The contempt shown to parents of large families

I have five children. The oldest is 7; that means that in my 8 years of marriage we’ve been…..busy.

I always wanted a large family. That’s probably because I am an only child, my parents are divorced, my mother is also an only child with divorced parents. With no immediate family to speak of, and a very small extended family on my mother’s side, I was lonley, to say the least. I saw my friends with brothers and sisters and wanted that for myself. Although I couldn’t have it growing up, I decided to create that large family and give that gift to my children.

I always envisioned a large dining table, full of people for dinner. And they were all part of one family; my family. I love that we already have that now. And although they are still very small and needy, they are growing. The hardest years are behind me ( I think. Or hope.) and they are little by little becoming “real” people.

Kim from Life In A Shoe posted the following article from Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, and it was right up my alley. I hope you enjoy it.

Why are people impressed that Jay Leno owns 20 motorcycles, but disgusted that some religious families choose to have 10 children?

Let’s not finesse the response. We all know why. A world that has lost its innocence has trouble appreciating beings who are innocent. A world that has become selfish has soured to the idea of leading a life of selflessness. A world that has become grossly materialistic is turned off to the idea of more dependents who consume resources. And a world that mistakenly believes that freedom means a lack of responsibility is opposed to the idea of needy creatures who “tie you down.”

Read the rest of this article here.

How do you feel about large families? Do you think there’s something “wrong” with having more than 2 or 3 children? Why do you have the number of children you do? Have you felt pressure from society/family/friends to have fewer children than you really want? Let’s talk.

4 Replies to “The contempt shown to parents of large families”

  1. I don't think there is anything wrong with having a large family. We have two so far and count them as great blessings. I have definitely felt pressure from society and acquaintances to stop at two. For some reason people feel it's their duty to comment on the fact that two is the perfect number and imply that if you have more you are crazy and/or irresponsible! I find this offensive and rude.

    I recently had someone comment on the fact that I was too young to have two children. They actually felt sorry for me! They made the snide remark, Don't you have a TV? Apparently they thought this was funny while I thought it was very crude and inappropriate. Why people think saying things like this are ok is beyond me.

  2. The two hardest comments I received (from loving family members) when I announced a pregnancy (2 different ones) were: "Oh, no!" and "Honey, you're not a baby factory, you know." It was so upsetting. They really do love me and had my best interest in mind, they just don't understand the concept of treating it as a blessing and only seem to think that pregnancy is something for me to control, something to do only if it is "convenient". Sad.

  3. Growing up I was teased because ours was the only family on the block that had FOUR *gasp* kids -it seemed huge then! Our child happened to us surprisingly & rather late biologically, so now we are always asked "When will you have another?" There still seems to be a stigma attached to having only 1 child. Can't we just be happy that we have families to love no matter what the size? LOL

  4. I'm surprised to hear you say there's a stigma attached to having only one. I thought that common thought was 1, 2, 3 at the MOST was "normal".

    I recently read a blog post where a family with 6 children were not given seating together in a restaurant. Society has gotten so far away from the idea of many children being "normal" that larger families aren't even accommodated any more.

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