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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!

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.

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.

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.

SPsTwerkingNineToFive Mon 30-Sep-13 11:32:32

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.

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

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!

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.

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.

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!

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

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

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


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)


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.

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.

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 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!

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).

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

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


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.

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.

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.

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".

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!

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

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

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.

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.

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?

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