To the lady ashamed of being pregnant with her fourth

I met you in the elevator on my way back from the pediatrician’s office. It was just me and Wren, and you looked at her fondly in her stroller. When the elevator doors opened, you very kindly held the doors open for me. As I clumsily maneuvered the stroller past you, I accidentally ran over your foot. “Don’t worry about it,” you assured me over my profuse apologies. “I have three children myself,” you revealed to me. My eyes traveled to your big belly. There was an awkward pause as I wondered if I could assume you were pregnant. “And I’m expecting my fourth,” you admitted. “Congratulations!,” I tell you. “That is wonderful!” I see the relief spread across your face. “Thank you!” you say, and I could tell you meant it. “You have no idea how many people offer their condolences when they find out this is my fourth. Or they ask me if this was planned.” “How rude of them,” I reply. “All children are a blessing.”

As we parted ways, I felt an immense sorrow for what our society has become. When did having a large family become equivalent to a tragic event? Why do people think that seeing a mother with lots of children automatically entitle them to make rude comments concerning her family planning? Countless strangers in grocery stores have seen me with my three little ones and impertinently asked me how many children I was planning on having. I don’t know, person I have never met before. Tell you what, how about next week I will bring my husband here and all three of us will discuss our family planning and come up with a number you find suitable. Or figure out which ones to eliminate if you feel I have too many already. But honestly, the only answer for the impertinent question of how many children I am going to have is: all of them.

And why are people so obsessed with whether a pregnancy is “planned” or not? Does the child from a “planned” pregnancy have more value than the child of an “unplanned” pregnancy? As to the answer to this other impertinent question, my only answer is: yes, God planned for this child from time immemorial, and I will do my best with this life that is entrusted to me.

There seems to be some unspoken rule that you are only allowed to have two children: one girl and one boy, about 2-5 years apart. If you mess up and fail to meet the gender quota of one of each, you are permitted to go out on a limb and have a third. However, you will risk endless ridicule from strangers if you really mess up and end up with (God forbid ) THREE of the same gender. I have never understood this stock portfolio approach to child bearing. If you are looking for variety, you get plenty of that within the same gender, trust me. Besides, I hate to point out the obvious, but no matter what you plan on having, you get what you get. As much as we want to, we can’t control everything. Especially when it comes to child bearing. I’m ok with that mostly because I’m religious, but I’m digressing from the point of this post.

I have three girls who are each about a year apart. This, for some reason, makes people feel uncomfortable. They are constantly trying to rationalize my unconscionable decision to have that many children so close in age with either: 1) that we kept unsuccessfully trying for a boy, or 2) we are “getting it out of the way quickly”. To be honest, I don’t even know what # 2 means. We’re having children, not going in for a root canal. I have stopped even trying to explain to people that no, we just like having children. That just doesn’t compute. Who would have three children close together ON PURPOSE? Because, I mean, isn’t it difficult? And so not worth it? Maybe if I told them I am a rebel who is swimming against the stream I will garner more support. Being rebellious is always cool, right?

Benjamin Franklin was one of ten children (UPDATE: a kind reader has informed me that he was actually the youngest of seventeen!) Beethoven was one of seven, and JFK was one of nine! Every child has the potential to do something great in the world. So please, give the mother of these children the support and encouragement she needs whether it is her first child or her ninth. Because your last child deserves just as much excitement as your first.

And to the lady in the elevator, a thousand times congrats. You are truly blessed.

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1,872 thoughts on “To the lady ashamed of being pregnant with her fourth

  1. Biggsy

    Astonishing albeit a bit taboo, but having 1 less child reduces your carbon footprint by the weight of 51 Jumbo Jets! (9.5k tonnes). This article below essentially says that “If you live in Britain or the US there is nothing you can do to reduce your impact on the environment that even comes close to the effects of having one less child”.

    So with the global population at something like 6.5bn that could be an argument for reducing family size: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/13/climate-change-family-size-babies

    I’m neither for or against – but an interesting read all the same πŸ™‚

  2. Caitlin

    I am a mother to 2 girls. They are 21 months apart. When my oldest was 14 months and we told everyone I was pregnant they acted as if I got pregnant again the second my oldest was out of the womb. I think their age gap is perfect. I get asked often “are you gonna try for that boy!?” As if my two girls are a bad thing. In my eyes that saves me money! They can practically share clothes and toys. I would absolutely love a boy. But if I were to get pregnant and have another girl. I am just as happy with that.

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  4. Tiffany Desormeaux

    A friend just sent me this blog and I love it!! I know the feeling of getting those awkward questions by strangers I’m a mommy of 4 BOYS!! Lol!! And when people find out I have 4 boys and NO girls they have this look on their face its just hard to explain and the. I get “oh Hunni I feel sorry for you” ” don’t you know they will eat you out of house and home” “a mom of boys is not for the faint of heart” & my all time favorite “are you going to try for your girl?” And when I answer NO we’re happy with our 4 boys it’s like I’m cursing them out or something or I just said the most nasty thing in the world the look on their face is almost like they are applaud that I would not want to have a daughter!! If they only knew deep down in my heart I want a daughter more than any one will know but it’s not in our book to have one of our own we do plan on adopting a baby girl one day!!! Then the question oh how old are they and giggle when they ask this question bc I know what comes after I say third ages ” right now they are 8,6,4,&2″ and then those lovely questions start again ” we’re they planned that way” “do yall own a tv” “how could you find time for sex with so many kids in the house” that one freaks me out every time like I dare you ask about my personal life with my husband! And all 4 of my boys look alike but are diffrent I wish I could share a photo with you of my beautiful family!! My oldest has brown hair blue eyes fair completed my 2nd son has black hair dark brown eyes and a natural tan all year round my 3rd son has light brown hair and green eyes with a slight tan and my 4th the real ODD ball as ppl call him he has Blonde hair and crystal blue eyes and white as they come!! And I’ve been asked a few times if they all have the same dad!! The last time I was asked I checked myself to make sure I was not dressed like a street walker or something Lol!! And politely answers each time yes they ALL have the same dad we have been together x amount of years I DO NOT belive in cheating my heart and body goes to him and my children that’s all and at that point I walk away bc in scared I might hit someone if they ask another question like that!!

    SORRY FOR SUCH A LONG POST!!

  5. K

    So good to hear of other people on the same page as me and my husband!
    -a catholic, stay at home mom, pregnant with my fourth boy!

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  7. Heather

    I am a mother of five children, ranging in age from 2 to 17. We are far from wealthy. We live on a very tight budget so that I can stay home and homeschool our kids. We are a crazy, messy, loud, fun bunch and I can’t imagine life any other way. I have friends with one child and friends with 10, 12, 14 children. Some people love the daily insanity. Some people don’t. Some people would love to have more but can’t. Some people struggle to have any at all. It’s such a personal decision and like you, I find it kind of insane that other people think it’s any of their business at all. Thank you for writing this!

  8. Rebecca

    I believe everone has their number. me personally I only have one that’s all I ever thought of having since I was a child. someone like my mother on the other hand has three biological and is adopting 2 younger boys. Ages 38, 33, 18, 10 and the youngest is 7. Wow I know big jump. The best example is my neighbor she just had her eight child in mid-december. They are the best neighbors anyone could ever ask for. Their children are all extremely well behaved, courteous and very loving to my 4 year old. I couldn’t imagine them with a smaller family in many ways she inspires me her husband works and she stays at home. On top of that she home schools ALL of her children. It sickens me how people think they have the right to judge others and be downright rude to them for a decision that in no way affects or involves them. After all it use to be extremely common people to have large families.

  9. shmiggen

    For myself, this all depends on your finances. An average woman would go berzerk by having four kids. An independently wealthy woman could pull it off. People are greedy because they are human. An average woman with four kids would have to surrender her career, which, by the message I am getting from women, is non-negotiable. Careers fulfill women, now. They just do. Children do also, but only negligibly. It just is. Is that bad? Who can answer that? I can only relay the message I am getting from most women.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I don’t know who this “average woman” is you keep speaking of, but she seems to be a bleak character. You are CLEARLY not a mother, and probably shouldn’t speak for them. I am a woman, and a mother of four, and a member of the Bar. I also left my career as an attorney to stay at home with my four children and am neither berzerk (at least I never been compared to a crazy Norse warrior to my knowledge), nor independently wealthy, nor unfulfilled. Quite the contrary. I have never felt more fulfilled in a vocation. Careers fulfill men. Most women (with exceptions, of course, everybody is different) would rather be at home with their children.

      1. shmiggen

        I hope I didn’t sound rude and I apologize if I did. You are, at least to me, an exceptional woman, and a person most men would be lucky to have as a partner. I am a man and I was only trying to relay the message I am hearing from women. For some reason (and it is an historical anomaly) most women today put children far down on their list. A distant third or fourth to education, travel, sex and careers. Or am I out of touch?

      2. sylcell Post author

        No need for apologies! It is a common misconception, and as you can see, it frustrates the heck out of me. I don’t know. I can only speak for myself. I think here in the States, a little less than half of all women stay at home with their children, but the numbers of women staying at home are on the rise. (And I think there are so many single moms now, it skews the stats since they have no option but to work). It could be the community I am in, but most women with graduate degrees seem to stay at home and are happy to do so. Then, there are moms who are compelled to work and are desperate to be at home with their babies, but can’t afford it. And then there are career women who love working outside the home and would rather not be in the house with their children all the time. But again, my (unfounded) opinion is that they are by no means in the majority. I just hate the assumption since the feminist movement that ALL women want to have careers and any woman staying at home with her kids is clearly backwards and oppressed. It is patently ridiculous, insulting, and untrue. Our children are our future and raising them is the most important thing I will ever do. And the assumption since the rise of contraception that children are a burden, a money pit, and merely a distraction from a woman’s true calling in life is equally loathsome to me. They are a joy, a wonder, and each one is just as marvelous as the last, no matter what you were expecting. Hm, this has turned into a lengthy tome of a comment. I think you have inspired me for a new post! Haha, thank you.

      3. morgan

        Wasn’t the feminist movement to give us women the CHANCE to CHOOSE? Career or family or even both?

        That “careers fulfill men” comment is just not true. My husband is suffering from the fact that he’s not able to spend more time with his kids (won’t go into the details. Let’s just say: it’s complicated and we are trying to change that). And I know some other guys that rather spend more time with their kids than chase the next career step they might or might not catch… (but they lose on seeing their kids grow)

      4. sylcell Post author

        I think that is most certainly the original intent of the feminist movement. And I think it is a wonderful thing for a woman to be able to have any career she chooses (I am benefitting from it in that I am an attorney, after all). However, I think one of the oft ignored negative aspects of the feminist movement is that suddenly being a SAHM is looked down upon. I have gotten more comments that I am “wasting my degree” or “unfulfilled” or the dire warnings that I am going to go crazy and return to work as soon as my children are no longer babies, etc. They are silly stereotypes, and from my experience (my own and several other moms with graduate degrees) it couldn’t be further from the truth. But I suppose these sorts of preconceived notions are human nature and impossible to avoid one way or the other. As to “careers fulfilling men,” I was trying to convey that a man saying that ONLY a career can fulfill a woman is merely reflecting his own views on having a career on mothers, without knowing anything about their perspective. (Although admittedly I conveyed it badly, but I was trying to keep my response as brief as possible). Naturally, fathers want to be with their families as much as possible also. And some fathers would rather be a stay at home dad than a career man. We are fortunate in that daddy gets to spend evenings and weekends at home and soak up baby time, but also enjoys being an attorney (and is good at it!) Not all attorneys get to spend as much time at home, and I don’t take it for granted. I hope your family can eventually find a good balance!

      5. schnellerbauer

        Sorry if I was rude. Seems I misunderstood you. Again. Dang those little things that point out that I’m NOT a native speaker. Or maybe it was the sleep deprivation…
        My husband is an evening and weekend dad and although he loves it he wants to spend even more time wit his kids. Get more involved in their “daily business”. As do a lot of guys around here. I sense some change might be coming…

      6. sylcell Post author

        No, I am sure the fault was mine. The more passionate I am about something, the less articulate I become. Whoops! And you actually gave rise to a really interesting conversation with my husband. I had never vetted his feelings about his job vs. time with the kids, and I found out a lot of things that I had no idea about. Apparently, he feels more fulfilled with his children as well. Seems pretty obvious in retrospect, but I was totally oblivious to this. He views his job as something necessary to pay for his passion, namely, his children. He said he would love to spend more time with all of the girls, but he also thoroughly enjoys having quiet time at work, LOL.

    2. Rissa

      Sounds like you have a VERY limited circle of women that you know. It’s quite sad that you view people as universally greedy! Most families I know do whatever they can for the mom to be home with the kids. And most women I know who work would LOVE to be home with their kids instead. I do know a FEW who prefer their career but not many. After being a nanny for 30+ years, I can also tell you that a child’s happiness doesn’t require the family to be wealthy. In fact, the wealthiest families I worked for had the saddest kids because those were the families who put wealth above TIME with their children. You can not BUY love!

      1. shmiggen

        It must be the media.then. If so many women desire to be stay at home Moms….why does the media represent women as ceaselessly engaged in their careers?

      2. sylcell Post author

        I don’t know. But if I had to venture a guess, I would say it is because the media is completely out of touch with your average middle class mother. Heck, they don’t even know what a normal Christian looks like. Just watch any movie (or TV show, for that matter) coming out of Hollywood to convince you of that (where the Christians are always either the bad guy or someone that declares himself to be “Christian” while not behaving or stating beliefs consistent with Christianity at all). In a nutshell, it is a combination of complete ignorance of the average American mother and complete devotion to a certain ideology. But again, that is my wild theory based entirely upon speculation. I encourage you to communicate with real mothers, working and “not working”, around the country, and come to your own conclusions. Drawing conclusions from media information alone will always be misleading, especially about people’s home lives.

  10. sympathetic

    I am sympathetic to how strangers comments make you feel. However, as a female non-mother, I feel a lot of people are just trying to connect with you and find some conversational common ground.

    I wouldn’t assume people are judging you, just because they ask how many children you would like or make an inane comment about how four children is a lot. I would definitely be that woman who says “oh you poor thing” even though I love the idea of having a big family. A lot of times, people are looking for a way to connect with you.

    That said, I agree with your premise that there is nothing wrong with wanting a big family.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I am sure you are right. And it is totally obvious when I meet people like you who are coming from a good place. Although, a woman the other day told me when I told her I was expecting my fourth that she would “kill herself.” Um, thanks?

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  13. beverley Baggett

    I just can’t help myself but to reply. Every child is from God and deserves to be born. When we start making those kind of decisions everything gets messed up. Sorry people but we are not smart enough to make those decisions. Look at India with an overpopulation of boys and China too. This best left to God cause he knows everyone before they are even born. He is the divine creator after all.

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  15. Jennifer Poole

    when did this happen? When the human population became too high for the Earth to sustain. That’s my answer. It’s your choice to have large families, at least I certainly believe that (and hope that it’s true for most American women these days), but I don’t see anything in the article or in the comments I’ve read acknowledging that having many children increases your footprint on the earth far more than anything else you could do. I think it’s rude to comment on people’s family choices in in person, of course. But on a discussion board? I think it’s worth pointing out that such choices could be considered to have consequences for society as a whole, not just for your own family.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I think it is at least worth researching how much condoms pollute our sewers and waterways. In addition, I have heard of the research being done on how the high concentrations of synthetic hormones being released into our waterways by way of the urine of women on contraception is detrimentally affecting our fish, among other things. Something to consider. But perhaps this kind of pollution is acceptable to you and your ilk. I don’t know.

    2. Krissy

      I’ve been reading so many comments on various blogs about the earth being too populated and “thank goodness for birth control and abortion!” and I just can’t bite my tongue anymore… First point: there are whole countries, with wonderful fabulous cultures and a history of making the world a better place that are DYING out because 1.5 children became what was socially acceptable. There are countries with too many boys and others with too many girls because MAN thought he was smart enough to decide how many children and what gender could be born.

      My 2nd point: If you are so concerned with population overload, then put your money where your mouth is. If you are old enough to be posting on blogs about how humans should use birth control and have abortions (you didn’t say that but I’ve seen many who hold your beliefs say that) then you should have already contributed something great to society by now. Since there is still no cure for cancer and poverty and world hunger etc, etc, etc, why don’t you move over and give those yet unborn, the unborn that YOU don’t think worthy of life, a chance to be our next great artist, scientist, medical healer, philosopher, musician? I, on the other hand, believe that every life is precious and will contribute in ways that mere humans have never even fathomed. Let’s have them all (within the loving arms of a good marriage) and see what happens.

    3. carnationcat

      Like the others who have already replied to you, I thought, “Population problem…really?” I just don’t see it. In third world countries there are many problems related to mismanagement of resources, wars, and despotic leaders, and I guess you could say if there were no people, there’d be no problem. But it’s not a lack of natural resources. We read over and over again that some of the poorest, most suffering nations have abundant resources, if they could just be used properly. In the U.S. we have murdered over 50 million children by abortion, and adding that to the way people also limit their family size, I doubt we we will ever have a “population problem.” From what I read, quite the opposite.

      To see if my perception was correct, I googled “is there really a population problem” and there are plenty of experts saying absolutely not. A lot of the results are opinions, but really…who can predict the future, with all the unexpected things that can happen? The most anyone can do is make an educated guess. But here’s a piece from a nice liberal source…from someone who believed overpopulation was a problem because it was what he’d been taught…until the evidence outweighed his beliefs: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/14/opinion/overpopulation-is-not-the-problem.html

      Here’s a quote:
      “The science of human sustenance is inherently a social science. Neither physics nor chemistry nor even biology is adequate to understand how it has been possible for one species to reshape both its own future and the destiny of an entire planet. This is the science of the Anthropocene. The idea that humans must live within the natural environmental limits of our planet denies the realities of our entire history, and most likely the future. Humans are niche creators. We transform ecosystems to sustain ourselves. This is what we do and have always done. Our planet’s human-carrying capacity emerges from the capabilities of our social systems and our technologies more than from any environmental limits.”

      I, for one, want more smart, caring people being born to ensure that the genuine problems have a greater chance of being worked out.

    4. Gaye James

      Actually, NO, it wasn’t worth pointing out. Leftist alarmist material might better be suited in a blog titled “I’m having my fourth abortion” God is sovereign over all of the earth … let go of trying to control what you are not able to control and the fear that you display in this post will leave you.

  16. tram

    I think I understand your frustration. I’m from a family of 4, and myself would love to have a big family. We have one now. I want to add to this conversation that for some ‘commentators’ it’s not about the worthiness of the child or children, planned or unplanned, certainly not their ‘value’ – as if a human being can have a definite measure or weight. And it’s not about anyone’s ability to family plan. For myself, when thinking about having a larger family, I am concerned about a myriad of things – my ability to provide sufficiently for each and every child, in every way possible, financially, emotionally, beyond. And, as distant as this may sound, I also think about my impact on population growth, on this earth, on natural resources and otherwise. Those are things I think about for myself. When others make the decision to have a larger family, it’s not my business.

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  20. kay

    I actually have five kids n sometimes hide o try to hold back d tears wen pple make such remarks……this made me feel relief to know I actually have pple on my side

  21. Christina

    People do the same when they find out that you had a child at a young age. I had my first at 17, senior in high school. People assume they can get all up in anyone else’s business just because they want to and its BS. SO: Yes I was too young, no it wasn’t planned and don’t thank me for “sticking around and raising her and not partying” when its my job and why would I do anything else but raise her and love her.

    1. Γ‰owyn Fair

      People expect women in the situation you described to be irresponsible and not take care of the child well, mostly because the situation that you described frequently ends up that way. Of course it’s none of their business, but in this case I’m not surprised at their reaction. Times are also changing…teen mothers now are becoming more and more common, and more and more irresponsible. I was working at a middle school and there were three pregnant girls there at the same time. Times are changing!

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  24. Annie Rocco

    What a beautifully written article! May God bless you with abundant graces for embracing the beauty of motherhood and for being the bearer of His Love to your little girls! There are not enough words to express how much your words have touched me. With your permission, I would love to publish your article in our church’s Sunday bulletin. Please continue to be an inspiration to other women regarding motherhood. In this day and age when couples are mostly preoccupied with material possessions and living a child-free lifestyle, we are called to remind them what a wonderful privilege it is to be entrusted with God’s most precious gifts: His little children!

    β€œBefore I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5)

  25. Rebecca

    As a mother of 6 children with 2 more in heaven, I really enjoyed your thoughts! I grew up with 5 brothers and sisters, my mother was always talking about how the zero population people would be so upset if they saw our family! I always prayed I, too, could have a large family and feel very blessed to have so many children. At least these days media often portrays larger families in a positive light. πŸ™‚

  26. Wayne

    I have a similar story. I fathered two, then blended in three more, and after all were raised ended up remarrying have two more, both girls. that makes seven. i thought I was crazy for having the 1st at 57 but not so when we had her sister at 59. They have filled my heart so full of love for them and it is returned ten fold. And I get the same kind of criticism, but it goes along one of two lines, either I am a dirty old man dating a younger woman with kids. or I am their Grandfather. For the latter I proudly say I am their father, and they give me the look. Now I am often audicious of my family. When I was asked to introduce myself in a different way I said we just had a baby girl who has a 20 year old niece. Now I am waiting to use a new line. That same daughter now has a six month old grand niece, my great grand daughter.
    But I did miss my life goal, I always said I wanted a baseball team

  27. Wayne

    Motherhood is the divine right of humanity. Be the mother of a nation should you choose. Family is what is is all about. It is the foundation of community that is the foundation of societies. The family is needed to develop the character strength needed to be a parent and spouse. And that character is is selfless.
    By the way I think I know the answer to your question. It was the same day people started having pets instead of children. We have a facility in town called the SPCA, that processed over 13000 pets last year. Thank God those same people are not having kids, but poor pets

  28. Sonia

    We just found out we are pregnant with our planned fourth and final. We have three boys πŸ™‚ I am of the thought that no one should make anyone feel like less for the amount of kids they have whether it’s none or ten. As long as you’re being responsible and they’re happy and healthy people should butt out.

  29. Mom4

    I love this article! I have 4 and would have had more if not for health issues and my husband putting his foot down! Only 1 girl, and everyone says “well at least you got your girl!” I love all my kids, and I take the remarks and joke back with people! What else can we do really?

    We have to give up a lot for a large family. But we know that our family is a blessing that we are willing to give up anything for!

    God knows what we can handle, He knows what we nee., I am still sad at times because I didn’t have more but I know that He has a plan and a reason for it.

  30. Laurie Takapu

    You touched on things I deal with constantly. I have 6 daughters. Age range from 9yrs to twins just turning one. I also have an almost 8 yr old 5 yr old and 2 years. It is a struggle to be what I need to be for all of them all the time but Ilove them dearly. Ive gotten just about every question about how many am I gonna have, am I still trying for a boy? Am I done? Did I get my tubes tied on and on. Its truly sad how so many people are just not interested in investing the time love and resources it takes to have more than a couple kids. They also assume if you are a stay at home mom you are uneducated because you dont have a career. I am fairly educated and there is no career out there that will ever be as rewarding and hard and important as raising children. Its the most thankless job ever. My husbands mother is from a family of 10 kids and he has brothers and sister most of who have 5 or 6 kids as well. My parents came from familis of seven kids. Togethe my parents only had 3 kids but I’m sure my mom would have had more kids if she hadn’t had so many dangerous complications with us. My mom sent me a letter recently as she usually does, however this time she wrote and thanked us for being so willing to have a good size family when now days so many people dont . Cherish every child and dont ever feel ashamed of the size of your family, its yours and you are the one will love a care for them so dont worry about what others think.

    1. Carrie

      You cant say that people are not interested in investing the time love and resources it takes to have more then a couple kids. That is insensitive. I am the mother the only child and it very rude of you to assume that I don’t have more because I don’t want to. I don’t have more then one for couple reasons. One it puts my health at risk to try again and two we cant support more than one child. At least I am being responsible by not bringing a child into the world that I cant take care of.

      1. amandamadeja

        I completely agree with you. The statement is rude and judgemental. Her saying that it’s “sad” that people don’t invest the time, resources and love to have larger feelings puts her in the same class as people judging couples who have large families.

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  35. Barbara

    We have four girls. We would attract stares in restaurants. Then people find out two of my girls are twins. They agree you can’t plan on twins. And yes I have had the condolences response when people find you are pregnant with twins. Twins are incredibly fun and a true blessing even when they both are 15. Trust me on this. People are insensitive and rude to mothers of twins no matter how many other children they have….

  36. Christine

    I agree wholeheartedly – children truly are a gift of God! I have spent much time with mothers of large families and I know that they are the target of rude comments and judgement from those in society who value pretty much anything above motherhood. I want to say to these moms- I’m sorry this happens to you. When I see you, I admire you – and envy you.

    As woman who desperately wanted many children and, for health reasons, could not, I would like to ask moms of large families to also please be sensitive. You never know the reasons why a woman has only 1 or 2 children ( or none). Questions such as, “Did you ever consider having a large family?” Or “Did your career keep you from having more?” Or – the worst, the judgmental statement /question “You know, children really are a blessing from God, do you think you might ever consider having more? Or, “It really is a joy and you can afford more than you think, if you’re willing to adapt your lifestyle”

    These questions/comments tear at my heart me every time I hear them – even today (my children are grown now). Maybe you don’t realize, but your comments can open up memories of disappointment, pain, grief- it’s a heart breaking experience to be told by a doctor that you must have surgery and lose all chance of ever having children again. I cried off and on for years!

    So, let’s encourage women to be sensitive to all women. Let’s encourage women to refrain from judging any woman in this area of life. Like others have said, God is in charge and we all must trust Him with the size of our families.

  37. Emily

    Love this. So well said. As the Mom to twins(yes from IVF) people are shocked to learn we are open to more kids. We had planned to have atleast 4, but due to infertility that plan had to change. There is no magic number for many people!

  38. Denise

    I am grateful to live in a country where my husband and I may choose the size of our family, how we will worship and what we will teach them, Thank you men and women whose efforts defend these freedoms.

  39. Sarah Ashley Burch

    People should have as many kids as they feel comfortable with. With my husband and I, we only have one and she will probably be our only one and I get asked all the time, “When is the next one coming?” When I explain to them that we don’t plan on having anymore (of course if we “accidentally” have another one, we would be excited) they look at me, like, YOU DON’T LIKE CHILDREN. HOW DARE YOU. It’s not that we don’t like children, it’s just one gives us everything we need.

  40. Stephanie

    I am the eldest of 4. We have a variety of ages (25, 23, 17 and 9). I absolutely wouldn’t wish to change it at all! I loved coming from a larger family. It’s fun and rewarding. I despised the looks my mother recieved from people when my mother was pregnant with my youngest sibling. The stares, the condolences, the ridiculing questions. Who’s business is it? No ones. I was 15 when she was born. And it was great! As long as your children are properly taken care of and nutured, I personally don’t care how many you have. Each child is different, and should be considered a blessing.

  41. MommieVentures

    Amen! I know exactly how that mom felt/feels in the elevator. I have 5 with baby #6 due in July. We cannot go anywhere without comments and/or stares. I have children, not aliens!

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  43. Alexandra Mercer (Life of mummy)

    I’m pregnant with my seventh and I think I must be quite fortunate because I’ve had nothing other than positive comments but on the other hand there have been a lot of funny looks we’ve received when we all go out together. I love having a large family, obviously, or I wouldn’t keep having more babies. Everyone has their own lives to lead, we should not criticize others.

    1. Emily

      Congrats! I’m expecting my 8th. I also haven’t heard many negative comments, but I do get lots of stares when I take them all shopping. It probably doesn’t help that they are all very close in age (our oldest is 9). Once when we went to the zoo someone pointed to our family and commented on how a fieldtrip group could look so alike. πŸ˜‰

      Every child is a blessing, and deserves to be loved. I personally love large families (I’m also the oldest of 7), in spite of the hardships, but smaller families have their own pros and cons.

    2. Sarah Ashley Burch

      Exactly. People should have as many kids as they feel comfortable with. With my husband and I, we only have one and she will probably be our only one and I get asked all the time, “When is the next one coming?” When I explain to them that we don’t plan on having anymore (of course if we “accidentally” have another one, we would be excited) they look at me, like, YOU DON’T LIKE CHILDREN. HOW DARE YOU. It’s not that we don’t like children, it’s just one gives us everything we need.

  44. Alex

    At the risk of being misinterpreted, I am still going to say it because I believe it is important. I wholeheartedly believe that each couple has a right to decide how many kids they want to have and this is no one else’s business. However, I also believe that decisions need to be made with all the relevant information. I don’t understand what the societal or cultural rule is for having only two kids. But ecologically speaking, two children are the maximum number of offspring ANY species (not just humans) can have without contributing to population growth. After two children per couple, population size does not remain constant, but instead increases from generation to generation. Why should human population growth be maintained constant at this point? Because human population growth is the SINGLE biggest environmental problem of this planet and it is at the roots of many issues in our planet, from forest deforestation to habitat degradation and global climate change. The two-kid rule is, as you say, irrelevant as a cultural issue, but it is important from an ecological and conservation perspective. As a mother and a scientist, I respect anyone’s decision to have children and however many children they want to have, but I do believe that these decisions should be made with the proper information, and once you have all the information, family matters are your decision and your decision alone, no judgement should be passed.

    1. The Before I Formed You Foundation

      It is God who commanded mankind to multiply:

      Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)
      26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

      Genesis 1:28 (NKJV)
      28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

      Genesis 26:4 (NKJV)
      4 And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;

      Man is supreme above the animals. The earth is here for his pleasure and use:
      Genesis 9:5 (NIV)
      5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man.

      Each child is here, not the at the parents desire but at God’s:
      Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
      5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…

      Mankind’s existence and growth is not a threat to the planet. That’s the cart before the horse. Earth was created by God so that mankind may exist upon it.

      Your argument that population should be controlled because it *might* damage the planet is akin to buying a car then putting it in the garage and saying it can’t be driven except to work and back because anything else might wear out the car.

      You discuss population growth as a scientist. That it’s a valid theoretical concept for scientific consideration. The problem though is when scientific theorizing bleeds over into action in real life. Several regimes have been in favor of population control in the past, as persuaded by many a phd and md and it usually results in policies that would be impolite to discuss in such a forum. Just as one example, the holocaust was an attempt at controlling the size of a certain “undesirable” populations, medically and scientifically sanctioned by by both scientists and doctors within the German government.

      The bottom line is that God, not man, dictates when a child is created.

      Author: Excellent article. You are to be commended!

      1. Mary

        Very well put! I wasn’t sure hoe to respond to that post tactfully, but you handled it very eloquently. The Lord and only The Lord knows what is to come and he has all the power to control it!!

      2. Amber

        There is no “might harm the planet”. There are too many of us, and that fact alone has been harming the planet since the dawn of the industrial revolution. Scientific analyses of the amount of resources we have left and how those are rapidly depleting have nothing to do with the prejudice and hate that drove the Holocaust. People with PhDs don’t just stand on their soap boxes and lecture the rest of us because they’re bored; they’re recognized, often distinguished, authorities in their field. Also: not everyone is Christian or accepts what is in the Bible as an acceptable rebuttal.

      3. Jean

        Genesis 1:28 (NKJV)
        28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, β€œBe fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

        Note the part about FILL the earth. The earth seems pretty full to me. We already can’t feed and provide clean water for all the people there are. Therefore, maybe it’s time to do something else. If the earth isn’t full enough for you, when will it be? When we hit 10 billion? 20 billion?

    2. daddybob

      Actually, you need more than 2 children per couple to maintain the population! Unfortunately, some children don’t live to reproduce. And some children that do live to reproductive age are unable to reproduce for one reason or another. And, God forbid, should there be a war or a natural catastrophe that results in 10’s or 100’s of millions of casualties, we will need a lot more than 2 kids per couple. The environment is more adaptable than you have been taught to believe.

      1. Momof4blessings

        You are correct. Also, a lot of fear about population growth is misplaced. The recent increase in global population is due to longer life spans, NOT increases in the number of children people are having. Many countries are actually experiencing birth rates below the “replacement rate”. They are having to look for ways to entice couples to have more children. Also, the earth can handle a much higher population than it currently has (you’ve heard that the entire world could fit in the state of TX with >1000sf per person, right? πŸ™‚ ) and the US produces enough food for the entire world. Just seems like the more people we have, the more innovative and creative we become.

  45. princesslozboz

    I love this post! I have 2 biological siblings brother and sister. I’m 23 brother 20 and sister 19. When we all got to our teens mum decided to leave the police force and foster dad still works. They now fosters 3 children she has had them 8 years and will continue to forever have as them as their children and will always be my brothers and sisters. A couple of years ago they took on a 4 month old baby on emergency placement there was no one else available to look after him. They eventually adopted him otherwise he would of gone to another adoptive family and we all love him too much to let him go. I never missed out on love or care and I had an amazing experience in adding to our family biological or not. They are all my siblings. People do look at us and say things my mum is too polite and let it go. But they worked hard. I wasn’t planned they were only together 3 months when they were pregnant with me and only 17. But if it wasn’t for me they wouldn’t of tried so hard and worked so hard. Or bought a house and got on the market. Now they fully own a 7 bedroomed house and a farm where we all muck in and look after the animals and it is fantastic. I got married at 20 and me and hubby have just bought our first house. Now 23 we are planning our first child. We have even got the nursery ready now while I’m working full time and saving everything we can so that when baby number one comes along I won’t have to work for a couple of years to give the child every moment possible. Then when that child is nearly one we now we will start trying again. It is the life I want. We might not conceive which is fine we will adopt or foster. I was always meant to be a mum. We have the funds. Enough bedrooms. The time and love and care. Our children will be happy and clean and food in there bellies and most importantly loved. Even though I’m only 23 We plan to have at least three and we haven’t started yet.

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  47. Mil

    I don’t agree that the greatest gift that God can give you is a child. That would imply that those of us who can’t have children are somehow deprived of God’s greatest gift!!! God’s greatest gift is actually salvation through his son, Jesus.

    You should hear the things that people say when they find out you won’t ever be pregnant. Those of you with multiple children should be thankful and stop complaining about what people say about you having many children, because in the end, you still have your kids.

    1. Julia Pratt

      I agree that salvation is God’s greatest gift. But you have no understanding of how much of your life essence it takes to raise a child. It’s where the rubber meets the road.

      1. Mil

        Your statement shows that you are no better than those who make rude comments about having too many kids.

    2. Stacey

      People can be careless and hurtful with their words and many times unintentionally. I agree our salvation is God’s greatest gift! Children are a blessing but that does not mean someone without a child is not blessed. In my family my sister could not have children so I have seen the pain caused by unkind words spoken to her. I, on the other hand, have five and have experienced unkind comments also. It reminds me to guard my thoughts and words.

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  49. apieceoflifespie

    I think the shock and awe comes from the fact that society sees this differently than what this article is stating. NO one is shaming. When people were having this many children 30 and 40 years ago they were not in the everyday lime light of daily living. Today a mom of 4 is schlepping them around on errands, keeping up with soccer, little league, and school activities all the while many of the mothers look frazzled, exhausted and overextended. Just a short jog back in history big families were at home, with one car to the family, working, running a muck in the street with neighborhood kids or on a farm. Not on display at the local grocery store, Target, restaurants, or mall bumping into the displays, screaming, crying, laughing and just being kids in a setting that isn’t a play ground. Also, to many large families mean welfare lottery and the tax payers are paying for it. People feel they have a right to comment on it if they feel they are paying for it. I know I do when I see a young woman swipe her EBT card at the grocery store with cart full of kids and a bulging belly. Children are a blessing, YOUR chosen blessing and parents will hopefully raise them to be adult blessings. It isn’t having a huge family that is being judged, it is trying to keep up with the demands of modern day life and very few (mostly those from big families themselves) can really execute this art well. Don’t be offended when asked questions or feel someone is judging you. Look at yourself and wonder why someone is even asking you questions. Is your children being well behaved? Do you look frazzled and exhausted and the questions are out of concern, sympathy, irritation or all the above. OR are your children well behaved, you are calm and easy going and happy because those questions would be out of awe, praise and how do you do it. In modern day society big families are not normal and because of that you will always stand out and people will always ask dumb questions and you will always be judged. This article didn’t change minds or views, it just added “victimization” to another title of a mother of 4. How can you be a victim of something you wanted? Instead of being offended and being defensive start asking yourself the questions of what is it about my situation that makes people, who are normally very shy and soft spoken, have to comment on something that really isn’t their business. Your answer may surprise you and you may not feel ashamed or like a victim, but empowered, inspired, true to your choice and changed.

    1. Momof4blessings

      Just wanted to comment that people should NEVER EVER judge someone about the number of children they have based on how those children are behaving. You DON’T KNOW the situation and it may be completely different than what you are assuming. Think it is just some terrible mother who doesn’t discipline her bratty kid(s)? It probably is. BUT maybe she is a foster/adoptive mother caring for a child who has been a victim of physical or emotional abuse. Or maybe her child has special needs you don’t understand. Or maybe the family is going through a crisis (health, financial, relational…) and the stress is causing both child and parent to behave differently than usual. Kind words of encouragement are so much better than critical looks of judgment. We should all be less quick to judgment and more willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

    2. Diane

      You have some valid points, however, there are always those that are going to judge, make snide remarks, and look down upon those with more children for no valid reason. I am a young mother. I am 29 with three children. My husband is 4 years older and we have been together for 11 years, married for 9. We are not, nor have we ever been on welfare. I have two degrees. My husband is a supervisor and his job security has allowed me to be a stay at home mom. With all of that said, I get judged all the time. I am a very fit woman, 5’7″ 125 and am always pretty darn put together. Despite being put together and having polite, well behaved children; (almost always at 7, 4, and 1 they of course can have their moments) I still get the looks, and even the snide remarks. I actually remember very clearly a time where I had my cart loaded with groceries, my 4 year old was holding my hand my 7 year old was looking at the gum and my little man was sitting in the cart clapping his hands.. The woman in front me, probably in her early 50s, turns to the woman with her and said, “must be the 1st of the month, all the welfare people are here.” “Such a shame these teens having kids for the tax breaks.” I’m a quite person by nature, however, that did it for me. I said, “mam clearly you’re talking about me.” You looked directly at me, and spoke in a loud enough tone that you were certain I would hear, looking back several times while speaking.” She smiled and said, “oops, guess you heard me.” I said I sure did, and I am not a welfare case, and I’m hoping that nobody that can hear you is one either, because being rude and making one feel bad about themselves, is never attractive. At this point several people were looking at us. I said some people are on welfare because they truly need it, maybe the circumstances were out of their control, and yes there are those that also abuse the system, but don’t pass judgement before you know, and for your information I was not a teen mom, I have two degrees, I live in a 3000 square foot house and drive a Denali, and I winked and smiled ever so nicely at her. My husband and I may, or may not have a fourth, but if we do I am certain I will get “the look.”

    3. Erin

      I am a mother of two boys hoping for more later on, and I totaly agree with what you said! Thank you for saying it so well. I am bogged down with two and the thought of one more right now makes me sick. I have many friends who have four and a few with six and although I know it can be done and it can be beautiful I cringe not out of discust or being mad at them for having that many but simply because I know that momma has a lot on her plate and is very busy! I have totally said those rude or thoughless coments but not meaning them to be that way. I also struggled with infertility for years so saying the other coments are rude too! We women need to love each others differances, how many kids we do or don’t have, the way we react to your 12 kids or lack there of. GRACE ladies! GRACE! Life is too hard to care about what others think or even say. Let it roll off your back and be the woman who God has made you to be!

  50. Stephen

    Great post! I’m the father of ten and it’s been funny over the years listening to the comments people make. With each increase the comments changed.

    1) Oh how wonderful. Aren’t children a joy?
    2) [Now we had a girl and a boy] You’ve got you girl and a boy. A rich man’s family.
    3) Three huh? Was she an “oops”?
    4) Four?! Ya know what causes that, right? *snicker* *snicker*
    5) Five kids? Whoa! Are you done?
    6) Six kids…you must be wealthy!
    7) Seven?! You poor woman (to my wife).
    8) Oh my goodness! I have two and I don’t know how I can make it!
    9) [Mouth open…no words coming out]
    10) Ha, ha! Ten! Ha, ha! That’s funny. [At which point I explain I’m not kidding. The expression changes to a look of awe.]

    God Bless all large families!!

    1. Krissy Alonzo

      I loved this post so much! I am one of 10 children and being shlepped all over the country on our annual road trips in the 80″s got us plenty of looks and snide remarks. My dad reveled in it, however and always had some great comeback. At the gate to Disney World, the lady asked how many in the van and my dad said “12 of us, I left the others at home!” People would ask him, “don’t you know about birth control?” and he would reply “why yes, I do, I could TEACH a birth control class!” Thank goodness my parents had all of us… god knows SS is so in the red. My parents unselfishly gave 10 contributors to the system that is now paying the bills of many of those who thought poorly of them. LOVE my siblings and am so grateful we have each other. Every time I see a big family, I go out of my way to congratulate the mom & tell her what a great gift she is giving her kids.

  51. Jean

    Thank for giving me a response for when people ask my husband and I how many kids are we going to have and reminding everyone that it doesn’t matter how large a family is, planned or unplanned, all that matters is the love!

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  53. Heather W.

    These types of interrogations really and truly need to stop in our society. Some people genuinely don’t know these types of questions and comments are offensive because it’s just become commonplace; just like lack of integrity on the job or running yellow/red lights has become commonplace. It just happens. However, it’s my personal opinion that those who ask out of a “disgust” or with a sarcastic tone have some inner “guilt” of some kind. A parent’s struggle and suffering with lots of little ones is an unseen, yet direct opposition to their “freedoms”. The irony is that they don’t realize the struggles we, as parents of many children face are ones we have CHOSEN. We do not look to them with some sort of “jealousy” for such “freedoms” and with eyes that are filled with pain screaming, “Save me!” If I’m digging a ditch in sweat and labor by choice in front of a sun-bather with a margarita, it doesn’t mean they need to “feel sorry” for me. I’m genuinely happy for them if they are enjoying their margarita. Not a thought more; no questions asked. I’ll enjoy mine after my day’s labor.

  54. Natali

    This read was so timely! God’s timing is perfect, I have no doubt. I have four children, the youngest being 13 months. I just found out I’m having a 5th child. It was hard to grasp, but I’m thankful He chose to bless our family with another one. I need to prepare myself mentally for all the stares and the remarks that will come about once the little one is here! Thank you for this! It definitely encouraged me!

  55. kiera

    I adore this so much. I am a mother of 3 little girls.I married my high school sweetheart at 18, I had twins at 19 and another daughter at 21. I am now 24 and my husband and I want to try for a 4th baby soon.

  56. Liquid Wolf

    I’m confident there are many jerks who will comment on the number of children someone has, but it seems to be indicative of their fears and insecurities. “I don’t have kids, so I should make them feel bad.” Or “I was told I should only have two kids, they clearly must be wrong.”

    These are their fears and insecurities being shunted off on others… Jokingly, or condemningly.

    Mother had 11 siblings.
    Father had 8.
    I have 4.

    Most people alive today are products of similar numbers. In wedlock, or out of. So their commentary really has no grounds to stand on.

    You could react negatively to it… Or address their fears directly:

    A decade of overpopulation fear reports.
    A decade of food and water fear reports.
    A decade of cost of living changes and job fluctuations.
    Four decades of women’s equality, family life changes, and the reevaluation of the “family”.

    We have changed many things… And yet have not changed much ourselves.

    We are told new things, but still value old things. That creates cognitive dissonance, and people react negatively to it.

    Every time they see you and your 4 kids… Are reminded of their numerous aunts and uncles… And see that the fears they had for the past 10 years are not quite as founded as they were told.

    The people who mock you, criticize you, or make light of the choices that mean a lot to you… Are simply afraid and confused themselves.

  57. Dorothy Whittington

    I LOVE THIS!!! We have four children, Girls ages 10, 7, and twin Boys 6 years old. We were always getting rude comments and ugly stares going places, sometimes still do. I don’t see our children as a burden, but as a blessing! I’m grateful every day that God saw us fit to entrust four of his miracles with us! They are challenging, no doubt, especially considering that our second girl and the twins are only 1 year and 13 days apart, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I was in shock and disbelief when I learned that we pregnant for a third time, with our daughters being 3 years old and 3 months old, but I am so grateful to have been blessed with these wonderful boys too! Even with the scary and difficult birth, I would not have it any other way:) Children are a blessing and a gift from God. They are something that I will thank God for every single day that I live and breathe. I will then thank Him again once I see Him after. Enjoy your kids, take care of them, and thank Him for all that He has blessed you with by entrusting them to you in the first place!

  58. Natasha

    Thank you for an absolutely beautiful post. If only more people had your attitude!!! I have 6 beautiful, healthy, happy and the most well behaved children aged 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 and 1, and am CONSTANTLY asked from strangers “are you having any more?!” “Are they to the same Father?!” Then there are the utterly rude comments from absolute strangers like “you should sew your vagina up to prevent any more”, and “you would have thought you’d get a shitzu after the 2nd”. Some people just can’t handle the fact I have 6, and I have become so used to strangers telling me about my life choices that I’ve learned to shut it out… Not everyone is negative, I do get the “wow! Your children are so well behaved!” (Like this is something unexpected…??!). People will always judge others, because humans aren’t perfect. For all the rude comments, and people staring at me, I feel I am truly blessed. Each and every one of my children were wanted, are absolutely loved and have parental support. Perhaps the judgemental people are the jealous people for not making the same choices…. I say, if you can provide your babies with love, then go forth and multiply.

    1. Mary

      Iiiwww am always stocked by the audacity people have to ask such questions like, same father! When I get asked that it’s like their first thought is I must be a tramp!

  59. Lena

    I am so happy someone has address this I have a 5,3,1 every pregnancy someone made a nasty remark to me about having too many or having them close in a age. I am very happy about my decision that my husband and I made. Wouldn’td change it for the world.

  60. Anna

    Funny thing about the elevator. I was with my first 3 children and pregnant with my 4th ( I ended up with a total of 5) and we got on to an elevator with an older woman. Out of the blue she tells me that she only had one daughter so she could give her the best of everything and how she had her provided it for her. All I said was “that’s nice.” But I really wanted to say was “that’s so sad, you didn’t give her a brother or a sister, a family. I couldn’t help but wonder if this woman was a part of her daughter’s life anymore and if the daughter had grown up to be a self-centered woman. This woman’s tone of voice exuded contempt and envy and sadness. I couldn’t help but pity her and her daughter.

    1. Mary

      I can’t imagine the look she might have had if you informed her that she failed and did not give her child everything, at least not where it matters.

    2. Lindsay

      I have witnessed both sides of the coin here and after this comment, I just have to say that no one is without judgement here. My best friend has six children and I will ceaselessly defend her choice for a beautifully large family. But I only have one child and will most likely always only have one child and for someone to say that we haven’t given him “a family” is hurtful. We should ALL use caution with our word choices, and when in doubt revert to “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”.

  61. Stephanie

    I am a perfect case…

    4 children under 3
    4 girls
    26yrs of age

    I fell pregnant with them all on contraception

    you are given what you can handle…. I suppose people are jealous that they cannot handle what they are given.

    1. Rosemary Mazerolle

      Hurrah!!!!! The most wonderful gift that God can give you is children. The lady who had all her pregnancy’s while still on birth control, You are even more blessed because God chose you to have these children in spite of the science behind it trying to stop it. My sister’s 1st pregnancy was a big celebration because she had about 5 miscarriages before they could conceive number 1 child. Shortly after she had number 2 girl not planned but very loved. The next one number 3 was conceived when she had an IUD and I and the rest of the family were very happy for her and her husband. They thought 3 was enough so decided to have her tubes tied and her husband was going for a visectomy. When she went to the specialist for her pre-opp tests before her operation, they discovered she was pregnant with the 4th child. She was a little shocked because they had been using protection, but she said in her mind God’s will be done. The next thing she knew, the Dr. said he had to do an internal, so without thinking, she got on the table. When the Dr. started the internal, she said he was very rough and it instantly occured to her that he was trying to abort the baby. She jumped of the table and said, ” You are trying to abort my baby!” The Dr.’s answer was, “Well don’t you think you had enough kids?” She was very upset and when she got home she told us, her family and husband about it. They both agreed that the baby was a gift from God and they would go on with the pregnancy. Her husband has died now and her children are all grown up. The most beautiful and wonderful girls that anyone has ever seen. We came from a family of seven and are very close. In the 1950’s my mom and dad had a boy. When she got pregnant again, my mom and dad were very happy, but at 7 months, she had a toxic pregnancy and lost the child. Back then was not like now and the medicine was not great. The Dr. told my dad and aunt that he could do no more and the rest was up to God. My mom pulled through and was OK but the Dr. told them if she had any more children she would DIE. She had 6 of us after that and we and she were all fine. So, may God Bless all the large family’s . And thank you for choosing life.

      1. carnationcat

        What interesting stories, Rosemary. Thank you!

        I am shocked by that one doctor who thought it was his business to end a pregnancy he thought was not wanted–and even more that he admitted what he was doing!! Wow. That takes medical arrogance to the limits…yet I’m sure it’s not as unusual as we might assume.

    2. Sarah Ann (@SarahAnnie85)

      We sound similar! I have 4 girls…5.5 years from oldest to youngest, #4 was born right after I turned 26. Everyone asks if we are going to try for a boy…I tell them I didn’t TRY for any of them!! My husband says he tried for a boy 4 times already πŸ™‚ All were surprises. I agree about the jealousy. We homeschool, too. I get the, “I could never have the patience for THAT.” Well, you will never have the patience (or be able to handle them) if you aren’t in a situation to work on that particular virtue.

    3. Emily

      Congrats! I was 26 when my 4th & 5th were born (twins). My oldest was not quite 4 1/2. Now our oldest is 9 and we’re expecting our 8th.

      I remember feeling that I could not handle 3 when I only had three. And then it was hard to handle 5 when the twins arrived. Adding a 6th baby was easier, but handling 6 children was difficult. Seven children now has also been hard. But with each baby I am forced to stretch and grow and learn more self-discipline, and more patience, and more selflessness.

      I tried to explain this to a mom of 2 the other day when she stopped me in the grocery store to ask how I manage so many children (since they were all with me). She said her husband wanted more, but she didn’t think she could handle more. She protested that she didn’t want to stretch any more, that it was too hard and too painful.

      I think that’s a sad attitude to have. In my belief, we are here for this life specifically to learn and grow. Children are an extremely good way to learn and grow, though not the only way. I think in general we should be always trying to do hard things, and doing our best to leave a positive legacy for future posterity, either through children, or through building the Lord’s kingdom, or through contributing in some significant way to the greater good.

  62. L. Collins

    Well, I was a friend of a woman who used abortion as birth control ! It made me sick!! Give me a woman that has beautiful children and takes care of them! I know both are hard, but stand up and be a mother!

  63. Jessica

    There are extreme cases. I had a friend who by 18 was pregnant with her 5th child. While her planning isn’t really my business I still felt a need someone talk to her and suggest she use birth control or something. She didn’t have a job or any real way to support all her blessings. In that way having all those kids was a bit tragic because they couldn’t be properly taken care of, regardless if they were being properly loved.

  64. Denean Joubert

    When I was a young girl, the only thing I wanted to become was a momma. I met a wonderful man raising two infants on his own. Within three days I had fallen in love with all three if them. We tried for many years to add to our family, the only success being our grandson. It was God and my daughter’s greatest gift to the world before being called “Home”. I always tell people,”if God had let me have children, I would’ve had a dozen” and conclude with, ” I asked to be a momma, I didn’t specify how I wanted to become a momma”. So in conclusion, if He has in trusted you to carry and/or care for one of his Angels, look upon your job as a parent/guardian/grandparent as such! (An entrusted job from God to care for his Angels).

  65. Vikiirna Wenzel

    As the above comments illustrate, part of the problem is just the surprising number of people who want to make intrusive and disparaging comments to strangers. No matter what your situation, they’ll find something negative to say and say it. I’m not up to explaining or justifying THEM.
    I think another part of it is our economics of shame, which exists at all strata. For adults trying to make do on wal-mart wages, it’s unlikely they can raise a group of children without resorting to some public assistance. That’s instituted into our current economics, but there are still many who see fit to condemn such people as a ‘burden to our society’ (without even thanking them for our low prices everday). Then there are those higher up the pay scale, who could pay for their kids needs themselves, but then they become targets for competitive parenting. How dare they bring children into the world if they can get them all into the right ballet classes or sports camps? And unless they are quite wealthy, they too will need public assistance or private charity to afford the very real expense of a college education.
    There is third phenomenon, I think, which might be muddying the waters here too. It is true that not everyone is happy about being pregnant, and when first encountering a person, there is a risk of hurting their feelings by presuming their happiness. I think the obvious options are to say nothing, or follow the person’s lead. However, it seems that some people feel that by opening with a negative approach , they are being kind by giving the person an opportunity to vent. An odd notion.

  66. Margaret Mills

    I’m encouraged by all the positive responses to this wonderful post. Great post. I have five children, with five-and-counting grandchildren. There was eight years between my first and second sons, and I was nearly 41 when the last child was born. I think I’ve heard all the rude comments re spacing, planning, age etc. etc. “Don’t you know what causes that?” tops the chart for me, though.

  67. Monica

    When I was pregnant with my third child and only boy, my husband’s aunt asked if this was going to be my last one because I really didn’t need to have anymore since I had two girls and this one was a boy. Eight years later, I haven’t had a fourth but every once in a while my husband and I revisit the topic. I don’t discuss this with her or anyone else because I get judgement thrown at me. My own sister has said that I shouldn’t have a fourth and would be stupid and crazy if I did. I really don’t understand why people think the size of family my husband and I have is any of their business. People need to stop and think before they speak. When they don’t, they come off as rude and hurtful. People also need to mind their own business.

  68. Molly

    My husband and I have 10 children, (a yours-mine-and-ours story). I used to mock rolling my eyes at the rude comments and say, “Yah! I think I’m the only woman on the planet praying for menopause!” as if that were the only way to stop the babies from coming. People would stop and gawk at me. I could see them processing, realizing that I’m fairly well educated (BSc in Applied math, BA in Communications and a minor in Physics). It made the rudeness more tolerable for me, and turned the thinking back on the commenter. ~ Mum to 28yo vehicle technician/mechanic, 27yo musician, 26yo house renovator, 25yo missionary (to over 15 countries) and masters student, 24yo ballroom dance instructor, 22yo geological survey tester, 21yo car saleswoman, 15yo boy, 13yo girl and 11yo boy.

  69. susann

    Love this story. As a mother of one boy, aged 3, I find it particularly upseting when everyone (and I mean everyone) is constantly asking me when im having another, my husband and I have been trying for two years and are very sad that it hasnt happened yet. I wish people would consider that not everyone can make babies easily, im very envious of those who can.

    1. Patrice

      I am a new mom of a 5 month old and already have relatives say hey when is # 2 coming? People forget I miss carried before I had my son. If I have a 2nd great if not then that was what my body was capable of having. But I see way to many welfare abusers who have no business having any more kids. I know people who have 1 and so should not have more cause they don’t care for the first kid. Yes they are a blessing and privilege not a pay check! If u need wic, food stamps and free insurance yeah u need birth control. My husband supports me and our son not the f-ing government! Big families are great if u have a big enough house and the $ clothes and all their needs are not cheap.

  70. Katrina

    I always wanted a big family, unfortunately for me it won’t be happening. I have two boys and totally get the comment about having a girl all the time! My boys are blessings from a loving God and I would not change my life at all. All children are a blessing from Him.

  71. Angelica

    I have 5 girls and one boy(2nd born). Almost every new person we meet says ” oh that poor boy”. I don’t think people understand how rude they are being. It’s hurtful and my son (10) doesn’t like the comments. He loves his sisters and is a wonderful brother and friend. I am constantly reminding him of the truth that God chose to place us in this family together and he has a plan and purpose. Yes, he would love to have a brother and he cried when we learned he would have a 3rd sister. And he said our family was “going extinct” (he was 7 at the time). LOL His reactions aren’t as dramatic anymore. He is grateful for his 5 sisters. God willing he will be an amazing husband and dad some day.

    1. Mary

      You have the same line up as we do! And my little guy is the same way. Though sometimes he gets a little exasperated. He made the comment one day “mom, I just can’t take all these girls!”

  72. Pingback: Unashamed - Biking for Babies

  73. Jennifer

    This was beautifully written! I just wanted to say that I have one wonderful 19 year old son and people are every bit as rude to me about having an “only child”. The rude comments are different but just as inappropriate. The worst in my opinion is “what if something happens and he dies?”. I don’t even have a response for that because it is just ridiculous! I love children so people don’t understand why I would choose to have only one. What they don’t understand is that I have so many “babies” I helped raise my siblings so they are my “babies”. My nieces and nephews are my “babies”. Two of my sons closest friends have lived with us for years and they are my children in every sense of the word!!! Children can be gifted to you by birth or by heart!!! I can’t remember now what my reasons were for having one child but I can tell you that it was the right decision for me and my family. I drove a suburban for years because I always had so many kiddos with me and those were the best years of my life. Congratulations to each of you on your beautiful children!!

  74. CJ

    For a girl still waiting on God’s timing for Children, I too have heard stupid remarks.
    Praise God for His plan not ours!

  75. Alexis

    I am proudly 30 wks pregnant with my FIFTH child. And get this…they’re ALL girls (oldest is 10)! You should hear the comments I get! I find when I tell them how blessed our family is that shuts down the negativity quickly. God doesn’t give five daughters to just anyone πŸ™‚

  76. CSHABER

    My parents had 6 girls and then a boy (then a few more). When my brother was born, a neighbour came over to my dad and asked “So, are you going to stop now that you have a boy?” My dad responded “Have you ever heard of a millionaire who stopped at 7 million?”
    If we value each child we are blessed and our children are fortunate.

    1. ashley

      not sure how to coment on the original post but , i just had my 5th daughter, and all i ever hear when im out is ” oh my you have your hands full” or ” wow are they all yours” or ” just couldnt get that boy? ” or my favorite is ” your crazy i dont know how you do it, you must be busy ”
      people truely need to think before they speak

  77. Erik

    It takes an enormous investment of time, emotion, and financial resources to raise a child. A husband and wife choosing to do so make very real decisions about foregoing freedom, flexibility, long term financial security/savings, and often, career opportunities. All of this effort to raise a child who will, hopefully, be a good member of society. Sadly, today that means virtual serfdom to the state and, in the US, those 50% of households that receive a biweekly government check. Most Western countries are slowly dying from the combination of a burgeoning welfare state and low birth rates. When I tell people that my wife and I have 4 children, if I get an incredudulous “four?” Instead of an excited, “four, how lovely”, I just promptly cut them off with a “you’re welcome.”

  78. Hollie

    I have 3 boys each about 2 years apart (6,4,&2) everyone is always “bless your heart, you need a girl” are you gonna try for a girl? They need a sister..
    Then as soon as I go somewhere with my niece in tow (I babysit her during the week) I get the 4 children? Oh my you have your hands full. Are you having anymore?
    You can’t win for losing.
    I wish people would mind their own business about others reproduction. I don’t plan on having more in fact I went and got my tubes tied in November. The fact that so many people wanted me to have a 4th and yet so many people thought I was nuts for having a 4th around (my niece) it’s as if you can’t escape. You are right. Those with one boy and one girl seem to get the better hand at not dealing with the absurd questions and comments. Society is screwed up in what they deem a perfect family. My family of 5 is perfect the way they are.

  79. Kristy

    Hi. I just wanted to say, in my country (Australia), most people see multiple kids as single mums on the dole who just breed for more money. I’m a 33 yr old mummy with one beautiful 6 yr old boy and am trying very hard to have a second. I do think a lot of young people (not every one) who can have kids, use it to benefit them. I won’t deny, their fertility makes me jealous. It wasn’t but pure chance I was able to conceive my boy, and I’m hoping for a second stroke of luck. A lot of people take fertility for granted. I however may not be able to have a second. My thoughts of parents with multiple children… to actually get to my point (sorry), is that if it was for the right reasons, there is nothing wrong with having 3… 4.. 5.. or more kids. Bless you for being able to bring bubs into the world. I have an issue with people bringing bubs into the world for the wrong reasons… ie “I’ve had my kids taken from me coz I’m shit parent so I’ll have another” or “the government will pay for my child” or (which I find the worst of all) “I’ll collect the benefits the government gives me for my child and spend it on what I want in life”

    1. Jenny

      I to live in Australia and I have six and you are right the first thing anyone asks is am I married

  80. Tanis

    I loved reading this. People are so judgmental and negative these days. Well here’s my story…I’m 29 turning 30 July 10th, I have three children, two girls 9 & 6 and one boy who will be 3 August 18th…and they all have different dads. I definatley get judged for that, does it bother me? Not so much as all their fathers are in their life and they were all relationships, not just random guys. As long as the kids are properly taken care of, fed and clean it’s no one’s business to judge. I would love to have one more, but I had three c sections so decided to get my tubes tied. We need to be proud of ourselves, so many women out there can’t even have just one! I would have one for someone that couldn’t have a child. So happy baby making to those who can!!

  81. Karina

    I have the opposite problem! I managed to have 2 children (boy then girl 4.5 years apart) after 7 years of fertility and miscarriage struggles and I am so grateful to have them and do not want more. People hassle me endlessly about having a third which is just a annoying and offensive! I don’t think it matters what you do, there will always be people out there judging!!!

  82. Tiffany

    I have 4 children also! I got married at 18 right after graduating and we got started right away. None of ours were planned, and they are very close in age, 13mo, 14mo, and 2yrs. I had a 4yo, 3yo, 2yo and a newborn. I wouldn’t say it’s for everyone! Every time I got pregnant after my 1st, I would dread telling my family, and other people because of their reactions. Even my sisters reactions were obviously appalled. They’d say “Congratulations….” like “There is so much more I want to say, but this is the only thing that I CAN say.” They made it clear that they didn’t approve.
    After my 4th I literally got asked if we use birth control, and what kind. I told them “No, we don’t use any.” It was a lie, but it’s what came out of my mouth. I just didn’t feel like indulging them into my personal bedroom life!
    I get looks, and comments ALL THE TIME. It REALLY irritated me up until a year ago. I pretty much just ignore the stares. If they make a negative comment,”You have your hands full!” I answer proudly and in one word answers and make it clear that I don’t want to talk about it. When I get asked inquiring questions, “Are they all yours? How close are they in age? Are they twins?” I smile and look at my children fondly and answer. Because I AM proud of what I’ve accomplished, and am accomplishing. They can’t take that away from me! I am a taboo, I am a young, home schooling mom, with more than the average amount of children, close in age. So there!
    And, can you believe it? God has placed it on my heart to have another! It’s not the right timing, but I KNOW just like I knew with my others, that we’re going to have more. I make it known to those who ask, and I can care less what they have to say. I am blessed to have excellent fertility, healthy, easy pregnancies, and delivery, and healthy children. Why should I be ashamed? It is too rare now a days to be blessed with a fruitful womb. I’m not going to take it for granted. Love, love, love -my motto. πŸ™‚ Thanks for this post, it makes me happy.

  83. Jane

    We adopted our fourth. So many friends and even more family members could not understand why in the world we have a fourth child, yet alone adopt one. As if there was something wrong with us because we were not content with the three children we already had. I love swimming upstream against the current! It’s the most blessed place to be and I love that I have four little fishes swimming upstream with me.

  84. Kesha

    Love this story I to is a mom of 5 and people look and ask me so you are done having kids I just have to look and ask you are my husband .people need to mine there own business and stop making woman who choose to have a big family feel shame about it. So thanks for this story.

  85. Bonnie R.

    I really appreciate your article. We have 5, ages 7, 6, 4, 3, and almost 15 months. I have gotten the same incredulous, judgment, and rude comments. How does having several children suddenly make mine and hubby’s family decisions your business? I’m a devout Christian, and I fully agree that children are a blessing from the Lord, one that takes every ounce of my strength and sanity some days, but my husband and I would EVER go back on, if given the chance of an easier, cheaper, “freer” life. It’s so sad and tragic that because people often limit themselves, they don’t see the wonder and joy that many children bring. (Of course, some people cannot have a large family, or even one child.) I’m so, so grateful for my children, and I hope my family serves as an encouragement and an example of the treasure a large family can be!

  86. Amy

    As a mum of two (one boy, one girl) I am deeply in awe of mums with three or more kids. I hope it doesn’t come across as rude, mostly I just want to ask ‘how do you do it?’ in the hopes that they will reveal their parenting secrets. I would love to have another one, just need to convince my husband πŸ™‚

  87. Teresa

    Love love this story. I too am a mom of 6 girls one step daughter and a angel baby. All my girls were,annex and I love them all the same. I remember getting questions like were you trying for a boy? Or how many more you going to have? Or the famous one was how do you do it with so many kids? You know I would not trade any of my girls for no nothing, they are each and every one important to me and I have a bond with each. They all have different attitudes, likes, dislikes, and goals and that is what makes them special. I become a step mom 4 years ago to a girl that her mother has little commutation with her. But the way I see it is God blessed me with another child to hold and raise. My girls are 21,19,17,16,14 and my angle baby would have been 23 this year. I now have 3 grandsons and just found outshe is pregnant again this will be baby number 4 for her plus she is raising two more so she will have 6 total. She is following in moms footsteps and having a large family.

  88. Thankful.

    I simply love you for writing this. I am one of five children, one brother and four girls. Couples who wish to have a big family are really persecuted by society, which is so sad. This stupid idea that it is your ‘duty’ to plan and to have no more then two children max, or else you will no longer have a decent life whatsoever. I myself had an awkward confrontation with a teacher at school, she was surprised to find out I had so many siblings and made a very nasty remark. She didn’t expect her straight A student to have such a “background”. I am so thankful for the great parents I have, they’re honest, hard-working and have always encouraged us to keep God first in our lives, also for the great sisters and brother they have gifted me. I pray one day the Lord rewards them with 20 times more what they have given to me.

  89. roxycross

    Reblogged this on To a Peaceable Life and commented:
    As the mother of 9 children who are all over the world doing amazing things, and the oldest of 11 children, big families are a lot of love and support. I wonder at my little grandchildren, of which I only have 10 so far and what it must be like for those little guys to grow up with so much love and support, from multiple generations! From this perspective, it is unfortunate that those who have so much to give in the way of the better things in life are choosing to have small or no families. Who is populating the earth, with what skills and mindsets? However large your family is or isn’t, make a positive difference in the lives of others every opportunity you have!

  90. Teriane

    First of all god bless all of your families. My husband and I have been married for 19 years and he is 38 and I am 35 we have 8 boys yes all boys together there ages are 19,18,16,15,13,12,10,8 and we don’t go out to eat very often because it get expensive so we go maybe once a month. So this one night we took our kids out to eat and this waitress said very loudly man did you kidnap a few kids before you came in I was so embarrassed I just wanted to punch her in the face.

  91. Lisa Wilkerson

    I’m a happy mother of 7 blessings, raising them on the shoestring of my husband’s modest salary. My heart goes out to people who can’t have children. When we start to worry about money and things we “need”, I remind myself, my husband, and my kids that we have 7 healthy children, and everything else is secondary. We trust God for our true needs. When my kids comment that we don’t have the “stuff” that the neighbors have, because we have so many kids and not a lot of money, I tell them that we are the RICHEST family in the neighborhood, because we have the MOST children, and they are PRICELESS!!

  92. Gayle

    As a Mother of 5 children, I am thrilled to read your story. When I was pregnant with #4, I would hear things like “you’re having Another baby??!!??” or “What if you get another boy?” though my favorite was from my sister-in-law “with my 4th child, life just seemed to get a little easier.” (lol, She would know, she had 10!) Though really, I wasn’t ostracized too much over yet another child, because I live in a state where large families are common, and even ones the size of mine aren’t considered ‘Large’ — although the older ladies in my church congregation who each only had 2 or 3 children sometimes would make remarks to me. I have, however, received numerous comments on my age — I am almost 40, and my youngest is 15 months. Yes, indeed, imagine having a baby At MY AGE!! Well My Mom did, as did my mother-in-law.

    I can’t say that having 5 is any easier than 3, but I dearly love ALL of my children, and the trials and sicknesses I endured during each of their pregnancies just makes each of them that much more precious to me. Just as I know that my parents loved all of us (I am blessed to be youngest of 9, yes 9, children).

  93. lizziejcarroll

    Reblogged this on Sprout and About and commented:
    This is beautiful. Having a larger family is NOT something to be ashamed of and if a woman tells you she is expecting her fourth, fifth or tenth child the correct response is always “congratulations!”

  94. Linda Rivera

    It is hard to not leave a comment on this subject. I came from a family of six kids. My dad came from a family of 10 kids, my 1st husband came from a family of 8 kids, his dad came from a family of 10 kids. My 1st husband died, and I remarried to a man who had 5 and I had one from my deceased first husband, then we added 2 more to our own “Brady Bunch.” We had 6 girls and 2 boys. I love them all. My second husband got sent to prison and then deported out of the country. I then began foster parenting while raising my 3 daughters as a single Mom. I have single parented for 20 years and I have also had 43 foster children that I have raised as a single Mom, in the last 12 years of fostering children. I am a blessed woman. I live to raise children. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Yes, they are work, yes they can cause trouble. But, guess what? The joy that I experience in my daily life is SO GREAT! I wouldn’t have it any other way! God blessed me now so far with 4 biological grandchildren and about 20 grandchildren from my foster children and I love it! Life is good! I wouldn’t give one back. Children are an inheritance from the Lord and one of God’s most awesome blessings that He can give us. Thank you Jesus for all the blessings you have given to ME!

    1. Cynthia

      Amazing. Thank you very much for stepping in and caring for all your foster kids. If not anything the smile on their faces and our faces should be a reward and reminder that you are awesome. God keep blessing.

  95. Hopefull

    To those who have large families, you cannot imagine how much you are envied. Sometime around my 16th birthday I was informed that I would probably never have children. At 29, and after 6 confirmed miscarriages, I had my little man. Ten years later, we still hope for another, but now we are planning on our next one through adoption. Enjoy the large families, they are a pleasure many of us dream of.

    1. Turkoize

      Hopefull, you can still have that large family, as you already know, it’s called adoption. I’m adopted and the folks whom I call my parents, couldn’t have kids, so I came into their life as a baby. They’re the only parents I know and I’ve NEVER been treated any different. Whether adopted or biological, you can still have the same love, instill your beliefs and raise them to change the world. The only difference between you and them is DNA. In my life experience, that’s a tiny detail. My parents have showered me with love, taught me to be a respectful and loving person and strive for my dreams. Hopefull, if you still want that large family, go for it! If you and your husband want it bad enough, you’ll create the best family of adopted children that could make some biological families jealous. It’s not the DNA that makes us family, it’s the love we share. Best of luck to you! πŸ™‚

  96. Terresza

    As a happily married woman with one step son and two miscarriages I can only imagine that people who question or in any way attempt to make a mother of any sized family feel badly, guilty, or ashamed is simply – simple. To those women braved and blessed with any number of children and who are raising them with a spouse/partner and not off of tax payers YOU ARE AWESOME AND KEEP IT UP heaven knows that this coming generation will need some solid, well raised, hard working, reality placed, dream driven individuals to innovate and lead.

  97. Misty Clarkson

    I have 5 girls and just had a little boy (11wks). I get those looks and questions too.. I love all my children.. I love having a baby in the house!! All of mine where planned even if I wasnt expecting it..

    1. Mary

      I also have 6. It’s fun when people start counting them! It’s like they see the whole crew but they can’t believe it so they start counting.

  98. KimMomofMany

    I am 1 of 5 children and I always knew I wanted a house full of kids. Even 30 years ago my friends would ask if we all had the same parents especially with the large gap between the older 2 and us younger 3. (Yes we do.) I had trouble having children so got started on my brood later on. Long after the birth of my 1st 2, I remarried. What a whirlwind that was and still is! Although we didn’t plan on having more children (he had 2 boys and I had 2 girls, and we weren’t exactly young anymore), we were blessed with another boy. We definitely worried about the financial aspect of having another child but somehow you find a way. (And God has blessed us in that area as well, when the need has been there.) We’ve gotten a lot of looks and rude comments on the size of our brood but we don’t care. We are actually trying for number 6.
    Me personally, I don’t comment or ask anyone anything about the size of their family whether they have no kids or 10. In the many years of married life before I had children, insensitive people asked why I was childess only to find out I had lost many pregnancies. You never know what others have been through. I have 9 children in heaven I look forward to meeting someday and I welcome all God decides to bless me with here on earth.

  99. Amanda

    With three boys only 3.5 years apart and then having daughter I often get the comment “oh wow, fourth time lucky hey”…WT!!!
    Ummmm no four times lucky thank you, and yes I did plan on having “sooooooo many kids”, “we do own a TV, however making kids is way more fun” and “yes, they are ALL mine”.

  100. Mary

    I am the mother of 6, I am 32, my children range from 14-5. I have heard it all. People always ask if I’m done. I feel like I’m suppose to say “yes”. But I don’t want to be done. Yes I work full time and so does my husband. I went back to school and got my nursing degree when my youngest was 5 days old. If it weren’t for the fact that I need a bigger vehicle and to finish rooms in my house, I would have more. But just as one reader stated, I’m not sure how I would tell everyone, even family. Because even family will give us those comments. I love my big family, yes it’s crazy at times, but just as my doctor stated (the father of 5 boys), “after 3 chaos is chaos”. People ask how I do it? I just do, I do it for my family! And yes I have been asked if they came some the same man. Really who has the nerve to ask that question!? So just because I have 6 children I “sleep around”? When my kids make comments about how some people have nicer things I ask them “would you rather have your siblings or those items?” They all answer that they wouldn’t give up their family. Oh and you know the question I love “Are you Catholic?” Which I am, then they reply “that explains it”. BTW I was not born into the church, I converted and have always wanted a large family.

  101. Carrie

    I grew up the youngest of four living children (my eldest sister died as an infant). I wasn’t planned, but I know that my parents still love me just as much as the others. People always thought we were a big family. I loved always being around people and I cannot wait to have my own family.

  102. Linda Terry

    I come from a family of 6 girls. All of us from the same parents. The first 3 of us are 14 months apart. Then the other 3 are more stretched out. My parents love each of us the same. Mom couldn’t use birth control for several medical reasons. When i was born, she bled a lot and wasn’t supposed to have more babies. But here came the other 3. We almost lost mom and the baby from her hemmoraging. After the last one, the doc took dad aside and made an appointment for him to get a vasectomy. No more babies. I don’t recall anyone saying anything to my parents. Of course this was in the 60’s & 70’s.People had bigger families back then.

  103. sarah

    As a mom of 7 I get comments all the time like “Don’t you own a TV” You need to get a hobby” Are they all yours?” My husband always gets the comment “Wow 7 kids! How many Mom’s?” To be honest #7 was not planned and I cried for weeks.I was terrified of telling my family and friends and waited till I was almost 5 months along to do so. When my little number 7 came into this world it was the same as all the other times I was instantly in love. And yes my life may be a little crazy and I may be a little crazy too,but I have been blessed with these beautiful children. I wouldn’t have it any other way. My children are 19,16,13,5,4,2,1

  104. Olivia Hernandez Panameno

    I just read this and you have no idea how this has made me feel more better about having my third. I just recently gave birth via c-section to my second baby a girl and she just turned 6 months old and I am now pregnant with my third and I haven’t told many about this pregnancy the reaction I always seem to get is WHAT!! not one person said congratulations and I too see babies as a blessing I feel relieved that there are people like you out there God bless your life and that of your family

    1. Lisa Wilkerson

      I know just how you feel. We have 7 blessings and after the first few, only my very closest friends said the “congratulations” I was hoping for when hearing my news of another pregnancy. (That showed which friends Truly understood me!) But I have found that if you have a positive, cheerful attitude when letting people know, they are more likely to respond in a positive (or at least neutral) way. Don’t be apologetic when telling your wonderful news!! I have found a few standard cheerful replies to common questions/comments. I like to say things like “Yes, God has really blessed us, hasn’t he?” and “Thank goodness I have all these kids to keep me young, right?” — showing people that you are happy about it, so they should be happy for you! May God bless you richly – and maybe with more kids!! – and Congratulations on your 3rd gift from God, Olivia!

    2. Charissa

      What?!?!? Honestly, I just teared up reading that no one has congratulated you on your pregnancy!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!! This little one IS every bit as much of a blessing as your first and second. I’m so sorry you aren’t getting the support of your friends and family. But I bet this one absolutely steals their hearts the minute they meet him/her πŸ˜€ LOL! I have this vision of grumpy, judgmental people meeting your third child and just melting into smiles. God has some big plans for this one!

  105. Ann Niebauer

    I had 3 boys and daddy said that is it and had a vasectomy. I would have gladly had 3 more as I was only 33. Now that I am in my 50s I wish I had more. They grew up so fast. They are all great kids and I love them more each day but my husband and I miss them so much. They did what we raised them to do and flew away, but we sure love it when they come home. Now we are having our first grandchild and we cant wait. I do see some people having 6 or 7 kids but it is rare. If they know God and raise the kids to know him I say have as many as you want. They are a blessing and big families are great. Now that I am older I know how important family is. I am one of 5 and love my family more than ever now that we have lost Mom and Dad. Babies are a blessing! Be proud when you carry them they are a gift!

  106. Alexandria DiSanto

    THIS. is a wonderful article. i do not have any children of my own, but i am the oldest of 6, and grew up listening to every insufferable comment from old ladies passing us by at any and all family outings. unfortunately, you either “get it” or you don’t. a very worthwhile read, at least for those who get it.

  107. Sarah M

    I recently had my 4th boy and I know exactly what you are talking about!! Through my entire pregnancy I was asked if I was nuts, if I was sad he’s not a girl, if he was planned (he was), and why my boys are so far apart in ages (12, 9, 6, and the little guy)!! Honestly I started noticing that people from bigger families were much more supportive and didn’t ask as many questions. People who were only children or one of two, and people that have no kids, seemed to think I was absolutely nuts. Some still do! When I was pregnant with my third my own mother tried to get me to put him up for adoption because the father left me. (My second son is autistic and epileptic and has a cognitive functioning level of about 9months, he decided when I told him I was pregnant that he didn’t want to be around any more….my mother didn’t believe I could handle things on my own)

    My fiancΓ© and I have our new little guy, my three boys and his daughter!! And I couldn’t be happier with our crazy huge family!

  108. I.A.

    As the father of three little girls each a year apart, thank you for this post. You so beautifully and eloquently captured the sentiments of my wife and I. It’s so refreshing to hear someone courageously stand up for moms and families with more than two children. I cannot tell you how many times people have chided us or made insensitive, ignorant or hurtful comments. This was truly uplifting to read. Oh…and the next time someone asks me how many children I will have, I know what to say…”All of them.” God bless.

  109. Blessed Mommy

    I had to chuckle to myself when I read this article because I have heard these comments and much more! I am the mother of 7 (one died before he/she was born) and would have had more if my husband had not had a heart attack in his early 40’s. He was scared to have anymore because he was afraid he wouldn’t be around to see them grow into adults. He had wanted more.
    My favorite comment was “Haven’t you figured out what causes that yet?” to which I would reply “Yes, that’s why I do it.” It ceases to amaze me that strangers, even family feel the need to tell you what you need by saying “You don’t need anymore children.” or the many other negative comments. I have never asked any of them to help me raise my children or give me any money, etc. so why does it bother them so much if we choose to have a lot of children. My husband likes to joke about not staying home because of the noise so maybe family thinks he is under stress or didn’t want that many, but I can assure you, it was his idea each time. He is an awesome father and takes great pride in all his children. We love having a big family! To anyone that says they can’t afford it, I say, you find a way. Sure, we don’t eat out like we did when we had 2 but the blessing of my children has been totally worth it!!
    Pregnancy and the birth of a child should be a happy occasion so why do people feel the need to take that away from the parents? Just because that person chooses not to bless their home with lots of children, why do they feel like everyone else should follow suite?

  110. Andy

    I am one of five children in my family. Once at a dentist appointment, the assistant asked if we were all from the same mother.

  111. Andrea

    I confess I’m guilty of the line, ” You know they’ve figured out what causes that. Right?” But only in jest, and never to strangers.

    Every child is part of God’s plan and I’m blessed to be expecting my second when my daughter will be almost 8, even though we didn’t “plan” this one.

  112. Kaity

    Bless all the mothers who have the physical strength as well as the mental strength to have and care for many children. It is a
    wonderful and very difficult job for it involves a great deal of one’s emotions and is exhausting, depleting, so leaning on God and doing all to God’s glory is extremely helpful plus remember to take care of yourself so you will be there for the children.

  113. Karen

    I am a single mother of the most amazing 6 boys (15, 12, 10, 9, 7 & 5) God has so abundantly Blessed me! But you wouldn’t think so because I can’t even begin to tell you all the comments I have received over the last 10 years as my family has grown from the “did you plan to have a big family” to “your crazy”! Which I reply with a smile “yes I am…crazy about my children!”

    I am divorced now so it is just me and my boys and this day in age I hate that I have to tell people that “they are all mine and they all have the same dad!” I guess such a large family these days by the same two parents is a rarity.

    Sometimes we are like a side show attraction with all the stares and questions. But I would not trade a single second of my crazy full of controlled chaos life for anything! When we are out and we hold hands and say grace I hope it touches someone, I hope that seeing our family and how much love their is and all the boys smiles makes someone’s day! He chose me to be their Mom and I couldn’t imagine a greater gift then that!

  114. vivian

    Hello, I’m the oldest of 7 girls. I have no brothers but has always wanted 1. When I was younger people would ask me how many siblings I have and I would tell them 6. I am 20 now and I have one sister that’s 18, 16, 15, 8, and two that are 4. I would have had a brother when I was 8 but he was a still born and died on my birthday. I geuss God had other plans.
    I know u must be wondering are they all from the same parents. No we are not. I have 1 awesome stepsister and, 3 wonderful halfsisters. Although we have never really looked each other as half oe step sisters. We are all sisters.
    My father is in the military and my stepmom and 2of my sisters move around. While the rest of us are in Texas. But when we get 2gether it’s like an all out girls nite. The oldests watch the little ones but we some how have tons of fun by doing our nails, or facials.
    But here’s the catch 2 all this. Even though we are all not from the same perants and people ask me this a lot, there’s a kind of relief in peoples eyes. As if all of us from the same perant is a terrible thing. I feel that God has brought a broken family together through us sisters and we are slowly mending it. But to be honest I wish we were from the same perants maybe then we wouldnt have to be so far apart.
    Growing up none of us had much money but we all knew how to cook clean and even wash clothes by hand. We would work together and she each other’s makeup, or clothes, or jewelry, even shoes. In the end we had more then wat ppl thought. Now though two of lives in Mississippi, I live farther down in Texas, one of us is joining the navy, then last 3 still live in a small twon on 78.
    I never felt ashamed, more proud. Both of my moms love having kids but they come to the conclusion that its enough. I don’t care what ppl think. Its great having this many sisters. I know people root for my dad, which are usually the men, but others have looked down on him, even doudting him. But they don’t realize he risked his life for us. We know our father. But my 8 and 4 yr old sister they know their father as well. We’re not all from the same perants all the think is wow seven girls… its sad really.

  115. brenda z.

    Great post. All children are blessings. What I am stunned over are the comments. People seem to think that you have to be either pro large family or pro environment/small family. People are missing the point. There are many factors that go into family planning. It is very personal. For some, the ability to provide for the children that we have (without taking into account God’s blessings) is a very real concern. It is not always possible to be a stay at home mom, or to live on less in a very high cost of living area. Some people want to be able to give their children the gift of a wonderful private school or higher education, which they would not afford if they had more children. A larger family may place undue stress on a marriage that they are already working hard to keep together. It doesn’t always need to be that one decision is better than the other. I don’t want to be judged for not having a larger family, just as much as I will not judge others who choose to have one.

  116. Deb Gale

    My husband and I have five children. Our second and third children (daughters) have a rare syndrome Joubert Syndrome. They have physical and mental challenges. When the doctors figured out what they had we were told if we had any more children they had a 25% chance of having Joubert Syndrome. We waited a couple years and after many prayers we decided to have another child. While at an OB appointment I was afraid of what others would think. He told me too many people worry about others reproduction and it is none of their business.
    When my daughters’ pediatrician at the special needs children’s clinic found out I was pregnant she asked me if I had ever heard of birth control. Oh brother. Little did she know that I had to take fertility pills to get pregnant. Our son was perfect and we had one more daughter and then knew we had all the children we were suppose to have.

  117. amommaslittlemusings

    This is so sad to me. All that matters is that this woman loves her babies, and she gives them the best life she can muster. Who knows if she has a husband or partner, and it shouldn’t matter. We don’t know her story. I got pregnant with my daughter at 20 (w/ my first sexual partner, which may seem like an odd thing to say, but it will make sense shortly) who I lived with, and love, and am now married to. Just two months prior to getting pregnant, our family OB/GYN who had treated my mother for years since she had terrible endometriosis that caused her to undergo a hysterectomy by age 24, tearfully told me he had run many tests and told me that unless a miracle occurred, I’d never be a mother. My uterus was just not functional in that way. My husband (boyfriend at the time) held me as I cried, and told me he’d stay with me, because if being a dad at some point meant not being with me, he’d be just as happy with it being just the two of us. God heard our prayers and 2 months later, I was pregnant. My whole family, and his, was overjoyed. However, everyone else I knew gave me the “oh poor you” looks and asked me if we planned on keeping the baby, and I got dirty looks from people who looked at my swollen belly and immediately to my left hand and shook their head as if to say, “Oh, just what this country needs, another young un-wed mother depending on the government.” My “friends” who I had known most of my life said awful things behind my back, calling me a whore or a slut, assuming I’d gone wild and gotten knocked up by a one night stand. We are now a very happy self-sustaining family of three, and have been trying for 9 months for another baby, and my 4 year old daughter prays to Jesus every night for a baby brother or sister. I know God gave us a miracle once already, giving us her, and I have faith that when it’s our time God will give us another child, whether it be from my womb or through adoption.
    I’ll pray for the momma in your post, and hope she no longer gets those mean questions, and gets to enjoy the heck out of her four precious blessings. Thanks for posting this, and sorry I was so long winded sharing my story.

  118. Mary

    Having children, of any number, is a personal choice and no ones business but those involved. Yet there always seems to be someone with an opinion. I have 3 girls, including a set of twins. I constantly get asked if I’m going to try for a boy. My reply is that my children’s worth is not based on their gender. However, I don’t go into the difficult pregnancies and life threatening deliveries. Each person has their own cross to bear. Unless you’re God, you better not be judging.

  119. Lisa S.

    I wish I had not bought into the world’s idea of children. I have only realized in the last few years the mistakes I made when young. I know now that all children are blessings. I wish I hadn’t used the pill or allowed my husband to get a vasectomy 10 years ago. If I knew then what I know now, I would have 20 little blessings – when not on the pill I was immediately pregnant. Unfortunately my oldest is 20, my younger two are 12 and 13. I will never have more because of listening to the world. I am so jealous of the friends I’ve only met in the last few years who are letting God control their families. They are so blessed and happy. They have beautiful families although they learned late like I did and are 40 and pregnant with #4 or anxiously awaiting the pregnancy of #5. They likely missed many like I did believing the lies that we couldn’t afford more or that children are a burden.

    Thank you to all the women and their husbands who believe that children are all blessings from the Lord. Thank you to all the women and their husbands who trust the Lord when having their children. Thank You, Lord, for all the beautiful families You created, big and small. Thank You, Lord, for my children. Thank You for allowing me to finally see children as the blessings You give, may all mothers see their children the way You do.

      1. Kk harvey

        Why even care?? Just go with what works for you and your family! Working moms feel guilty, why? Mothers that choose to only have one child feel guilty, why? Quit worrying about what others think and enjoy the blessing! I had five children and then married a man with two kids the age of mine. I would not change a thing and never wasted one precious second of life worrying

  120. Astrid

    My mother is one of nine and only had me. I have three and a husband who works long hours at the hospital. Which means most if not all parenting falls to me. And it can be exhausting. So yes when I see someone with four and five and six kids I am astounded they have enough time, energy, and resources to meet all their needs. My kids are well behaved because with three bad behavior is simply not an option. I’d run screaming down the street and hide in the woods. So I simply can’t fathom having another I love kids and when I see a baby hold a baby or watch my now toddler master yet another skill taking him that much farther from being my baby that pang hits. I quickly slap it down with a broom. Harsh comments are rude and it’s no ones business if a family has one kid or fourteen. But you can’t be shocked when people look at you with your kids in sheer awe. And yes people ask questions because they are curious. My oldest is 20 my youngest is three. And the looks we get are usually along the lines of did I have her in seventh grade. It would take to much of my time to say yes she was born while I was in seventh grade to my half sister who is fifteen years older then me and died of cancer. I roll my eyes as they do the math and go about my day. Because I couldn’t care less what someone thinks about me, the number of kids I have or the age range. So why do parents with more then the current norm get their panties in a twist when it happens to them? The reason we are shocked is we no longer live on farms and ranches you don’t need a mega bunch to work the land. In fact we have over populated the planet and are destroying and depleting resources at an alarming rate. This is why people give you the side eye. So what ignore them and walk away.

  121. Laree MIllet

    We have 6 grown children. Between the “God bless you’s” Were many many rude comments. From “don’t you know how that happen?”s to” watch some TV for a change!” But not leaving out my personal favorite….”I hope your husband has a good job!” We were not burdens on society and it is no one’s business how many children another family has. Usually those making the rude comments either have no children, or did have a couple and are trying to have daycare and school raise theirs. I am a stay at home Mom and always have been. Our children are contributing to the world around them in wonderful ways. I pity those that don’t see the whole picture and put silly reasons in front of family. I LOVED your article. Thanks for sharing it!

  122. massagemom8

    I have three myself so far. And I have to admit that I’ve been on both sides of this proverbial fence and though every child born deserves a chance there are some parents who I am disgusted with their reasons behind so many children. . . Money is the biggest one, to self admittedly have a child just because you want a bigger welfare check is ridiculous. But these families were the reasoning behind my shock at other legitimate families and that was wrong on my part. I love children and realise that if means allowed, I would have as many as I could. But the planning one still gets me, mostly because we are planners. But the biggest reason behind this is health related. And I’m learning now that even that can be better than I thought it could. I thought it was a drain on the mother and possibly require you to stop nursing an older sibling. And this brings me to my intended question. Did you nurse your girls, and no I’m not trying to lecture anyone on the importance of breastfeeding. I’m only asking because I love nursing my children, and currently my youngest is two months old and we are not planning, we are letting nature take it’s course. So given that it is possible, how does being pregnant and nursing go. I find info on tandem nursing, but not with babies so young. How do you know if something changes in your milk and if it does can you ride it out or do you have to supplement. As I said, I’m a planner so if I’m not going to plan when it happens, I’d like to know how I can make it the best possible healthier for all involved.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I got pregnant while nursing twice, but I am ridiculously fertile. If you are constantly nursing on demand and the baby nurses through the night, it is extremely unlikely you will get pregnant before the baby is six months old. I highly recommend the Creighton method of NFP if you want to make certain you are not getting pregnant while bf-ing. Otherwise, my supply did dip a bit when I got pregnant, so I weaned. My OB seemed to think that bf-ing past 20 weeks could raise your chance of premature labor. But then again, I have heard of lots of women that nursed throughout their pregnancies and then tandem nursed.

      1. Rebecca C

        I am pregnant with my fourth, and was still nursing each time I got pregnant. Although it is possible to get pregnant while nursing often (even tandem!) before 6 months, the reality is for most women it just doesn’t happen. If you exclusively nurse (or pump every few hours) and don’t have a stretch of more than 3 hours throughout the entire day (including nighttime), for MOST women that’s enough to keep fertility at bay – natural child spacing. The earliest my cycle came back was 12 months, the longest 17. And each time it only came back after I stopped nursing or pumping as often (I worked, and I barely respond to a pump after 12 months). I actually had to go 6-9 hours without during the day consistently for awhile before I got my cycle back. Supply does drop while you are pregnant, although there are safe ways you can help boost it.

        My eldest nursed right on through, regardless of supply, and then I tandem nursed them. My second nursed for a while, but after my milk completely disappeared following a week long work trip she self weaned (I think she was 26 or 27 months). My youngest is still nursing at least 3 times a day – he’s 19 months and I’m 22 weeks pregnant. I’m hopeful he’ll make it all the way through. It was so much easier to nurse the newborn with help from the elder child! No worries about initial oversupply, clogged ducts, or difficulty latching.

        Oh, and all of my babies were born at 40+ weeks, so at least for me, premature labor wasn’t an issue.

      2. S.K.

        Since you mentioned the Creighton Method of NFP, I would also like to say that it is great, simple, and really brings a couple closer if you work on it together. It also works the other way – to help you achieve pregnancy if you are trying.

        In addition, for those of you who want to have children and have been unable, please check out fertilitycare.org These doctors use the Creighton Method and Naprotechnology to diagnose and treat health issues that sometimes prevent a couple from conceiving or carrying to term. Of course, we can never solve all problems, and God is ultimately in charge, but there are sometimes simple steps that can be taken to help a couple who never thought they would have children to do just that. They treat things like endometriosis, polycycstic ovarian syndrome, recurrent miscarriage, etc. They can even help with postpartum depression and menopause symptoms. It’s worth a look!

  123. Alicia

    I love this! I have four girls, 7 year old twins, 6 year old and a 8 month old. When I found out that I was pregnate for the fourth I was worried what people were going to say but more in the negative way like some of the comments in the article. I got nothing but positive remarks. I also then remembed that what does it matter I am married to the man of all four children and we are happy, you are you to tell me how many I can have and when. I do now get are you going for the boy, you should! Which makes me smile that people are urshing me to have fifth! Thank you for this article and showing people that it is not their business and that their not the ones taking care of them. So of they don’t have something nice to say don’t say anything at all.

  124. Mandy

    I have 4 children. My last two is a set of twins. I would LOVE to have more, but sadly can not. My twins look nothing alike, and people always ask “wow, you had them one right after another didn’t you!?” I reply with “I sure did. A whole minute between them” lol My son is larger than my daughter. Well, I can’t have more children, so I take care of everyone elses. I’ve always loved the sound of children laughing, and yes even when my children aren’t home I miss their fighting too. Kudos to all of you who don’t let people’s comments bother you, and to those who are offended by it, don’t be! Love them, be proud, and don’t let anyone talk you down!

  125. Brenda

    God bless the parents, specifically the courageous Mothers who chose to bear several children. We need more like them in this society today. Having 4 children makes much more sense than 4 vehicles or 4 computers! May all their children grow into caring, healthy, loving successful adults. What a wonderful world this would be; The way God intended!

  126. Akinyi

    Love this post, I love children and I currently have two lovely kids and planning on a third but with alot of caution due to my CS scars hopefully I will get a go ahead next year YAY. For me it’s two things, First – being african society expects you to tough it out and do natural birth so am constantly looked at like a weakling who couldn’t push hard enough. the second is when they hear I want at least four kids, they go ballistic (ironical coming from a place where most women start giving birth from as early as 18 depending on how it happened). I turn a deaf ear and I tell them as long as they aren’t my gyna I dont care what they think. Funnily enough the rude/insensitive comments are from women who have never given birth or not married or married but don’t have kids and regardless of how they carry themselves I can tell they are miserable

    1. Charissa

      hahaha! I was thinking the same thing! I have 3 brothers and never felt like we were a large family.

  127. Larger Family Life (@largerfamily)

    Unfortunately many people have a single, negative stereotypical image of large families. We now live in a society where it’s more acceptable to say: ‘You’re pregnant with your fifth?! Oh no! What are you going to do?’ instead of ‘You’re pregnant with your fifth! What wonderful news! Congratulations!’

    Family size is nobody’s business but the couple involved. Nobody should be ashamed or need to explain themselves, whether they have no children, one child, or 10.

    I am a mother-of-13 and also wrote about Why Having a Large Family Doesn’t Give You the Right to be Rude: http://www.largerfamilylife.com/why-me-having-a-large-family-does-not-give-you-the-right-to-be-rude/ and When a Pregnancy Announcement Doesn’t Get a Good Reaction: http://www.largerfamilylife.com/2010/02/25/when-a-pregnancy-announcement-doesnt-get-a-good-reaction/
    (Do remove these links if you think inappropriate to share).

  128. Mom of 6

    I have 6 wonderful children, ages 30, 20, 19, 17, 16, and 13. I am so glad that they are mine, I went through many of the same things. I appreciate someone writing about some of the things we’ve had to go through as parents of more than 2 children. Someone was always saying,
    “Don’t you know what causes that?” I know, How rude, right? I wouldn’t change a thing about our decision to have them. I still have 4 of them at home. Three have graduated and my 17 year old will graduate in 2015. I am proud of them. I am a grandparent now , too and I am enjoying every minute of it.

  129. Laurie

    I have 6, the first 5 in less than 10 years, (now ages 20-30 b,g,g,g,b) and a 14 yo daughter. Yes,, I got the “hands full” comment a lot also, but I received it as support and encouragement. Each one is unique, has different gifts and strengths, and interests, and all together we are well balanced.I LOVE asking moms of many in the store “May I give you a hug? I have 6 kids, they are older now, but I remember the long mommy days…..” none have refused.

  130. JP

    I hate to say this but I think with so many people (mainly those with a large number of children) on or abusing the welfare system, it makes some people out there judge mothers when they have multiple children, assuming that with so many children there is no way they can afford them without welfare. Is that always true? Of course not! Should they judge either way? No of course not, but let’s be serious here, there are just too many people abusing our welfare system & when I see women on their sixth child & on welfare I know my taxes are going to them & it upsets me. If you can’t afford to take care of your children yourself then please do society a favor & postpone more children until you have an education & a career. For those mothers & fathers supporting their own family–thank you!!! You are doing society a great service.

  131. Karly

    Thank you! I’ve got 4 girls, ages 4 and under, and I love them to pieces!! This is so well put, I just had to chuckle πŸ™‚ The question we hear most is, “So are you going to keep trying for a boy?!” I want to say, “‘Try’?? We don’t really have to TRY… we just act like married people and see what happens!” πŸ˜‰

  132. Jessamae

    I absolutely love this! Thank you! I’m the oldest of six. My mom had someone ask her if the reason she had so many was because she was selfish enough to need that much attention. I was lucky enough to find a husband who is the 4th of eight kids and wants a large family as well. Honestly, I feel like I have to explain myself when I tell someone we’re expecting our third less than a year after we had our second. Thank you for the encouragement!

  133. Kelly

    I couldn’t agree more that each child deserves just as much excitement! Intentionally falling with our third we sent out lovely little photo announcements of the pregnancy…partly because it was cute, fun and unique, but partly because we weren’t confident we would get an excited response. His arrival is close and fortunately now people are supportive and on board with our growing family

  134. Austin

    I love what you wrote. People sure do have strange ideas about something that used to be so common! My favorite was the lady who stomped/stormed up to my wife in Walmart and blurted out “FOUR!!!???!!!” My wife doesn’t grove on confrontation, so she tried to talk to the lady some…while her two kids behaved like heathens around her legs. So after a few minutes of trying to politely explain why we like having a large family, my wife finally just said, “Lady, if my kids acted as bad as yours, I wouldn’t want four either!”, turned and walked off. I would LOVE to have been there!

  135. Marcia Kuiper

    I’m from a family of 10 children, and I am #4. I am proud to be from a large family and we have lots of fun together yet today as our children have had lots of cousins to hang out with. My mom told me one time that when she was having lots of babies within a few years (10 kids in about 18 years time) that someone actually called her a “sow” That must of hurt her deeply!. She was a great mom, did lots of gardening, laundry, sewing, and just loved us the best she could. She prayed for us all regularly as well as her grandchildren and great grandchildren. That was a blessing that many don’t have today. She taught us to love God and one another .We miss her now that she has passed on, but she has left a great legacy behind.

  136. Lindsey

    Oh my goodness! I loved your post! I’m pregnant with my fifth… we really messed up and had FOUR girls ;0) They are the loves of my life! But alas, this one is a boy, so according to everyone it’s good because “we can be done now”. I have encountered every question you mentioned as well as MANY unkind looks! I never understand why it’s anyone’s business! Those close to us are very happy for us! This precious baby will be my parent’s 20th grandchild and they couldn’t be happier. Babies are a blessing! We feel so blessed that God has entrusted us with these beautiful spirits! I appreciated your post so much! Thank you for your story!

    1. Robin

      I am the mother of 5 wonderful boys..can’t imagine life without them. My baby is now 18.5 and my oldest is 28. I believe I have heard everything from the “don’t you know what causes that” to “do they all have the same father” (yes, though many times I really wanted to say “nope..5 different ones, or, I think so, but I’m not 100% sure..ha) and, of course the classic “still trying for that girl huh?” We’ve gotten looks everywhere we have gone. And, yes, most of the time we did cause a scene of some sort. We were once told at a Shoney’s restaurant that “I’m not sure if we have a big enough table for your group” huh…we’re a family not a group. And, once at a Wendy’s drive thru, we were told that next time “we would have to come into the dining room because ours was too big of an order for the drive thru”…we still laugh about that one! I wouldn’t trade my big family for anything in the world,and, if I could have, I might have (maybe) had one more. I always wanted a big family, even though maybe 1 or 2 didn’t come at the exact time we were thinking, they are still amazing. Congrats on #5, don’t listen to the negative remarks..and there will be lots…but just smile and come up with some sly remark to make them be the ones that feel bad!

  137. Elizabeth

    All I can think is “large families = large carbon footprints.” We’re not in the Benjamin Franklin & Beethoven-era where large families were norm due to lack of birth control, short life expectancy (or babies/toddlers/children commonly died young), majority of mothers were homemakers, etc. Can you not imagine what would happen if everyone continued to have large families in modern times? With each passing generation, shouldn’t we be more environmentally aware?

    1. martha

      the way I figure it, if God is making these little ones, he’ll make sure there’s provision for them <3

    2. John

      You need to retrain your brain to think the opposite. Large families actual equates to a smaller per person carbon footprint. I have 7 children and I used the EPA’s carbon footprint calculator on my family. The calculator can be found here http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/ind-calculator.html
      For my family we have a 75% smaller carbon footprint pet person than the average American. Granted we are probably a little more green than most. Our commuter car is a hybrid, we purchase 50% of our electricity with green energy credits and we recycle twice as much by volume as we trash.
      But you can easily do the comparison in your head. We are cooling one house to 76 degrees for 9 people instead of cooling it to 74 degrees for the average family of four. The same goes for heating, water, food and other resources that are now distributed across more people. From a mathematical perspective you would say that resource use goes up logarithmicaly as family size increases not linearly. While resource usage goes up greater than linearly as the number single households increases.

      1. Sarah

        I love everything about this comment! People these days are too self-involved. Too consumed with their own wants to ever willingly put a little one first. Carbon footprints are shockingly easy to control. But I guess claiming saving the o-zone is less demonizing than abortion. I only have two little ones (both boys!), and admittedly, we’re not trying. But if I had another one or another ten I’d love them just the same. My little guys drive me to the brink of insanity sometimes, but they’re my heart always.

    3. Marcia

      Thank goodness there are couples willing to have children. I wish people would start worrying more about the human family and less about carbon footprints.

      Here are some facts from CNN Money.
      ….”It marked the fifth year in a row the U.S. birth rate has declined, and the lowest rate on record since the government started tracking the fertility rate in 1909. In 2007, the rate was 69.3.
      Falling birth rates can be considered a challenge to future economic growth and the labor pool.
      “If there are fewer younger people in the United States, there may be a shortage of young workers to enter the labor force in 18 to 20 years,” said University of New Hampshire demographer Kenneth Johnson. “A downturn in the birth rate affects the whole economy.”
      It takes 2.1 children per woman for a given generation to replace itself, and U.S. births have been below replacement level since 2007.
      As of last year, a separate CDC analysis shows an American woman will give birth to an average of 1.88 children over her lifetime, also a record low.”

      The earth is the Lord’s. He created it for the human family and there is enough and to spare.

    4. midgetyetimama

      Actually large families tend to be very self sufficient. Everything tends to be handed down, they generally have space to grow their own fruit and vege, are very strict on water usage, and are satisfied to live in smaller houses because a house in which every child – or nearly every child- could have their own room would just be waste of urban land space. Birthdays and Christmas are always more about the family time rather than how much you get given because you can’t afford to spend ridiculous amounts per child. Overall large families don’t seem so bad. And of course I’m not implying that smaller families don’t do all this stuff as well. Its simply to illustrate that size isn’t always the contributing factor to carbon footprints

  138. Joan Emerson Biddlecomb

    Between July of 1956 and July of 1961 I had 4 children. 3 girls, 1 boy (#3 in sequence). I was often asked, “Do you run a preschool or a daycare?” and later , “Are you a teacher?” The benefits – all 4 were in or near same development stages, enjoyed playing together, were never lonely. Only problem came when 3 were in college simultaneously – at this point we parents borrowed on a life Insurance policy, lived frugally to assist in the financing (This way their student loans could be paid off earlier after graduation. All 4 graduated in different fields.
    Result ? Four competent adults, now in their 50’s, who enjoy each other several times a year and all of whom are willing to help me now that I am in a board and care facility.

  139. Eowyn Fair

    As the oldest of 4 children myself (though I have none of my own yet) I did witness that (sometimes) silent disdain of total strangers toward my mother for having so many. Granted, mom didn’t always do the right things, didn’t make much money, or alwayus keep us well-behaved, but she did her best and enjoyed her family. I personally would like 4 or 5. Yes, 5. (My husband may not be so enthusiastic. lol.) I was discussing a similar topic this morning with two friends who are pregnant with their first children: why do random people care when you have a child or not? If you wait people assume something negative. If you have them quickly people assume something negative. Best answer I have heard given to the question “When are you going to start having children?” The answer:”Tonight!” With an eyebrow wiggle. lol.

    Keep up the good mommy posts!

  140. Angie

    I love this story and all the comments! Im a momma to 5 amazing kiddos myself ages 10, 10, 11, 11, and 15. I have one naturally born daughter who is 10 and my other 4 grew in another mommys tummy and when she became unable to care for them God stepped in and all 4 of them landed in my lap all at the same time. We adopted them when they were 3, 4, 4, and 8 so you can imagine the reaction I got from alot of people when I was out and about with 2 3 year olds, 2 4 year olds and an 8 year old! Of course the 2 biggest questions were always do you have a day care and are they all yours? For me I was nothing but proud and excited to tell people YES they are all mine! I struggled to have 1 biological child so for me I didnt ever imagine I could have the large family I had always dreamed of so I always answered with a cheerful and very proud YES every time. I think because of my attitude to the questions people were less likely to judge or have negative comments. I have been fortunate to have never felt the sting of a strangers comments and hope that if I ever do I can keep it together and tell them that every child is a blessing weather planned, unplanned, biological or adopted and I will care for all the children the Lord sees fit to give me!

  141. Guest

    I’m one of three! In the hospital, after my mom had given birth to my little sister she said a family member called. The family member said congrats, but also added “how many more do you plan on having.” Pretty rude. My mom was caught off guard and didn’t know what to say. After the fact she did come up with a nice little quip she wished she had said: “I don’t know, but it sure is fun trying!” πŸ™‚

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  143. Allison

    I myself am a mother of four small children and I enjoyed reading your post because I understand where you’re coming from. I do too get many comments (especially from older ladies) of “you have your hands full” or ” oh God bless ya!” And of course people are always saying in regards to a dropped toy or the like – “let me get that for you” But I have gotten a fair share of unknowing/unmeaning rude comments. While pregnant with my forth I had been greeted by the friendly strangers with different variations of – “3 girls, oh I hope its a boy then you can stop”. I do not think this is a matter of getting bent out of shape over idle chit chat, or even thinking poorly of that chit chatting person. What I think this is about is addressing the fact that our society in a short amount of time (40 years or so) have been conditioned to think that children are a burden, family, especially a large family prevents the mother (women) from having β€œreal” careers or from obtaining wealth and material possessions – β€œUgh, I’ll never have a nice house with these destructive children in it.” I am a Generation X baby and can tell you with certainty that while growing up Nothing that I watched on T.V., read in a book, learned from school or listened to on the radio EVER taught me that motherhood was a joy, a blessing, or a great honor, or even natural. What I was taught was that I can be a man too, Family life and being a housewife equals slavery and a dull existence, and that I was free to behave sexually any way that I want. Such examples are Shera, Alien’s Ripley, T2’s Sarah Conner, Who’s the Boss, Madonna, Cyndi Lauper, Salt n Pepa and No Doubt – and that’s a tiny few. So kudos to you mama of four and may God’s blessings continue to fall on you.

    1. midgetyetimama

      I love this post and this comment! I’m only.in my 20’s and have two beautiful children. I personally don’t know how many we will have but I fail to see how its anyone elses business. However growing up I always knew.my job was to be a mum, because God told me, but when people would ask what I want to do when I grow up and my response was be a wife and mother they would say “why? You could be anything!” I quite like my role in life and wouldn’t trade it for any male.dominated profession and we’ll stop having kids when we know for certain that our family is complete

    2. Kim Cleaton

      This is so true, and so sad. I absolutely love families, but then I am one of 9 children (never a dull moment, but lots of very LOUD ones), and also I noticed growing up that communities based around families are amazing, yet they hardly exist except within the Church, thus reinforcing my view on families being vital. But nowhere else was this taught to me. I think we need to do our best to change these images of society – and where better to start than with our own children.

  144. Kathryn

    Being the parent of an only child, an 8-year-old daughter, I’ve experienced the same kind of incredulity and rudeness, only for the opposite reason. Complete strangers have asked why we only have one or have lectured me on the unkindness of dooming a child to a life without siblings. Many people have asked, “Don’t you want to try for a boy?”. We don’t want pity or passive-aggressive, holier-than-thou reminders that large families are a blessing from God (even though we agree 100% that they are). Our daughter is a blessing, too, and we want to focus on being thankful for the one child we do have and walking fully in the Father’s unique plan for our three-person family.

    1. Kara

      I get the same comments only having one child, 5 year old Boy. Are you planning to have another one? I always respond, I’m not sure yet. Always leads to more and more questions by strangers.

  145. thisismotherhoodblog

    Amazing post! I feel exactly the same way, that my friends and family would shun me if I decide to have more than two children. What is the point of treating people badly about the number of kids they have?

  146. Kellie Stramel

    No shame here!!! Never crossed my mind to care what others had ‘planned’ for OUR family. Well written article but sadly this Mother let others ignorance shame her, hopefully she quickly learned the beauty & blessings she beholds ❀️

  147. Renay

    I have 4 kids under 13 and I would love to have more I just can’t tho every one ask me why I have so many kids my answer is that I love kids and I have always wanted a big family

  148. Jessica

    I have two kids, my “set.” A boy and girl 4 years apart. The comments that I get are along the lines of “now you have one of each, you don’t have to try anymore.” I would like 3 or 4, and when I tell people that, they always say “maybe 3, but 4 ! Are you crazy?!” I too, love having children. My husband and I have fun with our kids and can’t wait for more. Maybe we are crazy !

  149. OldCorpsEd

    If the parents love their children (and will therefore take care of them) it doesn’t matter how many they have.

  150. Hailey Klements

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion and we choose how to let that opinion make us feel. Getting upset or caring what strangers say to us is a waste of time and energy. If someone that I don’t know says something to me that I don’t agree with or has potential to leave me feeling badly I try to say something to them that will leave the conversation on a positive note. I got lots of practice! My husband and I didn’t have children until we were married for 10 years and I can’t tell you how many times I was asked why I didn’t have children followed up by when. I always tried to bring humor to the situation “We most be doing it wrong! Do you have any tips?” Life is too short to care what others think! Be a positive force in the world!!

  151. Katie

    My oldest is 10 and I have 8 kids, five that are five and under. For me sometimes people are so surprised by the sheer amount of little people. I usually set them at ease by joking that we are working on trying to get our own reality show or say we are trying to catch the Duggars. But by being positive and happy I have never had anyone come back with a negative comment. I wait for it. I brace for it. But it hasn’t happened yet. I count myself lucky on that score.

    1. Brenda

      Hi Katie, I’m the oldest of seven. I know how hard my parents worked to raise and feed us. My mom cooked everything from scratch, made her own bread, and worked full time in the beauty shop in our home. We didn’t have much but we ate well, we were taken on vacation somewhere every summer, and we knew our parents loved us. Kids now are very spoiled and they are given too much. They don’t appreciate anything.
      I think you were crazy for having eight kids but that is because I know I couldn’t do it. You have to be a really special mom to have, care for, and love so many little people. Even in the ’50s my mom took potshots from people who looked down on them for having all of us. Good luck with your family. Don’t pay any attention to the rotten comments. Some people just have to have someone to put down so they can feel good about themselves.

  152. Barbara

    I have 3 kids and they are all girls, but very much a blessing to me. I love my kids and would not trade them for the world. People tend to have issues though seeing as I am a young mom at 24 and my oldest is 6. My first two children were born 14 months apart to the day and my middle child and the youngest were 33 months and 1 day apart. Strangers, friends, and even a few family members have made the comments “Are you crazy” “Do you know what birth control is? and many more hurtful questions sometimes with my kids even around. None of my children were “technically” planned, but I wouldn’t trade a second or change a moment with them. They are my world.

  153. lokaline01

    I want a big family myself, and I am close to a family who have 3 children and none were ‘planned’, their youngest is 5 and eldest 19, they couldn’t be happier! They say “It keeps you young! We’re really big kids inside” you’ll never hear them complain about any of their children. I think I would hate to have just 2 children, raised with only one sibling myself I never had much of a connection with her and I wouldn’t want the same for my family. So basically all I can say is for maternal/paternal people, don’t care about the criticism, you have a big happy family to support you and love you, what else do you need?

  154. Paula P

    I had to laugh when I read your article. That was me when I was a young mom of 6. I too was asked if I was Catholic or Mormon. I was asked if they were “all” mine while my children were standing right there. Strangers asked if I knew what caused it. In the grocery store I was asked if I used birth control. At the park I was asked if they were planned. I was asked if I wanted that many. I was told that to be socially responsible I should have had only 2 children. And oh my, when I had their little cousins with me too, then I was asked if I ran a day care! I was always taken aback at the brashness of strangers questions and never sure what to say. I felt like I had to defend my personal choice. And then one day, someone asked again “Are they all yours?” and I said “Yes! and I enjoy every one of them.” The reaction was complete surprise. And backpedaling. It never occurred to them that a mom might enjoy a large family. And the backpedaling was “Oh! my mom is from a big family, my best friend is the 8th of 10 etc.”. I learned from that experience to not be defensive of my choice to have a large family, but to show pride in my children. They are all grown up now, and I stand back and am amazed at the kind, loving, generous, funny, compassionate, strong people they have grown into. And I know that all their strengths come from what they learned from each other in our big family.

    The other observation I have is the comments here about being overly sensitive to large family/ pregnant again? comments… Please feel free to tell me how darling or well behaved my children are. Ask me their ages or their interests. You can even comment on how blue their eyes are. Please don’t ask me if I am having more of them. Casual conversation with a stranger in the check out line involves the weather, something funny you both see, or a mutual frustration of sorts. If you don’t know the person well enough to ask them the balance of their checking account, or if they had an orgasm that morning, don’t ask them if they are having more children.

    1. Shelley Enright

      Hahahaha. Love the last couple lines! I have used quite a few zingers when people pried into my life. I usually say “Why do you want to know?” That puts it on them and shows them how intrusive they are being.

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  156. Dee

    When pregnant with my fourth baby in 1988 I was asked by the disgusting consultant if all these children was by the same man, and yes they were and married now 34 years, but the main point how dare they ask such a thing. It don’t matter who fathers the baby you and the baby should have 100% care.

  157. Hineari Boynton Nom

    I am a mother of 6. My eldest is 18, my youngest is 6 months. When some at my work place found out I was expecting again, most of the reaction I got was supportive. One lady in particular was very nice and offering advice on morning sickness etc…, the next she was cold stand-offish and a bit mean. I later found out that she had 1 child which was a struggle to conceive and that all efforts since had fruited nothing. When I came to understand this, I understood her and took the mean days on the chin because I saw how much she longed to be a mother of a newborn again. Was she jealous? She sure was, and some might call that childish and immature. I just felt it was human. I actually don’t think there’s many more nobler things to yearn for than to be a loving mother. Yes some people can be mean but for the most part isn’t intentional. Those that do….don’t waste your time and energy stewing over them and what they say. Like many others have commented they don’t know you. But you know you so be secure in you and who you are.

    1. Steph

      This story is so beautiful and your comment rang so true for me.

      When first trying to conceive i fell pregnant after 4mths but unfortunately miscarried. A fortnight after this one of my best friends found herself with an unplanned(but truely loved) pregnancy. She didn’t know how to tell me, but when I heard i was overjoyed as I knew it would be loved and i planned to keep trying. Our other closest friend decided that she’d like to have children around the same time and fell pregnant within 2 months… I was still trying. As the months went on my jealousy and hatred grew. Not for my friend who hadn’t planned her pregnancy, but for my friend who did and fell almost immediately. In my head that didn’t make sense but my heart didn’t agree.

      Both baby’s were born and the second friendship wained as I couldn’t control my jealousy at her obvious joy.

      It took 14more months for me to conceive and it was a scary touch and go (illness, kidney problems) pregnancy, but my gorgeous daughter finally arrived on her 40weeks due date. But she wasn’t well.

      By this stage both my friends were again pregnant and breezing through their glowing pregnancys already having a healthy child each. again the contempt i had for my friend who just has everything fall into place for her.

      Over the next year my daughter conquered her issues and grew, thriving with our love.

      My friends had their 2nd babies and again everything looked to be happening easily for them. But by age 2 it became obvious that my (2nd) friend whom I had been so horrible was now the mother of a child that had something not quite right going on. He wasn’t achieving goals and never spoke. But she never spoke of it and I was never game enough to ask as our friendship had become strained through my jealousy.

      I never got to have anymore children. I had trouble both conceiving and carrying to term when I did. But I’m happy with my one blessing for she is now 16 and a gorgeous well adjusted and plolite person.

      I’m no longer close to those friends. One moved away and we lost track of each other. The other our friendship never recovered from both my jealousy and then in turn hers at how my child came through her issues but hers will never.

      In the end we all are given the blessing and challenges that god sees we are capable to deal with. I know that my jealous reactions were wrong but at the time they consumed me. It took a long time to realise that I wasn’t being punished each time i miscarried.

      In relation to the initial story though i relate directly to this as the mother of an only child, the amount of times I’ve been accused of being selfish for not giving her a sibling astounds me. Why do they feel the need to judge me?

      But then i remember i judged my friend for having it easy with her pregnancys and children…how wrong i was!! We are all just living and doing our best.

  158. Alicia

    Thank you for this. I understand completely. I thought people would be as excited about my third child as I was, however, they seemed more intent on finding out how many I planned on having. I wanted to scream and tell them I’d have 20 if I wanted because they would be the ones cleaning up baby puke and buying clothes-I would. What’s so wrong with just saying congratulations? And frankly, I’d love to have a fourth or even twins but I dare not say that out loud. Your article was great! At least I’m not alone in feeling this way.

  159. Patricia harlow

    We have three wonderful children who are all so special to us
    Our children were VERY MUCH wanted and loved. we adopted all three. before our children were born one woman told me to my face how lazy I was not to have children at that time. I cried. she had no idea how her words stung and all of the doctors’ visits. i believe God givesus the children (and how many) that we are blessed to have. To even answer any of those ignorant commants I would just ignore them rather than submit to their ignorance by answering them. God bless you and uour family.

  160. Tumara Hall

    Thankyou for opening my eyes up! I just realised how negative I can be when I see others with large families! (Maybe it’s a tinge of jealousy) You’re blog was wonderfully written and I promise to change my attitude from now on! πŸ™‚ xx

    1. Kate

      I think it’s awesome that you have enough self awareness to be cognizant of how you innocently may have made people feel and now vow to change it.

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  162. Lynne

    I agree with Paula-Lynn. I’m sure 90% of the time, the person has kids and is trying to empathize with the amount of work you have on your hands. I don’t think they’re saying its joyless or wrong.

  163. Sam Hernandez

    Thank you Paula Lynn. You said it perfectly. this lady was definitely taking ALL comments personally and out of context. She was mind reading (assuming the worse), which tells me that she has some personal issues. Wait ! Now I’m mind reading…..lol.

  164. Sharonne

    I have one and thats also not really accepted especially when you’re married. that also makes me mad and no its not sad for my son! I also feel I need to justify myself and no I dont work 5 days a week and have a kid on the side.

    and yes it hurts and its easy to say, people do think they can say whatever they want without thinking about what they are actually saying.

    so for next time when you feel the need for smalltalk Think of how it affects the other before you decide to speak. I rather have silence than stupid remarks!

    We should just have each others backs cause raising kids is beautiful wether you have one, two, three, four, five…

  165. Usha K

    I have 2, elder is 6 years and younger is 1 year and 5 months. On the journey of life we were working in an Orphanage in India about 2 years ago and there I almost ended up mothering another 5 girls. I love them beyond anything in this world. However some time ago they came and started telling me about the abuse they have been experiencing from the Director of the orphanage. The Directors wife knew about it, his entire family knew about it and most of the missionaries who supported this mission home knew about it and I fail to understand how on this Godly earth did they all allow this to happen?? Finally when things went violent for the girls (the youngest was 11 years and the eldest was 15 years) we approached the Govt and local Authorities who raided the place and arrested the Director. Later he was bailed out by his brothers and now they are spoiling my husbands name that he asked them money and for not getting it he did so. Unfortunate for the children they are in the Govt homes and will be there for a long time. Please pray that God opens up doors where we will get legal custody of these girls. All 5 of them. 2 are out with the family members but we are frantically trying to search them My husband is combing places where we think these children live. Pray that God will unite us with the kids again and he will provide for all that is needed. He know best what we need. Pray for my husband as his life is in danger while he is out searching the 2 kids.
    God bless and give many many children to us to raise. We would love doing it.

  166. Raven

    There is this really great women who shops in my store (I work in a Christian bookstore) and she has three children. I hadn’t seen her a little while, so when she came in a few weeks ago I saw that she was expecting and I was thrilled for her. Mostly because many kids in a family is no big newsflash to me. My mother has 21 brothers and sisters and I am the oldest of 9.

  167. Paula-lynn

    I don’t understand why people get so bent out of shape about idle chit chat. Instead of taking everything strangers say to you so personally, try being thankful that that person is talking to you instead of ignoring you. No wonder people never talk to anyone anymore, they are afraid they are going to say something offensive so they don’t say anything at all. If I knew how many times I could have taken things personally I’d be a very unhappy person, I just laugh at their inappropriate comments because I know they don’t intentionally mean to hurt me, why would they? They dont’ even know me…. their intention is not to hurt but to engage. I wish more people were engaging, maybe we wouldn’t be so afraid of being out in public.

    1. Emily

      Have you ever heard of the age-old saying, “If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it at all”? I’d rather have someone not talk to me at all than say something totally impertinent and something that’s really none of their business in the first place. If you’re going to compliment me on my children, fine. If you’re going to make idle chat about the weather, ok. If you’re going to comment on the great deals going on in the baby food aisle of the grocery store, you’re welcome to it! But don’t comment on my “lack of family planning” or how “busy” I might be with my children or make compliments that are only ostensibly compliments, but have a different meaning behind them (“Oh, they’re such busy boys!”). You’re a stranger to me. You don’t know me, I don’t know you, so don’t presume to know enough about my life to be able to offer an informed comment on my life or my family. I, personally, am not a person who is easily offended, but I am not everyone else, so keep your comments to yourself, especially if they’re not nice in the first place.

    2. Kate

      Idle chit chat includes asking a pregnant woman how? why? If it was expected? I vehemently disagree. Maybe if we were more thoughtful of our responses to “idle chit chat” appropriateness would persevere and people wouldn’t feel bad about having a big family, which I believe was the purpose of the entire article. I’m truly glad you can blow it off, but people do need to be considerate and not “blow off” how other people make them feel. Most times in the supermarket I talk about coupons. I prefer not to engage the person who says, “Wow! you have your hands full.”

  168. Anna

    I have 4- my oldest is 5 and my youngest is 4 months. Honestly, I get way more positive feedback than negative. Anytime older ladies see me with my kids they get a smile on their face and tell me that they had 4 or so themselves and loved it. I get plenty of the “you have your hands full” comment, but it’s not always meant as a negative. Maybe it’s just where I live, but so many people seem happy for me to be blessed with 4. It always amazes me to see others getting put down for for their number of children.

  169. brandyellen

    If people spent more time enjoying their own family, working on their own selves and being happy within; they would spend less time trying to make others feel less worthy. What a lovely post, thank you for writing it so eloquently.

  170. muslimahpr

    I always remember one visit I had with my father; I had my two boys, and I told him I was contemplating getting my “tubes tied”. He looked at me and kindly said what if you get marry again and he wants a baby? I just smiled. Five years pass bye and sure enough and my lil angel got here. I felt in love with her at soon as I saw her, she is 19 years old and my life. Seven years ago I lost one of my sons to a street crime, and I thanks God for the opportunity to have met him and to have listen to my father back then. My children are a blessing and they will always be a reminder of me in this earth. Children are the light in our hearts.

  171. Beth

    When I was pregnant with our fourth child the comment I received was you must be Catholic! We are catholic but that has nothing to do with anything. We have 3 boys and although our fourth child a girl was a surprise she is a blessing every day.

  172. Kim Welling

    I have enjoyed reading all the responses to your blog. Having 8 when it was not “cool” to do so was interesting to say the least. Comments heard during my day: “Do you own P.J.s”? “Don’t you have a TV”? And of course the usual one “Do you know what causes this”? One lady just kept giving us the meanest looks she could muster. I learned to smile and keep on walking with my head up high. As my kids grew and asked about “why” would someone say something like that. I told the older ones “they have no idea what they are missing”! My kids were born late to me in life. My last and second set of twins (naturally conceived) came to me when I was 42. I am 58 now and still have the last 3 at home. We home-educated our kids. Live on way under 45k a year and always have. I have 3 more years of home-educating to do. The 3 oldest are in college, they are working their way through – without debt. The 4th oldest has just taken a full-time job as an asst.mechanic for a local school. I don’t say any of this to brag. Just want to state the facts. Not only can it be done, it has been. I am living proof !
    One more thought: someone once asked me – “how do you do it”, “I can’t stand the two I have”. I was so sad for them I almost cried! Children are a blessing – only YOU can make it a cursing.

    1. Christina

      Thank you so much for this comment. I only have one so far but my husband and I are open to having a lot or a few depending on where God leads us! He is from a family of 9 and they were all home-educated. We plan to do the same (as far as the home-educating). We also currently live under a 45K a year budget and I’m sure we won’t really get over that in our life, with the kind of job my husband has, and with me staying home. I really struggle sometimes with the whole “how do you do it, I can’t stand the two I have” mentality. I love my son but I miss my independence and my social life sometimes. I agree when you say that only you can make it a cursing. And I know that I often need to have a better attitude about everything. This comment from you was just very encouraging for me, as we are thinking about having a second one soon, if it’s God’s plan! πŸ™‚ Thank you for leaving it!

  173. Courtney

    I always think it’s weird when people say things like “well we have a boy now, but we’re trying for a girl because we’d like ‘the set'”. Huh? You’re having children, not buying end-tables.

  174. Rachel

    Thank you…I am pregnant with my 6th. My children are 7, 6, 4, 2, and if our stillborn angel had lived we would also have an 11 month old. Fortunately, we live in an area with a higher percentage of large families…but we still get comments, especially since we work in Africa most of the time as missionaries. What God has given, He provides for.

  175. Joseph Mize

    The most common comment we have gotten through the years is, “You know what causes that, right?” Of course we do! I have a more colorful comment for the men who ask. πŸ˜‰ Everyone who knows us knows we have 4 beautiful kids. What may not be as well known is that we’ve also lost 4 during pregnancy. That’s 8 pregnancies in a 16 year stretch. Medically speaking my wife shouldn’t have been able to conceive any of them but God granted us to love 8 and care for 4. They are each a tremendous blessing and extreme challenge all in their own unique way. Sure my hair is turning gray. Heck even my beard and mustache are now turning gray, but I wouldn’t change or trade anything for the Life God has blessed us with in Jacob, Bailey, Halle Grace and John David. Of course heartache might have been avoided had we taken different measures, however, the depths and heights of Life and God’s love would have been missed. I look forward to the day I can hold all 8!

    1. Wendy S.

      What a wonderful tribute to your family you’ve written here, leaves tears in my eyes. Congratulations.

  176. Anna L.

    I think the judgement goes in all directions. We only plan on having one child and we get judged or even scolded by people with multiple kids. I can’t stand this ugly part of our culture. I know women that desperately want kids and can’t. I’m happy with what I have. People that openly judge others are not happy enough in their own lives. Period. I only hope that children are loved and nurtured…..the rest is not my business. I say good luck to folks with several kids. I’m trying to imagine the teen years πŸ˜‰

    1. Janel

      my sister in law and brother have been trying to get pregnant now for almost 4 years, in those 4 years I have been blessed with 2 children. I sat my sister in law aside the one day and told her that if they wanted I would have a child for them, the feeling of having a child is so much more than people can understand. I wouldn’t trade anything in the world not to have kids. My kids are my world and I would love nothing more but for my brother and sister in law to feel the same joys and experiences I have got to enjoy.

  177. jbemom

    Try having kids 18 years apart. People thought we were nuts and I had to tell them yes, we DID plan on having her, even at my “advanced maternal age.” I WISH I could have had a large family. As it was, we had three (one in Heaven) and that had to be enough for us. I wish people would just mind there own business and let those who WANT large families have them without comment.

  178. Nikki

    I have 7 beautiful children and each and everyone of them are a blessing. I always received looks and comments. It used to bother me now I take a negative comment as jealousy.

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  181. shinobiswordsman

    I’d like to say something mean about the American dream, but that’s been done enough already. Congratulations on having a big family, and I hope God continues to fill your life with blessings, whatever you may need.

    1. Dawn

      I can see both sides of the debate, on one side, it is no ones business but the couple deciding to have or attain children and to have as many or as few as they decide. On the other side of the fence, I can see how people in 2014 are thinking more about the big picture and are concerned and question those that choose such large families when it is completely apparent that the world is overpopulated and food and fresh water are already too scare for the current population, in addition, it is more financially and emotionally difficult to raise children in this decade than even the last….as most can attest, gone are the days of the (typical) one income household being able to provide satisfactorily for a large family. The biggest concern for me, is have these parents thought about the state of the world they will be bringing their children into? what will the world be like in 20, 30, or 40 years?, will your kids be able to have kids? will your kids have food and fresh water? will they get untold cancers just from breathing the air in 20 years, or will they breathe through filters every hour of every day? will the world be in war and chaos as it fights for the last of our resources? My one question to parents of large families is: IF YOU KNEW THAT THE FRESHWATER SUPPLY WOULD RUN OUT IN 15-30 YEARS, WOULD YOU STILL BRING CHILDREN INTO THAT ENVIRONMENT? I ask not in ignorance, but in honesty…I am struggling significantly in deciding whether I should bring children into this world, and if I do, what will be their consequence in inheriting a dying world? At this point in my life,(I am 32, well educated and make over $100,000 a year plus my husbands salary) I ask myself, what is the point of bringing a life into this world if it will have a lesser quality of life than I have?, particularly in the decades to come. I know we can`t predict the future, but these are questions our parents NEVER had to contemplate. I feel these are very serious and relevant questions if you are considering bringing a new life to our deteriorating world. It is scientific fact we are ruining our world and its just a matter of time before the earth can not sustain us or our needs ie;running out of space, food, water, not to mention global warming. How do we of this generation deal with that balance, the want (its not a need) to have children, yet the knowledge that we are on a downhill slide and the fear of what the future holds for children we bring into this world? Thank you for your honest thoughts on this, Signed, a confused and distraught non-parent.

      1. Cylina

        You need to have faith that god will provide all your needs. Period. Only the love of god is greater than the love a child brings. Sure struggles will come but children are worth it.

      2. Vanessa

        I ask you to imagine the mother of great leaders that changed our world, such as MLK, and ask yourself if they had thought the way you do, would our world ever have evolved? If the mother of MLK decided that she was not willing to have a child because it would live its life in oppression, what would have become of the entire civil rights movement and everyone that benefited and continues to benefit? The world is certainly not perfect, but I would challenge you to think of a way to teach your child (or children) how they can make a world changing contribution and address the concerns of the future. I bring my children to this world not because I am okay with their inevitable suffering, but because I believe each child is the hope for a better tomorrow. I believe every child (and adult) has the opportunity to change the world, and eventually some of them will!

      3. tammy

        People throughout history have lived in hard times, war and famine. I believe that I am not in control of what happens next but God is. I don’t put my trust in humanity, I’ve seen what people can do to each other. I put my trust in God who care for me and my children in any situation.

      4. sandy

        I had to make a comment on this πŸ™‚ thinking about having children? if you want children then you should have children. Thinking what the future world will be for them is always hard and that makes it hard to want to brig them into this world, however what about WHO you might bring into this world? Every child is important and your child could be the one that saves our water supply! Id our grandparents had said you know we are in the middle of a war, there is a depression and barely enough food to get by we wouldn’t be here having this discussion. If everyone said you know the nuclear bombs are a huge threat to our children maybe we shouldn’t have any then a lot of us wouldn’t be here. We can’t live our lives and make our decisions based on what might happen in the future. We need to live out lives and teach our children to change the future! Go ahead, help make our future great and nurture your children to make this world a better place.

      5. Kristen Julin

        “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your OWN understanding. In ALL your ways, acknowledge HIM and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (emphasis mine). Do you believe the Bible is true? It does not say we will be without trouble (it says we will), but to take heart because HE has overcome the world – John 16:33, His Word also says over and over and over that God loves us, wants us to trust him, and will provide for our needs (not our wants, our NEEDS – Philippians 4:19). We may see trouble in the world around us, and having children is never without sacrifice but the gift of a child is matchless in the joy and purpose parenthood brings to your life. Best of all, when you allow them to, children refine your soul to make you more and more like Jesus, and they give you a special glimpse into the perfect Love that God has for us, HIS children. God has “plans to give you hope and a future” – Jeremiah 29:11. We cannot see the future, but we can trust in a God who is GOOD, whether or not we endure trials and suffering in the world around us. Its the heart that matters most to God. (1 Samuel 16:7).

      6. Elizabeth

        Wow… my thoughts reiterated. Not intentionally trying to sound caustic but I couldn’t help and think of the moronic (yet somewhat sounds plausible) movie Idiocracy.

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  183. Lori

    Great read! We have 5 children; 2 boys, 3 girls. They first four are all 18 months apart, the last two, two years. Through the years I have heard many comments about our family, mostly when they were little and I was out by myself. Some people were very rude. My favorite was alway: “Do you know what causes that?” my answer was always “Yup! And we really enjoy it.” But usually I just laughed and called them my blessings. God always blessed us. With each child, my husband got a raise. Next month they will all officially be teenagers: 19,18, 16,15,13. I can’t wait. So far, this is my favorite age. ENJOY, your family !!!. They truly are your greatest blessing.

    1. Mary Graser

      I also have 5 children 2 boys and 3 girls as did my mother too. All my kids were teens at one time its not as bad as it sounds! They are now 25,24,21 20 and 20 πŸ™‚ ANd I love them all to pieces…

  184. Geof

    On Sunday afternoon my son will leave our home and join a club baseball team for a few months traveling here and there everyday. It is his dream to live baseball. At the conclusion of the baseball season he will go off to college just one week later. He has chosen a major that will take him 12 years to complete. From my perspective today it feels like he is leaving forever. He will probably not return home to live with us again. Oh how I miss him already and he hasn’t even stepped out the door! We have two children. The first grew up and got married and I miss her daily. Now our son will go and I dread the loneliness without his voice around the house, without his dirty socks and shoes and baseball gear and all his stuff laying everywhere. I will miss him taking a nap on my bed because he likes it more. I will miss him sitting next to me on the couch watching endless lists of baseball video clips of millionaires playing baseball in stadiums. I will miss him complaining about girls at school and all the related drama. I will miss planning his next date and deciding where to take the girl for dinner or whatever activity. I will miss getting his school report cards and seeing all of those “A” grades! I will miss having him laugh at me when I can’t figure out what square root of 64 is! I will miss going to McDonalds to eat $1 ice creams. Our home will be spotlessly clean now. Almost sterile! It will feel dead for a while until he comes back to fill it with more dirty socks and shoes and toys from grandchildren. To all the people who think children are bothersome and trouble…. get a life! I would gladly fill my home with children again. I miss mine already and my son hasn’t even left. Just 4 more days to have him home and then it’s finished. I am a sad, happy, lonely, joyous father who wishes he had more children but no matter how many times we tried, it just did not happen.

  185. Kate

    As a mother who raised six beautiful kids in the 80’s and 90’s I can tell you I offered no apologies to anyone or explanations for my life. When someone offered their comments or critiques, I told them to Mind Their Own Business and look to the logs in their own eyes. It’s a culture war we’re in.

  186. Rhonda

    The world is better with a little Grace. Just know that any negative remarks can be countered by a plesant smile and a positive one back. I don’t know how a parent doesn’t look at they’re little monsters and angels and just loves them for who they are, but pray for those people. They do not know the harm they cause, but you can love them for it anyway. You know better than anyone that the people in your family is yours, how it was supposed to be, and how it is, and really that is all that matters anyways. πŸ™‚

  187. Sarah

    Your post has made my day and likely the rest of my life. I am currently expecting #4. Approaching my 6th month and I JUST announced it to my friends and family on Facebook, using this exact post! I feel so rejuvenated. I reaaally felt ashamed. So few people express their excitement, which hurt. It didn’t hurt ME but it hurt my heart that people could be so ignorant. Children are a blessing from God and no one else. They are true gems, and I feel so blessed to be so fortunate πŸ™‚ THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART, for this post πŸ™‚

    1. sylcell Post author

      Your comment brought tears to my eyes. I am happy to help, that is exactly why I wrote this! Oh, and CONGRATS ON YOUR FOURTH!

    2. Tabitha

      congrats sweetie! when i had my last baby i got not 1 congratulations from anyone. just nasty messages about how “don’t you have enough” and “are you getting an abortion” it was very heartbreaking. i truly wish you and your family many blessings with years of happiness, love, and laughter! Also a very easy and quick birth πŸ˜› <3

  188. LoveIt

    Thank you. This is wonderful. I just wish that people who totally miss social cues and need this education the most would click on the link and read it. (I fear it’s those of us who relate or agree, that click on and read what we already agree with! πŸ™‚

    The invasion of personal privacy and judgement against others in terms of having children goes well beyond this, and I’m glad you’ve tapped into it. Very painful are the never-ending questions and interrogation over why some couples don’t have any children yet. Some possible answers…. we’ve been trying for years. We just buried another baby yesterday. Infertility and/or loss of life has consumed and isolated our lives. We are not interested in having our own children. And so on.

    I myself have practised kindly but assertively finding a reaction to put these people in their place without being mean. I do hope that it comes from poor social sense and they mean well, thinking the most private of things are strangers’ business and appropriate social etiquette for small talk, but it sure is awful for the people bravely facing each day in a place they don’t feel they belong to. I hope that maybe they won’t put another woman or couple in the same public moment, but you never know. I choose to believe they are just clueless about their place and what others realities could actually be.

    Congratulations on ALL your children (I love how you put that). Proudly embrace and love your family, and I’m so glad to stumble across this blog. I hope some people who could benefit from reading it, do! πŸ™‚ All the best!

  189. Angel

    I have three kids because I wanted three kids. The first was a girl and the second was a boy. Lots of people around me expected me to stop at that point because I had one of each.
    Why would you stop just because you have one of each.
    How boring would your meals be if you only used salt and pepper but never added any extras like garlic, sage, or thyme

    1. Angel

      I am also the oldest of 5 kids, all girls. My parents had all of us on purpose! They both came from large familys as well. My dad is one of 5 and my mom is one of 14!
      They have always had time to do special things with each of us and together as a family. When it’s important to you, you learn to make the time. As a result, I have the most amazing memories of my childhood and i can’t imagine not having ALL my sisters.

  190. Patti Santoni

    I myself had a son – then went through secondary infertility. We tried everything and I finally got pregnant with my miracle daughter. She is almost 7 years younger than my son and you would not believe the comments people (total strangers mind you) said to me “oh – you should have had them closer in age – that’s a big age gap – I had mine 2-3 years apart” I blankly looked at the woman and replied “well maybe some of us aren’t as fertile as you” And walked away. THE NERVE. People in our society have entirely too much to say. Remember the words “if you don’t have something nice to say… say nothing. Some people need a reminder of that advice. Great article. Thanks!

    1. Cheryl

      I completely understand you on multiple levels one is that I was that child and years after giving up hope to have more children my parents had me 13 years after my sister and 9 years after my brother. And I wouldn’t trade my family for anything my siblings and I are as close as can be. The other aspect that I totally relate to is the only child questions. I am mom to a 9 year old boy and have been desperately trying for years to have another baby but have had unexplained secondary infertility. It breaks my heart when people ask why I only have one or when am I having another one. Even worse is when people including my own family tell me to give up that I’m crazy to start over again at this point… Thanks for sharing your story, it makes me feel less alone and congrats on your 2 wonderful children πŸ™‚

  191. Norah

    out of curiosity, your paragraph talking about wether a planned child has more value than an unplanned one, are you trying to say that’s true? Has God not planned EVERY child from time immemorial wether the mother planned it or not? I truly hope you don’t actually feel like one child has more value than another due to circumstances it had no control over. that would be quite sad.

    1. sylcell Post author

      It was a rhetorical question. I most certainly DO NOT believe a planned child has more value than an unplanned one. I have three children, one planned and two unplanned, and I love all three so much my heart might burst! I wouldn’t change a thing.

  192. Angel

    I have 5 beautiful children. 13,10,8,6,4. The oldest is my step daughter (but she is mine in my heart) all have the same Father and after we told family we were having our second child they told us we did not need any more when we told family about the last one it was like the end of the world was happening. Now if I even talk about a baby my in laws start a fight. With every pregnancy. I just wish I could have had the happy ” yay you are having a baby” and that is something I have never got. A baby is a blessing from God and I love everyone of my children. Never be ashamed of having a baby. Everything happens for a reason.

  193. Lisa Cole

    I have heard it all before, as well. After my first son, we had an 8 year gap, then was blessed with #2 boy. Eleven months later #3 girl and three years later #4 boy. None were ‘planned’ as we weren’t supposed to be able to have ANY. But, all were and are a major blessing! The best response to the rudest comment I’ve heard…Store Clerk: “Did you get pregnant while breastfeeding?” Me: “No, I believe I got pregnant while having sex.” Clerk was majorly embarrassed and I felt so much better:)

  194. Stephanie

    Thank you so so so much for covering this! I have three myself, all planned and I am 25. They are such an awesome blessing! I respect people only wanting one or two, why can’t i be respected for wanting 3 or 4? Bless you!

  195. TwistShandy

    That is nothing my Cousins wife had 19 brothers and sisters. And I think they had a great life being in a big family. All children are gifts from GOD and if society thinks they are a burden then better get their heads out of you know were. It has become a stigma not to have a large family. I have one son and would have loved to have 3 or 4 more but I was unable to find the right man to have more children with. And over 40 at present you risk chances with health and your babies health. So I have decided that I will wait for grandchildren. My son may only have a few but what ever he and his future wife decide to have that will be their choice and I will support them no matter what!

  196. Dana Wills

    I am due any day now with baby #6. No not all of them were planned, yes I was on birth control of some sort for all of them, & yes to be a mother of 6 at the age of 30y is a lot for some people to absorb without a smart remark. Regardless I love all my kids the same and would not trade them for anything. To many people are quick to judge without knowing the whole story. So to those mamas who have more than 2+ children and handle it everyday kudos to yall and don’t let anyone EVER make you feel guilty/embarrassed about your children.

    1. Diana

      I know, our society is so judgmental on all the good things….if your Christian they want you to keep it to yourself, but if your gay, wow everyone embraces you and wants to know “your story”…blessings to your family…..

  197. zathras16

    It goes the same when you have only one child… “when are you having another”, “don’t you think it’s time for another?” “wouldn’t she like a brother or sister” “did you have a difficult pregnancy?”

  198. Amanda

    i love this.. we only have 2 children ages 2 1/2 and 7 weeks and we still get most of these comments. “You have a boy and a girl you dont need to have anymore” or Just the other day at the park we get “oh you have your hands full”. and the people that think we are crazy when we tell them we might want more. I dont understand why people think at 2 children, youve reached your quota.

  199. Annie Parrish

    Loved your post. I have two girls and would love to try for a boy but financially don’t know that it would be a good idea. Husband works full time. We barely see each other d/t babysitting arrangements and work. Worked full time all the way up to my delivery dates both times thank God I had healthy babies and I was able. My mother was one of five and father one of five siblings also. Love large family dynamics but will have that with cousins larger families when we all get together.

  200. Keri

    I have 1 biological son and 3 bonus boys. I was grocery shopping one day with my kids and this little old lady in front of me turns and says “Well, weren’t you a busy one…you have one from every flavor of the rainbow.” Then she began to point to them one by one and tell me that #1 is black, #2 is Iranian, #3 is Mexican, and #4, well, she just wasn’t quite sure what he is. By that time, I was so appalled I couldn’t do much but stare with my mouth gaping open. I picked my jaw up off the floor and told her that “#4’s” name is Jacob and he is my son. And thank you for noticing how beautiful my children are. And for her information, their dad happens to be black, and yes he is the father of all four of them. Imagine that, a black man that takes care of his children! The cashier started clapping and the woman left without her groceries. Apparently I was not the only one who had been a victim of her judgmental attitude.

  201. Elise

    Brava! My fiancΓ© and I are planning to have as many children as the LORD is willing to give us, although we will still be satisfied with just one if that is the case. We both want a large family and soon. We plan on using contraception for the first month or so, just to avoid evil-minded people spreading false rumours that I was pregnant before the wedding, and once that danger is past we will simply let the chips fall where they may. I enjoy seeing large families and the only reason my parents had just two children was because the risk was too high for them to have more, the risk was two kids and a mom or three kids and no mom. I pray that I have easy low-risk pregnancies so that I can have at least 3 children, and hopefully more.

    1. sylcell Post author

      You should pay absolutely pay no heed to what evil minded people may think. That is exhausting and endless. If you want to get pregnant on your honeymoon, have at it! You’ll bring back the best souvenir ever;)

    2. eliotdennis

      One of my brothers and one of my nieces both conceived their first children on their wedding nights. In my case, we didn’t have our first child until years after our wedding, and people still were whispering that we were pregnant when we got married – and after an engagement of over 1 year [no shotgun wedding]! You can’t help what people say; some people are just evil-minded.

  202. Gloria Gubbels

    I was blessed with eight children. The first three were a year apart, and four years later I was expecting again. I had taken the children to the park, and a woman came up to me and wanted to know why I did not get an abortion. My husband and I were in our twenties at the time, and my husband was working and going to school. I was a traditional housewife at the time. We struggled and life was not easy at that time. This woman in the park made me feel worthless, uneducated and a burden to society. Today life is good. My husband and I are retired, and all eight children are doing well. God blesses you in many ways.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I am aghast a complete stranger asked you why you didn’t destroy your child. I don’t think “rude” even begins to describe that. Congrats on your beautiful family!

    2. Diana

      Wow, I can’t believe the nerve of some people, you should have asked her why her mother didn’t abort her………family is everything……some people…..cheez

    1. sylcell Post author

      Ooo! A mommy blog from Malaysia! Thank you for sharing. I find it disappointing people can be just as negative over there.

  203. stupis

    I only have 2 children, but I appreciate this article, more than I can EVER express!!!!! My children are 21 months apart and I got a LOT of grief from having them so close together. Mind you, at the time of each pregnancy I was in a stable, loving, long-term commitment with my now husband, owned a house, had vehicles of my own, paid my own bills, and had a job. I was asked completely inconsiderate, over-the-top obscenities, like, “Do you know what causes that?”, “Bored much?”, “Didn’t you just have one?!?”, as well as “How are you gonna afford another one?”, and so on and so forth.
    The truth of the matter is, both of my children were COMPLETE and TOTAL accidents. I don’t believe planning a child is the same as planning to get a dog. What if you can’t get pregnant? What if there are complications? What if you drive yourself COMPLETELY bonkers trying to answer all these questions and others that pertain to the trivial matters of controlling the uncontrollable?!? Besides, most people I met who “planned” to have kids, seemed to have more issues than anyone else I knew, who just let it come naturally.
    But the “advice” and “instructions” I have received since having a boy and a girl… WHOA!!! Let me tell you what: I don’t appreciate it AT ALL. No, Ms. Nosey, I don’t know if I’m having anymore. I’m only 25. Maybe I’ll want more in a couple of years, I don’t know! Oh, thanks. Your advice that I have one boy, one girl, and should just be done, or “stop while I’m ahead” is not really your decision. It’s my husband and I’s decision- which is why I built a life and relationship with him, NOT YOU!!! Thanks, Mr. Know-It-All, for informing me that it only goes down-hill when you have more than 2. I am the 2nd of 4, and I’m not ashamed of that! Oh, and by the way Mrs. Way-TOO-Into-Other’s-People’s-Business, I am buying all of these pregnancy tests because I do not BELIEVE in screwing with my hormones, by using birth control. And, I tend to worry even when I know I shouldn’t, but it’s still my choice if I want to come into the dollar store and buy 20 tests, all at once. It does not mean I want you to ask if I’m “trying to get pregnant” or give me counseling on which birth control might be right for me!
    As inconsiderate and rude as it is that we have all of this “shame on you for having so many people in this already over-populated world”, we are partially to blame, when we say nothing back. I’ve found that the more people I become astounded with and ask why it’s any of their business, the more people I am educating that they should keep their opinions of MY LIFE to themselves. Like Mama always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say nothing at all!” πŸ˜€

    1. TwistShandy

      AMEN! People should keep their mouths closed , if they cannot say anything nice. The world has become so worried about what others are doing; I think they should really worry about themselves and their own business. Keep you opinions to your self. And having children 21 months apart is not a problem you should usually wait 24 months between children, as my Gynecologist told me ; But really as long as you are healthy I do not think its a problem!

  204. Mary E Davis

    I had 5 children, and lost a baby at two months, The four I have left are grown and have children of their own. When I was pregnant with one of mine and some rude obnoxious person made comments as if they had every right to discuss my life situation, I would hesitate and then look them up and down, and in my sweetest voice, I would say,” you know since I was kind enough to not mention your big, ugly feet, I can’t imagine you thinking you have any right to discuss the number of beautiful children I have,” Then turn and walk away.

  205. Debbie

    I also have 4 children, 2 from a previous relationship and 2 with my husband. They are ages 15, 8, 2, and 1. The youngest being only 11 months apart. My husband wanted children and I being 30 at the time wanted to get it done sooner then later lol. We chose to have 2 children back to back so they could enjoy growing up together and hopefully be close (unlike my older 2 who can’t get along for 5 minutes). When it came to telling people I became very reluctant because the responses always lacked enthusiasm. People acted like we were telling them I had an illness. It wasn’t like we relied on others for financial support. We own our home and vehicles, we require no assistance so I didn’t understand how anyone felt the right to criticize our choice. Our families were happy for us and ultimately that’s all that mattered to us πŸ™‚

  206. laura crowe

    Thank you so much! I have 9 & 5 yr old daughters. When trying for a 3rd we found out at our first ultrasound that we are actually expecting fraternal twin babies. My husband’s reaction was so perfect “i feel like i won” he told the ultrasound tech. Like he played a claw machine and won 2 toys at the same time. When he announced that were expecting twins all of our friends and family said “your gonna have your hands full”, “what if both are girls”, “better you than me”, “so which one of you are getting fixed” comments that made him think “is there something wrong with me for being excited that were having twins?”, “am i crazy for being so happy about this”. The employees at his work were much more supportive, probably because he is a man of authority, but it could be that people who have higher income levels see no problem with having more kids. I think the income/class level has a lot to do with it, as most of the negative comments came from people that have a much lower household income than us. *Genetic councilor called and told us our tests were great and that they found no Y chromosomes so both babies are girls. 4 daughters and a female cocker spaniel. My husband sent several weeks moping he really wanted a son, name Liam after William picked out when pregnant with our 5 yr old. His turn to pick names and he was trying to pick a girl name that sounded like liam had the same letters, LIA, MILA. He was mourning our son that would never be born. I kinda got a little irritated and let him know these babies are not LIAM you have to get thru this gender disappointment and start embracing the new reality that is twin girls. He named Baby A Abigail and Baby B Bailey and naming them really has made a difference, he’s embraced twin daughters and has even said how excited he is to walk around with 2 twin girls strapped to his chest, “imagine all the attention he will get from women” it’s cute he’s gonna know what it’s like for women to have men stare at your chest lol but in his case it’s the babies strapped to his chest and I couldn’t be happier. “babies to women are the equivalent of big boobs to men”. The twin comments and questions are really awful too, “can i have one?” my reply is sarcastic “sure but i wanna see which one i like more first, could take a while”, “are they natural?” my hubby is a sifi guy and watches Battlestar Glactica if the girls look alike i’m planning on saying “no they are cylons, they look alike cause we got 2 of the same model” & “omg i couldn’t imagine 2 teething at one time, yikes!!” i humanize myself because this one i hear a lot “i’m not really worried about raising twins, i think I’ll be great at it because my older girls are so wonderful. Right now I’m just worried about getting them here safe, twins come much earlier and often spend weeks to months in the NICU so i’m focusing on staying pregnant for as long as possible and preparing for the possibility of having to come home without my daughters” Were dealing with the comments and know that we are going to get lots more once the girls are born but a bit of sarcasm or humor in our replies wont hurt anyone. “hubby is still the king, ruler of the girls”, “He’s just greedy with his Y chromosomes”. Again thank you so much for writing this! <3

    1. sylcell Post author

      Loved your comment! My husband really wanted a boy too until all these girls arrived. You should see the googly eyes he gets around them. I have to keep an eye on him because he just can’t tell his girls no!

  207. Marty Jones

    I have heard it all. I was blessed with one girl and four boys. (Yea, I know, trying for another girl) One woman asked if she had met me before at a Planned Parenthood Meeting, I had to laugh and politely say NO. The difference is that I had polio as a child and had to walk on crutches as an adult. You really get some nasty remarks because there is no way that you can rear children on crutches. Wrong!
    I am now a proud grandma to 16 grandchildren and have the best kids in the world. Ignore the ignorant remarks. God Bless You More.

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  209. kim

    I have 4 adopted children ages 13-10 and 2 biological children that are 7 and 4…… people always tell me I am nuts or crazy…I always reply with…..not crazy but very blessed! I still would love more children!

  210. Linda White

    Love your article, as a mother of 4 who has heard many a comment about my family! Dont you know what causes that? Are they all your’s? Im glad they are yours and not mine, By older ladies!That one hurt! Trying for the boy? Yes, I was! As my husband is the last in line of his family name and I did finally have my boy!People can be so rude and unthinking! I have been blessed by my kids in so many ways thru the years, they are all in their 20’s now and I cant imagine being without any of them!

  211. Deb Brown

    The strangest comment I heard was from an Amish lady at Walmart. She asked ” Are they all yours or do you have a daycare. I told they are all mine. I have 6 the oldest being a SS but we are closer than him and his bio mom. the other 5 go girl, boy, girl, boy, girl. My youngest is 8 oldest is 21 with a 5 yr gap between SS and DD.

  212. Amanda

    When I was younger, I always wanted lots of kids. At least six, and people told me I was crazy. Unfortunately, a big family wasn’t in the cards for me. I ended up getting thyroid disease after I had my daughter. I was 32 when she was born, and with the thyroid issue and medication I was on, I was advised not to get pregnant, so I had my tubes tied. I love my daughter with a love I didn’t know existed until she came along, and I thank God everyday that he at least blessed me with one. Children are a blessing no matter how they ended up here. It doesn’t matter if they were planned or not, or raised by a single parent. They are children, and if I could, I would have as many as God would bless me with. To all you mothers on here with large families, you are blessed!

  213. Christina

    My mom would always say ‘Same marriage just different dads’ and ‘yes I know what causes it and I love every moment of it’ and this second one she would be all excited and elaborate on it and keep going with the comments until they shook their heads and walked away – usually by the comment ‘you should try it I have so much fun and it’s so good for you too’!

    It was always funny to see what other people thought of 6 kids 5 still alive and 4/5 of us being adopted. My parents had two kids of their own, (I love my older sister and wish I had gotten to meet my older brother before he passed) and my parents wanted more. People thought my parents were crazy for adopting the four of us younger kids. (I say that and the youngest is now 25 y.o.).

    Now 3/5 of us have families of our own, and where do the grand kids go when they misbehave “Camp Grandma’s House” because grandma disciplines them the same way. My older sister has 6 kids (2 are older and from her husband’s previous marriage), my younger sister has 1 boy, and my younger brother has 2 kids. So that’s a total of 9 grand kids not to mention the 5 of us plus our spouses! So holidays are always fun because we are always looking for creative ways to get the family together.

    I also find quite interesting the comments my mom has gotten in telling other people that she home-schooled us younger four kids. No I’m not socially inept or inadequate, and everyone loves me – just ask the numerous people I’ve worked with since I was 17. They’re all asking when I’m coming back! The first year of home-school is always the hardest my mom always said, and with two bipolar kids and 3 of us ADD/ADHD, well, her comments were a lot more intense and my mom found it a lot harder and a lot more of a blessing to be able to raise us in a Godly manner and have us turn out to be successful in life.

    One went into the Navy, one is a Security Guard, one owns her own business, one works for Arizona State Security, and one is a stay at home mom for the moment. We don’t judge any of our siblings. As a matter of fact, we love them because each has specific qualities and characteristics that make them unique and a blessing in their own right!

    Many times I wish these people who say these things would actually stick around and get to know my family, just as I wish that people would get to know yours! So all that is to say: thank you for encouraging those of us who’ve been there and lived through it and are still living through it with the children and husbands or wives that we have. Really thank you so much!

  214. corey

    This a very inreresting blog as I enter the world of parenting “many.” We’re expecting our fourth being 45 yrs old, with kids 13, 10, and 2. Being a pragmatic person, I justify a bigger family with the fact that I can afford them (as I make enough money to raise them without govt assistance). This may seem like economic bigotry, but my asian culture believes that being a burden to others is shameful… with the financial question on a national scale and from an economic standpoint, there is only one definitive indicator of economic prosperity and that is population growth. Ask any economist and this is true on all scales. So next time someone asks you why you want so many kids, tell them you’re helping the economy and then enjoy seeing the puzzled look on their face when you explain what I just mentioned.

  215. Samantha Roth

    My husband of 21 years and I have “His, Hers, and Our” children. I had 2 before our marriage, he had 2, and we have 2 together. 2 girls and 4 boys at 30,29,27, 25,20, and 19. When people hear that the youngest 2 are only 13 months apart they all want to know if our contraception failed. I find that to be a very rude question. We loved all our children and would have had more if the good Lord had blessed us with them!

  216. Marlene

    We live in a death culture society where our government and a large percent of the population will move heaven and earth to “protect” a woman’s “right to choose” , actually a woman’s “right to kill”. So, why would these people that want to speak into your lives to celebrate life?!

  217. xoleslieanne

    It makes me uncomfortable when people look down on having kids so close together. I loved growing up less than a year apart from my older brother and my younger sister. We were bandits together — just barely separate enough to keep things interesting!

    Two days ago, a professor required that we watch a Gilmore Girls episode where they mention “4-in-4”, that is, four kids in four years, and every single person in the class as well as the professor agreed that was beyond crazy. That was too much to ask physically of any woman, it was financially impossible, so on. And I just kept thinking about how much I would love to have four kids in four years. I’ve managed to have 0 in 4 years of TTC and honestly, 1, 2, 3, or 4 in those four years would be a blessing. It would be perfection. Kids are beautiful monsters of raw emotion and love and I want all of them, as many as I can have, and a professor is telling me and 8 other women that it’s crazy “in this economy” “at your age” to have any kids at all.

    I call bs.

    1. Cara Mia

      I had 5 in 7 years, & 2 miscarriages in that time as well. I am grateful for every single baby that I had, as well as for my little angel babies. All five of my living children are best friends with eachother ~( and they are now ages 23 (& married w/ our 1st grandbaby!!), 20, 19, 18, & 16 )~ and Always have been. People think I was nuts ~ heck, there were times when I thought I was nuts ~ but What a Blessing, What a Treasure~ I have never regretted the decision to have them close together, & since 4 of them are daughters, they plan on having theirs close, & many, as well. In fact, I have been “brainwashing” them since birth that I need AT LEAST 25 grandchildren, and therefore it’s pretty much their duty to have 5 kids each. ;-D We are sort of teasing when we say that, and sort of not ~ ;-D

  218. Rachael

    I’d really like society to get to the point where we stop questioning whether or not a family can afford more kids. As if money were the deciding factor on whether or not more kids are ‘allowed’. Yes, we get help from time to time. My parents gifted us their old minivan. We ask the church for help for unexpected bills that seem insurmountable. So, from society’s viewpoint, we can’t afford our 3 kids. And we’d like more. We don’t think that of financial state has any bearing on whether or not we can love more children and provide for them. We don’t have fancy things. The kids spend most of their time playing outside (gasp!). We have flip phones. We cloth diaper. We grow a lot of our own food. Society seems to think that kids are ridiculously expensive (1/4 of a million dollars in most estimates). Well, we won’t ever make that much in our lifetime, and our kids (including the teenager) are quite happy.

    1. sylcell Post author

      Truth! “With every child comes a loaf of bread.” And materialistically speaking, children have simple needs.

  219. Brandi

    I have 6 incredible children – 3 boys, 3 girls, all approximately 2 years apart (with the exception of a set of twins), ranging in age from 12 to 20. The most common questions I have been asked: were they planned? Are they all yours and your husband’s? Are you Catholic? Haven’t you figured out what causes that? Nope. Yup. Not that it’s any of your business, but no. And yes – I stopped washing my husband’s and my delicates in the same load, and I haven’t been pregnant since.

    There’s another family I know who has 3 boys who are expecting their 4th. I often overhear people ask them if they’re just trying for that girl, as if there must be a “good” reason they’re expecting again. It really is rather sad.

  220. M

    Most people probably don’t realize they are being rude – some people might think they sound like they are coming across with admiration. Do you also encounter positive comments or encouraging smiles from strangers? Sometimes we have to look at our own selves and realize that maybe we are just being too sensitive or over-analyzing things? Most of the pitying smiles or comments that seem rude (that really weren’t meant to be rude) are just people trying to encourage/sympathize with you when the kids are acting up all at the same time in the store – surely not everyone is judging/condeming. Just laugh some of this stuff off and say, “yep, we did this too ourselves.” Let’s not make it a habit to play the victim card and assume that everyone is giving us evil glares or judging us… I try to be very careful about this. Sometimes I feel like everyone in the store is looking at me when really it’s my own insecurities kicking in because we’re on the verge of meltdown time.

  221. Barbara

    When I was pregnant with my third daughter (20 months and 10 months), my mom warned me about the odd comments from the community. Our society feels empathetic towards parents of multiples. They feel sorry for you and the trouble you have to go through when you have twins or triplets.

    But…when you have two or three close together…they just think you’re stupid.

  222. Mandy

    I think it’s important to be careful how you speak to people because you never know how what you say may make them feel even if you don’t mean it in a harsh way. A lot of messages can get lost in translation and you can’t take things people say so personally especially strangers. It is also important to keep in mind that not everyone wants or can afford the same things, which is why there are so many differing opinions on this topic. Some people want lots of kids but may or may not plan to pay for their college, others would rather have one or two kids but be able to for sure pay for their college, and some people would rather have no children and be able to do more traveling or be able to retire early. I know some people who have come across as being equally as judgmental of people who choose to have no children or 1 child because they can’t fathom why anyone would not want to have at least 2 children.

    “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

  223. Ruth Cannedy

    Wow,I love this..I always wanted a dozen children unfortunately it wasn’t in the cards for me..I only have one. I would have been the first of five but my Mom lost two babies,,imagine the comments my Mom got when she got pregnant with my little sister and then my little brother,who are only eleven months apart, while I was in high school. Fortunately, my Mom and Dad both come from large families and I have lots of family that way..children are God’s way of saying ” I’m sending you lots of love,with a little heartbreak thrown in…enjoy every moment..”
    I envy all you Momma’s out there ..God Bless you..

  224. Mel

    I wish people would stop judging other’s choices on family size, period! We have one wonderful three year old after years of infertility and waiting to adopt, so the questions of “When are you having more?” are gut wrenching. It’s none of your business, kind stranger, how many kids we have and when! And to those with large families, some of us stare because we are a bit envious, not because we are judgemental. πŸ™‚

  225. Jessica

    Thank you for your post. I am the mother of one and even then I’ve gotten many blatantly rude comments. I have even been directly told by another woman that if it wasn’t for my son I’d be so much further in life. As if me putting my education and career options on the back burner so I could be home to bake cookies and be the one sitting in the parent pick up line was such a horrid choice. Yes it’s harder financially. Yes it would be nice to have more money in the home, but I like being home.
    My husband and I are expecting another one finally (my son now 8 years old) and even the nurse at the obgyn looked at me and asked “was it planned?” which seems to be the first response we’ve gotten from everyone so we answered with our automatic reply. “We weren’t planning, but we weren’t not planning.” It get’s us some funny looks, but we tend to smile it off. The nurse looked at me as said “do you want it?” my eye twitched and we answered yes. “Is it a good time for you? she continued. Looking at the paper work I knew these were her questions and nothing more. We continued on and she finally asked a question for the paper work, but instead of allowing me to answer she assumed my answer aloud “This is your second pregnancy.” I looked at her, I looked at my husband. He put his head down in his lap and she made the comment “I’m sorry this is boring you.” and I think I finally snapped. Pardon me for not meeting your expectations, for not having all 5 of my pregnancies, trust me I miss the three I lost dearly. And the nearly 9 year difference I wasn’t planning it, but I’m trying to see the benefit to it. Have I told my son yet? No, he’s staying with his grandparents for the summer. Yes the whole summer. My father is retired and my mother still works, like I said earlier she’s a nurse. Of course I visit him, we saw him this weekend. No we haven’t told him. We don’t want to tell him until there’s a less likelihood of miscarriage. Again pardon me for not meeting your expectation he really wants siblings and it would break his heart if we told him to soon and I lost it. He’s been asking for siblings since he was 3. She yawned and my husband asked how long had she been at work. She then began to tell us of how she was a mother of 17 month old that still didn’t sleep the whole night and as a mother of 4 so it’s kind of hectic for her and that made me even more upset. How could someone who has been so blessed be so insensitive and lacking of tact?

  226. Nora

    I used to get comments, questions like that all the time …(we are the proud parents of 9. 7 boys and 2 girls who range in age from 32 to 8) .I was offended but tried to chalk it up to their ignorance. Seemed like after 3 people would find the need to give me their opinion on the size of MY family….I thank God for blessing us with all of our children πŸ™‚

  227. Beth

    Nice to know I’m not as crazy as I’ve been told. Lol. I am 25 and I have 6 children. I am stepmom to four (three girls and a boy) and 2 of my own. Just after we got married (and honestly even before that) I already had people (family) trying to convince me that I didn’t “need” kids because my husband already had 4. I love all my kids and treat them no differently, but there’s just something about someone calling u mommy. Well, shortly after we got married my husband was diagnosed with cancer. We were told that we couldn’t have kids bc of the medicine. to many that was just a sign. I wasn’t so convinced. We prayed and prayed and cried and prayed. God answered and oh the rude comments that flooded in and tainted our joy. But as someone put earlier… My husband and children were really all I needed. I eventually had a another and I won’t even go there, but I love having children and I love having a full house. I am the middle of 5 and I always say that I don’t know what I would do without my brothers and sisters. They each play such a different role in my life and I want that for my kids. They are 13, 11, 9, 6, 2, and 7 months

  228. Natalie

    This was fantastic! I just recently had twins (numbers three and four for us) and I get the stupidity, too. Yes, it’s tricky handling a 5yo boy, a 2yo girl, and 3m twin boys… but which of my children isn’t supposed to be here? I also hate how people act like it was some big “whoops!” moment to end up with four when we were only going for that slightly-excessive-but-still-socially-acceptable third child… I guess that gives me some kind of sympathy pass to have four. Sheesh.

  229. Megan

    My husband and I have 4 amazing, beautiful girls 13, 9, 8 and 6 I have heard many comments but don’t remember them bothering me! From I feel sorry for your husband since he is in a house full of girls. I replied I bought him a male dog or it was his goal in life to be surrounded by beautiful girls. He is the best dad to them. I have also heard the ” you know what causes that, right”. I simply tell them we didn’t have cable and found other ways to enjoy our time!! People can be rude!! I wouldn’t change my girls for the world!!! They are our everything

    1. Linda White

      My husband grew up with 3 sisters so having 3 daughters is normal to him! He adores them all!

  230. Mike Rininger

    I am the father of four wonderful children. I have been asked many questions such as, “Don’t you have a TV to keep you busy?”, “Can’t you keep your pants on?”. This last one from my own sister who after we got pregnant with our second child asked if we were “trying to populate the world?”. I am the youngest of three, my wife is the second of three. We both came from medium size families. I understand not everyone has the same feelings of how many kids they want. My sister who was quoted above, has only one child who was completely by accident, and my other sister has no children. Their choices. And as long as they are happy, I am happy for them. But as long as I am happy, why can’t people be happy for me?

  231. Judith

    I have four children, three girls, youngest a boy. Of course, I got the “are you continuing until you get that boy”-comment/question hundreds of time. And, we really wanted four, regardless of the gender. When my third daughter was born, I actually got a “congratulations”-card that said: “Another girl! – nonetheless congratulations!” I was gob-smacked! The audacity!
    Now that the kids are older (my oldest is 13, my youngest 7), I’ve – thankfully – grown a thick skin. Only question I still get is if we are a patchwork-family. Alas, I actually managed to have four kids with one man!
    Bottom
    line: whatever your decision concerning family planning, you will NEVER EVER get it right for some people. Have no kids? “When will you be having a baby?” or “Don’t you like babies?”. Have one kid? “When will you have your next one? It’s best to space them (enter figure) years apart.” …

  232. Jaime

    I’m a mother of 3, ages 12,9 and 15mths. In all we should have 13 kids. My husband and I wanted a big family. We love all of our children the same (ones here and in heaven). People asked us if we were crazy after we last 5 within 2yrs. All of our children are miracles. Our boys bring so much joy to our lives. We like a lot of couples would love a girl but we get what God gives us and are thankful for everyone.

    Kudos to you and your family for what you are doing. People who judge will have their day.

  233. Sylvie

    My Grandmother had 8 children, one is the same age as me and one is younger by 2 years.. she was an amazing woman.. My mother wanted to have 6 but due to health reasons ( actually she was advised to have none) she had me then three years late she had my brother and the 13 years later she said to hell with it and had our baby brother… She says now that she wished she’d taken more chances and had more kids.. but she was ecstatic to be able to have us three, I went to school with kids who had 5 and 6 siblings… and this wasn’t at the beginning of the century when big families were the norm either… Me I had one, but there were reasons I didn’t have any more and I won’t dwell on that. πŸ™‚ I say Go for it!! If that’s your drum.. beat the heck out of it and have FUN πŸ™‚

    1. Sylvie

      I forgot to say, My son and his wife were desperate for children and have not been able to produce any… THAT, is the saddest thing!

  234. Siobhan

    Thank you for this encouraging article. I too am a mother with three girls about 2 years apart. My youngest will be 7 soon. I am now 20 weeks pregnant with my fourth daughter. I have been caught by surprise by strangers rude judgments-but also some kind words too. I guess I am shocked because I was not raised to care how many children people had. Let alone someone I didn’t know. I have learned to find humor in it. My husband came from a family of 8-with 6 girls, I came from a small family of 3. I am not really sure of the magic number yet. We thought we were finished, but I felt our family was incomplete. Im 29, our oldest is 11 so we will also have a interesting age variety. Your article was truly inspiring!! Thank you for posting!

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  236. Simplified VA

    What an absolute great read. I have 6 children my self. 14, 5, 5, 4, 3, 1. People can say the most ignorant and rude things. What my husband I do has nothing to do with anyone but us. I have had my tubes tied twice and have come to realize God wants me to have a bunch of sweet little babies, so my husband and I simply just e make it work.

  237. Claire

    I would congratulate her too. All children are blessings, quite honestly I wouldn’t care how many a person has, if they can feed, cloth, and love them then I wish them all the happiness with their babies. There is nothing wrong with having a large family.

  238. Belinda Douglass Adkins

    I am 5 of 6 kids. We were like the brady bunch, 3 and 3. We lost one of my brothers to a tragic car vs bicycle accident 40 years ago and my mom overheard some women talking at the funeral and one of them said…. Well, they still have 5. Talk about rude. My mom and dad could not have loved any of us kids any more than the others. We had a wonderful life growing up.

    1. stupis

      That is so unbelievably inconsiderate. The problem with people, is that there has become a disconnect on the value of human life. Unfortunately, I too was one of these annoyances, until having children of my own. I had an acquaintance around my age, who lost his daughter to SIDS, when she was only 10 months old. I couldn’t understand, with her being him and his wife’s second child, why they just didn’t have another baby. I understand now. I’m pretty disappointed with myself for ever thinking like that, but it is an unfortunate act that happens all too often. Those who just don’t get the fact that each of your children is a little miracle all their own, will never understand unless they have children or compassion. Each person bears a mark all their own on this world, and on the people in their lives, hearts. I do apologize for the cruel words said by one of my fellow human beings.

  239. therealchristiners

    Reblogged this on I Talk, Think, Feel, Too Much and commented:
    This is exactly how I feel! Society makes you feel sometimes ‘lousy’ about the position you are in because it isn’t the norm to them. Most of these people don’t have children anyways and will probably never after age 30. Children are a blessing, planned or not. I will always be appreciative of motherhood at a young age.

  240. Renee Martin

    Having secondary infertility myself, I can realize what a true blessing it is to have children. Whether it be 2 or 4 or more! You get to the point where you realize it’s God’s gift to you and I hope that we can have the open hearts to accept them! One thing i’ve heard that completely breaks my heart is, “How can you have so many children, don’t you realize how expensive college education is? How can you pay for all those kids educations, that is your responsibility after all!” WHAT?! I can’t tell you how many times i’ve heard this! I don’t know… in my family of 5 children, my sister married young and works at day care while also taking care of her own children, my brother got a 2 year degree he paid for himself and has a GREAT career, my other brother joined the military and also has a great career, and hey I got a bachelor’s degree and I am a SAHM now! So would I reject God’s most precious gift because I might be able to pay for college, that my kids may/may not even want/need to attend? What has this society come to! There is more to being a responsible, loving, kind, giving parent than worrying about paying for college…..

  241. jo cope

    So true. I have 4 all 18 months apart but my 3rd little boy passed away. So many people say to me ‘oh did you find the age gap to hard between the first 2 So you waited longer for your third one?’ I now just say…’ no actually my gap is because my middle boy died’xx

  242. Cyndi

    I am a mother of 4 also. Ages 7, 6, 5 & 2. I have gotten the same comments but to the lady in the elevator please know this: I am not a religious person, my children were not all planned, I have people ask me if I’m crazy (some days I say yes lol) or my all time fav comment – are they all to the same Dad. You love your children I am sure just as I do and there is nothing that anyone can say or do to change that and truly that is all that matters. Your not alone. Smile, enjoy your children and just smile at the people who question you. They may not understand your choices but they don’t have to. πŸ˜‰

  243. Shelley

    I am the mother of 1 beautiful girl, and so blessed to have her. For me I receive the opposite reaction from people, I get asked, “Why only 1”. I’ve been told my daughter will grow up selfish as she has no one to grow up with, she will be lonely as she ages as she has no siblings, she will suffer from only child syndrome (that’s a myth and doesn’t exist in reality), she will be hard work and greedy and expect the world as we only have 1. We will spoil her and overindulge her to compensate for lack of other children. Well 14 years on, she is the most loving young women, talented, creative and passionate about life. She is top of her class, and a straight A student in all subjects, she’s an artist and gained an art scholarship at school, she’s an adventurer and gained her PADI diving liscence at 12, she plays the drums and passed her Music theory exam with commended. She never asks for anything, she never complains, she is always present and grateful. She may not have siblings, but she does have 2 parents who have loved her unconditionally since the day she was born and treated her with the respect that she deserved.
    Yes I would have loved more children, but it was not meant to be. So if you come across a parent with only 1 child, don’t judge, don’t feel sorry for them. They are more than likely just so blessed to have 1 child, just as we are.

  244. Mikki

    You all are amazing mother’s. I was blessed w/one, but I’m the oldest of 7, 5 boys & 2 girls, all from the same parents. I was 15 when my little sister was born & my youngest brother @ that time 8. My mom was 19 when she had me and 37 when the last boy came into this world. I most likely would’ve had 1 more if I would’ve been married. God bless you all!!!!

  245. Cecilie Janz

    I’m a mother of 4,
    and would love to have more.
    Every child brings tremendeous blessing -that’s for sure!!
    Hehe.. But seriously, I don’t think people realize what secret magic hides with every person welcommed into the family. Personally I see pure therapy and reward every time, words can’t describe. I hope I can convince my husband to agree to another one yet. And I would love even more if it was up to me alone πŸ˜€ πŸ˜›

  246. Sandi

    I have 5 sisters and 2 brothers. I have 4 children of my own 22,20,18 and ooops 5. I love and want them all . I remember when I was younger and I had then 3 someone stopped me in a store and asked ” are those ALL yours ??” I was so confused, to me it was ONLY 3. lol being Irish from Massachusetts lots of people had big families . Mark Wahlberg is the youngest of 9 , sure glad his parents hadn’t stopped haha .

  247. Gord

    I read this article and some of the comments. Would you like to know what I say to a pregnant women(if the topic comes up)? COOL… why you might ask, I think that a woman that can create a life and talk about it even to a stranger is cool in my book.

    P.S. I’m a guy!

  248. Alicia

    Great article. And love reading everyone’s comments. I had 5 before the oldest turned 7 and I was still 29. Now I’m pregnant with #6. I haven’t had disgusting looks or too many rude comments other than “wow, you have your hands full.” So I guess I’ve been lucky. I love my children and wouldn’t have it any other way!

  249. Chris

    As much as I love big family’s, I’m gonna say it…. please Don’t have lots of kids and then not have the resources nessesary for them! I would have 3-4 kids but my husband and I know that this two bedroom house is all we can afford and we want our kids to be able to have school funds. But to those who can do it, good bless you and your wonderful family

    1. Laura

      This is a common thing I have heard throughout raising my children, and it has always annoyed me. Just remember that each family has a different standard of what “affording” a child means. A child does not need everything, and I believe that a little self denial is character building and creates grateful adults. I had no college fund, for instance, and was able to get through school due to savings from high school jobs, scholarships and college jobs, and began my career where I was not ashamed to work hard. It was character building, and I hope my kids can have similar experiences. I agree that the bills need to be paid, but with a large family, somehow they always are. Don’t judge someone because they have an old car (it is paid off), wear hand me downs (oh, the thousands I have saved by being willing to use castoffs or shop at consignment ), live in a smaller home in a less stylish area (the neighbors are the best), or have a trail of small children following after them in the grocery store (trust me, mom is picking out the best deals).

  250. Bobbie

    I just loved reading through all of these posts. We currently have 2 children, 1 boy and 1 girl ages 3 yrs and 1 yr and we want at least one possibly two more. The most irritating comment I get is oh you got your boy and your girl so you’re done now…ummm no! People ask me if we’re going to have more and I always reply if God blesses us with more then yes we will. I adore my children and while at times I think I must be crazy for wanting more I absolutely love them and have experienced such unspeakable joy that I can’t help but want more of that in my life. Our societies view on children has robbed families of the true blessing that children are to them. I can’t imagine not having my two angels in my life and I want more sweet angels to make memories with.

  251. podkeeper

    Love, love, love this! It is amazing how a few simple words can impact someone so much, positively or negatively! I had so many thoughts about this and my own experiences as mother of 5 that I decided it was time I started my own blog! LOL

    This was shared on podkeeper.wordpress.com

  252. Christy

    I know the feeling I get the looks and the stares every time I go info a store or questioned are they all for you? I’m a young 23 year old stay at home mom with 4 children ages 4, 3, 2, and soon to be 1. As hard as it is to tend to this many toddler on and everyday base I wouldn’t change a thing. People always tell me oh bless your heart or you must be crazy . Well if loving my kids with everything makes me crazy then sure I’m crazy but people don’t understand that they aren’t the ones who raise these kids I am they don’t have to buy my children anything so why be worried about the number of kids I have or if I want more it’s my life not yours. It’s hard to be nice all the time

  253. Karen

    I love also ‘do you not have a tv’,
    ‘Are you a glutton for punishment’, ‘is that you done then’ and my favourite you must have your hands full’
    Yes I have a tv but I can think of much more fun ways to spend my evening!

    when was having children ever a punishment

    Done? Like finished the housework done? Let’s hope I’m blessed again but we will see

    And yes I have my hands full with 3 of 5 and under but so does the mum with one aged 10 parenting is busy and hands on at least my three won’t be short of a friend.

  254. Jenny

    I have 3 boys and pregnant with my 4th. I feel like I have to tell everyone that our 4th was a surprise… as to somehow protect myself. This one was a surprise but I am going to stop telling everyone that πŸ™‚ I just want to enjoy this little one inside me. Thank you.

  255. Musings Of An Inspired Mama

    Reblogged this on Musings Of An Inspired Mama and commented:
    I love this article so much! Maybe because I’ve too often heard that awkward laugh and seen that wide-eyed stare when faced with the question “How many children would you like to have” and I say, with a smile on my face, “About 4, I think”.

    Yes, i think it is a shame when the finances of a family can-not support the family and the family ends up struggling to make ends meet but the richness that is added to your life by having siblings, the more the merrier, is something money can’t buy! I do not say this naively, I grew up in a family of 6 children with separated parents and things were not always easy, in fact, things were more often tough than not but we had fun – we had each other and, at the end of the day, that was a lot more fun than the latest gadgets or keeping up with the trends.

  256. Cara Mia

    Absolutely LOVED your post! I had 5 children in 7 years, (4 girls & 1 boy at the end) & heard all of the familiar rudeness. All I can say is,~ Mama’s, have the courage & backbone to stand up proudly & let them know what a joy & a blessing those beautiful babes are in your life! I used to take my kids with me everywhere, it was like my own private circus entourage!
    But, we had such FUN! The zoo, the store, the parks, the sledding, the bike rides, the camping & hiking, kayaking, Christmas, birthdays, holidays, church, ~ you name it, my kids ALWAYS had a friend around (their siblings) ~ and to this day are all still best of friends.
    5 children are far easier than 1, simply because they can entertain eachother!
    One of the best ways to help others see the vision of a large & happy family is to maintain your cool in public ~ ROFL ~ yes, it’s a learned skill, but it CAN be done ~ A happy mama makes so many things right & better!

  257. Jessica E

    Great post! Like the woman in the elevator, I’ve been ashamed or afraid to say how many children I have. I have six sons and am pregnant, and like everyone else, the stares and comments are endless. When people find out this is our last baby and a girl they assume that we kept going to accomplish the goal of having a girl. I’m constantly having to explain that we just weren’t complete yet.

    I grew up with one brothers years younger than me. We have nothing in common, lead starkly different lives and have almost no relationship. I’m happy my children are all two years apart, love to spend time together, and will have each other for the rest of their lives!

  258. Sonya

    Beautiful article. When my daughter was 4 months old I found out I was pregnant again. The looks I got when I went out to the shops for having a little baby and another on the way. And the comments. I use to hang my head in shame as if I had done something so terrible. My girls are 11 months apart and the best if friends and I still hear those little comments of ‘you have your hands full’ or even someone ask if the youngest was an accident. I dont understand the need to be so nosey about other people’s life decisions. My partner and I love our girls and thats all that matters!!! πŸ™‚

  259. sue feely

    I love this!!!!! I come from a family of 5, plus a half sister and three step sisters. I have five kids. When my last was born my firsts (twins) just turned 4. Yep, 5 kids in 4 years. It was crazy but I love it! I have four girls and my last is a boy. The most annoying question I get is “so you stopped when you had your boy”. My typical response is “no, I stopped when my doctor told me I couldn’t have any more, I wanted 7”. That usually stops them. People are so rude!

  260. Emily

    I am a mom of 4 and I broke all the rules. I had a boy and a girl 19 Β½ months apart, a little close, but socially acceptable. Oh, did I mention I had them in nursing school? Am I crazy, must be. Then we had a third, he must have been an accident. (He is also most peoples favorite now, though they wouldn’t say it out loud.) Now, we have a 4th and it’s another boy. I was hoping for another girl, so I tell people who frequently assume we are done, how I am really hoping for another little girl. I may include whether or not we adopt, and usually people find that acceptable. Ha!

  261. Trista

    AMEN!!!!! People can be so rude, thank you for a wonderful perspective! Families are the best big or small!

  262. Pingback: You Know What Causes That, Right? | podkeeper

  263. KC

    Nothing wrong with having a big family. Some people want large families, some want smaller ones, and some people would rather just have a family consisting of themselves and their significant other. In the end, no one has the right to judge another person based on their choice to have, or not have, children.

  264. Pingback: You Know What Causes That, Right? | Tacenda on Tap

  265. ryann

    I had my seventh 2 months ago. I have been in this woman’s shoes. I hid my pregnancy until I just couldn’t any longer. I didn’t want to answer any questions or justify my reasons for having more. Once it was out I dealt with the questions and advice on how to stop it from happening with self deprecating humor. This post has made me feel ashamed once again. But for the right reasons. I will no longer be ashamed of a pregnancy or my children. I love all my children the same. I wish I had more time to spend with them individually but we do what we can. I love them. I love carrying them. I love watching each one grow. I never expected this life. I never wanted children, to be honest, but I found someone who just makes everything better. Someone that I want my children to emulate when they are old with children of their own. I am blessed with a healthy body and mind and I will use those gifts to bring to life any spirits my Heavenly Father chooses to bless our home with. I appreciate this post and the realization that raising children is a sacred mission and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Thank you!!

    1. Angelica

      I had my sixth in January and I too wanted no children. πŸ™‚
      God is amazing. Some days are really hard (today) and make me appreciate the easier days. But I wouldn’t change my life. I’m blessed.

  266. Heather

    I have three children. Two I gave birth to and the third was entrusted to me by god. My two I carried are of mix race and my third is white. People ask me all the time if my older two are adopted. People are rude these days. All politeness propriety and sense of decorum have been removed from our society. As long as these children are loved and being properly taken care of people need to MINE THEIR OWN BUSINESS!!!

  267. Jules

    I have the opposite problem. I have one son (after years of trying) and we are hoping to adopt at least one more since we can’t have more of our own. I always get asked if he’s our ONLY one.

  268. Don

    I know where you are coming from as I am the father of 6 beautiful girls (11-1) and have heard it all. The questions I get the most are do you know what causes that, are you still tring for the boy, all with the same mother, and are you going to have any more. to answer the questions yes, not trying for a boy happy with what God has given me, yes, and that is up to God. Everyone of them are a blessing and I would not have it any other way. To be honest I wouldn’t know how to act without a large family. Thank you for the story and God Bless.

  269. Michele

    This was a great post. It never ceases to amaze me what people will to say to another person. I have the opposite situation. I have 1 child. I would have liked to have more, but it was not meant to be. I had a miscarriage with my second and then was not able to get pregnant again. I can’t tell you how many people have asked when I’m going to have another child and seemed shocked when I tell them my son is it. I’ve had people tell me that he shouldn’t have to grow up alone. I have thought about adoption and haven’t closed that door yet, but still. It’s a very personal decision no matter how many you have or don’t have, and how you have them. For others to make judgements about your family and then tell you what they think is just rude.

  270. Moriah

    I had 3 kids by my first husband. After he passed away I eventually remarried and had one more baby because my new husband never had a child of his own. I wouldn’t change having 4 children for anything in the world! We are truly blessed!

  271. tiffster

    I have 4 girls and when people ask if I will try for a boy, I say “nah, shooting for a girl..” Smh

  272. Ashley

    I am the blessed mother to 4 children, ages 5, 4, 2, and 4 months (2 boys and 2 girls). Like you and many of the other mothers on here, I have MANY stories of interesting comments I’ve received about our quickly growing family, but the most interesting to date was a 50-something man in Costco who saw me with two of my children when I was pregnant with my fourth (the other was at home with my husband) and casually asked, “So, you weren’t satisfied with just two, huh?” Ha ha! Cue the awkward silence. I’m usually pretty good at one liners, but unfortunately nothing came to mind at that very opportune moment.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I’ve gotten the rudest comments from strangers at Costco. You know, the place where pretty much all the big families shop! What the heck.

    2. Amber

      I am only 24 I will be 25 in two months I am young and I had my first son at 18 I am now pregnant with my fourth and yes they are all boys ! I am very excited but this was a very touching article I am happy to hear there are people who support people like me , who like having children . I however get so much more ridicule not just for having four children but because I am young also because my children are bi racial there father is jamaican and I am white , unlike alot of the women my age my children all have the same father and even though i am young i am working he is working i am in school we have our own place and my children are are well kept and taken care of . the support is very nice its refreshing to know people still care .

  273. Tammy

    I’m the oldest of five and the only girl. My mom on top of getting theat from not stopping after there third also got it because all fife of us were products of separate relationships and only one was a product of marriage. The states comments etc.. We’re endless as I witnessed her raise us alone. So as I’ve just discovered my fourth pregnancy it was with much shock and even a tinge of horror. I have a 7 year old step daughter, a 6 year old girl 4 year old boy both from separate previous relationships. And yes like my mother everyone scoffs at the different fathers and that I ever had number three with a third guy. Especially since I had my boy and my girl already. My third is 10 months old and my husband and I are taking this pregnancy 1 day at a time. It takes a lot of courage to face the comments because on top of it all he’s recently lost his job leaving my part time position our only income. I’ve learned that at the end of the day only he and I have to lay in our bed and all we need is each other.

    1. Kristin

      I understand completely….I have 3 kids all with different dads…You are not the only one. I have gotten the talk before…and I just don’t care enough about what other people have to say to justify what I have done in my life. My first 2 were conceived on Birth control, not planned but I’ve made the best of what has been thrown my way….Life is not always fair, but in the end it does provide.

  274. Katie

    I am the second oldest of 7. I am 19, The oldest is 21, and the youngest is 2. We also had 3 cousins that lived with us after their parents died in a car accident. There are 3 boys and 7 girls in my family. I loved every minute of it.

    The youngest was not planned but that doesn’t make her any less loved. Everyone asks my parents how they do it. They always say they just love us and the rest follows.

  275. Lisa

    I was remarried a few years ago and I brought 3 children into the marriage and my husband has 4. We are so blessed that our children all embraced one another and as we have just welcomed our first grandchild the craziness just gets better each day. My contribution to this story is that when people ask how many I have I reply 7. I love them all the same and I do not feel the need to go into details with someone I don’t know. People look me up and down as to determine how this is possible and I even had one woman go so far as to tell me “I’d really held up well” LOL! I can’t imagine my life without any one of them biological or step and I can only look forward to holidays to come when they hopefully have as many grandchildren as our house can hold. God bless!

  276. BA

    I read this because a young friend posted it. I am mom to 4 and remember those questions and judgement. My blessings are 21 – 29 years old now, three of four are married, and no one ever “warned” me how wonderful it would be to have adult kids. I love them! (And don’t get me started about grand children!!)

  277. momof4

    I really enjoy reading your blogs. My and my husband has had four kids ( 2 and 2…4,3,2,newborn). It is a challenge to hear the comments I get from strangers, especially for a 25 year old. I am considering becoming a stay at home mom. I just had my fourth last month. Children are really such a blessing. Your blog is very encouraging.

    1. Kate

      Sounds much like me but mine are now 4, 5, 6 & 7. I can’t even express how hard it’s been but now they are such good friends to each other & really help out if I need them to, we’re like a little team.

      I think many people that have stopped at 2 just can’t imagine why anyone would want to give themselves more of a workload than that, or how anyone could spread themselves more thinly & I can understand that. We have the benefit of having gone for it, finding that it is possible & knowing that we could never look back πŸ™‚

  278. Cupcake

    I love this! I have 5 grown children & heard all the usual comments when they were little. We lived in a small town & I ran into an acquaintance who found out we were expecting #5. She asked, “Don’t you know what causes that (like I hadn’t heard that before)?” I answered, “Well, if you people would put in a bowling alley, there would be something else to do around here.” She looked shocked & then burst out laughing. We’ve had many wonderful times & many trying times over the years, but our family is an indescribable blessing! I just figure that people who criticize large families have no idea what they’re missing. πŸ™‚

  279. Beverly

    I don’t know how anyone can say to an expectant mother anything negative….I say blessing to all who can. You have families that women like wish for. I can’t have any more and only have 1 blessing cause that is exactly what he is. I wish for another, but it’s just a dream….Love to all the beautiful Mothers everywhere.

  280. Kathryn Brown

    Thank you for writing this beautiful article! I can relate! My husband and I are the parents of 9 amazing children. 5 girls, 4 boys. We have a 20 year span between the oldest and the youngest. According to society, I was “too young” when I had the first, and “too old” when I had the last. These 9 people are my life! Most of them are adults now, and they are the most caring, loving, responsible people I have the priveledge of knowing. They are my best friends! We also have 8 wonderful Grandchildren, with 2 more on the way. If only more people could understand what a blessing all children are! Thank you!

    1. A Robertson

      Lovely to read of other large families – we have 5 girls and 3 boys and they are our world! I’ve heard all of the meanspirited, ignorant comments..including believe it or not ‘ which one do you wish you hadn’t had?!’. I’m afraid my response would be unprintable πŸ™‚

    2. Cathy

      Loved this article. We have 8 children (4 of each) and miscarried last year. We feel so blessed to have happy, healthy and intelligent children, but often get silly comments, too. I’ve found myself explaining about the miscarriage to nosy parkers who ask, “Are you having any more?” and they go quiet quickly then!

  281. Kristan

    I have so much respect, awe, admiration, and jealousy for women who have a large family. Due to health problems I will enjoy, raise, and be grateful for my 2 sweet kids and wish in the back of my heart that I could have 2 more.

  282. Karli

    I must admit I am guilty of a little bit of shock when I see a family with a lot of kids, but it comes from a place of awe. I have a 16mo boy who I adore but the thought of having more kids is still a bit terrifying. I always thought I would have at least 3 kids so this is quite a shock to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if my husband and I are a one-and-done family so I when I do see a large family and I look a little scared it is more about me imagining myself taking on that role than any judgement. I have lots of respect for all you mommas out there enjoying every hectic moment with your babies =)

  283. Amy

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have three girls (4, 3, and 10mos) and we want a 4th (be it boy or girl). When I tell people that we want a fourth I get this reaction all the time. I want to shake people and say “just because you don’t want to do it doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t!”
    I used to get extremely annoyed with strangers who would see me out with all three (who all behave very well in public) and say “you’ve got your hands full” until a friend of mine gave me the perfect response: “yes my hands are full but so is my heart!”

    1. Amye Bailey

      Love this! Mom of 4 here, hearing about how full my hands are, I usually just say “and I love it!” but I think I’ll be using your friend’s line now. Perfecto!

    2. karene

      Thank you for that line. I have 5 children, four boys and a girl, ages 10, 8, 5, 3, and 2. They are high activity, my 5 and 3 yr old especially, so I constantly get told that my hands are really full. I always just agree and say we live in organized chaos but your line fits so much better. Each child fills such a special place in my heart.

  284. Max

    Coming from a family of 9 (I’m the oldest of 5 boys and 4 girls (if you currently have an unsatisfactory gender ratio in your “family plan” statistics say just keep trying and you’ll get there eventually)) the reason they ask those questions is so they can decide whether you are unlucky or just insane. They truly truly are convinced that it is IMPOSSIBLE for someone in their right mind to lovingly and joyfully accept that many children into your household. All I can offer every mother of large families here is encouragement though! God has given you all the love and grace you need to take care of your beautiful families! So stand up for yourselves and believe this is want God intended for you!

    1. Jasmine Bray

      Well said Max! I come from a big family too. (6 boys & 5 girls) I try to encourage people with large families as much as I can..since I was used to the finger pointing and stares growing up when my large family would go into restaurants and such. They don’t know what they’re missing out by being part of a big family. Lol! πŸ™‚

  285. Heather

    I have 4 and eventually god willing May end up being 5 if my hubby has his way ! πŸ™‚ every child planned or not is a complete blessing! Big families are great. Holidays are always filled with love and laughs! Nothing warms the home like a baby in the house! We are always on the go and it keeps our life fun and interesting! God bless!

  286. Danielle

    I absolutely loved this. I am currently 27 weeks pregnant with my 4th child and the looks of disgust I get when people find out are amazing and the comments that comes out of people’s mouths are very aggravating. Our society is so hypocritical and judgmental! I love being a mother!! πŸ™‚

  287. Callie

    I’m 23 years old and I have a three year old, a ten month old, and another one due in two weeks. All boys. All amazing miracles. This article reminds me of the looks I get whenever I go anywhere with them. Why do people care what we do with our lives, my body, or what age we are? Or rather- why do they think it’s perfectly okay to tell us all about their opinion on the subject as if it were up for debate?

  288. Marsha Austin

    I always heard the question “Do you know what causes that” Always made me so mad!! We had 3 wonderful boys and although we didn’t stay married we loved them with all of our hearts.. I remarried and my husband had 3 children also so I wound up with 5 boys and 1 girl.. all grown and happy and productive members of society. They all have good jobs and take great care of their babies. I couldn’t be more proud of my 6 pack!!!

    1. Anna

      My husband and I have 3 (our boy is about to be 4, one girl just turned 2, and the other is 5 months old), and we get the “Do you know what causes that?!” all the time… My favorite response is, “Yes we do, and we like it a lot!” That usually shuts them up. πŸ™‚

  289. Chelsea J

    Thankyou for writing such a beautiful post.My Husband and I have been blessed with 6 beautiful children. For a long time I always felt guilty about wanting and having a larger family. I cared too much about what other people thought of me. I would let all those negative comments infiltrate my mind and make me feel as though what we were doing was just plain insane. But you know what? I have finally reached a point in my life where I just don’t care! Those people do not know me or my wonderful family. They do not get to experience the love, joy and laughter that is shared in our home. Sure nothing is perfect but I think our ‘little big family” is pretty darn close. At the end of the day my husband and I can say that we are living with no regrets. Not one single regret! And who knows maybe just maybe we will go and make it 7!

  290. S.L. Payne

    I love this post! I get this kind of response all the time because I currently have 4 kids. I say currently since we are foster parents and so our number changes. We have three bio sons and an infant foster daughter. People always make comments when we are out along the lines of “Wow! Three boys!” and “Ooooh, you finally got your girl”. These seriously annoy me since I adore my three boys- yes it is crazy but oh so worth it! And seriously, I would have taken another boy. Kids are kids no matter what their gender and they just need to be loved. I love having my foster daughter and she’s my daughter for as long as God allows. It bothers me that people think I just went into fostering to get a girl or that I kept trying to have a girl (since I don’t share that she is foster with people who say this) because they imply that my three boys were disappointments and I couldn’t have wanted what I got. I abhor getting the questions about why we foster too since we already have three kids and why we would do this if we can biologically have our own. Yes, things are busy, but I think a lot of people assume that my life is chaotic instead incredibly blessed, as it is. I wish they could understand this instead of blowing it off with “I could never handle that many kids- you must be a supermom!” I’m not and God is good.

  291. MajorAnd Menagerie

    Well spoken. While I’m tempted to relate my own exhaustive experiences, I’ll make this short. The mothers of handicapped children are dealt even harder blows of incivility by the public, the medical community and even their own families. If one of your children fails to meet societal norms, and you still choose to give life to other children, then you are automatically deemed mentally incapacitated, and are talked to as such. Conjure up your worst imagination of effrontery, callousness and vulgarity and I assure you that it cannot exceed the denouncement, crassness, judgement or condemnation I experienced; pregnant again and holding my toddlers hand while pushing her brother’s wheelchair.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I can only imagine. Society has even WORSE attitudes about people with special needs, and it is disgusting. Every person has dignity and worth, special needs or no. You are a wonderful mama, and your kids are lucky to have you (although I know you consider yourself the lucky one;) Thank you for sharing your story

  292. Nancy

    I don’t see a family of 4 being big…my mom is 1 of 10 and I’m 1 of 4 but my plan is to only have 2 because I have 2 hands. ..my husband wasn’t sure he wanted kids and I said there is no way I’m having an only child because my siblings mean way to much to me…He doesn’t get along with his the best but really when Ur parents do something that just doesn’t sit right with u who doesn’t understand more then a sibling…we are not in the best place financially to have children but I wanted my children before I turn 35 and really when is one ever “ready” to have kids …I think it’s so sad that we live on a society that has to judge instead of saying awesome have a good day…i find we tend to bring people down instead of raising them up…we r all human we have feelings we do the best we can some days go a little smoother then others but that’s how it goes…focus on positive things and life becomes such brighter

  293. Karen

    Ha,I have 4… Oldest 3 boys and one girl. I feel like we have a herd till I go to a farming seminar and talk to the Mennonite ladies who have 10+ kids and still counting. They are like, ” poor thing could you not have any more?” LOL I like the chaos, it would drive my friends nuts, but that’s their problem.

  294. Andrea

    I understand completely. I have three children, right now they are 16, 12 & 4 and the main comments I get from people are: 1 – Are they all from the same father? (Yes!) 2 – Starting over after 8 years are you crazy?? or I don’t know how you do it, I know I couldn’t (Yes, you could if it happened to you :)) Yes the 4 year old was a ‘surprise’ but all of us even the older children couldn’t imagine our lives without her πŸ™‚

    1. Theresa

      I have 11!! When people ask me,”Are they all from the same father?” I’m tempted to say,”What kind of a woman do you take me for!!???” But instead I smile sweetly and reply,” Oh, well, I thought since they have to share everything else, I’d give them each their own!” Then I walk away while their jaw hits the ground

  295. Lise

    Loving this everyone!
    Its so nice to see ‘we are not alone’! We have 5…15yrs to 2yrs(almost threenager).

    One day at a check out line the cashier said ‘you have 5 kids??’.’Yup’ I proudly replied, ‘I’m sorry’ was her response; ‘I’m not!’ was mine…

    Another time at #3s friend birthday party there was another parents with the bleary eyed sleep deprived look of parents of a new born there also with their 4 year old. I had to tell them that it does get easier, that believe it or not, 5 is easier than 2, 2 is the hardest, if you can do 2 you can do 10! you have to remember that they all get bigger! By the time we had #4, #1 and 2 were big enough to be A LOT of help! and That is HOW you ‘do’ it!

    God Bless them every one!

  296. Crystal D Williams

    I have 3 sisters and brother not all are blood but most of them are. I am the 2 oldest in line I have an older sister then the rest are younger. I only have one little one right now but eventually want to have 3 more when we are more finanically stable and have a bigger place.

  297. Pam

    Wonderful story, wonderful writing. I do not have children, but it surprised me to hear friends who work in the public space get similar comments from complete strangers. One person said a stranger, upon finding out she was pregnant with her third, promptly replied, “well you’re done then.” Seriously stranger, I doubt that decision is up to you :-). I could never imagine making this type of comment!

    It also surprised and saddened me when a friend who adopted 2 boys from Korea was asked, by a stranger, in front of her children, if she wished “she had some children of her own.”

  298. Melissa

    Thanks so much! I’m a mother of three (3, 2 and 1) living in Manhattan, so you better believe I’ve had my share of every comment under the sun. It’s meant the world to me to read your post and all the great comments and see that I’m not alone : ) thanks!

  299. Allison

    My husband and I have 3 children…all girls and we love it! Our oldest just graduated 2nd in her class and the other two are 14 and 12. We got a lot of criticism for having the third child, mostly by family members. We would have had more but God had a different plan for our lives. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to parent and if people want to have 1 or 21 kids, I say good for them. No one has the right or the need to judge. Way to go mom with the fourth baby coming. Love that baby and cherish it.

  300. Jeffrey Payne

    You ask “Why do people assume that having more than 2 children is bad?”

    Answer: 2 generations of bombardment with anti-human propaganda. We’ve been told, relentlessly, in schools, thru TV, movies, books, magazines, news that the population explosion is killing our planet, that people are the problem, & that it’s our duty for the greater good to curtail our reproduction.

    The panic was based on 2 things:
    1) Observing the rapid population increase caused by improvements in sanitation & medicine &
    2) Assuming that people would be too stupid to change our behavior to compensate.

    So, the Better Sort of People anointed themselves as the apostles of the Gospel of Sterility — make the world a better place by making fewer babies. Their propaganda worked all too well AND people learned that you didn’t have to have 8 babies to ensure that 2 would reach adulthood. The Better Sort of People weren’t as smart as they thought they were. So, now we are facing Demographic Winter — see “http://www.demographicbomb.com” for a primer on this subject.

  301. Ashley

    I understand I have 4 children … 3 boys and 1 girl … I live in a small town and you have 2 or 3 children … I had twin boys right out of the starting gate (unplanned no biggie until twins then shock) … Then I planned for next baby to be born about when the twins turned 3 … I got another boy and I suffered gender disappoint depression … My life went way down hill and put stress on hubby and mines relationship ( he left for a little bit) after he came home we started working on us I got pregnant with number 4 and really wasn’t ready but I stepped up to the plate and now I have my baby girl … While I was pregnant a family member just about ordered to get my tubes tied since I got a girl and I was like no we (hubby and I) both want a big family … She had 3, 2 girls 1boy and got tied … I know I want some space before next baby/ies (really hoping for twin girls) and when every asks me if I’m done I say no and they get like really? So when is the next and I say 5yrs gonna be twin girls … Need these my youngest in kindergarten before tiring to handle twin babies again and they get like ok crazy and walk away …

  302. Khobie

    I have 3 kids, 20, 19, and 2 1/2. Of course I get the “Was the last one planned?” question all the time. No she wasn’t planned but does that matter? Not to us! I also get, “I’m so glad it’s you and not me starting all over again!” Yes, I’m glad it’s me too and not you! I couldn’t imagine not having my 2 1/2 year old in our family! She has brought more joy than I ever expected! I was nervous about having one at 42 but never at the thought of starting all over again. The best question yet is, “Do they all have the same dad?” YES to that question too! I don’t understand why people think it is their business to ask that! Enjoy each child God gives you, they are all blessings planned or not! I feel lucky and blessed to have been given another child so late in life. No mother should ever be made to feel that any pregnancy isn’t worth it.

  303. lolli

    Beautifully said. Its a long story but, I can relate to that poor woman. I have 2 beautiful miracles of my own.

  304. Trish

    LOL!! I love this. I must have done something really wrong because I have 6 girls and one boy smack dab in the middle! I cried when my 3rd was 3 months old and I found out I was pregnant but was excited (and overwhelmed) when I found out that #6 was actually 6 and 7! Never apologize. People call me brave, superwoman, etc, but we just stopped when we felt like we were full no bravery in that. Lots of blessings.

    1. sylcell Post author

      It is so overwhelming. I have felt it myself. I really hope this post and its comments will provide the support and encouragement we moms so desperately need! Thanks for reading!

    2. Karen

      We have 6 too, now they are 30,28,26,23,22 &19 after the first three my husband passed away (cancer) my currant husband, who was amazing at raising our first 3 kids as well as the others added had the come back to this question…” You know what causes that? Right?” ” why, yes we do and enjoyed every minute!” That usually shut them up lol!

  305. Trish

    Well said. I’m a Mommy of six and loving every crazy moment. Thanks for the encouraging and joyful post.

  306. activedadathome

    I’m a SAHD and father to four (ages 9, 7, 3, and 2). Thank you for posting this. I have received the occasional comments and have definitely faced some challenges managing all four myself in public while my wife has been at work, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Honestly, when people do comment to me about having so many kids, my response is usually that we are already talking about having another. That tends to be a conversation killer.

      1. Michelle

        Funny. We have 5 wonderful daughters: 13, 10, 7, 5, & 3. We have never felt the “need” to have a boy and my husband has always sworn he doesn’t feel incomplete without one. We love our girls to the moon and back and he reassures me how lucky he feels to have “Five Daddy’s girls!” We’ve heard, “you know what causes that” too many times to count. (Yep, that’s how we got so lucky!) As well as the “Are you gonna try again?” as if we “failed” to produce a boy. I smile, look them straight in the eye, pretend to think about it for just a moment (so it doesn’t seem like a standard reply), then sweetly and innocently smile and say, “Gee, if we do I sure hope it’s another GIRL!” People don’t know what to say…jaws drop.
        What blows my mind even more is the fact that they ask the question right in front of our daughters…how do they think that makes our girls feel? Like we wished one of them was a boy? Um…no. I wanted a girl first, then I wanted her to have a sister. For the third I was ready for a boy if it was God’s will but was truly fine either way. He granted us another daughter. After the third girl, I honestly preferred that #4 and #5 were girls since we already had all the stuff but I would have been ecstatic either way. Our family is absolutely perfect. Yes, our hands our full. Yes, our house is full. Yes, our car is full. Yes, our grocery cart is full. Yes, our hampers are full. Yes, our schedule is full. All in the name of love. THAT is fulfilling!

        Oh…and another comment that bugs me: When other dads (at restaurants with their own smaller families), meet my husband’s eye (after their family proceeds to count our children out loud) and say to my husband, “Man. I feel sorry for YOU! FIVE girls???” Seriously? Our girls and I are sitting right there! Incredibly rude. Then we usually get the “FIVE weddings” comment. Yep. Five weddings. Five times he gets to walk his daughter down the aisle. Five Daddy’s girls. Five priceless moments we wouldn’t trade for the world.

        We also think it’s rather funny when people count us out loud. Seriously. People at the table right next to us. Pointing and counting. When they get to “two”, sometimes I just want to say “five girls” so they can stop counting. But we think it’s funny so we just let it be. People will also count us as we walk into a place. Yes, we are bookending or being followed by five children. Yes, the line behind me is long…please be patient. I count them often too…lol! And there’s no denying they are sisters…they totally look alike.

        Our family is absolutely perfect. For US.

  307. Angie

    Seeing all these wonderful comments makes all the strangers stares & cruelty melt away … I am a mother to 6 beautiful blessings 3 boys / 3 girls … 3 of which are STEP but in my heart they are all mine … I took on the challenge. I took the place of a heroin addict who cared nothing about them .. These kids are growing into well mannered, intelligent, happy, & caring human beings in a stable home. That is all that matters to me. Ages 12, 10, 10, 9,5, & 8 weeks! I love my big family … And to any critics I say there may not be much room in my home left but there is always room in my heart! This was Gods plan for us <3

  308. Morgan

    Being a parent is literally the only reason we exist; to reproduce and keep our species going. My grandmother was catholic; she didn’t believe in birth control. She had 14 children, and none of them were twins. She almost had 15, but she sadly had a miscarriage. She herself was one of 12 children. She adored being a mother! When her husband died in his 50s, when my mother, the second youngest, was 12, it was hard, but she pulled through! The most number of children any of my aunts and uncles have is 4. I myself only plan on having 2, maybe 3, children, and I hope I have at least one girl. No one should look down upon anyone’s child bearing preferences, whether it’s wanting to have a dozen children or wanting to have one boy and one girl. Of course a planned child is more convenient for the parents than an unplanned one (for obvious reasons). I was an accident; a result of a college party a month after my mom turned 21 and my parents had been dating for only 3 months. My parents married, divorced, and now they hate each others guts, but does it mean they treat me different than my planned brother? Does it mean they love me less than my planned brother? No. They tell me they wouldn’t change a thing about what they went through because of me. I was a blessing, their first child. Being unplanned, I could have had it better, but I could have also had it worse.

  309. AL126

    I come from a family with 5 kids , 1 boy followed by 4 girls. We were born from March 1980 to october 1986 (no multiples). From the time I was little I remember people making comments to my parents about the number of kids. My dad would always joke that he thought they would have a full dozen but the Lord stopped them at 5.
    I currently have 18 (19 to be born in a few weeks) and while I love each and everyone of them things do get crazy when we all get together.
    My husband and I have been married for 7 years and we don’t have any kids, not because we don’t want them but because of medical and personal reasons. Nothing hurts me more than comments from other people about why we’ve been married so long and don’t have any kids. I had to take care of onw of my nieces full time for two years and so I know what it takes to raise a child. I don’t want to have a child and not be able to give it the love and attention it deserves (I’7m not saying that kids from large families are always neglected) just that while I know the sting from comments about large families, I also know the sting from comments from parents about not having kids…it works both waya and people need to remember that.

  310. Debbie

    Bless this mom! I have six children…4 girls and 2 boys ages 38 down to 18. The comments I got most…same husband? Do you know what causes this?….oh wow you had a big whoops! I think a parent knows when their family is complete. The first four are two years apart..then 5 years later another…and 9 years later my Claire…who graduates high school this weekend! Cherish your big family…little ones grow up and our life is always a blast, especially now that we have 6 grandkids…4 girls and 2 boys! All blessings and always laughing!

    1. Laura LaVancha Bailey

      God bless you! I am pregnant for the 7th time (miscarried in 2011), due on June 13th. I also have a child that I did not give birth to but she’s still mine. We also are going to have 11 grandchildren as of this summer. I get SOOO many rude comments for being an “older” pregnant woman. It’s none of anyone’s business. They aren’t supporting us.

  311. Danielle

    Thank you a million times for this, I am proud Mom of 10 living 8 boys and 2 girls. I understand everything you said. I just lost a baby girl at 16 weeks on Jan 3, 2014. I would love another, since losing her I feel a void and empty feeling.

  312. Courtney Smith

    This was a great read. As a mother to 8 (4 of each), we get every kind of comment you can imagine. My favorites are the people who tell me how well-behaved and such nice kids we have. Reminds me I need to give the same compliments!

  313. Jane

    I love children and wanted 103 when I was a child. But there is the question of responsibility. Is it responsible to bring 4,5 or10 children into a world that is already overburdened with dwindling resources? Sometimes, it is necessary to put the needs of the world before our own desires. On another note, sometimes people aren’t judging but simply trying to converse on a topic you seem genuinely interested in.

  314. Andy

    I say turn the question back on them.

    “What? You’re only having two children? Gonna let Islam take over the world, huh? What a shame. I don’t want my grandchildren living under sharia law.”

  315. Amber

    While I appreciate this blog, I have to say, people are oversensitive! You can’t say anything without someone taking offense. My husband and I have one son, and we’re not planning to have anymore. I’ve been looked down upon for this decision, but so what. Deal with it. Not everyone needs to know about my struggle with postpartum depression after my son was born, and then the depression I felt when I miscarried our second child about 2 years later.

    After that happened, I decided that I didn’t want to experience that depression again, and that no pregnancy is guaranteed.

    And by the way, most people are asking these ‘dumb’ questions to be rude. They are usually asking the questions as a joke because it’s hard for them to believe.

  316. thevoiceoftheanimals

    As the EXTREMELY Proud mom to SIX beautiful children 3 boys and 3 girls ages 24 to 11 I too was asked/told the rude comments even by my own mother and let me tell you it hurt. But I look at my children and see the wonder our love and Gods blessing has made and I stand in awe of them. My sorrow is for the people that do not understand how blessed large families are. I look at the beautiful woman my 4th is becoming and think if I had stopped when I was told to by others I would not know that beautiful soul or the three that came after her. One awaits me in Heaven. The number of children you will have has been decided by God long before you ever thought about it. You will have the children God has decided you will have NO MATTER what you do (#4 was a birth control pill failure) For those woman considering the more than normal size family GOD bless you and ignore those sad souls that do not share your wonder and joy of a large family. When I was asked I just told them that I would pray for them.

  317. Lovingthemomlife

    As a studio photographer, I had the privilege of photographing many different kinds of families. One family came in my first holiday season and had five beautiful, well behaved, obviously cared for children. Taking their annual picture was a joy. I remembered them when they came in the next year and I was privileged to shoot their pictures again. During the course of the photo shoot dad commented about their sixth child. Mom wasn’t even showing. She looked at me a little scared when he said that. And with genuine joy, I told them “congratulations!” She just melted. Their families didn’t even know at this point because they were afraid of all the negativity and the ridicule they would get from their own families who didn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t understand their choices. I just can’t even understand that… children are a blessing. Period.

  318. Celinda

    Thank you for your beautiful statement. Society has really gotten warped lately. Personally I’ve had 13 pregnancies, given birth 7 times to 8 babies, tragically buried 2 and raised 7 (one stepdaughter who is the half sister to my youngest, her mother died when she was tiny).
    When my youngest was 21 I thought I was done raising kids. Then I met my wonderful husband. Who started his family later than me. So presently married to a wonderful man who fathered 6 of his own. He loves to shock people telling them we have 15 children and 12 grandchildren so far! When I’m present the eyes immediately travel to my abdomen and then look me up and down. And a look on their face of “Are you nuts?” or just amazement. He proudly says I’m the production manager and he is quality control.

    Raising a large family has it’s challenges but also it’s blessings. You have to have well behaved kids, when they out number you by so many. Shop clerks would be amazed when I came to the check out with 7 in tow exclaiming “You had this many kids in here and we didn’t even know, we get Mums in here with one or two making so much racket that they disturb everyone else, wow that’s amazing!” When my kids got sick with the chickenpox they had playmates to commiserate with. I’m very proud my older girls are great Mums because they had some hands on experiance with helping with their younger siblings. I look back on my life and have many fond memories. Sure a small family would have been easier. However of all of my children there is not one I would not want to have been a part of my life.
    Our children are basically stair steps from 34 to 10. My youngest is one year younger than his oldest. Personally I think blended family’s are even more of a challenge. My two youngest step sons (12 & 10) both love and hate me. Because I have rules and I enforce them (plus I make them eat healthy and don’t buy a lot of junk food). Most of my husbands and my arguments are centred around the raising of the children. However when you watch those children grow in understanding and learn to be good caring people it is all worth it!

  319. Gloria Ahlhelm

    I have 2 children, both girls – 14 & 5. I love the adventure that they are. πŸ™‚ When you see a pregnant woman – whether she’s pushing a stroller of triplets or shopping for her first baby – how can you not share that small secret smile with her? The one that says “You’re housing a miracle, how wonderful for you”. It seems like people are missing the wonder and joy that babies bring, regardless of how many you’ve had.

  320. Lynn

    i have always dreamed of having a big family i always used to tell my first husband when asked how many kids i wanted i said as many as i am able to have. i am on my second maggiage it doesnt look like i will be having any children at least not of my own. but if it is Gods will then that it is.

  321. Melanie

    Thank you Thank you for writing this. SO so true. I am a mama of 4 boys and one baby girl. For some reason it has always been “okay” for me to keep trying for that girl. Now that I have her I get asked if we “are finally done” or are “going to try for a sister”. Sigh….just can’t please them all. When people ask if we are going to have another I say, “Well….not TODAY”. To “you must have your hands full”, I say “yep. I sure do. But I wouldn’t trade any of them”. Love this post. Thanks for you awesome words.

  322. Merry B.

    I am the oldest of four, and am so thankful to my parents for the gift of brothers and sisters. Maybe my husband and I could be happy with just one child, but I want to give the gift of siblings to my children if possible. It was wonderful to grow up together sharing experiences, and later on share memories.

  323. Jamie

    I am the proud mother of four myself. Not only that, my older two are twins. I was a young mother with my first two and my husband and I made a very conscious decision to wait until I graduated from college before having any more. My children are my life and if possible I would have kept having kids. There are very insensitive people in this world and my favorite comments include things like “double trouble” and “I’m glad you and your second husband didn’t decide not to have children because of those from your first marriage…he deserves the right to have his OWN kids” on a side note…all four of my children have the same father but people assume because of the gap in ages that they don’t. My decision to have children (as many as my husband and I decided together to have) and the age gap are our decisions and very personal to me. Congratulations to the soon to be mother of four and hold your head high.

  324. emmaumma

    Loved your article. I’m a new mom of one baby girl, but my husband and I are planning on having four total. I had no idea people reacted that way to people with larger families.

  325. Missy

    I’m ashamed to say I am one of those people; the sympathizer. I don’t mean to be rude or disrespectful. I have two children that are 3 1/2 years apart. Pregnancy was not fun for me even when I wished it to be. I had two children with horrendous colic and ADHD. They are adults now, and I love them beyond reason, but pregnancy and motherhood did not come easy for me. I envy those that it does. I envy their easy-going relationships with their children. Hell, I envy people that had children that napped! We all have different experiences…

    1. sylcell Post author

      Oh God my first had colic. So. Much. Scream-crying. It is amazing we kept going! So far, no others have had colic (fingers crossed)

  326. marina strohmetz

    To be honest, only one of my SIX pregnancies were planned (1 miscarriage, 1 stillborn, 4 living). When I realized I was pregnant with my fourth child, which was right after my then-husband had another affair, I decided to terminate the pregnancy. On the morning of the procedure, I knew in my heart that I could not go through with it. The months passed, and I grew increasingly excited about the life growing within me. I endured many disparaging remarks, criticism, and ridicule, even from my husband. I look at my FOUR daughters today (ages 20, 17, 15, & the youngest will be 12 tomorrow), and I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without them. They are my life, my world, my everything. I don’t care about what people think, about how many children others believe are too many, or about the disturbing comments others feel inclined to share. I wouldn’t trade a single second I have shared with my girls, for anything on God’s green earth!

  327. Missy

    It’s usually just normal human curiousity. I agree with Petra. I have 5 (& a stepchild) and I’ve heard it all. Never offended by it…actually just proud…proud of what we brought into this world and proud we are able to take care of them. Most people are just amazed that we can take care of so many when they are struggling with caring for 1 or 2.

  328. Chelsea

    As the second of four children (I have an older brother, a younger sister, and a younger brother), my family was always getting odd looks. A stranger even asked my mother why she continued to have children after me–because “after having a boy and a girl, she had the perfect family!” She laughed and said that she didn’t believe in a “perfect” family. I am so so so happy that I have my younger siblings–they are my best friends! And when my mother got pregnant at the age of 38 people had the audacity to ask if it was a mistake. She made sure to inform that no, it was, in fact, a BLESSING. And my brother is a blessing, even 20 years later.

  329. Heather

    Suzanne Wesley was the youngest of….I think 27 kids, and two of her 19 kids (John & Charles)
    ended up changing the world. (reference “England Before and After Wesley”).

  330. Pingback: To the lady ashamed of being pregnant with her fourth | middle of my story

  331. Nelly

    I come from a family of 7 children and I used to think I would want a big family too but after experiencing the neglect and abuse from parents who are not prepared to provide financially and mentally for each and every one of us it’s understandable why others might criticis although it’s wrong too! Some parents can handle and provide a good future for all there 7 or ten children and individual attention and support . I personally
    Don’t like critism but those who do and have experienced a bad childhood due to their parents might just be taking it personal who knows. I love children I would have a football team if I could but I know my children come first and I want to be able to financially he’ll all my children get into collage and also provide a safe and happy environment.

    1. CarmenMT

      Sooo true!!!! But God always provides for the financial and spiritual needs! Thanks be to God who is the Father Who will make sure that His Children have all what they need! If we as parents ask Him, our kids won’t lack!

  332. Jessica

    I love this, it is very true! What I love is that older people 60, 70, 80, never make these comments, they always say things like “what a beautiful family” “great looking children!” we could all learn something about our elders, they had big families and viewed children differently, so much respect for them! people today are just rude!

    1. Sherry

      I agree totally with your entire comment Jessica. I have 5 girls and 3 boys (not in that order). Oh my the comments I have heard. Being a home educator my children were with me 24/7 and these comments were made with my children by my side. The most daft question to me was * are all these children yours *….. I came back with * I thought that I would bring the neighbor children grocery shopping *, * of course they are ALL mine *!!(I know that mine behave) people seem to have no filters and why is it any of their business. Another really annoying comment was *are they all yours(meaning ours as a couple)* and then they really look at you as if you have three heads . People would say to me , * we have 6 kids , 3 are hers and 3 are mine *…..nothing wrong with that but we have ours 24/7. And we choose to have ALL 8 of them . We actually had 13 pregnancies , 4 miscarraiges , 1 stillbirth and 8 living children !! GOD is very good !!

  333. Barbara Duffy

    I am the mother of 5 beautiful children, who are now 23, 21, 19, 16, and 14. I remember one encounter when they were much younger, probably 12, 10,7, 4 and 2, (around there). Someone asked “Are they all yours???” And I answered, “Oh no! I left my teenagers home watching the newborn triplets!!!”

    1. marina strohmetz

      Oh my goodness, I’ve been asked that, too! I even encountered people who INVITED that I must be the babysitter!

    2. Lovingthemomlife

      I have a friend who has chosen and planned to have eight. They are all wonderful kids. It was a choice she and her husband made. She frequently has people ask her “are they all yours.” So the name of her blog is “yestheyareallmine.” When people try to tease her about having so many and ask, “do you know what causes it?” she replies with, “yes. And we’ve perfected it.” She’s awesome like that πŸ™‚

    3. val

      That was just too good!!! my nephew is having is 9th. I have three children and they are all having their 2nd child. I am blessed.

  334. Jody

    I have 8 kids. 6 boys and 2 girls. You have no idea how many comments and looks I’ve gotten from people. The first question is usually, Are you Mormon?, then it’s Are you Catholic? I’ve gotten, You do know what causes that don’t you? People are just rude and stupid and hurtful. Some of these comments came from old people. I’ve been told to just ignore them, but it hurts, especially when they did it in front of my kids. I love my children and am very proud of them and all of them were planned. I would never change a thing.
    I don’t bother anyone else, please show us the same consideration. Butt out of our lives and get a life of your own. It’s none of your business!!

    1. Lovingthemomlife

      I have a friend who has chosen and planned to have eight. They are all wonderful kids. It was a choice she and her husband made. She frequently has people ask her β€œare they all yours.” So the name of her blog is β€œyestheyareallmine.” When people try to tease her about having so many and ask, β€œdo you know what causes it?” she replies with, β€œyes. And we’ve perfected it.” She’s awesome like that πŸ™‚

    2. Nella Olson

      We have seven children who are now 41, 39, 35, 32, 29, 27 and 20 (next week). The 2 on the ends are girls with 5 boys in the middle. Our last blessing who was planned by God, has Down Syndrome and just graduated from high school on Sunday. We used to get all those same comments, only I think they started out with Catholic, then Mormon to which I would reply, no-Baptist. Three of my boys were born in February and when I was pregnant with my 6th child, 5th boy, my doctor jokingly said he was going to hide my husband in the month of May. We love all of our children and wouldn’t change anything or anyone of them for anything.

    3. Carolyn

      Thank you for being strong in your commitment to your children and yourself. You are an awesome woman. God bless you.

  335. Sherri Fortin

    I am the youngest of 8 children, 3 boys and 4 girls..there was a 23 year age gap between me and my oldest brother. My father died when I was 3 years old and my mother, bless her heart in heaven, raised us without government assistance or help from any one else. We took care of each other and loved our huge, loud family. I remember one time a lady asked my Mom if we were Catholic, we weren’t we are Methodist, and she then said, “didn’t you ever have a headache” to which my Mother who was very spiritual and would never be so crass, replied ” oh no ma’am, I liked it…God Bless all of our large, loving families…if only everyone could be so lucky

    1. Cindy DeMoss

      Ha ha Your Mama must’ve been awesome! What a great comeback. I come from a family of 4 but I only have 2. I have made the comment before about ladies being very brave to have their little ones so close in age and also about them being outnumbered if they had all males. I will definitely try to think before I speak from now on!

  336. Molly

    It is so very difficult not to judge or be judged. I wish that we would all stop comparing ourselves to others and be thankful for what God has blessed us with, individually.
    As the mother of one son, people often ask “when will you have another one”; or “your life must be easy and relaxing with one child- I have three(+).
    I don’t know what to say.. How do I begin to share that while my son brings great joy to our family, our hopes and dreams for a larger family were dashed when I was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 years ago.
    Do I share how my heart still aches when I see mamas pushing babies in strollers while chasing their toddlers?
    No, I just reply that our son is a special gift from God and how blessed we are to be his parents. As we all feel
    about our children, no matter how many the Lord gives us.
    It is His decision, not ours. πŸ™‚

  337. Emily Swezey

    I am absolutely guilty of not understanding when people have stair-step kids. But I also don’t have any of my own and only have one sibling who is four years younger than me so I don’t any form a reference for what a large nuclear family unit is like. Honestly, I’m terrified at the idea of having kids all in a row like that, I don’t know if I could do it! My reactions and questions are NOT because I’m judging the person I’m talking to but because I really don’t understand and want to. So not everyone who doesn’t get it is closed minded about it. Some of us just haven’t had the life experience to understand the choices someone makes about having children. I personally know I would benefit from someone being honest and open with me about how many, when and why.

    1. Lydia

      And I’m pretty suspicious that your reactions and questions wouldn’t feel rude either because your heart (that of being curious and interested, not judgmental) would come through. I think those kinds of questions are okay….it’s the rude, snarky ones that I believe this author and others were referring too!

    2. jaymers

      I thought this was a really honest and valid comment. I’m with you. I usually ask people that I know (not perfect strangers), with a (I hope!) honest question that might promote some understanding for me. Simply genuinely interested, not particularly nosy, I swear! I’ve heard great responses such as, “We really wanted our children close together,” or, “This is the way that I was raised and my sister/brother and I have such a close sibling relationship,” or the earnest, “Well, we weren’t trying to have kids so close together…” HA! I can understand that some big families feel judged, but from time to time, everyone feels judged in certain company. If we can ask a sincere question in hopes of learning something, that is how people turn from ignorant to educated, right?

    3. John

      Well, Emily…As a dad of 4 – GIrl 18, boy 16, girl 11, boy 9 – I can tell you it is (imho) the richest part of life. It is fatigue, tears, laughter, pride, heartache…All of it. Everyday. For a long time. But while that sounds daunting I’m watching these amazing little people grow into big people. I’m ringside to their first tears, their humor, their dance moves! Next time you read one of those memes about living life to its fullest – think about us. We still do all of the things we used to do, only now I prefer to do them with my children and wife. I love to golf with my daughter. Teach my son my incredible jumpshot, and most of all travel with them. I now prefer a trip with my children – better one or two and me – than my friends. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. My wife is from Japan and is one of two girls. She has had to adapt to the chaos. (She is a meticulous person) Now, however, I can see how she will be the one missing the noise and ruckus when the kids leave. Our daughter is now in college and my wife misses her a lot. Well, I hope that helps. Just remember…You won’t ever be “ready” or have enough money. But you’ll get 10 fold back if you truly love them…John

  338. Carol Kendall

    I am a twin, and have 14 siblings 8 brothers and 5 sisters. Our life was not grand but god we were happy and had a happy childhood. What I loved as I got older my mother and father til their dying day was never alone. There was always someone with them, big families have a lot of advantages. Not like some poor old folk spend there latter years totally alone and vulnerable. People just assume that anyone with a certain amount of children are claiming benefits. My mother and father both worked until they retired. They had all of us because they chose to. Also my mother must of loved children as she also worked in the National Childrens home for years. Each to their own I say.

  339. Brooke

    I am a mom to 5. 3 boys 14,12,7 and 2 girls 3,1. When I was pregnant with my youngest our neighbor had the nerve to say that we kept having kids so we could get welfare( we weren’t on welfare then nor are we on it now). When you’re pregnant with your first people offer their help, they are excited and can’t wait to give you a shower, they rush to the hospital to see the baby etc. Baby two they still visit no offer of help and any baby after that is basically to them no big deal. Every pregnancy/baby is a blessing and should be treated so, I’m not saying that they should give you a shower for each baby but maybe something to celebrate the birth of a little one, why is the first one any more important than the third, fifth or six etc

  340. Corena

    We had five in nine years (3 boys, two girls) and when people would snidely ask, “Don’t you know what causes it?”, I would reply, “No! I ACCIDENTALLY had a child every two years – no family planning there!”

  341. Jasmine Bray

    I’m the oldest child of 11 children. 6 boys and 5 girls πŸ™‚ (ages: 22-2) I agree it is rather annoying when people keep asking my parents “are you going to have any more?” My siblings have varies of talents and are quite happy with their lives, they’ve learned to share, and learned if you want something you got to work for it, don’t count on someone to get it for you. Matter of fact, this article made me automatically made me think of my 2nd youngest brother who happens to be the fourth child in my family..he is the one with a high IQ. At 15, he can play Guitar, Banjo, he is also very talented in math and looks to take dual enrollment classes soon while doing homeschool work, his goal is to become a Mechanical Engineer πŸ™‚ Personally, I think it’s wrong to judge a child’s future before they are even born. There are a lot of unknowns until the child reaches a certain age. In my own opinion, “If the government don’t fund them, the kids are well cared for, and respect others..I don’t think people should make someone else feel like dirt if they have more than two kids!”

  342. Petra

    Funny enough, I’m one of those people that so many commenters here would be angry at. When I see a person with lots of children, my first thought is “Holy crap. Did you mean to have all of those kids?” My questions or comments to that effect are not born from rudeness or disrespect. It’s simply a genuine desire to know.

    Then again, I come from a family of very open Christians who TALK about EVERYTHING. When we have questions, we ask. My mother believes that we should keep few things secret, and it never even crossed my mind that asking a person about his/her children is something they would consider rude. Most people I talk to are usually pretty kind and rueful about it. Not every person who asks you about your kids is trying to ridicule or indict you.

    Not only that, many people may ask you those questions out of their own personal experience. Does it make the genuinely “negative” responses easier to bear? Perhaps not, but it makes those people easier to understand. Some people may have to deal with extremely difficult children which is HELL. If you have a large family and all of them are angels, or at least, aren’t ALWAYS in trouble, then you should be thanking God EVERY DAY.

    From my perspective, having a lot of children isn’t BAD, but it would be extremely tough, like a job you can’t ever leave. But my situation is a little different. I am 24 years old and have been taking care of four kids, recently it decreased to two, since I was 12 years old. My older sister is 8 years older and was, and still is, one of those irresponsible mothers who would endanger the kids if she looked after them. Heck, she recently lost the oldest, who’s 12 and the only girl. My mother nearly had a heart attack. Thank God my niece was found and returned safely.

    Basically, for as long as I can remember I’ve been changing diapers and sacrificing my days and nights to my niece and nephews. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE THEM. So very much, but I’m 24 now and I desperately want to live my own life. I want to go out with my friends, I want to get a JOB, I want to go to graduate school. I want to write. I want to travel. I WANT TO FIND A MATE. I WANT TO GO OUT ON A DATE (never been on ONE DATE, never had time). But I can’t. I’m practically a single parent.

    My reasons for remaining to care for the children are the same now as they were when I was 12: I simply cannot leave all these children on my mother. She did her time; she raised all four of HER children in a Godly household and is now older and ready to rest herself. It would kill her to watch all these children herself.

    When you’re in it alone with four difficult children, it’s not fun and you don’t FEEL blessed–even if you KNOW God will bless your for your service and sacrifice to him–and it’s through those eyes that you see another with a lot of children. You don’t feel joy for them, you feel sympathy for them which is what you feel for yourself, lol.

    BUT, since now I know that it offends some people, I’ll keep that in mind. I am ignorant no longer, but I would encourage you guys to develop a little tougher skin. I’m judged by several things including the kids and my weight (like one of the other commenters, I too have PCOS), but I take it all in stride because they’re curious and I understand. Not only that, my skin is tougher than their curiosity, lol.

    But God BLESS all people with families big and small who LOVE IT and truly enjoy their children. You really, really, REALLY are truly blessed beyond measure.

    P.S. In this case, my family had every right to tell my sister to tie her tubes after my last nephew (2 years old) was born. We assured her that if she didn’t do it in the hospital, we’d find her and do it ourselves. πŸ™‚

    1. thecatzpajamas

      you seem to think that because your mom says you can ask people all about their family planning, then it’s okay. well, your mom was rude. and you are rude. quit asking personal questions that aren’t any of your business. that is all.

  343. Robin

    I have one child and people are rude about that too! They ask if I am going to have more, or why only one and if my child is lonely. I actually had a baby that died so this really hits home.

    1. J

      I am a mother to one child as well. I still get strange looks and asked why only one. They say he must be lonely being the only child or that he must be spoiled.

      I was told that I could never get pregnant and our son is our miracle! We have been blessed with one child and that means the world to us. I just don’t understand why it should concern anyone or why people think they have a right to judge others for the number of children they have.

    2. Kassi

      Robin, I agree with you! Although I did not experience the loss of a child, after we had our daughter, we decided by age 4 that we were very content with just her. For the first five years of her life my husband worked shifts with some late nights. It was very hard on my to be like a “single parent” for those nights, since I’m a teacher and have full work days. Plus, although she has excelled in everything from an early age, she did not sleep through the night until age 4 and did not take long naps…kid has never ever needed a lot of sleep. Finally, I feel like I can devote just enough attention to just her. Being a wife, mom, teacher, and human, I can’t imagine spreading my time and attention out any thinner to more people. I feel blessed the way we are and enjoy every moment!

    3. Krista L. Miller

      I also have just one little girl, and she is my world. Yes, she does get lonely – to the tune of multiple imaginary brothers and sisters when she was younger. But at the same time, I feel tremendously blessed in that the mother-daughter bond between us is so much stronger than I see between most mothers and their children. I am divorced, so it means so much to me to have her, even though I would have loved to have remarried and had more children by now. I always wanted a daughter, even if I never had any more than just one kid. I have her. I know it hurts so much when people ask if there’s just the one, especially when they realize (or I tell them) that I am divorced. I suppose I could go out and sleep with a whole bunch of guys so that I could have more children, but then I’d be subject to even more shaming. There’s just no winning with people.

  344. Koryn

    Thank you for this! As a mommy of four–3 girls then a boy–you can only imagine the number of times I hear, “so you really wanted that boy, huh?”. I feel like saying “no, I really wanted a kitten but surprise!” A couple of years ago–my girls were old enough to understand–a hostess said to me in front of my kids,”wow, you finally got that boy! I was lucky, I had a boy then a girl so I could stop.” Really?????? You have for to be kidding. I felt like asking her which one I should put back. My children are amazing–smart, talented, beautiful, and well-mannered. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. As my husband and I say, the more the merrier!

  345. Kel (@MoolBoots)

    To be honest people have an opinion whatever number/genders you have. I fall in to the category of two children, one of each.

    I get the ‘ah lovely one of each, you must be happy with that?!’ Well yes I am, but I would have also been happy for ‘two the same’ or four children or one child! I will be happy if we have more and uneven the balance and I will be happy if it stays at two!

    Every child is a blessing, whether a matching set, one of each, planned or a wonderful surprise!

    I have turned it around to someone who had two boys saying how perfect I had it by having one of each, would she change one of hers?! No of course she wouldn’t!

    Congratulations to the lady with her fourth, congratulations to all!

    Great post!

  346. Charles

    I say I am raising tax payers so there will be someone to pay social security when you and I get old!!

  347. Chris

    My yours-mine-and-ours family is ten kids, and people would ask if we were a school outing when we went out. Or they would ask if they were all ours; “no, we just pick up random kids we find along the street”.

    1. Elisa Ruiz

      My husband and I have eight kids. Every one of them is a blessing. I truly feel this is the best time of my life. I get to nurture these little souls and mold them to make a difference in life. I absolutely hate when people would say “do you know what causes that” I would respond with “no can you explain”. The next one is “how do you do it” I say “the same way you do your two” I love them unconditionally and we are not on any government assistance. We live in a big home on property and all our kids play sports and some play club and all stars. I have no idea how people can be so mean, disrespectful, and rude. It’s no one’s business. I love my life and my husband and children are Incredible.

  348. Alicea C

    Thank you for sharing! It is amazing what society feels comfortable telling and sharing with others. We have five under the age of 10…3boys & 2 girls. I love hearing “your are done right” or “dont you know what causes that” or the best is when folks share with me how to prevent it. Lately, as we go out in public, i hear you are Brave or wow!

    Twelve years ago we thought we would not be able to get pregnant, miscarried and then mourned. Even with all the craziness i am thankful for each of them and their unique personalities ( as my youngest screams in the next room because i wont let him have a capri sun)! I agree with Brandy, i love the noise at home or all of the kids cheering each other on. They are a Blessing!

    1. jellybean1182

      A friend of mine has 3 (only three!). When asked if she knew what caused it she responded, “Oh, yes! and I enjoy it very much!”

  349. Jamie

    We have 3 kiddos (2 biological, 1 adopted) but are working on adopting again, and hope to have 4 soon!! My two daughters use wheelchairs, and our 3rd will too if we are able to bring her home. We get a lot of comments as it is, and am sure we will only get more!

    1. Mack

      My oldest is in a wheelchair and we decided to have two more after him (all boys by the way…). There have been rare instances with surprise at my three children – especially after the issues with the first. I find I am truly blessed though, when so many people I know tell me it would be wonderful if I had more. I’m very happy with my three (not so ;-P ) angels. Every now and then I think it would be nice to have another, but my body has shown me that we’re done – and I’m happy with that too.

      For families that choose to have many : you have wonderful strength and endless hearts! Enjoy the smiles and hugs.

      Jamie, I know what it’s like to care for a child with different needs, it’s not always easy, but it is the most rewarding. Your choice is love and happiness and for that I send you hugs! I wish you every happiness and hope your daughter comes home to you soon!

  350. Monica Curry

    Neither one of my pregnancies were ‘planned’ by my husband and I, but I wouldn’t trade my babies for the world. Children come into the world when they are meant to and just because my husband and I didn’t sit down and say, “Ok, it’s time for us to start trying to get pregnant.” doesn’t mean that we didn’t want the children when we found out that they were coming. I got pregnant the first time while on birth control and we did TRY for nearly 4 years to become pregnant again starting when our son was a year and a half. We had finally given up, but I refused to go back on the pill. It turns out that my weight had played part in my infertility, because nearly 2 years later, after losing 40+ pounds, I went in for a routine check up and found out that I was expecting again. My husband and I have decided that we don’t want anymore children and I had my tubes tied while on the table for my C-section, but that is a personal decision that only he and I could make together. The only time I really have an issue with someone having a lot of kids, is when it’s obvious that they can not care for them. I still try not to judge them, but it’s up to everyone to be responsible for your reproduction and there are far too many babies in the world born to parents who can’t or won’t care for them. That to me is the true tragedy, not people with a lot of kids.

  351. Michella Stewart

    I am the mother of 5 children. I have four boys and one amazingly rotten daughter who is ring-leader to them all. While pregnant with number four I was given so many insulting questions regarding the “why’s”, ‘how’s”, and all those other obnoxioius inquiries that are just born to make you cringe. Let me tell you though, it wasn’t anything until I had number five. When he was born I drove myself to the hospital. Father and I are no longer together, so I was on my own since my mother had my other children. I went through labor and deliver alone (with no meds). I spent 2 days in the hospital alone (except for the baby, of course), and then (after refusing to take any meds for pain to be safe) I drove myself and the new baby the mile and a half to my mothers house to introduce him to his brothers and sister. Two days later, DHS was at my door doing a welfare check. They had received a phone call from a concerned nurse. Apparently having five children and no longer being with father means that I must be abusive, neglectful, or something else despicable. The worker spent approximately 10 seconds in my home (long enough to give me a baby gift) and then left. Apparently these calls are routine. That scares me the most. People assume that large families are the result of a series of “oops” and irresponsibility. They assume that the parent(s) must be awful people with no responsibility or care for their actions. They assume that there is a pool of love available for your children, I think, and that the more children you have, the smaller the share available for each. . . It is so insulting. The absolute truth of the matter is that, single mom or no, I would adopt more! I would . . . I would be a foster mom, I would take in special-needs children, I would give my last dime and breath to make sure that no child had to feel unloved, unwanted, or not special. People don’t see that, though. They see a single mother with five children and you know what they think? “There goes a welfare statistic!”. They don’t see that I have carved a business from nothing so I could be a stay-at-home single mom. They don’t see that I raise 5, work from home, and also homeschool. They don’t see anything but the number 5. Isn’t that a shame for them? I could only hope that they knew the joy I have every time I look in each little set of eyes each morning. All different, all perfect, all ornery-drive-me-crazy, and all mine.

  352. Dixie2u

    My Daughter-in-law said it best, without emotion and matter-of-factly state ‘Didn’t ask for your opinion.’ Most people realize at that point they have crossed an invisible line of propriety.

  353. Sheila

    So glad to read your post. I have 7 children – 3 boys and 4 girls. Once at a Little League baseball game a woman impudently asked me if I “knew how that happened?” She continued for about 30 minutes, making rude comments in general about people who had large families. When I’d finally had enough, I stood up and said, “Ma’am, SOMEONE has to repopulate the gene pool to compensate for all the rude and ignorant bullies like you who are in the world.”

    I got a standing ovation from the rest of the Little League onlookers, and the woman FINALLY shut up! My kids told me later they were so proud about the way I’d handled the situation.

    It really IS important in today’s world for mothers to know that SOME people appreciate them!

  354. Kimberly

    There is a magical phrase I’ve learned, that will usually help those asking rude and nosey questions to realize their inappropriateness…”Why do you ask?”

  355. Carrie

    Whenever people ask dumb questions, I give a dumb answer. Such as, when people asked if my 1 week old infants dressed exactly alike were twins. I just said the hospital was giving away a free baby when you delivered one. And any time someone says my hands must be full, I say better full than empty. I have four daughters, and am constantly being asked if I’m going to try again for a boy. The rudest, is the people who say things like, if I had twins, I’d have to kill myself. I say, why wait?

    1. Lesa

      You could be a contributor to the comedy of stand-up comedian Bill Engvall…he does a shtick called, “Hear’s Your Sign” where he does exactly what you do. And good for you. People need to be more respectful with their words, and think before they speak.

    2. Song L.

      my son (youngest of five) read your reply and started laughing (in a good way, he loved your comment)

  356. Brandy

    I’m the proud mother of 4 very handsome healthy boys ranging in ages 14 years to 4 years old, as well as a proud (we don’t really use this word in our family but) “Step” mother of 3 beautiful girls ranging in ages 18 years to 7 years old. There are two drastic reactions when our entire family goes out to eat or somewhere all together. People either react like we are an amazing family, and they love seeing how happy, healthy, and great our large family is OR they look down on us like we are some burden to society. We both work hard, we do not ask for help with anything. There have been many rude questions such as, “are you done yet?”, “are they all yours”, “how do you afford them”, oh and my all-time favorite….”I hope you’ve taken care of not having any more”. I mean really…..what is it anyone else’s business how many children we have. If WE take care of them, if WE raise them, if WE are the ones fitting the bill…….what is it any of YOUR business?? I love our family. Growing up, it was just me and my brother, my father was an only child, and we really weren’t raised around my mother’s two brothers…so when my father passed away, I was sad that not much family was left, and over the years….I lost both sets of grandparents. It is just now me, my brother, and mother. I feel like it would have been nice to have a larger family to bound with, and have the love of many brothers and sisters.
    Out of all the people in the world, it’s my children’s lives I am worried about, they love having a large family…nothing is better than sitting around our table on any given Saturday evening playing board games…..or the fact that we all go to soccer games, and basketball games to cheer which ever child is playing on. It’s like they each have their own like cheering section. Christmas morning is great, and Easter, and birthdays. Or the fact that that when something important happens all of our children have the support of not only us but all their brothers and sisters….to either help them through it or to celebrate alongside them.
    Is it hard?? Very, times when you have the flu go through all of them, or when everyone is having a bad day…..and Mom is out numbered. But is all the good times worth the not so good ones…..100%. And even though we have 7 children (with our first grandchild on the way) would do it all over again YES…would we welcome the blessing of another YES….and if anyone doesn’t like it honestly I really don’t care. You do NOT pay our bills, feed our children, nor do you matter to us in our lives. We are proud to have such a large family, and there is no one or anything in this world to makes us feel otherwise. We have been fully blessed by the good Lord….and are very thankful for that.

    1. Kathy

      We also have a large “blended” family and all of our children are grown and have families of our own mu husband and I have 15 grandchildren and when people ask they look at us like we are nuts we are in our early fifties and the Grandbabies range from 10 to under a year. I love big families!

  357. Bonita

    I like the come back of bad questions: Excuse me do I know you and what did you just ask me??

  358. victoria

    i have 3 children of 7/8/10 2 boys and a girl im 43 would have loved 1 more but cant due to cancer treatment but i understand what this ladies saying i know a couple of large families but the english goverment subsidise them they dont work have 6 kids ive always worked payed my own way makes me cross

  359. Cindy Barnett

    Just think of the play the children have while young and the support system they have as adults. And all the help there will be when it is time to care for the parents. Optimism people!

  360. Lydia Calvin

    Im the eldest of 10. It wasn’t a blessing growing up having to be a second mother to my brothers and sisters. My whole life was about helping look after children that were not my own. I love my family but my parents got to have more children at the expense of my teen years. I was the one who missed school to care for sick children. I was the unpaid babysitter, tutor, cook, maid, dress maker. Have as many kids as YOU want by all means but don’t use your older ones to make it happen. And its not responsible to have more kids if you cant feed, clothe or house those you already have, that is stupid and selfish.

    Im 24 now, out of home, working and will never have children, Im still too busy with my siblings still, the latest being my brother who is 17 and has cancer who lives with me because its too loud and busy at home for him to rest.

    1. sylcell Post author

      I am so sorry your parents did that to you. That was very unjust of them. God bless you for being such a boon to all of your siblings! I am hoping for your brother’s cure.

  361. hurleygirl70

    I just recently had my 4th baby and while I was pregnant I did get asked quite a bit “is this your last one?” or “you do know what causes that right?” “are you gonna stop now?” they were hurtful questions because yeah my 4th is my only son and yes we were done. This was a high risk pregnancy for me, my uterine lining was thin with my 3rd daughter and the Dr told me it was going to be risky for a 4th pregnancy and wanted me to have my tubes tied then bbut I’m glad we have all 4 of our beautiful children. Our girls are 7, 5, 4 and our son is 6 weeks old. I love all my children and feel a but overwhelmed with 4 but I love them with all my heart as well as their daddy and I do feel like our family is complete.

  362. Kathryn Wilkins

    I was the second oldest (and oldest girl) of seven (7) children birthed to parents who did not have college educations. We lacked for nothing! My parents worked their bums off to provide for us and we were all raised to be caring, respectful individuals.

    With that said…I am a mom of two (2) children…one girl and one boy; we’re done having children. Not because I think it’s crazy to have a large family, but because my husband and I agreed that as parents, we felt we could only handle two and that we would pour everything we are into raising those two children into respectful, well adjusted adults in this crazy world.

    To all those moms out there that have 3, 4, 5, 6 7, or more children…you are my heroes! I have no idea how you keep your sanity, but if you could bottle that recipe up you could make millions! You are awesome and the world needs you…just as they need those of us that can only handle two. It’s not a fault or a failure, but intelligence that God gave us to know what each of us can handle!

    Moms are awesome!

  363. Abigail

    What i find fascinating is that number of children is a cultural thing. When I lived in CA and down south, being one of four was rather uncommon. We were a big family. In the midwest, four children is pretty average. (Although my mom did get asked if they were all with the same guy by a low-20-something at her job, but I think that just reflects on the state of society.) I, personally, want a large family myself when the time comes.

    However, while I am never rude enough to ask, I do wonder when a baby is planned or not, not because I’m being rude, but because I wasn’t planned, so it’s like, “Ah–HA! Plan-ruiners–unite! And then let’s find some more problems to cause.” πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

  364. Nora Peters

    I am a single mom with 6 children of which 3 are special needs. At times I AM overwhelmed. Your comment about who to eliminate reminded me of the many things people say to me. They watch me move 90 pound children or repair wheelchairs or fight school personnel or doctors or state agencies. They don’t offer to do anything though they “sympathetically” say, “You have too much on your plate trying to take care of all these children.You can’t take care of all of them.” I often want to say, “Thank you for your concern. Whom do YOU think I should eliminate?” Do people really think that if they were me they would give up a child? Each one is precious and valuable to me. On the flip side, the person who holds a door or walks a wheelchair to my van or speaks TO my children is so different than the first one. I am so grateful for the second person’s kindness as it seldom happens to us. Often I thank them through a stream of tears. The small things give me the encouragement I need to continue where I am.

  365. Tiffany (lifewithblondie)

    I have 7 children! Yes, 7!! I adopted the youngest four when a family member was unable to provide adequate care for them and CPS removed them. I wanted to keep them in the family. In the first months, I went to the doctor with all my paperwork and clumsily dug through it looking for the paperwork that entitled me to provide them with medical care. I couldn’t find the form right away, so I said “I’m not sure how I got myself into this” with a little laugh. An older man scolded me and said “I do.” He assumed I went around having babies and putting them on medicaid. At first I was humiliated, and then I was angered. Finally I looked over and said “I happen to be Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt is out parking the car right now, I was just looking for my adoption papers.” He shut up, but I still, I felt he over stepped his bounds by leaps and MILES!! It’s been 5 years, and still people seem to think I’m a leper because I have 7 kids…..

  366. Dalene Yates

    A reply to “don’t you know what causes that?” Is ” yes, and we enjoy it”

  367. Rhondi Russell Horrocks

    I love this blog, I am sitting here in Nursing school reading your blog and the comments to other gals in school, and the one male but I doubt he’s appreciating it! I thought it funny that people pull the same stuff everywhere. We’re here in the baby making capital of the world Salt Lake City, Utah, and let me just tell you all, make the babies. We could use the extra work!!!

    1. sylcell Post author

      God bless you nurses! I literally cry with gratitude for you guys whenever I’m in the hospital with my new baby. And I’m 85% sure it’s not because of all the pain meds;p

  368. Krystle

    I have 3 boys, a nearly 6 year old and two who just turned 1 year old. I get questioned often about my plans to have more, but the question is not always to suggest that I do refrain from trying to have another baby. A lot of people (it really is amazing how many) have asked me if we are going to try for a girl. When I inform them that 3 is our magic number, many ask me “why?” and some have even gone so far as to give me a speech of their reasons why we should. I feel as if I don’t need to explain why we are happy with our three and that our family is complete even without a little girl. Sure, I would have embraced having a girl, had God chosen to bless us with one.But, we are perfectly happy with the family we have.

  369. Kim

    I remember when I had my 2 girls and they were little and people would walk up and ask me so are you gonna try for a boy next. I felt just like some of the other commenter’s in here and wanted to ask…is that any of your business. My mother came from a family of 6 children. Actually 8 but 2 died in infancy and my dad also was 1 of 8 children. I was the youngest of 4 and we are all girls. I consider myself very blessed to have my girls. I also have an older daughter I adopted out and she is such a blessing too. My point here is whether you have 1 or 10 all these children are gifts from God. They are only on loan from him until he chooses. So love them with everything you have and enjoy all the time you can with them because once that time is gone you can never get it back. And yes you may struggle sometimes but remember that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

  370. Christa

    People also rudely question and criticize an only child or a couple that has no children. Maybe there are circumstances beyond the couples’ control.

  371. Sherra O.

    As a mother of four boys all within 5 years, thank you! I’m proud to have all boys. I love the perfect number four and I’m not sad I didn’t get a girl. And for anyone wondering, Yes I know what causes it! And Damn I’m good at it!!v πŸ˜‰

  372. Jennifer Rodriguez

    I had my first daughter at 16 years old, my second daughter at 24 and my third daughter at 27. So that puts my children: 23, 15 (soon to be 16) and 12 (soon to be 13). They are spaced pretty far apart, and we didn’t plan it that way…God did. At the “ripe” age of 39, we planned a pregnancy and was blessed with our son. He was born about 6 months before my 40th birthday. Yes, we “planned” our baby…you see, I had Tubal Ligation Reversal Surgery to have another child. There were no promises nor guarantees. God blessed us…and he blessed us with a son this time! Children are a blessing πŸ™‚ I get asked these questions all the time, especially about my son…who is now 8 months old. When out with all my children, people assume he is the son of one of my daughters…whom have no children! Society needs to open their eyes and minds. If you are meant to have many babies…the Lord will bless you with them!

    1. Naomi

      My mom had 5 kids in 7 years, 4 boys and myself. Then when she was 36 she had her tubal reversed, after one miscarriage and feeling like the baby that she felt called to have wouldn’t come, because she had waited too long to answer Heavenly Father’s call, well my little sister came and surprised everyone, my mom was 42. She’s 20 years younger than me, and six months older than my oldest. We get weird looks when we go out but I wouldn’t change anything. She somehow fits our family even though she’s 14.5 years younger than her closest sibling. So my little sister is the most planned out of all of us, but people think she was an oops baby. So YAY, babies πŸ™‚

  373. teirex1022@gmail.com

    I think that this is AWESOME, and so are all of you. I am 28, without any children, and have been working in schools and daycares for 10 years. People always are shcoked or i get the “realllyyy”… yes REALLY. its not that I dont want children, I always respond, when im ready God will bless me” … I used to say “ummm NOPE no kids, to young and to selfish right now.” and it was true. Up until 4 years ago when I met my now live-in man, hopefully soon-to be -engaged, I didnt want any ties. Being a triplet myself, my sister got pregnant at 18, twins, she miscarried, and then got pregnant with my now 7 years old Godson and BFF. so i saw first hand the struggle. Either way I know that God blessed me with the skills and patience to work with children.. and it filled my void of not having any… Im born to be a Mom, this I know and I will be. One day. – 1,2,3 at the same time… or 6 seperate. Whatever I get, I am very excited. Congratulations to ALL of you on your past and current preganacies, condolences for any of your losses , and great job on the children you raised. KUDOS. !!!!

  374. Alicia Cluver

    I will at times ask how many they have just asking cause I love children the more in the world the better to me. I ask there ages and stuff I love to work with children so I always wanna know what ages like what kind of things currently. I am always happy to see someone able to raise more children. I am unable to have any of my own and I wish I could so a person acting like the life of a child is so disgraceful after a certain amount is the true life that is disgraceful.

  375. Jill

    People were weird when I got pregnant with our fourth boy. I’m not sure why people feel free to comment on family size, but no one (publicly) comments on other personal affairs. When I get the “don’t you know how this happens” comment, I sometimes follow it up with, “Yes! We just can’t stop having crazy amazing sex.” We really threw people for a loop when we adopted a special needs child. We didn’t request a specific gender, but the file they sent was a little girl with spina bifida. Now people seem to be vacillating somewhere between awe and confusion when it comes to us. And NO. We didn’t adopt a girl because we had all boys. Truth is, I stand a better chance of getting one of my boys in a dress before my daughter will wear one. Live and Love. That is my motto! Well written article, I could identify!!!

  376. diane

    Wonderful article! I can so relate to this situation. We have six children, all of whom we’re thrilled to have in our family, even though two were unplanned. When I was pregnant with our fifth child, a woman at the beauty shop was incredulous that I was willingly having a fifth child, and then expressed her sympathy to me about it. I was so offended, because she obviously had no right to say a word!
    Interestingly, when I was pregnant with my sixth (I was 36), I had lots of moms (mostly my age) that would congratulate me on my sixth pregnancy, and many of these women also expressed to me their regret for not having more children, but felt it was too late now because their kids were now older and it would be too hard to start again with another baby. These moms usually had only 2 or 3 kids. It was amazing how many women actually said this to me! It made me feel very blessed that we had made the decision to have the big family that we do! It’s been hard at times to manage all of our kids, but it’s been so, so worth it. Thank you for your insights! It’s an amazing blessing to have a large family!

  377. travelingwes

    I am the happy mom of a single, who is now 13. I used to get a lot of questions about when I would have more. My response is that If I had more, they would be jealous because I already have my favorite. πŸ™‚

  378. Sarah

    I gave birth three years in a row.
    I have heard the old question” don’t you have a TV?” and had people ask me if I knew what birth control was. my reply is always, “well we have a fantastic sex life and I can’t help it if my husband can’t keep his hands off of me. it’s a burden I’m very willing to bare.”

  379. Elizabeth

    Wow, this is a topic that has been on my mind for a long time now. As a Blessed Mother of 5 Children {3 Girls and 2 Boys}, I have definitely seen {and it makes me sad} that adding more to your family {after 2-3 kids}, seems to make others very uncomfortable. They don’t see how anyone could possibly handle more than that, I guess. I have 6 siblings, and I loved growing up with lots of brothers and sisters. My wonderful husband and I will celebrate 12 years of marriage this year, and plan to have Even More Children than we have now. Luckily, we have a very supportive family {on both sides}. I had a miscarriage on my 3rd pregnancy {So I’ve really had 6}, so it made me appreciate each and every one of my Children, even more, as the MIRACLE that they are. They BLESS our lives, each and every day! But it’s sad to me that unlike my first two pregnancies, where I felt like I could tell anyone {and they’d be excited for us}; I feel like announcing it to others {sometimes}, would just take away from our joy. I wish I felt differently about this, but this is how I’ve felt lately. I feel like, to each their own, everyone should be able to make that choice, for themselves, and we all shouldn’t be so quick to judge, others choices. If they feel they should have 2 or 10+ kids, that’s up to them, and we should all just love, support and see every child as the MIRACLE and BLESSING that they are! πŸ™‚

  380. Jennifer

    I actually heard a Labour & Delivery Nurse ask a woman being discharged with number 3: “So what are you going to do to make sure that you are not back here again next year?” I couldn’t believe my ears, but she was serious.

    1. Rachel

      I think my reply to that would be “Find a hospital who’s staff respects my values.”

    2. Aditu

      Maybe another pregnancy was a risk to her life. and the nurse was concerned for her. There is usually more to the story than you know

  381. Ariel

    I just had my fifth child and am always receiving ridicule or rude questions. My husband and I aren’t rich, but my children have never wanted for anything, are well cared for, and well behaved and disciplined. And my husband and I still plan on more. I love my ever growing family more than anything, and wouldn’t trade it for a million dollars or the “easy” life of having only one or none. I’m rich in the ways that matter.

    1. Aditu

      Since when is only one the easy life. I put just as much time and effort into parenting as a person who has multiple children. I have two sons they are thirteen years apart and both of them were no easier than multiple children. In fact some times only one is harder because you are their everything until they start school. So judge not lest ye be judged. And do remember that for many that don’t have even that one it is no easier because they want at least one and go through trials and tribulations and tears and heart-ache.

      1. Dawn

        I always said one was the hardest. I was the playmate, entertainment, everything all the time. When I found out 2 & 3 were coming I didn’t know what I would do. After 3 it was no big deal. It doesn’t matter if you have 1 or 20 or anything in between. Each mom and child and family is different and can not be compared.

  382. Kristen Reichert

    Reblogged this on Not Just A Stay At Home Mom and commented:
    I completely agree with this post. As a mother of one with not much hope of having more, I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask any mother how many children she plans to have. There’s nothing wrong with 10, and there’s nothing wrong with one, as long as those kids are being raised with love.

  383. Jessica

    I have 3 year old twins and get some of the most personal questions about it. The worst one being “Are they natural?”. I never know how to respond. I am stunned that someone would actually ask. I have also been at a party in a room with my then infant twins and the lady was going on and on about how infertility treatments should be banned and that if God wanted to bless you with a baby he would naturally. Again she had no compassion for anyone in the room or their possible situation. We did have medical intervention but I don’t feel my twins are unnatural or not a gift from God. I also get the comment “you better not try for anymore you might get triplets next time”. Really? I just tell myself people are crazy and there isn’t much I can do about it.

  384. Lena

    Well then I am seriously rude. Don’t get me wrong, if your heart is set on a large family then I hope you all are blessed enough to have a large happy family. I will say though, that a person’s attitude can effect how I respond to the knowledge of their growing family. If I run into a woman who’s genuinely happy that she’s having her fourth, fifth or even sixth child then the odds of me saying congratulations are going to sky rocket! This is your family you’re talking about! Be THRILLED and I will be thrilled for you. If you respond like you have something to apologize for, I will say I’m sorry because I’m automatically picking up on a negative emotion and I want to offer you the sympathy I feel you are seeking. The very fact that people act as though they are ashamed tells me that they either did not plan for the child and/or know that there are some seriously rough times ahead. I once apologized to a woman who was on her fifth child, no contraceptives worked for her, she did not plan or want to have such a large family, and she actually thanked me for the sympathy I felt she needed! Hell, I even offered to watch her kids just to give her a little mommy alone time! Fact is, people are going to react differently and it doesn’t automatically make them rude. They may just be responding to an emotion that’s being projected.

    To those mothers out there want and having large families, I wish you health, happiness and joy for years to come. The only thing I ask is that you remember, sometimes people don’t know you consider their words to be rude. I bet, for the most part, they would apologize for offending you. I know I would be quick to apologize for words I didn’t see as offenses that were taken as such. But, hey, that’s just me I guess.

  385. Brenda KAT

    I guess I didn’t realize there was such a stigma to having more than 2-3. That being said, there were four of us and my mom often mentioned how she ultimately wanted 8! It never occurred to me that it was strange.

    Since being an adult though (and now that I think about it) my city-boy fiance and all his friends have never mentioned wanting more than 2-3. They all seem to say it’s b/c of finances. We didn’t have much growing up in a family of 4 kids, especially after the death of my sister and my father leaving, but we were happy. I think my generation is more materialistic and selfish, so that is why the thought of having more doesn’t compute. Everyone tries to keep up w/ the Jones’ and thinks they need to drive new cars, have name brand clothes and spend way too much to go out each and every week.

    I’ve already been told by my doctor that getting pregnant for me may be difficult. I’m sure after I’m married and when the baby bug bites me, I’ll get comments if it is proving difficult (since people always want to know when) but I’ve tried to mentally prepared myself. While my maternal clock isn’t on full tick yet, I am a compassionate person and can’t imagine how hard it must be for people who want children and can’t have them. I’ve also prepared myself for adoption.

    Good luck to all you large families!

  386. Reverend Father Nicholas Finley

    I remember receiving similar condolences when I told some that I was getting married almost 9 years ago. I’m still happily married. Weird world we live in. Blessings are tragedy for some, perhaps life is too unkind to them and they feel the need to spread the poison they’ve endured to those who feel no such awkwardness with life. We all desperately need healing!

  387. Darla Cook

    I have six kids. Four girls and two boys. The last being a set of twins. Last four in four years. The twins are now almost 12 and I still get comments. They ask me if we own a TV, if they are all from the same man, if we know “what’s causing that.” I just laugh it off. I know that I am truly Blessed with six healthy children. My house is crazy busy and we enjoy every minute!

    1. Melissa Rose

      I have 5 and I HATE the question of if they are all from the same father! Who cares?! Will it affect your life in some way? Or do you just need something to judge me for? I am happy with all of my children. We have a great life! My husband is very happy and supportive of all of us. Does it matter if anyone else knows all the details?

  388. Nicole

    I was 27 when I had my daughter and 33 when I had my son. I got the comments of “Why did you wait so long between kids”? my answer was always, “So I won’t have two kids in college at the same time” or “They are too far apart in age, they’ll never get along”! Can someone tell me of a brother and sister that do get along… although my daughter will pound someones head when it comes to her little brother! And my favorite was my mother telling me when I got pregnant with my son at 33, “Aren’t you a little “long in the tooth” to be having another baby?” Is that a “nice way” of telling me I’m too old or something? Geez!!

    1. Ann

      Heh. I had my one at 42. My Mom had me at 42 and my brother at 44. No drugs (thank God) in any of these. It is just the way it worked out. I will say I was at Target once and the woman behind me thought my daughter was my grand daughter. I live in the SF Bay area so having kids later in life isn’t that unusual here. I told her “uh this is my daughter”. She was like “OH! Well I had kids later in life when I was 27”. I was like, “Um, I was 42”. After that she finally shut up.

  389. N

    I have 5 boys, born within 10 years. The most hurtful things people have said are regarding their gender. I lost count of the number of times people would say things like (when showing off baby in the pram), “Ah,never mind, you can try again.” (Mind you, they only said this after our second son was born!) When I got pregnant with our 5th my own mum’s congratulatory words were, “Oh no, I thought you would have got sterilised after the last one.”. Yeah, congrats.

    I LOVE having 5 boys. We weren’t trying to have a girl, (does that involve concentrating really hard or something?) we had 3, then decided we’d like another, then had more love for another. So many people think it’s OK to come out and ask, “ah, did you really want a girl?” and often in front of the boys.

    I do sometimes feel judged by people (mostly it comes out in “humour”) and constantly have to smile politely while fending off the old “You know how this keeps happening, right?” My true friends were really and truly pleased for us every time. My true and supportive friends know that LOVE doesn’t run out or get divided up. Each and every one is special and different and I love them all.

    1. Amber

      I have four boys and am pregnant with our 5th child. I’m not going to find out the gender before birth for this very reason. I get so tired of people’s inconsiderate comments. “Oh another boy? That’s too bad.” Thanks. I will be thrilled, boy or girl!

    2. Super Ima

      Thank you!! I am expecting our third son and get a LOT of ‘were you hoping for a girl!’ What strangers who don’t know our family story are missing is that we HAD a girl between our boys, but we lost her at 25 weeks pregnant.
      Did I want a girl this time? Sure! I didn’t get to keep my last daughter.
      Am I disappointed? NO!! My boys are amazing and will be wonderful men.
      Blessed with healthy children and easy pregnancies. Happy with my lot πŸ™‚

  390. Lisa

    My husband and I only have one child, a boy who is about to turn 11 and we have no plans to have any more. While I won’t go into detail as to why I will tell you we are often asked why we didn’t/aren’t having any more or told we should have another so our son isn’t an only child. Bottom line is that it is not anyone’s decision or business but your own if you decide to have 1 or 13 children. I just don’t understand why people think it is appropriate to insert themselves into such a personal choice!!

    1. Bre

      Good for you. I agree completely. Something I have never done but encouraged to say to people who ask personal questions is “and How does that concern you?” Maybe one day I will say it. I am a Christian too but it’s ridiculous how strangers think they can judge you whenever they feel like it.

  391. Lisa

    I completely agree, I’ve had 6 children, four girls and two boys, one girl died from SIDS at 4 months, she was my fourth and people automatically assumed I had two more because I wanted another girl to replace her, no child could replace her and yes my last child was a girl but each one was planned because I love children.
    I’ve had the usual remarks ‘didn’t you have a TV’ and ‘ you must be mad’. Yes we have a TV and no we’re not mad but quite honestly after three one more doesn’t make a difference to how much work is involved.
    Each of my children is unique and loved for who they are.
    My biggest regret is not having more, now I’m content to be a nan to 10 grandchildren, nine of them girls, yes it would be nice to have another grandson but if the next ones a girl she will loved as much as the others.
    Large families are great, lots of fun and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

    1. Bre

      I am so sorry for your loss. Our kids are grown now but they had a kindergarten teacher who actually called one day to tell me each of our three kids were so different. I was furious. Because my parents (most Mother) compared me to an older sister and younger brother, I never felt I was good enough and quit trying in school. I told her they were not little Garrett robots but they are individuals and I expect them to be treated as individuals. I better not ever hear of you comparing them. I hung up and called the principal and she was shocked she would say such a thing.

  392. Jayde

    I am currently pregnant with numbers 6 & 7. No they weren’t planned, I am just, apparently, immune to every birth control available. It doesn’t mean we will love them less!

    1. sylcell Post author

      Yay twins! And welcome to the fertile against all odds club. As far as shortcomings go, I guess this one isn’t so bad;)

      1. Brittany

        Congrats!!! I am lucky enough that birth control works, because I am fertile enough that the only 2 times I have not used any form of birth control, I ended up with my 6 year old girl and 3 year old boy. πŸ™‚ So, we HAVE to plan on any more, or I would have 10 kids by the time I am 30 (I am 23) πŸ™‚ not that there is anything wrong with that, I would love to have 10 kids (the hubs, not so much), but I would like to finish school first πŸ™‚

    2. Brandi

      Congrats, I’ve always wanted twins and just wasn’t blessed with them, I have four amazing children that I was blessed with.

    3. Kristina Baird

      I am currently pregnant with baby number 7. And I am also immune to birth control. I am excited and yet nervous. Which I know is normal. Congrats on your new additions.

  393. Julie Stone

    After years of being annoyed and frustrated by strangers asking inappropriate questions I have finally come up with a way to put the negative energy back on them instead of me. I now respond to ANYONE who asks me a question that I feel is too personal with “how will the answer to that question affect your life? If it won’t, then you shouldn’t be asking me that question.” It’s a little abrupt, but I now leave those situation without feeling angered or upset by someone who doesn’t care or realize how their questions affect my feelings.

    1. Angela Brown

      I’m passed the birthing stage but I really like your “come back” remark. I have even a simpler one for you that I use when asked an inappropriate question: “Why do you want to know?”.

  394. Nancy

    Thank you for writing about something like this! Each child is a gift, and you can’t pick & choose them! My dad is one of 8. When his mother was asked by her mother when she was going to stop, his mom replied, “well which one would you like for me to put back?” I am a mom of 3; each was a surprise-in the total sense that no matter what “planning” I did, God decides. πŸ™‚ Enjoy your little ones! πŸ™‚

  395. Amanda

    Ive got an older step-sister who has seven children. Only three of them are actually hers (9 and 8 year old girls and a 4 year old boy), the other four are her niece and nephews (13, 10, and 3 year old boys and a 4 year old girl). The birth parents were not such good people, always in trouble in one way or another, and she and her husband stepped up to be the parents that those kids never had. They legally adopted the kids, and I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen them happier. They have it hard sometimes, but friends and family have all stepped in to help when needed.

    I couldn’t be prouder of my sister. Even though she already had three of her own, she took on four more children because they needed someone and she loved them. Personally I think that that would be harder to deal with than actully having 7 children of your own.

    1. ErinAnn

      Legally adopted = they are all hers.

      What good people to open their home and hearts to kids in need.

    2. Angela

      Please be careful in saying that “only 3 of them are actually hers”… I am an adoptive parent, and I love my daughter more than life itself. I find it hurtful when people feel the need to clarify that I didn’t give birth to her, implying that she isn’t my daughter as much as she would be if I were her birthmom. She IS my daughter, and I AM her mom. I’m not trying to be rude, I just want you to be aware that some people are sensitive to this.

  396. Lisa

    You guys should count yourselves lucky to be asked those questions. Those of us who are having a hard time even having 1 child would LOVE to be asked those questions.

    Especially since I am 1 of 5 children and I would love to have my own big family.

    1. Amanda

      You’re way off base, here. No one is “lucky” to have inappropriate comments thrown at them.

      It took us four years to have our first child. I wasn’t happy to have the “why don’t you have any kids yet?” comments and, now that we’re on number four, I’m not happy to have the “You know what causes that don’t you?”

    2. jennifer

      I completely agree! I get asked by people a just met when I will start having children. I don’t but I want to scream at them IT IS NOT THAT EASY. However these questions are really the same whether you have children or not, none of their business!

  397. Summer

    I’m the 5th of 16. 8 boys and 8 girls. And I dream of a big family one day. I’ll take one at a time and enjoy the blessings!

  398. MonicaC

    Sorry, I can’t empathize. I had five two years apart, and the most anyone said to me was, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full.” Of course, I AM over six feet and over two hundred pounds, and I’ve never heard many snide comments at all, at least to my face. My mother did once call my sister and left, “Did you know Monica’s pregnant AGAIN!” on the answering machine before she slammed down the phone. And now she complains that I never bring them to see her. Pfft.

  399. goddessofmintaka

    I remember going to the grocery store with my mother and 3-4 of my siblings. The Cashier’s favorite question was, “Are these ALL yours?”
    Typically, my mother would reply with something along the lines of, “Oh, no, these aren’t all. I’ve got 6 more at home.”
    I am the fifth of 12 children. My mother was the oldest of 8, and my dad was also the fifth of 12. I am not married, but with my situation, people often ask if I want that many kids. I usually reply, “I’ll take as many children as the good Lord sees fit to give me.”

    1. Bre

      Wonderful. We have three children and the youngest two are married with kids. Our oldest traveled for several years as a song wri