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.

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.
    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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