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"Don't have any more kids, please!" - Page 8

post #141 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post

Attempting to get this thread back on track... My recommended response to questions or comments of this sort is as follows:

I feel no compulsion to judge your family plans nor justify my own.


Ohhh, I like that one! Tucking it away for use. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
 Twin mamas get questions about whether their twins were conceived naturally or not. DD knows how to say, "actually, we we got them through the mail." joy.gif


*snort* Your DD is pretty awesome. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

I found it helpful to train my oldest DD to make the smartass answer. So that every time we were out in public, and somebody made the "wow, you sure have your hands full" comment, or ask me if they were all mine in that not-nice way, DD would turn to me and say, loudly, "why do people always say that, mama? It's a dumb thing to say." From the mouth of a two year old, it's not snark. It's unvarnished truth.

And yeah, we've only got three kids. But somehow seeing a mama with three kids under three turned people's dumb-comment machines on full blast. And twins seem to exaggerate that effect. Luckily, once they can run around, people seem to notice less that they're all so close in age. So it's eased up a lot. I don't mind friendly comments, but some people are just plain rude.

Twin mamas get questions about whether their twins were conceived naturally or not. DD knows how to say, "actually, we we got them through the mail." joy.gif



ROTFLMAO.gif I love the way you think.

And the twin questions-- ugh. I have a whole lot of smartypants answers for those.
"Are they natural?" "Well, they're not robots."
"Are they identical?" "Yes, her penis looks just like his."


biglaugh.gif

 

We get "are they really twins?" and then suspicious looks because one is very fair skinned with blond hair and blue eyes and the other is darker in complexion. And a lot of the time they don't believe us like we're going to lie about it. But I always love the whole "are they identical?". Urm, do they look identical? I really don't think people know what identical means. 

 

post #142 of 234

Several families at my church are larger than normal.  One of them told me that she often asks the rude stranger "Which one should I give away?" and that usually shuts them up.

 

On a side note, the larger families I know are some of the best stewards of the earth I know.  I could make a lot of generalized statements as to why I think that is, but I would offend someone, somewhere. 

post #143 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by KempsMama View Post

I could make a lot of generalized statements as to why I think that is, but I would offend someone, somewhere. 



Hahaha! Don't you know it, lol! ;)

post #144 of 234

I am very careful how I respond.  i'm pregnant with number 8 and i find a lot of the comments tiresome and annoying, but I don't think they are being said in a spirit of meanness.  I think people don't actually know how to react and they obviously notice us  :)  

 

there are a couple of categories of questions and my answer depends on where I think the question falls within those:

 

1.  The "pack"... you know those 2 BFF or 3 or however many corner you in the store.  And actually they are asking you questions and kind of egging each other on.  Often this turns to meanness quickly if it didn't start out that way.  

My answers are basically just: "Yes, we are very blessed.  They are great kids.   I enjoy them very much.  Yes, we're very busy, but we love it." etc etc. etc.  Everything is very neutral and given with a big smile, but I'm not giving them any "fodder".

In this category are also those people who are just plain mean:  The ones who attack you about your affect on the environment etc. without knowing anything about your family, etc.  

I usually just smile, say something nice and move on. 

 

2.  The Family/Friends who think they have a right to say something.  Usually they actually comment out of concern for you.

"Thank you for your concern.   We are comfortable with our decisions.  How was your holiday?"

I acknowledge their concern.  Tell them it is fine and then pass the bean dip.  Wash, rinse, repeat :)

 

3.  Men (and sometimes women) who make totally inappropriate comments.

"Yup, we know what causes it, and we like it!'

Or something along those lines.   Big smiles and move on.

 

4.  That single stranger who says something and it is kind of a "if I had a $1 for everytime someone said something like that I could send all my kids to college tomorrow" moment: 

"Yes, we are very blessed!"

How do you cope?  I can't even cope with the 2 I have

"Lots of times on my knees (if you're a Christian) and it does get easier!"

Well, my gran told me that it gets easier because the older ones basically raise the younger ones.

"Well, I appreciate the help of my older children, but I guard against turning them into mini-parents or giving them too much responsibility"

how can you possibly afford them?

"Wow!  I'm not used to people asking about something as private as our finances, but we budget carefully"  (the rebuke for interfering in our business is there, but not rude)

You should have a TV programme like the Duggars

"Oh no!   Please not!  We're way too normal"  Big laugh

 

I really try not to be mean or sarcastic.  When I had 2 children, I met this family with 12 kids.  Their eldest daughter had 5 kids.  I remember going to them and saying:

"Wow, you have 12 and 5 kids!"  I was flabbergasted.  They were so sweet and did the while: "Yes, we're so blessed"  thing.  

Years later as I look back on that moment and I'm grateful for their kindness towards me and my total ignorance.

 

I must admit that the comments/attitude of people bothered me way more when I had 4 or 5 kids than it does now.

 

As for the poster who thinks that we needs a procreation police that makes sure all prospective parents fit the criteria:  Um, nope, I don't think so. :) :) :)   It is kind of preposterous to me that someone would fail to see the danger in allowing something like this that would endanger the freedom of all!  I'm also not huge on building a "super race", it smacks too much of some people in history.

 

 

post #145 of 234


A similar thing happened to us yesterday at the mall (although, to be honest I don't teach my kids to purposefully say mean spirited things) where an elderly lady commented on the fact I was expecting my 7th and she said, "Wow your hands are full!"

She was holding a few shopping bags and a purse and my five year old busted out, "You have YOUR hands full!!!" LOL! And we all chuckled... well, she DID!

:P

Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

I found it helpful to train my oldest DD to make the smartass answer. So that every time we were out in public, and somebody made the "wow, you sure have your hands full" comment, or ask me if they were all mine in that not-nice way, DD would turn to me and say, loudly, "why do people always say that, mama? It's a dumb thing to say." From the mouth of a two year old, it's not snark. It's unvarnished truth.
 
post #146 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

But children are not property. I would rather see 2 good parents have a lot of children, than bad parents have any number of children. The way this conversation is being done, it makes it sound like it is all about quantity, not quality. If nothing else is apparent on Mothering, most of us here are all about our children and love them and are really in to them. Then there is a whole world of parents who abuse them, neglect them, etc. So any argument about number of children is nonsense. I think that all convicted felons should be neutered. Frankly, I think no one should ever be allowed to have children by more than 2 people, unless there were deaths. (as in, the reason they are not with the original partner is they lost them). I think people who proven to be failures of parents should be neutered too. If none of the bad parents had children, then the rest of us would need to have a lot of children to make up for it. And try to remember, the natural increase in the USA is negative. This means, we are not replacing ourselves. For every person who dies here, there is not even 1 baby being born. Due to illegal immigration, our population still rises. As a tax payer, I do not feel obligated to have no more children to make room for people who illegally sneak in to this country and collect welfare. Why should I have to have no more children to make room for theirs?

 

So I think we need to stop talking about children like they are property and in terms of numbers each person is entitled to and start talking about them like real human beings and let the good parents have all the children they want and leave those parents alone. And the next man who is in the news bragging about having 17 children by 13 women, we can chop is penis off. And frankly, every single woman who had a child with him should probably be neutered too.
 



 


Wow, that sounds a lot like eugenics to me.  Hopefully, that wasn't what you meant.  There are people who believe my oldest daughter shouldn't have been born because she is biracial and that is what I get when I read your post.  

 

I might want to mention my parents are immigrants, legal immigrants, my dad served the in the US army in Korea and Vietnam, am I somehow genetically inferior to you because my parents are immigrants?  I have children by my ex and my husband and my husband has a child with his ex wife and children with me.  What if one of us had been married twice before?  Are you saying my kids shouldn't allowed to exist?

 

What is the qualifier of being a good parent?  Who decides?  What if the person deciding doesn't like your politics, religion, or race?   Oh, wait weren't those people members of the Nazi party? 

 

post #147 of 234

The idea that we should give anyone the power to force sterilization on anyone terrifies and disgusts me.  After all, once we make sure all the "undesirable" people like felons and those promiscuous enough to have had kids with more that the officially acceptable number of partners can never reproduce by forcing them to undergo a medical procedure whether they want it or not we can move on to making sure that those who are "too poor" or refuse to conform to the correct government approved child-rearing methods and practices can't reproduce either. I mean that's kinder than letting them have the kids then taking them away right, cheaper too.   I guess we'll all need to be pre-approved before we get to child bearing age then re-assessed every few years to be sure we don't need to be sterilized.

 

Oh and since it's ok to force medical procedures on the un-willing we can require circumcisions for all infant boys to prevent AIDS and require women who don't meet a specific set of guidelines to have c-sections for the safety of their children.  And of course we can require vaxing by whatever schedule the CDC mandates, all for the health and safety of the children of course.

 

No one should have that kind of power over anyone else.

post #148 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

Frankly, I think no one should ever be allowed to have children by more than 2 people, unless there were deaths. (as in, the reason they are not with the original partner is they lost them).



See, that's why I stopped at two kids. They have different biological fathers, though they share the same legal father. Having a third child with my husband would obviously make me a bad parent. <tic>

 

 Yeah, I've been married three times. I guess I'm "failure as a parent" material. Glad my kids don't think so. eyesroll.gif

 

Personally, I get tired of the judgement I get for having been divorced twice. It's just as annoying as the judgment you get for having lots of kids. People don't even care about the reasons, they just hear "married three times" and immediately form opinions.

post #149 of 234
Quote:

Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

 Frankly, I think no one should ever be allowed to have children by more than 2 people, unless there were deaths. (as in, the reason they are not with the original partner is they lost them). 

 


So... Where does my family fall into this? Neither of my kids have the same biological parents. I have two kids by three different people (four if you count me).

 

post #150 of 234

So, I'm hoping I won't just make this thread veer off-topic or into what I consider to be offensive territory again . . . but I did want to comment just a bit more about the overpopulation/overconsumption thing.

 

I would never comment to a stranger about the family size that they have, or are planning to have, or really anything about it.  That just seems incredibly nosy and rude to me.  I recognize that family size is one of many personal decisions that each family gets to make for themselves.  Just to be clear, I'm not about to start saying that anyone has the right to make those comments - I mean, I guess anyone can say whatever they want, but if it's rude then they should be prepared for a rude comeback!

 

At the same time, I don't feel that we can say that having more kids (in general) doesn't affect other people at all.  It doesn't affect them directly, but there is some indirect effect.  And the way that we work socially was largely developed when things like other people's family size really would have affected others directly.  In the small communities that we mostly lived in for most of our time on earth, it DID make a difference to other people how many kids we had.  But even ignoring that, there is still currently some indirect effect.  This is because it is neither a high population by itself or high consumption by itself that causes our cumulative effect on the world.  It is the product of the two.  If we had a very low population, and each person had very high consumption, it would take a very long time to run out of (say) oil.  If we had a huge population with a very low consumption rate per capita, it would still take a very long time to run out of oil.  Currently what we have is mostly a few places with medium populations and high consumption, and a lot of places with high populations and medium to low consumption.  The overall effect is a fairly large impact on our world.  There is more than one possible solution to this problem, and some combination of solutions will have some beneficial effect.  One solution, which some people choose, is to have fewer to no children.  If they have made this choice, it is because they think it is the best choice, and they might not understand why someone else chose differently.  We're not, as a species, fantastic at tolerating different choices from our own.  Another solution is to be very mindful of your consumption, and try to reduce it as much as is possible, while having a large family.  This is the best choice for others.  It's not always obvious to strangers when you have made this choice, as they probably have no way of knowing how mindfully, waste-free, and lovingly you raise your children to be good people and stewards of the earth.  Another solution is to have a moderate-sized family and make moderate decreases in your consumption level.  Honestly, this seems to be the one least likely to draw comments, although I personally find that odd.  It's a perfectly good choice, too, but I don't understand why it wouldn't draw comments.  I guess because people notice "extremes" more than they notice moderation.  And they comment on it - one of my friends once had someone scream at him from a passing car "Hey, you have blue hair!"  It cracked us all up.

 

So, it's none of my business how many kids you have, and although I hope people are mindful of their consumption, I don't feel like I have any right to push that mindfulness on them (especially if I don't know them).  But I'm a bit of a hermit.  Maybe if I was more gregarious, I would feel I had an obligation to make sure people were thinking about these things, because I do feel like we (as a species) have an obligation to use the capacity to consider the consequences of our actions.  But if you consider the consequences of having many children, or few, or high consumption, or low consumption, and make ANY decision after having considered, then I think you've done a good job.  I'm not sure everyone feels that way, though.  And, even if you don't meet my criteria of considering before deciding, well, that doesn't mean you're a bad person or shouldn't be allowed to have kids or anything like that at all, it just means that I don't agree with your decision-making process . . . and that's something I might try to talk people into - thought before action, is all.

 

Clarity disclaimer - I'm not trying to say anything at all about people here, just trying to illuminate a thought pattern that could lead to such comments, if the speaker had a very different rudeness filter than I do.  I'm pretty sure all of you did think before you decided to have large families, and a few people have mentioned that they are mindful of their consumption.  But others don't know that about you, right, just to see you walking down the street?
 

post #151 of 234

I haven't read all the posts, but I kind of approach this from the perspective of the child.  I grew up the 5th of 6th children, and sometimes I just feel bad for the kids when I see big families.  My parents were both well-educated, we lived in a big house in a great upper middle-class neighborhood.  We didn't materially want for much.  All I wanted was more time and more love- especially from my mom.  She just didn't have enough time for us all.  How could she with so many?  However, I LOVE my siblings.  We are all very close- best friends, in fact.  My brothers and sisters were ALWAYS there for me when my parents couldn't be.

 

I don't mean to offend anyone by writing this.  I'm sure there are big families out there that don't operate like my parents did.  I also would NEVER tell someone else not to have any more kids.  I just wanted to give my 2 cents.

post #152 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hykue View Post

 I'm pretty sure all of you did think before you decided to have large families, and a few people have mentioned that they are mindful of their consumption. 


To be honest, I have to say that having a large family FORCES you to be mindful of your consumption. I find that a lot of people I know with less kids or none are MUCH more wasteful than we are. You just cant afford to be wasteful when you are on a budget and you have a lot to manage. You tend to garden, you recycle, you clip coupons, you make your own food- make your own clothes, reuse, recycle, you penny pintch... this is VERY VERY renown within large family circles.

 

I think that assuming that someone having a large family means they are going to overeat, overuse and just be wasteful is backward wrong. Large families= frugality.

Im actually sort of surprised... this is the first I've EVER heard of anyone worrying about a large family overconsuming... :/

 

Even on our vehicle... expecting our 7th, my husband is purchasing a fabricated seat insert for our front row of our... GAS GUZZLING VAN? Nope. Our 94' Landcruiser. We can fit 8 people in it at the moment, but it will be 9 in May. He's even considering converting the very back seats to side sitting (against the windows, it's a conversion) so that we can fit another child in back if need be, sitting 10, before we upgrade to a 12 passenger van.

 

 

post #153 of 234

Those kinds of comments make me want more kids.  I was so aggravated when my MIL would make comments about the thought of us having more kids that I'd tell my husband I wanted more kids.  At 4, we're done, but she doesn't know that my husband had the V, so I still get to tease her with "With the next baby..."  I have a friend with 6 and I"m pretty sure she'll have more. She's amazing and organized and involved...everything a mom of 1 aspires to be.  She could handle 10, I'm sure.  She gets up and has pies and bread made before her kids wake up and she reads historical non-fiction for fun...and sews all of her own cloth diapers.  I'm not anywhere near that and I "just" have 4, truth is, I wasn't that with one.    I've also been the idiot saying "you've got your hands full."  Who knows why we say stupid stuff sometimes. 


 

post #154 of 234


As the 2nd of 6, I feel very similar to what you're describing. There are some other issues that made it difficult for my parents to connect with all of us, but for me, I never felt like I got what I needed from them. Everything was always crazy and busy and stressful, there was no one on one time, it had to be scheduled if needed. I can remember being at my hs boyfriend's house with his family, two kids and mom and dad and it was so relaxing and they had these great conversations, there was always time to sit and talk and get to know their kids. I knew that's what I wanted for my own family someday. I now have my two, and we're done. I am at the limit, and sometimes I feel beyond it, for having enough time and energy to devote to them, to get to know them and to really be with them. I also think it is good to approach this with a child's perspective. Some people end up loving their big families, and some people, like me, feel lost in a big family.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4myfinn View Post

I haven't read all the posts, but I kind of approach this from the perspective of the child.  I grew up the 5th of 6th children, and sometimes I just feel bad for the kids when I see big families.  My parents were both well-educated, we lived in a big house in a great upper middle-class neighborhood.  We didn't materially want for much.  All I wanted was more time and more love- especially from my mom.  She just didn't have enough time for us all.  How could she with so many?  However, I LOVE my siblings.  We are all very close- best friends, in fact.  My brothers and sisters were ALWAYS there for me when my parents couldn't be.

 

I don't mean to offend anyone by writing this.  I'm sure there are big families out there that don't operate like my parents did.  I also would NEVER tell someone else not to have any more kids.  I just wanted to give my 2 cents.



 

post #155 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jynuine View Post

 

Even on our vehicle... expecting our 7th, my husband is purchasing a fabricated seat insert for our front row of our... GAS GUZZLING VAN? Nope. Our 94' Landcruiser. We can fit 8 people in it at the moment, but it will be 9 in May. He's even considering converting the very back seats to side sitting (against the windows, it's a conversion) so that we can fit another child in back if need be, sitting 10, before we upgrade to a 12 passenger van.

 

 


 

wait, an older landcruiser that isn't gas guzzling? the one i drove got about 14 miles to the gallon if i was lucky, more often it was between 10 and 12. our older minivan is WAY more efficient than the land cruiser.

 

have you done anything to it to increase fuel efficiency? i'm curious because i frreakin' loved that car but i couldn't handle the gas bill.

 

post #156 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

They were generalization words. And I do not think that bad checks are generally a felony, unless maybe you wrote out stolen checks. What I meant is...things like murderers and rapists and drunk drivers.  Heck, as long as we are on that..we could expand it even more...but the whole point is..it is not about quantity, it is about quality. Why should a good family not have more children while some guy who knocks off grocery stores or kills children in drunk driver incidents, or has had their children taken away by CPS (understanding that not 100% of the cases are truly founded, but I am talking the founded cases) still have children? Or women. It is not just men that are failing as parents, it is the women too. Or the person who has 3 children by 3 different men by the time they turn 18 and not graduate high school? Why would they be "entitled" to the same number of children as the family who cares for their children, raise their children, love their children, provide for them, etc? Because it is not about quantity....it is about quality. There are too many people having children that don't have much interest in raising them properly. Those are the ones who should not be having more. Any man who brags to the news about 17 kids by 13 women should have been castrated before he moved on to the 3rd woman. And that 3rd woman, who chose to have a baby with him, it never should have happened. She too should have no more, as well as the 4th and 5th..but if he had been castrated..those women would not have gotten pregnant by him.


You should read a biography of Ludwig Van Beethoven. I believe he was the youngest son of a prostitute who died of syphilis and a drunken abusive father, who beat him to the point of losing his hearing. However his contribution to classical music is unimaginably significant. If you want to help people be better at life (ie empower them to not be criminals through opportunity or education) fine, but taking away their right to procreate won't help the situation. Poverty is not overcome by eliminating poor people.
post #157 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4myfinn View Post

I haven't read all the posts, but I kind of approach this from the perspective of the child.  I grew up the 5th of 6th children, and sometimes I just feel bad for the kids when I see big families.  My parents were both well-educated, we lived in a big house in a great upper middle-class neighborhood.  We didn't materially want for much.  All I wanted was more time and more love- especially from my mom.  She just didn't have enough time for us all.  How could she with so many?  However, I LOVE my siblings.  We are all very close- best friends, in fact.  My brothers and sisters were ALWAYS there for me when my parents couldn't be.

 

I don't mean to offend anyone by writing this.  I'm sure there are big families out there that don't operate like my parents did.  I also would NEVER tell someone else not to have any more kids.  I just wanted to give my 2 cents.


FWIW, I grew up as an only child and didn't get much attention from my parents, either. And I didn't have the nice house, great neighborhood, or siblings to comfort me. I suppose that's a huge part of why I dropped out of university at 18, got married, and moved a couple of thousand miles away from home. nut.gif  There wasn't really much to keep me there.

 

Obviously, time will have to be rationed to a degree when there are a lot of kids to care for, but that doesn't necessarily mean you would have had a better connection to your parents if you'd had fewer siblings. Correlation doesn't equal causation, and all that jazz.....

 

post #158 of 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4myfinn View Post

I haven't read all the posts, but I kind of approach this from the perspective of the child.  I grew up the 5th of 6th children, and sometimes I just feel bad for the kids when I see big families.  My parents were both well-educated, we lived in a big house in a great upper middle-class neighborhood.  We didn't materially want for much.  All I wanted was more time and more love- especially from my mom.  She just didn't have enough time for us all.  How could she with so many?  However, I LOVE my siblings.  We are all very close- best friends, in fact.  My brothers and sisters were ALWAYS there for me when my parents couldn't be.

 

I don't mean to offend anyone by writing this.  I'm sure there are big families out there that don't operate like my parents did.  I also would NEVER tell someone else not to have any more kids.  I just wanted to give my 2 cents.


Honeslty, a lot of people from small families feel like their parents put too much pressure on them and hover excessively. We parents just can't win!
post #159 of 234

"Honeslty, a lot of people from small families feel like their parents put too much pressure on them and hover excessively. We parents just can't win!"

 

 

 

Which goes to show, it is not about family size, it is about parenting! 

post #160 of 234

I am the oldest daughter of 7 children.  My mom got this comment every now and then.  I think people just don't think before the speak about a topic that is truly none of their business.  I was 15 when my baby brother was born.  I remember someone saying to me, "Wow, aren't you a little young to have kids?"  My response, "No, this is my brother and that is my mom".  She was 35 when she had her last child.  I will be at least 35 when I have my first.

 

"We count our blessing everyday!" was often how my mom would respond if the comment was pointed at her.

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