To be fed up when people have an opinion on how many children you have or want

(472 Posts)
brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 20:58:52

I have 2 young boys aged 2 and 7 months and would like 4 children if i'm lucky enough as i was an only child and knew i wanted a big family. Before i went off on maternity leave with my youngest a woman at work said are you done now and i said i would like more children in the future and she said im mad.

Other people have also asked the same thing. Is it me? I wouldn't dream commenting on how many children someone wants or has as it's up to them, when im asked now i feel all defensive about it and don't want to tell them like im a naughty teenager not a 33 year old married woman!

SkinnybitchWannabe Sat 09-Feb-13 21:00:55

Yep, I get that when I say I'd like another dc. I've got 3ds and if I had the space and money oh and a new OH I'd try for number 4.

nethunsreject Sat 09-Feb-13 21:02:30


BusyTiredAndLoveIt Sat 09-Feb-13 21:02:48

Oh I get this and it cheeses me off beyond belief.

Me and my dh pay for our dc.
We raise them with no help.
There's no drug/drink/social care problems etc.
We depend on no one.

Yet people feel its ok to comment on how many dc we have or plan to have.

We have 3 ATM under 6.


That covers it really.

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:07:19

i like you response BusyTiredAndLoveIt! I find people judge it on what they would like theirselves, well thats great but it's not what i want!

BusyTiredAndLoveIt Sat 09-Feb-13 21:11:03

'Well you've for your hands full'

My response 'better than having them empty'

Very true smile

LadySybilPussPolham Sat 09-Feb-13 21:20:01

Rude IMO. As is the prodding about changing my mind and having another when I've just said 'we're really happy with two"
You don't need to know why!

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:27:38

It's a personal decision how many children you want to have, i'm really surprised how rude some people are and how they think they have the right to voice their opinion on it. I keep getting "so you will be trying for a girl next time"

"I just say even if ds had been a girl i would still have wanted another one!" And the comment of having your hands full, well thats how i like it!

germyrabbit Sat 09-Feb-13 21:29:02

i dunno, i wonder why people have more than 4 children and would question their motives

Yes it's rude. As is assuming if you already have a boy then you'll be trying for a girl next time or vice versa. I have one DS and actually would quite like another.

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:37:42

I always wanted a girl first until i had my first DS and he was such a plessure i didn't care what my second was so we didn't find out at the scan and i'm not bothered what i have in the future as just to have a baby is a miracle as didn't think i could have any as conceived my first on clomid! Baby number 2 was planned but unexpected as i started trying a year after my first incase i had trouble conceiving second time round as it happens it took only 2 months!

People don't think about if you have had any problems conceiving or any losses etc but feel it's acceptable to voice their opinion on what has nothing to do with them.

I will breathe now!

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:38:42

germyrabbit- would you ask them to their face or just think it to yourself?

germyrabbit Sat 09-Feb-13 21:39:46

dunno, i would probably ask them or assume they were religious

theboob Sat 09-Feb-13 21:41:12

I have 4 dc , when i announced my last pregnancy i'd snap at anyone that said 'again' !
now we are ttc#5 and i dread the comments that are to come ......i will prob announce next pregnancy with a warning lol

I know I should be grateful I can have children at all. But I mean I don't have a yearning to have 'one of each', another boy would be great. As would a little girl. I'm not too fussed either way but just know people will assume we are trying for a girl next time when that isn't the case.

Whyriskit Sat 09-Feb-13 21:43:33

Not looking forward to hearing people's responses when I tell them I'm expecting DC3. Because I already have 2 DSs, I an expecting a deluge of "hoping for a girl this time?".

Purple2012 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:44:07

I hate personal questions like this. I have a step daughter. Since I got married I am always being asked when we are going to have children together. I would love to have a child of my own but we can't have them. I end up feeling really awkward and making excuses - our age, step daughter will be off our hands in a few years, or whatever excuse comes into my head as it's none of their business that we can't. It does really upset me though.

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:48:41

That used to annoy me too, when i got married this one woman at work kept asking me " Are you pregnant yet?" I would love to have said yes but it took nearly 3 years! People kept saying when are you going to have a baby, they didn't realise i was having fertility tests! I know it's probably only making conversation but it always seems so invasive. How does how many children you choose to have affect anyone else?

JaquelineHyde Sat 09-Feb-13 21:48:53

I am currently pg with my 4th and I get comments constantly.

Water off a ducks back though as I am 1 of 7 and have grown up with hearing rude comments all the time.

All along the lines of 'I assume your Mum is either catholic or slighlty deranged' or 'don't your parents have a TV then' and finally 'Blimey your Mum must have been a rabbit in a previous life'

I have been hearing these comments since I was about 10.

Funny thing is I don't even think 7 children is a large family, it's just normal to me.

Queenmarigold Sat 09-Feb-13 21:51:26

I have twins. The initial questions every single person asks are:
1. Do they run in your family (code for 'did u have ivf')
2. Were they planned
3.are they identical

Details of family planning aren't something I discuss with ANYONE apart from my partner- the number of children in my family are up to us! 'Were they planned?'- mind your own fkg business!!

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:55:25

I would love to have been part of a large family but i was the only one which is my reason for wanting a big family also my DH is one of five. I find when you are pregnant with your first everyone seems happy but after that it goes down hill!

PenelopePipPop Sat 09-Feb-13 21:56:31

YANBU. DH and I are having to stop at 1 even though we would love more because I have a health problem that would make another pregnancy impossible. We both feel really sad about this. DH was recently told by his boss that now DD is 2.8 we'd 'better get cracking on number 2'. Sadly he didn't say 'Oops I'd forgotten. Thanks for the reminder. I'll dash home now and give Penelope a good seeing to. Wish me luck!'.

MN044 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:57:39

I have 3. I can't tell you how many people today thought it was good conversation to tell me I had my hands full hmm They were impeccably behaved today too. But tbh people said that even when dc2 came along. If you can manage them, and enjoy them, then go ahead.

Queen if I ask someone about twins running in the family I'm not (nosily and none of my business like ) asking if they've had IVF.

More like if they run in the family then you might expect them. But if they don't then it would be a complete shock when you have the scan.

brummiegirl1 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:05:20

I love all the chaos they bring!

PenelopePipPop i can just imagine the look on your husband's boss's face if he did say that!

Do people ever say nasty comments to you if they see you with 3,4 or more children when out?

Bobbybird40 Sat 09-Feb-13 22:05:47

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

JaquelineHyde Sat 09-Feb-13 22:29:53

Hahahahahahaha and what a ridiculous (and quite spiteful) observation that is Bobby but thank you for giving me a laugh.

I shall be sure to relay your observation to my Mum the ugly cah!

BusyTiredAndLoveIt Sat 09-Feb-13 22:54:54

shock Bobby!!!

So you're beautiful if you only have one child but a minger if you have a few?

How rude!

theboob Sat 09-Feb-13 23:35:26

well let me tell you ......i'm bloody gorgeous grin
don't the Beckham have 4 ? wink

Purpleprickles Sat 09-Feb-13 23:50:40

As someone who is failing miserably at ttc #2 I would say ignore comments. It's nobody else's business, just enjoy your children and your fertility smile It's equally hard when you are asked if you will have another child when you are trying and can't. Sometimes I say I don't know, sometimes I'm honest and say its not happened for us yet and somedays I swallow tears and the urge to punch them in the face. confused

cantspel Sat 09-Feb-13 23:57:47

I personally dont care how many children anyone chooses to have as long as

1. they can afford them and are not going to be trying to bring them up on child tax credits.
2. they dont continually moan that they cant afford to buy a house, new car, holiday, the cost of school uniforms or their house is too small
3. each child is wanted and loved.

MrsKoala Sun 10-Feb-13 00:00:16

I find people's interest odd. When I grew up most friends had 2 or 3 siblings, but now I have had ds, people are asking me if I'll try for another or just leave it at one. (The tone is I should leave it at one). When I say we'd like a couple more, people are horrified and say'THREE'! As if I said 13 or something. Some then try to negotiate with me by saying 'well why don't you just have 2'. As if it was any concern of theirs or that 3 children was such an outrageous number that channel 4 would be round doing a shockumentary on me.

Seriously, 3 isn't that many is it?

Casmama Sun 10-Feb-13 00:09:27

I don't think people really care ow many children other people have and any comments made are just making conversation and shouldn't be taken to heart. If something is offensive then call them on it but don't silently seethe.

Surely you are on the wind up Bobby? I don't believe that you would make such a spectacularly rude comment otherwise.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 00:13:51

I had the opposite the other day and it did ruin my day. I had DD via ivf and horrible pnd plus I know I do not want to have any more. Its a miracle DD arrived even with the ivf as my embryos were very bad quality. It wasnt actually expected to work at all. I know my limitations and I can barely handle DD at times as it is. Still have bouts of depression. so cue old bag in the charity shop hmm

me: oh that reminds me, I had a bag of baby clothes to donate.
Old bag: oh you might have another! (with shock horror face)
Me: oh no Im not going through that again. definitely wont happen. (didnt want to face the pitiful looks when I say I cant anyway)
Old Bag: Oh but my daughter is an only child and she says she doesnt know how she will cope when I die!!!! of course she has kids of her own now. Its not fair to have just one!

Ive had the sudden loss of an aunt at 48 and 3 family members with different health issues/serious illness in the last few months. It kills me to think of being without DD/her without me. I was feeling the dark cloud looming all day, I just couldnt shake it.

I fell pg with DS on DD's 1st birthday, not hugely close gap but met with 'are you mad?' Etc
I have mentioned before that if I had room/money I would have another one or two, they look at me like I have two heads, that's the least unkind reaction. Then there is the reaction of my mother 'you can't cope with the two you have already' cheers mother.
It makes me sad that we can't afford more children, but you cut your cloth and all that.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 00:35:11

Well, I come from a family of loads of half and step siblings, and DH has two siblings. We're completely the opposite. I'd only ever have max. three kids - likely only two. If you think about the bigger picture: the planet has more than enough people. If everyone started having four kids, we'd double the amount of people on this planet in no time, and given the fact that resources are already pretty tight... you do have to wonder how great DCs world will be if we multiply like that. Sometimes, I just think that people who want to have so many children are a little selfish, and irresponsible about the world as a whole.

I also second cantspel - people really should only have as many kids as they can afford (without handouts from the state). There are people out there who think it's the state's job to pay for their kids angry. I don't understand people who decide to have four kids, then complain about the cost of uniforms, clothes, food, holiday... and begrudge those who have less children than them. Sometimes, they even say those people are selfish for having less children, and have more material things in life instead.

This is a stereotype, I know, and completely un-PC to say: but the majority of people I do see having loads of kids give me nightmares of a future apocalyptic world fully inhabited by chavs.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 01:53:30

Tasmania you do realise that 40/50 years ago it was the norm to have lots of kids. How many people turned to them with the attitude you have now? They were dirt poor a lot of the time but people got on with it and often thats what gave them a sense of hard working attitude. Its not how many siblings you have that shapes you its 50% the parents and 50% of what you put into it yourself.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 02:34:03


40-50 years ago, people smoked without having to think of lung cancer.
40-50 years ago, the world had something like 3 billion people. Now it has more than 7 billion... can you believe it? more than double?!?!
40-50 years ago, people thought nothing of gas-guzzling cars and CO2 emissions.
40-50 years ago, it wasn't so obvious that we're actually running out of resources.

I could go on and on...

Basically, 40-50 years ago, people were completely blase of how tough the future could be, and what impact they have on our planet. Today, we do know more, and it's a little irresponsible to close your eyes (and have as many kids as possible just because you want to) when it is actually the DC who will suffer most.

Their future will be impacted by the following equation: more people = more competition. Resources, jobs, etc. are limited after all. It would be a dog-eat-dog world. People are already complaining about the Tiger Mums now. Well, wait until that becomes the norm. How do you feel knowing that in future, your DC (or grandchildren) may live in a world that's no longer sustainable because the previous generation just wouldn't stop breeding?

Oh... and just to point out something that was in fact better 40-50 years ago: people were much less reliant on the state to pick up their bill. Much less entitled people walking around with a Croydon facelift and fag in hand while living on benefits. Maybe that is why back then they gained that sense of hard working attitude?!?

I personally believe that in two hundred years time, our times (and even more so... that of our parents) will be seen as the golden era for humans where standard of living was at its highest. This will be seen as an outlier, and our grandchildren will most likely have to do with a more dire world.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 02:41:57

How do you feel knowing that I am sustaining the world a little by doing my own bit to help? Why look down on people on benefits. you obviously type cast them. If you can afford kids then no problem. As far as jobs, the way you describe "entitled people walking around with a Croydon facelift and fag in hand while living on benefits" its hardly going to be them taking the jobs away is it?

SpecialAgentKat Sun 10-Feb-13 02:42:03

DH and I would really love to try for more when the DTs are a bit older and the situation with DSS and his mother is sorted out.

I admire people who have five +. I saw 'having your hands full jealously affectionately.

cantspel Sun 10-Feb-13 02:55:16

40/50 years ago it was not normal to have lots of kids. The average family size was 2.93 which was the peak in 1964 (the year of my own birth) and has been dropping year on year until 2001 when it hit 1.63 and then it started rising again and in 2009 we were at 1.96. It is still growing.

MN is full of threads about lack of housing and the rising cost of what is available, no jobs, struggling to make ends meet and cost of food. This will only get worse with a higher birth rate and add in to the mix the freedom of movement within the eu and people living longer. How is the country going to substain everyone.

You cant just say build more housing as we already have problems with flooding due to building in places where were shouldn't and we need land to grow food and for trees to grow so the planet can breath or we will end up like Hong Kong with it being the norm for families to live in one room.

If you want to go back to victorian england with it being the norm for large families then we better start dying earlier and go back to infant mortality rates of 3 in every 10 children not living past childhood or we are going to over populate even worse than we do now.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 03:10:04

I've only ever had a nasty comment when all three were playing up one day and I was told I shouldn't have had so many. To which I replied which one should I get rid of first then ?
Stupid person, one bad day (hour in fact) and somebody shouldn't have been born ?

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 03:52:38

I'd like five (not all biological though) and get all sorts of comments.

I have a DS and a DD on the way. The few people who know this baby is a girl have said "oh lovely, one of each! Now you can just be done."


CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 03:54:00

And the US birthrate (I'm American) is apparently at an all time low, actually.

juule Sun 10-Feb-13 08:39:14

Tasmania "Sometimes, I just think that people who want to have so many children are a little selfish, and irresponsible about the world as a whole."

I'm wondering what non-selfish reasons people have for having any children. There can't be many, if any.

aurynne Sun 10-Feb-13 08:43:36

People always seem to have an opinion about your fertility, the more judgemental the less they know you, apparently. I don't have kids, never wanted them and my DH and I are incredibly happy. Well, it seems not to be enough for a number of people who keep telling us that "we should have children".

It does not matter how many kids you have. There will always be people who enjoy telling you it's the wrong number.

Molehillmountain Sun 10-Feb-13 08:48:31

I don't mind the question "are you having any more?" now because I feel at ease, although sometimes sad, with the fact that dd2 is our last. I hated it when we were ttc numbers one and two, given that we were having fertility treatment and when trying for ds, miscarriages too. I find it a stupid question really, although I know it's just vonversation for most. It's daft because not telling people you're ttc or just pregnant is a kind of acceptable lie so people often don't get the truth anyway. It was also hard to hear when dh and I were trying to decide whether or not to have dc 3 as I wanted to say "I really, really hope so but please could you persuade dh". I never ask the question or comment. You just don't know people's circumstances.

treaclesoda Sun 10-Feb-13 09:05:30

it is horribly rude to quiz people on why they have the number of children that they do. It used to really annoy me after dc1 that people were so keen to tell me when to start on dc2.

But, for the record, I do sometimes say to other mums 'you've got your hands full' and I have never meant it as a criticism or a comment on how many children they have, and I'd be a bit upset if they thought that's what I meant. If I've ever said that, what I meant was as an acknowledgment that looking after small children is hard work, and demanding. My friend has four children and I am in awe of her patience, her creativity and her frugality. I couldn't do it, and I admire her.

FrankellyMyDearIDontGiveADamn Sun 10-Feb-13 09:24:44

Some people are just rude/suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome. I get the same for having no children

DH and I have been together for 11 years and married for 4.5. The seemingly endless "you ought to get cracking" or "don't you want a family" comments make my blood boil. All I want to do is scream "excuse me for not sharing my fertility problems with you. We've been TTC for 3 years and I'm sorry it's all so inconvenient for you!" angry

Whyriskit Sun 10-Feb-13 09:53:10

I do resent the implication from some posters than in having 3 children we are being selfish, feckless and living off the state.
DH and I have 5 siblings between us. For various reasons we will be the only ones to procreate. My boys have health issues which may impact on their life expectancy. I want to have three children so that (among other reasons) they will be able to support one another further down the line.
DH and I both work, we are not eligible for benefits other than CB and we don't rely on anyone else to support us.

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 10:00:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

I get told I'm selfish for only having and wanting 1 all the time. Apparently my child will end up lonely and spoilt.
The fact we can only afford one seems to be irrelevant to many.
I don't really see that it is anyones business but my own and my partners but now I just smile sweetly and nod.
I don't think you can win either way, big family or small. People will always want something or someone to comment on.

NumericalMum Sun 10-Feb-13 10:03:27

I never understand these threads. Surely if you are happy with your decision you couldn't care what people say? I have one DC and get the question about more all the time. I am happy with our decision and it is right for us for now so why would it bother me.
I get that when you have been TTC and are struggling it would be painful but just be honest. I can assure you the old lady who was trying to make friendly conversation really didn't think that asking if you will have a baby soon was being deliberately spiteful! Just say we can't. She will be mortified and might learn not to ask anyone else!

needsadviceplease Sun 10-Feb-13 10:05:51

Yeah, poor people should be stopped from breeding. Only the independently wealthy should be allowed to procreate, what with their superior genes and all.

Stop claiming benefits (including all those pesky benefits for the working poor - and hey, including child benefit too); make sure you pay privately for every day of your children's education (presumably also keep them out of HE, as this is state-subsidised - maybe send them to the US at 18 to avoid that problem); make sure they only ever receive private health and dental care...

And even then, know that your child is still benefiting from social expenditure. Someone, somewhere is always 'paying for your kids'. And the Malthusian stuff is hardly new. hmm

OP, it's a personal decision. I plan to stop at one and hope to use the line "actually I'm infertile" (I'm not) to turn the embarrassment back on the asker, when the question starts arising. People are rude.

bigbuttons Sun 10-Feb-13 10:06:50

I have 6. I have found people's comment to be mostly very positive. A few people said I was mad; I thought it was rude of them to say so.
When I had them we could afford them all. Last year I finally left my abusive ex. He pays no money at all ( claims he is broke). So for the moment( for the first time in my life) I live off the state. I hate it.

Whyriskit Sun 10-Feb-13 10:12:49

Yes; needs advice I was thinking after my previous post, the amount of taxpayers money that's gone into making DS2 relatively healthy, family genetics testing, not to mention the cost of my two emcs...

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 10:14:40

If I asked somebody if their twins were identical or if twins run in their family I wouldn't have thought it was asking some terribly sensitive personal question. But if people feel that way then perhaps it is.

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 10:17:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smartiepants79 Sun 10-Feb-13 10:23:21

Personally it doesn't bother me. It does depend on how it is said.
Mostly I think it is just well meant interest in your life, especially if it is a friend making the comment.
I can't imagine coping with more than 2 children so I might well say ( joking!) that I thought you were mad!

Midori1999 Sun 10-Feb-13 10:34:07

I am pregnant with my 7th baby, although I only have four living children, so will have five if all goes well this time. I would like another after this I think, but I suspect this will be the last.

I don't really give a shit what anyone else thinks. DH has a good job and i am lucky enough to be a SAHM. I am pretty sure my in laws will have some snidey comment when we tell them I'm pregnant, but then, they always saw their children as an inconvenience.

VeryDullNameChange Sun 10-Feb-13 10:38:10

I think it's rude to comment on babies that are already conceived, beyond a passing "Blimey you've got your hands full there" (predictable but not rude). And I wouldn't comment on a mum of 2 who wanted 2 more, she's in a position to guess what it would be like.

But I think that teens and recently married twenty-somethings announcing that they want six are fair game (unless, like Jacqueline, they're from a large brood and know what they're getting into).

I think that the ecological argument is a reasonable one, but don't see why you have to bring class and chavs into it - each one of the Beckham's adorable little jet setters probably have the carbon footprint of an entire episode of Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

Ds5 was born last week, although I lost ds4 in pregnancy so have 4 living dc.
I think some people will comment regardless.
1dc you get isn't he lonely (ds1 was an only for 8 years) you have two the same sex and it's wouldn't you like a boy/girl.

If you have a large family and claim tax credits people will comment on how they pay for your children. If you pay for them yourself people comment on over population and lack of jobs.

You can't win, unless you have one of each! grin

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 10:40:31

People can have all the opinions they want. Having opinions on things is part of what makes us human.

It's what they choose to do with those opinions which affects other people.

<pedantic point>

ppppppppenguin Sun 10-Feb-13 10:47:09

i have 1 ds, people are always telling me i "need" to have another ( family and friends not total strangers) it pisses me off, why do i? im quite happy with just my ds, and i know we cant afford another anyway.

HiggsBoson Sun 10-Feb-13 11:09:07

It's SO much worse the other way around OP sad

...would like 4 children if i'm lucky enough as i was an only child and knew i wanted a big family.

^You have to listen to stuff like that all day

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 11:23:05

As far as jobs, the way you describe "entitled people walking around with a Croydon facelift and fag in hand while living on benefits" its hardly going to be them taking the jobs away is it?

So if they don't have jobs - who's paying for them to be able to live then?

Having more children means you are putting a lot more burden on the welfare state - and with that I also mean the NHS, schools, etc. And yet, you do NOT pay more income tax. And don't say your kids will pay tax one day. They cost the state money the minute they are born, and yet the state derives no income from them until they start to work (and there's no guarantee that they will). If they put a tax on people who want more than two children (e.g. £500p.a. for third, £750p.a for fourth, £1025p.a. for fifth, etc.), I don't think that many people would actually choose to have large families. A welfare state is actually pretty difficult to sustain with a large population.

I mean... seriously, is it just cantspel who sees the problem here?? There is a reason why a lot of sci-fi movies/books are based in a world with a one-child-policy... because it is conceivable that such a thing could happen (China anyone?).

As cantspel said - if you want to go back to the large families of Victorian England AND have a reasonable standard of living, then we better start dying earlier, and go back to high infant mortality rates. With modern medicine, that won't happen... so what do you think will happen instead?

How do you imagine the world will be like in 40-50 years time, if EVERYONE started having 4+ kids when we're already struggling today??

Is NO ONE concerned about the world your DC will grow up in? Or is everyone just happy living in blissful ignorance - like our parents did before us? Because at some point, the world has to wake up to its problems. I start to believe that by that time, it will be a little too late. Future generations will probably detest our generation that lived in a golden era of reasonable standards of living and were too blind to see the problem at hand.

IvorHughJangova Sun 10-Feb-13 11:27:35

Opinions are like nipples. Everyone has them. Doesn't mean I want to hear them though, any more than I want to see their nipples. I have one child and am ten weeks into a new job working in an office of women with more than 1. They will not leave me alone, constantly insisting that I do want another one really and why don't I talk to DH about it and poor little mini-Ivor, all alone.

I don't want another child.
Medically, the chances of having another are slim to none.
This is none of your fucking business.
Fuck off please.

I may put this on a post it note and stick it to my head tomorrow.

Bobbybird40 Sun 10-Feb-13 11:29:30

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 11:36:26

I'm afraid I'm with Tasmania and Bobby.

On The One Show several years ago there was a feature about over population: a couple on it had five children and were planning on another, and Sir David Attenborough was the guest. In a very polite, articulate and non-judgemental way he laid out his case for the world's biggest problem not being the hole in the ozone layer, or climate change, or pollution, but over population, and he illustrated it with some graphs showing population forecasts on different countries around the world if we carried on living as long as we do at the current birthrate.

The couple dismissed his concerns entirely. Wouldn't even entertain thinking about them. "I have always wanted a large family" and that was it.

But this can be a very unpopular opinion.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 11:44:14

China yes lots of baby girls in orphanages so they can have a boy. That really helps! Have you also realised how crushing it is to those who cant have kids. Especially when those who can are often the ones who cant care for them.

Bobbybird40 Sun 10-Feb-13 11:50:51

Two is enough. If you want more, adopt - plenty of kids needing a home. The me me me culture we live in really is quite depressing - and is seen in full force on threads like this.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 11:54:04

ArielThePracticalMermaid - I'm afraid that couple that was on The One Show seems to be a representation of a much wider population than I first thought, when I look at the comments on this thread. I remember watching things like that with my hand slapping my forehead constantly. It's almost like watching Jeremy Kyle (which I don't for this reason), where the show's guests just don't get it.

"I have always wanted a large family."

God - how selfish is that. There are things in life you might want but shouldn't have. I can have tubs of Dulce de Leche ice cream a day if I want to grin, but won't because of the consequences sad. Similarly, as much as I may want to have more children, I won't want my DC to live in a world full of struggle, simply because there are too many people depleting the resources of the planet by that time.

In this VIDEO, aptly called Talking About What We Don't Want to Talk About this issue is brought up. It's only a little more than 8 minutes. Please watch it, and let me know what you think.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 11:56:46

China yes lots of baby girls in orphanages so they can have a boy... Have you also realised how crushing it is to those who cant have kids. Especially when those who can are often the ones who cant care for them.

Well, and the third sentence above is exactly the point for stopping people from having too many kids.

If you want to have more than one kid - adopt.

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 11:56:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 11:59:38

^^ Actually, I meant two. Just to replace you and your DH.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 12:02:04

ok Quick question Tasmania and bobby

1) are you vegetarian?
2) do you drive
3) what is your job?
4) what heating system do you have?
5)Do you donate/actively participate in third world countries/help environmental/needy in this country?

For such strong views I hope you fit your own criteria or its pot kettle black.

Bobbybird40 Sun 10-Feb-13 12:02:34

Don't shoot the messenger lockets.

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 12:03:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 12:04:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 12:06:06

The trouble is, that as soon as anyone expresses any kind of strong opinion about over population, climate change, fox hunting, fur wearing, animal cruelty, wind farms etc etc etc, they are immediately bombarded by a list of aggressive questions like the ones above, as though doing nothing about anything was preferable to doing something, presumably from someone who feels judged.

Having children, or how many children you decide to have, or not is the single biggest environmental decision you can make. Whether someone is able to drive is irrelevant in comparison.

Bobbybird40 Sun 10-Feb-13 12:07:34

Not gonna repeat lockets - don't want banning.
LQ - I'm talking about a specific issue and the biggest one facing our planet - over population. The problem that dare not speak its name. You can look at every single resource based, environmental issue the planet faces and it comes back to there being too many people.

lockets Sun 10-Feb-13 12:09:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 12:10:02

I take it you dont have kids then bobby?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 12:13:16

Sorry hadn't finished: so for example on a battery farming debate, in which someone is saying that perhaps we ought to think about paying more for meat, someone will always ask "Are you vegan then? Well? Are you? Because unless you are, you are a hypocrite" from someone who presumably buys cheap meat and is feeling a little bad when confronted with the reality of it.

Similarly someone who writes something concerning over population, they will be asked "Well do you generate your own electricity? Well? Well? Do you farm your own food? Well? Do you walk or cycle everywhere? Well? If not, you have no right to express the opinion that I shouldn't have had eight children." When in fact the first poster had said nothing directly to the second poster at all. It's just defensiveness.

As soon as a debate like this comes up, people feel their circumstances and decisions are being personally judged, it makes them defensive and debate can go nowhere. Someone said to me once I only have these opinions about over population because I have fertility problems and I was clearly just feeling bad about not having children and wishing to make others feel bad as well hmm. We would only have had one child.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 12:14:17

And have crossed posts with LilQueenie who has beautifully illustrated my point.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 12:18:13

I can honestly say hand on heart that all my children look just like their mother and are actually very beautiful, we get stopped in the street with two of them regularly and asked if they would consider modelling - they wouldn't - but they are keen sports persons, doing well at school, involved in their local community and generally kind delightful beings.
The world is a better place for them being in it, so rude not to have had 4 of these poppets.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 12:18:52


1) are you vegetarian?

2) do you drive?
Yes - but mainly just to work. We don't live in London, so public transport is a big issue (there is no bus that goes from my village to the town I work in. Neither is there one to go to the town my DH works in - weirdly enough, there are private school busses that do stop where we live and go there). Transport infrastructure in the UK is of a pretty low standard compared to other countries in Europe.

3) what is your job?
None of your business - but yes, I work so am not reliant on benefits. DH, too. My work place has a lot of green policies in place.

4) what heating system do you have?
We currently rent a house yet, so can't choose. But if we do, I intend to do what my parents have done (installing solar panels and all that... very green).

5)Do you donate/actively participate in third world countries/help environmental/needy in this country?
Yes, I sponsor a little girl in Africa + I have relatives in the third world, too. There was a time where I did more for those in this country, but simply have no time to anymore.

What exactly is your point though? I can assure you that most people with 4+ kids can't answer the above questions to your satisfaction...

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 12:21:01

You shouldn't have even answered them, Tas. She was trying to make you feel unjustified in holding the opinions you do.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 12:21:25

my point was overpopulation lack of food. Vegetarianism is actually more sustainable to the world. Having one child and trying to do my bit for the world we live in to make it a better place for future generations. Why am I being flamed?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 12:24:03

You didn't make your stance clear at all.

I agree that being vegetarian, aside from the animal welfare issues, is a major environmental decision.

So why did you say to bobby that you take it she doesn't have kids?

Viviennemary Sun 10-Feb-13 12:36:29

I think people do have to stop and think of the greater good before going on blissfully to have as many children as they like. They all have to be fed, housed, clothed, educated, given medical treatment when necessary. I wouldn't dream of having a go at anybody on an individual basis. Except for these silly people on TV with their multiple offsprings. But these things do need to be considered.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 12:36:56

Im not trying to make anyone unjustified because I can say Tasmania good on you. You care about the world in which we live and are doing something about it. Let me answer now.
Im vegetarian and bringing up my child the same. I dont drive but would like. Saying that I never will because Im managing not to now so see no reason to. We have a horrible public transport system here too. I sympathise with that.

yep none of my business. Reason for asking was about the green policies. Personally I would not work for a company I did not agree with. For example I would never work in a butchers. Currently I am a stay at home mum to a toddler but my DP works.

Again same. Cant choose heating system. But yes I would love solar panels.

I do a lot for charities and environmental issues. I also have relatives who work in other countries trying to help make lives a better standard of living. BTW she has 6 kids 1 adopted. They are all helping. All private schooled. set up her own business. Not all who have lots of kids are scroungers. So yeah I guess I have a chip on me on that one. I agree dont have masses of kids if you cant afford them/rely on the state.

The point is I do actually agree with you. I just found your posts quite discriminating.

Bobbybird40 Sun 10-Feb-13 12:40:52

After you've finished stealth boasting mosman you might wish to sit back and reflect rather ruefully how you managed to so spectularly miss the point.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 12:41:48

When someone has very strong opinions over too many people in the world I have to ask why they have kids themselves? Im not saying you shouldnt have them but its kind of practice what you preach or noones going to listen.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 12:42:42

LilQueenie - but in all your posts, you seem to defending those who do not seem to do the same as you.


Don't you get upset that you have made that decision, and others... just don't care - even when it comes to just deciding to have two kids rather than, say, four?

Because I think that's the easiest decision to make that would benefit the world at large. It's difficult to become a vegetarian, for example, if you were accustomed to eating meat. It's difficult to contribute positively to the environment, if the infrastructure is not in place to help you do so, and hybrid cars are still out of reach of too many people...

... however, if you currently have two kids, you can safely decide to just have the two without giving anything up (because those other "future kids" don't exist). I understand some people have envisioned themselves with 4+ kids for years and years, and when that wish isn't fulfilled, they're devastated. However, what they gave up is something they never had in the first place.

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 12:45:25

YANBU. You really do get judged, or worse, laughed at. I have 6.

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 12:46:12

Oh. And mine are absolutely stunning, thank you very much.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 12:55:58

Annunziata - do you never worry about what world your DC and their children will live in, if everyone had the same amount of children as you? I really want to know that. Because for your brood of six you are basically saying that 5 more houses (assuming you have one already) need to be built for each of them to have a roof over their heads - ok, let's say 2.5 because we assume they will be living with a partner (then again - that is no longer guaranteed either, so probably best to stay with 5).

The future worries me a lot, and it should - especially if you have kids. I just don't understand why others don't seem to be bothered! And it doesn't matter to me how pretty your kids are. It's about the fact that if EVERYONE did what you did... we'd be in pretty deep sh*t.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 12:56:50

Truth is I wanted 8! My partner still wants more. I have one. She is my world and over the last few years Ive become aware of the problems the planet has. im doing all I can for DD. I wont have more because 1 it would cost another round of private ivf. 2 I wouldnt be able to cope and 3 I actually dont want more.

things that infuriate me are: people saying I should have more. People saying Im wrong to make DD veggie and its not fair. Where do people get the idea that eating meat is how we should all start out? I get angry when people say well Im doing x y z cause everyone else does. The point is Im infuriated at peoples ignorance to their decisions. Its not even decisions because they havent considered there may be other options. How can a decision be made without options?

because those other "future kids" don't exist good point. We picked two boys names and two girls. DP insists but what about 2,3,4 and calls them by name as if they DO exist. They dont. I would be a terrible mother if I had more. That is probably the best decision i have ever made.

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 12:59:16

No, I just don't.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 13:02:20

I guess I defend because we dont know each person personally. Not all people on benefits for example want to be there though to others it seems they are. My mum has health issues and struggling at the moment but she would love to work. She does carry the attitude of "If I want to go out and drink for a bit I will" on benefit money and smokes it away. Then how can she say she struggles if she does this?Yet I have seen the truth, there is days she cant get out of bed. What we see isnt always how it really is. I dont agree with all her choices btw. She has actually applied for jobs despite knowing she cant do them due to illness which makes me really upset cause I know she wants to earn.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 13:04:20

But I don't think anyone here is saying no one should have ANY children, LilQueenie. They're just saying that, for the sake of everyone, we should limit our family size. More sensible and realistic.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 13:10:20

Annunziata - see, that's what's a little unsettling here. So you wanted to have that many kids without ever thinking about how life would be like for them in future - especially if people made the same decisions as you. As a mother, really, you should think about your child's quality of life first, and not just say "I want them" without any fear of the consequences.

EddieIzzardIsOrange Sun 10-Feb-13 13:11:01

I got this type of comment the other day - I have 1 child (2 year old DS) and am pregnant, mentioned to a colleague that I'll be going off in April for maternity leave and got hit with a barrage of "What? Again? So soon? Yet another baby?"

I didnt think 2 kids or a 2.4 year gap was particularly outrageous but each to their own I guess...

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 13:11:17

But I agree with you on everything else. You are clearly a principled person smile

Population concern is seen as such a dirty thing in some quarters, going hand in hand with China, murder or abandonment of girl babies, dictators, enforced abortion, eugenics even. It really isn't like that. Truth is, there are too many people and we should be concerned enough to choose to do something about it. Comes down to two words: education and contraception.

LilQueenie Sun 10-Feb-13 13:12:32

I see your point. TBH it makes me wonder how many couples would have kids at all if they had to go through all the checks you do with ivf.

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 13:22:05


I'm an irresponsible mother now? Does anyone with 1 child or 2 children know what their lives will be like in the future? No. I had my children because we had the time, space and money to bring them up the way we thought was best. That's all any parent can do, and it's all most parents do.

Comes down to two words: education and contraception.

This is what you get all the time. That you're some thick (or overly religious) idiot.

Ministrone Sun 10-Feb-13 13:23:02

There is such a thing as deferred gratification, which I guess goes hand-in-hand with such novel ideas as being aware that the planet has finite resources and that it is not absolutely necessary to breed.

juule Sun 10-Feb-13 13:24:51

lilqueen it seems that you won't have more children due to ivf, you don't feel you could cope with more, you don't want more and you think with more you would be a terrible mother. Nothing wrong with those reasons but if that's how you feel then the ethical choices regarding overpopulation are less difficult for you. If none of those reasons applied and you felt desperately broody for another child then like a lot of people you could probably come up with reasons which justified your choice to have more. Those reasons might seem very feeble to someone who felt
strongly about overpopulation.

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 13:30:20


- If you see something in a shopping window that you want but can't afford, will you buy it?

- Will you have that other tub of ice cream, given it's so yummy, even though you know the consequences wouldn't be great?

Maybe people were just spoilt by their Babyboom-generation parents, and think that everything they want, they should have...

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 13:32:33

It certainly was not a stealth boast, it was an outright one grin

We don't need to breed any more than we need to do anything but it's nice to and so we do.
Once day no doubt the planet will go bang and disappear in a ball of dust but in the meantime we'll just keep calm and carry on.

juule Sun 10-Feb-13 13:34:57

"especially if people made the same decisions as you"

But not everyone is making the same decision regarding the amount of children they have. You can't base your decisions on whether everyone else is going to do the same thing.

"As a mother, really, you should think about your child's quality of life first, and not just say "I want them" without any fear of the consequences."

You cannot guarantee a completely safe future for you children.
Too many variables. You do the best you can and hope it's good enough.

Bunbaker Sun 10-Feb-13 13:35:01

"I love all the chaos they bring!"

I don't. I hate it

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 13:35:39

Annunziata, despite the fact you have lots of children, this thread is not specifically about you. What in my post made you think I was referring to you explicitly? However, now you have brought it up, yes, it's attitudes like yours I referred to in previous posts, that you can't have a balanced conversation about this without someone who's had lots of children extrapolating offence, judgement and insult from the discussion.

I have no doubt you understand how contraception works. You just chose to ignore it to have a large family, and by your own admission with little thought to your children's futures. Which I've no doubt you'll also find offensive.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 13:39:25

Mosman that's an admirable sentiment, but it will be hard for your kids to keep calm and carry on when they're fighting for the food, clean water, health and education provision, space, areas to dispose of rubbish, access to countrysideand fresh air etc that will be in limited supply if we carry on reproducing regardless.

Ministrone Sun 10-Feb-13 13:40:52

Mosman, read a few articles with Miranda Kerr "talking", she is living proof that one can be stunningly beautiful and not terribly bright, of course she and her husband can afford to have any number of children but guess what, it's not all about them or any other couple but more about the planet as a whole.

coraltoes Sun 10-Feb-13 13:43:40

YANBU!! I have 1. I only want 1. If one more fucking idiot tries to tell me I'd be happier with two, that dd needs a sibling, than only children suffer etc I will feed them to the dogs! (I don't even have dogs)

juule Sun 10-Feb-13 13:44:09

tasmania I have had to without a lot of things due to having children. grin if I can't afford it I can't have it.

And no I didn't get everything I wanted as a child. I had to wait until I started work and like most people had to budget.

The problem with the cost of overpopulation imo is that nobody is feeling the effects to a point that causes them a problem. And the people on power don't seem to take it seriously enough so the general population isn't going to feel much urgency about it. We are surrounded by scare stories in one form or another every day. If we took them all seriously we would probably be in a permanent state of panic.

chocoluvva Sun 10-Feb-13 13:47:33

It must get tiresome if people are often commenting, but I think the "you must have your hands full" comment is just a friendly acknowledgement that you must be very busy.

When my two were little I thought anyone with more than two must be mad too, as I was struggling with them. Now they're bigger I think how lucky people with more children are. If I had my time over I'd have four.

It's thoughtlessness to voice your own commonly-held assumptions about other people's families. Why is it bothering you so much, OP?

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 13:48:20

It is alarming that nobody is concerned that in the 1930s, there were only 2 billion on the planet. Now, there are over 7 billion - despite there having been several wars and epidemics, etc. between the two dates...

Very alarming indeed.

juule Sun 10-Feb-13 13:49:32

I also think "you must have your hands full" is a friendly comment acknowledging how tiring children can sometimes be.

Mosman Sun 10-Feb-13 14:04:21

Mosman, read a few articles with Miranda Kerr "talking", she is living proof that one can be stunningly beautiful and not terribly bright

I know, aren't mine lucky they are both beautiful and bright, the gene jackpot it simply cannot get any better can it ?
As it happens I am one of four, I've had four, brothers had four other two siblings have and will have none, no interest and I think you'll find the same situation repeated all over the world.

Mehrida Sun 10-Feb-13 14:05:06

OP I feel for you. You posted because you're fed up with folk banging on about how many kids you should have, and you have now got a huge thread of people banging on about how many kids you should have.

In response to the question you actually asked, YANBU. I'm off on mat leave with my first and I can already hear the comments about when we'll have another one from here.

It never ends, no matter what stage in life you're at, 'when will you get a boyfriend/move in together/get engaged/get married/have a baby/have another baby/have yet another baby?' blah blah.

I think it's just something for people to make conversation about but I must say I'm a lot more cautious about it now I've had DS than I was previously.

SaladIsMyFriend Sun 10-Feb-13 14:33:53

YANBU. I am with those on this thread who are fed up with comments when you have only one child - I feel your pain sad

I have been told I must have another or my child will be sad/lonely/spoilt, it's selfish to have one, when am I having another, why aren't I having another etc. mostly by people who barely know me.

I am now pretty full on in my reply and just explain the miscarriages, cancer, chemo and early menopause to anyone who is rude enough to bring up the subject.

Just ignore and get on with your life rather than worrying what others think you should be doing.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Sun 10-Feb-13 14:35:12

My sister does this to me. I don't speak to her any more.

Rooneyisalwaysmoaning Sun 10-Feb-13 14:38:12

Oh dear, I seem to have bypassed all the politics sad

I have three but shan't have any more.

haventmetyouyet Sun 10-Feb-13 15:11:35

Another one here who has heard far too many criticisms of my own choices. I have been married a year, but DH and I have agreed not to have any dc together, which apparently is selfish. I have one child already and I am not interested in having any more, we enjoy our lifestyle with an older child and would hate to get tied down with a baby and have the extra expense. I'm tired of justifying it, I have got comments ranging from my child being spoilt/lonely, to me not fulfilling my DH by providing him with a child shock.

It's just plain rude to make any comments about family plans except for a Congratulations where appropriate.

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 18:18:07

My aunt& uncle, SIL& BIL, and some close friends are childless and will remain so. I know several families who are having just one, by choice or circumstances. So can I have their "extra"? grin

That's the thing about the whole "but if everyone has six kids..." Not everyone does. Not everyone will. The trend is definitely toward smaller families. The Duggars, etc, are famous because they're rare.

Also, a woman could live and die in the same tiny African village and have ten kids, and not produce nearly the carbon footprint, of, say, Suri Cruise. (She's not technically an only child, but is being raised as one.) It's individual choice.

I do know a woman with five and at this point they're not costing me anything as far as I can see, tax-wise. She home schools them. And they run an organic farm.

kerala Sun 10-Feb-13 18:43:53

Pretty clear to me that Tasmania is quite correct. Personally feel that having more than two is selfish - just look around us. Havenmet how rude those comments are. People that dont have children/limit their families are to be commended not criticised.

Trills Sun 10-Feb-13 18:47:09

I think anyone is mad who chooses the number of children that they want more than one at a time.

You have zero - you can decide that you want "at least one"

You have some, you can decide to have "one more"

You might get two at once, but I think it's crazy to say "I want 3 more children then aI currently have" rather than "I will have one more, then see how it goes, then maybe another, and see how I feel then, then maybe another.. etc"

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 19:04:29

Right! I say I want 5, but DS has been relatively easy going. If DC2 is a nightmare I may be put off smile

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 19:38:21

Ariel- I was using your post as an example of the constant judging you get as a mother of a big family.

When I said I had never thought about 'the future,' I said that I never worried 'about what world your DC and their children will live in, if everyone had the same amount of children as you?' I didn't think about the environment. I seriously doubt that many people do. Besides, the argument that 'if everyone did it' doesn't really count because not everyone will. We're the minority.

Besides, all the newspapers keep banging on about how the birth rates are falling and we need to support the elderly population.

Annunziata Sun 10-Feb-13 19:39:06

Oops, two besides. On phone.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 20:22:24

That's what people have been saying. Maybe people should be starting to think about the environment more.

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 20:28:01

I think they are, as well as finances, etc. Which is why most people seem to be having one or two.

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 20:30:22

Plus many people are waiting til they're older to have children, so by necessity are having smaller families.

Saski Sun 10-Feb-13 20:31:26

Yes, the environment should be considered.

I'm always confused by the whole "we have 4/5/6 kids (vs the "replacement" 2) but we have a low footprint". There's absolutely no way that you can offset exponential population growth/C02 footprint with personal/linear CO2 footprint reduction. Unless you reach an agreement with your kids that they will produce only 4 offspring amongst the x of them (and if you think this is ridiculous, I share your view) - it's impossible. I really wish some proponent of big families would address this mathematical reality.

5madthings Sun 10-Feb-13 20:36:08

We have five. We also care about the environment.

We recycle loads and dont throw out much rubbish.
We have one car that we chose because if its fuel economy and we walk most places.
We dont fly and when we holuday we camp or this year we went to an eco lodge on a farm which has won awards for being 'green' and environmnentally friendly.
We have insulated our house with extra loft insulation and cavity wall insulation and we chose a low carbon boiler.
All the electrical goods ie fridge, washing machine, cooker etc are a rated.
We hand stuff down, dont buy all new stuff and we give to charity.

I filled in a carbon footprint yhing online and ours is quite low

We pay tax and support ourselves.

My two of our close family are not having any children and one us gaving only one, they joke that we have their quota.

If everyone had loads it wouldnt be good but most people dont. Most if my friends have two or one or occasionally three.

Yes i think about the future and i am leading by example and showing my children.things they can do so.hopefuly they will grow up to be responsible adults who do their bit.

Having fewer children does not automaticaly make you mote caring and responsible towards the environment. I know plentu with onlu one or two kids but they have two cars and one is 4x4 and they fly numerous times a year and throw out more than we do etc.

brummiegirl1 Sun 10-Feb-13 20:38:21

So whats the answer then to stop people having big families? Sterilise after one? As even if you decide on a small family birth control can still fail

Saski Sun 10-Feb-13 20:41:42


I'm always confused by the whole "we have 4/5/6 kids (vs the "replacement" 2) but we have a low footprint". There's absolutely no way that you can offset exponential population growth/C02 footprint with personal/linear CO2 footprint reduction. Unless you reach an agreement with your kids that they will produce only 4 offspring amongst the x of them (and if you think this is ridiculous, I share your view) - it's impossible. I really wish some proponent of big families would address this mathematical reality.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 20:42:56

No. People need to decide on their own. No one has said people should have to have only one, or be sterilized after one. No one.

5madthings Sun 10-Feb-13 20:49:07

But no one can say how many children their chikdren will have. Even if you only have two your children may have more.

I am one of two, i have five, my sister has one.

Dp is one of two and has five his sister has none and now in her late 40's wont be having any. so as part of an extended family the child total is no more than had we all had two each, infact its less 6 as opposed to 8.

I also donated eggs and my recipient had twins! But they arent mine.

Saski Sun 10-Feb-13 20:52:00

Surely you can see that someone with 5 kids is quite likely to wind up with a lot more grandkids than someone with 2. It's just math.

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 21:04:03

My aunt has 6. Her eldest has said she'll have a few, the next is vehemently opposed to any, and one has Down syndrome and is unlikely to be able reproduce. The others are quite young, so who knows. They may well only end up with five or six between all of them. smile

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 21:06:25

I am one of two as well. I want 4 or 5, my brother will hopefully may never have any.

5madthings Sun 10-Feb-13 21:11:14

Well ds1 doesnt want any kids at all!

Sorry but none of us can predict how many grandchildren we all have. Yes i am on balance of probabilities more likely to have more. But its not guaranteed. My gran had five children, two had two kids each, one had none and another died before even getting the chance. The other had three but they went on to only have one each.

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 21:20:58

Jim Bob Duggar is the youngest of only two, and look how that turned out grin

lovelyredwine Sun 10-Feb-13 21:32:40

I'm in the same boat as coraltoes- only have one and will almost certainly stay that way. I get told weekly that I 'should' have more and it's not fair on dd to be an only.

I've decided that people aren't being malicious, they just want to pass on advice even if you don't need or want it!

Tasmania Sun 10-Feb-13 23:05:51

Everyone seems to think that it doesn't matter how many kids they have as they can just use someone else's quota, and "this happens the world over", so it's as though there's some magical, natural equilibrium that keeps world population at bay.

Well considering the fact that we grew from a little over 2 billion people to a little over 7 billion in less than a century, I would say... that equilibrium is somewhat non-existent.

It took 123 years to grow the world's population from about 1 billion in the early 1800s to around 2 billion in 30's. It took another 33 years to get to 3 billion in 1960. But ever since then, we have added 1 billion people to the planet about every 12-14 years!!!

Obviously, modern medicine is working too well...

Sure, some of the growth is happening in Third World countries. I do really think this has to at some point be addressed the world over.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 23:16:41

Population growth is exponential, and if you look at that coupled with longer life expectancy, it's a time bomb.

MrsDeVere Sun 10-Feb-13 23:18:25

I have five.
I do not care what strangers on the internet think.

One is dead and one is adopted so I think that earns me some carbon fucking footprint points.

Load of bollocks. People yet again making out they have a certain size family for the good of the planet.

People have a certain size family and then decide to make a virtue out of it.

You have one/two children. Well done.

<goes off to burn some tyres and turn the heating up>

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 10-Feb-13 23:29:00

You care enough to have posted.

And what's with the tyres and heating comment?

lisianthus Sun 10-Feb-13 23:31:07

Lovelyredwine, one of the best answers I heard for when people have a go at you and tell you that you should have more is to smile brightly and respond "No thanks- we were lucky enough to get it right the first time!"

CheerfulYank Sun 10-Feb-13 23:40:53

But you can't force it, or you end up with terrible shit happening like it does in China. And since you can't force it, you just never know... As I said before, the Duggars (Jim Bob's parents) had the oh-so-socially acceptable 2 children. Their daughter has an only (I think), their son has 19 living. I know a family with seven children, only one of whom has chosen to have children. He has one.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Sun 10-Feb-13 23:47:33

Bloody rude, i get asked when im gonna have another, well since my first pregnancy was awful im not so keen.

I can tell you a horrid story, a headmaster said to a mum that her son was bullied coz she kept having kids, lets just say her kids werent at that school for much longer after that.

Tasmania Mon 11-Feb-13 01:28:09

CheerfulYank - you can control it through taxes. As mentioned before, most people who have 4+ kids would not have them if they were charged an annual tax for any child beyond the second one, with tax increasing the more you have, e.g.:

DC1: n/a
DC2: n/a
DC3: £500 p.a.
DC4: £750 p.a.
DC5: £1,000 p.a.
DC6: £1,500 p.a.
DC7: £2,250 p.a.

I doubt a lot of people would choose to have 7 kids, if they cost them £6,000 to have each year on top of the usual expenses. Money is often the only way to make people wake up to the problem. In other parts of life, money is often the one and only thing that prevents people from having something they want (something nice in a shop window, for example). It just so happens that you can have a child for "free".

Even a pup costs more to have when compared to a child.

People will say that it's their human right to procreate. Well, if you really believe that, then you will just encourage this.

Iteotwawki Mon 11-Feb-13 01:53:27

Completely agree with Tasmania - it's environmentally irresponsible to have more than 2 children. I would have loved a larger family (2 boys) but my husband is very pro environmental choices & living ethically and so we stuck at 2.

Having children isn't a human right.

AboutThyme Mon 11-Feb-13 01:57:32

Oh honestly you have to get to the point where you can ignore it! I have one child. I have had more MCs than I can count! I have had 3 "failed births" - as they call stillborn babies now. I just had to learnt to nod and smile and say, ah one is fine for me.

AboutThyme Mon 11-Feb-13 01:58:34

Oh and I agree with the socially irresponsible concept. I just wanted two.

AboutThyme Mon 11-Feb-13 01:59:26

(but perhaps my inability to keep the babies I make has made me cynical!)

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 02:49:51

Sorry about your losses Thyme. thanks

None of my children will be "free" beyond public school Tasmaina, though I know what you mean. Although, I suppose, we do hope to adopt a child with Down Syndrome at some point and I think we'd receive Social Security for his/her care.

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 04:21:32

In answer to the OP, it depends. If they want anywhere between 0 and 3, then YABU. If they want 4 or 4+ then I reserve the right to judge a bit, or a lot, depending on their circumstances. If they want 6+ I am going to judge, regardless of their circumstances.

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 04:22:01

Sorry I meant YANBU, obviously.

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 05:03:18

DH and I want 5, Fell. <humbly awaits judgment> wink

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 05:04:27

Come back and tell me that when you've got three. wink

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 05:16:32

grin Fair enough! I'm a bit spoiled in that DS is a generally cooperative little person. The currently gestating one may turn out to be ten sorts of hell and put us off for good.

angelsonhigh Mon 11-Feb-13 05:16:39

Maybe when they go over the "limit" maybe they can be transported to OZ like in the olden days.

Lots of open space over here. Plenty of room for anyone who has 4 or more DC. grin

Mosman Mon 11-Feb-13 05:25:04

You'd be surprised .... looks around at three bed house with no garden over looking neighbors for 1500 pounds a month rent

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 06:48:05

I'm sure he/she will be delightful CY. Some people are cut out for 4 or more children - I'm just not one of them. I'm too lazy/disorganised/and yet strangely control-freaky.

juule Mon 11-Feb-13 06:49:53

"It just so happens that you can have a child for "free"."

grin Really? Where would this be then?

Cost of ralsing a child soars toŁ218,024

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 07:29:14

I agree juule . I get annoyed when people come on here asking advice about whether they should have a child right now, or another child on top of the ones they have, when they are in real financial dire straits, not in stable/adequate housing or whatever, and people say 'oh babies don't cost much - you don't loads of fancy stuff - all you need is love. You'll get though it. Go for it, you'll always regret it if you don't. Where there's a will there's a way ' hmm

They are idiots.

I'm not saying you should always wait until you are over 30, have thousands in savings, and own your own home - that would be unrealistic. But starting off in a shitty situation with three kids and expecting it not to get any more shitty by adding a fourth is just stupid.

Saski Mon 11-Feb-13 07:43:26

^^I understand this was just an aside to your post, but I'm not sure why waiting til 30 with savings & house is unreasonable.

I'm amazed that there are people here who think that because there are exceptions to a correlation, that the correlation ceases to exist. Like, one of the Duggars is one of two children, so therefore, how many kids you have is completely unrelated to population growth.

Did your math classes ever cover basic statistics?

Annunziata Mon 11-Feb-13 09:26:32

Why do you judge families of 6 and more FellatioNelson?

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 12:57:24

I just think it's excessive and unnecessary on all sorts of levels. Financially, practically, physically, logistically, environmentally, you name it. I am sure there are plenty of families with 5, 6 or more children who are very happy, never moan about a lack of anything, be it money or time or space, cope just fine, want for nothing, have no logistical problems moving them all from A to B, all the children grow up feeling that attention was equally and fairly divided etc, etc, but I dunno - I just think too many of anything is a bit self-indulgent and unnecessary, with the potential for too many problems.

I doubt that many children who come from very large families go on to want the same for themselves - unless it's religiously/culturally ingrained in them to not even question the inevitability of it.

The thing is, it's a bit pointless having this discussion with someone who has 6 or more children, because I if listed a load of reasons why it was imho a bad idea, obviously they are going to disagree with me, and say 'but this' and 'but that', and 'well that doesn't happen in my house'. Of course. Because everyone can find a way of justifying what they do.

HiggsBoson Mon 11-Feb-13 14:36:44

Not meant to inflame, but I'd be interested to know how many of you with 4+ children used disposable nappies?

HiggsBoson Mon 11-Feb-13 14:38:20 that would be a very drastic contribution to waste problems.

themaltesecat Mon 11-Feb-13 16:12:54

I'd love for those opposed to large families on financial grounds to explain their positions. Who do they think is going to pay for them when they're on their pension (if such a thing exists then)? Would they like to have their adult nappy changed by a robot, as is happening to some of the elderly and infirm of Japan? As is the case everywhere where there aren't enough young people not only to pay taxes but to physically perform basic jobs, it's grim.

FellatioNels0n Mon 11-Feb-13 16:24:22

Actually, if I ever need a nappy changing I'd be delighted if it could be done by a robot. Far more dignified than having some random stranger wiping my arse thanks.

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 16:28:06

Omg Saski, like, statistics? What're they? wink

Of course I'm aware that you are likely to have more grandchildren if you have more children. I was just pointing out (by using the Duggar example) that this is not always the case. People are odd things, given to doing the unexpected. smile

As I said, I want five eventually, but I don't know if I'll have any more biologically or not. Although Fellatio I am also an odd relaxed/control freak by rid! shock Perhaps I should reevaluate...

Saski Mon 11-Feb-13 16:56:24

Cheerful Yank - fair enough, but I think we already knew that any one person might have 0 or 8 or 10 kids. You would never use this kind of logic to solve a problem!

And. Again. If anyone thinks that reducing your C02 footprint in your home can offset having 5 kids, again, take a math class. Linear vs exponential.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 11-Feb-13 17:03:27

I didn't think those arguing against large families were talking about carbon footprints necessarily. Unless carbon footprint is a catch-all term for the amount of food you need, and waste you generate, the amount of services you will need, the amount of space you take up, and so on.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 11-Feb-13 17:04:40

Which I guess it ultimately is grin

pleasestoptalking Mon 11-Feb-13 17:19:41

Queen - it's better than the 'are they natural?' question. I just used to smile and say 'no, they're unnatural'.

When I was pregnant with number three, after having boy / girl twins, my mum would happily tell anyone who would listen that she couldn't see why I needed to have any more as I had one of each.

People are weird.

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 17:30:40

My twat of a BIL was insistent that he and his wife only have 2 to replace themselves. All well and good.

Once adoption came up and I said that DH and I would like to someday. He asked me "why would you, you can have your own!" And he was the one who said the world was overpopulated. He's just worried I'll adopt a "retarded kid" (which, frankly, is the plan) or one of -shock horror- another race. hmm

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 17:32:22

Pleasestoptalking the people who know the one I'm carrying is a girl have said that to me to! "Ohhh, one of each! Perfect! You can just be done now." hmm

Whyriskit Mon 11-Feb-13 17:32:34

I've only got two so far, all being well, #3 will appear in September, but (if I can toilet train a reluctant DS2 by then) it will be using the same nappies as the previous two.

brummiegirl1 Mon 11-Feb-13 17:34:45

As i have 2 boys and people always say about trying for a girl(as if i can put my order in for a girl lol!) i just say if DS2 had been a girl i would still like another.

To the posters against large families due to environmental aspect do you take holidays abroad as i'm sure planes are not environmentally friendly. There are many things that affect the environment.

FWIW i don't go abroad(not interested really) and i use terry towelling nappies/ But each to their own i wouldn't be against people using disposable i chose reusable from a cost point of view.

Also when people are planning a family there are many considerations that go into it, i'm not saying the environment is not important but it's not personally something that would decide the size of my family. As long as i could afford my children and had the space for them in my house then that is all that matters to me as they would be very much wanted and loved.

fancyanother Mon 11-Feb-13 17:35:07

maltesecat having more babies isn't the answer to the elderly population problem, because they, in turn will be old one day and need support. If we keep on doing this 'so we have someone to wipe the arses of the elderly' or whatever other menial job we think other peoples children will do, it will never solve the problem. In 70 years those babies will be the elderly that need more looking after. I don't know what the answer is. Either we have a generation that suffers from not having enough young people etc to look after them and then hope less babies lead to less elderly and a more sustainable population overall or in the long term we have a world that suffers for years and years from hunger and lack of resources until we inevitably die out as a species and are replaced by some other life form. The planet will be fine. We will not.

juule Mon 11-Feb-13 17:35:34

whyriskit they could share the nappies if your older child not fully toilet trainedsmile
I'm assuming cloth nappies here.

Tasmania Mon 11-Feb-13 17:41:36

Juule - What I meant was immediate cost. You don't want to know how many people are out there who just "pop out" kids without thinking of the costs / effort of raising them, later relying on the state / your taxes for hand-outs. Often, they don't think about the cost of nappies, food, etc. beforehand.

Going back to my comparison with pets - they, too, cost a considerable amount to "raise up" - some more so than others ( a horse would be similar to a child!). But you'll find that no animal shelter will give an animal / furbaby away without "donation" - not just for cash purposes, but because that immediate payment will make people think before acquiring a pet.

The same can't be said for "human" babies...

Whyriskit Mon 11-Feb-13 17:47:32

I suppose - not sure I would have enough! But they are one size so that would work (I think I've just been in denial about the idea of two in nappies at once!).

Tasmania Mon 11-Feb-13 17:52:57

Pyramid Scheme??? That's what the argument of "having babies to support pensioners" reminds me of. That would mean that the population would have to grow endlessly.

What really should happen - and what the government is already asking us to do - is that we should save for the time we retire.

As for who should look after us, I really don't mind C-3PO or R2-D2... it's not as though a lot of British youngsters do it anyway. A lot of young carers happen to be immigrants.

BahrainB Mon 11-Feb-13 18:16:03

At the park this morning I meet a lovely Egyptian lady with 8 children . She made me feel quite sad I've only two as all hers were beautifully behaved and helping each other. In the Middle East having 1or 2 children only is uncommon. Strangers urge you to try for more.

I have three, the last one was the result of a contraceptive failure but we could not face an abortion and can afford our children, she was the loveliest mistake I ever made regardless of her environmental impact. Dh has made sure we will not be able to make anymore babies and I am grateful.

There are many good reasons to limit your family but I think the state enforced options to force people to limit the number of children any one family have are crude and border on fascistconfused I value free will and on balance would like to live in a world where my children are valued as individuals not judged a burden before they have had a chance to make their contribution to society.

We are a vegetarian family, politically aware and socially concious, I volunteer while I am not in paid employment, I would like to think my children will be good citizens one day. I may be wrong but at least I try.

I get the odd comment about how many children I have or if I want more etc. they do not bother me, people generally are just making conversation and if they have an axe to grind that is not my problem.

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 18:42:22

Tasmania that is true, but I (and honestly most people I know) would not have babies I had to rely on state aid to have. I did have help paying for the delivery of my DS (I'm in America so no NHS) but I've been working/paying taxes since I was 14 and am now on private insurance, so it all balances out. smile

Also if I end up adopting a few (and I know for the most part this thread is talking of biological children) the carbon footprint doesn't really come into play as those kids are already here.

I may have a rosy view on it all because of my aunt and uncle who have six, and are disgustingly functional. They also have never claimed any sort of benefit except for what they get for their son with Down syndrome, which would be the same if he were their only.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 11-Feb-13 18:45:35

To reiterate, no one here is advocating state control.

Annunziata Mon 11-Feb-13 19:00:17

FellatioNelson it's just interesting to talk about it here because when I say I have six people look horrified and obviously think the same things as you, but I just have to smile and nod. I am from a big family myself funnily enough. I don't see it as self-indulgent. We could have had a lot more holidays and a nicer house but we chose children instead.

CheerfulYank Mon 11-Feb-13 19:26:29

That's the thing too...whether I end up with 2 kids or 7, they're not going to have ridiculous wardrobes or flat screens in their bedrooms or whatever the hell else, because I don't believe in those things. I <would like to travel more and DH and I are looking into that. Private school is not really an option for us as we don't have one anywhere near us. And I'm not really fussed about paying for my kids to go to college...this is very rare where I'm from. Everyone gets scholarships or loans.

MissKGF Mon 11-Feb-13 20:08:21

Ah it's my Il's I have to put up with dc#2 on the way and they constantly dig at everything, names choices-so I refuse to say what we have picked until its officially born/ registered! How many, they had 6!! Then say we cant afford it (both in well paid jobs) /take time off/house isn't big enough/kids take up to much time etc! It's up to us and the constant negative input is putting my DH off having anymore, we said we would like 4! I will not let anyone make that choice for us..... ba****ds!!

Domjolly Mon 11-Feb-13 20:09:42

As long as your paying for them whats the issue just tell others to bog off

Tasmania Mon 11-Feb-13 20:18:46

Arielthepiraticalmermaid I'm not advocating state control. Just taxation. Which is sort of the opposite of the current system that renumerates people for having kids. And if the latter does not qualify for "state control", then taxation should't either.

However, will see whatever's good for them as "benefits" and what penalizes them as "state control"... when in reality, both can be seen as the same thing. You'd have to have no welfare state and full-on capitalism for there to be no state control...

juule Mon 11-Feb-13 20:36:03

tasmania "You don't want to know how many people are out there who just "pop out" kids without thinking of the costs / effort of raising them"

And why would people like the ones you describe consider a child tax if the they don't consider anything else? And how would they pay it if they were dependent on benefits to raise them ( as you later comment)?

So who would your child tax be aimed at to deter them from having children.

The rich could pay it and have as many children as before.
The thoughtless as you describe them couldn't afford the tax anyway so the tax would make little difference there, if any.
So that leaves the middle group having to cut down on offspring or suffer for it.
So I'm not sure how much of a difference your child tax would make. And not particularly fair either.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 11-Feb-13 20:39:06

I know you're not! I said you weren't! I'm not either.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 11-Feb-13 20:40:07

I meant that no one on this thread was advocating a one or two child law, as decreed by the State.

Annunziata Mon 11-Feb-13 21:01:20

But how are these taxes working for mums of triplets or more, and for those of us who have adopted?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 11-Feb-13 21:03:22

Tasmania, your question....

Annunziata Mon 11-Feb-13 22:09:52

And when would these taxes start? As soon as you registered with a midwife and started to cost the NHS?

redbobblehat Mon 11-Feb-13 22:16:43

i hate this question as my ds died.
still have my dd, but boy this question hurts

i don't think people should ask such nosy questions really

brummiegirl1 Mon 11-Feb-13 22:20:39

I agree with you redbobblehat that people should not ask, they don't know your circumstances. Sorry to hear about your DS.

redbobblehat Mon 11-Feb-13 22:29:42

thanks brummie girl.

Tasmania Tue 12-Feb-13 00:43:16

Annunziata: to be fair - probably just once the child is born. No need to worry those who have tragic things happen to them during the pregnancy. That... you can't really prevent (unlike getting pregnant in the first place). Though I'm sure that in other countries where there's no NHS, you have to pay no matter what anyway...

With regards to triplets, etc. - if it's the first pregnancy, then there should be no tax (again, difficult to plan for that). However, if you decide to to have another child after your triplets, you will be charged the same rate as for a fourth consecutive child.

Really, what should happen though is a proper analysis of the population - which part of the population (income) has the most children, and the least. Most likely, what you will see is that those in the lower stratum of society is more likely to have a lot of children (they tend to start early), the middle / professional ones are less likely to have many as they have kids later, the upper bit - not so sure... probably somewhere in the middle??? I haven't met too many very rich people though who chose to have a lot of kids (and if they did, their DC will no longer be "rich" a few generations down the line).

When it comes to immigration, countries (e.g. U.S. - even the UK) often "discriminate" by ethnicity / country, in order to "balance" the population out. Why not do it by income class, too? You have to dissuade the class that tends to have too many children, encourage the working parents that may find it difficult to juggle work with kids (universal child care?)... and as for the rich, let them pay huge taxes if they want to.

What you really don't want though is a large percentage of births coming from one part of the population only. You want balance - and if that does happen, it does beg the question... why? An 'unbalanced' birth rate shows that there's something wrong with society and its policies.

Weirdly enough, if you do go to Third World countries where people have a lot of children, when you talk to the wealthier professionals in their 20s/30s, they often agree with having only two kids (mainly for practicality/costs/giving their children the best opportunities in life). They don't understand why people who REALLY can't afford it, have more children than them. Of course, that part of the population uses the same excuse as some people on this thread, but in a literal manner: the children are literally their pension / those who care for them later. The pyramid scheme - people now funding their lives to the cost of the next generation. I'm pretty sure that - apart from a few outliers - you will get the same correlation between income class / birth rate here in the UK, too.

FellatioNels0n Tue 12-Feb-13 04:13:04

I agree that there is something a bit wrong with a system that rewards people financially for having more than two or three children instead of penalising them, or at least making it financially neutral.

Adoption is entirely different I think. Those children already exist, and need homes.

You make some good points Tasmania. However I am inclined to think that there are quite a few wealthy couples who opt to have loads of children (5,6,7) as well. I think it tends to be the squeezed middle who not only pay for everything themselves with no subsidies, but who are not affluent enough to be able to draft in nannies, cleaners etc, or who like the idea of private school or foreign holidays etc, but could only ever manage it with two children.

The very large families tend to occur among the very wealthy (who can afford to be self-indulgent) or the totally benefit dependent, for whom it is financially advantageous to have more children.

I know a family with five children who have sent them all to public school, boarding termly, at 30k a year each. shock

On the other hand, I imagine it's quite a breeze to parent 5 kids if you don't actually live with them. grin

FellatioNels0n Tue 12-Feb-13 04:24:34

I hadn't read the thread when I waded in, but now I have I would just like to say I totally agree with what cantspel said here:

40/50 years ago it was not normal to have lots of kids. The average family size was 2.93 which was the peak in 1964 (the year of my own birth) and has been dropping year on year until 2001 when it hit 1.63 and then it started rising again and in 2009 we were at 1.96. It is still growing.

MN is full of threads about lack of housing and the rising cost of what is available, no jobs, struggling to make ends meet and cost of food. This will only get worse with a higher birth rate and add in to the mix the freedom of movement within the eu and people living longer. How is the country going to substain everyone.

You cant just say build more housing as we already have problems with flooding due to building in places where were shouldn't and we need land to grow food and for trees to grow so the planet can breath or we will end up like Hong Kong with it being the norm for families to live in one room.

If you want to go back to victorian england with it being the norm for large families then we better start dying earlier and go back to infant mortality rates of 3 in every 10 children not living past childhood or we are going to over populate even worse than we do now.

Saski Tue 12-Feb-13 10:27:17

^^Big families are becoming more popular among some pockets of the wealthy/super-wealthy. I noticed it myself, thought it might be anecdotal, but then stumbled upon an article about it.

jester68 Tue 12-Feb-13 10:37:41

I have it the other way. We have 2 daughters and I constantly get asked whether we are going to have anymore to "try for a boy".

Pisses me off as people can't seem to understand that I would not have more to try for a certain sex. We are very happy with our 2 girls.

But even days after my youngest was born (and after she had come out of hospital after nearly dying) people who knew that made some very stupid and upsetting comments.

Including in them was:

Oh what a shame, another girl.

You will just have to try again for your boy.

Your poor partner bet he is gutted.

You need a boy to carry on the family name.

Etc, etc.

I would never dream of commenting to how many children someone decided they want. It is none of my business.

And a friend has it another way. She is about to have her 4th child and gets annoyed with people thinking they have the right to comment about it.

So YANBU. People should mind their own business.

(DISCLAIMER: I have not 100% decided whether to have another child or not. But if we do it will be because we want a child not because we want a certain sex. We will be happy with whatever we have and equally will be happy if we decide to stop at our 2 girls)

Tasmania Tue 12-Feb-13 13:35:48

FellatioNels0n / Cantspel

Completely right. I wonder where people get it from... that large families were ever the norm in the UK? My MIL was a single child, FIL was one of two... you really need to go all the way back to the Victorian era to find huge families commonplace anywhere?! Or did people just watch TV one too many times, where big families exist as they generally create dynamic entertainment?

JesusInTheCabbageVan Tue 12-Feb-13 13:38:14

Or this:

"How old is he?"
"13 months."
"Awww. Time for another one then?"

Yep, as soon as they start doing fanjo and lower back transplants on the NHS, I'll get right on it. hmm

FellatioNels0n Tue 12-Feb-13 14:35:59

Taking my maternal GPs as an example, who were lower middle class people, I think my Grandmother's mother had nine babies but only 5 or 6 survived to adulthood. My Grandfather's mother had 4 but only three survived. That was normal then. BC was still very hit and miss and hard to obtain. I'm talking around 1900-1925.

My grandparents on the other hand, had only two children and most of their siblings had 3 children or fewer. The same with my paternal GPs. I think this was partly because of WW2, and all the associated lack of opportunity and lack of stability for the five years or so before and after it.

My mother's generation were lucky enough to have the pill, and many women discovered careers outside the home so the birth rate stayed reasonably low in comparison to previous generations.

Very large families (I'm talking 5+) were largely confined to Roman Catholics and/or the lowest socio-economic groups. (and it's hardly surprising they were among the lowest with so many children to feed and clothe, so it was a self-fulfilling prophesy perhaps.) But most people had the typical 2.5 children.

The 'average' family size dipped lower still throughout the 80's and 90's due to the new phenomenon of large numbers of single mums with just one child. They had always existed, obviously, but not in such proliferation.

I think that the some wealthy/super wealthy people are having very large families now because:

a) they are lifestyle status symbol; part of that slightly alternative Boho zeitgeist and the obvious successor/antidote to the Yuppie era. It's what all the rich, cool people do now. They've given up a life of cocaine and champagne in Islington for a life of chicken keeping, vegetable growing, dragging numerous small children with matted hair around Latitude, moving to Norfolk or Gloucestershire, and er...cocaine.

b) if the women themselves have super-duper high powered careers they can afford to employ maternity nurses, live-in nannies, cleaners, private schools or boarding schools etc, and have all the shit taken care of for them, so they just get the fun bits of parenting. Whereas Mr and Mrs Average who do not have any of that stuff at their disposal understandably tire of the drudgery aspect of parenting after 3 kids.

And lastly the birth rate is on the rise again almost exclusively because of recent immigration. Most immigrants over the last ten years come from cultural/religious backgrounds where it is the norm to have large families.
Whereas among the UK population of third generation or more, the birth rate is at an all-time low.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 12-Feb-13 14:43:43

I am one of four and have four dc. The first one was so bloody marvellous, I felt I owed it to the world to have some more wink

None of my siblings have dc and my dh was an only child of an only child. I have had more than my 'quota', but others in my family have had less - guess it all evens itself out in the end. For every person who has 4+ dc, there will be others who have none or one.

We all make choices which impact on the future of the planet - having children is just one of them, therefore I think it is relevant to expect the naysayers to be leading exemplary lives (in environmental terms), if they are to pass comment on the number of children other people should have.

To go back to the point of the thread, I hate it when people ask if children were planned (esp if they ask in front of said children). I mean, that is so personal and absolutely fuck all to do with anybody other than the people present at conception. I do not get how anyone thinks it is in any way an acceptable question to ask. It even pissed me off when the hv/midwife asked - beyond their job remit imo.

juule Tue 12-Feb-13 14:50:42

"guess it all evens itself out in the end"

Based on what you say then you would think so. But the population is rising so something somewhere isn't evening out.

CheerfulYank Tue 12-Feb-13 14:52:16

Here in the US it appears that the only birth rates that are up are among older parents (40 plus, I think). All the others are down as a rule. Especially among the Hispanic community, which historically has had a lot of children (generally very close knit and Catholic). But as more Hispanic women go to college, they put it off, which limits their family size a bit. And our economy is wretched right now, and we don't have an NHS.

What is child benefit? Does everyone get it? Or is it for lower income families, like welfare here?

juule Tue 12-Feb-13 14:56:07

I think it is reasonable to ask if it was planned. It gives the person asking an indication of how to respond. Not much point congratulating someone who feels her world has ended due to an accidental pregnancy.
A friend of mine once asked me whether congratulations or commiserations were in order when I gave the news of one of my pregnancies. Fair enough really.
Same for the midwife. Don't they need to have an idea how you might be feeling towards the pregnancy and later the baby?

CheerfulYank Tue 12-Feb-13 14:56:44

Pmsl at "dragging numerous small children with matted hair around". So true!

And I agree with the talk about "the squeezed middle". DH and I are neither rich enough to hire nannies nor poor enough to receive assistance. Any children we have we'll have to feed, clothe, and insure on our own. Well, there's public school.

Annunziata Tue 12-Feb-13 15:01:35

It is never reasonable to ask a stranger if their children were planned! How rude.

And you do not get financially rewarded for having children. £20 a week per child, £13 for each subsequent child, isn't it? I was getting about £4000 a year in CB for my six (they're older now). That's not going to make much of a difference.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 12-Feb-13 15:05:12

I don't think that whether a pg was planned or not gives much of an indication of how women feel towards their babies/pregnancies. Unplanned doesn't mean unhappy. Also plenty of people plan pregnancies but are then affected by feelings they didn't anticipate.

Might be better for hv/midwives to tailor their questions accordingly rather than relying on a blunt 'was it planned?'

juule Tue 12-Feb-13 15:06:20

No I wouldn't think it reasonable to ask a stranger out of the blue.
But not too unreasonable if you are having a conversation and it comes up.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 12-Feb-13 15:08:14

CheerfulYank - child benefit used to be universal and was like a tax break, in recognition of the fact that it is expensive raising children and is useful to society as a whole. It was paid to the mother (usually), so that all women would have access to money of their own.

The Tory government has just removed it for people earning over 50K.

CheerfulYank Tue 12-Feb-13 15:09:36

We don't have CB here as such. But you can deduct a certain amount per child from your taxes and the money you've spent on daycare/preschool. But that's money you've already paid.

I think if you get welfare you get a certain amount per kid?

juule Tue 12-Feb-13 15:09:54

It does give a starting point though. Although I would hope it would be asked tactfully by midwives.

And personally I think £4000 a year would make a big difference.

Annunziata Tue 12-Feb-13 15:11:05

I really strongly disagree (having been asked it a lot). I think you should only ask people you're really close to. Why people even think it is their business is beyond me.

CheerfulYank Tue 12-Feb-13 15:11:19

<googles pounds to dollars> That's more than DH and I make, that's for sure. smile

CheerfulYank Tue 12-Feb-13 15:12:41

But then again we live in a small town and houses, etc are quite cheap here. Plus insurance for us all takes a bite out of DH's salary.

juule Tue 12-Feb-13 15:14:01

I've been asked it too. And it's one of the remarks I didn't find offensive. Horses for courses I suppose.

Annunziata Tue 12-Feb-13 15:18:32

Each to their own I suppose. I find it very embarrassing.

cantspel Tue 12-Feb-13 15:45:48

BahrainB You mention the egyptian lady you met in the park with 8 children and large families being the norm in egypt.
Egypt's youth population is very high. 25% of their population is aged between 18 and 29 and there population is still growing at an alarming rate.
Egypt has an unemployment rate of over 12% of the workforce and 90% of these people are under 30. Bear in mind that in egypt there will only be a very small percentage of women working so the true figure if you included women would be much much higher.
Youth unemployment was a key factor in the Arab Spring uprisings and yet even since then unemployment has failed to drop. (nor will it and i can see it only getting worse as the country gets more and more unstable)

Do large families still look so appealing?

Lafaminute Tue 12-Feb-13 15:56:16

It's just something fairly inane to say!! Like "cold out isn't it??!!" or wow: hats off to you - not sure I could. They don't really want a 1000 word essay justifying your ideal number of children!
Better than having them empty is the worst response ever though: seriously cruel. I have a friend who has 5 boys - when people comment she says: better than 5 girls which I think is soooo insulting to any little girls! A lot (more than 1 or 2) of children can seem overwhelming to some people.
People sometimes say I've my hands full when they see my ONE ds who can be a handful!

juule Tue 12-Feb-13 16:01:35

"It's just something fairly inane to say!! Like "cold out isn't it??!!" or wow: hats off to you - not sure I could. They don't really want a 1000 word essay justifying your ideal number of children! "

I agree with this. Well, in most cases.

Annunziata Tue 12-Feb-13 16:49:01

No! The answer to 'cold out, isn't it?' is 'freezing, terrible, we're going to catch our deaths of cold, I so hope the summer is better or else I'm emigrating.' And wow, well you just politely laugh and say you're used to it.

But were they planned? You're asking if my children were accidents or were you using birth control! It's not like asking about the weather.

FellatioNels0n Tue 12-Feb-13 18:25:50

I imagine the number of people who have actually planned and executed the birth of 6+ children is very, very small indeed. The amount of people who planned to just disregard birth control and see what happened is another matter. That's not the same as 'unplanned' is it? It's planning to leave it in the hands of fate/God.

Annunziata Tue 12-Feb-13 18:53:31

That's probably true, but it still doesn't mean that mums with 6+ deserve to be questioned about their family planning!

CheerfulYank Tue 12-Feb-13 18:55:46

My aunt with six left hers in the hands of "oh it's not really true that antibiotics and birth control pills don't mix is it?!" It is true and he's 14 and called Joe. smile

Saski Tue 12-Feb-13 19:08:47

OK, sure, it's rude to question anyone about why they would choose to have 6 kids. But equally, it's rude to just give the earth an extra push towards self-destruction - because this makes me feel as though my own kids (2) are going to have it that much harder. That's how people who object to big families see it, and they've got science on their side.

Just saw another depressing segment on depleted fish stocks today.

I don't agree with making people uncomfortable about people (kids) who are already here. That's silly. What I do think is sensible is making overpopulation more a part of the public discourse.

fedupofnamechanging Tue 12-Feb-13 19:24:08

There are depleted fish stocks because people over fish and take the little ones, preventing stocks from replenishing. It's got little to do with people having more than 2 kids.

FellatioNels0n Tue 12-Feb-13 19:25:15

I think people are just very curious Annunziata. Someone who willingly has/wants a very large family is relatively unusual in our society so I guess people want to get into that bit of their psyche and understand why. I know I do.

I think anyone who makes an unusual/controversial lifestyle choice of any sort has to expect that people will be curious.

I remember meeting a woman once, who had 8 children. When it came up in conversation that she has 8 my jaw dropped - I couldn't help it. I said something like 'what, all actually yours? Not step children, or a blended family, or foster children or anything?'

I was quite gobsmacked that a man and a woman had had 8 children together. She took it very well. Maybe she was smiling at me through clenched teeth - I don't know, but she didn't seem overly offended. I asked her directly if she was Catholic. She was. For me it was the only logical explanation - I just could not comprehend that someone would actually choose to have eight children if they felt the choice was theirs to make.

Annunziata Tue 12-Feb-13 19:50:49

I understand that Fellatio (I am one of 8 myself!). I'm quite happy to answer questions- but I find 'were they planned' so, so rude. Do you want me to turn round and say 'no, well, number 2 was a drunken accident, 3 is adopted and 6 was a holiday moment of madness'?!

Asking me if they are all mine wouldn't bother me at all. Or if I am Catholic, although that's a bit obvious!

juule Tue 12-Feb-13 19:56:49

Surely if a stranger asked you were they all planned you would just answer "of course" or something similar. You don't hsve to go into detail and they are probably not expecting detail. Same as when someone says "Hi. How are you?" If you didn't really know them you would probably answer "Fine. Thanks". Not go on about any medical/personal problems you have.

Annunziata Tue 12-Feb-13 20:03:21

But why ask the question if you don't want to know the answer? It is so much more personal than 'how are you'.

AmberSocks Tue 12-Feb-13 23:17:31

i have 4,and we will have more,at least 2 more

we provide for them ourself,dont receive any benefits,not child benefit or tax credits either

i breastfeed,use cloth nappies,grow fruit and veg,we do have 1 car,and we recycle and i buy the kids organic fairtrade clothes and hand a lot of them down.i buy natural products for cleaning and cosmetic use.they also dont use schools and have never visited a doctor,so compared to a lot of people with less children,we consume little and our carbon footprint would be small-ish.

it doesnt bother me when people say youve got your hands full or how do you manage,as i can tell they dont mean it in a nasty way,but it is rather rude to asked if they were planned,i dont think anyones ever asked me that.

coralanne Wed 13-Feb-13 05:39:22

AmberSocks so relieved to read your post. My DD has 5 and basically does all the things you do.

I was a bit worried when she decided to Home Ed the DC but it is working really, really well. Can't believe how articulate and knowledgeable they are.

What amazes me the most when people find out that the DC are home schooled. The first thing EVERYONE says is "How do they socialise with other DC if they don't go to school"?

I can't even be bothered responding to this question.

CheerfulYank Wed 13-Feb-13 05:49:51

One of my DS's good friends is homeschooled and he is a lovely boy! Home ed isn't for us but I know some wonderful kids who are taught at home. smile

giraffesCantFlipPancakes Wed 13-Feb-13 06:05:17

Oh yes, being a nanny I get it all the time!

Just because I want kids doesn;t mean it is easy to have them, it is not like buying some chocolate!

AmberSocks Wed 13-Feb-13 09:11:44

coralanne its great you are so supportive,i wish my own mum would be so open minded :-)

coralanne Wed 13-Feb-13 09:49:21

AmberSocks has your Mum ever sat in on a "lesson" either formal or informal?

My only concern was that DD was going to be with DC 24/7 365 days per year and it would not leave her any "me" time.

Fortunately she has a very supportive DH who is brilliant at Maths so he goes over all the Maths when he arrives home from work.

DD is also very good . She is actually a trained Primary Teacher but DH has the knack of explaining things so that the DC "get it" first time.

juule Wed 13-Feb-13 10:08:08

Ambersocks I think the issue isn't only what your combined family carbon footprint is when your children are small. You have control over those things at that point. The concern will be when they become independant adults and so there could be a requirement for 4-6 homes? 4-6 cars? Foreign holidays x 4-6? etc. Once they are adults you have little control over their choices.

However, I agree that many larger families use far fewer resources than a lot of smaller families. It's just there is no guarantee that the children of those larger families wouldn't become a high resource user as an adult.

I understand concerns about overpopulation and agree that overpopulation needs addressing. But until other issues are addressed too e.g.wealthier members of society reining in their use of resources, I'm not convinced that larger families are the devils work and don't feel much anxiety about the resources my (larger )family uses.

Saski Wed 13-Feb-13 11:03:56

^^I agree juule. C02 emissions (i.e. the right to pollute) should be fully reflected into the cost of goods, perhaps with a graduated scale i.e. first 10 units at 10 p and second 10 at 12p and so on. This would penalize heavy emitters financially.

AmberSocks Wed 13-Feb-13 13:26:21

no we dont do lessons,we let them learn autonomously,although if there was any need/if they wanted formal lessons my husband would do it or we would pay for tutors.

coralanne Thu 14-Feb-13 00:47:37

That's fair enough. DD's DC actually like their formal lessons. They have a large room dedicated just for this purpose.

DD has interactive whiteboard and writes next day's lessons before she goes to bed.DD nine sometimes rises at 6am, reads her list for the day and gets stuck in to it.

On Tuesday mornings she has a private dance lesson and then teaches a jazz class for 3 year olds. She also choreographs their dance.

DD's reasoning for home schooling her DC was that by the time they finished all the admin work at school, plus lunch, breaks etc. they are actually only getting about 3 hours of actual learning.

Tasmania Fri 15-Feb-13 00:50:20

It's not JUST about environmental issues though.

The rise in population also means that this world will increasingly become competitive - and the UK, with its politically correct attitude of often appealing to the lowest common denominator (particularly in education), will not be able to compete with other countries that really "pushes" the young, and actively "seek" talent.

Try queuing up in a busy, overpopulated Chinese city one day, and see for yourself whether that's the world you want your multiple children to live in one day. If population growth continues at this pace, that's where we will be heading.

And if you still don't care... then you really don't have the best interest of your children at heart.

juule Fri 15-Feb-13 06:56:20

I understand the sentiment behind your last post Tasmania but I know that not everyone finds living in a Chinese city as unpleasant as you seem to.

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 12:46:23

I agree with you Tasmania.

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 12:48:03

I agree with you Tasmania.

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 12:48:29

Not that I've ever been to China but I understand what she is trying to get across.

AmberSocks Fri 15-Feb-13 14:32:13

I dont care,but i do have my childrens interests at heart.I dont agree with you.

Annunziata Fri 15-Feb-13 15:08:15

No, I don't care about my children at all, you're right. I'll just take the younger ones out the back and shoot them right now.

Why are you so fixated on large families? You speak like every second family is 6 plus, which we all know isn't true.

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 15:37:47

Mmm. Good point Annunziata. For every family with six there are several families with one or two, so perhaps it all evens out, an we ll have three?

Except that, if you look at people with large families like you look at greedy people hogging the best food at a buffet, for every family with six or more the other families have to go without for the good of others who may be coming up behind them in the queue.

In the long term, a responsible, civilized society has to have the infrastructure and the resources to support all these people. Why should someone else have to go without so that you can indulge your wants, and have the most? Why should other couples feel compelled to limit their famiiles out of fear that your children may require so much from the pot that their is nothing left for theirs?

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 15:50:01

there. Obviously.

(and it's nothing personal, but this is a serious debate so you have to suck it up.) grin

Annunziata Fri 15-Feb-13 16:28:58

But the buffet is a false comparison, we do use more food and things but we pay for them all. Thank God we have not had to use the NHS much, but God keep them safe all of mine will pay their own taxes and repay what we have used.

A responsible, civilised society also has to build infrastructure and gather resources, and thankfully I currently have three engineers and an accountant in training grin

Plus, you never know who is going to need more or the most from the pot. That could happen to any family of any size.

AmberSocks Fri 15-Feb-13 16:41:35

We dont have any benefits including tax credits or child benefit,we dont use the education provided by the government,i didnt use the maternity sevices and they have never seen a doctor in their life,so in terms of "taking from the pot" we havnt taken anything!

Not everyone is like that but if you knew how much tax my husband pays and how much he is responsible for others paying then you would agree we are putting in well over our fair share,and probably our kids fair shares too.

cantspel Fri 15-Feb-13 16:56:13

Everyone takes from the pot everyday regardless of what services you use or how much you pay.
Just because you haven't used the nhs or schools doesn't mean you are not benefiting from the state.

AmberSocks Fri 15-Feb-13 17:09:38

could you give me an example of something we all use,that we would use more of because i have more children?

We put in more than most people,and by most,i mean more than 99 per cent of the country.

FellatioNels0n Fri 15-Feb-13 18:00:38

You may do Amber but plenty of people with very large families do not. Someone has to pay.

babybarrister Fri 15-Feb-13 18:20:37

Yabu if you expect others to pay for them which should include their education as you are taking up a disproportionate amount of societies' resources IMO otherwise yanbu

AmberSocks Fri 15-Feb-13 18:29:20

even for those people though,people in genera are having less children,anditsnot because they are worried about the enviroment or resources,its because they either dont want to,they cant afford it or simply cant.

AmberSocks Fri 15-Feb-13 18:29:38

it all evens out.

AmberSocks Fri 15-Feb-13 18:30:34

when my son tried school most of his friends were only children,some were one of two,he had one friend who had 4 brothers,that was it,and it was similar throughout the whole school.

Annunziata Fri 15-Feb-13 19:06:09

Okay, so my DC shouldn't be allowed into state schools or treated in NHS hospitals. Should they be allowed to walk on the pavements and drive up the same roads as those angels with 2 children?

CheerfulYank Fri 15-Feb-13 20:50:56

Our school is small and rural with declining enrollment...the principal would probably swoon with delight if a couple six-kid families moved in.

And we don't have an NHS.

Yellowtip Fri 15-Feb-13 21:07:05

To my face at least people have only ever been positive when they comment on the fact I have eight. I've always got all the usual jokey comments about how I got there etc. but all very good humoured. I've never once been challenged about environmental issues at all. I tend to think that my DC will put in more than they took out, but I suppose we're not quite at the stage yet to know.

Tasmania Fri 15-Feb-13 22:55:23

It doesn't even out. Who ever came up with this quote?

It all evens out because not all people have six kids. I can use someone else's quota. (Regarding population growth. First of all: why should you use someone's quota? Did you get permission? Because if someone wants my quota, that person and his/her partner better be geniuses.)

Ever seen the figures? It took THOUSANDS of years to get to 1 billion people on the planet. But within less than a century, we grew from 2 billion to 7 billion people in less than a century!!! Fact.

It all evens out because not all people have six kids. (regarding food / services, etc.)

If food actually reflected prices fairly, I can assure you, you would NOT be able to afford too many kids. The demand for cheaper and cheaper meat is partly responsible for the horse meat scandal. Same with cheaper and cheaper vegetables, clothes, etc. If you actually paid the actual FAIR price for everything you have now, you would find it hard to pay for everything you have. China has been providing the West with cheap goods for decades. Do you know that China's wages are climbing rapidly??? The new government over there made it one of their priorities to sustain that trend. How long do you think will your cheap prices last? Go on, look around in your home, and see how many items you have that says "Made in China". Now think about how much it would have cost, if it had been "Made in England".

If someone once again says that it all evens out, this would just confirm that those who are having large families are not necessarily the most intelligent people on this planet. Great. And they are the ones having multiple kids.

coralanne Sat 16-Feb-13 08:24:42

Tasmania I was going to write a long response to your post.

Instead I will ask you to google "Fiona Wood". This truely marvellous woman has 6 DC.

I'm sure we can all name numerous other women who have contributed greatly to society.

I don't think that people with more than 2 or 3 DC are decimating the planet anymore than the childress couple I know (both teachers) who spend every holiday travelling the world. All that Airplane fuel can't possibly be good for the environment.

FellatioNels0n Sat 16-Feb-13 09:23:32

But citing examples of 'marvellous women' who have 'contributed greatly' to society is hardly the point, is it? Unless all people with six and more children are just like Fiona Wood it really is irrelevant.

juule Sat 16-Feb-13 09:34:42

Tasmania I'm trying to understand why you are citing China as an example in your posts. I think I'm missing whatever point it is that you are making with regard to China and larger families. <bit dim>?

juule Sat 16-Feb-13 09:35:52

I agree with Fellatio in that I can't see the relevance of mentioning Fiona Wood.

Daffodilly Sat 16-Feb-13 09:50:33

We just had our third and I get loads of the "you're mad" or "you have your hands full now" comments. IME it seems they often cone from people that are are struggling to parent their 1 or 2. I like to think I have brought my first two children up to be pleasant and well-behaved. I generally enjoy their company and hope to do the same with the third.

As for people that have the audacity to ask if third was planned I hive a very fake laugh and declare loudly "what a VERY strange question to ask" unusually leaving them embarrassed instead of me!

Rhiannon86 Sat 16-Feb-13 10:00:29

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

havingamadmoment Sat 16-Feb-13 11:11:30

We have 5, I have never had any negative comments in real life but have had plenty online. I dont really mind - people are entitled to their opinions and it doesnt upset me that they have them. I have opinions on plenty of things which go against the lifestyles of plenty of people (childcare, car ownership, benefits all the mumsnet favs!) - that is the nature of humanity - people disagree!

We have planned our family and built our lives based on that, we didnt want to use childcare but needed two incomes so we built a business we could work from home doing. We also now employ three other people in the business so I like to think that we do contribute to society in our own little way. We needed a bigger house so we moved from the South East to the north so we could adequately house them etc. People seem to assume that people with lots of children dont give the enough attention but tbh in my experience I dont see many children who are only children or from small families getting a huge amount of quality time. Half an hour a day is far less than they need imo.

I think the people who are worried for the environment are within their rights to be hostile IF they take few foreign holidays, only make the occasional trip in their (one) car, only buy goods they know to be ethically made, buy only ethically raised meat or better still eat no meat - the list is endless and as I say its all about opinions.

OP - as long as you care for your children, can afford them and have the ability to look after them not just as babies but as older chidlren and teenagers just ignore any negative comments you are getting.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 16-Feb-13 13:11:04

People who are taking from the pot are also paying quite a lot into it. You have to earn quite a bit of money to pay for more than two children. I object to the idea that my family is ruining the planet and somehow sponging off all you smug, superior people with two dc.

I bet my carbon footprint is less than that of my friend with one child, who is always on a plane going on holiday!

Annunziata Sat 16-Feb-13 13:34:53

There are no quotas. Would you tell someone with long term health problems they had used up their NHS quota? Or a child who needed one on one support at school that they were costing too much?

FellatioNels0n Sat 16-Feb-13 14:49:17

Hoe do you know Karma? Are there any statistics that tell us that people who pay the top rate of tax on high salaries are the ones who have most children? confused I'm sure some parents of large families pay a lot into the pot and I am sure that many do not. But that's not really the point. Whether you are a high or a low earner you pay your tax based on your earnings, not on the amount of children you have. Someone on 200k pays the same tax whether he has one child or ten. For people on average incomes having lots of children means you are given more money, not that you get more taken away.

Journey Sat 16-Feb-13 15:04:34

If you're happy with the number of dcs you have then I don't understand why people get so sensitive to other people's comments. I have 4 dcs and get the comment of you must have your hands full a lot. Well the reality is I do have my hands full! Comments like that don't bother me in the least.

I don't believe people in rl decide that they aren't going to have another baby because of the environment. If someone said that to me in rl I'd just laugh. There are some strange views on this post about large families.

I think people need to be a bit less sensitive to general chit chat bog standard comments on family sizes. In my opinion it is the way someone asks a question/comments that distinguishes if they are being nasty or just saying it for general chit chat.

JaquelineHyde Sat 16-Feb-13 15:05:32

Tasmania your posts are now bordering on offensive and are ruining any sensible argument you may have begun to formulate.

To say that a couple of comments on the internet from people you don't know are confirming 'that those who are having large families are not necessarily the most intelligent people on this planet. Great. And they are the ones having multiple kids.' is really rather pathetic and only proves that you have ridiculous prejudices against those who have larger families that voids any argument you have about the welfare of the world.

I am one of 7 and I am currently pg with dc4. My Mum has 13 Grandchildren (3 of which are being norn in the next few months) so far and 2 of her children haven't even begun to have their own yet. Goodness knows how big this dynasty shall grow and I bloody love it!

Oh and these 7 unintelligent, selfish children include a DI, a top notch solicitor, a social worker and a head of service. 3 degrees, 1 masters and 4 who earn in the highest % of earners in the uk (not me as a trainee social worker unfortunately grin ) All of this and yet 3 of my siblings are still in their 20's (again not me <sob>)

I respect all opinions on family size but really some of the comments on this thread have been disgusting first we had the bright spark who suggested only ugly people had lots of children and now the argument that all people who have larger families are unintelligent. It really is rather pathetic and makes me lose all respect for the opinions of those who suggest such nasty, spiteful things.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 16-Feb-13 15:39:05

Yes, there are some people who have big families and take more out of the pot than they pay in, but equally there are people with one child who are taking more out of the pot than they are contributing or people with no children who cost the country a lot of money or who use lots of resources/cause lots of damage to the planet.

When you consider environmental damage caused by politicians/industry, in the name of economic benefit (and more often their personal economic benefit), I just think that judging people by the number of children they have is perhaps not the smartest way of assessing who is 'better'.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 16-Feb-13 15:45:26

If you follow this through to its natural conclusion you could argue that having two children to replace yourself and your partner is just as selfish, in a world which is over populated.

The people who have 2 dc, seem to think that's okay though.

Having children is generally done for selfish reasons.

I did laugh up thread though, when someone said that having children isn't a human right - it's the ultimate human right, imo.

Tasmania Sat 16-Feb-13 15:58:42

juule Not a 'bit dim' if you know the historical context. Previously (up until the 60s), the government in China encouraged its people to have as many children as possible. The population nearly doubled within the space of approximately 30 years prior to the introduction of the one-child policy as infant mortality declined. Hence, the sudden "shit, we have too many people now"-thinking that ultimately led to the policy you now have in China.

Although what most people don't seem to understand is that the one-child policy does not necessarily apply to the entire population - it varies from location to location, but is obviously heavily enforced in the urban areas we know best in the West.

Population in China is incredibly dense in urban areas, as people tend to flock there from the rural areas where money can be immensely tight. Not too dissimilar from the UK, really, which unlike other countries is a "centralized" country, i.e. a lot revolves around London.

Journey Sat 16-Feb-13 16:03:12

Agree JacquelineHyde

Tasmania Sat 16-Feb-13 16:14:45

^^ So to add to the above - in order to not get to the state in which China found itself in, we have to stop getting to the "overpopulated" bit in the first place.

JacquelineHyde It can be a more than just a little bit frustrating for people to say that "everything levels out in the end" when the numbers (population growth specifically) shows otherwise.

And no matter how often you point at the exponentially increasing numbers, they maintain their point - that it "levels out in the end" - which you have to admit IS bordering on the offensively stupid, to be honest. When it took us thousands of years to breach the 1 billion point mark, but less than a century to grow from 2 billion to 7 billion... it would take a massive catastrophe for the numbers to "even out in the end" - which I'm sure no one would want.

Tasmania Sat 16-Feb-13 16:24:40

JacquelineHyde / Journey I understand you may fine the comment about people being "stupid" offensive. But you can't argue with basic maths (you can at higher level, abstract maths, I guess), and the "all leveling out in the end" comment seriously, seriously makes no mathematical sense.

I do think that if you maintain that sort of comment despite what the numbers / other people tell you... it is simply denial, and it often takes some straight talk to point out such nonsense. It comes close to trying to reason with old people who have some skewed view of the world (e.g. racist)... and no matter what good arguments you may find, they maintain their stance.

And Rhiannon86, that IDIOCRACY film is hilarious.

fedupofnamechanging Sat 16-Feb-13 16:25:25

But Tasmania, the situation changes all the time wrt how many children people choose to have - just because in recent years the population has grown significantly, it doesn't mean that it will continue that way. People now have choice regarding reproduction, in ways that they didn't in the past.

We may have just had a crossover period, where infant mortality reduced and healthcare got better, but people weren't using birth control until relatively recently.

You can't say that the birth rate definitely won't go down - I think that in many places it is. I remember hearing somewhere that there aren't enough young people being born to sustain the ageing population in some parts of the world.

CheerfulYank Sat 16-Feb-13 16:42:35

The US is at its lowest birth rate in...I think ever, actually, karma.

Tasmania Sat 16-Feb-13 16:44:15

karmabeliever The only thing that seems to have kept the population at bay in the past is the absence of modern medicine. With that, infant mortality has (thankfully) gone down, while people now grow older. People do use birth control, but the absence of medicine in the past was pretty much nature's equivalent of population growth control.

With birth control and modern medicine as a whole, the responsibility of controlling population growth is shifting more and more from nature to... well... us. Now, we have the choice.

But we are not as cold as nature was in the past. Every creature on the planet has an in-built instinct to procreate, and our instincts seem to have a complete disregard for what modern medicine has given to society at large.

And as for "not enough young people born to sustain the aging population in the world", that idea in itself is flawed, because it relies on a pyramid scheme where population growth is essential. In an ideal world, the aging population would not be reliant on the next generation to pay their taxes, etc. Isn't that the reason we are now meant to put money into our pension pot???

JaquelineHyde Sat 16-Feb-13 17:06:22

Tasmania then I would suggest you aim your childish insults about intelect at the people making the comments you disagree with, and not instead make a sweeping statement aimed at all large families based on your own ridiculous predjudices.

Tasmania Sat 16-Feb-13 17:13:16

JacquelineHyde Fair enough - made the mistake of thinking that a general statement would be less hurtful than pointing out certain comments.

juule Sat 16-Feb-13 17:31:12

Tasmania your description of China doesn't sound too dissimilar to the situation in the UK as you seem to say yourself. . On a larger scale but the China is a lot bigger in area as well as population than the UK.
I was also under the impression that the one child rule was more rigidly applied in rural areas.
But I'm not an expert on those things.

I also agree with JacquelineHyde

Yellowtip Sat 16-Feb-13 19:09:51

Tasmania I haven't read the thread closely but the thick people comment is thick. I have eight DC. Four are university age. All of those four are at Oxford. I've forgotten how many GCSE A* they have between them but about 45 I think. Similar hit rate at A2. They're all very far from ugly (beautiful in fact) and decent in the extreme.

Your comments are narrow minded and rude. No-one ever mentions Catholicism I note.

Tasmania Sat 16-Feb-13 20:23:33

Yellowtip - if you read the thread more thoroughly, you'll realize it wasn't me who brought that up the first time round. Several other people have mentioned it a long time ago. And my comment was linked particularly comments of people justifying their multiple kids because eventually everything in this world "evens out in the end" (i.e. for everyone who chooses to have 6 kids, there are some who have none or only one). If that was the case, population growth would cease to exist, but it does not. And yet, people kept mentioning that one lie again and again... which IS stupid.

juule - it is the similarity that makes it scary. But despite the bad press they have, I have to say at least they take note of the effect of mass population on society and the environment. Have you ever figured out why there are so many Tiger Mums in the Far East? Because the world over there is that competitive. That trend is increasing here, too (you only need to read the threads on here).

Yellowtip Sat 16-Feb-13 20:40:19

Isn't the European population declining?

ShellyBoobs Sat 16-Feb-13 21:21:44

Isn't the European population declining?


CheerfulYank Sat 16-Feb-13 21:24:58

Plus, all the only children I know are self-important brats.

<wild generalization> grin

CheerfulYank Sat 16-Feb-13 21:26:11

Although that ^^ includes my own a lot of the time. I'm excited for DC2 to arrive and knock DS off his attention-seeking throne.

Yellowtip Sat 16-Feb-13 21:29:24

Shelley I've just looked it up. It's declining markedly in some major European countries esp.Germany and it's marginal growth overall. In spite of the ugly thick people in the UK shelling out babies like there's no tomorrow. So we should all chill.

ShellyBoobs Sat 16-Feb-13 21:45:40

Looked it up where, Yellow?

I can assure you that as a whole, the population of Europe is increasing. I need to know this information for business purposes so I'm fairly sure of the source we use (Eurostat).

Yellowtip Sat 16-Feb-13 22:09:43

It's marginal overall though Shelley. What are your figures for overall growth?

Tasmania Sat 16-Feb-13 22:21:46

^^ Yes, according to Eurostat, Europe's population is increasing, and most European countries follow the growing population trend apart from Germany (people there are ridiculously guided by logic) and certain Eastern European countries.

Still wondering how long people will try to argue that the population is decreasing, when it is so obviously not (scratches head). Maybe once their dcs are seriously affected by this trend, e.g. competition for school places, university places and jobs...

Then, all of a sudden, it's either the government's fault or that of immigrants. Of course, don't ever blame yourself.

Yellowtip Sat 16-Feb-13 22:28:12

Tasmania it's marginal according to official stats, isn't it? Not a biggie tbf.

CarnivorousPanda Sat 16-Feb-13 23:14:01

There are various estimates of population growth, one I saw projected an increase up to 70 million for the Uk by 2030. It may be an over estimate, but there is no doubt our population is growing. We are already one of the most densely populated countries in europe.

We already have a massive house shortage in this country. There aren't enough jobs. Our present infrastructure is struggling to cope. We import more than half our food. Demand will grow for resources.

Child benefit was originally introduced after the war as a measure to increase the population. Does anyone seriously think we still need an increase in population here? If these predictions are correct, how will we be able to absorb all these extra millions?

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 00:06:31

CarnivorousPanda - We've been trying to ask those people who don't seem to have a problem with the population growth for ages. Never had an answer really. Denial is almost epidemic here.

Yellowtip If I fail an exam by a marginal amount, it doesn't change the fact that I still failed to pass it. Will you be able to answer what CarnivorousPanda asked? If your dc fail to get the desired school place or get into uni or get that all important job or get onto the housing ladder... who do you want to blame? A lot of those problems would not exist if there weren't too many people around.

coralanne Sun 17-Feb-13 00:53:16

My DB (highly intelligent with only 2DC so I guess he passes the test) keeps the family entertained by periodically posting episodes of "Crap Sayings" online.

Episode 1 was:

"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion".

"No they are not. People are entitled to their own opinion when they are fully informed of ALL facts related to the topic in question.

Then and only then, are they entitled to an opinion.

loverofwine Sun 17-Feb-13 02:00:45

I've got four kids.
<dons hard hat>

coralanne Sun 17-Feb-13 03:44:14

Congratulations loverofwine. Enjoy and celebrate with them.

I only have 2 but am the youngest of a family of 7.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 09:37:29

Well I'm obviously reading different stats but it's all cyclical anyway surely?

I wouldn't 'blame' anyone if my DC failed to get their desired school place (they haven't as it happens) and as for university I really can't see that population growth will be the determining factor there. Ditto their jobs. I assume that they'll contribute at least as much to the economy as they'll take out.

Perhaps you'd like to pick up the point about Catholicism Tas

FreudiansSlipper Sun 17-Feb-13 10:08:31

the population of the world has over doubled in 50 years

of course we all need to take responsibility we just simply do not have the recourses be it financial or natural to sustain this growth and it is our children and grandchildren that will suffer

people make comments small talk throw away comments when you have children they are a talking point but if you have chooses to have a large family others will wonder why when there are problems with the nhs, school places, high unemployment these social problems are not improved by our young none working population

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 10:47:05

I suppose it depends to some extent on what the children of large families will themselves contribute and how they're brought up to deal with environmental issues etc.

I don't think that our home has gobbled up resources any more than plenty of families with only two DC. It's a matter of lifestyle. We certainly don't overburden the NHS and I'm hopeful that my DC will generate work rather than deprive others of it. One just can't generalise. On the whole I think I've been jointly responsible for putting eight sets of pretty good genes out there for eight lucky partners.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 10:53:10

Yellowtip If it was cyclical, you would see population growth "evening out" as some on here say. That isn't happening.

What do you want me to say about Catholicism???

FellatioNels0n Sun 17-Feb-13 11:12:55

And if those eight lovely couples all wanted to do the same as you there'd be 64 more beautiful, clever, fabulous over-achievers all needing houses one day.

Exponentially that's quite dangerous, I'd say. And I think it's quite smug to say 'well it doesn't matter if I do it, because most other people won't.'

We are back to hogging the best stuff on the buffet again, and never mind that the people in the queue behind you get stale crumbs.

No-one ever mentions Catholicism I note.

Do you there is any point? It's hard enough debating this without people getting all defensive and offended as it is. The last thing we need is to give them a religious persecution angle to froth over as well.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 11:32:36

I don't think there's much of a point either, FellatioNels0n. The people who want to use catholicism as fodder just want to lead you into a trap because religion is a touchy subject.

For what it's worth... I am a catholic, and you can see my views above. My mother was a catholic. She came from a large family, but while her parents did have many children, she and her siblings had less. My cousins and I have a maximum of two - one of them couldn't have children of his own, so he adopted exactly one.

I'm not a 100% practicing catholic - but most of my cousins are. Not all catholics are stuck in medieval times.

CruCru Sun 17-Feb-13 12:05:56

This has become quite a strange thread.

BarbJohnson5 Sun 17-Feb-13 12:19:05

I have 5 in total and used to hear those negative comments from mainly english people. Lived in Spain for a little while and never came across any ignorant comments, in fact, the Spanish would congratulate my husband and i on our children. If you feel offended by someone's comment, you should say so or just walk off.......I also think sometimes its jealousy. Either these folks aren't able to have that many for one reason or another. There's nothing wrong with have more than 2.4 children or large families....

BarbJohnson5 Sun 17-Feb-13 12:20:08

*have = having

juule Sun 17-Feb-13 12:22:54

I agree CruCru&#128522;

This is interesting in respect to overpopulation
"And although family planning and contraception have indeed secured a low fertility rate in most parts of the world, the overall fertility rate remains at 2.6, far above replacement. Sub-Saharan Africa, the poorest region of the world, still has a total fertility rate of 5.1 children per woman, and the global population continues to rise by about 79 million per year, with much of the increase in the world’s poorest places. According to the medium-fertility forecast of the United Nations Population Division we are on course for 9.2 billion people by mid-century."

"In the coming decades we will have to convert to solar power and safe nuclear power, both of which offer essentially unbounded energy supplies (compared with current energy use) if harnessed properly and with improved technologies and social controls. Know-how will have to be applied to long-mileage automobiles, water-efficient farming, and green buildings that cut down sharply on energy use. We will need to re-think modern diets and urban design to achieve healthier lifestyles that also cut down on energy-intensive consumption patterns. And we will have to help Africa and other regions to speed the demographic transition to replacement fertility levels, in order to stabilize the global population at around 8 billion. "

So not just about reducing birth rates. And not just about reducing birth rates in UK.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 12:26:20

Very bad show to over achieve! (I'm not actually sure how one can 'over' achieve confused). And I can't see that being good looking in any way disadvantages the planet: it's environmentally neutral. So thatose comments are silly. I'm also hoping that since they do seem to have achieved, or be achieving, that they'll all be in a position to provide their own housing too.

I only get positive comments in RL. so I'm not overly worried by snitchers on MN smile

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 12:28:34

those comments, not thatose (I can usually spell, despite being by definition pretty thick).

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 17-Feb-13 12:40:21

We actually desperately need global populations to decline if we think it's reasonable for everyone in the world to enjoy the same standard of living as people in the west. If everyone in the world now (i.e. assume zero population growth) had the lifestyle of the average Westerner, the planet would need to have 2.5x the resources (metals, coal, gas, arable land,etc) that it does. On that basis, massively likely that we'll end up having a huge fight about it within the next 100 yrs and solving the problem by nuking at least half the world's population in one go.

CarnivorousPanda Sun 17-Feb-13 19:12:09

There seem to be two parallel discussions going on here.

The first, posted by those who explain that they chose to have large families, but that those DC are high achievers, or that green lifestyles are enjoyed by the family. Or that those who have serious concerns about overpopulation are somehow jealous or ignorant for failing to applaud people who have large families (*BarbJohnson*)

Then the second type of discussion, posted by those who refer to various statistics, both current and projected, and then seek to relate these to the implications for future life in the UK and indeed around the world.

Implications such as infrastructure stretched to its limits. A need for more energy,much of which we already import. We already are desperately short of housing in this country. There is a loss of farming land to build that housing.

We already have to import around half the food we use.

We will need to build more schools, hospitals and roads. And we'll need plenty more jobs- yet how many million people are currently unemployed?

What about nature, what about wildlife? And what about quality of life?

Because thats what I want for my DCs.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 19:22:34

The fact that DCs in large families may make a serious contribution to society and don't leave more carbon footprint than small families is relevant panda, sorry.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 19:25:32

The fact that we live in a small three bedroom house, that I have a single car and drive less than eight thousand miles a year and that we average two visits to the doctor a year between us is also relevant.

CarnivorousPanda Sun 17-Feb-13 19:26:29

How do they not leave more carbon footprint yellowtip?

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 19:27:58

Yellow - does that mean you are happy for your DCs and their future families to live in your current house together without the need for further houses built?

Annunziata Sun 17-Feb-13 19:29:17

I just don't think large families are common enough to be seriously blamed for everything they have been blamed for on this thread.

CarnivorousPanda Sun 17-Feb-13 19:30:37

What tasmania said

So we will need 8 more houses then - or will they all be staying with you?!

CarnivorousPanda Sun 17-Feb-13 19:32:45

* Annunziata* what do you think about these statistics on population?

Or do you think a UK with a population of 70 million will be fine?

80 million new people a year worldwide. Is that okay?

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 19:37:05

Some MNers have vast houses for only two DC in overpopulated areas and travel extensively. I'm not going to apologise for living a sensible life as we do. I think you're pretty offensive.

CarnivorousPanda Sun 17-Feb-13 19:44:57

So will your 8 dcs be living with you? Is having 8 "sensible"?

loverofwine Sun 17-Feb-13 19:52:43

a lot of mumsnetters are critical of any one/thing that is against the acceptable norm.

I say let them carry on with their narrow minded judgy attitudes. I on the other hand am going to carry on loving my oversized brood of potential sperminators.

Annunziata Sun 17-Feb-13 19:57:36

I think people will cope and change.

But surely it's large scale change you need, rather than simply blaming large families. Because I don't know enough large families to make a sizeable difference to 70 million.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:04:27

Yellow - so you prefer people to live in smaller houses, so that more be packed into an already overpopulated area?Is that not treating the "symptoms" rather than the underlying problem??

JaquelineHyde Sun 17-Feb-13 20:05:46

Yellow I think you should have more than 8. How about 10 or 12.

I suspect the posters on this thread are right and you are both incredibly ugly and amazingly thick with little care for anyone in the world but yourself.

I suggest you raise your football team on benefits, travel the world excessively, dump highly toxic rubbish in areas of natural beauty, spray non ozone friendly deodorants liberally around your garden just to keep it smelling nice and train your children to have a million children between them.

Oh and don't forget to use the NHS as much as you can, even when you don't need to, just for fun.

Now I must dash as I have my own world ending family to cultivate, although I really am so thick I'm not entirely sure what that means!

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 21:31:58

I'm not particularly 'sensible' generally, I err towards the rash, but having had eight DC I have lived an environmentally sensible life.

My DC are ok with sharing bedrooms rather than having little princely suites and they like the fraternity and solidarity and security of a communal life. There are a lot of goods to be had with more than the standard two DC. Your view appears to me to be overly standard and unimaginative and narrow.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 21:48:55

It's about the future, not now.

I stopped posting on this because I knew it would probably degenerate into "How dare you judge me!" And "I find that offensive!" Oh look. It has.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:52:50


I've given up pointing at the future. It seems people will only react once it hits their own DC. By that time it will be a little too late.


Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 21:57:34

Ariel it's pretty thick to say most mums of large families must be ugly and thick. And therefore offensive.

I don't tend to blow my own trumpet but I'm a fairly petite size 10, usually get lots of attention, very good skin, argey green eyes and a solid educational run with each of the DC. Put that together with low energy bills, small house in an underpopulated area and less miles on the car clock than most. Well, yes, not many apologies really.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 21:59:22

Not sure where argey came from. I typed (or thought I typed) ok green eyes.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 21:59:37

Eh? What's your eye colour got to do with environmental impact?

Someone called you thick and ugly? Well dismiss them as an idiot and think about the actual topic then

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:00:57

Tas the world has to be about quality not merely quantity. You seem to be hugely utilitarian and dull.

Annunziata Sun 17-Feb-13 22:02:01

But Tasmania my DC are already here- what's the use of moaning about it to me? Short of shooting four of them what do you want me to do?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:02:45

I'm thinking of seventy years hence when your many grandchildren will be adults. What kind of planet will they live on if the population keeps on rocketing? It's all too easy to blame the Africans, but eight children each is more than the Africans.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:03:12

Yellow? Ehm... wrong choice of sentence. Completely agree that the world has to be about quality and not quantity. I'm not the one who wanted multiple kids though, and hence put quantity before quality?!?

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:04:09

I've thought about it Tas. I think you seem limited and dull. Eye colour is relevant to ugliness, which someone brought up. Eye colour is as shallow as the reference to ugliness, no more but no less.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:04:49

Do honestly think there will be quality if the quantity is so astronomical? When people are fighting over fresh water, space for a home, the oil is gone and food is in short supply. This is not me being alarmist. These are projections.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:06:35

It is you being alarmist Ariel. It's you being hysterical.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:08:06

Really? I'm not remotely hysterical I can assure you. Hysterical assumes a loss of control. It's not me who is lacking control.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:09:21

Yellow Huh?!? I never asked you for your eye color??

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:09:59

And yellowtip please can you tell us about the studies you have done which makes you sure that the descendents of your children will have plenty of everything, despite dropping water tables and crop yields and peak oil?

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:13:05

Yellow And you're the one who keeps on telling me that I am limited and dull. I haven't said anything like that to you??? Is this a case of mistaken identity? I merely told you that I do put quality before quantity - while you don't... despite what you said.

JaquelineHyde Sun 17-Feb-13 22:14:27

Hahahahahaha this thread just gets more and more ridiculous!

Everythings going to be gone...gone I tell you and it's all the ugly thick ones fault!

Won't somebody think of the children!!...But only the pretty children from families of two or less the others should be taken out and shot to save the world!

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:15:10

I've done no studies Ariel I simply declined contraception and abortion and have lived a pretty frugal life, environmentally speaking, but have managed to produce (with a lot of hard work) eight DC who I tend to think will add to the sum of human happiness and not subtract. And even with my own pretty self-effacing make-up I'm not prepared to say I'm either thick or ugly, since both would be a lie.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:20:01

What the hell is peak oil btw?

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:23:36

Also don't be ridiculous, popping a pill or scrabbling about for the equivalent is no more in control than what I did. How absurd, to imply I was insatiable somehow, or desperate. Sad really.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:24:06

Yellow Wikipedia is your friend Peak Oil ...

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:24:24

Jacqueline, you make yourself look daft with comments like that. You don't look as though you actually understand any of the issues. If you don't think over exploitation of rescources and over population are serious issues, you're either not very bright or wilfully ignorant.

I have never once said you are either thick or ugly, yellowtip. What you look like is irrelevant. However it has been said at length that it's not your frugality which is necessarily the issue here, yet you keep going on about it. And yes, I'm sure it is hard work.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:25:49

"What the hell is peak oil?"


Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:25:54

Yellow - are you reading a completely different thread to me? Who asked you about your form of birth control? confused

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:28:11

I think she's reading what she,wants to into a comment I made in order to take the maximum offence.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:28:55

Ok checked it out, obviously we're clean on peak oil.

Tas someone made a comment about 'lack of control'.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:29:35

Which was not directed at you. You assumed it was.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:31:44

Oops cross posts. Well you weren't exactly subtle Ariel, were you. And I don't think it would be possible for me to take serious offence; I'm a very long way from it yet smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Sun 17-Feb-13 22:33:43

So what do you think of peak oil, then seeing as you asked? smile

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:36:17

Well we're using almost no oil so maybe ask someone else? Maybe a high octane two DC mum?

CarnivorousPanda Sun 17-Feb-13 22:39:18

Yellow You have not lived a frugal life environmentally if you have chosen to have 8 children.

Nothing else you ever do - small house, one car, no holidays etc -will make up for having so many children. Source www.livescience.

I don't care how bright, clever etc your children are. At the end of the day, they will all need housing,feeding clothing, educating. Its about numbers. Its about the future.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 22:44:43

No Panda those arguments are all about utilitarianism and are quite dull.

JaquelineHyde Sun 17-Feb-13 22:45:08

Sorry Ariel but I stopped taking this thread seriously at all many pages back after certain posters called my family and I ugly and unitelligent.

I would suggest you read the whole thing and then step away and maybe start a new thread so that your sensible arguments (regardless of whether I agree with them or not) can be discussed properly instead of on this farce of a prejudiced thread, because as it stands you are unfortunately going to be tarred with the same brush as the idiots who posted in your absence.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:49:11

"Well we're using almost no oil so maybe ask someone else?"

Yellow So you don't have a car, use no petrol, don't use public transport, and don't use much heating?

CarnivorousPanda Sun 17-Feb-13 22:50:03

Yellow well sorry you think they're dull. My source was livescience. It deals with stupid stuff like facts and statistics. Why not at least take a look?

Or maybe its easier not too?

FreudiansSlipper Sun 17-Feb-13 22:50:59

twatish remarks by one of what 30 adding to the debate = end of discussion

best mn delete all threats once they have reached 100 posts becaue by then a twatish post has nearly always been made

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:54:35

Yellow - you are being childish now. it seems that everything that is logical, in your mind equals dull. That screams of denial. It's like those kids at school who think certain subjects are "uncool" and "boring". They aren't really. It's more that those subjects are more difficult than others, and by saying that, they believe they can avoid those subjects...

juule Sun 17-Feb-13 22:56:03

From livescience
" In 1968, biologist Paul Ehrlich and his wife, Anne, published "The Population Bomb" (Sierra Club/Ballentine Books), sounding a doleful alarm about overpopulation and predicting mass famine in the 1970s.
Those predictions didn't come to pass,"

Perhaps things like this have made people sceptical of doomsayers. The end of he world is always just around the corner. Only it turns out time and again not to be.
If we were to be overly concerned with every doomsday/ end of the world scenario we wouldn't be able to live out our short lives for being paralysed by fear.

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 23:01:25

OK I'm not a scientist or statistician but it's easy enough to look at my brother's family (one DC) and my sister's (two DC) and the family of my BIL (two DC) and my SIL (two DC) and to see how much more each of those units is sucking from the planet than my own. Partly because they have more money to spend per person , and indulge it, and partly because they have more time to spare, so feel a gap to indulge. Your very worthy arguments are too black and white.i

Yellowtip Sun 17-Feb-13 23:03:41

It's to Panda, not too.

juule Sun 17-Feb-13 23:03:47

Totally agree that it is nowhere near as black and white as some are saying.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 18-Feb-13 04:19:14

OK I'm not a scientist or statistician but it's easy enough to look at my brother's family (one DC) and my sister's (two DC) and the family of my BIL (two DC) and my SIL (two DC) and to see how much more each of those units is sucking from the planet than my own.

Incorrect. Yelllow I think you are wilfully trying to misunderstand, as I find it hard to believe that your kids are going to be quite as useful to society as you think, given you can't do very simple maths and calculate that even given your current frugal lifestyle, your eight children are still going to consume more resources than someone else's two children, purely because of the multiplier effect.

eg calculate how many extra people your family will create vs (say) your SIL within 3 generations if everyone has 2 children (32 vs 8= 26 extra people)

Also, your lifestyle might be frugal by western standards but by global standards it's really not. Like just the fact that you have a car, and most probably a fridge and a washing machine and possibly a tumble drier and dishwasher makes you a huge consumer by global standards. You have running water and electricity, and probably heating in your (3 bed) home.

Now, obviously I'm not saying that we should all go and live in a one bedroom shack BUT, as you yourself say, the crux of life is quality vs. quantity, and it's quality for everybody on the planet, not just those that "have" at the moment. If we want everyone to enjoy what would be termed a simple western lifestyle, we need there to be fewer of us, because the planet cannot support everyone living like you, however, frugal you think you are.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 18-Feb-13 04:26:27

24 even. Damn you MN and your lack of edit button. Anyway, am claiming it's not statistically significant grin

havingamadmoment Mon 18-Feb-13 06:54:45

I saw an interesting video a while ago on the topic of food/ hunger. which is worth a watch.
I have a feeling that the evils of the world would exsist with any size population and many people arguing for urgent reduction in growth and population do so because they see it as the easy way out . They don't want a life without a car, they don't want to stop buying imported food and god help suggesting they stop taking foreign holidays. It's of course much easier to point the finger somewhere else

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 06:55:18

Quite an amusing mistake, though, Richmanpoorman given that you had just commented to Yellowtip that you "find it hard to believe that your kids are going to be quite as useful to society as you think, given you can't do very simple maths" grin

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 06:58:13

I suspect that is closer to the truth too havingamadmomemt

FellatioNels0n Mon 18-Feb-13 07:05:08

What I find really odd is that yellowtip thinks she can justify having eight children by saying that they are beautiful, clever, and so far none of them have needed to trouble a doctor much. confused I just find it a really peculiar and disturbing way to look at things. I don't really want to think about the flip side of that argument....

havingamadmoment Mon 18-Feb-13 07:12:25

Fellatio would it help if I said of my five one had speech/ language delays and one has dyslexia. One is doing pretty well at schoo ( has been doing some work with an older class)l but is starting what we have been told is an "assessment process" because of real social and interaction problems.
I still think they deserve to exsist.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 09:39:19

Cheer up Fellatio, that was purely a direct response to the ludicrous statement that mothers having a large children must be ugly and thick. It jarred rather, since I'm neither. Obviously it was just as ludicrous and since you couldn't see that, I suggest it might be you who perhaps has the edge on thick? smile. Of course the flip side, if that were a justification, is not appropriate to mention.

But the chararacterisation of leeches sucking the economy and environment dry is a weak stereotype. To that extent it is relevant that mine are likely to be productive adults.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 09:41:32

having a large number of children etc.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 09:48:19

One of mine was born deaf but we haven't used the NHS to deal with it since there's nothing we can do which will be of any use to her except for an aid which the NHS doesn't provide .

BinarySolo Mon 18-Feb-13 10:16:32

I really think that the idea of taxing parents for any children over the 'allotted' 2 is rediculous. What if the second or even first pregnancy results in a mulitliple birth? You're either going to force poorer families into poverty or you will see selective terminations. Both scenarios are pretty unacceptable in my view.

And what about those that live on benefit handouts? Again, you'd be punishing innocent children if you cut the benefit. Clearly if they're on benefits they will not be able to afford the tax, so as others have said this would become a tax for the comfortably off. They very rich and very poor would not adjust there lifestyle.

In practice, this type of tax would never work.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 10:17:25


Yes, there is actually - at the moment - enough food for everyone on the planet, but it's not just about food though, is it?

In an ideal and fair world, the UK would be living on food that is grown here in this country - and other countries would be doing the same, too. That would actually make some poorer countries a lot better off than the UK, which relies heavily on others to produce it. So if we were heading that way, it would just be obvious, that we need less mouths to feed here in this country.

And yes, enough food is being produced to feed the world, but the Western Standard of Living is not just about food really, is it?

It is about electricity, running water, infrastructure, transport... all this (and more) is needed for economic development. The above is a lot more difficult to deal with than food alone because the main source of energy (fossil fuels) is finite. Yes, there are renewable sources, but they are at an early stage, and do not account for much of the energy production. They are also very unlikely to be able to replace fossil fuels. Nuclear fusion would really be the answer to this, but given that people already get worked up by the thought of nuclear power plants alone, I'm not sure they would want anything else with the word "nuclear" attached to it.

With regards to water - yes, we have a lot of sea water around us. This is not freshwater though, it needs desalination for us to be able to drink it. This goes back to the previous paragraph - because that process wastes a lot of energy...

So there's more to this than just food.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 10:29:00

BinarySolo It did say that if there were multiple births, you tax by birth. So if you did have quadruplets, you would not get taxed for the first four, but if you chose to have more afterwards, you would be charged the full amount.

How do you force poorer families into poverty? That is basically making the assertion that it is poorer families that have more kids. And if so, why???

BinarySolo Mon 18-Feb-13 11:08:38

No, it's making the assertion that it's poorer families that could least afford the tax. If they are already struggling financially to support what they thought would be 2 children, then the second birth happens to be triplets a tax is likely to push them over the edge. Or is the tax per pregnancy?

What if you'd decided you could afford 3 children, but the last pregnancy resulted in a multiple birth?

And what about those living solely on benefits? How would this tax apply to them?

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 11:20:50

So Tasmania, tell us about your lifestyle: number of cars, foreign holidays, energy consumption etc. Does your family eat meat? I'm wondering how much effort the critics of large families put in, or is their contribution largely in the criticism of others?

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 11:21:43

As said Binary a multiple birth if it was one of the first two births would count as one.

So you can have one child, and your second is a multiple birth of four. You wouldn't be taxed anything unless you decided to have more.

If you had 2 and decide to have 3rd - well the whole policy is about discouraging people from having more. So you have to accept the risks involved with that.

And if you live solely on benefits... seriously? Why would you ever choose to have so many children?!? That's what's wrong with society - that people don't even think it's wrong putting kids on this planet when you can't even afford to bring them up.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 11:22:20

Yellow - I answered all those questions much earlier on in this thread.

BinarySolo Mon 18-Feb-13 11:31:10

Yes seriously. Because people that are living solely on benefits do sometimes have large families. How would a tax that they can't pay so wouldn't pay act as a deterrent? It just wouldn't. And society would still be picking up the bill for them, or would you cut the benefits and in doing so penalise the chdren?

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 11:34:48

Just as an aside, oil is used well, pretty much everything.

Forget the heating and the car for a moment and think about food, washing, detergents, cosmetics, medicines, doctor's visits, plastics, toys.....

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 11:36:07

At some stage I might trawl back then Tas.

BinarySolo Mon 18-Feb-13 11:40:23

And what if your don't live with you, eg have been adopted or fostered whether that be through choice or not.

The tax idea is far too black and white for an issue which is varying shades of grey.

FellatioNels0n Mon 18-Feb-13 12:17:29

So yellow if we all decided that you were absolutely right, and there was no reason at all to not have as many children as God/Nature (deltee as applicable to you) wanted to give us, would you be at all worried then?

When every couple in the UK and indeed the world had upwards of 5 or six children, assuming they were fertile? what would it take for you to become a little uncomfortable about this? I'm not being facetious - I am genuinely interested to know how this mindset works.

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 12:38:04

"When every couple in the UK and indeed the world had upwards of 5 or six children, assuming they were fertile? what would it take for you to become a little uncomfortable about this?"
Not likely to happen though, is it?

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 12:38:44

Obviously it would be a concern. But very, very few people, now that there is a choice, wish to exercise that choice as I've done. The work involved and the risks involved appeal to remarkably few. You only have to flick on other threads to see that, even if you're not aware of it in RL. So it's a spurious argument and won't come to pass.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 12:40:01

Cross post. Not just not likely juule, it won't happen.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 12:42:40

I'll try and pick my words carefully here, because believe it or not, I really don't want to offend.

However, the choices we make impact other people, so coming back to the wording of the OP, we cannot expect others not to judge those choices and form an opinion on them. Making moral judgements is part of what makes us human. Telling someone "they have no right" to one opinion or another is daft. How we choose to act on those judgements is another thing. I am not talking about hastily made snap judgements, or prejudice of course. It is obvious to me that those on this thread who are questioning those who have decided to have many children have thought long and hard about their opinion, and it is based on facts and evidence. So therefore they have a right to those opinions.

On the other hand saying "I have nine children because it's my right to do so," and when challenged about the effect this might have on others, discounting it completely....well, this is what people are making their judgements about. The "two children or less" brigade appear to be those who think about the wider and long term impacts of their behaviour on the rest of the world, and the "I'll have as many children as I like and it's no one else's business" brigade appear to be those who don't.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 13:51:50

Bollocks Ariel. Impossible to generalise. The overwhelming majority of women choose to have a smallish number of kids because these days they can and because that's the right number for them, not because they calculate it to be the right number for the planet. And who's shouting about 'rights'? Not me. Plenty of mothers with two DC will be completely self-absorbed without a care for the world. I see some very, very conspicuous consumption amongst smaller families. It's ridiculous to make a general claim about the moral high ground!

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 14:03:38

The point you are manifestly failing to grasp though is that if you feel "judged" fir having eight kids, that's probably the reason why the judge is judging. And that a family with two children who consume "conspicuously", will still in the long term consuming less than your family.

No need for the bollocks.....

FreudiansSlipper Mon 18-Feb-13 14:10:15

most take into account what is right for the family they already have. There are many things I want in life but life is not always about what you want or what is your right

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 14:11:42

In fact Ariel I don't feel in the least judged in RL which is what matters. Being judged on MN doesn't faze me at all.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 14:15:47

So Freudian are you implying that it's always negative for existing children to have another sibling? That's potentially quite an arid approach. I don't see this as a rights issue at all. I absolutely don't claim having any particular number of children as my 'right'. I'm fortunate yes, but I haven't had these children on the basis of some notion of 'right'.

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 14:16:19

Just because someone feels judged, doesn't mean the judgement is valid.

Some mothers feel judged if they ff. That doesn't mean they are in the wrong. Just that some other person has decided what's best and considering someone else a lesser being for not doing things the way their way.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 14:16:33

Alright, whatever you say.

You're spending a lot of time on here defending yourself though.

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 14:18:04

"most take into account what is right for the family they already have."

How is that contrary to having several children?

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 14:18:38

Ariel I'm so used to multi-tasking and doing ten things at once that I can assure you dipping in and out of MN to say bollocks takes no more than a minute here and there of my time smile

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 14:19:13

That said, I am having to log out properly now....

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 14:19:21

Both "sides" are naturally very entrenched in their opinions here. Those with the large families are naturally taking it more personally as they see it as a criticism of their choices and by extension, their children. Those on the other side are arguing more objectively and less anecdotally.

FreudiansSlipper Mon 18-Feb-13 14:27:36

if you read the rest of my post it answers your question

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 14:34:16

I read the rest of your post. I agree with it. I don't see how it fits with the first part. Of course, people don't always get what they want but why would whether you did or didn't stop you taking into account what is right for your family?