My husband and I are very excited to be expecting our third child but I have to admit I have been surprised and hurt by the negative comments directed towards me. I have a three year old boy and a five year old boy. My brother-in-law said "Congratulations, I guess." Our next door neighbor got really quiet, did not congratulate us and instead told me she felt sorry for me for having three children in under six years. When I told a mother at my son's school I was pregnant she said "Wow, was this planned?" My cousin said "Oh my God." (As if I told her someone had died.)
Then there are the rumors that keep on getting back to me. Apparently a couple of family members think my husband needs to control himself and I need to "get my tubes tied" after this one. Now, we aren't well off financially but we make enough to own a modest home, drive our children around in a newer safe vehicle, and have plenty of healthy food and decent clothing. I guess I am shocked that how many children we have is something people feel they have to right to comment on. Has anyone else experienced this? What have you done? Are there places in the U.S. that are more welcoming of larger families?
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I am so sorry for the negative responses!
How lucky you are to be having another baby!
I don't have any advice, except to say that if I were you, I would just kill 'em with kindness and joy. A new soul is something to be celebrated! So congrats!
That's a really surprising reaction, honestly. I don't know where you're located, but I live in a medium sized city in upstate New York and plenty of people I know have larger families. Three is considered pretty normal and while my friends with four are considered a little wacky it's always a lovable kind of wacky. No one that I know of has ever made negative comments to them.
My cousin who is LDS has 4 kids and she did say that it is much harder to have large families now than it was even twenty years ago. Communities just aren't set up with larger families in mind. But to me three is a very normal family size (maybe because I had two siblings) but it doesn't seem out of the ordinary at all. So sorry you have to deal with such negativity at such a wonderful time.
Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Currently due 12/13/2014 with a rainbow.
unfortunately i've heard of it happening (i only have one atm, wish i had more) I'm sorry you are on the receiving end of it. :( You don't deserve it. Karma baby Karma... it will come back to bite them in the tushie.
Oh how terrible! I could understand (though I still don't approve) if you weren't able to support yourselves and people weren't happy about your new baby, but it sounds like you're doing just fine and it's only three! I could see this under any circumstance if it were number five or six, but three? That's odd. I'm sorry you don't have more joy in your good news. I'm happy for you! Congratulations!!
I didn't get it with #3, three children is quite common where I am at, but the comments started flying when I was pg with my fourth. I still get asked random things. like if he was an accident, are we done, have we taken measures to make sure we are done, is my first from another father (because of course I wouldn't choose to have this many with one man apparently!). I just smile and ignore. Some people just say anything that pops into their mind.
How incredibly rude of those people. Congratulations on your pregnancy.
I know people who don't even think families should have one child; they believe in negative population growth. (I guess that would be "population shrinkage.") Still, no one has been rude enough to say it directly to me since I've been pregnant.
It sounds like this is mostly a problem in your extended families, so moving wouldn't help, but since you asked about locations, I know multiple families in the Philadelphia area that have three children. I believe that reproduction is a right, provided that parents actually care for their children. There are many other ways to be environmentalist, or frugal, other than stopping at two, one, or zero, the size of a family in which the children are properly cared for is not something that should be open to comment.
Thanks everyone! I feel better reading all of the nice responses. :) In all fairness, I have received support as well. My husband's aunt and uncle have been wonderful as well as my sister and best friend. I will just have to focus on the positive comments and ignore the hurtful ones.
That is just terrible! My friend who has 5 kids got that reaction as well, but I wouldn't have expected it with 3 (not that it's OK with 5 either, but I'm just surprised people see 3 as a "big" family). I'm pregnant with my third and I've had some of those reactions as well. Mostly from clients at work where I'm not going to get into it at all with them - mostly just asking "was it planned?" which is such a weird question to me. But my family has been fine and my friends are all great, but I am friends with many people who have large family (none of less than 3, and the range is 3-8 kids among my friends) so 3 is nothing to them! lol!
congratulations :) I'm sorry that you've received some negative reactions.
I live in a part of the country where people are, on average, highly educated, have smaller families, and start having kids quite a bit later than average, and I wouldn't expect that many people (especially other parents) would have issues someone having a third child. maybe for a fourth or fifth, but I still feel like three kids is still considered understandable.
I also feel like many people [who don't/won't have kids] think that everyone should have no kids (which I won't get started on).
mother to a little silly goose boy (May 2012) + seven non-human kiddos + five who have passed on
partner to a babywearing, dirt-digging, diaper-washing, hammer-wielding programmer since November 2003
Congratulations on your pregnancy! We live in the Southeast, and we've gotten only positive reactions to our third pregnancy. My husband has lots of colleagues with four or even more children. People tell us a lot that they would have loved to have three or more, but couldn't afford it. I guess that is a sort of strange thing to tell a random stranger pregnant with number three, but I know it isn't meant to be rude. More like, "lucky you, that you can afford that," like children are a luxury. At our house, we see them as more of a necessity.
The main thing, I think, is that "Congratulations!" is the only, polite, suitable comment to anyone announcing a pregnancy.
Then there is the other side.... I think you just happen to have rude relatives and I am sorry for you. However, there are also people in the world who cannot handle the one or two they already have and then it gets trickier. If a person is constantly asking for money, help, is whining about how hard it is, etc., the rational thought is that the person should know her limits. Now, granted, I have tons of friends and relatives that I hope will go on to have many more. Yet, there are some that don't seem to cope and take into consideration the kids they already have.
Any chance that these same people disapprove of the ways you are raising your kids. Since you are writing on MDC, that does not seem like it is impossible. In that case (while I am sure I would agree with you and nothe relatives) their comments may have reasons behind them, as rude and mean as they are.
Sometimes relatives also have a false sense of feeling sorry for the mom, if mothering was difficult for them. Then the rude response can actually can out of the kindness, in some strange, twisted way.
Congrats! We just had our first and I'm having so much fun I can't wait for more! I don't look my age (28) so with recently being preggo, I got dirty looks all the time and questions of "are you old enough to have a child"...people are just rude. Both my hubby and I came from 2 kid households, but our parents all have 5+ siblings and personally I'd love to have at least 3. Many of our friends have 3+ or are working towards more - more playdates for us! All of their kids are well behaved with one exception. We do have one set of friends with 4 children, they rely heavily on his family to support them and care for them, and rather than living within their means, they continue to vacation and cruise 5-6 times yearly, ski lesssons and ski club for the older two, and are constantly complaining to anyone who will listen that their family needs to pay more for THEIR kids (ie the grandparents need to put out more money). Now THAT I find rediculous. Not going to lie, we all did a happy dance when she told us they were done having kids because not only do they abuse the use of their family, but before our daughter came along, we were always bombarded with calls to pick up their kids from school, watch them at night while they worked, or to let the dog out because he spent 16 or more hours in his crate.
I don't know what it is about pregnancy and kids, but it seems like a lot of people turn off their brains when reacting to news or when giving advice. And yeah, 3 kids is still considered normal around here, 4 or more is when people start the stupid questions typically.
Katie - Married to Mike 06/02/01, Mom to Sydney Anne born 11/21/09 and Alice Maeryn & Oliver Thomas born 04/24/13
I have a friend who is "disgusted" by large families. She thinks the earth is not going to be able to sustain large populations and we're just making it worse by producing more children. So won't she be surprised when I tell her I just found out we're expecting a third! Lol.
Congratulations, BTW. :)
I received expressions of concern from family and friends when I announced my third, but that was because I had very difficult pregnancies with the other two, and my health isn't really any better. I'm fortunate to have a good doctor, now that my blood pressure is going down, people are relaxing a little and getting excited about welcoming Violet in June.
The worst reaction I ever had was when I had my first. There was a feminist bookshop near my house run by a woman who believed very strongly in not having children, that doing so was destroying the Earth and oppressing women. Nonetheless, she did have a small selection on feminist parenting for girls. I was pleased with that, my father has some very old-fashioned, even backwards (in fact I'll go so far as to say downright crazy) ideas about raising girls. I was expecting a boy, however.
So one day while browsing in the shop, I asked her if she had any books on raising boys from a feminist perspective. Her response was downright icy. Just a flat and final "No." I asked if I could order something. Again, "No." Apparently young males weren't welcome in her world at all, even if they were raised to respect women. She behaved like a stereotype out of a right-wing pundit's worst fantasy. Totally ruined my experience at what had been one of my favorite shops.
-Ren, "Space Madness", The Ren & Stimpy Show, 1991
DH and I did not receive much of the awesome, "Congratulations!" that we expected from some of our relatives. SIL didn't even sound excited, my aunt and cousin (like another mother and sister) neither one offered to throw/ help with my baby shower and they don't call to even ask how the pregnancy is, and I had several classmates at college ask me if this was planned. I didn't see the big deal, I'm 25 and we've been married for two years, I have a 3 yr old DSS.... What's the problem? I had no idea and still don't. I've had two miscarriages and my last one was two months before DH and I were married. That pregnancy had everyone excited and happy. This time around I almost felt guilty because of some of their reactions. We did find out that I have Factor Five Leiden, a blood clotting complication that explains my previous miscarriages and even know that my relatives know this, they aren't as excited as they were before. I've found that my friends, parents, brother and his wife, are the most excited about this baby. And it's taken me a while to be ok with that, considering I come from a very tight knit family.
To the classmate (older lady in her 50's) who asked me if this baby was planned after I had only met her a week prior, I did say: "Planned? Well I don't put out much and my husband was having knee surgery two days later, so I planned to let him have some fun before he was laid up." Probably not the best way to handle the situation but I definitely stopped her from asking any personal questions for the rest of the semester.
In the end, you will have another gorgeous baby and hopefully a wonderful pregnancy and birth. Congratulations, Jenniet! Enjoy this pregnancy and have fun with it.
Artist wife to . Mom to DSS (3 yrs) and DD (04/12). (2/28/10).
First off CONGRATS!!!!!!!
I so know what you are talking about. I was very disappointed in how some of my family and friends reacted. We got some of the EXACT reactions that you mentioned. Tons of people asked if it was planned (as if that mattered), one said- "congrats.....I guess", some said I was crazy, some didn't even comment (but I knew their thoughts), some tried to look happy...but I could tell wasn't, some asked if this would be our last, some said that we should get snipped after this one.....but I think the most hurtful one was from my father in law who said "you don't need anymore children". That comment sent me through the roof! We have raised four healthy, intelligent, well mannered children and we don't require any help from the govt, family, or friends....and he said we don't NEED anymore children!?!??! Yes, our child was not planned (none of ours were) but we welcome it with open arms! Just because he only had one child (and wasn't really much of a parent to him) doesn't mean that he should critic my parenting choices!
Ok stepping off that soap box 0_o
What I did to conquer any negativity was to be EXTRA EXCITED about this pregnancy.....so people don't ask dumb questions or say dumb hurtful things.
((hugs)) to you....I know how it feels for people to be insensitive =S
In regards to an area that is more acceptable of larger families- I live in the mid-west and I have several friends and family that have at least as many kids as me (and they are very supportive as you would imagine).....but I do have that handful of "friends" and family that think any more than 2 is just unacceptable. Most of them are not from around here and of course they don't have but one or two children.....sometimes none. So I try to take their parenting critics with a grain of salt.
As long as my husband, children and I are happy.....then THAT is all that truly matters on that subject!
I think 3 is awkward for some people to accept because it is the first step over the national average of children. Two is considered normal but three is the first step towards a "big" family. =S
Hi, I think it's very common situation when people feel sorry for the people who have many children, of course they begin to think that it was unplanned, so don't pay attention to them, I respect the women who have three or more children. Good luck! My congrats!!!
Our society is definitely anti more than 2.1 kids per family. The aversion is modeled in the media. And just the size of an "average" car doesn't handle more than 4 people total. Most people see children as a liability and not an asset and they are projecting that on you and it is not fair to you. I am so sorry that others can't share in your joy and thrill. It hurts when anyone, especially family, try to make their opinions known so you will be influenced, or punished by their attitude. It is so wrong.
Surround yourself with positive people who love you and are upbeat about your new wombling. Hugs.
Trying to build up my house, not tear it down . Got 3 wonderful kids , blessed with a wonderful husband and have the privilege of staying home full time to enjoy it all!
Keeping having 'em. :)
After our first two (a boy and girl), I got a lot of comments about how "perfect" and how we must be "done."
When pg with 3, the comments started coming, and with #4, they were really bad. Even after she was born people would glare at us in stores, etc. And my children were being perfectly calm and sweet, by the way. It was absolutely because of how many we had, and not at all behavior.
Now that I'm pg with #5, I have gotten NO negative comments. Zero, zilch, none. They seem to look at us and figure we must have crossed over and they might as well be nice to us. :)
"If you keep doing the same things you've always done, you'll keep getting the same results you've always gotten."
I'm really lucky that the department I work in is obsessively child-friendly. My chairman has four kids, my other colleague has three, and the other members of our department are by and large Catholics who love big families. This is especially awesome because all my colleagues are men. It's interesting because they're almost as excited by my pregnancy as my girl friends are! So, there are pockets of sanity out there, you just have to find them. I do think family friendliness is more common in religious circles, which is interesting to me since I personally have no fixed religious beliefs at all. But I love my family-loving Catholic colleagues.
Beautiful baby girl born 8/13/2012. Little star baby lost at 10 weeks pregnant, 12/18/2013. Currently due 12/13/2014 with a rainbow.
We just had #5 and we've gotten comments ever since #3. Lately, I get the "are you guys done now?" question.....got that after #4 as well and I always said "oh yeah, we're DONE"...haha!
I just read this post and had to reply. You are not alone, I have experienced similar responses from family members and friends--not all and not straight-out rude, but the "vibe" is there. I was really surprised b/c it is only my 3rd pregnancy! When I tell people that we would like four, they look really shocked and weireded out.
I'm entering the 3rd trimester and I can definitely feel the effects of this now. People are just not as interested in the baby-to-be, the pregnancy or anything to do with it. It is as if I'm not even pregnant. I've had several people say, "I didn't even notice you were pregnant until you said something" (and I'm feeling like a whale, so this is strange). Anyway, surrounding yourself with good, positive friendships, aquaintances, whatever is the way to go! I am so thankful that my sister has been really supportive and that I can call her anytime to talk about things. I also really value the MDC community in this aspect.
Take care, mama, and many, many congratulations to you on this pregnancy! Pamper yourself whenever and however possible. :)
SAHM , DH , DD (03/05) , DS1(01/09), DS2 (06/12) &
People just suck. We are also having our 3rd child (and I hope not our last!) I told my parents, and they didn't even say anything, just "Oh." A couple of hours later, my mom said "Congratulations I guess," and my dad never said anything =/
Just forget them and enjoy your pregnancy and your awesome family (3 kids isn't even large imo!)
Typos+weird words=typing on my iPhone
We got some negativity with #3, so I was really stressed out about telling people about #4. It turns out, everyone was so excited and positive about #4, like, REALLY excited. Go figure. People are nuts is all I can determine from this set of reactions LOL
Mama to 3 daughters, expecting #4