How Many?

It is expensive.

Delivering a child is a financial nightmare for many women. With the average cost of prenatal care and delivery just over $7,800 (for run-of-the-mill, no complications, no frills, no multiples, no circumcision), often money plays a role in choosing to get pregnant. Raising children is not for the financial weak, either. Estimates vary for the cost of raising a child to age 18 from $186,000 to just over $270,000.

The question was:

If money were no object, how many children would you have?”

The results are in and a bit surprising.

Tie For Last

9% of survey takers chose both None and 6-9. The None group cited different reasons, including not prepared for the commitment, not liking children and not mature enough to be responsible for themselves, much less anyone helpless. Other reasons were too much work, not enough time, no parenting skills, afraid of childbirth, health, unable to commit to spouse/partner and afraid of getting it wrong and damaging the child.

The 6-9 group were mostly from large families (of six or more siblings) and wanted to have their children brought up with the same camaraderie and closeness they had felt growing up.

417675498 a95b7cac64 o

The More The Merrier

11% chose the option of having 10 or more. Reasons varied from coming from large families themselves to being only children who always wanted more siblings. Two voters said they wanted built-in babysitters for the younger children. Two more liked the idea of fielding a sports team with the family name.

English: This picture is of two children on a ...

Nearly a Third

29% said they wanted one to two children. Despite the question, more than a quarter of them stated they would not be able to afford more than two. When prompted to reread the question, they did not change their answers, but did change the reasoning.

  • Wanted one biological child and one adopted
  • Always wanted two
  • Wanted to adopt two for the sibling closeness
  • Cannot handle more than two emotionally
  • Probably happy with one, but better for child to have two.

None of those questioned admitted they only wanted to have one.

Top of the Heap

Balance and Harmony

The most popular choice, with 42% of the vote, was three to five children. Most of the ones choosing this answer already had at least one child and wanted more. They were willing to adopt their significant other’s children, adopt and/or have more of their own.

More than half of these thought four was the perfect number citing everything from balance of sexes in the home to pairing of siblings for outings to getting the most from investments in clothing/sports gear/electronic toys to Little Women. One thought she may have answered differently had she not had triplets.

Interesting Notes

  • Singles were just as likely to want more than five children as married people.
  • Many were over 35 with children, but still wanted more.
  • About 10% were over 35, but had not had any yet.
  • More than 30% wanted a mix of adopted/natural or only adopted.
  • Almost 25% wanted children even if they never found a spouse/partner.
  • Almost 20% wanted an ethnic mix of children and specifically other than their ethnicity.
  • Just under 10% would pursue advanced fertility options for more/any children.
  • Fewer than 5% would choose surrogacy.

Some New Things 

I hope you have taken a moment to look at the new poll. There were many influences which went into the names selected and the concept art which accompanies the tag cloud choice. To choose other, you must input your idea. Comments are welcome. This poll will not last more than a week, so if you have questions, now is the time.

This will be the final week with M3 News. Its visit count has been abysmal over the last month. So, which would you rather: Just go away or become a place where series are linked?

If you missed the Saturday Evening Post, I am looking for names for the ongoing story. If it gets large enough, it may well become a book. Seriously, if you missed the SEP, I want to know your answers.

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
Reblogging of this or any other post on Momma’s Money Matters is expressly forbidden.
Copyright and Privacy Policy available in The Office. 
Leave a comment


  1. Wow. can’t imagine anyone wanting 5 children. are you sure the survey wasn’t taken exclusively by Utah readers?
    Never wanted any children but luckily the best accident I ever had was my daughter.
    Who knew? -grin-
    Fascinating results Red.

    • ROFL! They were a broad group from seven countries. I was more shocked by the younger people who wanted a houseful than I was with the middle-aged crowd who wanted more. And you did have a winner 😉 Red.

  2. I am surprised by the number of people who wanted huge families, but then I know where I fall so greater than two shocks me. I will always be in awe of those who have the ability to manage large households and raise children to healthy adulthood.

    • I have to say the results did shock me. I was not really prepared to see that many choose more than two. I thought it was odd there were more who wanted more than ten than those in the 6-9 category. One man said if it was up to him, they would have twenty. I had to wish childbirth on him for even thinking that.

  3. I come from a large family Red. I’m the oldest of seven. I liked it.


    • I am #3 of 10, so I get it. Plus, I have far too many of my own before you add Bear’s five. No, I am not a closet Duggar.


  4. Hi hun! 🙂

    Dad left me unable to father children until Momma Nature fixed one problem and surgery fixed the other shortly before my final breakdown and development of Paranoid Schizophrenia, but instead I looked after 42 kids, including Becky and Emily from birth, so I ended up as a surrogate parent.

    Today they are all grown and are wonderful people, my final duty being to tutor Emily through University who left with a 2/2 and became a Primary School Teacher before having two children of her own.

    Pat’s family are still my closest friends despite their betrayal, but after what I was put through there’s no way I’d look after a child ever again and since the medication has removed the capability to father any of my own it looks like I’m going to be a crusty old bachelor for the rest of my days…

    Had things been different I’d have had three kids of my own, but that isn’t going to happen, so I have to be content with my good memories… 🙂

    Love and hugs!


  5. I think I’ve mentioned before that I always wanted 14 kids growing up. Unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble getting them out, so wound up with 3. I would have loved to have more though.

    One aspect I find missing here and among many who state how many they want to have or can afford to have…. If you had them, you would find a way to afford them (not advocating Dugars here). And, those of us who have had ‘happy accidents’ come along understand that you don’t really know before hand. I don’t know if I’m wondering if people are open to changing their opinions on this subject or if I’m lamenting that people tend to want to control this based on what they think they can or cannot handle. Some people absolutely should not have children. However, many probably miss out on a blessing because they stop too soon. JMHO Very interesting post. Angie

    • Maturation both during and immediately following birth cannot be discounted. Even those who swear they cannot handle any, still manage to get the diaper on the correct end. Some of those I talked to were willing to accept both more and less. Others were dead set on a finite limit. One even said she had been talked into a second because even after the first was born, she wanted no more. She regrets the second.

      I think it is a double-edged sword. Rachael talks about her daughter a few comments up and is an example of your concept.

  6. bear

     /  January 16, 2012

    I have always loved kids. The children in my life are what have kept me somewhat young. Although I don’t get to see them, I always keep them in my heart. And they know grampa’s not far away. Like I said I love kids and don’t mind a few more.

  7. I’m not sure how many I would want if I could do it all over again, at least a 1/2 dozen.
    Hugs xx
    Deb recently posted..Stormy SunsetMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      Very popular answer. I was really shocked by the number which wanted ten or more. With as many people as are shocked by the number I have, it would never have occurred to me so many would love to be in my shoes. {HUGZ} Red.

  8. My grandmother on my father’s side was in your shoes with a bakers dozen, and my grandmother on my mother’s side had more than two baseball teams with a grand total of 22 children. Of course my grandmother was born about 1874 so for sure there was no form of birth control and apparently they we, well quite interested in each or, and or loved kids…or both. 🙂 My mother had 5, with me being born in 1960 as was the year birth control came out so I suspect that could be why I may be the youngest, but that of course is only speculation on my part.
    Really though, at least a half a dozen would be nice, more would be better, but unless I could go back and re-do my career as well, I just don’t know if I could provide for that many, though I would have love for not matter if I had 6, 10, 15, or whatever I amount I was blessed with.
    Thanks Red, I’ve had a great day talking with you today!
    Love and Hugs xx
    Deb recently posted..Stormy SunsetMy Profile

    • Red

       /  May 15, 2012

      So glad we got to spend some time together today! The crux of the question was “if money were no object”. So many reached inside for their full capacity for love and understanding to give the bigger numbers. Our family is prolific as well. I am the third eldest of ten and have ten and am not a big anomaly. We rent a National Park for one of our family reunions…and we do not all go. That may well be the topic of a post, though! Love and hugs, sweet Deb. Have a lovely evening. xxx


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.