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

MUM2BLESS Wed 01-Aug-12 20:05:44

its amazing Keeleyandconor to tell you the trueth its a personal things on how many kids we have. Some will pass judgement on you, could it be jealously sometimes.

I have 4, I am one of 7, my dad from what I can remember is 1 of 13, his mum had three sets of twins.

It can get busy in my house with 4, how do you manage with 15? hope you do not mind me asking.

This year I was childminding 7, in september it will be 6.

Please share what you do in the area of delegating and shopping etc. I am all for improving what I am already doing.

I will not be critical as I think its amazing, in a wonderful way smile

People are surprise when I say I have four, I do not think four is a lot. I think people may think four plus is a lot. I guess everyone is entitle to their opionion as long as they are not offensive to others with it.

Great to hear from you on this.

IslaValargeone Wed 01-Aug-12 20:14:26

I represent the other side of the coin, I have only one child and I have had criticism about that too, so really you can't win.
Personally speaking I think as long as you can afford them then fine. This is a genuine question and not a dig, but how do you have time for them all?

MrsRobertDuvallHasRosacea Wed 01-Aug-12 20:14:39

As long as you can support them financially.....
Dh is one of 9 and hated it, but I think that was more to do with his parents. No individual attention at all or support.
2 are quite enough for me, and I would never have had 3.

NatashaBee Wed 01-Aug-12 20:15:30

I only have one, and a step child. I watch 19 kids and counting (sorry, trash TV) and feel sorry for the older kids who basically take on responsibility for a younger child in a 'buddy' system. That is when you have too many... when you have to rely on your older kids to basically parent the younger ones (although nothing wrong with expecting them to help out and occasionally be a spare pair of hands).

I'm the oldest of 10 technically. My mum was the youngest of 10.

I wouldnt say there is such a thing as too many. Too many to someone could mean1t some it could mean 3.

Could mean 15*

Margerykemp Wed 01-Aug-12 20:21:59

I think you should be congratulated on creating lots of future taxpayers and consumers. No one says 'only if you can afford them' to parents of one.

loopeylu Thu 02-Aug-12 16:45:57

Gawd, tricky question OP. How do you manage to support so many children - emotionally and financially? I marvel that you can do it. I work and struggle to give enough time to my 2 children.

'Too many' depends on the person and circumstances I think. But I suppose the other thing to think about is whether the planet could support everyone having so many children.? I was approached when I was with my 2 children in the supermarket recently by an elderly fellow who told me in no uncertain terms he hoped I would stop at 2 children given the overcrowding on the planet already!

noisytoys Thu 02-Aug-12 16:53:29

I think any more than you can personally afford to financially support is too many do for some 1 is too many, for others 20 is too many. Also as many as you can emotionally support without, as others have said, expecting the older ones to parent the younger ones cos they never signed up to a massive family and younger siblings shouldn't be their responsibility

BonnieBumble Thu 02-Aug-12 17:01:04

I think a large family is lovely in so many ways. However, I do think that people need to consider the environmental impact when having such large families. The earth isn't getting any bigger.

In an ideal world I would have liked 4 but will be stopping at 2.

CouthyMow Thu 09-Aug-12 22:57:20

I think that is dependent on you personally. For me, four is enough, and 5 would be too many, hence I am getting sterilised in October. For my friend, 10 is enough, and 11 would be too many. For you, maybe 15 isn't enough, but 17 might be too many. For one of my other friends, 2 is enough and 3 would be too many!

I don't think there is such thing as too many. Im 23yo and have 6. But i still feel like i want more. Mine are 6,6,4,2,3mo,3mo. I have faced so much criticism from people who think i was far too young to look after my kids but i did, me and hubby, we might hav only been 17 but we did everything ourselves and didnt rely on other people doing the work for us. And even though i have six children i look after them so it is nobody elses business how many kids i have if i can cope. I think it all depends on how many you would like.

justwantcheese Fri 24-Aug-12 17:11:13

As many as you like as,long as the state doesn't have to pay for them

5madthings Fri 24-Aug-12 17:14:12

so you have in amongst your 15, triplets and two sets of twins? if i read that right?

i have 5 and i think that is enough some of the time, others i would love one more, but financially 5 is what we can afford.

so its about financial ability to support them and then the rest is down to the individual and what you can cope/deal with, i am sure it must be fun with 15! esp that many boys, i have 4 boys and one girl! i cant imagine 12 boys shock

Tittywhistles Fri 24-Aug-12 17:29:05

I'll have 4 when the baby arrives in Jan. do I even qualify to be here? 15 is amazing and if they are all happy and thriving, and you are, what's the problem?

What do you mean justwantcheese about the state not having to pay for them?
Children, even only seen in financial terms are an investment on the country's future. Todays kids will be the ones working and paying tax that will pay for the increasingly aged populations healthcare.

justwantcheese Fri 24-Aug-12 20:56:13

No because if both parents don't work and stay on benefits then it is highly likely that the children won't no they won't be tax payers they will expect to be on benefits too. And if they do work it is the exception not the rule. Don't have loads of kids if you can't afford them and if you can then that's great.

MrsBingo Sat 25-Aug-12 22:23:40

Personally, no more than 3 kids. Absolutely plentiful.

Then for others (who can cope better) 4 or 5 kids would be the maximum I think is manageable.

Any more kids should also supported by sufficient funds... If you are super healthy, have a huge house and enough staff to help with the kids then I guess there is no limit.

And since you already have lots of kids: congrats!

joanofarchitrave Sat 25-Aug-12 22:33:30

'No one says 'only if you can afford them' to parents of one'

Yes they do, in fact, if that one is coming along at a difficult time in their lives or when they're 'too' young. People will stick their noses in anywhere.

I have one child, would have liked two. I'm the youngest of three and felt that was one too many for my parents. My mother and father were both from families of 5 and both felt that three would have been better - my mother, no 4, felt quite neglected and her younger brother even more so. DH's mother was from a family of four, who have 3 separate non-speaking feuds between them, and who are all noticeably marked by extreme poverty as children. DH's dad was an only child who suffered very much from being the only child of a mentally ill mother.

Answer? There is no right answer. In truth I am always surprised and amazed when people have more than 2. I hope I have never said or implied this to anyone in real life, as it's none of my business.

trumphy Tue 28-Aug-12 13:33:49

My sister is asked on a fairly regular basis by people she knows and by complete strangers that she should have had another child, it's not fair on my nephew etc etc. When is reality, what they don't realise, is that she desperately wanted another baby and was not able to conceive.

People are too nosey and judgemental sometimes.

CountryKitty Tue 28-Aug-12 13:37:09

I think it only become too many when the state has to pay for all those children as the parents can't afford to themselves. If parents have both the financial & emotional capacity to properly care for their children then the sky's the limit!

Beckamaw Thu 30-Aug-12 16:48:25

I agree regarding financial capability.
DP and I both work and have 5 between us. With school trips, clothes, activities, holidays etc, we could not afford any more. We never have to say 'No', to anything like brownie holidays, school residentials, dance classes, football tours, etc. They don't always get everything they want either!

When people have loads of kids and expect to be supported by the taxpayer, I get cross. I think families should only have the number of children that they can financially support. Any more is selfish.

mancmisses Fri 07-Sep-12 20:06:35

I have 9 and 2 more on the way. they are3,4,6,6,7,7,9,15,17. and due in December. I would love more but can't fit them in the house.

but I do think it's personal choice me and DH are both only Childs.

surfingluby Thu 20-Sep-12 13:54:05

Wow, your amazing! I salute you smile
Who cares what people long as it works for you and your DP, your children are happy and well cared for then it has nothing to do with anyone!
I think more the merrier, I love having 3 and we have number 4 on the way......I'd have number 5 if we had room in our car/house but we don't!!
I say it's FAB FAB FAB smile

Kewcumber Thu 20-Sep-12 13:57:52

whats too many? IMO - one more than you enjoy/can handle/can afford. That's too many. If you can tick all three boxes, have as many as you like/can.

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 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.

OhSantaClaussOhOh Tue 18-Dec-12 14:36:32

Well as a guideline, how many children is too much will depend a lot on who the parents are.

I really wanted 3 dcs, that was my number. 4 felt like too much (esp because I felt I wouldn't have been able to give them the time they needed on a individual basis).
DP felt that one was plenty. He reluctantly agreed to 2 and that was too much for him, esp when they were little. Too much noise, too much mess, too much demands on his time.

I have to say for me 15 is ... well another world all together. I expect that the logistics, the organisation and how much time you can afford to give to each child isn't completely different than in a family of 1 or 2 like mine. Which might not be a bad thing as someone pointed out before lol.
I think I am more shock and confused as to how you managed to have another child less than 2 years after having triplets. Seeing how hard I found 2 dcs under 2, I can't fantom having 4 under 2yo. But as I say, that's just me who would never have been able to raise to the challenge.

juule Tue 18-Dec-12 21:59:25

"I hate the environmental argument - it's such a load of nonsense... "

hmm I'm not convinced it's complete nonsense. There are other problems for the environment but over-population can't help.

Melody3boys Fri 21-Dec-12 20:09:46

Children are a blessing. I take my hat off to all of you who have more than 3... But 15...WOW! Amazing! And there's me worrying about whether or not to try for a fourth!

3b1g Fri 21-Dec-12 20:14:00

I know that four feels like enough for me, so the idea of a fifth would feel like "too many", but I wouldn't look at someone else's family and make any judgements about the number of children they have.

How many is too many - well any number more than you can afford to raise yourself, without help. If that is 15, great. I personally couldn't afford 15, so will stop at two.

3b1g Fri 21-Dec-12 20:17:02

Also, it's not always possible to control how many children we have. We can end up with fewer than we planned for (infertility, miscarriage and other loss) or more (multiple births).

Abra1d Fri 21-Dec-12 20:19:33

'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!'

Regardless of their skills, they will all need houses, cars, heating, etc.

The arable field opposite is being dug up to build houses on. That's so many hectares now taken out of the food-production cycle. Extrapolate that across the south of England and that is a lot of farmland gone. More expensive food-imports, anyone?

RyleDup Fri 21-Dec-12 20:21:43

I would struggle to meet that many childrens emotional, practical and financial needs personally. But if you can manage the emotional and practical stuff, and afford to pay for them yourselves, then I take my hat off to you.

<not that I wear a hat, they make my head itch>

stickygingerbread Fri 21-Dec-12 20:26:01

After peaking around 2050, if present reproductive rates continue as they are expected to do (or even drop more) the world is headed for declining population. Millions are skipping parenthood altogether, or having a single child over the course of their lifetime. Especially in Europe the birth rate is well below replacement level. UK is at 1.98, when replacement level for a 1st world country is considered 2.1.

In short, go ahead and have more if you want because others are having less.

Bunbaker Fri 21-Dec-12 20:37:57

"too many is can't emotionally,mentally,or financially cope"

Which for me would be more than 2.

I am going ask some irritatingly stereotypical questions now and I am prepared to be flamed - why 15? What are your stomach muscles like? Do you get any me time? Don't you get tired of all the household chores involved and the sheer drudgery? Do your older children resent being unpaid babysitters?

15!! <faints> and I thought one was hard work!

KristinaM Fri 21-Dec-12 20:50:52

It's too many when you can't afford to support them and you don't have the time to bring them up. So you delegate it to the older children

lljkk Sat 22-Dec-12 09:49:34

Anyone else wondering if OP has any pelvic floor left?

Neighbour has ten and there are things about dynamics of that family that I don't like, admittedly. The older ones (age 17+) still expected to help out, told they can't go to college because needed at home, there is a genetic problem many of the children have (so children kept being born in spite of this pernicious high risk health condition which sometimes presents as disability, too). Overcrowded housing. They can't have much money.

The family members are all perfectly pleasant & nice people, though, cute well-behaved kids.

insanityscratching Sat 22-Dec-12 10:00:54

Well I have five (I take my hat off to you with 15) I would have liked one more but it didn't happen but six would have been my limit tbh. I think it varies though from family to family, my friend has five too but her older ones do an awful lot of the care of the younger ones whereas mine never have done. In fact they were horrified that my friend would get older ones to change nappies, wipe bums and bath little ones tbh. I'm one of six though and didn't care for my siblings either so it would never occur to me to ask tbh. For me too many is when you can't support them all yourself and cannot manage the care of them all without needing substantial input from older children tbh.

Pinkchatz Sun 23-Dec-12 07:49:38

I think there are lots of things to consider but I believe in general people with negative attitudes are down to assuming all large families are scrougers, thinking you shouldn't be able to cope with a lot because THEY can't and this over populating the planet thing.

Personally, I have 7 children and everyone told me I should stop at 2 because this was socially acceptable and no one could understand how I could possible cope with more than that.

Having less children does not automatically mean they are better looked after, that you can afford more, that they are happier etc. it all depends on who your parents are. You can get one child with wealthy parents who grows up miserable and messed up and contributing nothing to society.

I always feel sorry for the only children I see at the park who come over to my kids for someone to play with and I have known more than a few spoilt and selfish only children.

Yes, I am busy. Yes my children are expected to do things in the home and to help out but I would make them do that whether I had this many or only 1 as this was how I was raised and I am only one of 2! My children love being together, yes they argue but they also always have someone to play with, talk to and share things with. They all have their own personalities and interests and I am aware of their individuality and treat each one accordingly. They all get mummy time and cuddles.

As for play dates, invites etc. I am not overly sociable. This would not matter if I had one child. I am not the type to invite people to my home or want their children there, it's a personal thing so sometimes I make the excuse of not having time to appear 'normal' as people cannot understand why I wouldn't want to do things but I don't like to so I don't. Simple. I don't let my kids go to other people's houses as I don't expect people to feed and look after them (or think Im taking the mick because I wont do it back!) they go to parties though (which can get expensive) but I don't want them to miss out.

I don't have a ruined body. Again some people with one get major health implications. I do not expect my elder ones to 'babysit' the smaller ones. I don't expect anyone when they are older to be at home to help me. I would never dream of asking them to change a nappy or anything, they actually ask if they can help with the baby's feeding etc and I have to tell them no, she isn't a toy!

Money is all relative, you are not automatically a deprived child because you don't have the latest things or go on holiday every year. I didn't and it didn't emotionally scar me! I also shared a room my whole life. Again only two of us.

As for the drudgery of life at home with kids. Some of us enjoy being stay at home mothers and that is why we have a lot of kids in the first place. We are also organised, resourceful and hard working. We are not all lazy welfare mothers who sit on their fat bums all day watching daytime telly.

My children are never late for school, they always have their homework done and do well, they are some of the better turned out in the mornings at school in terms of neat hair/clean ironed uniform. They don't get in trouble. They are polite. They don't run the streets all hours of the day like some kids I see out unsupervised till 7pm still in their uniform. There are so many things I don't like about how other people treat or raise their children but its none of my business, just like its none of anyone else's what I do.

I always said I would stop when I felt my body couldn't handle it anymore and we ran out of room and money, otherwise I probably would never stop.

BlackSwan Sun 23-Dec-12 07:59:59

"Having less children does not automatically mean they are better looked after, that you can afford more, that they are happier etc. it all depends on who your parents are. You can get one child with wealthy parents who grows up miserable and messed up and contributing nothing to society.

I always feel sorry for the only children I see at the park who come over to my kids for someone to play with and I have known more than a few spoilt and selfish only children. "

It's 8am. Perhaps you should make breakfast for your 7 kids instead of spending an inordinate amount of time on a jealous rant about those with fewer mouths to feed. And BTW, I'm here to tell you, your body - it's definitely ruined.

3b1g Sun 23-Dec-12 08:15:26

Oh dear... and this thread started off so well.

Bunbaker Sun 23-Dec-12 08:49:10

Pinkchatz I agree there are too many assumptions on this thread. That people with loads of children are scroungers is one I would never assume. That only children are always spoilt and selfish is another.

In my case DD is an only child because of fertility issues and I never wanted her to be an only child. Yes she does get lonely at times because she has no siblings, but that can't be helped. I had her at 41 so adopting siblings isn't an option either.

I just hope she doesn't make friends with someone whose mother won't allow her to our house because the friend should play with her siblings instead of her friends. I also don't assume that DD will always get a reciprocal invitation back to a friends house just because they have been to ours. As long as DD has friends who are loyal to her and enjoy her company who cares where they play.

Pinkchatz Sun 23-Dec-12 09:40:19

@Blackswan - seriously? How old are you - 12? Who's was having a jealous rant. And for the record, my children were having a rare lie in and I only had a sleeping baby in front of me. But since you are obviously troubled I won't pay you any more attention.

RyleDup Sun 23-Dec-12 13:03:26

Blackswan, was there really any need for that? Very rude.

KobayashiMaru Sun 23-Dec-12 13:06:51

OP is from JULY folks, I doubt she's around for this bickering.

spiritedaway Tue 15-Jan-13 21:44:39

Blackswan that was outrageous telling her her bodies ruined..Good genes go a long way. Bad manners don't.

amazingmumof6 Sat 09-Feb-13 09:00:19

27 would be 1 too many.

if you consider February has 28 days, with 26 kids you'd have 1 day each month to pay full attention to that child, and the leftover days are for you and DH.

congratulations on your family!

morescribbles Sat 09-Feb-13 11:14:20

Beckamaw I just smiled reading your reply. I just turned down my daughter going in a Brownie trip. It was £550 for a week in a Holland youth hostel! That was my introduction to brownies. I hope not all their trips are like that?!!! I agree with kewcumber. It is a very personal choice. As a childminder we have insights into many families and parents of smaller families can struggle. I know many happy, well adjusted children of large families. If you and your family are happy then I think you are doing incredibly.

Perriwinkle Sun 10-Feb-13 20:21:14

The thing that concerns me most of all about very large families is that they can become very insular, in terms of only having each other for friends and to have to rely on one another.

Another thing I always think is that the older children inevitably have to take responsibility for looking after and amusing younger siblings (think the Duggars), and to put up with having them keep encroaching on their personal space, at times when they may not always want or welcome it. Perhaps there's a feeling of not having anywhere to go to escape their siblings when they might want to?

I think this is sometimes the flipside of the old "an only child is a lonely child" chestnut. Perhaps a child from a large family might never be able to get the peace and quiet that they might actually want and need at times?

Just my two pennies worth...

morescribbles Mon 11-Feb-13 00:17:30

I was one of six and used to love playing with my siblings but in times that I wanted my own space I would escape into books. I remember finding hiding places in the house and garden to read. I think that children can escape into their imagination quite happily smile my second daughter is very like me and finds corners to set up her own toys where nobody else is allowed to join in. After her fill of me-time she reappears and happily plays with the rest of her siblings. I am always careful to support any of my children who want that quiet time.

Perriwinkle Wed 13-Feb-13 17:34:39

After her fill of me-time she reappears and happily plays with the rest of her siblings

When only children do the reverse of this and have their fill of other children time and reappear to have their me time it's somehow seen as sad and people think they must be lonely.

The fact is there's nothing wrong with either but it's odd the way society thinks isn't it?

iclaudius Wed 13-Feb-13 17:47:59

Blackswan why is her body 'definitely ruined!' Quite shocked at that

And the play date comment

CarnivorousPanda Wed 13-Feb-13 22:05:45

I have 2, feel strongly about the environmental impact of choosing to have big families. I'm surprised that people dismiss this so readily or talk instead about the "green" lifestyles they live or the fact that their children are well cared for.

Where I live, everywhere seems to be a building site for new homes, countryside is vanishing. What sort of country do we want for our children?

Child Benefit was introduced originally in an attempt to raise the birth rate.
Does it still need raising?

amazingmumof6 Tue 26-Feb-13 08:23:35

carnivorous I think your point is valid, but a lot of people have no kids or have one, so it is all balanced out.

juule Tue 26-Feb-13 11:00:23

Amazing if it all balanced out, the population wouldn't keep on rising. But it does keep rising so presumably it doesn't all balance out.

amazingmumof6 Tue 26-Feb-13 11:22:42

well I would blame that on people living longer, sometimes artificially....

juule Tue 26-Feb-13 15:26:18

I'm not sure how you relate that to your previous comment that "lot of people have no kids or have one, so it is all balanced out."

On the one hand you seem to be saying there isnt a problem because it all balances out and on the other hand that the problem is that because people are living longer it doesn't balance out.

mumsylady Tue 19-Mar-13 12:28:22

I wondered if I should throw another load of "hubble & bubble" into this stew pot :D

I have 8 children ....not by accident....we certainly know how it keeps happening smile)

I am helping this country, not causing more producing intellectual, humble, knowledagable, sociable, polite, caring & sharing, (very handsome :D ) hardworking & capable children .

My children are all "top" in most subjects in their school, they are the most caring in their classes (ive been told on numerous occasions by teachers from different classes & schools) so no favouritism going on here...not that I need to be told, as I witness everyday the wonderful traits my children are adopting from the way in which we raise them.

along with many other positives, that comes from being in a large, hardworking, happy family (whom are not on benefits I hasten to add)

I see many children, swearing, smoking, truanting, acting like animals on our streets, these children "we know" all come from small families and their parents often turn a blind eye to the wrong-doings of their monsters offspring, and in some cases act no differently to their kids!

My children often comment to me on the Lazy kids being driven to school (5 mins up the road) yet my children walk & cycle the mile from our home , we lead a healthy lifestyle, eat healthy food & they know about taking care of themselves & the environment & others, they know about limiting waste & recycling efficiently ...something many many children from smaller homes dont have a clue about or dont care about.

These are the children that will be a drain on society, whom will not want to "give" as adults as they never learned to "give" as children. They will be a huge drain on the healthcare system, a drain on benefits & a drain on policing & much more. they will contribute nothing as adults, other than more unruly, criminal, lazy, selfish offspring ..These are the families / people whom should not be allowed to produce families IMO.

so before we cast our discriminations..we should look at >>who<< is creating the next generation, rather than the size of a particular family.

mumsylady Tue 19-Mar-13 12:43:41

Many people strive for wealth, they dream of winning the lottery & often believe money will solve many of life's problems, they work all hours in hope of becoming wealthier , having huge houses, faster cars, more holidays etc

I am rich, I have healthy beautiful children whom make me so happy to be alive. they each provide something wonderful into mine & my husbands life EVERYDAY.

If I had the choice of all the money in the world or my children , unquestionably, I would chose to have children. wink grin

TotallyBursar Tue 19-Mar-13 13:38:30

We have 5 with a wonderful bonus number 6 on the way.
There is a lot of prejudice in this country and families that don't meet the nuclear ideal will get a sticky beak or 2. Even if one does meet the 2.4 children standard then you will be pitied for not having the 'right' mix of sexes. No one can win.

The stereotypes are fairly samey - in fact many will take pre conceived opinion as fact & be surprised at the reality of our life. I do blame the Duggars etc for reinforcing a stereotype of patenting that many I know in large families choose not to adopt.
We are the parents therefore we parent our children, not their siblings.
We ensured finances allowed expansion of all the associated needs (larger house, horse lorry for school run, several cages and a food trough) so all of us had the space we needed to 'be' - if they choose togetherness that's great but it is a choice.
We are AP in our style - this means, for us, secure & independent dc but they all have sacred access to us, their needs are not sublimated due to a new baby etc we make sure there is both scheduled and child led 1:1 time with both of us. Their needs differ with age but it works.
We are happy to have an open house & frequenly have friends over, often one or 2 extra a day.
It may not work for others but we are all happy, well and secure. Our DC have individual stories, homework time and activities.
I run my own business but we are also quite self sufficient. We do more than many to ensure the best carbon footprint we can.
We aren't insular, nor do my dc get shunted from pillar to post.
We are both very good at the business of parenting - this is the crux of it. Unfortunately it is not something that can be acknowledged as fact without others assuming or reading a pejorative sentiment into it. There really isn't a worldwide parenting quota though - one person being good at it doesn't suck away another person's supply.
How many is too many does not have a universal answer - unfortunately the above answers of 'one more than you can cope with/support' often hinges on the fact one doesn't necessarily know this until a whole new person is in the world.
I would like to have to stop repeating that 'we will never base our family planning on your uninformed opinion, so please put a wooly sock in it - I don't care about what you think you know from lowest common denominator television' but hey Ho, if it wasn't this it would be something else I suppose.

Januarymadness Tue 19-Mar-13 13:46:14

Dh is from a large family (double figures) I think it is too many when adult responsibilities are passed on to children because the parents cant do it themselves. i.e older children looking after sick younger children. 12 year olds doing night feeds etc.

When kids dont get any personal attention.

There is no finite number as it depends on the parents. If you can look afer 15 kids yourselves, love them individually, give them personal arrention, afford to feed and clothe them and dont burden those children with responsibility unfitting for their ages then go ahead.

Blipbip Tue 19-Mar-13 13:47:56

I am the oldest of 10

We have three Dr.s, a vet, a city trader, teachers, a pilot and two still in full time education.

Yes we were very poor when I was growing up and yes we did have state support but I think that we are certainly giving back more than we ever took.

My parents wanted a very large family. I on the other hand did not - I have twosmile

NAR4 Tue 19-Mar-13 15:26:41

Totally I love your comment; horse lorry for school run, several cages and a food trough. I have 5 DCs and people are always asking how I fit them all in my house (4 bedrooms).

I grew up as 1 of 7 and we lived in a 3 bedroom semi. A room for the parents (my Aunt and Uncle), a room for the girls and a room for the boys. I had a really happy childhood and never cared that I shared my room with 4 others and didn't have 1 all to myself.

People seem to like a lot more space in their home than in years gone by. In my grandparents generation children rarely had their own room.

mumsylady Tue 19-Mar-13 15:36:18

thought Id best add...before anyone makes any wrong assumptions,
I was not making generalisations of smaller families either...

I am merely pointing out that people should not make assumptions of any families, just based on the number of children that the family has, or has not got.

Generalisations and misapprehensions will always be made , about anyone and everyone.

should anyone wish to make judgements...then only judge on concrete facts and not on assumptions from similar circumstances, we are not all alike, no matter how big or small a family we are.

In my opinion ....everyone is far too opinionated grin

Sparklymommy Wed 27-Mar-13 10:29:57

I have four children. I would love more, but at the moment it isn't an option. I love seeing my children play together and make time for each of them individually.

That said, my grandmother has stated that any more than 2 is greedy. I just told her I used my brothers quota too because he doesn't want any! Lol x

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 10:34:23

I think more than two is too many. This world is over populated. It's irresponsible to keep having children.

PearlyWhites Wed 27-Mar-13 10:45:42

Actually it's not over populated that is a myth

PearlyWhites Wed 27-Mar-13 10:49:01

Everyone on earth could live/ fit comfortable in the state of Texas.

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 11:00:10

And presumably everyone could eat and breathe there too? And we wouldn't run out of clean water, medication, or land to farm?

PearlyWhites Wed 27-Mar-13 11:38:58

Obviously everyone would not literally live in Texas it's just an example to show that the world is far from overpopulated.
My husband works very hard to support our four children I can assure you we are far from irresponsible.

colditz Wed 27-Mar-13 11:43:00

Overpopulating does not "no more people will physically fit on the land", it means "the land available and suitable for use will no longer support the population who need to use it."

This includes food, oxygen, shelter, clean water, medication availability, medical care. If there are too many people for the resources available, there is an overpopulation problem, and while we have people starving on this planet, we should not be adding more people to it.

PearlyWhites Wed 27-Mar-13 13:52:11

People are starving because of corrupt governments not over population. We have more than enough recourses it's unfair distribution that's the issue.

williaminajetfighter Sun 31-Mar-13 21:09:42

I say only have what you can afford to educate. People who have more than 5 kids-- yes you can pay for brownies now but can you afford 5 lots of University education? Sometimes kids from big families really miss out.

Re benefits, people with 10 kids will be getting over £600 pm in baby bonus and, if they get Child tax credit, can get min £500. So to say they don't get benefits is a bit misleading.

CheerfulYank Tue 02-Apr-13 03:59:27

I'm one of two and my parents couldn't afford my college tuition! My brother didn't want to go, so they didn't pay his either.

TreeLuLa Tue 02-Apr-13 04:43:08

I agree that children from big families (4ish or more) do miss out on parental attention. There is no way that families with as many children as OPs get as much care and attention as those from smaller families.

Also, I would not have more children than we can afford to raise - and that includes University.

Mosman Tue 02-Apr-13 04:58:52

It makes me laugh to be honest, bringing education into the equation. I am one of four, my parents never paid a penny. I have a degree that opened the necessary doors and has never been mentioned since. My best friend from pre school and playing together in the streets as you did in those days has a degree, masters, phd and has never had a job in her life, all those pieces of paper paid for by her parents and it's got her precisely nowhere. At 37 she still hasn't completed her studies, what a laugh.

CheerfulYank Tue 02-Apr-13 06:24:47

I don't think paying for college is a necessity. I understand if people do, but it's not something that would stop me from having children. As I said, my parents couldn't afford to send either of us. (I still went for a time, with loans, etc.) Does that mean they shouldn't have had us? I'm having a pretty lovely life sans degree, I must say. smile

I work with teenagers and one of them told me the other day that he'll need to find a job that pays $18 an hour before he'll move out on his own. He was utterly shocked when I told him I've never made that much and had lived on my own since I finished high school. (Between DH and I we make much more than that now, but I don't on my own.)

Aren't kids supposed to go through lean years of eating ramen and struggling to support themselves? confused

williaminajetfighter Tue 02-Apr-13 08:23:25

Gosh people on MN can be so defensive. It's great that other people have done well without a degree - whether they've moved up in local govt, or worked for their husbands company or whatever. But unfortunately the envt has changed, things are much more competitive and kids now can't even get an interview without a degree.

Degrees are now expensive and loans aren't readily available. All I'm saying is if you have lots if kids and are unable to afford HE for your children you are limiting their options. If you're fine with that so be it.

If education wasn't important and wasn't the route to social mobility -- then why are the British obsessed with it?

CheerfulYank Tue 02-Apr-13 15:38:43

I don't know, 'cause I'm not British. grin

FOURBOYSUNDER6 Tue 02-Apr-13 20:41:35

I am one of six children and my mum was/is an amazing mother in every way. She always got upset by rude comments from family, friends, doctors , parents etc etc when we were growing up ! "You have your hands full" "do you not have a tv?" Yet the irony is that she is a far better mum to us six than to many, many mums I have met who have less children ..... Many of my friends had mums who may not have had six children but were still "time poor " for their kids .....
I have four children and get the same lines as my mother did thirty five years on plus Eco warrior judgements "selfish having large family as bigger carbon footprint" ( ironic since I am a big Eco warrior)!!!!
I am not sure i have the emotional capacity to mother six like my mum but I can see I mother my four better than many parents of less than four so I try to ignore rude ignorant and upsetting comments ....
If you can mother a large family well and get by financially then there is not a 'too many ' possibility I don't think .... If they are wanted and loved and parented well then it is amazing that you have been blessed with such a large family !!!!!!!
Trust Mother Nature , the biological clock does not go on for long anyway really !!!! You sound like super woman !!!

Zola78 Tue 02-Apr-13 23:27:47

Sometimes I really think that we have got our morals and values all mixed up. The number of children a family has is an individual matter. Nobody really knows if they can or can't cope until there in it. No one knows if they can afford it especially with redundancies and job cuts becoming part of all our lives in the last 3 - 4 years. Even emotionally is not a given. There are periods of times when you cope fantastically and others when you are completely and totally clueless and that's regardless of number. What is important is support. If you have had too many and you aren't coping you should be able ask for help without fear of retribution. Similarly, if you are coping well you should be celebrated and encouraged.

The comments about big families getting the older children to help out / raise younger siblings, why not? In the majority of countries outside of the west that is precisely what is happening. There is a greater emphasis on the value of the family and ones responsibility to it outside of the west. We are far too selfish with our time. Children helping in the home is good for them it doesn't destroy childhood but equips them for adulthood. It gives them a role.

I'm the mother of 4 children yesterday was great whilst today was overwhelming. Have I had too many? Maybe or maybe we've just had a bad day. I hope to do much better tomorrow.

Rant over

CookieB Wed 03-Apr-13 00:49:46

I am only child, dp has db with 10 year gap. We have a ds & then blessed with dd. My dm was 1 of 6. Mil was 1 of 5. I didn't want dc but now would gladly have another 2 grin. Im 29 btw. He thinks dc should be entitled to own bedroom. I did the hard newborn work & miss it. We can't afford this but I think to the future where we are old & have our babies & their babies around us. My ideal I suppose.

MultipleMama Sun 07-Jul-13 17:48:59

I have 4 and 2 on the way. Their ages are: 4, 2, 9mo & 9mo. I think it's personal choice. If you have the means to raise them fairly and afford them. I'm 23 and married. We manage fine so again, depends on the family. For me 6 isn't enough but 9 is too many and I have many years to think about it.

Beehatch Sun 07-Jul-13 18:07:00

Wow this thread has been rumbling on for almost a year. Interesting to see peoples responses, and polite for the most part.

princesscupcakemummyb Thu 28-Nov-13 22:41:59

intresting thread and op if you still check this thread i think its amazing that you have 15 children i have 3 grin

sarahquilt Sat 30-Nov-13 21:34:18

I respect everyone's opinions. I'm pregnant with my first but may have two ultimately. For me, the problem of overpopulation is huge and if we don't start to deal with it now, the next generation will definitely have to. I think big families were logical 50 years ago but as the development of technology speeds up, humans are living longer and growing prosperity had meant more people having more children. As a result, the world is overpopulated and getting worse rapidly. obviously everyone has there own view but I'm a bit disturbed to see people completely dismiss this very serious issue.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now