Saturday, 17 November 2012

You've got HOW many children?!

It's funny, it doesn't matter how many children you've got, other people seem to have set ideas on how many more you should or shouldn't have.  Actually, it starts before you've even got children, if you're in a long term relationship or recently married, then before long the "are you planning on having any kids?" comments start.  You'd think that the moment you had a child of your own though, this pressure to reproduce would stop, but I'm sorry to disappoint, it doesn't go away. 

Shortly after your first is born, the "do you think you'll have any more?" questions start, as though somehow one child is never enough and you should have another.  Then when the second arrives, opinion suddenly seems to split, some people think that you've had your quota and that you'd be mad to have any more, and others that you might have another.  After three, particularly if like me you have by now managed to have at least one of either sex, many people assume that you MUST be done.  Of course, any more than four would be madness.  Not that I'm desperate to have more children, but it does amuse me how the rest of the world has an opinion on the matter.


I should perhaps own up, I've been guilty of it myself.  Having babies is quite an exciting business, and it's always good to know if someone is planning on having more children.  On a more serious note, there are reasons to suggest that perhaps as a society we should have an interest in how many children people have or don't have.  Large families do place more of a strain on the worlds resources, and in the western world we already consume far more than our fair share of them. 

But really, when it comes down to it, it's no one's business but your own how many children you choose to have or not.  Whether you find other people's interest in it annoying or amusing, it really doesn't matter because on the days when it's raining solid, they can't get out to run off some energy and everyone's going a bit stir crazy, it's you who's going to have to deal with them, not your next door neighbour, who thinks it's about time you started a family.....