Do people from a large family want a large family themselves?

Hello Everybody
I just wanted some feedback on whether you yourselves or someone you know what part of a large family. Did you hate having lots of siblings or did you love it? Did your experience translate to how many kids you have now? Did you get enough attention? And finally what is the best number of children in your eyes?!?

I ask all this because in the future I would like 3 or 4 children if able. I am one of 3 but my siblings are 18 and 15yrs older than me so essentially I have been an only child mainly. So I don’t know what it’s like to have siblings 18months-2yrs older/younger than me. So just wanted some feedback from those who have experienced the full force of siblings.
Thank you in advance for any feedback :smiley:

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Not my personal experience but I have a friend who’s one of four and she only wants to have one child. She’s said she struggled with getting peace and quiet. She’s the oldest so she doesn’t get as much attention either.

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Thank you this is the exact type of feedback I am looking for. I am leaning towards 3 children but is the dynamic really bad?

I don’t think so as long as they’re close in age. [name_f]My[/name_f] best friend has two little brothers but they’re only 3 and 4 years apart so he doesn’t get overwhelmed by little kids all the time. They fight a lot but that’s normal for teenage siblings haha

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A friend of mine is the eldest of 7. There’s 12 years between her and her youngest sibling. She had to be kind of like a second mum to some of the younger ones (the younger 4 were born within 6 years of each other). She also wishes she has more privacy as she has to share her bedroom with her 2 sisters (5 & 12 years younger respectively). Basically, if you can definitely avoid these situations, go ahead. If not, don’t have lots of babies just for the sake of it.

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As long as you don’t expect the oldest daughter to be a second mom, I think it’s fine. I’m the oldest, my sister is 3 years younger and the amount that I was expected to mother her really damaged or relationship. We weren’t really peers because I always got in trouble for “letting” her misbehave. My brother is 13 years younger than I am and I didn’t mind mothering him near as much. We’re actually closer than my sister and I because we just have more things in common as far as personality and they way we think about things.

Forgot to add – my husband is the youngest of 3 and we plan to only have 1 or 2 due to the financial considerations (we love the families we came from but he especially grew up pretty broke).

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My mother came from a “big” family of 6 kids. She loved it and looks back very fondly on it. We live rurally and there isn’t much to do, so having a lot of people to play with was great for her. Plus if you argued with one you’d have a different one to go play with! They’re still like that now haha.

A lot of her siblings ended up having big families. My own mom also wanted a lot of children, but it didn’t work out for her unfortunately. Growing up I only had one sibling and he was horrible to me (don’t worry we’re fine now lol). So I always used to wish I had more brothers or sisters that I could get along with. I’m sure there are people who didn’t like being in a big family growing up, for whatever reason, but most people I know that come from one seem to really have enjoyed it.

Hope that helps!

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Thank you again for your feedback in your opinion do you think 3 or 4 children would be better(for want of a better word)?

I have 4 siblings. 5 counting a half sibling that I only see rarely. I have two older siblings (a brother and a sister,) and two younger sisters. We are all basically two years apart. [name_f]My[/name_f] older brother who is now 20, has two twin daughters and when I asked him if he and his girlfriend wanted more he said he wanted atleast 4. As for my older sister, she only wants 1 if she can help it. [name_f]My[/name_f] dad came from a pretty big family as well. He had 6 siblings growing up and he has 6 kids now. As for me I feel like 2 or 3 would be a good number. Not a super big amount and I don’t really want an only child. So personally I don’t really want a big family.

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Thank you for the feedback. [name_f]Do[/name_f] you feel like you had enough attention as you were growing up? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you feel like you would of preferred 2 siblings?

Sorry for so many questions just genuinely curious😀

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No problem! I feel like I had more attention when I was yonger because their were less of us. Where as now, my younger sisters get more of the attention because well, they are younger. And even though I love all of my siblings, I feel like I would have perferred just two. It does get quite crowded.

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I’m from a large family (more than 4 children, but for privacy I won’t say exactly) all born in the same decade. I always had buddies to play with as a child so this was good, but as an introvert, it had the unexpected effect of filling up my social quota each day and leaving me with little incentive to make friends outside my family. I’m very close with my siblings and never squabble with them, which is something I’m grateful for. But at 22, my siblings are my best friends and I rarely catch up with outside peers (something I reckon I need to change).

The worst part was the lack of money, and the stress that caused. There was not enough money for us to be able to do extra-curricular things or travel, even domestically, and I felt I missed out on lots of valuable learning experiences because my parents could not afford to pay for all of us to do it. I also remember my mother being very stressed all the time.

As for me, I have always dreamed of being a mother - but I would have max 3 children. Probably 2, realistically, because it’s so important to me that any children I do have get the full experience of everything I can provide for them. I want to be able to send my kids to music lessons and language class etc when they’re young, and take them on road trips, rather than have a big family. [name_m]Even[/name_m] though I really love children.

If I was incredibly rich and didn’t work, I might consider having more than 3 children, but that’s not likely because I also have plans for my own career. I want to be able to work on my own stuff as well, while still providing enough emotional and practical support so my kids don’t grow up feeling neglected. [name_f]My[/name_f] parents rarely had the energy to sit down with me and emotionally validate me so I haven’t learned very healthy coping mechanisms. There were also discrepancies in who got attention because of the birth order.

I can’t say what it would have been like in a perfectly healthy big family, but I can imagine these practical strains would have still been there.

TL;DR - I grew up in a big family. [name_m]Don[/name_m]'t want one for myself. I see a child as a huge freaking responsibility and all my resources should go to their development. I don’t want any more children than I can provide full, adequate resources for to give them the best shot at their future - otherwise what’s the point of having them? I can’t imagine a future where I can (or want to) properly provide for more than 3 children. [name_f]My[/name_f] kids will deserve everything I’ve got. After all, it’s my fault they’ll even exist :wink:

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Same!! This is so abusive.

My oldest sister refuses to have any children at all because the situation was so cr@p

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I’m one of four and my parents are one of four and one of eleven. I have a big family in the immediate and the extended sense.

I do not currently want any kids, and admittedly having a big family is a significant part of why. I would even go so far as to say it is the primary reason.

I love having a big family…sometimes… and truly wouldn’t trade it, but am finding in my adult life that I didn’t have much of an identity of my own as a child; everything just sort of got lost in the shuffle including me because I was quiet, independent, and also the oldest. I also didn’t have much of an individual relationship with many of my relatives— my grandparents, for instance— because they had so many grandkids and I was one of the younger ones.

One of my siblings is 20 years younger than me, and the other two very close in age to me. I have never lived with my baby sibling— I moved out at 18 and other than a few months in two different summers never moved back in. I adore my youngest sibling but this experience drove home for me that I do not want children of my own.

Honestly I think if I were to have children, I would be one and done, two at most, due to my personal experience with families with more including my own. The people I know with fewer or no siblings have tended to have better relationships with their parents and grandparents, fully anecdotally, and that’s what I would want for my own children. If I had them. Which I won’t.

Not trying to scare anyone off having a big family! There are definitely lots of perks and it’s definitely right for some people— I applaud them. But that’s my brutally honest experience with it: a mixed bag and not an experience I’m willing to create myself.

TLDR: [name_f]My[/name_f] big family experience is the primary reason I’m probably not having kids.

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I have a big family, ish – there were six of us, and our cousins practically lived with us so the four that were closest in age to me practically became my siblings. But my older siblings (3 of them) were so much older than me that it didn’t really feel like siblings. But since our [name_u]Christmas[/name_u]/birthday gatherings (of which there were a lot) were huge (huge extended family who are very, very tight – and eventually filled with nieces/nephew that made it feel like an even bigger family), I always considered us a big family. Furthermore, I’ve spent a lotttt of time with big families.

And … I want at least seven kids. Eight or nine or ten wouldn’t hurt, either! I’d like to have my own, but I’m also interested in fostering and adopting. I want to have as many people in my family as possible!

I think the type of big (or small) family you have matters more than the actual having of a big family.

(Also, I will add that I literally don’t get the thing about not having enough attention because there’s a lot of you – with my parents, with my aunts/uncles, and with my grandparents, I never felt left out or less loved. If anything, having more people to love me was a huge plus! And I also have always enjoyed the responsibility of taking care of children, so … that’s not an issue for me, either.)

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@alatari thank you for understanding!

My experience even when there were only two of us does make me uncertain about having a 2nd kid eventually, especially now that we know our firstborn will be a girl. I think I might want to have them quite close together if we decide on a 2nd, just so I’m not even slightly tempted to rely on my daughter to be a parent figure.

As a kid it all seem normal, but looking back I was soooo young (like under 5) and expected to be mature and responsible for my younger sister. It was weird dynamic! [name_f]My[/name_f] dad actually has recently apologized to me for the way things were then, but my mother adamantly insisted nothing was wrong with that.

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Thank you for your replies!
[name_f]Do[/name_f] you think three children should be a maximum for how many children in terms of attention?

My husband is one of 7 and only wants 2. He gets along with most of his siblings and we see a few quite often but he doesn’t feel particularly close to any of them. Rather a superficial relationship.

Whole I have multiple step brothers I was raised with only one brother in my house, we are very close in age and very close, like best friends. So I’m completely fine with only having 2! I know it depends largely on personalities at the end of the day, though.

I am not personally from a big family, but I know a lot of people who are.
[name_f]My[/name_f] friend is the oldest of five, and wants four kids.
[name_f]My[/name_f] grandmother was the youngest of seven, and she had five kids.
So honestly, I don’t know.

Both of my parents are from big families, my dad the youngest of 7 and my mom the second of 4.

My dad was not close to his three eldest siblings, but he was close with the younger three siblings. He was 13 years apart from his eldest brother, and 6 years apart for the eldest sibling he felt closest to. He wanted a large family.

My mom was closest with her sister just two years older than her, and while she shares a strong bond with her two younger brothers, it is more maternal because she is 6 years older than her next sibling. She often feels like she has to take care of them even now, though I wouldn’t say she is not close with them. [name_m]Just[/name_m] different a different kind of relationship. She wanted a small-ish family, 2-3 kids.

I am the eldest of two, and am two years older than my sibling. We are quite close, even closer in adulthood. I want a small-ish family, 2-3 kids.