DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are in our mid-30s, married 13 years. We have four wonderful young sons, ranging in age from 11 to 2, and I'm expecting our fifth and final child.
Abby, you would not believe the number of people who feel free to make comments like, "You DO know how to prevent pregnancy, don't you?" or begin to lecture me about how much it's going to cost to send them all to college.
I am a college graduate, with a career that I love and for which I am well-paid. My husband is also college-educated and successfully self-employed. We are by no means short of money. I think these things get said because we are perceived as younger than we actually are. (People often assume we're in our mid-20s, but still it's rude and oftentimes hurtful.) Our children are healthy, happy and well-cared-for.
Please give me some advice, because I'm about to lose it with the next person who says such things to me. -- MOM WHO LOVES A LARGE FAMILY
DEAR MOM: There is no end of presumptuous comments that people make, trying to be funny, trying to be "helpful" or simply out of intrusiveness. Rather than losing your temper, try to handle them with humor. For those "wits" who say, "You DO know how to prevent pregnancy, don't you?" smile and reply, "Of course we do, but our dream has always been to have a large family." (What are they going to tell you -- that you're wrong?) And to the person who lectures you about the cost of higher education, give a wink and grin, and say, "Thanks for pointing that out. When the time comes, we'll hit you up for a loan."