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How many kids are too many?


rodgerdodger
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I just overheard someone say that three kids was "far too many children for a person to have", which was weird to me since I am one of three.

It got me thinking, I think most of us here agree that 19 kids are waaaaaay too many. But when does the line go from "a big family" to way too many?

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I think its a case by case basis. If a family can afford to take care of the kids and they can manage them, then go for it. To me, yeah 19 kids is too much. I know families with 4-6 kids and I cannot comprehend how they do it. But it works for them and that's what matters.

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I think its a case by case basis. If a family can afford to take care of the kids and they can manage them, then go for it. To me, yeah 19 kids is too much. I know families with 4-6 kids and I cannot comprehend how they do it. But it works for them and that's what matters.

i agree with that, it's not so much a set number as each set of circumstances. however, i would extend the financial ability to care for them into also being able to be there for them emotionally for them and their development. certainly the duggars can now afford their kids in a financial sense, but they can't afford to be there for them emotionally and help them develop in a healthy manner.

fiance and i want to shoot for about four kids, ourselves, but only after we're financially stable enough to do so.

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Case by case for sure. I have three, and I'm overwhelmed at times. And, to be honest, I was completely overwhelmed for 6 of 7 the years that my youngest has been alive. My husband is very helpful, but he works 60-80+ hours a week (he's a chef). I work 40 hours a week. When I'm "home" I'm actually running around trying to get everything else done. Money isn't the problem as much as time- there's just not enough time in a week to complete everything, at least in my world. Another kid at this point would tip me over the edge completely. I'm just now seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. The day to day minutia of raising little kids completely burns me out (and I hated it a LOT of the time). Now that I can have some free time, grocery shop alone, and not have to watch the kids as closely, I'm staring to take a lot better care of myself.

I was one of 4, and my Mom worked. And loved kids in the house. So not only was it her 4, but at least that many extra kids- friends, cousins, neighbors. My Mom reveled in having a house full of kids. She would have gladly had 6 or 8 biological kids, had the thought of that not sent my Dad into a panic.

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It depends on a whole lot of things and is different for each family's situation.

We know a family that has 13 kids. Some people would claim that is too much, but they did an excellent job raising their kids and the adult children have all turned out to be hardworking and productive individuals.

Other families wouldn't be able to cope with that many kids. I know I couldn't - that's why FI and I are currently settled on two little ones. To give our kids the type of life we want to give them, we can't afford to have a ton of kids.

At the end of the day, if the couple has discussed the important things and they feel that they can handle another child, I'm not going to judge them for it.

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I agree with the posters above. It really depends on the circumstances.

For example, if a couple is really, really wealthy, so that both can stay at home and hire other people to do stuff like housework and cooking, they obviously will have more free capacities to care adequately for more children than a couple where both parents have to work and do all the housework themselves.

It also depends on the age gaps between the children. And on your character, and the childrens character. I know people with 4 siblings who would have wished for more, and people with 2 siblings who felt that their parents never had enough time for them. Also, if a child has some health condition which takes a lot of time and energy, to keep on having many other children isn't a good idea, since chances are that you won't be able to care for them well enough.

I think nowdays, especially if both parents want to work, 4 is already a lot, but somewhat manageable. If one parent stays at home, and the age gaps are large enough, 6 or 7 might be possible to raise well.

But that is just my personal estimate of course, and I don't have children myself.

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A close friend of mine has seven. I thought two was enough for her (first two are boy-girl twins). I certainly thought four was enough (second pregnancy was boy-girl twins again). Then along came five, six and seven. I think five was the maximum ideal number for them. She is tired and high strung since the sixth came along. And they do not have adequate space for seven children. No room for a big enough table to eat at, kids shoved into two bedrooms (four boys in one, three girls in the other), and no notion of how they will educate that many beyond high school. There are less than four years between 1-2 and 5--so if all five want to pursue four year degrees that would be five kids in college at once with two more still at home.

In their favor, they homeschool but do pursue other connections and social outlets for the children, and last I knew plan to send them to public high school. They manage financially and she knows those kids individually and very well. She regularly updates me about each child and what their personalities are like and what they are into--and they are quite different and encouraged to be. There are absolutely no "sister-mom" situations. After number seven was born, she told me that the then ten year old oldest children would sometimes help with the baby--mostly by holding/soothing her when mom could not-- and she was just not used to having older kids big enough to do so as they had been only six when number six was born.

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Depends on the family.

IMO, you can never do for and/or with more than you can do for or with fewer. If your goal is for kids to raise and educate themselves and each other, I suppose your acceptable number would be much higher.

For our family, 2 was enough. Of course, we had a girl then a boy...what more would we have gotten had we had a third?

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Have however many kids you can afford, financially and emotionally. If you can't parent more than 2 kids in the way a kid should be parented, don't have more than two. If you can't feed more than 5 kids healthy enough food, don't have more than 5 kids.

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8.

Eight is Enough.

It's funny, but I was actually think 8 definitely the border. Any more is too many kids.

My mom is one of 9, and she and her siblings have always felt it was too many. Even the 9th one.

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Depends on the family.

IMO, you can never do for and/or with more than you can do for or with fewer. If your goal is for kids to raise and educate themselves and each other, I suppose your acceptable number would be much higher.

For our family, 2 was enough. Of course, we had a girl then a boy...what more would we have gotten had we had a third?

Are you ever sad about it? That's my hubby's and my current situation. I'm thinking... holidays will be lonely. Maybe we'll just start traditions where we go hang out with church friends and do community things.

But if we had more kids i don't want my kids to feel like we had favorites. My dd is such a wild thing i'd struggle being closer to an easier daughter... plus, it's good to be able to have time for my wild child to help her navigate life. :lol:

Sometimes i'd like for them to have a sis or brother growing up but then often friends are closer than siblings, and it's so easy to stay connected to life long friends these days. My hubby has had a lot of heartache brought into his life by family and siblings that have made bad life choices. And he can't walk away or gradually distance himself like he could with a bad friend, because they're family. And, if something happens, it wouldn't be easy for me to raise more than two alone. Still makes me sad sometimes, though.

Sorry for the off topic, it's just that a fundie friend of mine posted this horribly sad poem on FB about "The Last Time" as if the last kid was the end of the world. :lol: i couldn't help but get on her case about how grandkids start the sweet little moments cycle all over again. It was just a dumb thing to make people want more babies. :pull-hair:

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It also depends on the parents too. Mullet should've stopped at 6 if her body told her it was enough. However this quiverfull nonsense has pushed her beyond the limit and she is a detatched and bad mother who doesn't know squat about her kids.

I really wish she would've told JB to stick it and that she didn't want anymore. I feel sorry for her in the fact she's constantly submitting to her husband.

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Are you ever sad about it? That's my hubby's and my current situation. I'm thinking... holidays will be lonely. Maybe we'll just start traditions where we go hang out with church friends and do community things.

But if we had more kids i don't want my kids to feel like we had favorites. My dd is such a wild thing i'd struggle being closer to an easier daughter... plus, it's good to be able to have time for my wild child to help her navigate life. :lol:

Sometimes i'd like for them to have a sis or brother growing up but then often friends are closer than siblings, and it's so easy to stay connected to life long friends these days. My hubby has had a lot of heartache brought into his life by family and siblings that have made bad life choices. And he can't walk away or gradually distance himself like he could with a bad friend, because they're family. And, if something happens, it wouldn't be easy for me to raise more than two alone. Still makes me sad sometimes, though.

Sorry for the off topic, it's just that a fundie friend of mine posted this horribly sad poem on FB about "The Last Time" as if the last kid was the end of the world. :lol: i couldn't help but get on her case about how grandkids start the sweet little moments cycle all over again. It was just a dumb thing to make people want more babies. :pull-hair:

We only have two and that is perfect, I have two hands, so two kids. Plus I'd go crazy with more. Doesn't make me sad at all. And I have a big population/social responsibility mindset as well.

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It also depends on the parents too. Mullet should've stopped at 6 if her body told her it was enough. However this quiverfull nonsense has pushed her beyond the limit and she is a detatched and bad mother who doesn't know squat about her kids.

I really wish she would've told JB to stick it and that she didn't want anymore. I feel sorry for her in the fact she's constantly submitting to her husband.

I thought I saw, on the show, JB say it was always up to Michelle if they had more kids.

It has always been my impression, perhaps erroneously, that Michelle was the real ATI instigator.

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I think it depends on the parents. Some people stop at one as they feel that having a second is too many, some people have larger numbers of kids and genuinely enjoy being a parent of so many and can provide for them.

Personally I find four easy, I would like to have a few more. Cant see myself having 19, although I would love to spend one day with a super large family like that just to see what it is really like for a parent of over 10 kids.

Some people aren't cut out for large families. I don't think Michelle is. Theres no shame in that, and the biggest problem is with the large families we snark on here, is that they think having as many kids as they can birth/adopt is the only good way to be a parent. They don't think it is okay to stop (or even wait until the first lot of kids are old enough to wipe their own butts and dress themselves) if you have five kids under five and just cant cope with so many. They don't think it is okay to stop if you are already feeding the six kids you already have on cat food and whatever you can scavenge from supermarket bins after closing time. They don't think it is okay to stop when you have 5 kids in each room and don't know where you are going to cram a fifth kid, but cant afford to move. That is what leads to problems-people being forced to have as many kids as their body allows, even if they cant provide for all of the kids.

There is no concrete number for how many kids is too many. As long as you have the time to spend with each one to get to known them (unlike the Duggars, I don't think they can name ten facts about each kid), and have a house that can comfortably accommodate so many kids, money to feed and clothe so many kids, and your pregnancies have not got to the point where they are so high risk you might die with the next one and leave the rest of the kids without a mother.....let your uterus run wild.

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I thought I saw, on the show, JB say it was always up to Michelle if they had more kids.

It has always been my impression, perhaps erroneously, that Michelle was the real ATI instigator.

Who knows. I think she's easily swayed into things Michelle.

I've done extensive study on the early missionaries and while they really did think they were doing the right thing, they preyed on people when they were in despair; promising them that their religion would bring them peace and hope.

Because Michelle had done a few silly things in her teenage years, she watched some movie with her friend and being young, she was scared she would go to hell without religion. I don't remember how she got to the same church as JB; but she was in despair at the time and believed the religion would help her. It didn't help she worked for Mary who was also very religious and then you have Boob... well...

I don't know who the woman was that told her you must always be available for your husband otherwise it's your fault if she cheats. I bet that would've scared her and being young and impressionable she didn't want to be cheated on. Michelle doesn't seem to get that women have rights and we can say no.

I am a lapsed Catholic so it may explain why I think this way?

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I agree that it depends on the family. Personalities of the parents and the kids, finances, size of the house, educational plans, health, etc.

I have 2 kids. Our house would be bursting at the seams with any more and I'm pretty sure we'd go broke. I'm a little sad my daughter will never have a sister and my son will never have a brother, but they'll still have each other and they have cousins, too.

OTOH, I have a friend that has 5 kids that range in age from 5-16. She handles them beautifully and homeschools them all and I think she could easily manage 2 or 3 more without blinking.

Then I have another friend that was the baby of 12 and she feels like by the time she came around, her parents were exhausted and tapped out and she was mostly ignored.

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We have four, and interestingly, Four is Enough... LOL! I was tired unto exhaustion and completely fried the year #s 3 and 4 arrived... 1 and 2 were adopted at birth, 3 and 4 arrived when the older two were 6 and 9 , and younger two were 5 and 6. The first two years after that, I thought I'd lose my mind, and I was 49, established in a school hours job, and It was awful. The younger two came from foster care and needed the kind of supervision that very young toddlers need.. Constant! They wandered the house at night and so on.. While there were only 8 months between 2 and 3, they were two years apart in school, so 2 got privileges 3 didn't..

So while I didn't give birth to ANY of my kids, I sure had that exhaustion/sleep deprivation thing down! 4 is 18 now, and 1 is about to be 23, and those days are long past, but... I still remember. At times, Four was Too Many for me, but we got through it.

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When you can't afford them and have to have your own children raise them. My grandma had 22 kids, but that was wayyyy back then when woman couldn't go to school or work. So she married the first man she saw to get out of the house. Now I can't imagine people having that many kids since everything is expensive. Unless you have a really good job and income. I know couples with large families but most of their kids are from foster care. There was a gay couple at church who adopted 12 kids from foster care and both husbands have degrees and make good income. I personally wouldn't want a whole bunch of kids knowing that they would have to suffer for my actions. I am a foster parent and adopted two and foster around 14. I also have kids of my own, but I'm willing to foster and adopt more since I do have the room but it's better not to bite off more than I can chew

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Part of my answer won't be popular. I don't care.

Are you already able to support the ones you have? Or do you have to rely on a bunch of social services to feed the ones you have? I do not believe it is responsible to intentionally conceive more when you already have so little that you qualify for aid. The shitty pay of so many jobs is a different topic (I support raising the minimum), but he effect is the same. If you're in poverty, it's selfish to expect the children you do have to share what little they get with another mouth.

Second, are you able to do most of the care of your children yourself? This is where the Duggars fail. They aren't just asking a kid to babysit on occasion, or do regular chores, or change some diapers here and there, or even help get a toddler to get in a rough night when a few of the others are sick and need both mom and dad. They're not asking their older kids for help. They rely 100% on those older kids raising the younger ones entirely for them since they are both too lazy, but also have more kids than they could handle if they weren't lazy.

For some people, this could mean 2 kids is too many, and for other people, it might mean 10 is fine. I know families with 10 kids where the parents do 99% of the work, and the kids do reasonable chores, and the parents support the kids 100% on their own, and I know families with 2 kids that they don't have time for (worse, 1 of my cousins is 1 of them, and she's trying to have another even though she and her new boyfriend don't work, because he wants to have a son of his own DNA).

So it depends. For my family, #3 would be too many. We'd get into the spot of not being able to support them on our own, even though we really want another (yes, I practice what I preach about income), even though we could do the raising of another ourselves. But a good friend of mine is on #7, and doing fine.

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I have to admit, I'm a bit shocked and amazed by some of the numbers in this thread :shock:

22 children, holy fuck. But to an only child like me, even 8 or 6 or 4 sounds like sooo much work. I know four families with 3 children each, and that's it. I don't think having many children is common here in Germany at all. What's funny is that I have also noticed that with pets. Where an American says he has 4 dogs and 3 cats, I feel here people mostly have only one or two of each.

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For me that number is 0. For my dad it was 3 and for my mom it was 1. The biggest family in my area growing up was 6. Nothing I saw ever said or showed that those kids weren't taken care of or loved. Those crazy parents were always up for sleep overs too and they were a blast. Now the kicker is one of those six kids has six kids with one on the way and nothing about those kids say they are emotionally taken care of, they are clean, clothed, and fed but are emotionally needy. Not sure why they thought another one would be a bright idea.

I also agree that you need to be able to provide for your children in all ways. I know oops can happen but at some point you have to figure out how/where those babies are coming from. If you can't afford condoms or BC then you can't afford a kid either.

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Part of my answer won't be popular. I don't care.

Are you already able to support the ones you have? Or do you have to rely on a bunch of social services to feed the ones you have? I do not believe it is responsible to intentionally conceive more when you already have so little that you qualify for aid. The shitty pay of so many jobs is a different topic (I support raising the minimum), but he effect is the same. If you're in poverty, it's selfish to expect the children you do have to share what little they get with another mouth.

Second, are you able to do most of the care of your children yourself? This is where the Duggars fail. They aren't just asking a kid to babysit on occasion, or do regular chores, or change some diapers here and there, or even help get a toddler to get in a rough night when a few of the others are sick and need both mom and dad. They're not asking their older kids for help. They rely 100% on those older kids raising the younger ones entirely for them since they are both too lazy, but also have more kids than they could handle if they weren't lazy.

For some people, this could mean 2 kids is too many, and for other people, it might mean 10 is fine. I know families with 10 kids where the parents do 99% of the work, and the kids do reasonable chores, and the parents support the kids 100% on their own, and I know families with 2 kids that they don't have time for (worse, 1 of my cousins is 1 of them, and she's trying to have another even though she and her new boyfriend don't work, because he wants to have a son of his own DNA).

So it depends. For my family, #3 would be too many. We'd get into the spot of not being able to support them on our own, even though we really want another (yes, I practice what I preach about income), even though we could do the raising of another ourselves. But a good friend of mine is on #7, and doing fine.

I wonder how many kids the Duggars would have had and how they would be living if not for the TLC money?

I think another caveat needs to be added. People should never have more than they parents can support- the Duggars are supporting theirs partially by having the kids work too. IMO, selling private moments (birth on a toilet, wisdom teeth extraction, Josie"s Nicu stay...) for easy cash that goes in JB's coffers is just as bad as using welfare. You birth them, you work to support and raise them.

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