deciding on having another baby

I have four children myself, now all grown with their own children. Here’s my two cents on making this decision: We live in a time and place where most every family is so isolated that two opposing unreconcilable forces are created–the first is the difficulty in raising even one child in our isolated families.  We currently do not have the Haudenasaunee long house filled with grandmother and aunts and uncles and cousins or any of the other systems that non-industrial peoples figured out to raise children together. So having even one child is often an overwhelming and sometimes unworkable possibility.

The other force, also stemming from the isolation, but pushing us in the opposite direction, is our longing to be part of a supportive community.  We want to create our own little society by having as many children as we can possibly manage without going mad.

I have a tentative theory as to why our society has moved in this direction. Most native american cultures did not correct, criticize, or hit their children. They were appalled at the way europeans did. I wonder if our culture’s habits along those lines caused the development of this isolated life style. We “chose” isolation over attack.

Of course I would not send any of mine back. I love them dearly; now, forty years later, we provide support for each other, but that’s different from the reality of the forces that shape our decision to have a child.

So my thought is, if you have one child, consider how to build community with other families and take your time in making the decision.