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Dealing with coworkers shock about large family
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Mommyg8









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 4:44 pm
naturalmom5 wrote:
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.


Love this!!!
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amother




Brunette


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 4:47 pm
I'm an attorney and I have kneina hara 4 kids. Nobody in my office ever comments about my family size. It could just be that they have never seen me pregnant so they don't think about it. If anyone ever asks me how many kids I have - I say "4, and that's a small family for my neighborhood." So basically everyone gets the impression that I have a small family (even though the average in my office is 2 kids).
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InnerMe









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 4:47 pm
Quote:
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.


This.
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amother




Slategray


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 4:56 pm
I used to feel self conscious in my secular work environment of my matenrity leaves and medium size family (4kids) but I see that I have not Jewish coworkers with families of 7/8 kids. It is not typical but it is out there. These are people who love children/family. I no longer feel the need to justify or make excuses. A coworker who I started with 4 years ago is about to take her 3rd maternity leave in 4.5 years.
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octopus









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 5:03 pm
zaq wrote:
“What, you didn’t know I’m Catholic? “



That's hysterical!
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amother




Ginger


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 6:23 pm
Omg this is the story of my life. Im straight out of grad school, just had 3rd kid, started a new job, and everyone looks at me like I have two heads. I smile and laugh and say ״we really want a big family, we hope to have lots of kids" when they ask are you done, I laugh and say for now yes, but we really want more. (Baby is 3 months) Occasionally I'll mention that dh and I come from large families and had very positive experiences, so we hope we can make it work for us as well. They think I'm strange, but they are not appalled or disgusted. More like intrigued.
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icebreaker









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 6:57 pm
I don't think you need a comeback or any of that. Just say "I've always wanted a large family" or whatever and by tomorrow, they probably won't care.
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amother




Slateblue


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 7:07 pm
icebreaker wrote:
I don't think you need a comeback or any of that. Just say "I've always wanted a large family" or whatever and by tomorrow, they probably won't care.


This is the professional and polite way to handle it. All a "comeback" does is inform people that you are defensive about this topic and that you think it's ok to be rude to people when you feel vulnerable. Not conducive to a good working relationship, regardless of others' behavior.

Just treat it like the non-issue that it is and normal people will let it go. If someone asks if the child was planned, just say yes and smile. Say "I love children and we're so excited" a lot.

You'll probably find your co-workers do things that seem just as weird from your perspective! 😀

Bshaa tova!
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Sake









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 7:13 pm
Argh! It's awkward isn't it? I started with a new company not realizing I was expecting... I now have to tell my brand new employer who has just finished digesting the number of children I have that I'm about to have another. Since there is no reason other than social interest to disclose the actual number, I leave off the 5 grown ones and say I have 4 at home. Once the cats out of the bag on this new baby, I'll just shrug and promise that we'll be getting cable soon.
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amother




Cerise


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 8:23 pm
Sake wrote:
Argh! It's awkward isn't it? I started with a new company not realizing I was expecting... I now have to tell my brand new employer who has just finished digesting the number of children I have that I'm about to have another. Since there is no reason other than social interest to disclose the actual number, I leave off the 5 grown ones and say I have 4 at home. Once the cats out of the bag on this new baby, I'll just shrug and promise that we'll be getting cable soon.


Oh my I’m amazed too. How old are you?
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cnc









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 8:40 pm
Sake wrote:
Argh! It's awkward isn't it? I started with a new company not realizing I was expecting... I now have to tell my brand new employer who has just finished digesting the number of children I have that I'm about to have another. Since there is no reason other than social interest to disclose the actual number, I leave off the 5 grown ones and say I have 4 at home. Once the cats out of the bag on this new baby, I'll just shrug and promise that we'll be getting cable soon.


Rolling Laughter
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BerrySorbet









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 9:10 pm
Thanks everyone for sharing your thoughts and good wishes... it helps just to hear I'm not alone!
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amother




Yellow


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 10:06 pm
I work in a nonjewish environment and just had my 5th. I think you should be careful ascribing in your mind what your co-workers think. They may be amazed, curious, suprised but not necessarily negative. This is your opportunity to educate and do a kiddish hashem. Just be sincere and positive,no need to strike back.
Jews are not the only people who have large families. At my large agency I know several men and women who have 4, 5 or 6 kids and none of them are Jewish. One mom of 5 is catholic, one young father of 5 is Mormon... One young looking dad of 5 is enlisted in the Navy... A mom of 4 who never stopped working was my mentor and a high ranking woman at my agency. Many are not religious at all, some are devout christians. Some come from large families themselves.
I didn't get much other than "congratulations" and "how are you feeling", or "how is the baby" Some did ask if this is our last, and I answered sincerely, like I think so, I am too old to have more, or sometimes it is not up to us, or I said I am done after my second and here we are, so I am not saying anything.... But nobody was rude or inappropriate, but I am quite tolerant of words. Many shared their pregnancy stories,but I like to talk about this.
For the two pregnancies I had at this workplace my co-workers (at two different departments, I moved in between pregnancies) have me baby showers at work, for the 4th and 5th kid!
I don't feel bad about maternity leave because as a federal employee my leave is unpaid.
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Mommyg8









  


Post  Mon, Nov 13 2017, 10:53 pm
My experience among non-Jews so far has always been positive. Whenever I mention how many kids I have, they usually respond in a respectful and positive way. But that would probably depend on where you live, and who you deal with - I found that the more religious ones are the best - generally very respectful and understanding, and they see it as a religious thing, and they admire you for it. At least, that's been my experience.
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observer









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 11:51 am
amother wrote:

I didn't get much other than "congratulations" and "how are you feeling", or "how is the baby" Some did ask if this is our last, and I answered sincerely, like I think so, I am too old to have more, or sometimes it is not up to us, or I said I am done after my second and here we are, so I am not saying anything.... But nobody was rude or inappropriate, but I am quite tolerant of words. Many shared their pregnancy stories,but I like to talk about this.
For the two pregnancies I had at this workplace my co-workers (at two different departments, I moved in between pregnancies) have me baby showers at work, for the 4th and 5th kid!
I don't feel bad about maternity leave because as a federal employee my leave is unpaid.


Doesn't that just reinforce the myth that we are not allowed to use birth control?
(which I get asked about a lot btw)
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Miri7









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 12:58 pm
I work in a professional environment where women tend to have no kids, maybe one, but generally never more than two. When I was expecting my 4th, at a time when only about half of the other women my age were married, I got a lot of the shocked expressions and comments. I just said "Yes, we're so excited!"

I think it did give me a reputation for being some sort of superhuman supermom, and I don't disabuse anyone of that idea! Over the years a lot of my colleagues approached me asking how to deal with parenting and professional life, I think that they thought I had it all figured out.

By the time my contemporaries started having babies, I was planning bnei mitzvahs.
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Ruchel









  


Post  Tue, Nov 14 2017, 1:01 pm
The first time I went to uni visibly pregnant, people stopped and stared. Some strangers came to touch and just go away after.
Once, my teacher found me sitting on the ground waiting for class (ha, to be young and flexible lol), she panicked and asked if she should call the firemen. After that she could never be at peace having me take the car/go to classes, and allowed me to study at home and even pass exams there, trusting me in a way I wouldn't trust a student Wink
I would sit on a cushion in class and that too fascinated people. I was even asked to do a presentation on pregnancy, and got a grade for it LOL.
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