Wednesday, 1 June 2011


Looking through all our stored clothes, we discovered we needed some summer 12-18month clothes.  My mother had thankfully blessed us with some money to buy some for L.  So off we went as a family to do our shopping.

Shopping with a husband and 4 young boys is no easy task.  I find the children are either 'over-helpful' or dragging their feet hoping we'll just give up and go home.  Jon not quite so bad but wants it to be over with as quickly as possible.  I find the easiest way to do shopping with the children is to keep it short, know what you want and be decisive.  If I want to peruse and take my time - I go on my own.  If I need to go for a few shops then I do my best to engage with each child, talking asking them questions so I know where they are and I have their attention.  If it is shopping where Jon and I both need to go, then we do realise this is torture for our children and so we reward  their good behaviour of waiting patiently and quietly when we have completed our mission.  We sometimes make these 'research' trips and then make our decision when we are at home, and one of us will go back out and make the purchase later.  Before we leave, we instruct our children on what we're doing and what behaviour we expect.  We also tell them if they do this, it will be quicker - which seems to be everyones goal.  They do push the boundaries and when this happens daddy will promptly take them to the shops toilet to dispense discipline.  We prefer to discipline our children privately rather than publicly.  This is because we don't want to add further shame or embarrassment to our children and we can focus on discipline without worrying where the other children are or other peoples comments.  Also we don't want to be one of those highly stressed out parents shouting out empty threats whilst trying to do shopping.  I really do like online shopping as saves so much hassle!

On this occasion the children were well behaved and we had chosen our purchases, we made our way to the checkout.  The assistant asked 'are they all your children?' which we replied 'yes' she then replied "4 boys, oh how awful, that's my worst nightmare"  I was a little stunned at such a comment especially in front of my 4 boys.  I replied "well I don't think its awful, I love my boys".  I would of liked to have used stronger language, but am learning to control my tongue, especially in front of our boys.  She then went on to say - 'but you have no one to back you up'.  I'm not quite sure what she expected me to say or comment but the assistant soon realised (probably by my tone and body language) this was not something she was going to convince me of.  I gracefully answered her comments and hope she could see that we were not a walking nightmare but a loving family that feels truly blessed. 

I know as a family of 4 boys we will probably receive lots more of these comments and I hope I will become less sensitive to them and grow more in grace in my answers, to show that they are unfounded in their opinions.

I know I have 4 boys and a husband but I am in a marriage, a partnership that does not require children to 'back me up'.  Perhaps her experience of marriage is different, but I am thankful for mine, that I have a husband who knows we are made unique with different roles but both in Gods image.  I am no less female being a house of all males. I think being around my Godly men increases my biblical femininity.  I am the only example of a godly woman/wife/mother in our house and I intend to model it to them to the best I can, with God helping and guiding me.  Its important because this is their first experience of marriage and what a godly woman is.  I hope this will give them discernment for choosing a wife, if called to marriage when they are older.

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