How many children do you want?
Different people will answer this question in different ways. Some people find they love being parents and want to have as many children as they can. Others may decide that for financial and emotional reasons they wish to limit the size of their family.
A large family today is often considered a family with more than two children. Having many children has many benefits both for the parents and the kids in the family. A larger family usually means that children have lots of brothers and sisters. Having many siblings makes it easier for a child to find someone close in age to play with.
If mom or dad is busy the older child can help the younger child with his homework. An older brother can serve as an excellent role model for a younger child. The child sees what his elder sibling has done and finds it easy to do the same. The older child may enjoy the chance to be admired and looked up to by the rest of his family and may find this is just the push needed for success.
Once the children are grown they may find a larger family serves a safety net should something go wrong. If one child is unable to care for an ailing parent the other child can step in instead. If a family member faces unemployment or a health crisis his siblings can pool their resources and help him out.
Having a larger family can also help a parent become a better mom or dad. As they gain experience with each successive child they are likely to become better parents. The additional pregnancies also help women lower their chances of contracting reproductive cancers. If a woman breastfeeds for several years she greatly decreases her chance of getting breast, ovarian and uterine cancers.
While it can be nice to have an extended family there are a few downsides. Large families may cost more. You might have to purchase a larger car and spend more money on meals. It can be difficult for many parents to find the resources to pay for higher education for each child. If you have children of different genders you may wish to house them in separate rooms. This necessitates the purchase or rental of housing with more space. Parents of larger families may find it hard to spend an adequate amount of time supervising each child every day.
A smaller family is usually defined as a family consisting of only one or two children. Having fewer children has many advantages. One of the biggest advantages is financial. Many parents find that a smaller family size means more there are more monetary resources to devote to each child. Paying for a private school or college education can be less difficult.
A family with only one or two children can buy cheaper housing because the entire family can easily fit into a three-bedroom starter house or two-bedroom apartment. They can use a standard four-door car and still make sure each child is securely tucked in a child’s car seat. Daycare costs are also cheaper for smaller families enabling a parent to return to work without breaking the family budget.
Another advantage of having a smaller family is less stress on mom. Frequent pregnancies may deplete a woman’s body of calcium and increase her chances of incontinence and uterine problems.
There are disadvantages to having a smaller family. Only children may feel lonely. They may also have difficulties relating to peers and learning how to work with others. Fewer children means there are fewer people available to help look after other family members. An only child can find it very difficult to help care for aging parents. A smaller family also means there will probably be fewer grandchildren and fewer cousins in the next generation. This can disrupt family unity and push family members apart.
So how many kids should you have? Only you can decide the answer to that question.