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2 Children Per Family? Why Is This The Norm? - Page 5

post #81 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by DandeCobb View Post
and God Forbid you have the 'holy grail' of families like we do. (at least in my area) had a son, 2 years later had a daughter. people don't ask if we are having more they just assume we MUST be done.
We have two boys and people still assume we're done. *Occasionally* someone will ask if we're going to try for a girl. And then I get to tell them that we're going to try for another boy. (I really would be happy with either sex, but the reactions are funnier this way).
post #82 of 179
intriguing, subbing to read later
post #83 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by prothyraia View Post
And then I get to tell them that we're going to try for another boy. (I really would be happy with either sex, but the reactions are funnier this way).
You're awesome!
post #84 of 179
I certainly hope that most people don't automatically see large family and think poor/welfare. Especially families that don't dress "fashionably"/newest styles or drive used cars, etc.

For my family, we wear mostly second-hand clothes (and I hope to one day say that all of my clothes are second-hand) and buy used because of frugality and to be easier on the earth's resources, not because we can't afford it. We are planning to have a large-ish family (I'm hoping for four), and for the way we live, we can easily afford this. No, we won't be able to clothe everyone in 100% new clothes, or give them everything they want, or sign them up for all the activities they want. But we are used to living this way. But I can see someone with a more "mainstream" POV (we live in storybook suburbia) looking at our family someday and thinking that we had overextended ourselves.
post #85 of 179
This has been a very interesting topic. I know of several families with more than two children. For the last few years, I have thought to myself, I wonder how they do it. Actually, I even remembering remarking to one of the moms about how I don't know how she does it with three children. For quite some time, I have not forgotten making that comment and worrying that she was offended by it. While I had no intent to offend, I was more making a statement about myself...thinking that I could not handle three children. My two have tested everything about me! Now that my children are almost 5 and 2.5, I can finally see where I could handle more children. It's only as I progress along my journey that I can understand how others may be handling their own. More children is not in the cards for us; however, I have always yearned for the dynamics of a larger family.
post #86 of 179
As the oldest of 11 kids, I wanted to put it out there that those comments don't just frustrate the parents....IMO I think they can really hurt the kids, too. I remember hearing quite a few inappropriate remarks as a young child, either ones with sexual innuendo or just plain means ones. Maybe an adult can deal with it rationally, but kids can pick up on implications and emotions and misconstrue them, KWIM?


Anyways, I've really struggled with the topic of family size. My parents encouraged me to go as far as I could go in my studies and my social/peer group assumed I was going to be the next bigshot, single, female doctor. It's taken a few years to slowly assert that I don't care about college, or med school, or a prestigious career (although I don't mind finishing grad school, I think it's important to finish what you start). I actually would like to just SAH and have kids. I like them and I enjoy being in a motherly role. And it's taken awhile to be able to say, hey! Back off, it's not a terrible travesty to enjoy pregnancy and babies and kids.... (although teens might be another story )

SO DH and I think that we will just let things happen and see where it goes. We've decided we won't pick a number. The only thing I would like is to make sure they are a bit spaced out, at least 15 months to 2yrs apart. Will we end up with a dozen kids? Hmmm, I dunno.
post #87 of 179
Quote:
I was wondering why European countries that are having negative population issues don't do more to encourage immigration rather than giving incentives for people to have more kids.
Although it might seem like immigration brings in an immediate workforce they do infact require a large amount of support and resources. Encouraging an established family to have another baby theoretically means that the new baby 'citizen' already has a home, family etc to support it.

I don't mind immigration though, I think the multinational and diverse ethnicities of Europe are why it seems so much more socialistic and open minded than the US.

I like your response Claddaghmom
post #88 of 179
IMO, the media really pushes the image of the Perfect Family being mom, dad, one boy, one girl. A third child is usually an afterthought or a mistake or an attempt to get the "right" gender. That is what I ahve noticed, at least.

Of course, we're supposed to be able to make sure we get "one of each", and something's "odd" if we don't. I got so much unwanted sympathy when my second turned out to be another boy. And when my third was another boy, people assumed we had tried for a girl and that we were "done" since we'd failed.

I think it would be awsome to have a girl next, and then 6 or 8 more boys, just to see the jaws drop.
post #89 of 179
Quote:
Somewhere along the line, having a large family became associated with poverty
Interesting note: this was not a random happening. It was a deliberate association, spread in posters, public talks, etc by the birth control and eugenics movements. I studied the history of birth control last year (personal interest, not for school) and it was fascinating the way this was done. Many of the posters (in several different countries) were split images. A poor family with 4 or 5 children crammed into a dirty room everybody looking miserable. Then a happy family with one toddler and one baby, everybody with a big grin on their face and obviously materially well off. Another lovely one done in India was an advertisement for sterilization camps--a miserable hut set up on a truck bed with a large, poor family (real people) on display. "Avoid this. Get sterilized".
post #90 of 179
My thoughts are simple, I think you should have as many as you wish, as long as you can provide for them. I only have one child right now, and I may or may not have another, it depends on when we're ready to try again, but I certainly know that it will be a choice that me and my husband make, not anyone else.
post #91 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
Interesting note: this was not a random happening. It was a deliberate association, spread in posters, public talks, etc by the birth control and eugenics movements. I studied the history of birth control last year (personal interest, not for school) and it was fascinating the way this was done. Many of the posters (in several different countries) were split images. A poor family with 4 or 5 children crammed into a dirty room everybody looking miserable. Then a happy family with one toddler and one baby, everybody with a big grin on their face and obviously materially well off. Another lovely one done in India was an advertisement for sterilization camps--a miserable hut set up on a truck bed with a large, poor family (real people) on display. "Avoid this. Get sterilized".
This would be fascinating to study! Our local university used to be a women's college and I am sure has lots of great books in the library about this subject. I have found great books about many other issues surrounding motherhood, birth, breastfeeding/formula history etc. Hopeful that I will find time to run by the library to check out lots of interesting books... and then find the time to read them between keeping my climbing obsessed toddler safe from himself!
post #92 of 179
[QUOTE=bczmama;12494621
I know my great grandmama had the very old-fashioned idea that a large family, especially with the children very closely spaced, was evidence of an inconsiderate or uncaring husband. In other words, the man pursued his sexual pleasure while endangering the health and/or life of his wife by frequent childbearing.[/QUOTE]

My grandmother (I guess I am more up there in age LOL) was born in 1909 in rural PA. Her mother (my great grandmother) had 4 children in Poland and 2 died there and 2 died on the way here. She had 7 more live births here plus a stillborn. My grandmother saw her deliver babies, saw their life, saw her father and the way he treated everyone and said- no way! She ran away to the big city (New York) at age 15. She met my grandfather- the urban living Sicilian who was several years older. After he met her family, her mother said no way. They eloped, had fun for 14 years before having my Aunt at age 35 and my Dad at almost 40. That was it.

I think she didnt want to worry about not being able to provide for her family because of how she grew up. Who knows? If she was still alive she would be 100 next year. She was 91 as it was when she died.
post #93 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyantavid View Post
Sometimes, family size is determined by the feelings of the parents, not just the financial aspect.
Oh, I agree with you 100%! Each person should decide what they want for their families without fear of judgement. My one friend has decided that she is not emotionally capable of having another child after giving birth to her 3rd and I support her completely. My best friend decided she was done after 1 and I never once suggested to her that she had to have more, it was up to her since she is the one raising her child and any other children she might have. Then I have other friends who say they would like more children, but they can't because to them it's important that their children must have a private school education. Unfortunately it's the friends who are financially motivated who judge us harshly for choosing a bigger family.
post #94 of 179
I'm writing a paper about coerced sterilization of Black women in the US (states and particularly Puerto Rico), and whoa, if some people only knew! Entire Native tribes have been sterilized with our taxpayer dollars, 1/3 of the island women in puerto rico, pregnant women (such as "illegal" mexican immigrant women" are still being coerced into sterilization being told "get your tubes tied if you want us to deliver your babe" at county hospitals. It's a crazy world out there.

My sis is a doc, and she told me she would insist that young teenage girls get the depo shot after they delivered when she did her ob rotation. Intentions seem good, but oh what an abusive way to go about population control.
post #95 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I appreciate your perspective, and I am happy to see large families. Please, though, don't assume that children from small families have a huge sense of entitlement, or aren't independent, or don't have a purpose in life.
That's not what I meant at all, sorry if it got lost in translation. I meant that people are so consumed by giving, giving and giving to their children (which can obviously happen in any family) that the children never learn to work towards anything for themselves. I myself grew up with only one sister and we never got everything we wanted. It might not have felt fair as a child, but in the long run it does teach you to have goals and reaching those goals does a heck of a lot to build self esteem. It is interesting to me that the suicide numbers among children in wealthy families are much higher than in middle class or poorer families. To me it says a lot about children who might seem to have everything, but not necessarily feeling like there is a purpose in their lives. But that's just my opinion about it. My niece is an only child and my SIL, though not well off, gives her every little thing her heart desires. I can promise you that she is not a very nice child to be around because everything always has to be about her. At the age of 8 she is still completely incapable of thinking of anyone else or sharing with anyone else. To boot she treats my SIL and MIL like her own personal slaves and gets away with it.
post #96 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by chfriend View Post
I'm from a big family. My mom says that the change in the amount of work going from one kid to two is exponential. After that it's just additive. I think with greater than two, you get economies of scale.
Ooh, I love this!
Quote:
That said, for us, two are a gracious plenty.
And this as well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
Two seems natural to us. We can divide and conquer, plus we all fit in a sedan.
After we had three, DH said "now we have to switch from a man-to-man to a zone defense!"

Quote:
Originally Posted by bscal View Post
Anyhow, I've gotten comments from everyone... perfect strangers, checkout lady at the grocery store, even family and friends. My favorite comeback ever was when my dad asked...
My dad (to DH) "Congrats man. But seriously, how did this happen?"
DH "Well, you know, I just can't keep my hands off her!"
My DH is a pastor and we have four. With the last one, church members would say things like "Don't you know what causes that?" It was awkward to say the least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DandeCobb View Post
and God Forbid you have the 'holy grail' of families like we do. (at least in my area) had a son, 2 years later had a daughter. people don't ask if we are having more they just assume we MUST be done.
Yeah, we had a son and then a daughter and got a lot of "Oh, now you have the perfect family" comments. Then I had to go and screw it up by getting all knocked up again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegmamadeb View Post
My thoughts are simple, I think you should have as many as you wish, as long as you can provide for them. I only have one child right now, and I may or may not have another, it depends on when we're ready to try again, but I certainly know that it will be a choice that me and my husband make, not anyone else.
Amen. I think that's lovely.
post #97 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
Interesting note: this was not a random happening. It was a deliberate association, spread in posters, public talks, etc by the birth control and eugenics movements. I studied the history of birth control last year (personal interest, not for school) and it was fascinating the way this was done. Many of the posters (in several different countries) were split images. A poor family with 4 or 5 children crammed into a dirty room everybody looking miserable. Then a happy family with one toddler and one baby, everybody with a big grin on their face and obviously materially well off. Another lovely one done in India was an advertisement for sterilization camps--a miserable hut set up on a truck bed with a large, poor family (real people) on display. "Avoid this. Get sterilized".
That is so interesting! Would you be willing to share some of the links for someone who wants to go and read up about it? Interesting too, is that most women of my mother's generation thought the logical next step was to get a hysterectomy. My own mother got one at 27, two years younger than I am now! :

Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
I think it would be awsome to have a girl next, and then 6 or 8 more boys, just to see the jaws drop.
Funny! My MIL is VERY worried that we'll have more children, not knowing that her son is fully on board with a bigger family. I told my dh that I'm gonna tell the next person who asks us if we're done that we're gonna keep trying for another boy. If we have a boy, I'm going to tell them that we're determined to have quads and we'll keep trying 'till we succeed! LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegmamadeb View Post
My thoughts are simple, I think you should have as many as you wish, as long as you can provide for them.
Yes, yes, yes. It irks me when someone says "Who do you think are going to take care of all these kids you keep having?", when the answer is so obvious. Duh! Who's taking care of them now??
post #98 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
But kids are more expensive now than they were generations ago. They "need" electronics, sports, lessons, activities, designer clothes, loads of toys, etc so more than 2 is too expensive for many families.
We all know they don't really "need" those things...most definitely kids can do without these things and there are loads of activities and things you can do to enrich children that are free and low cost.

Maybe I'm weird though because I grew up in a "wealthy" area and lived "comfortably" yet we always lived thrifty....clipped coupons, went to thrift stores/garage sales, etc....

That must be how a typical american thinks of it though...that is how my brother's family lives. Keepin' up with the Jones....though my DH has multimillionaires in the family that live in 200,000 homes and are frugal.
post #99 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I don't know if there's any addiction or other dysfunction in your family, but those roles are very typical of that kind of situation. You sound like you could have come out of al-anon. We had some of that in my family as well, but I don't know if it's about a larger family or if it's about dysfunction, which can happen in any size family. Though I don't know how a family dealing with addiction would deal out roles if there were only one child.
There were no addiction problems in my family. These problems mainly manifested after my father died, leaving my mother with 4 kids 12 and under. She was a very different parent when my father was alive.

I think she just found it very difficult to parent on her own, and took out her frustrations on the kids to some extent.

I have two kids, and each of my siblings have two kids. We all are mindful that sudden tragedy can strike, and have plans, insurance, etc in place to ensure that we or our spouses would be able to cope as a single parent.
post #100 of 179
We have a girl and a boy and are very happy, but know that at least two more little people are missing from our family. Dh and I can both feel the emptiness and anticipation. Our family is not complete yet.

Of course I understand that most families are complete at one or two and I see nothing odd about that. Just that, for us, we know there are more people waiting to be born to us. That sounds a bit odd but there ya go. We know that we would have a lot of disappointment and regret if we didn't have more dc.

My parents and MIL are putting a lot of pressure on us to be done. I'm in my late twenties and I see no reason to be done. None whatsoever. We love and care for our children; we make sure they have what they need and most importantly we're warm and open to them. I know there will be a lot of criticism if/when that 3rd pregnancy occurs. I'm considering not announcing it at all.
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