Monday, August 06, 2007

"Four Is the New Two": The New Fashion Trend of Competitive Birthing

I certainly don't think larger families are a bad thing. They seem to teach some really important skills and attitudes. But this just seems a bit ridiculous. Listen to the audio to get the full effect.


Evers said...

What's most notable, however, is that the NPR piece is not so much about large families... it's about large wealthy families who keep birthing more kids, but also outsource them for others to take care of (nannies, etc.).

To me, that's just sad. That's coming from a father of four little ones (ages 5,3,2,1) whose mother works hard and pours out her life and soul into loving them (and homeschooling!).

Children are not an asset to be compared.

They are a blessing and a stewardship to be raised -- by parents -- in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

I fear for these children and their future. Seems like the old days of the Kennedy clan -- privileged large families.

Ben said...

Agreed. That's the heart of what makes it a fashion trend—not the size of the family or even its socioeconomic status, but the motivation for the size.

Meagan Francis said...

I just found your blog while searching "four is the new two." I had some major issues with this piece, one of which being that I thought the leap to "competitive birthing" was a pretty big one. I posted more about it here:

I don't think all the women in the feature were letting their kids be raised by nannies, were they? As I recall, a few were at-home moms...sure, some used sitters for things I might roll my eyes at, but if I had lots of money I might be more inclined to use more help to make my life a little easier. I'd still be the one raising my kids, though! And I thought it was funny that the reporter said that four kids takes an "impossible" amount of energy, time and money. Well, it must be "possible", or else many of us wouldn't be here!

Ben said...


I'm not anti-nanny, and I'm certainly not anti-large family. It does seem as though at least some of the people in the audio piece describe a personal desire to validate their worth relative to others by the size of their family. That seems unhealthy to me. But, of course, I wouldn't exclude the possibility that NPR could have slanted the story. I know that's hard to believe--that NPR would do such a thing--but I have to admit the possibility.