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15 Things You Should Never Say to the Mom of a Large Family

By Lori Garcia |

All hail moms of large families. I don’t know how these amazing women manage to run a household and care for so many, but they do and damn if that’s not a beautiful thing.

As someone who can barely manage the two kids she has, I bow down to these supermoms. May your patience and maternal powers wash over my frazzled soul.

It seems only fitting that moms of large families would have amazing hearts and selfless souls, yet the public seems to have different ideas.

I asked moms of four or more kids for the most ridiculously offensive things said to them in public. Oh my, can people suck.

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Things You Should Never Say to the Mother of a Big Family

I know you're busy but...

Just because I'm busy doesn't mean I don't want to be included or notified of things.

[Image credit: Shutterstock]

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About Lori Garcia


Lori Garcia

Lori Garcia is a writer and mother of two living and loving in Southern California. When she's not fussing with her bangs, you can find her shaking her groove thing on her personal blog, Mommyfriend where she almost never combines true tales of motherhood and mayhem with her degree in child development. Read bio and latest posts → Read Lori's latest posts →

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44 thoughts on “15 Things You Should Never Say to the Mom of a Large Family

  1. Ladera Mom says:

    People are SO RUDE! I want four kids, and I feel like every time I mention that – people judge me, or make some comment about it. Why does no one respect other people’s decisions?!

  2. MrsK says:

    I think you should say How Wonderful to a mother of none or many…All the same.

  3. Amanda says:

    My sister in law has 6 kids and I can’t imagine saying any of this to her. Please don’t tell me people actually say these things!?!?!?

  4. Angela says:

    I am sick of hearing “soon you’ll have your own soccer team”. I’ve had about 5 people say that to me since revealing my pregnancy with baby #4…I like to think they’re all just jealous! :)

  5. Amanda Elkohen says:

    another classic: “So, are you ‘done’ yet?” AND if you have all of one sex “Are you trying for a (or another) girl/boy?”

  6. Pam says:

    We want four and my husband is kind of like, if four, why not 5 or 6. Honestly, I see us with somewhere between 3-5. I don’t really consider that a super large family or anything. I mean I think of large families having 10 kids. Anyways, that said, right now we have two and I got crappy reactions when I told a couple people that we were starting to try for number 2 when number 1 was 12 months. They acted like it was too soon, how will I care for two, what if they fight…. Omg, it’s 2! People are annoying. Everyone knows now that we plan more. We’ve actually just started trying for number3 and no one has had anything but positive things to say this time.

  7. Samantha Vanlandingham says:

    Ugh I have 4 wonderful children ages 6, 5, 2 & 4 months. I get asked alot of those 15 and it drives me insane. What I get asked most that really ticks me off is “are you done” or ” please tell me that’s it” Just because some people don’t want many kids don’t mean those of us who do should be critized. I love all of my children, I was an only child by my father & have a half brother by my mom who is almost 6 years younger than me & who I rarely saw growing up. So I always knew I wanted a large family. I don’t regret any of them.

  8. Linda says:

    I wish I hadn’t had problems that forced me to have a hysterectomy at such an early age. I would have kept on having kids until I couldn’t any longer (well, I did that but it only came to 3)! Those who have many kids are super lucky and I envy them so very much! But we have to take the rolls with the punchs, right? I now have 6 grandchildren and counting! And I take them with me whenever I am allowed to – I have very protective children – that is they are very protective of their children and since we live fairly far apart, it has been a problem. But – this year one will be 11 and two of them will be six and I’ll get a 1 year old in the deal because she doesn’t like to be away from her six year old brother. I’m still working on the three year old and his three month old brother… It may be a little while before I get to take those two anywhere, they still need Mommy hugs and kisses in the middle of running around with the other kids. It’s hilarious! All of the kids (except the babies) are running around and the 3 year old has to take a detour to be able to get a hug or kiss from his mother and then back to running with the pack! I came from a family of 8, so I feel cheated that I only had three – I did have five miscarriages. Yes, I was raised Catholic but it had nothing to do with it~I just love large families!

  9. Chantelle says:

    I had 4 in 5 years, but haven’t gotten too many of these. For sure the “Are they all yours,” which doesn’t bother me, and “You know what causes that, don’t you?” whenever I revealed another pregnancy. I get tons of sympathetic “Oh my, you’re busy!” types of comments, which is a bit like stating the obvious, but no big deal. Some people are dumb, some are not…just a fact of life! :)

  10. Elizabeth says:

    Yep, people really do say these things. Family included. We have two (13 months and 2) and i was extremely unsure as to how to tell people #3 was on the way. Even with two, i was constantly getting the line ‘ oh, now you have one of each! Youre done now, right?’ Im sorry, my husband and i both wanted more than two, and although we were a bit suprised when they ended up being so close together, oh well. I have heard almost every one of these, and a few even more rude ones. It makes you angry, especially when you hear it from a family member with no children. But then i just remind them they are my babies, this is our life, and we love them more than anything in this world. Love multiplies, it doesnt divide.

  11. patrice says:

    I have 6 kids and I’ve heard all these comments at some point but the one I found super offensive was the “close your legs” one,I just thought it was so rude for someone to say that! Like really who would say that to someone. I LOVE having a big family and I would’ve had 10 more if I could’ve but I was 39 when I had my last baby and I felt I was getting to old to keep having babies. Big families ROCK!!!!

  12. antuanet says:

    How about “do they all have the same dad?”

  13. kerri says:

    Yep. We have ten and I’ve heard most of those several times. Another one was “You know this all starts with a kiss, right?”

    It bothers me most when they say things in front of the kids. Like they need to apologize for taking up airspace or something. Like they aren’t people who have feelings too… even if they ARE (gasp) number 7.

    I don’t know why people think their comment is so clever that I just need to hear it. But anyway… life goes on. :P

  14. Wende says:

    I think the worst one I have gotten was, “Wow, you look really good for someone who’s had nine kids!” As if she expected to see an elephant, or something!

  15. Tiffany says:

    My husband and I were in Walmart, and had our 4 kids with us. This woman looked me up and down, and rudely goes, “Wow, don’t you guys own a tv?” I was so stunned all I could do was laugh – how rude! Another one I always got when I was pregnant with our 4th was, “Was THAT planned”. Finally, I got so sick of it, I would just respond with, “Was THAT any of your freaking business?!” Shut them up pretty good!!! (PS – the only child not planned, was our first. He was most definitely the best surprise my husband and I have ever received though!)

  16. Cindy says:

    I think the most hurtful thing said to me as a mother..your kids are heathens! I was crushed, on top of this said by a family member.

  17. June says:

    I don’t have a large family but I always wanted one. God had other plans though. Some of these comments sound like they were made by the same people who ask me, an adoptive mom, “How can you love a child that isn’t yours?” People are just so rude.

  18. Tracy says:

    LOL. We have three and I always get the “wow you are busy” or “are they ALL yours” Like 3 is a huge number. Wish I could have had more but after number three I had medical issues. And YES I do spend quality time with ALL three of them and love them all to the moon and back. I take most comments with a grain of salt and just say Yes. :)

  19. angel says:

    “Are they all yours?” what’s wrong with asking that? I’ve asked that and sometimes they aren’t all theirs, they are baby sitting or something. I love kids and usually I’ll just say how cute they all are and the little ones are amazing and make me laugh with all their silliness. I have two kids, maybe we will have one more, not sure, I’m already 39 so I have to decide soon. Some of these are extremely rude though and I can’t believe people say that out loud, though I’m probably thinking the same thing about a person with more than 6 kids, but who cares what I think, that’s my opinion and I’m not going to throw rude remarks at you for your choice. To each his own.

  20. Jodi Rives says:

    When I told my grandmother I was pregnant with #4 at 40, her response was, “You needed another baby like you need a hole in your head.” And my youngest brother, on hearing the news, said “Sh**! If you were a professional athlete, you’d have to retire by now!” Welcome to the family, wee one! Sheesh.

  21. Willa says:

    I’m 40 and a mom to four daughters ranging in age from 11-22. For as long as I’ve been a parent, I’ve heard negative comments. First, bc my husband & I were so young with all these little girls… We’ve heard everything from, “wow, you almost have a softball team!” (yeah, maybe we can try to make an ump too!), “you must be Catholic” (yep, must be it), “any plans to stop?” (um, at some point…), “you must be broke, feeding all those kids” (as a matter of fact, can we come over for dinner?), omg, you can’t possibly have time for all of them, don’t you think they feel neglected (uh, NO. they seem pretty happy to me) and my fave “are they all yours?” to which I replied “well… we’re not sure who the mother is”. Now, many years later, our oldest is in the Air Force, next one is in school to become an EMT, our third is studying to be a vet & our youngest is happily enjoying her gifted & talented program in the 5th grade. I especially love the looks we get, now that they are older. We go places and people just don’t know what to think! We hear “oh, are these your little sisters? or “what… were you, like, 10 when you started popping them out?” why don’t you come over here and I’ll pop you in the face? :)
    Anyhow, our lives are chaotic, at best, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. Besides… it’s nice having a built in retirement plan! haha! ;)

  22. pam says:

    Some of these are really rude but others aren’t. I think parents of large families need to stop being so sensitive. Then that seems like your self conscious of your choice and you shouldn’t be.

  23. Tana Zoller says:

    I have heard all 15 of these. It’s crazy! LOL. I was on an elevator at the hospital for my OB/GYN appointment w/ our 4 kids & one in the belly. A male nurse on the elevator looked at me disgustingly & said “Are you trying to start your own Army, or something…?” & the other nurse next to him said “Right? Wow…are they ALL yours??!??” I looked at them both, looked at my kids & said “Wouldn’t have it any other way…” & turned my back on them. Some people are just rude and don’t know what to say. If they were raising my kids, putting food in their mouths or a roof over their head, then they could say something. My family (I have 4 brothers) have never been supportive of how many kids we have/going to have. We’re on #5 & we know we want at least 1 more. We’re still young enough & well enough. The way I see it, the more kids, the more love. :) Power to ALL us Moms…1 kid or 15!

  24. Deborah says:

    I want a lot of kids. My aunt has 6. I have one right now, and because I am still in school, my husband and I don’t want to have another one, till I’m done (3 more years!) But I want twins. People think I am joking when I tell them this, but it is true, I want twins!. I am 23, I had my daughter in July of last month, when I was 22. I have to tell people that she was planned, even so, I still feel judge. What is wrong with having to have a lot of kids and starting when you are young?

  25. Samira says:

    yeah I’m the oldest of 7 my step mother was a slave driver and not very nice about it Her kids were gold while me and my brother and sister were the spawn of Satan or something they could do no wrong while everything was our fault and I hated it. I got out of there as soon as I was legal and had a place to go to

  26. Samira says:

    OK so I don’t want that many kids I would like two but I’ll probably only have one but just because I don’t want that many and my family was large doesn’t mean that its not the right thing for other families I agree people should stop judging those were some pretty rude things to say and if they are parents they would know how its possible to love more than one child at a time lets hope none of them are parents

  27. Samira says:

    I would like one more I was 2 weeks away from 27 years old when my daughter was born and she’ll be 2 this year so I’ll be 29 her father and I aren’t together anymore and I have at least another month before I’ll be with my new boyfriend who neither of us are sure can have kids anymore as he is 21 years older than me and a diabetic guess if we decide we want one it may be difficult but we’ll manage I happy with just one for now but that doesn’t mean that large families are bad or deserve some of the rude comments from above I have heard the are they all yours comment before as well as a few others the all they all yours comment isn’t really rude considering the answer is no for us it was me my brother y sister then my step brother his brother and the twins who were my step mother and my dad’s

  28. Raina says:

    I am very short in stature & i guess people think i’m young or they are just rude … but i have 2 boys & have gotten looks & rude comments for all of their 11 & 8 years of life.. i have been guided to the youth group when i visited 2 different churches! after they marched me to the nursery first :) i was 30 the last time that happened to me… im now thirty-six & have added 2 more children to our family making 4 kids raging from 2yrs-11yrs old… the younger 2 are foster children & i love all of them ..You should see the glares i get now & the rude comments… one of the worst comments i got was by a cashier who rang up my WIC & she told me to get out my foodstamp card for the rest so that none of my groceries would cost me a cent… as she made a rude huffing noise to the customer behind me & they both shook their heads in discust …. well i didn’t feel that they should know that i wasn’t on food stamps (who cares if i was!) & that these 2 little children have been neglected & abused in their very short life on this earth & my husband & i took them in off & on for years before the state stepped in & we got WIC! By the grace of God lots of tears & love they are safe, clean & no longer hungry… those small minded people can have their rude comments … & we will walk away & enjoy our day :)

  29. Jennifer Dingler says:

    I have 4 , 3 girls and a boy. I would like more. I have heard most if these comments. I hate hearing it from family, that hurts the worst. Strangers I can ignore, my family will always be there to make their oppinion known! My children’s ages are 14, 8, 5, and 10 months. The baby boy is spioled rotten by his sisters! I love all my kids, even those I didn’t get a chance to know.

  30. Janet says:

    How about ‘are you finished yet’ or ‘do your know what’s causing it?’ oh geck off.

  31. bronwen says:

    Hi, i have 4 kids. i actually am of the Mormon faith, so thought a really great response might be something like yes and my husband has another 15 kids to his other 3 wives!!!! Keep smiling and don’t let others tactless comments get you down. you and your kids are so lucky !

  32. Theresa Woetai says:

    I don’t get upset I laugh because I think they are funny there is nothing wrong with havin a lot of kids. I have 8 and yes I would like more but for now I want to enjoy my 7 months old a little bit longer before I try again. I have people say you must be crazy and don’t you a have tv come on man what does a tv got to do with it can have sex with tv on, are people really that dumb. I am happy and proud of my family and no silly comment can knock me down because I believe its God plan if we can have more kids then why not if we can cope then why not if we can open our leg then why not lol

  33. Anna says:

    I have 4 beautiful kids and I have had all of these comments, and worse said to me. And for the person, Pam I think, who said large families shouldn’t be so sensitive, spend a day in my shoes and see how you feel when you get endless comments from stupid inconsiderate people about your “large family”. I often wonder why people feel the need to comment at all, there is an old saying – if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all!

  34. Tai says:

    Oh! I love this article, We have 15 children ranging in age from 32 to 6. Here are my top 10 most hated questions and remarks.

    1. Are you Catholic?
    A. No we are actually Pict. A non-Christian based religion handed down from generation to generation in our family.
    2. How many dads are there?
    A. One. My husband
    3. Better you than me.
    A. Yes, yes you are correct as with all things, to the victor goes the spoils.
    4. Are they all really yours?
    A. Yes, that’s what their birth certificates say.
    5. Oh no, I meant which ones are really yours and which ones are adopted?
    A. Why are you going to treat them any different if they are adopted?
    ( this is usually said in front of my children)
    6. So how much in food stamps do get for all those kids?
    A. 0, Nada, Nothing… We know how to cook and we work.
    7. So who is (insert child’s name here) real father.
    A. Besides the fact it is none of your business, We will discuss that with said child and as
    Far as their REAL father, That would be my husband who is better known as daddy.
    8. I bet you homeschool.
    A. Why yes we do, However it is probably not for the reasons you think.
    9. I bet your house is just a mess?
    A It is not spotless, but it is in order. Everything in it’s place and a place for everything.
    However the floor is not moped every single day, the dusting is not always done and
    There may be a few dishes in the sink, but my children are happy.
    10. I guess all your older kids do all the chores and take care of the younger kids?
    A. Why yes, you caught me, I have more and more children so I can have cheap labor!

  35. Rebecca says:

    1. How many are his and how many are yours? (All of them)
    2. Which ones are twins? (None, they are just really close together)
    3. You must not have TV! (We own one, but we don’t have cable, we play games and spend time outdoors……together)
    4. You must beat them all the time to make them behave like they do! (Actually, because they are so close together, they had no chance to learn to be “bad”. Mom had a new baby to take care of and good behavior gets all the attention)
    5. You must be babysitting! ( Actually had one woman ask me why I would bring the whole daycare class to the doctor’s office)

    The insensitive comments drove me crazy! Our children are 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.

  36. Kate says:

    As a childfree (by choice) person, I want to assure you mothers of large families that you aren’t alone in receiving rude, insensitive comments about your reproductive choices. It seems there is no shortage of nosy, rude people out there who’ll jump at the first opportunity to belittle anyone who deviates from the “norm”. I’ve heard everything from the classic “You’ll change your mind someday!” followed by a derisive laugh, to the always trusty “You’re so selfish for not having kids”, all the way to “But who will take care of you when you’re old?”

    Luckily, I’m secure in my choices and this sort of thing doesn’t bother me anymore, but I used to get furious at the fact that complete strangers had no problems telling me how to live my life. Forget ‘em, I say; as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters.

  37. Jenny says:

    I think people are just getting ruder. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance, kids, no kids, single, married, old, young. There are always people out there who feel entitled to your personal information and that you need to have their opinion.
    Maybe years of reality TV makes people think that sharing *everything* is the norm, who knows.
    I tend to vary between the “just ignore the stupid people” approach, and the “jam the stupidity back down their throats” version, depending on my mood. Surprisingly, neither seems to change anyone.

  38. Karolyn says:

    I think alot of these things are rude, and most i would never ask. But I do think them sometimes when i see parents who dont know how to raise their kids, or i see really unruly children. My opinion is that large families are great, if the parents actually parent and give them the love and care they need.

  39. Michele(7kids) says:

    We have seven beautiful, talented children. When they were little I was walking past a group of men who were standing outside of a bar. I had two in a double stroller and 2 on each side of the stroller and my oldest holding on to the handlebar. My children were well-dressed, well-behaved and yet, one of those sub-humans in a tie, decided to exclaim loudly ” ever heard of birth-control?!” I was so shocked, all I could do was hold my head high, swallow the lump in my throat and tell my children to ignore that man. On another occasion, we had stopped by a fast food place to get some take-out. When the cashier heard that I wanted 7 kids meals and 2 adult meals, she instantly gave me that” you’ve got to be kidding look and muttered something under her breath. Her manager saw the order and told me that next time I need to call ahead if I’m going to order that much food. Nice, huh?

  40. Tanya says:

    I am the mother to 6 beautiful boys. I have gotten rude comments but after my 4th pregnancy, which was triplets, we heard even more rude comments. I have had people come out and ask me why I would have multiples on purpose when I already had 3. And I will tell them, actually I was on birth control when I became pregnant with triplets. As though its any of your business. So, to all of you anti-large families that tell us to get on birthcontrol, tell them sure, I might just end up with 3 more!!! I wouldnt trade my family for anything. My house is not messy but there is always something to clean, but so what?? I know I take better care of my 6 boys than some families do 1. My boys are the boys who ppl comment on when we go out to dinner that they are so well behaved and they dont make a mess. My boys are 10-7-4 and my triplets are 27 months old!!

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  44. cindy loose says:

    Of course the world is grossly overpopulated–over 7 billion, most without adequate water, food and energy for a decent life.

    Consider this:
    If you have 11 children, and they each have 11 children, that’s 121.
    If those grandchildren then each have 11, that’s 1,331
    One more generation–14,641
    Are your genes really so special you deserve to put that many more people on the earth? added people. ntIf you have 11Unless you believe in some technological miracles, there is now way the earth will provideWater, food and energy

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