Big Families: Are They all Yours??

 With 7 children, I don’t feel like our family is “huge” but sometimes people we meet in public seem to think it is and we often get comments like:

“Are they all yours?”
“You’ve got your hands full!”
“Do you need to see a doctor?” (I was asked this by a man in Taco Bell the other day!)
“I don’t know how you do it!”
“When can we schedule you for a tubal?” (From a nurse just an hour after the birth of our second!)
“You just set a record for the longest grocery receipt I’ve ever printed out!” (from the checkout guy at Dillon’s)

Ultimately, I realize most people are trying to be either helpful or friendly. And I’ve actually had some great discussions (and learning experiences) that started with unsolicited advice. But just for laughs, I wanted to share some of the funniest comebacks I found floating around the Internet: 

Are they all yours?

“Of course they are all mine. Do you think I take 6 young children shopping just for kicks?”

“No, and I have no idea why all these children are following me!”

“No. I run a daycare that only accepts children who look exactly like me.”

“Yes! Isn’t God wonderful?”

“Why? Is there one you would like?”

“Yes, and they’ll be paying your social security and disability one day.”

You do know what causes that, right?

“Yes! Would you like me to tell you about it?”  OR

“No, I don’t. Will you explain to me exactly how it works?” (with a very innocent expression)

“Of course I do. It’s the stork. Everybody knows that!”

I don’t know how you do it!

“I drink. Copiously.”

“I’ve actually been institutionalized. I’m out today on a pass.”

“I don’t know how you don’t!”

“Thanks to your tax dollars, I can!”

You must be one very busy woman!

“Actually, the children do all the work and I just sit around watching soap operas and eating chocolate.”

“And you must be the genius of your family!”

Do you ever get any time for yourselves?

“Obviously we do, or my husband and I wouldn’t have all these children.”

“Every once in a while, I get to go to the bathroom alone. And it’s awesome.”

You’ve got your hands full!

“Yes, I do. Would you like to help?”

“And you’ve got some broccoli stuck between your teeth!”

“I’d rather my hands be full than empty.”

“And this is only half of my family!”

You might want to see a doctor.

“I’m in perfect health. However, you obviously need your head examined.”

“Conceiving a child means that something went right not that something went wrong.”

“I’ve got an appointment scheduled with my midwife next week!”

Are you planning to have more?

“Let me check with God real quick.” (pause) “Ok, He says it’s none of your business.”

“Yeah. We’re not going to stop until we have an ugly one.”

“Yep, as long as the government subsidies keep coming.”

“Of course. When you are as smart and as beautiful as I am, it’s in the public interest to keep procreating.”

“I plan. God laughs.”

You know there’s something you can take to prevent that!

“Oh yeah, everybody knows about aspirin.”

(Looking around at all your children) “And which one would you suggest I should have prevented?”

“Wait a second. Is this a sales pitch?”

How do you afford to feed them all?

“I’ll fax you a copy of our budget.”

“I’m a total gold digger and married a rich man.”

“I accept cash and checks. Would you like to make a free will donation?”

“We can’t. Everything we own is on credit cards, my husband just lost his job and we’re about to file bankruptcy. Thanks for asking…..”

“All of our children work the night shift here at Wal-Mart.”












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  1. Lol. Love these!
    I only have two and I hate how pushy everyone is about not having more. I’d love way more! Although the comments I got when we were TTC and going through years of infertility were far more ridiculous. It seems no matter what your situation, people think your reproductive organs are somehow their business. Sheesh.

  2. “You know what causes that, right?” Of course I do! I’m just having too much fun to quit!
    “Are they all yours?” Yes Then I was asked if they were all by the same father!!!! I answered, “Yes. And I even married him!

  3. I have 5 kids too (for now) and I have yet to receive any line crossing comments about my large family. I think people are usually too distracted by my chatty two year old who wants to have a long conversation with them, and the baby who is so adorably cute….that they lose their train of thought some LOL

  4. This is a great list! Thanks for posting.

    When we moved west with four children we began to be greeted with the terms, “You’ve got a nice group here.” They are really afraid to suggest that we might be an integral family! We now have eight.

    My favorite answer so as to elicit good thoughts is, “God calls them blessings! We’re happy to have them.”

    • I definitely love a positive answer! You can’t go wrong there, especially when you say it with a big smile. I often respond to people who tell me I have my hands full with “Yes, aren’t they wonderful!” I don’t feel the need to explain myself or apologize or anything like that. I just want people to know I love and appreciate each of our blessings.

      I visited your blog today and it looks great! What wonderful resources!

      • Where’s the Like button?

        Yes, a positive answer is at least a help to me and I hope it is a help to the other person. Now I’m at the other end where ours are beginning to leave and we are looking at other families thinking, “Aw. Cute!”

  5. Love the blog post! It seems like even if you say something to defend yourself for having so many kids they still push birth control on you. They don’t get it. What if you told them, “As much as you don’t like me being in your bedroom, stay out of mine.” My husband tells everyone when they ask how many do we plan on having, he says, “all of them”.

    A catholic priest once said that people aren’t use to large families anymore and because of that when they ask you these ridiculous questions they are just shocked because they don’t know what else to say. The priest also told us to be happy to have so many children because that’s what God wants.

    • Thanks, Rita! I love your husband’s response, too 🙂 And that priest is probably on to something; I guess a lot of people are just ignorant of the fact that large families not only exist but that they are extremely happy and well-functioning! I love how Mother Theresa once said “Too many children? That’s like too many flowers!”

  6. I actually had a Lutheran Pastor from my son’s preschool ask me whether we plan to have more in a very snide, teasing manner. I told him that he should know that it was up to God.

  7. Our favorite reply to those kind of comments is “We left the big kids home with the triplets.” People either laugh or gasp in horror. My kiddos love it!

  8. Some of the incredulity may come from their own fears of inadequacy as a parent. I only have two right now, myself, and some days I find myself really, really wanting more. Other days, I want to crawl back into bed and say, I quit! Granted, some people are judging you, but I bet, for the most part, they’re judging themselves.

  9. Love these responses…and I can relate to so many of them!

    When people ask where my girls get their red hair, I’ve said the mailman, and my favorite is L’oreal #275. They seriously think I would dye my girls’ hair!

  10. Haha now I know what to say when my family asks me how many more we’re planning on having! I have three. I recently had a guy very tactfully ask me if they were all mine. He thought I adopted. lol Another woman asked me if my daughter was Asian. They’re chicanos (half Mexican). With how often we’re told how beautiful our children are, my husband says he should offer stud services. lol I tell him he can’t, because they’re half my DNA and he wouldn’t have such success with someone else. 😉

  11. My husband is one of eight. This is pure awesomeness.
    I seriously was laughing out loud. Sent it on to my MIL and Hubs to enjoy. 🙂
    And really. I get some of these lines and I only have TWO boys! They’re 26 months apart in age.
    I have my hands full of pure awesomeness and tons of love!

  12. we’re pregnant with #4 and hesitant to tell because my family was so vocal about #3 being overboard. mind you we take care of our children and I stay home with them we are financially stable, my grandma just feels so strongly about not having ” lots” of kids and thinks everyone should feel the same way. 🙁 it does seem to take some of the joy out of my pregnancies. we also have all boys and get the ” are you gonna try for a girl?” comments I think it so strange ppl think its any business of theirs! I never thought to say any of these things although I may now in the future! lol

    • Demitra, Isn’t it amazing how you can be doing everything right (bringing them up well, providing for all their needs, etc.) and people still think there’s something wrong with having many children? It amazes me, too, what people think is open territory for comments and questions. Every time my neighbor notices that I’m expecting again she asks in a very direct and pointed way “So…how many you are planning on having?” I would NEVER ask a mother or father that question! It’s very personal! ~Anne

  13. I have 2 children 16.5 months apart and am pregnant again. People have been so rude. (well people that don’t understand). My mil now calls me her grandbaby making machine 🙂 I don’t get why anyone think it’s their business. When people say you have your hands full, I’m like I know right, better make room for the next one….or the ever growing, You know what causes that right, I reply with , a happy marriage 🙂

    • I think the rudeness that people display comes from several things. Some want to make you feel guilty for bringing more children into a world they see as “maxed out” in terms of resources. Others truly think you are ignorant and need to be informed about birth control. Still others just don’t understand what it’s like to grow up or be close to a large family; it just wasn’t part of their experience so their ignorance leads to comments and questions which come off as rude.

      I love YOUR comeback, April!! ~Anne

  14. Judging others if far too easy. I received a beautiful letter from a friend whom I grew up with when I became pregnant with my first (out of wedlock). She wrote about how she had always judged the sort of woman in my situation with scorn, but now knew better. Her roommate (as we were in college at the time) had suggested that I speak to the campus pro-life group, in order to give them some perspective. My situation was scary and for one moment, I completely understood how a woman could take the “easy way out”. We need to offer each other compassion; it is easy to judge, when you are not the woman in the situation.

    • Kristin, thank you for sharing your story! Women in crisis pregnancies definitely need support and encouragement. As you pointed out, it helps to try and understand what they are going through, and what might be motivating them to consider ending the pregnancy. The situation may appear hopeless, but it never truly is! The most successful pro-life efforts and organizations are not judgmental at all; they are helpful, hopeful, generous and loving towards both mother AND child. ~Anne

    • I too speak to people in crisis. I was homeless a lot of my first pregnancy…didn’t have a job most of it, nor means to feed myself. However I still chose life 🙂 I hope that I can do great works with my story in my future 🙂

      • Aprill, it is to be commended that you persevered despite those obstacles, and I’m glad that God might find a way to use your story in the future to help other mothers facing crisis! ~Anne

  15. Q. Are you trying for a basketball team or a baseball team?
    A. I was thinking more along the lines of an infantry platoon — someone has to fight to protect the right of stupid people to say stupid things. 🙂

  16. Awesome. Purely awesome!!! You should print T-shirts! I’ve considered having some printed too….”Yes they are all mine” and “WOW! You can count!” I’ve used some of these myself. Laughed outloud at several on your list…..the broccoli, great! And this one is my fav, “I’ve actually been institutionalized. I’m out today on a pass.” LOL!!! I gotta do that! 🙂 Have a great day and thanks for the smile!

  17. Dear lovely Ladies who have big families I salute you and your husbands and wish you health and happiness! I myself only have two as I started late being a career minded young women who bought the feminist lie that children would limit my potential and were something of a burden. Being a mother is the best thing I have ever done and if I was younger (I am 54) I would have many more. You are indeed raising the future and should get massive tax breaks for doing so, since your children are they workers and tax payers of the next generation. I hope more and more young people (men and women) come to comprehend the lasting joy that big families bring that cannot compare with spoiling oneself with material items. I think materialism has a lot to do with many peoples general reluctance to have children in the west. Lots of children = less money to spend on ones own luxuries.