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Any large families? Moms that do not believe in using birth control?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone!  My husband and I do not believe in using birth control, except for natural family planning.  I have found that especially since having our 5th child a month ago we get so many comments.  People are shocked at our family size and I HATE when people refer to us as being the Duggars or my one cousin says we are "duggarized".  I also hate the "You do know what causes this right?"  I really don't understand why people feel they can comment on our family size or my reproductive health!

 

The fact is even if we did use birth control, we have always wanted a large family. We could use the NFP method (tracking when I'm ovulating, etc), but we've never even really done that b/c we weren't too worried about if I did become pregnant.  I love how my children have spaced out.  I nurse well into the toddler years and it seems like b/c of that my body spreads my births out 2-3 years which is perfect to me.  We only had one time of really close pregnancies - after I had my 2nd child, I got pregnant again 6 months later despite exclusively nursing around the clock.   I love being pregnant, I love having a newborn, I love watching my children grow!  So I really don't care what other people think.  We live very simply and we sacrifice a lot of luxuries, but that's ok with us.

 

EVERYONE asks us if we are done now.  I just say "well that's up to God" and try to change the subject.  How do you deal with the constant questions and criticism? 

 

 

 

Happy Mama of 5

DD - 8

DS - 6

DS - 5

DD - 3

DD - Brand new!

post #2 of 55

I agree with the concept of letting God control your fertility, but my DH took the upper hand and got a vasectomy when we found out we were expecting twins!  The twins were babies #7 & 8, and I am pushing 40, so I was at peace with his decision.  I also have a step-son, so all told that is 9 children and I totally understand where you are coming from regarding people's attitudes.  It should be no surprise that people have such a backward view of children.   If you don't believe in God, don't believe the Bible is God's word, then why would you believe that children are a blessing?  Our society is very anti-child and self-centered.  When you think about you realize how messed-up things are.  I just try and stay positive and mainly ignore people when they say hurtful/mindless things.  If you feel the person has an open mind, then maybe open up about why you live your life the way you do.  But really, as you know, changing the subject is usually your best coping mechanism. 
The area we live in has a proportionately large number of families with more than your average number of children, so it's pretty easy for me to get together with other large families, and this has been the best thing for me to do.  Surround yourself with like minded people, if you can.

post #3 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by HML2199 View Post I also hate the "You do know what causes this right?"  I really don't understand why people feel they can comment on our family size or my reproductive health!

 

 

EVERYONE asks us if we are done now.  I just say "well that's up to God" and try to change the subject.  How do you deal with the constant questions and criticism? 

People can be so rude no matter what your family size... We were the big family growing up and my mom ran into that sort of attitude. And I ran into people telling me I should give ds some siblings when I kept having miscarriages.

 

I would just answer "you know what causes this?" with an "Of course, how else would we do it so well?"

 

And when people asked if we were done, I'd say "I hope not!"

 

Those kinds of answers put forth the attitude that you embrace and welcome the possibility of a bigger family and shuts down further comments, whereas only saying it's up to God, although it's true, implies you don't give it any thought which probably isn't true. And when people think you aren't giving it any thought, they feel compelled to do the thinking for you and share those unwelcome thoughts.

post #4 of 55

We have 6 young children.  We surround ourselves with other people with large families..  Our close friends have 12 and my other close friend has 7.  Most of my friends have 4 or more children.  It is just normal for us.  We get a lot of comments but I just smile and give little comments.  If someone says...WOW, your hands are full!  I say, Full of love.  Stuff like that.  I kind of dismiss them because I don't care what they think and don't care to talk about it.  We obviously are very dedicated to our children and our world is them.  We feel very good about the size of our family.  I couldn't imagine not having a large family.  We are the lucky ones. ;)

post #5 of 55

I'm not part of your tribe. But I have seen a lot of quiverfull families here on MDC. I hope you will feel comfortable and welcome. This is a pretty great place to be a parent no matter what your specific beliefs. It's ok for you to be you. *I* couldn't handle that many children. Y'all can and do. Awesome. I'm glad you are enjoying your lives. :)

post #6 of 55

Quote:

Originally Posted by HML2199 View Post


 My husband and I do not believe in using birth control, except for natural family planning.  I have found that especially since having our 5th child a month ago we get so many comments.  People are shocked at our family size and I HATE when people refer to us as being the Duggars or my one cousin says we are "duggarized".  I also hate the "You do know what causes this right?"  I really don't understand why people feel they can comment on our family size or my reproductive health!




I believe in birth control but I have to say comments like "are you done yet?" are offensive. Your body, your family.

I don't use birth control but that's because of negative side effects. And it turns out that my husband is infertile due to a childhood accident so we can't conceive without fertility treatments.

We adopted and plan to adopt more. Our sons birth mother has had 8 children, all of whom were removed by family services and some have gone on to adoption while others are still in fostercare. I am very offended whenever people comment negatively on her choices because even though I would not make the same choices she has made, all of her children are precious. That's because all children are precious.

Quote:

Originally Posted by queenofchaos View Post

If you don't believe in God, don't believe the Bible is God's word, then why would you believe that children are a blessing?




I also want to comment on the poster who said that people who don't believe in God can't see children as blessings. That's not true! Agnostics and athiests are perfectly capable of loving all children and seeing them as blessings to be cherished.
post #7 of 55

I am Catholic and don't believe in birth control. We let God decide how many children we should have. Each child is God's gift. Although DBF doesn't believe in God, I do and he respects that. We're not a large family yet. I always bring up the subject of having 12+ kids and he said he would love that. lol. 

 

I don't have any tips on the criticism and constant questioning but if I were in that position, I would ignore it (or knowing me, I would give a sarcastic answer back). It is terrible the way society is today, being anti-child, and judging others just for being a large family... shake.gif

post #8 of 55

There used to be a quiverful tribe on here but I haven't seen anything from it in awhile...Anyway, yes, we don't use anything and I just gave birth to our 6th living child in July. I've gotten looks but no crazy comments, my hubby gets those though I think they've mostly given up on it by now. I get a lot of comments about 5 of them being girls.

post #9 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by C is for Cookie View Post

I am Catholic and don't believe in birth control. We let God decide how many children we should have. Each child is God's gift. Although DBF doesn't believe in God, I do and he respects that. We're not a large family yet. I always bring up the subject of having 12+ kids and he said he would love that. lol. 

 

I don't have any tips on the criticism and constant questioning but if I were in that position, I would ignore it (or knowing me, I would give a sarcastic answer back). It is terrible the way society is today, being anti-child, and judging others just for being a large family... shake.gif

 

Wait, you are religious enough to not want to use birth control but are having premarital sex?? Wow...

post #10 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenofchaos View Post

I agree with the concept of letting God control your fertility, but my DH took the upper hand and got a vasectomy when we found out we were expecting twins!  The twins were babies #7 & 8, and I am pushing 40, so I was at peace with his decision.  I also have a step-son, so all told that is 9 children and I totally understand where you are coming from regarding people's attitudes.  It should be no surprise that people have such a backward view of children.   If you don't believe in God, don't believe the Bible is God's word, then why would you believe that children are a blessing?  Our society is very anti-child and self-centered.  When you think about you realize how messed-up things are.  I just try and stay positive and mainly ignore people when they say hurtful/mindless things.  If you feel the person has an open mind, then maybe open up about why you live your life the way you do.  But really, as you know, changing the subject is usually your best coping mechanism. 
The area we live in has a proportionately large number of families with more than your average number of children, so it's pretty easy for me to get together with other large families, and this has been the best thing for me to do.  Surround yourself with like minded people, if you can.

 

Do you really believe this? Or is this something you just worded terribly wrong? I assure you that atheists, agnostics, polytheists and religions that celebrate different deities are just as grateful and thankful for their children as Christians.

 

OP, people have no right to comment on other women's bodies, point blank. That means whether you have 10 children or zero, it's no one's business. My response in your situation would just be "We love our children very much and are so thankful for each of them. Pass the bean dip." or "I'll make sure to consult you on any future fertility ventures. Please keep your phone on." Either should (hopefully) get the point across.

post #11 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by fairejour View Post

 

Wait, you are religious enough to not want to use birth control but are having premarital sex?? Wow...

I'm not going to reply to that other than you don't know what I have been through in my life. I've been struggling to get divorced from my abusive husband (it's been 3 1/2 years). I can't get married while being married to someone else. lol. Rainbow.gif

 

And I didn't consider myself Catholic until a year ago when I went back to church. I renewed my faith. I wasn't always religious. Just saying.. anybody can have a change in heart.

post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by C is for Cookie View Post

I'm not going to reply to that other than you don't know what I have been through in my life. I've been struggling to get divorced from my abusive husband (it's been 3 1/2 years). I can't get married while being married to someone else. lol. Rainbow.gif

 

And I didn't consider myself Catholic until a year ago when I went back to church. I renewed my faith. I wasn't always religious. Just saying.. anybody can have a change in heart.


You replied to that a lot more kindly than I would have.

post #13 of 55

Disclaimer: I am not quiverful nor religious by any means but I do have 4 children. I get comments. 3 children are common in my area and my first two were girls so no one commented when we had #3 who was a boy. When we went beyond that magic number though and had another one, that is when the comments started and still haven't stopped. I get multiple comments usually a day. I just smile and ignore. Now because we are finished having children, we have permanently ensured that there will only be four, and I can tell people who ask that we are finished growing our family if I decide to. My first three children have varying SN so those three kids feel like MUCH more then "just" three children with the daily care they require. So I get comments and judgement on that, like why I had a fourth when my third was autistic.  Smile, and just keep on going is my motto. 

post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmandaTN View Post


You replied to that a lot more kindly than I would have.

yeahthat.gif

 

Also, birth control isn't a religious issue for all people who chose not to use it.

post #15 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by HML2199 View Post
 I really don't understand why people feel they can comment on our family size or my reproductive health!

>snip<

EVERYONE asks us if we are done now.

 people can be so insensitive and for some reason they think this is a subject they can nose in on. I am probably complete different than you in most ways but I'm right there with you that you can have just as few or as many kids and you can can lovingly, safely raise, and its no bodies business at all.

 

i have boy/girl twins, my only 2 kids and you would not believe how many times i have heard, "one of each, great you're done!" what kind of narcissistic nosey ass would think they can proclaim that for me??

 

just ignore them, rude persons are vexations to your heart you don't need.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenofchaos View Post
 If you don't believe in God, don't believe the Bible is God's word, then why would you believe that children are a blessing?  Our society is very anti-child and self-centered.  When you think about you realize how messed-up things are.  I just try and stay positive and mainly ignore people when they say hurtful/mindless things.

I wish I was as good at ignoring "people when they say hurtful/mindless things" because this was one of them. I'm very sure you didn't mean this like it sounds, you have always seemed like a wonderful lady. I am a Atheist and I adore my children and feel blessed by their presence every day. I didn't need a god to show me that, my children do every time they look at me.

post #16 of 55
Quote:
If you don't believe in God, don't believe the Bible is God's word, then why would you believe that children are a blessing?

 

Just to add to the chorus that is saying you can be non-Christian or atheist etc and still believe children are a blessing. Cultures that are not "bible believing" still cherish their children, sheesh. We do not practice religion at all, and i have four children. I hope to adopt at least one, maybe two more in the next year or two (and more after that....? who knows! i always wanted at least five but open to more...) I grew up in a family of 8 kids, and was raised totally non-Christian. I think its pretty natural for people to view their children as blessings regardless of their belief system...and i ALSO think that one can choose to NOT have lots of kids and still think children are a blessing. Choosing to limit your fertility does not mean children arent blessings.

 

I havent really gotten comments about our family size (i dont consider four kids to be a lot but apparently many people do!) Once at the dentist the assistant casually asked how many kids i had and was taken aback (but not rude) when i said four. Perhaps because some of my kids are obviously adopted (of a different race) people react differently? Or because they arent "stair steps" it doesnt seem like a lot as "four under five" or something might?? I have a 15 yr old, a 10 yr old and 2 four year olds. I do sometimes get asked how far apart the four yr olds are, and get confused looks when i say "2.5 weeks"...once someone even asked if they were twins after i told them that. Uh, no.

post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post

I do sometimes get asked how far apart the four yr olds are, and get confused looks when i say "2.5 weeks"...once someone even asked if they were twins after i told them that. Uh, no.

lol.gif Some people just don't think!

We have 4 children, which I don't consider large. Medium, I guess. winky.gif

I only remember getting comments about having so many kids from one of my dh's work friends. That guy likes to ask if we know how having kids happens. It's a jok and we all laugh. He and his wife have committed to not having any children, though. They actually aren't anti-children at all, either. She is an elementary school teacher (because she loves kids) and he loves all the little children in his family. After making that comment about our last baby, he grabbed the baby and walked off with him and held him the entire time we were at a work function. Nice for me! smile.gif I guess my point in that is that not everyone who asks those questions or makes those comments is anti-children or trying to be snotty or judgmental.

We are done having kids. I don't use any artificial birth control because I think it's unhealthy. My dh wanted to get a vasectomy but I refused that, too. Crazy, right? That's what most people say. We're both 42, I chart and breastfeed (still waiting for my cycles to return after having my last baby a little over 13 months ago). I think we can do it!

I'm atheist, by the way, and absolutely love and cherish each of my children. They are the most important things in my life. I don't need a god or Jesus or the bible to feel that.
post #18 of 55

I just had our tenth baby and I have heard these comments since baby #4!  What I have discovered is there is a general fascination with large families and people want to approach you but aren't sure what to say. Comments like "You've got your hands full" and "Is this a school trip?" are made because they don't know what else to say. . Because the children are always in tow when the comments are made and they hear everything, I always try to be positive saying things like "It's a party every day!" or "My hands are full but there's still room for more."  On rare occasion when I get the rude comments like "You know what causes that" I say ever so kindly, "No, would you like to explain that to my children here?" or "Yes, we do know and we like it"  In general, I try to be open and friendly because we are a testimony and it's surprising how many women are compelled to explain why they didn't have more children.  I tell my children all the time that people will watch us so it's important that we reflect good behavior and that their actions could help change the preconceived ideas that people have about large families.  I love the book You are Special by Max Lucado.. when things are rough and people are extremely rude, we just smile and say, "They are just a Wemmick" :)  Good luck to you!

post #19 of 55
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your feedback!  Sorry it took me a while to come back - I'm pretty busy as you might imagine!  :)

 

I guess I am going to try to just let the comments roll off and not worry about it.  I mean, I know we are doing what is right for us and our family.   Even though it's hard for me to imagine only wanting one or two children (or none!), I would never comment on that to someone.  I understand that that is what is right for THEIR family, and this is what is right for us. 

 

Those of you with large families - do you homeschool?  I do, but am feeling overwhelmed with it lately.  We just started our new "school year" last week, but it's hard now that I have 3 kids of schooling age plus a 3 yo and newborn.    How do you keep everything organized and dedicate time to older kids while tending to younger kids/babies?   Part of me wants to start researching local Christian schools, BUT I just don't think we could find one that was in line enough with our beliefs plus their is the cost factor.  I'm hoping this is just a phase with me feeling overwhelmed b/c of a new baby and this will too pass and things will get easier.

 

Gotta run,  older kids need help with their workbooks and baby needs nursed.  phew!  It's 11:07am and I'm already tired! But very fullfilled too.  :)

 

Happy Mama of 5

DD - 8

DS - 6

DS - 5

DD - 3

DD - Brand new!

post #20 of 55

We have 3 right now, but I'm starting to ache for a fourth... though I'm not sure I actually want to go that route.  We use NFP to avoid because I'm not willing to "fix what ain't broke"... it just feels weird to me.  And for my husband, he has an autoimmune disease and considering that autoimmune side effects sometimes happen with vasectomy, we're not going there.  I'd rather have 5 more kids than have my husband in serious pain for the rest of our lives. 

 

FWIW, we practice what we call "alternative spirituality" and still think our kids are blessings. Though they *are* good at testing us, sometimes ;)

 

We just started homeschooling this year (DD is first grade age and DS1 is kindergarten age), and I'm... still adjusting - and so are they.

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