(Closed) Why do most couples only have 2 children?

posted 5 years ago in Parenting
Post # 2
1640 posts
Bumble bee

Most of my friends have 1 child, a few have 3, and some have none. 

Post # 3
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

I think it’s a combination of both. I have one of each (boy and girl). So in that aspect I felt like I was done. Another reason for me was the cost of travel would be more expensive with more kids and I love to travel. 

Post # 4
2597 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

It’s different in different circles. 

What I find to be true among my friends is that they generally want what they themselves grew up with–and generally, the spouse that grew up with more siblings tends to replicate that scenario (although not always, by any means). So, my friends who grew up in large, midwest families generally have 3-4 kids of their own; my friends who grew up with only one sibling tend to have 2 kids. I don’t myself follow this pattern–I had 2 siblings and I only want 2 kids myself so it’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but if I had to isolate any particular pattern, that’s the only one I see. 

Location also makes a difference. Having 3 or more kids in Manhattan is like, a wealth statement, these days. 

Post # 5
276 posts
Helper bee

my guess would be financial reasons and it’s easier since the parents aren’t outnumbered! One kid (for us) was pretty easy, but I can’t imagine her being an only child. So a second doesn’t seem like that much more difficult for us or a financial stretch. Adding more than that would be. We haven’t decided (or I should say come to an agreement) on how many we want yet, DH wants 4 I could see being happy with 2.

Post # 6
22 posts
  • Wedding: June 2016

Best analogy I’ve heard is a basketball reference- with two kids, the parents can run man-to-man defense. (IE: I’ll feed the baby, you give the toddler a bath). Once there’s more than two kids, parents are forced to play Zone defense, and it’s basically a free for all 😂

I am a mother of two boys, 2yr and 11mo (they are 14 months apart). We pay $1800 a month in daycare, plus diapers, formula, clothes, food etc. I love my babies but the thought of a third makes me shiver! Personal preference, I suppose! 

Post # 7
7193 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2016

I would agree that finances has a lot to do with it. Also what you grew up experiencing will have a lot of influence. I came from a family of 2 kids. I want 2. Fiance is one of three and would like 3. Since I have the uterus, I have veto powers so we’ll be having one more.

I thought it was interesting to read/hear that a group of women living in a country where they did not have access to birth control, when asked, said that, given the choice they’d have about 2 kids and no more.

Post # 8
4237 posts
Honey bee

I don’t have kids and I’m not sure i want them, but I wouldn’t want more than two- for me, I wouldn’t want the kids to outnumber the parents 😛

Post # 9
371 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2018 - City Hall

I have one daughter, and even though I have 6 siblings, they were all grown when I came around so I was basically an only child (Ive never even met two of my siblings). I dont want anymore, just one. For me, Im a single mom (not with bio dad and live alone) and glad that it was only one and it wasnt easy. With my current SO, we agreed we dont want anymore. He envisioned himself as never having any, but wasnt against being a step dad when he met me. 

My reason is that i had enough hard work raising one, and even though it would be easier with a partner, I want to enjoy my child being older and independent. We also like how easy it is to care for one kid if the other parent needs a break or is busy, two could be a handful for just one parent if the other is currently busy. 

Plus, I know how judgemental this can sound, but I dont want to have children from different fathers. There is nothing wrong with that, but I wouldnt find it fair to my daughter for me to fawn over a pregnancy, when her’s was “unwanted” by her bio dad. And that the new baby would have a bio dad who wants her/him and my daughters bio dad is just a sperm donor who isnt a father. She is only 7, so for all I know she wont feel that way, but I rather avoid it and stick to one.

Plus, definitely financial reasons.

Post # 10
3067 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

View original reply
socalgirl1689:  I thnk a lot has to do with finances. I grew up in a family of 6 ( 4 kids total) and LOVED it, my siblings are the best and while I would love to have 4 kids, I do not think we could afford it and maintain the lifestyle we want. 

Also, the more kids= the more chaos. I had an amazing but chaotic childhood with all the sports and activities with 4 kids, I honestly do not know how my parents did it and I do not think I could handle as many kids and keep my sanity, LOL. 

I dont have kids yet but my husband and I have decided on two.

Post # 11
13712 posts
Honey Beekeeper

The fact that it costs a middle class family an average of over a quarter of a million dollars to raise one child from birth to eighteen, not even including a college education, probably has a little something to do with it. For people making six figures or more the numbers usually go way up from there. 

Post # 12
4424 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

View original reply
socalgirl1689:  Our choice will definitely have to do with lifestyle. Our son is only 4 months and we won’t decide for about 4 years if we want a second baby. We agree we can see our son remaining an only child for a few reasons. One, raising a baby is an awesome, but huge, commitment. Two, we want to give our child(ren) great experiences as he/they grow (for example, I want my son to explore the U.S. before going international) and it’s expensive to do so. And three, DH and I have interests outside our son (I’m an educator who hopes to change the education system in our country and DH is studying to go into programming). 

If we have two, we will have to be in a comfortable enough place financially that we can accomplish these goals while providing multiple kids the lifestyle we want them to have. 

  • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by  KatiePi.
Post # 13
6886 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

View original reply
socalgirl1689:  Kids are expensive!  Anything more than 2 is a huge chunk of change.  A lot of people have a hard time affording 1 child let alone 2 or more.  



Post # 14
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

I think there are a lot of different reasons. I don’t have kids, yet, but here are my thoughts:

– It seems natural to want one of each (boy and girl), though if you end up with two boys or two girls, you still feel like the world is in equilibrium (two people had two kids, rather than a defecit of two people having one kid, or a surplus of two people having three or more)

– Most people recognize that one child might be simpler, but if there is a playmate for that child, it could be even better socially, etc

-Most people have at least one sibling and it’s hard to imagine otherwise for their child

-having a single child can be seen as a crazy decision; having tons of children can be seen as a crazy decision; having two is the “norm”


Personally, I think I would prefer to just have one, but I’m still a bit on the fence as I grew up with a sister and so did DH- it would be uncharted territory for us. In many ways, one child is more managable financially, logisitically (restaurant tables, airplane seats, what have you), but two is more managable in the fact that they have a peer and are not always after your attention as a parent to entertain them. It’s certainly a tough choice!

Post # 15
3287 posts
Sugar bee

Money and most people no longer live on farms and need sons to pick corn.

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