Cringe when asked how may kids you want

Does anyone else cringe when a Catholic asks you how many kids you want? Or when a Catholic says we want X number of kids? Isn’t this in a way sort of a scandalous question or comment?

Isn’t the word “want” irrelevant to the question of the number of kids a couple might have?

I remember when before I got married the parish gave me a questionnaire that asked how many kids I want when I get married? Like I was going to have some kind of choice in the matter assuming regular relations.

I think the question for pre-marriage prep should be: what types of reasons do you and your fiancee believe would be just reasons for avoiding children. I don’t know as asking a Catholic how many they want or a Catholic saying how many they want (unless they are saying an impossible number like 40) would ever be appropriate.


I think the question is asked in order to get their minds wrapped around the idea of having children rather than getting a number from them.

In light of today’s contraceptve world I can understand how you would find such questions problematic.

But that said… Catholics had been saying such things to other Catholics for years before contraception became so common. It’s just one of those things people say to newly married couples.

Hehe my wife and I don’t know exactly how many kids we want, but we do know how many kids we don’t want God to give us lol and that’s over 10! 10 would be a lot for us since we’re not rich! Diapers are expensive!

If liberals keep contracepting and aborting, and Catholics have lots of kids, maybe we will simply run out of liberals. Catholics will populate the world. Maybe that’s why liberals are so concerned about how many kids we have; displacement.

I’ve always thought that in a perfect world, I would love to have a whole lot of kids. But then I think about when they would grow into teenagers and I’m not as keen on the idea.

:idea: Wow! I think I’ll cringe from now on! Thanks for pointing it out! Viva open to life!

“But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For behold, the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck.”

  • Luke 23,28-29

Oh we always cringe. We have 4. 3 girls and a boy.

“Are you done yet?”
“Finally got your boy so now you can be done”
“How many kids are you going to have?”
“wow, 4 kids, I could never do that!”
“Do you need me to buy you some rubbers?”
“Don’t you know what causes that?”

All of these comments are said to us by strangers, people in Church, and our own family.
Some of them are innocent and annoying and some are downright hostile.

If I mention that it isnt up to only us if we have more kids. People usually mutter something about the Duggars and walk away shaking their heads.:shrug:

All of that and we ONLY HAVE FOUR KIDS!

To the nominal “Catholics” who say that to me. I usually respond with. " Well, we are Catholic and our faith, which we believe, is important to us. If we used contraception we could not receive the Eucharist and would be putting our souls in danger of hell." I have said this to contracepting Catholics at Mass when they drop one of their comments on me.

The great thing about people making these comments is that it can be a tool for teaching and also since they are ultimately asking about your personal sex life, I don’t feel as if I have to really watch what I say back. Which leads to some awesome comebacks. If they are going to comment on if my wife is fertile and that we are not using chemical or barrier or abstinence methods (because that is really what they are commenting on) then I feel as if I can say some pretty personal stuff back to them. Which is amusing in the grocery store line!

It’s not just Catholics who ask these questions. When I was a Protestant I had people of all religions ask me:

Why aren’t you married? You’re such a wonderful woman…ummm…God hasn’t sent me who he wants me to marry.

You’re not getting any younger. Don’t you want children? How many? Time is running out…ummm…thank you, Tick Tock…ummm…I’m not married…God hasn’t sent me who he wants me to marry yet…therefore I may never have children of my own. Turns out I can’t have children anyway.

My personal favorite…woman pats my tummy and asks when my baby is due…ummmm…nine months after I get pregnant!!! :stuck_out_tongue:

All are very hurtful questions on so many different levels. Women should know this. Which is why I’m shocked when a woman brings up the topic.


I agree! people who are rude, and invasive with their questions, so they can impose their broken ideas on us, need a set down. Especially because they are soooo wrong.

We are open and generous to life. I still ask the question, “How many kids are you hoping for.” It’s a fun topic for me. I’m asking their preference. Any one over 30 knows life rarely goes how you plan it, especially where babies are concerned. But I enjoy talking about, their hopes, and dreams.

Yes I think the question is totally inappropriate. As a woman, IMO, I think other women ask these questions because they did not appreciate being the askee so they take it out on others and become the asker. There is rarely healthy motives to these questions

I use to go for coffee with a guy I met at church. He asked me how many kids I was planning on having. When I responded ‘whatever God sends to me’ he rolled his eyes at me and got annoyed:rolleyes:


Bottom line, it is between God, and the couple. While your curiosity on hopes and dreams might be in good faith, unless you are VERY familiar with the couple and casual i would hesitate to ask that.

If you asked someone like me I would pick your sentence apart. “Are you trying to get me to give you a number that if I do not reach or over reach I will be unhappy with God’s Will?”

I still think that is a dangerous question. What if they are hoping for many but are having trouble conceiving. What if they just lost a child.

Isn’t it just safer to be joyous over any children they might have and leave it at that rather than poke your nose where it might not be wanted?:shrug:

Honestly. I have no “number” in mind. We are talking about the creation of souls and my very children than I am a co creator with the Creator with, and yet you are curious about my number?

Now, I know that you dont mean it like that. But since some can take it that way isnt it just best to say. “my, you are very blessed with the family you have.”

I know that sometimes even well meaning Catholics who are open to life unintentionally say inappropriate things. . .such as “Youv’e been married for quite a while, don’t you want kids?” Maybe the couple is having fertility issues. “Aren’t you going to have more than two kids?” Still some fertility issues. “Too bad you have three (all boys or all girls)”. God blesses us with children it’s good to accept what we have been graced with. “Now that you have your girl(or boy) after having three boys(or girls), that must be it.” Some would think so, if they aren’t hoping for God’s Will to be done. Or “We have five and you only have four, you need to catch up.” Perhaps a miscarriage has occurred or an infertile time. “There’s kind of a big space between the kids, last one must have been an accident.” God doesn’t make mistakes!
This is a combination of what I’ve experienced myself and what friends/family have experienced.

When we walked our 4 in Minnesota, in a professional town, we were asked similar questions. Eventually, we’d answer, “4. So far” and smile and go our way. Later it was “5, so far.” Even to “8, so far”. You aren’t obliged to tell them your personal plans, and hope God will meet them. But it does politely show your joy, and willingness for another at some point.
And yes, on our first date, she wanted a dozen, and I never thought I’d be that lucky man. Not lucky for regular intimacy, but to get a woman who knew in her heart what she wanted and loved, and you couldn’t but be happy for her as you saw her face.

I’d rather have someone ask me how many kids I want than criticize how many I already have. We very seldom get the former and often get the latter. I suspect that’s how it is more often than not. I ran into an old friend recently. His wife is expecting their 7th and when I asked him how many they wanted he said 10. I laughed and told him, “That’s great!” I found out later he was upset because he thought I was being sarcastic. We have a very small handful of family and friends who are supportive of us being open to life (even if it’s not entirely their cup of tea). With them, we don’t mind talking openly about how many kids we want. With certain others we know to either avoid the topic or to ask what business it is of theirs when they bring it up.

People ask my wife and I this too and we don’t like it either. It suggests to us that there is a “right” number and a “wrong” number. My wife and I are content to have as many or as few children as we are blessed with. None more, none less. It’s nothing about “fearing” kids on our part, but we don’t care for the way children are (sometimes) treated like units of value, like poker pieces to be collected.

Interesting theory, but that makes it sound like salvation is all based on who your parents are/were. In which case, it’s reduced to a kind of cosmic roulette. Spin the wheel and land on Islamic parents (or “liberal” parents), lose your soul. Come up Catholic and you’re golden!

What if the answer to the question is 12, would it still be “scandalous” to have that number in mind? :rolleyes:

I love that you feel comfortable saying some personal stuff back to them even in the grocery store line! That made me laugh.

I heard of a woman that was questioned about all of her kids. Someone asked her if she knew what causes that. She acted very concerned and said, “Yes, do you need me to tell you?” LOL

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