Do people judge you for having too many babies? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 66 Old 06-19-2004, 03:01 PM
 
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Maybe you will all hate me for this, but...

I admit I have had critical thoughts about SIL and BIL for having 6 children. I have never *said* anything to them, but their children are not well adjusted. None of them get the attention they need, the oldest daughter is a surrogate mommy for the younger ones. The baby was even calling her "mommy" instead of SIL for a long time.

For them I think having 6 kids is more about the number and the attention. "We both grew up knowing we wanted a big family...." type of thing. Well thats great, but at the same time you need to consider whether you have the time, energy, money, and patience to deal with it. You have to consider the children you already have and how having another will affect them. I think they just wanted a lot of kids and did it and expect extended family and friends to do the work, and now their kids are suffering.

My MIL is over there at least 20-30 hours a week "helping" while SIL surfs the internet or "has time to herself."

A huge part of the reason it bothers me, is that not only are the kids neglected, their mom & dad take a "weekend getaway" at least 2-3 times a month, and leave their kids with family/friends. SIL has a list by her phone of emergency babysitters, people who have said, "let us know if there is anything we can do" and she adds them to the list. Fine....except she takes advantage of people. (HA! You won't find MY name on that list!)

She has the nerve to call me when I'm laying on the bathroom floor for hours on end with morning sickness wondering if I can take 4-5 of her kids for an afternoon, "because she's tired." Sorry honey, but you made your bed. It would be different if it were once in a while. She offered to help us move last year, and I said, sure...so instead of coming over to help, she dropped off four kids, ages 2-8 to "help". So then I ended up babysitting while trying to clean for the move. And she had a nice afternoon to herself doing some shopping.

Her kids are not anywhere near well-behaved. I think they are incapable of talking in a level below a shout, they whine, cry, beg, tattle, jump on the furniture, and expect to sit in front of the TV for hours on end. As far as I can tell, except when MIL is over there, there is NO parenting going on.

On the other hand, I know a family who has 8 children, and they are all happy, well adjusted and well cared for. They don't have a lot of money, but they get by.

I think it just depends on the parents. DH and I would like to have at least 3-4 children....around here that is not a HUGE family, just average. If you have more than 4-5 is when people consider it a big family.
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#62 of 66 Old 06-19-2004, 03:39 PM
 
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I think they are incapable of talking in a level below a shout, they whine, cry, beg, tattle, jump on the furniture,
I have kids like that. I was with my cousin & his wife one day, and she was bragging about her SIL's kids, and how PERFECT and WELL BEHAVED they are, and how they never touch her knick-knacks.....so I asked my mom - "Did I do something wrong? Why aren't my kids like that?" She rolled her eyes at me, and then pointed out that not a one of us in our family can stand to just sit around & be polite & do nothing. Creative, constructive activity of some sort is totally necessary for us, or we get antsy. It has nothing at all to do with "upbringing", and just about everything to do with personality.
Yes, I do agree that some kids are rotten brats who should have some limits set for them....but an inability to sit still & whining aren't exactly an indicator of parenting gone wrong.

I'm pregnant with #6, and our families have apparently decided to just ignore the fact. Dealing with strangers or "friends", however, has gotten fun I look very young (the usual guess is still around 17), so when I went out without the kids, I always got "is this your first?" I LOVED to see the look on their face....and the mental backpedaling....when I said "No, this one is my 5th "

Smile sweetly, speak confidently, and let THEM feel like the ass! :LOL
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#63 of 66 Old 06-19-2004, 04:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mum2tori
It always amazes me how incredibly RUDE some people can be. Like their opinoin on someone else's fertility is worth a flip! .....

I usually would reply "oh no, we want an even dozen". (not really ) Most people didn't know how to reply to that and would just stand there with their mouth hanging open.

:LOL

LMAO!! I am not sure I can do this pregnancy thing again, but we decided to tell anyone who asked that we were working on #6 next just to get it out in the open.
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#64 of 66 Old 06-19-2004, 04:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Cyneburh
You raise a good point... just because some parents want lots of kids or have the money for them doesn't mean they should. There are some parents who really should have stopped at 0.

yup yup yup. DH will mention how we can't afford another kid or the 6th, but i tell him we can afford the kids just fine- it is the other stuff we can't afford LOL. I will take a kid over a shiney new SUV anyday.
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#65 of 66 Old 06-19-2004, 05:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mehndi mama
Creative, constructive activity of some sort is totally necessary for us, or we get antsy. It has nothing at all to do with "upbringing", and just about everything to do with personality.
Yes, I do agree that some kids are rotten brats who should have some limits set for them....but an inability to sit still & whining aren't exactly an indicator of parenting gone wrong.
I hope I didn't offend you....can you tell my SIL's kids annoy me to no end?

My son is very active as well, but there is a difference between constructive energy and destructive energy. For instance my son loves to run around and yell--he does it outside while chasing the dog around and screaming "stop theif!!!!" at the top of his lungs. (Think Beatrix Potter & Peter Rabbit). My nephews on the other hand love to run around and yell--they do it after taking the cushions off the couch, jumping on the springs, and while ripping the covers off all the books in the room.

I think it is unreasonable to expect any child under the age of 7 or 8 to be able to sit still & be quiet for more than a few seconds. I still have times when I can't sit still either.

I guess my point was that the behaviors I see in my nephews appear to be motivated by lack of attention. They constantly tattle, whine, complain, break things, etc because its about the only time mom & dad take notice of them, and negative attention is better than no attention. They are also very picky eaters because it gets them attention in the form of a meal specially cooked just for them. At my house, if they don't eat what I make, tough nuggies. Amazingly, they aren't so picky at my house...SIL wonders why her kids will happily spaghetti at my house and not hers, even when its the same sauce recipe.

There are a lot of people who can have a lot of kids and every kid is well taken care of. I grew up in a family of 6, and so did DH and we both had a great time in our big families. But we had parents who were very carefully attuned to our needs, making sure everyone had time and attention from mom & dad and from each other. SIL & BIL seem to want the prestige and attention of having a large family, but not have to do the work.

I guess I was just saying that if you are the type of person who wants time to yourself, and time to shop till you drop (sans children) and time to spend 8 hours a day surfing online, and 3 weekend getaways a month...you need to consider how that will impact each additional child you bring into the world. SIL seems to want the luxuries of having no children, with the prestige of having a hundred kids but none of the work.

If you love reading stories, and playing, and running around to sporting events and taking pictures, and thrive on the high energy, chaotic excitement that having tons of kids gives you--being childless or having only 1-2 kids isn't going to be fulfilling for you the way a larger family would be.
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#66 of 66 Old 06-20-2004, 09:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cyneburh
I get so annoyed with people who tell me they wish they could be a sahm like me but they just can't afford to. Then they go and buy new cars every year or go to Disney every year or... It's amazing. They're in debt up to their eyeballs and they really can't live any more without that second income!
I know what you mean, just wanted to give me perspective on this...

We recently decided that I would quit my job to stay home with the kids - it was a difficult decision because I make the bigger salary, and we have a big old house that we love and company car (and in fact it is an SUV ) We are not in debt, the only payment we make now is for our house, we live within our means but our means are just pretty good right now We are selling our home and will downsize to something smaller and give up my car and buy something with some of the proceeds from the house. It will be a huge financial adjustment for us.

I think it's a personal choice - I hold nothing against those people that work so they can take their kids to Disney World (personally I despise the place but to each his own) or to have the best family vehicle they choose to have. It's just not our choice anymore - we've decided staying home is more imporant then all that.

The hard part of the decision was not giving up the nice house or the nice car it is giving up that cushion of security - right now I know I can provide for my kids no problem. Once I quit I will be much more concerned about things. It's a risk we are willing to take but it really is quite daunting. So I think a lot of the people that say "I wish I could be a SAHM but we can't afford it" really mean "I wish I could be a SAHM but we don't want to take the risk". KWIM?

Kitty

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