How many kids is too many kids?

(112 Posts)
keeleyandconor Tue 31-Jul-12 23:06:54

I was just wondering what you all thought about the amount of children people have. How many is too many? Do you think there is a certain amount that is acceptable but others that aren't? I ask this question because I am a mother of fifteen, 3 girls and 12 boys, of the ages 18, 17, 15, 15, 15, 14, 13, 12, 8, 8, 6, 4, 2, 10 months and 10 months. We have faced a lot of opinions about how big our family is, not all opinions nice or fair, most not in fact. I know that we are very, very happy with the family we have, how many there are of us, if we weren't happy then we wouldn't have had any more children, would we? It suits our families personalities, lifestyle, etc, perfectly. I understand everybody has their own views, but please try and keep them nice, on topic and constructive, but I would love to know what you all think, and how many children you do have or would/wouldn't have. Thank you smile

throckenholt Thu 20-Sep-12 13:58:58

On a personal level, it depends on your ability to cope, emotionally, financially and physically.

On a bigger perspective level - the world can't support the population we have currently very well, so bigger families make that problem worse.

From the children's perspective - I wonder if some of them get lost in the crowd (my three sometimes feel they don't get their share of attention).

I have 3 (a single and twins). It is enough for me smile

Mollydoggerson Thu 20-Sep-12 14:18:41

I think the more you have, the less time and energy each individual child gets.

It totally depends on finances, energy levels, space between each child.

I wonder why people want more and more and more, what will the next one bring that the last one didn't, and if there is always a baby in the house who will require alot of attention, threen the older ones just have to put up with less parental time. I don't understand the need to have more, when it must be more and more difficult to actually enjoy rearing the first 6/7/8/9.

Littleraysofsunshine Tue 25-Sep-12 12:50:02

I am intrigued, I have two dd's under two. We've both always wanted a big family. How do you manage the individual time for each child? Just wondered. I think us fan. As long as each child feels unconditionally loved then that's all that matters. Of course money is a factor but its not the be all and end all. As long as you're all happy. That's all that counts.

Littleraysofsunshine Tue 25-Sep-12 12:51:30

Sets of twins and triplets that's amazing. Our bodies are amazing! smile I take my hat off to anyone with children that are raising them with love and affection. And even more so to Those who have huge families like op grin

willyoulistentome Tue 25-Sep-12 12:59:26

What Kewcumber said.....

I do have a bit of a beef with a Mum of 5 at my kids school though. Her kids are all lovely, they are pretty popular and so get invited to lots of other kids houses for playdates. She, however, hardly ever reciprocates, as she is 'too busy'. This I can sort of understand-ish - I do think it's a bit rude though. I think she should make some time for it. Despite having had one of her sons and one of her daughters round to ours numerous times, neither of my two ever get invited back and it upsets them. I have had to explain Why, but it still upsets them. I haven;t stopped inviting her kids though as it's not their fault.

So she gets her kids looked after and fed frequently, but never bothers to return the favour, even though she doesn't work and the family is fairly well off...so I think SHE has too many!!

orangeberries Wed 26-Sep-12 13:17:56

Some children in my children's class have never reciprocated invites, one in particular who is very good friends with my son and is at our house at least once a month has never had him round once. I think that's just the way some people are. (They have 2 children).

I agree with all the others who say that as long as you are up to it emotionally and can afford it financially, there is no real limit is there? Also very importantly expectations as to what you consider acceptable to give up on.

For example for me going back to my own country to see my family is what I consider necessary to do at least 3 times a year and the cost of this has increased and now with 4 children I think I am at my limit. I also want to the children to have sufficient space in the house to have their own things, and we are also at our limit in our current house with 4.

Finally, I also like for the children to pursue activities out of school and again with 4 I am at my limit!

If I didn't have family abroad, I would be happy with camping or something more accessible, which probably would give me more money for a bigger house and more children! So everyone's circumstances vary greatly!!!

Littleraysofsunshine Wed 26-Sep-12 22:15:15

How do you find it OP?smile

deleted203 Sat 29-Sep-12 04:56:07

I've got 5 kids and would happily have had lots more (had 4 miscarriages after last). As many children as you like provided, as others have said, you are working and supporting them.

Jessie you say you and DH were only 17 but did everything yourselves. Do I take it that he was working and earning enough to keep you all?

whoopsfailedagain Sun 30-Sep-12 17:24:21

Well we have 10dc (altogether) I met dh when he had 5dc (2 were his step children) and I had 4, then we had 1 together! Soooo 17,17,15,14,13,12,11,9,5&1!

I've given birth to 5 and my body knows it. I personally have 4 boys and with dss in the house permanently it makes 5. Me and dd get a bit boyed out sometimes! But then dh's dds come over and readdress the balance. Ideally I'd love to have just one more but I think I'm done really! sad dh is 40 next year sad

whoopsfailedagain Sun 30-Sep-12 17:30:55

willy I struggle with playmates too! The reason being that if one has a friend over they all have to so it's fair. Easier now with the older ones as they entertain themselves, but I did used to struggle with the younger ones. I also work full time and sometimes from home. Although my kids understand mummy needs to get on, others don't understand it. It's not fair on them really. In fact though, ds is in yr1 and has never been invited since being at school. I think in reality a lot of parents struggle with that if they are working.

bamboostalks Sun 30-Sep-12 17:31:30

Personally I cannot imagine trying to meet the emotional needs of 10 children in today's society. Anything over 6 is too many IMO. There are not enough hours in the day even if you bury your own needs entirely. Possibly in some sort of countryside wealthy eutopia? With staff to help and ferry them round.

whoopsfailedagain Sun 30-Sep-12 17:41:09

I can see I might take this thread a little too personally, but In my vast experience children from larger families are less likely to be emotionally needy. Mine are string independent children, who've learnt to share, take in turns and consider other people's needs as well as their own. My nephew (a only child Pfb) has been known to be quite a spoilt brat, so are his emotional needs being met?

Flojo1979 Sun 30-Sep-12 17:47:06

How on earth do u meet the emotional needs of 15 kids?
I have 2 kids and I struggle to give my older one the attention he needs because the toddler is always hanging off me.
Do u rely a lot on the older ones to play parenting too?

scottishmummy Sun 30-Sep-12 17:49:14

it's not an exact number as such
too many is can't emotionally,mentally,or financially cope
and unable to adequately parent.some folks should stop at one frankly

jellybeans Sun 30-Sep-12 17:56:22

I think it is up the individual. We have 5 and can just about afford it on DH's wages and me staying home. We pay for brownies, swimming etc and trips, holidays but probably cannot afford a 6th and do all these things as we do now. In all honesty though I would not have anymore even if we could as it is very hard trying to meet all their needs and give them enough attention. Also space etc is an issue unless you have a huge house.

margerykemp Sun 30-Sep-12 18:02:15

If they are really spaced out then usually some of the older ones have left home by the time the youngest ones are born so say 10 in total is different from 10 under 16year old IFSWIM?

jellybeans Sun 30-Sep-12 18:11:12

willyoulistentome I wondered if you were talking about me at first! It annoys me when people invite my kids to their house far too often and then expect me to reciprocate. I think it should be occasional and not weekly or more. If others want more and the same back they should seek out like minded parents.

I do have DC's friends round for tea and sleep overs. But more monthly than weekly because I take it in turns with the 5 and have a very busy life. DD has a friend whose mother made a comment about me not having her child much but what she didn't realise is that my DD always chose to have another friend as the other girl (her daughter) was always 'moody and mean' to her. So there may be more to it. Maybe she can sense your judging of her.

In addition being a SAHM doesn't mean you have loads of time. Some of us care for elderly relatives and other such things. It's hard to understand the demands of five if you only have two in all honesty. Many of my friends who have 4+ agree on this, its a real bug bear.

Invite other kids but don't expect them to have yours back! I don't when I invite people. Some people don't like it or can only cope occasionally for a whole host of reasons. Stop inviting the kid if you are so bothered. It bugs me when people invite my kid 3 times a week! I do want to see them! I also know they are doing it for THEM and not me or my child. It keeps their kid busy and out their hair. But mine are happy playing amongst themselves so I don't need to add other kids to the mix. I do it for my kids and don't care if the person doesn't invite mine back. Occasional invites back are fine! Not everyone has same views on playdates as you you know!

i only have 2 children but ttc number 3 just thought id pop in i dont think that it matters how many dc someone has i wouldnt say that a certain number is to many i love big familys i grew up with a 2 step sisters

NAR4 Thu 06-Dec-12 12:01:59

I actually found that invites to come home with us after school, were constantly turned down because other parents thought I wouldn't be able to cope with their child as well. Personally I found this insulting and wouldn't have invited them if this was the case. I very rarely invite others to our home now unless I know them very very well. I find others peoples judgements upsetting, far too often.

Although I personally feel that parents should be able to support all their children financially, we all have differrent opinions. If the children are loved and cared for, then have as many as you like.

I take my hat off to you for managing to care for so many, especially in the (I imagine hectic) time where you had a child a year following the triplets.

zzzzz Fri 07-Dec-12 13:30:03

The play date comment bugs the hell out of me. I only have 5 children, but if we do a play date a week for each that means an extra child every day. Would the parents of one or 2 really like to have visitors every day after school? We can't have that many at once because the car only fits so many.

The point about other children visiting is difficult. If your child has had mine around but so has another friend, there is always going to be a choice to be made. Obviously we will try and have everyone back, but the time scales for doing that vary with different families, so it may be two or three weeks before we could reciprocate. Frankly if you think that's rude I think you're barking!

As for how many is too many, I love all of mine and would be overjoyed if I was lucky enough to have more. It's highly unlikely that I will, but it would be great. Enough is when you feel your family is complete. Big family life is very different, but not worse!

zzzzz Fri 07-Dec-12 14:19:16

The play date comment bugs the hell out of me. I only have 5 children, but if we do a play date a week for each that means an extra child every day. Would the parents of one or 2 really like to have visitors every day after school? We can't have that many at once because the car only fits so many.

The point about other children visiting is difficult. If your child has had mine around but so has another friend, there is always going to be a choice to be made. Obviously we will try and have everyone back, but the time scales for doing that vary with different families, so it may be two or three weeks before we could reciprocate. Frankly if you think that's rude I think you're barking!

As for how many is too many, I love all of mine and would be overjoyed if I was lucky enough to have more. It's highly unlikely that I will, but it would be great. Enough is when you feel your family is complete. Big family life is very different, but not worse!

ILoveDolly Mon 10-Dec-12 14:28:10

Wow! 15, eh?! I have three and will scream if I have another person say to me 'you've got your hands full'. Maddening. But seriously, I don't know how parents of large families (more than 4 IMO) manage. All my kids are sick today, I had no sleep as baby was in bed with us - he is really unwell and miserable. It's my birthday. Happy days. I spent it at the GP and wading in tissues. Three seems like my limit!!

varicoseveined Wed 12-Dec-12 11:39:09

Only 2 children, would like a third but for health and other reasons it doesn't look likely...

No matter what you have - childless, one, two, 20, someone will want to stick their oar in!

BlackholesAndRevelations Thu 13-Dec-12 21:13:46

Blimey. 15 is a bit excessive in terms of a)the planet's sustainability; b) the cost (you'd have to be a millionaire surely, to be able to afford to look after so many? And if they are paid for by the state, that's wrong in my book). I get very angry when people who are on benefits harp on about their "right" to have as many children as they want. Very entitled. I know many, many people who'd love more but can't afford them.

PrincessScrumpy Tue 18-Dec-12 14:19:25

Just need to jump in and say I hate the environmental argument - it's such a load of nonsense... one of my dc may discover an alternative energy, or some other scientific answer to save the planet, without them the world may be doomed! grin

Personally if you can afford them then fine.

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