Family size question

How does a catholic family decide when it is the right size? We have 4 children (12 to 3yrs) and have lost one 4 yrs ago and two more in the last six months. Looking for guidence.

There really isn’t a "right’ size for your family, it really depends on what you and your husband believe is God’s plan for your life. The church does not ask us to have any number of children but it does ask us to be open to life, I really don’t think you need to worry too much about the number.

I am so sorry for your loss! I agree with the other posters. There isn’t any right answer. I’m glad that you are blessed with the four you have!

I’d like to refine some of the previous answers you’ve received.

As Catholics there are some things we don’t always get to plan ahead of time. So we don’t always get to say that in 4 years we think we should have two children, in 10 years we should have 4 children, and when we are too old to have more children we want to have reached the number 7. (Or whatever.)

What we can discern is that today it is good that we have 3 children. And six days from now we may have a different understanding. And six months later we may have yet another understanding. And in six years we likely will have yet another. Or not.

Its between you and God.

But on a personal note…after 4 things seem to get ridiculously complicated and the emotinal needs…even the physical needs of children can get neglected by even the most well-prepared well-meaning parents. Now poor parents can neglect one child…still my heart breaks equally for #1 of 5 that im close to…shes still a little girl in need of comfort…but she cant be comforted because of #3-5. It also breaks for her cousin whos dad is severly mentally ill and only gets her on weekends. Both children have that hungry look in their eyes. Even though one comes from the best possible situation and one the worst possible.

the Catholic family lets God decide this. If they have a good reason to delay or avoid pregnancy for a time the couple can simply avoid the marriage act, assisted by NFP and modern methods of ovulation prediction until such time as the prudential reason no longer exists.

first of all, I’m so sorry for the loss of your children. It is heartbreaking to go through, but through God, your heart will be strengthened.

As for how many children is the right number, I’m not sure. We are letting our last baby decide that for us, but we haven’t been told which one should be our last :wink: Instead we take each baby one at a time and let the factors around us and deep prayer help us decide our actions. As one poster said, a decision today may be differnt six months from now. As Catholics we do not say “no more!” but some times we say, “not today” or “not this month.”

You should have stopped with that.

What about after 8, or 10 or 12 children?


Losing a child is terribly hard and you have my prayers.

This is not always the case and should not be tossed around as the norm! It’s your opinion and that’s all.

You should have stopped with that. What about after 8, or 10 or 12 children?

Excuuuuuuuuuuse me population poliece.

Last I heard this was a message board and it’s made of opnion. It is my opinion that families with over 4 children face incredibe difficulty. It’s my opinion certinally. It is based on knowing familes. It’s based on having cousins. It’s based on my personal life in my family (with 3 brothers). When the ration gets past 2/1 it gets hard. Therefore a marreid couple would be 4/2. Maybe if grandma and grandpa lived at the home more kids would be a possibility. I just don’t think it’s best. Period. That’s my opinion…and in my life it’s been correct.

We have 4 now, no one is neglected and life is not difficult at all! Every week our kids ask if we are going to have another baby! They want another brother or sister! There is a lot of love in our home and it grows with each child!

From the people in my own life that felt that one or two children is best, it was based out of selfishness because they wanted to be able to do what they wanted, when they wanted and more children would take away from their “needs” which were really just wants! A pretty sad way to live life, in my opinion!

Why don’t you tell that to the girl I tutor? Who, at 10, will cuddle with anyone for the sheer sake that she really NEEDS attention and dosn’t get enough because of her four younger sibilings?

I’m sorry. I know what I see.

Do you also give them ponies and kitties and candy when they want it? Your logic is flawed

You might know what you see, but you also have to consider you’re not seeing the entire picture. The willingness of this one child to glom on to anyone for the sake of some attention may or may not have a thing to do with the amount of attention her parents give to her siblings. The child may have an exceptionally needy personality, which may get her into trouble as she matures if not mitigated, she may be being ignored in the home, or she may simply be a kid who likes to cuddle, and that’s Okay if it’s done at appropriate times and appropriate people.

The most responsible thing you can do as a bystander is to tell her parents what you’re observing vis-a-vis her behavior. If you think it’s crossing boundaries, e.g., she’s hugging strangers at the convenience store, you have a duty to tell her folks so they can address it.

But to extrapolate from the behavior of one child that all parents must limit their families to X number of children is taking it a bit far.

Wisdom for the ages right here. And this is brilliant thinking for not only children but for soooo many parts of life. :thumbsup:

Exactly! I have a TON of love in my life, but I still want MORE MORE MORE!!! I always want to be with as many as possible that I love, and in my time. Whereas my brother is not that way, he likes time to himself and doesn’t really express emotions and is fine if there is no one around. You just really never know, that’s why it’s great that we are all different.

Families with only 2 children can have this probllem as well. I was a latchkey kid and definitely didn’t get enough attention. I would have been much better off with a house full of siblings to play with and a good SAHM!

So you are entitled to you opinion and everyone else is wrong - even those that know you are wrong? The incredible difficulty? My mother had 12 children and raised the last four as a single parent. That’s my opinion…and in my life it’s been correct.

How many children do you have?

No, the don’t get what they want when they want it! Because life is not like that and they need to learn that as children!

Sure, I’d say the girl you tutor likes to cuddle, some kids are like that. Doesn’t have to have anything to do with her sibilings! I have a niece like that, she has one sister;)

Flawed how? That children bring love into a house?

That’s a naive thing to say.

I’ve seen many big families (first hand experience with one) and they are mixed-some seem happy, some are stupidly dysfunctional.

There is alot to large families that people don’t seem to want to admit. It can cause alot of problems.

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