Clearly this is quite a personal subject and everyone I ask seems to have their own mind made up about the number of children they want. Oddly enough most people happen to want the same number that their parents had. (With the exception of an only child).
One of my oh, so clever friends did make a very good argument for having no more than two. Which is that it neither increases or decreases the population. I have another friend who wants children but has decided that she thinks adopting is the best way forward (although she is fully fertile as far as I am aware) claiming this to be the most socially responsible thing to do. Apparently there are lots of babies and children out there who need a good home and consequently she would rather look after one already in existence. I can see her point. That way she gets to skip the nine months of pregnancy and most importantly the birth. Lucky her.
I guess in this ideal world you preferably have a partner who is agreeable to your plans. Not everyone desires to raise a child as a two, some people prefer to do the task singularly others prefer to raise a child in the community with lots of aunts and uncles all helping the raise the child. My plan is to have three children (oddly enough that is the same number my mother had) not necessarily all girls (I’ll take what I am given). I would like at least one of them to be of mine and my partners genetic make up and at least one to be adopted. That way I am not increasing the population I am merely keeping it at a steady level.
When I was young I did indeed what twelve children. I wanted lots and lots, because children are a blessing and who would not want to have that many blessings. But now I am older and looking at the practicalities of it. For example a 5 seater car is a lot more easy to come by, a lot more stylish (I understand as parents style is not at the top of our priorities but still) and just more common in today’s society. When you go to buy a family ticket it is rare that it is for two adults and four + children. The society I live in is not geared towards people having big families. And with an ever increasing world population who can blame it? In time gone by people used to have big families because unfortunately it was not a guarantee that all would survive. My grandmother came from a family of eleven. I think having a bigger family does have its advantages. There are more people to love and be loved by.
In some parts of the world having a big family is still quite popular and while I partially wished I lived in one of these places I cannot but help feel that in my given circumstances three would be plenty enough children. Taking into account that the government thinks you spend on average around £250,000 on each child from birth to the age of 21, I do not think I can afford three on that estimate. I do think it should be possible to spend substantially less than that on a child as well, but in the current climate people fear that they do not want their child to have to go without anything and then interpret this into a ‘I shall buy them’ x, y or z.
Is there a perfect number of children to have, or does it all come down to personal circumstances?