"How many kids do you have?" - Mothering Forums
Blended and Step Family Parenting > "How many kids do you have?"
greenemami's Avatar greenemami 02:55 PM 10-15-2008
How do you respond when people ask you this question? Do you specify bio-kids vs. stepkids? Does your answer change depending on who you are with (dp, sks, sk's mom, etc.)?
Just something I always stumble over, I was wondering what others did!

Phoenix~Mama's Avatar Phoenix~Mama 03:29 PM 10-15-2008
I kind of stumble through this one...

It is usually in reaction to people asking about my pregnancy... "oh is this your first?" "it is my first biological child, yes... I have a stepdaughter."

That's the typical conversation these days... I know DH and I had talked about it once, and when out with both girls in the future I will just say these are our kids...

It's a tricky line sometimes...
kblackstone444's Avatar kblackstone444 03:41 PM 10-15-2008
I just say, "Two- Gary and Katherine". If they're a stranger or someone I hardly know, I don't need to get into all my family details and if it's someone closer and it comes up, I'll explain as necessary. I'd be lying (and hurting my stepdaughter's feelings) if I said I only had one child.
mild_adventurer's Avatar mild_adventurer 04:19 PM 10-15-2008
I say "four," unless I'm in a situation where someone, like my DSC's mom, would get their feelings hurt. I generally don't feel the need to distinguish step from bio. But if I have to, I say, "I have two biological kids and two step kids."

It also happens quite frequently that people ask, when I'm out with all four kids, "are they all yours?" I actually asked my step-kids how they wanted me to handle this. They both said they would rather me just say "yes," then get into any explanation of our family dynamic. So that's waht I do.
JustVanessa's Avatar JustVanessa 04:26 PM 10-15-2008
Dp always specifies one as his and one stepkid. Its kinda hurtful to be honest. Ds1 lives with us full time and for all intensive purposes is dp's child. We make all parenting descisions together.
Phantaja's Avatar Phantaja 04:43 PM 10-15-2008
Depends on who asks and what kind of mood I'm in. Lady at the grocery store? I just say "two." Coworker? "None, but two stepkids." If the boys are around, I always, always say that they're my sons and anyone who needs to know otherwise can find out when the boys aren't around.
ProtoLawyer's Avatar ProtoLawyer 04:57 PM 10-15-2008
It depends who is asking and why.

"None" on a government form, or on a medical document where "children" implies "pregnancy."

"None, but my partner has a daughter" if it matters that we're not married and she's not my daughter, step or otherwise, legally.

"One stepdaughter" if marital status doesn't matter but it may come up eventually that I'm not my SD's natural mother.

"One" if it REALLY doesn't matter (buying clothes at Target).
pinksprklybarefoot 05:08 PM 10-15-2008
Normally, my response is "one stepdaughter who lives with us half-time and one son." I usually refer to DSD first because she was around first. I do wonder if this will change once I have child #2 (we are working on it). I'm not sure why it would change, but then I will probably name my bio-kids first. Hmm. This is something to think about.

I clarify that one is a stepchild because 1) she is, and 2) if her mom heard me refer to her as anything but she would be livid.

I generally don't correct strangers at Target and whatnot if they assume she is my daughter because there is no need to have a lesson on the family tree for a 30 second exchange.
guestmama9904's Avatar guestmama9904 06:13 PM 10-15-2008
a lot of people have been asking me this lately as i am 8 months pregnant.

"is this your first?"

me: "no, it's my second biological child and i have two stepchildren"
ma_vie_en_rose's Avatar ma_vie_en_rose 08:37 PM 10-15-2008
I get this a lot with being pregnant, especially with another girl. I generally respond saying that DH and I are expecting our third daughter together and he has a beautiful daughter from his first marriage. Or I will say that I am having my third, but I also have a wonderful step-daughter. If it is a person I really don't know and don't want to go into any detail, I say this will be girl #4.
aricha's Avatar aricha 09:17 PM 10-15-2008
I give the full count of three kids (which means I include my biological kids and step daughter). The only time I separate out is if it is pertains to whatever they are asking.

It came up a lot when I was pregnant with my first biological child... if it was the lady at the grocery store asking "is this your first?" I usually said "no, we have a 2-year-old, too" or something like that. If it mattered (like the question was really asking whether or not I had been pregnant before) I said "It's my first pregnancy, but my husband has a 2 year old who lives with us, too."

We work hard to make sure my step-daughter knows she is as much a part of our family as the children who live here full time, AND we work hard to make sure the two who live here full-time always think of their oldest sister as an equal member of our family even if she isn't here as much as they are.
mazajo's Avatar mazajo 09:37 PM 10-15-2008
It depends on who is asking and why, but I generally just say five.

For the record, DSD includes her step siblings when she's asked how many brothers and sisters she has. Six brothers and one sister!
ElliesMomma's Avatar ElliesMomma 09:57 PM 10-15-2008
this is my first post in this forum. officially i have two step children, but they are 29 and 30 years old, with kids of their own. i'm 40 with a 2 year old. we got married when DD was one, so married only less than 2 years now. my step kids' children are older than mine is. so it's hard for me to think of the steps as my "children," as i really had nothing to do with their upbringing at all. they are certainly DH's kids. he has three. for me, though, for all intents and purposes, i just have the one. i think the steps would feel funny having me refer to them as "my kids" due to their ages. i think their mother would be funny about it too. we just kind of get around the subject without really addressing it and everybody is happy for the most part. i did get taken by surprise once, when step daughter in law and her daughter (my step granddaughter) were over and a neighbor's friend asked me who they are. i stumbled a little, but i think i arrived on, "DH's son's wife and their daughter." i don't know if i'm supposed to say different. it's kinda a tricky thing, considering the age gaps, etc., in our situation. IYKWIM.
Fianna's Avatar Fianna 10:43 PM 10-15-2008
I've only been a step-mom since February and this is a question where my answer has slowly evolved. Now I usually say 4 and leave it at that. If I'm asked to elaborate I do--"Two I gave birth to and two I was lucky enough to gain through marriage". I must say that the first time I heard my dh say he had four children I had more of an emotional reaction than I thought I would. We both have two children that we have half the time and our ex's are both still single and very much active parents, so it would be easy for either of us to keep each other's children at arm's length, but since becoming a blended family 8 months ago we have slowly yet steadily moved toward a more cohesive, unified family and it's great!
nutritionistmom's Avatar nutritionistmom 12:32 PM 10-16-2008
Answering on behalf of DH since the boys are both biologically mine. He always says we have 2 boys. Sometimes people will comment on the age difference and we will explain that ods is mine from a previous marriage, but since DH has raised him since he was 2 and his bio dad is no longer in the pic, we rarely even do that anymore.
guestmama9904's Avatar guestmama9904 02:26 PM 10-16-2008
it's funny the looks people give me, hugely pregnant with 3 boys who are all within 1/2 an inch inheight of eachother and look related (all blond and blue eyed and very cute if i do say so myself). people always say "wow, you are busy" and im like, yes, i am wanna help? lol. biologically i would have had to get pregnant 1 minute after delivering dss age 7.5 to have had ds age 7 so when people ask how old they are i feel obligated to explain but maybe i should just let their mouths hang open.
mommyto3girls's Avatar mommyto3girls 04:06 PM 10-16-2008
Its really tricky for me. I often include Sierra (she died 6 1/2 years ago) and I technically have 2 step-daughters. Matt has a 19 year old daughter, she lives with her mom in Maryland and I have never even met or talked to her (she will text us on occasion to let us know she is alive) We paid for half of her lap-top for her birthday and the kids made cards for her, would love to have a relationship, but once a year visits growing up just didn't do that for her and dh (he did make each and every child support payment though).

Usually I say 3 without making distinction. Hate this conversation with people

random person: Are they all yours?

Me: Yes

R.P.: Wow, how old are they?

Me: 5 1/2, 3 and 3

R.P.: Oh, so they're twins?

Me: No, they are 9 weeks apart.

This is usually met by confused or blank stares as we smile sweetly and walk away eager to return to our own day However, one lady just kept pushing and my 5 year old let her have it. After having the above conversation the lady continued

Rude lady: Well then they can't both be yours, thats impossible. (because of course no one can adopt children close in age either) Which ones are yours?

Maia to the rude lady: You know, that's a really poopy question. We are a family, what do you want mommy to say? How about "These two are mine (gesturing to herself and Sage) that one tags along because I married her dad (gesturing to Madison)."

Rude Lady: Harummphhhhh (and storms off)
mommyto3girls's Avatar mommyto3girls 04:09 PM 10-16-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by arismama! View Post
it's funny the looks people give me, hugely pregnant with 3 boys who are all within 1/2 an inch inheight of eachother and look related (all blond and blue eyed and very cute if i do say so myself). people always say "wow, you are busy" and im like, yes, i am wanna help? lol. biologically i would have had to get pregnant 1 minute after delivering dss age 7.5 to have had ds age 7 so when people ask how old they are i feel obligated to explain but maybe i should just let their mouths hang open.

I started my previous post 2 hours ago so I missed yours I can totally relate though. I just leave it go with the "Nope, not twins, 9 weeks apart!" and watch the confusion spread. Does not work as well for matt though, the receptionist where he works thought he fathered both girls 9 weeks apart and said "Oh, your just like my slimeball ex two babies at the same time."
jjawm's Avatar jjawm 10:42 PM 10-17-2008
I say three, and sometimes I'll mention that I've got two great stepsons who live with us. It can be confusing sometimes, with two Mrs. H's. The neighbor kids are particularly confused, and said the other day "It's like they have two moms. G's the first, and you're the second". I liked that.
orangefoot's Avatar orangefoot 11:52 PM 10-17-2008
My dh always says four. If people press him because they knew him years ago when he didn't have any children and can't work out how he has a 15yo and 11you as well as a 5 and 2 yo, he says that he inherited two when he met me and now we have four.
UptownZoo's Avatar UptownZoo 02:50 AM 10-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post
Maia to the rude lady: You know, that's a really poopy question. We are a family, what do you want mommy to say? How about "These two are mine (gesturing to herself and Sage) that one tags along because I married her dad (gesturing to Madison)."

Rude Lady: Harummphhhhh (and storms off)
Hey, give Maia a message for me, will you? Tell her I said she's a very smart kid, and tough, too.

I'm with most of the PP - it depends on who I'm talking to. I usually just say four. I also have a stepson from my first marriage, but since he's never lived with us or his dad, I don't usually include him. My older kids count him when they tell people how many siblings they have, though. DD loves to make people feel sorry for her by saying "I have two older brothers and two younger brothers, and just me, the lonely girl in the middle."
chel's Avatar chel 11:39 PM 10-19-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post
Its really tricky for me. I often include Sierra (she died 6 1/2 years ago) and I technically have 2 step-daughters. Matt has a 19 year old daughter, she lives with her mom in Maryland and I have never even met or talked to her (she will text us on occasion to let us know she is alive) We paid for half of her lap-top for her birthday and the kids made cards for her, would love to have a relationship, but once a year visits growing up just didn't do that for her and dh (he did make each and every child support payment though).

Usually I say 3 without making distinction. Hate this conversation with people

this is similar for me. Dh only had 2 week summer visits since his 2 dd were 9& 10 (now 17 & 18). Before that we would drive an additional 8hrs (each way) to visit them once a month in their city, but due to the time issue, there was no way to bring them to our city. So I never really "mothered" them and thus have never included them in the "how many children do I have" question.

Even now, when out and about and meet total stranger that we will never see again, Dh and I both say "we have one dc".

We've been in our current town for 4yrs and I don't think any of our friends have met them as we usually use their visits to take family trips (Dh saves up his vacation time for their visits).
~PurityLake~'s Avatar ~PurityLake~ 03:56 PM 10-21-2008
Simple.

I have two kids.

My husband has three.
boobybunny's Avatar boobybunny 06:00 PM 10-21-2008
I think I need to go kiss my husband.

He tells everyone he has three kids.

When at quasi family/friends reunion, his mother introduced the kids as "this is J, Kip's son, Amy, his wife and I and A, Amy's children." He spoke up right then and there and told his mom and her long time but not so close friends.."This is my FAMILY, my wife, and OUR three children." Turned to his mom and said "Mom, the way you introduced my family is disrespectful to my parenting and my love of all three of my children."

She has been awesome ever sense.
Shonahsmom's Avatar Shonahsmom 06:03 PM 10-21-2008
My husband (dd's step-father) tells everyone he has one child and is expecting a second. He refers to her as "our daughter" or "my daughter".
faiths13's Avatar faiths13 03:27 PM 10-22-2008
i usually say five boys, but when ppl are like "omg you have 5 kids - you look to young" or something to that affect, i will clarify i have two step sons. i try to treat them like my own and not make them feel like step kids. my youngest step son calls me mom. but there are just instances when i talk about my sons, and not my step sons.
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