It seems perfectly correct for people who have large families to strongly criticize childfree people and people who have small families. However, when the tables are turned, these same people become highly upset and often vitriolic. It seems what is good for the goose is defintely not good for the gander.
I don't criticize small families nor childless couples. It is none of my business. Likewise, it is not anyone else's place to get in my face as long as I am feeding, sheltering, clothing, loving and educating my children--whether I have one or ten.
People should not make bad remarks about anyone's family size. You don't know if the childless family has experienced infertility or the death of a child or has chosen to sponsor orphans in Africa whilde remaining childless. Likewise, the large family may have children under guardianship after a relative died or may simply believe children are a blessing. Family size is a personal choice; it is none of anyone else's business unless the family is asking for a handout or abusing children.
To each his/her own. While you have elucidated some excellent points, from my experience, mothers of large families feel that it is fine to be highly critical of women who elect to have a childfree lifestyle and those who have small families. The latter are often told that they are wrong and selfish for adopting their particular lifestyle. However, these same mothers of large families become highly defensive when people critique them for having a lot of children. These mothers maintain that it is their business if they want to have many children; however, they demean women who elected to either be childfree or have small families. I have read blogs regarding this issue and encountered a few mothers of large families who were extremely disdainful of women who do not elect to have the same lifestyles as these mothers.
I was relieved when I turned 40 and everyone quit asking me when I was going to have children. So now, at 53, people are asking me if I have any grandchildren. Over the years, I've ignored it all because when it came down to it, I never wanted children! Jeez! The nerve of these people. I'm not breaking it down to who's asking, but it's like that's the first question people ask you when they first meet you (if you happen to be female). No, I don't have children. Therefore, I don't have grandchildren.
So after I've answered all their questions, they say something like, "Well, you don't know what you're missing."
Yeah, right . . .
To Arlene, you are a person after my own heart. I am too childfree by choice. I remember at work that was a woman who loudly proclaimed that any woman who did not have children was self-centered. The other employees asserted that many women did not want children yet this woman was robotic, repeatedly stating that each woman should have children and something was totally amiss if she did not have a child. It was like going against a brick wall! You have made some excellent points. Not every woman wants to be a mother and that choice should be respected!
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