How big is big?
"Total fertility rate" (TFR) is the expected number of children born per woman in her child-bearing years. At the ripe old age of 29, I am currently somewhere between Djibouti and Guatemala. Hopefully, in just a few months I will move up several ranks to the levels of Eritrea. Niger tops the list with a TFR of 7.19, which does not seem that far off for me. I love to be #1 and have every intention of making it there!
The U.S. Census Bureau's latest figures, for 2002, reveal that 0.3 percent of women ages 15 to 44 have given birth to seven or more children. Moreover, the number of U.S. women birthing seven or more children has declined steadily since the government began tracking the demographic in 1976. I read an interesting statistic today that families who pick Biblical names for their children have more children than families who pick non-Bible names.
It is interesting to note that in the UN figures below, the TFR for the world in general is only 2.55. Not that I believe the "the world is overpopulated" talk in the first place, but even just to maintain the current level we would need a worldwide replacement fertility rate of 2.33 children per woman (the replacement fertility rate is roughly 2.1 births per woman for most industrialized countries but ranges from 2.5 to 3.3 in developing countries because of higher mortality rates). At this rate, global population growth would trend towards zero. So all these doom and gloom predictions on how we will soon be standing shoulder to shoulder don't add up even with the UN figures, which if anything would be skewed in favor of their agenda (reduction of population).
I understand that, unfortunately, there are many women who wish they could have children, or who wish they could have more. It is not my intention to make them feel bad or inferior. Being infertile is a physical disability and I feel bad for anyone affected. But I cannot for the life of me understand why a perfectly healthy, married woman would act as if adding another child would just be such a burden. I have yet to hear a reason not to have kids that is not motivated by selfish reasons. Is having a baby really that much worse than getting to spend more money at the mall, more time playing and vacationing, more hours in front of the TV, and less time working and cleaning?
So in response to her blog- the ending manly- this is what I wrote:
think it's fab that you have some amazing kids, but i don't necessarily agree with you on all points in this blog. You say that it's wrong for people to think of children as a burden, and where I believe that ALL children are a blessing, I do not think it's out of the question for new parents to be to have genuine doubts and concerns for the future of their children. On a personal note, my sister is fertile and is having baby #2 but i kinda see it as a burden because she doesn't live in a healthy environment, can barely take care of one kid responsibly and doesn't have a plan to effectively raise baby #2. She and her boyfriend work at jack in the box, and my neice, who has captured my heart over and above suffers all the time because of it. But she didn't finish high school and she has made poor choices. And i have genuine concern for her in having baby #2. I won't despise the baby, i will love it unconditionally forever and a day, but there is legitimate concern as to the success of the baby's future in such an environment. and we come from a poor family, so helping them out financially will mean that we will fail to maintain our own means of living. But we give her love and time and offer to help where we can. I just think that it's easy for you to pass judgement on other moms to be when you live in a nice house, have money to do stuff, and all that, while others are living different lives. just a thought. and for the record, i totally think that you should adopt and have more biological kiddos. because apparently you are super mom and can make the world go round, while those of us who worry are just losers. (note sarcasm)
To which she replied:
I agree that your sister should not be expecting her second baby, in fact I think she should have never gotten pregnant the first time because she is not married. I am not saying that she should have aborted either child, I am saying she should not be fornicating and getting into this situation in the first place. When you disobey God you can hope he will be merciful, but you can't blame anyone when your life turns out less than what you hoped it would be.
We got married and then got pregnant, and were VERY poor at the time. But we did it by faith, and God blessed. We were just as poor when baby #2 was on the way. While we certainly live a comfortable life-style now it is due to the fact that my husband works 70+ hours each week, and I spend countless hours shopping for the best deals on everything.
I don't remember saying I was supermom. In fact, there are many posts on this blog that show my shortcomings. Nor did I say you have to be perfect to be a parent. I don't worry because the Bible commands us to cast all our cares upon God, and because He has always been more than able to sustain us so far. It's called living by faith, and is actually quite liberating.
granted she does have a TON of shortcomings- but mainly in the crap that she spews out on her blog. but in all the posts, she talks about how genius she is and how genius her KJV home-schooled kids are... but for the record- i am in NO WAY ashamed that my sister had Vanessa! How could ANYONE ever regret having an angel like this in the world??