I spent four years in Wales. During that time we went from the “normal” sized family of 2 children to four children. It was interesting to note what change meant for our family. We were now looked at as being “too big” according to some.
There was a great deal of prejudice by people who thought somehow we just did not get it. It was almost like we were overpopulating the earth by ourselves.
Of course what may not have been obvious from this post so far is that our 3rd and 4th were twins. But in the UK families of more than two are nearly extinct. Considering that in 1991 there was only 4.7% of families with 3 or more children under the age of 16 it certainly shows a surprising low amount.
I can only assume over the last 17 years has not been kind to that statistic. Especially when one considers that their replacement rate has dropped to 1.8 (in otherwords there are more people dying in Britain than being born).
So what does all this have to do with anything.
Well when we returned to Canada we have now found that once again it is hard to do things as a large family, restrictions we felt in Wales are growing here.
“Family” passes generally do not include all of our family (now at six kids).
Vehicles are slowly being modified to smaller and smaller sizes. Finding a minivan over seven seats these days is impossible. So either you buy a gas guzzler like the new BIG vans that GMC is hawking or you find something older.
These are small things compared to the looks you get when you say you have six kids. There is an almost a sense of pity associated with it outside the church. Needless to say not being the biggest family in our ward this year is somewhat refreshing.
Now in looking at that I had a very stark comparison brought out to me as I considered this.
My parents had four kids. Two of which have stayed active members in the church.
Total number of grandkids – 10 (My active sister and I account for them all)
Total number of great grandkids – (3+2) My sisters kids have had 3 so far with 2 more on the way.
In otherwords because of our family orientation as active church members our family is growing. Those not in the church are not.
So my question is will those that do not believe in having children or having only 1 or 2 effectively not breed themselves out of existence? BIG FAMILIES RULE!
Just kidding. But the first half of my argument remains, do we as LDS people or even other faiths feel a sense of shunning because we believe in larger families? That is my real question.
My second and related question is this a faith question, in other words do only people of faith have big families generally speaking?