To think that larger families should be classed as 4 dcs or more?

(78 Posts)
notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 09:03:59

The larger families thread is meant to be for families with alot of children. I have bookmarked it as a favourite topic but it seems mostly about going from 1-2 or 2-3. It's all people asking advice. 3 children is not a large family, I have 5 which I don't particularly see as large, 15 is large. The amount of times I've heard '5?! I can't cope with 2'. That doesn't need to be repeated over and over on a larger families forum.

My mum has 7. That's quite large grin

devilishmangerdanger Mon 03-Dec-12 09:07:54

I agree, I have never ventured on the board as I feel 6 is not enough, might take a peek now lol

devilishmangerdanger Mon 03-Dec-12 09:09:56

DH is one of ten. My dad is one of eight. My grandad was one of thirteen. My sil's DH is one of 16.

TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Mon 03-Dec-12 09:11:38

Maybe people who have two and are thinking about having a third would like advice from people who have more children. (if so I'd assume that they want to be told that having 3 is easy peasy and they should definitely do it smile )

YABU to say that you think people shouldn't be able to post on a section because they don't fit your criteria.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 09:12:36

I wouldn't bother devilish. It's only people asking for advice on how to cope with 2, trying for number 3 or how many car seats fit into an estate. I always start reading with hope then realise again it is not posted by a mumsnetter with a large family.

I agree I dont go on the larger families board because most of the threads seem to be about "should I have dc2/3/4 etc" which I just want to say "seriously you expect US to tell you?!?"

TrillsCarolsOutOfTune Mon 03-Dec-12 09:13:22

Also please bear in mind that many posters use "Active Conversations" or "Last 15 minutes" rather than browsing via the sections, so if a thread comes up with an interesting-looking title they may click it without worrying about what section it is in.

(this applies to replying to threads, not starting them)

I'm technically the oldest of ten as my sperm donor went on to have 3 after leaving my mum.

My mum is the youngest of 10.

I haven't really seen large family posts on here.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 09:16:51

Yes I know IABU but I would love to go on there and get some advice for once rather then giving it. People wouldn't do that on the other specialised forums. But I am constantly asked how I cope in rl as well!

libelulle Mon 03-Dec-12 09:18:30

I think you sound like you're boasting and you really want the board to be a competition about how many kids you can cope with while still saying 'oh haha you can't cope with 6? try 10'. How bloody pointless. To me, 3 is a big family in terms of the logistics of modern life (yes, cars to start with). And how patronising and unpleasant you sound with your 'only people asking for advice about how many car seats fit into an estate'.

I'm one of 7, plus I have another half-brother and two step-sisters. I'd say that was a big family.

My step-dad is one of 7, and I think his dad is one of 12!

honeytea Mon 03-Dec-12 09:19:56

But 3 children is a larger than average family.

devilishmangerdanger Mon 03-Dec-12 09:20:44

top far my sil's DH family have done it lol

It is a shame because MN as a whole is quite hostile to larger families in my experience !. I asked to have a post removed once (under an old username) because I posted that I had had a really hard day and the level of hatred, swearing and criticism directed towards me because apparently I clearly wasnt coping (it was one bad day) and I shouldnt have had so many children was massive.

D0G Mon 03-Dec-12 09:23:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

devilishmangerdanger Mon 03-Dec-12 09:25:46

but 4 kids, mam and dad, how do you fit them in an estate with car seats?

libelulle Mon 03-Dec-12 09:30:07

well I don't see what you mean D0G, no - 4 IS a large family, even though it wasn't 100 years ago. Why on earth not post there if you want support with something to do with your family logistics or dynamics? Is the oneupmanship that bad?

MissCellania Mon 03-Dec-12 09:37:40

LargER families, not LARGE. So larger than the average, which is what, 2?

So 3 or 4 is larger.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 10:10:44

Libelulle there's nothing I need to say to you

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 10:14:46

My point is people with larger families have said they are put off posting in there which is a shame. It's not about boasting. There is no one in rl who would call me mean or nasty. So I don't know how that conclusion was madehmm

Aboutlastnight Mon 03-Dec-12 10:15:19

I have three and find some advice on the larger families thread quite useful.

I could 't give a monkey's how many children the other posters's not like you get a medal for having 6 kids

Annunziata Mon 03-Dec-12 10:19:41

3 is quite large nowadays though.

DH only has 3 siblings, I used to think it was such a small family!

15 though. Jesus. 6 is enough for me. I'm one of 8 though.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Mon 03-Dec-12 10:23:29

It puts people off posting? Really? Then you need to look at yourself - not others.

Fifis25StottieCakes Mon 03-Dec-12 10:23:32

My family feels large but is deffo not, 3 dd's although they fight so much i feel like i have got 10 kids.
Im frequently seen pulling my hair out and cursing in the toilet.
I would not cope with anymore than 3 kids and would get sterelised if they would let me. I go to great length's to make sure i do not get pregnant
DC4 would be a disaster.

YuleBritannia Mon 03-Dec-12 10:24:31

No wonder this country is becoming overpopulated.

<sits waiting for criticism>

WiseKneeHair Mon 03-Dec-12 10:26:21

People's definition of a large family is often one more child than they have. I have 3 DC and don't see that as large, however, the thought if four makes me shock
Surely, however, there is nothing stopping you starting a thread about your family, OP?

Tailtwister Mon 03-Dec-12 10:30:07

I suppose it depends on your personal experience. A lot of our friends have gone on to have 3 and that seems like the most popular number around here. The largest family I have personally known was 5 and that was considered large at the time (70's/80's).

libelulle Mon 03-Dec-12 10:30:20

because you sounded utterly dismissive of problems such as deciding whether to have a third child or how to fit three car seats into a car, as if they were somehow unfitting topics for a 'large families' board. That sounded mean and unpleasant, sorry but I don't see how else to interpret that comment.

I post a lot on the prematurity boards because my son was born at 26 weeks. Your comments to me are akin to me going there and saying 'oh no, this board is overrun with comments from parents of 36 weekers, this is not on and the board should be reserved for those with babies born under x weeks'. That would not be acceptable, so why should it be ok to imply that the larger families board should be reserved for families over a certain size? It isn't, and to suggest otherwise IS oneupmanship.

The logistics start to get more difficult with three dcs onwards. I have three. I don't think of it as a large family but it's certainly not small either grin
I think this thread is unecessarily snippy tbh.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 10:38:16

We are not talking about premature babies though. You wouldn't post to say what's it like there would you? It's completely different.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 10:40:08

I agree northern lurker. It's a shame it's ended up like that

flowery Mon 03-Dec-12 10:40:49

"I would love to go on there and get some advice for once rather then giving it. "

Well you're not forced to give advice on any thread, so don't if it's becoming too much.

What's stopping you asking for advice, or are you not getting help when asking?

Flowery the problem is asking for advice most replies are along the lines of "you have too many kids " or " I don't know how you cope" I was once told I was "fucking selfish" for making my kids share a room grin

libelulle Mon 03-Dec-12 10:49:00

It was a direct parallel, let me spell it out. You want to reserve the board for people with a certain number of children, implying that having less than this does not qualify as a 'large' family. This is exactly like me saying that I want to reserve the prem board for parents of babies less than x number of weeks, implying that being born after this is not a 'proper' prem. It's the same.

To me, 3 kids is a large family, therefore that qualifies to post on the board, even if the problems are not the same as having 15 kids. Likewise, 36 weeks IS a prem baby even though the issues and worries are very different to 26 weeks. It is not a competition.

And actually people do often post on the prem boards to ask about what it is like having a prem baby if they are in the position where they might be having one in future or know someone who is having one. Why should they not? Most of the mn boards ARE about asking advice from those able to give it, I don't get why this is a problem. If you don't want to give advice, then don't, and if you have a problem you need help with, then why not post about it?!

libelulle Mon 03-Dec-12 10:49:49

Well if you don't like the answers you are getting, that's a different issue. But it's got nothing to do with people posting about the problems with having 3 kids.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 10:50:18

I agree dcs. You ask for advice and someone will chip in with 'dont have so many then' or like earlier ' no wonder Britains overpopulated'.

MrsDeVere Mon 03-Dec-12 10:51:41

If you have more than 2 children you are not allowed to moan or have a grumble. Mothers of large families are expected to shut up and get on with it because they chose to have 'all those kids'

This doesn't seem to cross over AIBU where women who are pissed off with the man the chose to marry/live with are allowed to rant to their heart's content (I am not talking about abusive situations).

I technically have a large family because I have 5 children. But one is dead and one has moved out so I don't go on those boards either.

My OH is the youngest of 12 grin

DontHaveAtv Mon 03-Dec-12 10:58:08

I have 7 children and yes that is a large family, but it doesn't feel like it to me because Im used to it. I can see how someone with 3 children face some problems like needing a bigger car, so can't see the harm in posting questions about it.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Mon 03-Dec-12 11:00:43

I don't get why the OP thinks its her decision to choose what is a larger family.

If you feel you have a large family then crack on. MNHQ haven't put a number on it. Why should anyone else.

I have 2, never been on the larger family board. If I were to have another that would be a large family to me.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 11:05:06

I didn't say it was my decision. I also said I have 5 & I didn't see that as large. I shouldn't have posted on aibu, I forgot that it tends to get like this.

BarbecuedBillygoats Mon 03-Dec-12 11:05:47

I have 4 and feel I have. Small large family. I have friends with 8,9,10 though

I think 4 or more counts though because that's the point things tend to change. Bigger car, people commenting etc

OwlLady Mon 03-Dec-12 11:07:45

I don't know how people afford more than 2. I have 3
can't afford themgrin

Pandemoniaa Mon 03-Dec-12 11:08:43

I can see where the OP is coming from but equally, don't think it is helpful to get overly-prescriptive about who qualifies for certain sections of the board. To me, having a third child would have felt like having a larger family. It would certainly have meant quite significant decisions would have been necessary about bigger houses/childcare/work and transport.

On the other hand, I had a friend who had 13 children and she was very scathing about anyone with less than 8 children claiming to have a large family. But sometimes, the practical advice you want is as applicable to 3 as it is to 13.

BalloonSlayer Mon 03-Dec-12 11:13:17

Well I have 3 DCs, which is more than most of my friends and family. I know a couple of families with 4, and one with 5.

I do not consider 3 to be a large family. I'd say 5+

I'd say 3 DCs is quite a small family actually.

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Mon 03-Dec-12 11:15:56

I only felt like I had a large family when I had five (I have six now)

When I had three it seemed really small! Even now I sometimes look at them altogether and think, 'nah there's not that many of them really' grin

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 11:18:05

I do the same May, especially when it's quietsmile

OP I think I'd agree that "larger families" is probably 4 or more dc. 3 is maybe more than the average but still not really that unusual.

But for some I guess the logistics of having 3 might be a bit much and so the appropriate place to ask for help would indeed be the "larger families" board.

<gets comfy on fence grin>

libelulle Mon 03-Dec-12 11:23:44

But your thread title was 'to think that larger families should be classed as 4dcs or more?' - what is that if not you deciding what a large family counts as?!

Someone has a large family if they think they have a large family. To some that might be 2, to others 15. It is no-one else's business to decide that, and certainly not to dismiss their problems or argue that they shouldn't be posting just because you don't think they 'qualify' as a large family.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 11:37:01

Okay libelulle. You win if that makes you feel better. I don't see the need for a fight. Especially as it was left & you keep going back to it again & again. I don't think it's necessary but as you say that's just what I think. I was asking for people's opinions not saying I ruled mumsnet. If that was the impression I gave then it was not what I meant. Sorry for any confusion caused.

libelulle Mon 03-Dec-12 11:40:27

I wasn't up for a fight either, and I'm sorry if I started one. I have a friend with 6 and it does feel with her like no-one else's problems with their children can possibly be anything compared to hers, so that is why your thread hit a raw nerve!

IwishyouaMerryChristmas Mon 03-Dec-12 11:45:05

Surely it's all relative?

I'm an only child and now have 2 children, so my immediate family i.e our household is larger than the one that I grew up in.

That being the case, my family (household) is larger than the one the generation before so if I feel like it I assume that I qualify and can thereofore post in larger families!

This thread is all rather silly really isn't it?!

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 11:48:13

I'm not like that which is why I always do give advice. But it just seems like when you ask for some advice people say well you shouldn't have so many then. I know I should ignore but it happens in rl alot too. To the point where I don't bother going to mum & baby groups. I know I should just ignore but easier said then done. It seems people say things to make themselves feel better about not having so many ifyswim.
Everyone has bad days, I don't think I'm better then anyone else because I've got more then the average.

lovestotravel Mon 03-Dec-12 11:50:19

I personally think anything over 2 dc's is a large family - I have definitely noticed in the past 10 years amongst our peer group a shift towards having 3/4/5 children which isgreat if you can afford it but for us it would not be the tight decision as it would have a messive impact on our lifestyle and what we could provide for our DD.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 11:50:41

True Iwishyou but was just something on my mind from all the comments I get.

EdgarAllanPond Mon 03-Dec-12 11:51:31

i'd think 4 was large enough - 3 is still within what most consider normal.

honeytea Mon 03-Dec-12 11:52:07

I think it also depends on if you are a single parent, a mum with 3dc by herself probably has a much harder time practically than a couple with 4 dc.

lovestotravel Mon 03-Dec-12 11:53:18

Arrggh - right decision, massive

GreenPetals Mon 03-Dec-12 11:53:55

Well seen that the average number of children in a family is about 2, there won't be a lot of families with 4 or more children.
Actually I can think of a few families with 4 dcs but just one with 5dcs and none with 6+ dcs.

By that standard, yes a family with 4dcs is a large family.

The fact that you don't feel it's large or that your mother/grandmother had 6+ children is irrelevant here.

Perhaps you are getting comments '2 is already plenty' because the majority of parents actually find it hard with 2 dcs already. You can hardly go around and ask them to not feel like this if this is the case because you don't feel like this.

I have 4 kids but don't feel it's enough to post here.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 11:56:47

Lovestotravel. Youre right. I think lots of people seem to want larger families now but stop themselves. Alot of my friends wanted 3,4 or 5.
We are by no means well off but the ds' always have someone to entertain them grin

ReindeerBollocks Mon 03-Dec-12 11:57:11

I think that topic would be for parents who had 4+ DCs.

2-3 is the average around here, I grew up with one sibling (and 3 step siblings). Two/three wouldn't be affected by the same issues as say four or five DC's. It would make sense to be realistic about what constitutes a larger family as obviously there will be hurdles such as holidays, cars, bedrooms which just wouldn't apply to a family with 2/3 DC's.

So actually I think YANBU.

GreenPetals Mon 03-Dec-12 11:58:25

It might also be that the issues that you have are actually strongly related to the fact you have 5dcs so people just think that it would have been easier for you if you had stopped with 3 or 4. Not an crazy idea tbh. Having a bigger number of children does increase the number of issues you have to deal with.
I have actually have been told by a mum that 'It was the reason she stopped at one' when she was me running around my 2 (who were 1.5 and 3yo at the time) as she though I was clearly spreading myself thin there. I would not want to think what she would have though of a mum of 5.

However if people tell you that when you are talking about issues with weaning your last dc, then YANBU.

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 12:03:53

Lol greenpetals. Yes I am having issues around weaning my last dssmile every time i have one the guidelines change & people assume that because I've had a few I automatically know what I'm doing. I had no idea about blw.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Mon 03-Dec-12 12:05:47

didn't say it was my decision. I also said I have 5 & I didn't see that as large

I see 5 as very large. That's my point. Who is to say what larger is? you don't think 5 is, I think 5 is massive.

I shouldn't have posted on aibu, I forgot that it tends to get like this.

No need for this ^^comment. Why do people ask for peoples opinions and comments then start this sort of rubbish when then don't like what is said.

I would say you shouldn't have posted in aibu, if you didn't want to here peoples opinions and just have a moan.

Asinine Mon 03-Dec-12 12:06:19

I have four, it doesn't feel like that many.

In fact I can't remember the last time I counted them.


flowery Mon 03-Dec-12 12:06:40

grin 5dcs

In answer to what should class as large, I was one of 4, and I would class that as large simply because it was a bigger family than most other people had growing up. Most of my friends had one or two siblings.

But in terms of classing it for the purposes of a forum on here, well I would never think restricting who can post in what forum is a good idea. Everyone should be able to post wherever they want, and get support/give advice.

If you get advice that you don't find helpful, that's a shame, but you can disregard it. But nothing should restrict who can ask where imo.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Mon 03-Dec-12 12:07:39

hear not here. grin

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 12:11:32

We've sorted that out now Brady

forevergreek Mon 03-Dec-12 12:12:46

Well 2 is average, so any more than that is large.

BornInACrossFireHurricane Mon 03-Dec-12 12:12:53

I am one of four and never considered it to be large, although there are big age gaps within this which would have helped (in terms of one moving to university to free up a bedroom, less car seats etc)

I actually love having three siblings but we're sticking at 2 children personally, one of the reasons being that if we had twins again we wouldn't be able to afford the costs that four would entail for us and may lead to a nervous breakdown

MrsDeVere Mon 03-Dec-12 12:22:15

I think large is 'the amount it take for someone to say 'how many!?' (and look like this shock ) when you answer their question 'so how many kids do you have'

flowery Mon 03-Dec-12 12:23:50

Ooh have we got Christmas smileys?



We didn't have big age gaps which may have contributed to the feeling of being a large family. I am eldest and the youngest is only 5 years younger than me.

Now I have two myself I am more full of admiration for my parents than I was at the time...

notnagging Mon 03-Dec-12 12:26:55

Mrsdeveresgrin my kids are starting a tally on how many strangers ask me if I've got a telly

RobotLover68 Mon 03-Dec-12 12:35:04

I have definitely noticed in the past 10 years amongst our peer group a shift towards having 3/4/5 children

I've noticed that too lovestotravel 10 years ago I was known at the school as "Robot-with-the-four-kids" and another lady in the class was known as "Jenny-with-the-five-kids" we were the only ones (in a very big school) with a "large family" the last few years it's become more and more common to have 4 or more

Just an aside, one of the things people say which always makes me go hmm is "oh I bet you don't notice when one of them is not there" oh yes right obviously I'm the old woman who lives in a shoe then!!

RobotLover68 Mon 03-Dec-12 12:36:02

oh I could have had hmm fail!

JaquelineHyOnChristmasSpirit Mon 03-Dec-12 13:24:23


I'm currently pg with my 4th and still won't consider that a large family. Whe we have number 5 I think I will.

I do wander on to the larger families section though as I was one of 7 growing up (now one of 8 as my Mum has a 4yr old now) and so like to offer a perspective from the child's perspective. Especially when parents of lots of children are getting a hard time for not possibly being able to love or give enough attention to all their children hmm

PropertyNightmare Mon 03-Dec-12 14:06:22

I have four and agree with the poster above who said that for most people, what constitutes a 'large' family is most likely one more dc than you've got. Four dc holds no mystery for me but five, well that seems like lots of children to me!
Over the past five years or so, I have known lots of people with 3 children, several families with four children but only 4 families with five children. (one of those families had 7dcs). So in my experience, five or more children is really quite unusual and a far larger than average family.

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