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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been very surprised by snipets of MDC threads here and there that suggest having more than two children-- and definitely having more than three children-- is selfish or irresponsible. This boggles my mind. I just don't get it. How can having children, and caring for them in an AP way, be selfish? I've brought beautiful, happy children into this world. I lavish them with love, homeschool them, teach them to be kind to other people, teach them not to be materialistic and not to waste. How could this be a bad thing? The more of these beautiful, conscientious children I (and any of you) bring into the world, the better, it seems to me<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/headscratch.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="headscratch"><br><br>
Am I the only mama who has noticed this?
 

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There are many moms of many here at MDC. Our administrator has 7 children, as does Peggy O'Mara.<br><br>
What you may be referring to is that there are also lots of mamas here who believe in having 2 or fewer children as being less taxing on resources and the environment. I wouldn't say that it is then selfish to have more than 2, but maybe you are sensing that. I think there's more than one side to these discussions and I can see the validity of both and also struggle with whether to have just 2 or more.
 

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I was also going to say there are moms here that have many children here on Mothering <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">What you may be referring to is that there are also lots of mamas here who believe in having 2 or fewer children as being less taxing on resources and the environment. I wouldn't say that it is then selfish to have more than 2, but maybe you are sensing that. I think there's more than one side to these discussions and I can see the validity of both and also struggle with whether to have just 2 or more.</td>
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I actually don't see the validity in those arguments - that having children is selifish and irresponsible for environmental reasons. If someone is concerned about the environment, there are a lot more proactive things they can do that simply to not have another child. And if they feel that having children is so taxing, then why have even one?<br><br>
I think negative comments about people having lots of kids are ignorant and snobby, in my not so humble opinion.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>oceanbaby</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">If someone is concerned about the environment, there are a lot more proactive things they can do that simply to not have another child.</div>
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I think for many people (such as myself), it isn't either-or.<br><br>
For the record, I'm not "against" people having many children (although it does burn my butt when those people who have many children are incredibly wasteful in their consumption of resources). It's the wrong decision for me, as I do believe it is too stressful on the planet - particularly in the good ol U.S.ofA. where we consume more per person than most anyone else on the planet.
 

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okay, i can see this thread turning into a flamefest. . . . . but. . . . . . it really churns my butter when people say that having 3+ kids is "taxing" on the environment! hello?!? living as an american is taxing on the environment! i think we all have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment, and that starts by taking responsibility for the way we live- making/growing your own food, living sustainably, etc. yes, some people w/tons of kids waste an appalling am't of energy, but so do many single people!<br><br>
instead of singling out mamas w/lots of kids, lets focus on the real problem- trashing the earth! we all do it, so lets take responsibility for ourselves and work on our own problems. people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>homemademomma</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">okay, i can see this thread turning into a flamefest. . . . . but. . . . . . it really churns my butter when people say that having 3+ kids is "taxing" on the environment! hello?!? living as an american is taxing on the environment! i think we all have a responsibility to reduce our impact on the environment, and that starts by taking responsibility for the way we live- making/growing your own food, living sustainably, etc. yes, some people w/tons of kids waste an appalling am't of energy, but so do many single people!<br><br>
instead of singling out mamas w/lots of kids, lets focus on the real problem- trashing the earth! we all do it, so lets take responsibility for ourselves and work on our own problems. people who live in glass houses should not throw stones.</div>
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I don't think anyone in this thread was trying to single out mamas with lots of kids. I think the OP was referencing other threads she's seen.<br><br>
And I would suspect that those who believe that adding more children to the world is taxing on the environment also seek to reduce their impact in lots of other ways. Also - I think that there's a difference between saying that I don't want to have any more than 2 children (which is in theory 0 population growth) in order to reduce the impact of more people on the environment and saying that no one should have more than 2 children to achieve this. I think it's more about finding yet another way to reduce our individual impact. And I don't think it's a bad idea. Consider how much impact one American has - I don't even know the figures, but one can imagine - your point is right on. But it's not an attack, it's a choice. There's a difference.
 

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I have to admit that before I became a mama I didnt understand why anyone would choose to have a large family (I knew I wanted one child, that was it) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"><br><br>
But now I have experienced how much joy dd has brought into my life I feel differently. The other day I sat at a restraunt a table away from a mom with 4 and one on the way and I thought, wow, she is so fortunate to have such a beautiful family. And I admit, I thought, maybe if I had started younger......<br><br>
ITA that isnt not how many children you have, but the choices you make in terms of how you live on the earth responsibly that matters.<br><br>
Kind of off topic, but I had a professor last year who is a mother of 8 (she is now in your late 70s)- and she managed to be a law professor and a JUDGE while breastfeeding all 8 until at least a year <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Oh, I'm sorry OP that you're feeling this way. I haven't noticed it, but I frequent specific forums and so it's likely that I'm missing such posts. One should never be made to feel crappy about choices made, especially thoughtful choices, even though they might not jibe with another's choices.<br><br>
I only have two kids and I'm done, but that's more a function of my inability to parent multiple children well than any philosophical thought on it. dh and I initially wanted four children, but then we realized we just don't live in a way where we could do that well. That said, I think large families can be great! One of my favorite internet mommas on another board is currently awaiting the birth of child number 8 and I can't wait! She was meant to be mother to many. I love to see large happy families. There are two families in my neighborhood that I love to watch. One has about six kids--I haven't seen them recently so I can't remember exactly--very gentle parents, the mother is an instructional aide at our local school. The other family is pregnant with their sixth child and every day, that family takes a long walk together, younger kids in the running stroller, middle kids on their bikes or scooters and older kids walking and chatting with mom and dad. It's bliss to see them go by.<br><br>
I have a friend with three children, and once--before I had kids--when she was talking about how many she wanted to have--it was more than three but things happened to keep them from procreating anymore--and I talked about zero population growth. Her response to me was great. She said, "If some of us thinking people don't populate the world, we're not going to have anyone to run it when we die out." I love her. And I had to admit, she had a very valid point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>michelemiller</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">where are these comments that you're talking about?</div>
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It's against the forum rules to talk about specific threads in a different thread, but there are severl instances I've seen where it has been suggested having more than 2 children is irresponsible either for environmental reasons, or because there are adoptable children that should be raised instead of biological children.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sweetest</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Kind of off topic, but I had a professor last year who is a mother of 8 (she is now in your late 70s)- and she managed to be a law professor and a JUDGE while breastfeeding all 8 until at least a year <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"></div>
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Even if she had done those things without being a prof and a judge, I still say<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> !
 

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I have definitely seen that attitude at MDC, but usually in relation to - should I have more kids? - not as an attack on people that have many kids.<br><br>
I believe, and have said before, that I wonder about having more kids myself when there are so many kids/teens out there that need homes. Both in our foster system (US) and in other countries. I love being pregnant, love giving birth, and love nursing my babies (and toddlers!). But after having our second, I just don't feel comfortable adding to the population of the planet, esp. our country, when I hear of kids who are waiting to be adopted or fostered. So, we're starting a savings fund now so we can adopt in a few years. And I'm considering becoming a foster parent as well, if we ever move back into our house and out of this hotel.<br><br>
I hope others haven't taken what I've said as an attack, I don't feel it's my business to worry about other people's family size. That's just my opinion. And the debate comes up often in threads about people deciding whether or not they should have more.<br><br>
Take care!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Zero Population Growth (ZPG) is an important issue to many people, who choose to practice what they preach.</td>
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Yup.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If someone is concerned about the environment, there are a lot more proactive things they can do that simply to not have another child.</td>
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These things aren't mutually exclusive. People who believe in ZPG often are proactive about environmental issues.
 

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I think that it is easy in the forums to feel that the voice of a vocal few represent the voice of many or all. I don't have a problem with family size. I have seen plenty of families that have few children that don't live responsibly and families with many who do.
 

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We feel that having lots of bio kids is not something we would want to do basically because of the ecological footprint thing (how vastly much more resources Americans use than people in any other country) and because there are so many kids in the US and around the world who need families to love them. We have a bio child and an adopted child and hope to adopt more. And I'm sure we're big hypocrites because we brought our child from a country where 370 of its citizens use the resources that one of our citizens uses, and we plan to do it again (and maybe again).<br><br>
Personally, although I do think having lots of kids taxes the environment, I think mommas of many have lots of experience and words of wisdom I'd like to hear, so bring on the mommas of many!!<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"><br><br>
Namaste!
 

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I've definitely noticed the comments about ZPG on MDC, maybe that's because I want to have at least 3 and maybe more kiddos. I don't think they're offensive, but obviously I disagree so to see those comments doesn't exactly make me feel all warm and squishy inside (which doesn't mean I think the commentors should not make these comments).<br><br>
I also believe our world needs all the intelligent, well-educated, mindful, creative problem-solvers it can get and I fully intend to raise my children that way to the best of my ability. So, one argument I would have with ZPG is that most who practice it have all the qualities I mentioned above on top of taking a huge interest in raising their children well, so it's ashame they don't have more kids!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">So, one argument I would have with ZPG is that most who practice it have all the qualities I mentioned above on top of taking a huge interest in raising their children well, so it's ashame they don't have more kids!</td>
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Many of those of us who believe that ZPG is essential to the health of our planet think that a much more rational way to touch the lives of a large number of children without being part of the problem is to be educators.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Vivianna</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I also believe our world needs all the intelligent, well-educated, mindful, creative problem-solvers it can get and I fully intend to raise my children that way to the best of my ability. So, one argument I would have with ZPG is that most who practice it have all the qualities I mentioned above on top of taking a huge interest in raising their children well, so it's ashame they don't have more kids!</div>
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I'll give you an anecdote that shows I agree with you. My mother was a teacher in the 60s-80s. When the overpopulation "talk" became widely accepted somewhere in the late 60s/ early 70s, my mother said that within five years she saw a marked crash in the calliber of the student body in the elementary schools where she taught. Before, about half the class would consist of bright students with commited parents. After, there would be maybe 1-3 such students in a class of 30, with the rest coming from homes, where parents were not interested in their child's education. Her theory? The parents who cared about the world and society stopped having children, and the ones who didn't care about society kept having them.<br><br>
I want to live in a world where the people who care about society have lots of children!<br><br>
A friend of mine sent me an article recently about how Republicans and conservative Christians will soon vastly outnumber liberals, because the former have lots of children and the latter tend to cap it at 2.
 
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