"You must be rich!"

Maria Cunningham

I am the mother of ten children close in age, and you would be amazed at the comments I get when I go out in public!  In fact, I have quite a collection!  Some of the comments are quite lovely, but many are unkind and frankly, offensive. I remember standing in line at a drug store quite pregnant with six kids in tow.  The older gentleman behind me spent a good ten minutes looking me up and down and staring at my children. Without hesitation he turned to me and blurted out for everyone in the store to hear, “You know, your husband really should take up golf.”  I was mortified. 

Recently, at the pool, someone made a new comment for me to add to my collection, one that I had never heard before.  She sat at the poolside watching me play with my younger kids in the shallow end and call back and forth to the older kids across the pool.  I was well aware of the fact that we  were “being watched.”  In fact, at one point, I saw her trying to count the kids without being noticed.  I almost held up my ten fingers, but decided against it!

As I approached her side of the pool, she said, “You must be rich!”

I knew I was rich with ten kids, but somehow that’s not what I thought she meant!

“Pardon me?”  I said.

“I mean your husband must make a lot of money with all those kids.” She responded.

Now that was startling!  How could I respond to that?  My husband did not make a lot of money, but was it really any of her business?  But could I let it pass? 

As my kids pulled me out of the pool, I turned to her with a smile and said, “No, we just make a lot of sacrifices. But it’s all worth it!”

Topics: Culture , Family , Motherhood

Maria Cunningham lives in Fairfax, Virginia with her husband Chuck, and their ten children.   Maria provides a look into her life as a "mom-of-many" at her blog Home Sweet Heart.

View all articles by Maria Cunningham


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