Author Topic: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?  (Read 7731 times)

talltexan

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #50 on: February 15, 2018, 07:10:11 AM »
We have 3 kids and when they were 8,6,5, we took them to  Cedar Point (midwest's big amusement park)
One of the kids remarked "Why did you even havexxx?"
There was always an extra person, all the seats on multi rider rides were for even numbers.

So, I suggest an even number of children.

Is this something that you really encounter a lot on a daily basis? Enough to really consider changing how many kids you want? I’m genuinely curious.

Yeah, I get the whole restaurant booth/hotel room comment. But when I read your example the first thought that came to my head was “couldn’t someone invite a friend to tag along?”

Do you notice that one of your children gets more left out than the other two? We’re really thinking about 3 kids.

I have 2 kids (for now).  You need at least 2 so you can play Catan, 4 is the limit if you have the 6-player expansion.  3 could be OK because that is the most you can squeeze into the back of a sedan. 

Just think about how left out that 3rd kid will feel if she were never born...  jk you are good either way!  I respect everyone's decision to have X kids!  I am the youngest of 4 siblings and very happy to be alive.  Breed away fellow breeders.

Yes, having the third kid means someone gets left out of Catan. But Carcassonne has five colors of pieces, and we're having good luck introducing our 3-year old to it.

Of course, if you have four kids, you could be playing two separate three player games of Catan, which would be a faster pace for everyone.

VaCPA

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #51 on: February 15, 2018, 08:11:26 PM »
4 is not too many but I wouldn't get ahead of yourselves and try to plan how many you want before having any. Just take it one kid at a time. My wife always wanted 2, I tended to lean towards wanting 3. But we didn't talk about it at all until we had 2 kids. Ended up having the 3rd and we both are 100% sure that is the magic number for us.

talltexan

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #52 on: February 16, 2018, 09:04:42 AM »
If you want to get to the four level (or beyond), you probably want to make sure the first two are close together--you have some control over this--and the same sex, which I realize you have little control over. Design home processes in which one adult can be managing these two children as a unit, and things will go better when you're adding 3+.

Milizard

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #53 on: February 16, 2018, 09:11:05 AM »
IMO, 4 is the perfect number of kids, but it's a very individual decision based upon a lot of factors, meaning, it isn't perfect for everyone.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #54 on: February 16, 2018, 12:30:33 PM »
We have 3 kids and when they were 8,6,5, we took them to  Cedar Point (midwest's big amusement park)
One of the kids remarked "Why did you even havexxx?"
There was always an extra person, all the seats on multi rider rides were for even numbers.

So, I suggest an even number of children.

Is this something that you really encounter a lot on a daily basis? Enough to really consider changing how many kids you want? I’m genuinely curious.

Yeah, I get the whole restaurant booth/hotel room comment. But when I read your example the first thought that came to my head was “couldn’t someone invite a friend to tag along?”

Do you notice that one of your children gets more left out than the other two? We’re really thinking about 3 kids.

We had our kids thinking being close in age would be easier. It was.
Just a note: # 3 was an oops. Some time in his young life he knew this, and I explained it. "You know how, at Christmas time, you know some of the gifts you're getting and you're really excited?  Now, think of the gifts you had no idea you were getting, and they turned out to be the best gift you could have gotten? Well, you're like the surprise gift!"
Looking back, I think it was another one of those "Why did you have xxxx?" I won't lie to my kids, so told him the truth.

When they were little it was in issue now and then, but we made do. It was nice when they were older. We rarely had trouble among them because from day one we raised them to be the best THEY could be, and that was 3 totally different people.

Our daughter was glad the 3rd wasn't a girl because she likes having a bedroom to herself.
There were other little things that made the number an issue we had to deal with, but that's the way the world is, and I remember saying "live with it' now and then.

And no, no one ever felt left out (that they've told us)  Maybe they felt it though, to which I say "Live with it."

alanB

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #55 on: February 16, 2018, 12:57:13 PM »
If you want to get to the four level (or beyond), you probably want to make sure the first two are close together--you have some control over this--and the same sex, which I realize you have little control over. Design home processes in which one adult can be managing these two children as a unit, and things will go better when you're adding 3+.

Interesting theory, can you expand on why same sex is better for first two kids? 

clarkfan1979

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #56 on: February 17, 2018, 11:36:07 PM »
Child maltreatment cases are down since 1991. Developmental Psychologists claim that the largest amount of variance to explain this decrease is family size. When family size goes down, child maltreatment goes down.

We have some family members with five kids. They need lots of help from extended family to make it work. Everyone seems to be happy to help so it works.

talltexan

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #57 on: February 19, 2018, 01:42:10 PM »
If you want to get to the four level (or beyond), you probably want to make sure the first two are close together--you have some control over this--and the same sex, which I realize you have little control over. Design home processes in which one adult can be managing these two children as a unit, and things will go better when you're adding 3+.

Interesting theory, can you expand on why same sex is better for first two kids?

It is based on a few observations, with not a lot of rigor. Clothes can be managed as hand- me-downs more readily. Sharing a room makes sense for longer.

There IS science that couples are more likely to have 3+ when the first 2 are same sex.

robartsd

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #58 on: February 20, 2018, 08:34:33 AM »
... couples are more likely to have 3+ when the first 2 are same sex.
I wonder how much this is due to couples wanting to have at least one of each sex vs. couples who have two of the same sex find additional children easier than couples with two opposite sex children.

talltexan

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #59 on: February 20, 2018, 08:54:19 AM »
Both more desire for another child and more capacity to raise one?

chicwhitesox1

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #60 on: February 21, 2018, 06:49:39 AM »
I can't imagine having 4 kids! I have 2 now, and having a hard time coping up with other stuff needed to be done. 

caracarn

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #61 on: February 21, 2018, 06:57:02 AM »
Moving from one on one defense to zone is a big shift.  After that it's kind of similar.  Have six we are raising at this point.  Two have moved out so down to four.  Take it day by day.  OP is honestly IMO doing way to much analysis and if it requires that may have answered your own question.  You have too many concerns about having kids and perhaps it is not for you.  Only you can assess your feelings.  As Darth Vader so eloquently said, "Search you feelings.  You know it to be true" and go with that.

More recent big family thread:  https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/mini-money-mustaches/big-family-thread/msg1663353/#msg1663353
« Last Edit: February 21, 2018, 08:56:38 AM by caracarn »

grilledcheese

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #62 on: February 23, 2018, 10:40:09 AM »
I used to want four kids, but have settled on two. Had my first baby at age 30, then went through many years of infertility and then miscarriages. I dream of having one more, but it's going to take a lot of money, and we feel too old at this point anyways. I feel super happy with the two I have.

For some people four is too many, but I find most of the friends I know with four kids really wanted to have a large family and seem really happy with their choice. It's a unique thing. You need a much larger vehicle, you need suites or two rooms for hotels. Air travel is tricky too. Kids can only really do one activity. It's a busy lifestyle, but it's something people in large families seem to love. I am envious of it to be honest. If you've always wanted a large family, don't let other people sway you. Obviously, you'll have one at a time (most likely) and can reevaluate as you go.

As for career suicide, well that depends. It would not have been for me, as I am paid on a strict scale and my job was always hold for me during my mat leaves.  I think that's so dependent on your career and industry.

savedough

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #63 on: February 23, 2018, 05:36:55 PM »
I have three boys.   If I was younger (I'm mid-30s) and I could guarantee I'd have a boy, I'd have another.    BUT I really don't want the baby to be a girl.  Baby + only girl = recipe for spoiled rotten :) 

The only two cents I can add is that after 7 years, I wanted my body back.   I had been growing or feeding another person for over seven years straight.   I was tired of the fluctuating weight.   I never bought clothes because I knew they wouldn't fit me in two months as I was losing/gaining weight.  I nursed each for 18 months and they are 2.5 years apart (almost to the day for each).

Three of the same gender isn't that expensive so far.  Clothes are all passed down, though at 5ish, all the pants get holes in the knees and the shoes are beat the heck up, so everyone gets new pants and new shoes.   They seem to have similar interests so that makes it easier as well.

But man do they eat, and eat and eat and eat and my oldest is 7.  We are going to have to get a cow and some chickens!


Rylito

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #64 on: February 25, 2018, 09:49:40 PM »
Just wanted to throw out the thought that having a smaller family size is the single most important decision you can make in combating climate change.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children

Beard N Bones

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #65 on: February 26, 2018, 08:30:14 AM »
Just wanted to throw out the thought that having a smaller family size is the single most important decision you can make in combating climate change.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children

From a should-we/shouldn't-we have kids standpoint, this one takes the cake.  At best, this is fear-mongering.  A person would be crazy to limit the number of kids they have because of climate change. 

There are so many better factors to consider in making the how-many-children-should-we-have decision. 

alanB

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #66 on: February 26, 2018, 08:43:24 AM »
Just wanted to throw out the thought that having a smaller family size is the single most important decision you can make in combating climate change.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children

From a should-we/shouldn't-we have kids standpoint, this one takes the cake.  At best, this is fear-mongering.  A person would be crazy to limit the number of kids they have because of climate change. 

There are so many better factors to consider in making the how-many-children-should-we-have decision.

https://www.theonion.com/new-prius-helps-environment-by-killing-its-owner-1819595261

talltexan

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #67 on: February 27, 2018, 07:21:22 AM »
Just wanted to throw out the thought that having a smaller family size is the single most important decision you can make in combating climate change.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children

From a should-we/shouldn't-we have kids standpoint, this one takes the cake.  At best, this is fear-mongering.  A person would be crazy to limit the number of kids they have because of climate change. 

There are so many better factors to consider in making the how-many-children-should-we-have decision.

Isn't this kind of the point of these large-scale environmental problems? My household is small, and there are lots of good reasons for me to have more kids, but when we add it up across everyone, the impact on the environment is significant?

Disclosure: I have two kids, which together with our one cat add up to the exact 2.19 dependents that are replacement level for my wife and me.

RFAAOATB

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #68 on: February 27, 2018, 12:37:36 PM »
Just wanted to throw out the thought that having a smaller family size is the single most important decision you can make in combating climate change.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children

From a should-we/shouldn't-we have kids standpoint, this one takes the cake.  At best, this is fear-mongering.  A person would be crazy to limit the number of kids they have because of climate change. 

There are so many better factors to consider in making the how-many-children-should-we-have decision.

Isn't this kind of the point of these large-scale environmental problems? My household is small, and there are lots of good reasons for me to have more kids, but when we add it up across everyone, the impact on the environment is significant?

Disclosure: I have two kids, which together with our one cat add up to the exact 2.19 dependents that are replacement level for my wife and me.

Now we need a cap and trade plan for reproduction where those wanting more children than the sustainable cap can pay off others to forgo children at a rate based on the individuals consumption habits and carbon footprint.  The idea being that a rich person more likely has a higher carbon footprint and would need to pay off more than a poor person, so that by paying a couple other rich people or a few more poor people to sterilize themselves, they have offset the environmental cost that an additional child would create.

Cassie

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #69 on: February 27, 2018, 01:56:09 PM »
A few people mentioned that you need 1 adult for 1 child and that made me laugh. We raised 3 boys and I could take them anywhere by myself. I even took them on 12 hour train trips to see relatives when my DH had to work. The key is to train them to be well behaved and to mind you and if not quick consequences so that they learn how to act in public. For instance, if we were out and one started to misbehave we would all go home without getting to do anything fun. They knew ahead of time what the consequence would be. Once or twice of this and being sent to their room upon arriving home and that is all it takes to instill that you are not putting up with a bunch of nonsense.  There is an excellent book called "Love and Logic."  It was written by a teacher and a school psychologist if I am remembering correctly. The teacher sought a better way to discipline his kids at school when he got so mad that he slapped a kid in the mouth but unfortunately the child had a bleeding disorder and had to be sent to the hospital. The parent did not sue, etc because they knew how difficult their child was. However, that scared the teacher and he did not want to quit so started looking for a better way to run his classroom. It can be used there and at home by parents. Basically it is consequences with love and empathy. So you are not cold and uncaring but you are not enabling the child.  This book made such an impression that even though I read it 30 years ago I still remember much about it.

talltexan

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #70 on: February 28, 2018, 09:26:35 AM »
Just wanted to throw out the thought that having a smaller family size is the single most important decision you can make in combating climate change.  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jul/12/want-to-fight-climate-change-have-fewer-children

From a should-we/shouldn't-we have kids standpoint, this one takes the cake.  At best, this is fear-mongering.  A person would be crazy to limit the number of kids they have because of climate change. 

There are so many better factors to consider in making the how-many-children-should-we-have decision.

Isn't this kind of the point of these large-scale environmental problems? My household is small, and there are lots of good reasons for me to have more kids, but when we add it up across everyone, the impact on the environment is significant?

Disclosure: I have two kids, which together with our one cat add up to the exact 2.19 dependents that are replacement level for my wife and me.

Now we need a cap and trade plan for reproduction where those wanting more children than the sustainable cap can pay off others to forgo children at a rate based on the individuals consumption habits and carbon footprint.  The idea being that a rich person more likely has a higher carbon footprint and would need to pay off more than a poor person, so that by paying a couple other rich people or a few more poor people to sterilize themselves, they have offset the environmental cost that an additional child would create.

We actually have basically the opposite of this right now in the US tax code. But children are sooooo expensive that I kinda think it works out in the end.

ePalmtrees

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #71 on: February 28, 2018, 09:46:36 AM »
Listen, don't worry about this. It's like trying to make concrete plans about how you'll live in a foreign country you've never been to. It'll turn out to be totally different when you get there.

After having one or two, it's very possible your significant other will reconsider. It happens to be a lot of work.

ABC123

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #72 on: February 28, 2018, 10:27:24 AM »


It is based on a few observations, with not a lot of rigor. Clothes can be managed as hand- me-downs more readily. Sharing a room makes sense for longer.

There IS science that couples are more likely to have 3+ when the first 2 are same sex.
[/quote]

My oldest two are both boys.  I can't count the number of people who told us they knew we would have a third so we could try for a girl.  My oops is also a boy, born when I was 39.  And since then, I can't count the number of people who have still told us to try again for a girl.  While I would love a girl, of course, I admit I was not upset when I found out about each boy.  I am not a girly girl.  I love that with boys I can keep their hair short and easy, I don't have to fuss about clothes, and no future discussions about periods.  But I do know some families who have larger families than originally planned because they kept going to try for the opposite sex. 

PoutineLover

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #73 on: February 28, 2018, 11:15:47 AM »
If I'm going to have 4, it would be cool to have 2 of each, but I wouldn't change the number of kids I have to keep trying to get one of the other gender. I don't even want to know the sex of the baby until it's born, although my partner says he does. Side note, how have others dealt with one parent wanting to know and the other one not?
As to the carbon footprint thing, this is not something that is major factor in my own family planning. I live a pretty low carbon life right now, not owning a car, using renewable electricity, not buying too many things, and trading what I can to reduce new purchases and waste. I suppose I may get a car if I have several kids, but I don't consider it a necessity and I bet I could keep emissions for a family of 6 under those of a family of 4 just by living in a walkable/bikeable area and not succumbing to rampant consumerism. The big changes to reduce carbon need to be made on a societal level, so realistically my choice to have 2 or 4 kids has 0 impact in the greater scheme of things. I'm also reminded of the movie Idiocracy, where the dummies reproduced like mad and the intelligent ones held off, leading to a nation of idiots. Maybe I should do my part for humanity and add some intelligence to the gene pool ;)
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caracarn

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #74 on: February 28, 2018, 12:49:39 PM »
I'm also reminded of the movie Idiocracy, where the dummies reproduced like mad and the intelligent ones held off, leading to a nation of idiots. Maybe I should do my part for humanity and add some intelligence to the gene pool ;)
Is this what's going on in the US?

Caroline PF

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #75 on: February 28, 2018, 07:12:17 PM »
I don't even want to know the sex of the baby until it's born, although my partner says he does. Side note, how have others dealt with one parent wanting to know and the other one not?

Like any other decision as a couple, you talk about it, negotiate, and come to a compromise. It is possible for one to know and not the other, you just have to be careful not to let it slip, which is very hard, so not usually recommended. It's better to find out together.

But honestly, most couples that I know who had strong opinions on finding out the sex prior to getting pregnant came to realize that it wasn't really important in the grand scheme of things, once they were actually pregnant. You find out the sex in the end, what does a couple of months matter either way? It's not that their opinions necessarily changed, but that their opinions became less strong, which made compromise easier if they weren't in agreement to start.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #76 on: March 01, 2018, 03:20:41 AM »
We chose and had 4 and think our decision turned out right for us.  We had two 18 months apart but a grade apart then waited 4 years and had two more that are 18 months apart and though tried again to be a grade apart ended up two grades apart. So with one graduating early we now have 2 Freshman in college and 2 still at home.  My feeling once you cross two it doesn't matter how many you have as 2 is pretty easy in that each parent can take a child and go. And maybe odd but we wanted an even number.  The right number imho is what you can handle in predetermining it like we did is not the smartest as is seeing how it goes one at a time.  All our brothers, sisters etc..NONE came close to having what they said they were going to. A lot goes into it with health of the children and cost being just two of the many. Better to have less and give them what they need then just have a bunch of kids for the sake of it and not managing them.
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AmberTheCat

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #77 on: March 01, 2018, 07:05:18 AM »
We have 4 -- 2 of each; 9 years between them all and the last was an "oops!"

You are young,  its fun to think about these things. but like so many have said, you can't and wont know till you get to that point of what works. So many many variables! I'm glad you're open to a big family!

The blessings you receive are amazing. The costs are great; in many ways.  here are some thoughts:
1) SAVE SAVE SAVE. daycare is a huge cost. I was a SAHM after #2 came along; imagine daycare costs for 4 kiddos in the summer
2) live in the smallest house you can. It's hard; but you'll save costs. We did not; sometimes i wish we lived in a smaller house now. Dont get caught up with what the neighbors do and have.
3) Because i was a SAHM for so many years, my earning potential is now really hit hard at age 50. My college degree has basically lost its luster and usefullness
4) college costs are ridiculous. start from day 1 to save.

those items to consider all sound slightly negative, but they are easy to quantify. The benefits of having a large family are more intangible. All i can say is that i will never ever regret our choices; the love, the growth and the experiences we have had. None of the monetary issues matter when it comes down to it. 

the nice thing is that there's really very little judgement on parents & # of kids they have. We all know there's no right or wrong.
not young, but newbie here!

IngaB

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #78 on: March 05, 2018, 12:50:03 PM »
You can have as many as you want, if you can afford them.

But do not have kids if you do not have time to emotionally connect with them, kids need love, and play time and attention.

So two must haves: 1) ability to pay for them and 2) ability to spend time with them.

sjc0816

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #79 on: March 06, 2018, 02:28:29 PM »
I can't imagine having 4 kids and two thriving careers unless you have a live-in nanny or au pair. 

I have two kids and only work part-time....and we are always juggling. I know many people with 4+ kids.....but they ALL have a stay at home parent or a live-in Au Pair. It's simpler before they start school....but once you have school aged kids shit hits the fan. Days off, snow days (here), sick kids (there are many), holidays, summer, activities, etc. I just can't even imagine having two demanding careers (even relatively demanding) with four kids.

Not to mention being emotionally available for them. I have a tween/teen and I am so grateful to only work part-time from home. They really need me.


TartanTallulah

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #80 on: April 06, 2018, 05:04:40 PM »
I had four - the first two were planned, the third and fourth weren't planned but were welcomed. The youngest has just left the teenage years behind. It was hard work; rather than sacrifice my career I accepted the 'breadwinner' role and had live-in childcare or a spouse at home. Two of the children were (are) on the autism spectrum, which added an extra dimension of interest.

There were times when I despaired over having produced four children who were completely different from one another and who all wished none of the others had been born. Now, as young adults, I'm very proud of them all, and the three girls are great friends.



MrThatsDifferent

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Re: Planning a family - is 4 kids too many?
« Reply #81 on: April 07, 2018, 07:27:44 AM »
Yes, it’s crazy. Stress on finances, environmental impact, societal impact, giving attention to everyone and the logistics of managing 6 people!?! F’in crazy! No way in hell I would do it. But, you’re not me and not everyone needs to do things sanely. We are struggling and would be happy with one, four would be too greedy.