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Things NOT to say to large families

  • August 24, 2016
  • By Donielle
  • 1 Comments

Homeschoolers often have large families.  In our little co-op, back when we started, we each had one or two kids (three for Lorri, but two were already grown).  Now I still have two, but the Molinas have seven, the Dorns have seven and the Hsiaos have six.  Our co-op has grown!

The Sun King's masquerade ball-inspired project

The Sun King’s masquerade ball-inspired project

I am the oldest of eight.  As such, I have heard some of the rudest things I have ever heard spoken, about large families.  To save well-meaning folks from sticking their proverbial feet in their mouths, I have compiled a list of things I have actually heard from people that are fine examples of things NOT to say to large families and why they should not be said:

  1. Are they all yours? Let me ask you this – does it matter?  If they are in coordinating outfits with matching home done haircuts, you know the answer.  And yes, the one with entirely different skin color is probably theirs, too.  He feels different enough; please do not make it worse.  You may ask, in genuine humility before the awesomeness of these incredible moms, how many kids they have.
  2. Are they all from the same marriage?  How many fathers do they have? That is offensive to the lady who has only ever had one husband and humiliating to the lady who has not.  Be respectful.
  3. Don’t your parents have a TV? This one is the worst of all.  What kid wants to even think for a second about her parent’s bedroom life?  If you have asked this, go apologize now.
  4. Are your parents rabbits?  See number 3.
  5. You know what causes this, right? Don’t hate couples with really good sex lives.  If you ask this, you deserve a graphic answer.
  6. I could never do that!  Technically, this is a statement, but worth addressing.  We already know that.  Actually, you do not know what you can do until you stretch and grow and try.  Remember, she likely did not
    Super mom Meegan teaching Latin at co-op

    Super mom Meegan teaching Latin at co-op

    acquire all eight kids at once.  Like the training of an Olympic athlete, she took on a little more, then a little more until she became the powerhouse mama you see before you.  People also never seem to think of the reality of the age spread of large families and that older ones help the younger.  And no, it is not a burden, it is a lesson in responsibility and the value of life.

Ask yourself this when you are tempted to comment negatively – Which of these children would you say should never have been born?  It is a matter of valuing human life.  It is a matter of believing that we are wonderfully made and that we have purpose.  Let us examine our hearts and see where judgment should be put away and love and humility worn in its place.

And this is for all of you hard working mamas – what you do matters!

Here's to you, moms!

Here’s to you, moms!

Jesus said that whatever we do for the least of these we have done for Him.  Changing diapers matters!  Teaching capitalization rules – again – matters!  Praying with and for you kids matters!  Dishes matter, laundry matters, playing silly games with your kids matters!  Do those little things to serve Jesus today with a full heart, knowing that He sees and smiles.

By Donielle, August 24, 2016
  • 1
1 Comment
  • Joyce Ballard
    August 2, 2017

    Excellent advice! The brainwashing of the 60’s and 70’s lingers still, and until recently the 2 child household has remained unchallenged! Why is it okay for our immigrants to have large families, and not us? A Syrian friend from my university had a happy 11, all American born! Why can’t US citizens have the same should they choose? Did you know that those of us with no children get the exact comments in reverse? “You know what you have to do right…turn off the TV… you don’t like children, do you…you never wanted children…what’s wrong with you or is it your husband?” etc., etc., ad nauseam! Did you know that we don’t get invited to people’s homes either? LOL! I can laugh about it now, but it caused a lot of pain when I was younger. Honestly, I think it is because people in general are not accustomed to many children or no children in a family, and they simply don’t know what to say! Thanks for the tips!

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