Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I guess I crossed the line

I have a lot of kids.
I know that I have a lot of kids.
Heck, even our Christmas New Year's Card this year flat out said "we have a lot of kids" .  Yes really.

But apparently I have crossed a certain line with eight.

I've had comments since number 5 rolled around about having a lot of kids.  I found that slightly unusual due to the fact that I live in Utah where traditionally everyone has a lot of kids.  Not as much as it used to be, but still, it's UTAH!
There are four kids in my family (I have two brothers and one sister), and it felt like we had an average, if not smallish family.  When I was a kid it seemed like everyone else had six kids and we "only" had four.

Typically when people would ask how many kids I have-and I swear it comes up every time I leave the house no matter how many kids I have with me- I would get a reply of "You don't look old enough to have that many kids!" or "wow-that's a lot!"  or "you really have your hands full!" or something along those lines.  Every once in a while I'd get a snide or just flat our rude comment, but oh well, it happens.  Thankfully the good outweigh the bad, so you just learn to ignore those ones.

But since I've had Sam, actually since I was pregnant, the questions and comments have changed a little bit.
Even when we had seven kids, we'd get the same responses.  "Wow!  Seven?  Really?  Seven?!"
(which makes me think of The Sounds of Music "Don't you like children?" "Yes, but SEVEN?!")

Now we've entered new territory.
It seems no one has 8 kids of their own unless they are a Duggar or Octomom.
In the past month it seems to have happened more than ever.  The new response when I tell people I have 8?
"Is it a yours/mine/ours thing?"
"So....are some of them adopted?"
"Did you give birth to them all?"  I've actually been asked that 5 times in the past month.
And the multiples question has started morphing from "do you have any multiples?" to "How many sets of multiples?"

Don't get me wrong, I really don't mind, and I'm not complaining, I just find it funny that for some reason adding an eighth child has really thrown people.
I can only imagine what it would be like outside of our little bubble here....we haven't been out of town for a while, but on our last trip to SoCal with seven kids, we certainly garnered some looks!

And it has me curious-do you get questions and comments about the number of kids you have or how close in age they are?  Or like a friend of mine with two kids who got some very probing questions the other day, do you get interrogated by people wondering why you don't have more?

Still, I think my favorite part of the personal questions that get asked when this subject comes up is "you are done, aren't you?"
(NO, that's not an announcement!  And yes, I know, I STILL need to change my header.)


Rheanna said...

This post made me laugh because apparently in Utah-5 is a lot now because I have had all sorts of rude/interesting/awkward/different things said to me that I'm pregnant with number 5. I even had someone ask me at church a couple weeks ago if I was "sure" about what I was doing! Don't they realize...they're a little late to be asking that! Ha ha! I can't wait to see what happens this fall when we fly to Maine with 5 kids-we've already had people want to come along with us, not to help out, but to watch the ensuing chaos! Just so you know, I don't think 8 is the enough to start saying awkward pass up the Duggars and maybe :o)

Cheryl said...

People are so inconsiderate sometimes. I get people all the time asking when we are going to have more. Why is that any of their business. What gives people the right to think their input, on how many kids you have or don't have, has any relevance? It just blows my mind, because I personally believe that its up to you and your spouse, and God as to how big your family needs to be.

You are such an amazing mom/woman and your kids are so lucky. Anyone that 'judges' you on your family size obviously doesn't know you, and your amazingness!!!!

Lisa said...

I can only begin to imagine what you hear with 8, because the stuff I get with 4 is awkward enough. Why is it anyone's business; I mean really.

Amy said...

Hi, I am a new reader and I just have to say I think it's awesome that you have 8 kids. We should all be so lucky. I don't have any children yet and I grew up in a household with only 2 children--just me and my sister. I often longed for the big, boisterous families I read and heard the moral of the story is, I love your blog and just wanted to tell you that I think your large family is awesome!

Laurie said...

I hear plenty with just the 4 I have. Mostly at my kids' school, where I'm starting to see that 2 is almost extreme. I always laugh when I have only my youngest 2 with me at the store and I get comments about having my hands full. Also, thank you for having 8 because any time I start feeling sorry for myself I seriously think about you and tell myself I could be doubly outnumbered, or have it take that much longer to get everyone ready/have an illness pass around/make lunch... you name it. You rock!

Shilo said...

Oh, I get questions and comments all the time as well.
Even from extended family members, although the one I hear most from them is the, "You are done, aren't you?" BAH!

I admire you and think it's awesome that you are so willing to have as many kids as you feel you need to!

Mindy said...

I only have 2 kids, and i still get those questions/comments! Mostly now that we aren't in Utah, and it's usually, "You are done at 2, right? You aren't having more?" Even when I had just one, I would always get comments on my age, or asked if I was the nanny, when we went to California. Now switch that around when I'm in Utah (or with my family) and the questions/comments go the other way-- "When are you having more?", "It's time for more.", "2 kids isn't enough." get the idea. People are just nosy and think their opinions are always right, so no matter where you are or how many kids you have, some assortment of questions/comments will ensue.
I know I couldn't personally have 8--but i get REALLY sick when I'm prego and am not the most patient person in the world. But growing up, I thought EVERYONE had 8 kids! Both of my grandparents had 8, 4 girls and 4 boys each. I just figured my parents would keep having kids until we had 8 kids in our family! Even with the 5 kids my parents did have, I never felt like we had a huge family.

XLMIC said...

My husband LOVES that card! He pointed to that particular line and just nodded and smiled broadly. He has 10. Only 4 are with me. I get plenty of flak about having 4 kids. Only one family at our school (out of 300+ families) has more kids... there are maybe 3 or 4 families w/ 4. We live in a very "green" and "liberal" area and are besieged with comments about "ruining the environment", "overpopulation", etc. He recently was interviewing a client about a job and noticed their bumper sticker... 'make love not more'... and just had to work into the conversation that he has 10 kids. He got the job anyway :P When people ask me if all the kids are with me or mine, I like to look around confused and say, "what kids?" People are so silly.

Kerri said...

Since I have 9 brothers and sisters I have heard the remarks my whole life. My favorite was in 5th grade I had a girl say "Your parents must be horny" mind you we only had about 5/6 kids then and I had no idea what she was talking about. LOL!
With ONLY 5 kids I don't get asked at all:) But we do live in UTAH!

Kelsey said...

you should tell people to mind their own damn business....or I will. Give them my number.
When I'm with the gooers it doesn't even feel like there is a lot of kids. Never has.
PEOPLE NEED TO GET A LIFE! Seriously people, get a life.

Dida said...

We have two couples in our ward that had 14 kids...all theirs! Also, two with 8. Matt is dating a gal that is number 15 of 16-yes, all one family and we have another family we work with in scouting with 16-all theirs.
Eight isn't such a big deal here in small town Utah, but as our population of non-Mormons increases, I'm sure we will see some different attitudes. I would proudly answer "Yes! All ours! Aren't they wonderful?!"

Jen said...

I get it all the time...especially when I buy milk. " must be a big fan of milk to be being 10 gallons!" " will last my 6 kids until the end of the week..." ;)

Tiffany said...

Some lines were meant to be crossed!

~LL~ said...

When I was preggers with #2, I was asked if I knew "what causes this." :-?

When people see me with my 4 boys, I get, "are you trying for a girl?"

Utah Mom said...

Randy always gets comments from people at work about how much stuff/resources we use up with a big family. Really? We still only drive one car. So do they--they just have one person in it. And people with big families generally recycle and use things over and over. At least we do.

Sorry you have to deal with rudeness. We should come up with a great list of come backs. Zing.