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Too many kids? - Page 4

post #61 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?
I think that that argument really only holds weight once you are doing everything possible to live carbon-neutral and are actively campaigning for your own nation to be reducing carbon emissions, promoting recycling and in all other ways working towards environmental friendliness. The earth can certainly support my family with two adults and four children, based on our water and power usage and our waste creation, and I trust that I can raise my children in such a way that they make good, responsible choices as adults. I know a few dozen families who get in the car to do a school run of a few hundred metres, are flying off here, there and everywhere, don't recycle...
To the OP, I would point out that Christmas is not the time to talk to anyone about being a parent, because it tends to be the season where most people are most negative about it. It is- or can be- the season of crass commercialism, of whinging, of children asking with total seriousness if Santa has an email address so they can change their Christmas list on Christmas eve, and the cost of taking five children to see a mall Santa gets prohibitive. If you look, even some of the die-hard NFL advocates have posted about stresses with gifts. It's just THAT time of year.
I'm pregnant with my fourth, and I know that I could not be the parent that I am if I hadn't had a big gap between 2 and 3. Child spacing can be as important as family sizing, and I did notice that your BIL's family are very evenly spaced, with a new babe every 3 years or so. I couldn't do that. I NEEDED to know that my boys could make their own breakfasts and wouldn't starve if they were hungry at the same time as the new baby. I also needed the maturity- I'm a better mum at 30 than I was at 21. In the end, though I have regrets about my life, choosing to have, or to keep, each of my children is REALLY not an issue.

Oh, and I'm not a full-time mummy. I'm just me. I have three kids, one still gestating, a burgeoning interest in fibre crafts, an obsessive interest in emigrating to Mars and I have a crush on Heston Blumenthal : I'm not working at the moment, though I have done in my life post-parenthood, and I do a lot of voluntary work with families and young children. I'm as much myself, if not more, than I ever was, and I get a lot of love and support to follow my dreams from my family, just as my kids do. If you're interested in the whole "losing my identity" issue surrounding motherhood, I can recommend some fantastic books on the politics and feminist ideology surrounding motherhood that I think you'd enjoy.
post #62 of 219
I don't think the struggle (barring finances) lies so much in the NUMBER of kids, but the SPACING of kids.

I think there are very good reasons, both for parent and child, that the biological norm for child spacing is roughly every 2 years with a high infant mortality rate. I'm not saying it's good to have a high infant mortality rate; I'm saying that the biological norm is not to have two babies at the same time. Obviously, we have artificially altered (for the better) the infant mortality rate, but our bodies are still biologically designed to give birth every two years (unless we artificially alter *that* as well). And therein lies the rub.
post #63 of 219
I read a couple posts in the beginning of the thread which made it appear that those couples who choose to limit how many children they have to 1-2 are doing so because they want to provide their children with more material things. Yes, it is true that economic resources are stretched far more with larger families but that has never really been a factor in our decision to only have two children and to imply that that is the deciding factor for those of us who do choose to limit is sort of insulting.

I am not choosing to limit our family to two kids because I want to be able to shower them with things, I am having only two children because that is a number that I feel confident and comfortable parenting. My husband works very long hours and travels quite a bit and the child-rearing is left mostly up to me during the week. I know I would be stretched too thin and not be able to provide an enriching or secure environment as I can by limiting how many children I have. That doesn't mean that I don't readily accept that other parenting couples have different familial goals and emotional resources for their large families. This is just what we feel will work best for us as a family unit.
post #64 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB20005 View Post
I read a couple posts in the beginning of the thread which made it appear that those couples who choose to limit how many children they have to 1-2 are doing so because they want to provide their children with more material things. Yes, it is true that economic resources are stretched far more with larger families but that has never really been a factor in our decision to only have two children and to imply that that is the deciding factor for those of us who do choose to limit is sort of insulting.

I am not choosing to limit our family to two kids because I want to be able to shower them with things...

Just pointing out that it is okay to choose to limit family size because of resources. We want our kids to go to college, have a life full of travel, and to have a certain amount of monetary freedom. That is not "showering them with things" (which I find insulting, though I realize it was not your intent to insult). We would have a hard time doing that with three, but we can do that with two.
post #65 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWine View Post
Just pointing out that it is okay to choose to limit family size because of resources. We want our kids to go to college, have a life full of travel, and to have a certain amount of monetary freedom. That is not "showering them with things" (which I find insulting, though I realize it was not your intent to insult). We would have a hard time doing that with three, but we can do that with two.
No, I was definitely not trying to be insulting. I felt like that the "showering of material things" was the point of some of the earlier posts and I was just piggybacking on that.

I agree with you that there are many significant monetary reasons to have a smaller family but that certainly isn't the only deciding factor for us. Of course I want to be able to help my kids with the financial responsibility of college and provide experiences like participating on sports teams or in band , things I was not able to do as a child because we were too poor to afford the equipment. But even if I were a multi-millionaire I would still only have two kids.

I hope that makes sense!
post #66 of 219
Quote:
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.
Unless your children grow up to not be self-supporting, I'd say that society needs as many children as you can give have. Especially in America, with the way social security is tanking, we need people working to support the elderly and those among us who can't work for one reason or another.
post #67 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Parker'smommy View Post
I don't think big families are for everyone. It's just not a one size fits all thing, ya know? I know plenty of big families and they are happy and so are the kids. A good friend of mine has 7 kids and her kids are the most well adjusted people I know. Seriously. I have seen her in action and she gives all of her kids what they need.

Bottom line, just because this person is having a hard time with his family size doesn't mean that's the case for everyone. They might have had a hard time with one child because of who they are.

Good luck!
I agree. In our circle of friends, DH and I are the only ones with 1 child. Most of our friends have 2 kids or more. It always amazes me when I get around them because *I* seem to be the most stressed out Mommy.
post #68 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB20005 View Post
No, I was definitely not trying to be insulting. I felt like that the "showering of material things" was the point of some of the earlier posts and I was just piggybacking on that.

I agree with you that there are many significant monetary reasons to have a smaller family but that certainly isn't the only deciding factor for us. Of course I want to be able to help my kids with the financial responsibility of college and provide experiences like participating on sports teams or in band , things I was not able to do as a child because we were too poor to afford the equipment. But even if I were a multi-millionaire I would still only have two kids.

I hope that makes sense!

Yep --
post #69 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
Unless your children grow up to not be self-supporting, I'd say that society needs as many children as you can give have. Especially in America, with the way social security is tanking, we need people working to support the elderly and those among us who can't work for one reason or another.
It's not a lack of money that prevents support of those who need it, but a lack of giving a crap.
post #70 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by katheek77 View Post
I'm saying that the biological norm is not to have two babies at the same time. Obviously, we have artificially altered (for the better) the infant mortality rate, but our bodies are still biologically designed to give birth every two years (unless we artificially alter *that* as well). And therein lies the rub.
I thought that (most of the) the research on this pointed to a three or four year difference as being the biological norm because of extended breastfeeding? Just curious because I'd never hear the two-year number, just the three and four year numbers.

To keep this on topic, we will probably only have two at most, maybe, under extreme circumstances, three. That's all we feel we can handle and be the parents we want to be.
post #71 of 219
I am one of 4 children. My parents struggled to give us good educations and things kids want in life but they are totally happy and have a strong relationship. They did work really hard (2 jobs each at times) so that we had a good life.

I think that as long as you can provide for your children (necessities, love, emotionally, educationally), and remain close to your spouse, then have more kids. Big families are not for everyone. I think it takes a lot of patience and understanding.

Best wishes to you in your decision. Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!
post #72 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
As far as those of you who have issues with the thread and say that you are "always" a mommy. Well the others on here have a good point. You can be mommy and also be YOU. You can't lose sight of the woman that you are. You were you long before you had children so you need to keep that or else somewhere along the road you might realize you aren't so happy even though it seemed like you were for so long. Children are a blessing, no doubt about that. But we can't lose ourselves in our quest to be the perfect parent either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twinklefae View Post
I also think that for some people, they felt like a "mom" BEFORE they had children. I have always wanted children, worked with children, gottten attached to children... to me actually having one if fulfilling something that's always been inside me and is now out and growing and making me into the person I've always intended to be.
I've never worked with children, but even in my partying days, I was always the one who noticed people's kids, kept an eye on them, etc. As for who I was before I had kids...I'm honestly not that fond of her in some ways, and I certainly have no desire to get her back. I don't consider it an issue of being mommy and also being me. I am me - I've never been anything else. If I could go back and have anything about my life change (other than Aaron living), I don't think I would...but the regrets I have are all about me before kids. I did a lot of stupid things, and closed a lot of doors on myself. But, me? I'm still here...and I've done more growing since becoming a parent than at any time in my life, with most of it being since ds2 was born.


As to family size - I want four. I've always wanted four. I don't have control over that, though. I just lost the baby that was supposed to be my fourth child. My brother and sister both have four, and neither of them ever wanted that many (one had an "oops" pregnancy after the second baby was twins...and the other had an "oops" pregnancy that was twins, after the second baby). If my fourth ends up being a multiple, then I'll just have to adapt to that as well as I can. Four is the number that's right for me - it's not right for my brother or sister.

For me, the difficulties in being a good mom have little or nothing to do with how many children I have, and a lot to do with my own emotional issues (depression, c-section related PTSD, etc.). Those things are a lot harder to parent through than juggling the children's different needs is.
post #73 of 219
Hm - dh and I are both from families of 5 children and have no issues with it. In fact, we are glad for the siblings that we have, esp. as we get older. At this point in my life I"m firmly entrenched in a segment of society (Orthodox Jewish) where 5 children is considered a small to average family. I'm of the opinion that family dysfunction is generally not a product of the number of children you have, though if there is a tendancy there, it can certainly be a stressor.
post #74 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by momoftworedheads View Post
I am one of 4 children. My parents struggled to give us good educations (snip)
I never understood why it's a parents job to give their children a good education (College)? Whatever happened to working for it yourself? I paid for my own college (still am) and so did all of my friends. I don't really understand why that's a failure on my parents part. They could afford to pay for it, they just choose not to.

If someone wants to pay for their child's education I say more power to ya but I certainly find it unfair that it's viewed as parental failure not to.
post #75 of 219
I agree that it is such an individual thing. What is right for a family w/ one child isn't right for a family of 5 kids and vice versa.

I am concerned, however, about the trendiness of having a lot of kids. It is very "in" right now, and some people who are into that type of thing may be having a lot of kids for the wrong reasons (keeping up w/ the Joneses type thing).
post #76 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?


I asked this before and was truly surprised at the number of people who don't care much about this.
post #77 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I am concerned, however, about the trendiness of having a lot of kids. It is very "in" right now, and some people who are into that type of thing may be having a lot of kids for the wrong reasons (keeping up w/ the Joneses type thing).
Is it? I certainly get no end of comments that it is socially unacceptable.
post #78 of 219
I am the second of 12 kids. Ten biological, and two adopted. My parents didn't have 12 kids on accident, and most of us are spaced at least two years apart. (the adopted ones are both exactly 5 months older than my biological siblings, making currently one set of 12-y/o and one set of 9 y/o) some of us are 3-4 years apart.

I can honestly say that... overall, i'm *incredibly* glad that I had/have so many younger siblings. I always used to say that "I know more about babies and little kids than most mothers of 3 in the U.S" ... just because I had so much experience with the little ones.

I remember once, when my older sister was a teenager (maybe 15) she told me, :"i'm not gonna have more than two!!" ,,,now that she has two (one special needs), she's seriously thinking about having tree or four more, as soon as she has her annulment finalized and can marry her fiancee.

I have alway known that i want a handful of kids-- between 4 and 6. I want a good-sized family, but i also want some time for me and my hubby. My mom and dad always had time for each other, but only because my older sister and I were there to babysit. (Which we liked... it was the only time besides christmas, easter, and our birthday that we got any money.)

One thing I have to say, though, is that my parents absolutely would not have had so many kids if my dad didn't stay home (for going on 21 years now!) to take care of us.
my parents work really hard with all of us, and we did wear a lot of second-hand and hand-me-downs, but i think we were all the better off for it. we spent some years in private school, when they could afford it, and others in public school, when they couldn't... I'm glad for the experience of both, but I would have much preferred homeschooling, so that's what dd will get.

honestly, my dd is right now wearing a bunch of hand-me downs from myself, my younger sisters, and my neice. My hubby and i didn't buy but maybe three outfits for her, and her cloth diapers new... and i would say the most we spent on her was maybe 700 dollars (and not all at once: a car seat, a stroller, a moby-wrap, and a bouncy-seat plus some toys). we certainly aren't very stretched, in that regard, and i'm sure that will continue for our next ones...

i think it all depends on parenting style and how much you feel the need to spend money on your kids. I really think that a lot of people in the modern world tend to (not all) equate parental love with parental money-spending, and assume that if you aren't extremely well off, you shouldn't have more than a few kids. i don't think that follows for all, but i think it's very common, esp around christmas time. for things like travel and such, i don't really know-- dh and i think we want to go places, but not sure just how yet... my family did a lot of road trips, which are fun, and it doesn't take much other than the vehicle you've already got. Especially if you camp.

Anhow, I'm just saying it's very dependent on what kind of person you are and how you parent. I honestly think you'll know, if you listen to your heart, when is the right time to stop having kids.
Also,
I can't help but remember: If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it! so... Honestly, I think it's impossible to really have too many kids... God won't let it happen. That's my philosophy, anyhow.
post #79 of 219
Sorry, doubleposted.
post #80 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I never understood why it's a parents job to give their children a good education (College)? Whatever happened to working for it yourself? I paid for my own college (still am) and so did all of my friends. I don't really understand why that's a failure on my parents part. They could afford to pay for it, they just choose not to.

If someone wants to pay for their child's education I say more power to ya but I certainly find it unfair that it's viewed as parental failure not to.
Well, I agree with you about higher education. However, I live in a city where I would absolutely *not* send my children to the local public schools. My options are homeschooling or private school (and I refuse to do the cheaper parochial schools). So, yes, I will have to somehow come out of pocket to give my children what is, in my opinion, a good education. I can do that better and more comfortably if I had less children. Choosing to have more children would certainly mean 1) I'd have to go back to work full-time to help support the family (we do well on one income but it takes a lot of planning, budgeting, and waiting on things that we need now such as insulation/siding on the house and a fully functional kitchen) or 2) I'd have to suck it up and send the children to public school (if they, for some reason, didn't want to be homeschooled) which would mean moving to a town with better schools which means higher property taxes and which would still mean #1. And, really, I'd love to be in a position where I could send my children to college. I think starting life debt free is a good position to be in since the economy and life are so unpredictable. I do appreciate the fact that a child will appreciate their education more if they have to contribute to it but . . . paying my way through college was not fun and made me want to hurry the whole hellish experience up. It would be great if my children could enjoy it/have what I didn't have. And yeah, it would have been great if my parents could have helped out a little bit more with my college education as it's becoming more and more obvious that a college degree is "needed". But the experience definitely made me stronger.

So, long and short, being able to provide a good education for your children is, to me, a valid reason to consider limiting family size.
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