Tuesday, October 26, 2010

So When Are You Going to Give Him A Sibling?

Australia National University did a poll about population growth in Australia.  It's been reported in a few Aussie news sources. If you go to the university site, you can download the actual report. I'm looking at it now.

52% of Australians want Australia's population to stay the same size, or shrink.  You know a good way to shrink the population?  Cannibalism!  That would WORK!  Zombies might be the right path.  

44% of Australians want the population to keep growing. They want more Aussies.

It's interesting to read the arguments for and against. I think they both have good points. For example, those in favor of population growth say they need more skilled migrants for economic growth. That makes sense. If there are shortages in jobs (for example....doctors) bring some people over.  But then the counter-argument is train OUR people instead of bringing over newbies.  You know though, that makes sense in some career-areas.  It's kind of a supply and demand thing.  There are some jobs that a lot of people want....like cooking show host or rockstar.  But then there are other areas where people are needed, and not enough are showing up. In that case, Australian citizens AND newbies are probably needed.

The survey asked people if couples should take the environment into account when family planning.   The highest percentage of respondents said families should have as many children as they want.    The next most popular response was that families should consider having just two kids. The least popular response was having families consider having NO children. I think I'd pick all of the above, probably.  I think people should seriously consider their options. I know of happy couples who have chosen to have no children. This is a choice that works well for some people, and it's nice on the environment. Some people want to have a house full of children.  Some people are happy with two or three.  In our family, we love having one child.  Different strokes for different folks.

The Australians in the survey prefer to increase population with Aussie baby making rather than accepting more immigrants.  Am I racist if I say I'm sympathetic to that?  

It would be nice if the rest of the world could take care of their own people. Then Australia could be made up of mostly of Australians. This wouldn't be all white people with British/Irish heritage.   There'd be Aboriginal people, Asian people, Middle-Eastern people, Swedish people, Americans who are luckier than me, etc.   Australia already HAS a great mix of people. They really don't need anymore from elsewhere. That's my opinion.

HOWEVER.....

Australia might not need new people, but new people need Australia....just like some people are needing America.  There's a lot of people in the world who NEED a place to go. It's nice to open up your doors and heart to them.

I should put my money where my mouth is and adopt a bunch of children.

I should, but I won't.

Australians surveyed said if people ARE going to come over from elsewhere, it's preferable that they be skilled migrants rather than refugees.  This is a bit silly to me. You can TRAIN refugees to be skilled migrants. Maybe there's a training/education shortage?  Is that the problem?   Well, you'd also have to get the migrants out of the detention centers. Or you could train them IN the detention centers.

I'm assuming someone has already thought of that, and it's being done. I'm trying to get information via Google, but I'm kind of not sure what search terms to use.

Sorry.

Lots of people are concerned about old people in Australia, and the fact that there shall be MORE old people in the future.  Maybe legalized euthanasia would help? I know that sounds awful.  I'm not in support of a Logan's Run type thing. I promise.   But some people WANT to die.  If your health is failing and you want a doctor to help you have a peaceful death, is that so wrong?   I guess the concern would be that people would pressure other people to off yourself.  You really do complain about your arthritis a lot. We love having you around, but do you ever wonder if it's worth all the pain?  You know there's a way you could make a HUGE reduction in your carbon footprint.     

The thing is though....as I said before....different strokes for different folks. Some people get cancer and immediately want a Game Over.  They don't want to deal with any of it. Other people like to play and play. They play through the pain. They fight and fight.

It's just like the baby-making thing.  Does Australia need to make it unlawful to have many kids?   I don't think so.  People want different things. Someone might want ten babies.  This is probably fine, because there's not a lot of other people wanting the same thing. There are many people who can balance it out by wanting only one child, or no children.

I'm going to stop reading the poll, and whine about the crap I've encountered from people. People judge you on the number of children you have (or don't have). I know I'm not alone in this. I think it happens to EVERY adult.

We got a lot of pressure about having more babies after Jack was born.  Most of it came from my parents, probably. That died down eventually, after I reached a certain age.   I think people realized it wasn't going to happen.   I also think it helped that I had a younger sister talking about her future baby-making. She kind of took some of the pressure off of us.

People have annoying arguments about why you need to throw away the birth control pack.   See, it doesn't matter that you don't want a child. You need to give your child a sibling!   It's horrible not to.  Okay.   Can you imagine being born to parents who didn't want you, but had you anyway for the sake of your brother or sister?    That's a bit nuts.   Jack has never much wanted a sibling, but if he did....forget it!   This is not like asking for a new video game or donut at the grocery store. People tell you not to spoil your child, but then you're supposed to base your family planning around yiour child's desires?

Another argument I heard from a friend (with three kids of her own) is that you need more kids because how sad it would be if your only child died.    Yes, because if I had five kids and one died, I'd simply shrug my shoulders and say One down, but four more to go.
 
It would be nice if people could be accepting of other people's choices.  And if not, we should at least try to refrain from making rude comments. It might also be a good idea though if we don't get paranoid. The other day my sister wrote me this sweet email thanking me for my help. She said I love having sisters!    For a brief second I thought....wait, is that some kind of passive aggressive dig at the fact that she has two boys and I only have one.?  Is she trying to make me feel bad about not giving Jack a brother or sister?   I quickly shut my paranoid self up and decided it was most probable that my sister was simply and truly being NICE.   

I love having one child.  We're lucky in that Jack doesn't have siblings, but he does have cousins that he's VERY close to.   My family is very close.  It's stressful and psychologically traumatic for me sometimes, and wonderful at other times.   We're kind of like the Aboriginals in the way our family works.  Well....not exactly.   But I see my nieces enough to feel not robbed out of having daughters.   I think of them as my little girls.   We don't go as far as having them call me mom, but I definitely feel I'm an important part of their lives.    And in addition to Jack, I have two other fantastic little boys.   I have another niece (on Tim's side) but sadly we don't see her too often.   It's a shame because they're unschoolers like us.   We really need to go see them.  

I'm rambling. I should probably shut up.