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Too many kids? - Page 7

post #121 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
But someday all 10 of those children grow up. They're not going to live in the one low-impact home forever. They're each going to need their own house, for their own family and their own ten kids.

And 40 years down the road, the 2-child family has their household, 2 child households, and 4 grandchild households - 7 households total. The 10-child family family has 111 households. Even if the 7 households drive SUVs and use disposables, the 111 households in their Priuses, washign their cloth diapers are still going to have a bigger carbon footprint. They'd have to reduce their footprints to 1/10th of the smaller family's footprint for all things to be equal.
Bolding mine.

I suppose you may have some statistics to back up your assertion that ALL children from large families will grow up to have large families -- as well as your assertion that ALL children from small families will grow up to have small families.

What I see IRL, is that some children grow up to do things similarly to their parents, and some totally diverge.
post #122 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by JERENAUD View Post
Our culture really promotes independence, but that wasn't always true. It used to be that at least one child was expected to stay at home to care for the parents and the farm, and children didn't generally leave until they were married, so the total number of households was far less than what you're suggesting. To play devil's advocate, perhaps these 10 children are being raised with these values regarding their families.

So I don't know that it's *so* obvious.
Exactly.

And I agree with the pp's who believe that the more children we pass our values on to, the further the message will spread.
post #123 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by saimeiyu View Post
If I teach my kids to treat the land properly, to not waste water on stupid things like spraying your sidewalk clean, to turn off the lights when they're not in use, and not to litter, and to recycle, my 5 or 6 kid family will have less impact than probably 50% of the single-kid families in America.
Honestly, those things are not going to make that much of a difference. The real difference is in material consumption and food distribution, not in "green-lite" earth-saving strategies.

dm
post #124 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
I absolutely think it is my responsibility to provide my children with a college education. I wouldn't have adopted them if I wasn't prepared to do that.
Hmmm. The third child to join our family (via adoption) will be college age in 5 years. I certainly can't see us being able to finance a college education then (those pesky medical bills and all that). I know that what you said is simply your opinion, but I certainly don't see being able to pay for college as a (dis)qualifier for adoption!
post #125 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
It's not a lack of money that prevents support of those who need it, but a lack of giving a crap.
Well, we're pretty charitable/generous, as are our kids, so the more people we produce that give a crap, the better.
post #126 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Well, we're pretty charitable/generous, as are our kids, so the more people we produce that give a crap, the better.
Sounds a bit like my philosophy that the queers need to breed like bunnies to keep up with the 'quiverfull' fundies.
post #127 of 219
Quote:
I absolutely think it is my responsibility to provide my children with a college education. I wouldn't have adopted them if I wasn't prepared to do that.
I'd think it would be better for children to be adopted at all, regardless of whether that parent was able to fund their college education.
post #128 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Sounds a bit like my philosophy that the queers need to breed like bunnies to keep up with the 'quiverfull' fundies.
Well you'd better get to it, because right now I've got you 4 to 1.
post #129 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
As others have said, it's an individual issue for each family. I have to say that when I see other women with 4 or more kids and they look like they have it all together, I often wonder if that mother has completely lost her SELF... that part of you who makes you you. Sometimes they seem like they never get to take off the "mother" hat, if that makes sense. When you are forced to be mother 24/7 just because of the sheer size of your family, I can't imagine that it's healthy, even if it appears that she has it all together. I'm sure some women thrive in those situations, though. They appear to love having a very large family, and indeed, do, as it is their fulfillment.
I'm quoting this because it is SO well written and expresses so much that I, as a full time mother of 5 wish I had the brain power left to tell other women.

Children are a WONDERFUL JOY. Mine especially. They are all high needs and the ones who have been tested are actually genius-level intelligence. I am not. It's HARD. I didn't know I was loosing myself until I was basically GONE and there was this insane, natural living to the core, OCD-perfectionist homeschooler left that I hardly recognized.

The financial part has ruined us.

I joke in my CBE classes about how one day we realized our relationship wasn't simply on the back burner but had fallen on the floor years ago and had been kicked under the stove by some crazed sling wearing woman with a swiffer in one hand and a pot of coffee in the other. Clean floor meant more to me then spending time with dh. If I was given the choice between a date and a day alone cleaning..oh man that whould be a tough choice!

I wouldn't be one to say not to do it, or that I wouldn't do it all over again even knowing what I know now. I'd just want to be honest about what it is like. It's really chaotic (as far as movement goes, and I'm really sensitive to that type of thing) and loud, and messy. Some days I can clean 8hrs non stop (meaning not even 5mins sitting with a glass of water) and it makes little difference. We have a good sized house and not a lot of stuff yet there is clutter everything all the time.

It doesnt get easier as they get older. It's gets more complicated, more expensive, more messy (??), more noisy and more rushed. In general you won't see many families with more then 2-3kids in the GD forum. You all can guess why. There isn't always time for thoughtful approaches to every infraction. After 3 our motto changed to the Vulcan motto: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Very scary stuff

I also still have long stints of time where I am totally on top of things and happy being a housemaid (as they grow that's all you are in many respects. The 2, 4, 6 8 and 10yo will all go to the park, outback or watch a show while you clean) and working part to full time out of the home.

Recently I enrolled in college part time. I finally realized that things will never be easier, so I am embracing it and doing my best to enjoy the ride without loosing view of my goals again. It may take me 10 years to graduate, but if I had done this 10 years ago; I'd be done now! My best advice would be to not sell yourself short. Not to give up or put aside things that are importnat to you, because of the belief that they (whatever they may be) are incompatable with motherhood. I did this with my education, assuming that to be a good mother I needed to cross these t's and dot those i's.

Once I started pursing some things that I needed to (um besides the help I need for the OCD cleaning issues) like in 2003 when I started my homestudy for my CCE, or the year before that when I began volunteering at births and working for hospice when time allowed (during that time dh was working FT and in college FT) I feel that I became a better mother simply because I was no longer frustrated.

I greatly admire those mothers who are fully fulfilled with their role as wife and mother and desire only to care and homemake.

I used to pray to become one of them, I still pray for peace about my current situation, but I've also learned that I have ambition and drive pouring out of me for a reason! In a million years I'd never wish one of my kids to put out their light, whatever it is, for anyone else. I no longer think I'm doing them any good by putting out mine.

just FYI this window was open on my computer for FOUR hours because of all the interruptions whil ei tried to write this. LOL
post #130 of 219
I'm one of 6. all but two sibling are childless by choice. the other two each had one child and are done. They found childrearing so distasteful that they tried to get their tubes tied at 20.
post #131 of 219
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post #132 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Well you'd better get to it, because right now I've got you 4 to 1.
I'm cooking number 2 right now...
post #133 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockies5 View Post
I'm one of 6. all but two sibling are childless by choice. the other two each had one child and are done. They found childrearing so distasteful that they tried to get their tubes tied at 20.
I know a family like this. The family had five children and only one of those siblings has one child. The oldest in the family is a woman in her early 40s. When people ask her why she didn't have children of her own (she's been married for years) she replies that she already helped raise children and she has no interest in having her own offspring. It seems that in this family the older children were relied upon heavily to help with the younger children.
post #134 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
But aren't you kinda glad they didn't do what they "should" have done? Do you really think you'd be happier if you'd never been born?
What an odd question... of course I would have never known, so what would it have been to me? "I" wasn't yet, so how could "I" have been sad?

ETA: I just came back to this thread after the holiday otherwise I would have replied sooner.
post #135 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB20005 View Post
she replies that she already helped raise children and she has no interest in having her own offspring. It seems that in this family the older children were relied upon heavily to help with the younger children.
this is true in the family I was raised in as well. My sister and I were babysitting full time when school was out for the summer. She was 12. I was 10. The "little kids" we were watching were 6years, 2years and a pair of 1yo twins. we were also expected to clean perfectly (floors, windows, diapes, pet cages) and we didn't get a dishwasher until the 90's. It wasn't a positive expereince for her, but I got the selective memories genes and don't recall as much as she does. I also always liked babies and kids so found "playing house" fun. She bore most of the work though.

My best friends are two 40+ married 15+ years women who are childless by choice after growing up in families similar to mine.
post #136 of 219
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockies5 View Post
I'm quoting this because it is SO well written and expresses so much that I, as a full time mother of 5 wish I had the brain power left to tell other women.

Children are a WONDERFUL JOY. Mine especially. They are all high needs and the ones who have been tested are actually genius-level intelligence. I am not. It's HARD. I didn't know I was loosing myself until I was basically GONE and there was this insane, natural living to the core, OCD-perfectionist homeschooler left that I hardly recognized.

The financial part has ruined us.

I joke in my CBE classes about how one day we realized our relationship wasn't simply on the back burner but had fallen on the floor years ago and had been kicked under the stove by some crazed sling wearing woman with a swiffer in one hand and a pot of coffee in the other. Clean floor meant more to me then spending time with dh. If I was given the choice between a date and a day alone cleaning..oh man that whould be a tough choice!

I wouldn't be one to say not to do it, or that I wouldn't do it all over again even knowing what I know now. I'd just want to be honest about what it is like. It's really chaotic (as far as movement goes, and I'm really sensitive to that type of thing) and loud, and messy. Some days I can clean 8hrs non stop (meaning not even 5mins sitting with a glass of water) and it makes little difference. We have a good sized house and not a lot of stuff yet there is clutter everything all the time.

It doesnt get easier as they get older. It's gets more complicated, more expensive, more messy (??), more noisy and more rushed. In general you won't see many families with more then 2-3kids in the GD forum. You all can guess why. There isn't always time for thoughtful approaches to every infraction. After 3 our motto changed to the Vulcan motto: the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Very scary stuff

I also still have long stints of time where I am totally on top of things and happy being a housemaid (as they grow that's all you are in many respects. The 2, 4, 6 8 and 10yo will all go to the park, outback or watch a show while you clean) and working part to full time out of the home.

Recently I enrolled in college part time. I finally realized that things will never be easier, so I am embracing it and doing my best to enjoy the ride without loosing view of my goals again. It may take me 10 years to graduate, but if I had done this 10 years ago; I'd be done now! My best advice would be to not sell yourself short. Not to give up or put aside things that are importnat to you, because of the belief that they (whatever they may be) are incompatable with motherhood. I did this with my education, assuming that to be a good mother I needed to cross these t's and dot those i's.

Once I started pursing some things that I needed to (um besides the help I need for the OCD cleaning issues) like in 2003 when I started my homestudy for my CCE, or the year before that when I began volunteering at births and working for hospice when time allowed (during that time dh was working FT and in college FT) I feel that I became a better mother simply because I was no longer frustrated.

I greatly admire those mothers who are fully fulfilled with their role as wife and mother and desire only to care and homemake.

I used to pray to become one of them, I still pray for peace about my current situation, but I've also learned that I have ambition and drive pouring out of me for a reason! In a million years I'd never wish one of my kids to put out their light, whatever it is, for anyone else. I no longer think I'm doing them any good by putting out mine.

just FYI this window was open on my computer for FOUR hours because of all the interruptions whil ei tried to write this. LOL


Wow. This is great, really what I was looking for. I can see myself going down your path, esp. the "insane, natural living to the core, OCD-perfectionist homeschooler," and I realize I have too much ambition to not do something for myself. I have limited myself academically; before marriage I was in the top law school, and now I take classes at CC to get an ADN. I tried to go back to a major school to do premed classes, but got overwhelmed and depressed. I need to not write off those options, though, just b/c I have littles now.

Thank you soooooooo much for your thoughts.
post #137 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockies5 View Post
My best friends are two 40+ married 15+ years women who are childless by choice after growing up in families similar to mine.
This is interesting. Apparently the pp's prediction that environmentally-conscious parents raising 10 kids are always going to make a bigger footprint than parents raising 2, isn't that accurate.

According to that pp, ALL children who grow up in large families, grow up to have large families, and on and on and on. Here's an example of at least 2 who didn't.
post #138 of 219
IMO, you have to look at the life you have now and try to determine whether you could provide your kids, yourself, and your family as a whole with what you want to provide if you had more kids before you can really make that decision.

I wanted to have five kids. I have three, and I feel stretched thin by that. I am sure that some of it is our family configuration. My two littles are artificial twins (children of the same age who are not bio sibs) and they require an extraordinary amount of energy to keep up with. My youngest is in speech, physical, and occupational therapy. My middle is in occupational therapy. My oldest has a truckload of emotional problems and also has HIV and Hep B. She has a lot of doctor and therapist visits as well as requiring therapeutic parenting at home. I would not be able to give anything more at this time.

Also, having more kids would mean that we could do fewer things outside the home. I find that going out to eat with three kids is astronomically more expensive than when we had just one kid. We need a bigger car. It's harder to visit people with more kids. My in-laws wouldn't have space for 7 people to visit; we'd have to split up. Family passes never include seven people. And etc. My FIL (who had three children) said he realized after the third that the world is built for a four-person family. I find that to be true. To me, two kids didn't feel like enough. Three feels, not like too many, but rather overwhelming.

However, if my three kids were, say, 10, 6, and 2, and were reasonably healthy, I would probably feel very differently. I think I would also feel differently if all of my children went to school (I homeschool the youngers). Having fewer medical expenses would make a difference. My husband having a less demanding job, time-wise, would make a difference.

I think it's a constellation of things that is different for every family.

dm
post #139 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbsam View Post
I give people credit when they know one child is right for them.
I wish my AIL held this statement. When she learned that DH and I were stopping at 1 child she flew into a glorious lecture that every woman should "at least 4 kids". I have no earthly idea where she came up with that idea. I really don't.

She has also instilled this into her 2 Adult Children (Son, Age 27 and Daughter Age 25). Currently, the Son is meeting HER goal and has #4 on the way, by 3 different women. He has no job and cannot support any of his kids. Guess who is paying Child Support to the first 2 children's Mom? AIL.

The Daughter remains Childfree. So far.

AIL has some type of (anger?) towards Only Children. I went through horrible PPD. Horrible. It lasted until DS was well over Age 2. So, I was a zombie for over 2 years. DH and I both knew immediately...we had reached our limit.

I can honestly say, if DH had turned out to be some sort of bastard of a husband and left me with a newborn infant because he couldn't handle it...DS would have probably wound up being taken care of by my SIL or other AIL (his chosen Guardians in the event of our deaths). Because I was sick...Mentally.

And to this day, regardless of what I went through the first 2 years, AIL is still pissed that DS will remain an Only Child. DH and I have told her (and will tell anyone who asks "So, when is #2 coming?" ) that it will be irresponsible...completely irresponsible for US to not have any more kids.

So, realizing THAT, I don't feel, having 1 child is "cruel and unusual punishment"
post #140 of 219
I am constantly challenged with my ONE dd. I'm always amazed at people who choose to have bigger families. My best friend has 4 kids & would have more but she had a traumatic birth with the 4th one, and there are lots of concerns about having another pregnancy.

we struggle with the idea of having a 2nd one. DD will be 5 in March & we *still* can't get off the fence

absolutely, it's different for every family. knowing yourself, your limits, your personality, etc. etc. makes a big difference.
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