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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!

Bobbybird40 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:05:47

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

JaquelineHyde Sat 09-Feb-13 22:29:53

Hahahahahahaha and what a ridiculous (and quite spiteful) observation that is Bobby but thank you for giving me a laugh.

I shall be sure to relay your observation to my Mum the ugly cah!

BusyTiredAndLoveIt Sat 09-Feb-13 22:54:54

shock Bobby!!!

So you're beautiful if you only have one child but a minger if you have a few?

How rude!

theboob Sat 09-Feb-13 23:35:26

well let me tell you ......i'm bloody gorgeous grin
don't the Beckham have 4 ? wink

Purpleprickles Sat 09-Feb-13 23:50:40

As someone who is failing miserably at ttc #2 I would say ignore comments. It's nobody else's business, just enjoy your children and your fertility smile It's equally hard when you are asked if you will have another child when you are trying and can't. Sometimes I say I don't know, sometimes I'm honest and say its not happened for us yet and somedays I swallow tears and the urge to punch them in the face. confused

cantspel Sat 09-Feb-13 23:57:47

I personally dont care how many children anyone chooses to have as long as

1. they can afford them and are not going to be trying to bring them up on child tax credits.
2. they dont continually moan that they cant afford to buy a house, new car, holiday, the cost of school uniforms or their house is too small
3. each child is wanted and loved.

MrsKoala Sun 10-Feb-13 00:00:16

I find people's interest odd. When I grew up most friends had 2 or 3 siblings, but now I have had ds, people are asking me if I'll try for another or just leave it at one. (The tone is I should leave it at one). When I say we'd like a couple more, people are horrified and say'THREE'! As if I said 13 or something. Some then try to negotiate with me by saying 'well why don't you just have 2'. As if it was any concern of theirs or that 3 children was such an outrageous number that channel 4 would be round doing a shockumentary on me.

Seriously, 3 isn't that many is it?

Casmama Sun 10-Feb-13 00:09:27

I don't think people really care ow many children other people have and any comments made are just making conversation and shouldn't be taken to heart. If something is offensive then call them on it but don't silently seethe.

Surely you are on the wind up Bobby? I don't believe that you would make such a spectacularly rude comment otherwise.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 00:13:51

I had the opposite the other day and it did ruin my day. I had DD via ivf and horrible pnd plus I know I do not want to have any more. Its a miracle DD arrived even with the ivf as my embryos were very bad quality. It wasnt actually expected to work at all. I know my limitations and I can barely handle DD at times as it is. Still have bouts of depression. so cue old bag in the charity shop hmm

me: oh that reminds me, I had a bag of baby clothes to donate.
Old bag: oh you might have another! (with shock horror face)
Me: oh no Im not going through that again. definitely wont happen. (didnt want to face the pitiful looks when I say I cant anyway)
Old Bag: Oh but my daughter is an only child and she says she doesnt know how she will cope when I die!!!! of course she has kids of her own now. Its not fair to have just one!

Ive had the sudden loss of an aunt at 48 and 3 family members with different health issues/serious illness in the last few months. It kills me to think of being without DD/her without me. I was feeling the dark cloud looming all day, I just couldnt shake it.

TerraNotSoFirma Sun 10-Feb-13 00:15:38

I fell pg with DS on DD's 1st birthday, not hugely close gap but met with 'are you mad?' Etc
I have mentioned before that if I had room/money I would have another one or two, they look at me like I have two heads, that's the least unkind reaction. Then there is the reaction of my mother 'you can't cope with the two you have already' cheers mother.
It makes me sad that we can't afford more children, but you cut your cloth and all that.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 00:35:11

Well, I come from a family of loads of half and step siblings, and DH has two siblings. We're completely the opposite. I'd only ever have max. three kids - likely only two. If you think about the bigger picture: the planet has more than enough people. If everyone started having four kids, we'd double the amount of people on this planet in no time, and given the fact that resources are already pretty tight... you do have to wonder how great DCs world will be if we multiply like that. Sometimes, I just think that people who want to have so many children are a little selfish, and irresponsible about the world as a whole.

I also second cantspel - people really should only have as many kids as they can afford (without handouts from the state). There are people out there who think it's the state's job to pay for their kids angry. I don't understand people who decide to have four kids, then complain about the cost of uniforms, clothes, food, holiday... and begrudge those who have less children than them. Sometimes, they even say those people are selfish for having less children, and have more material things in life instead.

This is a stereotype, I know, and completely un-PC to say: but the majority of people I do see having loads of kids give me nightmares of a future apocalyptic world fully inhabited by chavs.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 01:53:30

Tasmania you do realise that 40/50 years ago it was the norm to have lots of kids. How many people turned to them with the attitude you have now? They were dirt poor a lot of the time but people got on with it and often thats what gave them a sense of hard working attitude. Its not how many siblings you have that shapes you its 50% the parents and 50% of what you put into it yourself.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 02:34:03


40-50 years ago, people smoked without having to think of lung cancer.
40-50 years ago, the world had something like 3 billion people. Now it has more than 7 billion... can you believe it? more than double?!?!
40-50 years ago, people thought nothing of gas-guzzling cars and CO2 emissions.
40-50 years ago, it wasn't so obvious that we're actually running out of resources.

I could go on and on...

Basically, 40-50 years ago, people were completely blase of how tough the future could be, and what impact they have on our planet. Today, we do know more, and it's a little irresponsible to close your eyes (and have as many kids as possible just because you want to) when it is actually the DC who will suffer most.

Their future will be impacted by the following equation: more people = more competition. Resources, jobs, etc. are limited after all. It would be a dog-eat-dog world. People are already complaining about the Tiger Mums now. Well, wait until that becomes the norm. How do you feel knowing that in future, your DC (or grandchildren) may live in a world that's no longer sustainable because the previous generation just wouldn't stop breeding?

Oh... and just to point out something that was in fact better 40-50 years ago: people were much less reliant on the state to pick up their bill. Much less entitled people walking around with a Croydon facelift and fag in hand while living on benefits. Maybe that is why back then they gained that sense of hard working attitude?!?

I personally believe that in two hundred years time, our times (and even more so... that of our parents) will be seen as the golden era for humans where standard of living was at its highest. This will be seen as an outlier, and our grandchildren will most likely have to do with a more dire world.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 02:41:57

How do you feel knowing that I am sustaining the world a little by doing my own bit to help? Why look down on people on benefits. you obviously type cast them. If you can afford kids then no problem. 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?

SpecialAgentKat Sun 10-Feb-13 02:42:03

DH and I would really love to try for more when the DTs are a bit older and the situation with DSS and his mother is sorted out.

I admire people who have five +. I saw 'having your hands full jealously affectionately.

cantspel Sun 10-Feb-13 02:55:16

40/50 years ago it was not normal to have lots of kids. The average family size was 2.93 which was the peak in 1964 (the year of my own birth) and has been dropping year on year until 2001 when it hit 1.63 and then it started rising again and in 2009 we were at 1.96. It is still growing.

MN is full of threads about lack of housing and the rising cost of what is available, no jobs, struggling to make ends meet and cost of food. This will only get worse with a higher birth rate and add in to the mix the freedom of movement within the eu and people living longer. How is the country going to substain everyone.

You cant just say build more housing as we already have problems with flooding due to building in places where were shouldn't and we need land to grow food and for trees to grow so the planet can breath or we will end up like Hong Kong with it being the norm for families to live in one room.

If you want to go back to victorian england with it being the norm for large families then we better start dying earlier and go back to infant mortality rates of 3 in every 10 children not living past childhood or we are going to over populate even worse than we do now.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 03:10:04

I've only ever had a nasty comment when all three were playing up one day and I was told I shouldn't have had so many. To which I replied which one should I get rid of first then ?
Stupid person, one bad day (hour in fact) and somebody shouldn't have been born ?

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 03:52:38

I'd like five (not all biological though) and get all sorts of comments.

I have a DS and a DD on the way. The few people who know this baby is a girl have said "oh lovely, one of each! Now you can just be done."


CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 03:54:00

And the US birthrate (I'm American) is apparently at an all time low, actually.

juule Sun 10-Feb-13 08:39:14

Tasmania "Sometimes, I just think that people who want to have so many children are a little selfish, and irresponsible about the world as a whole."

I'm wondering what non-selfish reasons people have for having any children. There can't be many, if any.

aurynne Sun 10-Feb-13 08:43:36

People always seem to have an opinion about your fertility, the more judgemental the less they know you, apparently. I don't have kids, never wanted them and my DH and I are incredibly happy. Well, it seems not to be enough for a number of people who keep telling us that "we should have children".

It does not matter how many kids you have. There will always be people who enjoy telling you it's the wrong number.

Molehillmountain Sun 10-Feb-13 08:48:31

I don't mind the question "are you having any more?" now because I feel at ease, although sometimes sad, with the fact that dd2 is our last. I hated it when we were ttc numbers one and two, given that we were having fertility treatment and when trying for ds, miscarriages too. I find it a stupid question really, although I know it's just vonversation for most. It's daft because not telling people you're ttc or just pregnant is a kind of acceptable lie so people often don't get the truth anyway. It was also hard to hear when dh and I were trying to decide whether or not to have dc 3 as I wanted to say "I really, really hope so but please could you persuade dh". I never ask the question or comment. You just don't know people's circumstances.

treaclesoda Sun 10-Feb-13 09:05:30

it is horribly rude to quiz people on why they have the number of children that they do. It used to really annoy me after dc1 that people were so keen to tell me when to start on dc2.

But, for the record, I do sometimes say to other mums 'you've got your hands full' and I have never meant it as a criticism or a comment on how many children they have, and I'd be a bit upset if they thought that's what I meant. If I've ever said that, what I meant was as an acknowledgment that looking after small children is hard work, and demanding. My friend has four children and I am in awe of her patience, her creativity and her frugality. I couldn't do it, and I admire her.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Sun 10-Feb-13 09:24:44

Some people are just rude/suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome. I get the same for having no children

DH and I have been together for 11 years and married for 4.5. The seemingly endless "you ought to get cracking" or "don't you want a family" comments make my blood boil. All I want to do is scream "excuse me for not sharing my fertility problems with you. We've been TTC for 3 years and I'm sorry it's all so inconvenient for you!" angry

Whyriskit Sun 10-Feb-13 09:53:10

I do resent the implication from some posters than in having 3 children we are being selfish, feckless and living off the state.
DH and I have 5 siblings between us. For various reasons we will be the only ones to procreate. My boys have health issues which may impact on their life expectancy. I want to have three children so that (among other reasons) they will be able to support one another further down the line.
DH and I both work, we are not eligible for benefits other than CB and we don't rely on anyone else to support us.

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