Yes, they are ALL mine! Answers to those rude questions about large families!

Having the number of children I do, once disclosed to anyone usually results in total shock. Either after they have fallen over in disbelief, (or written me off as some real freak) some of them are actually able to compose themselves enough to eyeball me head to toe. I am then treated to the usual remark “you do not look like you have had 9 kids.” Nice. What exactly do you mean? Apparently “looking” like one has had children automatically means that you are “fat”, “tired” and “old” looking (they should meet my husband). Who knew? Why would anyone want to have children if that is how you are supposed to look afterwards? No wonder the population growth in Canada is at an all time low. I have developed answers back to many of the bratty (if not down-right rude) comments I regularly attract parading around in society with some ( if not all) of my nine kids in tow.

The following is a SMALL sampling of questions I have been asked over the years along with the responses I have developed to “politely” address their concerns (also to keep myself out of incarceration for assault charges).

ONE

Q:           “Are they all yours?” (This question is almost always posed right in front of my collective offspring) With the exception of discerning whether the entire faithful assembled are not composed of let’s say “extra” kids (friends of my children along for the ride) this is a most rude and insensitive question.

Answer:              

  1. “Well let me see…last I checked they were”
  2. “Nah, not all of them…I am a child collector”
  3. “Only the beautiful ones”
  4. “Why? …Is there one you would like?”
  5. “Yes…and I have even MORE at home”
  6. “None are mine these kids just keep following me around.”
  7. “I tell my husband that they are all ours”

Only to be outdone by the next question ….

TWO

Q:           “Were all these kids planned or were some accidents?” No, really? First of all how dare you ask the question, next what would you think the children think hearing this? … Can you imagine being one of the children hearing this??

Answer:              

  1. “Nope, every one of them is an accident!”
  2. “Planned by whom?”
  3. “Only the beautiful ones!”
  4. “Why? …Is there one you would like to order?”

THREE

Q:           “Is this one your last?” Love this question, I have no clue who this stranger is but in the matter of a mere moment they have decided that I should be sharing information with them that my husband and I have not even discussed yet as a couple.

Answer:              

  1. “I never call a child [my last]… meet  my youngest”
  2. “Yep we are going to keep going till we get an ugly one!”
  3. “Can’t stop now we are part of a government research project we can only stop when the project is complete.”
  4. “Nah! My husband and I are very intelligent people, and believe we should pass on these great genes as much as we can.”
  5. “Before we were married we planned on having 2, but I didn’t know that my
    husband couldn’t count!”
  6. “Well, we have room in our van for 1 more. LOL!!!!!”

FOUR

Q:           “Do you know what causes it?” This question blows me away. I am in a public place; a stranger thinks that they can ask me this presumably because NO ONE would willingly have this number of kids, therefore ignorance of the basic must be the cause.

Answer:              

  1. “Haven’t a clue…maybe you could visit my home later when the kids are in bed and explain it to me.”
  2. “Yes, I do…don’t you?”
  3. “Well, we THOUGHT we did, but if that were the case, we’d have thousands of them by now.”
  4. “Yes, and it is something I am very good at … (!!) proud of it!”

FIVE

Q:           “You certainly have your hands full!” This comment usually happens as several of the younger ones are running around and I am at the checkout trying to balance the escapee-artist-baby, the bank card and bag groceries all at once.

Answer:              

  1. “Totally…wanna help?”
  2. “We can’t figure out where they’re all coming from!”
  3. “You should see how many I left at home!”
  4. “I’d rather have them full than empty.”

SIX

Q:           “How do you handle it?”

Answer:              

  1. “Duct tape…and a lot of alcohol.”
  2. “I wash laundry all night instead of watching TV!”
  3. “I have been institutionalized and today I am out on a pass”
  4. “I am mentally unstable and proud of it”
  5. “I don’t …I am in DENIAL”

SEVEN

Q:           “Why did you have this many?” Again, I don’t know this person and yet I am being asked to put a reason out there for why I have had children.

Answer:              

  1. “So there will be enough tax payers to contribute to the services you may require in old age.”
  2. “Just making the world a more beautiful place…one kid at a time”
  3. “I need this many to justify the mess I live in!”

EIGHT

Q:           “Same Father?” This question is just an amazing notion, especially when uttered in earshot of the children. I then proceed through the check out and the conversation as we head to the car is kids trying to determine which of the tribe originated by different dads…yeah, Thank you NOT!

Answer:              

  1. “No, that would have been boring”
  2. “You know…I am not really sure.”
  3. “Shhh-My husband thinks they are all his.”

NINE

Q:           “Haven’t you heard of birth control?”

Answer:              

  1. “Yes, I’ve heard of it, I hope you are using it!”
  2.  “Yes, that’s great stuff for people with ugly kids!”
  3. “Oh yes, we do know what birth control is; it’s for people who don’t want
    children.”         

TEN

Q:           “Don’t you have a television?”

Answer:

  1. “Yes and running water!”
  2. “No…can’t you tell?”

Then I get to either hear how much the interviewer wished they could have had more children but had to stop because they do not have the extreme financial wealth everyone assumes that I must have. (??)

ELEVEN

Q:           “How can you afford having so many?”

Answer:

  1. “My parents could not afford me and I am here.”
  2. “I figure you spend what you make, you may as well spend it people you love.”
  3. “I’m still not sure how we do it…but it works!”
  4. “Do you want my address (?) I accept cash and cheques!”

TWELVE
Q:           “Do you get any time for yourselves?”

Answer:

  1. “Kinda …obvious ..that  we occasionally do.”


And the winner is…..

Q:                          “Boy, am I glad it is you and not me!”

Answer:

“Yes, me too!”…“My kids are glad it’s me and not you too! ”

 🙂 The Garden Goat

Large Family Life

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799 thoughts on “Yes, they are ALL mine! Answers to those rude questions about large families!

  1. As the mother of eight children, I LOVED this! You must have the same folks at your grocery stores, because I get the same exact questions! LOL! I would add one more answer to your list, “Gosh, no one’s EVER asked me that question before.” And I agree with you, my children are so fantastic, people should pay me to have more. We are the best community improvement plan ever seen. Have a wonderful day with your delightful family!

    • Thanks for your wonderful comment…yes, the same people that lurk at my store are clearly evident at your store (!!) I love your suggestion…the response to my post has been awesome. These people must lurk everywhere lol! “Community improvement plan” that is awesome!
      Have a good night!
      😎
      The Garden Goat

    • Those same people head over to New Zealand pick up quick Kiwi accents and ask me the same questions. Most of the time the kids ARENT all mine (my 5 kids often have friends over) but its all about to get worse now we are about to foster!

      • Thanks for your comments. Strange how those of us in the company of many little ones would not dream to comment and yet many of us with several children in tow receive attitude from complete strangers. Nice to hear from New Zealand!
        The Garden Goat 😎

      • Hello ladies, your kind of family fascinates me. Having only 2 children and hardly coping with them despite their beautiful nature, I can’t help but admire. I am always attracted to your kind of mum, I love hearing their stories and feel very envious in many ways. You all have the strength, energy, drive and many more qualities that make you leaders in motherhood. I wish I had 1/4 of that. All these reasons would draw me to engage conversation with you and ask these silly questions. Please don’t take any offence when stupid people like me comment, most of us are jealous I guess for not being able to fulfil our female needs with a whole lifetime of broodiness and I guess it always comes out wrongly. Those who aren’t jealous are definitely pitiful, they are missing the whole point of life on earth. And it is a good thing they don’t breed!!! lol
        Keep going strong, ignore us and walk proudly, you are exceptional people. Warmest regards to all mothers.

      • Thank you for your comment. I do understand that sometimes people are trying to start a conversation and to those people I respond warmly. It depends on the situation and body language. I feel very honoured that you feel I have strength, energy, and drive…sometimes I am just in complete denial (!!) Thanks for the vote of confidence for Moms of large families everywhere

        The Garden Goat 😎

  2. You are great! If more people knew the joy of children the world would be better off. It makes you wonder what those people are taught by there own parents – ie the worth of a child.

  3. Omg I actually lol’d! I have 8 kids with one in the womb right now! I’ve been asked ALL of these questions but never have a good comeback…..until NOW!!! Thanks for this! Made my day!!! 🙂

  4. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate “large” families but have still probably unknowingly and unintentionally offended some with similar quips. I do have a question, though. In the “Large Family Life” photo, why the seeming jab at the Duggars?

    • Hi,
      Thanks-no jab intended regarding the Duggars. I had seen this graphic somewhere else and it was just funny only because so many people tell me I should have my own show. I only wish I was as organized as the Duggars-8-)
      The Garden Goat

      • Thank you for responding. I am glad to know there was no jab intended. The image just seems to imply that the last family photo is good and acceptable and should not be judged while indeed judging the first as undesireable for some reason. There may be differences in actual number and family personality, but I did not understand the seeming judgment given the intended respect for large families. Oh, by the way. The comments I am guilty of saying are the ones like, “You have your hands full,” which I think can be quite delightful. I once heard of a lady who responded to that one with, “Yes, full of good things!” 🙂

  5. Good for you. I remember the comments from strangers while I was pregnant with number 4. Assuming it MUST be an accident, and admonishing me for having SO many with comments like “Surely you’re done now” and “Are you getting your tubes tied after this?”.

    • Thanks. Have so often heard “surely you are done NOW!” (if in a store) I answer “nope…probably have to come back for an item or two” that usually leaves the other party speechless.
      Cheers,
      😎
      The Garden Goat

    • People get snittyat #4? That’s just bizarre to me–my Mom’s one of 4, my husband’s one of 4 . . . 4 seems to be a natural thing to me. I’d wanted to have 4 until I discovered how miserably bad I am at pregnancy. I’m so sorry people were rude to you! (and congrats on all 4 of the little guys/gals!)

  6. Marvelous! I only had 5 and I’d get these questions… I still remember when I was pregnant with #4&5 (twins) and had the first three in tow at the grocery store and someone asked me ‘DOn’t you know about birth control????’ Answer: “Why… I have very controled births.. thank yoou”
    🙂
    Hadassah

  7. LOVE THIS! I have 5. And I get these questions/remarks/stares a lot. Im only 5 ft and I look “young”. Really it’s my height. I mean HELLO there are 5th graders taller than me! Lol I always smile and say ” yes the Lord blessed me 5x over with beautiful happy healthy children” and then walk away. Lol

    • Thanks for the comment and glad you liked the post! I look (a little) younger than I am and get a lot of really odd looks when I am out with little kids and my 6’5″ 17-year old son. People make so many assumptions! Take care.
      😎 The Garden Goat

      • Oh gosh! People made the same assumptions — sometimes even making slightly rude comments — when my oldest brother (then about 18-20) when he would go somewhere with my mom (then about 38-40). Especially if he was carrying one of the younger kids. Wish people would keep some of ther thoughts to themselves…

      • Yep…or they get treated to whatever crazy comment rolls of my tongue as I try to keep the kids from overhearing this stuff-Thanks for you comment-

        Cheers,
        The Garden Goat 😎

  8. I am the oldest of 6 kids. My parents got asked many of these questions too. My mother had a pretty good sense of humor. She’d say she was being a good catholic, the tv was under the sheets, they all look alike it MUST be the same dad, etc. I personally loved coming from a big family, but it was difficult financially for my parents often.
    I think the question of kids being an ACCIDENT is rude! I got pregnant younger and out of wedlock for my oldest and she once said she was a “mistake”. I assured her I NEVER thought of her as a MISTAKE, just an unexpected surprise. I only have 3 kids myself, but they are all a blessing!

    • I have two sons (and I carefully refuse to write “just” or “only” here…LOL!)

      They have 12 years between them.

      I, too, get my share of rude questions as well, including the
      “Did you do it on purpose?” ones!

      My youngest was a welcome surprise and I brought him into the world on my birthday.
      My oldest?
      Delivered him on Father’s Day!

      And yes, they are both blessings ;-D

      • I have been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
        Thanks for your patience-& response
        The Garden Goat 😎

  9. Thank you thank you thank you. I know the questions are real. I know they can even be painful. I apologize for all of mankind who have made such utterances. But, the replies! THE REPLIES! I haven’t laughed so hard in a while and BOY did I need a laugh. God Bless You , your family and all the joy that comes with it!

    • I am overwhelmed by the response. It seems everyone has been meeting the same people I have. I am glad you got a laugh or two.You ought to see the looks on some people when I answer back. Too funny!
      Take care-
      😎
      The Garden Goat

  10. This was great. One of the funniest comments ever made to me when at a mall in California with our brood of nine: “You must either be Mormons or really good Catholics.” (We are the former, thank you very much.)
    We do love our big family, and now getting bigger, as we have twenty grandchildren and counting…Planning family reunions is a challenge, and they always turn out fabulous! Big families rock!

    • Thanks. Yep, lots of folks make decisions about your possible denomination based on the number of offspring in tow. I look forward to the fun you are now having with that many grandchildren. I am new to this as I became a Nanny-Goat to a granddaughter just this past October (2011).
      The Garden Goat 😎

  11. It amazes me what some people think is okay to ask a parent! I only have 1 child, and I get ridiculously rude questions too…what ever happened to saying “you have a beautiful family!” and leaving it at that? That is, if anything must be said at all.

    • So true. I hope my children remember what it was like to be “out and about” hearing all these comments and are respectful when they get older. Listening to me I can only wonder what answers they will come up with! 😎
      The Garden Goat

  12. We have four beautiful children, and it’s the same old questions for us too. Our answer to the question about what causes it is, “Yes, that’s why we do it!”. Most of the time they turn red and just walk away! Thanks for the laugh!!!! 🙂

    • Thanks! It always beats me as to how the question could be asked in the first place..turning red is very funny and has happened often in response to my comments-You ought to see the look when I suggest I do not know but would like the interviewer to come home and teach me after the kids are in bed! 😎 The Garden Goat

  13. My Grandma had six boys and six girls. One of the boys was stillborn but still, my mom had five brothers and five sisters all of whom had interesting, productive careers. I am so proud of my large family. They’ve each lived to be past 60 and we are so blessed. The stories are very honorable in both poverty and better times. How lonely I would be if I did not have all of them in my life.

  14. I love children and I have one, would have loved a house full but that wasn’t in the cards so I feel VERY blessed for the one I have. I loved the comments you posted. I know many people who have come from larger families and see no problem with it, as long as the parents can handle the situation. It sounds like you can so keep up the good work and thanks for the laugh.

  15. LOVE this! I am an only child, so large families are very foreign to me. My husband is one of five kids, his mom is one of seven, one of his uncles has six and probably more to come. We currently have two and are hoping for more to come. I do have to admit, my natural curiosity and lack of filters have led me to ask these questions before … only to have the “I can’t believe I just asked that out loud” phrase pop into my head ((hide))

    • Thanks! I do realize there are many comments that are innocent and many that are not. You can usually tell the difference. Not to worry! Glad you liked the post. I am inundated with responses!
      Cheers,
      😎
      The Garden Goat

  16. As the 9th child of 12 I have heard every comment possible! It warmed my heart to hear your responses to all the comments. When I heard these questions as a child I didn’t understand what they were asking. As I got older I felt I had to defend my parents choice, but now as a mother of 3 (just me and my husband and no, I don’t think this will be our last) I say shame on them! Yes my parents love each other, yes we are Catholic, yes they know what birth control is, yes to all of it. Every one of my 6 brothers and 5 sisters are happy, healthy, law abiding citizens, we are all contributing positively to this world we are all living in. My parents set such a beautiful example for all of us to follow and I hope I make them proud! I love you mom and dad! Thanks for doing what you did! Love, The Beautiful One!

  17. I have eight and have heard every single one of those. The television was is my favourite, I still get asked that and my “baby” is 14.

  18. I am a child from a family of 5 kids raised by a single mom (on a teacher’s salary) after my father’s early passing. The financial struggle was real and my mom shielded us where she could from it but we knew how hard it was! That was the reality.
    That said, all of my memories growing up are of having fun, there was always a friend (or an enemy, depending on the age and the day) and we would go on long camping holidays, all 6 of us in a tent getting totally hysterical playing “gwap” a self-created game with a ball and lots of rolling.
    I will never forget on one of these camping trips a stranger telling my mom she had “bred a nest of hornets”!?! We turned it into a joke and laughed even louder, but seriously?!
    Now that we are all adults, working and making lives of our own, my brothers and sisters are my best friends, my confidants, my biggest supporters and mean the world to me.
    I wouldn’t have had it any other way. And my mom… she is my biggest hero and says that she looks back on those times as the most fun!
    Enjoy the ride!

    • So true! I am hopeful that my children will feel as you do and consider their brothers and sisters their best friends. Your story is awesome as is your beautiful tribute to your mom. I love the comment “bred a nest of hornets” and that you were all laughing and joke in spite of the comment-People can be so strange-sense of humour is seriously the only way one can navigate this planet!
      Thanks and have a good night!
      The Garden Goat 😎

  19. We have 5 grown children and when I tell anyone that, they start talking about “big” families. I personally know 2 families that have 18 children each. That’s what I consider a big family.

  20. Thank you for this! I tend to get a little rude with my answers back (I mean, really! How are those questions appropriate?) so it’s good to read your answers. We have 4, all girls, & that brings some rude responses/questions (Are you going to keep trying until you get a boy? Oh, the teenage years will SUCK for you! Your poor husband – hope he has a man-cave or a good bar.) My (rude) response back is “Actually, we’re stopping at 4 because I pretty much DIED giving birth. But thanks for your input!” Keep up the fun!!

    • Thanks! People I guess just don’t think-I heard the “teenage years” one and the other one I get is “it must cost you a fortune to feed everyone…you must work two jobs” meanwhile half a dozen kids are with me listening to all this…works in way..for at least a few minutes some of the kids are not racing to put silly “extra” items in the cart!LOL 😎
      The Garden Goat

    • I have four girls too and I get soooooo tired of that comment about the teenage years. “Just you wait …” blah, blah, blah. I have two teenagers now and they are just as fun as they were when they were little girls playing fairies by the creek! And the “poor Dad” comments! My girls have peaked two mountains with their dad, rock climb, hike, shoot, hunt, fish, bird, draw and paint with him. He knows he’s the luckiest guy in the world.

      • So so often I hear, “oh, your poor father!” My dad’s a girl dad. He’s very much a girl dad. When we have family friends who just-so-happen to be male come visit, he hides out in his man-cave. My poor father? Only when we start getting married.
        ~Ink, oldest of four girls

    • We have 3 girls and are expecting our fourth baby–gender unknown so far. I got several comments when we were pregnant with #3. Usually just something like, “are you trying for a boy?” If it came from a friend, I typically took no offense. But I remember one lady I had never met before in my life in the elevator at my OBGYN’s office telling me, “Your poor husband, when you go through menopause at the same time your girls hit puberty!”” REALLY??

  21. Hey there, just came across this post and LOVE IT!!
    I’m a mama of 6 and LOVE that too 🙂
    Some one asked me the other day if i’m a foster parent…!
    Have you heard of The Mother magazine? (http://www.themothermagazine.org/)
    I”m publishing it in the US (it’s been published in the UK for the past 10 years) and the next issue has an article on large families…
    I’d love to send you a copy. Get in touch via the website to send your address for it.
    You’re a beautiful mama, garden goat!

    • Thanks “Mama of 6”-Sounds like a wonderful magazine. I will get in touch as I would love to have a copy!
      This post’s response has been overwhelming. I was once asked if I ran a “group home”-too funny- I look forward to reading that article.
      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat
      😎

  22. I grew up in a family of seven and we always had people slowing down on the freeway to count heads. That was before seatbelts of course then we didn’t know any better and there would be feet and hands and heads all over the place. I love your answers and your good sense to not be too offended. People are amazing aren’t they?

  23. This was awesome. We have 4 kids and people ask these questions all the time…and no we are not done yet!! I think I may steal your ” we will keep going until we get an ugly one” that is such a great comeback:) I also get the “you don’t look old enough”. the truth is that I’m not. our oldest is 12 and adopted…I am only 27 (and I look younger). I hate getting that question and the ” are they all yours” because then in front of our boy, I have to explain that he is “the adopted one” though I don’t want him to feel put out like that. he is every bit “mine” the same as our other children….oh and I love the shock people have when I am just out with the baby and they assume it is my first and only, and comment.

    • Thanks! It is a very good comeback…you ought to see the look on the person’s face! Actually some of the other ones that make people really stand still are the ones like “Did you want to order one?” and “Duct tape and alcohol”…people can be so strange. I too “love” being out with one little child and getting the comments as if I only have one. Some people nod their heads when they hear I have “9” and then later in the conversation it dawns on them and they ask if it really true! If I am out with just the girls I always here “are you going to try for a boy?” as though having daughters is second best~(!!!)
      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat
      😎

      • I have four daughters and get a completely different response when I’m with two of them than when I’m with four of them. Two brings coos and smiles and lifted eyes of approval. Four gets frowns and suspicion and all of those uncomfortable questions:(

      • Wow-such a difference…I know first-hand same thing happens with me when I am out with a couple of kids as opposed to 5 plus!

        It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
        Thanks for your patience
        The Garden Goat 😎

    • Why do you feel you have to explain that your oldest son is adopted if it makes you feel uncomfortable to do that in front of him? He is everything to you and those people are strangers. I would let them wonder… As I often have done with my youngest, for different reasons I won’t go into now. In my opinion, it’s basically nobody’s business but yours Brea. ❤

      • I think the age was the factor because Brea looks so young-Just remember people can be so intimidating especially when incessant curiosity partners with persistent rudeness. Sometimes the best answer is a knowing smile. Something to consider is that no one is OWED any explanation.

        The Garden Goat 😎

      • I knew an anglo-saxon couple with two bio children and two adopted, one from Africa and one from Asia. Once when she got asked if some were adopted, she said, “Yes, but I don’t remember which ones.”

        We have six children ourselves (bio), and have been asked every single question on this list, and some more. We got asked the first one when our second child (a boy, after a girl) was a week old. But I’ve never been brave enough to give some of the best answers here! I love it!

    • Dearest Brea,
      re: I have to explain that he is “the adopted one”…Darlin’…you NEVER EVER have to explain anything to folks who ask these kinds of questions. Your oldest is simply your oldest. Who cares how he became your son…he’s yours 100%. Relax, breathe, enjoy and never feel the need to give these “oafs” who ask these kinds of questions
      (even unintentionally, as I’d have to raise my hand if anyone asked for an oaf count) and enjoy that beautiful FAMILY of yours! Oh, and re: looking young for your age…..oh honey, when you are MY age, that will be SUCH a huge blessing! Hugs and blessings…~Lois~ from PA

      • Ditto! My oldest is also adopted. I get irritated with that question too but never let it show. Yes, they are all mine! “Wow, where’d that red hair come from?!” “God’s perfect design” I say. People ask stupid things sometimes, but I have to think they really have no clue how dumb they sound.

        Goat – Thanks for the post! 😉

      • Too funny- I happen to have red hair and heard that line forever as a child. Love your answer as 7 of my nine have red hair and I am usually left explaining “where did the blondes come from?” SO I tell them that I ONLY accept RED HAIR and I ran out of dye for the blondes..was going to give them away but they were too cute and grew on me-you ought to see the looks that comment engenders!!!

        Have a good night-
        The Garden Goat
        😎

      • I absolutely agree with this. You do not have to explain about him being adopted. Who cares?! People whose opinion matters ie family and close friends probably already know and perfect strangers have no business being in your affairs anyway. Bless you for adopting an older child. So many slip through the cracks when they are past the ‘cute’ stage.

      • A friend of mine had started adoption proceedings and found out she was pregnant. She ended up with 2 beautiful boys. One day she was at the park and someone asked her which one was adopted, She replied, “You know, I’ve forgotten”. I always thought that was such a wonderful response!

      • That is one of the best comment I have ever heard! Congrats to your friend!

        Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

        The Garden Goat 😎

    • Yes, they are all yours. No, you do not have to explain. And if people ask nosy questions that make you feel awkward, it is ok to blow them off with a cute & sassy answer.

      You are absolutely right to put your 12-year-old son’s heart-interests ahead of a stranger’s idle curiosity!

    • You don’t have to explain. The adopted child is still yours, he just came to you in a different way. Better to not explain and just say yes (or something amusing like the garden goat) and save his feelings. The rude questioner is allowed to walk away confused, you’re not obligated to allieviate their confusion.

    • I am sorry, but if I were you and someone asked if they are all mine… I would answer of course they are all mine… What you think I kidnapped them? That is rude and he is your child. He became your child when you adopted him! Oh sorry that just hit a nerve with me!

      I only have 2 children, but still!

    • No way do you have to explain that! Of course they’re all yours. The question ‘are they all yours?’ should only ever be taken as meaning ‘are some of these friends, or cousins, or strays/’ It should never apply to adopted kids – they are your kids, full stop.

    • Brea,
      I was a young mother. Then my oldest son was a young father. People still say “you are too young to have a child that is (pick an age)” but they are also fond of “you can’t be old enough to be a grandma.” My response “I’m not”. Sometimes people just don’t know what to say. Often, though, I think they want the “story”. Well, the story is ours not a Lifetime movie. I’m not willing to share it all with random strangers. People usually stop fishing when I don’t nibble on their line. If you don’t want to tell people your son was adopted, then don’t. God who created that child to be yours knows the story. No one else deserves an explanation!~Kim

    • There is no need to explain to those nasty and rude people that your oldest is adopted. He’s all yours and that’s all that counts. If they persist on being nosey I would ask them why they want to know. That usually shuts them up for me. 🙂

  24. Kudos to you all for dealing with all these insensitive comments everyday. I can’t imagine what people are thinking! While I am not a mother of many as so many of you are, I am embarking on the road of adoption and have been doing some reading on dealing with insensitive comments. One of the best I came across was just to say, “That’s a really personal question/comment.” I think many people don’t realize what they’ve actually said until you call them on it!

    • Good response (that usually will stop most people in their tracks). Although sometimes if you know the person it is a little harder to use that line. I wish you all the best on your road to adoption. I agree some people just have no clue how they sound until you call them on it!

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat
      😎

  25. My parents have been married for well over 30 years and have five kids. Because there are 16 years between oldest (me) and youngest my dad likes to tell everyone that I’m from his first marriage (my mom hates when he says this).

  26. Love this! Have heard almost all of them. A couple more replies:
    “Actually, we left the twins at home!”
    “I know! Right?! So many?! Do you believe it?!” That always throws them because they wonder why you sound so surprised. So glad you did this post!

  27. I have no idea why anyone would think they have the right to ask you anything about your family.

    The best response was the “My kids are glad it’s me and not you.”

    You must be an amazing mother and wife and it sucks that you have to deal with such stupid comments.

    Keep being amazing and witty and ignore the morons!

  28. I had my last kid at age 40 and he was very much wanted….took 2 years to get pregnant. And yes, people made stupid comments about him being a late in life “accident”. But the stupidest comment was about a year later when my husband was diagnosed with brain cancer that she bet we wished we didn’t have that baby to keep us to busy. OMG! That baby was what kept us focused on the joys of life! (Dad outlived all predictions so, as he said, the baby will remember me and died one day past Sam’s 11th birthday. Sam is now 17 and looking a lot like his dad…very very sweet.)

    • What a beautiful story-sad that people can be so insensitive.I was 45 when I had my youngest and felt blessed to have been lucky enough to have been able to have a baby. Conception rates slow down with age. 😦

      Sounds like your son is quite a blessing!

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat
      😎

    • I’m sorry; I must be reading your comment wrong. Are you saying that someone actually said after they found out that your husband had cancer that you must wish you didn’t have your baby now because of the additional stress?

      What is WRONG with people? As you said, babies bring joy to life!

      Please tell me whoever said that comment to you was a stranger and not someone with whom you were close. 😦

  29. Great post, that deserved to be ‘Freshly Pressed’! We only have one little girl so far, although I know lots of large families, which are all different. I’ve heard of these stupid comments before and I feel like I’d just want to say something like, “And we try to teach all of them good manners!”

  30. Love your humor about all of this – I could not resist actually giving some of those answers ! I go through something similar with my step daughters because they very clearly do not look lke my biological kids. People will (INFRONT of the girls) ask all sorts of rude questions about “the adoption” – how can people not know how rude they are!

    • Amazes me all the time how people can actually voice some of this comments with no apparent appreciation for the invasion of privacy or how rude they sound. I always feel for the children hence some of my remarks are meant to light-heartedly end the conversation “pronto” before little ears hear things that will take months of therapy to sort out in adulthood!
      Thanks for your comment-

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat
      😎

  31. Please don’t be offended by this, but I found this to be very entertaining…

    I don’t have any kids yet, and don’t really plan on it (though you never know,) but I would not be here if my grandparents had not had 8 kids (and one more after my mom.) Maybe it’s because of that, that I don’t find the need to ask such stupid questions.

  32. I will definitely agree that some of these twelve are way over the line, like asking someone ‘same father’ or ‘don’t you know about birth control’. But frankly, I think when somebody asks you something like that, it’s because they don’t know how to react, and somebody getting all bent out of shape because of this is more rude than the person asking is. I’ve nothing whatsoever against people with large families, that’s their business, but you can’t act like it’s not something unusual for the time we live in. I get that you’re probably exaggerating for comedic effect, but getting all sarcastic and snide about a simple question…

    • Thanks for your comment..yes, I tend to view the world with an enormous sense of humour–hence my ability to cope moment to moment. There are definitely some questions asked just out of interest or curiosity.The birth control crowd has gone so far as to discuss in detail various forms of birth control with the cashier who is checking out my order. This techno-colour conversation my children would have been privy to had it not been for (thankfully) some spare change hurriedly handed to the small fry that sent them scurrying out of earshot in search of a bubblegum machine at the front of the store. The majority of my response have been developed over years of answering other people’s questions…and usually very patiently. Most of the time I have a sense of the intent of the question..believe me there are great people out there but there are very rude ones also. Thanks for your perspective. Many families are treat as though they are “unusual” once the exceed two offspring!

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat
      😎

  33. What a fun set of answers when someone questions you about child hoarding! You have a funs sense of humor and congrats on being Freshly Conceived…ooops, I mean Freshly Pressed.

    Mr. Bricks

  34. I am the eldest of 6 children. I come from a family of some (not all) big families. My mother had 7 siblings.
    I had a staff member who had 8 siblings. My immediate response to her: Wow, your family was bigger than mine. Frankly there is kinship among folks who come from large families, so my question was a natural response. (She didn’t respond negatively.) So honest, I feel freer to remark “Wow” to another person who’s father was 1 of 10 siblings.

    I hope at least the question: How do handle this? is construed as question asked with empathy. It is demanding to be a parent, particularily if children aren’t adults yet, and more so with a large family. It’s just reality, I witnessed the stress since the youngest is 10 years younger than I.

    Your family is ever so grateful to be part of a big family. Immediate long-term friends for life!

    • Great to see your comment. There certainly is a kinship among those who are associated with family sizes larger than the norm. I do tend to be more patient if I can readily detect honest interest or empathy as a basis for the question. I have spent in my time numerous moments explaining many details and tips to those souls I felt truly did want to know how I could handle things or what secrets I could impart. Often what I say is laced with a healthy dose of humour…just the way I cope I guess. It is very demanding to be a parent but it is one of the most rewarding quests out there! “Immediate long-term friends for life” is certainly what I hope I have given my children with the bonus of more siblings than the average. The parents I know with families larger than mine are very patient and honestly answer questions where it is evident that genuine interest and empathy is the motivation. In moving around life I can easily get 100 comments in just one day! Some are great, some are awesome, some are truly knowledge-seeking-while others are meant to not be so kind- Thanks for your comments- I am overwhelmed by the responses…I am literally inundated with them!

      Have a great evening!

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat

  35. As a Sagittarius, I routinely manage to put my hoof in my mouth without trying. Perhaps their curiosity overcomes them and they can’t help themselves. I had to learn the hard way that it’s best to say nothing if it sounds better in my head than when it rolls off my tongue.

    There was a lady in the checkout line behind me who looked like she was almost ready to have her baby any minute. I either asked when it was due or if it was a boy or a girl. I don’t remember because of her angry reply and equally nasty glare.

    “I’m NOT pregnant!”

  36. And as hard as it can be sometimes, I try to show kindness to others by a gentle Christian comment/reply. This reply is no exception; I write to express my opinion in hopes that you and those who read this post will take it to heart.

    • Thanks for your comment. Years of gentler replies have resulted in some nasty further comments and other information being “aired” in front of my children. Some people are up for a funny remark…some are not but either way it does bring a very quick end to the interrogation and preserves my children’s ears from hearing things they either ought not to or are not old enough to properly understand.
      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat
      😎

  37. I really did LOL! 😀 I’m 4th of 9 and my parents – and we kids – heard it all too. Big families are so awesome. You know, they are really just jealous. 😛 They don’t know what they are missing out on, but they know it must be good.

  38. Although I only have 2 beautiful blessings, I enjoyed reading your post. I think a lot of people ask questions (some questions) and make statements as a result of being curious, although it comes across as rude. I was raised in a large family (by my grandmother with my aunts/uncles), it was awesome, never a dull moment!

    • Never a dull moment pretty much sums it up! Yes, some people are well intentioned and do come across more rudely than they are aware of…then there are others…without the benefit of the doubt-Glad you liked the post-
      Have a good evening-
      The Garden Goat
      😎

  39. Loved, loved, loved this. I “only” have five and I get similar questions. People tell me I’m calm, I sometimes say I’m medicated. I absolutely hate the same father question, especially in front of the kids. I get offended. My kids are so close in age and size, twins actually, so if they had different fathers, well, I’d be a bit of a well I’d be the friendly sort of woman. Ha! But really, why ask that in front of the kids. Why? I also get the “you don’t look like” you have kids, which I know is meant as a compliment and I’ll take it, but the eyes drifting to my waist is a bit uncomfortable. I say a lot of silly stuff in response to the questions which I can’t remember now, you know, because I’m brain dead from having all of these kids.

    • Loved your response…so true…I think the father question is one of the worst too…in front of the kids is the kicker…these people are not even considering the little ears and hearts busy listening.Glad you liked the post- I do the silly answers as it stops them dead…most can’t tell if I am brain dead, serious or just joking… I usually give the comment with a straight face!
      The response to this post was overwhelming!
      The Garden Goat 😎

  40. I loved this!! I’m the 4th oldest out of my mom’s 10 kids, and I have heard these questions asked, and have actually been asked several similar questions (especially the birth control one- I tell them they trust God on the amount of kids He gives them).

    One day I hope to be married and have a large family as well, so I will probably forever hear such questions. 😉

    Oh and just recently a man commented on my mother, “she looks good for having 10 kids!” LOL! What, thought because she has so many children she’d be fat and tired? She takes care of herself.

    • Thanks for the comment-yep… everyone assumes that if you have had more than the “average” number of kids you look terrible-why? I have no idea…I guess this world wants to have a reason why NO one should have more than the average number of children.The truth be known, kids keep you young…I guess that is why all the bystanders are so jealous!!

      Have a good night!

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat
      😎

  41. I took 3 of the tweenage neighbor kids to the local DQ one day for helping me out raking leaves in my yard. We were sitting outside on a very warm fall day eating our icecream cones, and this old bitty comes along and says something snarky about the number of kids, I can’t even remember what, but it was one of those usual nasty jibes. The neighbor kids played along with it and said “Stuff it up your crumpet, you old bitty, and mind your own damn business!” I about fell off my chair. And… I bought him an extra ice cream cone for that! It was priceless. They were used to getting that kind of shabby treatment from strangers, and would have none of it! 🙂

  42. Goodness, I thought I had a lot of siblings… apparently not. Good for you! Not many people have the sheer moxie required to have a large family 🙂

  43. Love the post. My father was one of nine, my mother was one of five, I am one of six and I think this is perfectly normal. More power to you and you happy huge family. I have two boys only 14 months apart and my wife and I are trying for our third, we are not sure when we will stop. Good luck and best wishes to you and your family.

  44. I love the comebacks; very clever. I have only been blessed with two little ones, but i would LOVE to have had many, many more!

    I just want to say, though, that I have personally asked a mom question #1 and I didn’t think I was being rude at all… I am so impressed and in awe of anyone who can take care of more than three little ones that I was asking just so I could give her some kudos, that’s all! I simply asked because a few looked close in age and I didn’t know if maybe there were friends along (we were at the park).

    At least, I certainly hope she didn’t think I was being rude! I think it’s just that in this “average of 1.5 kids” world it’s pretty uncommon to see very large families and folks don’t know how to react. Much like parents who adopt children from other countries… and then get asked, “Um, is s/he YOURS?”. *doh*

  45. I actually don’t think the “How do you handle it?” question is rude or insensitive. It’s just an honest question, whereby you may be able to part some of your large family wisdom on those who either don’t have a large family or are trying to decide how large of a family they want.

  46. I am the second oldest of seven kids in a blended family (includes half, step, and full siblings ages 11-27). The question I get/hate the most is “are they all real?” I usually answer with “real enough” or “Nope, we made half of them in the garage workshop. Wanna guess which ones?” The question implies that step or half siblings aren’t as valuable as full siblings. To me, if you grew up in the same house and had to compete for the same toys (and food), they’re “real” siblings. It doesn’t matter how God gave them to you.

    • My comments are delivered with a broad grin and intended to make people think about what boundaries they are crossing ESPECIALLY in front of my kids. If my comments seem rude, I would rather be considered “rude” and cause you to immediately STOP what you are doing BEFORE I have to spend hours reassuring my children that they all DO have the same father and NO, they are not “ACCIDENTS”!

      The Garden Goat

  47. I have three children and I am about to turn 30. I am not the youngest mom out there but I certainly get the rude looks. I went shopping this weekend without the kids and there was a mother in the store with four children. She had two in a double stroller, one by the hand, and another in a Bjorn. Her stroller kids were grabbing things off the racks and her baby was slightly whiny… I watched her move through the the store and I thought how calm she was… I thought it was admirable… When she made a turn with her wide stroller she tapped the counter to which the young girls behind me said “She is a disaster!” I turned around and gave them a rude look and shook my head… I wish they weren’t teenagers… I really do….

  48. I have two kids, (which at times may as well be 9). Although I would never make any of those comments, I am guilty of wondering how you do it. I enjoyed your post and you are clearly enjoying alllllllll of your children!

  49. Brilliant post!!! My mom is one of 12, and her mother would get these questions all the time.

    All. The. Time.

    I can’t believe anyone would actually ask you if all of the children have the same father! Ridiculous.

    Hilarious post and congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Well-deserved! 🙂

  50. I come from a large family myself — 7 boys & 2 girls. Though I have no kids of my own, I do know of several ladies, including my mom, who have been asked questions like this. My mom is usually pretty polite in her response, but makes it plain that she’s proud to say, “Yep, they’re all mine!” I must say I really liked your responses though. 🙂
    You have inspired me to write my own post(s) about being part of a large family. I think one titled “No, None Of These Kids Are Mine!!” would be appropriate since most people now just assume that the youngest 2 or 3 are mine.

  51. If you’re like me, married and in your late 20s, you’ll constantly be asked and harassed about why you haven’t had kids yet and don’t you like children. If you have any kids at all, people will give you bad looks for taking them out into public and for wasting the world’s resources. You really can’t win.

  52. I can’t believe total strangers have been rude enough to ask these questions! I’m from a small family myself, so it’s hard to understand, but I try to keep an open mind. Besides, if my parents had married younger, I’d probably be one of at least three or four instead of one of two. (Not that I’ve ever dared to ask!)

  53. I only have three and was called a baby making machine when I was pregnant the last time. I have been asked all but number eight and eleven. The thought process seems to be “one of each, and then you’re done.”

    • Ah yes, “the baby making machine” had that one too…I will have to publish a second edition!

      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  54. Whoops! I left out the quotation marks…
    Actually the stupid questions and remarks do not end with small families. People ask me stupid questions and make stupid remarks when they find out I have just two kids and one is a girl and one is a boy. Funny thing… I guess I have the perfect family in some peoples heads… Go figure! Personally speaking for me I do have the perfect family for ME, because I would not be able to handle any more kids than my two that I have. That said that is the reason I stopped at two. That and I am 48 years old and single… LOL! Those two kids are the most awesome and we are not just family but best friends.

    Oh and as far as the looking young for your age. People actually ask me if my daughter was born when I was a teenager, because she is almost 6 years older than my son. She is 18 and he is 12. They also imply that she must of been a accident or something… Like Hellooooo, who’s business is it of yours. You know there are many reasons why people have kids far apart, and they don’t have anything to with accidents! Gosh some of them have to do with lost babies between children, and challenges getting pregnant.

    I really have a lot of respect for parents who have those large families and I think they are amazing!
    Peace and Harmony Sj

  55. Some of these are so rude – ‘Don’t you know about birth control?’ (and in front of your kids!) is like saying they shouldn’t exist. Wow.

    But some of these I don’t think are rude, or are intended to be rude, at all. Maybe they could grasp that it’s not your job to answer the questions of every stranger who feels like asking and just not ask, but you do have an unusually large family and for someone wondering if they will manage with a third or fourth child, it really is an amazing feat to see someone obviously managing with many, many more. ‘How do you afford it?’ or ‘Do you get any time for yourselves?’ (silently adding, ‘because we barely do, and we only have two kids’) are probably pretty genuine questions.

    I used to be a Mormon, so big families don’t surprise me at all, but even I would wonder (have wondered) how people manage to feed and find time for nine kids – which isn’t the same as judging them or thinking they shouldn’t have had them. Heck, I know people with seven who are doing a great job and people with three that floor me with their miserable parenting skills. It’s never about the number. Still, the practicalities of time and money are something that are a real challenge and I don’t think it’s dumb or rude to ask someone how they manage a family of eleven, as long as you’re not rude about it.

    • Many people ask the same questions…the practical realities and challenges of raising a larger-than-average family..I will have to post on this a later date-

      Thanks for your comment-
      The Garden Goat 😎

  56. I only have one younger sister so I am always amazed at parents who decided to have more than three or four kids. I hope you understand some of these questions aren’t meant to offend, but are asked out of genuine curiosity. Some people are rather surprised some people would willingly have many children and they want to know how these parents manage to do it. Some of them are definitely inappropriate (I would never ask a person whether the kids were accidents or whether someone knew how birth control worked!!). If I had 9 kids I would probably respond along the lines of:

    “Yup, I got 9 kids, I’m bad ***!”

  57. Great post. As the mother of none I always get the other end of the stick..

    ‘But whyyyyyyyy dont you have children???’, perfect starngers will ask at a party for instance.

    I then have the following choices to answer with:

    1.)Would you like to know why it is impossible for me to have children after having had a hysterectomy?
    2.) Do you know how very rude it is to put persons who cannot have children due to medical reasons on the spot?
    3.) (And this is the one I ussually go with) *silence….more silence and me looking about for a escape.

    Take care,
    ForesFae

    • People can be really strange. Many of my readers have told me that they are just as harassed for not having any children, or having children too far apart…or adopting. People need to respect others. The topic of “children” or “no children” should not be something that total strangers think they have the right to comment on or discuss..

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  58. I just had my third (three! Only three!). Was in the lineup for Confession this weekend when a sweet old lady behind me found out the baby was my third, and immediately said, “Oh good, so you can call it quits now! You know, birth control is okay.”

    Ummm. Thanks? Makes me worry that the baby isn’t as cute as I think it is.

    Nobody has heard of demographic collapse, I swear.

    • Apparently…nobody has…I am still answering a ton of comments…once they are loaded check back as I did get a few pretty odd answers where people seem completely unaware of the demographic crisis…Thanks for you comment.

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-

      The Garden Goat 😎

  59. Great post! I see these comments are truly universal. We live in South Africa – we have only 5 kids – but we’ve heard them all. Love your comebacks! My kids loved going barefoot and I’d often be asked by grandmotherly ladies where their shoes were. Started saying: “We can’t afford them, would you like to make a donation?” At least then we’d have fun! Enjoy your blessings.

  60. I have 5 kids and still get asked for id all the time as well as model i have been asked all of these qestions before as well and loved your answers and totaly agree thanx for posting:)

  61. While I agree most these questions are quite insensitive, I don’t think #1 should be on your list at all. I mean how do you know whether they are truly asking if they all belong to you or if you’ve got some of your kids’ friends along for the day? As for the other questions, if I were you, I’d start offering your smartass responses face to face. Perhaps then people might realise how rude they are being.

    • Number one becomes rude in my children’s hearing. That question posed to me without my kids hearing it is not anywhere near as rude. Thanks for your comment.

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your comment an your patience-

      The Garden Goat 😎

  62. I’m a mom of….let’s say more than 1. But I don’t fancy using numbers; I rather use names when I speak of my children. And I’m not rude enough to answer back with a rude reply 😦

    • The big thing is the kids hearing the comment-
      My comebacks are delivered with a broad grin and intended to make people think about what boundaries they are crossing ESPECIALLY in front of my kids. If my comments seem rude, I would rather be considered “rude” and cause you to immediately STOP what you are doing BEFORE I have to spend hours reassuring my children that they all DO have the same father and NO, they are not “ACCIDENTS”!

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-& response

      The Garden Goat

  63. Great Post! I am having my first one very soon. I guess I will have 5 more now. The more the merrier. =o) “Yep we are going to keep going till we get an ugly one!” LOL

  64. I have four and get the same kind of stupid questions. I always answer: If my man had been willing, I’d have had TEN! It makes you wonder why people always think they have a right to judge you. I think you are totally cool.

  65. I loved this post! I’m a part of a big family (or at least what’s considered “big” in nyc), and whenever we go out, like to a restaurant, the waiter always makes a comment. And we always get the bug eyes, followed by “you’re all together?!”- I mean really, I don’t think it’s that incredible- although now as we’re all getting older, whenever we walk places together we always joke that we look like a gang or something (in nyc winters black is the dress code).

    • Too funny!

      Thanks for your support and kind words! Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  66. People are different. Some love more kids , some might not.
    I met some friends who have between 7 to 9 kids.
    Those mothers have time for themselves,look nice and younger,meanwhile there are others have 2 or 3 kids and neglected themselves. It depends on the woman how she handel her life with her kids.
    In my point of view,it is not easy to raise a number of children we are responsible for securing a better future for them.

    Life affords no greater responsibility, no greater privilege, than the raising of the next generation. C. Everett Koop

  67. I see this is a common trend in society. Since I have had my first child, nearly fifteen years ago, I have been hearing these same questions, with each additional child I hear the number go up, and that was about it. My favorite reply, when it was just my kids and I, out for dinner, was to the comment, “You sure have your hands full!” I’d say, “Boy do they ever, but just wait until I’ve finished my second glass of wine!”
    Take it as a compliment people are dumbfounded by your family and obviously your rockin’ bod!

  68. It’s amazing how so many well-intentioned people can end up being so insensitive. For some reason, the topic of children and/or pregnancy makes people feel entitled to be nosy. I don’t have 9 children (I only have 2), but I certainly don’t question people who do. Every family is a blessing, and every family has a reason for being as large or as small as it is. Just like everything else in life. You have some really great responses that hopefully leave those nosy people with something to think about!

    • Thanks for your kind words and support. You are right with “every family is a blessing” …people should just leave it at that and leave the rest of us in peace.

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

      • Hey, an avalanche is good! I obviously don’t know this, but I would suspect that like me, you probably just started your blog more for yourself, or to share stories with people you know. But it must feel good to know how many people you ended up reaching, and knowing your thoughts resonated with so many. Congrats to you!

  69. I have six sisters (no brothers). People ask my Mom if she and daddy were trying for a boy and she just says “no, we were trying for a good time”.

  70. I come from a big family. I have 7 full siblings, 3 half sibs and 4 step sibs. I had my first baby at 19, had another at 23 but sadly lost her to SIDS. I had a little boy at 25…and now aged 26 I have another on the way and about 5 years ago me and my husband adopted a little girl. I look really young for my age, so whenever I go out I get the whole “You should have been on Teen Mom, or 16 & Pregnant” etc etc. I get the “are they all from the same father?” question too. It drives me insane…but I ignore them and get on with my day.

    My babies are gorgeous, and I’d have another 5 if I could.
    Have a lovely day 🙂

    • Thank you for your support!
      Your family sounds wonderful…sad to hear SIDS-heartbreaking-

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  71. I need a “LOVE THIS” button! I’m the oldest of nine kids, and I get some pretty whacked-out looks/questions when I make that fact known. Yes, we all have the same parents, and no, I don’t wish I was from a small family. Thanks so much for the humorous take on this issue. 🙂 Looking forward to hearing more from you! Will follow your blog.

  72. Thanks a lot for this. As a mother of five, it is sometimes ‘unfunny’ to hear: ” Do you ever get any sleep?” or ” You can’t possibly be thinking of getting a Full-Time job?”, “You look great with so many kids…” The worst questions I’ve been asked is # : “Same Father?” \and like you mentioned, usually within earshot of my kids!!!!I
    I absolutely love your comebacks, and the great comments from other readers-will be using quite a few from now on.

    • You totally understand! Glad you like the comments…it did cause quite a stir-hence the delay in getting back to everyone.
      The response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

    • I got many suggestions on possible answers…THANKS!
      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  73. Large families….such an incredible gift to be blessed with. My grandparents themselves came from large families (just my grandmother had 15 siblings on her side of the family alone!) My fathers generation was not a plentiful, but 6 siblings in his bunch eventually meant that when my brother and I were born, we would certainly have many cousins to play with. Myself, I only have one child, and because of health reasons, haven’t had anymore. However, there are certainly plenty of options available out there to allow me to have a larger family if I so desire.

    Congratulations on having a larger, beautiful family that I am sure brings joy to your life each and every day.

    • Thank you for your kind words and support.
      My family brings me a lot of joy and there is never a dull moment!!!

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  74. I commend you on raising a beautiful family and for being unselfish unlike so many others in the world. The questions you get are undoubtedly from selfish and ignorant people. I say: as long as God keeps givng them to you, keep popping em’ out! The world needs as much love in the form of children and families as it can get.

  75. I think I’m more amazed that people would actually think it was okay to ask anyone these questions especially if they are strangers than I am that you have 9 kids.

  76. As the father of 7 ages 5 to 29 (same mom) I can relate to this. what a hoot, thanks for the laugh. Many times I have told these idiots that I don’t want to send any of them back & we are happy with the love God has blessed us with.

    • Thanks for your kind words…you are ahead of me. My eldest turns 20 this summer and my youngest just turned two!
      Glad to be the cause of laughter…always!

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  77. Thanks for brightening my day. This is a great post!! As a mom of 9 (bio and adopted) as well as child #10, a grandson for whom we are legal guardians, I get these questions too. My answer to #6 is always Duct Tape. And I get lots people who want to know which ones are the “real” kids. Uhhhh, will all the Pinocchios please stand up.

  78. Loved this! I come from a large family. Can’t have any of my own, so I am JEALOUS! 🙂 I don’t understand those who can have children and don’t. If only I could…

    • Thanks for your kind words and support-
      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  79. You shouldn’t get mad for “How can you afford having so many?”, instead you should write a Home Economy book. And really, How can you afford having so many?, tell the world!.

    • What an awesome idea…Will do. Not mad so much as to the topic more frustrated with the intrusion of privacy and the prejudgement that somehow larger families are costing the public and/or the government. I work at a full time job (40 hours a week)-

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for idea and support-and for your patience
      The Garden Goat

  80. I really enjoyed the article, but my wife and I have the opposite problem. We have to adopt (finances are holding us back), ad everyone keeps asking why we’ve been married for so long without children, wants to know we aren’t having sex, wants to know when we plan on “getting pregnant”…

    I think the bottom line is that when it comes to children (rearing, having, adopting, conceiving), people just need o mind their own darn business@

  81. Your responses were well thought out and made me chuckle, especially number 6. I think people can be insensitive without realising it so don’t worry about what others think. Life’s too short. Happy times. Btw, thought you may like some of the recipes on my blog.

    • Thanks-glad you get my kind of funny!!!
      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your kind words and support-and for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

    • It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your kind words and support-and for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  82. A friend of mine has 9 brothers and 1 sister. Including him, they’re 11 kids. They always have a ball and their house is always so much fun! I think it’s wonderful that you have so many amazing children! 🙂 I’ve always wanted more siblings but my parents stopped at 2. It’s just me and my brother.

    • It is a lot of fun …never a dull moment!

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  83. This was awesome. I’ve noticed how large families seems to be one of the things that people think it’s okay to be flat-out rude about. Awesome that you keep a sense of humor about it. Thanks for posting this!

    • Yep-large families seem to attract it-

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your kind words and support-and for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  84. In my experience, society has a distorted image of large families. But i think unless you come from a large family, you wouldn’t know what to expect, hence the questions. My boyfriend is an only child and I asked his parents once why they didn’t have any other children. I hadn’t thought about the reasons behind asking, I simply wanted to know. I would like to think that the majority of people who asked you these questions weren’t doing so maliciously or to hurt you (I still have faith in humanity!) but it must often come across that way! I posted a blog a few weeks ago about things NOT to say to someone with a chronic illness as I repeatedly get told the same things. But I understand now that people only say these things because they aren’t fully aware of my situation and they don’t know what to say! After reading your post I now have an understanding as to how irritating you must find it when people say things without thinking! My best friend growing up was one of nine, so I dont think anything of large families, but it was very interesting to read your post and get an insight into how tolerant you must be! Great post, thank you! – Roisin.

  85. When I was younger, I used to say I wanted 12 kids… obviously still unmarried by now, I think I should lessen the number a bit.. I love big families, I know they are a great way to invest your time, and money… Good luck with that and Enjoy them while you can 🙂

    • I am enjoying them-thanks for your kind words.
      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Also Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  86. Pingback: Love Shak, Baby » We DO Know Where They Come From

  87. I would not ask any of those questions, but in a world with 7 billion people, I think having a large family is stretching the world’s resources. I don’t have anything against children or parents, but I am concerned about living lighter on the planet. Children grow up, they buy houses, they need land, they drive cars, and they need jobs… It’s just a thought.

    • My thoughts on this I just posted answering a similar question-

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  88. This is so fantastic. The questions appear to have not changed with technology as my 81-year-old mother just told me about some of these same questions today! She too said that she was always agog at the questions asked, in public, and a sense of self-rightousness! Good for you guys! I am the youngest of 12 children born to the most wonderful and loving two parents I could ever have asked for! I am so thrilled there are other Mom’s and Dad;s like them! Thank you for posting and congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words…so interesting to know that these questions were around 60 years ago!

      Taking a while to get back to everyone the as response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks again for your patience-& kind words!

      The Garden Goat 😎

    • Thanks for your support…”until we get an ugly one” has jaws dropping…really funny!

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience-

      The Garden Goat 😎

    • My sense of humour allows me to cope with lots…thanks for the kind words… proportionally…more alcohol than duct tape 🙂

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!

      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  89. As the 2nd oldest of 12 children, I thoroughly enjoyed this post! The first 8 of us are girls, so a common question my mom always got was “Are you trying for a boy?” (Obviously was not, because she had 3 more girls after my brother was born.) My favorite though is when people would ask me if my parents are going to have any more. Once I got older, I usually replied something like, “Well, I don’t really get involved with that decision or the creation process.”

    • Too funny..none of these people stop to think how the children hearing these remarks feel (!!)
      Thanks!

      Taking a while to get back to everyone the as response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  90. enjoyed your post.. just want to share that we’re the smallest group among my father’s siblings.. my aunt has 9, my uncle has 14, another aunt has 7, and we’re only 3.. Now i have 3 kids myself with only a year gap between them so taking care of 3 babies all at the same time really had my hands full.. congrats on being FP.

    • Thanks for the kind words and congrats!
      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  91. Gossh that was so rude. People really do completely shed all manners sometimes, you have beautiful patience. =) I think big families are great and I come from a rather big one too and I love it. =)

    • Thanks you for your support and kind words!
      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience-& kind words!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  92. Mother of two. Struggling to survive through most days (keeping sain!!lol).

    Brea, don’t pay attention to details, you definitely don’t have to explain people how your son entered your family. If silly people like me get offended for asking rude questions, bad luck, it will make them think twice next time. You might even educate them!! lol Just like you all educated me.
    Thank you wonderful people.

    It is your son who matters the most. Give your answer according to what would benefit him, not strangers.
    If anything he should feel more wanted than the others because of all the hassles one has to go through to adopt a child these days. When just having your own requires no paper work, thinking, proves of good citizenship, money, private questionings and so much more I am not aware of!

    I have so much admiration for your devotion. I am drawn to mothers of more children than me and probably offend them each time I ask these silly questions.
    Sorry.
    I don’t think I am rude though, I mean, I obviously don’t ask the private ones, they are not my business and are completely irrelevant to me.
    I am so intrigued though and part of me would have loved so many more. It will definitely be the regret of my life. You need to start as a great team I guess. You DO have to be two wanting it. And you DO have to be two INTO it … I envy you all with your beautiful(inside and out) children. When I watch the dynamics of bigger families(than mine) I can’t help thinking it is a real family I am looking at, people who look after each other, who stick for each other and help, working together as a great team, just like a family should. These days families look so dismantled: each for oneself . That is wrong.
    I love big families and respect the parents so much for their ongoing love fountains spilling onto those beautiful children. Well done people, Keep going and keep the sense of humour.
    Please keep in mind some of those silly questioners might have a very unhappy parent hood experience and are looking for answers to become happier as a family, just like you.
    Thank you so much for this post. I will be more considering next time my fascination radiates all these silly questions.
    Much love to you all, keep filling the world with good people, and we might turn it around…

    • Your comment was wonderful and so warm. When I meet people who are truly sincere I do not treat them to the flip comebacks but do answer their questions patiently. Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and praise…some of the answers to the sincere questions are likely to be featured in a future blog as so many people have expressed a desire to really know more about the dynamics and life with a larger family-Thanks again for your comment I wish you the best–

      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  93. Thanks for the laugh. I only have 3 and get the same questions, but am never quick enough with the answers. I may steal the duct tape and alcohol line 🙂

  94. Love this post! Congrats Im so jealous( I only have three:). When I was pregnant with my third, I got sour looks from my parents: translation “you can’t afford a third child!”. Funny how they love her so much as much as the others!

    • We are always under someone else’s ideas as to what we can afford. Nothing like having more than two kids to get the “how can you afford” remarks flying!
      Thank you for your kind words-

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  95. I LOVE this! I only have four children and have been asked some of the same really stupid questions. I always loved the questions when I was pregnant too. The first one — Did you plan this one or was it an accident? (My answer was always that we bumped into each other). The second one – Do you want a boy or a girl? (yes) The third one – Are you happy? (except for the stupid questions – yes!). Fourth one – Did you plan this or was it an accident? Yeh — I just figured they were all jealous of my beautiful babies!

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed – well deserved!

  96. I love being a Dad and playing with my kids. My wife and I have three children and many times talk about how we would love to have more but unfortunately that is not possible for us. Moms are amazing how they can handle all the chaos that come along with kids and yet somehow make it all look orderly. We home school our children and are part of a home school co-op where all the families have several children. We are one of the smaller families with only three children. These families are awesome and a great example, and the nice thing is you see their children playing with each other and you really see good manners, great ability to share, and a true understanding of family. I had to laugh at some of your replies I bet you have seen some jaws drop!

  97. My mother had the exact opposite problem. I was an only child for the first 10 years of my life. People kept asking her if there’s something wrong with her or my father that they can’t have more children. When my younger sibling was born, one woman actually said that finally my mother has ‘proven’ that she is not infertile. Hello! She already ‘had’ me. Where does the word ‘infertile’ come into the equation?

    • When people get into the equation… everything is up for grabs …and none of it makes sense! People need to think BEFORE they open their mouths!

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  98. Loved your post! I only have four kids (the last one was a great surprise 10 years after my third was born) but because my husband is Mexican Indian and I’m white, I get some funny looks when I’m alone with my mocha-colored kids. One time, a woman came up to me in the bank and admired my youngest who was 8 months at the time. I had her when I was 42 so I was a bit older than the average mom. She oooed and awwed over her and then turned to me and said, “So when did you adopt her from Guatemala?” I was rendered speechless!

    • Thanks you for your support. Unbelievable what people will say and in front of babies. I was 45 when I had my youngest.

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  99. I’m also from a large family and people think it is strange. Well, i think there are some lessons in life that you would learn only when you are from a large family. even though it’s very frustrating at times, it’s fun bonding with everybody and sharing things with people you love the most, your humongous family. hey, it’s a crowd who’ll never leave you through life’s ups and downs. who doesn’t want to have one like that?

  100. I’m sorry but most of these comments aren’t rude. They are likely coming from people who don’t know what to say, it would be rude if they said stuff like having some many kids is inappropriate. I’ve been told well you “certainly have your hands full” just having my one niece with me. Perhaps these people are just trying to understand, or make small talk, and seriously small talk is always awkward, that doesn’t make it rude.

    • Granted some comments are not as rude as others. Some may be genuinely asked out of interest. However, comments that directly relate to my private life are on the rude side just by the fact a stranger thinks they have the right to ask them. I get that small talk can be awkward. In general my remarks are delivered with a broad grin and intended to make people think about what boundaries they are crossing ESPECIALLY in front of my kids. If my comments seem rude, I would rather be considered “rude” and cause you to immediately STOP what you are doing BEFORE I have to spend hours reassuring my children that they all DO have the same father and NO, they are not “ACCIDENTS”!

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat
      😎

  101. LOL

    I’m one of three but my mom is one of fourteen and my dad is one of eleven. All of their kids and I (my cousins) all live very close together and have been raised in the same neighborhood, school, community, etc. and have the same family friends so even though it’s my extended family, I totally understand where this is coming from.

    • Thanks for the vote of confidence! Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience-& response
      The Garden Goat 😎

  102. As father and mother of ONLY 6, we have gotten many of the same questions. We also home school through 8th grade. So we get the combo questions and statements of how do you do it, to we/I could never do it. I like to say, since you never did do it, you will never know if you could have!
    For the time to yourselves answer you could also say, at least 9 times.
    So many complain about their kids and I want to ask them why they had them then? Or tell them I would be glad to take them, they would fit right in at out house!
    A fun read! Thanks and congrats on being FP!

    • Thanks for the suggestions kind words and congrats.Taking a while to get back to everyone the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience!
      The Garden Goat 😎

    • Thanks for your kind words and support-Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience-& response
      The Garden Goat 😎

  103. I am a parent to three. I drive a Chevy and have a lousy singing voice. I marvel at people with terrific voices and those that drive Land Rovers. I also marvel at other types of over achievers. Rest assured I will say something stupid to you when next we meet at the grocery store but not because there is blame for something that needs be placed. You are just better than me at something obvious and I am in awe. Good post. Glad I read it.

    • Awesome-thanks for the understanding…and support.
      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience-

      The Garden Goat 😎

    • No…it was just meant to be a funny picture that I found that showed some of the ideas out there about big families-To understand the picture you need a sense of humour! 🙂

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  104. Very funny! My favorite is #7 with response number 1. Hee hee!
    And I have heard some of these (or as least other people talking about being asked these questions.:))
    ~Allison

    • That is why sometimes it is easier if I just tell everyone upfront that I am nuts! 🙂

      Thanks!
      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  105. Reblogged this on One Tree Seven Branches and commented:
    Love this post! As the oldest of 5 girls growing up I listened to my mother constantly dodge these very same questions at the grocery store, school functions, restaurants, everywhere. Now I have 5 kids of my own, and once a man and woman approached my husband at our table in a restaurant after blatantly staring at our family throughout their dinner. They informed us they thought it was “so great that we were foster parents.” We aren’t foster parents. But my husband turned to the couple without missing a beat and said, “Well, we love foster parenting. We also love cash donations.” Their expressions were priceless!

    • That is so funny. Thank you for the reblog, your kind words and support!

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  106. I’m the oldest of seven and I remember my mom being asked these questions all the time. She usually would just get flustered and didn’t know what to say to them. Once when I was about 10 or so, she was pregnant with the 5th one of us, and we were in line at the grocery store and some old lady behind her told her that she was disgusting for having so many children. It upset her so much that she left all the groceries on the conveyer belt and ran out of the store crying, while I was left to gather my sisters and brother and take them back out to the car under the murderous gaze of the old hag. I always felt so bad for my mom when those things happened. People can be very cruel. It baffles me that grown adults seem to think it’s appropriate to comment on something so personal. Good for you for having a sense of humour in dealing with them!

    • Thanks!

      Sorry to read that story people are so cruel…whatever happened to just minding one’s own business! Glad you like my post!

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  107. Pingback: On Rude Questions About Large Families | Fodder4Thought

    • Thanks for the reblog-and your support! Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience

      The Garden Goat 😎

  108. Hilarious responses. My husband and I haven’t started our family yet, but when we do I’m not sure we will know when to stop. I can’t believe they would ask some of those questions as a stranger in front of the children.

  109. I have three. Would have had a dozen or more had it not been for 2 still births, a death at 18 months and 16 years of infertility. My cousin has {last count} 12 and I hate to say I’m jealous but I am. Bless you 🙂

    • Sorry to hear how things have been…but enjoy the ones you have. I appreciate your support!

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  110. I love it.
    I (currently) only have one child, but i do get rude, or outrageous questions and statements when i’m out with my husband and son.
    My husband is almost 7 feet tall and our 1 1/2 year old looks more like a 3 or 4 year old. And then theres me, standing 5’5″ with my boys.

  111. Since I have a 20 plus year old daughter and 2 young boys, aged 3 years and 4 1/2 months…….I have heard some unbelievably rude things myself. My favorite was a woman who felt the need to lecture me on the fact that I am too old to be having children and should have been content with my daughter. She told me I was a very selfish person for having more. Wow. I feel your pain, but love the humor with which you handle it.

    • Laughter truly is the best medicine! I would be so done if I did not find humour in everyday life!

      Taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience-& response
      The Garden Goat 😎

  112. enjoyed :] I love big families! they offer a better sense of community, and there is always someone to help! Given, I only grew up in a large family and don’t actually have any of my own, yet 😛 ….I still believe that it harbored a very strong desire to think less of my own needs and more of others. And if there are people out there that wanna rag on it, I feel bad for them. Though they do provide grounds for hilariousness via their ignorance. Thanks for the laughs!

  113. Ii love thisi only have four but 3 age 1 and under. Thank-you for giving me some new responses. Kudos to a big family I love ours and although were done. I secretly wouldn’t mind a few more. We make beautiful babies 😉

  114. My mom only has 3 and she got the same “how many fathers?” question from the grocery checkout worker when us kids were little, simply because we all had drastically different colored hair. I believe she glared at the lady, spewed out a rather forceful “one!” and got out of there as quickly as possible. I can’t quite understand the mindset some people have that makes them think it’s okay to say whatever pops into their heads. One father or many, how you afford it, how you handle it, whether you’ll have more,…it’s none of their business!

  115. Love this ! Having had 6, I met the same questions, and I wish I would have read your replies earlier, that would have helped a lot, lol !!!

  116. Great post & congrats on FP! I have only 4 children and I still get some of those questions… It certainly seems like the moment you are pregnant or have children, you become a target for the most intimate questions by perfect strangers who would normally never speak to you.

    • So true…and that is just it…”from perfect strangers who would normally never speak to you.”-well said!

      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  117. Those questions are rude.

    Both my parents come from large families (my mom has 6 brothers/sisters, and my dad too), and even though I myself only have 2 siblings, I know how awesome it is to be in a big family because both my mom and dad’s families still gather together often, including everyone’s children. 😀

    People just find it difficult to accept something that’s different from what they’re used to seeing.

  118. I love your post! I am number ten of fourteen and grew up hearing so many of the comments you posted… and a whole lot more; some to mean-spirited to publish. But the one that always sticks in my mind is one told to me by my mom, bless her. When I was four, my 3 year old brother passed away and after the services one of the well-meaning folks (from the church??… I don’t recall), told my mom if she needed help with the rest of us maybe “some of the younger ones” could be placed in with a couple other families. I about split a stitch laughing when she said her reply was “if they take one, they would have to take them all,” because we couldn’t be split up! I love my mama’s strength and courage and especially her quick wit!

    • You mom sounds awesome-a quick wit is the only way-Thanks for sharing!

      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

    • I have addressed this in other comments…feel free to read them.

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your response and for your patience
      The Garden Goat

  119. No offence to anyone but in countrys like India, having these many kids puts pressure on economy so I personally won’t have many kids..but that’s my personal opinion
    But as you said in your last comment “are you gonna try for a boy?”
    This is very much condition in Indian society
    Inspite of one of the most populus country and also bad economic condition of a family people plan for one more child just because they have all daughters and that’s really sick

    Well I just loved your answers to the FAQs..lol

  120. I only have two children – they just happen to be 15 years apart – and, I, too, get asked similar rude questions. “What were you thinking?” ; “Do you realise you’ll be a parent for like over 30 years” ; “Is it your second marriage?” ; “Wow. Number one must have been a really bad baby”. Seriously, who are these people?

    • Imagine ever saying “Number one must have been a really bad baby” I had not heard that one before-Wow-

      Taking a while to shovel through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-& response
      The Garden Goat 😎

  121. I used to be regarded as anything from mad to incredible for having 4 children when I was in the UK. I really was a rarity. What people don’t understand is that to have more than average numbers of children isn’t odd to the parents that have them since you grow and adapt so gradually with the arrival of each child that it seems perfectly normal. Now I live in France and my children are at a catholic private school, although we aren’t actually catholic, but this school could take all the children at the same time without having to put some in a primary and others in a different college. What is most wonderful is that we are so normal here that no-one has even asked us anything other than our childrens names. There are families with anything from 2 to 9 children. What makes it especially beneficial is that the parents have more ownership over the school and a greater relationship with each of the teachers – which makes it to be familial, welcoming and friendly. I wouldn’t swap this for my old life as an oddity for anything in the world. I prefer to smile to myself and think – if only they knew what they were missing!

    • Thank you for the wonderful story. My children for a time where in a similar school and I loved it (so did they) it was the best school ever. No one ever said a word to my family as the whole school was similar to the one your children are now in! The demographics incorporated over 40 different denominations and larger families made up a significant portion of the school membership. The parents volunteered and as a result the playground was well supervised and no child was teased for having numerous siblings!

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-& response
      The Garden Goat 😎

  122. Haha! Question and Answer to number 12 wins hands down 😀 I love big families and coincidentally always joke with my girlfriend(s?) that she should expect to have at least 9 kids, or otherwise consider sharing me. You do really well not to punch some of those people in the face!!!!

    • I like to think so..I wish you all the best and hopefully your girlfriend won’t be sharing you with anyone!

      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  123. Excellent write up. Large families were quite the norm in our part of the world with the previous generation. But then they budgeted the kids… and now, well, you know!!! I am sharing this post…

  124. We have 4 children (around here, that’s a lot) and I am stealing your answers to shake things up a bit!! God Bless and carry on!!!! You completely made my morning! 🙂

  125. Very funny! When people find out I entered into a relationship with someone that has 4 making our total combined children 6, they ask a lot of rude and extremely insensitive questions too. “Why would you date someone with that many kids?!” “Bet you weren’t expecting that, huh?”
    I tell them I’m a hoarder. Most people hoard cats, receipts or old newspapers, I hoard children.
    I love your attitude about it. It is amazing how so many people think their attitude about family is what mainstream should be.
    Thanks for sharing.

  126. As someone who chose to have no children, it’s a subject that does surprise some people. Not that any of the comments you share are pleasant or polite, but for those who didn’t want kids (and I grew up an only child), it’s a decision that can appear puzzling to have so many. Glad you’re enjoying it.

    • I am-thanks!

      As that quote goes “for those who believe no explanation is necessary…for those who do not…no explanation is possible” so for those of us who want children and are happy, your decsion is just as puzzling. Although if I met you in a store…I would never dream of commenting-Thanks for your reply.

      The Garden Goat 😎

  127. Hmm. I guess you mean it tongue in cheek but you’re OTT on “ugly” and “beautiful” children. That attitude seems as bad as that of the folks who pose the questions, don’t you think? You seem to be very concerned about these questions being posed in front of your children and yet you think it’s okay to label people as appearing ugly or beautiful in front of them…

    • I am always telling my children that they are beautiful! In my entire life on the planet I have never met an ugly baby or child. As far as the beautiful or ugly comment…you should imagine that any child of mine has crazy sense of humour. My remarks back are usually after I have sent the children in question on an errand in the store as I did not want them to hear any more rudeness after the first opening question. So, most (if not all) of the time my kids do not hear my comebacks with the exception of some of my teenagers.

      The Garden Goat

    • My comments are delivered with a broad grin and intended to make people think about what boundaries they are crossing ESPECIALLY in front of my kids. If my comments seem rude, I would rather be considered “rude” and cause you to immediately STOP what you are doing BEFORE I have to spend hours reassuring my children that they all DO have the same father and NO, they are not “ACCIDENTS”!

      The Garden Goat

  128. Pingback: Behind The Net’s « From the kitchen sink…

  129. How funny! Thanks for sharing. I only had 4 children and got many of the same questions. The absolute rudest that I got was from an aunt “You know that they know what causes that now”, referring to my pregnant state AT MY GRANDMOTHER”S FUNERAL. Now, my “children” are between 18 and 29 and are wonderful friends. When you’re open to that kind of love, it multiplies back to you.

  130. Oops. I’m sure I’m guilty of some of these especially the “you have your hands full” which is intended to said in a state of complete awe. I’m not amazed you would have 9 children but I can appreciate how much time goes into raising each one and I’m highly aware of my own shortcomings. I hope most comments regarding your family are meant with love and kindness. The one that bothers me the most is question #2. Some children may be surprises but none are accidents. Also, I wonder if anyone ever says “you have your own baseball team” and would that be offensive also? Thanks for the post. I will be much more thoughtful with my words next time i meet a large family.

    • Yes…I often get you have your own baseball team are you trying for hockey team???

      Thanks for your comments-
      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  131. This is one of the funniest things my partner and I have read in a while and you are obviously a very intelligent and capable mother. Unfortunately I’m not terribly surprised that you get these comments. We now live in a society where more and more opportunities are provided for the expression of an opinion and it seems to have led to a situation where some think their opinion is required even when they haven’t been asked for it! These people are inevitably thoughtless too.

    We do not have children through choice but we come from a background where it was drummed into us that you had to get an education/career before starting a family and that getting pregnant as a teenager was the worst mistake you could make. Large families were almost always associated with poverty and a lack of access to or ignorance of contraception. My Portuguese grandmother had eight children that survived and raised them in the kind of poverty that most people can’t begin to imagine. I do believe that it had an adverse effect on my mother (second from last) who somehow missed out and has been an ardent attention seeker all her life, unlike her siblings.

    In the UK large families, fairly or otherwise, are usually mentioned in relation to reliance on state aid or immigration and at a time when the economy is in such a poor shape those who foot the bill really resent it. I can’t help wondering if there are are families just like yours in my country who are just getting on with it and supporting themselves perfectly well. I hope they do so without attracting the nastiness you have to cope with but there will always be someone making a career out of putting them down.

    After centuries of fear about even surviving childbirth while at the same time being castigated for asking for contraception we have now reached a stage where attitudes are in reverse. It will be difficult for some to get their heads around it. Some handle parenting better than others, whether they have one child or nine (mine didn’t do especially well with one!) and if you can give all your children all the love they need (more important than material things) good luck to you. I hope I haven’t come across as patronising.
    Best wishes,
    Albertina, Greenford, London Borough of Ealing, UK

    • Thank you for your kind words and observations. Some people do handle parenthood better than others. Many people resent large families likely because somehow they immediately think that to raise a large family someone must be helping to pay the bill. What a lot of folks do not realize is those of us with “large” families value things that are not material. I am sure that the people that assume the government must in some way be assisting my family with public funds. There are things that larger families will happily forgo..eating out often, the latest vehicles, brand name clothing, vacations in favour of raising children. People judge other people by only what they know themselves. I am glad to have been responsible for some laughter in the UK-

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-& response
      The Garden Goat 😎

  132. Brilliant post! I’m the eldest of eight children, I’m 22 now and the youngest is 2. I often got embarrassed when I was younger but I am also really defensive of my Mum having to deal with all of these questions! She hasn’t given the internet time yet so I think I will print it out just for her. She will get a laugh. You are a light to the world 🙂 x

    http://lifelyricslemoncake.wordpress.com/2011/08/29/family-snapshot-2011/ Here is a picture of us 🙂

    • Thank you and for sharing the photo-beautiful. Always wanted to do that…the timer is key to success without a photograper!

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-& response
      The Garden Goat 😎

  133. Haha this is great! I come from a large extended family…my aunt and uncle have 11 kids, and it’s amazing what people will say. Especially the little old ladies in our church.

  134. After signing off my blog, I sometimes read the other people’s WP posts. This one was truly funny, because your rapier wit (or is it just honed from multiple responses?- hmmm) was quite hilarious.

    I especially liked the one ‘Is this one your last?’ response #4.
    “Nah! My husband and I are very intelligent people, and believe we should pass on these great genes as much as we can.”

    Clearly, if only people would realize that one fact, the ‘birth crisis’ among White/European stock would/could be reversed, we wouldn’t need/want to import third worlders to destroy Christendom, and we might even pave the way for another Bach, or someone who came from a large family.

    Thank you. My wife and I would like folks like you in our parish, ‘as ensamples’.

  135. I love the comebacks. And I’m glad that as a father of a single little girl who is the apple of her daddy’s eye, that I have never asked any of these stupid questions.
    I think the worst I did was raise an eyebrow once or twice, followed by a big smile and a wave at the little ones.
    Cheers
    Dan

  136. *applause* Clever responses are always appreciated. I am not certain when people started viewing children as liabilities rather than assets, but I am so glad there are people out there who still have their priorities straight.

    • Thanks for saying it like it is…Much appreciated. Thanks for you kind words too!

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-
      The Garden Goat 😎

  137. Hello,
    Unfortunately, I can see myself asking many of this stupid questions and I’m sorry. I come from a family of three children and I have two children and find it hard to relate to a family with many children. Since I grew up with friends with similar family sizes, all I saw with large families were TV and movie families, that were large because of ‘blending’ of two families into one, (The Brady Bunch, Yours, Mine and Ours). So I can see where people will come up with ‘Are they all yours?’
    If I met you, I would either be speechless or say something like ‘Wow’. I’ll try to just be speechless, since ‘Wow’ is probably not a good choice either. Look forward to following your blog and learning more (So if I meet you sometime, I can say something nice and not stupid.)
    Sue

    • Hi Sue,

      The “are they all yours?” is much more acceptable than “different fathers..No?”

      I am sure if you already appreciate my humour and met me you would not ever have to worry about saying something stupid-The majority of the rude remarks are intended to be rude. If I think the inquiring individual is sincerely interested or not sure what to say and innocently wants to start a conversation I am very patient-

      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  138. I laughed and laughed. I’m the oldest of 12, of which more than half were at one time or other assumed to be mine. Dad used to keep a picture of each kid in an folding wallet photo album, and when someone commented on the 4 or 5 of us he had with him at the time, he’d whip out his pictures and watch their mouths fall open. (He also liked to parade us around anywhere in age order… but that’s a different story!).

    Don’t you get the “are you Mormon/Catholic?” question? That was always question # 2 (after ‘are they all yours?’).

    Thanks for writing, I enjoyed reading. 🙂

    • Glad you enjoyed it…I do often get the “Are you Mormon/Catholic?” question..the only way to answer that one is “no I have started my own religion…can’t you tell?”

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-
      The Garden Goat 😎

  139. ma’am i really liked this post of yours……….. it really shows to what extent people can fall to question….. its somethin like sayin “did i hurt you?” after steppin on our feet……… i enjoyed it a lot………..

  140. I have “only” two kids, and I still get questions like these from total strangers! Now I have some new ways to respond — thanks. 🙂

  141. Oh my GOD! I laughed my heart out!
    I liked the especially sarcastic ones, and I sincerely hope that you have used them in real life.

    I have been guilty of chatting to a woman with many children and asked if they are all hers, but out of all the questions, that is the most justified.

    I would never have so many, I wouldn’t cope!

    Enjoy your children. Blessed that you are to have been able to have so many.

      • I sent the link of your blog to my Aunty, who is a mother of 9 children I think (Honestly? I have lost count!) Not sure if she has read it yet!

  142. …I cannot believe people actually SAY those sorts of things! The only one I thought wasn’t rude was “Are they all yours?” Occasionally, I see people with huge groups of kids (say, 8 or so) and I’m not sure if they’re all siblings or if it’s a family with three kids and five of the kids’ cousins or friends. Therefore, not that rude… Just inquisitive.

    But most of those questions were beyond rude.

  143. Love this! When I was single, I can’t tell you how many people asked me, “so, when are you getting married?” I got really fed up one day and responded to someone (who would ask me the same question every time she saw me–“No need, I already have a toaster oven.”

  144. Absolutely fantastic! I looked, gasped and dropped my jaw from beginning to end! Every single one of those questions is just as rude and ignorant as the last.
    I totally rate you as a Mother raising a large family. My Mum comes from a family of six siblings, and my Dad comes from ten, and our extended family is huuuge! I love it. In fact my sisters and I are all different shades (Black skin) and people used to ask my Mum if my sister and I had the same Dad! My Mum always kept a straight face and told people she had ‘an away game (affair)’. The look of horror on their faces was priceless- stupid questions get stupid answers! You deserve to have made it to freshly pressed : )

    • Thanks for the comment and kind words. Only getting to approve comments now-the response was an avalanche of comments-a great reaction-totally unexpected. Lots of comments to read and approve-:)
      Yep…stupid questions get silly answers-My focus has been to shut down the inappropriate conversation before it damages the children. No child deserves to come home from a shopping trip with Mom and wonder if their father is truly their dad and if “their” dad is the same genetic component for all the siblings. In this context, I think everyone can understand my reaction-
      Glad you liked it and shared it-

      Cheers

      The Garden Goat
      😎

  145. Thanks for this article. At first I thought to myself, “Wow, isn’t that being a bit touchy? People are just curious. Wouldn’t it be good to spread the awareness that children are gifts and how it IS possible and good to have a lot of them?” but after reading through your answers more and being encouraged by them, and reading through the comments as well — I think I am rethinking how that boundary really is important as the kids are listening and I do want to be careful with my answers and not just take sh*t off of people as much — because really, if they were hoping to have more or wanting more they probably wouldn’t say some of the things above in public like that. So…. cheers from an eldest-of-six and mother of three (hoping to have more myself). Thanks for your thoughts. Oh, and by the way, my answer to number six is usually “I pray a lot, and it helps!”

    • “There is no stress in this world that prayer and chocolate cannot handle”..lol

      The big thing is the kids hearing-My comments are delivered with a broad grin and intended to make people think about what boundaries they are crossing ESPECIALLY in front of my kids. If my comments seem rude, I would rather be considered “rude” and cause you to immediately STOP what you are doing BEFORE I have to spend hours reassuring my children that they all DO have the same father and NO, they are not “ACCIDENTS”!

      Taking a while to wade through the avalanche response-
      Thanks for your patience-& response

      The Garden Goat 😎

      • It’s thoughtful and amazing of you to reply — thanks! BTW I wanted you to know I used “I’d rather have them full than empty.” this week — and it produced just the response I wanted: agreement. The more I think on it, the more I am thankful for the eye-opening I feel I got here, on this — I DO NOT want my kids hearing this stuff everytime we go out with no protection from me! I am tired of the walking-all-over-me I have been allowing without realizing! Thanks.

  146. Odd, isn’t it? When I came into the world 50 years ago, everyone had five children or more and nobody thought to comment upon it except to share stories of their kids. 50 years!! G.K. Chesterton says that the astounding thing is that humans are so unlike the animals that they can choose to destroy the next generation in one simple leap from a cliff. Thank you for NOT leaping from that cliff.

  147. Do you ever get asked if you “collect benefits”? Periodically somebody I hardly know sends me a chain email, full of incorrect information about how the social safety net in America works, and denouncing “welfare queens” who the message claims have more and more babies just to collect the government support checks. These lies have led to this dangerous mythology that poor people, especially minorities, have big families just to get more welfare benefits. I’ve heard one of my friends be insulted when she walked into a store with a large group of well-mannered children. They were her nieces and nephews, but of course the young man hurling the insult as he left the store assumed otherwise, saying “g– d—ed welfare queen!” This was a suburban grocery store in a solidly middle class, mostly white, but somewhat mixed area. My friend is clearly solidly middle class, as were the children she was with.

    • The moment you show up in public with more children than what society has been conditioned to appreciate as average (or better yet responsible) it is “open season.” It is as if these people need to pull you down to justify their personal choices. And yes, because most people tell others that they only had one or two because they could not afford more…those of us with “more” in public must either be wealthy or better yet scamming some tax dollars (at public expense).Really? Because who would ever believe the truth there are those of us who love children, are able to cope with larger numbers and totally enjoy our lives…and work very hard to support our kids themselves. Race, creed,income class mean nothing…it always boils down to just ignorant people stereotyping…and being very rude! In the best stores or the worst… I have had all the comments.

      The Garden Goat

  148. This is great! I found this very funny and I don’t even have kids! I can’t believe some of the things that people can come out with in public, especially in front of the kids too! It’s like people thing that the children can’t hear then or understand it! I can see a lot of these questions prompting a “But why?” conversation with the kids!

    I now offer my word that I will never offer comments like this to anyone unless I actually know them! Besides I would be too paranoid about getting an angry “Why are you looking at my kids anyway?” response! lol…. but I am resisting the urge to say “I don’t know how you do it!” lol.

    • The “how I do it?” I will have to detail sometime in a future blog post…many people do want to know!
      Thanks for your comment-

      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  149. We have 5 living children, and 2 that were stillborn. So I’ve been obviously pregnant 7 times. Each time I’m pregnant I get the same questions listed here and I say to them “yep, we just love kids”. It’s funny because I’ve always wanted to use some witty comeback to the rude comments, but hindsight is 20/20, right? My mom shared this with me, I appreciate the laugh this morning.

    • Glad you enjoyed the laugh…blessing and all the best to your family!

      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  150. Pretty funny post! Yes, I’ve heard all of those questions too through the years! My answers have varied. My husband likes to say that I wanted two and he wanted three, so we compromised with ten! 🙂

    I try to not be offended by the rude comments of strangers, realizing there was a time many years ago when I would have been equally shocked by a large family! Now, it just seems normal! I try to communicate to the floored strangers that Children are a Blessing!!

    Anyway, one positive outcome from questions, such as, Are they all yours?? is that they have given me a blog title and something to blog about! 🙂

  151. Oh my goodness! This is a fabulous post and yet atrocious that people say things like that! Aren’t blogs wonderful that we can somehow publicize what we want to say to people if we weren’t so polite?! I love the original Cheaper by the Dozen movie (1950) and there is a very funny segment where the parents have some fun with someone asking similar questions. Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  152. I think culture and society have shifted so much that anything beyond two children is considered a large family. I ‘only’ have three and people look at me agog as I hustle them to drop-off at school. I get some of the same comments at the grocery store, too (mostly of the “hands-full” variety). Perhaps they feel they need to validate their own lifestyle choices by criticizing others. I don’t know. But as you said, it is what it is. My dear friend, also a mother of three, and a model for my own mothering always says very magnanimously that this is her life, her family, she wouldn’t have it any other way. That others have a problem with it is their problem. And there is certainly no need to voice in front of the children.

  153. Loved this! I was one of five and that was a small family where I grew up! One of my school friends were one of thirteen.

    I only have three but still get asked rude questions. When we were out the other day I was asked by a complete stranger if the youngest one was an accident or just an afterthought! There is only a three year age gap between her and my son, but I guess because he has just had his teenage growth spurt she seems a lot smaller and younger than he does. I just smiled and said there is no time frame on God’s blessings.

  154. I’m glad I read this because it made me realize that we all have something about our lives that prompts people to ask us stupid and thoughtless questions and, most of the time, the people asking all think themselves to be very witty, which makes us hate them just a little bit. For me, it has to do with my job, for others it could be their religion, race, lifestyle choices, you name it. Generally speaking, I think it it best to respond with kindness because, more often than not, the questioners really don’t mean to offend you. They ask something in jest as an attempt to connect because they don’t know any other way to identify with you. What they WILL do is form a judgement about everyone in your demographic based on your response. That being said, there is the occasional jackass who is fully deserving of kick in the teeth.

    What I really wanted to say was this. Even though people routinely say the same stupid s**t to me, and I think about what brain damaged dip s***s they must be, I have also caught myself doing the SAME THING to other people with whom I didn’t know how to connect. What I take from your blog post is this: ALL of us need to think, just a little bit, before saying something we think is witty to someone who is doing something we don’t understand.
    Very thought provoking post, thank you for writing it.

  155. I get some of these same comments, and I have just three kids. I grew up in a large family and loved it – sounds like you do too!

    • I grew up as one of four. I am so blessed with who I have-
      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for yours and for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  156. Great responses! I’m the foster mama to six, but when I meet strangers I absolutely refuse to qualify that point for them. They are my kids, and I’m proud of it – it’s not some stranger’s business how they came into my life or for what reason. The really funny part is when people start telling me that the baby has my eyes, or skin tone (I’m White/blue eyes, she’s Mexican/brown eyes); it cracks me up! I’ll have to remember a few of these responses. Oh, and even though these kids probably won’t be with me forever, I honestly cannot imagine life with no kids, one kid, or two kids. Even three sounds like too small of a family to me at this point!

    • You sound like you have such a beautiful family…some people are strange-laugh it is the only way!
      Completely inundated with reponses…still going through the comments-thanks for your patience!

      The Garden Goat 😎

  157. Hahahaha! I love it!! I have the opposite problem and I actually wrote a post on it a few years ago…my husband has 2 amazing boys from a previous marriage and so we do not want any more. And when we got married people immediately were all up in my lady parts asking when we were going to have kids “of our own.” As if my husband’s two didn’t count! And they totally asked all the above questions, only it was “You know, vasectomy’s are reversible.” No, really?? And, “Oh are YOU not able to have kids?” Seriously?! And, my personal favorite, said as if it was the if-all-else-fails-option, “Well, you can always adopt.” Yes I am aware of that since I AM ADOPTED THANK YOU. You just have to shake your head and laugh! Great post and congrats on getting Freshly Pressed! 🙂

  158. This was a hilarious post! My personal favorites were “Do you know what causes it?” (like it’s a disease!) and “Same father?” No one would never ask that of a mom with two kids; why does it make it any of their business when the mom has nine?

  159. This made me giggle. I only have two children of my own (under the age of 4), but I also have 4 nieces and nephews all under the age of 4. When I am taking care of my own kids and my nieces and nephews and take them out in public (someplace crazy… like a library), I get the rudest questions. It’s funny how the whole world thinks they get a say on our reproductive lives!

  160. I am not sure why people think it is okay to pose rude comments or questions to the following groups:
    People with lots of children
    People who are very overweight
    People who are very tall or very short
    People who have some obvious deformity or disability
    People who appear to be too old to be the parents of the children they are with

    I was raised by two wonderful parents who told me “It’s rude to stare” and “don’t ask nosy questions.” Apparently our current population is raised by wolves. I’m sorry you have to endure such nonsense. I wish our society had more grace and civility.

    But, if you must endure it, keep working on coming up with more witty answers!

    congratulations for being Freshly Pressed!

  161. 🙂 I would love 9 kids…I don’t have kids and I had to smile when I saw all the annoying questions people ask you about it.

    I get really annoying questions about not having any kids.

    So, how many kids do you have?
    Why don’t you have kids?
    Don’t you like kids?
    You know, time is running out for you, you are not getting any younger…
    Have you heard of IVF?
    Oh, well at least you don’t have to make dinner every night!
    You can have mine. (The worst one of them all, because I would really love to have some)

    I am part of an infertile couple. We have tried everything and we are still trying to cope with our reality. You are very blessed.

    • Thanks for your comment-some people are very nosy and completely insensitive-sorry to hear you are going through what you are. I am totally blessed it is true. What is the best comeback you have found to shut down these questions (understandably no comment may make the most sense)?

      The Garden Goat
      🙂

  162. As the daughter of someone from a large (15 child) family, and having 7 siblings myself, I really appreciate this post. Some of your responses are hilarious, and I hope I can keep as calm as you do if I’m blessed with as many kids as you have.

  163. ‘Ello, Capicorn blogger! Lucky for you and your family, those same sensible Cap traits also help you to be a great mom. 🙂 Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, and also great idea for your blog concept and name. I really like this post– and confess that I have made the “You have your hands full!” comment to moms. This just slips out sometimes, usually because I’m impressed. I’m an only child and have no concept of what this is like! It’s never a judgement– always a compliment. But thanks for pointing that out!

    Curious, do people question your husband too? It seems that women get singled out for these types of questions! I’m single, without children– at 31. People like to ask me when I’m planning to have kids, or tell me to, “just have one, honey!”, as if the father is an irrelevant factor. It’s interesting to see that you are married, and people make comments to you that are just as inappropriate. I guess some people are just busy bodies, looking for any excuse to pry. 🙂 Your sense of humor is fantastic, maybe I’ll try to have more fun with my response next time!

    • Thanks for your comment and kinds words. The questions my husband gets asked are similar but he tends to attract more nice comments. I think if a woman is commenting to another woman she may be less inhibited than making those types of comments to a male. I have no idea if I am correct…I am going to pay closer attention and see if there is a trend!

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat 😎

  164. Actually, I would love a serious answer to the “financial” question. I have no idea how I might afford more than two – and that’s my wife’s primary objection.

    • I will try and do a blog on this in the future but right now the short answer… I believe that the gift I am giving my children with siblings (friends for life), and the life survival skills my children will learn by having to consider others, share, work to attain things and value placed on things that are more important than money, greatly outweigh the restrictions placed on my kids with regards to private lessons, brand name clothes, trips, extensive sports etc… I am someone who saves ALL the clothes and puts them away clean (marked) and I reuse for the next child. I reuse everything and pass everything down (my best friend could not believe with my youngest child I had her dressed in outfits that were 18 years old and looked brand new because I took care of them), my husband and I work opposite shifts (and have for 18 years) so we have no childcare expenses (then again who would sign up for that position)- I do not care to have the latest vehicle, I do not travel and rarely (if ever) eat out-Anyway- I will try to post something more detailed in the future-It can be done!

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat 😎

  165. LOL….I really enjoyed reading your post! We do not have a large family but we do have identical twins and we get asked all sorts of crazy questions like this too…my favorite is…”were they conceived naturally or did you have help”? I really need to do like you did and come up with a great response…HA! 🙂

    • Ooh I would be so tempted to say “I had a ton of help…(wait for the sort of smug look)…I got them on Ebay…there were three identical but we decided on just ordering the two!” (!!) We picked them up ourselves and saved the freight charges”

      Laugh…there is no other way!

      The Garden Goat
      😎

  166. Love this! I can’t believe you actually get asked those questions. I’d be tempted to slap anyone that asked me if I heard of birth control!

    I think the average 3-4 person family is a pretty recent phenomenon. Both my parents grew up with lots of brothers and sisters (and grandparents!) in the same house. But as an only child, my mother was often asked “Oh, but doesn’t she get lonely?” as if she was supposed to give birth to my play date.

  167. I grew up in a family of 9 kids, one passed away. I loved growing up in a big family… so many fun times. My mom got asked these questions all the time. Sometime people can be so hurtful. Love this post.

  168. Loved reading your post! Asking questions like that is plain rude. I’m the first among 4 siblings, and sometimes when people ask me how many siblings I have, some of them do look taken aback or go: ” Oh that many?” And some aunts have actually asked my mum why she had “so many” kids!

  169. Boy that I love this one….and , congrats on being freshly press! i got three kids and live in Canada, don’t know why some stranges feel ‘entitled’ to annoy with some or the same silly questions you have been attacked…. i’m glad with this post i found more answers to fill my dragon’s mouth !!

  170. Oh I loved this! I only have 2 kids and I get the statement *you have your hands full* but now reading this, I’m a sissy! I would love to have more b/c I loooove my kids and I have more room in my heart for more and more and more! but unfortunately with our job status being that we move every 2 years, it won’t happen like that. Congrats on all the children! You surely are a blessed woman 🙂

  171. thanks for sharing. we do have 3 currently and people already consider us to be a large family. but still we do have room in our van for 2 more…

  172. 1. some of these questions are not rude. for example: how can you handle it?
    2. seriously, WHY SO MANY KIDS? that’s so egocentric to think the world need a dozen of you and your husbands dna walking around.
    3. you CANNOT afford it. if your parents couldn’t afford you, you would obviously not put your children through the sheer horror of obviously not being able to get enough attention or love from their parents or enough clothes/food/afterschool programming
    4. so how is this for a question, how about about stop being snooty about having so many children and just accept that if you walk around with a bloody CLASSROOM of children, people are going to stare?

    • 1. You are right…by and large.

      Granted some comments are not as rude as others. Some may be genuinely asked out of interest. However, comments that directly relate to my private life are on the rude side just by the fact a stranger thinks they have the right to ask them. I get that small talk can be awkward. In general my remarks are delivered with a broad grin and intended to make people think about what boundaries they are crossing ESPECIALLY in front of my kids. If my comments seem rude, I would rather be considered “rude” and cause you to immediately STOP what you are doing BEFORE I have to spend hours reassuring my children that they all DO have the same father and NO, they are not “ACCIDENTS”!

      2. Many of my response are comedic effect to get the interviewer to stop for the reasons I listed above. To address why I have children: I like children and I do believe that children are our future and as such I should contribute to the future. I also believe that a child raised in a home within a larger family is more socialized, is more content with less, better understands the concept of having to work to achieve as well as the value of getting along with each other regardless of differences.

      3. You have decided I cannot afford them? Do you (or anyone else who stumbles upon me) know this to be true? What is the magical number of what must one have in order to “afford” a child? Attention and love have almost nothing to do with material things. Clothes and food are the basics as for “after school programming”…well I guess if you have one or two kids they should be kept busy and this might be considered a necessity.

      4. I really do not consider myself snooty…(perhaps I am and not aware) and people can stare all they want. The just should not be asking the kinds of questions they are in front of my children. I do not think that I am to be considered overly sensitive because I would like to shop and go out public without my children requiring therapy in adulthood because other people could not mind there own business and/or keep their mouths shut!

      In asking these questions you are crossing boundaries yourself which is ironic as the whole post was about handling the remarks that one gets when people are bold enough to cross boundaries and try to enter one’s personal life and their choices by commenting. (!!)

      Thanks for your response-a little late getting back to you..I do apologize but I was totally swamped with replies….

      The Garden Goat

  173. I’m the youngest of 11 and I have been within earshot of all of those questions and most of those answers. My Mom did get the old woman who lived in a shoe question once – THAT was the one that actually made her angry! She did dye her hair before she went into the hospital to have me because she did not want to be the only woman in delivery with (prematurely) gray hair (which I also have). Some of her of her responses were “After you have 6, they pretty much raise themselves,” “There are not accidents, only blessings.” “We don’t need to be rich in money, we are rich in children.” and “Nobody PLANS to have 11 children, we’re just lucky.” She thought it was hilarious when my cousin told me I was adopted and I believed him. I don’t live near any of my siblings right now but I thank God for all of them every day. We have three children and the second one has a disability – the questions about why we had our third child, while much less frequent, are often more outrageous than the ones you get. Bless you and yours.

    • Thank you for your comment-loved the answers your mom was using especially the “nobody PLANS…”-People can be so cruelly outrageous as you have already sadly had to experience –
      All the best to all your little blessings-
      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat 😎

  174. I’m the mother of twins and a wheelchair user (as it happens). Pretty much the same here, including “Wow, double trouble!”. “How do you survive?” is the most common. I ask the same in return, as I have a built-in lap for snuggles. :))

    Fantastic article.

  175. While I definitely agree that strangers asking you these questions in public is all kinds of rude, you have to admit that having more than one to three kids just isn’t that common in today’s world.

    That doesn’t make it a BAD or WRONG thing, just uncommon. I have bright, red hair that’s named “Vampire Red”, and that’s uncommon (at least where I am).

    As someone who has an extreme fear of pregnancy (and I do mean “extreme”), it’s just difficult for me to fully understand the lure of pregnancy and kids. If it’s your thing, then that’s great; more power to you!

    What I don’t get is this: Why do you find it offensive if someone wonders if some of your kids are adopted? I mean, adoption is a great thing; why would it be a bad thing for random strangers to assume? (Granted, the stranger ASKING is just weird. I’m talking about quiet assuming to themselves.)

    • The adopted notion is not the issue.Adoption is a beautiful thing and not in the least offensive. The issue is the discussion of private and personal choices in detail by a stranger in front of little ears.

      When I was first married I too was scared of pregnancy (actually petrified)- I can relate.

      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!
      Thanks for your patience
      The Garden Goat 😎

  176. Loved this! As the mother of ten, and now grandmother of 17 and great grandmother of 3, I experienced some of the same dumb questions.

    When my memoir comes out, I hope all these stupid people buy my book to find out how we did it!

  177. I *do* have a “stupid” question, if you’ll indulge me.

    I know a few women from my college days who wanted big families like yours, and now have them. Then again, I know some who weren’t planning on having that many, but that it just happened. (As in, one woman had quintuplets with her first pregnancy!)

    Did you always want and plan on having a big family? (And yes, this is a valid question from someone like me. Call it research, if you have to.)

    • Well I never met a baby I did not like. Seriously, I did always dream of a big family. As far as “planning” went I happily accepted the children that came into my life realizing that as I age there is only a limited time this is possible-

      Thanks for your comment-

      The Garden Goat 😎

  178. We have three daughters (ages: 4, 22 months and 6 months) and I already get asked these questions! I have often wondered what people will ask when we have more (Lord willing). While pregnant with my third daughter everyone asked if we were “trying for a boy”. Now that she is here people ask if we will try one more time for “that boy”. I just smile and say “No, but we would love to have another baby.” Thanks for the read 🙂

  179. I’m happy you have the family that brings you joy 😉 People don’t understand what they don’t understand. I’m the youngest of 8 kids, yet I have only one child myself. There are so many different ways to create a family. I love my big family of origin dearly.

  180. “So there will be enough tax payers to contribute to the services you may require in old age.”
    HAHA!! What a great line 🙂

    I’m only 19, and not planning on having kids of my own any time soon, but this still made me laugh out loud. My Aunt has 7 & has mentioned frustration at rude comments like these too. Her & my Uncle have a great sense of humor, so when she was pregnant with her last they jokingly paraded the first 6 through the check-out line hand-in-hand with a box of condoms and said to the guy behind the counter “Why didn’t anyone TELL us!?! Can’t wait to try these out.”
    Can’t imagine the looks they got 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!

  181. Loved this! Reminds me of the time when my daughter was a baby and I was wheeling her around the store in a grocery cart. This woman passed me in the aisle, stopped, looked at my daughter (who was about 9 months old at the time), looked at me, and said: “Oh, she is SO beautiful! Is she yours or is she adopted?” I told her that either way, she was mine. I walked away shaking my head and thinking, “I don’t think I’m THAT homely!” 🙂

    I think it is wonderful that your life and your heart are filled with nine such wonderful blessings.

    • People are incredible …what a story-I was out with one of mine as a baby..the lady stopped me and said “she is so beautiful…she must look like her dad because she does not look anything like you”- I was stunned-
      Thanks for sharing-

      😎
      The Garden Goat

  182. Wow. Although personally I don’t want a lot of kids for myself, that’s my own personal decision, and the fact that you love children and wanted a lot is your own personal decision. I can’t believe that people ask those kinds of questions on a regular basis! It’s none of their business, and some of those are just even more appalling when asked in front of your children. I applaud you for being able to deal with this interrogation from people. 🙂 Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  183. I love you. 😀 Come from a family of 15, on my 4th and just getting started. Just yesterday a complete stranger said, “Girl, you are crazy!” Well yes, but what does that have to do with my kids?

      • I took the little one shopping and she gets all the attention of the other handful of evening grocery shoppers. “She’s adorable!” is repeated over and over, all I can think is you don’t have to live with her and her older brother. If both kids are with me I darn near have an anxiety attack in the middle of the store. I don’t know if that makes me sound feable, or my kids worse than they are in reality.

      • Nah..kids know how to get to you in public…it is a skill they are born with, then again I am impervious to it but my husband is like you…the anxiety attack prevails…I do a lot of grocery shopping.

        Thanks for your commment.

        The Garden Goat 😎

  184. I loved ready this and all the comments! Now I am a single lady in my 30’s with no children (Unless you count my cat as a child! – I am waiting until I am married to have kids) What I find amazing is seeing larger families and how well behaved those kids are. I then see people who makes comments or looks at the larger families (with well behaved kids) while there own one or two are running around screaming and not listening to their parents! If you are able to have a large family, go for it! You don’t need to alway buy the top products, the top main brands of clothes or anything. I am single and to make my money stretch, I buy store brands and shop at used clothing stores. Just because you have a large family, doesn’t mean you need a large budget! I’ve watched shows on TV (not the Duggars) and am amazed at times how well those moms can shop on a small budget for such a large family.

  185. Pingback: Be Nice « Outside Air

  186. Reading the questions that have been posed to you, I can certainly understand your frustration towards the apparent lack of concern of the feelings and well being of younger ears.
    I have two children myself and as a mother, I want the best for my children, just as you do. However, I find it incredibly difficult to applaud your choice – as well as the choices of many of the other commenter’s – or even sympathize with you of having burdening the planet with so many children.

    Your second answer to question #7, ““Just making the world a more beautiful place…one kid at a time” is frightening. Your children had no voice in you and your husband’s choice to have them, and they have no say in how you are treating this planet in which you will ultimately leave to them, as well as their children.

    Currently, there is a very real threat of not having sufficient drinking water for everyone on this planet. Here is an excerpt along with the link: The New York Times article, “Southeast Drought Study Ties Water Shortage to Population, Not Global Warming”, summarizes the findings of Columbia University researcher on the subject of the droughts in the southwest between 2005 and 2007. The findings were published in the Journal of Climate. They say the water shortages resulted from population size more than rainfall. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_crisis

    Your comment of making the world more beautiful one child at a time is honestly quite the opposite as when they are old enough, they will require housing and thus more beautiful forests will be consumed. Urban sprawling will continue and more and more of our great planet will be destroyed due to yours, and every other baby factory who shares your same views, selfish choices.

    I say selfish because I strongly feel that that is the appropriate word. If you truly cared about your children and the world in which they will be living in long after you have lived your long life, then you would have opted to have one or two children, like most responsible adults.

    Children are a gift from Heaven and as the Lord created our planet I cannot help but feel anger and frustration toward those who know what is right and what is wrong, and still choose to fulfill their own selfish desires.

    • Well, not too sure how to answer your comments.

      I am totally confused by your reply. You finish off your comment with “children are a gift from Heaven” and also mention “the Lord” as creating the planet. Then you call me a “baby factory” and mention that because of my selfishness I have burdened the planet with excess children. Ok..so kids are not your thing, the planet is, you will never understand the worth of children and how they are tomorrow’s future. But upon rereading your post I realize that you are the mother of TWO children. If the ideals and beliefs you express are genuine why do you have two children yourself??? Or is two children okay but anything over 2 children is an issue? Why is the number 2 kids okay but more is wrong? Why?

      Currently the entire world is talking about the demographic crisis where there are not enough births to replace the population in many countries. In Canada we are facing an upcoming crisis were 2/3 of the population will be older and requiring care. There are not enough young people and people who are not seniors to care for the ageing population. Our government has tried to balance this with welcoming more immigrants but we are still headed for a crisis.

      The world since the start of time has been in survival mode.The threat of drought is something we all have to worry about and consider. While the simplest answer to the naked eye is perhaps a reduction in the inhabitants it too is only a temporary fix. The world waited the better part of thousands ( if not millions) of years for the right DNA combination to give the world Einstein, Edison, Salk, Pasteur, the Wright brothers, Lincoln, Bach, Mother Theresa and so many other gifts this world received all disguised entering this world as tiny babies. If one was to subscribe to your theory then the possibility of another gift arriving on the planet whose invention will solve the water crisis forever will be be severally limited. If you feel so strongly about not having resources used up how can you justify having the two children you have? Why is two a respectable number and three not? It is a sad day when the gift of a unique human being that might be bringing something outstanding to this weary world of ours is less important than “beautiful forests will be consumed”.Many of the world’s most important and impressive discoveries throughout history were made by people who according to your rationale should never have been born. Many of the greatest people in the world’s history where born in challenging times on the planet to parents who could not afford them.The world has acclaimed and enjoyed the gift of her voice, Celine Dion. Not sure if you realize that Celine is number 14 out of 14 kids. Numbers 1 through 13 have never been heard of. The child with the gift for the world was numer 14. In your world there would be no Celine….but beautiful forrests would prevail…likely everywhere.

      Thank you for your response.
      It has been taking a while to get back to everyone as the response to this blog post was like an avalanche!

      Thanks for your patience!
      The Garden Goat

      • Yes and yes. Look, mathematically speaking, if you gave every household (family or single) on Earth a house and a little yard, they’d all fit into the state of Texas. All of them.

        No matter how overwhelming seven-odd billion is to our human brains, we are simply NOT as many as we think!! Human beings are small! The issue is our utilization of resources, and our failure to push and make use of the innovations that would and could prevent crises such as the failure of the fresh-water sources we currently depend on. There are technological advances that can make seawater potable, there are underwater reservoirs in Africa that are not being tapped. We (first world) eat too much meat. And the first world THROWS OUT most of its food, and then uses corn for bio-diesel.

        Large families in the first world have a distinct environmental advantage, in that – per capita – their environmental footprint is much less, and they create a vitally important culture of stewardship and frugality within each of their members (THAT is how they afford it). The fact is, our number is not as big an issue as how we use our resources, and a person from a large family (that’s not me yet, I’m only one of three and I have three children of my own) has been much better trained to innovate and make do. BUT. – if we all insist on everyone having no more than one or two children, demographic collapse will result. Our children will be too busy trying to survive under the weight of obligation to an immense elderly population, to have room to innovate and create positive and useful solutions to the challenges in front of us. And THEN we will be in some deep doo-doo. But at least the continents that are still having enough kids will save us, and then become the new first world. Humanity will get on.

  187. I don’t understand why you think question 1 and 2 are rude….you could have re-married and he could of had kids. (like the movie) it’s an honest question.
    Also, I wasn’t planned my mom told me at a younger age… because I asked. I didn’t think it was offensive and I wasn’t upset…sometimes things happen, I completely understand if a complete stranger at the store asks you without any starting conversation.
    But what if you and another person (that you don’t know) started a conversation and got on the topic and they asked (politely), would you still find it rude?

    • Rudeness has a lot to do with the circumstances, the perceived intent and a huge portion has to do with what the kids are exposed to. No child should ever come home from a shopping trip worried about his origin (or that of his siblings) needlessly because an adult was insensitive in the child’s hearing. Remember many of these comments are personal in nature. If I detect the comment is genuine interest and sincere I will usually answer with more patience and kindness-
      Thanks for your comment-

      The Garden Goat 😎

  188. I have 4 – and, yes, people consider that a big family these days. More’s the pity! My world revolves around my children – the married ones and the ones at home – and I love each and every minute of it (and will soon add the first grandbaby.) Why people are rude and insensitive, I don’t know, but BOY are THEY missing out on the best things in life!!

    Thanks for the laugh. You have a marvelous sense of humor (moms have to!!) and I’m sure you enjoy your life fully. 🙂 I’ll be sharing your post with others.

    • Thanks and congrats on the grandbaby (I just had my first granddaughter 4 months ago)! A sense of humour is the best tool I have!
      Thanks for sharing my post-the response has been sensational.
      The Garden Goat 😎

  189. Love this post! I only have 1 little boy. My Mum once went to a bank with my son, and the manager said that maybe the children had had enough of sitting there and they should wrap up their meeting so the kids could get the beach…. interesting… there was only one child with her… my son! He’s like a whirlwind of multiples though!
    You really are obviously blessed with a lovely family and I’m sure it’s not all roses all the time. From a personal level, I can’t imagine having more than one or two, but maybe because the one I have has all sorts of difficulties that require so much of our time and patience and I can’t imagine what would happen to him if I had to split my attention in other directions. I even had to give up work just to help him out when he started school! Loved reading about your great responses and they made me think more about things I might say to people in future…or not 🙂

  190. What a fabulous piece! I can not wait to share it with two of my closest friends, both of whom have large families.

    People must think they are funny when they ask these questions… instead of just rude, nosy, and inappropriate…

  191. LOL!

    I only have 3 – all boys. My middle son was adopted and Asian – which the rest of us are not. Additionally, our oldest is dark-skinned (like me) and our youngest is fair-skinned (like his Daddy).

    I get “So…you have 3 sons….and none of them look alike.”

    You get what is being suggested.

    I was initially too shocked to respond to this, but have been rehearsing “What is it you’re trying to say?”

    Seriously…

    • My parents used to get that when I was a kid…I was the only redhead. When I overheard it I always remember how it made me feel. People just do not seem to understand the basics. A friend of mine was out with her children at the park in a similar situation as yours and the comment to this gal was “Obviously these kids are not yours…are you their Nanny?” WOW-(!!)
      Thanks for your comment-

      Have a good day!
      The Garden Goat 😎

  192. Awesome post! I was medically restricted to two (posted about that today, actually), but at one time, my husband and I wanted enough to have our own baseball team! If you love them, take care of them, and can afford them–go for it!

  193. Great post! I want a big family and have two boys so far (different dads) and people say I have my hands full… I assume most of these people just sprung forth from their parents fully grown and never had children of their own … having kids is tough but it’s also a lot of fun!

  194. Like it or not, having far more children than is necessary is increasingly unusual these days. It sounds as if you’ve encountered a number of ruder-than-average people, but a number of the comments you report sound like little more than people trying (and failing) to say something nice to a stranger as part of the everyday back-and-forth.

    “Why do you have so many children?” is a valid question: humanity’s strain on the planet has more than doubled in just 50 years. In primitive societies it makes sense to breed early and often as there’s a real risk that some of the pregnancies will fail or the children die in infancy. I assume you’re from the US or a developed nation, so that doesn’t apply to you. What was your motivation for having so many children? You say you’re aware of birth control, and you must be aware of the risks of multiple pregnancies. It (apart from the massive extra strain on the planet from seven more Americans) is entirely your business, of course: but don’t be surprised when people comment on your having done something selfish and destructive because you like babies.

    • Thank you for your response I have been inundated with responses and I am slowly getting everyone answered.

      First of all I would like to know what number of children is “more than necessary”?

      Also, a little surprised to read that I am doing something “destructive” by having a baby.(??)

      I am most aware of the risks of multiple pregnancies as my children were all born by c-section, some were very high risk pregnancies and several high risk deliveries. I am also very aware of the health benefits to mothers of multiple pregnancies.

      Currently the entire world is talking about the demographic crisis where there are not enough births to replace the population in many countries. Yes, I am from a developed country, Canada to be exact. In Canada we are facing an upcoming crisis were 2/3 of the population will be older and requiring care. There will be not enough young people and people who are not seniors to care for the ageing population. Our government has tried to balance this with welcoming more immigrants but we are still headed for a crisis.

      To address why I have children: I like children and I do believe that children are our future and as such I should contribute to the future. I also believe that a child raised in a home within a larger family is more socialized, is more content with less, better understands the concept of having to work to achieve as well as the value of getting along with each other regardless of differences.

      The world since the start of time has been in survival mode.The strain on the planet is something to worry about and consider. While the simplest answer to the naked eye is perhaps a reduction in the inhabitants it too, only a temporary fix. The world waited the better part of thousands ( if not millions) of years for the right DNA combination to give the world Einstein, Edison, Salk, Pasteur, the Wright brothers, Marie Curie, Lincoln, Bach, Mother Theresa and so many other gifts this world received, all disguised entering this world as tiny babies. If one was to subscribe to your theory then the possibility of another gift arriving on the planet whose invention will solve the strain on the planet will be be severally limited. Why is two children a respectable number and three not? If there is such a strain on the planet then perhaps no children is the only responsible answer. It is a sad day when the gift of a unique human being that might be bringing something outstanding to this weary world of ours never makes it here or gets to contribute because of birth order.Many of the world’s most important and impressive discoveries throughout history were made by people who according to your rationale should never have been born. Many of the greatest people in the world’s history where born in challenging times to parents who could not afford them.The world has acclaimed and enjoyed the gift of her voice, Celine Dion.Not sure if you realize that Celine is number 14 out of 14 kids. Numbers 1 through 13 have never been heard of. The child with the gift for the world was numer 14. In your world there would be no Celine….but one person’s less strain on the planet.

      Just my thoughts…

      The Garden Goat