What is wrong with having a large family?


#21

[quote="taye, post:1, topic:234461"]
Early on in my pregnancy, one of my husband's co-workers' wives said loudly (almost yelling) that he needed to get the "snip snips". At the office, of all places! Glad I wasn't there - I don't know what I would done:mad:. Yesterday, I had a lady ask me in the church parking lot (coming out from communion prep meeting) how many children we had... Then she and the other lady she was talking to said something about one of them getting "fixed" and then walked away and continued another conversation without me..

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I am the 9th of 12 children. I couldn't imagine anyone making a comment like that to my father, for same reason you don't reach into lion's cage and try to grab the meat out of his mouth - fear of losing life or limb.

I remember as a 8 year old a woman asking my mother "if there was something wrong that she kept having twins?". Her reply was God must know she is a good mother and blessed her with more children.


#22

[quote="ChiRho, post:20, topic:234461"]
Large families are the best, I hope to have one someday. You will be raising more Catholic children in a secular world where the population is declining rapidly - who can complain about that?

[/quote]

Right on, RIght on! Sweet!.:thumbsup:


#23

We have a new family in our parish that has seven girls. I got to know many them and their father the other night at our Lenten Penance service. They are the most well behaved and mannered children I have ever met (outside of mine, of course). We have another family with eight kids. The older kids are the best altar servers we have.

No one should have any problems with anyone else having a large family. St Luke relayed this line from Jesus: “When they take you before synagogues and before rulers and authorities, do not worry about how or what your defense will be or about what you are to say.” LK 12:11

I would simply smile knowing I am happy enough about my own life that I do not need to complain about others to make myself feel better.

Keep your chin up sister!


#24

Congratulations on your beautiful family!


#25

Reading this post made me feel so sad. It's like society today sees children as a burden rather than a blessing. That's not to say having a smaller family is a bad thing, but neither is having a larger family. It all depends on the individual family. I really admire people who have large families, it is difficult but I have immense respect for those who do it. But again, if you feel you can only financially and emotionally support a small family then I respect those who are able to make that decision and only have the children they can support.

When my sister was born she was severely ill and my mother said even the nurses didn't think she would survive - my mother had difficult pregnancies anyway and I think almost loosing a child meant she couldn't cope with the idea of having another child. I have three brothers (two from my father's first marriage and another from after my parents separated) and I love having lots of siblings. Personally, I want at least three children.

I think the way to deal with rudeness is to remember that they are ignorant. If you love and care for your children then it doesn't matter how many you have.


#26

Congrats on the new blessing!

I have 9, ranging from 18 down to 1. People constantly ask me if we are going to have more. My standard response (now that I've learned) is, "That will depend on whether or not God blesses us with more." That either shuts people up or opens the door to some discussion.

As you can imagine, I have heard pretty much everything (including "You're really punishing the planet") so I've developed a thick skin. I have to recognize that it's just ignorance on their part and it's a wonderful opportunity for me to open their eyes.

I let my children know EVERY time that we go out that they reflect big families and they MUST be on their best behavior. They respond great. I also make a very concerted effort to never get angry or frustrated or look frazzled when I'm out with more than 3 of the children, for exactly this reason. No one looks at me when I have only 3 kids, but more than that and I get looks. All the time. I'm used to it now.

My suggestions is to respond with a counter-comment that is totally unexpected, in the lines of, "We'd love a dozen or so, but so far God has just given us one at a time" or "we're really excited about this new blessing" or something like that. Throw the word God in, if you can, or Blessing, or something like that to indicate how wonderful it all is and how excited you are.

Don't ever "apologize" for your pregnancy and child, your other children, or the fact that the other person is uncomfortable or dislikes the fact that you have been blessed. YOU, dear friend, are open to the will of GOD, you are doing what is right and what He has called you to do. This is your chance to shine and open some eyes.

I'm going to suggest that you actually decide in advance basically what you will say, and practice saying it so you don't get thrown for a loop. The more you practice it, the easier it will be to come out naturally when the stupid comment comes unexpectedly.

Congrats to you and your family!


#27

My funniest situation was at my family doctor. He is an active parishioner at my parish. He asked what birth control I used. I said "NFP." So, he said, "you know what they call people who use NFP, don't you."

And, I said, "Good Catholics."

He was kind of flustered after that. He said, "uh, yeah, I was going to say, 'parents," but that's right. okay. uh....."

The best thing you can say is something that witnesses your deep satisfaction in your family size. The best thing I ever heard when I asked a father of six about family size (we had five at the time) was a very sincere, "we love children." It really warmed up my heart.

On the other hand, don't cast your pearls before swine. If someone is just nasty, say a silent prayer and walk away.


#28

[quote="Rascalking, post:2, topic:234461"]
I'm not personally from a large family, but one of my parents are. I've grown up watching a large (14 children) family and on the other side, a smaller family (3 children). I've also grown up in a predomintaly Catholic upbringing, (catholic schooling since 5th grade, mass every Sunday, etc) so I have the benefit of seeing it from a detached point of view, and a more personal one.

It's very, very hard. It adds more drama and stress to the parents. There are more in family fights, less money for important things like food, housing, clothes. It can cause massive strife between the siblings-there are alot of negatives that people don't seem to want to talk about.

No, I'm not saying all large families are like that, and I'm sure that everyone here will disagree, but it is something important to think about.

Having said all that, No, I've never looked down upon someone who had a large family. To each their own.

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I agree that having more children is more stressful, but not as greatly as you think. In a large family, older kids pitch in with younger kids. I had a harder time with my first three when I was the sole caregiver than with others when my older kids pitch in. There is less money, but then the kids aren't spoiled as easily. I definitely would spoil my kids if I could. I think my siblings and I were spoiled. It made the transition into adulthood harder.
I don't think that there are more fights. I just don't. There was as much bickering among my 3 siblings or more than among my kids (7 of them).

I ask many people who grew up in large families if it was a good experience. Almost all of them smile, and say it was a lot of fun. Then, I ask how many kids they have: usually 2. I think that's interesting. My guess is that it's just really hard to take on the work and financial sacrifice that having more kids entails. But, it's not exponential with each kid. It's not as bad as people think. It's mostly a lot of fun


#29

Oh by all means, I don’t think EVERY large family is bound to have problems. I’ve just noticed from my experience that many of them do.

I don’t claim my thoughts are iron clad on this. It’s just something I noticed and that people should be aware of if they are planning large families.


#30

[quote="taye, post:1, topic:234461"]
For those of you who have been judged or insulted because of your decision to have a large family, how do you deal with the influx of comments from friends/acquaintances/strangers about your family size? I'm so frustrated...

Early on in my pregnancy, one of my husband's co-workers' wives said loudly (almost yelling) that he needed to get the "snip snips". At the office, of all places! Glad I wasn't there - I don't know what I would done:mad:. Yesterday, I had a lady ask me in the church parking lot (coming out from communion prep meeting) how many children we had... Then she and the other lady she was talking to said something about one of them getting "fixed" and then walked away and continued another conversation without me. It's so rude... "I have two kids and I am DONE" and then ignore me. A very similar event happened just the other week. They go away and continue speaking with someone else who wasn't "crazy" enough to want a 4th child. And as my husband came to pick me up, I waved at them and they didn't acknowledge (maybe they didn't see me though??). Husband later told me that they gave him a dirty look when he drove by.

How can people be so cruel? Though my pregnancy has gone well from a health standpoint, it has been riddled with drama from strangers and family and I've just about had it! I feared I would miscarry this child early on in my pregnancy. Several family members went "silent" when I told them about my pregnancy - one of them even continued her previous conversation without even saying anything to me about it. I wasn't expecting everyone to jump up in the air about it, but a simple congratulations would have sufficed.

So much for trying to keep my lenten penance of not complaining... But if I don't get this off my chest, I fear my family will suffer because of my frustrations.

Anyone been in a similar situation? Is there any way to diffuse these comments or prevent them in the first place? How did you deal with this? I know I should be praying for them, as I feel an intense grief each time I learn that someone is contracepting (and can't imagine how God feels about it all). My profound sadness and frustration makes it nearly impossible to pray, though.

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4 children used to be a normal-sized family. In our current culture of death, having children at ALL is seen as selfish, because your little rug-rats and curtain-climbers are taking resources that belong to spoiled young adults who have never had to sacrifice one day in their pampered lives. So if you DARE to have more than 2 kids, or keep having them after you are supposed to have been "snipped," you are eligible for all sorts of disapproval.

I love to watch "19 Kids and Counting," can you just IMAGINE all the flak the Duggar family has taken through the years??? I have found that almost no one understands them, including everyone in my own family and most if not all of my friends. Personally, I pray for them and cheer for them, and I admire them. I could be Michelle Duggar, I love kids that much and I also regret my history of artificial contraception. But God didn't allow me to keep having kids, so families like yours have to carry on where I left off. Starting at age 32, I was lucky to get the 2 healthy sons I have.

I try to compliment any couple I see with more than 2 kids. If there are more than 4, I will do my very best to tell them how lovely it is to see a large family, and even if the baby is screaming, the toddlers fussing, and the others looking bedraggled, I tell them how well they are doing.

:thumbsup:


#31

[quote="leonie, post:28, topic:234461"]
I agree that having more children is more stressful, but not as greatly as you think. In a large family, older kids pitch in with younger kids. I had a harder time with my first three when I was the sole caregiver than with others when my older kids pitch in. There is less money, but then the kids aren't spoiled as easily. I definitely would spoil my kids if I could. I think my siblings and I were spoiled. It made the transition into adulthood harder.
I don't think that there are more fights. I just don't. There was as much bickering among my 3 siblings or more than among my kids (7 of them).

I ask many people who grew up in large families if it was a good experience. Almost all of them smile, and say it was a lot of fun. Then, I ask how many kids they have: usually 2. I think that's interesting. **My guess is that it's just really hard to take on the work and financial sacrifice that having more kids entails. **But, it's not exponential with each kid. It's not as bad as people think. It's mostly a lot of fun

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It's also that there is no societal support for large families. In fact there is societal punishment, as many people have attested. You gotta be so counter-culture to have a "farm-sized" family!

:)


#32

Large families are blessings! I grew up in a family with four children and I always wished there were more. Now, I personally know families that have 11, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 children. The thing is, as someone else stated, it's not nearly as difficult as it may sound since the older children do help out. It's not as if the mother is taking care of eleven infants all at once.

I once heard an older woman (she was probably around eighty) saying that she had eighteen children. Later on when that was mentioned again (she wasn't there), someone told me that women like that need to be sterilized. I felt like making a sarcastic reply that his mother didn't get sterilized soon enough, but I knew that wouldn't be right. Sooooo tempting though.

EDIT: Funny thing about our society... when I was growing up, I never knew what a pregnant woman looked like because I didn't see one for about the first ten years or so of my life (being the youngest). Truly! Nobody at church that I could remember, none of my neighbors, nobody I saw at stores... it's like they've become dinosaurs! So if you're having lots of children and people ask you why, just tell them you're making up for all the people who don't. :D


#33

[quote="leonie, post:27, topic:234461"]
My funniest situation was at my family doctor. He is an active parishioner at my parish. He asked what birth control I used. I said "NFP." So, he said, "you know what they call people who use NFP, don't you."

And, I said, "Good Catholics."

He was kind of flustered after that. He said, "uh, yeah, I was going to say, 'parents," but that's right. okay. uh....."

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

I love that response!!

Good Catholics - Good parents! ;)


#34

[quote="The_Curt_Jester, post:32, topic:234461"]
Large families are blessings! I grew up in a family with four children and I always wished there were more. Now, I personally know families that have 11, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 children. The thing is, as someone else stated, it's not nearly as difficult as it may sound since the older children do help out. It's not as if the mother is taking care of eleven infants all at once.

I once heard an older woman (she was probably around eighty) saying that she had eighteen children. Later on when that was mentioned again (she wasn't there), someone told me that women like that need to be sterilized. I felt like making a sarcastic reply that his mother didn't get sterilized soon enough, but I knew that wouldn't be right. Sooooo tempting though.

EDIT: Funny thing about our society... when I was growing up, I never knew what a pregnant woman looked like because I didn't see one for about the first ten years or so of my life (being the youngest). Truly! Nobody at church that I could remember, none of my neighbors, nobody I saw at stores... it's like they've become dinosaurs! So if you're having lots of children and people ask you why, just tell them you're making up for all the people who don't. :D

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Dude that would have been out of my mouth before I could have thought about it enough to stop myself!!!! Just reading that comment made me want to slap that woman right upside her head..how sick to say something like that!!! How does she know, maybe one of those children grew up to be the researcher who discovered a treatment for her OWN debilitating disease...what arrogance!

:mad:


#35

Nothing is wrong with a large family.

I have my twins... But people just feel they can say what ever they want. They are called "double trouble"... I say "double the fun"...

People feel they can compare the children, right in front of them. "Which one is smarter, which one is the trouble maker..."

"People" in general are lacking in intelligence and they prove it daily.

I personally like to make people squirm. When I was only 4 months PG, and looked nearly ready to pop, I had a woman explain rather loudly that if I went into labor right then and there, she was NOT going to help me. How weird is that?

So, I just respond, "Oh, I'm only 4 months pregnant, and showing no signs of an early delivery"... And then nothing else. Watching her husband's eye's pop out of his head was funny too!

It forces the person to get more involved than they planned to. They really just wanted to put out some rude comment.

Now adays people think it's ok to comment ON my children in front of them.... "Oh, double trouble..." I laugh... "Yeah but double the fun... They crack me up daily!" ETA: LOL! Yeah, sometimes I'm brain dead... so funny I had to say it twice... :shrug: can't even type...

When someone says anything about the number of kids... (and I only have 2 but they are twins.) And more importantly how they only want one... I just say...

It's good to know your limits. Nothing worse than gettin' in over your head...:thumbsup:


#36

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:34, topic:234461"]
Dude that would have been out of my mouth before I could have thought about it enough to stop myself!!!! Just reading that comment made me want to slap that woman right upside her head..how sick to say something like that!!! How does she know, maybe one of those children grew up to be the researcher who discovered a treatment for her OWN debilitating disease...what arrogance!

:mad:

[/quote]

LOL! ME TOO!!!! I can hear me now..."I bet your mom wishes that when she looks at you all the time... "

Without missing a beat... Well, at least I know what I have to work on... zipping the ol' lip.... LOL!


#37

Another thought occurred to me. While people sometimes say they don't want to have many children because they wouldn't be able to provide them much, that's not true. First off, guess what the best thing there is for a child to play with? A toy? A video game? Nope! Other children! Could it be that the main reason children "need" such things as XBox and the like because they have nobody to interact with?


#38

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:34, topic:234461"]
Dude that would have been out of my mouth before I could have thought about it enough to stop myself!!!! Just reading that comment made me want to slap that woman right upside her head..how sick to say something like that!!! How does she know, maybe one of those children grew up to be the researcher who discovered a treatment for her OWN debilitating disease...what arrogance!

:mad:

[/quote]

Well, maybe some of us have more self-control! But you're almost making me regret NOT saying it now... :rotfl:


#39

[quote="The_Curt_Jester, post:37, topic:234461"]
Another thought occurred to me. While people sometimes say they don't want to have many children because they wouldn't be able to provide them much, that's not true. First off, guess what the best thing there is for a child to play with? A toy? A video game? Nope! Other children! Could it be that the main reason children "need" such things as XBox and the like because they have nobody to interact with?

[/quote]

I agree! When me and my sister were children, most of our toys had been bought for me and were then shared with my sister as she got older. Again with clothes, my sister got a lot of hand-me-downs - things that have since gone on to my cousins and other relatives.


#40

I can so relate. I am pregnant with our sixth. I felt I was allowed to be tired/overwhelmed/anxious with the first two,since these are normal pregnancy feelings, but now somehow I have lost that right, like my exhaustion is something I have brought upon myself. I truly feel daily society's lack of support for large families. Now that I need more help, I am less likely to get it.


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