Caitlin and I were emailing more about the decision to have children, and something came up that I want to talk about with a larger sample.
I was mentioning how people often cite their own families of origin when explaining their reproduction decisions---but that those decisions can be completely opposite. For example, one sibling from a six-sibling set can say, "Well, I came from a big family so that feels natural to me"---while someone from the same sibling set can say, "Well, I came from a big family and I don't really want that; we're planning one or maybe two kids."
And it's hard to know how much we're affected by society. When we say, "There were two kids in my family so that seems right to me," how much of the "seems right" is from growing up in a family with two kids, and how much of it is from growing up in a society where two kids is the norm?
And we're probably also affected by what's typical in our extended families. Did everyone have two kids except your family which had six? Or did everyone have five or six kids except for your family of two kids? Or was your family with the majority?
Here's what I would be interested in knowing: How does the size of your Growing-Up Family figure into your thoughts and decisions about how many children to have (including if that number of children-to-have is zero), if at all? That is, would you say a sentence such as: "Well, I came from a family of ____, so I _____"? Or wouldn't you do that? (In which case I would still want to know the size of the family you came from, and the size of the family you're making or intending to make.)
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