Child are extremely costly, whether you have one or five. Buying in bulk can make it seem a little cheaper to feed half a dozen teenagers, and hand me down clothes can alleviate some financial pressure as well. A large family has definite advantages, but that doesn’t mean a smaller family isn’t great, too. Here’s a look at the pros and cons of having a large family.
Con: A large family requires a bigger investment.
It’s important to consider how much you have to pour into your family financially. When you have one or two kids, you have a reasonable amount of laundry, dishes, cooking, and other chores to tend to. When you have six or eight kids, you have six or eight times the responsibility. There’s a lot more to raising a large family than just buying bulk sized noodles at the grocery store. Never mind the sheer cost of medical bills. Think about Christmas -- how many presents does one tree fit? And how often can you afford a birthday party? A large family isn’t just an investment in money, but also an investment of a lot of time, too.
Pro: Older kids who can help around the house.
The more kids you have to do work for, the more you’ll eventually have to take some of that burden off of you. Even toddlers can help carry laundry or hand up dishes from the dishwasher. Families like the Duggers work with a “buddy system” so the younger kids have someone to look up to -- and the older kids learn a responsibility much more effectively.
Con: It’s hard to have the time for everyone.
Unfortunately, the “buddy system” is also kind of a means of making sure that there’s someone who has time for your kids. In a single child household, one child is assured all of both parents attention. There’s time to help with homework, to make crafts on the weekends, to see basketball games or dance recitals. More kids means everyone gets less focus.
Pro: No one has to feel alone.
Only children don’t have the built-in friends that siblings offer. While it can take a few years (or decades) to get past the greedy-play stage, it can be really nice to have brothers and sisters around. There’s always someone to play tag with, or go swimming, or to teach you how to ride a bike.
Con: No one has much privacy.
Privacy is as much mental as a physical state of being. Having six kids in a house with four bedrooms means everyone is doubling up. It can be frustrating -- and not just for the kids. When you have one child, you can send them to bed and take a bath, or just sit quietly in a room that isn’t covered in toys. It can be fun to have a big, busy house. But if you’re an introvert who likes peace and quiet, a big family is going to be a major change.