One response to why anyone would want more than two children (large families) and more…

On today’s agenda is a response to a posting that “Large Families on Purpose” (www.LargeFamiliesOnPurpose.com) shared on Facebook which was a repost of a very negative post regarding families with more than two children. In fairness I have included the link to (and text from) this negative article (see end of my post) but really wondering if the author should (or deserves to) receive the extra traffic. (Also please note I have provided editorial services and removed the offensive language in the original blog post by substituting **** where applicable. Hence you may prefer this version.)

The blog begins with “Parents with four or more kids befuddle me.

Okay “befuddle”… in looking this up on internet the definition of befuddled is to “to confuse; perplex.” I am going to go with “confuse” as this is the most rational statement that can be made out of the entire post. Some basic assumptions are made that are totally irrational not to mention completely incorrect. “I can only assume that after parents have three offspring, they lose their minds”…not true. The writer goes on to suggest that families with more than three offspring plan future offspring by factoring in a dependence on the help of the existing children to parent future siblings. Again…not true.

The blog post is illustrated with a photo of the Duggar family, small surprise. The icon of large families in America is once again taking a hit for those of us with larger family numbers just not as famous (TLC show 19 Kids and Counting).

The Duggars 19 kids and counting

The icon of large families in America is once again taking a hit for those of us with larger family numbers…

This author (Amanda Janik) again demonstrates more confusion as she tosses around many negative assessments and judgments about larger families while noting in her diatribe some uncertainty “though I am in no way saying that I have any idea what ‘right’ looks like.” Sadly, no, you definitely do not know what even close to “right” looks like.

The same writer skims the surface in trying to second-guess “motives” behind a family whose size is larger than what she believes in (which is just replacing herself and her hubby on the planet). Sadly, the motives offered are off the wall. However, being written by someone whose experience is with only two children (presumably young ones… a work in progress) perhaps forgivable.

Here are some real answers to this writer’s (Amanda Janik’s ) questions (followed by one or two more light-hearted answers in italics):

Why do people have more than two children?

Because some people really love children and all that entails (I am one of those) and happily welcome offspring into their lives. This is not without a bonus to society as a future workforce is being raised who’s tax contributions will ensure society’s (including Amanda’s) future retirement years are comfortable. Also, in having several children within a family allows a great support system once the parents pass on. Children from large families have each other once the parents are deceased. This is a lasting lifelong gift of support and kinship for the entire family purchased by the parent’s selfless focus on family and people rather than things and affluence.

Other less serious answers include:

  • Some of us can’t count…did not know we had more than we were “supposed” to~
  • Homegrown help is way cheaper than hiring anyone~
  • So those with only two children can feel superior and comment~

 

Large family of duck and ducklings

“I can only assume that after parents have three offspring, they lose their minds”…

How do people afford more than two children?

(Note further down an explanation of “afford”)

By making do with the resources available, sharing what is at hand, reusing/recycling and trusting in providence to provide. By the way many of us work very hard to accomplish this. Some parents of large families work two jobs and/or willingly give up what you (Amanda) might not want to forfeit… i.e. regular vacations, eating out, time alone, household help, trips to the spa…the list is endless. Our children are not screaming for the latest in fashion as they are usually content with hand-me-downs (the most “green” plan out there) and the odd new item. While the notion of less than brand name new clothing, private lessons, yearly vacations and regularly dining out as a lifestyle may abhor you, the child raised in this environment actually benefits from developing an emotional intelligence. This emotional IQ  predisposes them to successfully cope regardless of the situation.

Other less serious answers include:

  • Once we gave up drinking, gambling, smoking and recreational drugs we needed to find some way to spend the extra funds…
  • We can’t afford it and you may be sure it is coming out of your pocket somewhere…dig a little deeper and you will discover this and be even more outraged

Also note… who is to say YOU (the one asking the question) can “afford” the two you have? For starters those of us with larger than average families would never think of asking you this…not because we believe you can “afford” the children you have but out of respect for you, your family’s privacy and your freedom to choose what is best for you.

Well let’s start with what does “afford” mean?

Well the two definitions listed on the online dictionary are:

af·ford/əˈfôrd/Verb:

1.            Have enough money to pay for.

2.            Have (a certain amount of something, esp. money or time) available or to spare.

Ability to financially provide…hmmn….okay what does that actually look like? Who really knows the answer? Is there in fact a finite correct answer? Not really from what I can understand and research. Affordability boils down to what risks and perks you can’t live with or without. Many people take affordability risks daily without so much as a second thought to the contrary. Houses, cars are bought and sold often in a lifetime as are gadgets after gadgets bought brand new…not to mention vacations. A certain percentage of the population continues to declare bankruptcy (this includes people with no children) regardless of the state of the economy. Finance is an odd thing. Today you can have plenty, tomorrow lose it all and in another few years be solvent again. With children there is only a limited time you can conceive them, once you think you can safely “afford” children… it might be biologically too late to have them.

Afford is a very funny thing as it is all relative. The people you are so dismissive of may be able to better afford the brood they have than you are able to afford the two kids you do. The reason for this is the larger family will have different priorities and have made cuts that you might not be willing to do or comfortable making and living with. True, you may not approve of those cuts or you may consider children raised in an environment embracing these decisions disadvantaged but again this is only relative to your personal view.

Depending on what era you were born in or what circumstances your parents struggled at the time of your birth, by your own standard your parents may not have been able to “afford” having had you. Imagine if some of the great innovators of this world never got to this planet because their parents were told they could not “afford” them…and we as a world had to wait longer (or maybe forever) for the gifts sent to our universe. A world were Insulin has yet to be discovered (also note Sir Frederick Banting who discovered Insulin was the youngest of five kids), the telephone is unheard of….Apple was still only a fruit and Microsoft referred to a finely knit sweater because these gifts to the world were deemed as unaffordable by their parents (who lived in harsher times that we do today).

lots of kids lots of children large family large families

Because some people really love children and all that entails (I am one of those) and happily welcome offspring into their lives.

Here are a few questions for those who think badly of families larger than the national average:

Why is it that it is often the folks with one or two kids (and often no kids) that ask all these personal questions?

None of us with larger families would ever be so disrespectful as to ask you or anyone else questions as personal as why you did (or did not) have children or comment on how few (or none) you have chosen to have.

The resource issue is a global concern. However children are still the only real answer to tomorrow’s future. Without children there is no future. Gifts of research and innovation that have forever changed this world all entered this planet as babies; often born to those who could least “afford” them.

In Canada, in the absence of real population growth (families with more than 1.5 kids) within only a few years two-thirds of the population will be senior citizens requiring support and health care services on a system without a young enough population to support the ageing demographic. Massive immigration will be the only way to provide these services to the ageing population while allowing for enough of an income tax base from a working population to adequately provide these services and benefits.

Children from larger families are notorious for being well-adjusted and focused on others having developed the ability to cope with many variables within their environment growing up. In terms of future success the children from larger families are more forgiving in social and work environments, than their peers from smaller families.  Upbringing in a larger family ensures exposure to diverse personalities positioning these kids to effectively manage the turbulence their peers and co-worker relationships can potentially pose. This ability to cope with variables in one’s environment translates to high probability of lifelong success regardless of circumstances.

The most valuable commodity any child can have is the ability and upbringing to “cope”, and to “cope” well with all that life can throw at you. If there is one thing a child from a large family learns at an early age is the ability to cope with a variety of dynamics, make some personal sacrifices for the common good and to focus on others (as opposed to self) instead of things. Since birth kids from bigger families have learned by living to give people the understanding and space they need within a relationship at play, work or within family.

Those with large families work hard to provide for their children and often do without many things others of you on the sidelines might deem as “necessities.” At the end of the day it is a personal matter the number of children you have (or plan to) and should be respected as such. Take a leaf out of the book from those of us with larger families…life is always a precious gift. Respect others and their personal family decisions by minding your own business.

As for me… (?) … I have to admit to being a little biased as I have nine beautiful kids (little goats) and a grandchild.

The Garden Goat (The Kid-Keeper)

large family lots of kids

As for me… (?) … I have to admit to being a little biased as I have nine beautiful kids (little goats) and a grandchild.

P.S. Before you make any “assessment” about me…let me fill you in… I work fulltime for an outside employer (have for years), have my own business part-time. I have no nanny or household help whatsoever (never have), do most (if not all) of the housework. I  have made many of the harder choices I mentioned earlier as necessary to adequately keep 9 little goats on an average income.

The following is the post (www.LargeFamiliesOnPurpose.com) shared on Facebook which was a repost of a very negative post (http://pair-ranting.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/kids-kids-andmore-kids-for-real.html) as follows:

Kids, Kids and…More Kids? For Real?

Posted by Amanda Janik

Parents with four or more kids befuddle me.

I can only assume that after parents have three offspring, they lose their minds. When they’re mulling over whether or not to have another, dad says to mom “well, Billy can help with the baby” (i.e. ALL younger kids). Billy, as you may have guessed, is the theoretical Oldest Child in this theoretical Family. They say this because they remember what it’s like to have a newborn baby and are scared as **** to repeat the work part of that nonsense because, lets face it – it was really hard. The kind of hard that only a little kid can be tricked into doing.

This is why I stopped at two kids. I say calling it good after 2 was a simple matter of replacing only myself and their father in terms of resource consumption, but really it’s because I know my own limitations. I have a set amount of patience and energy doled out to me each morning, and more than two kids would cause some spillage. Also, I don’t personally believe in using siblings as part-time parents. I mean, sure, aside from the whole “overpopulation/draining resources” issue, big families can probably be fun, if done right – though I am in no way saying that I have any idea what ‘right’ looks like.

Seriously. What the ****? Ew.

Back in the olden days people had a ****load of kids because they needed help on the farm, or wanted to increase their particular religion’s chances at winning…something. I don’t know what because I’m not religious and don’t have time to go read the bible right now. (I assume its votes they’re after – the only support I’m seeing being thrown toward that reknob Romney are from the nutty-faithful people I’m sort of acquainted with). So why do non-religious people have a ton of kids in the today-times? It’s not like the majority of us are farmers, amiright? Trust me, if you’re sitting here reading this blog post right now, you’re not a farmer. Not the kind who needs 8 kids to go milk the cows, anyway.

I decided to do a tiny bit of research – I know…I hate it too. I found a blog which goes into all the joys of having a million kids and wearing long skirts for God or something. Anyway, I’m not here to pick on these people, but I did find something interesting, on which I developed a theory. The ages of their kids are 13, 12 (FOUR YEAR BREAK) 8, 6, 5, 3, 2 ,1(x2). Ummm, so here’s my theory: Had a couple of kids, some years went by, these two looked at each other once the youngest was getting more independent and thought “oh ****, we have nothing to talk about! No diapers to change, no mashed peas up to scrub off the walls, no gibberish to translate…we’d better have another baby! Or seven!”

That’s just my theory. What do I know?

Here’s another thing – having kids is expensive! I only have two and already struggle with the whole ‘food and clothing’ thing. Luckily they have no desire whatsoever to do any sort of enrichment activities. No sports, no music lessons, none of that interests them – for the most part. My daughter started asking about ballet lessons a while ago, but there was really no way for me to swing them anyway. I opted to just distract her with my secret and impressive collection of toilet paper rolls for arts and crafts. She loves those things.

So if I can barely manage two kids, how do normal, not-rich people support, say…four. Or six. Or EIGHT?? And why, for the love of god, WHY?? I would love some input here. I have assumptions that I keep to myself – like they’re trying to fill some void by constantly giving themselves the gift of sweet baby pure adoration and dependence; they’re trying to do right what their parents did ‘wrong’ via their children; they’re in a self-imposed competition with someone they’re jealous of; they legitimately like children and want to have a big family because they love kids more than they love non genetically-modified food, or the idea of having a functioning planet to house them and theirs for centuries to come…and they know Wal Mart will always have their back, so why not?

I guess that’s sounding a little judgy there, isn’t it? I’ve been around some very loving, respectful, fun big families, where the siblings all get along and cooperate with one another and seem to really like each other. (Okay, I’ve only actually witnessed this once). But that doesn’t mean I want to try to recreate that, or that I think they couldn’t have achieved that same nirvana with about 4 or 5 less kids.

This one is going to keep me guessing, I can tell. I have nothing personally invested in this question, and I’m open to hearing your thoughts, if for no other reason than I’m curious and bored.

Wait. I’m bored…this gives me an idea….

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81 thoughts on “One response to why anyone would want more than two children (large families) and more…

  1. What a great explanation! I come from a family of five kids and growing up I was jealous of kids in smaller families. Now that I am a parent (and married to an only child) I really understand the value of how I was raised. We needed/wanted less, we learned to SHARE, and deal with lots of different situations. Best of all I have 4 best friends that are always there for each other and will be able to work together to take care of our parents as they age and support each other as time goes by. I really do appreciate being raised in a large family. I don’t understand how people can talk so negatively about large families if they have no personal experience. And really, why can’t people just mind their own business?!

    • Yes but you can also learn to share with just one other sibling. Having many siblings is not essential in learning this lesson. Perhaps people are not purely talking negatively about this exact aspect of large families? I am not suggesting that there is not a lot of love generated in a large family, I’m sure that there is, and I am sure it’s a wonderful way to grow up compared to all sorts of alternatives.

  2. That post by Amanda Janik is fairly offensive (and that bit about “Billy” was quite distasteful). I don’t come from a large family (I just have one younger brother) but both my parents come from fairly large families, so I have a very large and fairly close-knit extended family. However, I believe that the choice exercised by a family to have 0/1/2/3/4/however many no. of kids is theirs to make and as long as the parents are able to manage (finances, household chores, whatever…), who am I to judge whether a small family or a large family is “ideal”.

    There is one thing though – here in India, over-population is a real concern. So notions about “ideal” family size can often be coloured by this concern. We are not ruled by a dictator, so there is no official one-child policy, yet! 🙂

    But I really do appreciate your posts and your sense of humour…and at the end of the day, I just think that as long as it is a happy and healthy family, how is it anybody else’s concern how many kids there are?

    And seriously, your posts make for some fun reading! 🙂

    • Do you think that India should start to do something about the over population which is a concern? Are people or the government thinking to take steps to curb the population growth?

      • Well…like I said there is no one child per couple sort of policy yet 🙂 …overpopulation in India stems from a lot of factors, one of which is, unfortunately, the preference for a boy child over a girl child…probably not a very urban phenomenon, but it is not uncommon to hear of couples continuing to have children till they have boys…so to address the over population concern requires a fairly comprehensive policy…there are government initiatives in place…and there have been certain improvements – the rate of population growth has started to slow down…there are efforts to educate families about family planning…

      • (I don’t know if I’m replying with the correct button by I’m replying to the post you just left)

        Yes I know about the preference for boys over there – terrible! It’s so offensive how the female side of the species is seen as second class still, even in the more developed countries! But that’s a completely different argument for a different blog, and believe me I have strong views on that too! 🙂

        In regards to your reply, that is good to hear because rampant poverty is rife in India due to over population due to large families. Very sad.

        I have a question about your original reply, why is what the author said about ‘Billy’ distasteful? If it’s the choice of name – Billy is a common name, particularly when used to talk about a hypothetical boy child. I don’t believe it was in anyway a reference to the ‘Goat’ author of the blog we are commenting on, as the ‘Goat’ author found it and copied and pasted it into their blog.

        If it was in reference to the fact that the older child is expected to participate in the rearing of or help in the rearing of younger siblings, I’m sorry but that does go on – distasteful or not. It may not be overt but it is there and does happen.

  3. This person is simply projecting her own limitations onto the rest of us to make herself feel better. I feel sorry for her because she must FEEL aweful. If it didnt bother her then she wouldnt have gone to the trouble of writing this diatribe.

    • Hi,
      Not too sure if this is sarcastic as The Garden Goat is not Amanda. The Garden Goat wrote a response to “Amanda’s” negative post. Please clarify. I am approving this comment in the hopes you were sincere and not sarcastic. The Garden Goat 🙂

      • Sorry Garden Goat, I meant to be sincere and not sarcastic, my wife and I had two children which we felt was enough for us to cope with, I ADMIRE couples with a lot of children, particularly the woman/ mother, I have followed the Duggurs and Bate family on television and I have full admiration for all those large families.

      • No problem. Sometimes hard to know with the comments. Thanks for clarifying and for your kind (and sincere) comments…much appreciated! The Garden Goat 😎

  4. The simple answer in response to those who bash larger families, is that they do not comprehend, or are jealous, of that which they did not have growing up, and still do not have as adults with children of their own… a stable, loving, family life. They think that because THEY cannot do something that it automatically applies to the rest of humanity. They are simply projecting their biases and limitations onto everyone else in order to make themselves feel better/superior. It’s basically typical bully behavior. Like most bullies, they just need the rug pulled out from under them to get them to rethink their life choices a bit. 😉

    • This is completely untrue. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, as you are to yours and you are allowed to be wrong (which you are). I don’t believe that you can generalise in this manner on the subject.

      Clearly, however, you have your own issues that need to be worked out. I wish you every success in this endeavour.

      • Speaking of ‘issues’, ‘EP’, considering that you responded to about half of the posts on this thread, leads me to believe that you might be the individual with ‘issues’ on this… err… issue. 😉 Responding many times doesn’t make you any more right… or less wrong. 😉 G’day! 🙂

      • I was unaware that the act of responding to a comment meant that I had issues. My comment was merely directed at the anger that was apparent in your comment, not the fact that you commented at all. Making personal attacks that have no basis is a known indication that the attacker does not have complete conviction in their argument, and therefore have to result in underhanded tactics.

        Not everyone thinks the way you do. Learn to live with it.

  5. Pingback: A Response to Kids, Kids…and More Kids? For Real? | The Southern Voice

  6. Love this post!
    I am one of 9 kids, as is my grandma, and I can tell you from experience that big families can be totally amazing! 🙂 Some of my best friends are my siblings. And the support system (which, of course, everyone is going to need eventually) is a huge bonus to kids in a large family.
    BTW, I really liked your “less serious” answers too. 🙂

      • Yes… And I do have some great, supportive friends. But no one knows me better than my siblings who have lived with me most of my life. Also, most things that affect me affect them too, so they can often sympathize & empathize better than most friends.
        Just curious — Do you have many (or any) siblings?

    • Yes I do. And I have a large extended family. My grandmother always said ‘just replace yourself.’ My family extends to many countries, and my opinions are based on my studies at university and personal experience. I also have many friends who hail from large families and have gone on to have large families. I also have many friends who can sympathise and empathise with whatever is going on in my life simply because they are my friend and care about me and have probably gone through a similar experience themselves without having to be related to me.

      • It’s great to have friends like that (I have some like that too) as well as a large family. I didn’t mean that your family should be your only support system, just that a large family can be a great one.
        Also, not all families — large or small — are supportive of each other. Some people have better friends than they do family. I’m just praising my own family for being so terrific. 🙂

      • Please do not think that I am attacking the large family as a unit of people who love each other and as an environment for raising children. There is a saying that ‘it takes a community to raise a child’ and, being a parent myself, I completely agree. I agree that they can be a wonderful support network. I am delighted that you enjoy a close relationship with yours. (In regards to that quote from my grandmother- she was one of 13 kids and had 4 herself!)

        My only concern is the population explosion that the world is experiencing over the last 100 years and, following this trend, where the world will be in the next 50-100- etc years in the future. I have previously said in a comment that if the human race was any other species, be it flora or fauna, we (the human race) would have taken steps to cull our numbers. And yet we as a species are allowed to breed unchecked!

        My personal belief is that children are a privilege, not a right – or else the world wouldn’t be up in arms about the way ‘Octomum’ has gone about creating her family. For example, in my opinion if you are a child abuser, you should not have the ‘right’ to have children. Do you not agree?

  7. Loved this post! Could it be that the original author was actually just trying to be funny without being offensive? She claims to be ‘befudled’ not ‘offended’. Just her opinion I guess. My mom has 6 siblings which make New Years eve reunions quite fun with all those 14 uncles/aunts and +30 cousins, but I personally don’t want any kids, not really into them; teenagers? can’t stand them! But I guess my bride to be will strongly disagree and will talk me into having 2 🙂 Just my opinion. I’ve been subscribed to your blog ever since you got freshly pressed. Nice blog keep it up!

    PS I guess if you have time to blog you are doing alright with all your kids and its just us who wouldnt know how to make it work, right?

    • Kids are darling, its different when they are yours. I think once you have one you’ll understand. P.S. shouldn’t you already know how many kids your fiancee wants? Just curious.

      • Yes. She wants 2; it says so right there 🙂 I do worry because if I can’t really connect with a kid I only see once in a lifetime how will I even stand those that will keep me up all night, drain my wallet, kill my social life, kill my sexual life, and eventually will tell me they hate me!?!?! *Sigh* I’m sorry but it doesn’t make sense to me, to my life. I’m not saying I wont have them, no, and I will do whatever I can to be the best father I can; I just think that if we were all rational about it, nobody would have kids. Just saying.

      • Haha, yes. If we were smart about it, we would second guess ourselves. But the pure innocence of a child one moment trumps the devilishness the next. Your kids grow with you, grow like you, and become you in your best (and worst, unfortunately) ways. Without them, our race would stop as soon as the youngest generation was too old to take care of themselves. You will get the chance to teach, love, care for a human being that could also become your best friend. Just think, if you had given those obnoxious kids some time to understand each other, I’m certain you just might become somewhat more tolerant. 🙂

  8. What I hate about rebuttal posts like this article is that you are the exception to the data point. Most people cannot have 19 kids, full time work, had your own business and have never used a nanny or daycare…it just makes you a data point anomaly.

    Data shows that most large families are religiously influenced using comments like…our children are in gods hands or it’s god will. Not all…but most. With that said many of us would argue that those some faiths that border on cults the women can be victimized, I know one personally. Additionally…religion being the great repressor has other motives for keeping families larger. Just like any club, union or cult the success is based on more participants…this would include comments about tax base. We all have your opinions of religions (good and bad) and thus can connect the dots to our needs on what motivates someone do have a dozen or more kids.

    I can tell you a a family of 4 can have two kids that can go bad…just as easily as a family of 14, it’s human nature. With that said most religion families that don’t own their own house, land, compound, ect…struggle when the numbers get high. My friend who has 9 kids (and counting) is a victim of our christen cult and husband but guess what…the family farm is paid for (thanks grandparents) and the husband makes well over $200K a year…so one cannot argue about anyone going hungry.

    I also manage a business that works with home schooled families and I can tell you few have money and those with less money and greater amounts of abuse, stress and difficulties (on average) have larger families. I would also say the families most brainwashed by their faith also have larger families. These are people that may be book smart but lack complete understanding of the world as a whole…prefer to keep their kids on the compound and have no goal (or money) for their children to leave the cornfield or compound…let alone college.

    Again you are the exemption to the rules I’ve witnessed.

      • Actually, as a member of the human race you should have some opinion on the exponential growth we have witnessed over the last 100 years. So my honest question to you is, how many people is too many people? History has proven that if the human race was ANY other organism on the planet, be it flora or fauna, we would have taken steps to cull our numbers by now. I have no doubt that you are an excellent parent, I’m not calling that into question in the slightest. If every couple had 5 or more children, how soon do you think it would be before there is mass starvation? Keep in mind as well that the planet is not ours alone. So my honest question to you, and I DO think that someone in your position, with a large family and advocating large families, does have a responsibility to answer the question of how many people do you think the world should have to sustain. So please do.

      • ….and I’m not saying CAN sustain, I’m saying – in your opinion – SHOULD HAVE TO sustain. Perhaps I wasn’t clear on that point.

      • Is there a point at all where you would say ‘Ok people, enough is enough, it’s time to start just replacing ourselves here!’

      • Hmm. Sadly it seems I was correct in my initial feeling that you were just ‘trolling’ this blog, and have an agenda to push. The whole, misplaced eugenics-minded ‘overpopulation’ horse-puckey. There’s no reasoning with people like you, because the science behind your beliefs was flawed to begin with. Every single individual could fit in an area the size of Queensland, Australia, and that’s giving them like a quarter acre of land to be able to farm their own food.

      • The myth of ‘overpopulation’ is something created and pushed by the elitists of this world, who would prefer to reduce the population wholesale to 500 million, and it is perpetuated by people who are ignorant of the truth behind it. It’s sad really, but it is what it is. I bet you support ‘end of life’ planning as well, dont’cha? Go look at the most recent issue of TIME magazine. I bet it’s right up your alley.

      • Please explain how the science behind this logic is flawed.

        And no I was not ‘trolling’ the internet. I was researching how to apply fondant to a cake for s birthday party- a prospect that was scaring me as I’d never done it before and it turned out rather well if I do say so myself! Anyway, I was researching and the topic came up on the side. I have always found the topic interesting and enjoy widening my knowledge on all manner of areas so I decided to have a look. I merely commented on replies that I disagree with as, since those people put their thoughts out into the public arena, blogs such as this produce the perfect environment for a healthy debate. If you do not wish people to disagree with you, don’t air your ideas in public. I am, so please feel free to disagree. You have my attention now so let’s discuss it. If you are able to persuade me that the human race is not growing at an alarming and exponential rate (I find it hard to believe that you will because I have seen the statistics – but by all means give it a shot) then I perfectly willing to apologise for my views.

      • Ok, I’ve just googled the Time article of which you mentioned and no, it’s not ‘right up my alley’. That is a separate issue which I am happy to discuss my thoughts on, but which has nothing to do with the topic to hand. But briefly, in answer to your question: I think euthanasia in regards to the elderly is a highly contentious issue with pros and cons on either side and personally I think it is too horrible to contemplate on a personal level for a relative of an elderly person. My beloved grandmother died rercently at age 96, and though I know personally that she had been ‘ready to go’ for years there is no way – had it been up to me- that I would have gone along with stepping in and putting an end to it. I love her very much and am still devastated at her death. However, if it is me we are talking about and I am in chronic pain with an illness that will eventually lead to my own death then I would hate to think that someone could legislate against me taking responsibility for my own life.

      • So there you go, I have no definite opinion and therefore choose not to argue for or against it. I realise you are trying to be insulting, but can we please stick to the topic which this blog is discussing?

    • And I have to tell you that you are wrong on another point. How big do you think Queensland in Australia is? As of 2010 the estimated population was over 6,840,500,000 people according to World Bank. How big do you think Queensland in Australia is? 420,079,148.494 square acres, or 1,700,000 square kilometres. If you divide that up into quarter acres blocks, that’s a quarter acre for 1,680,316,594 people. What about the other 5,160,183,406 (give or take) people? As the world now has well over 7 billion people you are becoming more wrong by the second. Anything else I can help you with?

      • Ok, for fun let’s follow your absurd claim to it’s logical conclusion. If you populate the 1,730,000 square kilometres of Queensland with the 7,048,000,000 people that are currently on the planet (please check the world clock, it’s online!) it works out that every person is allotted 24.5 square centre metres and getting smaller by the second. Good luck with your farming.

      • Hi,

        Due to a family medical emergency I have not been available on this site and for the first time since this blog started I have not been monitoring comments. I am very surprised at the frequency of the dialogue on this post, and by you in particular.I feel that many of your comments are at risk of appearing obnoxious and rude to some of my readers. Please refrain from numerous comments within minutes of each other and without any other comments from others in between. I have no real scientific data to give you as far as the answers you are seeking. You have your beliefs and I have mine. I have never pretended to have all the answers but I do know that some of the world issues you raise are much more complex than just a population issue in which the finger can be pointed at those of us with larger families as the culprits. I welcome comments and difference of opinions, however I do not tolerate rudeness or condescension. If in monitoring your comments I continue to see you engage in the aforementioned I will have to block your access to comment. I hope that this will not be the case. Thank you.

        The Garden Goat

      • I am incredibly sorry to hear of your family emergency and I hope that everyone is fine.

        I apologise if any of my comments to you seemed rude. The only person I have been intentionally sassy to is WildCookery who started it, and made some ridiculous claims. May I ask if you are going to extend the same warning to him?

        My questions to you are honest ones which I would love to hear your opinions on. I have not asked you for any evidence, only your opinion. You opened the subject with this blog so I believed the topic was open for discussion.

        I apologise for writing multiple blogs within minutes. I was writing as ideas came to hand and these comments boxes are only so big. I can see where your concerns lie with people not having been given the opportunity to respond, I shall refrain from comment for a few days to allow for buttals.

  9. In Brazil the average family has 5 to 7 children, their economy is growing from strength to strength. I cannot think of any country who have hosted the World Cup Football and Olympic Games within 2 years as Brazil will in 2014 and 2016, so the more children there are, they of course become adults and help the economy of their country.

    • If this is meant as a response to my question, you are not thinking on the global scale that I am talking about. If this is meant as a stand alone comment then I applaud Brazil for managing to rise above the current global economic crisis, and I wish Brazil well for the future for the World Cup and Olympic games events they are staging.

      If, however, you are responding to my comments, I would ask that to take a look at the graph that is the global population expansion over the last 100 years or so, particularly and most frighteningly the last 15. Please also keep in mind that NO OTHER species has changed/impacted the environment like the human race has AND that we are not alone in inhabiting this beautiful planet.

      Therefore my point is, just because you are capable of producing a multitude of children, do you think that, as a member of a species that is growing at an alarmingly exponential rate, you should?

  10. I have another question.

    According to your blog, if certain people were not born then the world would be deprived of these ‘gifts’. Do you not think that this knowledge would have come to the fore or been discovered eventually anyway? I mean, we seem to have done quite well on the knowledge and development front (I say ‘quite well’ because we would done a whole lot better if it wasn’t for the intervention of religion as evidenced in the comparison between developments in science and mathematics in ancient Greece, with the developments in the same areas of knowledge in the Dark Ages till now- a time controlled by religion) so far and there have been countless billions of human eggs that have gone unfertilised.

    And if not, a woman is born with approximately 7,000,000 eggs (give or take), do you mean to say that they should all be fertilised on the off chance a brilliant artist, scientist, philosopher, linguist etc, is born?

  11. Thank you for sharing Both the original post and the rebuttal so that we might be clear on the subject at hand. Unfortunately, when people are rude, inconsiderate and use offensive language, even valid arguments for or against an idea are ignoredas the reader is appalled by the verbal abuse received from an article, or comments. In university people learn facts and numbers, and ideas with scientific basis. Education, however does not make a person wise. University lasts only a few short years of our lives, and colors much of our thinking… However it is my experience that the longer I have been out of school and living the “real” life, the more I realize how much I don’t know or understand. Life is about the relationships we make and what we experience. Scientifically speaking we have evolved as a highly organized social group. Remove the connections and humans suffer from depression and other social/mental and even physical illness. Religions are not glee clubs that people are promoting, but world view much like science. They are the epitome of a culture, be it pagan, Islam or Christianity or one of the other many religions/cultures out there. People chose to live their lives, to be moral people in the best way they know. Sharing that a belief might be incorrect is important, but not when risking the health of yourself by displaying yourself negatively. Many people who have or want large family live with the world view that love cannot be measured or limited, and therefore welcome children, or other human connections that enrich their lives and thus their world.

    • It is very true that the validity of many an argument is often not well considered when it is presented with rude and abusive language. In moderating some of the comments on this site I wish more people understood that notion. Those who share the world view that “love cannot be measured or limited” are best served by the quote “To those who believe no explanation is necessary and to those who do not believe…no explanation is possible.” Thanks for your comment. The Garden Goat 😎

  12. No…I don’t believe it’s fair to anybody to have a large family. If something happens to you or your husband and you can’t work who is going to support you and your large family? If you like children that much why can’t you adopt? you still get somebody to take care off but you don’t add to the number off people born each year.

  13. I always find it interesting to read people’s opinions regarding large families. My husband and I planned on having 2 children, which we did, then 2 years later became pregnant with a 3rd and were THRILLED, only to lose that child at 16 weeks gestation. We assumed we would not be blessed with more children, however 4 years later (6 years after our second child) our 3rd was born. Since we are both engineers, we like symmetry, so we became pregnant soon after and were blessed with a 4th. We .loved life with our children and at this point were financially blessed to be able to easily provide for our children while I stayed home and cared for them, (quitting my six figure income job). We had no idea until we HAD more than 2 children what a joy a larger family would be, and how you learn to provide and care for your children as a part of a family. We cannot have any more children of our own however we do now have six biological children and hope to adopt soon. I can assure that none of anyone else’s tax dollars are paying for our children. I am quite sure we are paying for many other people’s, however.
    I think each family has its own dynamic and so long as the family is healthy (both psychologically and financially) there is no cookie cutter for the size (or source) of our family.
    My children are a blessing, and I am thankful to have them.
    Also, for those of you that believe it is wrong to have your older children help with the younger children, I can tell you that our older children quickly learned compassion, They also learned the personal duty we have as human beings when we are stronger or smarter than another person, to protect them from harm. I also found my oldest two are in no hurry to get married or have children before they are ready!

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for your comments…so true. Many miss the opportunity of experiencing a larger than average family. The inherent blessing of opportunities for personal growth and development for the older siblings in a large family is sadly overlooked and misjudged as a burden.

      Cheers,
      The Garden Goat 😎

  14. Hi,
    I am a fulltime working mother of two with one on the way. My husband and I don’t have a large support network, a cleaner or a nanny. I study part time. We rely very little on our families (we have had them babysat once in the last 4 months – and twice overnight in 3 years) and we take full and complete responsibility for our children. But we want nothing more than to have more kids. It’s not religious, we don’t drain societies resources and we pay our way. Our kids are enrolled in soccor and swimming – we work so they don’t miss out. We almost own out home and we eat well, we don want for more but we live comfortably. We have middle of the range incomes. You don’t have to be a religious, irrisponsible, dole bludging hippy to have a big family. You may just have a desire to have more kids and that is as far as it goes. We forgo things like new cars/furniture expensive clothes, and we shop at aldi and kmart. But my kids don’t wan for anything and they are happy well adjusted inderviduls In a stable, loving home. I know people with only one or two kids that can’t manage all that. And the best bit is when you have your kids you do t want or need for anything else. They are amazing little people who give so much more then they cost. For all the work, I’d neve have it any other way.
    Big(ish) family nd proud!
    Jaana

    • Thanks for your comments. Congrats on the impending arrival of the newest addition to your household.

      It all boils down to “for those who believe no answer is necessary and for those who do not believe…NO explanation is possible.”

      Many people marvel at families with more than two kids and sometimes I think a lot of the reaction people have as a response to larger families has a lot to do with the sheer fright of imagining what it is like to have more children than they could ever think they would want to handle. The finance thing is always high up on the list. The reality is that yes, large families can cost somewhat more than one or two children but costs are kept to a minimum as equipment and clothes are just reused or passed down or done without where as smaller families with one and two kids tend spend more per kid. Beyond the basics, time spent with a child always outweighs money spent on a child. I love your statement “They are amazing little people who give so much more then they cost.” and how!!!
      The Garden Goat 😎

  15. do you really believe that this planet can sustainably support a growing population? have you never considered that your wealth and comfort in the west is at the expense of those living in the third world. please realize that for every extra child you decide to have you are putting additional strain on this planet and depriving food and quality of life from another child far less fortunate!

    • Thanks for your comment. To each his own. There is a lot more excess in this world that is depriving other less fortunate children than those of us with larger than average families!
      The Garden Goat 😎

    • “do you really believe that this planet can sustainably support a growing population?” As a matter of fact I do. I also do not believe that the west is the evil tyrant that so many have purported us to be. I have visited third world countries, and they are often times their own worst enemies, living on land not meant to sustain life well, and under governments that literally strip their own people of any possible value or wealth. The west does not do this to them, and we often are their only hope of recovery. I have 6 children, who,by God’s grace, will be well educated and prepared to go out and serve the world, including those less fortunate people in third world countries.

      • But why should the planet HAVE to sustain our exponentially growing population? There are more living creatures on our planet than just the human race and we are squeezing them out of their rightful place to live. Check out the graph of human population growth over just the past 200 years. It is extremely selfish to go breeding unchecked as we have been without taking responsibly for the results. Yes you have the right to breed like a rabbit, and so do your children, and their children, but as a mammal of a higher order you are given the capacity to think beyond yourself and your personal desires and see the result that your unchecked breeding is having on the earth at large- not just third world countries (and yes the west does take advantage of them) but the sea, the air, the rain forests etc. Look beyond you’re own front yard. Watch the world population clock for just 15 seconds. You do not have ‘a god given right’ to breed continuously. As a higher mammal, think about what sort of world your children are inheriting.

      • This is not a good letter from toyhoot, I don’t like the word breeding regarding large families, when I got married both my wife and I hoped we would have a lot children, she hoped at least 5, I thought maybe 8, but I did not argue about that. Unfortunately for medical reasons we could only have 2 children, she did have 4 pregnancies but she miscarried in 2 of them. We never thought of us ‘breeding’ with the 5 or 8 we hoped we would have. I admire couples with 8 or 9 children like Garden Goat has, I feel they are very lucky indeed to have such a lovely amount of kids, children, I so much would have liked to have had 8 or 9 as well.

      • So happy to get your comment and realize that this term offends the sensibilities of others beyond myself. I have always found the word “breeding” to be particularly crass. As someone who totally enjoys each child as a blessed gift I find the word most offensive and always have. Thank you for your kind words. Each day I thank my lucky stars to have the gift of the children I do and treasure them above anything else life could have to offer me. Again thanks for your perspective…refreshing and sincere as always…and most appreciated!

        The Garden Goat 😎

      • Your response is very interesting. The comment “You do not have ‘a god given right’ to breed continuously.” is intriguing since in the Bible on the book of Genesis Chapter 9 verse 7 God actually commands men ” 7 As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”
        So if we are going to be literal, I would actually say, using your crass and insensitive verbiage, that not only do we have the right, according to God it is His will that we breed continuously.

        With that said, I do believe it is our responsibility to be good stewards of the Earth, caring for its resources and and being mindful of our waste. However I will not lump myself into the category of rabbits and be subject to the idea that myself and my husband were “breeding” thoughtlessly. If you do your study correctly you will find that the western population is actually declining, to the point that many cultures will be completely lost in a few generations due to their inability to sustain their aging population with a declining younger population.
        As quoted from the last census “The U.S. population reached 313.9 million on July 1, a 0.75% increase in the past year.” This was published in USA Today on December 21, 2012. The article goes on further to state “The estimates show the effects of an aging population, as the oldest Baby Boomers turned 66 this year and birth rates and immigration continue to decline.”

        You cannot vilify every family that chooses to have more children than you prefer simply because nations like India have chosen to enslave their people and not build an infrastructure that will support them. That is like telling me I should not have daughters because that furthers the sex trade. Ridiculous. Each culture and on a personal level each family, needs to address its own issues specific to themselves. I can assure you, given the income our family makes and taxes we pay, we are supporting many more families than just our own. If you want to take it down to “rights” I absolutely have the “right” to have as many children as God deems me worthy to be blessed with. My stewardship of that blessing is what is really at issue every day.

      • Lisa…very well said.In fact so well said there really is not much left for me to comment on. Thanks for your courageous and insightful comments.

        The Garden Goat 😎

  16. I can see why only 44% of America pays taxes. Just because you have a right to do something isn’t meaning you should. This ‘population decline’ is only referring to educated peopel having fewer babies. The problem with larger families is the older ones get stuck with filling in for theparent. There is no way to give so many kids attention they deserve and need.They aren’t objects to thrust aside.
    Women who keep having kids seem insecure and lacking something. The woman’s ID is totally wrapped up in her kids and society/family is partly to blame. They give every excuse to justify their actions and acutally love the attention it gets them. Devil’s advocate nothing totally against larger families but there is little reason to have so many kids these days. It doens’t make adiffernce about the money. Children need much more than that. These parent should stop thinking of themslves and the futures of their current children before bringing anymore in the world.

    • Well…to each his own opinion. Curious to know if you have children and are they completely raised? My experience is that numbers do not drive anything. I have met very engaged parents of one, two, nine and twelve kids. On the other had I have also met parents who operate disengaged from their one, two kids and a few with 3 or 4 children. Most of us with larger families truly love children and are able to give the children what they need. Each child is different. One needs to be careful not to presume that just because one has more children than the national average…the children are missing out and older kids “get stuck with filling in for the parent.” As with any additional responsibility comes the opportunity for growth and development in skills that are not taught in an institution. Furthermore, other skills and learning experiences (and are learned practically from birth in a large family)that serve well in the work place include skills in teamwork, sharing, patience and a keen understanding that we are all different but equal.A most valuable lesson not readily learned to the same level within any other external learning environment.
      Thank you for your comment.
      The Garden Goat 🙂

    • Your opinion is interesting. I would invite you to observe my family any day because I feel it would completely refute your opinion. I would also invite you to view my homeschool community of families, as I am sure only upon observation would you determine that there are many large families out there that so not fit your mold. We have six children. Our oldest daughter is 21 years old and just started Medical School at Emory University in their Doctorate of Physical Therapy program (highly competitive). Our second daughter turned down her congressional nomination to the Naval Academy and has chosen to start the Aeronautical Science program with Flight at Embry Riddle university in August where she will become a professional pilot. Our other children who are also equally amazing are ages 14, 11, 4 and 2. You will notice, my older children are most definitely NOT being forced to step in. That is just plain ridiculous! As for it only being the uneducated having large families, while we are not PhD’s, (I only have a bachelors in Math and in Systems Engineering, my husband only has his bachelors in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Business) I would still suggest that we do fall into the group of the “educated” population.
      The homeschool group we are a part of, which is a large national organization supporting thousands of families, is called Classical Conversations. You can check it out at classicalconversations.com Our community her in little Panama CIty has over 100 families. These are very educated families, where the norm is more than 3 children per family.

      What my 11 year old son has learned by being an older brother to two younger siblings is compassion, care, selflessness, and the joy of love born through choosing to sacrifice your own personal pleasure for the happiness of someone else. I cannot imagine how he could have learned that so naturally or so well as he has by being a part of our family.

      By the way, in case you have not already discerned, I do not have a problem with low self esteem and most certainly do not feel a need to live vicariously through my children. Frankly, with this large a family, I do not have the time. I do however, have an abundance of love and blessing.

      • Thank you for your excellent rebuttal.
        Well said and much appreciated!

        A Garden Goat who also does not fit “the mold” and treasures the abundance of blessings and love that go with having a large family!

        😎

  17. I’ve chosen to be childfree and some of the reasons you cite for having a large family are the reasons why I don’t want a family at all. Primarily though, it is because I have no desire to have children. I did appreciate your comment that you would never ask someone why they didn’t have children as you respect those people that don’t judge you for having children. I am happy that you have a great family and have found joy in having a large family. It’s not for me, but that is no reason to not support it. Thanks for stopping by my blog too!

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