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Mom Asks If She Was Wrong To Warn SIL How Difficult And Expensive It Is To Have Six Kids

Family with six children.
That's A Pretty Picture Photography/Getty Images

There are some people who wait their entire lives to become a parent.

When they finally find themselves old enough to do so, however, there are several factors that begin to come into play that might not have occurred to them during their years of daydreaming.

Scheduling your work around your children’s needs, the sleepless nights, baby proofing, and perhaps, above all else, just how expensive children are.

Redditor PersonalityFit2085 was a mother of a very large family, one her sister-in-law (SIL) envied.

However, when the original poster (OP)’s SIL asked her the honest ins and outs of raising so many children, she was given a definite reality check.

A reality check the OP’s brother-in-law (BIL) did not appreciate her receiving one bit.

Worried about how she handled the situation, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole’ (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for telling my SIL exactly what having a big family would mean for her?”

The OP explained how her truthful opinion of raising multiple children was met with very different reactions from her in-laws.

“My husband(42 M[ale]) and I (38 F[emale]) have six kids, 3 are biologically ours (8F, and twin 6M), and 3 are adopted siblings (10M, 7M and 3F).”

“We make a high 6 figure income combined, and are debt free, as well as owning our house outright (relevant).”

‘My husband and his brother were raised by very neglectful parents, and used to talk all the time about having a big family when they grow up.”

“They were upfront with me and SIL about wanting a lot of kids from our early days of dating.”

“SIL and BIL are starting to try for their first kid, and SIL has been leaning on me for emotional support, which I am very glad to provide.”

“Last Sunday, she asked me to be brutally honest about what it’s like to have 6 kids.”

“I told her that my experience will not be very helpful to her, seeing as how our situations are very different, and she asked me to explain.”

“So I told her that I am a SAHM wife with a passive income in the high 6 figures, my husband makes over 300k a year, so we are lucky enough to not have to think about the financials when it comes to a large family.”

“Same goes with child care, I have 2 nannies, that is the only way I found to be able to give all my kids the attention they need, seeing as my youngest has health issues.”

“And that even without those health issues, 6 kids are a lot of work without someone there.”

“And finally, my husband and I were looking into adoption and surrogacy because pregnancy is hard on the body, so 3 was my limit of pregnancies, and that we were lucky that we were able to foster to adopt our 3 adoptive kids.”

“But if we didn’t, adopting 3 extra kids, or hiring surrogates was going to be very expensive.”

“Well, apparently she talked with BIL, and told him what I said, as well as how they should maybe space having kids more, so they could give them a higher living standards, and now he is accusing me of manipulating her, and being a jealous b*tch who wants to be the only one with the big family.”

“Was I an AH by telling her everything I did?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

NTA: Not the A**hole
YTA: You’re the A**hole
ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
NAH: No a**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for openly explaining the challenges and expenses that come with having multiple children.

Everyone agreed that the OP did exactly what her SIL asked her to do, and if her BIL was so upset by her honest opinion, then perhaps he wasn’t in a position to be a parent.


“You told her the truth instead of the rose-tinted version BIL would have preferred you told her.”

“Why doesn’t he want high living standards for his kids?”- Amar_Akbar_Anthony20


“Your BIL very well knows that what you said was true, and it must hurt to know that his big family plan will probably not work because of their life choice and lack of money.”

“They are just shooting the messenger.”- MaybeAWalrus


“Normally telling people about your wealth isn’t the best idea, but in this case, having such a high income IS how you manage to have six kids, and you were right to be upfront about it.”- Auntie-Mam69

“Coming from a neglectful family, they should be more concerned with the kids’ wellbeing than the amount of kids they have.”

“Having more kids than you can take care of is neglectful and often leads to the older kids being forced to be surrogate parents to the younger ones.”

“This doesn’t only neglect all kids’ needs, but it also steals the childhood of the kid/parents.”

“They should be happy you brought these concerns up before their many kids are born.”

“If they want to be the parents they say they want to be, they would be invested in learning what they can now about what is best for their future family.”

“You’re NTA, but I’d recommend you have your husband talk to his brother about what you’re saying because him disrespecting you just because you said a truth he didn’t like is unacceptable.”- RecognitionCapital13

“NTA, you served her straight facts. If the husband doesn’t like it, oh well, that’s just how the world goes.”- Nirw99


“WOW the idea that being honest about your experience is manipulative is just… well, wow.”

“I see no reason in the world why spacing out a large amount of children would be seen as unreasonable.”

“So someone who grew up extremely poor, giving serious thought to your children’s quality of life is not only responsible, but it’s the right damn thing to do.”

“My hubs family is large, 4 boys.”

“They were raised more upper mid-class but at one point FIL got laid off, and he still expresses regret that those 2yrs finances were tight.”

“How he regrets his temper at the time, every time he has to say no to the boys.”

“It haunts him even though, for the most part, the boys remember a good childhood.”

“Spacing children out is responsible.”

“You were being honest, you did nothing wrong.”

“The only reason I can think for him to be upset is if he’s one of those ‘I want 4 kinds in 4yrs’ kind of guys.”

“In which case he just sucks cuz that’s hell on a woman’s body, and no one has a right to demand something like that.”- sinloxie

“NTA she asked, you answered that’s it.”

“If He wants a fairytale, He needs to visit a book Store.”- ManufacturerNo6126


“I’m guessing BIL/SIL isn’t financially as stable as you and not able to afford nannies?”

“BIL needs to grow the F up.”

“I’m guessing he’s not the one staying home and raising the kids?”

“Does he not realize the hard work it takes to raise kids?”

“NTA.”- clearheaded01


“I am one of six kids with a stepdad who made about $100k a year.”

“My mom also homeschooled us.”

“Our standard of living was low (fights about money were CONSTANT), and not all of the children got the care and attention they needed with a mother who also volunteered full time.”

“I have mental illness, and one of my brothers is likely autistic.”

“We did not get the care we needed, and it still affects us.”

“People should not have that many kids without the proper income and/or support.”-meredith_pelican

“ABSOLUTELY NOTHING Wrong with what you said.”

“I have 4 children & it’s an obscene amount of work.”

“Being honest about how expensive & time-consuming it is is NOT manipulative.”

“People with zero kids always think they would be the perfect parent & that it’s all just so easy, & a reality check is nothing more than a courtesy.”- ThrowRA_FML_36


“She asked for brutal honesty, and you gave just that.”

“Doesn’t sound like there was any malice or jealousy attached to it.”

“Why would you be jealous?”

“Lol.”- 9okm


“She asked, you answered.”

“He’s upset with the answer, and he has every right to be but that doesn’t make you an AH.”

“She should ask other parents of big families or even small families – everyone has what does and does not work for them.”

“Your answer doesn’t need to dictate her life; if she uses it to guide their decisions, then it’s her choice, not yours.”- KingMcB

“It’s great that your bil thinks his opinion of what a woman goes is more important than an actual woman’s perspective.”

“NTA.”- That-Ad4028

The OP’s BIL might want to stop and seriously consider which would have been worse.

Being told how difficult and expensive it is to have large families or discover it without any warning.

The OP’s BIL was probably correct in calling out jealousy in this situation, whereas he was incorrect in pointing out who the jealous party was…

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.