“Are they all yours?”

When I became pregnant with my fourth child I discovered very quickly that complete strangers were not shy in making a range of (mainly negative) comments.

The most common comment I heard from people as soon as I had a noticeable bump was “blimey you are going to have your hands full”.


When I was at a meeting one day for work, a receptionist asked me when my baby was due and if it was my first. When I responded that no it would in fact be my fourth baby her manner with me completely changed. She commiserated me on my pregnancy and told me that she thought I was irresponsible. Her view was that all women should be sterilised after two children!

When did it become OK to talk to people like this? I mean, for real?

After my baby was born, strangers comments seemed to intensify and that has continued almost every day since. “You need a 3 or 4 seat stroller there”!

the mum bag

Here are a summary of the most common comments and questions I’ve had, and accompanying stupid responses I sometimes give back if I have heard one too many during the day:

Are they all yours? – No only this one is mine, these two I stole and I don’t even know where the other one came from!

Haven’t you got your hands full? – Not really no, I have one in a baby carrier, one in the pushchair and two holding on to the pushchair so my hands are fairly free. These days they are all getting too big to carry, and would rather hold each others’ hands.

Can you manage? – no actually, I have never even been outside with four all on my own before so I rely on the help of random strangers to do anything!

Are you having any more? – mind your own business!

How do you manage?- just fine thanks, I take a register several times a day, to make sure I’ve still got them all!

You should buy a TV! – and you should talk less and be more kind!

Are you a childminder?  – NO… listen carefully and watch my lips…they are all mine!


These are the main ones but no doubt there will be more as the years pass!

For every 10 people who make one of the comments above one person will say: What beautiful children! It must be lovely having a big family! Looks like you have it under control – have 10 more!

Have any of you experienced negative comments about having a large family? What are your best come back comments? I’d love to know!


  1. Great post, I can relive lot of thing here. How dare people think its ok. made me think back to when mine were little.I have 4 children and I remember the midwife saying is this your first and the look she gave me when I said 4th! lol. Looking back people would always say thing or give you a look., Now 2 of mine are all grown up so nothing is said much as were not out all together. Kids grow up so quickly and I love every minute with them all and they do with each other 🙂 . Love the banta as they call it!!

    Thanks for sharing at the weekend blog hop..

  2. Thanks Claire. The interaction between the 4 of them is magic. my 6 year old is great with the come backs…when asked at swimming lessons this week how I coped he just said “my mummy is a professional” lol …he's my bodyguard!

  3. A friend of mine has a little stock phrase about how beautiful new babies are. Once, when confronted unexpectedly with a friend's new child she was so stunned by its, er, lack of beauty that all she could think of was 'oh! what a lot of hair!' So I do have some sympathy for the 'hands full' comments. Blurting things out under the social pressure of making idle chit chat and all that. But The TV remarks and the ones from the receptionist? My word. A you say, it's not that hard to think of something positive!


  4. I am the eldest of 7 and we got stared at all of the time! In the end we all used to press our faces up against the people carrier window and stare back. I used to get asked a lot if I was catholic! People really are strange! Those quips from others are very familiar!! Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

  5. Thanks for reading! I can imagine 7 got lots of comments. My new one this week was “are you a childminder? “which was followed by “how many do you actually have. ..I'm struggling to count”…. erm 1,2,3?4! It was 4 this morning and it's still 4 now!

  6. I can relate. When I was pregnant with my twin boys I got commiseration type comments because they were boys!! Cheek. As if it made it so much worse! In fact my boys (now 5) are incredibly shy and quiet and the best thing that ever happened to me! I also got…. rather you than me.. to which I replied.. yes Id rather it was me too!! I have three boys and a girl, xx #pocolo

  7. I can completely relate. I have 4 and they are all very close in age. I get all sorts of inappropriate comments. When did it become ok to criticise people's life choices! I now have a collection of witty/sarky reponses to the standard questions!

  8. People can be so rude, I am expecting my third child, my two are 5 and just turned 3 and i'm due in a month, one lady actually said to me at toddler group the other day, was I having another to get a bigger house, I mean 'what on earth' we own our own 4 bed home after extending it a couple of years ago, hubby works full time and we have what we need to get by. who did she think she was needlesss to say we haven't been nack since.

  9. I only have two children, but I couldn't handle any more. But I would never judge anyone for having three or more. It's amazing some of the rude things people think they can say to parents. #brilliantblogposts

  10. Oh my, how rude are some people????
    What is it with people finding it acceptable to judge the lives of others, this is awful. I am so glad that you do get some positive comments, though its awful that you have to put up with the negative ones.

  11. I can't believe how rude some people can be, that receptionists comment was horrific! I love your responses and it's lovely that you get many more positive comments. I am constantly being asked when I'm having my second and it's driving me potty!
    popping over from #BrilliantBlogPosts
    Becky xx

  12. People are rude. My cousin is pregnant with no 6 and the rude remarks she’s getting. She/her husband are great parents, love kids, provide for them, and it annoys her no end that people are critical. She says when people ask “don’t you know how babies are made?” Implying she’s not careful with contraception, she starts explaining in a very slow voice, “well, the daddy puts his ….” And that usually stops any more rude questions. I would have loved more kids but pregnancy doesn’t like me, I’m jealous of your lovely four! ?

    1. Thanks Karen! Good for her – I love that approach 🙂 I’m the one who thinks of the best lines after the event lol . Thanks for reading 🙂

  13. I bet you have a magically full, fun chaotic and loving household, who could ask for more? No matter how many kids you have the questions and judgements never seem to end

  14. I have five children and the worst comment I ever had was ” do they all have the same dad” to which I replied yes I found him on the internet he is a donar. It cost a fortune ??. That shut them up.

  15. Try having 5 of the same sex! The worst comment I had was when I was pregnant with my last boy. I was having a scan which was in a general waiting room, after a woman enquired and I told her I was having my fifth boy she replied “oh what a shame. And you don’t look young enough to try again for a girl.”

  16. well, I can really relate your story to mine. I am quite used to this joke as I have 5 children. I had 4 baby girls and I wanted one baby boy as well to complete my family. when I was pregnant last time, I have listened to many negative comments from people I loved the most. but that’s life. anyhow, thank you for sharing your story. I liked that 🙂

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