Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A day at the dentist (and the gasp heard round the world)

I'm soooooo sleeeeeeeeeeeeeepy.

This morning I took the kids to the dentist for their regular check-ups. No cavities for any of them, hooray!!!

I, however, am exhausted. (2 hours at a medical visit with four kids when you're 9 months pregnant will do that to you I suppose. :) )

I'd say the morning was completely uneventful, but that wouldn't be entirely true. Because as we were sitting in the waiting room and I was signing some paperwork, a mom (to two elementary-aged kids) asked incredulously, "Are ALL THESE YOURS???!!!!"

(By "these" she must have meant my four happily-and-quietly-playing children who I find to be pretty pleasant overall.)

I smiled and said, "Yep!"

Then there was an audible GASP. That I'm certain was heard from more than a mile away. Followed by, "Oh my GOSH!!!" Then ANOTHER loud, dramatic gasp. And finally, "You really have your hands full!!!"

I just chuckled and went back to my paperwork. I debated saying something about how my kids are actually a joy (which I could say in good conscience at that point--it would be another hour before my 2 year old decided to throw chalk and then a fit, which could also probably be heard from more than a mile away), but her reaction to my family was so absurd I figured I wouldn't dignify it by engaging in any sort of conversation, period.

And as for what I REALLY wanted to say? I wanted to say I'm sorry that the prospect of motherhood is so distasteful, that on some level being a parent is SO MISERABLE, that the idea of 4 young children is enough to elicit gasps of horror from a complete stranger. That I think our culture/generation is so incredibly confused about purpose, life and work and so long as we seek gratification from entertainment/money/me-time, we will inevitably be unfulfilled in the vocation of motherhood.

But of course I didn't. Instead I spent the next 2 hours with my kids while they had their teeth checked and cleaned, oversaw them excitedly choosing 2 toys each from the box for being cavity-free, endured a screaming, tired, hungry 2 year old's tantrum that ultimately included a timeout, more tears, a hug and a sweet little apology, and finally I brought everyone home, happily sucking on sugar-free lollipops and chatting about their new bouncy balls and toothbrushes.

So no, I didn't discover the cure for cancer today. I didn't get a massage or a pedicure. I wasn't able to take a 3-hour nap, or have lunch with a friend, or take a nice hot bath. I'm a mom. I spent the day with my family. It was a simple, exhausting, non-glamorous day, but it was a day that God gave me to love Him by loving my children. Who also happen to be His children.

The thing is, God has brought me (and is continuing to bring me) to a place where I'm quite comfortable with who I am, and I've developed a pretty thick skin when it comes to the lame-o comments I get in public sometimes.

But I still blog some of them, in part because it's my life, in part because I know some of you can relate, and also because it's a way for me to process through my convictions and thoughts.

Therefore, you got an earful about my day at the dentist.

But I'm done now.

The end. :)


Joanie said...

Check out this song on Tim's blog - I promptly stole it and put it on my blog. This season is part of your ministry!

I loved this response that someone posted a few months ago: When asked if they're all yours, just say:

"I know! Can you believe how incredibly BLESSED I am?!?"

MeganAnne said...

It's very impowering the joy you have with your family and children. I think those comments and reactions you get to having a large family come really from the others' insecurities with their own child raising and family building skills. I think you have a much more health mind set about this process than most people out there.

I am sure they are imagining what it would be like if everyone in your family had a melt down at the same time. But they are missing the great joy and strength you all bring to each other.

jenny said...

Oh Brianna, gosh. Some people and the nerve they have. I mean, I understand how, when looking at someone with many children, one can feel like "I wonder how they do it!" b/c I often wonder how my mother did it. But, to say it in a negative way does not show what my heart feels. I love children and hope to be blessed with however many God will give me. Although it may seem a daunting task at times, I do see the beauty in it as well.

Mama Mote said...

Enjoy your mom title. So, like Jenny's mom, what did people say back then and even farther. Dan's mom had 5 kids, there are several families I know, my age and older, who had more two or three. Don't get it! You are blessed and you are a blessing, Brianna. love and watching for news on Baby H coming up.

Ginger said...

People never cease to amaze and annoy me. After our daughter was born, I heard the comment (more than once I might add), "oh perfect, a boy & a girl, now you can be done!"...To which I always respond something like, "oh now, we're a long way from done!"

Jeannett Gibson said...

I regularly hear the hands full comment...which is strange because I only have three, but maybe it's because of their ages? Anyway, my standard response has been "better full than empty!" to which...in almost every case, the person who made the comment, actually kinda stops, smiles and says "you're right!". I think it kinda disarms them and makes them realize how silly their original comment was.

However, I have had people also lift a brow and say "Now, you ARE done, aren't you?" Um, no. We want one more. Boy, you would think four kids is tantamount to an entire NFL team! The looks! Whew!

Keep up the good mommy work...although I admit that many nights I need nothing more than a bubble bath to reset my brain. :)

Renee said...


Michele said...

Hi Brianna,
Can't find your email contact (one of those days!). Wondering if you would give me the quick input on AAI? Hubby and I are feeling convicted to walk the walk....
Thanks so much!

Mike and Rachel said...

You have 4 (5) kids and 2 hands. They are full and it's awesome.

By the way, I didn't even take my 2 kids to the dentist by myself. I was so scared! Luckily the kids were amazing and Mike took off towards the end to get to work (we went at 8:30am). I can't wait for you hands to be full of your new baby girl!!!

Paige said...

Loved Joanie's response:
"I know! Can you believe how incredibly BLESSED I am?!?"

You are awesome Brianna! Can't wait to see pictures of sweet baby girl!

Shana said...

I'm so OVER the "you have your hands full" comment. Thank you for reminding me that it's not necessarily a reflection on my kid's behavior, as it is on the skewed viewpoint of the person making the comment.

Tamara said...

Oh my goodness Brianna! If 9 months pregnant doesn't trigger you to work someone, I don't know what will!! You are my hero, I am amazed at the grace you have grown into :-)

chloeadele said...

what a fabulous post! what a wonderful, God-glorifying attitude you have!

wendy said...

This was so beautifully written! It is sad to me how the world devalues motherhood and children these days.

Tabatha Aikins said...

Oh, it's a tough job to manage kids! You have 5 and you're doing a great job. You're practically a super mom! And you brought your kids to the dentist. That's an investment for them! I have two kids and they are not afraid of the dentist. I hope our kids will grow with dino-like teeth. Kudos to you, Brianna! :)


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