According to most definitions, a big family is one with more than three children or more, and in this post, I have shared my years-earned knowledge on big family advantages and disadvantages.
At the onset, the advantages of a big family are clear. Think of the shared responsibilities, family fun, and your children will always have other siblings to rely on, even when one is not available.
Also, think of the big house you need to bring up your big family, the big car (or many cars) you need to move around, a large amount of money you require to school the kids, the massive insurance costs, to buy food, to clothe your children, and the amount of parental care they will all need,
In the next section, I have highlighted the top 10 reasons to consider a large family and 10 things to consider before having a big family, and how it will be like for your kids to grow up in a big family to help you make an informed decision.
10 Big Family Advantages: 10 Reasons to Consider a Big Family
- You are never lonely. Children from big families are never lonely because one or more of their siblings is ready to play. Parents of big families are never lonely because the kids keep them busy.
- Family members learn from each other. Older kids teach the younger ones about different stuff, including homework, swimming, games, and tricks. Older kids and the parents also learn from the younger kids, especially about new children songs and games they learn at school.
- A big family teaches sharing. A large family teaches kids the importance of sharing through sharing sleeping areas, toys, food, television, and games. This way, the kids from large families are better at friendships and other social issues.
- Big families instill the value of teamwork. Everything in big households requires coordination and collaboration of all members to facilitate efficiency. Cleaning the houses requires agreeing to the role of each member and bathing and looking after the younger ones also requires teamwork. Dang! Even preparing meals in big families demands teamwork because it makes it easier and quicker. Teamwork is paramount in all spheres of life, making kids from big families better prepared for life.
- Support is always available in big families. A parent is assured of adequate support from their kids in case of sickness, and so do the children. Big families also stand for each other in case one is fed down, broke, or is being bullied.
- Big families are fun-filled. There is never a dull moment in a big family as one or more kids are being cheeky. One could be showing the family a funny video clip, another could be teaching the family a fun game or song, and another could be reminiscing about happier times.
- Big families teach forgiveness. Sibling rivalry is part of the big family life, and from it they learn to forgive (even the most troublesome siblings) to continue living amongst each other.
- Children from big families learn gratitude and contentment. Kids from large families learn to be grateful for what they get because they have to share what is available for the whole family.
- Big families teach consideration. Children from the largest learn to think of others because they have to understand that mommy and daddy cannot cater to their individual needs at the same time.
- Big families teach diversity. Large families teach kids the importance of embracing diversity because each family has different personalities and skills.
Big Family Disadvantages: 10 Reasons not to Consider a Large Family
- There is less money. All the family members have to share the available money, determining the food, the shelter, the clothes, the school, the insurance, the toys, or the insurance the family will have.
- There is less space. Big families often have to share bathrooms, bedrooms, and a squeezed family room.
- Sibling rivalry. Kids in big families are always fighting even for the slightest and silly reasons, which could be overbearing on the parents and non-fighting siblings.
- Not much quality time with each kid. Your time as a parent is minimal to spend as much quality time with every child as would desire, which could strain your relationship with each kid.
- Limited alone time. Parents of kids in big families do get sufficient alone time because parents are busy managing the many kids and the children are always in each other’s business.
- Older kids become parents. Older children in big families, unfortunately, become the designated deputy parents, risking their development to the best potential.
- Emotional stress. Emotional stress is enhanced in big families because all members share their feelings and at least one member is always going through some difficulty (sickness, financial stress, or sibling rivalry).
- Traveling difficulties. It is usually difficult for big families to travel because it takes a lot of organizing, coordinating, and a lot of resources.
- Everything is hands-me-down. Parents will use toys and clothes for older kids with the younger ones.
- Kids from big families may be socialized to believe that forgiveness is easy because their siblings forgive them easily.
Things to consider before having a big family
Having a big large family is a personal choice. If you are considering having a big family, you need to consider the following in addition to the pros and cons of a large family:
- Money management. You need to consider if you are good at managing money because large families thrive with budgeting.
- Bedroom and bathroom sharing. Are you okay with your kids sharing bathrooms and bedrooms? If not, you may drop the idea of having a big family because room sharing is common in large families. Otherwise, you need to plan and purchase a big house.
- Luxury could be a dream. Are you okay with being fiscal with your finances? Big families usually have to live minimally or use money more cautiously than small families to get by the usually limited finances.
- Peacekeeping. You need to consider if you are good at solving conflicts because sibling rivalry is a daily occurrence. Large families are not your thing if you cannot manage fights.
- Being super busy. Parents to big families are always super busy, either with work or looking after the children. Relaxing time is rare. If you can keep up with the tight schedules of a big family, then you can handle a large family. Otherwise, a big family is not for you.
- Your partner. You and your partner need to agree on having a big family because of the much it takes to raise a large family. A big family is no if your partner does not share the dream.
- Do you want to give birth to all the kids, adopt, or get them through surrogacy? If you are considering having a big family, it is essential for you to consider whether you and your partner’s bodies can give birth to all the kids you plan on having, if you are okay with adopting, or are willing and can afford surrogacy.
- Messy house. A big family is not for you if you are a clean freak because many children mean a messy house most of the time.
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Sandra W. Bullock is a grand-mom to two boys and is part of the review board here at Motherhoodhq.com. She is responsible for the quality control of content and is among our most experienced moms. She has over 20 years of writing parenting content online focussing on baby safety indoors and outdoors. She has written widely on babyproofing nurseries and homes for infants and toddlers and published work on privacy and the safety of baby monitors. She is a renowned advocate for non-wifi baby monitors that cannot be hacked and spends a lot of time educating parents on how to secure their homes – including ways to secure the baby from harm in and around homes. Sandra is a native of Atlanta where she also works. She can be reached using her email, Sandra.w(at)motherhoodhq.com