Is there such a thing as the perfect number of kids to have? Of course not. Every family is different. But one study begs to differ, uncovering that, YES, there is an ideal number for ultimate happiness and family symmetry.
And that number is four.
Four kids. Count ’em up. Load ’em in. Don’t lose one of them. Which is actually quite possible because four of anything is hard to keep track up. Four is a collection, folks. A collection of kids.
The more the
The study, conducted by Dr Bronwyn Harman from the Edith Cowan University in Perth, concluded that parents with four or more children are the happiest.
Parents with four kids still report things like chaos, noise, stress, and financial difficulties, but these things are outweighed by the joy that having a team of kids can bring.
And, perhaps, if you’ve got four kids, there are better odds that at least ONE of them will do the damned dishes.
The study also reported a greater sense of life satisfaction, resilience, social support and self-esteem in families with four kids. Go figure.
“With large families, we think they have social support within the family,” Dr Harman explains,
“The kids are never bored, they have someone to play with and they get independence quite early on. Parents accept that there is chaos in their lives but it does not negate the happiness they get from their families.”
Fun fact: Another study confirms that the most stressful number of kids to have is actually THREE.
Is four actually easier than three?
As a proud mum of three kids and a massive collection of furniture that contains some sort of stain, I’m wondering how it is physically possible that adding ANOTHER CHILD to this shitstorm would actually make things easier.
Does this fourth child double as a Roomba?
But it does make sense, sort of.
More kids, less f*cks given
By the fourth kid, you’re pretty much prepared for what’s to come. You know you’re not going to sleep for several months and you’re okay with that. You’ve done it before and you survived. Mostly.
You know you’re going to need a lot more help during those first few weeks and you’re not ashamed or too proud to admit it anymore. When someone offers to help, you don’t thank them politely and decline. You hand them a kid or two, an overnight bag, and a box of biscuits to feed them as a snack. #Seeya
You also know you’re not going to have a clean house with four kids and you don’t even try, which means less stress and less guilt and fewer impossible standards to try and live up to.
Go play with your siblings. There are plenty to choose from
Another cool thing – a house full of love, friends and people to play with. You can have a game of three on three soccer and you don’t even need to recruit the weird neighbour kids. Score!
Maybe, just maybe, the number of “I’m bored” comments you hear during school holidays decreases with the number of kids you have.
More kids, more babysitters
You also have a whole lot of support inside the house. in most instances, you’ve got at least one child who is responsible enough to help out with the little ones.
My eldest, for example, is 11. My middle one is 8 and my youngest is 2. Pretty decent age gap (totally recommend doing it this way).
Anyhow, I don’t entirely rely on my older two to do ALL the things for the young one, but I do find myself saying, “Dress your sister”, “Play with your sister”, “Throw your sister a cookie”, more times a day than I care to admit.
So, perhaps, the more kids you have, the more older siblings there are to help out. It’s like a buddy system – Oldest Child takes the Youngest Child. Middle Oldest Child takes on Middle Youngest Child. And Mum and Dad sit outside and drink wine. Everyone wins.
Perhaps there is something to this four-kid thing. What do you reckon? How many kids do you have and what’s your ‘perfect number’?
What to read next
- 12 Reasons Why Having a Large Age Gap Between Siblings is the BEST
- Should I Have Another Baby? 11 Ways to Tell if You’re Ready
- How Many Kids You Have Is Nobody’s Business (But Your Own)