Last week I announced on Homemade Mothering’s Facebook page the impending arrival of our fifth (yes, fifth) bundle of joy. I want my small corner of the internet to be a place of encouragement and kindness, so reading everyone’s lovely words of congratulations really made my heart swell. It feels good to be surrounded by so much niceness.
So, I was a bit surprised to see this email from a total stranger pop up the next day:
Fortunately, once I emerged from my 20′s I stopped caring so much about what other people think of me and my choices so this random woman’s email didn’t get me down – it just made me feel sorry for her. I can’t imagine spending my time chastising a STRANGER’S decisions that have no real impact on me or my family, and I wonder what difficulties in her life brought her to this point. I wish her the best on her journey.
But, I get her point. More people = more use of natural resources. But unless this woman has absolutely no children (something I doubt, considering she is reading this “mommy blog”) her argument falls flat. If she is truly concerned about the impact humans have on our planet, she would have none of her own. And, her argument implies that she has greater rights to the resources we all have to share. Why can she use the resources, but not my baby?!
Big families are incredibly resourceful and often use less “stuff” per person than a household with only a few people. Thanks to generous hand-me-downs from friends and family, most of our kids’ clothes and toys are second hand. And, in a household with lots of tummies, no food ever goes to waste. Larger families often have to make do with the same size home as small families, so the pull on natural resources to run the home is the same as any other family. And, big families have to thoughtfully condense car trips to maximize time and effort spent hauling kids all over town. It should come as no surprise to any regular reader of my blog that we make a huge daily effort to reduce our family’s carbon footprint.
I hope our Baby #5 never feels like a burden to our planet. I hope she helps make this world a better place for everyone. I hope she feels pride in being part of a big family. I hope she finds friendship and support and encouragement from the four big siblings who are so excited for her arrival.
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