"Don't You Know What Causes That?!"

Getting a little personal in this post...but I feel it's got to be said. I also use the s-e-x word! GASP! ;)

This past weekend I had the opportunity to respond to something big families hear ALL the time...and I blew it. An older gentlemen was talking to my family and I at an event we were at. Upon seeing our children he said, "Wow! You know what causes that right? Geez!" He tickled Zac (the baby) and said that he'd better be keeping us "from making him more brothers and sisters!" And THEN proceeded to say, "I mean, that's it, right? Just three? Three? Right?!" I was totally caught off guard, and just smiled like an idiot. Now that I've had time to think and chat with a few others, I've realized this is something that happens daily to others. So here's an open letter to you, Mister (I hope) Unintentional Creeper:

I respect people's choices about their family size. I feel it's their personal business and if they want to discuss it, more power to them, but I won't pry or ask because it's not my business. I don't often share about our stance on it because I feel like as I said above, it's our personal business. You apparently don't feel the same way. (SEE ABOVE CONVERSATION.)
Can I just say on behalf of all families with more than two children, "don't you know what causes that" is like one of the creepiest staments you can make to us. Yes, we obviously DO know how babies are made. I don't go around asking other people how much they're having sex or if they know how to do it...so why do people ask us? I mean if you really think about that statement, you're basically telling us to stop having kids and/or sex. I know, I know, you probably don't mean it that way, it's just one of those sayings, yada yada. But it still comes off so...creepy.
To follow that up with comments to our kids about stopping us from making more siblings? Umm, gross. And hey - my kids are still young and don't know all the ins & outs of how babies are created...and I'd really rather we didn't have a big discussion about it in public, with strangers.
And finally, your insistence on the final headcount of children. Sigh. We know some people with pretty large families of six, eight, or even ten kids. Our three children that were there at that event do not seem like a enormous circus freak show to me. The guy really would have freaked out if he'd known about the other child (my stepdaughter) that wasn't with us! THAT MAKES FOUR! Outrageous! 
My husband made the joke that we don't ask older people, "Hey aren't you about ready to kick the bucket?" So why is it ok to badger people about the number of kids they want to have? No don't get me wrong - I understand when it's just a general, casual question that comes up during introductions or natural conversation. That makes sense. This was not one of those instances.
So I guess I'll wrap this up now. I do wish you the best...but I hope you'll use some more tact with the next "big" family you encounter. I'll close with some of the responses my friends and blog readers with large families wanted me to pass along to you:

Yes, we do know what causes it - and we greatly enjoy it. We're also quite good at it, as you can see. It's really none of your business how many kids we're going to have, but thanks for the concern. No, we don't think everyone should have a big family. No, we're not trying to get a TV show like the Duggar's. No, we're not trying for a world record. If we're blessed with more, that would be great! This is what we've decided is right for our family. :)


  1. I know what causes it. Love between a Man and Woman blessed by God to bring joy to them and many other people that will meet the child and maybe someday be enriched for the experience.

  2. I am prego with #4 and I know it's coming. People were already scandalized that #2 and #3 were only 2 years apart, and now that #3 and #4 will only be 22 months apart ! I'm robbing them of their childhood! I really fight the urge to roll my eyes when I get statements like that. If they were a fly on the wall in my crazy home, they'd see blissfully happy children (except during discipline) that are so. stinkin. excited to have another baby in the house! What better childhood could I give them than lifelong playmates? Ugh. I need to come up with a good remark that is kind yet somewhat snarky to the inevitable "large" family comments.

  3. Ha! I love it! Yes, I have 4, and like you, I don't consider that a huge family. It is a good size for us, although if we'd been blessed with 8 or 10, I'd be happy then, too! One of our "friends" asked after the 3rd (and after commenting that I was pregnant every time he saw me) if we were planning to have any more. I said, "Well, I guess we'll just see what God has in store for us." He proceeded to ask if we had done anything to prevent a 4th one. He said if we hadn't done something to stop it, then we were planning on another one. I tried to politely blow him off again, but when he came right out and said, "No, seriously, has your husband had a vasectomy?" I just had to tell him to mind his own bees-wax!!! :-)


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