Friday, February 20, 2009

Big Family? That's fine.

As a mom and step mom of five, I haven't really weighed in on Nadya Suleman and her 14 children mostly because I just can’t imagine what her work-life juggle is like, or will be like, once her tiny octuplets come home.

I did ask readers at the Boston Globe's Child Caring blog about how they parent in a large family, and a comment on another post there prompted me to write about big families at The 36-Hour Day. And here's what it boils down to: Enough with the judgement. Big families can do just fine, thank you.

There’s no “perfect” number of kids to make a family. Parents of singletons get
criticized for
having just one child; moms and dads of many are taken to task for overpopulating the planet — which really doesn’t make sense, given that US census data shows that the average number of kids per family is still about 2.7 and, according to a recent New York Times story on big families, “Total
fertility rate, which predicts the number of children an average woman will have
in her lifetime, reached 2.1, considered replacement level, in 2006, but it was
the first time it had been that high since 1971.” ... [
So let’s discuss something else about the Suleman case. Selective termination. Infertility treatments. Baby addiction. The medical and moral issues surrounding mega-pregnancies. The outrage over the fact that taxpayers will probably be footing a large part of the bill for her youngest babies’ hospital stays. How she’s been getting death threats, and the craziness that makes people think that would make the situation any better.

Join the discussion at The 36-Hour Day, or start one here, in the comments.

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