Family Sizes

Jessica - posted on 09/03/2009 ( 36 moms have responded )

157

10

19

How many children to you have? How many do you want? To you what is the perfect family size? I always wanted a larger family and my husband really wants a big family but since having our daughter 13months ago and seeing how hard being a mum can be I dont know any more. I'm seeing on tv these familys with 8-19 children and envy them in one way but wonder how it is the manage to juggle them all. So please share your stories and advise be it you have a big or small family and if you have a big family (which to me is probably having 4 or more) take me through your daily routine and survival techniques.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Julie - posted on 09/03/2009

1

3

0

My husband and I got married thinking we both wanted 6. After our first two, 21 months apart that all changed. We thought we were done and were both ok with that but now that they are a little older we have changed our minds again and decided that at least one more, and maybe two is what we want. Just as you grow together the longer you are married I think your ideas of family and what you want change too. And to raise kids right is really hard sometimes. I like what Christa said "so I think you know when you know!! " and just take one kid at a time.

Cally - posted on 09/07/2009

8

4

1

I have 6 children... 12, 10, 6, 4, and twin 1 year olds. I always wanted 6. I did actually think about stopping at 4 because of our finances. While we were deciding on preventative measures, we found out we were expecting # 5. Ultrasound told us that it was 5 and 6. Apparently it was meant to be! We did have to move to a larger yet cheaper house ( so less luxurious) But well worth it! Unfortunately I did have my tubes tied. I regret that decision now, as I do want more still. After 2 it gets easier to add one. Once the schedule and rules are set, It is easy to add one more to the mix. As well as being taught by you, They will learn the routine from the older ones by watching how they behave. Structure, routine and consistency of discipline is vital. As far as behavior, I give 1 warning, next is the time out spot for their number of age and if they move or make a peep, time starts over. They hate it! Then when time is up we talk about what could have been diff and they apologize and give hugs and kisses! (just like Nanny) It really works if you stick to it! There is NO room for acting up with alot of children. A huge thing for us was how to save money. You wouldn't believe how much you could save by making almost everything from scratch, do not buy packaged food from store. Do not buy fast food, always brown bag it.Plus it is much healthier. Also, buy in bulk. As far as attention, Every weekend dad has one on one with aa child and I have one on one with another the next day. Then diff kids next weekend. I hope I have given you some info you were looking for. You will figure out what is right for you in time. Once you have a couple, It will be easy to decide if you were meant to have more. Feel free to contact if you have questions. Good luck.

Shannon - posted on 09/06/2009

5

28

0

I have 6 children and we would like some more. I feel the bigger the better :-) Being a parent is never easy whether you have 1 or 10, it's just how you handle it. First one is the hardest because you're still learning. My kids range in ages 12 to 10 months, 4 girls and 2 boys. You just have to have a schedule and RULES! Without rules and dicipline it will not be to your advantage.
I wish you the best in your decision. If you need anything or have questions, please don't hesitate to get a hold me.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

36 Comments

View replies by

Cyndel - posted on 04/29/2011

754

24

54

Once you get past #3 esp if they are spaced well, 2 years or more apart. Then it gets easier, As the older ones are old enough to make their own beds, are potty trained, can entertain themselves for longer periods of time, can help with chores, my son is 3 1/2 and he puts most of his clothes away by himself, etc. If you train your children to do chores and pitch in, entertain the middle child/baby then it gets much easier.
I don't know this from personal experience, we are only working on our second child, but I grew up around families of 8-12 kids and saw how they worked...they aren't hecktic unless you aren't firm in your dicipline. If your children don't respect you, don't understand that you love them and what you tell them to do is not to make their lives miserable but to make life as a large family as easy and pleasant as possible then it will be crazy and hectic and you will become a slave to your children, I saw this in a mother of 8 children, her husband was a perfectionist, and she was sickly and thin because she cleaned from 6am to 10pm or later all day every day and her husband never made the kids help and her boys didn't respect her because her husband didn't (she only had 2 daughters, all the others were boys). On top of the perfect house he also expected her to homeschool the kids. Don't get me wrong, I've seen huge families homeschool all their kids and do a great job, but expecting a perfect house, not expecting the kids to pitch in and help (except of course their oldest child and only daughter for 16 years who was expected to help her mom keep up the house) and homeschool all the kids at the same time is just over kill. It is rediculous...any way enough of my rant.
Big families are awesome! If you don't let discipline get lax, and you train kids to do chores and pitch in, then it is hard, but not as hard as some make it out to be. Those first few years are the hardest, when all you have is little ones, but as they get older and can help out then it gets reasonably easier.

Denise - posted on 04/28/2011

82

20

8

We have 12 children(18,16,13,12,9,7,5,3/3 twins,2,11 months,3 wks) and I would love to have 16 but we will see. I don't know how I juggle it all. I do what I need to do daily and have gotten good at it. I didn't start that way but have had many years of practice so of course you get good at it. My days are very busy into the evening. Well worth it and I wouldn't change a thing.

Dayna - posted on 03/05/2010

46

2

7

We have a very large blended family!!! My huband has 4 older children aged 27,26,24,17 and 1 in heaven, I have 3 boys aged 14,12 and 9 and together we have 5 together aged 7,6,5,4 and 9 months as well a two angels, at this stage we will not stop until we have too, we also foster children and currently have a 12yr old here with u permanently so have 9 living at home. I homeschool all but our foster child, so I find routine to be the key to almost every issue!!

Brittany - posted on 09/09/2009

183

11

20

I have two children that are 11 months apart. Emma and Ammon are the best things that could have ever come into my life. But despite how much I love being a mom they are the only two I am going to have. I grew up in a very large family and honestly.. I hated it. There were 7 of us children and even though my parents did a wonderful job raising us, I just didn't like it. I loved my two brothers that were 2 years younger but my sister and I never got along and then my mom had 3 more and I always just endend up helping babysit. We never fit in just one car, we all had to share rooms, and my parents were in alot of debt. It was quite noisy and it was always a big production to get somewhere. And because there were so many little ones I never really got one on one time with my mom. I don't want that to happen to my children. With two they can play together and yet be apart if they need to and they will both be able to get equal attention from both me and my husband.

Jessica - posted on 09/07/2009

157

10

19

I just want to thank everyone for replying and for your encouraging words. You all sound like incredible mothers and women. I am really enjoying reading about all of your experiences as parents. For those who are happy to answer I would love to hear about your differing approaches to discipline. Everyone who replied agreed that rules where a very important part so what sort of rules does your family live by and how do you enforce them? What are some of your survival tips for juggling children when they are younger? A final question, how well do your children get along and how do you encourage them to be friends? No matter how many children we have I want them to be very close as family means the world to me.

Thanks again, you have all been wonderful.

Cmquist - posted on 09/07/2009

47

21

8

I have four children ages 5,6,8 and 10. I am not planning on having more but not opposed to it either. Having four has forced me to become organized. I am not the norm since I am a military wife and a homeschooler. I enjoy my children.I love being a mother. We stopped at four because it was all my husband feels he can properly support. I love that my kids are close in age. They play well together and now that the youngest is 5 life is loads of fun.Everyone is basically in the same stage, we go on family bike rides, swimming, camping, soccer, and on. It was very exhausting when they were little. My second born is autistic so he is like parenting three. Family is important to us, we see children as a gift. I survive through lots of prayer!!! Take care of yourself. I have friends and we swap kids to give each other breaks. We both have four. I also find you must take time for you and your marriage weekly. It seems impossible at first but the rewards are worth the effort. Also no need to be super mom. Sometimes simpler is better.

Chelle - posted on 09/06/2009

768

44

77

i just have the one at the moment (and one asleep in the sky) i would love two or three, close in age if i could. my house is not big enough for a large family and i dont really see me havin enuf money for more then three.... but i would like at least one more to keep my daughter company and to play with her. shes only four months but i am tryin again for number two(it took me 7 or 8 months to make my daughter). i hope i will be blessd with at least one more child.

Erin - posted on 09/06/2009

21

8

0

I have a 26 month old and a 15 month old. I would love to have another child in about a year. My husband wouldn't because of the restrictions it puts on us. Things like camping, fishing, boating and of course money. Having the two kids so close was a blessing and difficult. They do so well together. They have their moments of hitting or pushing each other but they are sibblings. I am told that is normal (I was an only child). On the other hand, I have 2 kids in diapers and they still require a lot of my attention. I feel you do what you have to for the sake of your family. In doing that, I am happy even though our lives are a bit nutty. Do what you feel is best. Just remember to love them and everything else kind of falls into place (maybe not easily, but it gets there)

Skittles - posted on 09/06/2009

68

16

11

So far I have 3 kids,1 girl shes 8 and 2 boys,one is 3 and the other is about 14 months now.I love it and I am just getting started. I think one key for me has been this"live laugh love"I mean you need to be able to laugh at something when things aren't so great.But when I lived in another town everyday I had about 10-14 kids at my house.I loved it. They knew they had to listen to the rule I even had them doing small chores. I figure if they can help mess it they can clean it up. their parents couldn't figure out how I got them to all be so good and play nice with eachother. I just told them that is my dream of a huge family so when kids are at my home they are part of my family ad so are they.I treat them as I do my own. I had that everyday for months till I moved. I miss it alot.We are trying right now to have another baby I can't wait.As he says he wants a tribe lol so we may have 12 if that is what we are blessed with or more

Misty - posted on 09/05/2009

3

12

0

I love my large family. I currently have 4 children 3 girls and a baby boy and 2 in heaven. My husband and I both come from large families and I love it. I agree with one of the moms who said that it is a great learning experience for the older children to learn how to HELP take care of small children. My girls are great with their baby brother! They are 11,8, and 4. I really want more children, and I think the key is knowing that you can handle more. As for one on one time we have that all the time. My children talk to me about everything and they enjoy doing things with me. My husband is a great father and we take turns with each child doing special things. My children know that they are truly cherished and loved!

Sharon - posted on 09/05/2009

14

7

0

I have three, 1 boy 4, 2 girls 1yr 7mths and 7mths, we had always said we wanted 4 but i would be quite happy to have no more.. but saying that im a bit slow to say for deff as i dont know how i will feel in a few years. I found it hard going from 2 to 3 not enough hand or knees:). It can be hard trying to give each one alone time with me and try and keep the house in order but im hopeing things will get better as they get older. But when you see them all laughing and playing together and how much they love each other its worth all the hard work.

Tonya - posted on 09/05/2009

38

28

1

I only have one child that is 17 months old and she is enough for me. I am not going to have anymore children and I think that is okay...I want to give her a great life and with to many kids I know that could not happen. I don't want her to feel like just another number and have to take care of her other siblings...I love having my daughter. She may be spoiled but that's how I like it.

Debbie - posted on 09/05/2009

12

21

2

i have 5 - 2 girls 3 boys i love having a big family although it can be a struggle sometimes, financially and with behavoir because mine are all very competative, problems aside i would recommend a big family 2 everyone x

[deleted account]

hi there I have 3 kids and will keep going till we get one we like..KIDDING...3 beautiful girls...I would have more but my husband doesnt, although our lives are very busy i am blessed...I did have that finished feeling but now the feeling of oh just one more has come back..lol...but will that ever leave that is my question....I hope how ever many that you have they will be healthy and happy kids thats all you can ask for hey..:-)

Jennel - posted on 09/04/2009

161

15

15

We have one daughter right now and i always said 3 but dh says 2 were expecting out second so we will see what happends after that. we do travel lots as my famaily are in canada and we live in NZ so i can see why two would be best for us.

Bethany - posted on 09/04/2009

407

11

43

I have one daughter so far, one son on the way, and four babies in heaven. Children are a gift, and life is a gift. Really, how many kids we have is not something we will ever plan. Since we don't use birth control for various reasons, condoms don't always happen, and neither of us will probably ever get "fixed" unless it would be fatal for me to continue giving birth, we will probably end up with a LOT of kids. But that's not a bad thing. :)

Darci - posted on 09/04/2009

163

9

19

I think 4 children is the perfect number. We currently have 3 children, but we are praying that number 4 will arrive in about 2 years. Our oldest (girl) is 3 years 8 months, our middle child (boy) is 2 years 5 months and our youngest (girl) is 3 1/2 months.

I think that big families are great for all the reasons you have mentioned, but I also think that discipline-wise big families are great too... if you are consistent and do discipline. I think that the more kids, the less "cool" it is for someone to misbehave. The misbehaving child gets attention, but negative attention. I think there is probably some positive peer pressure to behave in a big family.

Also, I think that the more kids in a family, the more consistent the parents are about discplining -- for the sake of their sanity. I noticed this especially after my 3rd child was born. My older two experienced "boot camp" for a little while because I spend 36 hours home alone with the kids when my husband is at work (nature of his job). I realized that I didn't have the time or patience to constantly be giving the kids another chance to listen and do what I asked. I really got better at discpline because I had to be better or I was going to be stuck in my house all day afraid to go anywhere because I couldn't depend on my kids to be good listeners and be safe. I am totally confident going anywhere with my three kids by myself... and I know that the older two will be good even though one is only a preschooler and the other is a toddler.

I grew up in a family with 3 kids. My mom has mentioned that with 3 kids, one is always left out. I would have to agree with this statement. My pregnancies haven't ever been easy, and I was considering being done having children after this one (my third). But, I am convinced that we need one more to balance the family. My oldest 2 get along so great, I'm afraid that my youngest will feel left out... she needs a "buddy" just like her siblings have each other. The friendships might change, but their will always be 2 pairs.

Valerie - posted on 09/04/2009

14

8

0

I have a big family 4 boys and 1 girl at home, and a teenage stepson that lives with his mom. I am fortunate to be a stay at home mom, but I have notice through the years that it isn't really harder with more kids than with one. You just learn different tricks to save money and manage your time. Patience and the time you dedicate to your children is the most important thing I have learned. Don't get me wrong sometimes you may feel you are pulled in every different direction, but at the end of the day it is worth it. I think it is a lot harder when both parents work at least it was for us, that is why I decided to stay home. Good Luck and I hope this helps....

Charity - posted on 09/04/2009

36

13

8

I want eight children and I don't think that will ever change but we'll see once I have another baby :)

Christina - posted on 09/03/2009

7

11

0

We have 7 children - the oldest just turned 17 and he's finishing high school, our next son is almost 15, our twin girls are 12, the next boy is 10 on mon., our next son is 7, and we have a baby boy of 5mos. We homeschool and have a routine (that is subject to change!!) for what we do every day. We also try to have 'dates' with the kids one on one when we can. Even just riding together somewhere or working in the kitchen is a great time to talk things out. Was worried about the baby thinking he was being raised by the older children - but he knows who his mommy is. Sometimes have to put my foot down to get him away from his sisters!! It is an excellent teaching opportunity to show the older kids how to take care of and cherish a baby. We would actually love to have 1 more, and the big kids are all for it, but it's in the Lords hands. I am totally willing to try again, although I know it will have to be another C-section as the last 2 were breech (bless them!).

We don't have alot of money, but we have always been able to feed and take care of the kids. Sometimes we have to get alittle creative with our menu, and I do alot of baking and canning, but it always works out. We drive a Chevy Suburban z71 which means we don't all fit at once, but the oldest drives, or my husband drives some in his truck. But all the kids can fit in the Chevy with just me. A large family can be challenging - but the joy is worth it!! And I can't imagine the fun I'll have with all those grandkids!!!

Luisa - posted on 09/03/2009

10

18

0

I only have 2 boys.... and I also wanted a big family... but as their needs have grown I re thinking having a third one, is not just money wise is the attention they need, the world we live in is not as nice as the one we grow up in. There are so many things around them that you need to guide them So to answer your question the perfect size family is the one you and your husband think that can meet the needs of every single kid you have... emotional, physical,patience, economical, atention wise.. because ones you have them you can not turn back and even if they grow up you are still going to be their mother... I hope this helps,,,, pray best way to do anything! jijiji

Bridget - posted on 09/03/2009

1

1

0

I have 5 children - ages 3 months to 9 years old. My mother also had 5 children and two of my aunts had 6 children. Many of my friends have 4 children each; though my siblings only have 3 each.

I think the idea and the reality of having a lot of children becomes a more positive thought and easier to do when you know other people with many children. As with anything it helps to have support. So many people no longer have many children that its harder to find those who can understand and who really support you. And because there are so few people we know personally with many children, it seems like such a foreign and strange idea. Its being 'different' and that can be hard for some. If it was the other way around, where the majority of families were large - no one would think anything of it, we would simply do what we've gotta do and raise our families. (It wasn't so long ago that this was the norm -- though its hard to compare with the 'times' being so different).



That said, I loved coming from a larger family and love having a larger family of my own. I agree with an earlier poster about setting up a routine (though ours is very relaxed) and being consistant. Its really hard being consistant with kids, but very important.



I didn't really have a goal about how many children I would have. We just decided as we went along. After the 1st and 2nd, I knew I wasn't done. Then after #3, It wasn't until the baby was about a year that I knew I wanted another (though we still waited a bit longer before trying). I also wasn't sure about more after #4 and felt pressured by some to 'get fixed'. We decided not to make anything permanant; just in case. And about three years later, we now have our 5th (planned). :) I'm still not going to do anything permanant; though its hard for me to imagine wanting more (my youngest is only 3 months though -- who knows?)

Ashley - posted on 09/03/2009

123

28

15

when i first started dating my husband 4 years ago we talked about kids, i wanted 4 he wanted 2, we compromised with 3. We had our first son, who is 16 months now, and knew we still wanted 2 more, well i am 6 and 1/2 months pregnant with our second son adn my husband is back down to wanting 2 probably because i have been way more hormonal this pregnancy lol. But after further discussion we have decided to have one more, we are going to try for a little girl, i want a daughter soo bad! If its a boy or girl no matter what after 3 we are done!
On that note i have a cousin who has 8 kids and im not sure if shes done or not, her kids range from 13 to almost 7 monhts ... she pretty much had them every 2 years... she has 6 girls and 2 boys they boys are right in the middle 3 older sisters and 3 younger sisters. Im not quite sure how she does it but some how she manages to get them to all their activities and trust me they all have something to do at any point. It completely amazes me adn i usually go to her for any advice on kids because all 8 of hers well the baby isnt quite yet but they all are perfectly well behaved, she only has to tell them something once and at most twice and they do it. I would love to have a big family like that if i could afford it, and if i could raise my kids to be so well behaved but my son is already too crazy! lol

Hella - posted on 09/03/2009

34

19

1

I only have one child at the moment but we would like to have three. I used to want to have five but i think now that's not a good idea for us financially. I think three is a good number because they fit in the car and I think it creates a good dynamic between the kids.

Erica Shea - posted on 09/03/2009

27

18

2

Me and my husband are planning to have a very large family. We are putting our blessing in the Lords hands to decide. After having my 3 month old daughter our decision was final I had to have more babies! I have always worked with children so big groups of them never set me off. I just think me and my husband have so much love to give that the more the children the merrier! Also the only way to know how easy and rewarding it will be is to do it.

Karen - posted on 09/03/2009

39

35

6

What a great question! I/we have one "homegrown" child that is turning 18 and we have three adopted kids: twin four year old boys and a baby boy that is 16 months. I would love to have more kids but now that I am 39 years old, I worry about how old is too old to have kids. If I have more, how old will I be when the graduate, get married ect. Would they be embarrased to bring friends home because their mom is really old? We laugh because as when my daughter went to school, we were the youngest parents and when our twins start school, we will likely be the oldest! I think that the magic number of kids can only be answered after you start having kids and you have experienced the love, stress, chaos and financial hardships that come with having a family. We have a great sense of adventure and having more kids would be great for us but, because of our ages, I think that we will just sit back and wait for our grandbabies to come and we will be waiting a long time because our daughter "hates" kids....what is the best form of birthcontrol; adopting kids when you teenage daughter turns 13...lol

[deleted account]

When we got married, I always thought I'd like to have 3 kids one day and my husband always said he wanted 2. Now, I have 2 children - a girl of 5 and a boy of 2 and we are done. I'm happy with my two. For me both pregnancies were a bit difficult, the 2nd one worse than the 1st, so after my son was born, I had decided that I most definitely did not want to be pregnant again. Now I'm really glad that I know I'm done with the sleepless nights and infant issues. I enjoy my 2 kids. I guess circumstances change and people change their minds as time goes on. Just take things as they come and do what you feel comfortable with.

Julie - posted on 09/03/2009

261

13

65

I have four children. My oldest is my only boy and is 7. My three girls are 5 (almost 6), 3 and 2. I actually would of liked one more, but medically for me that was not a smart thing to do so we stopped at four. I absolutely love having all my kids. They each have their own personal playmate. There are very few days where they are whining that they are bored.

What really makes it manageable it that I have a fairly consistent routine. The kids know what to expect at what time and the day runs smoothly. For us a routine is so important to everyone's mood. The biggest struggle we have is finances, but that is to be expected when raising a family in general, especially on one income. Overall I wouldn't change it for the world!

Jessica - posted on 09/03/2009

157

10

19

Thanks for you responses. I love the idea of having a big family becuase I like the idea of my kids always have a variety of people to turn to through out life. But I am currently negotiating with my husband about numbers. He orginally wanted 6-8 and we are now down to him only wanting 4 ( i think our daughter woke him up a little) but I would prefer only have three I think! This way we dont have to up grade our car or the size of our house and I think three is still affordable for us. I look at families with say 8 kids and think wow there must be so much love in that family and always someone for those kids to play with but then I wonder about how they make sure every child gets one on one time with mum and dad, that they never feel neglected or forgotten. And then there is what Erin said, how do you make sure the older siblings dont feel they are raising the younger siblings, making sure they dont grow up too quickly?

Christa - posted on 09/03/2009

583

80

45

I have five..1 girl, 4 boys ages 10 down to 1 1/2! We think our family is complete; but we will never say never!! This is the first time I have said we were complete....so I think you know when you know!! Good Luck and Enjoy Them.....time really does fly!!

Erin - posted on 09/03/2009

324

23

40

i have 3 girls ages 6, 3 and 8 months, for me it was more difficult going from 1 to 2 then it was going from 2 to 3. that could be do to my huband moving acrossed the country when i was 5 months pregnant and us not fallowing until the baby was 8 months.when you have your babies within a few years of each other you already have the baby stuff down pat, i find the more difficult stuff is with my oldest, everything is always new with her. its finding time for all her new endeavors, the younger ones seem to fallow suit, but its easier with them because i know what to expect, somewhat. i'm not sure right now if i want more, i have always wanted lots of kids, but there are only so many hours in the day and i don't ever want one of my kids to feel neglected or left out, or that they are raising there younger sibling.

[deleted account]

I have a 2.5 year old boy and want one more child. I think two children is a nice even number. I also think it leaves us in a situation where we can still afford for me to stay at home from work. I grew up in a larger family and it was difficult. Money was tight and we had to make a lot of sacrifices because of that. There was also more conflict having more children in the house. You need to be prepared for that. I don't want there to be any financial stress on me and my husband because we have too many children. My best friend has 4 children and they are in so much debt and never have any money. Her husband and her are always fighting about it.

Lindsay - posted on 09/03/2009

3

16

1

I have a 9 yr old and a 4 month old...and want more in about 18 months time. I didn't think I would want anymore...one was always enough...but since having Chloe in April I find I am very different now at 32 than I was at 23. I know it will be difficult having more than one small child but I have friends who do it...yes there life is hectic and they have to stick to a somewhat tighter schedule regarding school runs and activities, but I feel we'll cope!! That said...I want no more then 2 more...how do you even get a car big enough when there's 8 or more of you??!!!

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms