or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Too many kids?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Too many kids? - Page 10

post #181 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower View Post
Well, diminishing food supply not right now, but generations in the future, when population growth has continued to grow exponentially.
But what about the point-of-view of at least some anthropologists -- that if we (namely U.S. government) could focus in NOW on more sustainable food-growing practices, rather than producing massive quantities of cheap, sub-standard food, there would probably be less over-supply, and the population would adjust its growth-rate to the available food?

Of course, maybe I don't have a right to talk about this, because we're certainly not "putting (all) our money where our mouth is" right now -- though we do prefer (but can't always afford) to shop in our local farmers' market, and my dh is working on revitalizing the dirt in our yard with earthworms, and trying to figure out ways to get a bigger yield of vegetables each year, without doing anything harmful to the environment.

But if our nation's government made the shift to more sustainable practices -- well, it would certainly help us to make the shift, too. When cash is limited, and you know you can shop Aldi's, or even Price Chopper, for a fraction of the cost at the local health food store ... well, frankly, it's just so tempting to buy the larger quantities of food at cheaper prices, and have some money left over for the other things, and experiences, our kids want to enjoy.

What gets me is, I've heard that there are all kinds of government subsidies for big agriculture -- so surely those same subsidies invested in sustainable, organic food-growing, could help to make organic foods more affordable to the general public. So food production would gradually level off, and population would gradually level off in response. And at the same time, we'd all be supporting the shift to a more livable way of life.

Quinn makes an interesting point, that the advent of contraception really hasn't resulted in a reduction of population world-wide. He thinks (or maybe it's just my interpretation of what he thinks) that if governments would quit subsidizing an ever-increasing food supply, that would do more for population concerns than contraception. And he's not talking about producing too little food, and forcing some people to starve to death: he's saying we should produce enough, and quit aiming for an excess.

Because the excess isn't accidental: it's actually planned and aimed for each year.
post #182 of 219
I am just going to jump right in, sorry I haven't had time to read the whole thread seeing as how I am a mom who has "too many kids" And Honestly I wouldn't change a thing. My kids do not lack "things" in fact we just got a Wii for christmas, Nor do they lack my love and attention. We spend lots of one on one time doing crafts, baking and sewing. I am not exhausted nor do I feel overwhelmed. My dh and I made the decision that we wanted a large family for many reasons mostly being the values you learn when you don't get everything handed to you and you have to learn to get along with others. My DH comes form a family where he was one of 11 children and I was an only child until I was 14. We live on one income ( I am a SAHM) my kids do go to public school and we eat easy healthy meals everyday.

One problem that the area I live in is having is that people are not having enough children so there is a severe economicy depression occuring, not to mention the lack of people to care for the elderly and do all the jobs that will be left behind when the current baby boom generation retires. Teh government is actually making it desireable to have lots of children by offering tax incentives and bonuses. I can see the value in having one child only, but it is not my personal choice, nor will I feel guilty for choosing to enrich my life with the love of a large family.
post #183 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeanusMomma View Post
I have one child. I'm still quite young (22), and I know I have many childbearing years ahead of me, but I have lots of reservations about having more children (which combats the baby fever I have so often).

One reason is that I'm a single mom. I think I'm providing for ds well and we're doing ok, but for me to have more children, there are childcare costs--which would double--built right in because I don't have the luxury of choosing whether or not to work full time.

Secondly, the environmental aspect has influence on me. Sure, many things I do to reduce my footprint are just "chump change", but what else can I do? I strongly believe that chump change is a great deal better than nothing. In some perspectives, using a tea ball rather than the paper things and religiously recycling whatever I can, may seem hypocritical when I turn around and take a long shower now and then. But isn't that better than NOT recycling AND taking the long showers?

That aspect is very complex, because you can bring up religion and the theory of desiring motherhood being ingrained in every woman (which I don't believe). I don't believe that it's wrong, or even an inferior choice, to have a big family. My point is, at the end of the day, mamas that breastfeed and ec can do so with 1 or 7 children, and 7 children will be a bigger impact than 1 raised the same way, so it's worth considering. To me, it's worth it to avoid having more children partly because of the added waste, but the next mama may have the opposite opinion.

I do worry about the gd thing as well. I assume there are armloads of exceptions to the rule, but I'd imagine that, statistically, gd is more popular with smaller families. I don't have all the facts--it could be that bigger families tend to homeschool and have SAHMs, therefore have the time and resources to discipline conscientiously (sp?). Coming back to myself, I know that my patience wears thin at times with my one and only ds and ft work schedule. I know I'd have a harder time avoiding regressing to my own parents' "easy ways out", so for me I just mark that as another tally on the "don't have more children" side.
Good post!



:

You make so many good points! Yes, I completely agree that even the chump change adds up over time, if we all do it. And usually people get on a roll and start with the chump change and continue adding more and more green actions, going from "green-lite" to a deeper green.

Also, yes, I completely agree with how you said, the planet's carrying capacity is something we should at least consider when determining family size.



Kudos to you for being so thoughtful about all of this!
post #184 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by nugglemama View Post
One problem that the area I live in is having is that people are not having enough children so there is a severe economicy depression occuring, not to mention the lack of people to care for the elderly and do all the jobs that will be left behind when the current baby boom generation retires. Teh government is actually making it desireable to have lots of children by offering tax incentives and bonuses.
Wow! That sounds great! Do you live in the U.S.?
post #185 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by nugglemama View Post
One problem that the area I live in is having is that people are not having enough children so there is a severe economicy depression occuring, not to mention the lack of people to care for the elderly and do all the jobs that will be left behind when the current baby boom generation retires.
That is an interesting point to me. I think, yes, there are indeed parts of this country where there is population decline.

I wonder though if it is due to people not having enough children or due to out-migration? ...you know, the so called "brain drain" where the younger adults move out of more rural or economically depressed areas for the larger employment centers?

If that is the case, as is happening in many rural states, the population isn't really declining, it's just trasferring to other geographic areas.

And in the case of out-migration areas, having more kids isn't going to solve the problem...until there are jobs and other opportunities that make people, especially upwardly moving young people, want to remain in the area.
post #186 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post

Because the excess isn't accidental: it's actually planned and aimed for each year.
True in a lot of cases.
post #187 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower View Post
Yes, I completely agree that even the chump change adds up over time, if we all do it. And usually people get on a roll and start with the chump change and continue adding more and more green actions, going from "green-lite" to a deeper green.
I'm glad to hear this positive outlook. It can be so discouraging to hear the deeper greens disparaging those of us who are "chump-changing" our way into a greener way of life.
post #188 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
But what about the point-of-view of at least some anthropologists -- that if we (namely U.S. government) could focus in NOW on more sustainable food-growing practices, rather than producing massive quantities of cheap, sub-standard food, there would probably be less over-supply, and the population would adjust its growth-rate to the available food? ...Because the excess isn't accidental: it's actually planned and aimed for each year.
This is a good point. Yes, the systems could be managed much better. Part of the issue is political, part of it is logistical.

It will be hard to change that.

So, that is why I think it's important to also do things on a personal level, while advocating for change on the societal/world level.

Like Margaret Meade said, "Be the change in the world you want to see."
post #189 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I'm glad to hear this positive outlook. It can be so discouraging to hear the deeper greens disparaging those of us who are "chump-changing" our way into a greener way of life.


Well, I think any effort to try to be greener is admirable. I don't even really like to refer to it as chump change, but I see the point the PP was trying to make by calling it that, and I do tend to agree with her. There are big, big issues that need to be addressed.

Still, I prefer to see some one trying to be light green than not trying at all!

There are days I am a light shade of green and there are days I am a deeper shade of green. So I don't judge.

Every effort counts! And if you can do more or want to do more, all the better!
post #190 of 219
I live in Quebec Canada and as far as I know it is not brain drain, but just because the younger generation had only one or no children.
post #191 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by nugglemama View Post
I live in Quebec Canada and as far as I know it is not brain drain, but just because the younger generation had only one or no children.
I'm not a resident of Canada, so I was speaking of United States trends. From the little I know of Canada with regard to this issue, I can see you make a valid point.

It is hard to cross-compare countries.

Generally, though, the world as a whole is not having a problem with declining population. In fact, it is the opposite from the news articles I have read.
post #192 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I'm glad to hear this positive outlook. It can be so discouraging to hear the deeper greens disparaging those of us who are "chump-changing" our way into a greener way of life.
I think it is counter-productive to make people feel discouraged about being green, any shade of green.

We need to be encouraging people to make the change. And, let's be honest, for some people it is a big change and a difficult transition. So, to any of you who are trying to be green, I applaud you wholeheartedly! Good for you! Keep it up!

post #193 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Well, our doggie bags go to the dog, because we love her

Something else: DH and I are both onlies. My mum and dad were both one of two, his mum and dad were one of three or four respectively. His mum and my dad both died over 10 years ago, when we were in our early twenties.
We're now in a situation where my FIL is wheelchair bound with rheumatoid arthritis and because of shame about his medical conditions, chooses not to leave the house. He's entirely dependent on others, and his brothers, who helped support him before DH finished his education and moved here, are getting on a bit themselves. One has arthritis and is being treated for cancer, one has a wife with alzheimers. They've both got their hands full.
So what this means, bluntly, is that it's down to us. Social services and the district nursing team will do what they can- they do the daily personal care, the washing, the dressing. All the rest of it- including some help with medications- is passed to us to do. Helping him physically manage his money. Shopping. Cleaning. Cooking. The works. And we do it willingly, because we love him- but there's a cost. The cost is us living in fear of my mum having a bad fall, getting alzheimers, rheumatism, anything that would require a comparable level of support, and us feeling forced to choose between our two surviving parents. Just ONE other sibling in our families would ease that pressure on us. And yes, the UK has a pretty good support network for people like my FIL, but they can't- won't- don't, do it all. This could be you. This could be your kids.

Oh, and in terms of consumption, more than half our family's refuse is created by FIL. The convenience/waste correlation, ime, is most closely connected to those who need that ease of use. That's not necessarily young families, but young adults who are learning independence and those at the other end of their lives.
I would hate for this to be the only reason to have another child. It's certainly a valid point, but the number of children you have doesn't necessarily change things. My Mum is one of 3 - except that her brother has autism and thus needs care himself. Her sister died at 50 of a stroke. So, she's alone in trying to care for her parents. And I know of families (like my in laws) where again there are 3 children but only one was doing the work to care for their mother. The brothers moved cross country and the sister did what had to be done. I doubt that this is an exception, either.

I don't mean this as "don't have many kids", I get the concern as my husband is an only and my sister is still a teen. I just meant that it doesn't guarantee anything.

Erica
post #194 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeanusMomma View Post

That aspect is very complex, because you can bring up religion and the theory of desiring motherhood being ingrained in every woman (which I don't believe). I don't believe that it's wrong, or even an inferior choice, to have a big family. My point is, at the end of the day, mamas that breastfeed and ec can do so with 1 or 7 children, and 7 children will be a bigger impact than 1 raised the same way, so it's worth considering. To me, it's worth it to avoid having more children partly because of the added waste, but the next mama may have the opposite opinion.
:
post #195 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeanusMomma View Post
I do worry about the gd thing as well. I assume there are armloads of exceptions to the rule, but I'd imagine that, statistically, gd is more popular with smaller families.
I agree with you on this point, as well.

I know for me, anecdotally, I am able to more easily discipline with GD because I have a smaller family.

I know there are larger GD families out there because I've read the moms posts here on MDC, but in real life the large families I know or see have chaos. And let's just say aren't the most gentle when it comes to anything.

For me, I look at a lot of issues when considering small vs. big families:

1. do I have the personal strength and energy to parent all the kids well, including overseeing their education?

2. do I have the financial means to support all of them?

And, yes, I also consider the impact on society and the environment. That's just me, though, based on my own worldview, spirituality, and philosophies. Others will feel differently because they have a different worldview, spirituality, or philosophy.

It is so personal.
post #196 of 219
Oh and as for the statistics in the US the population growth is at replacement levels only. The boom in population growth there is due in most parts to imigration which is a whole other discussion.
post #197 of 219
From the latest data I've read concerning the US, urban populations are increasing/ staying at replacement level (due mostly to immigration) but in rural areas the population is plummeting.

There are many parts of europe where population is not even at replacement level, and the holes are being filled by immigration. Japan also is having issues keeping population at replacement level.
post #198 of 219
We chose to stop at 2... for many reasons. Some personal reasons, some what we believe is social responsibility.
post #199 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
The cost is us living in fear of my mum having a bad fall, getting alzheimers, rheumatism, anything that would require a comparable level of support, and us feeling forced to choose between our two surviving parents. Just ONE other sibling in our families would ease that pressure on us. And yes, the UK has a pretty good support network for people like my FIL, but they can't- won't- don't, do it all. This could be you. This could be your kids.
That's very true and my sympathies to you. However I have to say from observing my own family (my dad is an only; my mother is not), sometimes siblings arguing over the details of someone's care is just as stressful as having the burden of care, especially as there are no guarantees that a particular sibling will get directly involved in the actual care.

I just don't think one should have children of any number in order to secure a particular outcome in the future.
post #200 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by meowee View Post
From the latest data I've read concerning the US, urban populations are increasing/ staying at replacement level (due mostly to immigration) but in rural areas the population is plummeting.

There are many parts of europe where population is not even at replacement level, and the holes are being filled by immigration. Japan also is having issues keeping population at replacement level.
This is very interesting! So apparently SOMEWHERE in the world, there's a birth-related population explosion -- but here in the US it's mainly caused by immigration?

But some people think Americans should have even fewer babies, to make room for more new immigrants and their babies?

Please note: I'm actually pro-immigration; I'm not saying the U.S. should close the door to anyone who wants to come here. My own great-grandparents (or was it great-great or triple-great?) immigrated to this nation. I'm not a Native American, not at all!

It's just so interesting to me, to find that American fertility really has nothing to do with the world's growing population.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Parenting
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Too many kids?