Coffee with Gumba

Before a couple gets married there are many issues they’ll eventually discuss, but one of the biggest topics is usually family. Will they have a family, and if so, how many kids will they decide to have?

The Mother’s Encyclopedia has several pointers when making the decision regarding family size. Let’s go straight to the source shall we?

“The principal factors that determine the number of children of any intelligent wedded couple are usually the family finances and the mother’s health.

“Mother’s Health: First consideration, of necessity, is often given to the mother’s health. So much “sob stuff” as to the supposed deleterious effect of childbearing has been circulated during recent years that a false impression has been created, which many young women have absorbed unconsciously… In a normal group of women, the ones who live the longest are neither the unmarried nor the mothers of small families, but those that have half a dozen offspring or more.

“Given normal health and constituion, child-bearing is a benefit, not a detriment, to the mother’s health, and a good-sized family, properly spaced, is one of the surest ways of preserving vitality and preventing the premature onset of old age.”  (Sure it is…)

So, as I understand it, I’ll actually live longer if I pop out more kiddos, but if that doesn’t convince you that more is better, perhaps this will:

“There is some evidence that the first-born are somewhat handicapped both physically and mentally, and the the most vigorous, long-lived and healthy children are the fourth to the eighth in order of appearance.  Several studies have also seemed to show that each succeeding child is brighter than its predecessor, although of course the difference is slight and applies only to averages”. 

Ah, so practice makes perfect and eventually you’ll have children that aren’t too dim-witted. 

If that’s enough reason for you to have a large family, there’s a matter of success…

“Dr. Huntington and Mr. Whitney [of somewhere] found that there was a direct relation between their [a group of Yale graduates] success in life and the number of their offspring.

“‘On the average the unmarried men are the least successful-those who are married but have no children succeed a little better, but not very well. The men with one child succeed better, and so it goes, until the most successful group of all is made up of those who have six children or more.’

“This is not merely because of the additional responsibility assumed, the extra stimulus to achievement, but the successful, able, vigorous man is the man who is likely to have the same kind of wife; and they are both likely to want to have a normal family of children.

“The weakling, the inadequate man, the defective may not have the ability to make a success in life or to attract a desirable wife – or any wife at all.

“Healthy and intelligent parents, according to all the evidence available, find it beneficial to have families considerably larger than the present average. The figures show that they are beginning  consciously realize this, and I have no doubt that families of four, six and eight children, will during the next generation, be more fashionable among educated people than they have been in the one now passing.”

So… in order for my husband and I not to appear as unsuccessful weaklings we should probably hurry things up a bit more. I mean, I’m almost in my 30s and I’ve got 6-8 kids to push out!  I suppose it’ll be worth it to know that by the 4th kid or so they’ll be smart, though. 😉