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2 Children Per Family? Why Is This The Norm? - Page 2

post #21 of 179
I suspect that if you come from a 2 child family, you feel that two is fairly normal.

I also suspect that people choose not to have more because of lack of community and family assistance and due to social expectations about what kids and families need to have and do to be successful.

For example, I come from a three-child family, and I have always thought that four children would be good. However, my husband wants one because he feels that work demands a lot of his emotional energy. I'd be fine with two, because we live in a very expensive city, eat organic food, and we like to travel.

However, I always say that if I lived in a different place and with a different job situation, four would be great.
post #22 of 179
Ohhh... four would be heavenly!!! We stopped at two because of my age (41). My babies were big (dd 9'9" and ds 8'15") and I had two rough c-sections. No more scalples!!! lol. Still, if I was younger... even mid-thirties, we'd try for #3 & 4.

A friend of mine just had her fourth son, and people make comments all the time, like why so many kids, etc etc. I don't get it - I think if you have the time and resources, why not. Siblings are the greatest gift you can gift your kids, and big families are wonderful :-)
post #23 of 179
I think a few significant factors have influenced the change in the family size norm. Mainly, increase in the rate of divorce, later age of child-bearing, significant increase in the cost of raising children, lifestyles becoming more hectic, lack of familial support network, people choosing to marry late (as in age).
post #24 of 179
beats me as to why, but my mom always says i should be happy with two..........i always tell her its ok i'm just having the one my sister chooses not to have, my sis has an only child and plans to keep it that way i've got two but am going to ttc #3 in about a month......
post #25 of 179
I have no idea why people would think it was the norm. I grew up in two way different cities. Until I was 10 my family lived in a town setting, one or two children was the norm. We were thought to have a large family with three. Then we moved to a more rural city where 5-10 was more the norm and we were the smallest of the families we knew.
DH comes from a family with 5 children, I have two brothers. We would love to have a large family. We both love children. We haven't set a certain number though. We have got a couple of questions about when DH's going to get snipped now that we are expecting our second. I just ignore them.
post #26 of 179
I'm in the process of trying to sort out how I feel about this.

Logically two is good for us. It means that we don't need a bigger car or bigger house. There's one parent per child. One knee for each child. One hand for each child.

In my heart though I think I want more. Say three or four. I come from four and that seems normal to me.

I just worry about getting older, and wishing for more kids, but not having the option anymore. Financially I really don't think we could afford another child at this point in our life, but I'm scared that when we can it will just be too late.

What do you follow? Your heart or your brain?
post #27 of 179
Thread Starter 
What is most frustrating about this to me is that friends and family who have had the nerve to weigh in on this very private decision are basically suggesting that we are either naive or stupid and have no real idea what it is going to be like to have more than 2 children. We are two reasonably intelligent adults, a self-supporting family, and I stay at home with the two we've already got - I think we have a clue.
post #28 of 179
I think zero population growth is a good idea as far as the environment goes, but on the other hand people should be free to have as many children as they want, and enough people never have children to balance things out in the US anyway.
post #29 of 179
Originally Posted by partymoo View Post
I think maybe some people are only able to see what they themselves can handle (in my case, I bore one of each in only two tries and I was relieved that I was absolved of any obligation to keep trying for whichever gender we didn't have) and then they project that onto other people and assume others would be overwhelmed as they might be, or that others could easily handle as many as they could. And I imagine sometimes there's a discrepancy between partners as to how many children is enough and "one of each" seems like a fair enough compromise all around if it happens as easily as it did for us.

I know people who couldn't wait to get snipped after the one child they wanted, and others who have 5 and would welcome as many more as they can be blessed with, and others who want as many as they can have, plus foster kids to raise and possibly adopt, and still others who don't even see the sense in bringing new people into the world when there are already so many kids in existence who need parents. And I don't think it's anyone's business how many children anyone else feels is enough for their family or from whence these children originate.

So to summarize, my opinion is who cares whether anyone else approves of how many children you want to raise. Perhaps you could suggest that they mind their own and kiss your butt if they don't like it. But then, I'm excited (to a ridiculously stupid degree) every time I hear there's another Duggar in the oven, so there ya go.
I totally agree with this! I think that large families are often easier than 2 child families, but it's totally dependent on the parents and their personalities. I know a lot of people who have 1-2 kids who have to have their children involved in every activity imaginable, and that's their choice. A lot of them also have every toy, gadget, trust/college fund, etc. for their kids, with little emphasis on family time (keep in mind we live in an upper class area where 2 working parents and nannies are the norm). Thus, the thought that more than 2 kids is somehow unaffordable (they think I'm crazy when I tell them our budget has room for many more kiddos).

We would love to have a very large family, and we'll see what God has in store for us. I respect my friends who have made the decision to only have 1-2 children, and they respect me for my choice to have more. Yes, my kiddos wear hand me downs and thrift store clothing, and have fewer toys than other kids, but they're very happy, love to go to the library to pick out new books and movies, and are waiting for more kiddos to love on.
post #30 of 179
We always wanted more until our second was born and now we both feel totally completely done. While we dealt with fertility issues ttc our second, I heard constantly how my oldest needed a sibling, how I couldn't wait too long, etc. Very helpful.

Now I have the whole problem of the fact that I have 2 boys. All the time I get comments about how I should try for a girl. It really doesn't help that he's got long hair and people think I want him to be a girl since I already had a boy. I'm very very happy with my 2 boys and can't imagine life any different.
post #31 of 179
I've pg with #3 and have gotten a few comments, but mostly get other comments. We have two girls so often people think we are trying for a boy or then I get the weird comments of well, I guess you guys can afford another child.
post #32 of 179
I've made "jokes" to my good friends with 3 or more out of admiration for them. Not to criticize their choice or to condemn them. I am happy and at times overwhelmed with my beautiful 2. I truly cannot imagine having more than 2. Maybe these comments are well meant and just a lighthearted way of saying "Wow! I'm impressed! You have the strength, stamina, available finances, patience, etc. to have 3 or more!" Try not to take them so personally. I respect anyone who can sucessfully manage a large family and believe that others do too. Heck, even with two I hear the jokes/comments from people with less than 2!
post #33 of 179
odd, three is the new two in my area. Having three kids - by choice - is extremely common among my friends and neighbors. Back when I was growing up, the only families I knew with three kids had two close together and then an "oops" later down the line - often 5-10 years after the last one.
post #34 of 179
I'm the youngest of two, The Dude is the oldest of two. His brother has two kids, my mom was the oldest of two...

I had always wanted 3 kids when I was younger... but then I had Willow and said "Nope, one is enough for me."

But now I'm pregnant with number 2. lol

I figure...go with what works for you and your family and everyone else can make comments if they want...but it's not going to have an effect on what you do.
post #35 of 179
I am shocked at how often people say to me" oh you have a boy and girl, perfect family You guys must be all done!" then they are shocked when I tell them we plan one or two more! As if having one of each sex equals perfect. My parents thought 4 girls was pretty perfect!

and for the record they didn't keep going to four Trying for a boy, they were just trying for more babies!
post #36 of 179
Originally Posted by wannabe View Post
Two seems natural to us. We can divide and conquer, plus we all fit in a sedan.
LOL. Very true for us too. (although I bet when my little one hits 2 or so, i'll be all "DH! I WANT another babyyyyyy!")

I think it's wack though that people push their opinions on others of how many children is the "right" number to have. And the whole "are you going to try for a boy/girl" thing if you already have two of the other sex. Seriously? People have another kid for that reason?
post #37 of 179
Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
But kids are more expensive now than they were generations ago. They "need" electronics, sports, lessons, activities, designer clothes, loads of toys, etc so more than 2 is too expensive for many families.
Do they really "need" all of that? My home is small enough that my different sex kids share a room. I think it makes they empathetic and flexible people. We plan on having more and figuring out where we will put them. We in this country have so much that I can't believe we would limit anything based on needing electronics and toys. I know that those items have to be a choice and I hope I continue to just say NO!
post #38 of 179
I have to say, DD is the only kid I've given birth to, and though she had 4 siblings (my steps) she in some ways is an only child. She's the only one from this mother (me). It makes me sad for her in some ways because I have 7 siblings. The bond we have is amazing and I wouldn't trade them for anything (now that is, if you had asked me when I was watching my younger sibs in my teen years my answer would have been very different). It makes me feel that she will miss out on the bond that you can only share with someone growing up entirely in the same house as you.

I don't know, just rambling. I just don't think it's fair to the other kids for me to have any more, but sometimes I wonder...
post #39 of 179
Yup, we have one of each and people make the "Oh, you must be done!" comments to us all the time. Personally I think you know when you are done...and there's no "right" size for a family.
post #40 of 179
Originally Posted by seawind View Post
I think a few significant factors have influenced the change in the family size norm. Mainly, increase in the rate of divorce, later age of child-bearing, significant increase in the cost of raising children, lifestyles becoming more hectic, lack of familial support network, people choosing to marry late (as in age).
Yeah, that.

And because in previous times, it was necessary to have larger famillies, for help in agrarian societies and also because more children often didn't live until adulthood.

It isn't really necessary to have so many, or even any, now. The reasons we have children have completely changed. It's much more equivalent to a hobby.

My comfort level is one or two. But, if it's your choice, then you just have to ignore what people say. They are entitled to their opinion just like no one can stop you from your choice in having more.
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