, lowered my eyes and quietly answered, “Yes.”

“So, maybe they are just honouring that fact and in a round-about way giving you a pat on the back.”

“Yeah, well… MAYBE YOU ARE RIGHT.”

——-

This is why we need friends, people. To talk you down from the ledge, to tell you that your sweater is looking a little frumpy, that your eyebrows need attending, that your house is “clean enough”, and that maybe, sometimes you need to just settle down, Crazy.

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Author: Jan Moyer

Embracing my inner child since 2005.

16 thoughts on “No, YOU Must be Busy”

  1. Hubs and I just got back from a long weekend with a family of four (two parents, one toddler, and one newborn), and it seems like those parents do little else but feed kids and change diapers. I know not all your kids are in diapers, but nevertheless, I can’t imagine doubling that amount of feeding and crying and cleaning and changing.

    “Let’s never had kids,” I said to Hubs after I stumbled out of the back of the minivan on Sunday afternoon. It was sort of a joke, since we are currently three months pregnant. He responded with, “What have we done?!”

    Hats off to you, Jan. I don’t know how anyone manages four kids, whatever their gender.

  2. I come from a family of four (three boys and our Boss). I don’t know how my folks did it. I don’t know how you do it.

  3. I admit, life in our house with 4 boys is a zoo. Life is crazy for me because the boys have an unquenchable energy and two are adorned with attitude to match. I usually preempt people’s comments when they ask with, “We have four boys and it keeps me busy!” I guess that’s my silent plea for a little grace when my one son in particular acts out in a big way. I am not really encouraged by comments like, “I’m glad its not me” or “You wanted four kids …” . Really, I am trying my best. I have learned take advice with a grain of salt from grandparents who live in Virginia or friends with straight A honours girls. I love my boys and l am honoured God trusted me to be their mom … but life is crazy!

  4. I have 2 girls and 2 boys. It’s busy no matter the gender. Rather than “you must be busy”…I get a lot of…”I don’t know how you do it!”
    My two canned responses, depending on my mood…
    1)Me neither. Some days are better than others, but most are just a blur.
    or
    2)I’m pretty perfect, so 4 is not that big of a deal for me.

    Either one’ll shut ’em down.

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