Any large families? Moms that do not believe in using birth control? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 55 Old 09-10-2012, 02:32 PM
 
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But I do want to chime in to say that with some of the big families I know IRL, the moms are the ones who frequently bring up how many kids they have and how "crazy" their life is as a result! So many of their sentences start with, "Well, with the craziness of 5 kids..." and so many of their Facebook posts involve a description of some chaotic situation followed by, "That's just life in a family of 7!" Which is totally fine, I'm just saying that sometimes people's perception of what it's like to have lots of kids comes from the mothers themselves. 

 

Unfortunately, this is true. :( I have a Facebook friend like that, who seems to gripe while "informing"... it definitely does cast a pallor over large family life.  


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#32 of 55 Old 09-10-2012, 08:04 PM
 
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I have 2 kids, and I think I'm pretty considerate in my interactions with moms of many, because reading stuff on this board has made me sensitive to that stuff (thank you guys!). 

But I do want to chime in to say that with some of the big families I know IRL, the moms are the ones who frequently bring up how many kids they have and how "crazy" their life is as a result! So many of their sentences start with, "Well, with the craziness of 5 kids..." and so many of their Facebook posts involve a description of some chaotic situation followed by, "That's just life in a family of 7!" Which is totally fine, I'm just saying that sometimes people's perception of what it's like to have lots of kids comes from the mothers themselves. Not that that perception should then be extended to any large family, and comments about your sex life are completely inappropriate. 

I'm with you too, LImabean, in that I'm very happy to to discuss with various families regarding their joys of parenting large families. My sister and SIL both have five kids, and though I love and cherish my nieces and nephews, the conversations are ALWAYS about how easy I have it and how hard their lives are. I just want to have a normal conversation about parenting, but it more often than not turns into a competition. CatsCradle, how can you possibly know what it is like to really raise children? You only have one.

Honestly, I don't really care in the long term, but my anecdotal experience leaves me a bit jaded about the so-called joys when all I hear is how incredibly easy my life is. Um hmmm.

I know that not everyone feels this way, but in the converse it gets old sometimes when your own parenting experiences are undermined because of assumptions made about family size. No one seems to win, small or large.

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#33 of 55 Old 09-10-2012, 08:32 PM
 
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This stuff really baffles me. I don't know why people think it's any of their business how many kids other people have. Have zero or one or 10 if you want, it's no skin off my nose. Sheesh. 

 

In some ways, I'd like a big family. I don't know how I'll really end up feeling. My husband has agreed to 2 with an option on 3. Beyond that I might have an uphill battle. 

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#34 of 55 Old 09-10-2012, 09:41 PM
 
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We're atheists. I have 3 kids and will probably try have at least one more bio kid. But I'd love to have more than that, just maybe not BIRTH more than that smile.gif

I want my kids to have their own tribe. Big families are awesome! Glad to hear about the PP who came from a non-Christian family of 8, because i was beginning to feel like an oddity...

I think, as others do, that most of the time, it's not meant to offend when people comment. They just are curious more than anything. I think light hearted comments back are probably best for everyone involved too.

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#35 of 55 Old 09-11-2012, 05:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by limabean View Post

I have 2 kids, and I think I'm pretty considerate in my interactions with moms of many, because reading stuff on this board has made me sensitive to that stuff (thank you guys!). 

 

But I do want to chime in to say that with some of the big families I know IRL, the moms are the ones who frequently bring up how many kids they have and how "crazy" their life is as a result! So many of their sentences start with, "Well, with the craziness of 5 kids..." and so many of their Facebook posts involve a description of some chaotic situation followed by, "That's just life in a family of 7!" Which is totally fine, I'm just saying that sometimes people's perception of what it's like to have lots of kids comes from the mothers themselves. Not that that perception should then be extended to any large family, and comments about your sex life are completely inappropriate. 

 

My experience has been the opposite! Maybe i just dont know enough large families, but i "know" several online (most of whom have many adopted kids in addition to bio) and the moms seem so joyful, organized, the kids sound so involved and respectful and i often think "sheesh, she sure can keep it together with 14 kids! i can barely manage with four and one is not even living here with me!" redface.gif


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#36 of 55 Old 09-11-2012, 05:19 AM
 
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It looks like a step on some toes, forgive me for that!  My comment sounds a lot like a generalization and I can seewhy it was taken the way it was, but what I meant was there are so many diverse ways of thinking/believing, what WOULD encourage someone to want a large number of children?  I did not mean that you can only cherish/welcome life, in whatever form, by believing in God. For instance, the party line in the US is "two children are acceptable, three the border and beyond that it is irresponsible and selfish".  Our society is very self-centered and every thing is disposable, even our pre-born and the elderly.  How do you fight that?  So what do you use as a moral compass, and how did you find it?  What life principles guide your decision making?  I think that is what is at the heart of my comment.  I am not sure if I have explained myself well enough.  Again, I am so sorry that it was taken some other way.

 

I guess I'm a little confused by this. Wouldnt someone have lots of kids because they really like kids? Or at least like the feeling of having a large family? I guess i dont see our society as "self centered and disposable" and even though i am not a christian (i woudnt necessarily say i'm an atheist but perhaps skeptical nonbeliever....) i dont see the "preborn as disposable" as you say, and my sister and i have spent the past 9 years caring for our totally disabled 80 yr old mother to keep her out of a nursing home.

 

Why did i want to have lots of kids? Because i love the feeling of being in a room full of my siblings, all of us falling over each other's conversations to get a word in edgewise. i love having those conversations about our childhood together (although it doesnt always work that way....my oldest brother was already married by the time i was born so i have lots of sibs much older than me and im the youngest) I love the fact that there is always someone else to call to chat or if i need something. I'm glad i have my sisters to help out with my mom so we CAN keep her at home, i'm glad i have one brother i can go to for car advice and another to sit and talk when we go to lunch. Unfortunately my parents didnt really keep a close relationship with extended relatives so even though i had grandmas, aunt/uncles and tons of cousins we didnt see them that often. But i've been able to connect with some adult cousins via fb. My parents grew up in large families (and other than going to church like everyone else did in their area in the 1930s/40s i dont think were raised particularly religious) and thats just what they were comfortable with i guess. Although i dont think any of my parents' siblings had as many kids as they did. I think my mom would have kept having babies but i was born when she was 41 so...

 

My oldest child was an only child for the first 11 years of his life, then i adopted a newborn. So he still is essentially an only child as he moved to live with his dad a couple of years ago (and now is off at college) One of the biggest regrets of my life is not adopting or birthing another child when my son was much much younger so he'd have a sibling to grow up with. I think his life would have been a lot different. That has more to do with "only child" issues than "big family" issues though.


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#37 of 55 Old 09-11-2012, 05:40 AM
 
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I'm with you too, LImabean, in that I'm very happy to to discuss with various families regarding their joys of parenting large families. My sister and SIL both have five kids, and though I love and cherish my nieces and nephews, the conversations are ALWAYS about how easy I have it and how hard their lives are. I just want to have a normal conversation about parenting, but it more often than not turns into a competition. CatsCradle, how can you possibly know what it is like to really raise children? You only have one.
Honestly, I don't really care in the long term, but my anecdotal experience leaves me a bit jaded about the so-called joys when all I hear is how incredibly easy my life is. Um hmmm.
I know that not everyone feels this way, but in the converse it gets old sometimes when your own parenting experiences are undermined because of assumptions made about family size. No one seems to win, small or large.


I  have three, so I'm in the middle, I guess... but personally I think any number has their challenges.  I look back and think how easy having one child was (or watch my friends with just one be able to take them all over the place and I'm jealous) because when I had one child, she was less than 18 months old!  and an easy child.  Easy Peasy.  Or I think about how easy it would be to do homeschooling stuff with my oldest without my other two sprinting around screaming or whatever... but then my friends with one have other challenges surrounding just having one that I don't have (i.e. my kids have built in "playmates" and whatnot).  I think more often someone with more kids thinks "wow, my life would be so much easier with fewer" just because in their mind  they only subtract their own hardships and maybe don't add the ones that might come with the change.  I seriously think things might be easier in some ways if I had one more, because then no child would be the "third wheel" and thus the odd man out... there'd always be someone to play with/talk to... and moreso with more kids.  Because as it is, two of them tend to play together and leave the third hanging.  But then, when I only had two, they were locked in with playing with just that one other person (you know, besides on playdates) and there seemed like there was more animosity... Anyway, after all this rambling, I'm just saying that every parent deals with challenges, but we don't always consider what challenges would come with fewer kids... we (general we) aren't really always putting ourselves fully in the other person's shoes, even when we think we are. 


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#38 of 55 Old 09-11-2012, 08:07 AM
 
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I think the comment about society being selfish and considering the old and young (preborn, etc) to be disposable was a general comment to society at large, and not meant directly at anyone in particular. And I think it's not completely off base. Having worked in nursing homes I can attest to the fact that many people do seem to think that the elderly are not valuable or valued, or respected. Just a nuisance. and that is very sad. As for the preborn . . . that's another story, but I think most women that might choose to terminate a pregnancy give it a lot of thought, and don't go through that lightly. (I am sure there are those that don't, just as I know there are plenty of people that love, value, and respect the elderly)

 

Just wanted to chime in to not maybe take every comment as a personal affront.

 

And you know, I think there are people who have large families that maybe love children in general, and maybe thought having a big family was a good idea, but get overwhelmed in the midst of the chaos that a large family can have.

 

Any route you choose, no matter how many kids you have, or don't have, there are bound to be challenges.

 

My first would probably love to be an only child, he's very attached and clingy, and loves solo time with people. But I also thing siblings are a great thing for him - it keeps him humble and teaches him selflessness, which is a very good thing.


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#39 of 55 Old 09-11-2012, 04:43 PM
 
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I have not read through the thread but do have a comment. From what I have read, humans have long had families of 4-5 children. Today in traditional societies in which people have children 3-5 years apart (4-5 years apart from hunter gather times) 5 children is not uncommon.  From what I understand, the commercialization of formula as well as birth control, had heavy influence on fertility, and therefore family size, in western culture in the last century. A lot has changed in the past century or so.

I actually view this as a very difficult century in which to have children. We seem to be bridging centuries and so much has changed for the last one hundred years of humanity.

In the 1800's no one would bat an eye at nursing a three year old and now it seems verboten. Before the 20th century, 5-6 children would seem common (actually it went from 7 children to 3.5 between 1800-1900).

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#40 of 55 Old 09-11-2012, 07:10 PM
 
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In the 1800's no one would bat an eye at nursing a three year old and now it seems verboten. Before the 20th century, 5-6 children would seem common (actually it went from 7 children to 3.5 between 1800-1900).

 

I was clearly born in the wrong century.


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#41 of 55 Old 09-11-2012, 08:40 PM
 
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I have not read through the thread but do have a comment. From what I have read, humans have long had families of 4-5 children. Today in traditional societies in which people have children 3-5 years apart (4-5 years apart from hunter gather times) 5 children is not uncommon.  From what I understand, the commercialization of formula as well as birth control, had heavy influence on fertility, and therefore family size, in western culture in the last century. A lot has changed in the past century or so.

I actually view this as a very difficult century in which to have children. We seem to be bridging centuries and so much has changed for the last one hundred years of humanity.

In the 1800's no one would bat an eye at nursing a three year old and now it seems verboten. Before the 20th century, 5-6 children would seem common (actually it went from 7 children to 3.5 between 1800-1900).

 

It's also important to remember that maybe 2 or 3 of those children would have lived to adulthood. So, there may have been 5-7 births, but some would have died in infancy and others in childhood. Falling birth rates tend to have more to do with infant survival and industrialization (you didn't need so many children to work the farm). How late children were weaned has varied through the centuries.

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#42 of 55 Old 09-12-2012, 04:59 PM
 
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I often feel that way Phathui5! I feel as if I am often swimming against the current.

Yes, LynnS6 from what I have read, there may  have been 8 births but 5-6 who lived to maturity (prior to the 20th century).

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#43 of 55 Old 09-13-2012, 06:03 PM
 
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Non bc large family here too. I agree with the easy going sentiments in regards to comments. I used to get rather frustrated(though I never showed it to the people I talked to) but now I am more resigned and accepting of the fact that people don't know they are being rude. I always answer the hands full comments with a hearty yes and a giant grin as I hug my kids and that usually thaws any tension, or makes the person realize I am happy and that this is not some self imposed martyrdom.


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#44 of 55 Old 09-18-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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Chiming in :D I do not use hormonal birth control due to the serious concerns it raises with me regarding health (every time I see a class action lawsuit against yet another Pill, I feel validated in this) and environment (the synthetic estrogens in the water system turning the male amphibians and fishes into females). We use the withdrawal method because I'm much to lazy to chart and temp, although I know many other couples for whom this works well. Breastfeeding keeps my periods away for a year or more after each baby so that helps a lot (and again, a health reason. Less breast cancer is a huge plus)

 

We have only got two kids and people have been harassing us to stop before I'd even birthed the first one. It's incredibly rude. Now that I'm 22 weeks pregnant with the third baby, the negative comments from family in particular have gone up significantly. I've gotten very good at shutting them down using whatever method I need to... It's crazy because we are good and kind parents, intelligent (and dare I say handsome :P) people and generally the sort of couple you would think would be encouraged to have children. 

 

We want five and I've already told my husband that I won't have any children past age 38. If our current spacing trend continues, I'll probably be done around age 32 or so... We don't leave it up to God, we use withdrawal and a little bit of chance until we feel we are ready as a couple to handle another baby. Yet family members will label us as irresponsible. It just baffles me.  Having a big family is a way I can protect my health and ensure an enjoyable and lively home life. I wish my family shared my enthusiasm. I joke to my husband that since my brother is a committed bachelor and my sister may never have kids, my parents should be pleased with me having "enough" to make up for the other siblings! But noo... they've just got to rain on my parade :/

 

Anyways, op you are not alone. There are a lot of families like us who are willing to leave it up to nature when we have babies and, hopefully, lots of them! Hold your head up high and think about how reduced your risk of breast cancer is, that's how I deal lol

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#45 of 55 Old 09-22-2012, 02:34 PM
 
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@aurora skys: it's totally the same here, comments from my mom, or my grandmom, giving me the feeling, that i am totally uncapable of being a mom. I want four. But with the third pregnancy i got the comments of being selfish, taking the mom away from the other ones, not being responsible with the resources, not being able to cope.

 

Not that anyone would help at all. After having DD2 it's like: Now you ARE finished, right?

 

And I feel like I am mad and should talk to a psychiatrist because I still long for my fourth child. Even though it is hard, I LOVe my kids and I feel as if the fourth is already waiting to get to this earth :)


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#46 of 55 Old 09-29-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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I don't have a large family (1 kid and another on the way) but if it helps you deal with rude comments about large families any better, you can just think smugly that because you are out-reproducing the rude people, your genes are much more likely to persist into subsequent generations than theirs, so in the end, you win. duck.gif


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#47 of 55 Old 10-08-2012, 09:59 AM
 
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I've enjoyed reading through all the responses.  We have five, and I would like another- quick since I'm almost 37 and our original cut-off was 36! : )

I have gotten a lot of comments, some rude but mostly people are just surprised or obviously just want to interact with us.  We often have friends along with us too.  My kids are usually the ones to respond, listing off who is and isn't "our's" and how old everyone is, or who isn't with us and why...it's hysterical.  I just smile and let them do the talking!  

Strangers' comments don't bother me.  Family being unsupportive bothers me- my mother in law called me crazy to my face when we told her we were pregnant with our 5th, and my mother says things like, "Well, I'm glad you are happy but don't get too happy or you might end up pregnant again"...when I was leaving her after visiting her and my sister and her new baby last month, she said, "Now don't go home and conceive one of your own."  WTF mom?!  I KNOW that she just worries for my health and sanity, she worries for us financially- and yes, all because I've called her crying or stressed or not knowing how to deal or broke!  But most of the time we are good.  

I remember reading a party in Mary Ostyn's book "A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family" where she shares a mother's concern for a daughter having a large family because she was generally concerned.  It sounded unsupportive but we just have to remember that they've been through raising a family and there is a lot of heartache, suffering, sometimes loss involved when you bring people into the world- my grandmother thinks I'm increasing my odds for suffering having more kids!  So let's not be to defensive or hard on them...just remember this for when our kids have kids!

There's a dad I know who, whenever he brings my son home from playing, always comes in and looks around at our pictures and watches me with such curiosity.  He asked me if I'm Mormon or Catholic, and then when my answers were no finally asked why I had so many kids.  I said, "Well, I like my children. I like giving birth to them and watching them grow."  Some people don't really enjoy parenting.  


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#48 of 55 Old 10-21-2012, 06:56 AM
 
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You have described your feelings towards being a wife and mom so contently and happy with your situation so just ignore other people's opinion.

I am from a family of 8, and my aunt's have 13, 8,9, 2, 3 and so on kids,...lol my mom is from a big family so I can't tell how many kids my other Aunt has..lol but on their part the kids just keep coming. We are catholic and from a middle class family so I guess having a large family will just be okey. On my part, I had just one.. before I would love to have 3-4 kids but now I only want 2-3 because of so many things to consider such as priority, time, plan and others but in your case if all your time, priority and plan for your family can be meet even if you may have more kids,.why not. GO ahead!! Kids are so adorable and they are a gift from god.


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#49 of 55 Old 10-24-2012, 06:59 AM
 
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We do not use any hormonal birth control.  I mostly belive that God is in charge of my fertility and everything he chooses to do either giving or not giving us children is up to him.  As far as people making comments they make them both ways to us.  After my second son I got asked if we were done or if we were going to go for a girl.  After my third I got told by total strangers now that DH and I were outnumbered we needed to be done and at the same time I was asked as soon as ds2 got to about 2 when we were planning on having more. 

 

I refuse to discuss my fertility with stangers and really do not think it is even most of my families business, so my answer is just we let God have control and that shuts most people up. 


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#50 of 55 Old 10-24-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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Such an interesting thread and I wanted to chime in from a childless (but TTC the first of hopefully several) POV. I'm a children's librarian and I LOVE it when big families are in the library. One of my favorite families has 6 living (one deceased) children and I adore them. Our staff recently toured another library and looked at their very spacious family bathroom and I said, "Wow, you could fit the whole ******** family in here!" and meant it only as a compliment.

 

I am fascinated by big families. I'm one of four myself and want four. I have really worked on what to say in response to mamas with more than 3 so as come across as interested and happy rather than rude. I generally stick to "oh my goodness, what a gorgeous family you have" and that usually works.

 

My mom recently told me that when none of my sisters or I could attend a family picnic, my great aunt wanted to cancel it, saying, "if the ****s aren't here, there isn't a party." My mom laughed and said that's why she always loved having four kids- she just took the party with her wherever she went (had they been able to afford it, my parents would definitely have had more. My dad wanted an even dozen). I looked at DH and said, "Exactly! I want to take the party with us!" As it is, I've got a "we can discuss a third after we have two" agreement with DH.

 

I don't think most people who comment mean to be rude. They just don't know WHAT to say and feel like they should say something. Or they are feeling so overwhelmed by their own children or lives that they can't imagine keeping it all under control. There may also be some jealousy, from people who want more but didn't make the same decisions (my best friend is convinced that a 3rd delivery will actually kill her so her husband got a vasectomy, despite both of them wanting more children). Or just not understanding.

 

Those of you with big families- know that there are plenty of us childless or parents of small families out here who actually think you rock and are doing an amazing job and you actually bring us great delight when we see you.


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#51 of 55 Old 10-24-2012, 01:37 PM
 
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as a mom of 3 i feel like that sometimes. Its a party. A noisy chaotic party maybe, but a party nonetheless.  I came from a family of 5 myself.

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#52 of 55 Old 10-25-2012, 01:26 AM
 
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I'm only a mom of 1 (15 months), but I agree that a woman's fertility is no one else's business. I don't use any hormonal birth control either, but DH and I are using NFP. As a Christian I would love to let God decide how many little ones we're blessed with, but sadly DH isn't a believer and has put his foot down at 3..and we aren't trying for #2 until 2015! :(


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#53 of 55 Old 10-25-2012, 07:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by queenofchaos View Post

 It should be no surprise that people have such a backward view of children.   If you don't believe in God, don't believe the Bible is God's word, then why would you believe that children are a blessing?  Our society is very anti-child and self-centered. 

 

My devoutly Christian cousin and her husband stopped after three, because her second child wrecked her body pretty badly, and it became obvious during her third pregnancy that it wasn't going to go away. Her Christian parents stopped at three, for reasons they've never chosen to share with us (nor have I asked - it's none of my business). I've known many, many Christians who have used birth control, up to and including tubals and vasectomies, for all kinds of reasons. I've also known multiple Christians with very negative views of children (some of them parents, unfortunately).

 

I'm an atheist. I have four living children, and if my reproductive journey hadn't ended up being a long, horrible ride through despair and pain and loss (and I'm talking about the reproductive side - the infertility, miscarriages, c-sections and stillbirth - not the parenting side), and if I hadn't had my last child at 41, I'd have probably tried for at least two more. My atheist brother and his wife have four children. My atheist sister has four children. My atheist mother wanted six, but was pretty much ordered to stop at three, because they were all c-sections (classical incisions, too). I know other atheists who have, or are planning, large-ish families, or who aren't planning at all, but aren't using any kind of birth control.
 

Your above quote was very judgmental, and really quite ignorant. Our society is very self-centred and anti-child in many ways, but that's not all about religious beliefs.

 

 

For the record, I also hate the "you know what causes that, right?" stuff. And, the person who has said it to us most consistently is a Christian, with four children of his own.


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#54 of 55 Old 10-25-2012, 08:17 PM
 
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Its funny because there is a similar thread going on right now on the Adoptive and Foster Parenting board about others trying to justify (as if they have to!) why THEY "cant adopt" when they see a family with adopted children. For some reason some people feel like another person's decisions is somehow a comment on THEIR own decisions (like, if my kids are adopted, someone im thinking you should to? but really im not!)...no matter if its formula/breast, home/daycare i think people want affirmation of their own decisions or something. i dunno.

 

Often too, i think people are just surprised by the "unusual" and say stupid stuff in the moment without meaning to be offensive. Or they dont think about how it may be funny to THEM but its the 100th time you've heard that comment. My oldest has red hair and every.single.time we left the house he heard "where'd ya get that red hair??" or i'd get "does his father have red hair??" EVERY TIME WE LEFT THE HOUSE. people just dont think. I usually tried to think of them as being curious or making smalltalk rather than rude though.

blush.gif  bag.gif......

I remember you schooling me a couple of years ago when I saw a pic of one of your kids and said "He looks like he could be yours!" I still often think of that and want to bang my head against the wall for how stupid I was. People could probably do for a bit of just outright telling them their comments are ignorant. 

 

Edited for terrible, terrible spelling errors. 

 

 

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Originally Posted by queenofchaos View Post

I agree with the concept of letting God control your fertility, but my DH took the upper hand and got a vasectomy when we found out we were expecting twins!  The twins were babies #7 & 8, and I am pushing 40, so I was at peace with his decision.  I also have a step-son, so all told that is 9 children and I totally understand where you are coming from regarding people's attitudes.  It should be no surprise that people have such a backward view of children.   If you don't believe in God, don't believe the Bible is God's word, then why would you believe that children are a blessing?  Our society is very anti-child and self-centered.  When you think about you realize how messed-up things are.  I just try and stay positive and mainly ignore people when they say hurtful/mindless things.  If you feel the person has an open mind, then maybe open up about why you live your life the way you do.  But really, as you know, changing the subject is usually your best coping mechanism. 
The area we live in has a proportionately large number of families with more than your average number of children, so it's pretty easy for me to get together with other large families, and this has been the best thing for me to do.  Surround yourself with like minded people, if you can.

Yeah, I dont believe in god, but my kids are blessings. Im not anti-child by any means, but Im pro-children being able to have the attention they deserve, and for me and my family that means a limited family size unless DH can find a way to actually be a farmer and stay home on our land with me and the kids. 


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#55 of 55 Old 10-26-2012, 08:40 AM
 
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i believe Gd works in many ways, including through our own wills and ability to plan, whether we plan it, desire it, or dont, it Gds will.

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