Sept. 26, 2018

The Right Number of Kids Is…

For most of us, the right number of kids is the number of kids we have. (At least most of the time.) But there are proven, distinct benefits to each family size, from one kid to a minivan’s worth. Our listeners tell us what works for them and why.

What’s the right number of kids? For most of us (at least most of the time) it’s the number we actually have. Here’s how our listener Mahima put it:

 “as many babes as you are blessed with is the perfect number.”

 Still, it’s a question we ask ourselves at many times throughout our lives, before and after we become parents, and there are many factors which play into the decision— like money. Here’s a sobering statistic: a 2015 report by economists at the US Department of Agriculture estimated that middle-income married-couple family will spend $233,610 from birth through age 17 on child-rearing expenses. 

Per child. 

Not including college. 

(Editor’s note: Amy was also going to put up a link to their “Cost of Raising a Child Calculator” but Margaret has forbidden it on the grounds of it being too depressing.)

But finances aren’t the only consideration, and families of each size have distinct benefits (and okay, a couple of drawbacks). In this episode we discuss: 


all the things we (and our listeners) considered when making this decision for their families

why only children may maximize their mothers’ well-being

why two children may be the magic number for familial happiness

why, in our own experiences, three children is awesome

why parents with four or more children might not actually be crazy


Obviously there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. When you know, you know, but it’s okay to be undecided, like our listener Chana: 

“I just had my 10th. I haven’t found the perfect number yet. I guess I’ll keep going till I do.” 

Go Chana!

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