I’ve spent the last hour reading first hand accounts from women who have large families about the negative feedback they have received from family and friends when sharing the news of a pregnancy. Can you imagine telling your mother-in-law you are pregnant with your fourth child, only to have her refuse to speak to you for months? Imagine hiding your pregnancy until it’s impossible to conceal because you’re dreading the negative comments. These scenarios have happened to real women. I even encountered one story in which a woman did not tell her mother-in-law about her eighth child until the day after she was born.
I have ten aunts and uncles, not including their spouses. I can’t imagine facing angry reactions to a pregnancy, whether it’s the second or the fifth, but that is the reality for many women out there. Big families get a lot of grief sometimes, but I wonder why people feel it is necessary to judge in the first place. Will voicing their disapproval keep the expectant couple from having more kids? It’s not likely. Will mean spirited comments end the pregnancy? Certainly not! Which grandchild would one of these disapproving grandmothers pick to get rid of, exactly?
Sometimes complete strangers feel entitled to make comments when they see a large family. I am amazed how quick people are to judge these super-size families when they have no first hand experience with large families themselves. They assume the older kids are unhappy and the younger ones are ignored. They assume that raising five kids is like raising one times five. Whatever their assumptions, they forget they are not the ones paying the grocery bill or changing diapers. They have no say. Their mean comments don’t deserve any merit.
Have you ever experienced a negative reaction to a pregnancy announcement? How did you respond?