Things I Would Never Say to a Parent with Two Kids

I have six kids. 

I wanted six kids from the time I was 11 years old and got the Sunshine Family for Christmas. I was happily playing in my room and decided I loved these dolls so much I would save them for my kids. Then I decided I was so happy in my family with five siblings, I would have six kids, just like my parents.

Years later, when I gave birth to our sixth child, I knew my life was complete.  My childhood dream came true.  My husband and I were happily blessed with a full house and full hearts.

What I didn’t know was how unhappy my decision would make other people. Strangers dared to make comments about our large family. Some would even dare blame world overpopulation issues on me.  I didn’t accuse them of lowering the IQ average of the world, I just politely smiled.

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I wish I would have had this sweatshirt then, it might have stopped me from having to answer the same question over and over every time I went out in public. (Click on graphic to take you to the site where you can buy this shirt!)

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They would assume I didn’t know where babies came from and offer procreation advice. As a Christian woman who believes in abstinence before marriage and faithfulness during marriage, I was always a little shocked and mortified that strangers would suggest my family size had to do with  ignorance or immorality.  I would smile politely at their insensitive and offensive comments about my bedroom life, knowing my answer to their rudeness could cause further judgment upon my large family.

Only the bestest of a best friend has the right to ask,  “So are ya’ trying to have another?”

(Besides, do you  REALLY need to hear the answer on that?)

Because I loved my family, it was a joy to graciously answer those rude questions and inform people ~

Family 2002 001

  • I wanted them and I knew how to make them. 
  • They were all planned.
  • Yes, they were all born after we were married.
  • YES THEY WERE ALL MINE.  Rather OURS.  They weren’t from the milkman, the mailman, the UPS man, the Fed-Ex man or the Garbage Man.
  • We considered children a blessing from the Lord.

While having dinner with a couple that were business associates, ya’ know that perfect dual income American couple with one boy and one girl, she actually said, “Well, you know, they say people have a lot of kids to do all their work for them.”

I was dumbfounded, but not dumb.  I prayed for wisdom and the Lord gave it to me.

“Did those people ever think if I didn’t have all these kids, I wouldn’t have any work to do?” 

“Oh, I never thought of that,” she said.  Yes, I know she never thought about that.  It never occurred to a highly educated woman that my career goal was to be a mother.  I didn’t create children to do my work, having children created a lot of work for me. But it was a job I chose and I loved.

Like many parents of large families in America, I discovered we were sitting duck when we took our clan out in public. The comments were astounding.  I would never walk up to a woman with only two kids and say the opposite of what was said to me. Besides, I was raised in a family where we were taught manners.

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  • You must not know what causes this, could you use some pointers?
  • Are you trying to have more?
  • How come you only have two?  Don’t you like kids?
  • Aren’t you worried your kids won’t be socialized because they don’t have enough siblings to play with?
  • Are they both yours?  Were they born after you were married?
  • With only two kids, are you sure there’s enough love in your family?
  • You haven’t been very busy, have you?
  • Are you aware of the health issues birth control can cause?
  • Your hands are certainly empty.
  • You must not be very patient at all.
  • You’re overpopulating the world, since the average is 1.8 kids.  Why didn’t you stop at one?
  • Are ya’ going after the mailman or milkman since your husband only gave you two?

So, as we laugh at what people say about big families and laugh at what we’d never say to small families, let’s be united in this thought; whether you have one child, six, or ten, being a parent is the hardest job we’ll ever love. Parents of a few children devote as much prayers, sweat and tears as parents of large families.

Parenting isn’t a contest, it’s a calling.

The win isn’t who has the most kids, the win is being the best parent you can be with what you’ve been given. The win is supporting other parents along the way, despite differences in faith, education, and family size. The win is using the Lord’s standards in raising your kids, not your man-made ones. 

But, next time you see a mom with a grocery cart full of kids at the grocery store, just don’t ask her if they’re all hers, ok?

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If you want to read more on this topic, I wrote a follow-up post using the humor and wisdom from the comments below. 

Best Answers to Big Family Questionable Questions

   Making your home sing Mondays

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235 Responses to Things I Would Never Say to a Parent with Two Kids

  1. thesisterslice June 10, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

    Love. love. love this! Brilliant! True! I have 3 boys–my husband and I late bloomers–there may be more pieces of our family out there. My sister in law has 6 and we gather a few other cousins and go into Madison for shopping….people act like we are crazy cult people and have even told us we are nuts!!! Have a great summer!

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 1:04 am #

      Oh, yea, I could write many blogs about going out to lunch or shopping with another big family. My sister-in-law had a few more than me, and we LOVED causing a riot going to the mall. We had a waitress who was really disturbed that we had so many people trying to eat in her section during lunch. She asked, “I suppose you want 11 forks, too?” after she arranged 11 chairs. I was too polite to say, “No thanks, you know we were too busy making the kids to actually teach them to eat with silverware.” We left a big tip, but never went back.

      • Kathi McMahon June 11, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

        I am a mother of five children. I actually felt guilty because I was so blessed to have five healthy children. When people would express their sympathy for how many kids I had I would just say that I thought of myself as lucky. I had a doctor lecture me about how terrible the world is and why would I bring children into it? (I switched doctors of course!) Once a cashier asked my kids if they had their own rooms…(I thought sharing was just fine) but one of my daughters exclaimed “NO but we have our own beds!!”
        We were told only one of us should grocery shop…we liked going as a family. After so many nasty comments I had had it!! One cashier at the grocery store said…”My you must really like kids” to which I replied…Nope it is just the sex I like. That shut her up. (Forgive me Lord)
        Love your blog!!

      • ilia whitney June 12, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

        As a mother too 7, I really loved your blog. I hear “Have you figured out what causes that” and “Wow, you’ve got your hands full huh?” on a daily basis 🙂

      • NotMolly June 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

        I’d have been soooo tempted to smile and say, “Actually, we want 22 forks. Everyone will drop one at some point, you know.”

        • Amanda December 31, 2014 at 10:46 am #

          Genius!

          I only have four girls, and I still get comments like these. Most of them are polite and even complimentary, though. 🙂

          At least no one has handed me a condom, like what happened to a friend. :/

    • Patti Stevens June 15, 2013 at 5:41 am #

      My husband and I have five children. We were only blessed with two biological children so we adopted 3 more blessings! My kiddos are not all the same race and my favorite question that I get is…”Oh, you must run a daycare! How fun that you take them all out!” I get looked at like I am crazy when I tell them that I only have my own children with me and that I do not run a daycare. I didn’t think that my family size would ever create such a stir! 😉

    • Shannon June 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

      I had one lady ask me if I ever heard of birth control. (I had just given birth to my fourth and she had four). I was so shocked, I didn’t know what to say. I now have 7, all girls, and I don’t have near the grace to reply with anything other than “My hubby left me a present every time he went back over the road so I wouldn’t forget him”. When we got married, I wanted 8 to 12 kids. I would like to adopt more.

  2. selisco June 10, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    I love your honest voice in your writing and the set up of your blog is so cool! Thanks for sharing your writing made me smile. 🙂

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 1:05 am #

      Thank you, what a kind compliment. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your sweet smile with the other readers.

  3. Kendra June 10, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    Get that question all the time and I only have 4. My favorite though was an older couple that asked if we knew what “caused” them. I said yes, and I like it…shut them up.

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 1:00 am #

      You GO, GIRL! I can’t stop laughing. Why didn’t you tell me that like ten years ago. That is the BEST answer yet! Again, we couldn’t ask someone with only 1 or 2 kids if they hadn’t figured out how to make kids yet….

    • Tamara June 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

      That’s the same thing I said! They started-in on me when I only had 3, and that’s what I started saying to shut that comment down quickly. 😉 I’m due in July with my 6th, and for some reasons, I don’t get the comments so much anymore. And, I’ve been exercising in this pregnancy more, so I don’t get the “are you SURE there aren’t TWINS in there” comment, which I always found a bit flustrating when I was 12 days overdue and extremely hormonal!

  4. Beth June 10, 2013 at 11:07 pm #

    I enjoyed your article, but would have to disagree about only mothers with large families being asked such nosey questions. My 30 year old single daughter gets asked the opposite questions-
    Aren’t you afraid you’ll never get married?
    Why don’t you have children?
    Aren’t you afraid of being alone?
    Etc, etc, etc. My daughter will never have children as she had a complete hysterectomy at the age of 24 due to severe endometriosis. And that is absolutely no ones business.

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 1:08 am #

      Beth, I am so glad you spoke up today! I had no idea, and I sincerely appreciate you letting me know the pain strangers could also cause a 30 year old single woman. I agree, these things are no one’s business, and that’s part of the reason I chose to answer with humor and grace. If I didn’t, I could be quite angry about things. Thank you so much for your honest and helpful comment. It helps me learn to guard my own tongue in conversation and build up people instead of tearing them down. I appreciated your voice today.

    • ndev2Niki June 11, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

      Yes, Beth! As a single 29 year old, your comment totally resonates with me! We humans sure need a lot of grace to live with one another, don’t we?

      And Mindy, great post!

      • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

        Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I feel like comments are the icing on the cake, the amen after a spoken thought. It’s a great way to hear any viewpoint or perspective, and I love how people can share their side so gracefully. Yes, you are right, we need to extend and accept more grace. Thank you for your encouragement today!

    • Heather June 12, 2013 at 1:56 am #

      I have one – nearly 5 and FINALLY a 2nd on the way this fall. It wasn’t for lack of trying that we had one for so long (and very nearly only had one total).

      I have had some of these super rude questions posed to me – so moms of many don’t feel alone! I think people in general are just rude to those who are different. I saw a lady with a new book about how having 1 kid isn’t the end of the world on the Today show this morning & some of the things she heard were atrocious as well.

      Here are the ones that stuck out to me that I have gotten (altho substitute 1 for 2).

      — How come you only have two? Don’t you like kids?
      — Aren’t you worried your kids won’t be socialized because they don’t have enough siblings to play with?

      — Add to that “Why did you quit working if you are only having one kid?”

      Not to mention the CONSTANT “when are you going to start getting busy” before you have a kid but have been married for more than a week or the “when are you having another” after your first is 6 months old.

      • Katie June 14, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

        I’m a single mom of one child and I get a lot of “don’t you want more kids” and “but what if you find a man who wants his own?” My response to the latter has always been “I’ll cross that bridge if I ever come to it.” 🙂

        I’ve also gotten comments about my daughter being “spoiled” and not well “socialized” despite being in daycare since she was a year old and thus being the most social kid in Kindergarten… It amazes me how complete strangers feel compelled to make judgments on each other’s reproduction choices.

      • Lene June 14, 2013 at 11:51 pm #

        I only have one child (not by choice). And I do get many sad comments. I too am Christian and choose to wait until marriage and also had dreams of a big family. The comments about choosing a career (what else am I suppose to do when I can’t have children) — having one child is not fair to the child since she will be lonely — the best is that is Heavenly Fathers plan for us to have children……..So I think people are just rude and don’t fully understand peoples circumstances which is very sad.

    • Dane June 12, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

      Uh, I highly doubt she ever meant ONLY moms with lots of kids get asked nosey questions. I’m sure you could say the same thing for single women, single guys, interracial couples, gay couples, couples with no kids, etc.

      • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

        Dane, you are right! I should have been more careful in how I set up the story. Many people get asked personal questions from strangers. I think after this, we’re all going to be watching our tongues even more closely.

  5. adelineoh June 11, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    This is awesome! Have you met motherofnine9.wordpress.com? She has the best stories about her family. Thank you for sharing your perspective. The truth is people are just ignorant. They will say things about childless couples, singles, marrieds with one child, more children, etc. People have opinions and they think they always need to be heard. Love this post!

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

      I agree that people are ignorant, and I honestly think that most have good intentions. How we receive their words actually is dependent on the kind of mood we’re in. Some days I was a little touchier than others. But, it has made me want to be gracious and kind in speech and not inflict pain on others unintentionally. Thanks for stopping by. I love the website you recommended. Thank you so much!

      • adelineoh June 11, 2013 at 11:38 pm #

        I think when we see how others hurt us with their words, we learn to be more careful with ours. Glad you like Melanie’s website! She’s awesome.

      • zanwan June 15, 2013 at 4:26 am #

        I appreciated your article! Several of my friends (and obviously numerous others here who have commented) are bothered by people’s comments on family size. We only have 6 children, but I’ve never felt people’s comments were negative and I think a lot of that has to do with how I took them. As I believe we are following the Lord in how we live I assume others are as thrilled with my children as I am and take their comments as positive. Our society has permeated most everyone with lies about what is “right” in regard to most everything and it’s hard to stay free of all of it. So, I wonder if when we’re bothered by someone’s comment is it because we are unsure about some of those issues somewhere within ourselves? Not judging, just curious as to why some have strong negative reactions at times.

  6. Amanda Castellanos June 11, 2013 at 3:46 am #

    This is my first time stopping by… what a fun blog! I just gave birth to my first, and I’m 27, finished with graduate school, and have been married for 3 years. Almost since the day I started showing I have had people ask if our precious son was an accident, if we thought we were ready to be parents, if I was sure who the father was, and what I would do if my baby came out a different race than my husband. I was so very shocked! I could not believe the insensitivity of these comments, and the fact that being an irresponsible parent and an immoral wife are so common that people assume everyone lives like that just broke my heart. My husband and I are hoping for more babies (if my health permits it) and I can’t wait to hear all the comments we’ll get as our family grows. Thanks for being an encouragement!

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 7:36 pm #

      Congratulations! What an exciting time for you and your husband. As your tummy grows, so will your grace, as you learn to deal with comments from people. It’s like another way of proving how happy you are about your pregnancy. You learn the best lesson in life with #1. It doesn’t matter how inexperienced you are, how many doubts you may have, or others have in your ability, your baby will want you and only you. When my daughter had her first baby, she was a little timid to parent in front of her experienced mom. We both learned very quickly that baby didn’t want the more experienced gramma, she wanted her mommy. I could hardly get her to stop crying, but mommy always could. Your love and your desire to parent are all you need to get started on the journey. Oh, and a few girlsfriends you can ask ANYTHING, and I mean ANYTHING, after you have the baby. 🙂

  7. mithriluna June 11, 2013 at 4:10 am #

    What a beautiful family. I used to get those questions but now most of my kids are grown up and don’t come with me to the store. I kind of miss those days, actually. It’s definitely an opportunity to share about how wonderful it is to have a large family. God bless you for having a large family. I have a big brood too. 🙂

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

      Yes, I miss those times, too! I only have two at home now and I find when I shop alone, I talk to myself. I have to bend over and pick out my own cereal and pick out my own treats if I am good. Both my hubby and I miss having all those little rascals around. I can hardly write about the emptying nest thing, but someday I will. Right now, it’s just fun to revisit the memories.

  8. Marissa June 11, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    Well put – growing up Catholic, there were many families that had many kids – although mine is small.. I just thought that was how it was. Only as a mom now do I see how much is stated over such things. It’s amazing. Thank you for sharing this – your mom did a wonderful job of teaching you to hold your tongue and use nice words.

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

      Thanks for speaking up, Marissa. Yep, my mom is pretty amazing.

      My sister-in-law who has more kids than I do is Catholic, and I smile when she talks about her homeschooling get togethers. It only takes a few families to create a huge group. We also cherish cousin time with them. I have many pics of the PILE of kids she and I created. 🙂

  9. Tandis June 11, 2013 at 12:25 pm #

    Great blog post. I enjoyed your list of questions to ask back too!!!! You are so quick witted!
    I’ve been asked many of the same questions. Since I have four girls, the questions often are whether I’m going to try for a boy or not. Then, the questions turn to what I think I’m going to do when they are in high school and having hormone issues or when they start getting married and I have to pay for them…. yes, people are nosey. 🙂

    I hear Beth (above post) as well. I just wish people kept all these personal comments to themselves as well. I know two young married couples that can’t have children. It’s something both couples have come to the Lord’s planning on… but… it must hurt their hearts to hear the baby questions constantly. NOW, they would NEVER ask the “are they alllllllllllll yours?” questions either so we wouldn’t have to think up a quick-witted-reply or pray for grace before answering, BUT, it’s a reminder to everyone to keep personal kid questions to themselves.

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 1:00 pm #

      Tandis, thank you so much for sharing the stories of the couples who can’t have kids. Of course, the whole lesson here is that we ALL should watch out tongues. I know because I love kids I have probably made ignorant hurtful comments to people without kids, or assumed they didn’t want any. That’s why the conclusion is to love what you have, and bite your tongue! 🙂

      I wanna know how you “try” for a boy, anyway…..as well experienced I am as a baby factory, that’s one thing I don’t have the answer too.

  10. Koala Bear Writer June 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm #

    AMEN!!! Thank you. I laughed all the way through this. I “only” have three kids myself and haven’t gotten any of these comments yet (well, a few people have asked us if we’re having more), but I have quite a few friends who have seven, eight, twelve, or fifteen kids. Big, happy families with smart, talented kids whom I admire – and who made me want a big family (I only have two brothers). Your questions for moms with only two kids cracked me up. So funny. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up with the Write Mama blog hop. 🙂

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

      Thanks so much for your fun comment today and for having the linky party thingy. It is always fun to link up with other moms. ONLY three kids, do you need some pointers on making them? “:) Just kidding of course. But, I only said I wouldn’t say that to moms of TWO kids, I didn’t say anything about moms with THREE kids….:) See ya’ next week!

  11. Stephanie June 11, 2013 at 5:23 pm #

    My question wouldn’t be about why you have such a large family, but whether you considered adoption as a way to expand your family.

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      Great question, Stephanie. I know a lot of adoption advocates are probably thinking the same as you. The main answer would be I never felt called from the Lord. My friends that adopt have a passion and a zeal for adopting and there is no peace in their hearts until they answer that calling. I never had the calling.

      Another reason is financial. During our child bearing years, my husband was a teacher and our salary was poverty level, according to the government. However, since we gardened, canned, froze, hunted, fished, cooked from scratch, used coupons and rebates, sewed, crafted, fixed and built whatever we needed, we lived happily and comfortably. We wouldn’t have qualified according to government standards. (house size, # bedrooms, salary) When we made more money, I got cancer, and no longer had the health or strength to deal with little ones again. So, we were done with #6, even though we had considered having more.

  12. Dawn June 11, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    LOVE this!! Perfect! D

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

      Thanks for the encouragement and for stopping by today, Dawn.

  13. Word Warrior June 11, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Well said, Mindy. I’ve said much of this same thing before (particularly in the post I wrote upon expecting our 10th child–“What I Would Like to Say When People Make Me Feel Like a Freak For Having Children”.

    It continues to baffle me, the liberty others take in such private, probing questions and comments. Recently, a lady just looked at me when I told her “this was number 10” and she said, “That’s crazy.” I said, “Actually, having babies is natural. It’s only in the last few decades that we’ve made preventing them normal.”

    So thankful for the Internet where I think moms of large families feel a much greater camaraderie and encouragement from each other.

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

      Ten kids, good for you! I can hear the happy sounds from your home from here. 🙂 Could you post the url below for your post about “What I Would Like to Say….” I think people would enjoy continuing the conversation. I liked your comment that in past decdaes it was not normal to prevent having children.

      When we lived in the midwest and large families were more common, I might be considered a smaller family. It would be almost like, “OK, girl, that’s a good start.” When we moved to the West Coast I always win the award in a crowd of The Woman With the Most Kids.”

      Thanks for sharing a heartfelt comment today. The comments have added to much to the conversation.

  14. Nicky June 11, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    The best was the last question “Are ya’ going after the mailman or milkman since your husband only gave you two?”
    LOL!!!!
    I get questions like “is she yours?” Because my daughter is half asian and seeing a white blonde woman with an asian kid is weird for some people. But to feel like its ok to ask something like that IN FRONT OF HER boggles the mind. My husband is Taiwanese and our daughter is a perfect mix of the both of us, but its hard for people to see me in her I guess. And it hurts when they ask questions like that!!! And they keep asking. I say yes, they say “so…. Her dad is asian?” Yes. And I can see that they want to keep going with their intrusive questioning, like they expect me to explain my life and decisions to them. I always want to ask if that’s their real hair, or something equally inappropriate so they get why their questions should not have been asked. I understand people are curious, but come on!

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      Since I’ve been accused “musta’ been the milkman” or “good for the mailman” enough times, I thought it was only fair to be equal!

      You know, I’m glad you spoke up, Nicky, because I made that very mistake with a neighbor kid who is African American but both of her parents are white. I was trying to be supportive and say something about adopting, but then she ended up, awkwardly, having to tell me the whole story of her first husband. I realized it didn’t matter and I shouldn’t have asked. It would be different if we were friends and a relationship was building, but I was just a neighbor. I think the theme we have all built upon here is to watch our own words and be gracious when others don’t. Thanks for speaking up! I enjoyed hearing your viewpoint.

  15. Anita Clare June 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm #

    Loved your blog! When I get asked how many kids I have, I say ‘been pregnant 5x. gave birth to 4, have 2 boys! I had to have a partial hysterectomy after the youngest girl was born. I always wanted 4 kids, but God didn’t think we needed that many, but that’s ok. Our 2 (oldest and youngest) daughters went home to be with Jesus early in life, I had one miscarriage which hurt just as much as one of the girls leaving us and we have 2 wonderful grown up boys who turned out to be great men. Youngest son married to a wonderful woman has 3 kids. We enjoy our family very much. I think it is wonderful when couples have lots of kids or just 1 or 2. All kids are a gift from God.

    • Mindy Peltier June 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

      Anita, you bring up another hard question – how many kids do you have? We lost one to miscarriage, but I always answer six because I don’t want to go into the whole story all the time. I’m sorry to hear about your pain in losing children, they are always a part of your life and heart, aren’t they?! I agree, all kids are a gift and we should stop acting like kids at Christmas and counting our number of presents. 🙂 Some of my other friends wanted more kids, and weren’t able to. I think women with large families can hurt those with small families with their comments if they’re not careful. Thank you for reminding us of another area where we need to choose to be gracious in speech.

  16. Momza June 11, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    I’m a Mother to Seven. All Mine All The Time. 24/7 On weekends and holidays. Despite my oldest daughters’ teenage angst in “travelling in a pack” and never coming in a restaurant “stealth-like” (which angst she eventually got over)…I love having a large family! There is always something going on and we enjoy our time together. We are down to the last three at home, and although I am an active Latter-Day Saint mom, I bet I could raise these last ones as a drunk. lol

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 3:35 am #

      You are so right about something always going on in a family with a lot of kids, especially when their friends want to hang around, too. We had an open door policy when our kids were teens. It made for even more great commotion. Yep, it does get easier as the years go on, unless we talking about parenting adult children….that will have to be a topic for another day.

  17. Michelle June 11, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    I want to start out by saying that I can appreciate the annoyance of the questions regarding large families. I was one of 4 children & my mom was one of 9. I truly enjoyed having so many siblings & cousins to play with growing up. Family gatherings were always very interesting. We have many great stories now. I am now in my 30’s & nearing my 6th anniversary. It did hurt a little when I got to the part about what you want to say to parents of small families. My husband & I have been trying unsuccessfully for 3 years to start a family. I get asked on a weekly basis what we are waiting for & why we don’t have any kids yet (and no I’m not exaggerating when I say weekly). To my patients and acquaintances of friends I just tell them in God’s time or whenever we are blessed, to spare the details as it is none of their business. However, we have also chosen not to disclose the fact that we are having difficulty conceiving a child to our families. We do not want the looks of pity or them feeling uncomfortable around us. Only my 2 closest friends know about this & when one became pregnant for her 4th child she was actually scared to tell me because she was worried I would be upset. I think I was more upset that she thought I would be hurt by her joyous blessing. So, we are trying to avoid any further uncomfortable situations to others by keeping this information to ourselves. My father in law began asking us when we were going to have kids at our wedding reception & every time I’ve seen him since. He’s even gone so far as to jokingly say do y’all know what you’re doing…yes, he actually said this. Although every ounce of my being wants to burst into tears, I take a deep breath, smile & try to divert the conversation. I know that it’s partly our fault that we have to go through this by not telling them, however, as I stated before I also don’t want the pity or uncomfortable feeling that comes with the looks. We will be overjoyed whenever the time does come for us whether through our own conception or by adoption. I believe that the 1 or 2 children that I do have will be loved just as much as anyone with 5-6 kids! So, please keep in mind that although you get frustrated by the questions about having a large family, there is also someone who is actually dealing with the exact opposite problem & would be so happy to be in your shoes. Sorry about the rant, but I just had to say this!!

    • Lizzie Ater June 12, 2013 at 3:13 am #

      Michelle- Prayers for you! It took us four years and I know how hard it can be! We are now going through adoption to grow our family. Prayers for you through this!

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

      Michelle, thank you so much for sharing your story today. Beneath all the humor and the joking for all of us is a lot of pain for various reasons. I am so sorry that you are having difficulty in conceiving. In Proverbs 30:16, the Lord compares the barren womb to the pain of death and the devastation of a fire or drought. I don’t think anyone else has described it better than the Lord. I pray you find support and encouragement during this time. I would love to encourage you to share this with your family, if you could. Here’s why. You educated many of us today by bearing your heart and soul. You taught us to set boundaries on our mouths with our questions to women without children. You could lovingly teach your family the same and then you might not feel so alone. If your father in law is anything like his son, he might be hurt to know the pain he is causing you. Thank you for sharing your heart and experience with such grace and tenderness. I appreciated your heartfelt “rant” as you called it.

    • Jackie Fultyn June 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

      I agree with you. I am the last of 11 kids and happily married. When I look at large families, I think how wonderfully blessed they are and God formed each one of those children. It’s awesome to see large families, especially in this culture. My husband and I tried 12 years, even trying adoption. With all the government regulations, God closed that door so people should be careful what they say about adoption as well. Now, my husband and I have been trying 12 years, and we are expecting a boy and girl in Oct. sometime. Our EDD is 11/5, but our dr. Said we will be having them by the 38th week or they will induce us. It’s a miracle to us to have these babies. 🙂

      • Mindy June 13, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

        What a long wait! I’m encouraged by your determination and your ability to wait on the Lord through so many disappointments. CONGRATULATIONS on your miracle babies. Praying for health for mommy and babies. Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Mark Baker-Wright June 13, 2013 at 3:22 pm #

      This is, of course, the corollary to the issue of comments about having too MANY kids. I wrote a bit a number of years ago pleading with folks just to stop asking the question “when are you going to have kids?” (http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com/2006/10/please-just-dont.html). I’m convinced that no good answer can be made to such a question.

      (And, yes, one of the comments I got on that post was “Makes perfect sense, so long as the “when are you going to stop having kids” questions are likewise dropped. ;)” I totally agree. These questions shouldn’t be asked on EITHER side of the “how many kids you have” spectrum.)

  18. Maureen June 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Being a single, faithful Catholic I love to see large families. Because I am well aware of many of the worldly comments parents of large families get I have started to go up to a mom or dad with many children and ask, “Are they all yours?’. When I get the “look” and a yes, I pleasantly say, “Thank you so much for being open to life, may God continue to Bless you”. It has brought many smiles, mine and theirs.

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:50 pm #

      What a gracious encouragement you give to families. Thank you so much for sharing that. I am sure they appreciate the support so much.

  19. Family of Blessings June 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    I think we must all be careful in our assumptions and questions. God had called each of us to a specific vocation in life.

    We have 11 children-7 at home all the time aged 10, 8, 7, 5, 4, 16 months and 2 months. We have three little saints in heaven. We also have an 18 year old we adopted at age 9 and had until she was 13 and although she is not living with us she is still “ours” in our hearts. But-those 7 are always out and about with us and we get lots of looks and questions.

    Answer the asker graciously or have a little fun. But know that we can never stand in the shoes of another. Not everyone CAN have children. Not everyone WANTS to have children. Not everyone WILL have children and many are combinations of those.

    Every life is a blessing and a gift from God Himself.

    I will say that one time I was a bit witty-maybe my morning coffee hadn’t worn off yet–but when an older couple asked me about 10 questions about them and then finally asked “do you know what causes that?” I replied, “no! But maybe you could explain it to me in detail and maybe draw me some pictures so I understand?” White.As.Ghosts. They walked away, not another word. :). I was charitable in my tone of voice, but done with their questions. We need to build one another up and not question the actions of everyone.

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm #

      I think you summed it up with CAN, WANTS and WILL perfectly. The issue of children is decided for each couple by their own hearts, health, and the Lord’s will. When we judge others for what is happening in their lives, we often don’t know all the details.

      Loved your hilarious comment. What a funny way to graciously show someone they were way out of line.

  20. Martina Kreitzer June 11, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Love this! It reminds me of a post I wrote just after we found out we were expecting #6. You might enjoy it, too. 🙂

    http://www.catholicsistas.com/2011/10/27/eleventy-billion-quips-you’ll-hear-about-your-large-family/

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

      You included so many I forgot! Thanks for sharing the link. I love using humor to keep us from taking things wrong or from hurting others after we’ve been hurt. I can see you’ve laughed your way through many comments!

  21. Kristal Caywood June 12, 2013 at 12:22 am #

    I don’t think it’s so bad asking because it could be a babysitter, watching a friends children, as long as I am not judging. Generally what follows that question is, well they are beautiful, and you are a brave woman(sincerely!). And that she must be tired! Lol.

    • Mindy Peltier June 13, 2013 at 4:54 am #

      Yep, I forgot tired. That one would be true, especially in my older age. You hit it on the head, it’s the judgment that hurts more than the question. And yes, any woman appreciates a compliment about anything she’s doing. We need affirmation. That’s why we need to give each other encouraging comments. Thanks for sharing today, Kristal.

  22. Rocros June 12, 2013 at 1:56 am #

    I love children, lots and lots of them. The Good Lord blessed me with two amazing children, now young adults, whom so many would love to have for their own. One day a Priest was giving a homily at daily Mass and was stating that good Catholic parents have a lot of children, and he qualified 4 or more, preferably minimum of 6. Well a dear friend was there and as we spoke after we stumble upon bringing up the homily. She is a Mom of 7. I mentioned that I thought it was wrong for Father to make that type of judgement in his homily. Especially about “good Catholic parents”. This woman did know I was in my second marriage, and that I was already in my 40’s when I remarried. I mentioned to her how I desired to have at least 12. I told her that my first husband wasn’t open to having children, I wasn’t on birth control either, just his lack of completion out of control, then…. well I miscarried once with him, God bless me with two with him, and then when I remarried years later and miscarried twice. Then God bless me with two terminal illnesses. So God knew what I was going to be able to handle. She gasped turned red and apologized to me. I said to her that I didn’t understand why she was apologizing. She then went on to say that she had judged me for years and any other mom’s who had less than 4 children. She said that she had learned a lesson of never judging a book by it’s cover. Needless to say, I do attend another Parish where the majority of the families have 6 or more children, and the funny thing is, I always wonder why, after attending daily Mass for years there, why not one of the families (mom’s who also attend daily Mass there) have ever been welcoming to me, never a hello. I believe it’s because I am judged because I do not have the quantity they all have. I do know this, I definitely have top quality though. Thank you nLord for the abundance of blessing you have bestowed upon me.

  23. Jill June 12, 2013 at 2:28 am #

    Funny! My husband and I have 3 kids and amazingly enough they don’t look alike. Solar but they all have different hair color so I get “Do they have the same last name?” Umm, YES! Why would anyone ask that?! It’s so rude! LOL!

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 6:20 pm #

      That’s why you need to buy that shirt. 🙂 My kids all look alike and they were called Cookie Cutter Kids. My sister has six that all look different and she gets way more “milkman” comments. Glad you have learned to deal with the rudeness with laughter.

  24. carean June 12, 2013 at 2:58 am #

    i come from a family of six…and it has made me one of the most patient and interesting people in my society…every where i go, every time i meet a new person, they always remark at how adept i am at making connections so easily…i tell them i come from a big family, and i understand how people are. it really is a wonderful gift to have brothers and sisters…i cherish our childhood memories. and though we are all grown and live far away, when we talk it is like we never missed a beat! i love my big family…and my mom…she was an only child, and when she was little she was very lonesome. she used to say she was going to grow up and have six kids…and she did! she definitely had her work cut out for her…but she raised us all to be self sufficient and capable people…which in this day an age is a great feat! thanks for your post, i loved it and i am going to share with my mom too! God bless you and your family 🙂

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 4:28 am #

      When I went to work at a Bible camp for the summer, after one day the woman I was working with said, “You grew up in a big family, didn’t you?” I was surprised and asked her how she knew. “You know how to work and you can see what needs to be done before I tell you.” I have cherished that compliment and also used it as a guide in raising my kids. You are right, being raised in a large family has its benefits!

  25. Lizzie Ater June 12, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    Fantastic article! I envy families with lots of kids! We have only been blessed with one so far and we were outcasts at our former church because of that! The big families looked down on us for only having one and it was so very hurtful. I have said “wow! You have your hands full!” But always with a huge smile and envying their full hands!

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 4:22 am #

      Lizzie, I am SO sorry you were outcasts because of your family size. It’s ironic that some of the same people who boast about the Lord controlling the womb only believe it when the womb produces a lot of children. The Lord’s plan for every family is NOT the same. When I was having my kids, two of my closest friends were barren. They were gracious to rejoice with me and I learned to be sensitive and sharr their grief and not see it as jealously. Those times knit our hearts together in a wonderful way.

  26. Linda Ellis June 12, 2013 at 3:45 am #

    Hi….I’m “carean’s” (carean June 12 2:58 am) Mom….I’ll tell you how it all came about…..When I was 5 or 6, I was sitting on the front stoop of our house, beside my doll carriage, in which my Cat was sleeping peacefully, dressed in ‘baby clothes, (including a Bonnet!!). One of the women of the neighborhood came along, looked in the carriage, and asked me “Is that your baby?”…I told her “Yes….and when I grow up, I’m going to have SIX babies!”…because somehow,I KNEW that to be my truth. It is the ONLY thing in my life that worked out the way I thought it would! And now….those ‘6 babies’ ….and a dozen+ grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren later….there is not a thing I would change!!!! Mama luvs!!!

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 4:25 am #

      Thank you for sharing your story! It seems we both determined at a young age to have six kids and the Lord was gracious to grant that request. I don’t take that lightly and I am SO greatful He said YES! It doesn’t happen that way for everyone. I agree, it is the only thing in my life, too, that was planned. Everything else my husband and I have lived through has been contrary to anything we imagined our married life to be.

      • carean June 12, 2013 at 4:45 am #

        i believe that when you both made your wish as a girl…you were speaking God’s plan for you…He rights the desire of our hearts…and there is no greater place to be than in His will…as the bible says…children are a gift from God…blessed is he who has his quiver full…he will not be put to shame when he meets his enemy at the gates!

  27. nichole trexler June 12, 2013 at 4:00 am #

    I have three. 1 and 2 are 18 mo. apart, and 2 and 3 are only 11 mo. apart. I lost two before so I would have had 5 and been happy with 5. I have 3, VERY close kids. 3 kids in diapers got me TONS of stares and nasty comments. But I was married and my husband had a great job. I knew I wanted at least 3 kids all my life.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

      I am so sorry for your loss. When we lost a child to miscarriage my husband said, “We’ve just created an eternal worshipper. We have a child who will for all of eternity be at the feet of Jesus worshipping Him. The promise that our children are in heaven never takes away the pain of losing children, it only keeps us from getting lost in the pain. My kids were close together, too, and it wonderfully busy and goes by way. too. fast. Enjoy those precious ones even though you are tired and probably haven’t slept through the night in a few years. 🙂

  28. Danielle Bradshaw June 12, 2013 at 4:51 am #

    Thank you for this! I am 28 and I have 4 kids with one on the way. I got married when I was 19 and had a baby right off, and thy have just kept coming every 2 years or less. I have always felt like my calling in life was to be a mother. I look very young for my age so I get a lot of looks and comment. I wish that more people could recognize the blessings that children are, and give a little encouragement, in stead of insults. I loved this blog post. Thank you!

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 6:25 pm #

      Danielle, this is exactly what my oldest daughter is going through. She just had #4 at 26. She’s a great mom and loves her “job.” Blessing on your precious, growing family.

  29. Erin McGahuey June 12, 2013 at 6:05 am #

    I had always wanted 4 children – 2 biological and 2 adopted and I wanted to adopt a child with Down Syndrome. That was not to be. I married young and had 3 children in 4 1/2 years and their father left when I was pregnant with the youngest. After divorcing and going back home to the west coast I was unable to find work and was on welfare for 5 1/2 years. SO MANY times in line at the store as I presented my food stamps to pay for our groceries I would get THAT look, and often THAT question. “Are they yours?” “Do they have the same father?” “How could you bring so many children into this world” (the latter from a friend who didn’t want children, wasn’t married and was still hurt that I wouldn’t take him back and got married) because I wasn’t wearing a ring, always walked everywhere because we didn’t have a car and usually had the 2 younger in a baby buggy. I still don’t understand why people would ask those kind of questions in front of children. Especially children who are so OBVIOUSLY siblings. My 2 younger children, sons, looked alike then and still do now as adults.
    I understand feeling guilty for becoming pregnant when a friend was trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant. That was me with my second and third children.
    I did end up with 4 children, I remarried and got a bonus son. We now have 3 grandchildren and a 4th on the way. Only our youngest has yet to find his mate and he plans to have at least 2 children. 🙂 As much as I miss having kids at home and all the activity that went with them I certainly love being a grandma! Our middle grandchild, a boy 2 1/2, is asleep in “his room” with his PaPa right now.
    Thank you for this blog post. God bless you!

    • Mindy January 21, 2014 at 6:21 am #

      Erin, I know I am months late in replying to all the amazing comments on my blog post, but I just had to respond to yours. My heart ached for the pain you went through of being a single mother because she was abandoned, then to face public humiliation. I’m thankful you had a heart sensitive to how those comments affected your children, I know your love shielded them from some of the pain. It also reminds me to be so careful of how I judge others. I loved hearing the happily ever after, of remarrying and being blessed with your 4th child – and now grandparents. Your love for family rings so clearly throughout your comment, I know your family is blessed to have you in their lives. Thank you, again, for taking the time to read my blog and comment.

  30. Lynda June 12, 2013 at 8:29 am #

    I’m just tired of all the looks when I go out in public. Your post is spot on! I went from knowing I wouldn’t be able to have children (because that’s what a doctor told me), to having 3 in 4 years. They’re such beautiful blessings that I’ve always wanted. Why be negative about it?! I just don’t understand. Thanks again!!!

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:54 pm #

      I loved hearing that you were blessed with three kids after you were told you wouldn’t have any! I know you don’t take them for granted, even when the work makes you very tired. Thanks for your sweet comment.

  31. Ann June 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

    Nice post. I’m 1 of 2. My sibling died when I was 18. It’s lonely, but The Lord blessed me with a husband who is 1 of 7. God is good!

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

      Ann, I am so sorry about the loss of your sibling. You learn to go on after a loss, but you never “get used to it”, do you? You constantly live through different situations and celebrations wondering what it would be like if they were still there. God was so good to give you a husband with many siblings. I’m thankful you see His hand in providing for the needs of your heart.

  32. Choulie June 12, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Really? I grew up in a large family and yes, some people made comments but I don’t think they made MORE comments. People say stupid things. If you want to take it personal, ok. I would say I’ve gotten more rude comments for being single with no children. Most often these comments are by women with large families. Why is it every Mom of six feels like they should take it upon themselves to explain to me that I can’t possibly UNDERSTAND the nature of LOVE because I didn’t make babies? Why is it their business whether I CHOOSE to not have children or if I am simply ‘BROKEN’? Why is it that it’s open season to point out that I will NEVER fulfill my role as a WOMAN in GOD’s eyes (In their opinion.) because I didn’t get married and make babies? And why is it they all fee compelled to “Pray” for me to be “Healed” as if by not getting pregnant as many times as possible, I NEED divine intervention? Those saws cut both ways and no matter how thin you slice it there are two sides. I was taught that in any group of people there will be those who are loving and kind with good character and there will be those who mean well but have no idea how they sound and there will be those who are rude and obnoxious and there will be those who are just flat out hurtful. Pretending that it’s only directed at you and large families is just another way to make us separate to hide behind differences. We’re more alike than different and rude people don’t target large families, they target everyone. Get over the pity party for yourself and enjoy your lovely (beautiful) family. I quit caring about what others think of me and my marital and reproductive status. It’s between me and God. So quit measuring yourself by someone else’s yardstick and go play with the kids. Sorry I’m sounding crabby but everyone has slams, why bother giving the people making them airspace? You don’t get hit any more than people who have none or people who have handicapped children or people who have two children. It just takes a different form. People change the words…….but they do the same to everyone.

    • Sarah June 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      hear hear!

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:34 pm #

      Choulie, thank you for sharing your honest opinion with us today. I appreciate your willingness to bear your heart. I wasn’t pretending it was only directed at me, I was only sharing my personal experience. I haven’t been single and childless, I haven’t had a handicapped child or any of the other things you mentioned. I have sadly learned that people from all situations in life experience hurtful and insensitive comments from strangers, so if I could write my blog all over again, I would take out the NOBODY. I apologize for giving the impression that I was on a pity party or that I thought I had the market on being the brunt of rudeness. I know that is not true. I hope you did appreciate my encouragement on the bottom of the post to remind parents it is a calling and not a contest. My heart’s desire was to draw women together in support and apparently I didn’t do that very well. Thank you for showing me how to improve.

  33. Hollye L June 12, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    I have 3 boys, ages 5, 3, and 2. The comment I get most is, ‘boy, you’ve got your hands full!’ I never want my kids to think they are a burden or hindrance. My reply is always, ‘Oh yes! Full of love.’ Ever when I am NOT feeling loving towards my 3 little brutes ;o) I also get the comment, ‘you must really want a girl next.’ Like my all boy home isn’t satisfying. I’m happy with 3 boys, and only 3 boys at this point.

  34. swishdesigns June 12, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    I appreciate the blog post and would only add that people in general are rude whether you have no kids, 1 kid, 2 kids, 3 kids or more. If you don’t have kids, you get asked “when are you going to have kids?” They have no idea that you’ve been trying for five years and the “innocent” question just dug a knife into your heart adding to the sadness that infertility brings. The question to singleton parents: “when are you going to give that kid a sibling?” is equally horrible. As if its anyone’s business. You don’t know what it took to get that single blessing nor do you know (nor have the right to know) if they’ve been trying. Even with my two, people ask me all time if/when we are going to have more. Sometimes it’s a genuine question. My friends with three of more kids get similar questions as you pointed out. So for me, I just try to offer hugs when my friends (moms and non-moms alike) need them. And when I see a super mom or dad out at the store with one or more kids and they are behaving or not, I commend them on a successful outing. Even if their kid(s) are melting down. And if its a parent of a large family, I’m impressed. It’s all I can do to manage two. So any looks or comments come from a place of honor and respect – not from one of horror or meanness. Congratulations on completing your family! I know how that feels – even if two kids are what have completed mine …after five years of infertility.

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm #

      I also suffered infertility, seven years passed between #5 and #6, and you are SO right, it is a pain you can barely speak about. The longing for a child can be so deep, nothing else on earth could satisfy. In I Samual 1, Hannah is weeping and crying out to the Lord “in bitterness of soul” because she longs for a child. If nothing else, this time period opened my eyes to the heart pain many women suffer. Good for you not worrying about kids behavior, we’ve all eaten humble pie in public, haven’t we?

  35. Mandi June 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    I love this! I also came from a large family. I have three brothers and two sisters. It is the best! I always dreamed of having six of my own plus adopting many more. I have only been able to have one child. I’ve had several miscarriages, and the adoption processes so far has left us without more children. (Fingers crossed!) I hear the most unkind, insensitive comments, like you do, only the opposite. “You are so selfish for only having one child”, “Raising an only child will ruin her life”, etc. etc. etc. Maybe that’s because I live in Utah where big families are the norm? Everyone seems to think they know my story, and point out that I’m a sinner. Seriously. They don’t see the tears, heartache, and pain. I wonder why people seem to feel like they should judge one another instead of loving one another. I’m so happy your dream of having six children came true! ( : I’m sure my mom wished she had that sweatshirt while she was busy with us, back in the day.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 8:00 pm #

      Mandi, I am so sorry for the sorrow you’ve lived through and that your sorrow has been multiplied with unkind words. You are NOT a sinner for not having kids, that is a manmade rule, not a God-made one. If that’s the case, all of us would be WAY more fertile. God’s plan for us has more to do with believing in His Son than having children. Yes, I love my big family, but it doesn’t make me any more spiritual or in favor with God. I encourage you to find your own answers in the New Testament about God’s plan and purpose for the family. You do not need to be bearing a burden of guilt placed on you by people, that’s why Jesus died for you, to remove the burden of rules and fill you with His grace. Thank you for your sincere happiness for my dream come true. You are a sweetheart!

  36. Karen Bond June 12, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    What a fabulous list of things we’d never say to parents who have 2 kids! Sometimes I am sore temped especially given the openly rude comments spoken to me in front of my children! With 11 munchkins (and hopefully one on the way), we have heard it all. It’s amazing what people think is acceptable to say to me.

  37. goodbeansmum June 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm #

    You forgot, “oh, so you don’t work!” We are parents of eleven, all on purpose, all from the same marriage. And no, I don’t work.

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

      Oh, yes, I did forget that! I remember those nights when all the kids were little and I would work for hours after they went to bed, cleaning, doing laundry and maybe baking. I would fall into bed and think I was too tired to even sleep.

  38. Andrea Dalton June 12, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    My husband grew up as the oldest in a large family and from stories he and his mother have told I know that people can be very insinsitive to large families. But as a 2 child member of a community that has alot of big families I also know that people are insinsitive to EVERYONE. Reading your post you would think that people who receive unfair judgements would be slow to judge others, alas it is not so. Many, MANY of those “ridiculous” things you would “never say to a person with 2 kids” has been said to me. So unfortunately none of us escape this life unscathed. 🙁

    • Sarah June 12, 2013 at 8:03 pm #

      yep I have been asked many of those “ridiculous” things because of my choice to have two children in a community where generally people have larger families.

      I think its ridiculous and rude of Mindy to post such questions after talking about people not being sensitive to her.

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:14 pm #

      Andrea, I had no idea that people actually would say those things. I agree that people can be insensitive to everyone for different reasons. Thanks for sharing your side. As I said in the post, it doesn’t matter how many kids you have, being a mother is the hardest job. May you be blessed in your calling.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 6:32 pm #

      Andrea, thank you so much for sharing your story today. I am sorry you have been the brunt of rude comments as well. I’ve learned that some communities value “family size” over “family” and I am sorry to hear that. I just love kids and families, no matter the size.

  39. Carolyn M June 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

    Mama of 8 here (ages 4-26, and grandma of 2) GREAT article!
    I love it when I read something that has rolled around in my head but I never quite knew how to get it out. Perfect.
    Keep up the good work! 🙂

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

      Thank you so much. I appreciate your kind words of encouragement.

  40. Mom of six June 12, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    I wanted 5 growing up, reduced to 4 after getting married and was totally blessed with 6! We are down to 3 at home and it feels a little empty at times. I hate the “you have your hands full” and even worse, “you must be a saint to have that many kids (and homeschool on top of it!). I am not a saint, I am not more patient than anyone else and most of the time just wonder why anyone else thinks my family size is any of theirs anyway.

  41. Jennifer Thompson June 12, 2013 at 7:47 pm #

    This is great! I don’t think I have had one shopping trip with my kids where someone has NOT told me, “My you have your hands full!” Why yes I do! I am so blessed! Even though I often end the day almost in tears from exhaustion, frustration, stress etc. etc. I wouldn’t change my life for anything! I have 3 amazing little boys and a sweet little baby girl who I love with all my heart and who love me with all theirs. I might not have a sparkling clean big beautiful home, I don’t get to go on out of this world amazing vacations (or even have just one date night a year!) I don’t drive a fancy car, I don’t have a closet full of nice clothes (unless you can count maternity clothes!) I can’t pick up at the drop of a hat and go ANYWHERE, I have lost ALL privacy, I have exchanged being well groomed with becoming a human tissue, and I don’t think I will ever again see the floor in my laundry room. I have fulfilled my biggest dream in life and am working on my life’s purpose, I have become a Mother. There was a time in my life where I was told this would probably not be possible for me except through adoption(which would have been o.k. with me as long as I could be a mother somehow!) I have always wanted a large family and my heart aches that I can’t have more children while at the same time It is almost bursting with joy that I have my 4 sweet babies, and people have the nerve to tell me in a negative way that I have my hands full!!!! Your right, I do, I am sooo blessed, it is a true MIRACLE that they aren’t empty…….

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

      Beautiful thoughts, Jennifer, thank you for sharing. Yes, we made many sacrifices along the way, too. We lived on less and I either made it, bought is second-hand, or made it over from something else. All of my kids are creative and able to accomplish anything they try to do, and I think this comes from the “making do” upbringing.

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

      I loved hearing your miracle story, thank you so much for sharing it. Yes, there are many sacrifices for parents, we give up time, sleep, money, our bodies, but we’re investing it all in the best place possible – children. I especially loved how you said you went from being “well groomed” to becoming a “human tissue.” Yep, moms wear bodily fluids from every body cavity at one time or another.

  42. Sarah June 12, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    “There is pretty much NOBODY else in the world who’s approached with comments of such a personal nature, just mothers of large families.”

    I get asked questions ALL THE TIME about why I only have two children. One lady who went to church with us asked if we wanted more, when I said no, she said why, she asked if we were going to get a dog, a cat, a fish, a turtle, a bird, a lizard and finally if we were going to adopt. I told her no our family is complete with my beautiful two children.

    I find your article obnoxious and condescending. If you want others to treat you with respect for the choices you have made in life maybe you should do the same to others.

    • Mindy Peltier June 12, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      Sarah, I stand corrected on the “nobody else” comment. I learned very quickly with this post that others are also hurt with insensitive comments. You MISSED the whole point, though, friend, and that is that I WOULD NEVER say those things to someone with only two kids. I just took the opposite of what people said to me to make a point. I am sorry if you thought I was obnoxious and condescending. I make a big point at the end of the comment to point out that mothers need to support one another on all aspects of parenting, because it isn’t a contest, it’s a calling. I’m sorry if my attempt to use humor covered over the main message of my blog post.

      • Sarah June 12, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

        yes your last paragraph was nice. We as parents all work hard to raise righteous children in our homes. We should support and love each other.

        The rest of your article did not seem to support that message whatsoever. It seemed like a rant. You talk of having good manners and how you controlled yourself in front of people who have said rude things to you, that is admirable. I too have had to do the same but aren’t you using this blog post to rip on those people and make fun of them, to say the things you didn’t dare say in person?

        “I didn’t have the same liberty to walk up to a woman with only two kids and say the opposite of what was said to me. Besides, I was raised in a large family where we were taught manners.”

        I know people from large families who have no manners, who are quite rude, I know people from small families who are very sensitive and nice. I have also known the opposite. Its about individual people its not about family size.

        So maybe you didn’t have the liberty to walk up to a woman with only two kids but it sure seems like you took the liberty in this post.

    • Steph July 6, 2013 at 1:24 pm #

      Sarah,

      Thank you for your comments. I do feel that the article was condescending. Being a woman with fertility issues and diagnoses with PCOS at 24, it tore me apart every time I received the questions, “Are you going to have kids?” or, after we had our first, “So, will you have more?”, or best yet, “Wow, there are a lot of years between those two, did you plan it that way?”.

      I, too, chose the career path of being a mother, and we have a small family. It took us many years and a lot of work. In the end, that is what God wanted for us, and we needed to accept it.

      Not everyone with two children is on a contraceptive. Not everyone, married, with no children is making that choice.

      Making any comment on any person’s life is simply inconsiderate. You never no the path they were given to walk upon.

      • Mindy July 6, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

        Steph, I am so sorry you thought I was condescending. My whole point was I WOULD NEVER SAY THOSE THINGS nor do I thnk them. As you can see, the many comments brought light to the attention that there are women who do say these things to women in your position. I am so sorry for your pain and that my attemp to be lighthearted, added to your pain.

        Your conclusion was exactly the conclusion all of us came to and found unity in this thought, that we need to embrace other women in all situations. Thank you for speaking up with such transparency adn sharing. This is how we all learn, when we hear others stories. Blessings to you.

  43. Wendy Owens June 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    I am in a family of 10 children (5 adopted, and 5 biological), my mother comes from of family of 13 (all biological, and individual), my dad comes from a family of 4, 2 girls and 2 boys. Both sides and us are Christian, and only had children after marriage, and only with the spouse. We often get asked if all the kids are ours since 5 are adopted (3 from China, 2 from Russia, and we’ll probably continue to adopt). I am the first born, biological child, and often have to explain to people that no we are not from 2 marriages, and no none of them are mine. (I am only 15) Most people think we’re rich for having so many kids (when really, though we never want for nothing, since my mother has great money management, my dad only makes what everybody else does, if not less!)

    I’ve always wanted a large family, and wouldn’t see life a different way. We have 6 boys, and 4 girls, ages ranging from 16-2. Though it gets loud at times (as I’m sure you know), and us siblings fight just like every other family, we love each other to pieces and wouldn’t trade each-other for the world!

    We also have a special adventure of having 4 special needs children, 2 dwarfs (1 biological, and 1 adopted from Russia. Ages 2 and 3.). 1 with CP (16, from China, perfectly smart, just held back by her paralyzed body). And 1 with muscle, growth, and bone problems (11, from China 🙂 ) I love my family, and can’t to see how God uses us in the world!

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm #

      Wendy, it was fun reading your journey of growing up with large families and having one yourself. Your heart to adopt is very encouraging, too. It’s a blessing to see you’re doing what you always wanted to do, and doing it well. Blessing on your motherhood adventure!

  44. abreininger June 12, 2013 at 9:40 pm #

    I completely agree that the comments made to you are personal and rude. I would like to add that women with no children are often asked similarly personal and rude questions (Are you trying? Don’t wait too long! Don’t you want kids?) Which can be especially difficult when that woman is struggling with infertility. As a mother of one, I often get comments from people about how we better “get to it” or “aren’t you having more?” Or “You can’t have just one!” So unfortunately you’re not alone in receiving rude and personal comments. Hopefully your blog post can help people realize that every family is different and that they should keep their judgments and comments to themselves.

  45. jk2b2g June 12, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    I recently got that “you know how that happens right?” question…I simply said “yes…” but next time I might say “I got an A in college biology 101, so yes, I do understand how that all works.”
    I have 4 kids.
    I have often asked other people if they are planning on having more…not realizing that I don’t even particularly like that question, so why do I ask???
    Hard habit to break, I guess…

  46. Dawn Howard June 12, 2013 at 10:29 pm #

    I also always wanted 6 children. God decided my body was not made for 6. He however gave me 3 beautiful boys in 2 years and 9 months. I also get the offensive questions posed to me by strangers and even friends. They giggle and hint that we need to try for a girl. HELLO! we did. God gave us boys. The boys are teenagers now and my greatest accomplishment in my life. It is crazy, loud and dirty at my house although I am a stay at home momma. I would not change one minute of my crazy, loud life. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  47. Cindy Becker June 12, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    I am a mother of * 8 * wonderful kids and young adults <3 I would not trade them for the world.. I have 2 sets of twins and we adopted our #8 Jonny.. who is an amazing special need guy.. my husband comes from a family of 12 and I a family of 5. when we went on our first date My husband then my boyfriend told me he wanted 13 kids.. I told him if am able to be a stay at home Mom and our kids didn't have to go to a babysitter I would love that, so we had 7 kids 6 and under in 8 years.and 6 years ago we were blessed with Jonny.. when people ask o my are done my husband likes to say no we are having 8 more. people almost choke .. its funny. I use to feel like I should explain no we are not on walefare yes same daddy. thanks to all who have a positive outlook on how Kids are a blessing..
    we would welcome any new member to our family..

    • Mindy Peltier June 13, 2013 at 4:50 am #

      Not too many women would have a second date if they heard the guy wanted 13 kids! How great the Lord brought you together. 🙂 I am encouraged by your heart for your kids and your welcome to others that could be added. What joy must dwell within the walls of your home!

  48. Sarah Yoder June 12, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    Great article! It’s amazing what some people allow to come out of their mouths! (You have a beautiful family, btw) I would also say that, as a woman who is 30, been married for 6 years, without many financial struggles but with NO kids I “sort of” know what you are experiencing because I get the same thing (but in reverse)! “Don’t you have kids?” — “Aren’t you trying for a family?” or “Don’t you like kids?” It OFTEN gets a little too personal, if you know what I mean! LOL…people are so crazy! Thanks for sharing.

  49. Sonja June 13, 2013 at 12:17 am #

    I think many times people come up against a situation that they are not prepared to deal with, whether it is a larger than they consider normal family, or a smaller than they consider normal, or whatever, and they don’t know what to say. So they say the first thing that pops into their minds. I don’t think people INTEND to be nosy, rude and hurtful. It is certainly a reminder for me to remember that my trying to make a “witty” comment may very well cause another person pain.

    I loved your article, especially the ending points. The main thing is we need to be gracious to each other, forgiving and accepting. And trying to remember to think about our words before we speak 🙂

    • Mindy Peltier June 13, 2013 at 4:47 am #

      Sonja, what great insight you offered. All of us know that most people don’t INTEND to hurt, but we wish they would try a little harder. But, as we point the fingers, we know we’ve all been guilty of hurting others. If we all took your advice, women everywhere would be supporting and encouraging one another along the rocky path of life a lot more. Thanks for sharing your wisdom today.

  50. Kara June 13, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    Love this! I’m preggo with #6 right now (and planning to have 1 more after this) and I always think it’s funny when people ask if they are all mine. Nope, I just like to keep a couple of the neighbors kids around at all times to make life fun lol. I need that shirt!!! I love having a big family (I was the 2nd of 8 myself) and can’t imagine only having 1 or 2, but I don’t judge small families. Every person and family is different. 🙂

    • Mindy Peltier June 13, 2013 at 4:45 am #

      Congrats with #6! With the first one I didn’t look pregnant until the final trimester, with the last two I looked pregnant before I even missed. 🙂 I loved your encouragement to not judge, that has been the theme woven into this post that seems to have stirred many hearts. May the Lord bless Momma and baby with health, and may you have the wisdom and strength to continue raising your wonderful, growing family.

  51. Vanessa June 13, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    Having grown up in a large family, I loved your post. Having only two of my own and thinking we might be done now, I appreciate many of the comments as well. I heartily laugh at your points about large families, and heard plenty of those comments growing up. Coming from a church culture in which large families are the norm, and dealing with five years of infertility before adopting our first, I’ve also gotten plenty of comments from the other side. “How long have you been married? Soooooo, when are you going to have kids?” For a long time my standard answer was, “When Heavenly Father decides it’s time.” When we got far enough in to the adoption process that I felt ready to spread the word in hopes of finding our child through word of mouth, I started volunteering that information on first introductions. I was amazed at how many people asked about infertility issues, how long we had been trying, what treatments we must have tried first, etc. Now that we have an eight year old daughter who is obviously not biologically related to us, as well as a ten month old son who obviously IS biologically ours, we get surprisingly fewer questions and comments. It makes me wonder why we so carefully avoid insensitive questions and comments about race while being so free with our views on family size and other personal matters. And I keep hoping for the day when I will get brave enough to answer, “That’s none of your business.” Or perhaps, “Thank you for your unsolicited opinion. You don’t have a clue.”

    • Mindy Peltier June 13, 2013 at 4:42 am #

      I think many of us have had our share of laughs and heartaches through this blog post and the many comments. Thank you for adding your experience to the education and encouragement we’re all receiving. I loved how you arrived at the conclusion to just offer that you were wanting to adopt. I hope that works for you. You certainly could end up being the answer to someone else’s prayer! Thank you for commenting.

  52. Gale Lane Smith June 13, 2013 at 4:15 am #

    I admire any woman who chooses to stay home and run a household and raise a family. The family may consist of one child a husband or 20 kids and a husband or in my case one husband, 2 dogs and 6 cats. I am often asked the question why I don’t get a job or why am I not working. I have a BS degree in Home Economics but have only worked in that field where I actually got a paycheck for a few years. My husband prefers for me to be home, he likes that I am here when he gets off work. I do handle a lot of the yard work and house work, but he is always ready to chip in if I ask or need. I am often asked what do you do all day, “I would be bored to tears”. I always have something to do,I am not a great house keeper, I prefer to sew, do crafts, work in my yard or heaven forbid search the web on my ipad or even maybe read a book. I am never bored, I just enjoy being with myself, my husband our fur babies and our home. BTW, I to wanted that large family, I wanted to have enough for a basketball team with a spare, but God and my body had other plans. I made my peace with God over that many years ago. Do I still have moments of “I wish we would have had kids”, yes I do, but I love my husband dearly and I love the life that we share. We will be celebrating 33 years of marriage in Nov. and truthfully I would not change anything. God knew what he was doing and I now have seen the big picture, so today I am a happy contented wife, friend, and lover to the best man in the world my husband. I am also a very supportive Aunt to my many nieces and nephews, who rely on me for comfort, advice and some times room and board. I am so happy that you chose to follow God’s will in your life and have those 6 babies, and those 6 babies will be blessings not just to you but to all the people they touch, it is a ripple on the water and God is always in control. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  53. Mindy Peltier June 13, 2013 at 4:38 am #

    What a gracious, wonderful comment. I do feel the peace radiating, and I am thankful you found that peace in HIM, instead of just filling your life with things to fill that void. Every woman’s life is important and impacts others, not just moms. You have proved that with your life. Thank you for the beautiful encouragement about my kids, I could just picture the rippling effect your desribed. Thank you for sharing your heart and your personal story. I know I am not the only one who will be touched by what you shared. Blessings to you!

  54. Emily June 13, 2013 at 5:13 am #

    Thanks for your post, Mindy! I’m constantly struck by the similarities barren women and women blessed with many children face–and no, I’m not confused when I say that. 🙂 Both groups often face rude, condescending, insensitive, and just plain dumb comments from people. I’d encourage all women, both barren and blessed with kids, to check out heremembersthebarren.com for thoughtful, Christ-centered posts. My family has been blessed with four children, but I read every post on the blog because it speaks so eloquently to suffering and true hope.

  55. Jennifer Byington June 13, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    Hi, I enjoyed reading your post. It’s a topic I have heard mentioned before. I grew up in a family of 7 children, and though there were challenges, wouldn’t change a thing. I was quite the late bloomer and didn’t meet my husband until my 30’s(heard the aren’t you going to have kids comments myself) and feel VERY blessed and lucky to have two beautiful children. I think I would feel that way no matter the number. I don’t understand anyone’s unease about any number of children a loving family can care for. I think a great all-around small talk comment anyone can make to anyone else about their family size is, “”What a beautiful family you have. You must feel so blessed.” I think you make a good point about it being acceptable for a VERY good friend to make some of the remarks or questions that are so commonly heard from strangers. Somehow it has become “fashionable” for some folks to commiserate to total strangers about life’s ills rather than celebrating the beauty that we are given daily. Maybe it’s just another sign we, as a society, are becoming too colloquial and lacking in manners. Thanks for turning the tables around so the other side can see how misguided their comments are(however they were intended).

  56. Dawn Michele June 13, 2013 at 9:57 am #

    I also wanted that big family. My foster family had 9 natural children and still took in more under the foster care system, and one of my best friends is the oldest of 14. However after 2 miscarriages, I couldn’t even get pregnant anymore. I wrestled with God wondering how he could put such a deep desire in my heart for children, then not let me have them. It makes me sick to hear (especially from single women who have children from different men) how their children are such a burden and how they’re so grateful when they go see their dad so she could have some peace. Then a guy at work asked how long I’d been married (8 years at that time), how many kids do I have (none). Then he asked (this is verbatim) “Why ain’t you gots no kids?” Apparently he has 3 by as many women. The ironic thing is, if I had answered “It’s none of your business.” I would have been considered the rude one.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

      Dawn, I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriages and your inability to get pregnant. I think many women walk around with broken hearts and stories to tell and we all need to be more sensitive and supportive. I can understand what it means to wrestle with the Lord, I have had other situations in my life where it is very hard to understand circumstances. When I don’t understand the circumstances, I trust in His character. He loves us and He longs for us to be close to Him. One of my friends that was only able to have one child, and longed to have many, turned her farm into a Bible camp with her husband. The Lord will give you an outlet for that desire.

  57. Mary W. June 13, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    My only qualm when it comes to having more kids if you already rely on government assistance. I know a girl with greater than more than three kids and she had them all on welfare. The last few were actually planned. To me that is irresponsible. You can’t afford the ones you have, why have more? If you can afford them, then have as many kids you want (not that I am sure you can ever “afford” kids from my experience, but I waited till I didn’t need monetary assistance from the government). I know it can’t be easy for my friend, but I will admit it gets a bit under my skin because it isn’t like that is uncommon. It gets under my skin because if she and so many others on welfare went hmm I already have kids do I really need more and decide not to have them, then maybe more money could be allotted to the kids already on welfare, but maybe that is just me.

    Anyways I love your article. I wish people wouldn’t assume things. To be honest when I meet people with three or more kids, I have a lot of respect for them. I already have my hands full and can’t even imagine what it would be like with more.

  58. Renee White June 13, 2013 at 12:17 pm #

    I was at a wedding when pregnant with my 7th child, the man seated across from us – a stranger- said “WOW!! Don’t you guys have a television?!” It had already been established that he and his wife only had 2 children, so I calmly replied, “Yes, but we don’t watch it much. You on the other hand must have a big one and watch it quite often…” He and his wife wen rather red, and he had the grace to stutter back in reply, “Yes…actually we do” 🙂 We are now friends 🙂

    • Mindy June 13, 2013 at 2:25 pm #

      I love how humor can cover over awkwardness! I think you handled the situation well, especially now that you are friends. Way to go, Renee! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  59. Nic June 13, 2013 at 1:06 pm #

    “No. They are all God’s, but He loaned them to us for about 20 years.”

    • Mindy June 13, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      What a wonderful reminder of the purpose of children. Thank you Nic, for summing this all up in one sentence. This is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing.

  60. Oma June 13, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    I have to send this to my daughter, who, with three children ages 4, 2, and 8 months, gets looks and questions. … For myself, I remember being asked when I was pregnant with my fifth (and final) child, “And do you work too?” My spontaneous reply, “You bet I do!”

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

      I forgot that line! I know nobody was insinuating that a mom of many is lazy, and they were asking if I worked outside the home, but some days when I was exhausted and got that question, it could be a little harder to bite my tongue! I did anyway. Great answer!

  61. JoDeen Brown June 13, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    I, too, have 6 children. I laughed and thoroughly enjoyed your blog! Thank you for taking the time to write this piece! When some one says, “Boy! You’ve got your hands full!” I look them straight in the eye, smile a big, genuine smile, sometimes giggle and in my kindest voice say, “and a full heart, too.” My kids love when I am accosted. They walk away from those situations knowing I think they are the bomb.com! Love multiplies, it doesn’t divide. Thanks again!

  62. David Linford June 13, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    Father of nine. I think people are less rude to dad’s than mom’s on this. I never get anything other than positive comments when I take a bunch of my kids out. Mostly any comment I get is a chance for me to brag on how fantastic my wife and kids are.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

      Congrats, Dad. Yep, people are less rude to dads, and I had to defend my husband to strangers on more than one occasion about his “control.” I love that you compliment your wife and kids in public, that will go far in their lives. Thanks for commenting.

  63. Shirley June 13, 2013 at 6:37 pm #

    I loved your article and I think humor is one of the best ways to deal with this sort of intrusiveness. I also greatly admire your forbearance at the time of the comments, I’m not sure I would do so well.
    My sister-in-law has 6 children (aged 3 months to 10 years) and faces this same issue now. She finds it annoying and really wants that shirt you used in your post but she occasionally gets a “you don’t look old enough to have that many kids” which she doesn’t mind…though it’s usually followed after an “are they ALL yours”.
    I am on the other end of the spectrum though. I have a daughter who is 9 and a half, her father passed away when I was 7 months pregnant with her. I remarried in 2009 to a wonderful man and who my daughter has called father since she was 3 and a half. We started trying shortly after our wedding but it took us 3.5 years to conceive the baby we now all excitedly await to meet this winter. There were definitely comments along the way, some even from people who knew we were having trouble and simply weren’t terribly supportive. I’ve been made to feel guilty about being a stay at home mom to an only, especially since she started school full-time. I fully expect to get similarly nosy/rude questions after this baby arrives, especially about the age gap between our kids.
    My cousin-in-law is in the middle, she has 4 children (age 2-10) but was told when she was younger that she would never be able to have any. There’s a good 2 year gap between each and she miscarries at least once between each child. She also home schools her kids and has faced others opinions on that as well as the “are you done yet” sort of questions.
    So I completely agree that the lesson we can all learn from this post and the comments is that we all need to watch what we say. We especially need to keep in mind what is within our rights to ask based on how well we know certain people – if we’re talking to a complete stranger then safe topics like the weather or a simple complimentary comment is okay. Likewise if it’s your best friend or a close family member then you have much more leeway to ask certain things but it doesn’t give you carte blanche either. I think a great rule of thumb to start with is that if it’s anything to do with sex or anything else that is really just between a husband and wife (like when to start a family etc) that it’s not something you ask about to begin with until the information has been offered/shared and you’ve then been “invited” to ask questions.
    I also feel it’s important that if the question is one that crosses our personal boundaries (like strangers asking/implying we have lots of sex etc) that we need to firmly but kindly tell them they’ve overstepped their boundaries…if people aren’t shown that it’s insensitive/rude to ask a certain things then they won’t ever learn to think before they speak and will simply go on to do the same thing to someone else without any thought or concern. It’s no different if you have 10 kids or are trying to have just one. Something infertility has taught me is that I need to be an advocate for myself and about infertility or people’s ignorance will continue to abound. Do I share my infertility with everyone I come across? Certainly not but when I do choose to/feel the need to share that person can take my story and share it with someone else when they run into a similar situation or at the very least they might remember and think before speaking the next time.
    Basically we can commiserate with each other on how annoying/intrusive/hurtful these kinds of prying questions are but if we don’t inform the people doing the asking that they’re being inappropriate or hurtful in a firm but gentle way then we just perpetuate the cycle and nothing ever even has a chance to change.

  64. Merry Miller Moon June 13, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    WOW! You are so right! I am the seventh born out of ten children. Growing up I got these questions from children and adults alike-“are you Catholic?”, “are you all real siblings?”, “do you have the same mom and dad?” I always had to answer these stupid questions! No, not Catholic, yes we have the same mom and dad and yes we are real siblings! It got so old so fast. And guess what? I have ONE child. Just one and he is all I want. But people are rude.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

      Merry, thanks for the point of view of what it is like to grow up in a big family. My kids have shared with me some of the ridiculous things people have said to them, too. I appreciate that you’re content with your family. That’s the beauty of this life, we get to make choices that are suitable for us. May you be blessed as you raise your blessing.

  65. Carlie Carleton Crane June 13, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    I just want to thank you for this wonderful post! I just had my fifth child a month ago and my oldest is almost 7….yes, I know they are close but I have to raise them and I LOVE IT!!! I had someone ask me if they were all planned and I told them no, only one was planned, but we just had so much fun that the birth control just couldn’t keep up with the swimmers……sure made them blush fast. One of the other things that is really difficult, living in Utah, is the statement of ‘These are all yours? You must be Mormon’. Well yes I am but my religion does not control how many kids I have or the level of sanity I can handle, I do. I don’t care what religion you are, what state of life you’re in, or where you’re from….your business is your business, not mine. I have found it kind of a game now to see what kinds of answer I can come up with to different questions that are asked to see how quickly I can get a person to walk away from me. I know silly but you have to find humor in it or the next person that asks would really get it. My favorite is when I tell someone that I still want another one and then ask them which of their own children they would give up or if they would ask their parents the same questions when they were having kids. I wouldn’t give any of my kids up for anything! I think sometimes people just don’t stop to think before they speak. Thank you for the wonderful chuckle for the day! I really needed it.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      Thanks for commenting today, Carlie. I loved hearing how you handle the questions and the reminder for us all the think before we speak. You also touched on a great issue, keeping the offense down with humor so we don’t unload on the next person who asks a question they shouldn’t.

  66. lynnaire hickmott June 13, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    We have 8 children and I smiled as I read this. Finally someone who knows the insane and annoying questions people ask. When my oldest son was around 10 , if we were walking around town, he would walk at the front of us all and try and read people’s faces. If he saw a strange or disapproving look we would hear him say “yes they are all ours!” . . He got so tired of that same comment that he took it upon himself to inform before they could ask lol.
    I often got asked if they all had the same father! .As 3 of mine are adopted, on the odd occasionif I was feeling a bit naughty, I would say “no 4 different fathers” . . Just to see the shock and disapproval on their face and then I would smile sweetly and walk away with my head held high

  67. Jim Goostrey June 13, 2013 at 10:44 pm #

    Haha, I love this blog article. I am the father of 6 kids and am happy to have them. But my response to the rude questions is usually something like: “You know, we’re still not exactly sure what causes all these kids, but we’re pretty close to figuring it out. We’ve narrowed it down to two or three things. We’ll keep working on it and let you know.” They usually can’t continue with the rude questions after that.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 7:03 pm #

      Jim, I can’t stop laughing. I’m quoting you in my Friday blog post… It’s fun to hear from a few Dads today. Thanks so much for taking the time to share your humor with us.

  68. Spicy Catholic June 13, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I needed this today. Thank you for reminding me that God has called Me to be the Mother of these l little people. What a blessing.

  69. Rebecca June 14, 2013 at 1:43 am #

    Funny but the things you mentioned you would not say to a parent with two kids has been said to me as a parent of one child. We wanted to have more but were not able.. Your a great mom and I’m so thrilled that God answered your prayers for a large family.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm #

      Rebecca, thank you for being happy for me, even though my heart’s desire for a large family was answered and yours wasn’t. That shows a heart of grace. I am sorry that you really hear these horrible things, I guess I shouldn’t be shocked, but I am. I was just trying to be funny. Motherhood isn’t defined by the number of children, just by raising children. Blessings on your journey with your precious family.

  70. Ruth June 14, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    Ok. So as a mom of just 1, how do I get to express my admiration for all you rocking moms with more? I would loved to have had more kids but my marriage didn’t last, and he onky wanted 1.

    • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      Ruth, you are so kind to encourage those of us with large families, thank you so much! As I said in the post, being a mom is a hard job, no matter the number of kids. It takes all we want to give, and then some. May you always be blessed with the wisdom and the strength in your mothering journey.

  71. Shaylene Haswarey June 14, 2013 at 3:55 am #

    Thanks Kristine Talbott for sharing this one. When people ask me, “are they all yours?” I smile and say, ‘Yes, and do you know what? When I was 13 I wrote in my journal I wanted 3 girls and 2 boys, and can you believe it, my dream came true?’ I say it with pride and enthusiasm. After that comment, they’re are all happy for me.
    My mean comment regarding overpopulation- If you think there are too many people in this world, you can commit suicinde, so the numbers will reduce. I’ve never personally made that comment before, but I will if someone rude approaches me with that statement.

  72. Mom of 10 June 14, 2013 at 4:46 am #

    Re: “Are they all yours?”.. I’ve gotten a lot of questions and I can remember being about ready to snap when an older lady asked me this. Thankfully, I was able to bite my tongue and simply answer “yes” because the next words out of her mouth were “You’re so lucky”. So I save the less than gentle comebacks for the people who look like they have a good sense of humor. One of my personal favories was the older gentleman who asked me if I was starting my own army. I grinned back and told him we were planning on taking over the world. I think he got a good chuckle out of it too.

  73. Laura June 14, 2013 at 4:59 am #

    It’s also quite awful when you’re a young single mother and people ask “Oh, who’s baby is that?” or “Are you sure that’s yours?” the worst is when I take my little brother who’s 11 out with me and am told, “You sure look awful young to be a mother of two.”

  74. Sarah June 14, 2013 at 5:27 am #

    I’m so glad I ran into this a friend posted it on facebook. I’ve heard people say ridiculous things to newlywed couples without kids, women with only a few children and people with large families. Not to mention those that can’t have children or have lost a child get awful insensitive things said to them all the time. I think we need to keep our mouths shut if we can’t say something nice!
    I am LDS and live in Utah, so I wonder if that contributes to some of what I hear. I swear sometimes people are just nosy because they will even notice the gap between my second and third child. I’m sorry I couldn’t pop out a couple extra in bewteen just for you, sheesh! My first 2 are 23 months apart and my youngest daughter was born 4 years later. When I started having kids I thought I wanted one every 2 years. I quickly changed my mind and waited a little longer because I wanted to enjoy my babies more. It’s just as well I wasn’t very healthy in between anyway. Having a toddler and a baby was overwhelming to me in many ways and I had them by c-section. That seems a little involved to tell people at the store. I am blessed to have all 3 of my beautiful children!

  75. L June 14, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    I feel kind of sad reading this actually – because I only have two children and would love/would have loved to have more. In fact, I also wanted six. I grew up in a large family so I would never ask someone why they had so many children although I do remember people asking my mom that question all the time. She always had to count us everywhere we went but I don’t remember her being offended when she was asked if we were all hers. I think she would have loved that sweatshirt though.

  76. Becky B, June 14, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    I enjoyed reading your post and agree that some people have low self filters and say rude things no matter a person’s situation. I personally come from a family of 6 kids and I planned on having a large family. I’ve been married 10 years and we have a 3 year old and 5 month old baby. I’ve never taken birth control and actually had to take many other drugs to get pregnant. Living in Utah I can’t tell you how many rude comments I have had about not having kids or “waiting” so long. It hurts like crazy when you want a baby and you struggle to get pregnant. Anyhow- I just hope we can all learn from your post that we need to be supportive of each other no matter our situation. I’m glad that you have 6 kids. I loved my childhood and enjoy all my nieces and nephews now. Be proud and enjoy every minute!

  77. Barb Ferrier June 14, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    I especially love the comments about how no matter what your situation in life is like (big family, small family, straight family, gay family, single parent…. and a million more), there are those who will choose to say something inappropriate, judgemental and potentially hurtful. For me, the point is acceptance that every one is doing the best they can, with what they have for tools at that time in their life. As humans, we do have a lot to learn about grace, acceptance and humanity. Love to all….

  78. Barb Ferrier June 14, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Oops, I should clarify, I mean the feedback comments, lol…..

  79. Carla June 14, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    I never knew these remarks–intended with humor–were offensive. Maybe that’s because I came from a moderately large family (five kids) and my dad was always saying things like this about US. (I remember him telling someone that our large family was caused by my mother being hard of hearing. At bedtime, he’d say, “Do you want to go to sleep or what?” to which she’d reply, “What?”) I never found it hurtful, only humorous.

    I have remarked admiringly on a large family only to be told, “Oh, they’re not all mine, I’m watching my sister’s kids, too.” So maybe cut people a LITTLE slack on this one.

    Yes, I’ve commented on full hands and patience. I have three kids and I know how much work they can be. I also add that I think it’s wonderful that they have such a family. So many people these days look on kids as a burden and I greatly respect those who do have the patience and love to raise large families. It DOES take patience and lots of it, because no matter how much you love them, there are days you want to tear your hair out. I’ve said before that there have been days I’d give my kids to the first person who asked, but I wouldn’t trade them for anything! I never realized that my admiration would be construed as rudeness.

  80. Paula June 14, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    What a great article, and a great sense of humor! As a mom of eight, I heard all of these also! When I only had my first three, an older woman came to a dead stop, look disapprovingly at them, and said, “Three boys? My GOD! I would have stopped!” And I had a recurring problem with grocery clerks, in particular, who felt a need to inform me that the world was overpopulated, and that it was a really bad idea for me to have so many children. I even printed up copies of an article to hand out in response that very scientifically demolished the myth of overpopulation. Or I’d say, “Well somebody’s gonna have to pay for your social security!” But despite those obvious rudenesses, I have always felt that most people are just being friendly and think that their comments are funny and original. When people would ask, “Haven’t you figured out what causes that yet?”, I’d grin and say, “Well, I guess we’ve figured it out pretty well, don’t you think?” But now, I’m the middle-aged lady struggling with a polite way to ask young moms if all the kids they’re with are theirs, as I’d simply like to give them a little encouragement from someone whose been in their shoes, and can assure them that it’s all worth it, a million times over!

  81. Bruce June 14, 2013 at 2:48 pm #

    If you use the Lords standards to raise your kids, do you stone the disobedient ones? Do you spare the rod & spoil the child? Or is the rod used to avoid spoiling them?

    The bible is a horrible basis for raising kids. Would you hand your daughters over to a mob to be raped to save a stranger from being raped?

    Perhaps you just ignore those uncomfortable verses?

    I agree with much of what you said, but somehow I doubt you truly raise your kids biblically.

    • Mindy June 14, 2013 at 5:59 pm #

      Bruce, no, I don’t ignore them and I’m sorry you have a misunderstanding of God’s love letter to us, the Bible. But, I am thankful for the challenge you set before me, so I can give an honest answer. Those verses are in the Old Testament when the Jews were under the Law. They are not meant to be followed today. The Christian church began in the book of Acts, in the New Testament, and the teachings from Acts to Revelation are the ones born-again Christians follow today. Dispensationally speaking, this is the Age of Grace. God works in various ways through the ages(dispensations) and today His work is through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. NT Scriptures that speak of child-rearing in Ephesians where the Lord urges children to obey their parents, but charges parents not to cause their children anger. There are many other beautiful instructions the Lord gives to families, and He holds parents highly accountable for how they love and instruct their children.

      So, I’m not claiming to be a perfect Christian, but I do claim to try to raise my kids according to the standards the Lord set for believers today in the Bible.

      I do freely admit, I don’t have complete answers for those verses your brought up, but my ignorance of God’s working doesn’t keep me from accepting His love and salvation. Even throughout the Old Testament, where there are things I will not understand until I learn at the feet of Jesus in Heaven, I see how God constantly poured out His love towards people. He delivered them. He called them by name.

      Thank you again, Bruce, for your honest challenge. I pray you’ll see the Truth in the Bible and believe the Bible is a beautiful standard given to teach us how to live and how to die.

  82. AshMac June 14, 2013 at 3:28 pm #

    Interestingly, it actually goes both ways. I would like to have 6 but physically can’t. That can make being a part of another culture, the homeschooling culture that we all know and love, where EVERYONE (hyperbole, but you get the drift) has 6 children, a little difficult at times. If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard some variation of: “You ONLY have two?” I’d be a millionaire. But I have found the secret to dealing with such comments: Understand that people, ALL PEOPLE, including you and me, are sometimes insensitive and rude. Practice grace, be grateful for your blessings, and let the joy of the Lord be your strength. 🙂

    • Mindy June 14, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      Thank you for your gracious encouragement. I appreciated it. I had NO idea people actually said those things to people with two kids, so I am very thankful to have so many readers speak up and share their experiences. I agree, grace is always needed. Humor helps, too. May you be blessed in your mothering and have a wonderful summer.

  83. Jessica Harvey June 14, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    I think there will always be nasty comments no matter what your walk in life. I only have 3 kids and I always hear “you should put a tv in your bedroom”. Really!? Personal boundaries people, use some manners!

  84. Janet June 14, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    While no one has ever implied immorality, my husband and I have heard everything else. Once my husband told someone, “We keep trying for an ugly one.” And once, when a store clerk asked me if they were ALL mine, I told her, “Do you seriously think I would round up a bunch of other people’s kids to keep me company while I attempt to try on clothing?” Well, just grin and bear it–too soon the kids all grow up and it becomes rare that you are all together in one place. And I have to admit, I’m intrigued by other large families when I see them, it’s not very common. I try to say to the mom or dad, “It makes me happy to see you with your children–reminds me of when my kids were younger….”

    • Janet June 14, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      Oh, and now since I have kids no longer living at home, when someone asks me if these are ALL my kids I can say, “No, actually there are 3 more who aren’t with me! And BTW, Mindy, your kids look like they could belong in our family!

      • Mindy Peltier June 14, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

        Janet, I can’t stop laughing at your comments. Check back later today, I am writing a post with the best comments. Thank you so much for sharing! Blessings on your life as an awesome mom with a great sense of humor.

  85. Amy O. June 14, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. I have 4 boys, and I had someone make a similar comment to me. Funny thing about it was that they have 3 boys:). God bless you and your beautiful family.

  86. Amy June 14, 2013 at 6:38 pm #

    This resonates with me as a parent of one. I always feel the need to shout the following.
    – I did not “choose” to have an only child.
    – Yes, I know munchkin would love a Brother or Sister.
    – No we are not “trying” for more, there are just not going to be any more.
    – Again, no we did not CHOOSE this.
    – We are NOT selfish, it is just the way God made our little family.

    • Mindy June 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

      Amy, thank you so much for sharing this comment and showing the mothers of more what NOT to say. We need to support one another regardless of family size. Family is not defined but quantity, but we can define our family with quality motherhood, as another commenter above graciously put it. Blessings on your motherhood.

  87. Lisa Easterling June 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm #

    And they are all beautiful, too! Love your post. We had seven but lost one to miscarriage and one as a newborn :(. We have thoroughly enjoyed our big, crazy, amazing family. 🙂

  88. erin June 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm #

    This was awesome! I have 5 kids and always here the comments. It always bothers me when people say, “You sure have your hands full.” But then even if I go out with 1 or 2, people still make that comment, so I don’t let that one bother me. I really liked what you said at the end about parenting being a calling. I struggle with friends that are having a hard time with fertility and I feel guilty about my 5 blessings, but you just put it perfect. Thanks!

  89. tric June 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

    In Northern Ireland big families were synonymous with catholic families as they did not use contraception and protestant families only had two or three, so large families were looked down on. As an aside I remember being at a friends house who had a lot of siblings, her mum used to look up at the crucifix they had hanging on the wall in the kitchen and shout “Jesus get down off that cross and let me up for a rest!” Enjoyed your post as a mum of four and one of six!

  90. Gayle June 14, 2013 at 10:01 pm #

    I love this article. As a mother of six children, I could have written this! I have heard all the above comments, but with one that I don’t think has been mentioned yet. I was pregnant with number 6 when I was grocery shopping with all children in tow. I was approached by a well meaning older lady who said to me, among other things, “It’s nice to see a white woman having a lot of children.” As you can imagine, I was speechless!
    I don’t know why people think they have the freedom to say such stupid things to my, especially when my children are listening as well. Yes, we are often tired, cranky, weary, etc., but the blessings that come with a large family far outweigh any negative that might come along with it.

  91. Michelle June 14, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    Until we moved back to the west, I got snarky comments all the time. Pretty much every time we went out, and I only had 3 at the time. The most common comment when I was pregnant with my 4th was, “This is your last one, right?” In my head I was thinking, “Um, do I know you? I didn’t think so. Shut up.” Instead I went for shock value. “Oh no. We want *at least* 6 more.” I was never disappointed with the reactions I got with that response. I DID get comments when I had just one baby, though, One time, I was being asked some medical questions and one of them was, “are you pregnant?” I said, “no”, and the lady responded, “Good, you don’t want to be getting pregnant right now. You need to enjoy this one.” Oh really? Thank you for telling me what I want.

    We now live in Colorado and I knew we had come to the right place when I started getting comments like, “What a beautiful family.” “Aw, I remember being in your shoes.” My favorite was when we were at the store and I had my youngest (about 9 months old at the time) in a wrap and my second to youngest (3yo) didn’t want to ride in the cart so I let him walk with is siblings. An older lady walked by and says, “What beautiful kids.” Then looks at the empty cart seat and says,”looks like there’s room for one more.” I wanted to hug her. Granted, someone who didn’t want anymore kids might have taken offense to that comment, but I thought it was refreshing. 🙂

    • Michelle June 14, 2013 at 10:08 pm #

      I should say, “someone who didn’t want or couldn’t have any more kids might take offense to that.”

  92. Martina@CatholicSistas June 15, 2013 at 12:29 am #

    Dude, I totally forgot our classic line “We’ll stop when we get an ugly one.” The problem is they keep getting cuter and cuter, LOL!

  93. Angie Vinez June 15, 2013 at 3:38 am #

    This truly has to be one of the most well-written posts on the topic of large families vs. small families. And I am blown away by how much we have in common. I have wanted 8 children from the time I was 8 years old. Seriously. Oh, and I *love* this statement: “The win isn’t who has the most kids, the win is being the best parent you can be with what you’ve been given.” So eloquently stated. Thank you for taking the time to write this. I just wish I had written it first. 😉 I’ll be sure to link to you if I write on a similar topic.

  94. Tamara June 15, 2013 at 5:06 am #

    I stumbled upon your blog, very well written. I am on the other side of the spectrum. I am 42 never married and no kids. I would love to meet my husband and have a family but this is the way life has taken me. (I am a missionary living in a E. Europe so finding that guy to trek around this part of the world to work with Gypsy kids has been a challenge – but this is another story as I work with Gypsy families where 10-12 kids is the norm). Bottom line is – yes I would love to have a family but I am so happy and content where God has me today right now. I think that is such a problem with society – no one is ever content and happy with the here and now. They look at other peoples life circumstances and can’t imagine that someone can be happy with such a large (and I do have to say beautiful) family or in my case single with no kids. I get asked endless times “don’t you want to get married? don’t you want to have kids? why don’t you just adopt? – you can adopt as a single mom you know. Do you realize your biological clock is ticking yada yada yada etc….” I think those who ask such insensitive questions are miserable in their own lives and can’t see that others could possibly be happy and content. You clearly love your kids so all I have to say is thank you for taking such great care of these precious ones God has blessed you with.

  95. Nan June 15, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    Before I had my children we had several years of infertility and so I was “blessed” with many rude and ignorant comments that people thought were funny. I used to say with a smile and sarcasm “Oh, now THERE’S one I’ve never heard before……”

    Then, of course, we began homeschooling and I got to hear lots more negative comments (but mainly positive ones too!).

    But as a mom of two kids I have to admit that I have rarely had comments on the amount of kids I have. Great post, Mindy! I am blown away by the number of comments you received, that’s awesome Thanks so much for linking up to the “Making Your Home Sing Monday” linky party today! 🙂

  96. Jaw-knee Stee-brull June 15, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    Hahaha, awesome! This is soo perfect! Just the right amount of snark, not at all bitter or mean, yet bold, unrelenting, and about darn time! O;)

    As the second eldest son in a family of 12 children, when my mom took a few of us shopping, and (almost like clockwork) got that question, she would often answer, “No…” to their (quizzical) relief–and then she finished, “the other half are at home.” You could about tip most people over with a feather.
    Why they would be relieved to hear that, or why it’s any of their business? Beats me. Still provides for some good laughs and outreach opportunities on our side of it, though. 🙂

  97. Melissa H-K June 15, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I have four kids. My daughter has four kids under four, and she’ll probably have more. Both of us, believe it or not, have heard all those rude questions about the huuuuuuuge number of kids we have.

    My favorite thing to say to a parent of more than a few children: “You have a beautiful family!”

    My daughter’s favorite thing: “It gets easier!”

  98. darwinbullock June 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

    Great blog. I needed some of these comebacks over the last 15 years. 🙂

  99. Tracey June 15, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    Great article! You have a beautiful family!
    We had five children in less than three years. Our “surprise baby” was actually a set of triplets. We heard every possible rude comment, but knew that we were abundantly blessed.
    Now that the children are all teens, we look back at the foundational years with fond memories. I wouldn’t trade the love, energy, and chaos of my family and their friends in my home for a clean house and full fridge–ever!

  100. jamie jo June 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm #

    You are a much better writer than me, love your post!! I wrote something similar here:
    http://makemeasaint.blogspot.com/2013/03/double-standards.html

  101. Amanda Bagley June 15, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

    As a SAHM of 5 (6 any day) but our family is made up of biological and adopted kiddos we get all kinds of rude comments! Our oldest is 7 and let me tell you we are pros at dodging those questions but it gets harder the older the kids get because they start listening and create questions of their own!

  102. Karen June 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    Hahahahahahahahaha. AWESOME!!!!! I grew up one of 11 children and loved it. I have 7 children going on 9 (Hurrah for twins!!!) and we’re so excited. I’m grateful that I’ve only met one (yes, one) rude person that dared to make a comment about my family size (and in front of my children no less). And he…uh…got shut down by the way. I love that sweatshirt though. My daughter said she wants one for WHEN she has a large family. Man oh man I love being a mom. Thank you so much for such a great laugh!!!!

  103. Gayle June 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm #

    I am from a large family and I love it. I have 6 brothers and 6 sisters…I am so blessed. Being the youngest of my parent’s children, my siblings would tease me that I was a “change of life baby”. Of course as I grew older, I would just tell them that “No I am not. Mama and Daddy just kept trying and trying till they reached perfection and quit.” I am the 13th child and YES we all are single births and all came from the love of the same two people. I tell you truthfully that when you are the tail end of that many siblings, you better have a good sense of humor. Thank you Lord for blessing me with being from the family I came from.

    • Michelle June 15, 2013 at 10:55 pm #

      I come from a big family too. I *loved* when people would ask, “are you all from the same parents?” lol.

  104. Kristi @ The Potter's Hand Academy June 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm #

    I have 6 kids, 12 down to 2. I took them grocery shopping today. My husband is working on the other side of the country at the moment, and has been gone for a week, with no end in sight. It’s over 95* today, and the AC in the van is going out for some unknown reason. I wasn’t in my best form, but I managed to bite my tongue when someone asked me if they were all mine. Barely, but I did. I wonder if people even realize what they sound like when they make comments like that.

  105. Laura June 15, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    For the record, I have 10 children to date. However, they do not look alike, so, for me at least, the sweatshirt would not be accurate. I used to try and gauge the sincerity of the comment/question. Sometimes I might say, ” No, I borrowed some from the library.” Sometimes i would say, “there was a sale on aisle 4.” Finally the day came when the oldest 2 went to college. I was able to use the response I had been saving for just such an occasion: “No, I have more, they are just not with me right now.”

    • Mindy Peltier June 17, 2013 at 3:28 am #

      Laura, you have a great sense of humor! Great answers! Since my t-shirt woudln’t work, you could make your own. “No, these kids aren’t all mine. I borrowed some from the library.” 🙂 I can imagine there is a lot of laughter in your home if any of the kids have picked up on your ability to use laughter to stave off frustration. Thanks for adding to the laughs.

  106. Fr. Brian June 16, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    Thank you for this post. I wish more people were as thoughtful and understanding as you (and had your sense of humor).

    Fr. Brian Carpenter
    Diocese of Rochester, NY

  107. Kelsey June 16, 2013 at 3:34 am #

    This was a great article, and there are some great comments here! It is astonishing how insensitive people can be. When my husband and I got married 7 years ago, we both dreamed of a large family, but after 6 years of trying we have had to face the reality that those dreams may never come true. But what I am so grateful for is the empathy I have gained, not only for other couples with our same problem, but for anyone outside of the norm. Thank you for being so kind and thoughtful to everyone who has commented!

    We have of course dealt with many hurtful comments over the years. I had one coworker who found out we were trying to have kids, and after that would regularly ask “Are you pregnant yet??” Obviously oblivious to how painful that question was. When I would answer my typical “no, not yet!” response, he would invariably say, “You must not be doing it right.” Someday, when I’m 9 months pregnant, I would love to go to him, point to my enormous belly and exclaim, “Look!! We figured it out!!!”

  108. Jaime Word June 16, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Ok, so this is the 1st time I’ve stumbled upon your blog, but I think your brilliant!! My husband & I have 11 children & get comments everywhere we go. By far the most popular, besides, “Are they all yours?” is “Are yall Mormon?” Not to offend any mormons who may be reading this, but they aren’t the only ones who have large families! We are a blended family (my husband actually has 5, but his oldest 2 are grown & don’t live w/us, I had 4, we got married & had 2 together, thus 11-@ home, that is!) 🙂 We truly love having a big family, tho…even though we get looks & comments ALL the time! Our children/family is our hardest job & biggest accomplishment! It takes strong men & women to take on the task of parenting! We work hard every day to help our children grow into Godly men & women & thank the Lord every day for the family He’s given us! Thank you so much for your post!!

  109. Kinna June 16, 2013 at 8:18 am #

    Cultural Policing! I live in Ghana in West Africa where traditionally large families are desired. And you must have girls as some of us are matrilineal (children belong to the maternal line). I have two boys and have stopped there. I get questions, even visits from well meaning old women, entreating and imploring me to have more children, especially at least one girl. It can be exhausting. My standard reply now is: I’m trying but haven’t been successful. They should continue to pray for me! This seems to mollify them. Point is, society should accept women’s choices. Whatever those choices are. Continue to enjoy your family!

  110. Ruth June 16, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    I remember meeting a new acquaintance and her husband (1 or two kids, I can’t remember) in the grocery store. I think I only had two of my seven with me. She introduced me to her husband and said, “and she has seven children, but then she’s recovering from a partial lobotomy.”
    I was astounded that she would say such a thing IN FRONT of my children!!
    Later I repeated her words in front of one of HER friends, telling her I felt it was inappropriate. (I wanted a witness.) Her friend agreed with me. The next time we met she complained about the situation, saying, “But you said it in front of my friend!” I replied, “Well, you said it in front of my children!”

    • Mindy Peltier June 16, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

      I think we’ve all been more worried about our kids’ reactions than our own, as you pointed out. It has come up over and over today. I remember, too, very much needing to reaffirm to my children that I WANTED THEM and I saw them as an answer to my prayers. Thanks for speaking up and joining the conversation today, Ruth.

  111. Tamara June 16, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    The comment that crushed me the most, in the last decade of child-bearing, was from a nurse while I was IN labor. 12 days over-due, giving birth DURING a hurricane (imagine the stress and hormones leading up to this moment), and an uppity nurse, quickly doing her protocol and taking answers to certain necessary questions, after the questions about how many children I had had (3 prior), said this one, in a manner most expectant and almost instructive, “So, you’re going to have your tubes tied?” I looked at her in shock, and I still believe a tear JUMPED out of my eye, like blood would jump out of a sudden, blowing wound.

    A million thoughts crossed my mind at that moment. How many women have you successfully bullied into thinking that was a “must do”? Is that the hospital’s expectation? Is THAT the kind of support I’ll be getting from you as I birth this beautiful child DURING a hurricane? Why do people seem to HATE children? How dare you ask me that question in that demanding tone?

    I kept most of my emotion down, and only the tear spoke the million questions, but I could not hold my tongue back entirely. That nurse got a lecture on the beauty of children, the sovereignty of God, how joyful I was to be ushering this soul into the world and how I couldn’t WAIT to hold him, the affrontery of her audacity to make that comment, how she should never speak to any woman like that, trying to influence her choices, and much more. I said it all in a gentle, humble way, because I truly was shocked, but I also said it with the greatest of love and conviction. I wish that I could remember all that I said, but I can’t. She left the room after that.

    Any of the comments I have gotten have always been, to me, an opportunity to share the Gospel and the greater ways and wisdom of the Lord (Is. 55:8-9). I’m with you- I think people are just generally ignorant, or self-focussed, but mean well (most of the time). We live in a pagan world, and we are here to be lights as we live differently, yet among those who don’t believe.

    We lived in the Middle East for a few years, and actually fit-in better THERE than we do here! That was a blessing. However, there is such bondage among the women there. I had lots of chances to show them that women can still be submissive wives, yet to a godly man who was devoted to his one bride and family; that women can be modest and yet feminine and free; that children can be happy and love one another (Muslims believe children are born sinless and can find their own way/ don’t need to be told what to do, and therefore, child training is often non-existent and so the children are obviously insecure and act out); that a husband and wife can be joyful and have a great friendship; etc. There were so many ways to lift up Christ there, because, while we were so similar, the contrast between life lived in the Light of Christ and a life lived without Him was obvious. Many people were drawn to us and drawn to the Lord. Several times, we were followed through the zoo, through the mall, and many other places, by women with cameras. They wanted to touch our children, talk to me… and, they didn’t know what drew them unless I had opportunity to share with them.

    Living for Christ, through the wisdom of and faith in His Word, in whatever situation, with whatever family He has given us, and wherever He plants us, is the real key to life!

    • Mindy Peltier June 16, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      Tamara, thank you so much for taking the time and sharing your heart with all of us this morning. I LOVE that you use your family to explain and display the Gospel. That’s really the heart of my passion, as well, to bring salvation by faith to those around me. Many are lost in rules and regulations and haven’t heard the simple truth of how you know you’re going to Heaven when you die.

      I had the same experience with my labors, as well. One particularly tenacious person came in several times during my hardest contractions. I had my children naturally, so you can imagine in the final stages of labor, I was a little in pain and a little focused. I can still picture this head popping through the door saying, “Do you want your tubes tied.” For me to bite my tongue during a CONTRACTION more than one time was truly the grace of God.

      I loved hearing about how you lived and ministered in the Middle East. Thank you, again, for sharing with us all. May the Lord continue to bless the work of your hands.

      • Tamara June 16, 2013 at 7:15 pm #

        Thank you, Mindy! Happy Father’s Day to your hubby, today.

  112. Eric June 17, 2013 at 2:20 am #

    Interesting post, Here in Utah the big families are all about the money and tax refunds. Plain and simple. A friend of mine is having his 6th kid and the only reason for that is that he wants more money with his tax returns, the sad part is that he is not the only family i know that is doing the same. I hate that i have to pay for all this crap big families in America are doing.

    • Sarah June 17, 2013 at 3:01 am #

      I don’t know if I should even reply to this it’s so ridiculous. The money that you get back in a tax return doesn’t do nearly enough to compensate what you spend to care for, raise and educate a child. Instead of blaming big families, look at those in congress etc. who have made the tax law the way it is. Also, many families struggle to make ends meet, even small families. it has become a 2 income economy in this country and that effects everyone. Being from Utah, I don’t think that people really have more kids for the tax break unless they aren’t that bright. My husband and I have joked about this many times, but were never serious for the above reasons. I know many large families that love their children very much. Wonderful families come in all sizes!

      • Mindy Peltier June 17, 2013 at 3:21 am #

        Sarah, I loved your final comment, thanks for sharing. “Wonderful families come in all sizes.” Since many women above expressed heartache in not being able to have children, or have more than a few, I appreciate the focus on “FAMILY” and not “FAMILY SIZE.”

    • Mindy June 17, 2013 at 3:13 am #

      Eric, thanks for your point of view. I appreciate you being willing to speak out in a forum where the majority of the voices were pro big families and share your negative experience with a father from a large family. We’ve probably all joked about our kids being a tax return, but for myself and all my friends, that has nothing to do with the reason we have kids.

      I can assure you, non-government dependent large families pay a lot of taxes. 🙂 In fact, we’re required to register to homeschool in the local school district, so the tax money alloted for our children’s education goes to the public school we register with and not our family. All school materials come out of our own pocket, and we pay that willingly, with a nearly 10% sales tax in WA.

      Thanks again, for sharing your viewpoint here. I appreciated your candid honesty.

  113. Jill June 17, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    Eric, you may want to tell your buddy that his financial plan is a bust. Once a couple has three children they have essentially hit the “max” amount of money they can claim against their income. When people receive money from a tax return they do not receive any “extra” money because they have children. ALL of the money received in a tax return is coming from the total income of the person filing. Certain expenses, one being children, will allow people to retain a slightly larger portion of their EARNED income that would otherwise go to taxes. Some people choose not to claim their expenses in each paycheck, so the money is deducted as if they had no expenses (again, children is one of the MANY MANY things that is a claimable expense). When they file their tax returns in April they then claim those expenses and receive the money they would have retained throughout the year in a lump sum. YOU are not contributing in any way, shape, or form to the amount of money that someone receives in a tax refund.

    • Mindy June 17, 2013 at 3:19 am #

      Jill, thanks for explaining that. The words were mulling over in my head and I knew the answer, but couldn’t get it out logically. So, you covered the stuff I didn’t. 🙂 Thanks for explaining with the facts and with kindness. I love how respectfull the commenters have been. You answered a valid concern. Eric, there have been other comments earlier voicing a similar concern about families that are dependent on the government and still having large families. I think it’s fair to say tax paying people might be frustrated with that, but also a great reminder for us to still love and respect the kids and the families. Again, great conversation here. Thanks, to all!

  114. Linda June 17, 2013 at 4:16 am #

    Not so fast, Mindy:

    I am one of 8 siblings and I always prayed that I would have at least 12 kids. But God had other ideas. My fiance (oldest of 10 kids) died of cancer, and then it was several years before I met someone else and got married. By that time I was in my 30’s and then experienced several years of infertility. By God’s grace, and after years of prayer, I was blessed with two children in 13 months, a girl, then a boy. I was unable to have any more children, much to my sadness. I was a stay-at-home mom, homeschooled my kids, and taught them the evils of contraception and the blessings and joys of large families. They are proud to have so many aunts and uncles and cousins. They both hope to have several children when they get married.

    If a judgmental woman came up to me and asked me if I “knew the health issues birth control causes”, or “How come you only have two? Don’t you like kids?” or “You don’t have much love in your family, do you?” it would crush me (or even if she just THOUGHT that about me, it would devastate me). Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s hard enough to wonder why God didn’t answer my prayer (which I thought was an unselfish prayer) for a big family. But to know that some mothers of large families look down on me and assume that just because I only have 2 kids, I must be a selfish, contracepting career woman is truly heartbreaking and humiliating.

    I think a little more Christian charity is needed on this blog. Nobody knows what is going on in another person’s life and what they’ve suffered. Being judgmental is a form of arrogance and superiority, no matter what kind of mother it’s coming from. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

  115. teachbygoofyaccent June 17, 2013 at 4:54 am #

    I wouldn’t ask rude questions about your kids, but I admit, I’d wonder about it. I think you’ve answered most of the questions I would have had about why so many. I also don’t have any issues with motherhood as a career choice. It is a choice, and as a feminist, I want women to have every choice available to them.

    I have no kids, and maybe want one of my own. I chose to be an educator, so I have plenty of kids every year! If those kids are well taken care of, then have as many of them as you want.

  116. Jamie June 17, 2013 at 8:13 pm #

    I live in Utah – a state with a rather large population of bigger families – and I “only” have two kids. Because of numerous miscarriages and fertility issues, my dream of having six kids is simply not meant to be. I laugh with pleasure and smile with happiness when I do see bigger families, and I usually feel like our family is missing something.

    Having said that, I have actually been the victim of this reverse prejudice in my marriage, being asked things like:
    •”You’ve been married HOW long and only have HOW MANY kids?”
    •”Why didn’t you start trying earlier?”
    •”Don’t you think your being selfish with your choice?”
    •”Don’t you think you’re depriving your other children of that extra love?”
    •And many, many more inappropriate comments and questions.

    Like you, I have been too polite to answer these the way I would like, but some interesting thoughts come to mind. It’s sad that we, as mothers, knowing how hard being a mother is regardless of her number of children, choose to be so cruel to other women and mothers.

    Seriously, it’s difficult enough without the added pressure and drama from others! Can’t we all just be kind? Can’t we realize that most mothers are simply doing the best they can?

    • Mindy Peltier June 19, 2013 at 2:55 am #

      Jamie, thank you so much for taking the time to add your experience to our conversation. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had such negative questions and comments, it only adds to the pain you are feeling in your own heart. With fertility issues and miscarriages, each a heartbreak in its own, I’m sure you look at your kids and your heart is filled with love and gratitude. Some women have full homes and empty hearts. May the Lord continue to give you the grace and patience you’ve had to bite your tongue instead of biting back. May you be blessed in your mothering!

  117. dmromero June 19, 2013 at 12:47 am #

    I have had negative reactions in a few different ways.

    1. One thing I have noticed is that the bigger family you have the less educated people think you are. People always say to me “wow your husband must have a good job to support 3 kids”.
    I have 2 kids born on the same day two years apart and they were both preemies, however healthy as ever. Nine months after my second child I became pregnant with my third. Recently I was at a dinner party and my mother in law told someone that I was pregnant with my third child and still working.
    The person responded by saying:
    “oh you have a nice little job? How nice”.
    I said “yea isn’t it.”
    Then she asked “so do you like your nice little job?”
    I said “sure why not I mean it only took me 12 years of schooling (and I still got 4 more to go) to get it.”
    The person then said “oh you have a real job?”
    I said “sure don’t all soon to be doctors (psychologists) do?”
    Then she responded by saying “oh this is a real job?”
    And i said “sure as a opposed to a fake one…sure we can call it that?”
    Then she said “wow so you plan to keep your job after your third child?” I said “sure why not, it cost me a lot of money in school to get it!!”
    It amazed me to see just how shocked people were that you can have more then ONE kids and be educated, have a job and not have your husband pay for it all.

    2. However with that being said, when people found out I was pregnant again even my patients responded with “again, omg didn’t you just have one like last week?” I actually felt ashamed that I got pregnant so quickly (it was not intended) and didn’t tell a lot of people that I was pregnant again due to the negative comments at the beginning. My sister in law told my husband to go get snipped because we were being careless!!! I was actually shocked by the negative reaction that people were passing down. Some even offered me birth control advice.
    My husband actually wants 4 kids. I haven’t told anybody that we want another one. Moreover I get people asking me all the time “how you gonna pay for your three kids” my response is “with the degree I went to school with that I paid a lot of money for and my own husbands’ hard earn career!!”

    3. I find it very ignorant of people who keeping asking me who is getting “fixed” first. Me or my husband. Like since when do I need anyone’s permission to have or not have more kids? That is like asking about someone’s sex life. Its none of anyone business to ask such things.

    I think people need to be more sensitivity in their manner or speaking and not assume everyone who has a large family lives off the government or freeloads. The a lot of large families actually are responsible with their families.

    Its very sad that we have not evolved in this area.

    Dayana

    • phantomdiver June 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm #

      My sister-in-law and late brother-in-law, both PhDs, have/had ten kids. Poor uneducated things!

      • phantomdiver June 19, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

        Whoops, sorry! Forgot the tag! I fully support their right to have all ten of their delightful kids.

  118. Peeples June 20, 2013 at 4:18 am #

    A friend once said her response to the “you got your hands full” was “full of good things!” With three 3 and under in 4 years of marriage (no multiples) I have gotten good use out of it. I greatly enjoy the comments, weather intended rudely or just curious, because they open a great door for sharing God’s truths. Truths that most people do not hear even from the pulpit.
    We went to a corn maze with two children and the lady at the gate ask “ok one boy, one girl, are you calling it quits?” When I said “oh no, we hope the Lord blesses us with a lot more!” She said she had seven and wouldn’t change it for the world. I agree, you never know where people are coming from, even the ones asking the questions.
    The only time I have ever left with a bad taste in my mouth has been from a dr or pediatrician. Because I am only 22 it is often assumed they were due to teen pregnancy. This usually doesn’t bother me (since in our society I might assume the same!) but when a dr is trying to tell me how this “happens” or that I am not competent enough to take care of the children I have – it pushes some buttons. I just get out as soon as possible and never go back!
    As sisters in Christ we are to encourage each other in the truths of Gods word, including being fruitful and multiplying! But with that also comes the knowledge that when we faithfully hand over “control” of our womb to God, His plan is different for everyone. Large and small families alike have heart aches and struggles. The point is to be obedient to Him and faithful with joy. It used to break my heart when young couples at our previous church would only announce a pregnancy after 12 weeks “just in case”, That way no one knew if she did miscarry. What a lost opportunity to pray and minister to a woman in need! a young woman of 23 at our church now has had 2 children, 4 miscarriages, and 3 ectopic and has faithfully asked for prayers over every one early on. Oh how we have mourned with her and celebrate with her! She has 9 babies!! It IS our business as sisters in the Lord open up and bear eachothers burdens. Our calling as women, large family, small, single, widowed, is to become more like Christ in service to one another in the context of family – weather church or physical. He is a good creator to place us in the sphere that pulls out the best of the many gifts women have and yet truly challenges us to rely on Him daily. Womanhood and home building go hand in hand. We can’t control how many are in the home, just how well we guard it.

    • zanwan June 20, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

      Well said!

    • phantomdiver June 20, 2013 at 10:36 pm #

      My husband and I were one of those young couples, years ago. With our first pregnancy, we told everybody, immediately! We were so happy and excited! And then a week later, our baby died. The clueless comments we got made us determined never to tell anybody again until we were in the second trimester. Here are some of them:

      “It’s Nature’s way.”
      “You wouldn’t want anything but a perfect baby.”
      And our unfavorite:
      “Oh, you decided against it?” ::shudder::

  119. Ruth June 21, 2013 at 2:18 am #

    I love this post!!!! I am a young…almost 30…mother of five kids 5 and under in 7 years of marriage – ages 5, 3, 2, & 9 months. Our last babies were a set of twins. I too have received many comments about having this many kids. Most don’t bother me, some I have really had to bite my tongue on. But all my babies are a blessing, and I am happy this is my job. No matter how busy and chaotic life is, I LOVE IT! All I have ever wanted to be was a mom. And every minute is amazing with my little munchkins.

  120. L.Smith June 21, 2013 at 7:00 am #

    This has ALWAYS been a problem. Back in 1961, my father had gotten a vasectomy after having 3 children ten years earlier. But it didn’t take, and my mother found she was pregnant with me! Her sister-in-law asked if my dad was going to get ‘checked out’….as if he might not be the father! Mom was so shocked she didn’t know what to say! (six years later, they also had my brother!) So it’s not only ‘strangers’…it can be family as well! =/

  121. Catherine Martinez June 22, 2013 at 4:20 am #

    I love your blog! And I love (most of) the replies. I am the mother of seven wonderful kids. I just want to share a quick story about the power of prayer. My oldest daughter wanted to start a family as soon as she was married. She loved being from a large family and always wanted to have as many children as God would bless her with. After three years of marriage and no children, she finally went to a fertility doctor who informed her that the multitude of tests they had run on her indicated that she had poly-cystic ovaries. We learned that it was a major cause of infertility, but her doctor assured her that he believed in her case and with his help, she would be able to have children. Oh, how we cried when she first was diagnosed! We prayed and prayed and cried each month when there was no pregnancy. My little girl who was so needle shy that she fainted whenever she got a shot was soon undergoing daily shots for stretches at a time. And yet every month brought disappointment. And so we redoubled our efforts and prayed even more, asked relatives and friends and friends of friends to pray. And then finally, unbelievably, a positive test! My first grandson came into this world as the best answer to any prayer. He is wonderful, a truly kind and loving boy. And that would be enough of a wonderful ending about the power of prayer, but that is not all! Two years later my daughter gave birth to a girl. Two and a half years after that she delivered twins, a boy and a girl. Two years later, another girl and two years after that another girl! She now has four girls and two boys and a whole lot of noise laundry and happiness! I can only imagine our Father’s gentle smile as we prayed in desperation, if only we knew what blessings He had in store for us!

    • Mindy January 21, 2014 at 6:17 am #

      Catherine, what a beautiful story you shared about your daughter’s six children after infertility. I am so thankful you shared that. What joy each child must bring to the entire family! I think when we’re young and idealistic, we don’t understand that not everybody has the happily ever after stories, and not everybody can plan their family’s the way they want. But, when the Lord intervenes and grants desires of the hearts, the joy is untold. Yes, it is a great reminder to pray, my heart is refreshed. Thanks again, for commenting on my blog, even though I am replying months later!

  122. Heidi B June 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    This is my first time visiting your page and your wit just cracked me up! This post particularly resonated with me because I have been married for all of almost a month and of course, people immediately ask me, “When are you guys going to have a baby?” To which I like to look at them with shock and say, “I just gained 3 kids during the wedding, I think we can wait a little while!” Hahaha! Ironically, people also say to me, “Are you REALLY going to have another one?” as if having 4 kids is crazy. I love my three stepchildren to pieces but that doesn’t mean I should be denied the blessing of being pregnant or the joy of being with a newborn!

    But the worst question I get asked when people hear that we have all of the kids full time is, “What happened to their mom?” and then the follow up question, “How did she die?” because it ALWAYS comes next. That is absolutely none of their business, and a rather unpleasant topic of conversation. My kids love their mom and we do our best to only speak fondly of her to them, but she chose drugs over her children (including during her pregnancies) and left behind a huge mess that I have taken over the burden of fixing. While I am thankful for the beautiful children she has given me, some days I am just not prepared to sugar coat the truth to people I don’t know or whose opinion I don’t care about and my response may be a little harsh. But the funniest is if someone asks any of these types of questions in front of my husband – he’s a farm boy that lost his “filter” a long time ago and I promise that any personal questions get answered way more explicitly than needed. So hopefully people will learn their lesson from asking him before they offend too many others!

    BTW – My good friend has 5 kids and has repeatedly assured me that 1-3 are the hardest, numbers 4 and 5 are a breeze. Is that true? I think she is just trying to lure me over to the dark side, but hopefully we will find out the truth soon enough!

    • Mindy January 21, 2014 at 6:13 am #

      Heidi, I had so many wonderful comments on my blog I missed answering a few of them. I see you wrote this comment in June, but it was so sweet, I wanted to comment. I think you are a blessing to the children you gained through marriage, and I love your attitude about their birth mom. Kids will always naturally love their mothers, despite what they do, and for you to allow their love and for them to speak about her is very wise. If you were to shun that, it would turn their hearts against you. I know she left you a mess, but in the Bible there is a beautiful verse about the Lord making crooked things straight. He turns darkness into light. By loving these kids you’ve welcomed into your life, you’re doing the same as our Heavenly Father. It will be a hard job, may the Lord grant you older women who know when to give advice and when to be silent. We need both, as moms. As far as answering questions – you’re not obligated to. You can just say “Aren’t I blessed to be their mother?” And your friend is right, about life getting easier with children #4-6. However, we got them one at a time as babies, and got to grow into them. You had three at once, so you didn’t get to ease into it. You’ll know if and when you’re ready to have more. Remember, there are no rules! 😉 Blessings to you and thank you so much for taking time to comment on my blog.

  123. Cheryl June 24, 2013 at 11:23 pm #

    Love this! I have 6, and I completely understand. I have decided that other people are just trying to make sense of something they don’t have experience with, and they are thinking out loud about what they would think if they found themselves in the same situation. When I realized it had more to do with others than with me, I could laugh more. More power to you, mama!

  124. jennybush00 June 28, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    Hi Mindy! I love this post! Your children are gorgeous! I also have 4 daughters and 2 sons. What a blessing! I actually had a woman come up to me in the store the other day and count all of my children. You just have to laugh…

    • Mindy June 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm #

      When they were younger I loved opening the sliding door to my big econo-van. I’d help the kids out and watch people nod and count. I’m really encouraged that so many people can count! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  125. kelly August 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm #

    I have 8 children, and at this stage of life, 4 are out on their own and 4 are at home. I STILL get comments!! I think often people just don’t think before they open their mouths. The comments that were made to my older children when they were in high school while working at a local grocery store, were so uncalled for. My oldest dd then about 19, told me, “Do people think I want to think about my parents having sex? NO!? I just want to snuggle with the newest baby and hand him/her back to you when they have a dirty diaper or are screaming!!” Thanks for the great article!!

    • Mindy August 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm #

      Kelly, thanks for commenting. My oldest daughter was in high school when I was pregnant with #6. She also heard a lot of disgusting comments. I wish people could see that some of us have a lot of kids because we LOVE children and wanted every one of them! Blessings to you and your wonderful family!

  126. Nadine January 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm #

    Actually people should be grateful that you are contributing to the next generation of tax payers. We need more young people to make sure the economy and culture of our countries will prosper. Your kids will help pay for the pension of those complaining people. Or at least that’s how it is in the Netherlands, were I’m from and in Germany were I currently live. I started late with kids and I’m grateful that I managed two, still more as the average.
    Women should support each other more instead of judging each other.

    • Mindy January 31, 2014 at 7:39 pm #

      Great comment, Nadine, that was a unique perspective I hadn’t thought about. But, yes, my three kids that are already working pay a LOT of taxes. 🙂 I was in Amsterdam about two years ago and LOVED it! I blogged through some of it. Most of all, I love your encouragement that women should support each other more. Thanks for your visit today, friend!

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