Saturday, October 14, 2006

Status Symbol?

I posted last week that the current topic at was how and when to know you're done. Luckily for me that weekend the blog was featured in an article on larger families being a new status symbol. The hit count soared at and here. I got a negative comment or two about my irresponsibilty toward society and the earth.

I don't get how kids can be used as a status symbol. If they are, they are one of the most costliest symbols around. Not only in the all mighty dollar but in blood, sweat and tears. WHY would anyone put 18yrs worth of responsibilty infront of them just to up their standing amongst their friends? Not to mention while it might be cool to have a larger family now, it hasn't and won't always be. So what happens when the status isn't such a great thing anymore? They can't be thrown away, sold or pushed into the back of the closet. These are kids' lives they are trivializing!!!! Thanks for making my "extra" 8 or 9 kids seem like props. I'm sure they appreciate it.

There's something else people forget when they make having a family that goes above society's norm whimsical and fun. People lose a lot because of their decision to have a larger family.

* They're subjected to every Tom, Dick and Harry's opinion about their lifestyle decision because it's so apparent. Everyone seems to think that because of this they are free to voice their opinions or wisecracks. (Oh the things people say) I don't know of any other life choice that is so obvious and has this happen. (I'm most likely mistaken and am willing to be corrected)

* They lose friends, invitations to social events, etc. People think they can't relate to them anymore. The idea of including so many people into a social event is daunting so they're overlooked. People assume because you have so many kids you don't have the time or money to socialize/participate. We can be seen as too stupid to be bothered with or "intimidating" and are avoided by others in a social setting.

* Time and time again other TOK (tons of kids) moms have mentioned how their families put them down for their decision. They've even had family break all ties with them because it. :o(

Yep, we're just trying to out do our friends and neighbors. After all, that's what's most important in life.


Cathy said...

We have been shut out by all of our real-world (non-blog) friends. Total strangers stare and make ugly comments to the children. Our family treats us like lepers by only inviting a few of us at a time to visit. At Christmas they want to draw names so they don't have to get gifts for "all" of our children.

Anonymous said...

You SHOULD be treated like lepers. You're nothing but breeder sows. Any animal can breed. There's nothing magical about it. Only humans have the knowledge and understanding to avoid breeding like rats. It's not whether or not YOU can afford them. It's whether or not the EARTH can afford them. Every time you breed, it's another consumer. Another strain on resources. If you love children so much, adopt. Do you really have to keep shoving out little replicas of you and your husband, just to satisfy your selfish need to breed.

Cathy said...

I'm sad for anonymous's inability to love and respect people who make different choices. That kind of hate just eats you up from the inside.

Bonny said...

Great post, Kim.

A couple of things spring to mind:

* how absurd is it that someone will rant about how you shouldn't have so many kids AFTER YOU ALREADY HAVE THEM. Really -- how does getting rid of our children solve anything.

* do people really not realize that when they're too chicken to own their words, that people pay them very little (if any) credence?

I'm not sure if I should laugh at all the the comments like these, or literally cry at the idea that some people have so much hatred and anger bottled up inside them that they have to go around and anonymously spew garbage like that.

Lisa in MO said...

We are currently only a family of 3 girls. However, we experience the same ostracizing (sp?) from our family. We are a foster family and one Christmas had 5 extra children. We refuse to treat our foster children as disposable at holiday time. That was the last year we spent with family becaue of the way we were treated - it was horrible. We are now looking to adopt a large sibling group. While it would be wonderful to have our family in on the process, we know that would only generate negative responses.

Oh, you made the comment about no other lifestyle being judged/criticized. Well, we also homeschool our children and everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - seems to think they can question us as to why, how, ask about our credentials, etc. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind questions from curiosity. It's the questions that have judgement behind them.

So, I guess we'll be outsiders from the "real and normal" world before long. Hmmmm, it seems to me that there are many families who are beginning to fit into our unreal and abnormal world these days ;-)

Lisa in MO said...

I guess I need to clarify - we are actually a family of 5 - dh, me and our 3 girls.

Kim said...

Lisa in MO...

I didn't say no other lifestyle is immune from being judged or criticized. I said no other choice is as OBVIOUS so therefore gets judged and commented on by people they've never even spoken to before.

Unfortunately other choices get flack but it's by those that you've told or you know. No one knows you homeschool unless you tell them. You have a choice whether to share the info or not. Having a lot of kids with you doesn't afford you that luxury.

I'm not saying it's easier or harder for any other group. Just making a point that our choice is very out there for all to see and judge.