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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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Itwillworkifyoutryit2222 · 09/08/2022 21:00

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.

@lemons44 I am for real, but you are wrong about how seriously I take climate change. I take it extremely seriously, which is partially why I get so frustrated with well meaning but ultimately misguided attempts to reverse it by huge efforts at the personal level which won’t have enough of an impact quickly enough. See my very long response to @hifiive for my reasoning on that. I’m certain people who make these changes are probably somewhat politically involved but I think their efforts would be multiplied if it was solely focused on the really effective activity. Pearl clutching is understandable, but ultimately useless.

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venus7 · 09/08/2022 21:02

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!

It's not dehumanising; it's looking at the bigger picture.
Can you not see that bigger population = bigger consumption?

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PearlClutch · 09/08/2022 21:03

Ach, you were making fair points, up until the old pearl clutching insult!

Ultimately we need both legislative AND personal efforts. The two are indivisible, in a sense.

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hifiive · 09/08/2022 21:04

@Itwillworkifyoutryit2222 possibly, there was a bit of snarkiness. I think most of the disputes came when people started outright denying any impact. Honestly, that's just plain dumb and statements like that will piss people off.

So yes, that definitely is bizarre to me. I made the choice to have children and accept the environmental impact, not sure why it's so hard for some. That doesn't mean OP singlehandedly caused to end of humanity, it's just a fact. Apathy tend to rub people the wrong way.

Devonmum2022 doesn't deserve any rudeness. Although again, it's AMA. About nine children. So the environment question was bound to crop up, it was never going to be about laundry and homework.

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SushiSuave · 09/08/2022 21:10

What do you spend a week on food? You're OH must earn an absolute fortune to support all of those children (having been a TA I know your wage must be minimal). Do you have family to help with childcare or do you pay for childcare too?

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YRGAM · 09/08/2022 21:12

It amazes me how horrible people on this website can be

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Foxglovesandlilacs86 · 09/08/2022 21:18

I think it’s a bit silly to ask what about the environment. As I said before, if someone has a lot of children, they either don’t think about it at all (I didn’t) or they thought about it and decided they want a baby more than they care about the environment. It’s not rocket science.

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SexyHoneyMoony · 09/08/2022 21:19

9 is a huge family

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Foxglovesandlilacs86 · 09/08/2022 21:19

And as someone else said no one I know in real life would talk about having another baby and the impact on climate change. Maybe it’s a class thing and maybe everyone just says it behind my back but no one’s ever said it to me and I have 8, and live in a very “naice” area

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orangeisthenewpuce · 09/08/2022 21:20

I thought this was AMA not 'listen to me bleating on about how you've had more children than I want you to' fgs

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UnnecessaryFennel · 09/08/2022 21:26

orangeisthenewpuce · 09/08/2022 21:20

I thought this was AMA not 'listen to me bleating on about how you've had more children than I want you to' fgs

Well tbf the OP started an AMA and then has barely posted. Not surprising it's gone off the rails a bit.

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Louise0701 · 09/08/2022 21:31

@Pumasonsatsumas I don’t iron underwear, socks or bedding 😂

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Babyroobs · 09/08/2022 21:36

SushiSuave · 09/08/2022 21:10

What do you spend a week on food? You're OH must earn an absolute fortune to support all of those children (having been a TA I know your wage must be minimal). Do you have family to help with childcare or do you pay for childcare too?

Op did say the poor bloke has to work 14 hours a day.

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orangeisthenewpuce · 09/08/2022 21:38

@UnnecessaryFennel Well tbf the OP started an AMA and then has barely posted. Not surprising it's gone off the rails a bit.

She's got 9 children. Not surprising she's finding it hard to fit MN in Grin

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SoSo99 · 09/08/2022 21:40

I know this isn't the point of your thread, but can I ask about what it was like to discover at 25 weeks that you were having a baby when you weren't aware that you were pregnant?

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Pumasonsatsumas · 09/08/2022 21:45

@Louise0701 I'm glad you know where to draw the line 😂

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Louise0701 · 09/08/2022 21:50

@Pumasonsatsumas thank you 😂 are you already expecting number 3?

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Patienceisntvirtuous · 09/08/2022 21:58

Vick99 · 09/08/2022 17:41

Can I just check that all the people who are so concerned about the environmental impact of these children never go on aeroplanes, never use the car for journeys of under 3 miles, have no spare bedrooms, are strict vegans and never indulge in buying anything which isn't 100% essential for their survival? Let he who is without guilt throw the first stone and all that!

OP you sound like a lovely mum who has your big family completely in hand.

Holds hand up (well apart from the last bit, assuming wine isn't essential).

Interesting thread OP. I'm an only. What is your biggest challenge with it all?

Do you manage to get 'me time' and practice any self care, spend time on yourself at all?

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Stylishkidintheriot · 09/08/2022 22:07

Very random question, but did you holiday in Scotland last year? I remember meeting a massive family in pitlochry and I’m sure the dad had his own building business.

if it was you guys, DH and I were massively impressed with your family. The amount of energy and patience you have: and how well behaved the kids all are

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SleepingStandingUp · 09/08/2022 22:08

Tillsforthrills · 09/08/2022 19:49

OP you have a large family of 6 children and took on 3 more to help them. Much more impressive to me that you manage to care for them all - there’s no way I could. Much more so than nasty, vicious people spouting about the planet.

The type of people in the news today, pouring milk on Harrods floors trying to look virtuous, when all they’ve done is make already lowly paid workers clean it all up.

Well she had four when they took on the other kids full time. But would you really expect your DH to let his kids go into CARE rather than take them on? Or are you saying you'd have broken up with him if he took them on full time?

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Surlybassey · 09/08/2022 22:11

Well this has turned into a giant scrap hasn’t it? I usually try and resist wading in, but @Tillsforthrills as someone else has pointed out, Italy had one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. It’s better to check facts rather than reverting to long outdated stereotypes before you call people’s posts “moronic”. And I note that OP appears to be evading the environmental impact question. Sorry OP, you do sound lovely and I’m sure that your family is loving and fun - not being goady but I’d love to hear your opinion on that as it’s genuinely not something I could ask my friends IRL who have bigger families.

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Tillsforthrills · 09/08/2022 22:14

UnnecessaryFennel · 09/08/2022 21:26

Well tbf the OP started an AMA and then has barely posted. Not surprising it's gone off the rails a bit.

Who’d want to answer up to being blamed for Armageddon

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CoastalWave · 09/08/2022 22:15

How on earth do you manage 6 different schools?

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Tillsforthrills · 09/08/2022 22:17

Surlybassey · 09/08/2022 22:11

Well this has turned into a giant scrap hasn’t it? I usually try and resist wading in, but @Tillsforthrills as someone else has pointed out, Italy had one of the lowest birth rates in Europe. It’s better to check facts rather than reverting to long outdated stereotypes before you call people’s posts “moronic”. And I note that OP appears to be evading the environmental impact question. Sorry OP, you do sound lovely and I’m sure that your family is loving and fun - not being goady but I’d love to hear your opinion on that as it’s genuinely not something I could ask my friends IRL who have bigger families.

Ha everyone picked on Italy and Ireland. World wide people choose to have 6 children and can if they want to.

The OP doesn’t deserve this pile on on the basis of having said ‘AMA’.

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Itwillworkifyoutryit2222 · 09/08/2022 22:24

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.

@ScreechingEchoChamber I definitely agree it should be discussed, and sincere questions about “did you worry about the environmental impact? What made you go ahead anyway?” Are totally fair game in my opinion. Or even comments like “I’d be worried about the carbon footprint aspect of having so many children, what are your thoughts on that OP?” Tbh I’m surprised how prominent a concern it has been on this thread, i thought almost all the comments would be focused around how OP manages and prioritises day to day, with a few rude ones about benefits etc for good measure. It didn’t occur to me initially that this would be a primary concern, maybe if OP was contemplating a big family- but not when she actually has a big family.

There is, to my reading, quite a nasty edge to some of the comments regarding her children, and “population control” as a solution to various crises through the centuries has a long and storied history with many of the roots of recent arguments to this effect stemming from the ecofascism movement in its various guises (Godwin’s law holds true yet again! - but for good reason I think). So, I think it’s important we also acknowledge what it is we’re implying or outright advocating for when we suggest the solution to climate change is “fewer people”, which people is always the key follow up question, and on what basis do we decide?

These arguments are often verging on anti-natalist (the idea that there’s so much suffering in life it would be better to never have been born and having children is a cruelty to said children) which is widely accepted to be a preposterous position for reasons which are hopefully obvious. Add into the mix that often comments on the thread aren’t even making just a general point about “more people” but rather are implying that @Devonmum2022 should not have had the specific living, breathing, children she has now I think this starts to breech decency- and we should acknowledge that as well.

Decency and the whiff of the fascistic aside, I genuinely don’t think these are compelling arguments to win people over to discussing climate crisis effectively, especially if people doubt the importance of climate change to begin with. I consider myself to be on the same side as people who are hugely concerned about climate change, but throwing out the odd “you’re selfish for having 9 kids”, which happens to also be unhelpfully sandwiched between comments about birth control and government benefits does help me to see us as the other side might see us- as essentially inhumane and worryingly unconcerned about humanity.

People get really stuck in denial when they see no way out of a problem, and the idea of deliberately curtailing people having children is many people’s idea of “no way out” because such a world is so undesirable as to seem impossible.

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