At 13 years old, I sat in math class, happy that a special guest interrupted our pre-algebra lesson.
I had never heard of Zero Population organizations, but I was about to become indoctrinated into a line of thinking that told me I was selfish or cruel if I had more than one or two children when I grew up.
That rhetoric was repeated throughout health and science classes during the rest of my school career. For a time, I decided it would be better to have no children. When I got married, my husband and I realized that passing on our love of the world would be good for us and future generations, but I swore I would only have two kids and leave it at that. Then my marriage fell apart.
I was doing a lot of research and discovering truths that had been hidden from me, like the fact that the U.S. population growth was hitting an all-time low or how people are happier with larger families. As my career took off and I realized I needed more, the desire to have another child grew. After a divorce and meeting the true love of my life, the thought of procreating again turned into a reality. I’m now a mother of four, and my life is more fulfilling than ever.
I’m now a mother of four, and my life is more fulfilling than ever.
Throughout my education, I heard over and over again that overpopulation is a result of a lack of education. That may be true in some countries, but it misleads Americans into thinking that women only want to have a “large” family if they’re ignorant or undereducated. I hold a college degree and have a steady career that allows me to be the main breadwinner of my household. My husband and I work very hard to give our children the proper care and lifestyle they need to flourish.
My husband and I work very hard to give our children the proper care and lifestyle they need to flourish.
There’s also an idea that having children is such a financial strain that only “rich people” can afford big families. It’s true that parents need to budget to afford everyone’s needs, but it’s not as complicated as educators present. Resale shops, community exchanges, and buying in bulk easily balance the bills.
More people equals more consumption. This is a fact. It’s understandable to be concerned about having enough for everyone. Thankfully, how resources are utilized becomes more efficient as populations increase.
Thankfully, how resources are utilized becomes more efficient as populations increase.
Current energy standards have cut air pollution by 73% since 1970, while also creating new jobs and actually growing the economy. At-home recycling efforts, energy-saving practices, and backyard vegetable gardening are all ways families and individuals are doing their part. Best of all, the global poverty rate has been declining for years.
Family planning is a very personal decision. What I was taught in the public education system was not the entire truth, and it led me away from what I actually needed. It should never be up to anyone but the parents to determine what’s right for them and their family.