chit chat at the checkout

Now this really is a classic conversation. I know I’ve said it before, but people do stop me all the time to enquire as to whether my children are all mine. Now it’s just a normal everyday occurrence around here. Personally, I would prefer it if you told me I had beautiful children or that they were beautifully behaved. But this lady last week really took the cake for inappropriate chit chat at the supermarket checkout and I laugh when I think of her…..

mini florists
florists in training

I get to the checkout and she’s in front of me, staring at all the kids (this is totally normal, so I ignore it and keep chatting to them), she keeps staring and so it starts

her are they all yours
me yes, smiling sweetly
her but they are all so clean
me……………………………………if this was a tv show we could insert the crickets chirping and a half smile……………yes
her and they are so quiet
me………………………………………..yes, well not all of the time
her you’re not having anymore are you?
me well I’d like to
her you don’t see many people with lots of kids anymore
me well I think it’s more expensive to have children nowadays
her no, my grandmother had 12 children and they had no money back then, the depression
me well I think in this area there are school fees, mortgages and people want to give their kids the best
her no, they had no money back then, it was the depression but now of course we have social security, it’s easier now, thats the difference, social security. Social security (I lost track of how many times she said social security to me but it was at least 6 times)
me thinking is she implying that I must be on social security because I have 4 children and want more
me well we don’t get any benefits 
her turns to the checkout assistant – No don’t give me a bag, No I don’t want a receipt either, save paper and plastic.
her turns to me and says bye and good luck
me half smile

So there you have it, some people really do speak before they think! Where to begin…I could have a field day dissecting this woman’s conversation with me. Well let’s begin, she expects 4 little children to one woman to have snot everywhere and be really dirty when they go out? Am I right? Well my children are always dressed nicely and always look clean. I do have standards you know, lady.

floral arranging
floral arranging is my new rainy day craft I think!
next, we have social security – what was she implying? that I have 4 children because of social security? Did she think she was paying for my children?  I should point out that I feel lucky to live in a country that has a fairly extensive social security system. I know plenty of people who receive benefits in some form or another and who knows when any of us may need assistance at some point in our lives. I might not need it but I was raised and taught the importance of social justice but it is not something I bang on about to a total stranger at the supermarket. I kind of lump it together with my political views as a no go zone. I felt insulted and a little embarrassed.
saucy model
australia’s next top model – daddy did her hair in case you were wondering!
of course hindsight = a beautiful thing and I got in the car and thought of all of the things I wanted to tell her! Anyway, I had forgotten about it till this morning when I was having a little giggle to myself about her. I love my family and would keep having babies if retro daddy let me and I just don’t think of us as a large family! But I’d love to know what YOU would have told her ………….


  1. Got to love complete strangers asking about your large family. Most of my comments are about having 3 boys and then a girl, the age gaps, or people being surprised that they behave well. I’ve never had the social security question though.. wow

  2. I think I would have said to her ‘thank you so much for your input. At this time my family isn’t looking for a social commentator, but if a vacancy opens up we’ll be sure to contact you. Which Centrelink office should I contact for your details?’
    Hopefully by that point she’d be silent and I could gracefully depart.

  3. Don’t you love it? Sometimes it’s funny what they say to you, but other times it can get to you. I remember when Madelyn was quite littel and I had Austy in the seat part and Maddy in the baby part of a baby & toddler trolley. She was fast asleep and he was happily chatting away to me non-stop as he usually does (not misbehaving or anything) Both were clean and well dressed, and then the woman at the checkout looks at them both, looks at me and says “Gee you’ve got your hands full haven’t you dear?” I looked at Austin and said, “Not really, you’re helping me with the shopping aren’t you buddy?” Then she sneared and said “You’re not having any MORE are you?!” I ignored that comment and just chatted with Austy the rest of the scanning process, paid and went home, but it still bothered me. No we’re not having any more (well I would like one more but DH is adamant) but what she said made me question myself. I thought I was doing quite wll with my two but what she implied wasn’t nice, and that was just with 2 kids in tow. Now I know why my sister (Mum to 5) only takes a couple out with her at a time – it’s not because of the kids!

  4. I would have told her what she wanted to hear… and just say, I’m a dole bludger and live off baby bonuses and have declared bankruptcy 3 times and use and abuse the government for all the money I can get out of them and live in government housing while I smoke and drink all of my children’s Centrelink payments.

    She wouldn’t have had a response to that one.

    And 4 kids IS NOT A BIG FAMILY. I hate how society tells you these stupid things. Now if you have like 6 kids, I’d consider that a larger family. Good on you for having the guts to continue growing your family and not basing your decisions on money!!

  5. I would hate to have burst that woman’s bubble but Social Security was around back then. Of course not to the extent we have today but there was unemployment benefits but it was definitely around.
    Actually I would have loved to have burst her bubble & given her a history lesson!
    People should NEVER assume anything when it comes to someone’s family.

  6. It is ridiculous isn’t it? Unfortunately mine aren’t that well behaved every time we are at the supermarket these days (hence why I try to go bymyself!) but the worst I often get is looks and the “are they all yours?” question as well. I did have a real doozy just after christmas. I only had the three youngest with me and had a very confronting comment by a lady:

    her: you are very rich aren’t you (implying how lucky I am to have 3 children)
    me: yes I am thankyou and I have two more at home
    her: well you are very rich aren’t you?
    me: yes I am, if not a bit tired and looking forward to school going back
    her (as she walked off): well, no one made you have that many children did they?

    I was totally gobsmacked to say the least – luckily I don’t offend too easily and I just shook my head, but I cannot believe how rude some people are!!

  7. Oh Corrie when I see mums about like yourself with 4 or more so close in age I really do admire then and am a bit envious I have to admit. I would have loved to have had our five closer together. The questions we get all the time are ‘Why on earth would you want more?’ and ‘Isn’t it weird having such a large gap between your oldest and youngest?’ there is 17yrs difference. Honestly what is weird about it? Our kids loved each other to bits and have no issues with their age gaps whatsoever. I have stopped telling people we are planning number six.
    Your kiddies are gorgeous by the way…oh so adorable!!

  8. I’m the same, always think of the perfect retort half an hour later! In my case i ALWAYS get questions from random punters about the race of my children. Like you I’m used to it….so when i see people staring at the boys I know what is coming, you can almost see the cogs turning in their heads! It goes…
    Punter: “your boys have very olive skin”
    Me: “yes” (smiling)
    Punter: “so where is their father from?”
    Me: “Australia”
    Punter: “but where is he *really* from?

    Etc etc etc. It’s not that i mind but it does get very predictable! I did feel a bit odd about the strange bloke who called my beautiful Luca a “little darkie” though :(

  9. Oh what would I have told here – LOL
    I have no idea – you poor love – I am pleased to hear though that you dont take it to heart – If I could have more I would (been advised against it:( so two it is for us sadly – I always wanted four and never thought of it as a big family (as I am one of four and Tim is one of four!)

  10. Dear me!

    I dont have children [yet-working on it!] but I cannot believe this woman!

    It is a shame that she has that viewpoint, but I completely agree with what you said back to her. Good on you!

    You have the most adorable little family [Australia’s next top model is probably an understatement] and you take pride in them!

    I would love to one day have a large family of my own, provided we could support and provide for one!

    I agree with Joanne – no one should assume anything about anyone full stop – there is always a different side to each story…


  11. Oh Corrie! Your family does not look like it’s living off Centrelink, that woman was way too rude. Next time you are ever in that situation just shoot back with “what are you implying?”. People like her will be floored.

    BTW I have 3 under 4 and get the “you’re not having more are you” all the time. Why do strangers want to make it their business anyway?!!! I’m one of 9 and 3 is such a small family.

  12. oh this drives me crazy ‘ it’s so much easier these days, we didnt get anything and now u get baby bonus’s etc’ ARGH Get over it!! u could by a house for $2000 and a kilo of tomatos for 10 cents …its all relative…sorry but this really gets on my nerves, my dad’s partner said this to me once and If she wasnt keeping my dad happy in life I would have gone off st her!

  13. try being 19 and having 2 boys who look like twins (actually 4 and 5) and a 2yo girl who looks freakishly similar to you by the hand in the local supermarket. beautiful children but of course people assume all sorts of not so wonderful things about my age and morals. what most of them couldnt seem to figure out was that i was an Au Pair. its quite amusing carrying on with the shopping while they give you dirty looks and you just giggle to yourself because they would never ask the question. of course that was a few years ago now, it wouldnt be as much of a stretch now. but it still makes me laugh

  14. Gee Corrie how rude was she. A lot of people dont think before they open their mouths. I dont know what my nana would have said to her as she had 7 children! I have 2 and sometimes think I would love 1 more but its never going to happen due to circumstances in our lives. I dont care how many children people have but I dont like rude ones and I know mine can sometimes be rude to each other at home but they are better when we are out in public! My MIL raised 4 children and said it was exhausting and tiresome but they all get along so well and are there for each other that I wish I had a larger family than just 1 sister! Your children are always so gorgeous and they have to be allowed to be kids dont they! I get the age gap thing too as I have 8 yrs between mine. Its as if they are asking why there is such a big gap which is no-one’s business really, just the way it worked out.

  15. (insert after “are they all yours?”) – “Yes, they are (sweet smile). The other six are at home with Daddy.”

  16. LOL – My comment would have been exactly the same as Natalie just wrote. Some reference to you having several more at home. :)

  17. I am always being asked ‘I bet your husband would love a little boy” to which I always respond, ‘He thinks his girls are prefect as a matter of fact” like having 3 daughters was a disappointment. People are strange, and you really need to laugh it off. Having 4 children is a blessing, they are going to love the support of each other when they are adults.

  18. I usually think of the ‘should have’ and ‘could have’ said’s after (later) processing the initial shock of someone elses rudeness. To late to say anything by then.

    I have noticed a change in attitudes going from 2 – expecting number 3. Personally I dont think 3 is big, but once you head into 4+ it is becoming a bigger family. Not sure where 4 sits? Maybe depends on the family. I know for us we feel 3 is our limit (for a number of reasons) but I always wanted about 5. In my own view of myself (imagining me with 5 kids) I would think of that as a medium size family, not a big one.
    Depends a bit on the family I suppose. I’m sure I sometimes make 2 look like hard work but I see some people with 4 -6 kids and they handle things very well. Wish I could be like that.

  19. In all honesty, you should seriously take everything that she said as a huge compliment. Everything she was sledging. You are total opposite. A responsible mother, with well behaved and clean children, Sensational.
    Besides, who gives a….
    As long as you are happy. All that matters… sticks and stones and all….. K :)

  20. 😀 Yup, in the same way total strangers think it is okay to comment about how selfish it is to only have one child. Can’t win!

  21. Some people were never taught the art of social etiquette. I hate going to the supermarket because I always get stuck with people in the queue asking me medical questions (particularly older people). I just want to shop, pay and get outta there!
    All I can say is thank god for online grocery shopping.

  22. OMG this happened to me ALL the time! I have 4 kids and often would also have my sister with me who is 4 years older than my oldest. So they assumed I had 5 children. I would always get the surprised comment about how well behaved they were. Why? Is this not normal? Maybe the threat of no more toys if they act up in the store was enough LOL I would get dirty looks all the time and comments about how young I was. I had 4 kids by the age of 24. I would also have people peer into my shopping cart and wonder aloud if I was on foodstamps (I was not). Whispers (loudly) about how can she afford steak with all those kids … oh she must have foodstamps. I would make a POINT of counting out my cash in plain view. It used to drive me INSANE. Yes, times were hard but I still had well dressed, well behaved kids. Sometimes people are too dumb for words. =)

  23. Oh yes the good all days… not!!!!! I get sick and tired of people saying : well in our days…

    Now I will be 50 next month and had three children and even then people would ask me if my third was a mistake.

    Of course now I get looks going in to store that don’t carry size 18, little do they know I might be getting a gift certificate for one off my DD or DDL or sons girlfriend.
    Bye the way, the other day I had my two grandchildren with me and this man ( maybe close to 80) asked me if I didn’t have children a bit late in life.
    Bless them.

  24. you are amazing i think….i would have said ” well actually i just found out we are having quads ” !!!! :)

  25. Blimey, I though you must have had a least 8 kids the way the check out women was talking – not 4!

    It’s the first time I have read your blog and your children do look very clean, well dressed and very beautiful too.

    I always think of things to say after the event too!

    What would she have said if my old school friend was in the supermarket with all of her 9 children – yes 9. Hers are all clean, nicely dressed and not dependant on social secuirty either.

    Nice blog by the way.


  26. Lovely family, the girls are very pretty and look lovelvy working as a flourist!!

  27. I don’t know why, but I never seem to get those sorts of people making random comments to me. I think I am fairly ‘focussed’ when I am shopping – my eyes are always on the wandering hands, calling James back to the trolley etc. So I don’t leave room for people to start the chit-chat. In fact, it has been years since anyone has even commented on “Where is their Dad from?”
    But when it does happen, it really is water off a ducks back to me. There is not much that bothers me.

  28. I find it strange that people even make those comments! I grew up as the eldest of four children. Maybe that was normal in the 80’s?? (although I remember my grandparents were shocked my parents were having a 4th!) I know a woman who has 7 children… now that is large – and they are all beautiful! I have two friends that come to mind immediately who have 4 children. Maybe you need to move back to Canberra where it seems more common. 😉

  29. I would have said

    “yes they are all mine, I train them like monkeys It is easy really when you have a few cages at home! THe clean clothes and snot-free is part of the training works wonders don’t you think!’
    Yes I do plan on adding more…a whole zoo in fact!’

    No really I wouldn’t have said that…I’m like you can;t think what to say at the moment it happens but full of ideas in the car ont he way home!

  30. corrie i think you should make a t-shirt that reads “Yes these children are mine – make a comment and I’ll put you in the naughty corner!!”.

    I have two kids, but had my first at a young age, well 24 (and planned), but got a lot of assumed single mother comments and some people even thought I was the nanny! so no matter what your family make-up is, people always love to comment!!! well done for biting you tongue!

  31. I don’t know what I would have said to her, but I do find with having twins that people ask the most inappropriate questions. Often it’s older women, and always such personal questions. My sons daycare teacher asked me how they were conceived. I was so gobsmacked I didn’t think of a clever answer, but I should have asked her if her parents taught her about the birds and the bees! :) I did say that I didn’t think she should ask that…

  32. You got the ‘oh you have a big family’, I get ‘oh you have an only child’ but that’s only after I get the ‘how many children do you have?’ No possible way the weathergirl is an only child, LOL. And then proceed to give me a lecture on the perils of only children and how bad it is. I use to apologise and tell them my sad story but now I own my reasons, and say ‘yep one and done’. Kinda stops them in their tracks… Maybe you should tell them you’ve only started, LOL!

  33. How rude!

    I sadly have only so far managed to have one (would still love another 3 atleast) and she is almost 6 now so I get the opposite comments-have you got anymore? is she your only one? when the next one coming? time for another one I think!

    I get quite sad as we have been trying for 5.5 years and suffered 11 miscarriages so far.

    I now reply with, “yes she is my only child we have had x amount of miscarriages since she was born” I used to hide the fact until I got so sick of the comments I decided to start telling the truth and the look on their faces is amusing! They feel rather stupid and embarrassed!

  34. I get the comments at how old my two are and “you’ve got your hands full” and it gets annoying but now I just smile and say “yeah it’s good fun. They’re best friends”..

    I heard a story from a mother of 12 (yes) and she was shopping with 4 of them. Some old lady commented on how she had her hands full, you should stop now blah blah. She replied that she had another 8 at home and the lady was floored! LOL!
    xo MODELmumma

  35. I have issues surrounding self editing, so I would have told her where to go. Some people are so rude, it’s unbelievable. I am constantly asked if my children have different fathers, because they have different coloured hair. For real! Astonishing. (They don’t in case you where wondering) What this woman said to you is obviously more of a reflection on her, rather than you. What a mole!

  36. I’m with Christine, I’m now 54 with 4 adult children (24-30) I used to also get strange looks, comments etc. What was even more funny was when 2 where in high school and the younger 2 still at primary school – people who didn’t know I had 2 teenagers would always be gob-smacked when they saw me out with the whole family all 6 of us.
    I married an architect who went Theological college when we had 2 kids, we actually survived the lean years of churches paying the minimum stipend(wage) on social security. When our youngest son was at preschool I made a comment to another mum that we survived because we had fee subsidy. This was overheard by a church member who was horrified that it seem that her church didn’t pay there minister enough money, well guess what they didn’t!
    I can’t say it gets better, but as they get older and don’t want to come out with you the strange conversation get less.
    I have to tell you one more story, in 2005 12 months before I turned 50 my kids surprised me with bringing my youngest daughter up from Melbourne where she was at University . They did this because her big sister and husband were heading to London to live and work early 2006. We went to Sizzler now all 8 with eldest sons girlfriend (now DDIL)included, after the meal my kids thanked us Steve and I for the normal or in their words abnormal family because we all still like each other and enjoy getting together.
    Keep up the good work with your wonderful family.

  37. I can’t Believe People even say “oh but your not having any more are you”..where do they get off…Good On You for Holding it In…not sure if I could have…
    and 4 Kiddies is not a big family even today…

  38. I get it all the time too Corrie…i have 4 kidlets, close in age, 3 girls, 1 boy. Infact today i got ‘wow, you were in a hurry, are they all yours??’…Like you, i would much prefer ‘gee, what well behaved kids you got there’ or ‘wow, they look like their dad’…I look at a mother, or a father with 4 children in the shopping centre or crossing the road with delight, i look at them and think ‘wow…good on them, how much fun’. Why must people look at it so negatively…i love the comment i got once ‘wow, you must be rich having 4’…oh dear, far from it, my husband works 2 jobs, we hardly ever see him, we both work damn hard at what we do…not rich at all. ahhh bugger them. Im thinking about #5…imagine a big belly and shopping with the 4 ive got. I should sell tickets !!!!

  39. Guess what i say “i had all my babies before you got paid to have them” as my last (4th) baby was born a few months before any baby bonus & that usually shuts them up. What i love is when they ask for a ‘health card’ at the chemist & get to say “oh do you mean Private Health Insurance” that usually shuts them up, why do they think we’re all doing it for cash?? Love Posie

  40. I’ve considered having the following printed on a t- shirt and wearing it every time I go out:

    No, actually we don’t have a television and Yes, we know what causes it!

  41. Nutters are everywhere, met one today myself :-) The questions I get getting around with 4 kids and heavily pregnant are pretty bizarre and intrusive. Occasionally someone is totally delightful and I try just to remember that. Plus, I think of my friend from playgroup who has 9 and remind myself that I have nothing to worry about :-) My friend with 9 gets a lot of grief about over-population (!) and likes to point out to people that her family uses significantly less power per capita than the average family. She’s quite a tough old thing and I think it might have something to do with fielding ‘big’ family questions for 16 yrs.
    Lots of love to you and your BEAUTIFUL children from me and my beautiful children, xx.

  42. Oh dear.. how dare she?

    I was a Mummy Nanny for a while and I would sometimes have 4 kids under 6 yrs old in tow.. I had people give me the nastiest looks as I look quite young for my age. I am sure they made all sorts of assumptions. I had one lady say to me as I was walking past her “I don’t envy you, love… you have had too many for this lifetime!”

    Can you believe that?!

  43. PS You’ll love having Keira at school next year, at our school having 4 kids is not unusual and when I announced I was pregnant again everyone was thrilled for me. The odd, ‘I don’t know how you do it’ but only said in a genuinely friendly way.

  44. Unbelievable! How rude!!

    There’s an award for you over at my blog


  45. You should’ve said – “oh there’s another four – or is it five? I lose count – at home.
    i think your littlies are adorable (not to mention clean and quiet as well. ) lol

  46. I may have politely asked her if she had any children.
    Maybe she was really a little bit jealous.

    I am often asked “Are they all yours” especially when out with all 8 (one set of twins), often followed by a compliment on their behaviour. We live in a country town and many of the older folks are delighted to see (well behaved) larger families, often commenting on the benefits of large families. However during our holiday in Sydney we seemed to be somewhat of a novelty.

    Enjoy the delights of your children.

  47. I’m expecting my 4th any day now. I get the most hilarious comments in the store! My husband’s mother was Srilankin and my three girls are fair with blue eyes, dark with almost black eyes and one in-between. I’ve had plenty of ‘are they all yours’ but also, ‘do they have the same father!?’ and the most assuming was one lady, referring to my middle dark girl ‘where did you get her from?!’ She was assuming I’d addopted her! LOL. There are some funny people out there who live in their own little worlds!

  48. Oh, this had me very amused. I grew up in a family of six children and people would never quite believe that we had the same mum and dad. We have two blones, two red heads and two brunettes in the family so I think that kept people guessing. We liked to retort that our olive skinned brother came about after a visit from the postie! If you can’t beat them, join them.

  49. I have three little brothers and I was always proud to be their sister. I am sure that my Mom had a hard time sometimes but she never got asked questions like this.
    Who knows where this strange lady escaped from :)
    Btw, you can be really proud of your kids, they are really cute!

  50. A friend of mine has one very fair haired & skinned blue eyed boy & two dark hair & eyed, olive skin boys and has been asked “Are they all from the same father?” … nice! I was also shopping once with my friend’s 3 girls and my little girl & the shop assistant cooed, “Oh how nice. 4 little girls. Aren’t you lucky.” Now I wonder if she would have thought me lucky if I had 4 little boys with me? I bet I would have gotten a completely different comment. I would have said to Nanna, “Boy, your grandparents must have been right old horny things!” … but you may have killed her with shock! :-)

  51. Sounds just like what we get all the time!!! I am not a quick thinker though and stew over it after-wards and dissect too.

  52. I used to get the same thing with five children and it drove me nuts. I finally started saying. “Well, there are moments when I claim they are my husband’s”. Be proud of your beautiful family. People can be so rude.

  53. You were gracious. That’s always the best response, even when it might seem something more cutting is in order.

  54. OMG where do I begin on this topic????
    I have five children and we are thinking on number six. We are not social security dependent.
    I have never had any social security comments before. But like you, the comments on the children (number, behaviour etc) are a regular thing.
    I’ve had a number of people tell me that they can’t their one child or two children to the supermarket let alone five. How they behave when you are out is the result from teaching them from when they are born (ongoing as you fine tune as they get older).
    The starers I just ignore.
    I get alot of positive comments from mostly older people (50yrs plus). Often part way through the conversation they reveal they were part of a large family and how much they loved it.
    Occasionally we come across people so impressed by the chlidrens behaviour that they buy treats for us.
    Using positive comments from the public I reinforce good behaviour while we are out. The children love to hear nice things about themselves.
    If I am short a child and get the ‘aren’t your hands full’ type comment I love to stir and reply with ‘there are more at home….’ LOL. Actually I do like to stir people up a bit, especially when they ask am I having any more (I mean how rude is that to ask!) so I tell them I dont know; I get quite a few funny looks.
    and the tv questions drive me insane – ‘don’t you have a tv???’ so my reply is ‘we do so maybe it is what we are watching!’ That stumps them and they don’t know what to say then, LOL.
    Our swimming teacher loves to point out the size of my family to other swimmers, and also the fact that we homeschool. This is in a positive way, she says my children are one of the two best behaved families that attend the swimming school.
    A homeschool mum who has helped guide me said that you will never regret having all the children later on in life, if anything peole with smaller numbers or no children will regret that they didn’t have more. She is a mum to six.
    The biggest trouble I find is cars. We drive a landcruiser 4wd that has eight seats. If I have more than 6 children the vehicle choices are very limited, and more so here than in the US.
    There are alot of good comments here. Know that you are not alone! Bec xxx

  55. 😀 Miss 3 is my only child. When people see us at the checkout I have had many people ask me when I am going to make her a sibling. Funny how people engage the mouth before the brain catches up.

  56. I forgot to add; have a look at

  57. I have 4 kids – boy,girl,boy,girl all 2 years apart. I am constantly asked are they all yours? then how old? then they tell me either You have your hands full or well you have the perfect family dont you! Of course I have the perfect family, their my kids! It doesnt matter what birth order they arrived in or the timing of their births, they are my beautiful kids and I love them! When my 2 oldest were 2 and 6 mths I was shopping and a local woman came up to me and said ” Gee, your boys are fat! hahahahahahah” I was horrified and replied ” I have a boy and a girl- hence the ribbon in Britt’s hair and they are not fat thankyou!” I was so upset, the stupid woman chuckled and walked away, to this day 11 years later I hate that woman everytime I see her in the street. She really hurt my feelings – the old B#$%h!

  58. You did very well not to smack the lady! I have a lady at playgroup who has 10 children (one every 2 years). Now that is a large family nad they are always neat & tidy and polite. I only have a boy(3) & a girl (9 months) and would love a couple more but with turning 40 next year I think I just have to be happy with two healthy children.

  59. Having been divorced after I had my first 2, then meeting a lovely man 8 years later and having another child I could almost write a book on rude comments about, and to, my children. Instead I laugh at them and say ‘Well, where’s yours so I can compare how they’ve been brought up?’. They usually storm off speechless :). I had my third, and last, at 36 years of age.

  60. Oh Corrie — I think you handled it beautifully. And I don’t think you should be offended in the least — she commented on how well behaved and clean the children are — she was probably just shocked because that’s not the norm. People are so casual and lackadasical these days that it’s surprising to see such a beautiful sight!

  61. Corrie, I have 6 children and the worst comment I have had was do they all have the same father and are you on the pension. Yes they have and no we aren’t. People (some) are so rude.

  62. Who cares….her and the countless other strangers who have too much to say. You know, she probably cannot sew either – sad, just sad. My kids don’t look alike (as they were adopted). My husband and I have been together over 20 years, but the comments I get from brain-free strangers relating to single Mums, welfare, different daddies, could probably fill a book. I bet most of them can’t sew either, so don’t have the support of happy bloggy crafters. Pity.
    Your kids are gorgeous. Clean is just a total bonus. You are setting a high standard out there in supermarket land! Don’t stop with your babies. You make them well.

  63. I have to laugh, you handled yourself with grace and that’s probably the best option, especially with your children looking on. I am a mother of 5 and I have always gotten the same curious looks and questions, are they all yours and are they from the same father? Yes and yes. And I swear that disappoints some.

  64. I forgot to say how Gorgeous are your babies!

    And how you make me wish I were a quilter.
    xo lori

  65. Oh I feel your pain! I had mine close, 4 under 5 and the comments from strangers were verging on downright rude! People would snark and say ‘you’ve got your hand full.’ Yes, yes I have. Thank you for noticing and for pointing that out. Grrrrr.

  66. Yes, don’t you just love being treated like the traveling circus? The comments are endless. My personal favorites are the ones regarding their clothing choices. I keep them clean as best I can (three boys are tough!). But my five year old insists on either wearing shorts year round or pulling his sweat pants up to his knees, so he might as well be wearing shorts. It can’t be helped, but you’d think I was a child abuser based on the comments I perpetually get about it. “Isn’t he cold?” “Aren’t you afraid of him getting sick?” (do people still believe that one?)
    My all time favorite comment is this one, if only because we have a comeback now, we’ve heard it so much:
    “Wow, you’ve got your hands full.” – usually said with a smirk.
    “Yes, but our arms are full too.”

    Bless you for being a polite example to your beautiful children.

  67. I know I just posted, but I just thought up the PERFECT response, especially when they comment on how clean/well-behaved your children are.

    Just remark that you are also teaching them to be polite and sensitive to the personal decisions of others, whether it is to have only one child or ten.

    I’m totally going to use this one. Because I’m tired of my children hearing strangers act as though they must be a burden or just escaped from the zoo.

  68. Corrie… cannot believe the crass things complete strangers say to people – amazing! I don’t get many comments about the girls as there is 2 of them – the end. However, my husband has a vision impairment and uses his cane regularly when we are out. But back in the days when life would have been so much easier for him to use a cane than battle on without one the comments and assumtions about his mental capacity/state of drunken-ness was astounding! Although at the Chemist a couple of months ago he handed over a script and when the pharmacist returned with his medication and wanted a signature on the script he looked over to me (2 metres away) and asked if JR could sign it – I wanted to yell – he is blind, not deaf!!! Ask him yourself!!! I have no hassle with kids staring, making comments or asking questions about the cane and have often stopped to answer questions from little ones. However, I am perplexed at the number of adults who stare, point and make comments at JR using his cane when we are out, at least he can’t see it!
    Have a great day. Cath x

  69. How awful for you and how rude. Why do people make assumptions about us? It is like those who question why I am selfish enough to only have one child. I take great pleasure in telling them that I lost my last baby at 16 weeks gestation, thank you very much for asking, that having one child is not my choice but an absolute blessing.

  70. Hilarious. I only have 2 and they are always messy haired and snot faced. Expecting no.3 can’t imagine the looks i’ll get with three dirty ones! ha…i’m clean really though they just rebel!

    Plus 4 is like…not even that many?! To say are they all yours you’d think at least 6…maybe she couldn’t count?

  71. LOL I have had a lovely morning sitting here reading the comments… I have 2 girls and a little boy and #4 will be here in late june :o) Very Excited but can so relate to this topic, On tuesday I had an appointment with the baby dr and I took all 3 kids with me…. as tuesday is his baby day everyone in the surgery knew what I was there for and the looks I got when I walked in. But I was so proud of my kids as they were beautifully behaved and continued to be in every shop we went into.
    #4 will be my last as I have ceasars but I love reading how you would love another baby Corrie.
    Have a great day Amie x

  72. Yes some people don’t think before they speak. I have one girl who is 6. I always seen myself with a family of between 3 to 6 kids but a medical condition took that option away from me. I have only stopped in the last year, tearing up when some one asks if I’m planning more. Then you get comments about the negatives of an only child. Now I don’t go into the details I just say I can’t have any more and that shuts them up. As for the women at the supermarket maybe you could have asked her if she was planning to apply for the old age pension. I think you’re doing a great job.

  73. ***** Your family is beautiful as always Corrie!

    *** Off topic, but in the photo (3rd I think?) is that a Singer Table on the left?? The woodwork looks the same as the one I use to have (10yrs under mum and dad’s house through several cyclones did the woodwork no good :-( )

  74. I have 10 kids 24, 22, 18, 14, 13, 10, 7, 6, 5,and 4 (all mine, all singletons), when I had the youngest there were 4 under 4.5 at home

    I am constantly amazed that people can be SO rude.

    I’ve also been asked if the two youngest are twins (12 months apart), if they are my grand kids….um, they are calling me MUMMY!!

    and yes, if we could have more, we would

    having a big family is challenging, but ultimately I wouldn’t swap if for anything

    oh and yes, thank you, I DO find time for quilting, my husband makes sure of that

  75. I always find the random conversations interesting. They give you a little insight into other peoples worlds. And yes, often the questions are quite impertinent and sometimes very strange.

    Its actually quite sad reading that ladies comments, as it strikes me that these assumptions are her normal 1) multiple children equals multiple dads, 2)only superwomen or rich women with nannies actually have clean children and 3) the esiest way to get rich is to have more children so your Centrelink payments go up.

    Normally I just smile and nod, and hope the queue moves quickly, but every now and then I have a conversation that reveals someone broken and battered, just desperate for love/acknowledgement/a friendly chat, but who does so in an awkward way. Of course, the conversation can also reveal that they are just socially backward!

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