The Need to Breed

It’s just so…distasteful.

Just about any time I write about the blessing of children (and that’s a lot, because there’s a lot to be said), someone will leave a comment the gist of which is that…well, here. Let me give you one of the more interesting examples:

We used to procreate to keep the human race going, we used to have several kids so that we’d have people to look after us in our old age (before things like pensions and retirement homes were around), we used to breed out of necessity and also because we didn’t have the medicine/technology to prevent it. We no longer live in such times, and some people have realised that and are perhaps simply more socially evolved.

There are so many problems with this line of “thinking” that it’s hard to even know where to start. (I’ll note only in passing the fact that, unless I missed the invention of some new way of doing it, procreation is still the only way to keep the human race going. Rather ironic that the position that would lead to extinction should be considered the more “evolved” one, isn’t it?)  All I really have to say to that commenter is:

Enjoy your stay in whatever fine old-age establishment our broke-ass healthcare system chooses for you. When you get there, don’t come crying to me about the fact that your night-shift CNA is more interested in timing her next smoke break to coincide with the janitor’s for a little hanky-panky in the linen closet than she is in whether you’re getting turned in your bed and fed properly. After all, you haven’t really lived until you’ve had a bedsore try to kill you.  Wouldn’t want to leave this world without that experience. I used to work in that sad and hopeless industry and….well, you asked for that, and I truly hope you find the accommodations to your liking.

Another common complaint I get is that our children cost us more in time and money than they used to because “we’re not farmers anymore.” I will concede that most people aren’t farmers anymore, and don’t need our kids to become farm-hands for us. What I don’t concede is that that was ever a very strong reason for having children anyway. You see, I have several of them at the moment, and not one of them has proven (yet) to be more of a help than a hindrance. My 8 year old is reaching an age where he can wash dishes and put them away on his own, maybe do a little light housework between imaginary battles with dragons,  but that’s a far cry from being a real financial plus.

Slave labor. Right.

While children were indeed given more responsibility one hundred years ago than they are now—whether rightly or wrongly is another topic entirely–the idea that we were popping out ready-made slave labor back then, whereas they are nothing but liabilities now, is a silly one. There has always been a solid decade and a half of investment in the life of each child born to a family before any real pay-off can be expected. Most parents love their children, and even in the distant and “unevolved” past they wouldn’t break their children’s backs with hard labor before they were strong enough to survive it. Even after they’re grown, they have this annoying tendency to run off and have kids of their own, so they’ve practically never meant money in the pocket to their parents. However, they are a different kind of asset, and a more important one than money.

The huge up-front investment required of parents is, in fact, the primary reason for the traditional division of labor we’ve so blithely tossed to the side in our more evolved times. Children have always needed a mother devoted to their care, because they can’t even care for themselves, let alone haul in your harvest for you! That’s half of the labor force, devoted to raising the next generation. We don’t have the social structure for that in America anymore, I agree, because we’ve judged that to be a job that isn’t worth doing . Where we differ, dear commenters, is in believing that the dependent state of our offspring is a curse, rather than a blessing.

New humans are no less useful today than they were yesterday. Old humans seem to be considerably stupider, though. We don’t seem to understand (and by “we”, I mean “not me”) that children are a literal investment. You have to put in the work to get the payoff. You can’t contribute no people to the future and then expect that future to go well for you any more than you can put zero dollars into your 401K and expect it to be there when you’re ready to retire. (Not that I expect that to pan out, either, but let’s just roll with the CW for this example, OK?)

I hate to have to spell all this out, because a) it feels like talking down to people and b) it’s not even all that interesting to think about, but apparently there is a large number of people of reproductive age who actually need these bald facts pointed out to them before it is too late for them to decide to procreate for their own good.

You are going to be old and vulnerable someday.

Your retirement funds–assuming they mature the way you expect them to, which they won’t–can’t make people care about you. You need people to look out for you who aren’t being paid to do it, but who do it out of familial duty. The d-word might be considered an uncouth one in our self-centered age (especially when prefaced with the f-word), but it is still a necessary part of human relationships, no matter how hard we try to do away with it.

Money might (possibly) put that dismal, overcooked food in front of you, but it won’t make Fat Nancy* the CNA give you more than your allotted ten minutes in the dining room to coax your finicky old appetite to accept it. I’m not even exaggerating a smidge when I tell you that the elderly often die of malnutrition in rest homes simply because it takes them too long to eat.  Even if you luck into a good staff at your last home on earth, your 401k certainly isn’t going to contain enough cash to give Nancy the leisure to hold your withered old hand as you rattle off your last regrets. She has twenty other (childless) people to look after, too, you know.

Even assuming that your old age is secured from inhumane treatment by the (never witnessed in human history) loving kindness of state-paid strangers, somebody is still going to have to work to pay those taxes that our beneficent state will rely upon to support your wrinkled old butt. I have 5 future taxpayers in my home. You’re welcome. (Actually, no you’re not welcome. I resent the heck out of your presumption on the future labor of my children, who deserve the fruits of their own labor.)

I’d love to end this post with something uplifting, or at least clever, but I don’t have time to come up with anything. I have to go feed the five people to whom I hope to ingratiate myself at this end of their lives, so that they might care enough to devote themselves just as carefully to the end of mine. Now, go. Make babies. Your future depends on it.

*Apparently, the word “fat” is setting off some outrage sensors. Sorry about that. Was going for a word picture, not describing an actual human being. I write. Sometimes for effect. Sometimes I get carried away. I’d also like to apologize to people named Nancy.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jen @ One Moms World
    Twitter: onemomsworld
    January 7, 2013, 8:15 am

    I just love you!!!

    • Cindy January 7, 2013, 8:44 am

      <3 you, too. :-)

  • Joy January 7, 2013, 8:48 am

    Well said! Love you and your honesty!! keep it up!

  • Chrissy January 7, 2013, 8:53 am

    Lol…this was so fun, people really do need things spelled out for them. I don’t think it will help since they are too highly evolved to engage in deductive thinking. It is encouraging that you continue to try and help them, you are a giver, Cindy, a giver.
    I am currently snuggling my oldest son, home from school with a fever and cough….we can only hope that he remembers this stuff when I am old and falling apart. Maybe I will make him another smoothie.

    • Cindy January 7, 2013, 9:22 am

      Smoothies, yes. And be very generous with the strawberries.

  • Rebecca January 7, 2013, 9:31 am

    I don’t normally take the time to comment nut as I sit here pregnant with my third blessing. I just have to say you rock!

    • Cindy January 7, 2013, 11:51 am

      You should comment more often. I like it. 😉

  • Rebecca January 7, 2013, 9:44 am

    * but

  • Mary Emily January 7, 2013, 9:54 am

    YES!!! You are SO correct! 30, 40, 50 years from now, who will be staffing those old age retirement homes? Someone who is an 7 yr old, a toddler, or even in utero right now. Love your last line — thank you for stating the obvious and saying it so well! No, I’m off to do laundry for my 5 future caretakers, ages 7 – 18.

  • Emily K January 7, 2013, 9:55 am

    This is particularly meaningful to me today as my family is about to move into my parents home in order to take care of my father. He spent 3 days in a nursing home (he was there for “rehab” after a minor surgery) and almost died in those 3 days. When my sister went to see how he was doing after contracting the Norovirus after a couple of days in there, he was blue from his fingertips to his elbows, and none of the nursing staff noticed this. They were nice enough, but couldn’t notice because they had 20 other people throwing up on themselves that they were taking care of. What you say is so true.

    There is no way on earth as long as it is in my ability to do so that I would let my parents go to one of those hell holes to die. They are truly horrible.

    And yes, I know there are nice ones. My Grandma died in a nice one, but Grandma was also very wealthy. Considering most people in our generation are in debt up to their eyeballs, most people won’t end up in places like that.

  • Vertical Mom January 7, 2013, 10:05 am

    There you go…spewing logic again. Ppppfff.

  • emily e January 7, 2013, 10:05 am

    Wow -I guess being socially evolved means common sensically devolved. Great post!

  • Peggy
    Twitter: mycraftingworld
    January 7, 2013, 10:32 am

    I love you philosophy of family. I wish more would read this for content and think about it.

  • Momma Dee
    Twitter: socalcutie82
    January 7, 2013, 11:47 am

    You hit the nail on the head!!! Why don’t people get it!! We have 3 so far and plan a few more, and NOTHING irritates me more than getting the whole speech about how I’m just contributing to the problem, rather than the solution (which is apparently NOT having children). Really? Because I’m raising my kids to be productive members of society, much like their parents are. Tax paying, law abiding citizens….such a shame we want to share that atrocity with the rest of the world….

    • Suzanne January 10, 2013, 3:30 pm

      YES!!! Aren’t we disgusting, horrible, IRRESPONSIBLE airheads? The “you went and got pregnant AGAIN” looks, the “don’t you KNOW what causes that?” looks. Because of all these looks (and sometimes the comments to match) I’m paranoid. I feel compelled to bathe my children and put nice clean wrinkle free clothes on them moments before going grocery shopping so as to appear less disgusting to people. Somehow the sight of a mother responsibly buying healthy food for her five young children gives people spasms. If nothing else, they raise their eyebrows at the bill as I check out. Well? We earned it! We’re providing for our own family all by ourselves and boosting the economy!! Sigh.

  • Rebecca
    Twitter: momsmustardseed
    January 7, 2013, 11:53 am

    You say what I think – thought you write it better than I ever could even consider writing. I have an idea – let’s just be moms who wallow in self loathing – because we are denying ourselves outside opportunities and we relish in the fact that we are so busy at home, we are way too tired to lay our lives down – by actually getting up and LIVING for our family – without complaining, without hem/haw cacaphony that so many are sharing across the air-waves. One day – these children we are investing in are going to remember the ‘wait a minute’ and ‘I’m too tired’… Cat’s in the cradle – it will ring through the ears of many.

    • Cindy January 7, 2013, 11:57 am

      If they’re going to remember the “wait a minute”, I am in deep trouble. That’s my theme song.

      • Dawn January 11, 2013, 3:41 pm

        That made me guffaw, because my two oldest boys, now 25 and 22, once told their Dad, “Mom never says wait a minute.” I guess it was his theme song too. LOL!!

        • Cindy January 11, 2013, 4:06 pm

          We all have our besetting sins. 😉

  • Thalia January 7, 2013, 1:59 pm

    I work at a retirement home where residents are treated kindly, but there’s really no love in an institutional setting. I’m a waitress in the dining room, and I feel like we’re feeding the residents, but we’re not really *feeding* them (if that makes sense). If I could, I’d cook individual meals for each resident, exactly what they want, prepared exactly how they want, all from scratch with the best ingredients. But that wouldn’t be at all practical or cost-effective, now would it? On the other hand, I’ve jumped behind the stove and cooked someone an egg for dinner, because according to the cook “We serve eggs only at breakfast,” but really, if somebody wants an egg, and they’re fully prepared to not eat anything if they can’t have their egg, who am I to stand in the way? I just want to scream sometimes, “Quit worrying so much about your job description and start loving these people!” The rules make loving the residents difficult sometimes too. I’m a huge proponent of frequent hand washing, particularly since I work with a susceptible population, but sometimes it’s hard to talk myself into holding a resident’s hand or giving him/her a hug when I know I’ll have to wash my dry, cracked hands *again*. But I do it anyway, and it’s worth it. Right now I work there because I can’t get full-time work in my field, but when I do get a regular job, I’m going back as a volunteer so I can sit with people and hold their hands and talk with them and not have to worry about getting in trouble for spending too much time on one person. (I’ll still wash my hands regularly, though. :))

    So long story short, people paid minimum wage aren’t going to love your parents the way you do, and there’s some people who could be paid all the money in the world and they’d still be unkind to those who can’t stick up for themselves.

    • Shawna January 8, 2013, 2:43 pm

      I thought this was a wonderful comment and correlated well with an experience I had as well, but at the opposite end of the spectrum…daycare! I worked in a daycare before I had children, and while I loved the children, I didn’t really LOVE the children! They weren’t mine. So if we are willing to put our children in an institution where they aren’t really loved doesn’t it make sense for it to happen at the other end? I’m so very thankful that I can stay home with mine and home school!

  • Cassie January 7, 2013, 3:17 pm

    You’re right…and unfortunately too few people know it. I get the other side of your coin, because I only have one (for now – adoption *is* in my future). Medically, I can’t have more than one, but I get congratulations from perfect strangers for “keeping it real.” Boy wouldn’t they laugh to know my dream family has about a dozen kids? Raising the $$ for adoption takes time, but there will soon be a day when my one is joined by one more, and then another, and another, as long as I can. Why? because I know those kids need someone loving them and teaching them how to love and how to care for one another. I don’t want to leave my son alone – I want a whole support system for him when I can’t be there any more.

    • Cindy January 7, 2013, 4:12 pm

      The awesome thing about a culture that encourages child-rearing is (if we had such a culture) that those who are unable to have children would still have many, many more community resources to draw from amongst relatives and even volunteers. More people=more caring. Win/win, right? 🙂 Praying for your adoption(s)!

  • Karen January 7, 2013, 3:19 pm

    Ha ha ha. I just told my kids this past weekend that they could expect me to live with each of them for three months out of the year. :0)

  • Deborah January 7, 2013, 3:37 pm

    Oh I’m with Karen – I am just going to go visit ALL my children one after the other. So far I’ve got 8 of them. I don’t want to be a burden to them, so the more children, the less burden I’ll be on them individually, and the more they’ll want me to hang out with them, it’s just better all round.

    I just LOVED your article.

  • Lisa M. January 7, 2013, 3:51 pm

    LOL! You made me laugh…people really are that illogical!

    My parents are currently in the time of their life of having to take care of my grandparents. And guess what, because my grandparents had (gasp) four children and raised them right, they have children who (gasp) take care of them! My dad and aunt have raised Cain at the care facility on my grandpa’s behalf. Because of that, he’s one of the only patients who gets immediate treatment and taken care of because the employees have now been made aware that he has children who will chew them up and spit them out if they ever find him with less then adequate care. Guess what that means? yeah. The ones in the facility who DON’T have their (1.5) children to take care of them get…squat. Because that’s the way it works at those places. It’s an excellent facility…but yes, certain of their “boarders” DO get special treatment based on whether or not someone will be checking on them or not.

    I have friends with 5+ children. I applaud them and support them 100%–but I have no desire to join them…

    And here is when I add my 2 cents
    What kills me is that I get rude comments from some moms with large families for choosing to limit mine (though I do have more then the average!)!

    It goes both ways people!

    Not everyone DESIRES to have a lot of children for a variety of reasons. And my reasons might be different then someone elses. So while I happily say “Go for it!” to the families who desire an “abundant quiverful”, please also support those of us who have made the decision not to.

    Excellent article, though! I agree!

  • Amanda
    Twitter: RamandaHarvey
    January 7, 2013, 3:54 pm

    I’m trying, dang it! If I fail, can I borrow a couple of yours in my old age?

    • Cindy January 7, 2013, 4:13 pm

      Aunt Amanda, you will always have a home with us (them). 🙂

  • jen January 7, 2013, 4:12 pm

    Baahhahahaha. Loved it. By the way as a nurse, I see daily that even some kids don’t always want to take care of you either. They would rather put you in a home than be bothered.

    • Cindy January 7, 2013, 4:14 pm

      Yes, you have to raise them correctly, also. And hedge your bets. Get those retirement funds started and live a healthy lifestyle. 😉

      • Emily K January 7, 2013, 4:43 pm

        I agree with this. A lot of people raise their children with nursing home mentality. I never thought I’d be moving in to take care of my dad. NEVER. Our family did nursing homes because older people were a burden and so when you get old, the right thing to do is have saved up well for a nice nursing home. Seriously. We told jokes about being nice to kids because they pick your nursing homes.

        But really, if you raise them knowing that it is the right thing to do to directly care for the family’s elderly then I imagine they grow up thinking differently.

        The only reason dads not going to a nursing home really is that I made a friend who changed the way I see nursing homes. Plus, visiting my grandma in one a few years ago. They are just sad sad places most of them. I am excited that my kids will get first hand experience that you don’t just ditch the elderly, we help them.

        • Cindy January 7, 2013, 5:26 pm

          I hope the example my parents are setting by taking care of my grandmother, and the example I plan to set (should our parents need it), will show my children that family care is a generational duty. It doesn’t just go one way, especially in a bad economy, and I don’t foresee much hope of wealth for the average American in the future. Certainly not the level of wealth we ourselves were raised to think of as “middle class”. There are going to be a lot of people stunned to find out that they and their children and their children still need each other, even after the diplomas are handed out.

  • Colleen Kessler
    Twitter: ColleenKessler
    January 7, 2013, 4:24 pm

    I. Just. ADORE. You.

    Now…. I’m off to snuggle with my {4th} 5-day-old investment in the future. It’s a tough job, but the rewards will be abundant.


  • The Husband January 7, 2013, 9:18 pm

    I have 5 future taxpayers in my home. You’re welcome. (Actually, no you’re not welcome. I resent the heck out of your presumption on the future labor of my children, who deserve the fruits of their own labor.)

    This. A lot.

  • Sharon January 7, 2013, 11:45 pm

    I think I love you more every time you post. How’d you get so smart? 🙂

  • Stacy @Stacy Makes Cents
    Twitter: stacymakescents
    January 8, 2013, 7:47 am

    I just want you to know that every time you post, I forward it to Barry…and last night he said, “We gotta meet this Cindy woman. Where does she live again?” 😉

  • Barry January 8, 2013, 8:58 am

    As Stacy’s husband (the Stacy of Stacy Makes Cents), I read it last night and again this morning and I now digitally stand and applaud. 🙂 Excellent in-your-face article. Thanks!

    • Cindy January 8, 2013, 10:41 am

      You and Stacy are my favorite daily read. I feel like I’m getting celebrities on my blog! 🙂

  • Noel @ the Shepherd's farm January 8, 2013, 10:05 am

    I love this post! I’m new here and I LOVE your humor. I will definitely be back. Lord bless!

    • Cindy January 8, 2013, 10:41 am

      Yay! We love newbies!

  • sleeplessinsummerville January 8, 2013, 1:11 pm

    I agree with all you’re saying, Cindy! The commenter you quoted at the beginning seems to take a transactional view of family and relationships. Such people are ill-suited to be parents because children are inherently helpless and needy, and if a person doesn’t feel they should do anything for anyone else without an expected gain, they are going to fail at the whole parenting thing. I have long believed that how you handle the long period of your children’s dependency is a test of character. Some folks don’t pass that test. And yes, I think I will have more, even though the one I have right now has health problems and is useless as slave labor 🙂

    • Cindy January 8, 2013, 3:39 pm

      Oh, but how wonderful it is to have someone to love just for the sake of loving them. THAT is my favorite thing about having kids. I’m glad you’re still here! I haven’t seen a comment from you in a while. Missed ya.

  • Melissa January 8, 2013, 2:15 pm

    I understand snark when I see it, and while I agree in general with what you say, I have to defend Fat Nancy. I feel for Fat Nancy. Why? Because poor Fat Nancy has at least 20 other patients besides poor withered grandma and while it is sad to think about she probably does only have 10 allotted minutes to get poor grandma to eat. Also Fat Nancy deserves two smoke breaks a shift, and believe it or not 30 minutes to eat and get fatter. Fat Nancy, generally speaking, has 8 hours to do her work in, for all 20 patients, and trust me that is not enough time to do it right. Now don’t get me wrong there are alot of Fat Nancy’s, who are fat and lazy, and really could care less if poor grandma eats, but there are also just as many good Fat Nancy’s who really care, and work their fat butts off to give grandma the best care she can, in her allotted time. Or maybe Fat Nancy should take no breaks, work over her shift everyday, and still go home feeling like shit. Thank the nursing home owners for Fat Nancy doing a crappy job, and your state legislators who let nursing homes work understaffed because no one really cares what happens to grandma. Now, that I have defended Fat Nancy, I shall say I really enjoyed reading your article. Children are our future, without them there isn’t a future. Grandma can’t do everything until she is 90 and we need the next generation to continue on with society. Oh yeah grandmas with lots of children get put in nursing homes too. It is much more about love and respect, than the number of children you have. But, I suspect you know that already 🙂

    • Cindy January 8, 2013, 2:36 pm

      Ha! Fat Nancy needs no defense, as she is a composite of several people I have worked with. I *am* Fat Nancy. Not literally, but I’m not excluding even the many workers who care from the composite. They are human, and some human ties are strong, like family, and others are weak, like paychecks. The “fat” is merely a function of their collective indolence. Children and grandchildren put people in nursing homes, too, but the odds that they’ll care as little as those folks did are very slim, unless they were raised very poorly.

  • Cara
    Twitter: Ckhands
    January 8, 2013, 3:28 pm

    Fantastic! I have been blessed with 3 children and always find it rather funny when someone says how “busy” I must be. My grandmother was one of 13 children. My great-grandfather married my great-grandmother after his first wife died. He had 4 children. She was 14. I would think that she would qualify as the busy one. My great-grandparents raised their children with great family values, love, and a strong work ethic. Now some of those children did not pass those qualities on, it was by no fault of their parents.
    I am busy. I am busy countering the opinions of friends about what is and is not important. I am busy loving my children and teaching them that loving others gets you far more than not. I am busy teaching my daughter that is ok to want a big family and to stay home and raise them. And, I am busy teaching my boys that it is their “job” to work and provide for the family that they will eventually have.
    My husband and I would have a dozen more, if I had been blessed with the opportunity to do so.

  • Marianne January 8, 2013, 3:43 pm

    From a mother of 8 – well said!

  • Lydia January 8, 2013, 4:12 pm

    Pregnant with my 6th here, taking care of the other 5 with stomach bugs right now, and really loving this post. I get tired of being told I’m throwing my life away. I think I’m investing in something worth far more than any of the naysayers can even fathom.

  • Natalie January 9, 2013, 11:23 am

    Oh my word…where have you been all my life, you hysterical, clever, gutsy girl, you? I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard reading a post. SO glad Bambi introduced me to your blog. Loved your “What Others Are Saying” in the sidebar too. I’m hopelessly in love. If you ever want to come over and write for Visionary Womanhood, we could use a little humor to stir things up a bit. 😉 We do love a good controversy over there. Check out my eating the placenta post (slurp)…or any of the pendulum posts. (Won’t put links here cuz I know that’s a no-no…but you can do a search in the sidebar if you are curious.)

    • Cindy January 9, 2013, 11:49 am

      I’m not sure I’m as gutsy as you think I am. It’s easy to state the obvious. Talking about eating placentas? THAT is brave.

  • Kimberly @ Raising Olives
    Twitter: raisingolives
    January 9, 2013, 1:02 pm

    Great post. I read it aloud to the kids and we all laughed through it. My favorite part (because I’ve said it often to myself).

    “(Actually, no you’re not welcome. I resent the heck out of your presumption on the future labor of my children, who deserve the fruits of their own labor.)”


  • Amy January 9, 2013, 1:49 pm

    I feel like I’ve found a new friend. Thanks for putting into words what I’ve been thinking. Natalie @ sent me here via fb share, and I’m so glad she did! Looking forward to reading more.

  • Tiana January 9, 2013, 1:51 pm

    I loved this!

    We had a chance to witness this first hand over the last year or so. Both my grandmother and my husband’s grandfather passed away. My grandma had two children and two grandchildren. When she was in hospice care, she had only a small handful of people to check in on her and make sure she was being properly cared for. Most of the staff was very compassionate, but none of us was capable of being there for her daily. The management of her final affairs rested almost entirely on my dad’s shoulders, with some help from my uncle and my husband.

    Contrast that with my husband’s grandfather, who had 11 children and many grandchildren. While his final days were not without their challenges, there were many hands and hearts to ease the burden. One thing that most do not consider is that those little “burdens” who have mouths to fill and feet to shoe will, Lord willing, all grow someday to have important knowledge and skills. For example, there are both a CPA and an RN among his offspring–two valuable people to have when navigating health care issues and estate planning.

    Guess who’s shoes I’d rather be in when I am old?

    Now, my husband is faced with caring for his mother who is seriously and chronically ill. He has two siblings, neither of which live close enough to be much help in her care, so the responsibility falls almost exclusively on him. When our little brood of offspring complain about daddy being home late (again), I remind them that he is doing an important thing by caring for his mother, and that I hope they will take at least that good of care of me should I be old and sick someday.

    We’re such myopic thinkers, though, aren’t we? Everything is about peace and convenience when we are young, without much regard to the future.

    Many Blessings!

  • Amy @Raising Arrows
    Twitter: raising_arrows
    January 9, 2013, 2:17 pm

    You know where I stand…right beside you! And now it is time for me to get back to my regularly scheduled day of taking over the world…mwahahaha!

  • Lori January 9, 2013, 2:27 pm

    Overall you made a lot of good points, things I wholeheartedly agree with. Then why lower the quality/ standard of your writing to include slurs about “Fat” Nancy the CNA and perpetuate the misconception that nurses (or in this case CNA’s) are only in the profession as sex objects and to play “hanky panky”. As an RN I find this line of reasoning as offensive as if it were a racial slur. Are all nurses “Fat”? Are all nurses playing “Hanky Panky”? I hope not the next time you are sick or injured and in need of medical care. Your slurs against nursing have NOTHING to do with the point you were making or could’ve been made in a much more generalized and less offensive fashion.

    • Lori January 9, 2013, 2:38 pm

      I was routed to this blog through a friend on Facebook. I just went back to read “about” you. Hmmm, “Infinite amounts of Christ’s mercy”? All I can ask is WHERE???? None was given to the nurse/CNA. I wish you could walk a day in my shoes. There are exceptions in all professions but you have taken a few and painted all the rest of us with the same brush.

      • SurelyNot January 9, 2013, 8:38 pm

        You’re the thinnest skinned nurse of which I’ve ever heard. You deal with people in pain, people who are suffering, and it takes _that_ little to pull out your offended pin? What a scintillating little pistol you must be on the day job! “Look out, all, she’s gonna blow again!”

        I thought that it was made quite clear that she wasn’t saying “every nurse on the planet”, but that instead she was talking about a particular archetype, or subclass, if you prefer, of nurse; not necessarily the fat ones, but the ones who really should’ve picked a different career.

        Oh, and while we’re in this neighborhood, unless the good Lord Almighty Himself came down from Heaven and placed the Holy Mobcap upon your tired brow, you are doing _a job you which chose to do._

        Is it hard? I’m certain. Is it thankless? Undoubtedly. Does it require dedication? We all know that it does.

        News flash; other people’s jobs are just as hard, just as thankless. Yet we aren’t following your public statements, hovering over any potential negative statements impugning our trades.

        Working with the sick in no way entitles you to bludgeon with the guilt stick anyone who profanes the sanctity of your profession; it just makes your life harder. It’s still just a choice that you make every day, and I owe you nothing for making it. Neither does this blog. For my part, I try to respect the people who take care of me, and I’m afraid that’s the best that I can offer you.

        It’s got to be tiring, seeking out strange new blogs, exploring new excuses for outrage and offense. If you aren’t enjoying that, I’d strongly recommend that you turn in your browser and sign off immediately; honey, it only gets worse from here.

        • Cindy January 9, 2013, 8:42 pm

          Whoo! What do you mean “worse”? This is pretty much the worst I’ve got! I’m not sure where I was merciless, though, except perhaps in my logic, which I think is totally OK by Jesus. You’d think it would be obvious that “Nancy” isn’t a person. Eh. Thanks for defending me, anyhow. I think…

          • Mina January 11, 2013, 10:42 am

            I think Surely Not is saying that Lori is going to find far worse out in the “strange new blogs” (cue Star Trek theme) of the Blogosphere out there – not on your blog.

            This was my first visit to your blog, also from facebook. Very funny! I like your style. 🙂

            • Cindy January 11, 2013, 12:53 pm

              LOL. Thanks for clearing that up.

  • Kathleen in IL January 9, 2013, 2:30 pm

    I gotta say, this is the first time I’ve ever read your writings, and I found you through Ladies Against Feminism. I understand you are putting humor into this posting, but I found it extremely sad. Today’s people seem to have the mentality of preferring puppies and kittens to children – after all, you can “find a home” for those puppies and kittens/dogs and cats if your life changes, or you have to move, or you just get tired of them. Children – not so easy. Children cost money, money that takes away from your fun. You can’t spontaneously go on a cruise next week if you have to find somebody to watch the children. And isn’t the state supposed to help take care of them? Heaven help us. My Beloved Husband promised me when we married that *he* would care for me as I aged (yes, I’m older than he is) so I would never have to go into a nursing home. He has a horror of nursing homes. I pray that he will keep his health so that he can indeed do this. Because of financial restrictions, I’d have to be on Medicaid, so I understand what “quality” of care I would get. “Fat Nancy” and other cargivers aren’t valued, so they aren’t paid what they are and could be worth. It’s terrifying when you are aging and seeing where you might be. Children? Yes, I have 2 – one given up for adoption (I was only 17 and not married), the other currently residing in jail. And will probably go to prison. I really don’t hope to see him again before I die. Again, I know you meant humor in this post, but it really hits a very uncomfortable spot for me. Yet I hope others will read it and take it to heart. And yes, thank you for writing this. 🙂

    Kathleen in IL

    • Cindy January 9, 2013, 3:21 pm

      Oh, my friend, you’re right! It is very sad. (Can I call you friend?) I certainly don’t mean to deride anybody who is in a difficult spot in old age, merely the idea that money could save anybody from the frailty of old age. My MIL only had one kid, but he’s a good one, whereas my grandmother had 12 and only two of them turned out to be there for her when she was old. There are absolutely no guarantees, no matter how many kids you have! I hope and pray for a long, healthy life for you!

  • Cathrael January 9, 2013, 4:15 pm

    Wow. This is extremely painful reading for someone who is infertile not by choice. So sorry I came here today.

    • kt May 15, 2013, 1:00 pm


      Just want to extend some belated Internet stranger sympathy to you. I got linked here via a FB friend and while I know it isn’t fair to judge a blog by one post, I was pretty shocked by this one. Reading all the congratulatory comments all I could think was– where do couples without children fit into this worldview? Where do I fit, as a single woman?

      God’s love to you. He is The God who Sees and Hears us, especially in our pain.

      • Cindy May 15, 2013, 1:19 pm

        They fit! They fit! God didn’t say the childless or single are unfit! That’s not where this goes at all. Please don’t think so. In a world where married couples do the married-couple thing, there is more than enough love and help to go around for the alone and lonely! I’m speaking on a societal level, really, not a personal one. Intentionally going childless within a marriage–and teaching others to do the same thing–is a very different thing from incidentally being unmarried or childless.

  • Betty
    Twitter: FarmMom4Him
    January 9, 2013, 4:39 pm

    And, if CNA Nancy, actually does take the time to take care of you, like you actually thought would happen in a nursing home…She will be fired!! Or at the very least get a big ole’ long lecture that is going to make her wish she got fired.

    I am an only child, how I wished there would have been more than me, to help when my daddy was dying. I took care of him round the clock, so my mom could work.

    Great Post Cindy

  • Michelle @ Arrows and Olives January 9, 2013, 5:30 pm

    I don’t think you could possibly have said that better.
    And I too am happily breeding my future.


  • Bambi @ In the Nursery of the Nation January 9, 2013, 6:02 pm

    Well, I read it last night, shared it, then had to read it again. What a punch you pack. And a hilarious one as well! From Bambi (an RN-who-is-not-the-least-bit-offended-turned-homeschool-mom-to-eight).

  • Tricia January 9, 2013, 6:14 pm

    Amen could not have said this any better currently on baby #2

  • Lisa Joy January 9, 2013, 6:53 pm

    I so much LOVE and appreciate your blog, Cindy! 🙂 Honestly, when I read that beginning quote, I laughed so hard that I almost fell off my chair. I had no idea that someone invented another means of continuing the human race. Or perhaps they simply discovered that human beings are no longer necessary. That certainly sounds “socially evolved” to me. lol
    I completely agree with all of the points that you made. While I am glad to know that we have our children to help us in the future, that is certainly not our reason for having them. We didn’t have children for slave labor (as you said, they certainly create more mess than they prevent) or for future security purposes. We have children because God saw fit to bless us with their care and to raise them up to love and serve Him and accomplish His purposes in this world.
    I do have to say, though, that our four precious blessings are a whole lot more fun to snuggle than a 401k!!! 🙂

  • First time here and I love you!! Following your honest crazy butt on facebook!! lol!!

  • Reba January 10, 2013, 9:19 am

    I agree that you got carried away on this post. Your sentiments are perhaps correct and would be excellent in a personal letter as iron. However, they need to be more publicly gracious if your goal is to persuade rather than preach to the choir.

    • Cindy January 10, 2013, 9:38 am

      Sometimes the goal is to persuade, and sometimes it is not. You’re free to write things anyway you like on your own blog, but I’m not looking for editors. Normally, I delete comments like this, because they add nothing to the conversation. I’ll leave this one up because I don’t think you’re necessarily wrong. Just annoying. My comment policy is here:

      • Katie Hignight January 15, 2013, 4:33 pm

        This is so great, I can’t even stand it. The best article I’ve read in ages!! I tried to have a discussion about this very thing with some certain family members at Christmas (okay, bad timing perhaps) and it reeeeally didn’t go over well. It gladdens my heart so much to know that some one else out there is as passionate about this as I am! We are expecting our 5th, so thanks for another confirmation that we’re not crazy. 😉

        • Cindy January 15, 2013, 8:36 pm

          LOL. Who says you’re not crazy? 😉

  • holly murphy January 10, 2013, 9:54 am

    loved this article. however, i agree with some if the fear expressed here in the comments. i was infertile and always wanted a big family. in the past 17 yesrs my husband and i adoped with one exception, from the foster care system. only recently have i really started to worry about the future. my husband has always made a good living. i never feared for raising the kids, let alone in my retirement. now, my husbands company is going out of business and like an earlier poster, kathleen in il, i am begining to wonder if my responsibility will ever end. i am not finding a strong work rthic in my born crack exposed kids. hopin that it will turn around snd nurture will win out over nature. some scary stuff…i pray a good pottion of my waking hours that He will supernaturally heal my kids. it isnt just my problem, but societal.

    • Cindy January 10, 2013, 10:07 am

      You’re so right. This is a big societal problem. Take heart! God takes care of his children, even when we have no idea how things are going to work out. Writing your name down on my prayer list today. God bless you. I know your heart for your adopted children pleases Him.

  • holly murphy January 10, 2013, 10:09 am

    loved this article. however, i agree with some if the fear expressed here in the comments. i was infertile and always wanted a big family. in the past 17 yesrs my husband and i adoped with one exception, from the foster care system. only recently have i really started to worry about the future. my husband has always made a good living. i never feared for raising the kids, let alone in my retirement. now, my husbands company is going out of business and like an earlier poster, kathleen in il, i am begining to wonder if my responsibility will ever end. i am not finding a strong work ethic in my 11 adopted kids. i have recently moved from Tx to Pa to take care of my folks. feeeling reallt bad aboit my 100 yr old grandma who is in a nursing home. praying we can put up a larger house for my kids to care for thrm. my husband and i realize that wjatever else we do, if we instill familial responsibility in them, this gang of kids will help us in ou old age but also each other in a world that is increasingly difdicult to hard to navigate.

    ethic in my born crack exposed kids. hopin that it will turn around sntod nurture will win out over nature. some scary stuff…i pray a good pottion of my waking hours that He will supernaturally heal my kids. it isnt just my problem, but societal

  • DeeDee January 10, 2013, 10:52 am

    Great Post-I’ve been telling people this for years, this is why the countries in Europe are dying and some are actually paying people to have kids-and have to bring in immigrants.
    We are facing the same, here. I believe many of our economic problems are due to this.
    Have you ever read the book or seen the movie “Children of Men?” The movie had the Christian elements removed, but the message is the same. A future without children is a hopeless one.

    • Cindy January 10, 2013, 12:00 pm

      Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll put that on my reading list.

  • Survival Gardener January 10, 2013, 9:09 pm

    Bravo! A toast to you, from a proud father of six.

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  • kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing
    Twitter: AdventurzNchild
    January 10, 2013, 11:00 pm

    I get comments all the time about “how do you do it?” because I have a shocking total of 3 little boys. I’d give anything to have another – and another! I ACTUALLY LIKE them – they are my favorite people to hang out with. So, we do. Every day. Every night. 🙂 usually happily.

    My son had to ask me WHAT I was reading (because he’s cuddled up next to me) and I was laughing so hard reading through this.

    The sad – not so funny part is that you are NOT off base with *Fat Nancy (and I totally get that you weren’t describing someone’s weight) Truth be told, although there are many wonderful, caring people who work in nursing homes. . . the odds of you getting one of them looking after dear old Grandma is slim. Never mind that there are 24 hours in a day – every day to cover. You don’t know who those people are! They are under paid (usually) and over worked, not appreciated (it’s a thankless job most of the time) so, it’s a RARE Gem who keeps from getting burnt out & who actually cares. They are out there, I’ve done private nursing for many years, and I cared deeply for the ones I cared for – still keep in touch with the families – I would care in a nursing home situation – but I’d probably get fired for ranting and raving about all the injustice!!!! I totally would.

    Rock on woman!!!! great job-

  • Jen January 11, 2013, 12:25 pm

    Fun read. I don’t think this is why people reproduce, though. I think kids are like a wonderfully-satisfying piece of dessert: why not have another helping?*

    *Yes, I have kids. Yes, the throw up/argue/scream/poop/smear ketchup on the carpet/etc. But its all part of the day, right?

    • Cindy January 11, 2013, 2:50 pm

      It’s definitely not why I reproduce. It’s just a really good reason to reconsider not reproducing. 🙂

  • Carlotta January 11, 2013, 5:27 pm

    I caught a link to you via and love your blog. I agree, as a former CNA, that the elderly are treated horribly. I, for one, remind myself constantly that the way I treat my children is most likely the way they will treat me. Sobering.

    God Bless you and continue to stand your post. Well done!

  • Kristi January 11, 2013, 11:27 pm

    LOL!! Great post! Subbing to your blog 🙂

    • Cindy January 12, 2013, 9:28 am


  • Christine L. January 12, 2013, 8:17 am

    I’m glad to (seemingly) have found another Christ-led mother who is absolutely fed up with (stupid) human tendencies. God made us to be so much more than most even try. For my own passing comments on the size of our family (7 kids, 6 boys and finally a little girl), I’ve dabbled with the “blessings of God”, “I like MY children”, and finally “Well, SOMEONE has to pay into the Medicare mess that our country is facing”. Choosing not to have children is, whatever, a choice. I’m not going to run down the list of the reasons people have offered (not solicited by me), mostly because I don’t care. But if you’re going to comment on the size of my brood, you’ve opened yourself up to a whole host of my reasons, and not all of them are going to be heavenly.

    • Cindy January 12, 2013, 8:56 am

      I like that “(seemingly)”. It pays to be cautious on the internet. For all you know, I might be a very cleverly constructed straw man. 😉 Thanks for dropping by!

  • Christina January 14, 2013, 12:10 pm

    You regularly challenge me to ENJOY my children more. I was married in my mid twenties, am 28 and and just had my second son. Before marriage I traveled to various cities and countries, and lived in very diverse cities doing work I loved. I knew family life meant trading in a lot of that fun for a different kind of fun- fun that I knew I would have a hard time consistently enjoying. Your logical reminders of WHY we should have children help me to stay focused on the good. My sometimes cynical thinking needs the anchor of the Word to keep steady. This is hilarious and true! My discipleship groups last visit t0 a nursing home included telling the very busy nurse that 4 residents down just one hall had gone to the bathroom on themselves. And one had been yelling for quite some time for help. Heartbreaking.

  • Always Blessed January 15, 2013, 3:21 pm

    How do you know your own children will be taking care of you? Lots of people in nursing homes have children. I hope your children do, but it is by no means certain.

    Have kids is not a guarantee of wonderful,caring elder care. And it’s certainly not a reason to have kids.

    • Cindy January 15, 2013, 3:45 pm

      I don’t! I know that they will care for me, if they grow up right, but I suppose all sorts of things could go wrong in the meantime. I’m not speaking of giving them full responsibility for my future. Rather, I’m speaking of having a tight-knit family that cares for each other through the vulnerabilities of both old age and youth! One thing I can say for certain is that people who don’t exist can’t do anything at all, as they don’t exist. Seems obvious to me.

  • tereza crump aka mytreasuredcreations January 16, 2013, 12:37 am

    This is so funny. I came from Generation Cedar website and landed on your post “I’m Working my Life Away.” There I left a comment that says exactly what you wrote on this post. That was a few hours ago. I just now came back to check on any replies and read more of your blog. What a surprise to find this post on exactly what I wrote earlier today!!!

    Yes, people that don’t have kids (don’t want or like them) are completely blind! I got 4. I am gearing up for more. 🙂

    • Cindy January 16, 2013, 5:39 am

      That is funny. Makes me feel better, though. Next time a person wants to complain about this post, I’ll send them your email address so that somebody else can deal with it for a while. 🙂

  • Kristin(11onmyown) January 16, 2013, 9:39 am

    My husband left me 6 years ago with 10 children still at home, the youngest an infant. I have had to use govt. assistance periodically, to provide food and insurance, and it was my older children who stepped up when the child support didn’t come – which was always. I don’t have a retirement fund, investments, or savings of any kind. When I am an old lady, I will not be a drain on society because my social security will be Justin, Ian, Derek, Courtney, Brandon, Connor, Cassidy, Liam, Trinity, Jordan, and Dominic – my children. The way it has been for centuries.

    • Cindy January 16, 2013, 12:01 pm

      Oh, wow, what a situation. My grandmother raised her younger ones on her own (twelve, total). I’m sad to say that only a few of them were any use in her old age, but my father and one of his brothers did a marvelous job helping her in her last years. My mother also took wonderful loving care of her when we had to move in to see her through her last years. Many arrows, just in case some of them miss. 😉

  • Becky January 18, 2013, 9:37 am

    Wow – that’s putting it bluntly. And I appreciated every second of it. I too have 5, but they are all girls, so I hope that instead of contributing to the taxes that are paid, they become a dependent tax break on their husbands so they can raise a lot more little dependent tax breaks. And I would add, that if you have more than one, you have a greater chance of being cared for without overburdening the one, or possibly two little caregivers you manage to produce.

  • Liz January 22, 2013, 10:37 am

    I’m so glad to have found your site! I totally agree. My husband works in healthcare and he says the very saddest thing he sees – and we’re talking about someone who is dealing with death, cancer, terminal conditions on a daily basis – is the elderly person who dies all alone, with no one there by their side (other than a nurse or doctor) as they pass into eternity. I know many friends and former co-workers who have purposely, proudly chosen sterility, either because of the “carbon footprint” their unwanted offspring would leave, or because it didn’t fit into their career, or just because they enjoyed playing video games all day and would hate to have their lifestyle interrupted by a little screaming nuisance (yes, this was a serious reason someone gave me for not having kids). It is sad to think ahead to the end of their lives, when no one will be there to care for them, no one will care when they die, and they will also pass into eternity with nothing more than a call to their social worker to inform them of the passing of Mr. Doe, case file # 112233. So sad.

    I, like you, am also hoping to “ingratiate” myself to at least one of our soon-to-be six children so that someone will care to do more than just feed and water me and my husband as we grow old! 😉

  • Mrs. E February 7, 2013, 11:44 am

    Since you couldn’t end this post with something uplifting, I will. My Grandma did spend her last days in a nursing home. Why did she end up there (besides for medical needs)? Her 5 adult children who lived within a 30 mile radius all still worked full time. The horror, I know. Anyways, so Grandma was at a nursing home. When it was decided she needed hospice care you could not have asked for two better women to take care of her. They were a mother-daughter team. They spent hours with her when family wasn’t there. On Grandma’s last day they both stopped by her room. The daughter told us a story about one particular time when Grandma was in a lot of pain (she didn’t handle medication well) and she couldn’t get comfortable. She said she ended up cradling my Grandma like a baby and that soothed her. Is that not love? These were Christian women. I could go on, like how one of Grandma’s caretakers, when she still lived at home, was near her age and became a dear friend to Grandma. Just wanted to put a plug in for those outstanding individuals who take care of the elderly. They’re out there too.

    • Cindy February 7, 2013, 2:34 pm

      Absolutely, they are! Didn’t mean to imply differently. Just that there are certain relationships upon which more trust can safely be built. Praise God for community!

  • Adrienne February 9, 2013, 10:17 pm

    Interesting. I won’t be rude and/or biting here, but I do not want to have kids. I love children and have been a schoolteacher for 10 years, but I simply do not want them. My husband feels the same. Do I think women who have kids are crazy or airheaded? Goodness, no! But, I can’t help but feel personally lambasted in this post. Why should I have children just so someone can take care of me in my old age? Who says I will make it to old age? Who says they will even take care of me? The vast majority of elderly in assisted living homes HAVE children who will not take care of them anyway. It just seems like not enough of a reason to have kids. They are plenty, and this may be one of them, but not a strong enough argument. Also, it does seem a little….close-minded that you only keep around comments that “contribute to the conversation” aka, agree wholeheartedly with you. It is your blog and you, of course, can write whatever you want, and delete whatever you want, but when a blog is written with such a…”strong” tone, it seems an invitation for debate.

    • Cindy February 11, 2013, 3:43 pm

      I keep around all sorts of comments. You can disagree while still “contributing to the conversation”. I wonder what makes you think I delete so many comments. (Editing again. Sorry.) Here’s a link to my comment policy:

      If you think you don’t need kids, then I’m sure you’ll be just fine. (In the sense that you’ll be preparing to hire your help and advocate for yourself somehow. I guess everything can be made somewhat less risky with planning.) And my kids will keep the economy running under you when you’re too old to do so anymore. I do think it’s silly to point to parents whose kids have abandoned them and say that that’s a good reason not to have kids, when the number of kids who remain faithful is as great or greater. It is shortsighted of you to not have any children on purpose. It is simply a fact that someday you will be old, and I’ll bet you’ll long for the freshness of a young hand to hold, and the closeness of a relationship with a son or daughter. If you feel comfortable being old and having no younger, more able-bodied family around, then that is your future to determine. However, since you’re having none, somebody else’s kids are going to have to pick up the slack in your care. That is not only short-sighted, it is selfish.

  • Michelle February 20, 2013, 6:44 pm

    How refreshing! This hit the spot. I could never have said it better, though I wish I could.
    I would love to add more, but my many blessings have me busy, and I am not complaining.

  • Angela February 26, 2013, 2:35 pm


  • Molly February 28, 2013, 8:39 pm

    Good for you! You’ve put into words something I’ve felt for a long time. I recently read a young woman’s comments on a blog about working vs. staying at home with the kids. She referred to it as choosing “whether to be there for your kids or to use your brain and contribute to the world.” I was amused, but deeply saddened at this. First of all, if you find yourself bored at home, it is up to you to find ways to engage your brain. I find becoming a really good housewife and homeschooling mom to be very challenging intellectually, and I’m no slouch. But to actually think that only paid employees are contributing to the world?

    They don’t understand that the job is not wiping little noses and feeding little tummies, but creating the next generation of citizens, who have unlimited human potential. They are an investment, and as you pointed out, not just to me or my husband, but to all of society. An occasional “thanks” would be nice to hear!

  • Renee March 10, 2013, 9:25 am

    Found your blog through a post on Visionary Womanhood….I’m a “retired” registered nurse. Meaning, I decided to quit working when I had my fourth baby to stay home with my kiddos. Just wanted to say…the word picture you painted of the nursing home is more than accurate. So for any who comment that you were too harsh – I might suggest they take an entire day to volunteer at their local nursing home (or just go visit for the day) and keep your eyes open. You might find a few nicely managed, efficient, clean nursing homes that take very good care of their residents (because they are not all bad)…but for the most part…they will see your description was unfortunately pretty accurate.

    • Cindy March 11, 2013, 8:05 am

      Oh, yeah, it’s accurate. I saw it myself. There are some great homes, too, but they’re the private ones. By the time I’m old, I doubt any but the wealthiest among us will be able to afford private care once Obamacare takes care of what’s left of the system. It will all be state funded, and it will all be miserable.

  • Melissa March 11, 2013, 1:48 pm

    Thank you for saying what I don’t have the balls to say!!! I love this!!! I’m prego with number 4, due any day, and I’m starting to get those types of comments. I hope I can remember some of your clever points to bring up next time someone feels the need to “enlighten” me. Thanks again!!

  • Erin March 26, 2013, 8:11 am

    Wow – I stumbled upon your blog and love it. Funny, truthful….really enjoying it!

  • Anonymous April 21, 2013, 11:39 pm

    I would first like to say that I think children are great. It’s wonderful to have a family and I’m not saying that people shouldn’t have kids, but I don’t think the goal of the human race is/should be to keep procreating. The extinction of people is not a problem, and I don’t think it will be anytime soon. There are many problems with overpopulation in this world and a solution to that could be instead of having 5+ kids, families could have one or two. That way you can still have family to take care of you, but you don’t need to bring the world population up any more than it needs to be. I think that the original comment that brought about this post was trying to say that we don’t need to have children to keep the human race going.

    Also, I would like to say that CNAs aren’t evil. I feel that you presented them with very negative connotations. I don’t think it’s very fair to make them seem like they are all waiting to have “a little hanky-panky in the linen closet.” Even those on the night shift have feelings, lives, and reasons behind the things they do and the jobs they have.

    That’s all I have to say. I’m not hating on your opinions or views, I just thought I’d add a different way of looking at things.

  • Stuart Mather May 22, 2013, 2:08 am

    Hi all,
    Having children so enriches your life, and if they turn out well so enrich society as well. So it is completely understandable why people want to have children (Women AND Men). Yet we are but one of God’s creatures, and as the top dog, we have a duty to look after the whole of his family, not just our own species. Unfortunately at 6 billion (and counting) this poor little planet needs more humans like it needs a hole in the head. Not because we can’t grow enough food for the human population. Humans are clever creatures. We will ALWAYS be able to grow enough food. Getting it to the mouths that actually need it has- historically at least – proved more of a challenge, but even that is doable. No the real completely unavoidable reason that we should stop breeding for a while (until the human footprint on the earth is not quite so selfish) is that planet earth just refuses to get any bigger. If only for the sake of future generations who will inherit the cumulative results of all those individual impulses to breed, as compelling , and seen through the prism of the rewards of family life, as overwhelmingly positive as they are.
    The simple fact is that we now have a duty (if only to the children we don’t have, to rise above those indivdualistic impulses, or future generations will look back on us and fairly ask – ‘How could you all have been so selfish?’ Even God abjures us above all else to look after our planetary home, yet we seem far too prepared to just forget that bit and respond instead to the bit about ‘going out and multiplying’
    Remember it’s not because children and family is not so wonderful that we need to rise above those impulses. It’s because they are so utterly irresistible and fulfilling.


    • Cindy May 22, 2013, 9:25 pm

      Obviously we’re not talking about the same God, here.

      • Stuart Mather May 22, 2013, 11:01 pm

        I was referring to the Christian God. Which one do you mean?
        Actually for what it’s worth all the major human religions preach the same message about looking after the earth first and foremost. But the followers of those faiths all too often forget this because of the cultural and biological urge to breed. Ovaries and seeing how wonderful children are at every glance are pretty hard to resist after all.
        Were you referring to the God of a minor religion perhaps?
        In any case, a cursory glance through the comments is proof positive that those influences (cultural and biological) are indeed compelling, so it will be VERY difficult indeed to rise above them for the sake of our planetary home – which let’s face it, needs our help in reducing the burden this curiously wonderful species has imposed on it.
        Remember, our children depend on us rising to the challenge. And we have the wisdom to do it. As yet just not the will.
        But I’m anxious that you don’t succumb to a knee jerk condemnation impulse. And I’m nothing if not a curious fellow. So I have to ask you, if young women throughout the world continue to respond to those powerful cultural and biological influences to breed, and life expectancy continues to increase, where on earth are they all going to live and thrive, given that we are but one of millions of other species, all of whom surely also deserve to live and thrive as God (whichever God that may be for you) intended when the earth was created.

        • Cindy May 23, 2013, 7:14 am

          I mean the Christian God. The one who says he’s sovereign over these things, who said be fruitful and multiply. The one who sustains us all, and the earth, and the universe, so that the end result of my following his command is up to him, not me. And no, we don’t have the wisdom. We profess ourselves to be wise, but we are fools. As for your last question, you have access to the same resources I do for finding out that answer. Why don’t you just google “over population myth” for the relevant information and use your own noodle? 😉 I’ll get you started, though. Here’s an interesting and well done site:

          • Stuart Mather May 23, 2013, 7:49 am

            Thtat’s just it Cindy.
            ‘Be fruitful and multiply. But that doesn’t just apply to humans. The earth that whatever God you worship created had it’s own natural checks and balances.
            Simply put, populations of creations myriad species were kept in check by being eaten , disease, infant mortality etc. Only humans have dared to challenge that exquisite order by technological mastery over our environment.
            But that cleverness doesn’t seem yet t0 have come up with a means of mastering that now unchecked ‘need to breed’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m as impressed by technological wizardry as the next human. But it d0es come with special responsibilities. And as yet we just don’t seem up to the job.
            I notice you have mentioned google as if that has the required answers. Yet you seem strangely silent on what those answers actually are.
            So perhaps you could give me an example of how we can meet that challenge. Believe me, I hazard a guess that you don’t even concede that there is a problem.
            And hitherto, it’s been easy to dismiss the stock Malthusian alarmism about food security and starvation etc. It’s actually far simpler than that. Humans are becoming so numerous that they are just displacing every other species. Ultimately it will just lead to a little blue white world so overrun with humans (all with a mother and father -at least- who love them to distraction , and whose lives have been immeasurably enriched by having them. The zoos, final remnants of the rich diversity of creation, have fallen victim to dwindling gene pools, and their exhibits, who surely deserve to live in the wild (alas it’s all schools and roads and other human stuff. There are just too many of us.
            Are we all brave enough to resist the siren song of our biology and culture to breed? How long can we go on trying to use religion to justify it?

            • Cindy May 23, 2013, 7:57 am

              What challenge is it we’re supposed to meeting? Nevermind. I see what you mean. The challenge of stewardship. Mankind does have dominion over the animals, and a limited responsibility for taking care of the animals of the earth, which comes with the right to subdue it (God said that, too) but the modern notion of our “saving the planet” is a silly one. For one thing, we can’t. It’s dying because of sin. For another, the kinds of statistics and “research” that have been done in the name of ecology are nothing more than power and control schemes, so we don’t even have the kind of information we would need to know what we should do. I’d think the current implosion of the global warming narrative would be enough to make that clear. The number of people is not the problem. The fallenness of the people is the problem.

              And no, I am not “strangely silent”. I simply don’t have time to do your research for you. And I don’t use my religion to “justify” anything. I follow Christ. The God who created the Earth and said to be fruitful and multiply, to all things, as you said, didn’t rescind that order.

              • Ticia
                Twitter: TiciaAIM
                May 23, 2013, 8:21 am

                Honestly Cindy, having read this whole chain of comments, I don’t think he’s actually reading your responses.

                If anything large portions of first world countries are on the verge of collapse because people are not having enough children to replace the population. So Japan, Europe, and China are reaching a point where the retired and elderly portion of the population grossly outnumber those who are working.

                • Stuart Mather May 23, 2013, 10:58 pm

                  Isn’t the point that our Creator loved us so much that he’s hoping we get our act together and stop trying to disturb an earth that simply wasn’t designed (by that very Creator) to have humans as just one cog in a very big wheel. Nowhere in scripture do I find mention that humans are meant to overrun the planether in numbers which at tne very least are simply selfish. We’re just one species after all, yet we behave as if we are the most important.
                  Sure we’re the cleverest, but doesn’t that give us special responsibility to replace the natural checks and balances on our population set by that creator ( that we have eliminated by technological advances) with our own deliberate limits. Its as if we are humbly recognizing the magnificen ce of creation by respecting it properly.
                  Instead we just succumb to this very powerful ‘need to breed’ as if we were just any other species which also feels those biological urges just as powerfully.
                  Isn’t that why our creator gave us an intellect – to be able to respond sensibly to the challenges of having removed the natural checks and balances on our population by an act of free will over those biological and cultural compulsions? Itr really isn’t that difficult to deliberately limit family size after all. And our descendants will surely be in our debt
                  for not bequeathing them a human overrun planet.

                  • Cindy May 24, 2013, 5:53 am

                    Stuart, the Bible is where you find out what the Creator thinks of his creation. He nowhere implies any of what you say. In fact, quite the opposite, he expects us to continue to do our thing, so that he can do his thing. My blog is full of this stuff. I don’t need to repeat it.

                • Stuart Mather May 24, 2013, 5:42 am

                  How is the problem of a disproportionate percentage of elderly people sensibly addressed by just kicking the can down the road for some future generation to solve by allowing the human population to continue to increase? Don’t lose sight of the big picture. The problem is a planet overrun with humans. That’s hardly what our creator intended.
                  Granted it’s going to more difficult for a few generations as the demographics are skewed more towards the elderly. But we’re a clever industrious species. Our creator made us so. Surely we’re up for the challenge. One thing’s for certain. You don’t put out the fire by throwing more petrol on it.
                  And don’t worry. I read all the posts. It’s interesting.

  • Jenn Lyons May 23, 2013, 9:42 am

    I would ask that Stuart please show biblically, where he sees reference to showing preference to preserving our planet over God’s preference for people. Looking at the whole of scripture, I don’t see that. I see a command in the very beginning to be stewards of God’s creation. But if there is emphasis on it beyond that, I don’t know where it is. And I do humbly submit that I am not a bible “expert”. Just someone who loves God and reads His word on a regular basis.

    • Cindy May 23, 2013, 9:46 am

      That’s why I asked him which God he’s talking about. It’s most surely not the Creator God revealed in the Bible.

    • Stuart Mather May 24, 2013, 6:10 am

      That’s quite scary. Why would any human want to inherit a planet overrun with his/her kind. And it’s a bit of a giveaway that you think our creator ‘prefers humans’. That’s just pure human selfishness. We share the world God created with the other species integral to that creation. Humans aren’t better or worse than any of them. But what is abundantly clear from ourbreeding behaviour and our constant attempts to use the Bible to distort God’s central message of living in harmony with the planet that sustains all of us ( not just the human members of God’s family), is that we ignore his grand design at our peril.
      Being anthropocentric is the most dangerous human frailty of all.

      • Cindy May 24, 2013, 6:39 am

        Again, you’ve got the wrong God. God never said any of that stuff. Stuart Mather said that stuff. And Stuart Mather needs to read the Bible (correctly) if he wants to know what God thinks.