Is There a Magic Number of Kids?
By Kate Gardner
Having kids is a roller coaster. Some days are easy -- the kids don't fight and you coast along happily. Other days are an uphill battle -- your oldest is sulking because he can't find his favorite hoodie and your youngest has decided to communicate only in screams. You could spend hours wondering how to make everyone get along, but how calm and enjoyable your household is may have a lot to do with your family's make-up.
Harmony In the House
As a mom to girls, I often hear that I'm lucky they're not boys. Boys are so hard to raise. But a friend with all boys hears the same thing about girls! So which is it? A survey carried out by a British parenting site and reported on Today.com sought to answer that question. Parents of more than one child were asked how many children they had and if they were boys or girls. They also answered questions about issues like how much fighting went on between siblings and how long it took to get everybody ready in the morning.
The survey showed that moms of two girls reported the most harmonious, or peaceful, homes. Second place went to families with a boy and a girl and third place went to families with two boys. Families that had four girls reported the least amount of harmony. I'm not sure if this proves girls are easier than boys, or if it simply shows that the more kids you have, the more they fight.
In 2013 Today Parents carried out its own survey, looking at moms' stress levels. All moms rated themselves as pretty stressed (an average of 8.5 out of 10!) but moms with three kids reported more stress than moms with fewer kids and moms with more kids! One mom of four said that once she got past three kids, she wasn't so concerned with perfection anymore. Others have hypothesized that older siblings help out more in families with four or more kids, as well.
The magic number of kids is different for each of us. For some, it's zero and for others, it's as many as possible! The truth is that every family, regardless of size and composition, will have plenty of ups and downs. The best we can do is take care of one another and try to have fun.
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