It sometimes happens with three children. It often happens when four are there.
But when you’re out in public with five or more children, you know to just expect it.
Someone will make a comment about your family size, but there’s no telling if the comment will come with a happy smile, a look of shock, or maybe even a touch of snark.
Sometimes when a stranger says something about the number of children I have with me, they are genuinely trying to be friendly and are truly just surprised to see five little ones in tow.
Other times the comment or question makes me uncomfortable, and I’m not exactly sure what to say. These things are typically said in front of my children, and it can be really shocking to think what a person I’ve never met before will say about my family size right in front of those dear family members!
I’ve wondered many times how to respond to these questions. A good friend who is the blessed mom of ten children once told me that she tries to keep in mind that these people have probably never seen a big family, and our responses can help them see the positive side to it. I thought that was so wise and have taken it to heart.
I want to try to store up some good answers in my mind so that the next time someone makes a comment about our family size, I can reply in a way that honors my marriage, my children (who may very well be listening), and the Lord. Perhaps hearing a positive answer will make someone think twice about their attitude towards family and children.
And so, together with the community on the Smithspiration’s Facebook page, I’ve compiled some grace-filled and witty responses to the common questions and comments thrown at moms of big families. And if you’re not part of our Facebook community, click that link and be sure to join us!
Said with a genuine smile, they might make someone stop and think, or at least stop talking. That could be a big win, too.
Wow, you’re hands sure are full!
“They sure are! And so is my heart.”
“I’m so glad they are. I’d much rather have them full than empty.”
“Yes they are; they’re very full of love and blessings.”
You’re done now, right?
“We’re glad to accept whatever children the Lord wants to send us.”
“We’re actually very thankful for all of our children and aren’t ready to make that decision.”
“Why do you ask? We think that’s a decision best left for private discussion.”
Don’t you know what causes that?
“We’re actually thankful that each of our children have come into our lives. We would never have wanted to stop them from coming.”
“Yes, in fact, I do, and I’m very thankful for a loving marriage.”
“You seem to think that this was some kind of mistake. Are there some you think shouldn’t be here? Because we’re very happy to have them all.”
Looks like someone needs a TV!
“Really? You’d rather watch TV?”
“And it sounds like someone is getting personal! I think I’d rather talk about the weather with you.”
“Wo do have one! In fact, I just love the movie Bambi. Do you remember the part where Thumper the rabbit was talking about his mom and how she told him that ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all‘? Yep, I sure love that part.”
Better you than me!
“Well, I guess so. I’m very thankful to have them all and wouldn’t change a thing.”
“Aw, really? You must not know what you’re missing! These kids are the joy of my life.”
“If you say so. I think it’s an amazing privilege to be their mom.”
I could never handle that many kids. I don’t know how you do it!
“There’s definitely a lot of energy in our house, but I love it! It helps us sleep well at night.”
“I am very busy, but I’m also very blessed.”
“I’ve grown into it, and God’s really helped me become more patient because of my children. It’s only been by His grace!”
Are those all yours?
“Yep, isn’t it incredible?”
“They are! I’ve been blessed beyond measure.”
“Yes they are. I can’t imagine my life without any one of them.”