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post #81 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by saimeiyu View Post
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.
Great post!
post #82 of 219
My husband is the youngest of 12. I think that there can be a lot of problems with having large families. For one thing, his older sisters seem to think that they are his mothers. I have had many go-rounds with them over this. Also, there is this unrealistic expectation of having "all 12" together for every damn thing. They take photos of the sibs and parents, which is fine, but never any photos with the spouses. I am the oldest of 3. I don't know, but maybe I just don't "get" being so enmeshed in the lives of your family members.

My MIL told all of her kids not to have such large families. So, if it is coming from her, then I guess she would know.
post #83 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by karina5 View Post
I asked this before and was truly surprised at the number of people who don't care much about this.
Me too. I thought this was a natural living forum, environmentally responsible living. I just fail to see what is so environmentally responsible about having large families. Sorry, at the end of the day 8 kids are more than 1. 8 kids require more resources than 1. You need a bigger car(s) to drag them around. You need a bigger house to keep them. You need more clothes because even hand me downs don't last forever. You need more food. You need more electricity. You need more water. You create more trash.

You can recycle all you want and conserve all you want, but it doesn't negate the impact made by having so many kids period, particularly when they are adults. You cannot compare it to having just one because it is not comparable. A family of three could in theory waste just as much though not many do. However, it would be easy enough for them just to downsize and make a more reasonable impact and then use far less resources than a family of 10 people have to. It is just math.
post #84 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.
There is a range of opinion on this. I've heard among wealthier families that it's not right to have more kids than you can afford to send to college. I believe that goes along with a preserving the family fortune and status line of thinking.

I think that it's nice if you can do it but not a necessity. It is a nice thing to be able to help kids start out without a mass of school debt if possibe.

However, I do feel parents have a responsibility take interest in their children's educations as they are the primary educators for the childhood and teen years, regardless of what type of schooling is chosen.
post #85 of 219
I've been thinking about this issue recently myself. We returned from our triplets 3 year old ped appointment. I was reading the hand out the ped gives for the 3 year old appointment stressing how important 1-1 time is with the child at this age. The hand out said a parent should strive for 1-1 time (no other sibs, no other parent, etc.) with your 3 year old for at least a half an hour 4 to 5x a week. That made me so . There is just no way I could do that with all 4 kids. And it is something that bothers me . . . . . . I felt like I did not get enough time at all with my parents and I was the oldest of 4 . .. .

Good discussion . . . thanks for posting. . .
post #86 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by saimeiyu View Post
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.
Well I'm glad that works for you but some of us believe that God gives us insight into our personalities and limits, and rational thinking and free will, rather than just handing off particular numbers of children. Whether or not we want large or small families.

There are definitely families out there who have too many kids and don't handle it well. If God "wouldn't let that happen" then we wouldn't need CPS and there wouldn't be abused needy kids in our society... not to mention countries where people have children and truly cannot feed them and they die. Do you really think that God is making the decision to give those people children so that they can starve?

It is not, in my opinion, turning your back on God to do what you do well and be grateful for the children you have rather than to seek more.
post #87 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.
My mother didn't pay for my sister's or my college educations and we paid our own way and neither of us have student loans. It took a lot of juggling and working various part time jobs but we survived just fine.

However, I think student loans and debt are very pervasive in the United States. A lot of college-aged students don't even contemplate not taking out loans and then they end up having enormous debts for years after they graduate. I have many, many friends who are suffering from crushing debt, much of it accumulated during their college years. I'm not saying this is their parents fault but there seems to be a huge disconnect and a lot of parents not teaching their children proper financial stewardship. I'm *NOT* suggesting that all student loans are bad and that every single person who attends college can pay as they go along by working, I know there are various circumstances. But I would not want my own children starting out their adult lives with an enormous amount of debt already accumulated when I could help them either financially or by teaching them financial responsibility.

My husband's parents paid entirely for his college, bought him a brand new car after he graduated from high school and let him have a very high limit credit card to use freely while he was in school that they paid the monthly balance on. I don't think his parents did him any favors either and he was pretty shocked when he got his first job making a fairly low salary that the money didn't stretch very far.

There has got to be a balance between the two and I hope we are able to achieve that for our kids.

Quote:
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 this is the very attitude that I found insulting earlier in the thread. I don't see how anyone can legitimately argue that taking finances into account is inappropriate. I will be a happier and more stable parent if I am not constantly worried about how I am going to feed, clothe and shelter my children. I am not a religious person so I don't buy into the "God will provide" mindset. *I* need to provide for my children and that doesn't mean I will provide excessively. It just means that I am realistic about what we can and cannot afford. I grew up very, very poor and I don't want my own children to feel that constant strain like I did as a kid. It is hard watching your parents continually stress about making ends meet and it takes a lot of the parents time and energy. Just because I don't want to stretch my family's resources to the maximum limit doesn't mean that I buy my DD an excessive amount of toys, all new clothing, etc. This all goes back to what I wrote about in response to the last quote about modeling and educating children in financial responsibility. For our family, that means not having debt and having enough in savings to get us through rough financial periods. If other families have different financial plans and comfort levels, jolly for them. But I dislike the idea presented by various posters in this thread that if you are a family that is choosing to limit how many children you have then that is tied into wanting to provide an excessively material lifestyle for your children. Ultimately, this isn't the determining factor for us, though I think it is a very reasonable and responsible aspect to consider. As I wrote earlier, I could be a multi-millionaire and I would still only have 2 children. That is just what works best for my husband and me.
post #88 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnenwende View Post
Me too. I thought this was a natural living forum, environmentally responsible living. I just fail to see what is so environmentally responsible about having large families. Sorry, at the end of the day 8 kids are more than 1. 8 kids require more resources than 1. You need a bigger car(s) to drag them around. You need a bigger house to keep them. You need more clothes because even hand me downs don't last forever. You need more food. You need more electricity. You need more water. You create more trash.

You can recycle all you want and conserve all you want, but it doesn't negate the impact made by having so many kids period, particularly when they are adults. You cannot compare it to having just one because it is not comparable. A family of three could in theory waste just as much though not many do. However, it would be easy enough for them just to downsize and make a more reasonable impact and then use far less resources than a family of 10 people have to. It is just math.
Absolutely. And you can have a small family and teach your children to be environmentally aware.

If you have a large family, each one of those children will ultimately be driving cars and maintaining their own households. It is highly, highly unlikely that say 8 households are going to be less damaging to the environment than one or two households.

As for the idea that one needs to breed a huge number of children because one of them might be the next Einstein, that's nonsense. They could all turn out to be the next Ted Bundy. There are no guarantees.
post #89 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post
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.
That's the case with MY body, at least. I realize I started later in life, which may have some impact -- but even if I'd married much younger, I think child-led breastfeeding would have created a spacing of at least 3-4 years.

It's funny, because I realize most people would look at the 5-year spacing between our 2 girls, and assume we did something unnatural to alter things. But really, it's a totally natural spacing, for us at least.
post #90 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripMom View Post
I've been thinking about this issue recently myself. We returned from our triplets 3 year old ped appointment. I was reading the hand out the ped gives for the 3 year old appointment stressing how important 1-1 time is with the child at this age. The hand out said a parent should strive for 1-1 time (no other sibs, no other parent, etc.) with your 3 year old for at least a half an hour 4 to 5x a week. That made me so . There is just no way I could do that with all 4 kids. And it is something that bothers me . . . . . . I felt like I did not get enough time at all with my parents and I was the oldest of 4 . .. .

Good discussion . . . thanks for posting. . .
The one-to-one time is kind of a modern American thing. Not that it makes it bad, but 1-1 time once a week is something you can strive for that will make them feel special enough. Make "dates" with your children. The rest of the time 1-4 time is enough. And remember, the children are each other's playmates too.
And I think of all your children, the one who may feel left out more often may be the oldest, because the triplets will create a lot of attention just by being triplets.

All you really need to do is include them in your world - teach them when they are old enough to help bake, wash dishes, fold clothes - you can make games out of chores so they they think they are having fun doing the mundane but necessary tasks.

It will be okay.
post #91 of 219
And about it being "the trend" now to have large families -- maybe it is among some cultural/religious groups.

But I've also heard there was a trend, back in the 60's when I was born, to stop with only 2. Parents were supposed to reproduce themselves -- ideally with 1 girl and 1 boy -- and then stop.

This was so pervasive that I guess people even made shocked comments if they found out someone was expecting a 3rd. Especially if that couple already had "one of each" (it was seen as somewhat understandable if couples with 2 girls or 2 boys wanted to "try" for a baby of the opposite sex).

So I guess some people are always going to be influenced by trends. Though I'm inclined to think it's more that the current popular trend of thought, influences and shapes our own line-of-thought as we consider various issues. Not that we just say, "Big (or small) families are TRENDY, and I have to be "in style" -- so I've got to have at least X number of kids (or I can't have any more than Y number)."

There also seems to be a trend where some people think you don't care about the environment, unless you make the same choices they do.
post #92 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB20005 View Post

However, I think student loans and debt are very pervasive in the United States. A lot of college-aged students don't even contemplate not taking out loans and then they end up having enormous debts for years after they graduate. I have many, many friends who are suffering from crushing debt, much of it accumulated during their college years.

****


And this is the very attitude that I found insulting earlier in the thread. I don't see how anyone can legitimately argue that taking finances into account is inappropriate. I will be a happier and more stable parent if I am not constantly worried about how I am going to feed, clothe and shelter my children.
And there is a mindset out there that makes the assumption that if I get a degree, I will be able to get the job that will pay for that degree. Oftentimes, that doesn't materialize. I know of a few college graduates still struggling to find the job they felt they deserve since they put in the time, and took out the loans to get through college. It's a crushing reality. A degree is not a guarantee of getting the fabulous pay that it used to be.

I also have two friends who never went to college, but worked their way up (one worked for same bank for many years, the other worked in different companies but quickly went up in salary over the 12 years he was working). One was making $60,000/year before she quit to be home with her son, and the other is making $80,000 and neither stepped one foot on a college campus. It doesn't seem fair, but it is reality.

I paid for my college myself, but I went to a community college first, then went to a satellite branch of a big name school so I could stay at home and not pay room and board. I was from a family of 5 kids. The only ones that got their college paid for was my brother who was 10 years younger than me (and the 3 older of us had moved out by then), and 1 year of my youngest sisters college (but she subsequently got kicked out of because she partied a little too much).

And even though I am religious, I do think about the financial aspect of raising kids - which is why dh and I stopped at 3 (well would have stopped at 2, but that whole surprise conception thing...). This is also more important since I made the decision to quit my $45,000 a year job. God does call us to be good stewards of our money too, and not just squander it needlessly without thinking of the consequences, and I feel that also means with regards to having children too. God does provide us with fertile times and non-fertile times, so that we can have some input as to the timing and the amount of children we do have through the use of these natural and God-given rhythms - it's not completely out of our hands. God gave us free thought and brains so that we can use our judgement too.
post #93 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.
Not really. That's one of the many advantages to the US of immigration.
post #94 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmcmommyto3 View Post
I also have two friends who never went to college, but worked their way up. One was making $60,000/year before she quit to be home with her son, and the other is making $80,000 and neither stepped one foot on a college campus. It doesn't seem fair, but it is reality.
Why doesn't it seem fair? I did the same thing with the same results. I can assure you that I worked way harder than any college student to be where I am today. Yes, I make more money than many of my friends with MA degrees. Actually, most of my co-workers have advanced degrees. But we are doing the same work, and getting the same pay. That seems very fair indeed to me - same work, same pay, not how much money you borrowed or your parents paid out for your education.
post #95 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.
are you kidding me? are you honestly using that as an argument for having more kids- to take care of boomers who have lived the high-life and now we need endless care facilities because *their* kids are working thier a**es off just trying to make it?

i'm all for families taking care of their elders and for changing how our society cares for and considers elders. But this is imo- is a pretty weak argument for having more children.
post #96 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonnenwende View Post
Me too. I thought this was a natural living forum, environmentally responsible living. I just fail to see what is so environmentally responsible about having large families. Sorry, at the end of the day 8 kids are more than 1. 8 kids require more resources than 1. You need a bigger car(s) to drag them around. You need a bigger house to keep them. You need more clothes because even hand me downs don't last forever. You need more food. You need more electricity. You need more water. You create more trash.

You can recycle all you want and conserve all you want, but it doesn't negate the impact made by having so many kids period, particularly when they are adults. You cannot compare it to having just one because it is not comparable. A family of three could in theory waste just as much though not many do. However, it would be easy enough for them just to downsize and make a more reasonable impact and then use far less resources than a family of 10 people have to. It is just math.
Thank you!!

Not to mention that fact that our system is broken. and until our society *as a whole* changes- like our government actually taking the lead on reducing our part in global warming, and not waging wars on other nations to feed our oil addiction- all of our recycling and wearing of hand-me-downs is chump change.
post #97 of 219
I personally don't believe that it's my duty to have less kids to reduce our carbon footprint. All of you who are saying that... I don't really get how you can get up on your high horse about "only" having one or two kids. If you're that concerned about it you should have 0 kids. Otherwise I see it as very hypocritical.

Nobody knows how much each individual family does to preserve the earth. Just looking at family size is very unfair and unscientific at that.
post #98 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovingmommyhood View Post
I personally don't believe that it's my duty to have less kids to reduce our carbon footprint. All of you who are saying that... I don't really get how you can get up on your high horse about "only" having one or two kids. If you're that concerned about it you should have 0 kids. Otherwise I see it as very hypocritical.

Nobody knows how much each individual family does to preserve the earth. Just looking at family size is very unfair and unscientific at that.
I agree.
post #99 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBecks View Post
There is a range of opinion on this. I've heard among wealthier families that it's not right to have more kids than you can afford to send to college. I believe that goes along with a preserving the family fortune and status line of thinking.
Or maybe many wealthier families deeply value education and don't feel it is responsible to have children if they can't give them a top-notch education through college?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JEB20005 View Post
And this is the very attitude that I found insulting earlier in the thread. I don't see how anyone can legitimately argue that taking finances into account is inappropriate. I will be a happier and more stable parent if I am not constantly worried about how I am going to feed, clothe and shelter my children. I am not a religious person so I don't buy into the "God will provide" mindset. *I* need to provide for my children and that doesn't mean I will provide excessively. It just means that I am realistic about what we can and cannot afford. I grew up very, very poor and I don't want my own children to feel that constant strain like I did as a kid. It is hard watching your parents continually stress about making ends meet and it takes a lot of the parents time and energy. Just because I don't want to stretch my family's resources to the maximum limit doesn't mean that I buy my DD an excessive amount of toys, all new clothing, etc. This all goes back to what I wrote about in response to the last quote about modeling and educating children in financial responsibility. For our family, that means not having debt and having enough in savings to get us through rough financial periods. If other families have different financial plans and comfort levels, jolly for them. But I dislike the idea presented by various posters in this thread that if you are a family that is choosing to limit how many children you have then that is tied into wanting to provide an excessively material lifestyle for your children. Ultimately, this isn't the determining factor for us, though I think it is a very reasonable and responsible aspect to consider. As I wrote earlier, I could be a multi-millionaire and I would still only have 2 children. That is just what works best for my husband and me.
: ITA.
post #100 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmainer View Post
Not to mention that fact that our system is broken. and until our society *as a whole* changes- like our government actually taking the lead on reducing our part in global warming, and not waging wars on other nations to feed our oil addiction- all of our recycling and wearing of hand-me-downs is chump change.
Well, then, the down-sizing of families for environmental reasons is also "chump-change," IMO.
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