What reactions do you get when you go out with your large family?

(65 Posts)
Carlie123 Tue 17-Sep-13 12:49:30

Hi, so I have 7 children and I'm pregnant with number 8. When I go out I get a lot of looks, comments and some people even point and count as we walk past! Does this happen to anyone else and how do you handle the comments? Thank you!

BlackMogul Tue 17-Sep-13 13:01:08

I just wonder how they all fit, safely, into one car. Not much else. How does anyone afford this many and how do they have their own space in the house which my children love to have. I know I would never have been able to cope with this and I think lots of of older children in large families have to take responsibility for the younger ones and, when asked, they are not always so keen on this. I don't really look at larger families, but I don't understand stand the need for them either. I guess we are all different and I expect I am not about to get pilloried for my views!

JellyWellyWoo Tue 17-Sep-13 14:08:03

My sister has four children under five years, and reactions are usually positive. I don't know why anybody would be rude, it is your choice and only you know what is right for your family. I am from a large family myself and I think its wonderful, so please ignore any rude comments! smile

meandtheboys Wed 18-Sep-13 15:55:35

OK honestly, I would look on and think 'Wow, I wish I could cope with that many!' but I wouldn't comment about it and certainly wouldn't make a negative remark.

I think it's a personal thing and no one can judge. I would however think about the practicalities of it all. I mean how do you cope getting that many children ready in the mornings? How do you get time to do homework and reading with them all? How do you get all the laundry done?! Are you just exhausted constantly???

I am pretty nosey about things like that though. I am filled with awe looking at my friend cope with her 4 children. She's so relaxed and laid back so I can see why it works for their family. I am not laid back at all but would secretly have loved a large family. BUT I know I wouldn't cope very well with it and the children would be nagged and harassed by me constantly. Some people are clearly made for it and some people aren't. No need for nastiness or any judgement though. I hope the comments you get are positive ones.

Designjunkie Wed 18-Sep-13 16:35:31

I have four children and to be honest am a bit fed up the 'how do you cope' comments. Why do people assume that you can't afford more than 2 children? We are not rich but have help, each child has their own room plus a playroom and we have a 7 seater car, which is certainly cheaper than many 5 seaters. My children do afterschool activities and as for reading to them at night, you only do that for a few years anyway, so you'd be unlikely to be reading to three or more at any one time. Yes you do have to be more organised in the mornings but once they are past a certain age they learn how to do things for themselves. It is just bad manners to question anyone's motives for having x amount of children. What number is acceptable anyway ? For some people religion plays a part, are they to be criticised too? Are people with one child, capable of having more also selfish ? If you don't know someone's personal situation you shouldn't judge.

GreggsOnLegs Wed 18-Sep-13 16:50:26

I'm one of eight and can clearly remember the stares and comments, 'here come the Waltons' 'bloody 'ell, haven't you got a telly?'<<to my mum or dad. Etc

We got used to it and grew a thick skin, even used to laugh along and joke with them.

purpleroses Wed 18-Sep-13 20:35:25

I went suddenly from having just 2 to being out and about often with 6 when I got together witb DP. I was a bit self concious at first but tbh there's been very few comments. We get asked whether some of them are twins and a pub landlady said Crikey once when we traipsed in for a meal. But I've not had anything rude.

BadRoly Wed 18-Sep-13 20:42:52

We have 4dc and I can't say I've noticed any reaction from 'strangers' other than comments on their hair (all have very striking hair). Perhaps we aren't a big enough 'large family'?

Plumsieinaonesie Wed 18-Sep-13 23:34:31

I have 4dc aged between 10 & 1.

When we were in our local shop the other day, the shop lady asked if they were all mine, when I said yes she replied well your brave and I bet Christmases are fun!!

The most common comments I get is your brave and about the telly being broken. Also people we know have starting saying about time you had another one!!!

Soditall Fri 20-Sep-13 22:04:32

Yes it's happened to us.

We have 5DC and I often get asked if I'm a childminder,I look to young (according to people that don't know me)to have 5 children,I hate when people assume I must have been a really young child when I first got pregnant(I was 21)I'm 38 now.But I take it as a compliment,nearly 40 and people still think I'm in my early 20's so I can't really complain.

I get asked quite a lot about how we cope and people do make assumptions about what your house must look like,ours is always clean and tidy,that surprises people that don't know us.I just take that as showing how well were doing.

People tend to make assumptions about your finances as well and think your children must go without,ours don't they go on holiday every year,they do out of school activity's,they all have nice clothes and shoe's,lots of toys and books and the oldest 3 all have phone's and they all have handheld game consoles.They all get they're hair cut in an expensive salon.They get to go on all the school trips including the one's abroad.We have savings and we've saved money for each of our children.

Honestly we've usually always get positive comments when were out.

People tend to do a sharp intake of breath when we walk into a restaurant(usually older couples or people with one or two children are the worst)they seem to think because we have 5 children that we'll be loud and that the children will run around the place,were never loud and they're always really well behaved.Older people usually come up and tell us what a lovely family we have and how proud we must be ect.
Couples with less children usually just go quiet when they're own children start running around the place making a lot of noise or point us out to they're children and say look how good all those children are being.

Some women presume because I go out with make-up on,hair done,nice clothes on that my children won't be as well cared for(they've obviously never heard of multi tasking) wink they soon go quiet when they see that the children all look immaculate and that the girls have they're hair all styled.

Negative comments (the one's that are challenging how well your doing)
are usually made by people that are jealous so I'd take them with a large pinch of salt.

Spookey80 Fri 20-Sep-13 22:17:20

I hate this "can't afford more kids". To me this is like suggesting that only people who are well off have happy kids, that kids need material things to be happy.
I was 1 of 4 and my parents didn't have much money then, but we had all we needed and had a very happy up bringing.
I am currently pg with dc3 and the risk question people have said is "was it planned?', yes some people would like more than 1 or 2,,,, however we are all fortunate for all we have.

CoolStoryBro Fri 20-Sep-13 22:17:50

We have 4, which isn't a particularly big family. I got more comments when they were very young, as when DC4 was born, they were 5, 2, 12 months and newborn.

My absolute favourite was when DC4 was 6 weeks old and we were in the S of France. A beautiful, elegant very old French woman stopped me and asked if they were all ours. When I said yes, she said, "You are very blessed". It made my day!!

Spookey80 Fri 20-Sep-13 22:21:48

*first question

LifeofPo Fri 20-Sep-13 22:26:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Bunbaker Fri 20-Sep-13 22:36:28

I would never make nasty remarks about the size of people's families.

I would find the thought of having a large family absolutely horrifying, but that is my personal view. DD is currently sat on the settee puking her guts up and the thought of dealing with that x8 doesn't even bear thinking about.

We all judge others by our own values and for me the "how do you cope" questions aren't about finances, but simply the logistics and the sheer hard work and drudgery involved.

Artandco Sun 22-Sep-13 20:30:39

I always wonder about time management. If all 8 children get 15mins each of bedtime stories that's 2hrs per night just on reading. If the younger 4 need exta help with teeth after they have tried say 3 mins each twice a day is 24mins alone just on teeth cleaning...Etc etc

calopene Sun 22-Sep-13 20:42:54

I have 6 children aged 1 - 13 and really enjoy having a large family. I think it is fine to have as many as you can give attention and adequate care to. I don't think people should start families nor add to them if they are dependent on state benefits. Mtself and my partner work fulltime and could not give our children the care and support they get now if we didn't. Children are expensive so bé sure you can support them.

BlackMogul Tue 24-Sep-13 00:56:50

Interestingly, Op was on her 8th. Did anyone answer my query about how they all fit into a car? I have a 7 seater, but even an 8 seater will not accommodate a family of 10. Most larger families I know get friends to help them out, eg take children to music lessons, brownies etc, bring them back from school etc as timings are difficult to manage with large numbers of children all doing different things. That's ok if you can sort it out, but I think it would have defeated me.

BigPawsBrown Tue 24-Sep-13 02:07:39

calopene you don't think people should have children if they're on benefits? The disabled? Let's just sterilise all the underclasses shall we? hmmshock

Mutley77 Tue 24-Sep-13 02:54:24

We've only got three but they are well spread out, 8 4 and a baby and all have the same blue eyes and blonde hair. I think people kind of take more notice as they are maybe wondering to start with if they are sibs due to differing ages then is obvious they are to look at them! I have had so many "what a lovely family" comments which makes me feel very lucky even on a bad day ;)

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 02:57:11

stares or smiles, depending on the kids' behaviour.
but always mixed with shock

we have 6

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 03:03:32

10 people fit in 2 cars or a 12-seater minibus

the older children may stay home if the parent need to go out with the younger ones, so it isn't necessarily 9 or 10 people always going out together.
older children also go to school on their own

you do not read a bedtime story to each child separately - sorry, that is a very weird assumption!

glastocat Tue 24-Sep-13 03:25:31

I wouldn't comment, but I would be silently thanking my lucky stars that I have a small family. My mum is from a family of ten where the older kids brought up the younger, and they were very poor, she had a miserable neglected childhood. She wouldn't say anything either, but she would be hoping your kids were having a better childhood than she did.

StupidFlanders Tue 24-Sep-13 03:59:40

There are different sizes of large. I have 4 boys of close age so I always get comments but I embrace them! It's people trying to make a connection via a usually common experience; parenting.

I'd still be curious about your size family because our 8 seater can only accommodate 4 (5 if someone climbs) car seats! I'd also secretly love to know the bathroom:people ratio and your behaviour management tips just because I would have liked more and am stumped by the logistics of "running in for bread" with more than 4!

Congratulations on #8!

PyjamasNotBananas Tue 24-Sep-13 07:33:56

Zing I don't think it's an odd assumption about bedtime stories. Reading aside, surely all the children require a certain amount of one on one time before bedtime. All the poster was referring to was how time consuming everything must be. I'd be wondering the same. It's not a criticism, just 'wow, how DOES that work?' . I am fascinated and intrigued by larder families. Certainly no negative judgement from me but I do wonder how the simple mundane tasks such as brushing teeth, getting school shoes on, making packed lunches, sorting laundry etc doesn't just suck up every waking moment.

PyjamasNotBananas Tue 24-Sep-13 07:35:52

^ Larger families even. ^

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 08:26:39

Pyjamas

sorry, to me it is an odd thought. in other words - no way!grin

laundry - one or two loads of washing is done daily. I tumble dry everything that can be tumble dried.
I get the kids to help me put the clothes away, pair socks, fold towels.

my oldest is 12, youngest is 1.5 so the older ones only watch the younger ones for short periods of time (say 10 - 15 mins) and never on their own.

attention/spending time one on one - I'm a SAHM so I'm available to talk/hug/problem solve 24 hrs /day.
they don't actually need me that much.
we eat dinner together so we chat about our days then.

I don't read bedtime stories. I used to, but my older ones used to get way too excited and wanted to talk endlessly after a story so it worked better if they were read a story during the day.

shopping - one big shop and some smaller ones every week

discipline - this is the hardest, we have 5 boys in a row so there's a lot of competition and roughplay between them.
I admit it is a struggle and sadly I shout a lot.
but I find that some of the problems go away when I'm better organized.
and when they have to do chores as punishment! grin

homework - the ones that need to read to me do so every day. 5mins/child. spellings - ditto.
other homework they do on their own, we help as and when it's needed.

after school clubs/school run - I do get help from grandparents who live nearby. also friends help occasionally.

what else do you want to ask? smile

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 09:00:13

oh and it is definitely time consuming and exhausting.
but as the children get older they learn to do things for themselves.
even a 2 year old can help with tidying up
from age 4 - they get dressed on their own.
from age 6 - they read in bed, brush their own teeth and so on.

I never do breakfast unless it's a special one - they help themselves and each other.
(DD I help of course)

I think you learn to cut corners, simplify tasks, get quicker, get organised, prioritize, delegate etc.
you just get on with it.

I meant to add:
car - we have an 8-seater and DH has a motorbike to go to work

time to self - my need for this varies, I make sure I have this when I need it.

spend time as a couple - that's the trickiest. definitely not a regular thing, kids, work & housework, sleep etc seem to take priority.
we are working on a solution. wink

Artandco Tue 24-Sep-13 09:17:31

I suppose it just depends. Personally although a 6/7/8 year and older can read to themselves in the eve I still think its nice to read to them also.
Although a 4 year old could get a basic breakfast I personally would still prepare it for them ie I poach egg and do toast, they might lay table/ get a yogurt

How long would it take you to leave house if you decided on a spontaneous park trip?

purpleroses Tue 24-Sep-13 10:29:18

There's no rule about childrearing that says they need 1 to 1 time before bed. There's other times of the day too when you can read with them or do other things 1 to 1.

imip Tue 24-Sep-13 12:29:26

4dds here. When all six of us area out, people offer their sympathies to dh. We get pretty sick of it to be honest. We like having dds, we don't mind not having sons. People assume we are upset about it, having four of one gender is a lot of fun!

If people annoy me too much, I do tell them how we lost our eldest daughter and we actually have 5dds. It usually stops them in their tracks. I hope it makes them realise that actually we feel quite blessed having 4dds....

imip Tue 24-Sep-13 12:30:11

Oh yes, no 1on1 bed time here. Not necessary. We read all together, but not neccescarily at night.

Pootles2010 Tue 24-Sep-13 12:42:38

Wow, hats off to you all! I have just the one ds, and not planning on having anymore. I guess I would ask how you do it, but then I ask my friends with two the same thing!

I guess the biggest thing i'd worry about would be treats - meals out, holidays, theme parks etc - assuming unless you've a fair bit of money you'd just have to not do them? I can't imagine how much a holiday for 8 children would cost...

I think some people are just naturally more organised and 'together' than others, I am most certainly not grin

TwoStepsBeyond Tue 24-Sep-13 13:37:41

DP and I have 5 between us, although his are with him 50/50 so generally its only at weekends and holidays that we're all together.

We do get asked "are they all yours?!" quite regularly and it makes me smile when he says yes, without explaining that some are mine and some are his.

I find that being firm and fair is more important when there are lots of DCs e.g. if we go to the shop and someone wants a drink and sweets and a comic we have to say no, one or the other, because otherwise it would mean buying all 3 things x 5. They don't miss out as such, but I think they have to realise that they don't always get everything they want, which can only be a good thing.

It means there is always someone to play with, so no "I'm bored" but there are lots of squabbles which need refereeing, generally about sharing etc. If that was happening I would find it really hard work, even if they were biologically all mine, so I know how people feel when they ask how you cope with a big family! I do manage, but only for a day or two, then I'm quite glad to be a 'normal' sized family of 4/5!

TwoStepsBeyond Tue 24-Sep-13 13:38:57

I meant 'If that was happening every day I would find it really hard work'...

Fairylea Tue 24-Sep-13 13:44:17

I wouldn't stare. I think I'd just think wow how do they cope! I have two dc - one aged 10 years and one aged 15 months. I waited that long because there was no way I could cope and stay sane with two little ones! I'm exhausted with just one small child!

purpleroses Tue 24-Sep-13 13:55:01

Your family sounds very like mine twosteps - I'm never quite sure how to handle the "are they all yours?" question, that we do get a lot. You can't really tell by looks in our family who belongs to which parent.

Collectively they are all ours, but individually obviously not. If we say yes, it's then usually followed up by the "are those two twins?" which then takes more explaining though.

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 13:57:14

pootles

treats - tesco vouchers! tesco points convert into 4x the value in vouchers!

we did a joint birthday party for two eldest a few years ago. it cost just over £200 for hiring 3 bowling lanes (18 children, two games each, meal and party bag included!) but as we paid with vouchers it only actually cost us £50!

and all we had to do was to turn up and bring the birthday cakes!

we used tesco vouchers at Legoland, Pizza Express (this is a regular one, either eat out or delivery), Cafe Rouge, Longleat, Whipsnade, Needles Park on IOW etc etc.

we don't do spontaneous stuff with less then 30 mins warning.
depending on what it is I can scramble them in the car under 5 mins (say having to pick up DH from train station as an "emergency" - there's no need for clean or proper clothes then or shoes or nappy change etc)

otherwise it really depends on what we have just been doing, if everyone is already dressed, fed then probably 10-15 mins is needed for changing nappies/going to the toilet, get drinks and snacks, grab phones, money, shoes on and go.

of course it takes a whole hour to get ready in the morning.

anything else?

ZingWantsCake Tue 24-Sep-13 14:00:57

oh, holidays - I don't care for going abroad as long as we need a pushchair.

DH takes boys camping with a friend some weekends and a whole week in the summer.
we also have a week family holiday staying in a self-catering cottage.
just been to IOW and it was great.

PyjamasNotBananas Tue 24-Sep-13 16:22:55

Thank you for your honest answers and for explaining how your family works zing . I hope you know I wasn't meaning to be rude, I am just genuinely fascinated and in awe of you all.

I agree with the poster who said some people are more organised and just more 'together' than others. I am clearly NOT one of these people! I'd have loved a big family but I know, I know I wouldn't cope well and it wouldn't be in the best interests of the children. They'd be late for school daily, I'd be stressed and snappy. I adore my two children but I already feel like I'm spread very thin. DS2 is 21 months and has various on going developmental delays which means he still isn't walking well yet and I feel like I've had a baby for a very very long time when most other mothers are on to the toddler bit, I feel like we're trapped in babyhood. I feel it has definitely taken it's toll on me.

Me and DH struggle to get time alone now and that's just with having the 2 boys. We've both agreed this is something we are prepared to sacrifice, especially while they are so young. Also we have no family and no support so we are in it alone which again I think makes a big difference.

I adore both of my children but I'd be lying if I said it all came naturally and the thought of having any more makes my palms sweaty and my legs go a bit shaky!

I take my hat off to you all. Some people are clearly just 'meant' to have larger families.

PyjamasNotBananas Tue 24-Sep-13 16:27:35

I love the idea that your DH takes the boys camping Zing, what amazing memories they will have from that. It sounds like you have a lovely family. Sorry if you get asked this all the time but do you have any plans for any more or do you feel your family is complete?

FavoriteThings Tue 24-Sep-13 16:38:17

Looks and stares yes.
The worst thing for us was holidays. Lots of luggage and no extra room. Big car wasnt big enough. Ended up buying one of those trailers you hitch on the back[after buying a hitch and making sure all future cars could have one added], with a tarpulin over the top.
And the cost of holidays. So yes they did have less than other people but they understood.
Now they have all flown the nest and have jobs and can go anywhere they want, and do. So a bit of lack of holidays isnt for life. Far from it.

More than made up for by always having others to play with. And now that they are having partners, Christmas and other family times are just going to get bigger.

FavoriteThings Tue 24-Sep-13 16:47:25

Not sure could do it now as the business sector my DH and I are in was fine for the first few years but teenagers are more expensive than little ones imo so it was then a bit harder in the later years to finance them all.

calopene Tue 24-Sep-13 20:23:47

NOT all disabled people claim behefits - many work. What an assumption.

StupidFlanders Wed 25-Sep-13 02:30:42

I just had a lovely experience at the shops! A lady came rushing over to help me get the dcs in the car (I was fine) saying how beautiful they are and how I must be doing a wonderful job etc. her youngest just turned 18 so she missed having young ones- it really made me feel good!

As I said up thread though- 4 doesn't seem large compared to 8! We can still stay at most hotels for holidays and fit luggage and family in the one car!

favouritethings I'm so excited thinking about future christmas days!

Turniphead1 Wed 25-Sep-13 03:01:01

I can remember a girl I was friends with as a teenager was one of 6. Her parents had a great sense of humour and lined them all up outside a Family planning clinic for a photo wink

I like the old French lady mentioned up thread who said "you are blessed".

NAR4 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:29:01

Black my son used to be friends with a little girl who was one of 13. They had an old minibus to fit all the children in. They had proper car seats for all the little ones and never left any of them in the minibus while dropping others off, during the school run. It was a wonder to behold because dad often did the school run on his own, on his way to work, leaving mum at home with the very youngest.

NAR4 Wed 25-Sep-13 09:36:58

Dh and me spend time together as a couple by taking the little ones for a LONG walk after tea, once they are ready for bed. That way we can talk with no interruptions from the children. Personally I don't really feel a need for 'me' time, which seems so popular nowadays. Didn't really get it as a child as from a big family so I guess the hussle and bustle just seems so normal to me.

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 09:37:08

pyjamas

I don't think you were rude!smile

honestly I'm happy to answer any questions!

the truth is that I'd like 2 more. I don't feel our family is complete.
but as I had a MC (5th pg) I wonder if it ever will!
so there's this dilemma whether we should stop and call it a day (we tend to vote yes on some days!grin ) or TTC and see what happens (I'm more inclined to go for it).

I honestly don't know the answer or the solution.
it's really difficult.
I'm not ready to get rid of all the baby & maternity stuff just yet - maybe that shows my feelings more.

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 09:47:13

and pyjamas I totally understand why you feel you are stuck in babyhood. (sorry about that btwthanks )

DD (youngest) had feeding problems so I was literally stuck on the sofa/bed with her bf for months beyond what I expected.
when she was 5 months old she still had to be fed every 2 hours like a newborn. and she was a velcro baby - I could not put her down or pass her to someone else without her screaming until she was about 13 months.
both things took a lot out of me emotionally and physically.
If I had another baby like that for a 7th - well that scares me into wanting to have my vagina sewn in forever!shock grin

fishandmonkey Wed 25-Sep-13 09:47:15

to the pp who said you don't need lots of money to have lots of kids - yes you do! we live in a 2 bedroom house. it was the biggest we could afford. if he had more than 2 kids someone would have to sleep in the kitchen! we have a really old small car and can only fit 2 child car seats in it. we have no money to buy another. you certainly need money just for the basics, so when i see a large family i wonder where they get their money from (i'm nosey about that sort of thing).

5madthings Wed 25-Sep-13 09:47:52

We do get comments, we have four boys and then a girl, so the assumption is we kept going to get a girl...grrr we didn't.

Lots of you must have your hands full and I don't know how you do it type comments.

And yes to the looks if you go I to a restaraunt, we went out for dinner on holiday and there were looks when we went in, at the end the staff came over to say how well behaved they all were and what a pleasure they had been smile

I et comments on how well behaved they are...like they shouldn't be because I have five?!!

People do look and ask how we manage, tbh I dotn mind too much tho get annoyed at being asked if they all have the same,e father, yes they do which some people find surprising. I am 34 and had my eldest at 20 so people find it hard to believe that the massive great big 14 yr old is mine Ashe towers over me smile

Its fun, a bit mad, you need to be organised but I wouldn't change it and if I could afford a bigger house and car and possibly a Cleaner I would have more!

5madthings Wed 25-Sep-13 09:52:20

Re money, we aren't rich, the boys share bedrooms two to a room, we have a second hand cittron c8. We had ds1 whilst at uno so were used to not having much money, we never got sued to having two salaries. DPs hours make it impossible for me to work at the moment. We bought in a cheaper area as that was what we could afford. The big expenses are uniforms and shoes, it was £300 this sept when all five needed new shoes!. Plus x,ma's and bdays etc.

Plus food the boys eat loads! Four boys mean I can hand down clothes, ditto bikes and some toys etc.

We have an Xbox and Wii but they are family owned, they don't have a games console each, not necessary IMO.

Holiday is self catering or camping in the UK.

Babies aren't expensive its as they get older, school trips, music lessons, bus passes etc that add up.

PyjamasNotBananas Wed 25-Sep-13 18:33:52

Haha yes I feel like getting it sown up too zing ! I just find the baby phase so exhausting. I LOVE the older toddler/ child bit though and that's why DS2 with his delays is so draining for me. I feel very guilty about that. I love him obviously but I'd be lying if I said I enjoyed him yet. It's hard work having a toddler trapped in a babies body and he's so frustrated bless his heart. It's hard not to feel bad for him and I go into over drive trying to balance everything and make sure they're both as happy as can be which sends me loopy sometimes.

Well, I look on in awe of you all. All of you are amazing and your children are so lucky to have big families. All the love and support they'll have in the future as well. If only I was more competent I'd have loved at least 5 children but it really is my idea of hell to just get to the 'good' bit of parenting and then be plunged straight back into babyhood again. I felt that even after DS1 that the baby phase was just something I had to endure. Having DS2 with the problems he has, has only heightened my dread of ever having another baby. It feels never ending. Never again for me. Sad really.

ZingWantsCake Thu 26-Sep-13 10:03:59

pyjamas

oh I wish you didn't feel guilty!
being exhausted tricks your mind into seeing everything in a much worse light.

there are aspects of having kids that I bet most people resent from time to time. like loss of freedom and spontaneity. or lack of sleep. or always having to be responsible.

and I yet to hear someone telling me they enjoy the fucking school run!

so when you have a hard time, especially due to a health issue you really need to lower expectations and not feel guilty!
and it can be hard to love someone who "takes" but doesn't give back. even if it is your own child, even if she or he is little! it's just human nature to have times when you think :" I give up, I can't cope"
but you will and you can because the alternative I way worse.

I'm sorry you feel you don't enjoy him.
I don't enjoy my kids when they argue and fight and wind us and each other up, or when I'm tired or ill - parenting is not always joyful!
I think loads of people can identify with that so you are definitely not alone there!
if you don't find spending time with your DS2 enjoyable and there's nothing you can do to improve the situation for now I say don't beat yourself up about it!

find something that you do enjoy and puts you in a better mood - I guarantee that it will change your outlook and you will start feeling more positive in general! and when you feel more positive you will see him in a different light too and it will improve your relationship with him.

there is a lovely thread in Classics about how to insert joy into your life - if you can't find it let me know and I'll link it later.

I believe we are given the children we have because we are best able to deal with them, and noone else. even if it doesn't feel like that a lot of the time.

and if you want to carry on talking off thread just pm me anytime. I'm here for you! (hug)

or

ZingWantsCake Thu 26-Sep-13 10:04:36

there's s random "or" at the end. ignore it.

PyjamasNotBananas Thu 26-Sep-13 13:42:41

Zing thank you. I am amazed you even have time to read this thread never mind reply with such warmth and kindness.

I am trying to find ways of spending time with DS2 and trying to enjoy it. I took him to a messy play session at the museum this morning and although he wasn't whinging or complaining, I found I was just clock watching, waiting for it to be over. Why can't I JUST be happy to see him happy? To be honest though, I struggled even when DS1 was this age, I found it hard work and monotonous. The pre verbal phase is very draining to me. Although DS2 has plenty of words he's not talking in sentences yet and I find the conversation (or lack of it) doesn't come naturally, it feels forced and boring to me. I know that must sound terrible really. I didn't really enjoy DS1 until he was 2-3 and he was much less frustrated and whingey than DS2 because he didn't have the physical developmental delays that DS2 has.

DS1 is 6 and is just so much easier and more interesting to be around blush I love them both and want to keep them both safe and happy but it's hard so I have no idea how the hell people manage it with 3+ children! You are all amazing!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Thu 26-Sep-13 13:45:25

It would appear you cannot win! I get comments because I only have one. No matter what you do someone is going to have an opinion on it and feel the need to comment.

TwoStepsBeyond Thu 26-Sep-13 14:09:23

Pyjamas, its fine not to love the baby stage, I really enjoyed carting mine around and cuddles, but tbh I've always spoken to them like little adults and not really been a 'get down on the floor and play' mum - I take on more of a supervisor role!

I found the whole babbling/baby talk thing a bit odd if I'm honest and I think there are benefits to parenting in a slightly more detached way, my DCs are all very mature and independent from being able to entertain themselves from a young age.

I remember being a bit low and talking to my Dr once, I said I don't feel like being a mum comes naturally to me, its like someone is going to realise that I'm not up to the job and wonder why they ever let me have a baby! He wrote in my notes "not a natural mother" angry but what I meant was that my way of mothering was not what I was used to seeing from others (it is however, very similar to how my own DM was with us, very loving and supportive, but not gushy and overly sentimental).

Don't beat yourself up about it, I'm sure you're doing a fab job.

PyjamasNotBananas Thu 26-Sep-13 19:27:29

Thank you TwoSteps I seem to have diverted this thread, sorry OP! I am grateful to you for your kind words.

I am very much like you describe actually. As a consequence my DS1 has always been very mature, very articulate and has an amazing sense of self. He is fab but I didn't see that until he was about 3, before that I just felt like I was a terrible mother, none of it was natural. Even today, I was looking at people at the messy play session, there were mothers who were so enthralled by their children banging on pans and sticking glitter to things while I was just sat chatting to DS as if he was my age!

I can't really DO baby talk or get excited about things like a baby banging on a pan. Am I heartless? Maybe so. I talk to DS2 constantly, I cuddle him, smile at him, tickle him, read to him, help him with his physiotherapy. I feed him, dress him, keep him clean, kiss him, love him but I just don't really see the excitement or joy in parenting him yet. (I am prepared to be flamed for admitting that). It's more like a job but a bloody difficult job which I am so emotionally involved in because I do love him so much that I just feel so worn out by the end of the day.

This is where my fascination with larger families stems from I think. The fact that you all do this day in, day out and just when you've got to (what I think!) as the lovely bit of parenting, you're starting all over again with another baby, then another and another. I think you must all be supermums because I am just too selfish to ever put myself through this again.

I know one day it will all be worth it. I know one day I will slowly realise I have reached that 'golden age' of parenting DS2 where I enjoy it as much as I do with DS1 but that feels a very long way away. I adore the idea of having 5+ children but the idea of ever having to do this last 21 months all over again makes me feel ill. I am snappy, moody and exhausted by the end of every single day. I take my hat off to every one of you who does this over and over again but doesn't let it affect you in this way. You are all clearly 'built' for it whereas I am a light weight!

princesscupcakemummyb Mon 30-Sep-13 11:25:39

i dont have a large family i have 2 daughters aged 4 & nearly 2 and expecting dc3 due n early november & i get comments already saying gosh why have 3?? how will you cope etc just annoys me and as for large familys i think its lovely to see i dont wonder why someone has lots of children or how they afford it because thats not what matters children are amazing & a privalige to have i would love a large family myself grin

I'm from a large family as is my mum. Shes the youngest of 10 and I'm the oldest of 10. 3 belong to bio dad.

I have had comments. Mum has 7 children aged 23 to 2 years of age.

I was 1 of 5 at 11. We had a 7 seater but soon cut down to a 5 seater as me and my brother got to an age where we didn't want to be with family or would rather stay at home so the big car wasn't necessary.

When it was 5 of us our dad did the loft out so ended up with 5 bedrooms.

When I left I found it strange been alone with now ex and a baby. I couldn't male dinner for 2 as was used to making it for 7. It took a while to get used to.

Carlie123 Sat 12-Oct-13 12:41:11

I have step siblings, half siblings and 'full' siblings. All together I have 14 siblings. When my parents got the 'are they all yours?' Question my mum would say 'blood doesn't define family' then walk away with her head held high.

mum140381 Sun 24-Nov-13 20:10:37

i have 6 children ttc number 7 we have 4 bedroom 3 bathroom house so lots of room i get are they all yours and you dont look old enough wink.

DontHaveAtv Mon 02-Dec-13 10:45:34

I have seven children. I get people asking if they are all mine. I also get people telling me how good I am as they always look clean and tidy! that makes me laugh lol. also because I am a size 8 I get people saying how good I look for having seven children. (they've not seen me naked!)

I have a five bedroom house, so plenty of space. I dont drive but dp does and he has an Audi a3, so only a five seater. when we go on days out my mum always wants to come so we take two cars or go by bus or train.

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