Originally Posted by SuzyLee
I am not QF, but have a question for you guys if you don't mind... It is kind of 3-fold.
1. What do you all think of the Duggars?
2. When the Duggars made their TV announcement that they are expecting baby #18, the expression on some of the 5-6 YO kids looked so sad- it just made me think that with that many kids, some of the littler ones probably don't want another baby- they want more time with their mommy. Is there ever a time you would think you shouldn't have more kids becuase of its effect on your LO's?
3. Is there anyone in your life who could convince you to stop having kids? I am thinking like a pastor/priest at your QF church- background for this question is that my aunt and uncle are QF, and my uncle has had severe anxiety problems related to supporting his large family, and their priest has told them to stop having kids but they won't (which I find distressing).
TIA if anyone minds answering my questions (I am not judging- just genuinely curious and trying to learn more/understand).
1) I don't know the Duggars personally, so I don't have an opinion about them. I have a very full life, and not a lot of time for speculating about others' families and motives. I wish them well, of course, and from what I have heard about them (assuming it's true) it appears that they have a lot to be thankful for--no debt, etc.
2) I did not see the announcement you are talking about (we don't have TV anymore) but I would gently suggest that it might be presumptuous to try to get inside the mind of a 5 or 6 year old based on a fleeting expression. Or even to assume that a downcast demeanor had anything to do with the announcement. Maybe it was sadness, maybe it wasn't. If it was, maybe it was about the baby, maybe not. I think anyone who has children of that age knows that their communication--esp. non-verbal--is still developing. And without having an opportuntity to talk with them and get to know them, I don't think that anyone has the insight to speculate accurately what they may have thought/felt. Who knows--if the announcement was a surprise, but the kids knew there was an announcement of some sort going to be made, maybe they had it built up in their minds as a trip to Disney World or something, and they were momentarily sad that their expectations weren't met. I know from my own children (my older 2 are 4 and 6) that pregnancy is a somewhat nebulous concept at that age. Until it gets really close and they can see the round tummy and the baby's kicks, it just isn't real to them.
As to the second part of your question, (the effect of babies on the other children) this is so speculative that it is hard to answer. You are starting from the assumption that a new baby could ever be a detriment to the children already in the family. I think you would have to prove this, and I think you would have a hard time proving it.....Sure, large families can be dysfunctional, but so can small families. Or childless couples. It would be difficult--I believe impossible--to show that the problems experienced by a family (or by one member of the family) are caused solely by the size of the family. But yes, if I were convinced as a loving mom that my children would suffer if I had another child, then of course I would weigh that very seriously! It would take a lot to convince me that "not having more children" was the only, or best, answer though.
3)This question requires 2 answers. First, I firmly feel that the issue of children is one that should be left to the parents and their God. Of course they are free to seek trusted counsel from wherever they wish, but ultimately, the decision is theirs, and the responsibility for that decision is theirs. And God is not going to hold a priest, or a pastor, or a loving friend or worried mother accountable for the decisions that this couple makes! They stand before Him on their own, so it is not, IMO, anyone's place to try to convince me to interfere with God's plan for my family. This is not something nonchalant, or something that people naively go into....we know society thinks we're nuts! We know that many of them are just watching and hoping that something will go wrong so they can say "told you so!" We know that when things go wrong (because things always go wrong, to some degree) everyone around us will immediately blame our family size and our convictions, whereas if a small family were dealt a similar blow, it would be "tragic, and such a shame, and nothing they could have done about it, and these things just happen!"
Sorta like how homebirthers know that everyone is waiting for something bad to happen so they can say "That never would have happened in the hospital!" and "Well, I hope now they've finally come to their senses!"
It's quite a tightrope act, LIVING your convictions. That in itself can bring a lot of anxiety....might be something to consider WRT your uncle. And it might be that your uncle is a man who is given to anxiety....maybe he'd be dealing with the same level of stress if he had only 1.6 kids, one dog and 2 cars. Or maybe the obvious lack of support for his convictions--from his priest (and presumably the church, since churches usually follow in the way the pastor leads) no less--is causing a bit of anxiety! Maybe everyone is so eager to treat what they see as the problem--his QF convictions--that they are totally missing the opportunity to be truly helpful, by getting at the heart of his anxiety.
Or maybe his anxiety itself has been projected on him by others, as you projected sadness onto the little Duggar kids. I dunno....I guess only your uncle can answer that question for himself, but it would be a question worth answering.
Second, you stated that your uncles' anxiety is related to being able to support his large family. This may be another case of missing the real issue because of focusing on the wrong part of the picture. If your uncle is concerned about supporting his family, then he needs help to learn how to better support his family! He needs help to learn how to reduce debt/increase income/make good investments, etc. Doing those things would go miles towards being able to confidently support his family, no matter how large it is! If you had a friend who was a bit overweight and she came to you depressed and anxious because she couldn't pay her bills, would you counsel her on how to manage her money more effectively, or would you tell her that if she'd just lose some weight, she wouldn't be so depressed? Do you see the point? If you told her to lose weight, you'd be addressing the wrong problem!
If your uncle went to his priest because he feels anxious about supporting his family, and the priest told him to sell a couple of his kids, would you have thought that was good advice? How many of your deeply-held convictions are you willing to change because someone--even someone who cares about you--tells you that it would be for the best? If you could see that it might be easier, in some ways, to abandon your convictions, would you be willing to do it?
And if not, then why would you try to convince someone else to abandon theirs?