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Too many kids? - Page 3

post #41 of 219
I agree that family size is a very personal thing. I always wanted 5. DH wanted 5. We planned from the very beginning to have 5. But we have decided to stop at 3. I have a lot of health issues, I have bipolar and SID, I ended up with pre-eclampsia twice, two preemies and 3 c-sections. So we are done. And honestly I cannot imagine having more. I find 3 takes everything out of me, I don't have any more in me to give. We always planned to homeschool to but the older two are going to a private Christian school in September because I find being a mom hard. I get too impatient easily and I need lots of alone time. So as much as it pains me to admit it I would not be a good mom to more children. I have a cousin who has 15 children (yes, 15!) and loves every second of it.
post #42 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by offwing View Post
Even people who hold a religious belief that each soul is already in existence prior to birth do not believe that the soul is aware and would have an emotional reaction to "missing out" on being born into a specific body.
Not true, but that's a subject for the Spirituality forum.
post #43 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
If you think about the maiden/mother/crone life phases.....
What? Maiden, mother, crone? Crone? I have no intention of being a crone and in fact do not know any crones. Life gets better with age. I like maiden, mother, matriarch.
post #44 of 219
Crone is not meant to be a derogatory term. It connotes wisdom.
post #45 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
What? Maiden, mother, crone? Crone? I have no intention of being a crone and in fact do not know any crones. Life gets better with age. I like maiden, mother, matriarch.
You'd appreciate the terms if you were familiar with paganism.

(I'm not pagan, but did study some when I was a young-un)
post #46 of 219
Did you ever think of the other side of the coin?
I grew up the oldest of 2, and I STILL didnt get enough time and attention from either of my parents and longed daily for a sister or a baby to play with. (My brother and I never got along, we were always battling and competing for the small attention that was dealt out as a result of our fighting)
As a result, I plan on having a midsized-to-large family with lots of love and lots of attention to go around for everyone.

Maybe it has less to do with *how many* kids there are and more to do with how parents are coping and parenting and general family dynamics.

Its easy to brush off the blame on just "too many kids" though.
post #47 of 219
Quote:
Maybe it has less to do with *how many* kids there are and more to do with how parents are coping and parenting and general family dynamics.
I very strongly believe that. My parents were both one of four. My mom's childhood was a mess, and her mother probably wouldn't have parented just one child well, let alone four. She was a mean drunk, and constantly bringing home men, who abused my mom. My dad, on the other hand, had an idyllic childhood, parents who loved him and enjoyed family life, etc. Different parents, different experiences.

From my observations, numbers have very little to do with happiness.
post #48 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Well yes, but who we are changes as our lives change. If you think about the maiden/mother/crone life phases, I think it is really healthy and fine to embrace 'mother' and not try to preserve the 'you' that existed in the maiden phase. That time is gone. 'Mother' has changed who I am, it is woven into the threads of me and there is no part that is 'me' without the threads of that experience.

I think there is a miscommunication happening here in that some are speaking of that identity and how there is no need to try to erase it, while others are speaking of the duties of mothering, and how they can be all enveloping, or not. And how that is fine for some women, not fine for others. It wouldn't be fine for me.
You make a good point. I've noticed the longer I'm a mother the more moms I meet that are just "cut" out to be one of those moms I admire because she really truly lives for being a mother or it comes naturally to her, and then there are those mothers that you can tell it just frustrates them to no end to have kids, then there are those mothers that are in between those ranges. So I totally see your point.
post #49 of 219
I read through most of the reponses in this thread and agree with many posters...having a lot of children/having a large family makes resouces - financial, emotional, physical energy, patience, attention for each child - diminished.

I was surprised that no one seemed to mention the impact of large families on the earth. What about population control and lessening our footprint?

Families historically were large so that families could produce male heirs and also to have enough children to help with work on the farm. Times have changed, obviously, and most people have smaller families now.

A friend of mine once said something that I thought was a really good point. He said, "Maybe your family can afford another child, but can the earth or society afford another child?" Something to think about.
post #50 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower View Post
A friend of mine once said something that I thought was a really good point. He said, "Maybe your family can afford another child, but can the earth or society afford another child?" Something to think about.
Actually, I don't see that as a good argument against having a lot of children. The earth was here waaaaay before any humans or anyone of any kind walked on it. I believe in God and I believe that he created earth and the earth made it for a long time on it's own without us humans trying to save it or protect it.
post #51 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower View Post
I was surprised that no one seemed to mention the impact of large families on the earth. What about population control and lessening our footprint?
What about societal stability, which is lessened when the birth rate falls below replacement levels, about 2.2 per woman? It has to be more than 2 because not everyone makes it to adulthood. If the population falls, the average age increases, and soon there will be a larger number of retired people than working people to support them. This is also something to consider.

I'm all for taking care of our earth. That is why I will teach my children to do so by example. That way there are even more people to go out into the world and teach others to take care of it.
post #52 of 219
So much comes into play when deciding how many children to have. It's interesting reading about people's experiences based on family size and how it effects their decisions on family size. We are pretty sure we will not add any more to our family. This is based on age (we are both 40), money (I want to be able to afford giving DS lots of exeriences as he grows up) and circumstances (we would be adopting again and we don't know if we can handle the emotional strain again). When we first started TTC I thought I wanted three or four children.
post #53 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
I very strongly believe that. My parents were both one of four. My mom's childhood was a mess, and her mother probably wouldn't have parented just one child well, let alone four. She was a mean drunk, and constantly bringing home men, who abused my mom. My dad, on the other hand, had an idyllic childhood, parents who loved him and enjoyed family life, etc. Different parents, different experiences.

From my observations, numbers have very little to do with happiness.
My parents were both oldest children (mom of four, dad of three). Mom's family was happy and loving, Dad's had issues but was basically loving, he was close to his brothers.

Nevertheless, as oldest children, both of them decided to stop after me. Not because I was difficult, but because, as mom put it once, "We looked at how happy you were and we thought 'How could we do that to her?' because we remembered how much our lives changed when our younger brothers were born."

My mom loves her brothers and is still very close to 2 of the 3. My dad isn't day-to-day close to his, but was close growing up. Still....

I think there's no shame in saying "This is all I want." And further, a mom who has a bunch of children is no better a mother than one who has one or two by choice. IT's not like its a contest where more babies brings you more "Mom points" until you are the Ubermother and the Best of All.

I also would agree that insight into your personal limits is a gift -- not something that you need to try to overcome, or a sign that you're an inadequate mother and/or human being...
post #54 of 219
Interesting thread--good discussion...
post #55 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower View Post
I read through most of the reponses in this thread and agree with many posters...having a lot of children/having a large family makes resouces - financial, emotional, physical energy, patience, attention for each child - diminished.

I was surprised that no one seemed to mention the impact of large families on the earth. What about population control and lessening our footprint?

Families historically were large so that families could produce male heirs and also to have enough children to help with work on the farm. Times have changed, obviously, and most people have smaller families now.

A friend of mine once said something that I thought was a really good point. He said, "Maybe your family can afford another child, but can the earth or society afford another child?" Something to think about.
ITA.
post #56 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower View Post
A friend of mine once said something that I thought was a really good point. He said, "Maybe your family can afford another child, but can the earth or society afford another child?" Something to think about.
Again, it depends on which way you are willing to look at it.
I could argue that a family with 6 kids had 5 more people that are willing and able to save the earth than a family with 1 kid.
And what if one of those 6 kids goes on to research/invent/contribute to something world-changing and miraculous for the environment or society?
What if the only child goes to become the CEO of Shell and chooses to pollute hundreds of lakes and rivers and poisons thousands of animals in the pursuit of oil and greed?
What if that one kid is in disposables for 4 years, and the 6 are EC'd 100%?
What if the 1 kid had a 3000sq foot house and his parents use disposable EVERYTHING and own 4 hummers? What if the family with 6 kids lives in a tiny "green" house and uses public transportation and walks everywhere?
What if the one becomes a narcistic sociopath and rapes and murders rapes 36 women? What if one of the 6 opens and runs a sanctuary for battered women and fundraises millions into rehab and family councilling programs?

We could "what if" all day, but the fact of the matter is, you cant prove AT ALL that 1 child is more responsible or has less of an impact on the earth/environmnent/society than 6,
nor can you prove that 6 children are more responsible or has less of an impact on the earth/environmnent/society than one. Because that is assuming.

There are infinite possibilities lying in each and every one of us.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower View Post
..having a lot of children/having a large family makes resouces - financial, emotional, physical energy, patience, attention for each child - diminished.
I will argue that there is NOT finite resources for the amount pf people on earth as of now. There is only a distribution problem. There, people go hungry. Here, we waste millions of pounds of food.
There is ENOUGH for everyone. It is a matter of figuring out how to get it to everyone that needs it, or educating people who need it on how to access it. We just need a better system.
post #57 of 219
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.
post #58 of 219
[QUOTE=andrea;10094075]
Maybe it has less to do with *how many* kids there are and more to do with how parents are coping and parenting and general family dynamics.
QUOTE]

This is a topic I've been devoting a lot of thought to in the past few months.

When I first became pregnant with number 1 I knew dh wanted a big family and I liked the idea of it and I liked being different from everyone else who seemed so very sure that 2 was the limit for them. Now that I have 3 under 5 I am only really beginning to understand what it takes for me to be a good mom. I've realized how harried and hectic, preoccupied and impatient I have been as a parent. And I think it's because I've been selfish, not because 3 under 5 is inherently too much to parent well. I believe I can overcome this and I think that will be the key for me to be successful as a mother of many. Which, btw, will probably be 4-6 kids for us.
post #59 of 219
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Well yes, but who we are changes as our lives change. If you think about the maiden/mother/crone life phases, I think it is really healthy and fine to embrace 'mother' and not try to preserve the 'you' that existed in the maiden phase. That time is gone. 'Mother' has changed who I am, it is woven into the threads of me and there is no part that is 'me' without the threads of that experience.

I think there is a miscommunication happening here in that some are speaking of that identity and how there is no need to try to erase it, while others are speaking of the duties of mothering, and how they can be all enveloping, or not. And how that is fine for some women, not fine for others. It wouldn't be fine for me. I see some making the argument that the more kids one has, the more all consuming the duties of caregiving become.
Yes, this is the distinction I was trying to make. I do not want to be young and single and carefree again. But I know myself and know that I require lots of alone time and mental stimulation, and I am not getting it solely from being a mom, simply b/c of the amount of work required. I also want to travel and have different careers, so I think I need to limit my family size so as to have more freedom. That, and in all seriousness, I want to be able to stay in normal cars and normal tables at restaurants.

Dh's cousin-in-law was not complaining, and he loves his kids and wife. I was pleased that he opened up to me, esp. since my in-laws are very pro-large family and all about family duty and tradition. To hear the other side of the coin was very helpful and clarified some things for me.
post #60 of 219
Did not get to read all posts but...
I think it mostly depends on where your priorities lie. You can have one child and claim to never have enough money, enough time alone as a couple etc etc. It all depends on what your expectations for life are and how you define "enough time, money,... whatever"You can have one family with 15 kids and it can be disasterous and another with 15 happy, healthy kids, with a mommy and daddy very much in love.
If I had many children I would try to get a babysitter to give us time alone, try not to do too many activities outside the home, be more careful with money, and turn off the tv and computer and actually spend time together. ( I need to do these things now with one child!!) We struggle with money sometimes, but it usually is because we did not plan well. We are considered to be at or a little above poverty level many years, but I have no doubt we could feed and clothe several children and be very happy and content.
Of course I am not speaking from experience and am not an expert
I have always wanted 6 or more children though.
I think it sounds like he and his wife need to start talking about how hard it is and get some help from others maybe. Getting away for a couple hours alone or on a date can make such a difference!
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