Meghan - posted on 02/22/2010 ( 158 moms have responded )
Pamela Paul wants a third child.
Writing in the Washington Post about her desire to have a “sprawling” family like the one she grew up in—“with seven brothers, real and step”—Paul mused about the high cost of raising a child these days: $204,060 according to a new federal estimate.
In many expensive American cities and suburbs, Paul noted, a third child has become “an ostentatious display of good fortune,” on behalf of the decreasing number of parents who can afford to feed, clothe, and educate the “luxury good” known as baby number three.
But while Paul considered the economic impact of having a third child, some irate readers excoriated her about what they say is the environmental impact of a bigger family.
“The oceans are dying, the oil is almost gone,” wrote one reader. “Large families are criminally irresponsible in such a desperate time.”
“More than two kids per couple means you are not just replacing yourself on the planet,” wrote another. “You are claiming more of the Earth’s resources for your family simply because it will be ‘fun.’”
Selfish…stupid…killing the planet with your overproduction of children. The baby shower of criticism stunned Paul, who wondered in a follow-up article why she—who viewed herself as a responsible mother who recycled, conserved water, and didn’t even have a car—was being accused of “destroying” another mother: Earth. “Golly,” Paul wrote. “I’m not even pregnant yet.”
“The days of big families should be over,” responded a critic. “Get a dog from an animal shelter instead.”
Tell us what you think: Do you believe that having a third child brings the pitter-patter of little feet, or the destructive carbon footprint of the future? When it comes to having more children, is three an irresponsible crowd?