Have you seen this show on TLC called 'Kids by the Dozen'? There is a marathon on today, and though I've been studying I've seen a family with 15, one with 16 and one with 13. Lots of people would call that...da da dum: SOCIALLY IRRESPONSIBLE!! Ah, the dreaded title. The horror of those who fly in the face of social norms and collective conciousness.
My grandpas both had twelve brothers and sisters, and one of my grandmas had nine. My other grandma (who is German and lived there until she was 30) has one sibling, a twin sister. My dad has one sister and my mom is an only child. I have one brother and no cousins (my dad's sister never had children). Oh what a difference a generation can make.
My grandfather has told me about how each of his brothers and sisters would help out to keep the family going. The families I've seen on television today are doing the same type of thing. It's a necessity, everyone has to pitch in to keep the family afloat. These days we don't think children should have to do much work though. Childhood is supposed to be carefree and fun. It's almost akin to abuse to have your kids changing diapers and cooking. Not to mention the horrible cruelty of second-hand clothes and toys.
I really don't know what my opinion is on all of this. I think my opinion may be that I don't really deserve to have one. After all, I don't want others to criticize my life choices. Besides what do I know about the joy or sorrows of a big family? I didn't even have to clean my own room until I was in high school, I never wore someone elses cast off clothes, and I have no idea what it means to help out or go without.
One thing that does stick out to me is the hypocracy of criticizing someone for making the decision to have a large family when we support so many "alternative" lifestyles these days. It's funny. It's okay to be gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, a swinger, masochistic, transgendered, ect. But those crazy freaks with all those kids...unacceptable.