Monday, May 17, 2010

How NOT To React To Someone's News

Over the past 32 years, I have learned a thing or two about when someone shares news. Whether it's good news, bad news, exciting news, or "I couldn't give 2 craps less" news, there are some universal rules (in my esteemed opinion) that one should follow upon hearing said news.

I've gleaned this insight from years of reacting HORRIBLY to things that 1)I didn't agree with, 2) didn't find exciting or to be *good news*, and 3) thinking I was saying the right things only to realize later I wasn't. Allow me to share this invaluable insight with you all...

*When someone tells you something that you are sure is a big announcement to them, your only response should be "Wow! Congrats! How do you feel about [the news]?"


Now, you KNOW those other girls aren't happy that they didn't win, but look how they put on a happy face as if to say they are...They could be an inspiration to us all.

Please do not respond in the same ways that I myself have or in ways that others have responded to me:

*Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. Um, wow.
*You're crazy!
*Oh boy, I'm sorry---a response NOT to be given when someone excitedly announces they are pregnant or some other wonderful (to them) news.
*Well, that's just great. (dripping with sarcasm.)

I have learned that even if I don't think something is particulary exciting or would be considered good news by me, the person making the announcement obviously feels it is a happy thing. My job, then, becomes to wish them well and zip my lip. I only have to listen from there on out...

Some people react so negatively because they wouldn't be happy to be in the same position. My response to them: So what? We aren't talking about you.

I find this to be the case when announcing a pregnancy. For those with more than 2 children, the reaction from family and friends upon hearing that more children are on the way is often less than positive. I had someone tell me yesterday that his mother told his wife and him that if they had more than 2 children, she wouldn't babysit for them anymore. I think that's ridiculous. It wasn't a matter of the woman's health, it was simply stated in a matter of fact, "I think 2 is enough" way.

When and why did we decide that we should measure someone else's level of happiness by what we would be happy with?

Just because you don't want to move or get a promotion or have a[nother] baby doesn't mean we shouldn't at least act happy for those who are.

So, having said that and making you wait through that preamble (you are still here, right?) I'm going to get on with it.

Most of the people in my inner circle now know that my whole blog will be changing soon. That header image I paid for at the top of the page? Obsolete. My Twitter name (MandyPMommyof4)? No longer accurate. The 'byline' for my blog (Wife to 1 and mom to 4 all under the age of 5. Lovin' life and laughin' at the craziness of it all"? Have to re-do. Have you figured it out yet?

This past Mother's Day, I found myself in a dirty McDonlad's public restroom holding a stick I just peed on-- and it had not 1 but 2 pink lines. We all know what THAT means, right? MandyPMommyof4 just turned into MandyPMommyof5! (Don't ask why I was in a McDonald's restroom. Long story...)

That still sends me into shock. (Notice I haven't been able to bring myself to say the word 'pregnant'  yet...well, until just now.)

My "favorite" reactions from others so far:

*"The Catholic Diocese is going to call you guys and personally thank you"
*One of you needs to get something stitched up"
*"I'm so glad you're having so many children since I'm not having any"
*"I guess you two haven't figured out what causes it yet"
*"Guess Joe doesn't work that much"
*"OMG You're crazy!"
*"Okay, 'Michelle Duggar'"
*"Are you guys trying to get your own show on TLC?"
*"Hope it's born in 2010 so you get the tax write-off"

And there were plenty of positive, sincere congratulations too. Our single neighbor across the street almost exploded. He likes to say things like, "You got all them damn kids."

My absolute favorite response? The only one that I think is truly accurate? From my mother-in-law:
She said, "It's none of my business how many children you have. That's between you, your husband, and God. I have room in my heart for 100 grandchildren." And the truth shall set you free. Gotta love that Sal!

My mom was also thrilled. I think most of our friends and family have kind of been waiting for the announcement (although we honestly had NO idea it was forthcoming.) Seems we make the "pregnancy announcement" about this time each year.

So, please send prayers our way. While it will make for great blog fodder, it's also sure to be stressful.

*Images compliments of Google images.
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