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Bonnie Ramthun

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August 19, 2013 - 12:30 pm
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I’m one of Them. I’m a mom who has more than two children. Every day I climb behind the wheel of a minivan, load my kids into the back and drive to places that I need to be because I’m the mother of four kids and if I’m not dropping off at a violin lesson I’m picking up from a sleepover or swim practice or, perhaps, as a refreshing change of pace, taking a trip to the emergency room.  Parents like me are the butt of jokes and the subject of ridicule in popular culture.  Paul Nardizzi nails the minivan angst in this clip from Comedy Central.

Written from the point of view of the depressed father, we’re treated to images of a hideously unattractive mother and hordes of screaming children driving in an aquarium-like minivan.  I found it terribly offensive, right after I finished laughing myself into hiccups.

The minivan symbolizes a family too large to fit into a sedan, and that means more than two children.  Large families are ridiculed in our society, made the object of punch-lines and stereotypes, and sometimes that ridicule spills over into malevolence and hatred. Don’t think so? Let’s take a look.

bonsminivan

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Top Rated Comments   
Whachoo be talkin' "large families"?

If you still fit in a minivan, you do NOT have a large family!

Medium sized, at best!

Large starts in the double digits.

;-)

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
If we complain about having to pay taxes to support a woman who has 5 kids with 4 different men, we are cruel and heartless. But married, self-supporting people raising future tax payers, are to be shamed? You know the problems in this country run way deeper than whoever is in the White House. We are so upside down and inside out I don't know how we can correct it.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have 4, and I'd have more if my uterus hadn't rebelled. I love my kids. I love my minivan, the life and excitement in our home. Big families are by definition most ecologically friendly than small ones, a fact I love to point out to parents of singletons. 5 families with one kid each means 5 cribs, 5 new wardrobes every few months, 5 car seats, 5 cars driving them, 5 of literally everything a human being needs. Larger families get lots of use out of each item. We only had one crib. Clothes get handed down. Leftovers getting tossed isn't much of an issue here. They share shoes and books and sports equipment. We are green by definition!

I once had a woman ask me if I knew what caused that, when I was very pregnant and out with my 3 little ones. I said "yes, and my husband and I LOVE it!" with a big smile. My stepmom is down on big families, which is funny because her only child has 4 kids too. My stepmother is a miserable person. Her daughter is not. It's anecdotal, but yes people with more kids in an intact home are happier from what I see.
48 weeks ago
48 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (83)
All Comments   (83)
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Have a few more, and they just slink away. Or maybe it's my snappy comebacks:
10. We're making a desperate attempt to save Social Security.
9. We're in charge of making the Right Wing Conspiracy a vast one.
8. We've got an obligation to the gene pool.
7. I got bad news for you, all eight of them are pro-life conservatives.
6. There are two types of birth control: the kind that doesn't work, and the kind that's really bad for you (love the expression on the OB's face when you tell him that is priceless lol)
5. We're preppers.
4. Which one do you think I should have done without?
3. Yes, we do know what causes that, do you need some pointers?
2. You know, if Sarah Palin, Dick Cheney, Rick Santorum, Karl Rove, (insert any number of names here) all got together at the Eeeeeeeevil Rethuglican Hotel and tried to come up with a way to kill off all the liberals, they couldn't do any better than the Democratic Party Platform. It's a shame that liberals want to kill themselves off, but there's only so much I can do about it.
1. You're being intolerant of my alternative lifestyle.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've used # 7 quite a few times. :D

My household will be delivering five, count 'em, FIVE, votes for conservatives this election cycle.

It will be six in 2016. ;-)
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Us too, on the votes! We were at five in 2012 also.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have to admit, I don't usually use #1 straight up; when I see someone about to bark, I chuckle blondly and say to her "You wouldn't believe the comments I get! But I just tell them they're being intolerant of my alternative lifestyle and their jaws snap shut!" and then her jaw snaps shut.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oh, I love preemptive strikes! :D

38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Speaking of tooling around in a minivan you might enjoy this "Mom My Ride" video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEFE3B0Rje0

I can confirm a social shaming in my own family's case that ranges from leaving notes on our windshield wiper, to vandalizing bumper stickers, to being approached by neighbors we've never spoken to and being told to use birth control. We can be kind of pushy when we need to be, so it hasn't been a problem, just came as a surprise at first.

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
One reason that couples choose to limit their families to one or two is the need for both spouses to work to give the family a middleclass lifestyle. Not only is childcare expensive, but also, the parents only have a few hours each day to spend with their children. They can only divide that time up so many ways without shortchanging the children.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
I agree that economics is a real factor, but I'd like to make two smaller points that may apply to many couples. 1. Sometimes after accounting for increased taxes and childcare expenses, a couple decides that the marginal increase in income isn't worth what the kids and mom sense they are missing out on. 2. Sometimes middle class families are clinging to a sense of security that isn't real. A friend of mine wouldn't agree with his wife to a third child because he didn't know if he could pay for all three to go all the way through college without debt.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Screw that! There's no money in professions these days, and paying for your own education builds character. I'll just point to a good trade school and tell 'em to pay for it themselves.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good books on the problem are The War Against Population by Jacqueline Kasun and The Fatal Misconception by Matthew Connelly. Both are a little depressing to read, as they detail the devastation wrought by supposed go-gooders, who had very little actual understanding of what they were doing.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Having a large family is just simple prudence. [http://www.politifake.org/facebookview.php?id=11004]
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Population has been going up since Columbus. That cross- pollination of American and European and African food supplies set off an exponential population boom. Some people have been bitching about it ever since.

Before that, we have plagues wiping out 1/3 of a continent's population in less than a decade, every so often. When that happened, whomever was left standing had room to expand. That would be, oh, the Muslims coming in at the end of the plagues during Justinian's reign. They encountered emptied towns, plowed fields ready for planting or harvest, sickly people, etc. Europe had 1/3 of its population wiped out by the plague from Mongolia. That changed Europe.

Right now, Russia, Romania and it's little Soviet sphere countries- the communists are dying out. Vietnam, you have to have a license for children. China- with its one child policy- that's a collapsing society. Japan- again, collapsing. Might be good for old people at peace, but it's bad for governments hungry for tax payments.

There are all these countries with failed governments or failed ethical systems or failed family policies- where there are more of "them" here in America, than "there"-wherever "there" is.

The creepy thing about the O is he's betting on the failed policies of the past, not the ones that succeed.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
And, you want disrespect? When I was pregnant last time, Spouse's main business partner called him up on the phone and said " If I saw a drowning kitten and a drowning baby, I'd save the kitten." He said " you know my wife is pregnant right now?" She ( yes, a woman!) said "Yes. I just wanted you to know that."

He quit doing business with her. He quit taking her phone calls.

How's that for evidence of social maliciousness?

I could go through my list- but I think a phone call out of the blue wins for pure evil.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
The woman in question is a freak. Think Eva Braun and Madame de Farge. Again, I believe behind every Leftist there's some kind of abnormal or alien human being who hates everyone normal. Hence the Left's well-known hatred of everything normal in American society. They hate the word 'normal' so I use it as much as possible.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I believe behind every Leftist there's some kind of abnormal or alien human being who hates everyone normal."

They're called, "demons".


There's no way Marx could have worked out such a masterful, intricate, far-sighted plan without supernatural help.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
MY wife and have but two children, as we married somewhat later and the second pregnancy was very hard on her. But I do wish we had been able to have a larger family. Family is THE point of our existence, not trying to see how closely we can model the accoutrements of our lives on the NYT's Sunday Style section.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
on the statistics of despair: the 50% divorce rate was true for five years in the mid- seventies. Silent Generation and Boomer generation marriages fall apart. Their offspring- x, millenial, and whatever else name it is? Don't even make it off the launchpad if there is the possibility of a divorce. IOW- these marriages stay together. Probaby some of the most interesting essays I've read over the past few years are X-gen longer marriage essays- they have the sound of people rebuilding their own private estate in the midst of ruins. They don't sound as public, prescriptive, triumphalist, or materialistic as previous generations' essays on marriage.

Second, the overall stats might be even. But that takes the Northeast, and averages it with the South and the West. The South and West sections have more kids- it's the "concrete gap"- there's more room in suburbs, there's more jobs in the cities next to the suburbs- there's more open green spaces for farmers and ranchers- there's more religion.

And, the religion part is key- it's more individualistic, whatever flavor it is. The Northeast handed itself over, body and soul, to collectivist religious beliefs at the turn of the 20th century. Collectivists don't have kids- they have, at most, a single, designer child. A child that is likely to be physically smaller, physically weaker, emotionally weaker. No one knows why. The main take away- that short, emotionally uneven kid is going to have a hard time in a world of taller, stronger men getting anyone to marry him and have his single, designer spawn. So, a family tree gone in three generations.

And, that having more kids. If you're having that many kids, you're not messing around with birth control. You're not on the pill, so, as a woman, you're more likely to be with a histo-compatible guy, and you're attracted to him in a very basic, animalistic way. It's "hard to quit" him. Second, you're likely not to have been experimental- again, you're pretty imprinted with that one guy. And, well, you're not likely to be using condoms. So, again, you're getting a endocrine smack injection at least once a week- that's the statistical average for married couples. It trends up for more children, down for no or one child. More kids = more sex= more bonding.

Now, put him through your monthly cycle- a few days of stay away, a few days of "omg- you are the handsomest adonis I worship" and a few days of " i hate everyone who breathes"- that guy is getting a full roller-coaster- he doesn't need an affair for emotional play. He just has to come home and eat dinner at the same table.

And, that marriage isn't playing into the psychologists' "just talk it out with lots of communication" playbook. Which is great for psychologists, sucky for everyone else. Kids interrupt the sh*t out of people. You can't have that navel-lint expedition in the middle of kids: ergo, more respect for what gets done ( a man thing) and less respect for long speeches about feelings. So, the man is getting validated as a man, for being manly, and keeping the wild Indians inside the fort under control. He might not get respect at work, but he's the Headman Chief in Charge at his address. If not, there's not another kid coming along- totem poles only show up on chiefs, not man-squaws.

39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
Eh... hate to break up the party, but to say that overpopulation is merely a myth is a little myopic. I'm a father of three myself, and I wish we had more, but facts are facts. If everyone had lots of kids, population growth would, in fact, be exponential. You can debate how long this could go on without negative repercussions, but at SOME POINT food and other resources would begin to run short.

The higher the population gets, the more we have to rely on technology to keep us afloat. Already, we are at a point globally where it is questionable whether we could feed ourselves without using high-tech farming methods (GM crops, petroleum-based fertilizers, chemical pesticides, modern farm and storage equipment, etc.). The problem with having, say, all corn grown from 2-3 different lab-created varieties is that they are highly susceptible to new infestation epidemics (fungus, disease). This is happening currently with the Cavendish bananas -- unless someone finds a cure quickly for the disease that is wiping out plantations worldwide, bananas will become an expensive delicacy.

Back in the day, most people in this country farmed using numerous varieties of heirloom plants. But things are very different now, and knowing that we are so dependent on high-tech ag for our food should give us all pause.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
European-descended nations aren't the problem--it's the Third World. I suggest you start with them.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Eh... hate to break up the party, but to say that overpopulation is merely a myth is a little myopic."

Most people have no idea how vast the planet is, or how rich its resources.

Do the math.

I won't work it out for you here, but it's simple arithmetic. We can fit the entire population of the planet into the greater Ft. Lauderdale area (the city & suburbs), with every person standing. It's pretty close to shoulder to shoulder, but we would all fit.

Obviously, that's not liveable, so let's move to Texas.

Now every man, woman, AND child gets about 1300 square feet. That's a small house. FOR EVERY PERSON.



That leaves the ENTIRE REST OF THE PLANET for growing food, mining materials, and disposing of waste. (I nominate Afghanistan for that.)

Do you REALLY think that's not enough? Really?

Okay, then let's move to Alaska. All 7 billion of us.

No, wait, the population keeps growing.

Okay, double that, and move to Alaska.


FOURTEEN BILLION HUMAN BEINGS can fit into the state of Alaska, with every man, woman, and child having 1800 square feet to call his own.

Again, leaving the entire rest of the planet open for... whatever is needed.


Overpopulation isn't a myth.

It's a lie.
39 weeks ago
39 weeks ago Link To Comment
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