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Rude Questions about the number of children you have

  1. Merriweather profile image60
    Merriweatherposted 7 years ago

    At the drugstore the other day an older woman was talking to my year-old son while he sat patiently in the cart (and he needed a distraction, so that was fine with me).  My other three children wandered up and this woman said to me, "My land!  How many are there?" as if I had a litter of ferrets with me.  I was astonished, but managed to say, "Four." 

    Four children really isn't a lot, but I'm weary of hearing, "Are they all yours?" and "You have your hands full."  No kidding.  They're all mine and all wanted and the world needs my children. 

    What's the best way to handle these rude questions?  I just smile, but I don't always feel like it.

    1. profile image0
      Pacal Votanposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Of course, you could retort if you wanted, but I wouldn't bother. Just be proud of your wonderful children. smile

      1. Merriweather profile image60
        Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I am proud of all of them.  Thanks for reminding me of that!

        1. rebekahELLE profile image90
          rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I would just say, 'yes, I'm so fortunate!' and leave her to ponder her intrusion.

          I find it extremely rude when people say, 'you have your hands full.'  I used to get than one at times when my two sons were younger. I would just smile and say, 'yes, they're healthy boys.'
          smile

    2. profile image0
      Justine76posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I have 3 girls. Happens to me too. Once this old guy followed me thru a parking lot, saying..whats wrong with you? couldnt you have a boy? wh did you give up? at the time they were 4, 1, and 6 months...then he said..your whats wrong with the world. we dont need anymore women, its a sign of the end of times!!!!!

    3. alekhouse profile image81
      alekhouseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I've read your first post and all the comments and I cannot for the life of me see why you think these remarks are rude. I think they could come from a place of knowing that it takes a great deal and love and caring to raise that many children at one time. Seems to me you're being somewhat defensive for nothing. If the questions bother you, just ignore them. I'm sure the people asking them don't mean to be rude

      1. Specialk3749 profile image61
        Specialk3749posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Most of the time, they are not rude...but, there are times when I do come across someone who IS rude and really shows how much they disapprove of having more than the average 1.5 children.

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          No no - you go ahead. There are limitless resources after all and 8 is not that many. I am sure god will provide more resources when these are gone. lol

          Not as though it is my planet as well or anything. wink

          1. Merriweather profile image60
            Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Unfortunately, the tone of voice and body language doesn't translate here; those non-verbal cues have do much to do with whether the comment is perceived as rude.

            1. Mark Knowles profile image60
              Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              You mean you did not get that I was being sarcastic and making fun of someone who thinks it is OK to have 8 children when we are already seriously over populating the planet with over consuming humans?

              And that that is NOT OK - because this is MY planet too? And this is incredibly selfish on her part? And no better than the scum bag driving the 8 litre SUV?

              Sorry - I will try and be more clear in future. Still - no worries - I am sure god will provide.

              1. Daniel Carter profile image92
                Daniel Carterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                Seems there are plenty of earthquakes, tsunamis, war, pestilence and disease to keep the population in line. There might be a hot spot here and there where it's more crowded, but statically it gets cleaned out in a pandemic or earthquake or something. But I don't think we're headed to "soylent green." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soylent_Green)

                It's about being responsible, to be sure. But that's multi-faceted and not limited to just planning families.

                1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                  Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Of course it is not limited to just families. But that is what we are discussing here. The OP was looking for validation that it is OK to have as many kids as she wants and anyone who questions that is "rude."  As you are getting to know me know - I am unlikely to provide that and quite honestly feel that anyone who puts that much pressure on our joint resources is far far ruder than I am. wink

                  1. profile image0
                    Pacal Votanposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    Why discourage European and American families from having children when the problem is China, India and Africa?

                    So how many children is it ok for Europeans and Americans to have?

                    The depletion of resources is not caused by the many, but by the few.

                2. Merriweather profile image60
                  Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                  Mark:  I was not clear.  I meant that the non-verbal cues of the woman who spoke to me didn't translate here -- not that your post was misunderstood.

                  1. Mark Knowles profile image60
                    Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

                    Oh no - I understood exactly what you meant. You felt she was being rude and purposefully making you feel bad for having that many children and she was rude to you. Which she probably was. I would never have been so rude to go about making you feel bad in that underhanded fashion.

                    I would have been much more direct. The simple fact is - whether you like it or not - as the human population continues to grow - we  are having more and more of an impact on each other.

                    I do not like to step out my front door and smell burning trash. But - there are so many people here and so much trash is being created - the government Inc has decided to burn it.

                    Now - I do not make a lot of trash myself - but the woman downstairs with 5 children certainly does. And while it is entirely her choice if she wants to produce that many kids - Guess what? I have to smell her trash being burned.

                    Am I entitled to an opinion on how many children she has when it has an effect on me?

          2. gmwilliams profile image83
            gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Uh huh, 1-2, maybe 3 children are ENOUGH, REALLY C'MON NOW!

            1. Sed-me profile image84
              Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              GM, why is this subject SO important to you? It seems it's on the forum every other day. Do you feel like there's a lot more to say on the subject other than you feel ppl should have few children and others feel blessed to have a large family? Seems like it's been covered.

              1. gmwilliams profile image83
                gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                I have studied large families and grew up around such people. They are socioeconomically impoverished.  They did not have even the rudiments.  They depend upon charities and government agencies because their parents did not have the intelligence to have the amount of children that they could support without outside assistance.  The children look cast off because they have poor health care, poor nutrition, and other pathologies associated with large family life. 

                People have large families and consign their children to poverty because they (1) have deep psychological issues, (2) too lazy to use birth control or are too uneducated to do so, (3) believe in incessantly reproduction because of a primal need, and (4) do not really give a good ##%$! about the welfare of their children.   

                Intelligent and educated people DON'T have large families, consigned their children to socioeconomic poverty and want, poor food/ medical/ health care, living on top of each other, children raising themselves and/or each other, and living at the most primtive level.  Only uneducated people have MORE children than they can take care of.   It is not blessed to have children ad infinitum, it is an IMBELIC act to say the least!  There is such a thing as contraception, USE IT!  This is not the 19th century but the 21st.  Family planning, not family brooding!

                1. Sed-me profile image84
                  Sed-meposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Ok GM. smile

                2. Aime F profile image84
                  Aime Fposted 2 years ago in reply to this

                  Whoa!

                  I would agree with you that people shouldn't have children beyond their means, but there are plenty of families of 3+ that can provide for all kids and raise a healthy, stable family. I actually know of quite a few large families and they're all very happy, educated, and well taken care of.

                  I can see where there would be more instances of large families living in poverty in certain areas or cultures, but you can't take the stats from one group and apply them to all.

                  I guess I don't really see the sustainability thing as a fair argument either because realistically you could have two people in one household using more resources than an environmentally friendly family of 6. If everyone in the world committed to keeping their footprint as low as possible then you could say having more children is a detriment, but until then... not really.

    4. profile image0
      cosetteposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      i would use humor...sort of along the lines of "Mad's Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions":

      "Are they all yours?"
      No, two of them are on loan.

      "How many are there?"
      Two. You're seeing double.

      i'm polite to strangers...to a point. if someone is rude to me, i let them know in sublte ways just how bad their manners are.

      you're blessed and you love your children, which is wonderful.

    5. ddsurfsca profile image67
      ddsurfscaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I have always been told I have a smart mouth, but a couple answers popped into my head right away....either "oh, so you don't like children?  You were one once..." or "Jeez, I was about to ask you the same thing, they aren't yours?"

    6. Daniel Carter profile image92
      Daniel Carterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Beam with pride and say "Yes! And we're considering more!"

      When I was married it was the reverse. We lived in a very conservative religious community and everyone had kids but us. We finally brought two into the world after several years. But until that time, when people would ask if we were planning on having kids, I would respond with, "NO! We're saving for a boat!"

      They were mortified with the response and spread rumors about our priorities. I was delighted.

    7. Lady_E profile image82
      Lady_Eposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Well, I hope she was joking because 4 is a lovely number. It's not a lot.

      You have just reminded me to look out for a documentary that is airing this week about a woman who had 8 kids in a go but she had a few kids before that... It's called Octoplets mum.

      Now, that's a lot, but if she's happy, no one should complain. smile

      1. rebekahELLE profile image90
        rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        she was all over the media here for a while, she has finally stated that she was foolish to have so many kids.

    8. RTalloni profile image88
      RTalloniposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Well, I do have an answer for you, however, you must be very, very kind if you use it.  And be careful, too, not everyone has a sense of humor...people have somehow become rather volatile.  In other words, use with caution.  See my hub, "Accents on a Comfortable Heritage" for the full answer on nosey questions.  BTW, congratulations on all your little blessings.  smile

    9. Didistoyz profile image60
      Didistoyzposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I wouldn't be offended at all.  Their reaction just means that they couldn't handle taking care of 4 children.  I would just hold my head up high, smile, and say "Yes, God has blessed me with these four Angels!"

    10. It's just me profile image60
      It's just meposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I have 7 and when i get these questions and remarks I usually smile too, but I also ask them "Aren't I lucky?"

    11. profile image0
      Jawa Lunkposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I have six...big_smile

      If they ask if they are all yours, just give them one of the following answers;


      1. No, I'm renting them for the week.

      2. Yes, and tell your husband I'm done with him.

      3. I'm not sure.

      4. Well with the economy the way it is, it's getting harder and harder to sell them.

      5. Did your parents have any children that lived?

      or you could opt for the vary loud obnoxious laughing so every one will look at you and say "No! I don't know where you can buy crack around here!"

      1. profile image0
        Justine76posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        lol lol way too funny!!!

      2. Merriweather profile image60
        Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Jawa Lunk:  too funny!

    12. SweetiePie profile image83
      SweetiePieposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I really do not think it was a rude question.  I am sure your children are sweet and cute, but you also have to understand that to many people four children is quite a bit.  There were three of us kids growing up, I have two sisters, and I always had people telling me that was quite a bit of children.  I was never offended by it, and I realized some families might want less.  Also, there may have been times you said things to people who did not have children that they thought were rude, but you would not have thought that.  I am not saying all people with kids do, but as a single person in my thirties without children I have many people react in a surprised way when I tell them.

    13. Krystal Blue profile image60
      Krystal Blueposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      How is someone that is showing interest in you and your family considered rude?
      You seem to touchy.

    14. Rod Marsden profile image79
      Rod Marsdenposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Four is probably the limit. No more. The world is in crisis from overpopulation so that might be one of the reasons for the rude questions. In many countries such as Japan the usual limit happens to be two. In Japan 4 would be considered selfish. The world's resourses are shrinking and human population growing. People are reminded of this on the news.

      1. Valerie F profile image60
        Valerie Fposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Great. Now who is going to impose and enforce that limit?

      2. gmwilliams profile image83
        gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Rod, YOU'RE RIGHT!

  2. thranax profile image50
    thranaxposted 7 years ago

    I wouldn't take it seriously, its just the way people talk nowadays. There isn't a single type of person I have never been asked a rude question before. It seems like its just the way were becoming as a culture. Just answer them if the question can be answered and you understand what they asked, if its really rude say something like "thats not fair to them" or something similar and correcting the person.

    ~thranax~

    1. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You are so right about a lack of manners these days.  I guess I thought this older woman would have been from an era where larger families were more common and therefore would have been a little more sensitive.

  3. tksensei profile image60
    tksenseiposted 7 years ago

    Doesn't sound rude to me. Larger families just aren't as common nowadays. Be proud of the recognition.

    1. Stevennix2001 profile image82
      Stevennix2001posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      yeah, i would have to agree with tk on this one.  i don't think it sounds particularly rude, but then again it might've been her tone of voice or how she said it that may have made it sound a lot worse.  It's hard to tell since I can only read your words online. 

      however, I wouldn't take it offensively though.  besides, I'm sure she didn't mean it intentionally.  at least i don't think she did.  just be proud of who you are and your kids thats all.

  4. profile image0
    TMinutposted 7 years ago

    You smile and say, I left all the rest of them home with their dad!

  5. TINA V profile image82
    TINA Vposted 7 years ago

    This is my suggestion for a possible reply:

    "We are blessed with four wonderful children and we have supported them all. How about you? Were you also blessed?"

    This is a possible response to a rude question, if it was really indeed rude.  It depends upon you to determine it.
    I know a lot of families who have even 5 to 10 kids.  However, all their children are very much well provided.  I admire you for being proud of your kids.

    Have a great week!

  6. profile image0
    TMinutposted 7 years ago

    I remember someone being really rude in Germany seeing all the American children coming out for school; we were in apts and each stairwell opened to 6 apartments, there were 16 children in ours of school age. The German women were talking about what animals Americans are for having so many children, don't know why it didn't occur to them that some of us had learned the language! Or perhaps they just didn't care.

    The question of 'are they all yours' isn't so strange since many people babysit or take friends along. I love looking at kids of large families and seeing how they look alike or not. Though four kids isn't a lot.

    1. EmpressFelicity profile image85
      EmpressFelicityposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      They're just jealous 'cos of their low birth rate:

      http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0934668.html

      1. Bovine Currency profile image61
        Bovine Currencyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Maybe they are a little resentful because of the ridiculous treaty enforced after WW2 meaning Germany has funded the Israelis since then on.  No kidding.

    2. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, I get that "can't you people (just who "you people" are is beyond me -- humans?) -- control yourselves?" vibe from some.  Oh, well, I should just get over it, I guess!

  7. Mrvoodoo profile image61
    Mrvoodooposted 7 years ago

    As long as you and/or your partner are able to take care of and provide for your children then it's nobodies business but your own.

    In England there are types of families that pop out child after child and expect the tax payers to provide accommodation and finances for them, under these circumstances I believe it does then become the business of others.

    1. profile image0
      Justine76posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      here, people will adopt to get state money. its so sad.

      1. Mrvoodoo profile image61
        Mrvoodooposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Yep, that's sad alright, unless they work very hard to earn that money by raising that child to the best of their abilities.  Although I would guess that this is often not the case.

        As for this thread, it feels like it was designed only to foster agreement, as all posts that weren't mutually back-slapping were ignored.  Except Marks that is, lol. lol

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Well, I was just clearing things up in case I was not clear. wink

          1. Mrvoodoo profile image61
            Mrvoodooposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I was pretty sure you weren't joking the first time, but if others weren't sure, they certainly will be from your second post. big_smile

            And to be honest you make a good point.

            < Awaiting the fireworks.

  8. Helen Cater profile image60
    Helen Caterposted 7 years ago

    I would say I have another eight at home...PROBLEM?

  9. profile image0
    Crazdwriterposted 7 years ago

    I would have been a real smart arse and if she ahd said that 'you have our hands full' would have told her 'oh no...I'm fine..it's the kids that have a handful with me as their mother." and walked away with an evil grin on my face.

  10. Ivorwen profile image84
    Ivorwenposted 7 years ago

    Having five children, I get those questions alot.  They don't bother me, it really doesn't matter what other people think.

    As to the 'are they all your' question, many times I have had to say 'no,' as I have been babysitting or had the neighbor kid with me (who looks like he could be mine).  It is really fun to watch them sort through the kids, trying to decide which one doesn't belong to me.  wink

    The question I am flabbergasted by is after commenting on how well behaved my children are, they ask, 'So how do you do it?  Do you live with family?'  As though parents need lots of assistance to raise well behaved,happy children.

    1. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Yes, the "How do you do it" kills me.  I usually reply by telling whomever that there are places in my house where nobody can even walk, and that I'm held together with smoke, mirrors, and foundation garments.

      1. Stimp profile image79
        Stimpposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I wouldn't take it personally I think people are just surprised to see larger families now.  I don't take it a slam against you at all.  While the comments are rude, people, i feel sometimes are missing that filter that goes between their brain and their mouths.  And blurt stupid stuff out regardless of how it sounds or is meant.  I attribute the their being naive in that manner.   And you are very humorous....I love the ferret comment!!  Too funny.  Now, THAT kind of would be reason to question....a woman with 4 ferrets at the grocery store!!! LOL LOL LOL

      2. Suzanne Alicie profile image61
        Suzanne Alicieposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        The how do you do it is a question I am guilty of. I have 2 boys who are finally 12 and 16, but when they were small I wouldn't take both of them to the store alone. I am literally in awe of mothers who can handle that many children in public and at home. When I ask that it is meant as a compliment, I've never stopped to think how some mothers may take that as a criticism.

      3. swtwin2 profile image78
        swtwin2posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        When I get the "How do you do it?" question, I assure the person that there are LOTS of things that I don't do well.  I have my days when I ask myself, "How did I get myself into this predicament?"  We all have our crazy days!

  11. 2patricias profile image60
    2patriciasposted 7 years ago

    Back in the days when I had no children I remember feeling very envious when I saw somebody with 4.
    Actually, I still feel a little envious.
    I think the best thing to do is just smile benignly and say Yes.

    Of course, on a day when I'm feeling wicked I might be included to fake a look of shock/horror and say something like, OH MY GOD, where did all these kids come from???

    1. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Funny -- I'd love to say (and sometimes think) "I've never seen these children before in my life!"

      1. Carmen Borthwick profile image81
        Carmen Borthwickposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        LOL I love that one! You came up with your own best response.

        1. Merriweather profile image60
          Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          Wow -- my addled Mommy brain is quicker than I give myself credit for! smile Thanks!

          1. Carmen Borthwick profile image81
            Carmen Borthwickposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Yes, we do tend to suffer mommy brain... even after they fly the coop! It comes with the terror... sorry territory!

    2. profile image0
      Justine76posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      lol once, when asked if I was old enough to have all those children, I said...no, but I didnt let stop me.

  12. Kidgas profile image79
    Kidgasposted 7 years ago

    My wife thinks at times those comments are rude.  I tend to ignore a lot of them.  Depends on how things are going that day.  We have 6 kids, so I understand.  We get it alot.

  13. Specialk3749 profile image61
    Specialk3749posted 7 years ago

    My 8th baby is due in January, so I have heard a lot of these comments!

    My come back to the "Your hands are full" line is "Yes, they are HAPPILY full!"  This usually gets them to smile and go on their way.

    I think the rudest question is: "Don't you know how this happens?"  GRRRR  That one makes me mad because it is so personal. 

    Most of the time, I smile and take the comments.  Most of them are people who are curious, but once in awhile I do come across someone who is really rude and it is usually an older lady.  I wonder why?

    1. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Eight babies!  Congratulations!

    2. Rochelle Frank profile image88
      Rochelle Frankposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Say, "I know how it happens to some people. Do you know about adoption?."  and let them wonder.

  14. profile image0
    TMinutposted 7 years ago

    Once just for fun, I went with a guy with his five sons and my four to the store. It was just so we could walk through the store with nine boys and get looks, it was hilarious!

  15. prettydarkhorse profile image63
    prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago

    it is okay to ask how many children youve got, but the manner when they ask the question is a different thing. Reproductive health choices is personal and as long as it doesnt cause any harm to them it is always wrong to impose your morals and choices to other people.

  16. elayne001 profile image51
    elayne001posted 7 years ago

    When we lived in Tonga I was asked why I only have four children. It is funny that in some poor countries they seem to be able to have plenty kids - sometimes a dozen or more and we struggle here with two or three. I would have loved to have more, but my doctors said to quit after only two, so I got two extra.

  17. Whitney05 profile image64
    Whitney05posted 7 years ago

    IMO, as long as you can care for them, go for it...

    Rational side agrees with Mark. There is a limit considering the world is already over-populated and resources are greatly thinning. If everyone was like the Dugger family, we'd be screwed. Imagine all those kids have another 20 kids, that's way too many people in the world from just one direct family. Not to mention if the grandkids had that many, the numbers are ridiculous. From what I've heard, all the kids want big families... That's sort of selfish unless they start growing their own food, killing their own meat, and making their own electricity. Eventually that family alone will need its own planet.

    Big families are great, but with thinning resources... Is it the right thing to do even if you can afford to care for each one as though you it was the only child?

    1. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I think we have to define "afford" here -- I cannot afford to raise 4 children as I might raise just one.  Who could?  But priorities shift and you realize that what you thought was necessary just isn't.  My kids don't have toys I can't afford that they don't need, but they have what they need.

      I can see, though, if you mean having a ton of kids and not being able to provide the basics, that's entirely different.

  18. prettydarkhorse profile image63
    prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago

    there is no justification or scientific proof that people causes environmenatl degradation or we are depleting natural resources. there are cases of neglect yes, like oil spills etc, which is brought about by greed by big businesses, I think the problem is maldistribution of resources and not over population. Countries in europe like France sweden has negative birth rate,,,there is no consistent study that will verify that those countries who have low birth rates have quality of life or are rich countries.

    another point on the other hand is that if you have many children how can you divide your time among them, quality time so that your children will have the best care?

    1. Mrvoodoo profile image61
      Mrvoodooposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      As Whitney said, there is only so much land, you don't really need proof to see that, it's just the way it is.

      1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
        prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        and yes the rate of birth rate i think is decreasing and people are just concentrated in some developing countries..

        1. Mrvoodoo profile image61
          Mrvoodooposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I think we were talking hypothetically, what would happen if everybody decided to have eight kids.

          1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
            prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            only if you can take care of them with quality care but it is not the case, what I am saying here is that population isnt the problem just the distribution of resources because people will be forced to lower the number of children if they realized that it is a burden to have lots of children

  19. Whitney05 profile image64
    Whitney05posted 7 years ago

    I've seen plenty of proof that we're using up land sources, causing animals to become extinct. Increasing pollution- air, water, and land.  Animals aren't doing this all by themselves. We're the main reason natural resources are depleted. Wolves and tigers just aren't using up the world's source of oil.

    The more people that are born and live to be adults, means more land that will be needed to house them, means more trees have to be cut down to make a plot for the land.

    Have you noticed that many, if not most, newer houses have less of a yard? It's because builders are trying to squeeze in as many houses as they can because of money and lack of land.

    1. gmwilliams profile image83
      gmwilliamsposted 5 years ago in reply to this

      ++++++.

  20. rebekahELLE profile image90
    rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago

    I think often parents do not consider the cost of raising children and it is costly! if you're able to be home with your children and provide for them, both nurturing and financially, that's your privilege.

    actually as far as the general public, it's really nobody's business how many children you have. it's looked down more when you see someone who obviously is just pumping out the kids for welfare money.

    1. Whitney05 profile image64
      Whitney05posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I'll agree to this... Raising kids is expensive, and if you can truly afford it, part of me says it's your deal, as long as the government isn't paying for it because the government's money is my money  too.

      I just think at some point, enough should be enough. Personally, I don't think 4 is that bad of a number, but when get much higher, it's just like 'really'?

      The more people that are born, the faster social security is eaten up. I forget the year, but we're running out, and within the next few generations it'll be gone, but people with freakin' 20 kids just aren't thinking about that nor do they really care.

      1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
        prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        how about those who are dying? the truth is that in some western countries they are encouraging people to give birth, they have negative birth rate and there are older people who cant work at all, whom do you like to take care of old people or babies?
        whent eh birth rate is low there are more aging people and nobody to replace the labor force, which is dangerous, look at Japan and France

      2. Mark Knowles profile image60
        Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        So - it is OK if it is a banker?

        1. Whitney05 profile image64
          Whitney05posted 7 years ago in reply to this

          No. Which is why I have to let the realistic side of me fight this argument. I think that if you can afford them it's better than if the government is paying, but in no means does that give people who make plenty of money the right to have plenty of kids.

          1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
            prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            even if you are rich you dont have any right to bring children into this world because you cant take care of them with quality care

            1. Whitney05 profile image64
              Whitney05posted 7 years ago in reply to this

              Never said that either. What I said was if they can afford it, have the time, and want them, that's better than having a ton of kids and having the government pay for them.

    2. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I am not so sure this is reasonable. How much impact does what some one does have to have on me before I get a say so?

      Smoking? Is it OK for me to sit next to you smoking?
      Is it OK that I drive my 8 liter SUV and use up the oil faster?
      Is it OK that I have 8 kids who each have 8 kids who each have 8 kids which adds 512 people to the population in your life time?
      If a million of us do that - that is another 512,000,000 people consuming the resources.
      At what point do my decisions as to what I do need to take you into account?

      1. Whitney05 profile image64
        Whitney05posted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Exactly... Mark, what are the numbers for the Dugger family, if they're currently at 18 and counting (age and health, they could probably have a few more), and each of those kids have 18 or more?

  21. prettydarkhorse profile image63
    prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago

    like what I have said the dictribution of wealth is the problem, what causes the poeple to go upland to cultivate the mountains (erosion prob etc), because they dont have anything to eat not because they have many children but the resources are owned by few people in a place, they eat also what is there to eat to survive. population density wherein the number of inhabitants with regards to the space is low. have you traveled in europe and look at the vast vacant land, the rolling hilss, surely the world population is decreasing, but some countries they have still large population, wealth is not distributed equally.

  22. prettydarkhorse profile image63
    prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago

    and technology also helps in producing mass foods, big agricultural products, humans are genius, we are not running out of space to put people. they are just concentrated in big cities...

    1. Whitney05 profile image64
      Whitney05posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Then why is it that the country is  slowly being stripped and more houses and neighborhoods being planted in place of the trees that were torn down?

      I do live in a fairly big city, but I'm surrounded by country that is being torn down for houses and neighborhoods. I have friends who live far out in the country, and they have all said within a few years, they've heard talk about the city being pushed further out into their country land.

      The price of land in the country is rising because we're slowly running out of space to put people, land is prime.

      You can't say that people aren't taking up a lot of space and are starting or move out of the cities. You can't say that humans aren't sucking up natural resources like it's an unlimited supply.  There's plenty of proof, and plenty of studies.

      1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
        prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        This is in your area, how about places like in Europe etc, where they have negative birth rates and governments are encouraging people to give birth? like France for instance there are more people asking for old age benefit because the birth rate has gone negative, the labor force is depleted, who are going to take care of these old people

        1. Mark Knowles profile image60
          Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          The simple fact is that "growth" at the expense  of all else - is not practical. Sooner or later we run into a wall.

          See the recent financial crisis.

          We need to rethink our entire value system. We cannot keep on growing without running into limits. Usually violent ones. smile

          1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
            prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

            I am not encouraging people to have the maximum number of children they want, they will realize it themselves sooner or later that when you have many children you cant have individual enjoyment, what a life you have...

            all i am saying is that the problem is the distribution of resources,

            Space is not a problem at all, people are just congested in the city because they want easier life

          2. Whitney05 profile image64
            Whitney05posted 7 years ago in reply to this

            Prettydarkhorse, it's not just my area. It's all over.

            Yes, Mark is right.. There are limits. Prettydarkhorse you just can't say we're never going to run out of land if people keep having 8+ kids. It's just not practical

            1. Miss Belgravia profile image79
              Miss Belgraviaposted 7 years ago in reply to this

              I personally don't care how many children anyone has. One family of eight is more than set off by the many people who choose to have none, one or two children. The issue is the fact that Americans use up far more resources per capita than citizens of any other country. One of the unintended consequences of this economic downturn is that we may become accustomed to using fewer resources, simply because we cannot afford to do otherwise. That may be one good thing that comes out of this fiscal mess.

              The amount of land available in the world is really not an issue. We can't just distribute people randomly all over the place, like plants. The reason people live in cities is because that's where the jobs are, and unless we go back to a family-farmer economy, which is unlikely, people will continue to live in cities. It's really irrelevant how much land there is, when there are limited ways to support yourself if you live out in the middle of nowhere.

              Personally, I stopped at one child, because it was important to me to provide well for her, rather than to provide less well for her and additional children. It was also important to me to further my education, have a career, and be a good mother at the same time, and I couldn't have done those things if I had more children. If a person wants to be a stay-at-home parent and the other parent is able to support the family without going on welfare, that's their business. Good luck to them.

              Back to the original question -- I don't see what was so rude about the comments the woman made. In fact, it seems to me it's a compliment to tell someone they have their hands full, as it seems to recognize what a difficult job you are accomplishing. There's no need to make snippy comebacks at people if you feel confident about what you're doing. Just live your life, recognize that anything unusual is going to draw attention, and get on with it.

      2. Valerie F profile image60
        Valerie Fposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        It's because people can make more money selling off their farmland than they can growing crops. It's because urban renewal often costs more money and involves more hassle than building new developments. Do you know how many inner city buildings are uninhabitable?

        Back on topic, it's not always large families who are subject to rude comments. I only have two children, but because my children are less than two years apart in age, some people felt it was their business to call me "Fertile Myrtle," ask if I knew how "that" happened, or gasp in horror and openly question my sanity.

        After the second time my husband and I heard, "Are you crazy?!" I just smiled and said, "Maybe, but we're a happy bowl of nuts."

        1. Merriweather profile image60
          Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          I love the "Maybe, but we're a happy bowl of nuts" response!

    2. Mrvoodoo profile image61
      Mrvoodooposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      What about quality of life?  We could squeeze 100 people into each small room and feed them nutrient rich sludge twice a day, but they might prefer not to be alive under those circumstances, lol. big_smile

      1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
        prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        population density is still high, the problem is that people tend to go to the cities and concentrate there, do you knwo that people only inhabit 2 percent of the habitable earth and population is decreasing in many countries?

  23. rebekahELLE profile image90
    rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago

    I don't know, maybe these families that have 12 + children are real religious and want to have their own tribe!

    I used to work in a federally funded school readiness program, and it bothered me to see these kids come in already at a disadvantage and there was mom picking up her preschooler with a toddler in her arms and one in the oven with a pack of cigarettes stuffed into her purse. hmm  and these where the kids with behavior problems...  so I switched to a private school.

    1. rebekahELLE profile image90
      rebekahELLEposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      please excuse my spelling error!   'were the kids'

  24. Uninvited Writer profile image83
    Uninvited Writerposted 7 years ago

    I'm not comfortable telling people how many children than they can have or that having a big family is wrong. If they can afford to support them that is enough for me.

    Of course, it would be different if everyone had 10 or more children but they don't. Many of us don't have any children.

    1. prettydarkhorse profile image63
      prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      your right it is rude to tell them, sometimes also even if you have money, you still need to take care of them with quality time, how can you have quality time with your children if they are many

  25. prettydarkhorse profile image63
    prettydarkhorseposted 7 years ago

    Reproductive rights (the right to bear the number of children you want) are provided for in the constitution, (they are already punished in terms of tax deductions etc) but even if this is so, the society has a way of reducing the birth, when women are educated ,they tend to work more outside the house and dont want to give birth to children, and so as society develops, fertility rates decreases with time,thats why americas birth rate is 2 children per woman, in europe negative for some countries...

  26. Stimp profile image79
    Stimpposted 7 years ago

    Here's a twist I CHOSE not to have children.  That's right I CHOSE.  It does not mean that someone else having 4 children or 8 or 12 is not right.....it's NOT RIGHT for my life but completely right for their life.  I have helped raise two step kids....that's fine, happy to help to be a positive female influence in their life...NOT to be their temp mom when their mother was not around.

    At any rate, I'm not sure becoming a machine for the purpose of having some magical number of children to please some political voice when I don't want to is unrealistic.  SO, is telling someone who has 8 children that they have too many WHEN they really want 12. 

    Don't even get me started on Gene-side because the dudes who decided that only boys were worthy while girls were not, need to be altered with little more then a dull butter knife as their pals are forced to look on.

  27. profile image0
    B.C. BOUTIQUEposted 7 years ago

    I simply ignore rude people who have no appriciation for the creation of a life, I only have one child, and can not have anymore - not by choice either...

  28. AEvans profile image69
    AEvansposted 7 years ago

    My comment would be, " Yes I have 4 my husband and I wanted 12 we are 8 away from a baseball team so we are going to keep on trying." and walk away with a big smile. big_smile lol

    1. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Clever.  I'd been thinking just one more for basketball, but that makes sense, too. 

      I also so enjoy this:  "Are you done? Is this the last one?" as if birth control were ever a topic of polite conversation!

      1. AEvans profile image69
        AEvansposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        My comment would be, " I just found out I am 6 weeks pregnant with triplets!" that what make them behave. lololo big_smile

  29. pioneer_writer5 profile image60
    pioneer_writer5posted 7 years ago

    I have 5 children who are now all grown up. But I heard it all. I had a bunch of kids, a tribe, one or two more and I would have a team. Haven't I heard of birth control etc. Some people were just thoughtless. But my children are an intergral part of who I have become. They issued forth from my body and I have never been the same since they came into my life. They inspire within me a greater appreciation of life, of love, and of giving to others. Although they share the same parents, they are so remarkably unique and individual. To think of the experiences I would have missed out on if I did not have my children. Never allow any one to make you feel self conscious or bad about your children. For each is a gift a gift of life that is priceless. Priceless from the moment you hold them in your arms as warm soft little bodies to the day you stand proudly at their graduations thinking back to the day you unwrapped you gift by giving birth.

    1. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You're very kind.  They are indeed gifts and I wouldn't trade my life with them for anyone's.

  30. Helen Cater profile image60
    Helen Caterposted 7 years ago

    Just to add that my next door neighbour has 12 cats. Can I tell them to get rid because they poop in my Garden? Where do we draw the line here.

    1. Whitney05 profile image64
      Whitney05posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      You actually can file an official complaint. In most areas there are limits as to how many cats/dogs you can have unless you have a special permit. But, even if you have under the limit if your pets are basically harassing neighbors by trespassing, barking, making a mess, etc, you can file a complaint.

      1. Helen Cater profile image60
        Helen Caterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        I live in a nice place in the UK, and we just don't do things that way here, but if it were a problem I would complain. She only has her cats. How could I do that to her?

    2. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I guess you draw the line at the point where you feel you are being unreasonably interfered with.

      If one of the 12 cats smothers your baby? Is that over the line? Is she not responsible for the cats pooping in your garden?

      1. Helen Cater profile image60
        Helen Caterposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Of course not. That would be my responsibility.But I have no issue as she can not help liking cats, and if I were that bothered, I would move.

        1. dejajolie profile image60
          dejajolieposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          there is such a thing called Hoarding and animal cruelty it is highly unlikely she can properly maintain these cats (feed, bathe, etc) So yeah I believe 5 or 6 is the household limit.

  31. profile image0
    Justine76posted 7 years ago

    I burn my own trash, so no one else ahs to worry about doing that for me. I also told my neighbors cow to stop farting.

  32. profile image0
    seasoningposted 7 years ago

    you know what i don't know any one with 4 children now, although i had 3 and when my were little and all close to each other, i got strange comments.

    I do say to people "you have your hands full"... but it is not to be unkind.  I will think before i say it in future.

  33. profile image60
    tommywebster7987posted 7 years ago

    My brother has 7 kids - 3 boys and 4 girls. A lovelier family you couldn't hope to meet. The amount of people that assume they must be on state benefits and scrounging off the government is unreal. They work very hard to provide a good living for them. Of course, the one question they always get asked is - "Don't you have a television?". I heard a checkout girl ask that very question the other day in our local supermarket. He just smiled, but it really annoyed me, particularly as the question started drawing peoples attention. I have decided to have 10 of my own - just to give him a little breathing space!

  34. nigelking profile image59
    nigelkingposted 7 years ago

    So I am not the only one who is trying to populate the World with wonderful children. I have seven, nine if you include step kids. I have left a message for mine on my hub. Keep up the good work!

  35. It's just me profile image60
    It's just meposted 7 years ago

    Don't you find it ironic the people screaming about these things are the decendants of the people who tried to wipe out the indiginous peoples who were actually lived in harmony with nature. I think it's hilarious that most of the comments about the size of my family come from caucasians. The very decendants of the people who decimated my culture.
    Yep, my family and my people are the ones causing all the problems with over population and pollution----I don't think so.

    1. Mark Knowles profile image60
      Mark Knowlesposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      I am not sure what you mean by the word "ironic."

      Should I just give up and say "O, fuk it, I will carry on destroying the planet and, have 12 kids and use as much of the resources as I can"?

      But - if you know me at all, you will know I am vehemently opposed to the "god will provide" "man has dominion" "conquer the heathen and convert them to Christ" approach that some of my relatives had.

      I am having a tough time finding it in my heart to blame myself in anyway shape or form for the fact that your ancestors were incapable of looking after their culture. Or that my ancestors were total scumbags. Nor was I pointing any fingers at "your family" and "your people." In fact - I do not recall any reference to race or culture on this thread.

      Perhaps you could quote to correct that?

  36. It's just me profile image60
    It's just meposted 7 years ago

    I recieved this here on hubpages:
    On my hub Riding the Rollercoaster of Being the Parent of Asperger's Syndrome Sons
    Concerned Citizen says:

    Wow, I'm getting the feeling that your kids are aspies because you're so damn anal.
    You're avoiding wheat and milk because you haven't seen a nutritionist to see if it's safe? Are you actually sure your kids are lactose intolerant (which generally isn't the case in someone so young), or have a wheat/gluten allergy? Or have you just deprived their bodies of these things so long that they can't process them correctly without a weaning period?
    No red dye? No preservatives? Are your kids specifically allergic to these things, or is this some hippie hoojoo? Even if they are allergic, is it from deprivation?
    In my experience, Aspergers is an inflicted syndrome in the vast majority of cases, though can occasionally be part of autism caused by birth defects or genetics. If ALL your kids are this messed up, however, what are you doing having more? It's irresponsible, and they're not likely to contribute much to society, even if they manage to break even and not be a burden.

    In response I have rewritten my bio as I had very little on it before.

  37. Jay_the_Reviewer profile image61
    Jay_the_Reviewerposted 7 years ago

    Good Post.

    I got none, so no pressure here big_smile

  38. Mrs. Cora profile image61
    Mrs. Coraposted 7 years ago

    Well I think your response and astonishment is where I was 3 years ago when I was pregnant with #5 and my four children were with me an older woman said "your having another one? don't you have a T.V. at home?" I responded yes we have a T.V. but it only gets porno" This was not my bested moment it was june and it was hot. I think Tina V. had the best reponse cause there all healthy and like you eloquently said wanted and needed.

    ~Good luck

  39. profile image0
    lyricsingrayposted 7 years ago

    why is this rude?  She was just asking a few questions to talk and probably meant no harm in what she said she may have come across rude in how she said it.  Take pride in your kids and make an old lady happy but answering 3 questions while she waits.

  40. profile image0
    bloodnlatexposted 7 years ago

    When I was growing up, there was a family down the street that I think had like 8 or 9 kids.  Nothing wrong with that, except that the mother didn't work and the father worked once and a while.  They always made the kids stay outside and play so they could hang out inside by themselves and drink, smoke and f@%K.  So the neighborhood had to deal with a clan of filthy kids that thought they were entitled to whatever they wanted, and would throw a fit when someone said no.  Did I mention that they were the definition of poor white trash?  Oh yeah, the mother was known around the neighborhood as the foul mouthed vending machine.

  41. Bovine Currency profile image61
    Bovine Currencyposted 7 years ago

    At least if China takes over there is a chance we will all be under a one child policy.

    1. profile image0
      lyricsingrayposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      lol

      1. Bovine Currency profile image61
        Bovine Currencyposted 7 years ago in reply to this

        Are you checking me out?

        tongue

        1. profile image0
          lyricsingrayposted 7 years ago in reply to this

          totally lol

  42. ngureco profile image87
    ngurecoposted 7 years ago

    My Children is a gift from God and numbers are strength. The more children I have the stronger my family is. Another gift I have from God is my brains.

    But there is this woman I fear most. She is called Mother Nature. She is merciless. She currently does not want a couple to have more than two children because the resources on planet earth are limited. Mother Nature is also concerned at the speed we are getting those children - and not only that, but also the age we are getting them.

    Mother Nature has a law called survival for the fittest which tells me that I can feed on those very children if I am the fittest and the worst has come to the worst. If I am slow in doing it someone else will do it faster than me. To avoid that from happening, and to be fair to myself and the other humans, I think it’s only logical we control the number of children we are bringing into this planet (not just in America).

    The population of planet earth is now 6.5 billion people. This number of living humans is far much greater than all humans who have ever died since the origin of humans on planet earth more than 2 million years ago.

  43. profile image0
    sneakorocksolidposted 7 years ago

    We only had one and when people would ask is it a boy or a girl. I got him a hair cut. I brought all the curls home! My wife had some rude questions for me though.

  44. Dolores Monet profile image92
    Dolores Monetposted 7 years ago

    Somehow a lot of people have a lot to say if you have 4 kids. They think you're a nut or a religious fanatic or you are overpopulating the planet. Well, some of my family have 0 kids, others have 1. I am making up for their lack of kids. Maybe some people think I should have had a couple of abortions, but my kids don't think so and neither does the world which is a better place because of them.

  45. goldenpath profile image80
    goldenpathposted 7 years ago

    I don't have an answer to the initial question but my awkward moment is not so much in their asking how many I have but rather what my response is.  It would be easy just to say that I have three children, however, we lost our first child at birth back in 1992.  So although I have three at home in reality we've had four.  More often than not my response is overwhelmingly four.  Usually only if they know my children do I need to go through the explanation process.  To me it just doesn't feel right or comfortable saying three.

  46. ngureco profile image87
    ngurecoposted 7 years ago

    The right number of children for one couple to get is one pair of children (two children).

    This is because: 1/1=1, 1/1=1, 1/1=1 ……………… always =1 which is equal to wealth and happiness.

    One the other hand, if one couple get two pairs then: 1/2=1/2, 1/2 /2=1/4, 1/4/2=1/8, 1/8/2=1/16…………and at the end you will get zero which is equals to poverty and misery.

    1. profile image0
      Justine76posted 7 years ago in reply to this

      thats the funniest math I have ever seen!! kinda like that time someone said we had to divide our score by our hubs to see how popular we REALLY are.
      BTW I did not know 1=wealth. for me 1=lonely
      lol

  47. Dolores Monet profile image92
    Dolores Monetposted 7 years ago

    The right number of children - who are you to say how many children we can have? Suppose you don't want any children? Sorry - must have 2. Have 2 kids and get knocked up again by your loving husband? Abort the little darling? I get a little sick of these pushy people who like to tell folks with large, loving families that they are poisoning the planet, ecological criminals, and selfish bastards. I'd like to get together with some of these types and compare electric bills. Let's see who is using more fuel. Let's see who's buying more processed food.

    1. Merriweather profile image60
      Merriweatherposted 7 years ago in reply to this

      Actually, larger families may be even more gentle on the planet than smaller ones in some ways.  Yes, we use more water, but doing things in bulk (e. g. cooking) is often more effecient.

      Clothes and toys are not outgrown and tossed in a landfill:  they are handed down.  My family buys a great deal of secondhand items, eliminating packaging and shipping. 

      Breastfeeding requires no plastic or water used for preparation as does formula.  And kids in large families learn to live with less because they usually have less than singletons:  less space, less money, fewer resources. That seems to me like a great recipe for rearing children who will be friends of the earth.

  48. mpurcell10 profile image60
    mpurcell10posted 7 years ago

    As a mother of 8 I really understand.Once upon a time that was normal now people treat me like I am a freak show.I hate the questions like are they all yours? or how many fathers do they have? is just as bad. Is it so weird to want a big family and be married to the only father?

  49. Dolores Monet profile image92
    Dolores Monetposted 7 years ago

    In general, large families teach frugality, sharing, and creativity. Kids learn to deal with other personalities at an early age. They become emotionally 'tough' yet big-hearted. My kids are grown now and are all thrifty and quite non-materialistic because they have learned that real joy does not come from buying or owning things.

  50. pennyhowington profile image61
    pennyhowingtonposted 7 years ago

    I'm feelin' you! I had five kids, and not only were people suprised that they were all mine, but some even asked if they all had the same father!  It's sad that people would even wonder that, but in today's world, I suppose it's getting rare.

 
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