Babies are in the news. Actually, one baby is in the news: the birth of Prince George Alexander Louis of Cambridge, 3rd in line to the British throne. Everyone is delighted: his great-grandmother, the Queen; his grandfather, the Prince of Wales; his parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge; and the British public (allowing for a few republican grumbles.)
Only one other monarch in our history, Queen Victoria, has posed for a photo of four generations and it will be a moving replication of that famous Victorian photo when our Queen sits down in Buckingham Palace with three successive male generations to record this event for history.
Not wanting to be the bad fairy at this feast of goodwill flowing out to Little Prince George (the future George VII) and point out that not all pregnancies in our society are followed with such excitement or anticipation, I will merely say the news gives a momentary pause to all the pessimistic bulletins we read of anti-natal hostility and demographic decline. But it does give thought to, literally, larger questions: if one baby can be greeted with such visible delight, not least by the media, why don’t we give more applause when this delight is multiplied – er, many times?
LifeSiteNews has an interesting story this week by Rachel Cox: “My body my choice”: So what about the choice to have a large family?”
The article focuses on the rather extraordinary Duggar family. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, who are devout Christians, have 19 children, all bursting with life (and starting to have children of their own). What’s not to like? Lots, according to comments quoted in the article. I won’t say the commentators are necessarily feminists, but they are certainly pessimists. “Please stop reporting these freaks”; “These people are repulsive”; “These people are despicable”; “These people need to be spayed and neutered” are only some of the charming responses to the news that one happily married couple in Arkansas has decided to take the phrase “open to life” very literally. I was going to write “Good luck to them!” but really the response should be “God bless them.” Indeed, God has blessed them – 19 times, as I am sure they know.
Cox adds: “There is nothing abnormal about having babies. That’s what women’s bodies do!…Contrary to what our culture says, it’s perfectly natural to have as many children as nature allows. If the Duggars want to have as many kids as possible, more power to them, and they shouldn’t be judged hatefully for it.”
Alongside this, Family Edge has run an article by Shannon Roberts, “Feeding children on a budget”, concerning the Stroud family of New Zealand.
Karen Stroud and her husband have nine children and are expecting their 10th. Karen manages to feed them all healthily on ten New Zealand dollars for the evening meal. A YouTube clip shows her shopping with her family for mushrooms, peas, bacon, cheese, cream, eggs, garlic and pasta and producing a tasty dish of pasta carbonara which her family clearly appreciates. She says she has 15 good, simple, inexpensive recipes like this and offers tips to others struggling with their own budgets, such as: buy in bulk, buy the supermarket home brands and go to specialist fruit and vegetable shops rather than buy these items at a supermarket.
The article concludes with a coy question: “Might William and Kate see this article and be encouraged to have more darling babies of their own?” Let’s hope so; what an example it would set the country if they chose to welcome a large family.