Number of Kids


#1

I describe myself as an orthodox Catholic. I would never ever ever think about using any form of contraception. I will be married next year. I know many faithful Catholics who don’t use contraception and all of them have families of 7+ kids. A few have 10+.

My question is: How are you suppose to limit your family size? To me, it seems impractical to have that many kids. I believe at some point the quality of their life goes down because with each kid you have the less attention you can pay to any individual one. I suspect that in a family of 10+ kids its hard for the kids to have that intmacy with their parents, or be close with each other.

I know a guy who comes from a family of 10+ and I asked him if he is close with his siblings, he said: “just a couple.” He has trouble remembering names as well sometimes.

Before you say anything, I know full-well about NFP. But I also heard that because you want only a certain number of kids is not a good enough reason for using NFP. I also heard that trying to get finances in order is not a good enough reason. What is a good enough reason? What about quality of life of your family? Of your children?


#2

Children were meant to be blessings not practical.Don’t listen to the hype God is just as capable now as was in the old and new testament to help out down here:) I know I am going to get hammered on this one, but if people in the old testament trusted God and were taken care of ,the new testament tells us not to worry,than you must realise that not one child created is created by accident.God Bless and waiting on the Hammer:D


#3

A good reason is determined between the married couple and God. I don’t know your finances or your family dynamic. As for me with two children so far , I tell people “we don’t know how many children we have”. They assume we don’t do anything, but we do avoid with success.

I’m currently avoiding fertile times of the month. Some of the factors is financial, mortgage, student loans, etc… We make value judgments on entertaiment, take out, fast food and vacations. I just got take out this week, I realize it wasn’t worth it. I cook better.

We become creative. We are planning to purchase an expensive playset, but for many they think that it rediculous but they have other luxury items we have no use for.

One consideration even though people might think is vain, is that I must be a pre-pregnancy weight before trying. I gain over 50 pounds with each pregnancy. Over the years of having several children I would be very obese. Very easy because I don’t want to buy a new wardrobe I lose the weight to fit in the same pair of jeans.

As for the man with 9 siblings, at least he speaks to a few. Think about people who speak to none. I just don’t buy the lack of attention argument. So many children are put in day care centers with 7+ more children and in elementry classes with 30+ students, many being only children or with one sibling.

Lisa, you are right children are not created by accident. Couples have to had sex to create the child. Many NFPers even in avoidance, know fully when they break the rules. I had a friend being told she would have difficulty to concieve. So when she tried NFP to avoid, she was lazy with the rules and knowingly broke them. Techincally NFP “failed” according to the studies. But the couple changed their mind knowing the consequences of intercourse on a fertile day. That is no accident or failure.


#4

I have 4 children and I wish I had many more. What you hear about problems with big families are largely wrong. The more the better. Sure it is difficult in many ways but God will reward those who do His will. Trust in God and His plan for you. If He wants your family size limited He will provide a way. If He wants you to have 10 children, He will provide the means for you to raise them so you all get to heaven. What other goal is important? I used to be concerned about my family size and then I lost a daughter. The experience took me closer to God and helped me see His true plan for us. Believe me, if you have many children and train them to love God you will be happy now and later. Start praying together now so you will be able to do it easily with your children. Ask Him for the children He plans for you. Do you honestly think it could be a good thing to face God and say to him, “I want this child but not those others you planned for me”. God is pure love. Children are pure love.

Sacrafices are required but so what, they are good for you. I can’t afford to retire because I will still have children in the house when I am 70. It’s worth it.


#5

My mother in law has 8 children. Even with the ones who’ve moved out of town, I’d say the whole family is pretty close. I come from a very small family, and I prefer “family get togethers” with my husbands family - the more the merrier really rings true!

I know they had hard times, dad worked a lot to provide, but they always had food on the table, and no body ever went without. Yea they didn’t get cars when they were 16, but they all learned to WORK for what they have, and not depend on anyone else but themselves. Now 5 of the 8 own their own businesss, and the other 3 are extremely sucessful in their fields as well.

Last count there were 24 grandchildren, and we think the 1st great grand child isn’t too far off.


#6

How many children you have is totally up to you, your spouse and God (interesting how often marriage is seen as only involving two parties).

Be assured that everyone is going to stick their nose in your business.

The world (ie the secular world, and those Catholics who contracept) seem aghast at the idea of more than two; the more you have, the more aghast they are.

Conversely, among those who practice NFP, or nothing, you will find those who will look down their nose if you don’t have enough (whatever that figure might be) and can and will give a “holier than thou” attitude with alacrity.

Each family is unique, just as each child is unique. How many you have is between you, your husband, and God.

Having said that, in general we are a society which has no clue of how much wealth we have in comparison to others in the world. We also have an extremely difficult time distinguishing between what we want and what we need. In addition, real-world costs of many necessities have gone up; by that, I mean that the number of hours worked to obtain “x” has gone up in the last 50 years. 50 years ago it was much easier to purchase a house, for example, on one salary than it is today; in many areas, housing for a family actually requires two incomes; and sometimes, in some areas, even that will not provide housing. There is much said as to how much it “costs” to raise one, two, or more children; and often that is based on meeting not only their needs, but their wants and your wants.

How you decide this is to do your best to follow God’s will, and that can become all the more difficult when everyone wants to tell you their “take” on what God wants for you.

Good luck, and God bless.

Oh, and a bit of free advice: When people get nosey, and ask you what you are planning, give them a very bland non answer; it is none of their business. And when they offer free advice, smile and say “Oh”. Nothing else. Not only will you succeed in driving some of them nuts, but the answer is worth the same as their advice.


#7

As mentioned before I have two, a boy and a girl. If I had a nickel everytime someon said “I had the perfect family.”


#8

[quote=James_2:24]I describe myself as an orthodox Catholic. I would never ever ever think about using any form of contraception. I will be married next year. I know many faithful Catholics who don’t use contraception and all of them have families of 7+ kids. A few have 10+.

My question is: How are you suppose to limit your family size? To me, it seems impractical to have that many kids. I believe at some point the quality of their life goes down because with each kid you have the less attention you can pay to any individual one. I suspect that in a family of 10+ kids its hard for the kids to have that intmacy with their parents, or be close with each other.

I know a guy who comes from a family of 10+ and I asked him if he is close with his siblings, he said: “just a couple.” He has trouble remembering names as well sometimes.

Before you say anything, I know full-well about NFP. But I also heard that because you want only a certain number of kids is not a good enough reason for using NFP. I also heard that trying to get finances in order is not a good enough reason. What is a good enough reason? What about quality of life of your family? Of your children?
[/quote]

The key thing is having “serious reason” to postpone. There is no quick, easy measuring stick which you can look at and say you have enough serious reason to avoid pregnancy (unfortunately, I think, sometimes.) Have you sought wise counsel in this? Talking with a priest or close friend about your concerns may help. Of course, in the end it’s ultimately a decision between you, your spouse, and God but it is important to seek counsel and form your conscience, examine your reasons and motives for avoiding a pregnancy, etc. Of course talking about it in depth with your spouse and praying about it are a given. “Life-Giving Love” by Kimberly Hahn discusses some of the reasons, valid or not, that couples choose to avoid a pregnancy. I found it helpful as a general guide. Everyone’s circumstances are different, and no one can make this decision for you. We currently weigh our reasons monthly and pray about it together. And I talk with close friends who know us and understand our situation, who provide a listening ear and can usually pick up on if my motives for avoiding pregnancy are sound, or if they’re grounded in fear, selfishness, etc. It’s been a great help to us.

The other thing I can say is…not everyone’s experience of large families are the same as your friend’s. The friends I have that came from large families often come from the closest, most loving families and they did not suffer for attention or relationships with family members in the least. I hope God blesses us with a large family, because there is much joy and love present in a way that’s unique from other families (and in my family growing up, it was just my brother and I).

I understand your struggle, and wish you and your family all the best. The one thing I know is that when I make a good, Godly decidion, there is a certain peace that brings me comfort and assurance even if I don’t understand or can’t see God’s ways. The peace that passes all understanding…


#9

[quote=renee1258]As mentioned before I have two, a boy and a girl. If I had a nickel everytime someon said “I had the perfect family.”
[/quote]

Yes when my second was born, and I had one of each, everyone said “well now you’re done” or something like that. But we wanted more. Unfortunately due to some later complications, that’s not going to happen. I love my children, but often mourn for the ones I didn’t have, that I did want.


#10

[quote=James_2:24]I believe at some point the quality of their life goes down because with each kid you have the less attention you can pay to any individual one. I suspect that in a family of 10+ kids its hard for the kids to have that intmacy with their parents, or be close with each other.

What is a good enough reason? What about quality of life of your family? Of your children?
[/quote]

Well as many have said, individual people have different needs. What is a grave reason for one may not be for another - this is between the spouses and God. There are plenty of only children who don’t have good relationships with their parents, and there are large families who are closer than the average family. So I think you shouldn’t try too hard to predict how your family will be. It may often have much less to do with the number of children and more with who the parents are. The fact that an adult child isn’t close to his siblings doesn’t indicate that it would have been different if there were fewer kids in the family. A follow up question to ask this person might be, would you have preferred not to have been born then? I am only one of 3 children, and I don’t feel very close to either of my siblings. Maybe if my mom had kept having kids, that would’ve been different. Who knows.

Assuming you are able to have many children, you as the parent are in a unique position to judge the pychological and emotional needs of your children. Each time you are in a position to decide whether or not to be fully open to pregnancy you can asses the situation. I have 2 so far, and when my 2nd baby was quite little, I felt pretty strongly that I wouldn’t be able to provide adequately for my kids’ emotional/psychosocial needs if I had another child right away. A few months later, that concern was completely gone - although it would have been hard to predict when I was in the middle of the first situation. But the whole time, I was able to assess my childrens’ current needs for my attention etc. and weigh them against the blessings another child would bring. I think if done prayerfully, this will not be as big a dilemma as you fear it will be.

My advice: pray (starting now with your fiance) for discernment of God’s will for you about children and openness to life. And then don’t worry about it. God Bless you in this exciting time!
TKC


#11

There is a difference in saying I don’t want another baby, and saying I don’t want another baby now. Right after birth, the last thing on a woman’s mind is being pregnant again. But as the childr grows, begins to crawl, walk, eat independantly things change.


#12

Thanks for all your responses… they helped a lot, i have no worries of my family size now. Whatever is God’s will!!!

God Bless


#13

[quote=PopSmoke]I have 4 children and I wish I had many more. What you hear about problems with big families are largely wrong. The more the better. Sure it is difficult in many ways but God will reward those who do His will. Trust in God and His plan for you. If He wants your family size limited He will provide a way. If He wants you to have 10 children, He will provide the means for you to raise them so you all get to heaven. What other goal is important? I used to be concerned about my family size and then I lost a daughter. The experience took me closer to God and helped me see His true plan for us. Believe me, if you have many children and train them to love God you will be happy now and later. Start praying together now so you will be able to do it easily with your children. Ask Him for the children He plans for you. Do you honestly think it could be a good thing to face God and say to him, “I want this child but not those others you planned for me”. God is pure love. Children are pure love.

Sacrafices are required but so what, they are good for you. I can’t afford to retire because I will still have children in the house when I am 70. It’s worth it.
[/quote]

I couldn’t agree more.
Trust God and you will never be disapointed. I have 5. One is 8 months and it is hard to wish for more about now but I know that if we were to have another I would never regret.
Also, PopSmoke can say this with more authortiy than I. I noticed from another post that Popsmoke lost a daughter. This has always been my biggest fear of having a large family!


#14

[quote=James_2:24]I I believe at some point the quality of their life goes down because with each kid you have the less attention you can pay to any individual one. I suspect that in a family of 10+ kids its hard for the kids to have that intmacy with their parents, or be close with each other.

[/quote]

james,

If you are basing your opinion on one man’s experience, you might want to expand those a bit.

I come from a family of 6 kids, which is about the smallest of my relatives. My father was one of 9, my mother was one of 13. I have 119 first cousins.

It’s been my experiece that the larger the family is, the GREATER it’s closeness. The number of children has zero bearing on the intimacy a parent can show their children.

And, yes, there are financial hardships with large families, but that, in my experience, brings us closer together and helps us focus on the spiritual gifts, instead of material gifts.

Being a part of a large family been a true blessing, and one I hope to share with my children.


#15

this is how marriage works. you have sex, you get pregnant, you have babies, they grow up to be kids, and then to be teenagers. Kids are free, but everything associated with them costs money - from the doctor bill up to college tuition, and all kinds of shoes and stuff in between. If you wait until you can afford it, it will never happen. You can make 100 grand and not be able to afford one kid, or you can raise 10 on a factory worker’s salary, like our grandparents did. It is all a matter of priorities. If none of this sounds appealing to you, please change your mind about getting married before it is too late.


#16

[quote=puzzleannie]this is how marriage works. you have sex, you get pregnant, you have babies, they grow up to be kids, and then to be teenagers. Kids are free, but everything associated with them costs money - from the doctor bill up to college tuition, and all kinds of shoes and stuff in between. If you wait until you can afford it, it will never happen. You can make 100 grand and not be able to afford one kid, or you can raise 10 on a factory worker’s salary, like our grandparents did. It is all a matter of priorities. If none of this sounds appealing to you, please change your mind about getting married before it is too late.
[/quote]

I like the cut of your jib


#17

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