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Secular Arguments for Having a Large Family

post #1 of 59
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure where to post this :)

 

Are there secular arguments for having larger families? Everything I see is always based in religion--I've only ever seen one person make a secular argument. This is something DH and I have been discussing but I'd love to hear thoughts on this.

post #2 of 59
You could make a natural selection argument, with the larger number of offspring contributing to a greater chance of genetic success. I'm not sure if you were looking for more personal reasons though? I don't know too many people that consider natural selection relevant to their life / children! wink1.gif
post #3 of 59

We're not religious at all and have a large family =)  We just figure that we're really awesome parents compared to the average person out there, so we figure we're doing the world a favor by raising so many awesome kids biggrinbounce.gif

 

Dunno if that's really an argument either, tho--LOL.

post #4 of 59

do you need anything more than 

 

because we want to and can afford to do it?

post #5 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krystal323 View Post

We're not religious at all and have a large family =)  We just figure that we're really awesome parents compared to the average person out there, so we figure we're doing the world a favor by raising so many awesome kids biggrinbounce.gif

 

Dunno if that's really an argument either, tho--LOL.


love this!

 

post #6 of 59

I've heard non-religious (and religious) people simply say, "We've always loved the idea of having a large family." Is there more explanation needed? I always just thought of it as a personal preference, not a religious thing. 

post #7 of 59

I would think "We enjoy kids" would be a good starting place.

 

A more in depth answer might be along the lines of "We think that in our situation a large family dynamic would be healthy and wonderful, not to mention fabulous". 

Even if I weren't religious, I would want a huge family, because I *do* like the dynamics of a larger family.

 

And on a silly note: "This world needs more intelligent folks, especially those raised by the likes of us."

post #8 of 59
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post

I would think "We enjoy kids" would be a good starting place.

 

A more in depth answer might be along the lines of "We think that in our situation a large family dynamic would be healthy and wonderful, not to mention fabulous". Even if I weren't religious, I would want a huge family, because I *do* like the dynamics of a larger family.

 

And on a silly note: "This world needs more intelligent folks, especially those raised by the likes of us."



orngbiggrin.gif

 

Thank you everyone! I think the main issue is that I would really like to have a lot of kids but DH has been more influenced by the societal mindset that anything above 2 or 3 is borderline irresponsible (for us, not judging others). We were talking the other night about how only religious people seem to be able to do it and have it be seen as legitimate and worthwhile. You just don't see many non-religious (or maybe rather non-conservative religious) large families so I guess we don't have good examples.

 

Ultimately I guess I'm hoping to find some good arguments to work on with DH...that having a lot of kids is okay, that there are really important reasons to possibly do so.

post #9 of 59

free labor?  that's why grandma did it.  

post #10 of 59

Replacement rate in Dh's family is HORRIBLE... We only have two at the moment and we'd like a couple more but his dad was the only one of four siblings to have children and they only had two... So I often hear of over population and such and I just tell them that I am planning on making up the replacement rate for a few family members ;) And then I tell that that SOMEONE will need to pay their pension ;)

 

But it doesn't hurt that Canada's replacement rate is lower than it needs to be ;)

 

So do you have any family members that haven't replaced themselves that you could "help" out :lol:

post #11 of 59

I agree with Meemee.  No arguments needed.

post #12 of 59

I don't know if I have a large family. I have four living children and that seems to be the cusp number, for some reason. More than four is always considered a lot. Less han four isn't generally considered to be a lot. Four seems to be the point where people are most evenly split between "OMG - that's a huuuuugggge family" and "four's not so many".  However, since most people seem to think that four is a lot (and so do I, sometimes), I'll chip in my reason.

 

I wanted four kids. That's it. If my reproductive life hadn't been such a freaking disaster, so I'd been able to have them all when I was a bit younger, and if dh were onboard, and if Vancouver weren't such an insanely expensive place to live, I'd have probably gone with five or six, because I found I really do love having a bunch of kids around (usually). But, I always wanted four, so I have four. I've never felt that I needed to make an argument for it.

post #13 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

free labor?  that's why grandma did it.  



Well... I do have someone to unload the dishwasher these days.... and once the little kids are a bit bigger- I can supervise MORE tasks! 

 

Seriously, we have the number of children we want for our family.  I don't really feel like I owe anyone an explanation, it's just what we decided works for us.  (We are about to have #4 in a couple months, so I know we do have people comment..)

 

That said, people we are close to and who 'get' our family dynamic don't ask.  The people who DO ask, really have no place to do so as they aren't close to our family.  I know my parents don't really understand, but they also don't ask for justification. They have finally learned to go with it and enjoy being over run on occasion when hey are visiting or when we visit them. 

post #14 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post

free labor?  that's why grandma did it.  



Along those lines, to ensure you're well-cared for in your old age. ;)  

post #15 of 59

Hum, honestly the only arguments that I can think of are the traditional (depressing) ones. Need for labor, infant mortatily, high rates of disease, spread burden of caring for non-productive family members in old age, etc.

 

Most people don't need children for these reasons anymore, and I at least there are many reasons not to have large families. (All of which DH brings up every time we discuss a third kid.)

 

So I think it all comes down to "we love kids, we try to be good parents, we love the dynamic of a big family, and we can afford it."

post #16 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

So I think it all comes down to "we love kids, we try to be good parents, we love the dynamic of a big family, and we can afford it."


Yep, this is how I feel about it, with #4 coming soon smile.gif
post #17 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

 

 

So I think it all comes down to "we love kids, we try to be good parents, we love the dynamic of a big family, and we can afford it."


 

This is, ultimately, where we came to with it.  The affording it is a pinch sometimes- but only in this moment. It's getting exponentially easier each month and we couldn't delay until everything was 'right' financially because we just don't have an open time frame in terms of my being able to have children. We accepted that things would be tight for a couple years then get better.  I know some of the judgment we get is because we aren't THERE  financially in everything, but in the end this is what we feel is best for our vision of our family.  

 

 

post #18 of 59

We are religious, but I think there are lots of reasons why having a large family is wonderful!  My kids are great friends to each other, and we all learn so much from one another about respect, sharing, caring for one another, especially those less able, not wasting, reusing, contentment with what we already have (i.e. less materialism), frugality, baby care, witnessing healthy pregnancy and birthing (tho none of my kids have actually seen a sibling born, they have been there right after the fact), extended and tandem breastfeeding.  Also, it sure does make it easier to talk to your teens about why they should wait to have sex, and they "get" the realities of what it means to have a baby.  I was watching "Little House on the Prairie" today and Laura's husband made a comment to Pa about how hard it must be to raise five kids.  Pa said, "The more you have, the easier it gets."  And while he immediately retracted that statement on the show, I don't think he is far off.  The older ones are the experiments.  You don't know what you're doing, and you never will.  They will always be paving the way and breaking you in as a parent.  But the young ones, you relax and it's just easier.  You know what is serious and what is not.  (And then you have twins and feel like a first time parent all over again. LOL)  But, I think for so many people that only have 1, 2 or 3 children (the ones that always tell me, "I don't know how you do it!") that they never get past that point that children are difficult for them because they are always just in the breaking new ground stage of parenting as their children progress into each new stage.  Also, they only remember how difficult having an infant was without having the help of older children.  When your older ones can make their own sandwiches or fetch a book and read to their siblings or fetch diapers, mama's water, etc. it really isn't as tough.  When my sister started having her kids, I used to tell her that every firstborn should come with an 8 year old.  Anyway, that's my perspective.  

 

Oh, and the best reason, having kids keeps you young.  Who doesn't want that?

post #19 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mylilmonkeys View Post

 every firstborn should come with an 8 year old. 

 

Beautiful. Just beautiful. And, so very true. I have 10 years between ds1 and dd1, and she seems so young compared to him, but I'm constantly blown away by how grown up she really is, in so many ways.

 

Oh, and the best reason, having kids keeps you young. 

 

I really wish that were true for me, but it's not. Having kids has aged me horribly, and I feel really, really old most of the time.


 

 

post #20 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by mylilmonkeys View Post
 every firstborn should come with an 8 year old.  Anyway, that's my perspective.  

 

 



The dynamic is VERY different with older kids in the house along with  tiny kids.  The big kid(s) get a huge sense of accomplishment when they are able to help, the little kids get a lot from interacting with older siblings (who are, by definition, WAY more fun than parents much of the time) and a parent is able to actually make dinner or grab a shower and it's totally acceptable to ask the big kid to keep an ear on a sleeping child or play trains with a toddler for 15 minutes while you toss dinner together.  SO AMAZING. 

 

 

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