I dunno. I'm kinda shocked to read all of this, really.
I mean, I think you should know what is right for you without influence from the outside world.
We are all on these forums, so we are all doing at least ONE thing that is not "mainstream". A zillion people could be on our butts for doing that one (or more) thing we are doing (or are not doing,whatever the case may be)
Take circ. Okay, so some parents could say "hey,you should really have your son circed" or vaccination "hey, vaccinations saved the universe" or whatever it is. If you are against that, well the arguments are out there but you KNOW that it just isn't right/acceptable to YOU and YOUR family.
Kids are all blessings. Every. Single. One. This doesnt' mean that being a mom is easy or that all people should have as many children as they are able.
I think priorities are an issue too. I mean, your son might have a foreskin and other guys might see it and tease them. Your kids might wear hand me downs and other kids might see that and tease them, ykwim? I don't think this is a real argument for going against our priorities.
I wore hand me downs and goodwill. We rummaged through garbage cans. But at the end of the day, we are all adults now and are basically good people and all is well. We are all accomplishing our goals and dreams and it worked for our family.
I've seen mothers suck at handling a ton of kids, I've seen them suck at handleing two kids...or ONE. Just my dd alone makes me go off the deep end sometimes.
but I couldn't imagine life without my ds. And I spent the whole pregnancy terrified. OH man, how can I handle another like dd?! That sort of thing. His presence gives me the calm and strength to handle dd and their interactions with one another give me a bit of a BREAK.
I dont know how many we will have. I do know that at some point they will all think I'm a crappy mom. That's the nature of the game. Not always, maybe, but I've never personally seen the exception.
And someday they will grow up and have kids and say I wasn't half bad...I hope.
listen, I"m not looking at the earth and what the earth can handle. That's just too far out for me. But hey, if that is your thing, well then adopt if that is what is holding you back, yk?
Adopt anyways. Or don't. Or use cloth diapers to cut down on your earth footprint or whatever. Don't eat MacDonalds, yk? Turn off the water while you are brushing your teeth. CUt down on your showers.
We all have the power to make the best out of our situation and me putting 12 kids through two sets of cloth diapers is less of an imprint than a family putting 2 kids through disposables. Or formula. Or whatever. I don't buy cribs for the kids. That saves money and resources, yk?
I dunno. Take the long view. Picture yourself at the end of your life and ask yourself, do I wish I had more or less children. Really. I dont need 12 children looking down at me on my death bed, yk? Or take a look at my friends who had 3 kids (1 son) and then that son died after they were already finished having babies and could not have anymore. It was a huge blow. I tihnk if they could do it all over they would have had more children, really. SOmeone to carry on the family name.
dh says two of each gender is ideal. I'm stressed with 2, but I know from watching bigger families that the kids grow up and help out and are playmates for one another and the dynamic changes. What is hard today may not be so hard tomorrow, so if I were to voice 3 months ago my opinion about having 2 kids, I probably would have scared someone off to not having 2 or more. But this month things are better and I'm really doing well with both of them. You see?
OUr babysitter is the youngest of 8 children. The only girl. Oopsie or not, she is ADORED and gets TONS of attention from her parents and all those doting brothers. She's very happy and the family is very close and all is well. Another babysitter of ours is the second youngest of 11. They escaped an abusive father and are beign raised by a single mom who is always the picture of calmness and serenity. They all feel loved and have each other to confide in during this difficult time. They might feel that they didnt' get enough attention, but I know people who were single children who also felt that they didnt' get enough attention.
it's not just how many you can handle but how many G-d thinks you can handle and the dynamics of the kids too. And those all change. SO do financial situations, actually. You might think you have enough money but then someone gets laid off and you are right back to being broke and having hand me downs. And the kids might get picked on but the priority is survival and that is what really matters.
I think priorities and perspective is where it's at on this one.