I loved this article. One of the big arguments about having many children is
that the mom can't possibly truly get to know her children.And here
it is beautifully shown that didn't have to be the case at all. This mother
knows her children. Great job, mom! 💜 Happy Mother's Day.
Big families are not so much a problem of the parents are sensitive to the
number of resources they use that can cost taxpayers a lot of money like
education. We are always being condemned as a state for not spending more on
education but it is difficult when we have so many kids in our state. You can
only tax people so much for people's personal choices. Raising a good and
strong family is a good thing whoever many children you have. As long as parents
understand they are responsible for paying for and raising their children and
not society/taxpayers it works out for people to have big families. If people
are on welfare and/or on church assistance and continue to have children they
can't afford this seems to be the thing which sets people off the most.
People should only have the kids they can afford financially, handle emotionally
With the way our social security is set up, having a large family is actually
the socially responsible thing to do. Those of us who pay taxes are actually
funding the current retirees Social Security liabilities. And our children will
pay ours. There is no "lock box". I forget the exact ratio but it is
several current employees per current retiree and will continue to grow and baby
This article goes both ways. Just because some people have large families in
Utah, it doesn’t mean everyone want a large family. Stop asking us if we
are having more children. We are not a failure because we only had two. We had
only two children because two were the number we could afford and follow
properly. Every parent has different ideas of what it means to follow, educate
and grow a child. And we don’t have an expensive house. But two was the
number we felt we could raise. As simple as that.
Just want to give a big shout-out to the middle and older kids in this family. I
bet with a writer for a mother --who is also a runner--that the little ones
depend on you guys for a lot. Thanks for the things you do so the little ones
have what they need.
Large family sizes are critical to the survival of the United States. Arianne
Brown is to be commended. So is Kody Brown for having 18 children.
@The Dark Knight-100% agree@spencery1990-that is a great perspective and
way to respond to nosy questions about family sizeI had my 4
children in my mid-late 30's, ranging in age from 0-5 1/2, and my #3 child
was a special needs child, who was delayed, followed 14 months later by our
"accidental" caboose. I grew up in the Bay Area and was shocked at how
many comments from strangers in a grocery store line who asked the same kinds of
questions, here in Utah!Are you tending? Are those ALL YOURS? With my
youngest and I started getting a few gray hairs, someone even asked me if I was
his grandma? I felt a little hurt at first, but I don't like walking
around angry all the time, like spencery1990 said, and started looking at all
the great reasons why each of my children were a huge blessing to me and my
husband. We CHOSE to have these children, later, and we were lucky that we
could. My life has been super chaotic ever since. When people ask, I own it and
let them know I'm not perfect, but am grateful for the ride, telling them
something like, "You think this is crazy? You should have seen us ten years
ago!!!" I make no apologies, but I definitely choose to not be offended.
@Husker2I agreed with your comment all the way up until the last 16
words "especially when those teenagers are not willing to allow me to tell
them about my religion." This is 100% False. Actually I will give you 98%
False. There are a few bad seeds out there who do it wrong. I get emails from
my Son who is serving a mission, and he tells me all the time how he has sat
down and listened and been taught about others faiths numerous times. In fact
he enjoys the interaction and learning about others. Maybe it hasn't
happened to you. But it happens quite frequently. Just keep trying, and sooner
or later you will meet a respectful Elder or Sister who will be willing to
listen, if you are willing to do the same and just have quality dialogue for
"Yet, when I hear you, I don't listen, because it has no bearing on the
choices of my husband and I regarding our family."Obviously you
do since there is an article drawing attention to yourself and circumstance with
the need to attempt to explain away each comment that might be made.It's no different than seeing someone who is lost, and asking "Can I
help you get some where?" Kind of like you being asked, are you done?
Nobody knows if you are done, and nobody really knows if someone is lost. The
difference is that the person who is presumed lost, but is not. Doesn't
write an article trying to defend the look or actions that were noticed.
Instead, they respond kindly with an answer, and don't think another thing
of it. Let it go already.
Arianne, I think you're being too sensitive about this. My wife and I only
had 2 kids and people often asked if we were going to have more. We simply told
them no, that one child died at birth, and why we stopped at two. No big deal.
I think people are just making small talk. It's certainly no more
offensive or prying than pairs of teenagers who are total strangers knocking on
my door asking if I want to change my religion, especially when those teenagers
are not willing to allow me to tell them about my religion.
My dream since I was a very young child was to be a Mother of 8 to 10 children.
That dream never came true and it has been a tough road to accept. All I ever
wanted to be was a Mother but unfortunately it did not occur. I envy you Mothers
and Grandmothers. Hopefully someday in the near future a miracle will be wrought
and I will be given that blessing of being a Mother...this is my hope.
I think there is middle road here. I fully understand how it is insensitive for
others to make comments that imply their annoyance with my family size choices.
However I have found that it is best to just ignore their annoyance and own it.
Whenever people make these comments I try to respond by saying "I love
children, they make me happy, and I want to be happy and I am willing to pay the
price to have them".I also agree it is best not to become bitter
or annoyed with others opinions. Elder Uchtdorf gave a talk about 3 sisters. One
of which just kept on singing her song throughout her life, even though others
didn't like her song.
Sometimes a question is just a question. Hypersensitivity is a quick path to the
definitely a two way street.LDS mother in law asked after our first
(and only) child was born when we planned on having another.I asked
her how us having another child would affect her one way or another (she already
had over 25 other grandkids). Her response was that everyone should have a big
family. I asked her if she planned on babysitting for us and
setting up a college fund.She got the hint.
Amen sisterI have 9.Just endured an inappropriate comment this
am.Nice to know we are not alone.
Christ said, "Thou shalt not judge." True Christians do their best to
follow his teachings. So let's not judge those who choose to have large
families or those who mock them.
Some of it might be for inappropriate nosey or judging--but in a case with
a family I know, people kind of ask to help hint to the clueless parents that it
might be time to be done. The father is mean to the kids right at church
and in public-- so you worry if he is willing to be like that in front of
others, what must he be like them at home??Also the wife expects and often
asks and expects Church leaders to pick up and bring home children from various
youth activities or friends to take them to school while she herself often gets
out of her rotation for carpool. Raggedy kids that leaders worry about,
clearly overwhelmed mother, father that doesn't help hardly at all and is a
mean grouch to them all.I see the ladies I hear asking her if this is her
last baby as truly kind, worried women who are maybe gently trying to hint to
this woman (for the sake of her self and for the children she already has) that
maybe its time to consider maybe enough is enough.
Let me offers a different viewpoint. In my opinion, our world, our country,
especially our youth... who are offended at seemingly everything these days...
need better responses to offensive questions than to get frustrated at the
questioner. I sense a lot of being offended going on here. I think a coy
response is better if you have no time to really talk about the question and why
it bothers you in a calm way. Perhaps something like "Did you see a
stork?" and look around for one.... If you have time, talk with them about
why it bothers you.... We have a large family and When someone asks me questions
like "are you done having children?", I come to realized that we often
misrepresent their true intentions. But at times, they don't realize how
offensive it is.
Most all of the world's civilization has become so anti-human and
anti-baby. My wife and I have 9 children (and wanted 10-14 or more), but this
whole supposed issue of there being "too many" people on this planet is
absurd.I believe in a God who is not only omnipotent, but
omniscient. He knew how many children would be born, and even how many could be
born, and he planned & prepared for all of them (& more)!I
believe these are his actual words on the subject—"God
himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it
not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited...(by humans)"—Isaiah 45:18And yet more of his words on this
subject—"...They brought young children to him, that he
should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the
little children to come unto me, and forbid them not..."—Mark 10:13–14I believe God prepared ample
resources—"For the earth is full, and there is enough and
to spare; yea, I prepared all things..."—Doctrine and
Covenants 104:17I believe fully in a living God, who knows full well
what He is doing (& always has)!
It’s just about manners, isn’t it? Some people can’t tell the
difference between small talk and prying.
For those of us who choose to be mothers and to our husbands who want to be
fathers, the greatest blessing in our lives is our children.It
matters not the number of souls who come to bless our lives. Each is welcomed
and loved and anticipated with joy.For me, 12 was the number. Yes,
my husband and I eagerly and gratefully embraced 12 wonderful children who
brought us noise and laughter and problems and love.Now that they
have all left home, I cherish past days and miss the everyday sounds of their
lives. Every trial, every challenge we faced together to create a family is a
treasured memory.I didn’t know how to respond, back then, when
incredulous onlookers asked how many children I was going to have or when would
I be done or ‘didn’t I know what caused that’. I was
surprised they even cared.Now I know. Now I know why it was all
worth it. Now I know, seeing my grown children with families of their own and
facing life forward, with the family they came from at their backs....now I can
see why I welcomed the children I did. Our family...their
family....would not have been complete without any one of them. We simply
couldn’t leave anyone out.Happy Mother’s Day
Happy Mother's Day, Arianne!
@screenname - I got questions when we only had 2 kids - even when the words are
the same it is clear that the meaning was much more innocent at that point than
the questions that came once I had more than 4 kids.
I, for one, am confused. We have two children and also semi-regularly get the
question of whether we are done or not. It's just a question, and I
don't see how it's overly personal or rude. Even in our case, where
we're done against our will because of health reasons, it doesn't
offend me in the slightest.I think we could all practice being less
offended, which would go a ways longer than yet another "stop asking this
question" article that only forces to further discourage human interaction.
How about this? I will not ask you if you are done having children if you
don't ask me about my religion. Both are private decisions. Deal?
After graduating from a sedan to a minivan for our family, I said "Look,
there's room for one more!". We filled it, but my wife's first
look after I said that was not a pleasant one.But we had plenty of
people look odd at us when shopping for groceries with kids. Now,
divorced and remarried, saying we have 9 kids gets looks of incredulity,
especially when I have more than her.
When we lived in California I would bring our then four kids shopping and
occasionally I'd get questions like "do you do daycare?" No, they
are all mine. "Are those, yours, mine and ours?" Nope, just mine and
his. "Are you done having kids?" Nope, this is my retirement plan. The
more kids we have, the more they can take care of us in our old age. That usually shut them down, and that was only with 4 kids! Big
families done right are a tremendous blessing to parents and society.
Sounds like a good mom. We need more like her.
I can relate. When you are clearly outside the norms of society you get to
experience how some people try to not-so-subtly enforce societal norms on people
they have no connection to. It's like there is a certain portion of the
population that thinks they should be able to stick their nose in anywhere their
fancy dictates.@iluvnz: how does your SIL feel about your comments.
If you have a good relationship with her it might be fine to joke about this.@DarkKnight: you are 100% correct that asking childless couples when
they are going to start is also completely inappropriate.
Mrs. Brown you are a special person, (and obviously your husband as well). I
appreciate your thoughts on each child and how they add joy and blessings to
your life in their own significant way. My wife's sister has eight
children. Over the years I have made similar comments to her. All in a
fun-loving manner with humor intended. My intentions were meant as innocuous and
genuine, heartfelt banter with my sister-in-law. She is a wonderful mother with
a sense of humor who has always accepted my comments as nothing more than
lighthearted fun. However, through your story, I have seen that poking fun,
regardless of how innocent and humorous it's intentions, may not be
appropriate. I appreciate you helping me understand that, and hope my
sister-in-law will forgive me. God bless you for bringing His
children into a loving family to experience mortality, as is His plan.
We need as many productive, positive members of society as we can get.
Great article. Many of us with large families have been subject to
ultra-personal questions, and opinions of people we don't even know. For a
while my response was to say that we don't consult with strangers in our
family planning. Next time I'm subject to nosy questions and comments about
our family size, I'm going to remind the person that my children are or
will be paying for their social security.
good for you! Children are such a blessing and you'll have a wonderful
large posterity. as long as most of them are productive and contribute to
society, I can't think of a greater blessing or legacy
As to the unsolicited comments on the number of children one has or has not, I
opine that many people who are unsatisfied with their how they are living their
lives seem bent upon telling other people how to live theirs.A
second thought: I read how expensive it is to have a child and raise him or
her, and yet the Browns seem to manage on what must be a fraction of what the
sum total would be to raise a child. Therefore I conclude those who publish the
financial cost estimates are mistaken in their prognostications.Thank you for the article, it's nice to read something uplifting in the
I completely relate to this letter writer. My wife and I have 7 children. Yes we
are done but people look at us like we must be crazy. It makes me sad. It used
to be most families in Utah it was common to have 5-7 children. I think peoples
priorities have shifted. Some will say oh we can't afford so many, but if
they would give up the expensive house and unnecessary things in life. I think
most could. Children are a blessing.
It's equally inappropriate to ask couples without children "When are
going to have kids?", or anything else along these lines. These are
excessively personal questions and comments and the people who ask them should