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OHFL2009
16 minutes ago, Dutch_girl said:

Funny story about family-size: I have three brothers and always wanted a big family (four kids). My husband also has three siblings and that's the reason he thinks two children is enough. Last week we talked about familysize, nothing serious, just kind of wondering what the future would look like. Two days later we were walking in the park and we see a family with two children. He says "doesn't that look good, two kids, enough attention for both kids". My (sincere) reaction: "it looks like they left half of the kids at home" ūüėā¬†

My husband and I have a had a similar conversation. I'm an only child and he has a sibling. He thinks an only child is the way to go, because the kid never has to share (toys, clothes, parental affection, anything) and we could give one child more experiences because we'd have more money to spare with only 1 kid. I want 2 kids because I was the only kid at so many functions where it would've been nice to have someone to play with. At least I have some cousins who are somewhat close to me in age, but his only sibling is not likely to have kids any time soon (or ever, they're in their mid-30s and don't seem interested in dating/marriage/kids). So if we only have 1, our kid would be the only kid at every family function. I guess we both have a grass is greener mentality. 

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piratewench8
8 hours ago, Satan said:
It seems like most families in my childhood neighborhood had lots of kids.  Many of us were Catholic & the kids were born in the 50s and 60s.  It was a fun place to grow up--I loved having a big family.
[mention=29629]Jewels64[/mention] and [mention=28685]piratewench8[/mention] My mom says that she got rude comments from strangers even back then. WTF is wrong with people?


Unfortunately people just can‚Äôt mind their own business and how they live their own lives. They have to have their nose in other peoples lives which they feel gives them the right to judge and voice their opinions. I can‚Äôt tell you how many times I‚Äôve had people say ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt know how you handle the chaos and noise of so many kids‚ÄĚ. All while my 5 kids are just playing baseball out in the field together. Meanwhile their two kids are running around from one thing to another, fist fighting with each other and screaming as loud as they can. I just raise my eyebrow, lol.

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LancetteShing99

Where I grew up, three children was the norm. Out of my closest friends one has three siblings, three have two siblings and one has one sibling. I think they represent the family sizes very well.

Most people I know who have more than four children, either have a blended family or are very catholic. The very catholic ones always seem to have six. I don't know anyone personally who has more than eight.

I only have two children so far and I think that I could't handle more than four. But we'll see what the future brings.

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CanadianMamam
On 3/16/2021 at 4:06 AM, just_ordinary said:

It’s always interesting how different family sizes are judged. Here, a family with four children is a BIG family (no difference between urban and rural, north/south/east/west). More is mostly met with extreme suspicion. 

Honestly, most people I know have 3 or 4 kids. 5 is unusual. 6 will probably get some eyebrows. But I know more people with 3+ kids than 2 or less. 

1 hour ago, OHFL2009 said:

My husband and I have a had a similar conversation. I'm an only child and he has a sibling. He thinks an only child is the way to go, because the kid never has to share (toys, clothes, parental affection, anything) and we could give one child more experiences because we'd have more money to spare with only 1 kid. I want 2 kids because I was the only kid at so many functions where it would've been nice to have someone to play with. At least I have some cousins who are somewhat close to me in age, but his only sibling is not likely to have kids any time soon (or ever, they're in their mid-30s and don't seem interested in dating/marriage/kids). So if we only have 1, our kid would be the only kid at every family function. I guess we both have a grass is greener mentality. 

My husband and I had similar conversations! He is one of four and I am an only. He thought two was perfect, I wanted 3 or 4. After we had two, we sat down  and talked about and he would have been happy to be done but I wasn’t and in the end we went for the third and honestly, I think it is the perfect number and my house has the happy chaos I envied as a kid. 

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Irishy

I have four and that raises no eyebrows in Ireland. Five or six isn’t unheard of either. But most people have two or three. Single children are rare and usually don’t happen by choice.

Happy St Patrick‚Äôs Day ‚ėėÔłŹ¬†

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Jana814

My mother was an only child.  So she told my dad 2 kids & that is what they have (me & my sister). I have a dog client who was an only child. Her husband is the oldest of 5. Their marriage is his second & he already had 2 kids. When they got together she told him right away that she want 2 kids & if he didn’t want more children she wouldn’t marry him. He agreed to have more kids & they had their sons. 

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PlentyOfJesusFishInTheSea

My mind is blown by people who live in areas where 3 kids is the norm! Pretty much every developed country has an average of 2 or less so... Rural areas? Immigrant communities? Mormons?

I am a city living southern Ontarian and almost everyone I know with kids has 2. The range seems to be 1-3. I also have several childfree by choice friends. 

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viii
40 minutes ago, PlentyOfJesusFishInTheSea said:

My mind is blown by people who live in areas where 3 kids is the norm! Pretty much every developed country has an average of 2 or less so... Rural areas? Immigrant communities? Mormons?

I am a city living southern Ontarian and almost everyone I know with kids has 2. The range seems to be 1-3. I also have several childfree by choice friends. 

I live in small town Saskatchewan and majority of my friends have 3-5 kids. There's a handful that have 2 but most have more than that. 

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CanadianMamam
4 hours ago, PlentyOfJesusFishInTheSea said:

My mind is blown by people who live in areas where 3 kids is the norm! Pretty much every developed country has an average of 2 or less so... Rural areas? Immigrant communities? Mormons?

I am a city living southern Ontarian and almost everyone I know with kids has 2. The range seems to be 1-3. I also have several childfree by choice friends. 

I am in Southern Ontario as well, I live in a small town but have friends in the city. I think it could be social circles (and my husband is from an immigrant community, though I am not) but as I said the majority of my friends have 3 or more children. Efen growing up, the majority of my classmates were one of 3, my cousins were all from 3 kid families. I felt the odd one out as an only. 

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libgirl2

I am an only child. My mom was the youngest of 5 girls and my dad had a brother. My mom said by the time she thought about having another one, I was so easy to take care of if we all went somewhere, especially when I was potty-trained. I ended up with one. It was easier and then between my hysterectomy and me divorce that was it. My current husband has no children and has not urge to. he is happy with my son. 

We have good family friends who I grew up calling cousins. Family isn't blood, its soul. Our moms were best friends as were our dads. The son is two years younger then me and the daughter 6. He has no children and she only has one who is one year older than my son. I told her that I never thought there would only be two boys between the three of us. 

I never minded being an only but I did miss having a sibling to play or fight with. It helps that I am pretty introverted and have always been someone who can entertain myself just fine. My husband has two older siblings and wishes he were an only. He can't stand them and they made his life hell growing up. 

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LillyP

I think more kids is making a comeback with the younger generation, even those who aren't uber religious.

Growing up everyone I knew was one of just 2 kids. I had one friend who was one of 3. I am one of 3, but only from a remarriage. I was raised as 1 of 2, and was in high school when my younger sister was born so it really doesn't count...and she's essentially an only child. 

In my own circle of friends 2 is still most popular but there are MANY who have 3 and even a few who have 4. 

I'm just now having my second, and it took some convincing on my husband's part. I always assumed I'd have 2 kids but talking about it and doing it are two different things...especially when you're in the thick of it. In the end I decided that having a sibling for him was more worth it. 

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Smee

I'm in Australia, with primary-school aged children, and most of their friends are from families with 1-3 children (I have 3). I do know a handful of people with 4, but anything above that is considered "big". It doesn't seem to matter what size you have though, someone is always going to comment and be rude. 

The only families I knew with 6+ kids were from when I lived in a rural area. There were also more stay at home parents there than when I lived in Sydney, which is just far too expensive to raise kids on one income. I suspect cost also contributes to smaller (1-2 kid) families in cities, especially because people are living in smaller homes and apartments, and amongst the middle class there's a real expectation that everyone has their own bedroom.

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Bluebirdbluebell

I'd kind of like a "bigger" family (more than 2), but as my parents point out it's bad for the planet (global warming/overpopulation.)

Plus a lot of big families are fundie-lite. 

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Johannah

I live in a suburb of New York City where 3 kids is atypical and more than that is unheard of. I am currently pregnant with my third and so badly want to have 4. It feels like my family isn’t complete. I think my husband is so influenced by the environment we’re in that he can’t even contemplate the idea or appeal of 4 kids. He is adamantly against it. I’m still holding out hope that he’ll change his mind, but the norms of the area we live in definitely aren’t helping. I’m jealous of my 3 cousins who live in the south who just very casually had 4 kids each like it was no big deal. 

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Shouldabeenacowboy

I'm in the "one and done" camp. Partly because #1 was a bit of a "miracle baby", and so a #2 (or 3, or 4...) is highly unlikely, although not impossible. Partly because this year I turn 40, and I am not sure I can/want to go through the rigmarole of feeding-diaper change-30 mins of sleep- repeat all night. Partly because I am so happy that my child is potty-trained and I'm not sure I ever want to see a diaper again. Partly because when I think about my work schedule, daycare costs, international plane tickets, and so forth, my head hurts.

However, I love my sibling, and sometimes I wonder if I am "depriving" my child of a good thing by only having one. 

My friends in the US who are my age/in my circle all have two kids at most. My friends in Europe who are my age/in my circle seem to have no intention of having kids, with some exceptions - three couples with two kids each and one outlier with 4 kids! 

Edited by Shouldabeenacowboy
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Snarkasarus Rex
3 minutes ago, Shouldabeenacowboy said:

I'm in the "one and done" camp. Partly because #1 was a bit of a "miracle baby", and so a #2 (or 3, or 4...) is highly unlikely, although not impossible. Partly because this year I turn 40, and I am not sure I can/want to go through the rigmarole of feeding-diaper change-30 mins of sleep- repeat all night. Partly because I am so happy that my child is potty-trained and I'm not sure I ever want to see a diaper again. Partly because when I think about my work schedule, daycare costs, international plane tickets, and so forth, my head hurts.

However, I love my sibling, and sometimes I wonder if I am "depriving" my child of a good thing by only having one. 

My sister was in a very similar situation as you, and she felt the same guilt about my niece being an 'only'.  However, my niece pretty much grew up with my BIL's niblings, so she was never 'deprived'. OTOH, Mr. Rex is one of two, and he rarely talks to his sister...they are just two very different people.  Ironically, it was BIL's siblings' comments about my 'spoiled' niece that were the tipping point in their decision to leave our hometown (our siblings and I left years earlier).  Spoiler alert, my niece is not 'spoiled', has lots of friends, and is my kids' BFF.  

tl;dr, I personally think siblings are great, but good sibling relationships are never guaranteed. Nothing wrong with being an 'only'.

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Jana814

I know of a couple who run an organization that helps with families that have disabled kids in my area of New Jersey. The couple is Orthodox Jews.  Orthodox Jewish people typically have a lot of kids. This couple has 9 children 5 boys & 4 girls ranging in age from early 20’s to 10. Although very unusual in the area they live in, it’s typical in their religious circle. Both of the parents come from large families. 

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AmericanRose

My mom is the middle of 3, and my dad is the younger of 2. I'm an only.
I have 5 cousins (34, 31, 26, 23, 19). Only 31, who remained in our rural corner of the Midwest, is married, with 2 kids. His wife, tho, has 3 siblings, and they have at least 11 kids between them - they're a religious family, tho.

And in the meantime, I have 1 friend in my city who's married with 2 kids, and another who's married with 1 kid. The majority are single with no kids. I think it's a city/rural thing.

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just_ordinary

I agree that we have seen more families with more (aka 3 or 4) children in the last years. But usually one partner stays at home full time to make that happen. I like to say, that 3 is the new 2, and 4 is the new 3. But it’s still a very new phenomenon and it’s not sure it will develop into a general trend. It also ties in with the trend that people concentrate on their own home, homemaking (knitting, gardening, bread baking, sewing, caring for 200+ houseplants...), making your world small versus globalisation, creating a haven against the outside. Not exactly coupled with more traditional values though.

While I am a big fan of siblings, I don’t think they are a necessity. Two of my very best friends are only children and while we sometimes discuss behaviour or experiences that differ, we are all doing fine in life, job and relationships. As someone up thread said, sibling relationships can turn sour or never really get going. That’s fine. They are individuals and maybe just don’t click. Recreating your own sibling experience or one you wished for might just not happen, and is putting a lot of pressure on them. I have a big problem with the sibling = best friends trope. Having a close and loving sibling relationship most definitely allows you to form close bonds outside your family with peers. Siblings are also often more than one or two years apart which is not exactly a peer for some experiences when you grow up. If it happens - great, but parents should let their children decide.
 

Parents should have as many children as they wish and can probably take care of. 
Your social bubble and growing up will influence this. Also your mental and physical health. Just because you want doesn’t always mean you can. I think when you make this choice actively (vs an ups baby) you should reflect on your wishes to be sure it’s really what you want. It’s hard when the ideas differ between partners. But after reflecting and making your case, both totally can come out with different preferences. Finding a compromise is hard when the only options are 0 or 1. There is no 0,75. I have never heard of a good solution that fits all to be honest. Persuading someone to have one more, can backfire just as much as stopping even if one partner really feels the need for one more. I would like to think in the last case, it’s mostly the adults that suffer when it goes to s**t, while in the first case the child might feel the negative repercussions in its own way very much. And children already there would feel the effect very much as well in any case.

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Melissa1977

In Spain, having a single child is normal. Having 2 is normal, too. 3 is considered a big family. 4 is unusual and raises eyebrows. 5 or more, parents are considered mad or fundies.

More and more young people decide not to have kids, because finances and also because they want to be more freedom or just don't feel they want to be parents. I really wanted kids, but I know a lot of people who just had kids because it's "the normal decision" and didn't really wanted them. I like how young generations are listening themselves more.

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IsmeWeatherwax

Im one of six, but a blended family and I was the youngest by many years, pretty much and only child growing up. I always wanted six but Ive got four! It doesnt seem like a big family to me tho, maybe because I wanted more. I also have 3 cats, maybe a 4th on the way.. I just refer to our home as a zoo¬†ūüė䬆two have left¬†¬†home but I love the crazy chaos

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Marly
10 hours ago, LillyP said:

I think more kids is making a comeback with the younger generation, even those who aren't uber religious.

 

That might also be dependent on your country/region. In my country, people age 35 and down, are very environmentally aware and, generally, try to keep their ecological footprint smaller. One of the ways in which they do that is by not having more than 2 kids. 
1, 2 or childfree is the norm here. In general, families with more children are religious families.

Additionally, I think not being able to find affordable housing also contributes to families having less children. My youngest brother is 27 and still lives with my parents because there currently isn't anything he can afford. He works 36+ hours a week in a healthcare field (specifically, he works with people with mental disabilities). He earns too much to qualify for government subsidized housing, but not enough to be able to afford the sky-high rent of the private sector. He could get a mortgage, but not enough to be able to afford any type of house on the current market. He broke off his relationship last year, but before that he and his gf had been looking to buy a house for over three years. They both worked full time (ex is a teacher), but they still couldn't afford anything. And they are not alone. In my brother's friend and aquintance group, only 2 people don't still live with their parents. One of them has rich parents and they bought him a house, and the other one still lives in student housing. 
My ex-SIL recently found an appartment on the private market. It's roughly 36m2 and she pays around 800 euro's a month for that. And that's one of the cheaper deals you'll find.

On the environmental awareness: My brother and SIL are currently expecting. My brother always wanted a big family, but his opinion has changed because of climate change. I share his opinion. To me, climate change is a very important issue. I want there to be a habitable planet left for my potential children and their children. That won't be possible if everyone keeps having more than 2 children. Therefore, for me, I think one is best, two is the max., childfree is great. (I know not everyone will agree with this, but for me this is a very important issue).

Edited by Marly
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PlentyOfJesusFishInTheSea
12 hours ago, CanadianMamam said:

I am in Southern Ontario as well, I live in a small town but have friends in the city. I think it could be social circles (and my husband is from an immigrant community, though I am not) but as I said the majority of my friends have 3 or more children. Efen growing up, the majority of my classmates were one of 3, my cousins were all from 3 kid families. I felt the odd one out as an only. 

It does seem like a small town/rural vs. urban difference. I know two couples my age with 3 kids and everyone else has fewer! That said, we bought our house from hippie Christians with 5 kids. 

It's crazy how much some families have changed in a generation or two. My parents have 1 and 2 sibs respectively but many Boomers around here have a boatload of siblings.

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Iamtheway
12 hours ago, Shouldabeenacowboy said:

I'm in the "one and done" camp. Partly because #1 was a bit of a "miracle baby", and so a #2 (or 3, or 4...) is highly unlikely, although not impossible. Partly because this year I turn 40, and I am not sure I can/want to go through the rigmarole of feeding-diaper change-30 mins of sleep- repeat all night. Partly because I am so happy that my child is potty-trained and I'm not sure I ever want to see a diaper again. Partly because when I think about my work schedule, daycare costs, international plane tickets, and so forth, my head hurts.

However, I love my sibling, and sometimes I wonder if I am "depriving" my child of a good thing by only having one. 

My friends in the US who are my age/in my circle all have two kids at most. My friends in Europe who are my age/in my circle seem to have no intention of having kids, with some exceptions - three couples with two kids each and one outlier with 4 kids! 

This is me too! I have two siblings that I love and I am worried I’m depriving my son of that relationship but I really, really, really don’t want any more children. I am also 40 and I just don’t want to start over. Miniway is 7 so it’s not like they’ll be friends. 

I am so happy with my one. And also so happy that my sister that lives close is expecting her 4th. I love that Miniway is close with his cousins. 

Four is a big family here though. Two or three is the norm now and was the borm when I was little. I have no friends with more then two siblings and no friends with more then three kids. 

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kmachete14

I grew up in a wealthy, #1-rated (actually) suburb. 3-4 kids seemed to be the norm. Now that my parents are empty nesters and the new generation is moving into the neighborhoods, I think 3-4 I still the norm LOL. I mean, these houses have 4-5 bedrooms . . . you wouldn't buy them unless planning to fill them up! If you have the resources and live somewhere with excellent public schools, parks, activities, etc, plus mom or dad makes enough for one parent to be a SAHM/D or you can hire nanny/babysitter . . . why not have a bigger family? 

I was one of 5 in this town and it barely raised eyebrows. My best friend also had 5 kids in her family. I'm a millennial. There are also like 5 Catholic Churches in the area, but there's also a huge diversity in other Christian churches and a large Indian and Asian population, so I don't think Catholicism is what drove the large family idea here. 

I think "big" families are "making a comeback" in the sense that Gen Z and younger millennials are "crunchy" and eschewing birth control even for secular reasons. The idea of having a perfect, large family for social media seems enticing. Yikes -- that's def the WRONG reason to have more kids! 

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