Monday, 28 March 2011

Large families and other people

Warning: This is a long overdue and hormonally fuelled rant of a pregnant, very fed up woman on the proverbial warpath!

Why you might ask am I so annoyed? I tell you, shall I!

Other's people's opinions on large families and this pregnancy in  particular. Ever since it became apparent that I was expecting again, the usual comments have started...

Now after eight babies I am used to it and it is largely water down a duck's back. And really folks have absolutely no originality in  their comments. There are only so many times you can hear the old "Oh, haven't you got a telly then?" "Are you sure its not twins?" "Have you not heard of contraception?" "Are you mad?" "Why would you want to, I can't cope with my two." "Popping out another one for the benefits then?" "Are they all yours?" "Oh, you're bigger again."  "Have they all got the same father?"

My usual response to the above is as follows:
"Yes, we have but we like sex much more!"
"No actually its quads!"
"Yes thank you very much if I hadn't I'd have twenty kids  by now!"
"Certifiable, clearly."
"Funnily enough, some of us are good mothers and actually like our children!"
"My husband works to support us thank you very much and pays out more in taxes than we ever get back in tax credits!"
"No I collect them."
"You don't say, funnily enough they grow."
"Yes, thank you. I have been happily married for twenty two years!"

Now, like I said those are the usual inane comments and largely they are so preposterous I just laugh them off. But recently we had some other comments that quite frankly do hurt.

Apparently we are selfish, our children must be deprived. Some folks have even gone as far as calling the fact that we are expecting #9 disgusting.
Yes, you heard me right DISGUSTING! This was said to my husband at his work place. And being the polite person that he is he has not responded to this in kind. And don't even get me started on the comments from his own family.

Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion, BUT they are not entitled to express that opinion in a manner hurtful to me or mine.

Call me old fashioned if you like but I was brought up with two basic principles.

Manners cost nothing and get you a long way. And if you haven't go anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all!

Sadly these old fashioned values do not seem to exist in society nowadays. But they certainly exist in our household. I would be mortified if my children expressed such views as detailed above. Not that they would! They have not been  dragged up, but are part of  a loving, large family and know right from wrong. They are not deprived, far from it. They have a mother and father, who love each other and a brood of siblings, who will always watch out for them. And not only that. Ask any of my friends and they will confirm that my brood adopts their kids and looks after them when they are at mine. It is something that comes naturally to my lot.

Sure, we do not live in a big house, drive flash cars, have holidays abroad and sometimes they - gosh, horror- have to wait for large things they really want, instead of getting them instantly. They do not get £5.00 from the tooth fairy for instance, as some of my six year old's class mates do. No, mine are happy with 0.20p and some sweets and I am proud of them for not being that materialistic. They do not have the latest gadgets, but neither are they left to be babysat by the telly and dvd player in their bedrooms at age three.

They may have to wait for things and they do not have the latest designer labels, but they are rich in the things that matter. They are taught life values and to respect each other and their bodies. No teenage pregnancies in this house!

You will not find my children hanging around street corners, smoking, taking drugs, vandalising and whatever else seems to pass for amusement these days. My older teenagers have clear goals and are studying hard and I am very proud of the young adults they are turning into. Now don't get me wrong, none of them are angels.

I recall the time our eldest son broke into a what he thought was a disused garage and threw a lot of paint around. (He and his mate were going to make a den.) We marched him to the owner to apologise and he repaired the damage and repainted everything himself with the help of daddy and we had the police have a word with him too.

Need less to say he was never tempted to do anything like this again!

So, do enlighten me, how any of that makes my children deprived or my husband and myself selfish for wanting another baby? I get the whole - the world is overpopulated enough as it is argument- I do, BUT our carbon foot print is less than the average family of four and who is to say baby #nine is not the one who finds the solution to global warming or world peace?

At the very least I know that my children will contribute to society, instead of being a drain on them and if decent people like my husband and I do not have children, how is society ever going to change for the better? And btw. all you neigh sayers, my children will pay for your pensions one day! Or have you conveniently forgotten that at least in Western society the birth rate is not high enough to support the ageing population?

I accept that not everyone will share my views and that is fine. Large families are not for everyone and quite frankly some people should not be allowed to have children at all! I always say people show more consideration to their pets than they do to their children. But those of us that value children for the blessing they are, why should we not have as many as we choose to do. Be that one or twenty... As long as we can afford to have them and they are raised by a loving family, really what business is it of yours?

I do not ask you to look after my children or to provide for them. We work hard, we pay our taxes, we follow the law and we keep ourselves to ourselves.

I have lots of very strong opinions about lots of things, do not get me started on smoking in pregnancy  for instance or baby feeding issues, but I keep those to myself, unless I am challenged.

I will not come up to you and lecture you on how many children you should and shouldn't have, so at the very least extend the same courtesy to me and mine and leave me to live my life as I see fit. Because quite frankly I do not give a damn what you think of me or my choices.  I know they are the right choices for my family and if you do not agree with that....

Just remember the next time you open your mouth, your words have the power to wound!


  1. wow Doris. you throw a mean punch. I hope it hits who ever it needs to, very hard in the4 solar plexus! Xx

  2. I am so utterly gob-smacked that people say these things to you Doris! Rude doesn't even come close! What on earth does it have to do with anyone else?
    If it's any consolation I think you and your family are amazing. Just because it isn't 'fashionable' or whatever to have a big family these days doesn't mean it isn't wonderful to know there are still families like yours. I've always wanted a big family and whilst I may not have 9, you're a bit of a role model to me in a way!

  3. Here here.... I cant tell you how angry it makes me when people throw their 'oh so genius mind'into your life.

    I especially hate it when children are involved. On the other side of Doris's argument is the nasty comments or looks you get when you only have one child. What gives people the right to tell anyone how many children to have or not have. It will be a very sad day indeed if we all followed like sheep and only had 2point4 children. I have one friend in particular who wanted to have at least two or three kids but after her GOD awful pregnancy and then horrific birth, she couldnt face thinking about anouther one never mind talking about it... and yip you guessed it about a week after the birth people started asking her when the next one would be coming along... its been two years now and still cant even think about having another one and the looks she gets when she says she might not have anymore and that she is over the moon and enjoying her daughter are disgusting I can tell you. she had been called selfish and a bad mother for not giving her little girl a brother or sister to interact with. NOW this friend of mine had always wanted more children and who knows maybe one day the trauma will pass and she will feel strong enough to go though it again BUT not with people at her to get to it already....

    I remember one totally inappropriate comment my friends got just after their second daughter.. here it is... in fact before I tell you you had better sit down... right here it is...
    'oh, so you'l be having another one then. so you have the perfect family'

    yes you read that right. apparently the perfect family needs to have a boy in it. What was worse was this friend couldn't have anymore babies not that she would or wouldn't have because of that comment but it still shattered her for a while thinking that one day her husband might see it that way too. You know how overly hormonal you are when you have just had a baby well she was more so.

    Anyway I think that people should keep their mouths shut when it comes to how many children you have or dont have. If you just want ONE then you shouldn't feel pressured into having more and if you want more you shouldn't be made to feel like you are disgusting.

    Ok rant over...

    Oh and Doris I think you are one of the strongest mothers I know. xxx

  4. Heather, you are so right. I have a friend who chose to only have one child and I recall her saying she used to get all sorts of comments too. It really is unbelievable!

  5. the rudeness of some people! Whose business is it of theirs whether you have 1 or 9. Maybe you need to do a faq card and hand copies out to the relavent people wen they commnent. You could add an extra question - Why are you so rude?

    BTW £5 from the Tooth fairy - heck that's too much

  6. Good for you. As you know I have 2 children, that was a choice we made. However, I really admire you for doing what is right for you! It's no one else's business, they don't have to raise your children or support them either. Get on with living and loving your family!

  7. Why do people ask the minute you've had your baby, are you having another one?

    I always said, whatever happened, however bad the first pregnancy, I would have two kids. I had an ectopic initially, and thought I wouldn't have any.

    One fallopian tube and I was blessed with two boys. Lots of people ask me if I'll try for a girl.

    The thing is I LOVE my boys, but not sure I want three :-P I may fall into the category of thinking you are mad, only because for my selfish reasons I can't put my body through it again - maybe it's vanity, as finally I'm getting a sort of figure back. I already consider myself to have a bladder problem, I don't want it getting any worse.

    My kids have to wait for the big items, too and we don't go abroad either ;-) Ben got a £1 for his teeth... but that seemed the going rate at school :-O I wanted to give 20p but feared his belief in the tooth fairy might be compromised. He does save his £1 though :D

    Don't get me started on TVs in bedrooms and bloody DS's! And as you know, I am very opinionated about disposables - but you don't use those ;-) What it has cost you to put all of your kids in real nappies, it probably costs the same as ONE child in disposables, let alone the impact on the environment. Oh and I am there with you on smoking in pregnancy. I hate serving pregnant women cigarettes... I almost want to ask ID for the baby! I sometimes do wonder why some women have kids, if they can't make some sacrifices.

    Personally, I loved pregnancy, and the first 6 months of the baby, I could do it over and over again... it's once they start throwing food from the high chair. I know the sort of person I am, if I put too much upon myself I get stressed, and start panicking I can't cope, and actually become a not very nice person, hence two is enough for me. I am very firm with my kids, and get rewarded with people telling me how good they are.

    I must admit I don't know how you find the time to write like you do with 8 kids! I struggle with two. Guiltily, I'm looking forward to Kieran going to school (though I will miss him, and hate that he's getting bigger) so that I can start getting my life back - I think I'm more eager now that I've found writing, though. But I still intend to be a SAHM and that's why I chose writing. I want to be at home, making sure they come home from school, cooking decent food and helping them with homework.

    I always laugh with my friend who only has the one child, (for her reasons I understand), when my two are arguing, I always say, "You did the right thing, J". :-P

    Don't take things too personally, Doris. Everyone does the best they can. Others bests aren't as good as others. I remember someone from Lollipop saying this when I used to get fed up and feel like I was banging my head against a brick wall when parents didn't 'get' real nappies or even breastfeeding.

  8. I really don't see whose business it is as to how many children you have. I got snide comments at school for being one of four but I love being part of a large(ish) family. It always amazes me that people think its appropriate to say hurtful things. What do they think they're going to achieve?
    Your family is great Doris, I know you're proud of them, and I'm sure they're proud of you. Markus is lucky to be welcomed into such a loving family and would be if he were baby #9 or #99.

  9. Every life is precious and whether you have a small family or a large one, as long as you are all happy I don't think it should matters. I wish I had the stamina for more children but 4 under 6 years is exhausting enough! I love my children and can see pros and cons to both sides. I do feel 9 children is a lot but I would never say someone else shouldn't have that number, especially as you are supporting them both emotionally and financially yourselves. Hope you have a wonderful pregnancy and birth xx

  10. Remember: whenever people express anything other than curiosity they are projecting their own issues.

    Don't defend your situation, but make them defend theirs. If someone says they think it is disgusting, ask them why. If they ask if you haven't heard of contraception, ask them what contraception they use and when they last had sex. If they say "are you doing it for benefits" say "gosh no, do YOU get benefits?". Make it all about what it is: them.

    You are an amazing inspiration to so many people.

    And my great grandmother had 18 children (two sets of twins, one set of triplets, all naturally conceived of course), so you've go a way to go to catch up with her...

  11. Sometimes it amazes me what people think when they ask these questions. I am the youngest of 5 and my dad was fifth in a line of 12. But i have no children as yet. I think it all is a presonal preferance and what you do is your business and as long as all the kids are happy and healthy who are they to pass judgement!

  12. It is people making assumptions again. I think it is your own business. As an older mother I get fed up with people assuming my youngest is my grandchild! But then I am old enough to be grandma to all the children in his class at school, maybe I'm vain, but I don't think I look it. You relax and enjoy your pregnancy and all those lovely little baby clothes! Mx

  13. I cant agree with this at all! Nine children is selfish. The world is horrendously over-populated as it is and you are contributing to this by your own urge to make dozens (well OK not quite a dozen!) of little replicas of yourself. Maybe you ought to try going to work for a living instead of relying on your husband. Try being financially independent for once in as much as going back to work and stopping having kids??? I know most of you on here wont agree with this but I do NOT understand this passion for kids and no I do not have any as I dont want any so yes, this both puzzles and infuriates me but also strikes me as supremely self-centred and an easy way out rather than going to work. I havent got time for a blog!

  14. Its always been beyond me why people feel the need like Rebecca above to comment on other peoples families, or ways of raising their children.

    I follow a very attachment style of parenting within my limits as I have mobility probliems. The amount of people who feel the need to comment on that, while I bite my tongue at what I feel about their parenting often upsets me. We have recently been joined by our wondeful Bonus Baby number 3, and yes I was very ill, and needed lots of help from my hubby. But I even had people advising to do the unspeakable with her, rather than risk myself - and calling me all the names under the sun possible.

    I would love a larger family, you are very lucky to have such a beautiful and large family Doris.

  15. Fortunately, there are not too many people like Rebecca, otherwise the human race would not exist.

    It is not easy bringing up children, whether you have one or nine, at times it is hard work and frustrating. I do have moments where I think why did I do this? But the rewards for the little things you get back is so worth it. The unconditional love that you receive (and give) is overwhelming.

    However, I don't appreciate, being a SAHM, assumed that I am lazy. It's an agreement between me and my husband - and to be honest I wouldn't earn enough to cover the childcare fees! I brought these children into the world, I want to bring them up! I make sure good home cooked food is put on the table in front of my kids and husband every evening. I want to be here when they come home from school. We do lots of after school activities. Now that both are venturing off to school I've chosen "Writing" as my career, as has Doris.

    We all have different ways of bringing up children, of how we want our lives to run, some of which we may or may not approve. But it's non of our business. As long as we respect each others wishes and try to bring the children up the best we can.

    Personally, if I'm honest, I am a tiny bit envious of Doris. She has the strength and patience to bring up nine children, something I know I couldn't do.

  16. Ignorance is bliss eh Rebecca?

    And Just to agree with what Annalisa said: "Whenever people express anything other than curiosity they are projecting their own issues".

  17. Firstly hugs to Mamz and thank you for posting. Enjoy your third baby and hurray for husbands who appreciate that marriage is a partnership :-D

    Thank you everyone for your comments, yes even Rebecca.

    Thank you so much for illustrating my point about other people’s perceptions so eloquently. Especially the irony in your statement of not having time for a blog, yet you have the time to find mine and comment. I feel extremely honoured…

    Now let me address your comments:

    I have already stated my opinions on the word is overpopulated enough as it is in my original blog post, so I shall not bore you with it again. However I would like to point out that for everyone who chooses to have children, there are plenty like yourselves, who don’t. We are fortunate to be living in a society where there is a choice (there is that word again – CHOICE!)

    The comment of going to work, instead of relying on my husband and popping out kids to avoid doing so – seriously? Are you listening to yourself?

    Perhaps you should look up the definition of marriage in a dictionary, but ours is a partnership, where we make mutual decisions regarding our family. There is no his or hers, we are a family. That’s what happens when two people love each other and choose (that word again!) to spend the rest of their lives together. We rely on each other.

    Your comment of staying at home being the easy way out – again – seriously?

    Only someone who never had children would assume that looking after children is the easy way out. Raising the next generation is the most important job any parent can ever do and that statement is an insult to all the mothers and fathers who choose to stay at home with their children.

    FYI Rebecca, I am an intelligent, well-educated woman, who has made the conscious decision to be a SAHM when circumstances allowed for this and I consider myself very fortunate to be able to do so. This hasn’t always been the case and isn’t for many working mothers.

    I worked full time with my first three children and gosh, horror – at the time I even earned more than my husband, who was flitting from job to job in an effort to better himself. I have supported him through college, illness and redundancy and was glad to do so. Partnership, remember! I then held a variety of part time jobs, where I shared the child care with my husband, as personally I did not have children to have them brought up by other people!
    I was a registered child minder for seven years and experienced first-hand the difficulties, juggling motherhood and work places for many women. None of it is easy!
    For the last eight years I have been volunteering as a breastfeeding counsellor and I am a writer, hoping to turn this into my full time carreer as the children grow. BUT none of the above has been as important or challenging as raising my children into responsible, decent adults. This will always be my first priority and the singular most difficult thing any human being could ever hope to achieve!

    To suggest that those of us having children are selfish is quite frankly laughable.

  18. I had to comment on this. Aren't some people near sighted? What on earth does Rebecca thing you do all day? Sit around and make cups of tea, watch Jeremy Kyle and write your blog??? If only life of a SAHM were as easy!! Rebecca does not have time for her own blog, but clearly she has plenty of time to flit from blog to blog judging other people for her life choices.

    I have three children and am a foster carer. I've recently applied to adopt the little girl I foster and, amazingly, have also been called selfish. By people in my own family! Apparently it will take my time away from my own children. Because, obviously, it doesn't now while I foster her ... grrrrrr. There are twice as many children looking for permanent families in the area I live in so I don't feel I'm selfish at all.

    I'd much rather hear of families with 9 children like yours, Doris, who are brought up with good values, support and love than a family with 2 children who have no values and children are regularly in trouble with the law.

    All the very best for a safe and healthy delivery and don't let the doubters get to you!!

  19. I don't understand why people feel the need to be so rude. I've lost count of the number of times I've been asked when I'm going to get myself a 'wee job'. I have two boys with a metabolic disorder and I feel privileged that I'm in a position to stay at home and look after them. I daresay if they were in perfect health, I may well have had more children but that would be MY CHOICE! As they've got older, I have toyed with the idea of going back to work but as a family we struggled with that and my husband and sons thought it more important I was here than have a few extra pounds to supplement my husband's income. It also means I am in a position to look after my neice while her parents are at work. Does that mean I'm taking the easy way out? I think not. If I am a fraction of the woman Doris clearly is, I too have raised my children to respect the choices other people make instead of bitching in an ill-informed manner.


  20. As I mentioned I have no children, none in the pipeline so to speak and I have very time consuming job in one of europes largest companies yet I have time to blog, write, have friends and enjoy playing with all the children by friends and family decide to have - I RULE AT HUNGRY HIPPOS! I neither judge or advise those who wish to have more than 2.4 children, to be honest and it might sound harsh I just don't care its their family and their choice. So who are we as "outsiders" to pass judgement? Like I said before as long as the children are happy and healthy more power to their elbow I say!

  21. Okydoky time for Doris' friend to poke her cute little nosey in and say her four penneth!

    Everyone is different, has their own perspectives on what their ideal family size is, so instead of having a go or making rude and unwelcome comments about a very much wanted and loved baby, please be quiet.

    Having a baby is a time for celebration and joy not for snide comments and pathetic innudendo.

    Rebecca, I am disgusted by your comments and would suggest that if you feel that doris's family is too big, you look on the net for a family called The Duggars and The Bates (19 kids)

    I for one am looking forward to meeting young Markus and spoiling him rotten as only an honary auntie can do. For those who are critical about my friend SHAME ON YOU!!! No cuddles!

    Just for the record, I have 7 children aged between nearly 20 and 2 years old. 3 of whom live apart from me and I am a SAHM and enjoy it at times.

    Please remember the old phrase, "If you have nothing nice to say, dont say anything at all"

    Hugs to all you nice people out there

    She who is Kooky xxxxxxx

  22. It is beyond me how people can be so rude. Face to face. In the anonymous blogosphere it is easy.

    Frankly I do think you are mad. But in all regards of life not only concerning the number of babies. And you know how I mean this :-)
    I admire you and your family how you juggle it all - only with one I couldn't afford designer labels or fancy gadgets so that's out of the question anyway. To me it is a bit of a mystery how you come by - one day you have to give me tips please!

    But apart from the financial side of things - I admire you most for the strength to have them all. I totally agree with Teresas comments, especially her last sentence. I am also envious as I always wanted a large(ish) family and I am not sure if I'd manage. To me you are also a role model!

    I'll never forget the day I met your kids for the first time at the picnic 2008 - I was so impressed and touched how they all went together (to find a loo :-)) and the then wee little TJ in the middle surrounded by his sisters. It really touched me how they all looked out for each other, took care of each other and were just genuinely lovely children.

    There is a terrible stigma attached to very large families and sometimes even I can understand it. But no one has the right to judge in that condescending way. Anyone who has met you knows what a no nonsense, hard working but warm woman you are.

    The stigma that an only child is a spoilt brat is also quite unfair - who says that an only child cannot be compassionate and empathic?

    And regarding Rebecca - that also made me laugh. Seriously Rebecca? I only have one child so far but I also chose to stay at home. No let me rephrase that. We chose to bring up our kids ourselves and we are fortunate enough to be able to do this. But as Doris had explained - it is a partnership. I also supported my partner during illness and in between jobs and there were times when I earned much more than him. Now it is the other way round and that's exactly when the definition of the word partnership comes in. What exactly don't you understand?

  23. Kooks, Manda, you might fall into the category mad too, no? Ha ha ha. xxx

  24. luckily the net would not let me post my comment this morning... i did get a bit ott, but it followed what many others say. we are fortunate to have a choice (think china, hitlers germany here)
    so no more from me x

  25. It amazes me the lengths you will go to to justify staying at home with children. But then you are all different. Intriguing. Selfish. Self-absorbed. Deluded. I pity your husbands. And as for the comments regarding I desist - it is my choice not to have children, it is yours to have them. Freedom of speech. Never have I encountered such vitrolic replies regarding a comment. Now its my turn to feel honoured... carry on breeding and breastfeeding. I pity your husbands/partners. They must be worn out - AS THEY WORK.

  26. I very much appreciate the fact my husband works to support me and my 4 children. He loves me very much and I know I am lucky to have the choice to stay at home and that we have the same values and goals in life. I do know how tired he gets and try to make his relaxation time a priority. We won't have any more children however as financially we couldn't cope and I find it hard to give individual attention to my children already. My husband prefers to work and chooses this 'old fashioned' way of life and I know he would not want your 'pity' as that assumes he doesn't like his role in life. I can tell you he is a wonderful man and loves changing nappies and playing with his children. He is tired and worn out after a days work but that is where it is my chance to step in and provide him with food and cuddles and time to chill out. I am not having a go at all Rebecca, just stating that we are happy and feel very blessed. We are not selfish and self-absorbed, just living our life and trying not to hurt others feelings in the process. Rebecca I am glad you are happy with your life and wish you all the best xx much love


  27. Wow Rebecca, what a twisted and bitter world you must live in. There is so much I could say to that, but I shall refrain from name calling. Always says much more about the person who resorts to it...

  28. Poor Rebecca, the words pot, kettle and black spring to mind....

  29. All I can say is thank God Rebecca chose not to have any children to raise with her ideals of utopia!

    I am very happy in my own "Walton" land thank you very much

  30. We all have our own utopia, I would not choose to put home-cooked food on any man's table thank you and nor would my partner want that. Weekends with friends children are enough contraception for us both. Maybe I was harsh initially and I can apologise for this but sometimes it feels as if some women are putting us females back several generations. I know it is good to have this choice but to stay at home and raise children is something I will never understand. Have children, yes, but go back to work. You can't live your life vicariously through your children. You are lucky that your children have seemingly turned out OK. Many don't. So yes, consider yourself blessed. I consider myself blessed as me and my husband have chosen not to have children. Who does that make more selfish? Maybe none of us here....all I know is that none of us on here will ever agree, except maybe to disagree! But it is fascinating how opposing ends of the spectrum will severely fight their corner. I only know that I find babies and children incredibly boring and frustrating. That is only my opinion. You all have yours. I have no maternal instincts at all. You have all probably gathered that. You all sincerely believe you are right. I believe I am right. It has been an interesting discussion, ladies, and thank you.

  31. Mad me?????nope Im the sane one the rest of you are mad!!

  32. Thank you Rebecca for your last comment. It would be a boring world indeed if we all agreed on everything ;-)

  33. Respect for standing your ground Rebecca... we all have our own gifts and mine was never academia and I'm definitely not the perfect mum either. Sometimes I'm terribly bored too and life is never perfect whatever you choose. At least the route you have chosen is right for you. It takes courage to decide not to have children when everyone expects you to once you are married, as does staying at home when everyone expects you to go back to work. At least you haven't had children and then hired a nanny to raise them! Sometimes I wish I had a career but we all make our beds and when we are old and grey as long as we have no regrets, who is to say we were wrong? All the best my love, take care xx

  34. "I would not choose to put home-cooked food on any man's table thank you and nor would my partner want that."

    So what do you both eat? Or are you prevvy to eating out every night in a different restaurant? - lucky you!

    Do not mock proper cooked food - whoever makes it. Believe me I am not some housewife stuck in a 1950s time warp! Whether you have kids or not, you should eat healthily - it is only for your benefit. If more people ate healthily and disregarded processed food, we wouldn't have the health issues we face today, we wouldn't be fighting cancer like we do today. You're at the same risk as a smoker! I urge everyone to read this book;

    Not sure how I am selfish by choosing to be a mother. I gave up a lot of things for my kids, things I enjoyed - including a beautiful sports car. Though I certainly don't miss the Sunday morning hangovers any more.

    I understand those that choose not to have kids, I was once like it myself when I was a lot younger, but then I changed my mind. I decided that I wanted to experience as much as I could through life - we only live once as far as we know - and having children was one of those experiences. Best "choice" I ever made.

    Good children come out of good parenting - those that pop out kids thinking someone else can do the hard work in raising them and are not prepared to make the sacrifices is where problems arise in some kids.

    Emma, make this an opportunity in life to find something you really want to do. I've ambled through one terrible, boring, tedious job after another. I'm never sure if I'm a great mum, I do the best I can but I have found writing, so when I do get a free moment I am far from bored!

  35. I don't have a husband, Rebecca, so no one is working to support me staying home caring for my children--just me :-)

  36. I wrote a blog post about being heartbroken about going back to work after having #1, and some anonymous person felt the need to leave a comment telling me how selfish I was and that I shouldn't be abandoning my child to go to work. I've just given up work for the time being, so by the logic of some people, I'm selfish for doing that! You can't win. ;)

    My dad's the oldest of 12, so I have nothing bad to say about large families. Before I had kids, I really didn't have much time for them or any sort of maternal instinct (and once friends of mine had kids, they lived on a completely different planet, and it was very noisy and very messy and I wanted no part of it). I didn't have my first until 36, and never ever thought I'd be mum to three (we'd be outnumbered!) but here I am. Life changes for some, and maybe it won't for others, but it's all good. I really don't care if you have no kids or 20, as long as you're happy and a decent human being.

  37. Sorry to re-open this Doris but I only just checked back!

    Rebecca, I wholeheartedly agree that everyone is entitled to freedom of speech and freedom of choice. The thing about both of these is that you have to be careful how you use them. It is far too easy to be free with your opinions and choices regardless of who or what you may be trampling all over to exercise these rights.

    Your comments on this post have come over as not much more than trolling. You do have some valid points in there somewhere but the way you have put them across has only served to offend and upset people! I'm assuming you wanted to put points across rather than to throw some insults for a laugh? I strongly disagree with a lot of what you have said (some of it I can't quite work out if you are even serious?) but I really don't mind what you choose to do with your life. what's more, my disagreeing with you does not give me the right to belittle or berate your choices in such an offhand manner as you did with your above comments. I hope you can see what I'm saying here.