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Do big families bother you? - Page 2

post #21 of 69

Sometimes it bugs me.  But, sometimes, people in general bug me.

 

I remember when my daughter was six, I was taking her to dance class...she had two classes in a row, so *I* had two hours off.  I parked next to an SUV with a couple of kids in it.

 

The lady got out, then a preteen daughter got out, and they both unloaded about six more kids... mom got the giant double stroller contraption, put two little ones in it, held the hand of another one, the older siblings held hands with another younger one, and they all walked in to drop off ONE little ballet outfit clad little girl.  Then, they all walked around the plaza a little bit while the preschool-sh age boys ran around and roughhoused.  

 

I dropped my ONE kid off, went to the .99 store, and then hopped in my little car and drove home for a while.  I was thinking "Man, i'm glad I only have one kid, that looked exhausting".  

 

But, then other days, I thought it looked fun.  She had a lovely little family.  They homeschooled.  The kids truly LIKED each other...they treated each other with respect and genuine enjoyment.  It was refreshing to see.  

 

Their clothes weren't nice.  They didn't go buy ice creams after class, they didn't seem to spend a lot of money on non necessities, yet, they seemed like one of the happier families I've seen.  

post #22 of 69

Not at all. I have four kids, which seems to be the cusp of "big family" these days. (Maybe I just think this, because I homeschool, and in homeschooling circles, four is nothing terribly remarkable...but outside of those circles, I get a lot of "you have four kids???" type reactions.)

 

Older kids having to do work they didn't sign on for is a parenting style thing, not a "number of kids" thing. My oldest is 10 years older than his next youngest sibling. The other two living kids are 12 and 16 years younger than him. He's been mistaken for his youngest sister's dad on more than one occasion.

 

Yes - he's had to change an occasional diaper, or watch his siblings while I run an errand. He's also had to clean bathrooms, do his own laundry, take out the garbage, set the table, do the dishes, etc., at various times. In his case, I think he's actually had to do less around the house, because of his siblings. I cut him some slack on chores, because he was watching his siblings while I ran to the store, yk? There's always work to be done, and different parents have different comfort zones about where to draw their lines. One of my factors in drawing those lines was that I didn't want to sabotage my son's relationship with his siblings (esp. after he waited soooo long for them) by introducing a bunch of resentment. He's been expected to do short-term babysitting, since he was about...12, I guess?...but he only has to do it for free if it's for the household (eg. if I need to run to the store for something for dinner, he doesn't get paid - if dh and I want a romantic dinner, he does). When possible, I also give him the option - do the errand, or watch his siblings.

 

The environmental side of it doesn't really bother me that much. We need to make across the board cultural changes to really make an environmental impact. The fact that a dozen or more of my friends have no children, and I have four, isn't really the issue. If everyone in North America just stopped having babies, we'd have to increase immigration to keep our economy functioning (including growing food, medical/health care, etc. - not just consumer frenzy stuff). Most of those immigrants would then develop a North American lifestyle and become environmental menaces themselves.  The lifestyle is the problem, not the birthrate. (In any case, the last time I looked, the overall birth rate was down - the large families aren't the norm.)

 

Another point...I don't do the family sticker thing.  If I did, I'd have four. But, my sister has a serious heart condition, and we don't know if she'll survive to raise her kids to adulthood (I don't say that out loud very much). If she doesn't, I'll be their guardian...and will then have a household with eight "kids" -  two are adults, or very nearly, already.  I'd certainly include her kids if I were to do a sticker family. And, my mom has 12 grandchildren, so she'd have a big sticker family, too!

post #23 of 69

its just dd and me but we always wanted a big family. going by my dd who is a total introvert - she needs people around her. and so do i. it would have been delightful to have more children around. 

 

my parents grew up in large families. my father's was not a very happy one, but my mom she loved it. 

 

i have friends who refuse to have children on the environmental grounds. to me it seems like there are two kinds of people. people who want to have kids and people who dont. people who want to have kids raise a family well - taking care of all needs - social, intellectual, emotional. the trouble starts when parents who dont really want to have kids do.

 

what i do have a problem is with economics. the idea that because you are poor and/or on welfare you must limit the number of children you have. irresponsible parents are irresponsible parents whether they are rich or poor, i kid or many kids, on govt. assistance or not. its like saying the poorer areas like the south should not have any kids (not saying this to anyone here - its an attitude i get IRL all the time). this really REALLY bothers me. the attitude to the poor, to the illeterate, to the homeless - adult or children - really REALLY bothers me. and yet (pot calling the kettle black) i remember once saying one should not be allowed to vote unless they took an exam of the info they know. in my defence i will say i am from california and we have a lot of propositions. but omg essentially i was saying some people should not have the right to vote. yikes!!!!

 

it taught me never to judge people. well at least try not to. 

post #24 of 69

There hasn't been anything about a big family that has irritated me that couldn't also have been done by a smaller family.
 

post #25 of 69
I find questions like these to be more bothersome than what they are pointing to! I know the topic came up because of what your cousin said, OP, but it bothers me that there's so much judgement surrounding this topic. Its not anyone else's business how many kids a couple chooses to have, and i find it to be bad taste that its socially acceptable to air our judgments on the matter. Families come in all shapes and sizes, some of us have a lot of kids, some of us just a few, and we all have our own personal reasons. In my experience, a lot of families with several kids are very loving and attentive-the parents lives are kid-centered. Theres also plenty of families with one or two kids that are not very loving or attentive. Thus, it depends on the parents, not the size of the family. Also, when people start listing environmental concerns, i find that to be an easy scapegoat since pretty much everything we do or dont do can be attributed to caring or not caring for the environment. It just seems like an easy answer, not terribly thought through. Its also easy to list as a reason because its difficult for anyone to refute--we dont know exactly what will happen to our planet so limiting this, this and that in the hopes that it will help our planet is reasonable and irrefutable. To say that having a lot of kids will increase the carbon footprint is irrefutable as well, but does that mean its completely irresponsible to have several kids? Not necessarily. If the parents teach their kids how to tread lightly on the earth then they will pass this on to their kids and so on and so forth, which is far better than having a few kids and teaching them a lack of care for the planet. Everything we do has a ripple effect and by teaching our kids how to be mindful of the environment, we are aiding the planet no matter how many kids we have. A lot of kids aiding the environment=a lot of adults aiding the environment=more and more communities forming over time with this central theme.
post #26 of 69

Like everyone said...you don't know the situation. It could be a blended family or there could be some adoptions. The family could live a lot more simply and not have as much of an impact on the environment as a family of four. Unfortunately, those are not always the types of families having lots of kids. I live in an area with a lot of poverty. There are so many children in foster care, and so many sad stories of abuse in the paper every day. There is an entire high school for teen parents in my community. In some areas of the country, there are large numbers of irresponsible people who have a lot of children. For whatever reason, they are too poor, sick, desperate to care. It is sad, but I can see why this upsets people.

 

People have their reasons for having large families, but I think "because that's how our ancestors did it" isn't the best argument any longer. Yes, our grandparents all came from large families (on my Irish side, I think 10 siblings was pretty typical). That was a different time. We didn't buy things that were advertised on TV because we didn't have TV. We ate what we grew on the farm. We made things from scratch instead of buying things made in mass quantities in a factory overseas. Children often didn't survive illness or epidemics, and boys were expected to go to war where they would often die. People didn't live as long. We weren't going to war over oil and natural resources. Although they had lots of kids, women weren't having 10 kids with 5 dads, while the dads were off having more kids with other women. In other words, they took care of all their children. They had more kids because they were worried about the future of the family farm, etc. We don't have the same issues today.

post #27 of 69
Only because I sometimes wish we'd started sooner and had more children. smile.gif
post #28 of 69

O.K...Today they bothered me.

 

Seriously...if you have a huge family, you do not ALL need to shop at Walmart in one huge mass.  Honestly...give the kids some coupons and send them searching, you don't need to cling to each other like a small island lumbering through the store together.  Spread out.  

post #29 of 69

Nextcommercial- I could as easily say, you small family with the humongous car shaped grocery cart, get out of my way!! People are going to be idiots either way! I would never have thought anything about a bunch of kids staying with their mom? Maybe that was the first time they've all been together in awhile, considering school, sports, whatever else they have going on. I used to go shopping with my three plus a large group of their friends when we'd end up with a bunch of them for the night. It was fun being with them altogether.

post #30 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

Nextcommercial- I could as easily say, you small family with the humongous car shaped grocery cart, get out of my way!! People are going to be idiots either way! I would never have thought anything about a bunch of kids staying with their mom? Maybe that was the first time they've all been together in awhile, considering school, sports, whatever else they have going on. I used to go shopping with my three plus a large group of their friends when we'd end up with a bunch of them for the night. It was fun being with them altogether.

Actually, sometimes husbands bother me.  Especially when they stand in the way at Victoria's secret.  Occasionally Old people bother me.  (admittedly it's usually my own Mother or Mother in law)  People who smoke in the drive through at the bank bother me too.  

 

I'm an equal opportunity crab.

post #31 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

Actually, sometimes husbands bother me.  Especially when they stand in the way at Victoria's secret.

OT, but you know which husbands bothered me? The ones who sat their lazy asses in the waiting room chairs in the OB office while very pregnant women (myself included) had to STAND ALONG THE WALL. Unbelievable. And there were TWO of them doing that one day!!!
post #32 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


OT, but you know which husbands bothered me? The ones who sat their lazy asses in the waiting room chairs in the OB office while very pregnant women (myself included) had to STAND ALONG THE WALL. Unbelievable. And there were TWO of them doing that one day!!!

Once, I saw a very elderly man get up from his seat to give it to a pregnant woman.  I wanted to kiss him on his little head.  

post #33 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

Once, I saw a very elderly man get up from his seat to give it to a pregnant woman.  I wanted to kiss him on his little head.  

Aw, that is sweet. And out in public that issue never bugged me, but in the OB waiting room I had a big problem with it.
post #34 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post


OT, but you know which husbands bothered me? The ones who sat their lazy asses in the waiting room chairs in the OB office while very pregnant women (myself included) had to STAND ALONG THE WALL. Unbelievable. And there were TWO of them doing that one day!!!

 

I saw that at a doctor's office once, and an eldery woman - the type described as "feisty" - walked up to the man, and said "I'm so sorry that you're injured - what's wrong?". The man said "nothing - I'm not injured", and she said, "oh...then the fact that you're letting this pregnant woman stand while you sit is just laziness and rudeness. I'd hoped for better".  It doesn't seem like much when I write it down, but you'd have to have seen her face and heard her tone of voice. He almost sprang out of his seat like a Jack-in-the-Box.

post #35 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post
 
you don't need to cling to each other like a small island lumbering through the store together

i love language. i love great written pieces. i love the humor of bill bryson. 

 

this image and the language chosen is just brilliant. i think the word 'lumbering' did it for me.

 

i almost cried at the beauty of this image. THANKS.

 

ok back to ur original discussion.

 

however i will add one thing. i live in my head a lot. the thing i hate about it is that sometimes the VERY in your face obvious thing - i dont see it at all. i could be a man and sitting on a seat in an OB office and not even see that pregnant lady standing and waiting for her appt. 

 

i have done so many daft things like that - its unbelievable. you know that person who is blocking the narrow aisle just standing there staring into space thinking - yup. that's been me. its the gentle "excuse me please" that brought me out of my reverie. 

post #36 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

 

The environmental side of it doesn't really bother me that much. We need to make across the board cultural changes to really make an environmental impact. The fact that a dozen or more of my friends have no children, and I have four, isn't really the issue. If everyone in North America just stopped having babies, we'd have to increase immigration to keep our economy functioning (including growing food, medical/health care, etc. - not just consumer frenzy stuff). Most of those immigrants would then develop a North American lifestyle and become environmental menaces themselves.  The lifestyle is the problem, not the birthrate. (In any case, the last time I looked, the overall birth rate was down - the large families aren't the norm.)

 

This.  With the exception of China and India, there isn't a single developed/developing country which has a problem with too many children. The only reason the United States' population isn't falling is because of immigration (inclusive of both legal and illegal methods). The US actually has a pretty sparse population given the amount of land area we have, and if you're going to wag fingers at people for making environmentally poor choices you'd do better to point to things like our meat-heavy diet, our conspicuous consumption, our dependency on coal, and our fuel-guzzling travel, than to people who have "extra" children.

 

 

I have no problem with large families. I do have a problem with bad parents in general, but I've met individuals who were, for reasons of personality or lifestyle, less capable of appropriately caring for their ONE child than other parents I know did for their 5 or 6. Two kids is my limit for now, but I admire parents who can do well with more.

 

For what it's worth, I also don't mind paying for them through social services if the family needs the assistance. I don't think that raising children is something that only rich people are capable of doing well; frankly, I think a lot of the lifestyle choices needed to maintain an upper or upper-middle class lifestyle often make it difficult to parent a large number of children well. Nobody is served by cutting off children from resources for food, clothing, shelter, or a good quality education. Nor do I blame parents for having children that I think they "can't afford."

 

I get very uncomfortable with this "people shouldn't have so many children" line of argument some people have, because to be quite blunt a lot of the time there's serious (often unexamined) racism in play. Some people may point to the Duggars, but spin the vitriol just a little bit and all of a sudden it's Reagan's "welfare queens" and Limbaugh's "anchor babies."

post #37 of 69

Even if a large family is environmentally conscious, their carbon footprint cannot be as small as a small family that is environmentally conscious.  Moreover, if everyone has an average of 2 kids each, in a couple of generation the family that had 10 kids is going to have a huge family  tree - and all of them may not be as environmentally conscious as you.  

 

Despite this, the environmental aspect to large families does not bother me. The average birth rate in Canada is something like 2; what do I care if someone has 10 kids?  There are so few people having 10 kids that statistically it is not going to matter.  

 

I do have some worries about kids getting enough attention in large families.  I worry about this because I don't think I would be able to give each child the attention I would want to give them if I was spread so thin.  Maybe some people can, however.

 

I very much believe that another persons family size is none of my business.


Edited by kathymuggle - 4/23/13 at 5:05am
post #38 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tahpenes View Post

I get very uncomfortable with this "people shouldn't have so many children" line of argument some people have, because to be quite blunt a lot of the time there's serious (often unexamined) racism in play. Some people may point to the Duggars, but spin the vitriol just a little bit and all of a sudden it's Reagan's "welfare queens" and Limbaugh's "anchor babies."

I agree with this!!
post #39 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Even if a large family is environmentally conscious, their carbon footprint cannot be as small as a small family that is environmentally conscious.  Moreover, if everyone has an average of 2 kids each, in a couple of generation the family that had 10 kids is going to have a huge family  tree - and all of them may not be as environmentally conscious as you.  

 

Despite this, the environmental aspect to large families does not bother me. The average birth rate in Canada is something like 2; what do I care if someone has 10 kids?  There are so few people having 10 kids that statistically it is not going to matter.  

 

I do have some worries about kids getting enough attention in large families.  I worry about this because I don't think I would be able to give each child the attention I would want to give them if I was spread so thin.  Maybe some people can, however.

 

I very much believe thay another persons family size is none of my business.

 

This is really my take. My siblings and I each had four children, giving my mom a total of 12 grandchildren from 3 children. (I'll also add that none of us were okay with having an abortion, and there were two unplanned pregnancies and two sets of fraternal twins involved in all this - having a big/biggish family isn't always about planning to have a big family.)

 

My aunt on my dad's side also had three children. She has two grandchildren. My bff always wanted kids. She has none. My sister's oldest friend is child free. I live in a family friendly townhouse complex (in this case, it means the management will only rent to people with kids), and we have one family with six kids (and the last was also an accident), one with four kids (us), three with three kids...and the others are all either one or two child families. This is out of about 40 units.

 

When my son was in Scouts, almost every boy there was either an only child or one of two kids. In his 13 years of public school (including kindergarten, of course), he only had about four classmates with more than one sibling. I think the onlies outnumbered those with any sibling at all. When ds2 was in preschool, he had one classmate with two siblings, and the others were all either onlies or one of two.

 

My own graduating class was about 180 people. I know of one other guy who had four kids (including twins again). There are a handful with three. There are a lot with one (and many only had that one in the last few years - we're the class of '86, and it's very unlikely they're having anymore). There are a few dozen with no kids at all. The fact that Mark and I have four each (he may more now - haven't seen him since the 10 year reunion) doesn't really have much impact. I don't have exact numbers, but I don't think my grad class, averaged out, is even at replacement birth rate. (Most of my old friends - many of whom weren't in my grad class - have no kids at all.)

 

My city is becoming incredibly crowded, but the population isn't coming from big families. It's coming from immigration. If everybody who was born here stopped having children today, Vancouver would still be growing by leaps and bounds. The city is actively courting the population increase, and if I didn't have four kids, the 'hole" would be filled by someone else.

post #40 of 69

I think they are great. Im always interested in the logistics of how they manage. I always identified with the  the little old woman who lived in the shoe, but chose to do other things with my life  than to have many children. I have 3.  People seem to think that is alot, so i guess it all relative.

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