What's the big deal about Young Living

The Things People Say

My friend, Melissa, called me today to tell me about a comment she received from a stranger while shopping with her 4 small children at Walmart.

An older gentleman (?) asked if they were all her children, and when she responded that they were, he replied, "You have my pity. I feel so sorry for you."

Of course, she was shocked that someone, a complete stranger, would be so rude as to pity her for cherished blessings!

I told her to buckle up, because she is bound to hear more of those kinds of comments when she is out and about with her children.

Almost every time I am in public with all my children I get remarks about my family size. Sometimes people comment on their good behavior or how helpful the big kids are with the little ones.

But then there are those comments that make you wonder what in the world possesses someone to be so rude to a stranger.

Here are some of the things I have heard from grocery store cashiers, customers, or random people in public.

  • I would slit my wrists.
  • Are you going to get your tubes tied?
  • Better you than me.
  • I hated every day at home in my large family.
  • WHY do you have so many children?!
  • When are you going to stop?
  • I feel sorry for your son.
  • Don't you know what causes that?
  • That's what puppies are for.
  • Do they all have the same daddy?
  • I hope you are done!

I usually succeed in letting the rudeness roll off my back, but I have been known to say something sarcastic in return. (I know. SHOCKING!)

"We're just trying to outnumber the idiots," or "We keep saying we'll stop when we get an ugly one, but it hasn't happened yet," are my favorites snarky responses.

And every time someone says, "Better you than me," I say, "I couldn't agree more."

I do add, "Each one is a blessing," "We don't regret having a single one," before I turn to go, and so far I have refrained from asking whether their mothers ever taught them any manners.

Because of these experiences, I appreciate more than ever the support and positive comments I hear from people about our large family and I always make sure to encourage parents I run into who have their own large crew.

What have been your experiences with comments about your family size?

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  1. Jennifer says:

    With 5 kids under 6 I do hear some of the above comments, but not often(yet) for which I am thankful. People are mostly just really amazed. My favorites are the elderly ladies and gents whose eyes light up with the memory of their young children as they share encouraging words about how worth it it ALL is or how they wish they would have had a larger family or how they wish more “parents these days” would embrace larger families. I always try to take the time to ask more about their story and thank them for their encouragement! My favorite lady of all was an Amish Grandmother who had 10 kids and 50 grandkids -she was out shopping with a daughter for their family Christmas gathering -love it!

  2. In general, I get very positive comments about my six children. However, recently I was at the grocery store and an older lady was admiring my youngest, who is ridiculously cute. Then she noticed all of the other children and said “I hope you’re done!”with a snarky tone…failing to notice that I was 39 weeks pregnant!

    • Ooh, that’s my favorite! Back when we only had 3 and I was expecting my fourth, my husband took our only car to work with him, so I took the three toddlers (ages 3, 2 and 1) on the bus with me for my pre-natal appointments. They would often fall asleep on the way home and need to be awakened to get off the bus, which, thankfully, stopped right across the street from our house. I guess the bus driver couldn’t tell I was very pregnant since it was winter and I was all bundled up and holding one or more children — but he said, “You aren’t going to have any *more,* are you?” I just smiled and said, “maybe” and he shook his head at me and let me off the bus at our stop. (I have 10 now, so yes, i did have *more*!)

  3. I only have three and I get comments about my “large” family. HA! Yet, people I know with two often are asked if they are going to have more. I wonder why there is no filter on people’s brains when they start asking random strangers about reproduction.

  4. I have one little girl with three older brothers. The one I hear the most: “THREE brothers?? Boy, will she be mean!” to which I reply …”no, but she’ll know how men are supposed to treat her!”
    The worst part about their comments is that the children hear them! I’ll have to remember your “outnumber the idiots” one!

    • I just have to tell you that my mom is the only girl and youngest of 6, and I am the only girl with 3 brothers, and neither of us is mean, we can stand up for ourselves and not be foot mats to anyone, but mostly we are ridiculously spoiled, something our husbands continued:D
      But most of all we learned to love and respect MEN, not as something to endure to have babies, but for all their wonderful attributes and the very fact that yes they are different from us, isn’t that wonderful!

  5. I love your responses. I have 4 children with 19yrs between oldest and youngest . When I used to take them all out together people thought that the younger kids belonged to my daughter and always made rude comments about her being such a young mother and me being the grandma having to take care of them. I think the worst comment I ever got came from my mother in law when I was pregnant with #3. She wanted to know why my husband (her son) hadn’t gotten a vasectomy because “it was good enough for his father and uncle”. It probably irritated me most because she’s supposed to be family.

  6. We, too, have heard “are they all yours”, “you’ve got your hands full”, and just recently, a very young, frazzled mom, with 3 of her own asked if they all had the same dad and if I was still with him, and looked about to faint of shock when I said yes.
    I see my children as blessings, individual and complete. They have brought more to my life than I could ever have imagined.
    God bless you and your lovely family.

  7. Melinda Franklin says:

    I get irritated by the “you have your hands full” comment, and I have 3 with one on the way. I can only imagine how I would feel with those comments, I don’t think I have heard any of them yet. Wait, I do get the “I hope your going to be done” from alot of family members, especially from those that have only had one child. That kinda hurts my feelings because it comes from family members. It was no big secret when we got married that we said we wanted to have at least 4 kids.

    • Mama Mirage says:

      When I get the hands full one I respond with, “Oh yes! My heart too!” and then look adoringly at my children. I’ve never had this response not turn the commenter’s countenence from snide to open and smiling immediately. But then I do only have 4. Might not be so easy to get them to sing a different tune if I had (or will have- God willing) more.

      • I love your reply to “your hands are full”comments – will be using that! I only have two but they are 16 months apart and since the younger one is big, they look even closer. I get the “hands full” comment all the time and it’s getting old. :) I am constantly amazed by people who feel free to comment on such personal matters. When I was single (until age 32) it was “when are you going to get married” – then when I married, it IMMEDIATELY switched to “when are you going to have kids.” Some people just feel they need to fill the air with words and don’t really think that all of this is a very personal matter.

    • I don’t necessarily think that someone is trying to be rude with the “full hands” comment. I’ve said it out of admiration for how well someone is negotiating four small boys. I have one and have my “hands full.”

      • I do have to add that when I see parents with more than a couple of kids, I make a habit of commenting on how many little blessings they have. That always gets a smile.

  8. Tammy H. says:

    Oh, WOW! I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone say anything directly rude to me. My mom has heard, “Don’t they know what causes that?” from family when she announced our… GASP…. 4th pregnancy! Her response was that God is the One who opened our womb.

    I usually hear, “You have your hands full!” I just smile and say, “Yep! Full of good stuff!” I heard that from a mommy friend on-line – maybe you? =)

    You and your BIG family are a HUGE blessing to me. At this point, I’m a tired pregnant mommy (#5 is due early Dec.) who is so thankful for a short summer break, and my house is starting to get a bit more of my attention. BUT this tired season won’t last, and while I do my best to enjoy them while they are little, they won’t remain my little bunch under the age of 6 forever, and delegation will happen more and more. I try not to “look forward” to them being able to take on more chores as I want to enjoy them NOW, so on the back burner I keep the thought of all of us working together as a family, and it makes this tired time easier.

    I can’t imagine having refused any one of our 5 blessings from God, or imagine that we could have prevented their existence. I love them ALL! Thank you, God, for your blessings, and faithfulness to provide!

  9. I have an older child and a set of triplets and yes, I have heard so MANY negative comments about my children!! Since my kids are usually around, I just smile at the jerk/idiot and say, “I wasn’t suppose to have any children. I guess this was God’s way of making it up to me” And if I could have, I would have had another one after my triplets!

  10. Michelle Bonneau says:

    I can not imagine having someone say something as awful as I would slit my wrists :O! I appreciate this post so much we are only on our third but constantly here even from our own family well I bet your getting your tubes tied arnt you and omg are you done yet. I am so grateful for blogs like yours who help me get over the pain πŸ˜€ .

  11. I only have the 2 girls but my youngest – 13 – is now 6’2″. She’s beautiful. Barbie beautiful. But I mentioned at my book club the other night how tall she is, and one of the women leaned over and said, “Oh, I am so sorry.” As if she had cancer. Everyday since then I’ve prayed for control over my tongue. I don’t want to say anything so insensitive or stupid ever.

    • Mama Mirage says:

      Well *I’M* sorry someone was so shallow as to ASSume YOU so shallow that you’d be devastated that your daughter is taller than some preconceived idea of “perfect” height. Speaks volumes for our current culture, doesn’t it? :( But then again maybe she wasn’t – maybe she was thinking of how the current culture must make your daughter feel bad about her height which would naturally break your heart if your daughter was feeling self-concious. Maybe the woman assumed that being unusually tall brought your daughter trials in the form of unthinking or purposely nasty comments about it and her comment about being sorry was regarding the heartbreak she or you or both must have over nasty shallow people making comments. My dad is 5’4″ tall and he is terribly self-concious and vociferously hates his lack of height. My mom died last September and my dad thinks that nobody else would marry him because he’s short. He once said to me that there’s nothing in this world sadder than a short man or a tall woman. I was probably 12 at the time and was totally confused as to why a person’s stature would be the last call on whether they were happy or not. I guess in reality it’s not the height itself but the thoughtless comments that chip away at the person inside.

      • tell him he’s wrong! I’ve seen tall ladies happy with much shorter men, and this is random but I happen to think shorter men AND women are better looking, personally. I cried when I passed up 5’2″ (I’m 5’8″)

    • My niece is 6ft7. She wears heels. Embracing yourself the way you are is a beautiful thing!

  12. The rudest one I ever heard was, “It’s TIME TO STOP!” We had five at the time and I was newly pregnant with #6. This came from a church member. I just smiled and said, “Nooooo, not yet!”

    Well, I just saw her a few days ago at a VBS (we no longer attend the same church). She asked what number this was. When I told her 10, she genuinely said she was happy for me! I thought that was such a praise! God has softened her heart!

    Thankfully, we rarely hear rude comments. We mostly receive nice/encouraging ones about our children. And I especially love sweet comments from the elderly, as Jennifer said above.

    “I would slit my wrists” takes the cake! Wow!

  13. My daughter and son-in-law have 4. He was born with kidney problems and was on dialysis and disability for several years before his transplant. He didn’t look unhealthy or appear to be ill. Because of that, and I’m sure because he’s black, a lot of people just assumed he was lazy and living on welfare. When they had their 3rd a lady AT THEIR CHURCH told them they had “no business having another one”. They were stunned but I told them if I had been there I would have told her “I’m so sorry we offended you. We’ll take him home and kill him!” It hurts me to even type that 8 years later, but sometimes you’ve gotta be outrageous when dealing with sanctimonious idiots. God bless you all!

    • Mama Mirage says:

      The only “no business” I see here is the person who has NO BUSINESS telling a couple how many kids they can and cannot have. Birth control Nazi’s…

  14. I love telling people that we are just trying to take over the world!

    But in fact, we are aren’t we?

    A Christian heritage and legacy is the most important thing we leave behind…and what better way than through our children:)

    • Mama Mirage says:

      I think sometimes that loving families raising up a Godly next generation is the only hope left for this world. Seems we’re going down the toilet so fast my head is spinning. :(

  15. I think the rudest I have heard is “How many do you have?” I replied, ” 3″ and got the lovely response of “That’s 4 too many.” I was blown away. This old lady was the most charming I’ve met in my life.

  16. Hahaha, oops. Sorry! Typo! “Thats 2 too many.” And I guess thats what I get for texting, talking, and typing.

    • Mama Mirage says:

      I just got a similar one a couple weeks ago only the commenter was too much of a coward to say it to my face, just whispered it loudly to the cashier in Dollar Tree as I walked by.

      • Kimberly says:

        A few years ago my husband and I heard that very statement from a professional person who really should have just kept his yapper shut. My husband let him know it, in a polite, but firm way. I was like, “go honey!!”.

  17. kym johnson says:

    Wow! How rude! 4 of our 6 kids still live with us and I get stuff like that when we go out. I’m going to have to use the ” we will stop if we get an ugly one! ” next time! My son has 7 sisters between families and I don’t feel sorry for him, he will know how to treat all women when he gets older. Sadly we just lost baby #7, so I may need some snarky remarks when we tell folks we may not be done yet! I have also asked people why they would say something so rude and laughed at their embarrassed stammering!

  18. I only have 3 kids but their age span is what gets us. They are 14, 12, and 3.5. (Now I’d have 2 or 3 more in between, and a younger one too, if my husband and I saw eye to eye but that’s another story.) I’m amazed at how many people have the nerve to ask if they all have the same dad. I realize it’s likely in this day in age but the fact that they actually ask that in front of the children bugs me. Yes they all have the same dad! It just took him 8 years to realize that yes, another child would be another blessing!

  19. I’m the oldest of nine, (and my mom homeschooled us!) and growing up we heard it all:

    Are they all yours?
    Don’t you know what causes that? (to which my mom would say, “Yes, and we enjoy it very much” )
    How can you stand it?
    I’d kill myself.
    I’d go crazy.
    You sure have your hands full.
    I can’t even imagine.
    …. and so many more.

    The most creative reward goes to the guy who, as we were filing through a restaurant to be seated, started calling out the names of the Walton kids.

    The most rude goes to every mother (this happened repeatedly) who said “I can’t stand the (2, etc) I have”, while standing WITH her children. I always felt so sorry for those children whose mothers saw them as a burden rather than a blessing.

    There are 19 1/2 years between myself and my youngest sibling. Growing up with such a brood taught me selflessness, to be caring and considerate of others, and so many lessons that can only be learned by doing. I love my siblings and wouldn’t trade the experience for the world! All four of my sisters hope to have large families too. I think that is the greatest testimony of my mother’s excellence in raising us that we all love each other and desire big families.

    • Mama Mirage says:

      About the ones who can’t stand their own kids… that made me cry! :(

    • Melissa says:

      Now THAT is truly encouragment!! Hearing your positive testimony about your big family upbringing is worth a life time of “you’ve got your hands full” ‘s.


    • “Yes, and we enjoy it very much!”

      That’s one to remember. :)

  20. I think my favorite story is the time a man actually stopped his truck outside the grocery store–which was going way, way too fast through the parking lot, so maybe God put us there to keep him from running over some old lady–so he could shout at me: HEY, LADY! LOOKS LIKE YOU GOT YER HANDS FULL!

    Yes, sir. That’s very original. I seriously wondered how he was intelligent enough to enough money to buy such a nice truck. Must have been borrowed.

    I do have a couple of stock answers. My favorite (if I know the person saying that about my kids has kids of their own) is just to ask why/if they don’t like their own kids. Obviously, there’s something wrong if they think I should feel that way about mine, right? One particularly rude man called my husband an idiot right in front of me and our children “Slow learner, huh?” Since he was talking to my husband, I did NOT commence to slap him repeatedly about the head with my gigantic diaper bag. I did daydream about it, though. We still have the concept of fightin’ words in NC. πŸ˜‰ My hubby handled it well, saying that he loves his wife and kids.

    Then there was the old man who asked me “Doesn’t your husband know how to prevent this?” And I whipped out my cell phone and offered to call Jesse and let the gentleman explain it to him. Oh, the look on that man’s wife’s face! Priceless!

    Mostly, though, people are kind to us. When I meet rude people, I try to be nice and pray for them. Sometimes I even succeed.

  21. I went to the mall last week for the first time with my 4 children. I was shocked at the looks. They ranged from admiration to pure horror. I was very upset when I got home. I definitely have to grow some thicker skin!

    My rudest comments have come from my church…. one lady rolled her eyes and with a hateful tone said “Too many kids.” I just looked at her and said “It’s all good.”

    My neighbors are appalled that I have 4 kids. He has gone as far as to call me to confirm we are done having children. They have 2 grown children that have little contact with them…. the children’s choice.

  22. When pregnant with our fourth, a girl after 3 boys, we got the comment that she’ll be a “rose among thorns.” I very bluntly told people that my sons are not thorns, thankyouverymuch. We’d been planning to name her Rosalie so that comment really bothered me. She is definitely a Rosalie and I haven’t gotten any more comments about my sons being the thorns.

    When asked “do you know what causes that?” I reply with, “yes but please don’t tell my husband!” or if I’m in a particularly sassy mood, “yes and I’m really good at it.”

  23. This post so made me laugh as I have heard every one of those comments and more. I have 7 kids ages 9 and under, including 2 sets of identical twins. One day I want to write a book about the things people say! I try to let the rude comments slide but sometimes I do reply in a way that makes the person think about what they are saying. Every child is a gift from the Lord, and I celebrate that. You have a beautiful family. God has blessed you.

  24. We live in a small area, where our large family is more accepted, so we’ve only ever run into one negative remark “Don’t you know the world is overpopulated as it is?” but we have gotten a few rude looks. We get so many wonderful compliments/comments everywhere we go.

    Yesterday I posted on my Facebook page “The kids and I made a trip to the Salvo to try to find fairies for their garden. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any luck. Afterward, I was loading the kids into the van when a truck pulled up beside us and a gentleman says, “Hey, little mama, you have some wonderfully behaved kids there. Take this and treat them to something nice.” He gave them $20. Then they dragged me all over Walmart looking for treasures to spend it on. I love these kids!”

    This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. We’ve received money, notes, gift cards, etc. So many people stop and tell us how wonderfully behaved our children are or how great a family they think we are. I think many are surprised to see a mom shopping alone with seven kids and having them all be helpful and well-behaved.

  25. Amy Dorr says:

    I have 5 kids- ages 18, 14, 12, 2 & 1. I don’t get many comments, I think due to the vast age differences. However I do get awkward comments from people who think my 18 year old son and I are a “young couple”…Those people make me laugh. I also get comments when I am alone in public with the babies from people who assume I am a new mom–that makes me laugh also!! I take people’s comments with a grain of salt. I feel bad for those who have negative things to say about families with many children–they must be really sad people inside :(

    • I have seven children ranging from 22 to 2mo. My oldest is a girl and then six boys. When my dd and her baby are out shopping with us I always make a point to say to her, “Would you please tell your father …” or, “Your father is over there …” I swear people think we are sister wives or something.

      And I’ve never had anyone say anything, but I’m pretty sure a few people have suspected that me and my 20yo son were a couple. Ewww.

      I giggle when people mistake me for a new mom, also!

  26. “You have 2 girls and a boy – don’t have ANY MORE! I was from a family of 12 and I HATED IT. HATED IT. I had to work too hard.” – from a random stranger at a grocery store.

    • Mama Mirage says:

      I’d be half tempted to say, “So *I* shouldn’t have any more much loved, taken care of, and wanted children because some random stranger in the grocery store was a lazy child who hated her large family. Okiedokie then…”

  27. My hubs and I added, “Well, if we’re going to take over the world, we need our own army!”

    btw, I LOVE your, “We’ll stop when we get an ugly one.” THAT is a GREAT one!! I’m going to have to remember that one. We get all kinds of comments when out with our 7. I personally like to watch the people count them as we walk past and then they count again as if they weren’t sure they counted right!

    • The problem with “we’ll stop when we get an ugly one” is that some day your kids might tell your youngest that s/he was “the ugly one”! Otherwise it’s a great line.

  28. I just can’t believe some of the things that people say out loud. I know of women my age who are financially responsible and perfectly capable of raising children who get criticized by complete strangers for being too young to have children. I find it odd that the perception of what is normal has changed so much in only a generation.

  29. I think we have heard just about all of them. ‘Don’t you have a TV?’ One time some one asked my husband if he was going to get fixed and with a twinkle in his eye he said, “Clearly nothing is broken.”

    I remember after having our 5th my eldest looking at me in the grocery store and saying Momma why does everyone keep telling you your hands are full your just pushing the cart.

    We homeschool to and one of the things that makes me saddest is when I hear Christian Moms saying, I can’t wait for Monday to send them back to school or I am going to go crazy this summer. I don’t think I am any better than someone who sends their children to school but it breaks my heart to hear people of faith talking about their children that way especially when the child is right there. I can handle all the crazy remarks about my family size but it rips at my heart to hear people go on about how their child is such a burden and they can’t wait to be rid of them.

    I love having my children home sure there are days when I am thankful they are all in bed and I can put my feet up but I wouldn’t trade them for anything. So I apologise that I went off on a rant. πŸ˜›

  30. Thanks for writing on this! It is a encouragement for me to hear I am not the only one who gets the rude comments! 8)

  31. We adopted transracially in our late 40’s and another in our early 50’s. Our other children were grown. Yes, we get a lot of comments:-) Some are positive, but some are just plain rude and ridiculous!

  32. What bothers me most is when the comments come from family. My In-Laws have said just about all of these comments to us and more..including, we will pay for you to be fixed (to my husband)!
    They are very negative when finding out about another pregnancy, so at the moment we are expecting our 8th blessing and have decided not to tell them.
    We haven’t decided when we will share the news as they bring so much negativity into our lives. Thankfully they live 1200 miles away!

  33. What I find funny is people thinking it is their choice one way or the other when it is YOUR family… I am a mommy of two girls. And we always get “So are you going to try for your boy?” as if us only having girls means we are missing something. My husband always replies with “I don’t know what will happen, but if we have another I would just as soon it be a girl. Daddy’s girls are the best”.

  34. So far we just have a 2 y.o. boy and are expecting a girl in October. I was taken aback when I was told “Oh, that’s nice, now you don’t have anything else to try for!” Wish I’d had a good response for that one, any ideas??? :)

    • Mama Mirage says:

      I always wonder why 1 of each is supposedly “complete.” Here I thought regardless of gender there are infinite possibilities for personalities of Divinely Created individuals that can enrich a family and society by their diversity. I wasn’t aware that there are only 2 types of humans: male and female. *eyeroll*

    • Yes! I would love a response that would work. My in-laws were just sure that we would stop after having a boy and a girl. After all, his uncle only had a boy and a girl and his brother only had a boy and a girl- so we probably would too.

      I have a 5 MO baby girl, now and I’m not sure I’m done. Why would I just want one matched set?

    • How about brothers and sisters? I had a friend who had 5 boys and “finally” had a girl, and everyone assumed now she was done, but she would always say, “Oh no, we’re not done! She needs a sister!” :)

  35. I am very sad to say I have received those comments since I was pregnant with my 2nd child. My first and second are only 17 months apart. We have not planned any of our children, but Gods has :) I heard many many “you must be done” (we currently have 1 boy and 1 girl). Now since we found out that #3 is on his/her way we are getting a lot more “do you know what causes that?”, “is this it?”, “you must have a lot of patience”, and “bless your heart” (we live in the south). I am saddened by how many people see children as a burden. I love my babies and I hope to have more :)

  36. I have 4 and one on the way…I haven’t had strangers say anything rude but family. “You know what causes that right?” which we reply “Yes, God” But the rudest from family members…after my 6th miscarriage 2 people in my family said “I think somebody is trying to tell you something.” I wanted to ask who the “somebody was” and “what exactly they were trying to tell me”. But I chose to keep my mouth shut and prayed for them. There is a good book, which I need to read again…called the “Bait of Satan.” It teaches christians how to become unoffendable. That is my goal to let the comments they say roll off my back and not become offended (which I am easily offended). What we are doing (having more than 2 children) does not seem right to the world…and that is too bad for them…they are missing out.

    • Mama Mirage says:

      That makes me sad when people say that to moms who have miscarried after having a few kids. I miscarried my second pregnancy and nobody had anything to say about it or when I got pregnant again afterward. (Okay I take that back… with it being my third pregnancy in two years there was a teasing “you know what causes that, right?” from an aunt.) If it was a first time mom who had 2 or 3 or 7 miscarriages people would be sympathetic and encourage seeing a fertility doctor or at least refrain from saying something nasty (in most cases anyway). But as soon as you’ve already had 2 kids then a miscarriage suddenly takes on a new meaning?! I always want to say you can’t have it both ways, folks! Either the first time mom who has a miscarriage is meant to never hold a single child because a miscarriage means “stop having kids” OR the mom who has 7 or 8 kids already and then miscarries isn’t getting a “message from God” either.

      • harmonyl says:

        I had two miscarriages before my daughter was born, and people said some really crazy things to me: “The baby was probably deformed; you wouldn’t have wanted it anyway” or “It’s a good thing you miscarried, since you’ve only been married a short time” or “It’s best to wait until you’re financially stable, so just think of it as a blessing.” And all of those were from *church* people!!

        • Mama Mirage says:

          Oh yes I got that kind of comments too (so sorry btw- they hurt! *hugs*), but I was meaning no one had anything to say about their opinion of God sending me a message about my family size via dead children. I think I’d have lost it and clawed someones eyes out if they said such a horrible thing to me. The time someone said my miscarriage was “God’s will” was close enough and I cried many tears over the wrongness of such a sentiment!

  37. When my MIL told one of her aquaintances that my husband and I were expecting number 5 she replied, “are they religious or something? ” I really wanted to give her the definition of religious and make it clear that yes, apparently, there are some things we do very religiously. :)

  38. Melinda says:

    My husband is not shy about telling people he meets at the workplace, etc. that he has 5 kids, age 8 and under…which is usually responded to negatively, to which he likes to reply, “you haven’t seen my wife, have you??” Now I think that is one of the sweetest compliments my husband can give me. :)

    • Mama Mirage says:

      Aww that is the best! πŸ˜€

    • I love that! What a great man, Melinda! At one place my husband worked all the guys would text porn around, and my husband would refuse to get it, so they gave him a really hard time. So for the Christmas party I decided to pull a major Queen Esther on them and got myself extra gorgeous-lookin. Those guys gave him LOTS of comments on how beautiful his wife was AND never gave him a hard time about not viewing porn again. Score!!

  39. Eva Rector says:

    I came out of a Wal-Mart restroom with my 4-they were 12, 8, 2 1/2 and newborn at the time-and an older woman standing outside looked at us and said “MY GOD!” in a tone of voice that actually shocked me. I can laugh about it now, but I was seriously ready to smack her at the time.

  40. I have 3 kids – 4, 2, and 1 year old. A few months ago, a older man stopped me in Meijer, counted my children, put his hands on my shoulders, and told me, “It’s time to STOP!” (This was on a day when my children were exceptionally well behaved, too…) I was too astonished to answer, so I just walked away.

    The next day, my husband and I were in Old Navy with all three children. The lady standing in the checkout line behind us asked me, “Is your baby’s name Quits?” I said, “Excuse me?!” She said, “As in you’re calling it quits? Don’t you think you have enough kids?” I smiled at her and said, “No, her name is Jensyn, and she is a BLESSING from the Lord!”

    Some people should just learn to bite their tongues.

  41. This made me laugh and cringe at the same time. Good job trying to not take it too seriously. My Father in law has 10 kids (I married the oldest) and when people give him a hard time he usually responds “well, which one would you like me to give back?”

    Most people know that my husband and I do not use birth control. That being said I am 27 and have TWO babies…and people still give me a hard time about it. I might get a little snarky with strangers (usually people who know my father in law but are not friends of mine) but of course when possible we talk about WHY we don’t use it. Frustrating for sure!

    • I’m twenty-seven with a twenty month old and a four month old and I get the rude comments too!!!! Seriously?!?! Twenty seven!!! Only two kids!

      Gee won’t those people be surprised when we bring home the two waiting babies we are adopting.

      I usually just pretend like I didn’t hear and move on!

  42. I have 3 girls, age 3 and under. I’ve only got the “hands full” comment so far, and that doesn’t bother me because it’s true! Having three 3 young kids IS a lot of work, even though I love it and wouldn’t trade any of them. The people who have made that remark to me haven’t said it in a rude way, so maybe I’ve just been lucky to encounter nicer people. But I’m sure I’ll hear more whenever the next one comes along…and the next one…and the next one. I’ll be sure to keep everyone’s great replies in mind!

  43. bethony says:

    I just love Michelle Dugger’s example regarding this…everyone is entitled to their own opinions, they have theirs, and I’ve got mine. I have heard many many coments…some so hurtfull it is hard to believe it was even said…I am very blessed with 6 children and would be fine to have more…

  44. Stephanie says:

    “That’s what puppies are for.” ha, ha, ha! Oh my gosh, that one is hilarious. I am sorry, but it made me laugh. Not polite, by any means, just the insert of humor I needed in my day.

    I get “are they all yours” frequently. I have 3 fair, blonde headed boys and 1 brown haired and darker complected daughter. I suppose it makes sense to ask, but I don’t think it’s polite. I did have a few people ask me if 1 and 2 had different dads when they were younger.

    I have had a few older ladies point out my 3rd child and say “he’s your mischievous one, isn’t he? My child was just like that.” It doesn’t bother me though, just gives me hope that we will survive.

    • My mom has 3 kids; me, my sister, and my brother. My brother and I are both taller blonds with blue eyes. My older sister is shorter with dark hair and brown eyes. People used to ask my mother all the time if we had the same father, to which she would reply “What kind of woman do you think I am!?” (We all 3 have the same dad.)

  45. Amen. When I was pregnant with #5, a friend with 9 warned me that I had crossed the line and to get ready for thoughtless comments. She was right. I’ve heard these and more because I’m in my 40s. Here is my add on to your’s. Hope you enjoy it…http://momtomanygirls.com/2012/06/the-power-of-life-and-death/

  46. Kimberly says:

    Love your responses! I am going to have to remember those. We just had our 4th and so many people have said (in the sweetest little tone), “Your guys’ family is all complete now…right?”.

  47. Kimberly says:

    And my sister is pregnant with her third. She has two little girls. People always say, “bet your hopin for your little boy so you can be finished!”. My sister is like, “I cannot imagine my house without children. We pray that God continues to bless us with babies for years and years!”.

  48. My husband and I have 2 (for now). We have a boy and a girl. Even we get comments like “Perfect, one of each. Now you don’t need to try anymore.” Every time we see a big family we normally comment saying “Can’t wait until we catch up”.

  49. We have seven, ages 22 to 2mo. We just tell people that we are trying to keep Social Security solvent.

  50. Wow. I cannot believe the rudeness of some of those comments. Children are such a blessing. I love “we’ll stop when we get an ugly one, but it hasn’t happened yet” : ) I’m pregnant with my second right now and I personally really dislike when people say “I hope you have a girl” or “Aren’t you hoping for a girl”, since I have a boy right now. My husband and I will be thrilled with either a boy or a girl and it makes me sad that people are so caught up in the importance of gender.

  51. Stephanie says:

    When shopping with my 4 kids (all under 7), someone asked me if I knew how many teenagers I was going to have. I said, “at least 4, I hope and won’t it be great”. I have seen wonderful teenagers at church and I can only pray that I’ll have kids that good and helpful. Teenagers don’t scare me, the thought excites me!

  52. What an encouragement Rachel Jankovic’s post, Motherhood Is A Calling {And Where Your Children Rank}, was on Desiring God regarding this very issue. I have four children under the age of four and all to frequently hear most of the comments listed above. The most popular one I hear is often, “MY! You have your hands full!” to which I now simply reply, “Yes, full of good things!”


  53. I’ve got four Manlings, ages 17, 15, 12, and 10. My DH decided after No. 4 that he was completely out-numbered and couldn’t take anymore. So he had a vasectomy, and that was that. I was one of 8, and I always wanted a large family. Needless to say, I wish we had had more. I’m sure there have been many people who’ve met us in stores who have wondered why we had four–which I never regarded as all that large to begin with.

    The comments that really get under my skin are the “All boys?? Are you done, or are you going to try for a girl?” Or the gasps of shock and horror when they find out that we homeschool, and I am subjected to “life locked behind doors with ALL those boys!” *eyeroll* I am truly sorry for the parents who seem to think that children are a burden, and I feel even worse for kids to have to hear that out of their parents’ mouths. “I don’t like my children enough to be home with them every day.” (That one came from the mouth of a Scout leader….)

  54. While I don’t necessarily agree with the “full quiver” theory, I am HORRIFIED to read what people actually say to you! I really, really wanted 4 or 5 children, but I only have one because I have a neuromuscular disease, and God gave me an absolute MIRACLE by being able to have the one I do! We were going to have a surrogate, but I didn’t respond to the fertility drugs, so I assumed I couldn’t conceive. WRONG. God had something else in mind… And I can’t IMAGINE my life without my precious Jacob!

  55. I love your responses !

    I get comments often, and I only have 4 kids…but they are all boys, so people tend to make comments regarding that fact, such as “Were you trying for a girl ?” or the famous “Wow, you have your hands full!”

    Most of the time, the comments aren’t necessarily mean-spirited, but I still don’t understand why people feel the need to comment on the size / gender of my family. Oh well…

  56. We have 3 (and expecting #4) and have gotten the “you’re done now, right?” comments after we had our first two (a boy then a girl, 16 months apart)

    With #3, the worst comment I got while pregnant was while in a store, the kids were quiet in the cart, and an employee said to me “and you want ANOTHER?”

    We get the “you have your hands full” and “better you than me” (apparently so–I only think it; I’m too chicken to say it) comments very often. I just wonder what comments we’ll get when I’m showing with this pregnancy. I think people are also surprised because our kids are so close together (our oldest will be either just barely 5 or not quite when #4 is born) and we got pregnant only a couple of months after we got married and I’m still only 26.

    I only can remember one lady saying, last summer, “you have a really lovely family.”

    It really saddens me that so many of the negative comments come from church people :(

  57. Marlita says:

    I don’t consider my family to be large…we have 3 children ages 4, 1 1/2, and 7 months. I had a good friend tell me that once I crossed over from 2 to 3 that I would most likely hear “you have your hands full” at least once per shopping trip. She was right!
    I try to respond with, “Nope, it’s my heart that’s full!”

  58. Monique says:

    This is a subject that really annoys me because I only have my son, and people are constantly telling us its time for a second, he needs a sibling etc etc. So your judged if you have more than 2 and if you have an only. You can’t win!

    • Mama Mirage says:

      Yeah pretty much. Socially acceptable is 2- one of each gender. If you have 3 and the first 2 are the same gender that’s forgiveable because you’re allowed a bonus try if you didn’t get the right gender the second time around. But if you have only 1 or more than 2 or 3 then everyone thinks they need to tell you what you’re doing wrong!

  59. Harriet says:

    We have nine children and ten grandchildren (one of them is preborn, but he is a grandchild now so I count him and can’t wait to meet him.)

    We’ve heard it all. I do love the people who say encouraging things, and do my best to let the rude remarks roll off my back.

    The comments I most dislike usually happen at church unfortunately. It seems like women feel guilty or intimidated by moms with many children. Years ago we moved and were church hunting with our four children who were all under age 8. It was truly unbelievable how many different church ladies told my daughters that they couldn’t have any more children because their tubes were tied. My daughters didn’t ask them, believe me. There was at least one at every church.

    Then when the oldest daughters was teens, people thought my babies were theirs. (I had five of our nine after I was 35, and no I didn’t get any testing. As Mrs. Saint, who was the sister-in-law of Nate Saint, told me when I had the pleasure of meeting her, “You just tell the doctor no.” She had her last baby when she was 49.)

    You really have to feel sorry for the people who don’t get it. They are wrong, but we have to walk in forgiveness.

  60. Lisa Joy says:

    We have gotten so many rude comments too with our 4. As soon as we had our second (a boy after our daughter), my parents began talking regularly about how we had a perfect little family and we could be done, and wasn’t I glad we didn’t have more, etc. The comments got worse when we announced number 3. The Christmas when I was expecting number 4, they actually gave my dh condoms as a gift. (They are also EXTREMELY, vocally opposed to us homeschooling, but that is a different issue.)
    The other one that really bothered me was when I ran into an acquaintance when out shopping. (I can’t remember if I was expecting number 4, or if it was shortly after he was born.) She actually turned to our oldest and said “Your mommy and daddy really need to stop having kids, don’t you think?”
    It just never ceases to amaze me how rude people can be.
    And I completely agree about how heartbreaking it is to hear parents talking about how they can’t wait to send their kids off to school and be rid of them for awhile, and those types of comments. Yes, raising children is a lot of work, and yes there are days when you wonder how you will keep your sanity, but they are SUCH a blessing and I truly cannot imagine life without them.

  61. Kathryn says:

    A few weeks ago when we were on vacation visiting family, we happened to cross paths with a sweet older couple in a restaurant. As we filed past (my husband and 4 littles and me with my round belly) the lady exclaimed “oh what lovely children!” then chimed to my husband “you’re either Catholic or careless!” oh my, was I surprised!! That was the funniest ever! I have gotten rude comments, but that one was just amusing..

  62. We have 5, and most of the comments are kind, but we get the occasional “hands full” stuff, and once a guy commented that “Someone’s been busy” in a nauseating tone as I walked past, but I knew he wouldn’t have said that if my (big, Marine) husband was there.
    The thing that bothered me most was when I went in for my postpartum check-up after our third, and the (female) doctor said, “Now that you have three, what are we going to do about birth control?”

    • Oh, they always ask that at a post-partum visit. I think it’s part of the script.

      I just tell them “nothing.”

    • God blessed us with a WONDERFUL OB. She always asks, “So when’s the next one?” One the last 4 of our 7, when I’ve gone in for my 1st OB visit, she’s always ended my check-up with a prayer thanking God for our baby, His help for me through the pregnancy, and then asking His guidance as we care for the new little blessing He has given us. Now, I can’t say the same for the other OB’s in her office, they don’t have the same Godly perspective, but SHE is a true blessing in our lives!

  63. I only have two (thus far), but in some parts of California that counts as a big family (Go figure!). I started getting the “hands full” comments when my first was a baby, and I regularly get that one from my mother now. The worst, though, was when I told my father I was pregnant with #2. He said, and I quote, “Don’t you dare breathe a word about your pregnancy to [your stepmother].” After that, their divorce was a relief.

  64. Adrienne says:

    Thank you for this post. I am guilty of saying some of these (“Better you than me.” “Someone’s been busy.”), always to friends and only in a joking manner, but now I see what I mean as a joke might be taken as offensive. I am in awe of all my mommy friends, whether they have 1 or 10, and I do love their kids too.

    That said, I agree, how can you say such things to complete strangers?!

  65. I get this all of the time. The last time I got the “boy you have your hand full” comment I only had 5 of my 9 with me! I do like saying “yes and my heart ifsfull too” or “what a wonderful life to have my hands full of blessings”

    Don’t you know what causes that? “Oh dear…you don’t?” big sigh “I get this a lot, let me tell you how it works, you really should know this all by now.” If you can get away with it the looks you get are priceless. With religious people who ask I ALWAYS say prayer causes children because in our home when we feel God asks us to have another child…we do. So answers to prayer are what leads to children.

    Most recently I’ve gotten “what a lot of work! Why would you choose to do it?” Most wonderful things and great accomplishments are a lot of work.

    One of my least favorite comments is:

    Don’t you have a tv?–I guess the implication being that if we had a tv we would have no sex? or little enough that it would diminish the number of children? don’t know. But really? It’s just a sideways way of asking about my sex life!

    to which I reply if I’m feeling snarky…Yes we do…but WHO would choose TV?

    Do they have the same father? Are you asking about my sex life? really? Actually I normally answer this one because I WANT people to know I love my husband, have been married to him for 17 years and am still very happy! I want people to know that people still DO that! Stay married and work it out and love it!

    I have at snarky times said the “out number the idiots” comment when someone is being particularly horrible. I have never added, though I’ve been tempted…and now that I’ve met you I’ll have to have another (get’s out notebook and records a tally mark)

    IMO most people are just not used to seeing large families and a little shocked.

    When they say, I think you should stop, I have at times said “I think you should become vegetarian” or “eat raw” or “stop eating sugar” or homeschool or something equally as major…and then at their puzzlement say “oh I thought we were making major personal, life decisions for each other”

    My mother (grandma to 48) has gotten “how can you remember all of their names?” She has taken to saying “They are all so wonderful and unique and I love them so much, how can I NOT remember their names?”

    Family is where it gets tough. They see your struggles and sometimes the comments are more personal. The implication becomes that you are not enough. Of course I’m not enough! But God is…it’s just that a few of my atheist family members then have more fuel to that fire…sigh. It is true that if they mention a vasectomy I may or may not ask about their husband’s prostrate. okay so that’s only in my imagination. Seriously! What body part of MY husband’s are THEY asking about?! I would say..thank you for recommending surgery options for my husband…but we feel like if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. or….we know how to STOP having babies and when we want to do that…we do.

  66. I must say if someone says something as frightening as “I’d slit my wrists” I have gotten my psychologist face on…are you really suicidal? Can we get you the help you need? What other things do you think would push you over the edge? What are you doing to help actively manage this stress you feel at facing normal life events? What events from your childhood do you think this reaction is related to?

    I treat the comment as a reflection on their life NOT mine. In fact ALL comments should be taken that way. It really tells more about them than you.

  67. Most of my ten are grown, and while I encountered most of the questions
    that you have, I rarely took offense. Yeah, it’s stunning how forward
    people are (and it’s easy to get offended), but I don’t think their intention, for the most part, was to offend. It is just that it is so unusual in our culture to see large families. So, while it bugged me, I had to give them the
    benefit of the doubt. It isn’t our place to put an unbelieving world
    in its place. I haven’t read through the comments, so this may be
    repetitive, but as believers, it would behoove us to be patient and kind. After all, being kind is a biblical notion. We don’t get a pass on being snarky. Of course, the irony is that we had lots of Christians ask us questions like, “This is it, right?” or “How many more do you think you’ll have?” Yet, if we told them that we were aborting, they’d be stunned.

    As an aside, I always found it humorous that the only time anyone has the temerity to touch your stomach is when you’re pregnant. I mean, no one would dream of touching someone’s stomach ordinarily, but when you’re pregnant? Sure, why not? But, I DO think that it points to the fact that mostly people are happy for you when you’re pregnant. I think it’s God-given. There is rejoicing with new life…even among those who don’t know Jesus. So, touch away–no, not now! I’m not pregnant…it’s just residual from the ten babies I birthed.

    • It bothered me so much when people touched my baby bump. I started reaching out and touching their abdomen at the same time. LOL Most people were taken aback.

  68. I think the thing we all need to guard against is taking offense. People will say the first thing that pops into their head and unfortunately that tends to be a negative thing in our society. Surely you all can think of something that popped out of your mouth that you wish hadn’t. We have one son who was adopted after ten years off marriage. I can’t tell you how many times people will say….don’t you need a girl…..he needs a brother…..My altime favorite is if you pay an honest tithing God willbless you. (there is no reason to assume I don’t) I would love to have more children; I always assumed I would. But this is the life God has given me. It is easy to be offended; we all view life through our own rose colored glasses. We want to think God has personally blessed us with each of our children but are offended when it is HIS will that we miscarry. We know not the mind of God. I pray for the strenght to do HIS will although I often don’t understand it. I have also found when my heart is breaking from the thought of what shoulda, woulda, coulda been I am far more easily offended than when I rejoice in what I have been given. There are positives and negatives to everything in this world.

  69. I get rude comments from people all the time and We only have 3!! (plus 1 in heaven) Although one time we were out eating and a lovely elderly couple came up and said “Your children are beautiful and well mannered, good job!” and “Never forget that they are a gift from the Lord” AMEN!

    I love the “We’ll keep going until we get an ugly one” LMAO that is HILARIOUS!

    I have been reading your blog since I was pregnant with our now 3 year old daughter and all the while you have made me want a large family. Alas my health will not allow it and while I have convinced my Husband for another I’m not sure I’ve convinced myself. My doctors all sat down and looked over my records and ran some tests and concluded that I have a 400% chance of complications greater than I have suffered with my other 4 pregnancies (including nearly dying during a c-section because of a heart condition). I’m not sure I can handle that!

    Keep on having those beautiful babies!

  70. Sheila, Mama to Seven says:

    Thankfully, we receive very few rude comments about our seven. When I was expecting our sixth, though, an uncle commented on how we “need a TV”. I’m still confused on that comment – what does that have to do with the price of eggs?!
    Usually, we get some nice comments from older folks who also had a large family. BTW, I don’t consider our family “large” – double digits, to me, is a large family. :) My sweet #7 was born when I was 40 (8 months ago), and I’m pleased to have a wonderful dr. who still considers me “young.” I figure, when I’m “too old” to have children, then I won’t be able to have children. (That’s why I trust the Creator!)

    • Whitney says:

      This might help: when my sister-in-law and I found out we were due on the same day, her husband observed, “There must have been nothing on TV that night.” πŸ˜‰

      • Sheila, Mama to Seven says:

        Gotcha! :) That’s kinda funny, I guess. But, who’d rather watch TV, eh?

  71. Whitney says:

    Good gravy. I think the mommy in me would automatically respond, “That’s rude.” Because I’m blunt like that.

    All I get so far is “You’ve got your hands full!” and I say “Yes, it’s wonderful” or just “*distracted smile* yes” because they interrupted my baby-wrestling to comment on my family. I don’t mind; people just don’t know what to say, but they want to connect with this adorable little family, so they say the obvious thing. Besides, I do have my hands full.

  72. We had three girls in a year; twins and a single daughter. I was once at the grocery store with all the girls, and they were about 3 and 4. A lady came up to me and said, “Aw, you brought her friends to the store with you!?” Not thinking, I answered, “Those aren’t her friends, they are her sisters! Do you really think I would gather up the neighborhood children before I go to get groceries?” I guess she had never seen siblings happy to be together before!

    We were infertility patients, and these were the only children God blessed us with. Now they are 23, 23, and 22; and we have a three year old grandson. I miss those days!

  73. I have 7 children. Sometimes when we go out shopping my older children say to me “Mum those people are counting us!” lol They think it’s funny when people do that. I like it when people from big families approach us and tell me how wonderful it is to see a big family out together.

  74. Karen Pruneau says:

    I only have three children but their hair colour is all different, Brunette, Blonde and a Redhead. My husband got asked if they were all his!

  75. We have five boys. We we are all out in public together and people ask my husband, “you do know what causes that, right” his response is simple.

    He says, “I do know what causes this. I love my wife.”

    Great post, Connie.

  76. Erynn @ CFYC says:

    So far we’ve only had a few downright rude responses about our four-going-on-five boys. Mostly we get, “You sure do have your hands full.” I smile as big as I can and say, “No better way to have your hands full!” Most often, they smile back and I’m on my way. Sometimes they even say, “That’s true.” Love that. At a wedding recently, the preacher said he loves to see Christians with large families. Oh, I wanted to hug that man! Raising children to His glory is the best job ever.

  77. with 6 kids i’ve been fortunate to get more positive than negative comments. but when i get a more questionable one, i often remark that, “i actually like my children.” i also let people know that my kids want us to have 10. they like “having lots of kids around,” as they usually put it. to them, the more the merrier. they are ages 1, 3, 5, 9, 10, 11.

  78. I’m on the other end: I have only one child. Yet, I get comments like “Why only one?”, “You’re so young, you must have more,” “That’s a shame you only have one and so young,”.
    I have respect for any family and their size reguardless of how many or how little. I just don’t understand the thinking behind any of these comments towards any size of the family. We are happy, blessed, fortunate…….

  79. I can never understand why some people feel the need to say rude things to compete strangers… I have twins and get a lot of similar comments- even did a blog post about it: http://katiehagen.blogspot.com/2012/06/twinformation.html
    You’ve got a great family!

  80. We get a lot of comments too. We just constantly have to remind ourselves that we are not meant to fit into this world!

    I actually find it harder to deal with comments from family members than from strangers.

  81. Genevieve says:

    I went to visit my SIL shortly after she had her first child. She’s my husband’s sister, the middle of three kids (and the youngest and his wife have been trying without success to have a child). I came with my 9 month old #3. My MIL, out of nowhere, says, “All right, y’all can be done now. I won’t be able to keep all the grandkids straight!”

    So wait, our THREE and your daughter’s ONE are too many to keep straight? And your daughter just had her first child less than a month ago?

    Let’s just say that MIL and FIL were among the last to find out we’re expecting our 4th…

  82. Thought you might like this cartoon from Family Circle that was posted on FB… https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150979642401904&set=a.10150635270766904.407942.107405571903&type=1&ref=nf

  83. Krista H. says:

    Oh my! I get the same sorts of comments and more…I’m 30 but look like I’m in my early 20’s and I have 5 little ones so the famous comments I get are regarding me being their nanny or babysitter and that they can’t possibly be all mine and that I look too young to have that many children. Honestly, it’s the people who are the closest to my husband and I that gave us that hardest time about having so many children. We have 4 girls and finally got our boy so people say they feel sorry for my son and that thank goodness we finally got our boy so that we would stop. It’s annoying and frustrating and to be honest if my babies did’t arrive 10-14 premature I may have more but I’m done and thankful for the ones that I do have.

  84. We have only two at the moment, but I come from a family of nine and I’ve had lots of experience with obnoxious people. I wait eagerly for the day when I’m asked if we ‘know what causes that’. I will nod slowly with sympathy and say, yes, and apparently we’re better at it than you…but there are some really helpful resources out there these days…

  85. Samantha says:

    I was watching the Waltons the other day, and the mother, Olivia, had an old friend come to visit her. The friend said “You have SEVEN children? ” in this ‘you poor thing, I’m so shocked’ tone. Olivia very nonchalantly said “Yes, aren’t I lucky?” (I personally would say blessed) but I thought that was a great response.

    If I were your friend, and the gentleman had said that to me, I would have said in a sweet, gentle voice “Don’t feel sorry for me. I am blesssed to have such lovely children. I feel sorry for those who can’t see them as the blessing they are.” and walked away.

    The worst comment I got was actually more of an attack. While paying a bill in a tiny little Electric co op office with all my then 5 children with me, a man asked if they were all mine and when I affirmed that they were, he said “Well, you might as well slit your throat right now, b/c they’re going to make you insane or kill you when they’re teenagers.” I was kind of taken aback, but just said “I don’t think so. They’re wonderful sweet children.” He continued to loudly proclaim that I should kill myself and suggested various ways to do so (shoot myself, slit my throat, etc) and said that the children would bring me my greatest grief. I was so shocked I just kept repeating “I love my children, they are my greatest joy, and I will NEVER regret them or not want them” My poor children were traumitized by this, they were crying by the time we reached the car, and wanting to know why sweet little babies and children would make me want to kill myself. :( IT was horrible.

  86. Kajtryna says:

    I think that some people are just bound to be mean or inconsiderate no matter what they see. I have one child and have received many comments such as yours in reverse. “The poor child, she will always be alone” “She must be so lonely” and on and on. I love my daughter and consider her my blessing and it is no one’s place to judge me for the circumstances of my life. Whether I choose to have 1 or more children or if life chooses it for me, I don’t feel that comments made from uninformed people are worth the time it takes to hear them.

  87. Tasmanian says:

    Someone wise in blogland suggested:
    “You’ve got your hands full!”
    “Yes, I have my hands full of good things.”

  88. Just had my 10th in April, and boy, we love it, and we’ve heard it all! My husband is the oldest of 8 and I am 5th of 9. We personally use the “we’ll stop when we get an ugly one” (haven’t yet!) and “we’re trying to outbreed the stupid people…” but usually to friends who will laugh…

    I love when my kids notice someone counting them (or the zombie stickers on the back of our van…) and provide the number… I guess they figure the stranger can’t count that high. However, I’ve noticed that the number of positive vs. negative comments vary on where we have lived. For example, lots of rude comments in Pennsylvania, lots of positive comments in Texas, lots of both in Missouri. Odd.

  89. Elizabeth says:

    When my youngest were 2 1/2 and 6 months or so we were our shopping. This woman came up to me and said “boy you have your hands full”. I was in a mood so I responded “well they’re not climbing on the racks so we’re doing pretty good today.” I dont usually snipe back at people but it had been a long day. I took the boys and my then 8 yr old girl to see Seasame Street by myself and then met my mother to go shopping. She’s my biggest critic as he understands neither the stay at home mom I’ve become or why I had anymore after my daughter. Now I’m expecting my fourth and the comments can wear thin sometimes. We surround ourselves with friends who share our beliefs and welcoming to our children.

  90. i have 4 daughters and 4 step daughters and i get “are you crazy” nope i’m not crazy i love my girls and if i could i would have more i love my large family i am the oldest of 5 girls and i love it .. i wish people would think before they open there mouth. everyone of my kids be it blood or not are a very cherished part of me some grew inside my womb others grew in my heart..

  91. We’re expecting our fifth and so far we’ve only told family, but I got a lovely speech from my (athiest) brother about being a “baby factory” and “you need to put a lid on that, literally.” He’s also said “You have too many kids” and “What the h*** is wrong with you guys.”

    Even with four, I get comments all the time about having our hands full, to which I usually respond, “Yes, we are very blessed.” The more rude comments get to me though. It was encouraging to read how you veteran moms of many blessings handle it, and I certainly need to work on not getting offended! I’m yet to make a snarky comment, but I certainly think them sometimes…

  92. melissa murphy says:

    It is your right to have as many kids as you want . I just wonder what kind of income you all have that you can afford so many? College alone is astronomical. I have two girls and it is going to run us a MINIMUM of $28,000 a YEAR for tuition. That is if they just attend in state schools. If they go out of state it is upwards of $57,000 a YEAR!!!!!! I cannot fathom that multiplied by four kids, or six. It is the rare child that gets a full ride and financial aid doesn’t cover as much as you would think. Student LOAN? It is an option, but then your kid’s graduation present is crippling debt ! I also feel not guiding your children to higher education is setting them up for life at poverty wages and menial, unfulfilling jobs.

    • Melissa,
      Why, yes, it is my right. Thanks for that.

      Maybe you ought to consider homeschooling. My oldest got a full academic college scholarship, so we don’t have to worry about tuition or student loans.


  1. […] friend Connie at Smockity Frocks posted The Things People Say on her blog. She has a list of the rudest comments she has received about her family of eight […]

  2. […] people lay awake at night thinking of inconsiderate and downright mean things to say.Β  Connie at SmockityFrocks posted today about things she has heard from complete strangers regarding her large […]