After flicking through a Sunday supplement there was an article about a girl who was one of eleven. The article was her view on life as part of a big family. Eleven kids – wow I thought but as I scrolled down, there were a few stats at the bottom to run alongside the piece. One being about the largest family in the UK with 17 kids but the other facts stated that 1.1 million families in the UK have 3 or more kids and that Tower Hamlets in London has the highest number of families with 3 or more kids.
Ok fair enough but does having 3 kids really warrant a large family tag? The fact that these statistics are included in an article about a girl who has 10 siblings would infer that 3 kids is a lot!
It got me thinking – are we as a two parent, three child family really classed as a large family?
I always wanted 3 kids for as long as I can remember and had 3 kids from just 2 pregnancies and I have pretty much the perfect mix of sexes and amount of children I desired but never for one minute would I class it as large. But after thinking about it – has society pigeon holed us and given us the label of a large family?
Most family ticket deals for days out are for 2 adults and 2 children; trying to find a family hotel room that accommodates more than 2 children can be a absolute nightmare when planning a holiday and all the 2 for 1 deals just don’t work for us. Is the old fashioned 2.4 kids still “the norm”? And why is everything still geared towards that figure? I have one sister, my parents each had one sibling and in total I have 4 cousins – yep, just 4 – that’s it! My family is very small and I remember when I was younger and my best friend has hundreds of cousins always popping over or her going out for days with a variety of aunties and uncles whereas I had no real close extended family – and I often felt jealous. My Dad, although he was one only of two, would tell me stories about his huge network of relations as his parents were one of 8 and I loved the whole family orientated vibe it had with people always popping in and looking out for one another.
Sadly there are such a negative stereotypes attached to large familes namely that they’re all “scroungers who live off the state and expect the tax payer to provide for their kids” and I’m sure that there are but like people with no children you will always get someone somewhere happy to play the system but because larger families obviously will be entitled to more (as most forget each single child is taken int account, just like in a 2 or 3 person family) yet there is such uproar.
Whenever the question of more children pops up I always go back to my Dad and his stories and ultimately I would love a large family. Whilst I always wanted 3 there are days where I question this (usually when everyone has slept, ehaved and just generally a decent day!) and would absolutely love to extend our brood. I want to grow up surrounded by all my family and their children as to me family is by far the most important thing in the world. I know there’s the financial side of raising children, not to mention needing a large car and house but if you could put all that aside – would you’ve more?
People who are part of big families sometimes tell me it’s not all it’s cracked up to be; there’s feuds, bickering, jealousy and of course the expense but I always go back to my Dad saying how much he loved having big family meet ups where everyone knew everyone and someone always had your back. Perhaps it’s because I do have such a small network that I crave this “big happy family” ideology but technically we are a big family and that baffles me! I love my kids, yes we jumped from having 1 only child to 3 in one swoop but I am lucky to be able to spend lots of one on one time with them so I don’t feel that my household is too large to cope with; the amount of washing on the other hand…! I don’t know what the future holds but I am incredibly happy with my babies – mountains of washing or not. Surely with more “blended” families 2.4 is so outdated. What do you think, would you class 3 kids as being a large family? I’d love to hear your thoughts.