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Seventeen Kids!

http://www.cnn.com/2007/LIVING/personal/08/03/17.kids.ap/index.html

One more and they'll have two whole (National League) baseball teams' worth of children. The part of me that cringes at the idea of getting pregnant once has just shriveled up and died. This woman must have an iron uterus or something.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
fafojoy
Aug. 4th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
I watched a special on them once. The only thing more amazing than having seventeen children is that they have seventeen well behaved children (well, 15 then). But then I guess they'd have to be.
frenchpony
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
I suppose families like that have to learn how to get along, or they'll blow up the countryside. I don't think I'd like to be one of those kids, though.
meckinock
Aug. 4th, 2007 03:34 am (UTC)
I think what made me groan the loudest was that corny bit about giving them all "J" names.
frenchpony
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:20 am (UTC)
Especially Jinger. That's really pushing it there.
(Deleted comment)
frenchpony
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:51 pm (UTC)
J names were the thing in the U.S. in the 1970s, which means that half the people my age are Jennifers or Jessicas or Jasons -- but that's such a 70s trend! One has to wonder why this family picked J for their endless name series.
dot_o_choillmor
Aug. 4th, 2007 11:34 am (UTC)
She did that 17 times?? Ouch. I'm cringing here.
frenchpony
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
They figure she's spent ten years being pregnant. That's just scary.
karenator001
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC)
To have to go through the teenage years with seventeen kids? Shoot me now.

In other parental news, two more children have been identified by DNA as James Brown's offspring. Six are already acknowledged in his will. Results of the remaining twelve claims are still pending. Well, he felt good....
frenchpony
Aug. 4th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
I think one way they must have dealt with the teenage years is by putting the teenagers to work taking care of household chores and the middle kids. It can't have been much of a life for the teenagers.
karenator001
Aug. 4th, 2007 01:52 pm (UTC)
I think one way they must have dealt with the teenage years is by putting the teenagers to work taking care of household chores and the middle kids.

They would have to. There's no way one woman can give that many kids the kind of attention they need. I assume Dad works outside the home.
I don't see how this family can get by without the older kids doing a lot of the child-rearing.
frenchpony
Aug. 4th, 2007 02:53 pm (UTC)
I hope the kids turn out okay when they're grown up. I feel kind of sorry for them.
meggins
Aug. 5th, 2007 04:57 pm (UTC)
The "older kids doing a lot of the child rearing" happens in families with as few as three children.

Very large families, while mind-boggling today, develop coping strategies and are probably no more neurotic than the rest of us. Possibly less because there is, of necessity, less emphasis on me, me, me.
frenchpony
Aug. 5th, 2007 05:12 pm (UTC)
That's probably true, up to a certain point. I do think that there gets to be a point where there are just too many kids, and I suspect it's a different point for each family. I don't know if this family has reached it or not. They clearly don't think they have, and I guess it would have been on the news if one of the kids had turned out as an axe murderer or something, so it's probably working for them now.
karenator001
Aug. 6th, 2007 01:18 am (UTC)
The "older kids doing a lot of the child rearing" happens in families with as few as three children.

Very large families, while mind-boggling today, develop coping strategies and are probably no more neurotic than the rest of us. Possibly less because there is, of necessity, less emphasis on me, me, me.


I'm sure older children, regardless of the number of children in a family, assume some of the child rearing responsibilities in many families. I don't even think it's a bad thing if the parents are aware and not using older kids as surrogate parents. Even some kids who are 'only' children rear themselves, though I don't think that's a good idea. Kids having responsibilities is a positive learning experience. I agree completely that many children from large families are probably well adjusted and happy.

However, the few people I know who reared younger siblings did not have a good experience. They felt used and didn't want children of their own for a quite a long time, if at all, because they felt they had already put in their time child rearing.

Helping out and having responsibilities is different than being expected to raise someone else's child when you didn't make that choice. I suppose it boils down to how the parents handle the needs of the older child balanced against the needs of the younger ones...and against their own needs and choices. When there are seventeen children in a family, I don't see how they would cope without some of the older children having to literally parent younger siblings.

And ALL families are dysfunctional in one way or another. Let's hope most remember to put the 'fun' in dysfunctional. :>)
perelleth
Aug. 4th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
My brother's mother-in-law is the eldest in a family of fifteen siblings. Their father was a doctor who worked both outside and at home, and their mother took care of them...and also opened the door and showed clients in and all that stuff. My sister-in-law has an uncle who is three years younger than she is!

I know the fifteen of them and they are all wonderful, normal, compassionate, entertaining people. I suspect that the perception we nowadays have of the kind of "attention" that a growing child needs is somehow changed.
frenchpony
Aug. 4th, 2007 05:23 pm (UTC)
Possibly. But still, the iron stamina needed to spend ten and a half years being pregnant and popping out all seventeen of those kids . . . not something I'd want to do with my body!
perelleth
Aug. 4th, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
not something I'd want to do with my body!

Of course! Neither for money nor for world peace or anything ! :-)
fafojoy
Aug. 5th, 2007 03:02 am (UTC)
Her kids looked pretty healthy and happy.

My newest employee is the youngest of 15 kids... raised in a three bedroom house in St. Paul. She says they did eventually convert the porch to a fourth bedroom, but it had no heat, so it was only for the tough older boys. :D

I grew up in a neighborhood that had a lot of kids. 6, 9, 12, 17... three was way small, 5 or 6 normal and that 17 was a record, though it was a widow marrying a widower.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )