19 Disadvantages of a Big Family – Ultimate List

picture of a whole family on the ground

Are you thinking of growing your existing family? It’s important to give some thought to the downside of having a larger family. While the thought of giving your children many siblings to grow up with seems appealing, there are actually several disadvantages of a big family. I have one daughter.

Having more than two or three children can often place excessive stress and challenges on both parents as well as the family as a whole. To give you an objective view, I’ve compiled a list of the many aspects that you should take into account as you do your family planning. I considered some of these when I did my planning with my fiancée.

19 Disadvantages of a big family – ultimate list

In all fairness, there are a bunch of good reasons to have a larger family. From giving kids a stronger support structure for a lifetime to large fun-filled family gatherings can make big families an enticing idea. However, it’s also challenging and financially draining. Let’s dive right into the reasons why having a big family is stressful. 

1. The financial aspect

It’s no secret that having even just one or two children can be very costly. Consider the implications on your monthly budget when you’re paying school fees, medical bills, clothes, presents, and extra-curricular activities for three, four, five, or even six children. Not to mention your monthly grocery bill!

For example, for a family with 4 kids living in LA, your monthly cost can be as high as 11000 USD. This is the calculator I used to arrive at this estimate.

For some helpful budgeting tips, my article on budgeting for your baby can also be a helpful read. 

2. Additional worrying

When you become a parent, you spend the rest of your life worrying about your child. You’re always wondering how safe they are at school. You stress over the types of friends they’re making and whether they’re encountering any bad influences. 

Then there’s the possibility of them getting injured or being bullied. How they get along with each other is also a common stress factor and the list goes on. Imagine the state of your nerves if you have five or six children to worry over. 

3. A larger home

The more children you have, the bigger your home will have to be. After all, everyone will need their own space. If you don’t already own a big home, you’ll have to invest in one. Additionally, your new home will need a bigger yard to provide playing space as well. And, with big yards come more maintenance costs

4. A bigger vehicle

One of the things many parents planning big families don’t often give thought to is how you’re going to transport all the kids once they’ve all arrived. The average vehicle seats three people at the back. If you’re planning any more than three children, a bigger vehicle will have to be on your list of things to buy. As with the bigger house, a bigger vehicle will result in more expensive maintenance.

5. Extra transport costs

Once your children reach a certain age, they’ll start going to their own activities. Ballet, piano lessons, karate, soccer, baseball practice, movies, hanging out with friends at the mall – the list will leave you feeling like nothing but a taxi driver. Additionally, all this driving up and down will leave you with a high transport bill at the end of the day.

6. Exhaustion all-around

Having one child is exhausting. Especially in the first few months. With each new child, the exhaustion starts all over again. It doesn’t get any easier as the children get older as you deal with sick children who can’t sleep. There are homework, after-school activities, and projects. Add the meal preparations, bathing, and bedtime rituals and you’ll be exhausted all the time. 

7. Constantly busy

A parent of several children is always busy. Each child will have their own expectations and needs, leaving you with a feeling of running from pillar to post. This results in spreading yourself too thin and you could end up neglecting yourself or some of the children. 

8. On-going arguments

While six toddlers might seem like a lot of fun because they get along for the most part. As they get older, their personalities change and they start arguing and even fighting among themselves. There’s also no guarantee that they’ll get along or even like each other. Think of how you’ll deal with a few moody teenagers and a few wild toddlers at the same time! 

9. Never-ending cleaning

Kids at any age are messy. With all the teaching and encouragement, children just don’t see the need to eat on the table, not spill their juice or pick up after themselves. With many kids, you’ll be constantly cleaning

10. More laundry

Many people seem annoyed with the piles of laundry that just two or three people can generate in a week. Can you cope with doing the washing and ironing of five or six children with two adults? 

Bear in mind that a heavier laundry requirement will need a better-quality washing machine and drier to handle the load. In addition to that expense, your energy bill will most likely be higher too. On the subject of laundry – imagine washing the bedding of a fix or six children especially if you have one or two bedwetters in the mix!

11. Bathroom blues

Even a family of three find themselves competing for bathroom time in the mornings. With many children, one or two bathrooms might not cut it. Since you have to get everyone ready for school, you might be the last one to shower meaning you’ll never have a hot shower again. 

12. No more personal time

A well-balanced life should include some “me-time”. It’s necessary to keep your energy levels up and depression at bay. With a larger family, it’s unlikely that you’ll get the personal time to recharge. This could result in you and your partner feeling exhausted and overwhelmed most of the time. 

This is why some regret having a third (or second child). 

13. Future plans become restricted

A large family will essentially eliminate any 5-year plans, dreams of mom returning to work or dad retiring early. Due to the cost of raising a large family, many parents will have to work for as long as possible. With one parent having to have a full-time career, the financial pressure is placed on the other parent. 

14. Noise, noise, and more noise

One child can be quite noisy. Especially in their early years as they discover the world. Imagine the shouting, laughing, crying, talking, playing, and nagging of many children at different ages. You’ll have no quiet time to read, watch TV or even just think. Can you handle a noisy house all day?

15. Disappointed kids

As kids start growing, they want certain things such as PlayStations, the latest toys, branded sneakers, and mobile phones – you get the idea. With a few children, this becomes challenging as money could become limited

Even activities such as movie night, pizza night, or dinner in the cheapest restaurant can become very challenging. Not to mention extravagant birthday parties! You’ll end up with disappointed kids who, depending on their age, won’t understand why they can’t have the things their friends have. 

16. The sacrifice of older children

Every large family relies on the older children to help around the home and with caring for the younger children. While this is a great way to teach older children responsibility, it isn’t really fair, is it? They sacrifice their childhood time helping with grown-up responsibilities. They also give up quality time with you because you’re busy with the other children. 

17. Juggling schedules

With more additions to your family, everything becomes more complicated. You’ll have to juggle schedules, doctor appointments, carpooling, activities, and so on. Since one of the parents will most likely have a full-time job, it places the stress of this juggling act on one parent’s shoulders.

18. Expensive holidays

Christmas movies make it seem necessary to have a large family to have a magical Christmas. The reality is that buying gifts for five or six children is costly, exhausting, and stressful. Bear in mind that as children grow, their Christmas lists become longer and more expensive. No matter how you juggle it, someone will feel disappointed. 

Holidays away from home are a lot more expensive if you’re paying for five or six people rather than only three. Additionally, keeping a bunch of children entertained while they’re on holiday won’t really leave any time for the parents to have a relaxing time.

19. Less time with your partner

While both you and your partner might enjoy having many children, it will cost you quality time with each other. Simple things like a quiet conversation, an intimate dinner, or spending time together will become less possible. Eventually, this could place strain on your relationship.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are quite a few disadvantages to having a bigger family. Many modern families are opting to have fewer children which put them in a better financial and emotional position to support their families. It’s well worth considering all options!!

For more informative articles on parenting, my article, on the challenges of fatherhood promises to be a good read. Additionally, moms may want to read about what qualities make a mom good.

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