when people comment on your family size……….

This week two readers have messaged me on facebook with exactly the same question so I thought that would make for a great blog post and kill 2 birds. So my readers are each pregnant with another baby and they are either copping the questions and comments from strangers (and people they know) or expecting them. And they wanted to know what my advice was. What do you say? What do you do?

And I have to think of Madagascar! Smile and wave boys, just smile and wave. Seems to work for me. Just kidding. Well sort of because I do just smile. Sometimes it might be a fake smile like when someone says don’t you know what causes it or don’t you have a tv or are you catholic. But a few years ago I realised that people just like to talk for the sake of talking. So it doesn’t have much to do with you or how many kids you have but people just like to say something. I can be pushing the twin pram and people say you’ve got your hands full (and I’m thinking this isn’t even half of our family) or I could be out with all the kids and people will say something. You could have one child and people ask aren’t you having any more. You have no children and people ask are you having any and you have a big family and you get the comments too.

Basically my advice is smile and just say to yourself they just had to say something and are making small talk. Let me tell you that I’ve heard it all and then some more too – twice I’ve had people say ‘but they are so clean’. Oh yes. But I can honestly say that 95% of the time, people don’t intend to be mean or critical and they just want to say something. I can count on one hand the number of times people have really offended me with their comments over the years. And at those times it has really irritated me but they are not people in my life or that I’ve ever seen again and their comments mean nothing to me and my family life. And I can always remember when there are people who have just been so sweet and nice about our family and that always makes up for anything that might have offended.

So that’s my answer……it’s not deep or anything but basically I’ve heard it all before and I’m sure once my big pregnant tummy comes on show that I will hear some more……like every single time I go the supermarket. But I love my family, I have a great life and I’m proud of my family.  People’s opinions and comments don’t bother me when I’m out and about anymore. They probably did when I had the twins or we had our 4th but really twins are a whole new world of sideshow entertainment when you’re out and about anyway. If people say you’re crazy or whatever I tell them I love it and we have lots of fun at our house. And I’ll tell you something, I’ve seen little kids looking over at our table if we’re out eating and I’m sure they are wishing they could sit with us and all the kids at the fun table.

Over to you………what’s your advice? worst thing someone has said to you? Does it bother you? Love to hear……..

Comments

  1. I truly think your family is beautiful and you and retro daddy are blessed.

  2. As you said, people like to make small talk… I lived in a small town when my daughter was little and from the time she was 1, I had the question: when the next one? If I replied that there will be no more, the opinions came thick and fast, including the classic “oh you have to have more than one, in case something happens to her!”mmmmm…. in that case, let’s have more than 1 husband, “”just in case!””

  3. Love this post! We have four girls and get those remarks all the time! I would love more … Probably not going to happen now but I certainly would never comment on the size of a family xxx

  4. Christie says:

    I think you’re spot on…some people just can’t help themselves and either it’s admiration or sheer horror but in this day and age with micro families if any I think you guys are brilliant at showing us all that our love can be spread successfully amongst our very own soccer team if our heart if willing. Who can estimate a parents love for their children and how darn lucky to have siblings to learn, grow and share with.

  5. This always plays on my mind. My husband and I have three and always toy with a fourth but when ever anything comes up on the matter my parents and my in laws always say No don’t be silly you have enough on your hands. Which we always find disheartening. So it was good to read you also come across the naysayers.

    • Annmaree says:

      this is your family, you have no obligation to discuss it with anyone but your partner. DONT tell them until you are pregnant, this is a decision for you guys, I knew my family disagreed with us having another child, so we kept it to ourselves until i was 4mths, We now have 6 beautiful children and everyone loves them all. (especially us )

  6. I work in childcare and I absolutely love my job but I am not feeling the need to have a child of my own. People often don’t get this and just can’t understand how I can work with the little once and not have my own. I say I have all I need, my family works the way it is and I respect everyone for their own choice about their perfect family. May it be none, one or many kids, it is your life and only you know what works for you. Congrats Corrie on the latest pregnancy. May you have as many more as you like to have.

  7. I’m a mum of seven, youngest is now 20 years old. I have been the target of a lot of nasty comments over the years regarding my family size. I remember once in the local butcher shop a man rudely commenting on how much meat I was buying. He said “are you feeding an army?” I said “no, there are 9 of us at home.” He said “Jeez how can you feed that many kids”, to which I said not your problem mate because I’m not asking you to feed them!! That stopped him in his tracks ;)
    Having the second largest family in a small town certainly had it’s moments but I always felt proud when people commented on the way they were dressed or how well behaved they were in public. I would not trade raising my seven for anything…and now I have fourteen beautiful grandchildren to love. Enjoy your family Corrie and ignore those who feel the need to put others down, it doesn’t matter how many children we have a long as we love them with all of our hearts! xxx

  8. You have a beautiful family and I only wish I was having sixth not just dreaming I was having a third…
    Best of luck deflecting any horrible comments from passers by! X

  9. I’m at the other end of the spectrum. People just don’t realise how insensitive their questions can be. Just yesterday I was asked again by a complete stranger when I was going to have children. It’s a sensitive topic as my husband and I would dearly love to have a family but I am unable to after I had cancer treatment at 28 years old.
    I know people generally don’t mean to hurt and offend but I really wonder why people think it’s ok to ask such personal questions. You never know what someone might be going through privately.

  10. Hmmm, when I just had one child someone close to me commented that I couldn’t just have one child *gasp* I replied with ‘well who told you to have three kids?’ That person never did ask me again. We have two now and I honestly don’t think I would cope with any more but I’m envious of those who do have more kids, I just know it’s not for me.. I wish I could stay quiet when people give me unwanted advice or day stupid things to me, unfortunately I do have a tendency to bite back…

  11. Celeste de Rozario says:

    Great post! We have two girls and although we don’t get comments on the amount of children but on how close the age gap is and how different they look. Our 2 year old looks like daddy, dark skin, dark hair and eyes. Our 10 month old looks like me, fair skin, light hair and blue eyes. They look absolutely nothing alike! Strangers have asked me if they are sisters or if they have the same dad! I also get asked if my 2 year old is actually mine. I know people don’t mean to be offensive, and the questions actually don’t bother me. Just like you’ve said, people just like to talk! I’m just new to your blog and can already see you’re raising a beautiful family. The more the better I say;) x

  12. We have one child and she will be an only child. I get asked all the time why we didn’t have more and my reply has changed, it used to be long winded but now it is ‘we got a good one so quite while we were ahead’.

    The truth, the risk of twins and the length of time it might take to fall pregnant were a double edged sword. We never wanted one, we always wanted 2 or more but 2 years to conceive, a difficult baby and being the wrong side of 35… perhaps if we had met 10 years earlier it would have been a different story…

    I love your big family, I love how T has to keep things moving, how E get’s brave with eye contact and a smile and the littlest E, he just melts my heart. K sitting still as still through the guide AGM last year, she was a credit to you and Retro Daddy, and your mini Retro Daddy F, he is the strong silent type, polite always, doesn’t say much but when he does you’d better be listening. Well done to you, you make it look easy but I know it’s not. Can’t wait to meet the new bub! x

  13. You amaze me. I have no idea how you do it with so many, I just hope that it must get easier as you go along. I struggle with 1!
    Love your perspective. x

    Bettina
    http://www.littleoldsouls.com

  14. Oh I hear you on the sideshow that is having twins! We also have five, and we also get all the random comments – having five girls, the one we get most often is ‘are you going to try for a boy?’ Most of the time I’m fairly laid back about it but occasionally I get caught in a rough mood and my tongue gets the better of me.

  15. I have 4 under 7.. roughly all 2 years apart and I still get comments from family and friends and complete strangers all the time.. The one I hate the most is ” when are you popping out the next one.. your normally pregnant everytime I see you” I don’t comment anymore I just smile and walk away… I love my kids and they can be a handful sometimes but thats the joy of kids… I’d have 4 more if I could..Some people just like the sound of their own voices and don’t pay much attention to what they are saying.

  16. I have 3 kids under 4. I constantly get the “you’ve got your hands full!” comments. When I was pregnant with #3 & just after I had her the stares would make me really self conscious. But them I’d look around & see that my kids were always beautifully dressed & well behaved while we were out so I had nothing to be ashamed of. A lady in our local baby shop told me to answer to the full hands comment “well, it’s better than having them empty” but now I’ve learnt to beat people to it when it see them staring & just say “this is my rent-a-crowd!” or “I’ve always got company!!” & most times they smile & laugh instead of comment.

  17. Congratulations Corrie and Retro Daddy on baby #6! Your children are gorgeous, healthy, happy and loved. There is nothing wrong with having a large family. My mother was 1 of 8 children. I am 1 of 5 children. It was fun growing up in a large family. Hubby and I were unable to have children. Spent years on fertility treatment. It was hard dealing with the many comments from insensitive people. We adopted 3 precious children from South Korea. We would love to have more children however creating our family has been an expensive journey. We adore our children. Corrie our children are clean too! Shows you care for your children and their appearance

  18. I do agree that twins is harder to deal with the attention when out and about. We still get it all the time and mine are 5 but think that will happen for the rest of their and our lives. I don’t judge, each to their own. If you are happy with the size of your family that is the main thing. I do find it hard at times to deal with 2 kids, however I would love to have another baby. This thought has upset some members of the family as they don’t think that is a good idea. Again, it is not up to them, it is up to hubby and me to make that decision. Congratulations on the new baby and the new house.

  19. Hi,
    I am totally your opinion; I have only 3 children, but here in Austria it is common not to have more than 2 kids. I have also learnt not to care what people say. And it is true, often people do not think about what they say, they just want to say anything. It is our life and decision and nobody else has to deal with it.
    Michaela

  20. My two look nothing alike – Mr 11 is my clone with red hair, fair skin and freckles, while Miss 8 is the dead spit of their daddy with dark hair, lovely long lashes and gets a tan when she walks past a window. When they were littler and I was on my own with the two kids I had a complete stranger ask me if she was from a second marriage. I was so shocked I just had no words at all. Laughed myself silly afterwards but at the time, well, was just shocked by the sheer gall.

  21. You are right! No matter how many children you have people have to say something.
    When we had our son he was our third, my friend said ” Now that you have a boy you can stop”. We had three because we wanted three. It is no ones business and have any many as you want. You have such a beautiful family it is fun watching them grow.

  22. We have 5 aged 1,3,5,8 and 9. I’ve heard it all! Mainly that I’m Supermum though which isn’t bad so I can’t complain! But the “don’t you have a television”, or “haven’t you got that fixed yet” gets old, and the Supermum status comes with negatives. I’ve actually grown apart from a few friends who decided I am too good at this parenting lark, even though if they saw me privately screaming in my bedroom they’d know differently! Luckily I have enough good friends that know I spend just as much time feeling the same inadequacies as they do for my coping like a ninja times! Good luck with the 6th – looking forward to the baby pics x

  23. Joeleen says:

    When I had just two I would always get oh you have a pigeon pair guess you won’t be going back for more well guess what I did go back for more and my third pregnancy was a set of twins and I was blessed with another pigeon pair. Now I get oh my god you have your hands full or look out double trouble. I just smile and say yes they can be but I wouldn’t change a thing. I got all the same questions no tv etc and I just brush it off. Little do these people know that I’m a single mum as my ex husband found it to hard to deal with four. The hardest part is mine are 6, 4, & the twins are 2 so my hands are full and yes I have bad days and good days just like any other mother. The comments I like the best are the positive ones. Only the other day I had all four at the shops we stopped for lunch and I had a lady walk up to the table and say I’m envious of how your children behave I can’t believe they have all sat so nicely and eaten with a knife and fork. Now at first I thought that’s so nice but then I thought yeah it is but the reason they are like that is because I put the time and effort in and that made me proud of the mother I am.
    To all you lovely mummies out there that have more then three or more embrace the fact that your heart was made big enough to love all of your children that the man up stairs felt you are strong enough to have and love your children because when we look back we won’t see a house with to many people we will see a house that was full of love and memories. I know I will look back and know my struggles made me stronger and a great mum that I will always thank my chaotic life for and wouldn’t change a thing.

  24. Joanna Maria says:

    I think the most important thing is the reaction of your partner /husband. As I told mine that I´m pregnant with the fifth, he just said “If You love me you will have an abortion”. Well, I´ll rather abandon him than abort. So if he doesn´t want any sixth to come he got to have a sterelisation! Anyway I just can´t stand him anymore for several reasons. For him his Work, “Word of Warcraft” and especialy what other peple say is more important than his Family. The problem is, he is working with a lot of Women over 40 mostly without children, even without any relationship. For him allready aur fourth son was a “social relegation”

  25. When I was out and about with my five, all less than 6 yrs apart, people invariably said “you’ve got your hands full”. I would just smile and nod and say “yes…full hands, full heart”. The hardest part was not telling them that I was actually a mother of 6 but one of my babies was now with God. They didn’t want to hear that. They were just being friendly. Apart from the few who think you are using all the world’s resources, I think people are just making small talk and a friendly response makes you both feel good.

    And as for those who did make a malicious comment about the world not being able to support large families, I would point out that my children’s (beautiful, clean) clothing was either homemade or second hand, as was the pram, the car, my shoes, the furniture etc etc, and I wondered which of us was actually more guilty of wasting resources. They didn’t comment a second time.

  26. Heartsdesire says:

    Hi Corrie
    I have four children, adults now, and I can’t tell you how much they mean to me. I wish I’d had two more. When they become adults, it’s wonderful when they are all home, especially at Christmas. Everyone is always talking at once, hugging each other, so much love. They do, of course, have their differences, but nobody stays mad very long. A large family is not for everyone, as there is definitely a certain amount of patience involved, but it’s very rewarding. And for those who don’t seem to understand, or those who make rude comments, that’s their problem. You have the most beautiful family, and I can’t wait to see what the new little one looks like. Not sure if you crochet or not, but I found the sweetest little sweater/jacket at Annemarie’s Haakblog. I’m not good on the computer with links and things, so can only give you the name of the blog. Check it out if you have time, I think you will love the pattern. Very simple and easy. Good luck.

  27. Marijke says:

    I have 3 children ,adults now and 6 grandchildren and i love them to bits ..
    so you can be proud on your lovely family and there are always people who want to say something .to smile to them is the best thing to do.

  28. suzanne says:

    Hi Corrie.
    I am a mom of 9 and in our local Catholic church community, I feel normal but when we are on vacation or in a different area I forget until I see people trying to count us and decide if we are one family. I always try and remember that I am blessed and to ignore the occasional rude comment but I have found the older I have gotten the less a rude comment bothers me – maybe a plus of getting older? Enjoy them, my youngest is five now and it has gone very fast.

  29. Hey Corrie! Big hug from your old fan. I am in compleatly different situation than you, but I also got a lot of comments about the size of my family. I am 29 years old and I have a son who is 4. I am looking very young, so nobody can gass that I am the mother. But whenever we are out and about, everyone must make a remark about me being selfish and not having another child. Here in Israel in every family there are 3 children. Not 1, not 4 – but 3. So if you are different people must point to you and make you feel bad about it.
    I adore big happy families, but I also think that every child should come at his time. Good luck to you and your buiterful little ones :)))

  30. Corrie
    I think your family is precious. I only had 2 sons (they are grown now) and because of medical reasons I could not have more. We wanted 6. We now have 3 sweet grandsons. One if my friends had 7 and now she is blessed with 25 grandchildren!
    Ignore people who say anything about your lovely family. I think you are right, most mean no harm but honestly people need to mind their own business! I will pray you have a safe delivery and healthy baby.Can’t wait to see the new little one on the way.
    Hugs from a Catholic “friend” from the USA
    beebee

  31. Funny I had commented on another site about people making comments when you are pregnant, wanting to touch your belly and generally getting too close for my personal taste…. I think that it is a social issue – for example people are very open on social media. Often they say things that are not something I would put out in a public forum. This blurs the lines and people are not able to understand what they should/should not say in person. Perhaps as a society we are losing our ability to interact.

  32. Please don’t feel singled out. I have no children at all – by choice- and folks have LOTS to say about THAT! lol
    I long for the ‘repressed’ days of our parents, when folks *didn’t* feel like they were entitled to comment on EVERY situation…

  33. Well said Corrie, the saying ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say…….’ Goes a long way I think, and I agree with you, more often that not people just like to make small talk and perhaps might not think about what they are saying may offend you? It makes me smile when I see big families, I come from a family of 4 children and there was never a dull moment at our place, always lots of fun, someone to play with, hectic at times but loved every minute. When we get together now for family meals it’s still hectic as we now have children of our own but we appreciate how lucky we are!!

  34. I often look after my nieces so have my three plus an extra three. I love it and when we are out and about I always get comments. You can see people eyeing up the situation and working out ages etc. I had one lady come up to me and ask if any where twins then I explained that only three are mine….”ohhhh, no wonder you look so calm”!!!! So if I have six am I meant to look a mess and be tearing my hair out??? Happy week to your Corrie xo

  35. Kylie Hall says:

    I think you are lucky :) I would have liked at least 1 more (to make 4) but age and finance prevented unfortunately.

    Just one question – I hope there are some lovely pictures of you and the kids as well, so many of us mums are taking the pictures and not in the pictures and that’s important too :)

    Enjoy your family

  36. Hi Corrie,
    I’m 37 weeks pregnant with my 3rd child and a astounded by some of the comments I get about having 3 children….I can only imagine what people say about 6. I have 2 girls and am having another girl so there are the “Oh, your poor husband…he’s outnumbered!” I’m no mathematician but pretty sure he was outnumbered when we had our first daughter!!!! Then there are the “Oh, how old are your girls (7 & 5)…why are you having another you’ve just got rid of them.” Hilarious….I don’t think that having 2 kids at school counts as getting rid of them. This is usually followed closely by the question “Oh, I couldn’t do it…you’ve just got your life back….imagine going back to the baby stage…why would you want to do that?” To this I usually make a sarcastic comment like “Well, it was either have another baby or full-time work!” Usually stops them in their tracks as they try figure out if I’m joking!!! But, I think the most inappropriate comments I’ve had and there have been two are from complete strangers saying “Accidental?” or the other variation “Planned?”….I could never imagine asking someone such a question but there are all sorts out there!!! There are positive comments as well but the bad always seem to stand out the most. Good luck Corrie….it’s a special time! xx

  37. Cheryl Hayes says:

    I admire you and your little family, what a blessing to have your 5 littlies with another on its way! And they are blessed to have a family life filled with love, fun and happiness…not every child is so fortunate. I was unable to have babies myself and people would ask when we were going to start a family…I just smiled too and then let go of their words…they meant no harm and didn’t mean to offend!
    Thank you for sharing your life…you always make me feel happy when I read your blog. Stay happy and healthy xxx

  38. Larger families are becoming few and far between these days so to see one must be both a shock and intriguing all at the one time for people.
    I get lots of comments all the time,less and less though at this point in our lives since there are no babies and all 4 are in school and Kindergarten,but before that..whoa!

    I actually find the funniest comments are those brought on by how young I look for my age…we were paying for items at BIG W self service check out and my husband was standing out the front waiting and I sent my eldest off to wait with him and the man out the front watched her go and quickly called over to me,”Your little sister is wandering off.”
    He seemed rather concerned until I replied ”She is my daughter and she’s fine,just going to stand with her dad.”

    His face..I giggled for such a long time after that and my husband and family still talk about it to this day.

    Your family is full of love Corrie,so keep enjoying them.Look forward to hearing about the world of 6 kids!

  39. Clarissa says:

    Firstly congratulations on no.6 I’ve got 2 singletons and a set of twins and we’ll soon be going for no.5, who knows maybe we’ll score twins again! I secretly hope so! My hubby’s great and loves kids and knows kids are our future and what kind of a life do you have if you don’t have a family to share it with. My folks had 9 kids and hubby’s family had 5, so we just say this is nothing compared to 9! I’ve heard all the comments also and I only have 4, even all those stupid twin comments like which one do you love more? People are dumb. A great reply to the don’t you own a tv one is ‘don’t you own a tv, yes we do, but if you prefer tv to sex you must be doing it wrong!’ Lol.. Love your blog, keep up the great work mummy

  40. dianne nunn says:

    I often say “you have your hands full” as a way of saying “can I help you put the kids in the car or lift your groceries into the car for you”. It is not meant to be offensive or rude – just a way of acknowledging what is obviously true. Some mummies have lots of support and others don’t. Imagine you have several kids and are on your own every day. Perhaps a friendly voice or helping hand might make all the difference.

    To those mummies who receive the odd, unthinking remark, just remember most people are delighted to see little children and mean nothing but kindness.

    • I tend to agree with you! I have 5 aged 1 to 6 so thinks look pretty insane to an outsider and I am almost always on my own during the week when hubby is at work as my parents live interstate and my MIL is not able to help us due to poor health. I have experienced plenty of rude comments but when people say I have my hands full I sort of appreciate them noticing because it is a huge struggle for me doing the smallest of things outside the house, and it can feel quite lonely day in/day out with little support.

  41. Kristie says:

    You are so blessed Corrie. I agree people feel the need to make a comment regardless. Upon getting married, all we heard was when are you having a baby. That was tough because it took 18 months and exploring lots of avenues to get there. Then we had a miscarriage when my boy was one and we got people, not aware of the situation, constantly asking when the next one would come- that got quite painful. We are now 13 1/2 weeks pregnant with number 2 and are starting to spread the joy- unfortunately some of those close to us have remarked ‘about time’. There is no time limit but the journey which you are on is not marked with a timer, it is about the journey and people must never forget that they will not always be armed with all the knowledge they think they have to comment. Our strength has come from our beautiful family and friends who have never questioned or demanded, just listened and been there to support. We now live our lives with an organic plan as life just happens like it will. .

  42. I was pregnant with the first and was asked how many will you have? I very seriously answered, we want at least 10-12. The reactions were always interesting and mostly nothing more was said.

  43. My Dad is one of 9 and I can tell you, no one has more fun at Christmas than big familys. Once they had all grown and married/had kids themselves there are about 75 of us (and growing).

    My Mum is one of 8 so if we went to her family for a function (they lived much further away) again it was enormous.

    When I hear of people having Christmas dinner and they are stressing because OMG 12 people are coming, I really just smile and think of everything they are missing out on.

    I have just the two children, but am not cut out to have anymore, but I love the idea of big families.

  44. michelle says:

    congratulations. I have three children and I was holding a friends baby and both my mum and mother inlaw said to me no more babies for you. I was actually offended because firstly I was holding a friends cute little girl and secondly who are they to tell me how many children to have. so what if my partner and I actually wanted another child that our businesses.

  45. Debra Crowhurst says:

    I have 3 beautiful children but always wanted more….. I love watching and reading about your family. There is always someone to voice their opinion.
    Ive not ever had are you having another, the hardest vomnent I had was when I had my daughter (3) and a shop assistant said what a beautiful granddaughter you have. ….. it was my second day out of hospital after having her….. I couldn’t walk home quick enough I was gutted. I was 37

  46. Debra Crowhurst says:

    I have 3 beautiful children but always wanted more….. I love watching and reading about your family. There is always someone to voice their opinion.
    Ive not ever had are you having another, the hardest comment I had was when I had my daughter (3) and a shop assistant said what a beautiful granddaughter you have. ….. it was my second day out of hospital after having her….. I couldn’t walk home quick enough I was gutted. I was 37

  47. You put that so beautifully Corrie! Enjoy your gorgeous family and never let those comments get to you :)

  48. I don’t have any advice to offer but would just like to say that when someone comments in that way it could often be more about them. I have two children and know that its my limit so I do admire anyone who can handle any more than that, knowing that it could potentially push me over the edge if I had to do it. I often get those comments about the TV and being Catholic in relation to my mother when people find out I have 10 siblings. x

  49. It doesn’t matter how many, if any, children you have people always make a comment. The worst one I got was ‘the next one will be a boy’ .I was too dumb struck to say a word. S was in ICU only a couple of weeks old after being born at 28 weeks. At that stage there were no thoughts of a second child as was risky having another prem baby and spending 3 months in hospital when you live 6 hours from a major hospital with no family support . We did have another one but nearly 4 years later !!
    My husband has 6 sisters and my father was one of 11.
    If you have one people comment, If you have 10 people comment.

  50. It is hard hacker at times huh? I have 1 child and would have loved to have more but it never happened. I’m so over comments about the perils of life for an ‘only’ – ours is a divine, gorgeous 13yo. The other day (after a stressful few weeks as I am not normally awful) a stranger gave me jip about why I hadn’t had more, so w/o thinking (no filter) I retorted ‘why are you so fat?”. OMG – I felt like a heel but then I had a good (naughty) giggle – sometimes you need to give it back so they get how rude they are being. Don’t let it get to you Corrie – your family are divine – and #6 will be just as sweet!

  51. Hi Corrie :-)
    We currently have 9 aged 2 to 14 and while i have heard my fair share of the comments I actually found the comments stopped at about baby 7. From then on we just got stared at! In fact we went to Costco yesterday and as we were loading the groceries and kids into the bus people a couple of cars over were just standing there staring at us totally unashamedly.
    Our family actually don’t speak to us anymore because of our family size and the choices we have made in raising them. We never got invited to family things anyway because we had ‘too many’ kids but to be honest, I would rather have my ‘big’ family than not have them because I was too worried what other people will think.
    Someone once said to me that you’ll never regret the kids you have but you will regret the kids you don’t have and that’s always stuck with me.
    I think that some of the negativity today comes from the view that children a burden not a blessing. Not so long ago big families were the norm!!
    In fact I love when little old ladies stop to tell me that they had or were one of 10 or 12 and how glad they were that they had or lived in a big family. They always seem so happy and have so many wonderful memories. Definitely makes the hard days worth it!

  52. Laurelle C says:

    Congratulations on number six. I have five and when I had the first three under three I heard “you must have your hands full” all the time. One day after I turned my back for a second my oldest climbed the back of a chair and fell off straight through the lounge window! Luckily she had not a scratch on her. I phoned hubby and he came home and I said in tears I can’t cope! I will never forget what he said to me… “Yes you can” . You are a good Mum and you cope every day”. He told me to stop listening to everyone! He was right subconsciously if you hear “must be so hard ” enough you start to believe it! My advice is people are just trying to be friendly but remember don’t repeat what they say over and over in your mind or you will start believe it. I am proud to have five and have never minded the comments except when I had all five shopping and a young shop assistant said “Wow they are all so different! Do they all have the same father!” I have blondies, brunettes, blue eyes and brown but they definitely have the same DAD :) That was the one time I was offended but she was young and didn’t mean anything by it and let’s face it there are a lot of blended families these day’s. :)

  53. Yes…. I am expecting number 8 and am expecting done negative comments from family but they love me and say those things out of worry for finances. I have always been terrified to tell my parents but did so just this last weekend. To my surprise, they were wonderful. Of course, they expressed worry but it ended with my mum talking about making baby blankets and knitting jumpers.

    For those in public who conment, I’m like you, I smile, always make sure I have make up on and look good and just hold my head high. I love my family, they are loud and take over a crowd but they are awesome. Most of the crowd I know respect my decisions and know that we are a great team and will bring our kids up to respect others.

    There are always some smart comments you can throw back to the “don’t you have tv” comments, like “you prefer to watch tv???” That will make them uncomfortable. I don’t find people say these anymore as I’ve progressed from the crazy mum to the supernumery category. From 6 kids onwards, this seems to be the common reaction. All the best, super mum corrie!!!! Will pray for the safe arrival of your baby number 6. Sarah xo

  54. Hi Corrie, I think it is fantastic you are having a sixth! I am a little jealous as I would really love more than my three, but have yet to convince my husband! Whenever I was pregnant it seemed like you were public property to be touched or asked personal questions, which felt inappropriate but for some reason people felt it was their business. When I had a newborn I got asked by an older lady in a shop if I was breastfeeding, intimating that anything else was just not good enough for the child. I totally agree though that people just want to say something, and I try not to take it personally. Once I was at the shopping centre and saw an acquaintance with four boys and stupidly said myself “I don’t know how you manage four boys”, which I afterwards kicked myself for saying as it sounded so negative and I was honestly impressed as my one four year old boy, along with toddler and baby sisters, was so full on I was feeling so overwhelmed at the time.
    You do a great job, I love seeing someone so happy to be raising a family, thanks for sharing with us.

  55. I am blessed to have four beautiful daughters (18, 15, 11 & 8). I believe each and every child is a miracle. I would have loved six children but age was against me. I always receive comments from people – “Oh your poor husband” and “How does your husband cope with all those girls?”. Pardon me!! He is not poor but rich with love and adoration from his daughters and you don’t cope with children, you face each challenge (good or bad) together as they come. And while I’m ranting – I can’t tell you the number of times people comment on the amount of groceries in my shopping trolley at the supermarket – “I’m glad I’m not paying for that!” and “How many people are you feeding?”. None of your business really!! So Corrie – embrace your amazing life and beautiful family and don’t let others rain on your parade!

  56. Well…When I was 13 I had this dream for my future. I wanted a fantastic husband and 6 children. I wanted to be a stay at home Mum and I wanted to be a great Mum to my kids. I wanted happy kids. I planned my entire wedding in my head. The location, the cake, my dress.
    When I was 16 I met the man that would go on to become my husband. Of course i told him a million times over that I wanted a large family with 6 children. He would nod and say “that sounds nice”
    When I was 21 we were married and a fell pregnant soon after.
    Baby #1 arrived and she was a challenge with a few health issues so she would cry all the time and hardly ever slept but even though I was exhausted I knew that I would still happily welcome baby #2 when the time came.
    My husband said he was happy with just one but he didnt really want her growing up as an only child so even though he really didnt want another one he figured we should. I thought that it was just a reaction to how difficult #1 was at the time.
    When #1 was 3yrs 2mths we had #2…another girl. She was totally different from #1 and slept 8hrs a night straight off. She was happy and a true breeze. I felt I could have had 3 of her and not been at all stressed. Easiest baby in the world.
    When #2 was a year old I said that it was time to try for #3. My husband looked at me like I was crazy and said No way was he having any more kids. I was crushed and just didnt know what to do. I kept telling myself that I should be happy as I had 2 lovely daughters and some people had none. I kept trying to find all the positives but the reality was that my heart was breaking. I felt like my family just wasnt complete. But there was nothing I could do. So that was that…2 children.
    When #2 started kindy i felt so lost and ended up battling deep depression. I couldnt throw it. Long story short…I dont think my husband knew what to do…He didnt want another child but he knew I did so as harsh as it was he said to me that we could have another child but he didnt want to hear any complaints when i had tough days and he would not he helping at all with nappy changes, etc. I agreed. The odd thing was that it really made things easier for me as with baby #1 he had told friends that of course he would be a hands on dad and would change nappies, etc…He never did and i used to get so annoyed with him for not helping when i was sick but with #3 I knew I was on my own from the start and I really didnt care.
    #3 arrived 5 years after #2.
    When I announced that I was pregnant some people asked “Was it planned or did you have an ooppss?”
    One person said “wow…3 kids…thats a large family”… I was shocked that 3 is considered large….6 was large…6 was my dream. I feel like I made it half way.
    My girls are grown now. The youngest is 17 and 2 years ago after I battled health issues it was discovered that i had tumors and a precancerous polyup in my uterus so I had to have surgery to remove my uterus. Even though I knew i wouldnt have more children it was so hard for me to face the 100% fact that now I could no longer have children. That was really hard.

    Corrie…sorry for all my jabbering here. The thing is you have what I so badly wanted. You have a wonderful husband and you have beautiful children. You are truly blessed. Often times I dont post in here but I read a lot and it warms my heart to watch your family grow.
    God Bless.

  57. There are four in our mob, the youngest just five months old. I’ve never really encountered many comments other than “you’ve got your handfull” which I agree, I do… and loving it most of the time. What has surprised me is people’s keenest to see if we’ll go #5. No one ever asked if we were planning more but now people almost seem to be egging me on…. Or do I just hear what I want to?

  58. I loved the comment “oh they are so clean”! What just because you have a few kids they are going to be dirty? Anyway I have two boys and I’m often asked – aren’t you going to try for a girl? I just look at them and say “yes, my husband is going to do that with his next wife”. That certainly shuts them up x

  59. I’ve noticed the comments have generally stopped for me now that my oldest is 4 and there are no babies on the way. The most offended I have been was just after my 4th was born and a family member asked me when I was going to stop having kids and get my life back. That hurt because it illustrated 1. There was no understanding of what I was doing and why and 2. This person was obviously not going to support me in any way.
    These days all the comments I get are about our decision to homeschool, most of which are very negative :(

  60. raina babos says:

    My biggest critic was my own mother when I told her I was pregnant with number 5. She said “honestly you have no self control”! and your’e not even catholic! She had two children because that was her choice! My husband and I could afford to feed and clothe them properly and I was able to stay home to care for them, so I did realise how lucky I was. I just said mum it’s a free country and if I want more I will have them. She loved them all and was a wonderful nana, we just differed in our opinions on family size. When other people commented negatively I just shrugged it off. I did get a lot of positive comments too though. If I see young family with lots of children I make it a point to say what a wonderful job they’re doing! My MIL had very firm opinions also.

  61. Hi Corrie like you said people just want to say something and I am sure most don’t realise how it comes out. We had 5 and my husband is one of 5 but I grew up alone. I remember when we had our 4th after a break of 9 years I got, “just when your kids are older you have to go back to the beginning!!” or “its not fair on the others to have a new baby” or “you will be too old when they grow up” (I was 33 at the time). I can honestly say my children are all wonderful, the youngest is 20 and left home for Uni this week (very sad!!!) but they all love and support each other and they never fight (well nothing serious anyway) You must enjoy your kids along the way and not wish the time away. Its only when they leave home you realise how short a time you had them for. Nothing else I have done in life or will do will be better than these 5 young people of ours who will make the world a better place. The only negative thing for you will mean you have to change your blog title from 7 to 8!!!!

  62. anne seery says:

    As parents you both have so much love to offer your wonderful children. You have a beautiful family and I’m so happy for you ♥

  63. Some of the reader comments have made some very good points. I have 4 young ones and I wish I had the patience for more but they have done my head in. I am happy and proud of my kids and their uniqueness. We have fantastic family gatherings and I pity those people who make those terrible comments. I still get people (even ladies) who go crazy and swear when my boys chuck a tantrum at the shops and I wish it didn’t get to me but sometimes it does. People will have their own opinion and the only one that matters is your own.

  64. Liz-Boise, ID USA says:

    Children are a blessing. My daughter & her daughter (my granddaughter) are currently living with us. Our house is a mess, the laundry is constant, and the fun/laughter we get are priceless. I found this blog a few years ago about a family that has LOTS of children and are traveling around in a converted toy hauler (not sure what they call it over in Europe) and are loving it. http://ticknortribe.com They have been refused service at campgrounds because of how many kids they have; from what I’ve read, they sound like extremely well behave kids. Enjoy your children and the newest to be. Liz

  65. Mum of six says:

    A dentist asked me when I was pregnant with my sixth “Don’t you know what causes it?” I told him “Really, for someone as well-educated as you, I thought you would’ve come up with something far more original – like the tradie who asked me if I’d swallowed an air hose!” (That one I DID giggle at.) The poor old dentist was lost for words – if he did mean to embarrass me, then it certainly backfired!

  66. We only have one child (who is 2.5 years old) and I’m constantly getting asked “So when’s the next one?” and then when I reply we aren’t having another one I usually get a big lecture on all the reasons why you “just can’t have only 1 child”. I used to feel the need to explain our decision but now I simply state “we’re very happy” and most people usually shut up. At the end of the day if you’re happy then who cares what anyone else thinks!

  67. you have a beautiful family,because large families are a rarity,you will have comments and questions,I would have had more children but we werent in the position to get a bigger van etc but even with 5 sons people will ask whens the girl arriving etc but I think the worst Ive had is people asking when am I due,i just say thats Christmas Dinner (and wonder how can I look expectant in small size clothes),youd think at approaching fifty that simply being Mum to my boys is enough

  68. It’s bound to happen – people will always judge, but your response with a smile is perfect and the trumps is that you are happy and your family is happy.

  69. Michelle Luck says:

    I only have two (aged 4 and 1 1/2) and constantly get comments like, ‘you’ve got your hands full’. Mostly because my two are both full of energy-chatterboxes-super friendly – super active and so I always do have my hands full. I can imagine if I had five around! I think your advice is perfect. People are trying to make small talk, often to be friendly, and I actually like the fact that people try to interact, rather than just ignoring everyone else and only focusing on their own life. This ‘small talk’ makes me feel like part of a community, and I’ve found it’s those same people who offer to carry bags I’ve dropped when my hands are literally full, or who chat with my girls and compliment them on their lovely manners or matching clothes (I’m one of THOSE mums!!!!)

  70. When I announced I was pregnant with number 4 in 6 years, I had someone say “Oh you poor thing” I was thrilled, couldn’t quite understand this reaction. Children are a blessing and I count my self truly lucky to have two handsome boys and two beautiful girls.

  71. I get asked all the time when am I gonna get married and have kids, and before my boyfriend and I moved together, I got asked when where we gonna move together. I know they’re making small talk, but I wish they would stick to weather talk. Never in my life I’ve commented on people’s life choices, and even less judged for them.

  72. Roberta de la Torre says:

    Hello Retro Mummy, you have a beautiful family, I love reading all you blogs, you are are an amazing mother.

    I have two children, a boy and a girl, I am trying for another baby and when I tell people they say are you crazy. Well no I am not I have always wanted more than 2 kids so I hope it will happen soon, I know it will…

  73. I’m one of 6 and we heard it all. When I was in school people used to comment or say things like ‘don’t your parents have a tv.’ But after a while you just become numb to it. I loved growing up in a big family and if we were outside playing you can guarantee the other kids in the street were wanting to play with us. I live reading about your family because to me that is a ‘normal’ family. Congratulations on your newest growing member :)

  74. When our third son was born 13 years ago some lovely person, can’t remember who, said “Not another boy! Oh we’ll, I’m sure you’ll love him anyway”. Hmmmmm – some people really are clueless.

  75. My kids are adults now, but I remember after I had my first two, a boy & girl & was pregnant with number 3, I was asked why i would want any more when i already had a ‘pidgeon pair’…….ummmm because i wanted another baby…..not another boy or girl…..just another child!! I love my 3 kids…..not just my boys or girl!

  76. The size of your family? Really? You so shouldn’t have to defend that?Most people are striving to provide the BEST education and LIFE EXPERIENCEfor their children. For our family it was three children (amazing educational/ethical/socialjustice experiences and careers that we are SO proud of) . . . You are so lucky that you can provide this to so many more little people

  77. I love this post, and you are right, people just talk for the sake of it a lot of the time.
    We are the other way round, we have one. The comments I get about ‘only children’ and needing a ‘spare’ etc etc are pretty mind blowing. From the insinuation I must hate being a parent to not want more, or that growing up without siblings will irreversibly damage my child.
    Truth is we don’t make babies easily, she was hideously ill for the first 12 plus months and we have no family/support. Not to mention we want to travel. So one completes our family perfectly (which was unexpected – I always wanted 4!). But boy do people have opinions on it.

  78. Oh yes, people think I am crazy. I was supposed to make a career and now I am living in the countryside at our farm, together with 3 children, the oldest of them 4 and soon there will be the fourth also. So, those who think I am crazy… They know nothing about the happiness I have found in my life! Who cares about career when you can have all this! And besides, I can have the career later, if I want it :)

  79. I’m pretty sure when we first met and you told me you had 5 kids I was like *SHOCKED FACE*. But it’s in an admirable way… I think it’s amazing and something that I would never even consider doing but I’m so impressed by you and happy for you that you have such a gorgeous big family that you adore. I can’t imagine ever feeling judgey towards you though… that’s a bit weird! x

  80. I love this post, have been on the end of some ripper comments as my children (2) are mixed race. It truly is a beautiful thing that children do not see ‘colour’ (up until a certain age) but quite often I am asked by adults “Where did you get them from?” and, “Foster or Adopt?”, “Same Father?”. Most people are well meaning and tend to be from an older generation who ask “Where did you get them from”, but I do have a cut off when I think in my own mind it was a bit abrupt, to which I reply… “From my Vagina actually”

  81. Are you ready for it? Just 3 years ago, when I was pregnant with #5, an elderly lady from my church sent me some reading material about how having too many children is ruining the world. I was so shocked and felt angry for days. I did give her stuff a good read though – I didn’t dismiss it offhand.
    My counter argument was that YES there are too many mistreated, badly-parented, poor children in the world. Imagine what a wonderful world it would be if everyone (who was able) actually worked hard 100% of their time on their children to raise them to be kindhearted, selfless, generous, patient… And so this lady, despite not meaning to, actually motivated me to work harder on my children. Humph, sometimes motivations come from the strangest of places!

  82. When we were pregnant with our third my in-laws never congratulated us. They just asked if he was planned. I am still cranky about that. Now I am pregnant with our fourth and my husband is dreading telling his parents. I’m not sure what their reaction will be, I just hope they’ve found some tact since our last announcement 4 years ago.
    We have a larger gap this time, so I am sure they will think this baby is a whoopsie and not that we had trouble conceiving.

    • My MIL acted like someone had died when we announced #4, she actually buried her head in her palms and said “oh my gosh”. I quickly made an excuse to leave and just cried the whole way home as I had been suffering terribly with 24/7 nausea and vomitting — announcing our pregnancy was supposed to be a milestone I could actually look forward to. Some people are just not very good at hiding the way they really feel and that’s a shame.

  83. One of my friends (who has 4 kids) told me that when people say “you’ve got your hands full” she says, “full of good things”. I like that and I’ve started to use it when people comment about my 3 blessings :)

  84. Kristie says:

    I love reading about your beautiful family and love seeing all the gorgeous photo’s of your kiddies, cant wait to hear about baby #6, you and retro daddy are so blessed and do a wonderful job. I’m 1 of 4 and my mum is 1 of 16 (all single births with 20 years from eldest to youngest), there is about 45 grandchildren and nearly 30 great grandchildren and more to come. Mum would say you had to eat quick and your favourite things first otherwise the boys would eat it….. mum has told us lots of funny stories about them all growing up :)

  85. Oh Corrie, I can see this is a popular post with 90+ comments. When I first started reading it, I thought ‘oh, just another one for the pregnant mums’, but I persevered and ended up loving EVERY WORD. I have no kids and your right, people just want to talk. I am 47 and I still hear ‘oh you have time’. Then I tell them how old I am…. however I don’t let them suffer, but just change the subject, like to my 10 nieces and nephews (just on my side) or 9 great nieces and nephews (on my husbands side). Loved it and thanks.

    • Jeanette Carrison says:

      I have four kids, my youngest is 14, my oldest is 40! I gave birth to the first three and adopted my youngest from overseas. I am single and have raised my kids as a single mum. I was divorced when my birth children were very young. I did not expect my ex husband to walk out on the marriage and his children. So I always tell women to only have as many kids they can raise on their own just in case!
      !. I think I have heard it all with the comments. I have been most shocked by the racist comments and the ignorant comments about my youngest daughter’s country of birth.In her first year of high school my daughter endured racist comments on a daily basis.This years she has moved to a smaller private school and so far not one racist comment. Both schools were very multicultural.
      I am also a foster parent and could tell endless stories of people’s responses to the number of children in my care and the endless questions about their father’s ethnicity etc. I am constantly referred to as the grandmother and I love to shock people and say no I am the mother!
      I still need a twin stroller as I have four little grandsons who love spending time with their grandma and current foster baby. I feel so privileged to have all these kids in my life and would not have it any other way.

  86. Dianne Whittle says:

    Being one of seven I always got those same comments about being Catholic (yes I am) and my parents having no tv. So very funny when you have heard it for the hundredth time isn’t it? I have to admit though I often find myself staring at big families like yours Corrie but only because I am envious and admire the hard work it must be bringing up so many kids – the amount of washing alone that you do would be horrendous! I remember sitting in a shopping centre food court and at the table next to us was a family with Mum and six or seven kids. They were sitting quietly eating their food from home – no whinging, no arguing, just beautiful, delightful kids, and Mum so calm and peaceful. Goodness, I had two and it was hell sometimes! I am clever enough to know that for that Mum it’s not all sunshine and roses, but I found myself staring and thinking ‘I wish’.

  87. People say much worse things about having “only” one child. We chose to only have one child for several reasons (none of which we tell anyone).
    We are so happy with our little family, and that’s all that matters.
    I’ve honestly never regretted our decision, not even once have I wished or fantasized about having more children. But every day (sometimes several times a day!) I feel happy that we have only one. :)
    When people say ignorant things (that it’s “cruel”, that she’s “lonely”, that she won’t like sharing -because kids with siblings LOVE sharing, lol) I just assume they’re unhappy with their lot.

  88. kylie herman says:

    I have 7 kids. I get asked if I go to work! If they all I have the same father? Etc, etc, I am happily married, they are all ours,we love them to bits. It is hard work. Had you asked me when I first married how many children we would have, I would have said 4. The last few just kind of came along and no. 7 well she was a gift from God. Our family have been very negative and unhelpful which makes me sad. All our children are a wonderful blessing and each have their own personalities and wonderful traits to share. We have our days as all families do, but each to their own.

  89. Kirsty Martin says:

    Hi Corrie, I am the same as you, one baby, then twins then one then one (all in a short space of time too)….we got comments constantly. Not anymore though as they are older than yours and we don’t use a pram anymore. We had a triple buggy at one stage & people were rude. Peoples’ questions can be truly ghastly and each time they see you pregnant with 3 or 4 others trailing behind you they just assume you are catholic or have no TV. Honestly I used to just say ‘that’s what happens if you fool around enough’ or ‘We just like sex’-that usually embarasses them. You’ll keep getting comments probably until they’re all at high school.

  90. People don’t think before speaking a lot! I’m pregnant with number 7
    And someone very close to home ie: related! Responded to the news
    With “well congratulations…I guess”. My husband is 1 of 11 kids!
    We are as excited to be having this possum as we were with number 1
    One thing having lots of kids does help with is to rise above most silliness!!!

  91. Hi Corrie,

    I’m up with my little baby and haven’t had a chance to read all the comments so if this is a repeat I do apologise.

    I found this youtube clip very entertaining and hope you do too.

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/blog/twelve-days-of-christmas-pro-life-family-style

  92. You have plenty of love and enough money to look after them so it’s no ones business but I really like your compassionate response. The ‘large family comments seem to start at at three children in my experience too.

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