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What do you consider ‘a big family’ these days?

(90 Posts)
Kandinsky Thu 25-Feb-21 11:31:35

I would say 5+
1, 2 or 3 is normal/ average.
4 is in between.

Katie59 Thu 25-Feb-21 11:37:32

4 is sufficient anything more is indulgent

M0nica Thu 25-Feb-21 11:57:02

No more than 2 is acceptable, unless it is a multiple birth, 3 at a push, but 4 is selfish.

nanna8 Thu 25-Feb-21 12:01:11

These days probably 4 or 5. You don’t hear of many big families now. Four used to be normal when our children were young but 6 was considered big.

Sarnia Thu 25-Feb-21 12:16:09

My mother-in-law had 17 children in 22 years. Only 1 set of twins and all born at home. No child benefit or handouts in her day. A good Irish Catholic with no TV! She was the most delightful lady who lived until 99 and never saw the inside of a hospital.
I have 5 children and I don't see that as either selfish or indulgent. Although I had a very happy childhood, being an only child was lonely at times so I hoped to have a big family one day and I have been fortunate in that respect. No regrets.

grandmajet Thu 25-Feb-21 12:19:58

We had 4 in under 7 years. One for each method of contraception. Then he had the snip!

Esspee Thu 25-Feb-21 12:26:37

Two or three if multiple births. This planet is overpopulated. Replacing ourselves is acceptable. Adding to the overpopulation is most certainly not.

Elusivebutterfly Thu 25-Feb-21 12:59:19

I think 4 or more is a big family now and it was when my children were small in the 80s. Weirdly, I know several people with 5 or 6 children now (which is large) but never knew any large families as a child.

silverlining48 Thu 25-Feb-21 13:11:18

I think having two children replace us on the already overcrowded planet.
I judge large families by the size of transport required to ferry them about.
Not everyone has a car, but assuming you have one, when you get to three children that means having to buy a ‘bigger’ car which is large enough to fit all the huge car seats, and four or more children need an even bigger people carrier type car. So four or more is definitely large to me.
We don’t live in Victorian times when there was no reliable birth control, when so many children were born and many died.
It’s a rare tragedy that we lose our babies /small children now, we assume they will live to adulthood and beyond, and most do, but admit I secretly hankered for a third child, but we stopped at two and had a regular small car.

Kim19 Thu 25-Feb-21 13:17:53

I think more than four is moving into excessive. Our grand plan was three but two proved sufficient, happily. Lovely family years we had indeed. I cherish the memory.

MerylStreep Thu 25-Feb-21 13:20:36

More than 2.

GrannyGravy13 Thu 25-Feb-21 13:21:50

We have 5 children, 3 of our AC have 2, 2 of our AC have 1.

I do think a couple of them will have at least 1 more.

I would definitely have had another one unfortunately I had endometriosis so each of my babies were a much tried for gift, DH did not want anymore as he thought he was getting to old (he is older than me)

GrannyGravy13 Thu 25-Feb-21 13:24:11

silverlining48 we have never had a people carrier, always managed with a large 4 X 4 which easily converts to a 7 seater.

Tea3 Thu 25-Feb-21 13:29:00

One or two will do.

Forsythia Thu 25-Feb-21 13:32:45

Three or more but i don’t mind how many people have so long as they pay for them themselves.

silverlining48 Thu 25-Feb-21 14:12:16

Granygravy13, I don’t know the large vehicle terminology, will have to check, but 4x4, or people carrier, whatever, they all seem very big to me in my fiesta.

Urmstongran Thu 25-Feb-21 14:30:31

Funny how times have changed. Large families were, years ago, a sign of poverty. Now in these times they seem to shout ‘affluent’ as in Gordon Ramsey, Jamie Oliver, Katie Price etc.

Mind you times have changed regarding obesity. Historically only wealthy people could afford to eat well and poor people were thin, skinny people. The roles have reversed. Wealthy people eschew large meals, have personal trainers and look thin. Poor people are the fatties eating junk food....

Witzend Thu 25-Feb-21 14:39:12

4 or more nowadays.

One dd has 3 (3rd was a ‘surprise’) and has often said she’d have loved more if she and her dh were younger and richer!) Other dd has none, and I don’t think ever will (her choice).

From what I gather from dd and her friends, quite a few of them would like more, only quite apart from general expenses, the bigger accommodation they’d need would be unaffordable.

IMO a large family has become a luxury not many can afford any more.
I often think back to the good-sized family houses we lived in when I was a child, that my parents could just about afford on just one very ordinary salary. They were always skint when we were young (4 children) but no matter how much you skimped and scraped nowadays, such houses simply wouldn’t be possible on one nothing-special salary.
(I’m talking the SE, London commute area here - I dare say say things might be different in other areas.)

NotSpaghetti Thu 25-Feb-21 16:44:32

To answer the OP, I think 6 or more is big.

NotSpaghetti Thu 25-Feb-21 16:49:57

From what I gather from dd and her friends, quite a few of them would like more, only quite apart from general expenses, the bigger accommodation they’d need would be unaffordable.

Do you think this is true Witzend about the houses... or do you think they want everyone to have their own bedroom?

kittylester Thu 25-Feb-21 16:50:32

Ooops! Both Dh and I have 3 brothers and we have 5 children. We have 7 dgc and 2 step grandchildren.

I apologise if that offends any of you.

timetogo2016 Thu 25-Feb-21 16:54:30

I had two,would have loved a third but heyho.
I think it`s selfish to have more than 5 tbh.
How can you possibly show love and spend time with each one.
The older ones tend to do the bringing up, i know that for a fact but don`t want to add more onfo.

AGAA4 Thu 25-Feb-21 16:55:14

I have 4 children but none of my children have more than 2.
I think 4 would be considered too many by today's standards.

kittylester Thu 25-Feb-21 18:40:11

timetogo, you experience might have been different but I brought up all of my 5 children myself!!

BlueSky Thu 25-Feb-21 19:02:49


We had 4 in under 7 years. One for each method of contraception. Then he had the snip!

Grandmajet grin
How lovely 4! I wanted 4 but stopped at 2! The Pill sorted that out!