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Dealing with coworkers shock about large family
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BerrySorbet









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:37 pm
I'm a professional in a relatively new job and I recently told my coworkers (all non-Jewish) that I'm expecting (my 5th). They're trying to be nice but it's obvious they think I'm nuts! One even asked me straight out if this was planned. Another said "congrats, I heard you're expecting, is it your first?" And when I told her it's #5 her jaw was hanging. They have no exposure to large frum families. Anyone have any friendly responses/clever comebacks? Or general advice about navigating this topic without them thinking that I've gone off the deep end 😜
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miami85









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:45 pm
I can relate as I'm expecting my 4th. I think the simplest answer is that "Every child is a blessing"--they may not agree, but there are plenty of other things that you probably don't agree with ideologically.
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miami85









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:46 pm
A more cynical retort is "more support for when I'm in my 'Golden Years'--you know how they say 'one mother can take care of 5 kids, but it takes 5 kids to take care of 1 mother'" B'shaa Tova! I'm dealing with my elderly mother and I'm 1 of 4--and I realize its NO JOKE!

Last edited by miami85 on Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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amother




Mustard


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:47 pm
large families aren't limited to frum Jews.

if you think they are thinking you are nuts - then say 'I know seems nuts, but its what we chose, and we are happy to be so blessed". Followed with - its nice to have a professional life too.
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amother




Fuchsia


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:48 pm
I'm a professional and pregnant with #6. I jokingly tell people "well... my last one was so cute we couldn't help ourselves!" I've also said things like "I never thought I would have this many kids, but I see how much joy and love each one brings into the whole family and it's really beautiful!" Truth be told though, if your coworkers are asking you if this was planned, it doesn't sound like such a professional environment. To keep up your own professionalism, I recommend not entertaining such personal questions.
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Mommyg8









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:49 pm
Also, to take a quote from Phyllis Schlafly "My kids will be paying into the social security system to support YOU in your golden years."

I don't know if I would say that, though.
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zaq









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:50 pm
“What, you didn’t know I’m Catholic? “

JK. No need to discuss it or be phony clever. When they look at you as if you have two heads, just say “We feel very blessed” and leave it at that. As to impertinent questions about planning or lack thereof, a shocked look as if to say “I can’t BELIEVE you asked me that!” should suffice, though raising a single eyebrow, if you have that talent, is also excellent.
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Mommyg8









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:52 pm
zaq wrote:
“What, you didn’t know I’m Catholic? “

JK. No need to discuss it or be phony clever. When they look at you as if you have two heads, just say “We feel very blessed” and leave it at that. As to impertinent questions about planning or lack thereof, a shocked look as if to say “I can’t BELIEVE you asked me that!” should suffice, though raising a single eyebrow, if you have that talent, is also excellent.


I always love your answers, zaq (I know you're not talking to me, but I still like what you write).
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lavenderchimes









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:55 pm
BerrySorbet wrote:
I'm a professional in a relatively new job and I recently told my coworkers (all non-Jewish) that I'm expecting (my 5th). They're trying to be nice but it's obvious they think I'm nuts! One even asked me straight out if this was planned. Another said "congrats, I heard you're expecting, is it your first?" And when I told her it's #5 her jaw was hanging. They have no exposure to large frum families. Anyone have any friendly responses/clever comebacks? Or general advice about navigating this topic without them thinking that I've gone off the deep end 😜


I have found that it helps people deal with "craziness" if you can make them laugh. Pick on thing, and use it as your stock response. Deliver with a big smile and laugh. Soon, it will become like your own personal joke! To anyone who ask if it was planned, say, "Well, G-d does the planning in this department:)" OR, say nothing, but wirh a smile. If you act like it's fine, it will be fine.
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perquacky









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 1:55 pm
I have "only" four children, and my coworkers think I'm some sort of superwoman. I'm happy to accept the compliments!
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zaq









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 2:00 pm
Mommyg8 wrote:
I always love your answers, zaq (I know you're not talking to me, but I still like what you write).


Smile
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Fox









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 2:04 pm
ITA with LavenderChimes. Yes, it's rude to comment on the contents of other people's wombs, but these poor sheltered dears just don't know any better. They probably spent their tender years learning that it's rude to stare.

But there are already too many people roving the streets in hopes of being offended. Come up with a few humorous, pleasant one-liners that convey that you're delighted to be anticipating a simcha and you're sure they are happy for you, too.

BTW, You really can't win. I'm an only child, and my mother was besieged all my life by, "You only have one?" Eventually she got put out enough to say, "Yes, we got it right the first time." I'm not recommending anything that acerbic, but it did shut down the comments rather quickly.
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browser









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 2:11 pm
I find it hard to believe that they are that shocked. They can tell u r a religious woman, it's not that unheard of unless they've been living under a rock. I would say just smile or make a small joke. But I don't think u have to actually deal with their shock it's more likely their opinion.
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tichellady









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 2:24 pm
They are shocked for a minute because they can’t imagine themselves having so many children and being sane and then they move on and are not thinking about this so much. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
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eschaya









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 2:33 pm
I'm also expecting my 5th and have gotten similar sort of incredulous reactions at work. I tell them that I was one of 4, so to me a family of 4 or 5 was just my normal. Everyone has their own idea of normal based on what they grew up with.
A coworker mentioned to me recently that she only has 1 and got similar reactions (don't you want a sibling for your daughter? Was that deliberate? Don't you want to try for another?). She was sympathizing with me... seems that unless you have either 2 or 3, your reproductive choices are deemed up for discussion.
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SuperWify









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 2:43 pm
tichellady wrote:
They are shocked for a minute because they can’t imagine themselves having so many children and being sane and then they move on and are not thinking about this so much. It’s not about you, it’s about them.
👍
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Ruchel









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 2:44 pm
Don't. Just state your thing, and don't try to justify. If some are interested, that's another topic and one I discuss gladly. But I'm not going to justify.
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naturalmom5









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 2:49 pm
If they are basically nice people, just give the large family, more to love speech.

If they are being discreetly antisemitic, just say you are still replacing those that Hitler killed.
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observer









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 3:11 pm
I get that a lot. I say that dh and I love kids.
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MiracleMama









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 4:14 pm
With only 3 kids, it's been a long time since I got those sorts of comments, but I did in when they were little -- probably because they came all at once (had twins when my oldest was only 1 1/2).
When people would say, "OMG, you really have your hands full!" or "I hope you're not planning on having anymore." I would always feign a very surprised/ hurt look and say, "Oh! Why? Does it seem like I'm doing a poor job managing?"
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