15+ Disadvantages of Having a Big Family (for Parents!)

Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Lifevif Team and JC Franco

Family With Many Children

If you are thinking about starting a family or at least growing your existing one, first give some thought to the implications of having many children. Why? Because having more than just one or two kids could place undue stress and challenges on both you and the other children. In this article, we’ll take a look at what could possibly go wrong. 

Having a large family isn’t all bad. Of course, there’s a lot of good involved. You get to raise a group of the best buds who love and care for each other. Chances are that your life will be filled with a lot of love and happiness, but there will be challenges and difficulties too. That’s precisely what this particular blog is taking a look at.

Below is a close look at each of the many reasons why having a lot of kids (and a big family) can be disadvantageous to both you and the children. 

18 reasons why having a big family might not be a great idea:

1. The cost/expense.

Having one child is costly enough. Imagine two, or three, or four children! The more children you have, the more the expenses will climb. You will need to ensure that you have a very good job to keep so many kids happy, warm, and well-fed. 

2. More exhaustion.

Having kids can be exhausting. The first few months are filled with exhaustion, lack of sleep, severe stress. Every time you have another kid, you start that process all over again. It’s not just the first few months that you have to worry about, though. Think about as the children get older. There are activities to go to, school to get to and from, homework, projects, sporting activities – you can quite literally kiss your personal relaxation time goodbye.

3. Spreading yourself too thin.

When there’s a group of people relying on you for individualized attention, chances are that you aren’t going to have to give yourself fully to any of them. You may give them your time, but there’s always another child also needing time and attention. Spreading yourself too thin can result in the kids feeling uncared for, or there could be a weakening of the bond between you.

4. Perpetual in-house arguments and rivalries to deal with.

As kids grow older and their personality differences start to take shape, arguments and rivalries arise. Dealing with this between two children is hard enough. Imagine having to quell arguments and rivalries between three or five children!

5. More people sharing the bathroom.

Bathrooms are prime real estate in the mornings, even for just a family of three. If you have a lot of children, you might need to have a home with many bathrooms too. Otherwise, you could end up in a never-ending fight for the bathroom.

6. Ongoing, seemingly never-ending, cleaning to do.

Kids can be messy, even when they are trying not to be. If it is your job to keep the house clean and tidy, having many children is going to get in the way of that. You could try to teach your children to clean up after themselves, but this is a magic trick that many parents have been trying to get right for centuries…and have failed. 

7. More worrying.

It’s natural to worry about your children. You worry about how safe they are on their way to and from school. You worry about whether or not they are making friends and fitting in. You worry about them feeling sad or getting hurt. It’s quite hard worrying about one child, imagine worrying about many children!

8. Limited or non-existent “me-time”.

Everyone dreams of having the perfect big family, a well-balanced life, and plenty of personal time too. It is a lot harder to have a large family and me-time than you might think. There is always someone that needs something or requires your help and attention in some way. When you opt to have many kids, you are committing to putting yourself last. 

9. Your 5-year plan may be shattered.

When most couples have their first child, they have a 5-year plan in place. Perhaps dad wishes to have a new home built in a good area, and mom plans to return to work or at least start her own thriving business. These plans might be ruined when having many children. There’s usually not enough money and time for these future plans to take shape.

10. You will need a large home that requires care and maintenance.

huge home and front yard with driveway

Yup, with a large family comes the need for extra space. Kids need their space too, so you can’t really stuff four children into one bedroom. You might need to buy a bigger and more expensive house. You will most likely need a yard for the kids to play and relax in. This means a bigger house that costs more money and a yard that requires ongoing maintenance go hand-in-hand with having many kids. 

11. The noise – the home will never be quiet again.

Some people love the chaos of a large family at home. There’s talking, laughing, shouting, running around. This might be great fun, but can you really handle it day in and day out? If you like your peace (and quiet) and put a lot of emphasis on alone time, having many kids is not compatible with that plan.

12. The kids will be deprived of the things they want and deserve.

When you have many kids, suddenly getting each kid the things they want and deserve becomes more challenging. This is purely because money is limited, and it’s hard for everyone to get a new bike or go with to a fancy restaurant. Make sure you are prepared for the upset that comes with kids being disappointed.

13. You may never enjoy the lifestyle you once dreamt of.

As we grow older, we have a picture in our minds of what our lives are supposed to look like. We picture the quaint house with the rolling garden and swimming pool. We imagine nice furniture, a well-decorated home, and friends that are of value. Then, a handful of children come along, and these dreams are dashed. You can still live the life of your dreams with one child, but imagine that dream playing out if you have five children!

14. The kids may grow up to be resentful of you.

As kids grow older, they form their opinions based on their life experiences. If your children feel that your decision to have many children meant that they personally had to suffer or do without, chances are that they will develop resentment towards you.

15. High car and transport costs. 

Many kids still need to be carted from A to B. In fact, as they get older, go to school, and start making friends, you might begin to feel more a taxi driver than a parent! If you have a lot of children, you will need to get a big car which can be expensive. And, of course, the driving around and the maintenance of the car will cost you. 

16. Life becomes complicated.

Before you had children, your life was far simpler – you probably just didn’t know it. You didn’t have to think about anyone else but yourself, and there wasn’t another human that you had to keep safe and happy. When you have your first child, all of that changes, and things become a little more complicated. But when you have three or four children, the complications become more dominant. You could end up with a very complicated life indeed. 

woman working on a laptop at home

17. The older kids sacrifice too much for the youngest kids. 

If you have older children of school-going age when you have new kids, chances are that they are going to have to sacrifice the time and attention they are used to getting from you, so that the smaller children can be cared for. They may even feel that they have to sacrifice their own free time and happiness to help with the raising of the smaller children. In certain situations, this could be a recipe for unhappiness and resentment for some children.

18. Empty nest syndrome will hit you harder.

When all the children have grown up and left home, you will experience empty nest syndrome. It’s a feeling of being lost because you no longer have the kids around, needing something from you. The more children you have that leave the nest, the harder you can expect to experience this particular sense of loss.

Last Word

As you can see, there are quite a few possible downsides to choosing to have a lot of children and a big family. If you want to keep your life simple, opt to have one or two. 

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who share their experiences and knowledge about the "Seven F's of Life".

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco is a New York-based editor for Lifevif. He mainly focuses on content about faith, spirituality, personal growth, finance, and sports. He graduated from Mercyhurst University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business, majoring in Marketing. He is a certified tennis instructor who teaches in the New York City Metropolitan area. In terms of finance, he has passed the Level I exam of the CFA program.