Once I was talking with a fellow mum about whether she planned to have a third child, and she said that the answer was no, particularly as her husband was concerned about the overpopulation of the world and the environmental footprint too many people bring to it.
It made me wonder if people think that about me, for having four children. Especially as I’d have six of them if age and cash was on my side. What would they think of me then?
I mean, it’s a good argument, and a perfectly valid, responsible reason for not having more children. But there’s another way to think about adding more babies to the population, and this is the argument I would use if I had to justify having another one myself.
You see, I’m committed to making really good little people, and from what I can see, this world needs more of those.
I know I can’t control exactly how my children turn out and what they end up doing with their lives, but my influence and the way I raise my kids is going to impact the type of person they grow to be. And I can tell you, I’m hellbent on creating kind, respectful, responsible people, that will one day counteract all the arsehats in the world that I come across, every day.
The rude people in the street with no manners, the ones that text while they drive, and don’t get me started on the internet trolls who exist in all corners of the world. These people make me question the state of the world, and I don’t plan on bringing children up to be like them. If they do, they’ll know how I feel about it!
These are the qualities I’m instilling in my kids:
This extends beyond remembering to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Good manners are needed everywhere and they seem to be going out of fashion these days … or is that just me sounding old? Regardless, using manners every day is such a nice thing. Saying excuse me, not being a queue jumper and always saying thank you to the bus driver when you disembark. Nice. You know how sometimes you get surprised by the kind stranger who holds a door open for you, or an extra nice customer service person? It gives you a buzz, right?
Read more on having another baby:
- 7 perks of having four or more kids
- Honestly, my fourth child practically raises herself
- 6 signs you’re ready for another baby
I want my kids to believe that being kind is one of the most important traits you can have, because it counts for so much. Being kind means you think about others and even put their needs before your own. It means you respect other people and care about their feelings. Without encouraging them to be doormats, I’ll be showing my kids how to be kind and generous little people who are always willing to help someone who needs it.
They’ll be feminists
With three boys in the family, I’m raising these ones to be respectful of women. Plus, having been through my share of heartbreaks over dodgy blokes, I’ll be telling them exactly how they need to treat the partners that end up coming into their lives. For my daughter, I’ll be encouraging her to support the feminist cause and find her place in the world accordingly.
They’ll be real contributors to the world
I’m encouraging my kids to think about how they can help the world and talking about the different types of work they can do that will enable that. So far, my eldest wants to be the lead singer of a punk band, and I guess that’s a contribution of sorts…At the end of the day, they’ll choose the career they want to pursue, and I will be encouraging them to see this as not only a career path but a way of contributing to their community, so hopefully this will be a consideration.
They’ll hold others accountable
My hope as they get older is that they’ll hold those around them accountable by simply being their beautiful selves. I want them to stand up to bullies and reach out to kids who feel marginalised. I want them to speak up if they feel something isn’t fair and I’ll encourage them to be assertive, but never aggressive with their opinions. I want them to grow into adults who will pull up a friend’s behaviour if he’s disrespectful to women, and vice versa.
It’s up to me how I role model for my kids and while I can’t one hundred percent control how they turn out, I know I’ll be instilling good values in them as they grow up, simply by practicing what I preach. That’s got to count for something.