When a pregnancy announcement doesn’t get a good reaction


Pregnant belly with red ribbon


I’m not sure if it’s a general large family thing, or if there’s no hard and fast rule but though many reactions to the news of an impending new arrival are positive there are one or two which are, well, not.

The more children you add to your family, especially if it’s not “accidental”, means the stranger you become, at least according to general opinion.

General opinion can consist of family, the local neighbourhood and anyone that hears or knows of you. So that narrows it down to… umm… anyone, then.

So the announcement of a new pregnancy comes not only with excitement, (because come on, it is an exciting time! How can a new life not be exciting?!) but with the back and forth conversation between Mike and myself which goes something like this:

“So what do you think Minnie Mouse will say?”

“Oh, I don’t know. Wouldn’t bank on a good reaction though.”

“I think you should tell her.”

“Um, no. I think I’ll leave it to you.”

“Well, what about Daisy and Donald Duck?”

“Not sure. They might be alright about it.”

Now just for the record, we’re not actually discussing Disney characters there. Those names have been inserted so that I haven’t used real names of real people that are normally killjoys in the pregnancy announcing world.
We don’t usually have negative reactions from Minnie Mouse or Daisy and Donald Duck. Or at least, I’m sure they’d be quite happy for us if they knew us. Which they don’t.

I digress.

True to our expectations given past history, one person we’ll name Minnie Mouse for the sake of privacy came out with the gem “Well good luck to you”. Say that in a non-cheery voice and with every single ounce of that word slathered in sarcasm and you’ve got the tone.

I guess it beats the reaction of my pregnancy with Eddie where she told me “Well, that’s YOUR problem.”

Uh-huh. Hmmm.

Good luck to us? Why thank you. I’ll just put a spin on the tone of your voice there and re-imagine you saying that with a happy face. You know, the corners of your mouth turned UP instead of the normal down. . You may want to try that for real some day.

And as for “our problem”. He’s fine. He’s fun and lively and smart and cute and to be honest, I’d love all my problems to be like him.

Now I know this person loves my children but why do people feel the need to do this? Why do people, especially those close to you, have to turn joyous news into something akin to you announcing you have a terminal illness?

Of course, then there’s the obligatory comment after the birth of each child, “Congratulations but you’d better not have any more”.

Oh. O…kay.



Because you look after them?


Because you pay for them?


Because you see them probably a handful of times a year.

Yes, that’s all.

So how does it affect you what we do?

It shouldn’t bother me really as I know what these people are like.

Of course, you know that when you are past two or three kids you become topic for conversation. Then begins the “You’ll never guess who’s pregnant….!” or “Did you hear….?” and you know it’s all going on.

I think much of it is curiosity rather than malice. I hope much of it is curiosity rather than malice. If you’re honestly, genuinely curious about something just ask us! We don’t bite you know (unless you’re a Krispy Kreme donut or chilli. I really have a hankering for both at the moment.)

We understand that families our size aren’t the norm any more and there are real, innocent questions that people have about our lives. We’re happy to answer (most of) them. If we don’t feel it’s appropriate to discuss something we’ll tell you.

But for now, we’d appreciate happy thoughts, congratulations and prayers for our tiny little eight week one day old baby number nine.

A life is special whether it’s a firstborn or your ninth (or more!).

Let me know what reactions you’ve received when announcing a(nother) pregnancy in the comments below.


Edit: Since writing this post we have gone onto have another three children. Our next pregnancy – twins – was met with pretty much the same reaction, along with the comment ‘It doesn’t surprise me’. By the time we were expecting child #12 we didn’t even tell certain people. Now #13 is due in three weeks. The main naysayers now have no place in our lives and so their reactions no longer matter. In the meantime, we’re excitedly looking forward to our newest member’s arrival. 



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40 thoughts on “When a pregnancy announcement doesn’t get a good reaction

  1. Well, I think it's awesome, and I am hoping for a "problem" of my own this year! It will only be my second, so I have the opposite, my first is nearly three, but from the time she was born I got the "when are you having another" comments. Seriously, some people are just never happy!

  2. CONGRATULATIONS on your new blessing from God – how amazing that another little life is being born into a Godly family ready to do whatever work God has prepared for him/her!

  3. I try to tell myself that most of the negative or lukewarm reactions are loving concern poorly stated. You know, the people really do want the best for us and just don't want us feeling stressed or burdened, but it comes out sounding very bad. That's what I tell myself.

  4. I know what you mean! I lost a good friend of 14 years over this very thing!! But it's MY life & MY children right??? Congratulations! Each child is a joyous gift!!!

  5. It seems when you start moving over the 3 child mark, people start getting snarky about it. I dreamed of having 8 when I was little. I may settle for 4 (because my DH may stroke out otherwise).

    Congratulations all the way! The announcement of the amazing miracle of a new life should always be celebrated!

  6. I am soooooooo happy you posted this- can I copy and paste it on MY blog?! This is so true for us as well, and I'm always amazed that the worst reactions come from those closest to us!!! Our friends and neighbors always think it's great, but family….. well, perhaps it's just that they know how hard we work and and how we tend to struggle at times. But what they DON'T get is that we are CHOOSING this life- happily!!! It's not a burden. We were made for this. Can you tell you hit a nerve with me?! I'm only on #8, but if there is a #9, I will certainly be leary of who I tell and how quickly I tell them- sad, isn't it?! Congrats again to you and your FABULOUS BLESSSING from GOD!!!!!!!!

  7. Well said!

    I have seven children and got all sorts of reactions over the years. Once our kids got older and it was obvious we weren't having any more, rude comments about family size stopped. Now people are almost fascinated with our family size and enjoy and appreciate our children as individuals. Blessings on your growing family.

  8. Amen sister!
    I only have 3, and after the reaction of the inlaws about number two, I knew number three was going to thrill them, and of course, it did. But seriously, they have never had to take care of them and don't even contribute at Christmas. What is their deal? She had 5 children and she begrudges me my 3? I want another and do not look forward to telling, well.. anyone unfortunately. Nobody around here shares our interest in a large family (as if 4 is large!)

  9. I wish some people like the Disney folks you talk about would zip there mouth and just be glad it's not them who is being blessed with another amazing gift from God.
    I only have 3 but I have had much of the same reaction with a few of our own Disney folks.

    It just goes to show that some, like you, have a great deal of love for children. The reasons why or how many children one family has is no one else's business.
    I would love to have more but we already have 1 more than hubby was ready for. I always hoped to have 3 but now I would love to have one or two more.
    If a family is able to support and love each of their children then I send my love and support to the family.
    Enjoy this time, what other poeple think doesn't matter, but you already know that.

    Just for fun, tell them your having twins.

  10. I have two and would never have nine but it's not my life so I am in no position to post an opinion or judge..good luck

  11. Love this post! I actually dread telling certain people, because I know they will be unhappy and their comments may be hurtful. We hear "Again?", "Don't you know what causes that?", and the favorite "Is this it?". With our 6th pregnancy, I didn't even tell certain relatives. I had a custom myspace layout made, announcing we were pregnant. Once they read it, I immediately received a phone call about it.

  12. Well goodness me, I didn't realise just how many others experienced the same thing. In a funny kind of way though it *is* reassuring, don't you think?

    @Quixotic: Good luck on getting yourself another "problem". I'll be keeping up with your blog to keep tabs!

    @Dawes Family: Thank you!

    @Nicole: That is such a nice way of looking at it. But I do struggle with those that are just downright rude! I wish I could have your diplomacy!

    @Me: It's not the amount of years you know somebody but the quality of the friendship. Looks like you found that one out.

    @Milk Chocolate Meg: You never know, you may get to four, then have your dh think "Hey, this isn't actually hard at all! Bring on another… and another…". That's kind of what happened here! And thanks for the congratulations!

    @Genny: Thank you!

    @Jenny: Take it if you want it! I love this part of your comment: "But what they DON'T get is that we are CHOOSING this life- happily!!! It's not a burden. We were made for this." You've said it so well! And thank you once again for your congratulations and roll on another ten weeks or so for you! I can't wait to see him!

    @Angie Vik: Sorry that you too experienced the comments (actually, am I? Because it does reassure me lol!). Thank you.

    @Misty M: Seems to be the ones to take the least interest are the ones who object more.

    @Amber: "Tell them you're having twins". Lol! That did make me laugh! I might do that. You naughty lady for putting such thoughts in my head!

    @Kimberly: Thank you!

    @Vodka Logic: I said the same when I had two, then changed my mind and glad I did. Like you say, it's my life. Large families aren't for everyone and that's fine 🙂

    @Mom of Many: I know I've heard all of those lines myself too! Love the MySpace idea. What I want to know is, did you answer the phone?!

  13. How wonderful! Congratulations!
    I know exactly what you're saying. I got so many negative comments with my sixth, that I actually decided to start answering back with some witty (read sarcastic) reply to any comments we might receive in the next pregnancy(ies), but the comments were a lot fewer with 7 (although there was one that was a doozy) and they were almost non-existent with the 8th and 9th. I think people were so shocked that they couldn't think of anything to say. I didn't actually tell my mother I was pregnant with the ninth until three weeks before I deliverd. She obviously doesn't live near.

    So, I didn't get to use my great comebacks. There was this one woman, whom I had never met before and she told me that I needed to stop (this). I'm afraid I wasn't witty. Basically, I just said, "Excuse me? My children are neat and clean, well fed and well dressed. As long as you aren't paying for them, I don't think it's really any of your business." Not one of my kinder moments, although I did say it with a smile, but still she did deserve it.

    Enjoy your sweet number nine and all the rest. My youngest is ten now. They grow up so fast. But, at least I have grandchildren now.
    PS thanks for visiting my blog.

  14. I don't know what has happened to the old, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all"! Sorry you know some stinky people.

    Congratulations on your newest blessing!

  15. Congrats!
    I still have very hurt feelings over how my family reacted with our fourth child. It still hurts. However, I know my skin needs to get tougher because I want to live a life pleasing to God not a life that looks like the world around me.
    I'm glad you shared your heart here. May you be blessed by sharing.

  16. @Luvmy9: Sometimes a firm comment with a smile may be called for. I too, feel bad sometimes. Then I wonder, well, did they feel bad for what they just said?

    @Hen Jen: Thank you!

    @Dusti: I'm sorry that you too have had some negative reactions. Thank you too for the congratulations!

  17. Congratulations…my friend Angie Vik sent me over since I too am expecting our 9th and am currently keeping it a secret since we had a horrendous miscarriage last year…but the people I've told have been enthusiatic. After about number 5, people started looking forward to our "announcements." I think some have even been slightly disappointed that it's been five years since we've had a baby…I know several of our kids are:)
    But it is strange the way complete strangers feel they can ask about your family "planning" when they see you have a large number of children. Apparently, after a few kids there are no more "private" issues.

    Babies are Blessings…that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for your post.

  18. Hi, nice to meet you. I'm enjoying your blog; I came to it through Blog Frog. Still not sure how that works but, glad it does! I had 5 kids and by the end we were making our brothers and sisters draw straws to tell our parents. Now, our oldest daughter is on her 6th and the things people say are incredibly rude. She, as did I, never asked anything of anybody, including babysitting. People just don't realize the sanctitiy of life and having lots of kids as a blessing from God. Being open to his will is the right thing. We agree totally on this I think. I'm taking my youngest to school now but, then home to finish perusing your blog. See ya soon. Congrats on your family. Oh and my philosoyphy and observation after many years of life: I've heard many, many people say they wish they would have had at least one more child but, I have never heard anybody say I wish I didn't have so many children. Just sayin'.

  19. I know exactly how you feel and it is the strangest thing! I find the more children you have the more scary it is to tell people. Aslo i find it the oddest that when i tell my "Daisy and Donald Duck" (who have 4 children them selves) that we are expecting I get the response "you must be mad" hmmm thats interesting coming from you who has decided to have 4! Very odd! lol

  20. I just found your blog and am loving it!:)

    We are expecting our 5th right now and our 4th and 5th received such horrible reactions and comments-the worst from the GRANDPARENTS!!! It was very hurtful. My Mother didn't even speak to me for the entire pregnancy of my fourth. One of the grandparents said "Are any of them going to go to college?" the other said "Congratulations…I think". We dread telling anyone (at least family, most of our friends have larger families) we're expecting! Seriously, why can't people just say "Congratulations" and keep their opinions and rude comments to themselves?? It's not like they are going to change the fact we're having another and, honestly, I simply cannot figure out why it matters to others! It was SO nice to read so many others have the same issues. It's true, you develop thicker skin quickly.;)

  21. I just found your blog and am loving it!:)

    We are expecting our 5th right now and our 4th and 5th received such horrible reactions and comments-the worst from the GRANDPARENTS!!! It was very hurtful. My Mother didn't even speak to me for the entire pregnancy of my fourth. One of the grandparents said "Are any of them going to go to college?" the other said "Congratulations…I think". We dread telling anyone (at least family, most of our friends have larger families) we're expecting! Seriously, why can't people just say "Congratulations" and keep their opinions and rude comments to themselves?? It's not like they are going to change the fact we're having another and, honestly, I simply cannot figure out why it matters to others! It was SO nice to read so many others have the same issues. It's true, you develop thicker skin quickly.;)

  22. With baby #1, my MIL flipped out because it was her first grandchild and she wasn’t prepared to be a grandmother.

    With baby #2, my MIL flipped out because #1 was only 4 months old and we weren’t in the best financial position at that time. But that is life.

    With baby #3, MIL flipped out again and told my husband to get a vasectomy behind my back.

    So with baby #4, MIL will be getting a cute announcement card through the mail so hopefully I won’t have to deal with her negative reaction… Hopefully… 😉

  23. Pregnancy #4 what do you want to do that for? Week later miscarriage, no comments.
    Baby #4 & 5 haven’t you got a tv? That’s it now isn’t it??
    Baby #6 your not having any more are you? Haven’t you worked out what causes it yet?

    1. I was told, “You should get a TV in your bedroom!” (jokingly from a friend)
      My husband and I just laughed and said, “Yeah, but there are these things calld commercials…..” HA!! Got quite the reaction! 🙂

  24. Lets see…ive gotten “it shouldnt have happened” for number two. “This is the worst day if my life” for number three and “i ill call you again when i get over it, IF i get over it ” for our fourth. This is all from family members. Sad really. My blood pressure goes up just thinking about it!!

    Congrats on your new addition!! So thankful that i have sisters in Christ who are on the same page where i can go for encouragement!

  25. We’ve heard “Wow. Are you stupid?”, “Well, I guess not everyone has to go to college.”, “How selfish can you be?”, “Are you INSANE?”
    So sad 🙁

  26. Well I think my comment beats them all, with number 5 I was asked had I perhaps thought about having an abortion !!!!
    That caused a massive arguement causing a major fallout, then I get a vistit from another person saying, do you realise what your doing to Mickey & Minnie’s health, they are really upset over this.. ( their upset )..
    What annoys me most and still does to this day is when I see them kissing and cuddling said child telling them how much they love her. I feel like saying oh yeah that’s the child you wanted me to murder, the one you didn’t wanted remember that, it really makes my blood boil..
    It’s no one business how many kids ppl have as long as their well looked after and happy, it really makes me sick all these negative ppl, don’t they realise how much it hurts us ? Your so happy to find out your pregnant, then you sit and dread other ppls reactions ! It’s so messed up…

  27. Very timely for me. Recently found out I am expecting our 8th, plus we have 3 grown children. I am 44 and everyone is ‘concerned’ about my health. Maybe I should get a written excuse from my midwife to show them I have permission to have a baby. At this point I just avoid telling people that won’t be happy and walk around with a big smile on my face knowing that God has seen fit to bless us with a new life!
    Thanks for sharing and CONGRATULATIONS!

  28. I kept mine pregnancy quiet longer than I would of done this time…..purely down to the fact that I couldn’t face some of the negative comments that some people give, the thought of having to steel myself to deal with some of the comments that they have no place to say!! But then I thought it makes no difference if I wait 3 more weeks or not the same negative judgemental people will say the same things anyway!! The thing is this is our choice we look after ,love and support our children so who are they to judge!! We are very happy baby number 11 is on the way and found out a couple of ours ago its a girl 🙂 xx

  29. Same phenomena when adopting another sibling group. Most of our family did not talk to us all spring summer and fall because of it. We started visits just before Christmas and the chill finally started to thaw.

    We have placement now and things are somewhat back to normal…new normal anyway. 😉

  30. I have 3 children & I think how chaotic my life gets and I cannot imagine having more but babies are a blessing! I personally thank you for your post because I fear that I am one that has teased & made jokes to my friends who have more! I felt that it was done lovingly and I’m truly excited for their new addition but I never thought about the hurt I might be causing! I vow to be nothing but happy, positive & congratulatory from this point forward!!!

  31. Ok, you are going to find this hilarious!! Let me preface this by saying at the time this comment was made we had the smallest family in our church… so after having our 3rd child and my husband having surgery I was chastised.. yes chastised for stopping with “only” 3 children. Umm really?! We definitely laughed about it as was such a shock. I mean, so many of our friends had large families and were faced with the mean spirited questions such as “Don’t you know whats causing this by now?” or “Maybe you shouldn’t drink the water any longer…” Seriously?! I think it is truly wonderful… not the mean questions and comments but those who are willing to have large families! So congratulations! and yes each and every child is a blessing!!

  32. I had 2 girls a year apart and a childhood friend told me I better not have anymore. When I had my 4th , my uncle says “you know how that happens , right” Uh…no, why don’t you tell me.
    A neighbor said, “oh, you’re having another one?’

  33. It makes me sad when family in particular put the negative spin on it. I’m pregnant with my 2nd, but lost the first baby. I told family today, and have already had the, “let’s hope this one survives” and the “I’d be scared if I was you” and the “well I’ve known you’ve been sick for a while, but since it’s ONLY morning sickness you’ll be right, I can stop praying”. How about realising that those things are going through my head enough without adding to it. Keep praying, don’t stop praying for my huge blessing that is fighting and growing inside! And no, family, this baby does not replace, or “make up for” my baby who died!

  34. I have 4 boys. I hate it when people say……oh, are you trying for a girl? Um, no. I’d like a healthy baby, please.

    When I came back to work after my 4th child, my boss said to me, “Welcome back! How are you doing? Wow, how’s having 4? You ARE done, right?” Um. Thank you. I’m doing great! 4 is perfect! NOT YOUR BUSINESS!!

    My husband and I haven’t decided if we are going to go for #5 yet. We are open to it……not doing anything to prevent it. If God gives us another, we’ll love him too! (He probably will be another boy!) 🙂

  35. For the record, I have NEVER heard of ANY mom saying: “Gosh, I had too many children. I should have stopped at 2, 5, or what ever #. I HAVE heard, MANY TIMES, moms saying, “I wish I had just one more baby.” or “One more baby would have made my family complete.” or “I always wanted more children”. Just something to think about. 🙂

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