Can You Really Have Two Many Kids?

Often I read things from couples who want to limit the number of children so they can afford to give them college educations and send them to catholic schools.

On the other hand I’ve read that the church teaches that when considering how many kids to have, one should consider the best interests of your existing children as well as the interests of any future children you will have.

So how can you balance college educations with more little people to love and serve God? Is there any limit to how many kids you should have?

Even if you’re on welfare and you have 20 kids, thats 20 people to love life and love each other and love God. How can we even compare the chance at life with things like college? It’s not your fault if you have to go on welfare: the laws in our country don’t allow kids to work to help support the family.

can you have too many flowers in a garden?

love doesn’t divide with each child, it multiplies.

when my daughter was born i thought the same things… money, college… and then it hit me one day…

why am i worrying?.. God has completely taken care of me to this point, any hint of worry i have is on me. he gave me a great wife, a beautiful healthy girl… and i could possibly be stupid enough to worry about ANYTHING?

If someone comes to me everyday for 30+ years with breath, food, sunsets to marvel at, clothes on my back, family… its illogical to think that the provider of all that will suddenly quit. time has proven otherwise. God has made his fingerprint quite evident.

I will not worry. i will live to be what God wants for me. and l’ll continue to let him handle the important details. he does a much finer job than anything i could come up with.

I have searched the commandments and relevant church documents and nowhere do I find it written we owe our children a college education (or a new car at age 16, or designer jeans, sneakers and backpacks).


Oh…and by the way…we can’t have ANY kids…and I think its too many NOT to have. :shrug:

I have five kids. I fully expect that at least one will not go to college. All people are not cut out for college. Some who are there should not be. (Oh, the boneheaded fifth-grade questions in my sociology classes…they still make my head pound!)

This idea of college for everyone must die. It’s just not realistic.

My kids who do go to college will get HELP from us, but not a full ride. They will provide funding through earning scholarships, doing work study or part time jobs, and taking out loans. People value something more when they have to work for it or pay for it themselves.

Our rule is that if you do not go to college, you will go to a trade school and learn a valuable skill, or join the military, or get a good, permanent entry level job at a good company with room and opportunity to move up and have a career.

I am more worried about feeding, clothing, and housing my kids UNTIL adulthood. We do not live extravagantly, but the cost of things is rising. Still, I can see us having more… and our families will think we are even crazier than they do now. :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, I’m one of those people you’ve read about: I worry incessantly about providing for my children and the opportunities I want to be able to provide for them.

I wish I could be one of those people who “let Go and let God” and I’m sure I will spend my share of time in purgatory for trying to plan my life too much, but I can’t help it. I come from a long line of “worriers”. :smiley:

In reference to your last paragraph about having more and more children and winding up on welfare-- I just can’t see having children whilly-nilly and winding up not being able to care for them… financially or otherwise. There HAS to be some sort of logical thinking process about it doesn’t there? :confused:

I’m scared for the responses on this thread… I think this has been a hotly debated topic before…

While I agree for the most part with your post, I do have a hard time with this last statement.
I don’t want this to become a “welfare” thread… and the system serves it’s purpose to an extent (there is good behind the concept), I (personally) would do whatever is necessary to not take advantage of other families tax dollars… I fall back and forth on this issue.

I don’t understand your last sentence at all…
“The laws in our country don’t allow kids to work to help support the family.”
??? Are you suggesting lowering the legal age to work? :confused:

there is also the option of using NFP for a period of time if there really is a good and prudent reason to delay having another child. there is also nothing in the commandments about sex on demand any hour of day or night any time you feel like it as a necessity for a happy marriage (or as a necessity for anyone). It is a hard truth denied by current culture that there are times in marriage when sex is not possible or advisible for a number of reasons, and a husband, or a couple, who does not acknowledge and face that reality and have a plan to cope with it, is in dreamland and will undoubtedly come to grief over the issue at some point.

The system has been set up so that its almost impossible to have more than a couple of kids. In cultures where people have big families, the kids help on the farm, or whatever the family business is. By making it illegal for kids to help out, they’re essentially making it impossible to support more than a few kids.

So the question becomes, since they’ve set it up so that I can’t possibly afford more than a few kids, do I submit to their will and stop having them, or do I keep having them and let them pay for them, after all it’s their idea to set it up that way.

Makes me kind of glad that I’m incapable of consenting to marriage! I don’t have to worry about this stuff!

About college - IMO it’s really a luxury if parents can afford to pay for the entirety of their childrens’ college education. My parents were/are completely broke and never paid a dime for my education. Because I qualified based on income, I did get a fair amount of federal grants for college. I also took student loans to pay for living expenses that the grants didn’t cover. Bottom line is, there is assistance available, and it’s based on family size and income. Student loans, while not ideal, are always an option.

Whatever happened to able-bodied young adults taking responsibility for their own futures? Not that you shouldn’t help your kids if you can, it just seems we hand everything to our kids on a silver platter these days. If kids want to go to college, they should learn to work and study hard, get scholarships, accept grants if they’re available, and resort to student loans if necessary.

As someone else pointed out, not everyone is cut out for a typical 4-year university. There are plenty of shorter term training programs that lead to well-paying, viable careers.

I went to community college for the first couple of years (really cuts down on the cost) and then to a public state university. It took me a while, since I was an unwed mother at 18, then at 23 I married and had more kids. I was a (married) undergrad when my third child was born and still managed to finish my degree, and I’m no rocket scientist, so I figure if I can do it, so can other people.

That said, the Church does not require that a married couple have a specific number of children. I think it’s up to each couple to prayerfully and realistically discern whether they should be trying to avoid a pregnancy at a given time. Of course, sometimes God sends you a blessing even when you’re not “trying” for one…:slight_smile:

I believe that it is possible to have too many kids. To me, too many kids is more kids than your support network can support. If you are struggling to support the kids you have now, it is irresponsible to have more. However, there is no regulation that children must go to private schools or college, or enrol in expensive activities and clubs.

And, Em_in_FL, I believe I understand you when you say that children not being able to work is part of the problem. My parents had a farm and when I was a kid, we did at least 3 or 4 hours of farm work a day. We had to finish it before we could start our homework. I don’t agree with the general consensus that it’s bad for children to work. We can learn responsibility and work ethic.

As for how many to have and the welfare issue:
If you can’t feed the ones you have, don’t have more kids.
If you can’t find time to see the ones you have, don’t have more kids.
If your extended family is spending money they don’t have to help you feed your family, don’t have more kids.
If your neighbours and friends are doing experiencing hardship to help you out of your hardship, don’t have more kids.
If your family’s needs exceed your church’s emergency resources, don’t have more kids.
If you consider welfare a support system available to you, you must also make sure that you don’t exceed its abilities. If you can’t make ends meet on welfare, don’t have more kids.
I would also add that if people in your support network can’t make ends meet, you shouldn’t have more kids.

I’m not married yet. When I marry my boyfriend, I would like to have a lot of kids. However, he has a large family, and two of his sisters aren’t well off. When discussing our future, my boyfriend mentioned that he considers it his responsibility to make sure his sisters’ kids don’t starve. Therefore, when considering how many children we can have, we have to consider the support that we owe his family, as two employable, educated, and successful people. We may have fewer children than I’d like, in order to make sure that his sisters’ children, who are already born, do not undergo undue hardship. I believe it would be irresponsible of us to have many children if there are children within our support network that need more of our support.

a person only can give a certain amount of attention. no one has superpowers. i am the oldest of 10, and my parents tried their best, but they could only do so much. they were human and had a limited amount of attention to give, and this caused problems such as not being able to notice obvious signs of severe mental illness in their three oldest children. I’m hoping that with the same 3 oldest children being independent and not needing parenting any longer, this will free up attention so that my parents can do a better job with the remaining 7 children.

The only reason my child is an only child now is because I went to college and now am stuck with tons of student loan debt. My DH and I cannot literally afford to have another child nor can we afford for me to be a SAHM.

I hope the child(ren) we do have go to college if they want to and we’ll try to provide for it as best as possible.

Well if I had TWO more kids it might be two TOO many. LOL But then I thought that TWO children ago! LOL :rolleyes:

Did you mean TWO or did you mean TOO? As in TOO MUCH?

The thing with the “if you can’t take care of them don’t have more kids” argument is that married couples have conjugal rights and duties. Not everyone is able to practice NFP perfectly, and if Catholics are to be open to life, then what is the alternative? It’s not ABC, because the Church clearly teaches that it is a mortal sin. In principle I agree that people should be responsible parents, but at the same time you can’t obligate a couple to be celibate or even practice periodic abstinence. The Church certainly doesn’t.

I think you have just pointed out one of the very reasons why(right or wrong) most Catholic couples of child bearing age use some form of birth control that is not NFP.

“Two” was a typo… or maybe a freudian slip :wink:

This may seem like an illogical reaction, but it is my natural reaction and so I will post it.

I come from a large family; my mother is a single mother of four more children after my older brother and I. That makes six of us - there is also two others, who never got the chance to live outside of the womb (abortion) - so in total, there could be eight.

Take the six of us who are alive. My dad has said that he and my mother should have aborted myself and my older brother, as they were young and unable to provide for children.

My question is - if my family has too many children - two from my dad, and now four that are just my mother’s (and she’s now a singal mom) - which of my siblings should not have been born?

If we can look at a family and say “they have too many children”, then really what we are saying (even if we don’t realize it) is that not all of those people should have been born - meaning that one of those children should have either been aborted, or that it was wrong for them to be concieved in the first place and the mother should have been abstinant, on ABC, or something similar.

Which child, then, would you eliminate or erase from history? Which child, specifically, should not have been born?

God loves each child individually, wills each person’s creation individually… He loves us all and made us all, intentionally - every human being has a soul which God willed into existance.

When we claim that there needs to be less children in a family, as opposed to more, I always wonder - which of these human beings, willed into existance by God, is not in the speaker’s opinion really supposed to exist?

Pax Christi,
Esther Rose

Obviously humans have some say in whether or not other humans come into the world, otherwise the phrase “free will” would be an outright lie. God can cause good to come out of evil, such as a child coming out of immoral sex, but this does not mean that the sex should have occurred.

Also, never conceived=/=aborted. For someone to never have been conceived is a neutral thing. You could just as easily bemoan the children that have not been conceived because of people who never married, or through moral use of NFP.

As far as “who would you send back”, I am a member of a 10 child family. I would be perfectly happy with undoing my own existence if it meant that there would be more attention and a better life for my siblings.

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