Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Answering Cheeky Questions About Larger Families




A lady who has been rewarded with several children may at times find herself the target of tactless questions and remarks, either by people she knows or complete strangers.

One gentle reader, mother to four children, has shared six comments that she frequently encounters, in hopes of arming herself with a gracious response.  Here are those comments with some suggested ladylike replies, to be given with a low tone, a warm smile, and a twinkle in the eye:

  1. Cheeky comment: "You know what causes that, don't you?"  Ladylike response: "Well, I suppose some scientists might call it survival of the fittest."
  2. Cheeky comment: "You guys need to get a TV."  Ladylike response: "Yes? Well, I suppose there are those who'd rather watch television."
  3. Cheeky comment: "Did you plan to have that many kids or was that an accident?"  Ladylike response: "Children are never accidents."
  4. Cheeky comment: "You guys are done, right?"  Ladylike response: ""Well, I really couldn't say.  We like to keep the busybodies talking!"
  5. Cheeky comment: "Wow, you have your hands full!"  Ladylike response: "Yes, it's a wonderful life!"
  6. Cheeky comment: "Are you guys Mormon or something?"  Ladylike response: "Or something!"

Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
Proverbs 26:4,5

Photo: Cheaper by the Dozen, 1950

18 comments:

  1. Thank you! :) We have eight children and the comments are endless indeed!

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    1. How wonderful! I'm so happy to hear from you, Gigi.

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  2. Thank you, Nancy. Can someone please explain the Proverbs passage to me? I don't know if it is because I am reading "pre-coffee", but I had to read it several times and am still not grasping the meaning.

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    1. Yes, I'll be happy to try!

      Each of these proverbs shows us a different side of the same coin in dealing wisely with fools.

      On one hand, a wise person should not answer a fool by acting like a fool himself (verse 4). When a fool mocks, boasts, insults or rages, a wise person doesn't answer in kind by mocking, boasting, insulting or raging back. He doesn't stoop to the level of the fool by becoming just like him.

      On the other hand, there are times when a wise person does condescend to answer a fool (verse 5). With well-chosen words directly to the point, the wise person exposes the foolishness, taking the wind out of fool's sails.

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    2. This is very helpful! Thank you, Nancy.

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  3. Thank you for your wonderful suggestions! I hadn't thought of any of those...how clever!

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    1. Thank you for bringing up such a good question!

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  4. We have five children and got our share of rude stares and comments while living in Virginia when my husband was stationed at Headquarters Marine Corps. Several times when asked if they were all his, my husband would answer, "Some of them are my wife's." Blended families being more acceptable than the product of one couple. When asked if we knew what was causing it we'd answer, "Yes and we enjoy it every time!" Then we'd let them squirm. How many children a family has is a private concern! Funny that when we moved to Utah (we are Mormons) nobody even noticed our "large" family. We fit right in. My mother was #12 of 15 children, my father has one sister. There's no wrong or right number. There's only love and good manners.

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  5. Thank you Nancy for this wonderful post and I love that proverb. I had to quit following a popular blog because there were people who were just downright mean to this family. I had to fight the urge to say something mean, therefore becoming a.. ahem "fool" like them.

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    1. Thank you, Regina! And how I can relate to the last part of your comment...for I was tempted to suggest some zingers in response to these rude remarks. :)

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  6. Every answer you have given is priceless.
    Jilly💖💖💖

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  7. I found your blog from a link at "The Transformed Wife," and I love it! Thank you!! I have just finished reading through all of your posts. Some things (very few!) I already knew, some I had felt instinctively (usually through observing the reverse in modern women's behavior), but quite a few I simply had never thought of. I really appreciate your taking the time to write all of these things out, and I love your brief and succinct style - easy to understand and to remember! And you have the material for a lovely book!!

    Looking forward to reading more!

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    1. Diana, I am so happy to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to write! Your words are an great encouragement to me.

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  8. What would you suggest a lady say when she is asked why she has not yet had any children? As someone struggling with infertility who has been married nearly six years, I encounter this line of questioning often.

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    1. Dear Kay Pea, I think in such a case a lady might simply say, "I'm afraid God is the only One who can answer that." And then quickly change the subject.

      His richest blessings I wish to you!

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