11 Things Men Need To Stop Saying To Women With Multiple Children

Ad failed to load

When you have more than one child, people seem to think they have a right to comment about or question your reproductive choices. Especially when you bring your children in public and, well, especially when "people" are men. Sadly, there are so many things men need to stop saying to women with multiple children that, for one reason or another, are repeated with a reckless abandon that's nothing short of infuriating.

I remember vividly the first comment I heard about our family size. I was at Target with all four of our kids my two and my husband's two when some random guy decided to be "super helpful." "The condom aisle is that way," he said, followed by the rhetorical question, "You do know how those things are made, right?" I was so embarrassed. I wanted to tell him to mind his own business. I also felt the overwhelming need to explain my blended family and to tell him my kids were all wanted, loved and cared for. I wanted to let him know that I was a trained sex educator and of course I knew how babies were made. I also wanted to make sure none of my kids heard him or were hurt by his unbelievably rude comments. Of course, every possible reply escaped me in that red-faced, tears-welling-up moment, and I simply walked to the check out lane.

The bottom line, no one gets to question anyone else's reproductive choices. Whether I have zero kids, two, or ten children; whether they were intended or unintended pregnancies; whether I am single, married, or dating 100 people simultaneously, it's none of your business and it's certainly not a joke. So, if you see a large family in Target (or anywhere else, for that matter), the only thing that's cool to say is, "Can I help you?" I mean, have you ever been to Target with kids? Of course, it will also benefit you and all people involved if you kept the following things out of your mouth, too.

Ad failed to load

"You Know How Those Happen, Right?"


I can guarantee with almost 100 percent certainty that most moms, even those with multiple children, know how babies happen. I mean, they did go through the entire process.

However, if for some miraculous reason they're not aware of how babies are made, they most certainly don't need to hear your opinion on the matter. Oh, you weren't serious? Oh, you think it's super funny to joke about a person's children or reproductive choices or the kind of sex they're having? Explain to me how it's funny. Don't worry, I'll wait.

"I Bet Your Husband Never Get's Laid"

Whenever I hear this one, I want to respond, "You do know how these things happen, right?" Yes, my partner and I have sex even though we're parents. No, it's not any of your business. Yes, couples with multiple children may have to be more creative about finding time and places to have sex, but seriously? It's none of your business how often we have sex.

Also, why do you assume I have a husband? Maybe I'm in a same sex marriage. Maybe I'm not married at all. Maybe I'm a single mother. So, you know, don'g assume anything, buddy.

"Don't You Own Any Condoms?"


Just like you don't get a say in someone else's choices about the number of kids they have, you don't have the right to give unsolicited advice about contraception.

Also, random dude, why are you talking to me? You may not know this, but people with penises wear condoms. Shouldn't you be directing men to the condom aisle? News flash: women should not be solely responsible for preventing pregnancy. Oh, you were just joking? Stop. It's not funny.

Ad failed to load

"Are All Those Children Really Yours?"

This is a tough one for me. Because, in my family, the answer is complicated. Did I give birth to four children? No. Are they all my children? Yes.

Carrying a baby and giving birth to a baby doesn't make someone a mother. I love all of my children. More often than not, the guys who ask me this particular question aren't genuinely trying to understand my family, though. So, you know, "Boy, bye."

"You Look Tired"


I am tired. I don't need a reminder. I haven't slept well in eight years. I spend my days chasing kids, driving them places, working, running, shopping, cleaning, and trying to keep my family organized enough so that we can be happy, healthy, fed, and clothed.

Unfortunately, when something has to give, it's usually on my end. I don't get enough sleep, and as skilled as I am with concealer and highlighter, sleep deprivation sometimes shows in my face, the slump in my shoulders, or the case of Coke Zero in my cart. Next time, how about you try, "Can I buy your coffee?"

"So, You're Done Having Kids Now, Right?"

None. Of. Your. Business.

However,, since you mentioned it, I am pregnant. So, no, we aren't "done." At least not for a few more months. Again, this is really personal. You have no idea why a family looks the way it does or the path they've walked or stumbled along together.

Ad failed to load

"It's A Vagina, Not A Clown Car"


As someone who worked for a reproductive health provider, I do have serious concerns about the health and well being of people who carry numerous children, especially close together or as a result of unintended pregnancies.

However, I realize that this is really none of my business. It's not my body. We women certainly don't need a dude to mansplain female reproduction to us. Tell me again how my vagina is supposed to work? I'll listen if you let me tell you about your penis and how I think it should ideally function. That seems fair.

"Are You A Dugger Or Something?"

Please don't make assumptions about my religious or social beliefs based on my family size. For the record, I am a pro-choice, feminist atheist. I was not "called" to have a large family by a higher power. I actually have serious concerns about people who are not able to control their own fertility and who are forced to have and care for children, based on paternalistic and misogynistic values associated with relationships and childbearing. However, I don't share these views with random strangers. I have no idea why they've chosen to have multiple children or if they are being forced into a specific family situation.

For the record, no one is forcing me to conceive and carry babies. And, while I honestly never thought I would have more than two children, I wouldn't change a thing.

"How Do You Manage Them All? I Bet You Forget Their Names."


When you have a large family, sometimes it's hard to keep everything and everyone in order. When we take the kids to the store or stay at a hotel, we can be heard asking our little "duckies" to "line up." It's been a learning adventure full of chaos and the occasional misstep.

That said, unless you are offering to lend a hand, don't tell me that my kids are a handful. Also, I never forget their names (but calling them the cat's name is another story).

Ad failed to load

"My Tax Dollars Shouldn't Have To Pay For Your Mistakes"

Nope. I actually don't receive public assistance, but if I did? Your tax dollars have nothing to do with my reproductive choices. As a society, we have an obligation to support families in feeding, housing, and caring for their children. You are talking about letting children starve. Seriously.

Honestly, I might be willing to hear your views if you also didn't support anti-choice candidates, comprehensive sex education, and free contraception and reproductive health care. #SorryNotSorry

"That's What Happens When You Can't Keep Your Legs Closed"


Ah, slut shaming. Yes, I have had sex. Sex is awesome. Being able to control my fertility and plan my family is a privilege that I enjoy, and I am glad that we have the technology to help ensure that women aren't forced to continue with their unintended pregnancies.

Shaming women and other people with uteruses, because they shoulder the burden of pregnancy, is terrible. It takes two. Sometimes, it takes one, two, or a team of medical professionals to conceive a child. Shaming me for having sex is so tired. Of course, not as a tired as a mom with four kids at Target.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

8 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say That, Yes, You Are Their Favorite

For a baby to show a preference for a specific person is not only normal, but an essential part of their development. Babies need to form strong attachments to their caregivers for their emotional, social, and physical wellbeing. Usually, but not alw…
By Kimmie Fink

10 Reasons Why I Won't Apologize For Giving My Toddler A Pacifier

My first child had no interest in a pacifier. I tried a couple times to get him to take one, but he always spat them out and gave me an incredulous, judgmental look. But my second? It was love at first suckle. And after a while, the incredulous, judg…
By Jamie Kenney

Being A Dog Parent Prepared Me For Having A Baby, Really

I’ve always wanted kids; I was never as sure about raising a puppy. Then I spent six months living with someone who brought home an eight-week-old golden retriever puppy, and I see no way to make it out of that experience claiming not to love dogs. I…
By Heather Caplan

20 Of The Most Popular Unisex Names Of All Time, That You'll Be Hearing More Of For Sure

You might think of unisex names as a fairly recent trend, but the truth is these versatile monikers have been commonly used throughout history (well, some more commonly than others). That's why the team over at recently compiled a list of t…
By Jacqueline Burt Cote

How To Have A Date Night With No Babysitter, Because It's Easier Than You Think

After having children, many couples feel that their love lives immediately go out the window, but it's so important to make your romantic life a priority so both you and your partner can be the best versions of yourselves you can be. As we all know, …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

9 Ways Baby No. 3 Made My Family Feel Complete

My husband and I decided to have another baby right after we got married and, well, we had no idea what we were getting into. I got pregnant right away, endured a high-risk pregnancy, and, before I knew it, my third baby had arrived. Together, we emb…
By Steph Montgomery

8 Stereotypes About New Dads That Are *Totally* True

Much like new mothers, new fathers have a lot on their plate. Parenting can be scary and complex, especially at first and regardless of your gender. People want to do right by their kids, after all. And since all new parents are a hot mess, dads are …
By Priscilla Blossom

8 Differences Between Being Pregnant In Your 20s Vs 30s, According To Science

Whether you're planning a pregnancy, or just thinking about your future family, it's typical to think about things like child-spacing, how many kids you want, and when to start trying to conceive. When making your pro/con list, you might also conside…
By Steph Montgomery

16 Moms Share Remedies For Their Most Intense Chocolate Cravings During Pregnancy

For better or worse, pregnancy is usually synonymous with odd cravings. Sure, there are the stereotypical combos like pickles and ice cream that plague gestating women the world over, but there are other mind-boggling combinations, too, including but…
By Candace Ganger

Putting Sunscreen On Your Kid Doesn't Have To Be A Fight — Here's How To Do It

I am almost translucent, so me and sunscreen are basically besties at this point. Even though my children are beautifully deep brown thanks to my husband's genetics, I still slather them like biscuits being buttered because I refuse to take risks wit…
By Cat Bowen

7 Things A Mom Really Means When She Says She Doesn't Want Anything On Mother's Day

Every year my family asks me what I want for Mother's Day, and every single year I tell them the same thing: Nothing. So, by now, they know that when I say "nothing" I absolutely do not mean "nothing." In fact, there are more than a few things a mom …
By Candace Ganger

19 Moms Share The Way They Cured Their Pregnancy Comfort Food Cravings

I was obnoxiously sick during the first trimester with, "lucky" for me, both of my pregnancies. For the first three months I lived on saltines, lemonade, and fresh bread. Once I was able to eat, however, all I wanted was savory and sweet comfort food…
By Dina Leygerman

8 Fascinating Facts About Babies Born In May, The Luckiest Month Of All

The height of all things fresh and springy, May is an excellent month to have a baby. It's a time of growth, graduations, and outdoor celebrations. And these fascinating facts about May babies will give you more reasons than ever to appreciate childr…
By Lindsay E. Mack

I Used To Judge Formula-Feeding Moms — Until I Became One

The other patrons in the hip Brooklyn restaurant probably couldn’t care less what I was feeding my baby, but I’ll always remember the shame I felt as I quickly mixed up his bottle of formula in front of them. I admitted to my childless friend that I …
By Katherine Martinelli

7 White Lies It’s Necessary To Tell To Keep Your Relationship Healthy

Telling lots of lies typically isn't associated with a healthy, strong, lasting relationship, and that's still certainly true, but not all lies are exactly the same. Though you've probably heard from someone at least once or twice that the lie they t…
By Lauren Schumacker

The Skinny Jeans That Saved Me Postpartum

Accepting my post-pregnancy body is hands-down one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It’s something that I still work on every single day. During my first pregnancy, I was 20 years old, so I managed to bounce back quickly. In fact, I dropp…
By Allison Cooper

7 Ways Your Baby Is Trying To Say They Feel Safe

In those first weeks of new motherhood, it can feel like you need an interpreter for your newborn. With their limited means of communication, figuring out what message your baby is trying to get across to you can be a challenge. With time, however, y…
By Kimmie Fink

Here's Why Dogs Are Obsessed With Babies' Poop, According To Science

Most family dogs seem to understand babies, and they're more than happy to make friends with the newest member of the pack. It's adorable... for the most part and until you go to change your little one's diaper. Suddenly, you're wondering why dogs ar…
By Lindsay E. Mack

6 Signs You're Meant To Have A Big Age Gap Between Kids

There's a five year age difference between my two children, to the day. Their age gap wasn't planned but, for a variety of reasons, works well for our family. And since I was so focused on having a second baby, I totally overlooked the signs that wou…
By Candace Ganger

Here's The Right Birth Method For You, According To Your Zodiac Sign

If you're pregnant, you've probably given childbirth some serious thought. Some moms-to-be prepare a meticulous birth plan, while others are comfortable just going with the flow. And me? Well, I made a plan... but that plan was useless when faced wit…
By Steph Montgomery

My Dog Knew I Was Pregnant Before My Family Did

Growing up, I was 100 percent sure I'd be a mom one day. To a dog, that is. My baby plans came later. And once my husband and I were sure we wanted both a dog and a baby, we'd add to our joint dog-and-baby name list over Sunday brunch or on date nigh…
By Melissa Mills