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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

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.

worsestershiresauce Fri 21-Dec-12 20:16:05

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?

ScooseIsAChristmasGoose Fri 21-Dec-12 20:43:44

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...

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