This is a question I have asked myself a lot this week. What does it really mean to be pro life.
I am not sure how many people know the Duggar family.
The Duggar Family website
This week Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar announced they are having their 18th child.
It is wonderful to read about a family that is so devoted to God and willing to go against the usual anti life culture that our society has.
I go on a couple of message boards. One is for parents of diabetic children and the other one is a Catholic one. I suppose I expected to read some criticisms on the diabetes board since it isn't a religious site but I certainly didn't expect to read it on a Catholic board from people that profess to be Catholic.
Many false arguments have been put forward against the Duggar family. First they are selfish. I really don't know how any mother and father sharing life with so many children could be called selfish. They would have to work mighty hard to have that many children and look after them all. So then others say well no they don't look after their children. A baby is assigned a buddy and the bigger child raises the baby. The parents don't parent the children at all. When told that the children are not in fact raising the babies, but helping out, many will still insist that they are and that the parents are guilty of neglecting these children in some way or giving the older children too much responsibility.
I think that this is all very untrue.
As the mother of a large family my children all have regular chores. They all have to chip in and help. A family with 17 children would have to do it more so.
My children's chores are:
Madeline has to maintain our living room. She is responsible for cleaning the computer table, the TV buffet and lounge chairs every evening. She is responsible for sweeping and mopping the floor as needed and she is responsible for putting everything that doesn't belong in the lounge room away.
Brigette is responsible for hanging the washing and keeping the laundry tidy.
Tom and Amelia are responsible for taking all dirty clothes from the bathroom's and bedrooms to the laundry. They are responsible for clearing the table after each meal.
Christopher helps either Madeline or Tom and Amelia during the family work time.
Our older two boys, Daniel and Sam, both work part time as well as attend school. Because they work part time I probably don't expect them to do as much as the other children. They have a roster where they do the kitchen three nights a week each. I am responsible for this on the night that they are not rostered.
Other chores that they do. I fold all the washing but they all need to put it away including Christopher. Christopher carries it to his bedroom and I help him sought it into the different boxes. They are responsible for making their beds. Brigette tends to help Amelia who still has a little trouble with this and Tom helps Christopher. They are all responsible for putting away anything they get out. If Christopher unpacks a bag of blocks, I will ask him to pick them up when he has finished. If any child watches a video they are suppose to put it away.
All these things are teaching my children how to serve. I believe when children are taught to serve they are happier. They don't look for fulfillment in materialistic things. I know that when I stop serving the family in the way I should, I become unhappy and feel guilty. I also know that it has an affect on the rest of the family and the children are harder to motivate to do their chores. When everyone works together we all feel a bond and the joy that comes from having everything together.
Anyway I digress. The Duggar family would have to manage every detail and expect all their children to do their part in helping the family run smoothly. In giving out these chores and expecting their children to help no matter how much, is not neglectful. It is making them responsible and giving them a sense of self worth that no amount of saying positive things could.
This is what being pro life is. It is bring children into the world and teaching them how to live life. Children need responsibility and a good loving home. To have children and not place responsibility on their shoulders really is what is neglectful. The child that has no responsibility really has no purpose. A child with no purpose has no self esteem. That is most definitely neglecting a child.
I thank God everyday for my 7 children. I am very very conscious that God has greatly blessed me in giving Steve and I all these children.