“I think tiny families are odd”

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so sayeth some baby factory type on a home ed list.  Well, actually dear, that’s just a matter of persepective.  Your 5 children are supported by The State (and, I assume some maintenance from your ex although I’m not sure he works either unless I’m confusing you with someone else) and actually last I heard they didn’t all live with you anyway so you aren’t bearing the brunt of raising 5 children on your own, just the youngest 2 full time and the others when they visit your rent-assisted house.  My 1 child is supported predominantly by my husband’s job, with a little top up from The State, we pay our own mortgage and thus all our own maintenance costs, it all adds up you know.  So when you dismiss financial considerations as not being a valid reason for restricting your family size I don’t feel we are singing from the same hymn sheet, not that I’m suggesting that living on benefits is easy, we’ve been there, done that too, we just didn’t have the housing benefit to cushion the blow cos we were bloody stupid enough to buy a house rather than renting.

But actually, although I do feel that finances is a perfectly justified reason to limit family size, that’s not why an awful lot of us have small families.  There are those of us who just can’t make babies at all, no matter how loved up we are.  There are those of us who can make them okay but just can’t keep hold of them long enough to be any more than a sad little clot of cells and a late period.  Then there are those who are advised against pregnancy due to dangers to their own health, how heartbreaking could that be to know that much as you would love more babies, it would possibly kill you to do so?  And those whose children are likely to be born with a genetic condition that would limit their life, is it odd to weigh that risk and decide that you aren’t strong enough to deal with watching a longed for child whither before your eyes even if there’s only a 50% or even 25% chance of it happening?  I couldn’t do it, I admire those who can.

And is chosing a smaller family on grounds of knowing what you can and can’t cope with wrong?  All this crap about natural parenting meaning you won’t burn out is just taht, total crap.  I breast fed (well, okay, I tried but she didn’t latch on no matter who tried to help me so I expressed and bottled it into her)  I used various slings, I had her next to me in the bed and you know what?  I was still exhausted to the point of not being able to stand the constant crying some days and had to leave her safe in the house and walk away for a few minutes to get away from teh noise.  I’m not proud of that but offered a choice of a baby unattended safely in a cot for 5 minutes or a baby shaken into silence I know which is less likely to result in harm don’t you?  And I’m sure that if I lived in Mexico or some other less Westernised country things would be different cos I’d have SUPPORT from the extended family and community, I’d have someone else nearby who would take the strain with me and I would also probably have at least a faint idea about what having a small child was actually about.  Aprilia was the first baby i had held, my baby, the one I was wholey responsible for, and I just about knew which end was which.  My own mother died when I was 1, my step mum doesn’t like babies, my MIL is older and doesn’t drive, her daughter a busy working mum, that left me, on my own all day, every day for days on end whilst Duke worked away from home.  So yes, another baby was always going to be something that needed to wait until I’d healed mentally and physically from number 1, even if number 2 was only ever going to be as remote a posibility as number 1 had been.

So, I’m odd then, fine, I’ve been odd all my life sweetie, so are you.  So is whoever else reads this (not least because you must have a masochistic streak to get through this raving!)  because no one is the same as anyone else, we are all DIFFERENT, all odd in our own ways.  Lets not judge hey?

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2 Responses to ““I think tiny families are odd””

  1. HelenHaricot Says:

    read it and entirely agree. hugs for you for whatever original posting made you write this

  2. Nic Says:

    Yep, I’m with you all the way too xx

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