Comments about ‘To the lady ashamed of being pregnant with her fourth’

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Published: Thursday, June 5 2014 5:55 a.m. MDT

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Westbank, BC

I think as a society we are becoming or have become very self centred. Or maybe it's because there are some people that just don't like the work and commitment it takes to have and raise a family - hence being self-centred. I come from a long line of ancestors who had a minimum of 14 children - one had 20 living children - I think that is amazing.

Johnny Triumph
American Fork, UT

Somehow our 4 are tolerable to society since our last two are twins. The looks we get on NYC trips, rented minivan and stroller wheeling through the city and Central Park are classic!

Ogden, UT

Equally impertinent, obnoxious and out-of-line are the questions a lot of women face because they don't have large families. I was one of the women who received that treatment. We "only" have two children, and people would not believe the grief (and the questions) I received in Relief Society for that fact. "Why did I only have two children?" and "When was I going to have another child?" were the mildest of those questions. I finally had enough, told them that I had already suffered four life-threatening miscarriages, and asked them how many more I should have to endure before I had gone through enough to satisfy them. Thankfully, that shut them up.

The bottom line is this -- it is each woman's right and privilege to decide how many times she wants to risk her life and health to gestate pregnancies and go through childbirths. Nobody else's. Nobody else has any right to comment.

Provo, UT

Re: "When did having a large family become equivalent to a tragic event?"

I'll go farther than that, when did having four children constitute having a "large" family?

Provo, UT

Re: Furry1993

Good point. These are personal and couple decisions that often have a back story that is none of anyone's business. While I don't think 4 kids should constitute a "large" or "selfish" number of children, we should also not impugn the motives of those couples who don't have children or have less than what we feel is the "ideal" number.

Murray, UT

“How rude of them,” I reply. “All children are a blessing.”

Different perspectives are such a burden!

Cedar Hills, UT

My wife and I occasionally laugh when we remember visiting the beach in Carmel, California. While I took one child to the restroom, my wife was stopped by a man incredulously asking her, "are these ALL yours?!" referring to the other three. I wonder what his expression would have been if he'd seen our fourth child together with the other three, or if he knew we had one more since then.

Apparently having more than two children is becoming an extreme exception in some parts of the country.

As for other parents, the number of children they choose to conceive is between them and God.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Don't ya got a TV. I was asked that once in a grocery store, when my wife and I was shopping with our 4 little kids. That still makes me smile to think about it.

Lakeville, MN

I think location and culture has a lot to do with it. In TX, women had no trouble asking me if "I did that on purpose" or "knew what birth control was." In AR, I got a "bless your heart, you're doing great" from women over 65, but a lot of judgment from younger ones. In MN I hear "you must be busy" and in NY, I saw a lot of bulging eyes and dropped jaws.

Bottom line: It's a very personal decision between a husband, a wife, and God. We don't know all the details of why someone does or does not have children. Life is hard enough, we need to support each other instead of passing judgment.

Temecula, CA

I am from Houston and in my ward there were several families that had 6+ kids. Here in California the norm seems to be 3 at max it seems. We have 4 and have left more up to a Higher Power. I have a friend who has 9 and another who has 16 right now. Children are yours and they really are a personal issue not a public issue. I think your both GREAT women to have 3 and 4 children. Who knows when its all said and done you may have 6 or more. My uncle had 3 with his first wife a stepson from the second wife and after trying for almost 20 yrs she got pregnant with another one on accident and then 4 yrs later again. Go figure! My 4 oldest cousins are my age and older and then I have two cousins who are 21 and 25 (I am 43). On both sides of our family we have the most kids at 4. We love it though. While we are not large, we are not small either.

Pedro Sanchez
Magna, UT

We told our Heavenly Father that we felt we had reached our limit with four children. He asked us to have another. We are excitedly looking forward to her birth this fall. I trust in God's wisdom.

Detroit, MI

Mrs. Bass -- Thanks for your snarky article. I suppose I see your point, but I happen to have a different opinion on the matter. Given the state of the environment, I believe having more than two children is the irresponsible course of action, and I have no reservations letting people know this. The earth is clearly overtaxed by the burden our population explosion has imposed on the atmosphere & environment, so much so that all those dystopian films don't seem so far-fetched to me anymore.

I hate to say it, but zero population is the answer. My friends, without it the rest of us are doomed.

Signed BioPowertrain -- one of seven children and blessed father of 4 wonderful girls

Henderson, NV

The author asks, “When did having a large family become equivalent to a tragic event?” Indeed, when did the entire purpose of life and creation (to be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth) become disgusting?

Isaiah commented on this, when he said regarding the last days:

“Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isa. 5:20

Ft. Bliss, TX

My wife and I can definitely sympathize we have a 5 yr old boy 2 year old boy girl twins and are currently expecting our second set of twins we get comments such as "ever heard of birth control" or "are you trying to start a basket ball team" and many others. Almost all are very inappropriate and being in the army some are quit offensive. People should remember Bambi and follow the good advice there " if you can't say something nice don't say nuthin at all"

Spanish Fork, Ut

Interesting discussion. As we speak, there are nearly 200 comments today (and growing) on a article posted on the Salt Lake Trib mostly celebrating that Utah's birth rate has declined since 2008. If a person could only read the comments to an article but not the article itself, it wouldn't be difficult at all to guess which newspaper you were reading.

Huntsville, UT


Did it ever occur to you that having many children might be the "self-centered" approach? I know a woman who wanted (and had) many children because she "wanted to feel like she had a *real* family". That was self-centered.

When one has many children, they require more resources. How many can the Earth sustain? How long before those children, and their children begin to suffer from the damage we're doing to our air, water and planet? Let's talk again about "self-centered", shall we?


Excellent comment.

Provo, UT

and I quote....While you were busy judging others; you left your closet door open and your
skeletons fell out."

orem, UT

While visiting a beach in California my husband and I were watching our young adult and teenage kids try their strength on the equipment. A very fit woman came up to us with a stroller and asked if we'd keep an eye on her sleeping 3 year old twins while she took a turn at the same equipment about 20 feet away from where we were. We said sure. I was amazed she could get 3 year olds to sleep in a stroller (and that she'd ask strangers to watch them).

When she was done it happened that our kids came walking up. She thanked us for watching her twins. I pointed to our kids and said, "These are ours." She looked surprised and said "You have 4?" I explained we actually had 5 but our other daughter had to stay home and work.

She looked at us so sincerely and said, "God bless you!" Her gracious reaction surprised me. We had lived in California before and had experienced some less than kind comments.

As a culture, if we are all about personal choices being respected, it shouldn't matter how many children a couple chooses to have.

Utah Native
Farmington, UT

In the Utah Valley neighborhood in which I was raised, I'd say the "average" family had 6 children. When my spouse and I were done with childbearing at four kids, I was surprised to be frequently asked, "Are these ALL yours?" First of all, what kind of silly question is that to a complete stranger? Who in their right mind, for example, would round up extra neighborhood kids for a leisurely day of shopping at the mall? Second of all, the number of children a couple chooses to have is a decision between themselves and God. If you're not my spouse and you're not the Almighty, it's NOYB, thank you very much.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

I married into a Big Mormon Family. My Former was the last of twelve kids. She often commented that she was raised by her Grandparents, Her Mom was 45 when she was born and her Dad 51. I've observed, It's tough being a parent, perfect or otherwise. I also had to endure the public ridicule and snarky comments when it got out at work, in SoCali, that my former was having our fourth child. At my M-I-L's funeral some twelve years ago we figured that this former Utah Housewife had some 200 decendants then, Its probably closer to 300 now. Life it it said is unfair, At the Family Reunions I've observed that all my nieces, nephewss and cousins are uniformly attractive in their own way. The Family In-joke going around is that the family surmname is becoming so numerous that it will replace Smith as the most common name someday. My only suggestion to solving the Surname explosion is to introduce the Ugly gene into the mix. But that suggestion seems to be met only with laughter.

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