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#121 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 08:47 PM
 
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They were generalization words. And I do not think that bad checks are generally a felony, unless maybe you wrote out stolen checks. What I meant is...things like murderers and rapists and drunk drivers.  Heck, as long as we are on that..we could expand it even more...but the whole point is..it is not about quantity, it is about quality. Why should a good family not have more children while some guy who knocks off grocery stores or kills children in drunk driver incidents, or has had their children taken away by CPS (understanding that not 100% of the cases are truly founded, but I am talking the founded cases) still have children? Or women. It is not just men that are failing as parents, it is the women too. Or the person who has 3 children by 3 different men by the time they turn 18 and not graduate high school? Why would they be "entitled" to the same number of children as the family who cares for their children, raise their children, love their children, provide for them, etc? Because it is not about quantity....it is about quality. There are too many people having children that don't have much interest in raising them properly. Those are the ones who should not be having more. Any man who brags to the news about 17 kids by 13 women should have been castrated before he moved on to the 3rd woman. And that 3rd woman, who chose to have a baby with him, it never should have happened. She too should have no more, as well as the 4th and 5th..but if he had been castrated..those women would not have gotten pregnant by him.

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#122 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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Because the abusive parents, and the ones who pride themselves in how many babies they can make with X number of women, are not going to get better through a little education. But the whole point of the beginning of all this is someone talking about people being entitled to a certain number, everyone equally entitled to the same number of children, as if they are property. My point is, children are not property. And if someone wants to start talking population control, they need to start with the people who are failing as parents. No one is "entitled" to X number of children. 

 

Oh, and I was born of legal immigrants and native American. No one broke the law for me to get here.
 

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So....no one convicted of a felony is worthy of being a parent? That's a very broad statement. Writing a bad check is a felony....based on what you are saying, a person who writes a bad check (for whatever reason) and is convicted of it is therefore incapable of parenting a child? Do you think that all convicted felons are terrible people who can't change their lives and become upstanding productive citizens? I'm sorry, but that really burns me. I my mind that is just as bad as saying that all gay people have aids, or all single mothers are whores. What a MAJOR stereotype.

 

And....I know this is not an illegal immigration debate, but people do not hide in trucks for days, wade through rivers, get lost in deserts with their children and pay thousands of dollars to shady traffickers just to come to the US and collect a $400/month welfare check. They just.....don't. Believe me or not, I don't care, but I don't know very many illegal immigrants (and I have known plenty) who don't work. If they aren't working, the fathers are working 60 and 70 hrs a week doing hard hard labor, and the moms are at home taking care of their children, which considering we are on MDC, I assume we all agree is a worthy occupation of one's time.

 

You come across with an "us" vs. "them" mentality. That "whole other world" of neglectful, abusive, horrible parents. Of course there are parents who don't do right, but I truly believe that *most* parents do their be? st with what they have available, what they know, and based on their own experiences in life. I don't think the solution is to neuter peple who make mistakes. How about educating them? Offering them tools to better themselves as potential parents?

 

Also, the "natural" increase in the US has been negative since the days of Jamestown. ALL of us are born of immigrants. Some are just more recent than others.



 

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#123 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 08:54 PM
 
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Its cruel. :(

My husband has heard much worse than I. Mates at his work say things like "Don't you know you and your children are wasting the earth's resources?" I guess its easy for people to assume all people are wasteful like they are but we are very simply people and do not waste a thing!

I am pregnant with my 5th, this was our original plan - to have 5 children. My Mum and MIL both made very upfront comments about stopping at 2 and it is upsetting but I think they have learned we are stubborn and will do what we want.

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#124 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 08:55 PM
 
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If you re read my post...I never said all small families or all large families. In fact, I said words like large families tend to. The statement tend to...does not mean "all do" it means tend to. I said a lot of smaller families and a lot of larger families..not all larger families or all smaller families. That was just you reading in to my post to say something it did not say.
 

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I'm all for the idea of making your family what you want it to be, including size, but can we lose the generalities about about small families, please?  We can celebrate large families without the general bashing of small families.  One kid families are very common in my area due to simple logistics:  lack of space, HCOL, the older parent demographic and the logistics of getting around (a lot of us do without cars).  Brash generalizations in either direction really grate me.  Sorry.  Let's judge consumerism for what it is.
 

 



 

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#125 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 10:10 PM
 
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Wow.

 

Thats probably one of the most offensive and ignorant things I have ever read on this site.

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#126 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 10:12 PM
 
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Undocumented aliens cannot collect welfare. I can't imagine why you think they can.

 

I'm gonna try hard not to address your thoughts on eugenics, since I doubt anything I would say is permitted to be said here,, and I hate pulling a Godwin, even when it's called for.

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#127 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 10:43 PM
 
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Wow this topic got touchy. I mean it started out touchy but it took a big turn. As someone who is originally from Canada and is in the process of going through the immigration process it seems rather unfair the way so many people look at it. I was told many times by the various people we spoke with that I was lucky because I'm white, female and from Canada, and that would make everything simpler for me.

 

As to the questions on kids. I'm thankful that my husband and I haven't had to hear too many yet. But now that we've been married for a year, I'm starting to hear it. Mostly from my mom who asks when I'm going to make her a grandma. I know she's joking but it rubs the wrong way because she knows we are waiting and she knows the reasons why. Other then that I get the occasional "do you have kids" but everyone just accepts that we are waiting a couple more years to 'settle in'.


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#128 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 10:47 PM
 
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What if there was a law against allowing extremely judgmental people to procreate? That should lighten the load a bit.







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#129 of 234 Old 03-31-2011, 11:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post
Or the person who has 3 children by 3 different men by the time they turn 18 and not graduate high school? Why would they be "entitled" to the same number of children as the family who cares for their children, raise their children, love their children, provide for them, etc? 

Basically what you are saying is a teen mom is automatically a bad mom and a mom who has children by different fathers is the same. You even go as far as to say they aren't deserving of children. Oh and the whole graduating from high school thing because apparently having a high school diploma helps one to be a good parent. Wowza. This makes me wonder who is deserving of children then. What are the qualifications? 

 

 

 

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Any man who brags to the news about 17 kids by 13 women should have been castrated before he moved on to the 3rd woman. And that 3rd woman, who chose to have a baby with him, it never should have happened. She too should have no more, as well as the 4th and 5th..but if he had been castrated..those women would not have gotten pregnant by him.

But what you are describing here doesn't in and of itself make a bad parent. You may not like the way this hypothetical man went about it or that the women in this scenario agreed to it in whatever way they did but that doesn't mean that these people don't go home to their kids and are loving and present. 

 

 

 

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And if someone wants to start talking population control, they need to start with the people who are failing as parents.

And who is to say what makes a "failing" parent? Child abusers, sure. Neglect, okay that makes sense. Not vaccinating? Well there are plenty out there who view that as neglect. Spanking? There are plenty who view that as abuse. Who is to decide who is worthy of children and who isn't? And let's remember that when we talk "population control" it's not the parents who pay but the children. What you're saying isn't let's punish the parents because that wouldn't control the population what you are suggesting, whether you mean to or not and I definitely don't think you mean to, is that we should do away with their children. I can't imagine looking at the child of an abusive parent and thinking "there's a kid this world doesn't need." 


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#130 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 01:17 AM
 
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But this, below, is NOT what she said... She did not say a teen mom is a bad mom, a mom without a high school diploma is a bad mom, etc. She said if a person can be described by stating ALL those things... So, if someone is a teen mom AND does not have a high school diploma AND has 3 kids, all having different dads. A person who can be described by all three can be a good mom. Statistically, though, I don't think the chances are too great. No one can say that she is a bad person. I would dare guess, though, that a teen finding herself in those circumstance has been through a lot even before any of that, and needs lots of helps, mental, physical, financial. 
 

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Originally Posted by holyhelianthus

Basically what you are saying is a teen mom is automatically a bad mom and a mom who has children by different fathers is the same. You even go as far as to say they aren't deserving of children. Oh and the whole graduating from high school thing because apparently having a high school diploma helps one to be a good parent. Wowza. This makes me wonder who is deserving of children then. What are the qualifications?


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#131 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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So, Lisa1970, you do realize that you and your "crunchy" friends would be among the first to be sterilized/castrated/neutered, correct? Since non-vax is considered medical neglect, and unschooling is educational neglect. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
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#132 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 06:53 AM
 
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I got in a fight when I was 18, so I'm a convicted felon.  I guess I should give my kids away quickly!  I've poured my heart and soul into raising them in a loving home and met all their needs, but I guess that rap sheet proves I must be unworthy. 


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#133 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 07:03 AM
 
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Attempting to get this thread back on track... My recommended response to questions or comments of this sort is as follows:

I feel no compulsion to judge your family plans nor justify my own.

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#134 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post

What if there was a law against allowing extremely judgmental people to procreate? That should lighten the load a bit.







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Stifling a giggle here because the kids are all still asleep!  I'm sure that would definitely cull the breeding herd immensely!

 

I have a large family.  Eight children, 5 girls, 3 boys.  FYI Lisa- they all have the same dad, neither of us of had a felony conviction and we meet all your other criteria for breeding.  *Whew*  So glad we are free of your judgement here!

 

As to the op, we've had many, many comments made to us over the years.  Sometimes I just give a WTF look, sometimes I come back with a witty retort but mostly I just say "I'm so glad I was raised to know the difference between polite conversation and rude.  I'm sorry your parents didn't give you that valuable lesson."  

 

 

 


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#135 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 07:15 AM
 
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Attempting to get this thread back on track... My recommended response to questions or comments of this sort is as follows:

I feel no compulsion to judge your family plans nor justify my own.

People are relentless though. Or maybe it's just my grandma. lol.gif Sometimes you need a smart ass answer to shut things down. redface.gif

And I find the idea of picking and choosing who can reproduce morally repugnant.

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#136 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 07:37 AM
 
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And I find the idea of picking and choosing who can reproduce morally repugnant.


 

me too!!! 

 

I also find the idea of making judgments about people based on the number of children they have repugnant. To me it's the same thing if someone is judging because another person has too many kids, or if they turn it around and judge that some one has too few kids.

 

Some of the things said on this thread about my family values based on the fact that we made a decision to stop at 2 kids are really, deeply offensive. I had the number of kids that felt right to me. It doesn't say anything about me as a person, a mother, or an environmentalist that it was a different number than some else.

 

And far as not letting *bad* people have kids (however you define it) I wouldn't be here. My father is a *bad* person by pretty much any definition. I'm glad I'm here, though.

 

 


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#137 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 07:40 AM
 
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Regarding the original question... there really is no appropriate reply to such an inappropriate comment.  When people make overly personal remarks to me I take a page from Miss Manners and simply stare at them, very calmly, without speaking.  Usually they replay what they just said in the minds and get very flustered. 

 

Basically there is nothing you can say that will change their thoughts on the matter.  All you can hope to do is show them that they really ought to keep thoughts like that to themselves. 

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#138 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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I found it helpful to train my oldest DD to make the smartass answer. So that every time we were out in public, and somebody made the "wow, you sure have your hands full" comment, or ask me if they were all mine in that not-nice way, DD would turn to me and say, loudly, "why do people always say that, mama? It's a dumb thing to say." From the mouth of a two year old, it's not snark. It's unvarnished truth.

And yeah, we've only got three kids. But somehow seeing a mama with three kids under three turned people's dumb-comment machines on full blast. And twins seem to exaggerate that effect. Luckily, once they can run around, people seem to notice less that they're all so close in age. So it's eased up a lot. I don't mind friendly comments, but some people are just plain rude.

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#139 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 07:48 AM
 
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I found it helpful to train my oldest DD to make the smartass answer. So that every time we were out in public, and somebody made the "wow, you sure have your hands full" comment, or ask me if they were all mine in that not-nice way, DD would turn to me and say, loudly, "why do people always say that, mama? It's a dumb thing to say." From the mouth of a two year old, it's not snark. It's unvarnished truth.

And yeah, we've only got three kids. But somehow seeing a mama with three kids under three turned people's dumb-comment machines on full blast. And twins seem to exaggerate that effect. Luckily, once they can run around, people seem to notice less that they're all so close in age. So it's eased up a lot. I don't mind friendly comments, but some people are just plain rude.

Twin mamas get questions about whether their twins were conceived naturally or not. DD knows how to say, "actually, we we got them through the mail." joy.gif

ROTFLMAO.gif I love the way you think.

And the twin questions-- ugh. I have a whole lot of smartypants answers for those.
"Are they natural?" "Well, they're not robots."
"Are they identical?" "Yes, her penis looks just like his."

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#140 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

I found it helpful to train my oldest DD to make the smartass answer. So that every time we were out in public, and somebody made the "wow, you sure have your hands full" comment, or ask me if they were all mine in that not-nice way, DD would turn to me and say, loudly, "why do people always say that, mama? It's a dumb thing to say." From the mouth of a two year old, it's not snark. It's unvarnished truth.

And yeah, we've only got three kids. But somehow seeing a mama with three kids under three turned people's dumb-comment machines on full blast. And twins seem to exaggerate that effect. Luckily, once they can run around, people seem to notice less that they're all so close in age. So it's eased up a lot. I don't mind friendly comments, but some people are just plain rude.

Twin mamas get questions about whether their twins were conceived naturally or not. DD knows how to say, "actually, we we got them through the mail." joy.gif

ROTFLMAO.gif I love the way you think.

And the twin questions-- ugh. I have a whole lot of smartypants answers for those.
"Are they natural?" "Well, they're not robots."
"Are they identical?" "Yes, her penis looks just like his."

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#141 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 09:29 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mosaic View Post

Attempting to get this thread back on track... My recommended response to questions or comments of this sort is as follows:

I feel no compulsion to judge your family plans nor justify my own.


Ohhh, I like that one! Tucking it away for use. 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post
 Twin mamas get questions about whether their twins were conceived naturally or not. DD knows how to say, "actually, we we got them through the mail." joy.gif


*snort* Your DD is pretty awesome. 

 



Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

I found it helpful to train my oldest DD to make the smartass answer. So that every time we were out in public, and somebody made the "wow, you sure have your hands full" comment, or ask me if they were all mine in that not-nice way, DD would turn to me and say, loudly, "why do people always say that, mama? It's a dumb thing to say." From the mouth of a two year old, it's not snark. It's unvarnished truth.

And yeah, we've only got three kids. But somehow seeing a mama with three kids under three turned people's dumb-comment machines on full blast. And twins seem to exaggerate that effect. Luckily, once they can run around, people seem to notice less that they're all so close in age. So it's eased up a lot. I don't mind friendly comments, but some people are just plain rude.

Twin mamas get questions about whether their twins were conceived naturally or not. DD knows how to say, "actually, we we got them through the mail." joy.gif



ROTFLMAO.gif I love the way you think.

And the twin questions-- ugh. I have a whole lot of smartypants answers for those.
"Are they natural?" "Well, they're not robots."
"Are they identical?" "Yes, her penis looks just like his."


biglaugh.gif

 

We get "are they really twins?" and then suspicious looks because one is very fair skinned with blond hair and blue eyes and the other is darker in complexion. And a lot of the time they don't believe us like we're going to lie about it. But I always love the whole "are they identical?". Urm, do they look identical? I really don't think people know what identical means. 

 


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#142 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 09:36 AM
 
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Several families at my church are larger than normal.  One of them told me that she often asks the rude stranger "Which one should I give away?" and that usually shuts them up.

 

On a side note, the larger families I know are some of the best stewards of the earth I know.  I could make a lot of generalized statements as to why I think that is, but I would offend someone, somewhere. 


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#143 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 10:51 AM
 
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I could make a lot of generalized statements as to why I think that is, but I would offend someone, somewhere. 



Hahaha! Don't you know it, lol! ;)

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#144 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 11:41 AM
 
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I am very careful how I respond.  i'm pregnant with number 8 and i find a lot of the comments tiresome and annoying, but I don't think they are being said in a spirit of meanness.  I think people don't actually know how to react and they obviously notice us  :)  

 

there are a couple of categories of questions and my answer depends on where I think the question falls within those:

 

1.  The "pack"... you know those 2 BFF or 3 or however many corner you in the store.  And actually they are asking you questions and kind of egging each other on.  Often this turns to meanness quickly if it didn't start out that way.  

My answers are basically just: "Yes, we are very blessed.  They are great kids.   I enjoy them very much.  Yes, we're very busy, but we love it." etc etc. etc.  Everything is very neutral and given with a big smile, but I'm not giving them any "fodder".

In this category are also those people who are just plain mean:  The ones who attack you about your affect on the environment etc. without knowing anything about your family, etc.  

I usually just smile, say something nice and move on. 

 

2.  The Family/Friends who think they have a right to say something.  Usually they actually comment out of concern for you.

"Thank you for your concern.   We are comfortable with our decisions.  How was your holiday?"

I acknowledge their concern.  Tell them it is fine and then pass the bean dip.  Wash, rinse, repeat :)

 

3.  Men (and sometimes women) who make totally inappropriate comments.

"Yup, we know what causes it, and we like it!'

Or something along those lines.   Big smiles and move on.

 

4.  That single stranger who says something and it is kind of a "if I had a $1 for everytime someone said something like that I could send all my kids to college tomorrow" moment: 

"Yes, we are very blessed!"

How do you cope?  I can't even cope with the 2 I have

"Lots of times on my knees (if you're a Christian) and it does get easier!"

Well, my gran told me that it gets easier because the older ones basically raise the younger ones.

"Well, I appreciate the help of my older children, but I guard against turning them into mini-parents or giving them too much responsibility"

how can you possibly afford them?

"Wow!  I'm not used to people asking about something as private as our finances, but we budget carefully"  (the rebuke for interfering in our business is there, but not rude)

You should have a TV programme like the Duggars

"Oh no!   Please not!  We're way too normal"  Big laugh

 

I really try not to be mean or sarcastic.  When I had 2 children, I met this family with 12 kids.  Their eldest daughter had 5 kids.  I remember going to them and saying:

"Wow, you have 12 and 5 kids!"  I was flabbergasted.  They were so sweet and did the while: "Yes, we're so blessed"  thing.  

Years later as I look back on that moment and I'm grateful for their kindness towards me and my total ignorance.

 

I must admit that the comments/attitude of people bothered me way more when I had 4 or 5 kids than it does now.

 

As for the poster who thinks that we needs a procreation police that makes sure all prospective parents fit the criteria:  Um, nope, I don't think so. :) :) :)   It is kind of preposterous to me that someone would fail to see the danger in allowing something like this that would endanger the freedom of all!  I'm also not huge on building a "super race", it smacks too much of some people in history.

 

 

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#145 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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A similar thing happened to us yesterday at the mall (although, to be honest I don't teach my kids to purposefully say mean spirited things) where an elderly lady commented on the fact I was expecting my 7th and she said, "Wow your hands are full!"

She was holding a few shopping bags and a purse and my five year old busted out, "You have YOUR hands full!!!" LOL! And we all chuckled... well, she DID!

:P

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Originally Posted by Llyra View Post

I found it helpful to train my oldest DD to make the smartass answer. So that every time we were out in public, and somebody made the "wow, you sure have your hands full" comment, or ask me if they were all mine in that not-nice way, DD would turn to me and say, loudly, "why do people always say that, mama? It's a dumb thing to say." From the mouth of a two year old, it's not snark. It's unvarnished truth.
 

 
-Jyn, Blessed mom of Abbie ('99), Gracie ('00), AngelBaby ('01), Danny ('02), Jacob ('03), Eva Bella ('06), Angel-Baby2 ('07), Emmalia ('09), Justus John Mark ('11), Jude Ellias Due 7-16-13
 

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#146 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 12:30 PM
 
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But children are not property. I would rather see 2 good parents have a lot of children, than bad parents have any number of children. The way this conversation is being done, it makes it sound like it is all about quantity, not quality. If nothing else is apparent on Mothering, most of us here are all about our children and love them and are really in to them. Then there is a whole world of parents who abuse them, neglect them, etc. So any argument about number of children is nonsense. I think that all convicted felons should be neutered. Frankly, I think no one should ever be allowed to have children by more than 2 people, unless there were deaths. (as in, the reason they are not with the original partner is they lost them). I think people who proven to be failures of parents should be neutered too. If none of the bad parents had children, then the rest of us would need to have a lot of children to make up for it. And try to remember, the natural increase in the USA is negative. This means, we are not replacing ourselves. For every person who dies here, there is not even 1 baby being born. Due to illegal immigration, our population still rises. As a tax payer, I do not feel obligated to have no more children to make room for people who illegally sneak in to this country and collect welfare. Why should I have to have no more children to make room for theirs?

 

So I think we need to stop talking about children like they are property and in terms of numbers each person is entitled to and start talking about them like real human beings and let the good parents have all the children they want and leave those parents alone. And the next man who is in the news bragging about having 17 children by 13 women, we can chop is penis off. And frankly, every single woman who had a child with him should probably be neutered too.
 



 


Wow, that sounds a lot like eugenics to me.  Hopefully, that wasn't what you meant.  There are people who believe my oldest daughter shouldn't have been born because she is biracial and that is what I get when I read your post.  

 

I might want to mention my parents are immigrants, legal immigrants, my dad served the in the US army in Korea and Vietnam, am I somehow genetically inferior to you because my parents are immigrants?  I have children by my ex and my husband and my husband has a child with his ex wife and children with me.  What if one of us had been married twice before?  Are you saying my kids shouldn't allowed to exist?

 

What is the qualifier of being a good parent?  Who decides?  What if the person deciding doesn't like your politics, religion, or race?   Oh, wait weren't those people members of the Nazi party? 

 

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#147 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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The idea that we should give anyone the power to force sterilization on anyone terrifies and disgusts me.  After all, once we make sure all the "undesirable" people like felons and those promiscuous enough to have had kids with more that the officially acceptable number of partners can never reproduce by forcing them to undergo a medical procedure whether they want it or not we can move on to making sure that those who are "too poor" or refuse to conform to the correct government approved child-rearing methods and practices can't reproduce either. I mean that's kinder than letting them have the kids then taking them away right, cheaper too.   I guess we'll all need to be pre-approved before we get to child bearing age then re-assessed every few years to be sure we don't need to be sterilized.

 

Oh and since it's ok to force medical procedures on the un-willing we can require circumcisions for all infant boys to prevent AIDS and require women who don't meet a specific set of guidelines to have c-sections for the safety of their children.  And of course we can require vaxing by whatever schedule the CDC mandates, all for the health and safety of the children of course.

 

No one should have that kind of power over anyone else.


Kristy, wife to Josh proud mama to Katie: since 3/08 and Emma since 8/12.

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#148 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 01:25 PM
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Frankly, I think no one should ever be allowed to have children by more than 2 people, unless there were deaths. (as in, the reason they are not with the original partner is they lost them).



See, that's why I stopped at two kids. They have different biological fathers, though they share the same legal father. Having a third child with my husband would obviously make me a bad parent. <tic>

 

 Yeah, I've been married three times. I guess I'm "failure as a parent" material. Glad my kids don't think so. eyesroll.gif

 

Personally, I get tired of the judgement I get for having been divorced twice. It's just as annoying as the judgment you get for having lots of kids. People don't even care about the reasons, they just hear "married three times" and immediately form opinions.

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#149 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 09:45 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

 Frankly, I think no one should ever be allowed to have children by more than 2 people, unless there were deaths. (as in, the reason they are not with the original partner is they lost them). 

 


So... Where does my family fall into this? Neither of my kids have the same biological parents. I have two kids by three different people (four if you count me).

 


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#150 of 234 Old 04-01-2011, 11:23 PM
 
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So, I'm hoping I won't just make this thread veer off-topic or into what I consider to be offensive territory again . . . but I did want to comment just a bit more about the overpopulation/overconsumption thing.

 

I would never comment to a stranger about the family size that they have, or are planning to have, or really anything about it.  That just seems incredibly nosy and rude to me.  I recognize that family size is one of many personal decisions that each family gets to make for themselves.  Just to be clear, I'm not about to start saying that anyone has the right to make those comments - I mean, I guess anyone can say whatever they want, but if it's rude then they should be prepared for a rude comeback!

 

At the same time, I don't feel that we can say that having more kids (in general) doesn't affect other people at all.  It doesn't affect them directly, but there is some indirect effect.  And the way that we work socially was largely developed when things like other people's family size really would have affected others directly.  In the small communities that we mostly lived in for most of our time on earth, it DID make a difference to other people how many kids we had.  But even ignoring that, there is still currently some indirect effect.  This is because it is neither a high population by itself or high consumption by itself that causes our cumulative effect on the world.  It is the product of the two.  If we had a very low population, and each person had very high consumption, it would take a very long time to run out of (say) oil.  If we had a huge population with a very low consumption rate per capita, it would still take a very long time to run out of oil.  Currently what we have is mostly a few places with medium populations and high consumption, and a lot of places with high populations and medium to low consumption.  The overall effect is a fairly large impact on our world.  There is more than one possible solution to this problem, and some combination of solutions will have some beneficial effect.  One solution, which some people choose, is to have fewer to no children.  If they have made this choice, it is because they think it is the best choice, and they might not understand why someone else chose differently.  We're not, as a species, fantastic at tolerating different choices from our own.  Another solution is to be very mindful of your consumption, and try to reduce it as much as is possible, while having a large family.  This is the best choice for others.  It's not always obvious to strangers when you have made this choice, as they probably have no way of knowing how mindfully, waste-free, and lovingly you raise your children to be good people and stewards of the earth.  Another solution is to have a moderate-sized family and make moderate decreases in your consumption level.  Honestly, this seems to be the one least likely to draw comments, although I personally find that odd.  It's a perfectly good choice, too, but I don't understand why it wouldn't draw comments.  I guess because people notice "extremes" more than they notice moderation.  And they comment on it - one of my friends once had someone scream at him from a passing car "Hey, you have blue hair!"  It cracked us all up.

 

So, it's none of my business how many kids you have, and although I hope people are mindful of their consumption, I don't feel like I have any right to push that mindfulness on them (especially if I don't know them).  But I'm a bit of a hermit.  Maybe if I was more gregarious, I would feel I had an obligation to make sure people were thinking about these things, because I do feel like we (as a species) have an obligation to use the capacity to consider the consequences of our actions.  But if you consider the consequences of having many children, or few, or high consumption, or low consumption, and make ANY decision after having considered, then I think you've done a good job.  I'm not sure everyone feels that way, though.  And, even if you don't meet my criteria of considering before deciding, well, that doesn't mean you're a bad person or shouldn't be allowed to have kids or anything like that at all, it just means that I don't agree with your decision-making process . . . and that's something I might try to talk people into - thought before action, is all.

 

Clarity disclaimer - I'm not trying to say anything at all about people here, just trying to illuminate a thought pattern that could lead to such comments, if the speaker had a very different rudeness filter than I do.  I'm pretty sure all of you did think before you decided to have large families, and a few people have mentioned that they are mindful of their consumption.  But others don't know that about you, right, just to see you walking down the street?
 


On a farm with our kiddo (nearly 2), two dogs, two cats, ten goats, two donkeys, nine sheep, a bunch of chickens, and a husband (in the winters). We have another on the way!
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