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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!

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 22:19:02

Rockmouse there are just bitter people out there who get their kicks out of making you feel your choices are wrong. Honestly best to ignore.

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 22:07:30

"karma talks a great deal of sense." Agree

Rockmouse Mon 18-Feb-13 22:07:18

I have one ds and I was asked over and over again when was I going to have the next one. It somehow wrong just to have one. The fact he has a hs living with him and foster b&s's did not matter, I was told over and over again he was missing out.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 21:55:50

It's unarguable that I had the DC without agonising over environmental impact so hands up to that. Though since my family on my father's side was pretty well decimated in the war, I'm not feeling too guilty about replacing the gene pool that was lost. Add to that DH's family lack of fecundity and I could make a strong case for producing a mere eight DC. All of whom are unlikely to suck much from the state. On top of that we live a pretty environmentally austere life. karma talks a great deal of sense.

Yellowtip Mon 18-Feb-13 21:40:03

Medal you say you can't see how having three DC in quick succession is good for anyone in the family unit. I had six DC (all singletons) under seven and there have most definitely been strains. But overall all the DC say they prefer the family this way and don't ever wish they had the standard 1.4 siblings. Mercifully, they get on really well, give or take a cross outburst or two. For us all, the positives of family relationships far outweigh the negatives and parental attention is more than compensated for by the company of siblings.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 20:57:06

S'okay karma. It was fine - just me being a numpty.

QueenMaeve Mon 18-Feb-13 20:35:06

Tbh people's comments never really bother me. With 5dc in 8 years, I had my fair share of negative comments. But I just always looked at it that the comments were really all about themselves than me. I can totally understand how some people couldn't afford/cope with 5, and so they can't fathom how anyone else can. I know I am raising 5 happy, confident dc's and apart from the odd chaotic morning, it's really not a big deal

fedupofnamechanging Mon 18-Feb-13 20:00:21

Not sarcastic, at all. Sorry ifvit came across that way - it truly wasn't my intention.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 19:38:53

I'm thinking that's sarcastic? Is it? Oh well grin

Just wanted to add that if anyone's been offended I apologise. That wasn't the intention.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 18-Feb-13 19:23:20

l'm having trouble finding the exact right words too smile

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 19:17:39

I can't explain what I mean! <frustrated>

I can definitely see why you think that though.

Anyway, I'm leaving this thread now. It's been interesting smile

fedupofnamechanging Mon 18-Feb-13 19:08:21

Ariel, if people decide not to have dc, genuinely for the sake of the planet, then I have the utmost respect for them. I do get annoyed though by people whose choice merely coincides with what is good and who then get all judgy about other people whose choice has been different. Both sets of people acted in their own personal interests.

It's like having fewer than two kids is a get out of jail free card for all the other selfish choices people make.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 18:53:13

Tas, environmental disasters and pollution don't just happen because some people have more than two dc

Do you really think that Tas thinks that? Given what she has amply demonstrated on this thread about how much she has thought about this issue?

There are too many people in the world. And catering to all these people is causing the other issues. David Attenborough himself, when asked, said his SINGLE biggest environmental concern is the number of people in the world and the projected population growth is birth rates remain as they are. Not biodiversity, not pollution, not climate change, not ozone depletion, not overfishing, but overpopulation. Everything else stems from that.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 18-Feb-13 18:44:31

Tas, environmental disasters and pollution don't just happen because some people have more than two dc - they happen because heads of industry and governments are getting rich by doing things which compromise the planet. They could be more careful, but it might reduce profits, so they aren't. I think they would continue to prioritize their personal wealth even if the world's population halved tomorrow. And as has been said, plenty of small families use a lot of resources. It seems to be okay that they can have a high carbon footprint now, because their families won't be requiring too much housing in the future. It's illogical to me.

And if the world is overpopulated, perhaps all of those with two dc have been selfish in replacing yourself and your partner. You could argue that if you were really thinking of the planet, you would elect to have no dc, in order to drive down future population. Of course you won't do that because it doesn't suit you to, but in having any dc you have been as selfish as anyone else.

CheerfulYank Mon 18-Feb-13 18:39:15

I think the whole "what if EVERYONE decided to have five DC" is about as likely as "what if everyone decided to have 1."

Some people will have two, some will have five, some will have one. A few will have a dozen. Some will be disgusted with the idea of any.

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 18:37:46

I will only accept being judged by perfect people, and there are few of those around!

Not likely is it? Everyone makes judgements. if you end up in court then you will have to accept the judgement of a jury and judge, whether or not they are "perfect".

I said it before, it doesn't matter whether the person with a maximum of two children has made than decision based on economics or because of a "one in/one out" philosophy. The result is the same.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 18:21:52

2 is normally the figure quoted because that's the number to replace the parents. That's why, on this thread, 2 is seen as your "quota".

What are the other factors? Because as Ariel said - most of those factors may not exist if there were less people on the planet.

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 18:20:19

Well put, Karma

fedupofnamechanging Mon 18-Feb-13 18:07:04

Tas, fine if the two things coincide, but not fine to imply that the decision to have two dc was made for the sake of the planet when in reality it was just something which suited the couples concerned. Also not fine imo to blame larger families for all the world's problems when that is just one factor and other factors are equally, if not more damaging.

I will only accept being judged by perfect people, and there are few of those around!

juule Mon 18-Feb-13 17:57:38

Why have any? Is one a want rather than a need?
Children are not like food. You don't die if you don't have them.
Why not just one to satisfy a need? Is 2 a want rather than a need?

There is the seemingly irrational strong drive to procreate (broodiness) for some people. Perhaps that should be researched and a solution found. Why are some people happy staying childless and others feel happier with many children? How could you make everyone happier with none or 1 if reducing populations is the goal? And long-term could it be guaranteed that doing so would be beneficial overall without all the other things that have been mentioned changing?

Maybe it's a physical compulsion or psychological or an economic decision or something else that influences family size. Whatever it is, I don't think it's quite the same as taking an extra cream cake off the buffet.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 17:39:52


There will always be cases, when what someone wants = good for the planet/society, etc. But that also means that if you go against the trend, and do what you want... you sort of have to explain yourself.

Like having to explain why to eat another plate of food, if for most, one was enough. The desire to have that one plate of food is there no matter what.

So, similarly, most people want to have kids at some point in life. The question is how many. When one or two can satisfy that need, you do wonder why people want more.

If we were talking about food, people would say that person was greedy.

havingamadmoment Mon 18-Feb-13 17:35:04

I totally agree with working at home in fact dh and I both work from home in a business we started. We employ 3 other people who also work from home. Meeting rooms can be hired on a daily basis and so far (3.5 years since dh quit his old job!) we have been hire successful certainly working from home has not limited us in any way.

If we are to live in a more sustainable way realistically you need to be working fewer hours as a family - if you have two adults both working full time outside the home it becomes difficult to stop relying things like supermarkets and labour saving machines / practices.

What is better is to have either one (either) adult at home Nd one working OR two adults both working say 25-30 hours each. But again this is a massive change to how a lot of people now live.

fedupofnamechanging Mon 18-Feb-13 17:32:29

Ariel, I didn't say that having a belief and acting on it was smug. I did say that people are being smug for no reason, because their desire to have two children would exist regardless of whether that is best for the planet or not. They are doing what they want, the same as everyone else

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 17:09:01


Yes, I do believe we could do with a lifestyle change. I for one, would not mind going back to the days when you could grow your own vegetable, etc.

One of the ideas I'm keen on is simply "Working from Home". You can keep meeting rooms in certain locations, where if you really need to meet... their there for you. But with most office jobs, you could do your work from home.

You save the planet from the environmental costs of commuting, as well as the heating of big buildings. Also, those big buildings could be turned into affordable homes. And if you think about it - I can actually work from home perfectly fine, as long as I have internet and a phone.

But governments and corporations are too stuck in their current thinking to encourage this...

ArielThePiraticalMermaid Mon 18-Feb-13 16:39:12

Just talking about this country (because I have no knowledge of lifestyle in most countries!) your average garden can grow enough food for about 50% of that homes needs, houses can be fitted with solar panels, wind farms can be forced through regardless of people worrying about the view . Cities and towns can become car free. It is the lifestyle of the people not the people themselves who are the problem.

I agree with all that 100%. It's not going to happen unless we rethink the economy, government, renewables, education, NIMBYism, society and communities however. And a small tp average plot isn't going to feed a huge family, just a small to average sized one. I guess that's what put people off in the past - the inability to feed a huge family limited family size.

However, if Cuba can manage it, it shows it can be done.

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