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I’m a big family mummy

334 replies

Devonmum2022 · 09/08/2022 13:35

So whist talking to a random mum at soft play she was surprised at our “big family” 9 children (full time custody of 3 step children) l. Never thought of us as a big family lol but ask away

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Highfivemum · 22/08/2022 11:24

some of the comments are so frustrating. I have 6 DC and yes that is our choice and we love our large family as do our DC. They get attention and lots of it. I am fortunate at the moment due to husbands job to be a SAHM and my DC never want for anything. They always have someone to play with. I am always around for them. To say they don’t get attention is wrong. So a family with 2 DC who go to work and drop Dc of a child minders/ nursery etc get more attention then mine. ??? No they get others attention but no parents. My DH and I are both hands on. We include or Dc in everything and so no they are not missing out in attention. Each families are different. I know one family at school who have 1 DC and they have little interest in the DC and both work long hours and holiday without the DC. So each family is different whether big or small. Good luck OP

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LilacPoppy · 20/08/2022 11:32

@Marvellousmadness many people use nannies or other childcare 7-6 Monday to Friday and a lot longer for nannies. How much lost attention is that.

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Marvellousmadness · 20/08/2022 05:59

You can't give so many children proper individual attention. Do you ever consider yourself selfish for wanting so many?

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JanisMoplin · 12/08/2022 04:04

See, even if their mum was great and able to care for them, I can't imagine already having a total of 7 children between you and deciding to go for 9.

My gran had 8 children but she was an Indian woman in the 1940s with no reliable contraception. Every one of the 8 has only had 2 or 1. I can't get my head around women in 2022- with climate change, cost of living, war- taking on that load. You make it sound very ' Sound of Music" but I do not believe it is. Even if only half of them want to go to uni, how will you cover that?

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wellhelloitsme · 11/08/2022 23:20

Devonmum2022 · 11/08/2022 22:51

So I will obv be careful what I say so it isn’t to “outing” but their mum did a disappearing act for a while and was taking a lot of drugs, drink and the boys women do to do with it…. we tried to track them down (she was letting us see them but we couldn’t find where they were). As we went to solicitors for custody SS we’re also trying to remove them. I was pregnant just before she met the absolute idiot bloke who turned her to all this and if I’d known we’d absolutely not have had more.

It sounds like he left it a long time before engaging a solicitor to fight for custody? Especially considering they were with someone unsafe who was attempting parental alienation. What's done is done though.

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Devonmum2022 · 11/08/2022 22:51

So I will obv be careful what I say so it isn’t to “outing” but their mum did a disappearing act for a while and was taking a lot of drugs, drink and the boys women do to do with it…. we tried to track them down (she was letting us see them but we couldn’t find where they were). As we went to solicitors for custody SS we’re also trying to remove them. I was pregnant just before she met the absolute idiot bloke who turned her to all this and if I’d known we’d absolutely not have had more.

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wellhelloitsme · 11/08/2022 17:37

@Devonmum2022

My 3 step children we took full custody of after getting together as their mum was finding it tough and we’re about to go into care.

How did it get anywhere near the stage they were 'about to go into care' if your husband is a decent dad?

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JanisMoplin · 11/08/2022 15:37

Yes, I didn't understand the care thing either.

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smartiesnskittles · 11/08/2022 15:21

You mentioned the step children going into care a few times. Obviously your husband would look after his biological kids since mum can't rather than care? And surely that was a potential factor in family planning?

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Lilgamesh2 · 11/08/2022 10:48

Wow 9 kids! i can't imagine.

Here are my questions:

  • is giving birth really easy like doing a poo when you've done it so many times?
  • what does the post-school evening look like in your family?
  • what is the hardest part?
  • do you have any parenting or organising tips you can share


Hope the preemie is doing well.
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Tabbouleh · 10/08/2022 16:00

ScreechingEchoChamber · 10/08/2022 15:28

An extremely large family is an outlier in the UK and most of the developed world. I think the average is at just over 2, now. So everything we can do does make a difference, it's not all or nothing.

Also in the developing world. India's TFR is now 2.0. Even cultures with formerly large families now think twice.

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ScreechingEchoChamber · 10/08/2022 15:28

Soproudoflionesses · 10/08/2022 10:45

Hmm l have to agree with you here.

An extremely large family is an outlier in the UK and most of the developed world. I think the average is at just over 2, now. So everything we can do does make a difference, it's not all or nothing.

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Leafy3 · 10/08/2022 15:19

Wow some of the judgement on this thread 🙄

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FourTeaFallOut · 10/08/2022 14:54

Let's not pretend it's not about a gold standard. I would like to read a thread of the kids... or adults themselves coming from a 4+ family... I think their side perhaps wouldn't be so Rose tinted

Well most likely it wouldn't be as rose tinted - most parents preserve their contentment with a degree of positive narrative, most young adults will look to find fault with their family as a mechanism to differentiate and build an identity outside of the family unit.

You'd have to look if the severity of their discontentment was worse than those in smaller families. You'd have to see if the gulf of perception was wider between parents and children in larger families.

I've seen all sorts of gripes laid at the feet of parents here which is identified as a source of consternation and adult failure, lack of an individual bedroom, didn't get a pet, never got privately educated... on and on it goes. A larger sibling group is one too but who is to qualify if this is any worse - beyond your own prejudices.

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Happyandyou · 10/08/2022 13:36

FourTeaFallOut · 10/08/2022 13:18

Anonymous and sad?

I think some people suffer from this idea that there is a gold standard, from which everything else deviates. So, two parents two kids is somehow the pinnacle of a family structure and assume that each step away is a step towards a problem.

But that gaze is never turned inward. You could narrate all sort of problems and harms from having a two child family - if you wanted to. You could point to the perpetual gaze and attention of an adult and consider whether that is good for self identity or whether it induces anxiety, you could talk about the concentrated nature of sibling rivalry in this environment, you could talk about the erasure of the necessity to share space and home resources and how to be adaptable adults. Then you could go ahead and pretend that these kids had no idea of what they truly missed because 'they never knew any different'.

I'm not saying I agree with the above, just that you can turn these games on the status quo.

There's a big difference between 2 kids and 4 kids, there's a big difference from 2 kids to 6 kids.

Let's not pretend it's not about a gold standard. I would like to read a thread of the kids... or adults themselves coming from a 4+ family... I think their side perhaps wouldn't be so Rose tinted.

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Itwillworkifyoutryit2222 · 10/08/2022 13:35

@FourTeaFallOut well said! You can create elaborate stories of why one upbringing is better than another in either direction. The truth remains though, that apart from very obvious forms of abuse and neglect being detrimental to a child, there really is not a good consensus in the research literature on what exactly will improve outcomes in adulthood. That applies to a range of factors such as parenting style, family composition/birth order, type and degree of non-parental childcare, religious versus atheist ethos, the list goes on. The old classics of wealth and community connectedness do seem to have a positive impact on outcomes in adulthood, but even those findings tend have a lot of caveats and apparent contradictions.

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JanisMoplin · 10/08/2022 13:35

You could ask better questions? This is after all AMA. Apparently questions relating to climate change are awful but so are questions relating to anything else.

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TabithaTittlemouse · 10/08/2022 13:30

Op I’m not going to embarrass myself or you by asking one of the many stupid questions already asked but wanted to say that I admire you.

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FourTeaFallOut · 10/08/2022 13:18

Anonymous and sad?

I think some people suffer from this idea that there is a gold standard, from which everything else deviates. So, two parents two kids is somehow the pinnacle of a family structure and assume that each step away is a step towards a problem.

But that gaze is never turned inward. You could narrate all sort of problems and harms from having a two child family - if you wanted to. You could point to the perpetual gaze and attention of an adult and consider whether that is good for self identity or whether it induces anxiety, you could talk about the concentrated nature of sibling rivalry in this environment, you could talk about the erasure of the necessity to share space and home resources and how to be adaptable adults. Then you could go ahead and pretend that these kids had no idea of what they truly missed because 'they never knew any different'.

I'm not saying I agree with the above, just that you can turn these games on the status quo.

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Devonmum2022 · 10/08/2022 13:16

Oh no it’s definitely no idyllic it’s bloody hard work. I guess yes I feel awful at times that it’s the way it is but we wouldn’t ever have put them in care so had to manage. I was pregnant with my 3 year old when kids came to live with us which if we had known we obv wouldn’t have had more

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Devonmum2022 · 10/08/2022 13:12

The 16 and 17 year old share a room then the 15,12 and 5 girls share a room (built in pods which has a curtain to pull across, tv, light to and shelf) 12,8 and 3 boys share room in same set up and baby in with me.

we considered a sofa bed for us but so there was an extra bedroom but half time they would happily share a bed if they could they are extremely close

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Herejustforthisone · 10/08/2022 13:00

I know they largely know no different, but such a big family, so many children, so much confined and shared space, nine kids across three bedrooms, it just sounds anonymous and sad. This would especially be the case for your own children who suddenly have to share you with your husband’s kids plus the extra two you had together.

The descriptions you’re giving; ponies, jerk chicken bowls on the beach, cute little bed pods with their own TVs (Japanese train stylee), them being your ‘nine best friends’, all sounds quite idyllic and charming, but I’d be curious about the reality of it. As I said before, especially from the ‘big’ ones, to use your terms.

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JanisMoplin · 10/08/2022 12:55

How do you cope without being able to shower? If I have read that right. It is unclear.

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wellhelloitsme · 10/08/2022 12:37

Who shares rooms with who age and gender wise?

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Devonmum2022 · 10/08/2022 12:25

The hardest bit isn’t actually the number of children it’s the blended bit. We both had different parenting as everyone does and bringing that together was very hard to start but you adjust

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