Elle Editor Criticized for Having 4 Children

Lorraine Candy, the Editor-in-Chief of Elle Magazine, is currently expecting her 4th child, and she is under heavy attack on all fronts for it. In a recent editorial, Candy attempted to defend her decision to continue reproducing beyond the 2.2 kids norm:

“…of course we will be (and have been) criticised for being selfish, environmentally irresponsible and naïve.

It’s your right to think what you think, but I really don’t care. We’re not trying to prove anything or expecting anyone to make our choice any easier. It will be what it will be…

But I also know how much more love we will have in our lives, how much happiness we can look forward to and how long it will last…

I think life is supposed to be an adventure — and this is the next part of ours.”

Pretty eye-opening to be reading Candy’s self-defense against her critics as well as the hostile comments against her at the end of the article. When I walk down the street with my crowd of kids in Jerusalem, Israelis of all shapes and sizes greet me with wistful smiles. I had pretty much forgotten that anybody is still ANTI big families!

Yet another reminder to thank God that I’m living in this world and not that one! Thanks for Rena Lewis of Jerusalem for sending this my way!

I would be interested to hear from moms with big families living outside of Israel. What kinds of reactions have you received to your bigger-than-average family?
Read the rest of Why do Other Women Resent me for having a 4th Child?


  1. I get a mixed response. On the negative side–When we take all of our children out to eat, no matter how well behaved they are, people stare. We’ve even heard a woman say she would rather wait for another table than risk being seated next to us. My children aren’t a pack of wild animals. It is fairly rare for us to have a behavior problem and when we do, either my husband or myself immediately removes the child from the situation. Nobody refuses to sit at the booth next to family with only one child even if that child wails, jumps on the chair or whatever. In general, people stare, tell me they could never do it, tell me I’m environmentally irresponsible (my favorite is when I hear this from a person with one child and a GIANT SUV, 5000sq ft house etc..). I often get asked if I am a daycare provider. People assume I must secretly be depressed and stressed. There is also a general social rule here: A woman with only one child will recieve sympathy and a woman with two tolerance if there is a misbahavior or crying BUT a woman with many will recieve dirty looks if so much as one of her children step out of line. No one will offer assistant or a kind word, even if the child is a newborn. It takes courage to choose large family life. On the positive side–you live in a home filled with love and laughter where no one is lonely, as a result all the lonely latchkey kids love to hang out at our house and their parents are thankful we are here. The elderly love to see a line of little children and will stop to talk with them and with me. Catholic priests are complimentary (we aren’t catholic) as are other clergy in general. We get group rates on concert tickets.

  2. So in America, I would get it bad at the doctors office when I had to come in for vaccines with the baby and the other baby…especially if the older one was crying or cranky…just the comments of “he probably “feels” replaced or that the attention has shifted…do you compensate, or are you going to wait a while before having another one…or is this it?” At the supermarket, ” are they all yours or are they cousins?” …In Israel -not so much, I wouldnt dare take them to the supermarket or even the makolet together- with all that candy and junk open for them to snatch…but at the parks I get more “wow, how do you do it” comments…

  3. well, with 9 and one on the way, i avoid this issue completely by never going anywhere with all my kids. mostly because it’s so hard to go anywhere in new york city, with or without kids, due to traffic, parking, and just plain NO ROOM to move… so we have an open home and host many guests. when people see our family in their natural environment, they usually are awed and don’t make nasty comments. in fact, they often say things like, “gee, i wish my two kids would be as well-behaved as all of yours”. yes, we do have spats and arguments and the occasional tantrum, but i have a zero tolerance attitude towards that and it doesn’t last longer than a couple of minutes.
    i grew up in a family with four kids and my parents took us out to museums and restaurants all the time. we were trained to behave properly in these situations. when people would stare at us and make comments, my mother would always answer, ” well, of COURSE my children are well-behaved. that’s what we expect!!” i was always secretly proud to be in those “gotcha” moments.

    i am not surprised by the Elle editor’s experience, as she’s in new york city and i find this city to be particularly anti-child. as witnessed by a conversation i overheard in an upper east side manhattan housewares store:
    2 women meet, each pushing a stroller, let’s call them peggy and anne.
    peggy, “oh, mazel tov on the baby! isn’t wonderful to have another one to keep the older child company?”
    anne, “yes, and i love having babies. makes me wish i could have another one.”
    peggy, “well, how would you do that, you have a three bedroom apartment and if you had a third child, that means you’d have to make one of your kids share his room. and that absolutely wouldn’t be fair, would it??”

  4. I once had a Chinese lady point at me in awe. Talking to her husband, as she pointed to each of my kids in turn, she said something like, “Hon, hun, hin, ahn, ya!” I don’t speak Chinese but it was quite clear she was saying incredulously, “One, two, three, four, five!”

  5. When the ultra-sound technician saw that I was expecting twins, she started berating me: “You have x number of kids and now twins? Don’t you know how to be ‘careful’?”
    I was furious but I answered her “Did it ever occur to you that it was no mistake? I actually wanted them all, and I happen to love each one?”

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