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To be fed up when people have an opinion on how many children you have or want

(472 Posts)
brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:58:52

I have 2 young boys aged 2 and 7 months and would like 4 children if i'm lucky enough as i was an only child and knew i wanted a big family. Before i went off on maternity leave with my youngest a woman at work said are you done now and i said i would like more children in the future and she said im mad.

Other people have also asked the same thing. Is it me? I wouldn't dream commenting on how many children someone wants or has as it's up to them, when im asked now i feel all defensive about it and don't want to tell them like im a naughty teenager not a 33 year old married woman!

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 10:00:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I get told I'm selfish for only having and wanting 1 all the time. Apparently my child will end up lonely and spoilt.
The fact we can only afford one seems to be irrelevant to many.
I don't really see that it is anyones business but my own and my partners but now I just smile sweetly and nod.
I don't think you can win either way, big family or small. People will always want something or someone to comment on.

NumericalMum Sun 10-Feb-13 10:03:27

I never understand these threads. Surely if you are happy with your decision you couldn't care what people say? I have one DC and get the question about more all the time. I am happy with our decision and it is right for us for now so why would it bother me.
I get that when you have been TTC and are struggling it would be painful but just be honest. I can assure you the old lady who was trying to make friendly conversation really didn't think that asking if you will have a baby soon was being deliberately spiteful! Just say we can't. She will be mortified and might learn not to ask anyone else!

needsadviceplease Sun 10-Feb-13 10:05:51

Yeah, poor people should be stopped from breeding. Only the independently wealthy should be allowed to procreate, what with their superior genes and all.

Stop claiming benefits (including all those pesky benefits for the working poor - and hey, including child benefit too); make sure you pay privately for every day of your children's education (presumably also keep them out of HE, as this is state-subsidised - maybe send them to the US at 18 to avoid that problem); make sure they only ever receive private health and dental care...

And even then, know that your child is still benefiting from social expenditure. Someone, somewhere is always 'paying for your kids'. And the Malthusian stuff is hardly new. hmm

OP, it's a personal decision. I plan to stop at one and hope to use the line "actually I'm infertile" (I'm not) to turn the embarrassment back on the asker, when the question starts arising. People are rude.

bigbuttons Sun 10-Feb-13 10:06:50

I have 6. I have found people's comment to be mostly very positive. A few people said I was mad; I thought it was rude of them to say so.
When I had them we could afford them all. Last year I finally left my abusive ex. He pays no money at all ( claims he is broke). So for the moment( for the first time in my life) I live off the state. I hate it.

Whyriskit Sun 10-Feb-13 10:12:49

Yes; needs advice I was thinking after my previous post, the amount of taxpayers money that's gone into making DS2 relatively healthy, family genetics testing, not to mention the cost of my two emcs...

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 10:14:40

If I asked somebody if their twins were identical or if twins run in their family I wouldn't have thought it was asking some terribly sensitive personal question. But if people feel that way then perhaps it is.

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 10:17:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smartiepants79 England Sun 10-Feb-13 10:23:21

Personally it doesn't bother me. It does depend on how it is said.
Mostly I think it is just well meant interest in your life, especially if it is a friend making the comment.
I can't imagine coping with more than 2 children so I might well say ( joking!) that I thought you were mad!

Midori1999 Sun 10-Feb-13 10:34:07

I am pregnant with my 7th baby, although I only have four living children, so will have five if all goes well this time. I would like another after this I think, but I suspect this will be the last.

I don't really give a shit what anyone else thinks. DH has a good job and i am lucky enough to be a SAHM. I am pretty sure my in laws will have some snidey comment when we tell them I'm pregnant, but then, they always saw their children as an inconvenience.

VeryDullNameChange Sun 10-Feb-13 10:38:10

I think it's rude to comment on babies that are already conceived, beyond a passing "Blimey you've got your hands full there" (predictable but not rude). And I wouldn't comment on a mum of 2 who wanted 2 more, she's in a position to guess what it would be like.

But I think that teens and recently married twenty-somethings announcing that they want six are fair game (unless, like Jacqueline, they're from a large brood and know what they're getting into).

I think that the ecological argument is a reasonable one, but don't see why you have to bring class and chavs into it - each one of the Beckham's adorable little jet setters probably have the carbon footprint of an entire episode of Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

Ds5 was born last week, although I lost ds4 in pregnancy so have 4 living dc.
I think some people will comment regardless.
1dc you get isn't he lonely (ds1 was an only for 8 years) you have two the same sex and it's wouldn't you like a boy/girl.

If you have a large family and claim tax credits people will comment on how they pay for your children. If you pay for them yourself people comment on over population and lack of jobs.

You can't win, unless you have one of each! grin

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 10:40:31

People can have all the opinions they want. Having opinions on things is part of what makes us human.

It's what they choose to do with those opinions which affects other people.

<pedantic point>

ppppppppenguin Sun 10-Feb-13 10:47:09

i have 1 ds, people are always telling me i "need" to have another ( family and friends not total strangers) it pisses me off, why do i? im quite happy with just my ds, and i know we cant afford another anyway.

HiggsBoson Sun 10-Feb-13 11:09:07

It's SO much worse the other way around OP sad

...would like 4 children if i'm lucky enough as i was an only child and knew i wanted a big family.

^You have to listen to stuff like that all day

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 11:23:05

As far as jobs, the way you describe "entitled people walking around with a Croydon facelift and fag in hand while living on benefits" its hardly going to be them taking the jobs away is it?

So if they don't have jobs - who's paying for them to be able to live then?

Having more children means you are putting a lot more burden on the welfare state - and with that I also mean the NHS, schools, etc. And yet, you do NOT pay more income tax. And don't say your kids will pay tax one day. They cost the state money the minute they are born, and yet the state derives no income from them until they start to work (and there's no guarantee that they will). If they put a tax on people who want more than two children (e.g. £500p.a. for third, £750p.a for fourth, £1025p.a. for fifth, etc.), I don't think that many people would actually choose to have large families. A welfare state is actually pretty difficult to sustain with a large population.

I mean... seriously, is it just cantspel who sees the problem here?? There is a reason why a lot of sci-fi movies/books are based in a world with a one-child-policy... because it is conceivable that such a thing could happen (China anyone?).

As cantspel said - if you want to go back to the large families of Victorian England AND have a reasonable standard of living, then we better start dying earlier, and go back to high infant mortality rates. With modern medicine, that won't happen... so what do you think will happen instead?

How do you imagine the world will be like in 40-50 years time, if EVERYONE started having 4+ kids when we're already struggling today??

Is NO ONE concerned about the world your DC will grow up in? Or is everyone just happy living in blissful ignorance - like our parents did before us? Because at some point, the world has to wake up to its problems. I start to believe that by that time, it will be a little too late. Future generations will probably detest our generation that lived in a golden era of reasonable standards of living and were too blind to see the problem at hand.

IvorHughJangova Sun 10-Feb-13 11:27:35

Opinions are like nipples. Everyone has them. Doesn't mean I want to hear them though, any more than I want to see their nipples. I have one child and am ten weeks into a new job working in an office of women with more than 1. They will not leave me alone, constantly insisting that I do want another one really and why don't I talk to DH about it and poor little mini-Ivor, all alone.

I don't want another child.
Medically, the chances of having another are slim to none.
This is none of your fucking business.
Fuck off please.

I may put this on a post it note and stick it to my head tomorrow.

Bobbybird40 Sun 10-Feb-13 11:29:30

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 11:36:26

I'm afraid I'm with Tasmania and Bobby.

On The One Show several years ago there was a feature about over population: a couple on it had five children and were planning on another, and Sir David Attenborough was the guest. In a very polite, articulate and non-judgemental way he laid out his case for the world's biggest problem not being the hole in the ozone layer, or climate change, or pollution, but over population, and he illustrated it with some graphs showing population forecasts on different countries around the world if we carried on living as long as we do at the current birthrate.

The couple dismissed his concerns entirely. Wouldn't even entertain thinking about them. "I have always wanted a large family" and that was it.

But this can be a very unpopular opinion.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 11:44:14

China yes lots of baby girls in orphanages so they can have a boy. That really helps! Have you also realised how crushing it is to those who cant have kids. Especially when those who can are often the ones who cant care for them.

Bobbybird40 Sun 10-Feb-13 11:50:51

Two is enough. If you want more, adopt - plenty of kids needing a home. The me me me culture we live in really is quite depressing - and is seen in full force on threads like this.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 11:54:04

ArielThePracticalMermaid - I'm afraid that couple that was on The One Show seems to be a representation of a much wider population than I first thought, when I look at the comments on this thread. I remember watching things like that with my hand slapping my forehead constantly. It's almost like watching Jeremy Kyle (which I don't for this reason), where the show's guests just don't get it.

"I have always wanted a large family."

God - how selfish is that. There are things in life you might want but shouldn't have. I can have tubs of Dulce de Leche ice cream a day if I want to grin, but won't because of the consequences sad. Similarly, as much as I may want to have more children, I won't want my DC to live in a world full of struggle, simply because there are too many people depleting the resources of the planet by that time.

In this VIDEO, aptly called Talking About What We Don't Want to Talk About this issue is brought up. It's only a little more than 8 minutes. Please watch it, and let me know what you think.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 11:56:46

China yes lots of baby girls in orphanages so they can have a boy... Have you also realised how crushing it is to those who cant have kids. Especially when those who can are often the ones who cant care for them.

Well, and the third sentence above is exactly the point for stopping people from having too many kids.

If you want to have more than one kid - adopt.

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 11:56:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 11:59:38

^^ Actually, I meant two. Just to replace you and your DH.

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