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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.

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