Why It’s Becoming Cool To Have “Only” One Kid

February 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm

As the world becomes increasingly overpopulated, women should be applauded rather than harassed for having “only” one child

Credit: ScaryMommy.com

My grandmothers bore seven Baby Boomer children each between the 1940s and 1960s. My mother’s generation seemed to produce an average of three offspring each during the 1980s.

Nowadays, most of my friends seem to have two. But more and more, I’m meeting people like myself, who’ve decided to call it quits after one.

Let me tell you why I think this is awesome and hope to see more of it.

Imagine what would happen if every woman on earth had an average of 7 children, generation after generation.

If each of my grandmother’s children had seven children, she would’ve had 49 grandchildren. If each of them had had seven, she’d have 343 great grand children, and so on, until in just 10 generations she had 300 million descendants.

It’s called exponential math, and it adds up really quick.

RELATED: The Population Bomb is Ticking: Humanity’s Greatest Shortcoming is Our Failure to Understand the Exponential Function

Thankfully, the birth rate has slowed way down since the Baby Boomer generation… not because we were intelligent enough to foresee the dire consequences of exponential population growth, but because as natural resources start dwindling and becoming more expensive, more of us think twice about bringing babies into poverty.

You ever wonder why the price of everything goes up and up and up? Because there are more and more people on Earth every year competing for fewer and fewer resources like food, clean water, fuel, etc.

Inflation is about more than just the Federal Reserve Bank screwing us over (although it is doing just that). It’s about accounting for the fact that there are more and more people in the system needing money and the things that it buys.

The trouble is, the population bubble can’t keep growing forever. Eventually it has to collapse.

In ecology, this is called population overshoot. It usually happens when a species reaches the top of the food chain and has no predators and/or has a temporary food surplus.

When a species continues to double its population unchecked, it suddenly discovers, one generation too late, that it has overshot the land’s carrying capacity, and a large percent of the population dies suddenly of starvation.

I’ve discussed how agriculture inherently leads to population overshoot in other articles, and how humans are only a few generations away from collapse if we don’t reign in our biological impulse to breed ASAP.

Crunch the numbers yourself and then watch this Ted Talk on why one is not the loneliest number when it comes to the average number of children women should be having until we bring the population down to a sustainable level:

Once, we reach that number, which some estimate is about 2 billion, we can resume with the replacement rate of an average 2.1 children per woman.

This might sound like an outlandish proposal at first. I remember shuddering with horror when I learned about China’s 1-child-only policy.

“What kind of  terrible government forces women to have an abortion if they end up pregnant with more than their ‘fair share’ of kids?” Americans thought.

While I hope we don’t have to resort to something as awful sounding as government monitoring of pregnancies and forced abortions, I see now how pre-agricultural tribes had to work together and agree upon the number of children it could bear and support.

They understood the carrying capacity of their hunting and gathering ranges and practiced natural means of birth control and perhaps even infanticide if it looked like they were getting close to exceeding it.

If you think infanticide is terrible, consider that it’s much more humane than allowing children to slowly starve later in life, as close to 10 million do each year today. Thankfully we have much more humane birth control and natural birth control options available today.

This is now an issue we have to talk about on a global scale if we want to put the brakes on Earth’s 6th mass extinction and avoid total ecological collapse.

We need to educate ourselves and our neighbors and our neighboring countries about natural birth control and the one-child-per-woman-on-average goal.

This doesn’t mean every woman has to have one child. Surely there are plenty of women who don’t desire to have any children, and some who might prefer to have two, or even three.

Our rule of thumb for women who want to have children could be, have only one unless you find a friend who will pledge not to have any to offset your two, or two friends to offset your three.

If we could organize this in a voluntary way, on a global scale, we could avert the sudden die off of billions of people that we are currently on track for in the next century or so.

Perhaps governments could start paying women to not have kids, rather than paying us to have them, if not enough women volunteered.

To those of you who had your heart set on a whole flock of children to keep you and each other company, consider making more adult friends and raising your children together.

We can recreate modern tribes — communities where adults might outnumber children for a while and children can grow up surrounded by friends who feel like siblings.

Not only will this help us avoid population collapse, it will make it easier for us to give each child the love, attention and resources he or she needs to thrive.