small families

why do some caothlics make it seem like not having a lot of children is a sin?

yeah, I get that there are selfish reasons for not wanting more, but not always

not that I feel called to marriage, but maybe that will change. and honestly, I don’t think I could handle a lot of kids, mainly due to disability issues.

but even if a person doesn’t have a visible disability, there is still a lot of judgement.

the catechism mentions financial, physical, emotional and psychological issues but that just doesn’t seem to hole a lot of weight.

I heard a lot of “oh well, people are just making excuses now, everyone used to have large families in the past, being are just being lazy if they say they can’t handle more children. no one used to have only children”

I don’t know how true that is, that everyone had large families, I know people used to have a lot of kids because there wa sa good chance many of them wouldn’t survive until adulthood. also people got married earlier (and also died earlier)

and faithful, young catholics are becoming quite a rare breed these days


Abraham and Sarah had an only child.

Abraham and Hagar had an only child.

Isaac and Rebekah only had the one set of twins.

Their son Jacob and his wife Rachel had only two children.

Moses is only mentioned as having two children (as far as a quick google can tell).

Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, may only have had just John.

The mother of Jesus had just one child.

A lot of the major figures in the Bible had only one or two children.

Because they are either poorly educated, or mean-spirited.

I agree with Avocadomom

“why do some catholics make it seem like not having a lot of children is a sin?”

Because it builds up their own ego but to put someone else down. The number of kids they have gives them a status in the church. It makes them feel more special, like they are the real catholics. We are all driven to some extent with a need for approval, power and control. Some people get a lot of approval and validation with their family size.

My advice would be to be faithful to what you know God calling you to do and ignore the other voices even if they call you selfish or unfaithful.

(this note is not for all large families. It is an observation of mine from being in the middle of groups that really focus on the number of children you have)

Why does it matter what others think about it?

You need to stop worring about what others may or may not think. I highly doubt you have run into people like this and it seems like you create these scenarios in your head. I think the opposite is true. There is pressue on people not to have more than 2-3 kids. When my boys were back in elementary school ( and it was Catholic), one of the mom’s became pregnant with her 4th. I remember some of the snide comments by Catholic moms that thought she was crazy. You are not married right now. You need to stop these worries about what others may think or not think. It’s none of anyones business anyways how many children one has.

they probably think you’re contracepting. if you get married and don’t contract, whatever size family you have is what God wants for you. nothing else matters. God bless!

I can guarantee you there are plenty of people out there that have smaller families than they should (as I can guarantee you there are people that lie, that steal, that cheat on their spouses…) We are humans, and humans sin, and our society is plenty selfish. And yes, people do make excuses.
But there are plenty of good holy people that have small families, or even no children, because that is what God had planned for them. The sin is when people chose to limit their family for selfish reasons and often using illicit means (contraception).
No one can judge a family by their size, God is the only One that knows what is in the heart of the couple. If a person is judging a family size they are lacking Christian charity. It isn’t wrong to encourage people to be generous, though.

This is true as well. I have a feeling most people do not run into this type of person frequently. Sometimes people just perceive something different as well (they get defensive easily).

how would anyone actually know you were done having children?

they wouldn’t. You have to keep in mind this is the musings of a single college age girl.

ah, thank you.

I have actually heard people say it, about me, since I’m an only child, and about others

Well that’s their problem. Ignore them.
People say distasteful things all the time.
You can’t let it get to you. That’s part of being adult.

there was a time when people thought that a small family or baroness was a curse. and even today, people who can’t have children jump through a lot of medical hoops in the desire, not willing to accept God’s will for their lives. but these days, we don’t know the reason for small families because of the availability of contraception. and it’s really no one’s business except our own.

forgive them from your heart, they no not what they say.

I have the opposite problem …i feel like I’m not cool because I have to many

yes, unfortunately, that’s the way most of the secular world thinks today. and even many catholics.

you need to ignore these people. You have no control over the fact that your parents didn’t have more children for whatever reason. It is none of anyone’s business and if you know knuckleheads that would say stupid things like this, then you need to find new people to associate with.

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