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AMA

I’m a big family mummy

334 replies

Devonmum2022 · 09/08/2022 13:35

So whist talking to a random mum at soft play she was surprised at our “big family” 9 children (full time custody of 3 step children) l. Never thought of us as a big family lol but ask away

OP posts:
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venus7 · 09/08/2022 19:56

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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StrychnineInTheSandwiches · 09/08/2022 19:57

Countries like Italy and Ireland , Middle East, Latin America etc have big families, 5/6 biological children like the OP.

Are you typing this from the 1950s?

Irish families in 2022 rarely have 6 children. Italian families in 2022 have on average ONE child

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StrychnineInTheSandwiches · 09/08/2022 19:59

minesalargered · 09/08/2022 19:54

Not all of whom are her children, all of which the OP has chosen to love and nurture it seems. Would you rather they are abandoned to the state system, would that be in their best interests or more environmentally sound? I've exercised the same level of judgement and high standards being shown to those that disagree, in a less than kind manner, to the OP.

Why would they be abandoned to the state when they have a father capable of looking after them? Confused

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hifiive · 09/08/2022 20:00

I genuinely am baffled at why we can't admit having a child is bad for the environment. It's a fair question to ask in AMA. Like saying poison isn't bad for you because you don't feel sick yet

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LadyKenya · 09/08/2022 20:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Pro breeders! Charming.

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Pumasonsatsumas · 09/08/2022 20:15

I would love such a big family @Devonmum2022 ! I'm on my way to three so please tell me

  • what cars do you drive?
  • do they all look out for each other? How do you encourage that?
  • what is your laundry routine? Mine is never ending...
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Louise0701 · 09/08/2022 20:23

@Pumasonsatsumas I’m pregnant with number 4!
I’ve got a Q7 so that’ll still be big enough when this baby arrives. Mine are all very close, really are best friends and very protective of one another. A real little team. I do a load of washing every morning; put it on when I wake up, hang it out when it’s done and then it’s ironed and put away straight after. I’ve always done this, I cannot bear large piles of ironing laying around.

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Louise0701 · 09/08/2022 20:30

@venus7 I was responding to a PP who said do you think about climate change; It’s hot today isn’t it… or something along those lines. She was making a direct correlation between climate change and the current heatwave.

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Louise0701 · 09/08/2022 20:32

@safetyfreak they do! Sex!

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venus7 · 09/08/2022 20:33

Louise0701 · 09/08/2022 20:30

@venus7 I was responding to a PP who said do you think about climate change; It’s hot today isn’t it… or something along those lines. She was making a direct correlation between climate change and the current heatwave.

Indeed; so was I.

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ScreechingEchoChamber · 09/08/2022 20:35

hifiive · 09/08/2022 20:00

I genuinely am baffled at why we can't admit having a child is bad for the environment. It's a fair question to ask in AMA. Like saying poison isn't bad for you because you don't feel sick yet

People lash out because they are anxious and deflecting. And/or they feel personally attacked when population is discussed.

It's too bad - we can't just pretend that it's not an issue, I'm afraid. Nobody should be attacking the OP, or anyone else with a big family; but congratulating someone specifically on having a big family is somewhat jarring given the likely issues all of our children are going to be facing over the course of their lifetimes - all of which will be proportionately exacerbated by people choosing to have larger families.

I guess we (general we) swerve from denial straight into furious anger - often directed at the people trying to sound the alarm. Par for the course.

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venus7 · 09/08/2022 20:35

LadyKenya · 09/08/2022 20:04

Pro breeders! Charming.

We're talking about facts; not trying to charm.

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lemons44 · 09/08/2022 20:36

'We’re going to need people to fix the planet, so having plenty of children is a good thing. We are also going to need tax payers and carers and medical staff to be nice to us when we get too old or sick to take care of ourselves. I’m sure all of “the world is overpopulated” won’t mind going to the back of the queue given they would be happier if said carers, medics and tax payers never existed?'

@Itwillworkifyoutryit2222 oh my god are you for real?! Are you honestly that naive to how bad serious climate change would be that you think the worse option is not having enough young people to look after the older generation?! Do you realise how many people (old and young) would be at risk if climate change got much worse? My colleague is one of the people who has lost her house and all her belongings this month in one of the UK wild fires. Thank goodness they were all evacuated. It's an eye opener.

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ScreechingEchoChamber · 09/08/2022 20:37

Louise0701 · 09/08/2022 20:30

@venus7 I was responding to a PP who said do you think about climate change; It’s hot today isn’t it… or something along those lines. She was making a direct correlation between climate change and the current heatwave.

That was me. More frequent extreme weather events are a direct result of climate change.

www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2022/july/40-degree-heatwaves-could-happen-every-few-years-because-climate-change.html

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Viostep · 09/08/2022 20:37

Lots of very angry people here. You sound great OP, I wish I had your energy and organisation skills and I only have 1 child! It's brilliant that you were able to integrate and blend the families into one. How lovely that your step kids are living in a loving home with their step siblings and two little half siblings, instead of going into care. Family is everything and you sound like a lovely person.

That pro breeders comment is hilarious. Nothing like dehumanising women who make the choice to have children. I recycle, save energy, don't drive, walk most places, don't go on foreign holidays but I draw the line at being shamed for having a baby. I only have 1 but if I wanted 5 I would have them, guilt free!

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SizzlerFizzler · 09/08/2022 20:41

I'm puzzled at so many people praising OP and her husband for not letting his own children go into care. So weird.

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LunchBoxPolice · 09/08/2022 20:41

Do the older kids end up looking after the younger ones for you?

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NewYorkLassie · 09/08/2022 20:48

Yes then they had 1 more and one unexpected birth when she didn't know she was pregnant!!

You’d think after so many children the OP would know how they occur…

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Itwillworkifyoutryit2222 · 09/08/2022 20:52

hifiive · 09/08/2022 20:00

I genuinely am baffled at why we can't admit having a child is bad for the environment. It's a fair question to ask in AMA. Like saying poison isn't bad for you because you don't feel sick yet

@hifiive if you’re genuinely baffled then it’s a fair question I think. Some of the questions asked regarding the potential negative impact on the planet had, I think quite a lot of judgement baked into the question, which is why myself and others wrote some snarkyish posts countering these. Mostly to show OP that there are plenty of people on here who aren’t judging her for this.

To answer your question though, the reason I can’t say that having a child is bad for the environment is the evidence isn’t all that clear that it’s “overpopulation” that is causing climate change. The top polluters on the planet are about 100 companies who are making, and politically permitted to make, profitable decisions which come at the massive cost of the planet. The bitter-sweet truth is we, at this moment, according many energy experts (e.g. Saul Griffith and his like) have all the technologies, and the blueprints for policies which we need to turn around climate change now. Or we have everything we need to get about 90% of the way there. We need to start now though.

The reality is the energy conservation model of stopping climate destruction would have probably been effective if we went for it back in the 80s and 90s. Unfortunately, conserving energy and relying on individuals to massively reduce their carbon footprint won’t make enough of a difference at this point we need to make massive radical changes at the policy and infrastructure and of course societal level. This is true even if a country like the UK legally mandated the sorts of massive individual lifestyle changes some people on this thread have laudably chosen (veganism, no children, no foreign travel low/no import foods, turning off lights, keeping the heating turned down etc). So, will another person on the planet cause another big carbon footprint? Possibly, if everything stays at it is now at the macro level. Will people opting to not having children for this reason have a significant impact on turning around climate change? No, highly unlikely. I appreciate it a good gesture and it’s better to live according to your ethics then to not do that, but I react against it because I think that even though it involves a lot of personal sacrifice it’s fundamentally an intellectually lazy form of activism if that’s all people do.

More useful forms of activism of just contributing to helping climate change significantly would be to build a career with that as one of the goals. To advocate for green policy in your organisation, To lobby/petition local and national politicians to for example remove planning policies which stand in the way of mass movement to green energy building. To petition politicians to support green investment and infrastructure, to get involved directly in politics yourself to help make these things happen. There are individual things we can do, but intimately this is about changing policy, and making good climate policy politically feasible by being educated enough to know what good climate policy looks like.

The solution in different countries will be many and varied depending on their level of development and resources but a policy of “no children” or “fewer children” is unlikely to be the answer. It’s also naturally happening in most developed countries, so even if it was a great idea (I’m not convinced it is) it would likely be unnecessary highly complex legislation which would waste time when we could be focused on policy which would be truly useful in the effort to reverse climate destruction.

Individual blaming of people who don’t conserve or recycle or use up too many resources is a distraction and it’s one that stops people from exploring what can actually usefully be done in the short time we have left to turn this around. We don’t have enough time to wait for everyone to voluntarily make these dramatic lifestyle changes.

Sorry that was a very long post- but it does sum up my answer to your question

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Sandinmyknickers · 09/08/2022 20:54

How would you feel if your DCs wanted 9 children each? Would you encourage it? What advice would you give them?

Do you have any regrets for yourself that (whilst do not negate the love you have for your children and you obviously would not regret having them) you would advise them against?

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Pumasonsatsumas · 09/08/2022 20:55

@Louise0701 you iron ...everything? 😱

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Jeezypeepers · 09/08/2022 20:57

@NewYorkLassie she’s already stated she was on the contraceptive injection and it failed.

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NC12345665 · 09/08/2022 20:59

Tillsforthrills · 09/08/2022 19:53

Wtf are you on about? How moronic.

Countries like Italy and Ireland , Middle East, Latin America etc have big families, 5/6 biological children like the OP.

Italy has one of the lowest birthrates in Europe. Ireland is only about 1.7

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venus7 · 09/08/2022 20:59

ScreechingEchoChamber · 09/08/2022 20:37

That was me. More frequent extreme weather events are a direct result of climate change.

www.nhm.ac.uk/discover/news/2022/july/40-degree-heatwaves-could-happen-every-few-years-because-climate-change.html

This, yes. Weather is debatable, climate change is not.

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ScreechingEchoChamber · 09/08/2022 21:00

Itwillworkifyoutryit2222

That is a perfectly reasonable position. I am undecided the extent to which population control is going to help at this point - what worries me is people reacting so violently to the raising of the question. Even on a post that is specifically about having a big family.

We need to talk about it, is all. Without personal attack and without defensiveness. It's not easy, but neither is the next several decades going to be without a willingness to at least try to address the issues. I think we're still lots of us stuck in denial and we need to swiftly get through all the other stages of grief to get to a point we might actually be able to make effective change.

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