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Mom Of 4 Says It's Selfish To Have A Lot Of Kids — 'With Each Child You Have, You Are Selfishly Taking Away From Your Other Children'

Photo: DimaBerlin / Shutterstock
mother hugging her teenage daughter

There's no one right answer for the perfect number of children to have. Some say that having an only child will subject the kid to a lonely childhood, while others argue that having more kids means they will inevitably be under-cared for.

Recently, the decision to have multiple children has become a source of discourse online.

A mom of four says it's selfish for parents to have a lot of kids.

In a TikTok video, a mother-of-four responded to a clip from the podcast PlanBri Uncut with hosts Grace O'Malley and Brianna LaPaglia, where the two women discussed parents choosing to raise multiple children.

In the 30-second clip, LaPaglia admitted that she had been asked how many children she wanted and unabashedly shared that she wants to have a big family with lots of children. In response, O'Malley accused her of being "selfish" for that desire.

   

   

"Not a single one of those kids is gonna feel loved enough than the other," O'Malley insisted. "Four is the max... You can't give equal love to ten children, there's no shot." LaPaglia heavily disagreed and defended her stance of wanting a household full of kids.

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In a stitched video, the mom-of-four strongly agreed with O'Malley's take that having a lot of children is inherently selfish.

"I understand that I'm talking about myself. With each child you have, you are selfishly taking away from your other child, and it's not about love," she said. "I have four children and I love them all the same to the fullest of all of my heart." 

The issue for her, however, is that she's only one person and with each child she has, there seems to be less of her to give.

   

   

For many parents, the idea of having multiple children comes from the belief that being able to give their kids siblings is appealing, but this mother pointed out that it's not guaranteed that a sibling relationship will be healthy and loving.

"A lot of times we idolize [sibling relationships], we put a lot of pressure on it," she continued. "Not only that but one of the children — most people say the oldest — will end up becoming parentified."

Parentification occurs when a child is forced to grow up too fast and takes on parental responsibility for their siblings, or even their parents. Ultimately, this can damage the child’s mental health and cause long-term depression and anxiety.

The mom admitted that she currently has a newborn baby and has acknowledged to her older children how hard this transition and new addition has been for them. 

Research has found that having multiple children affects the family dynamic.

A 2012 study found that having three or more children, versus two, may negatively affect the parent's late-life cognition.

Mom Of Four Explains Why It's Selfish For Parents To Have A Lot Of KidsPhoto: Alena A / Shutterstock

"First, having an additional child often incurs considerable financial costs, reduces family income, and increases the likelihood of falling below the poverty line, thus decreasing the standard of living for all family members and possibly causing financial worries and uncertainties, which could contribute to cognitive deterioration," the research stated. 

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In a TikTok video, content creator Andra Berghoff further backed up this claim. "There absolutely is a healthy amount of children that the average household can support before a lot of issues start to rise,” she said. "It is genuinely not possible after a certain number of children for each child to have experienced the same parent."

Berghoff also pointed out that most studies about this topic seemingly focus on how having a lot of kids affects the parents and their behavior, rather than the children.

   

   

"Having more kids definitely affects your parenting style," Berghoff said, referring to an article published by VeryWell Family. "The more children you have, the bigger things will fall through the cracks, and the biggest issue I think we're all aware of, is you learn to outsource." 

She explained that oftentimes, parents "start relying on the other older children to be parents as well and take care of the younger ones, thus robbing them of their childhood."

This debate isn't meant to stop parents from having a lot of children, as that is a personal decision that shouldn't be dictated by anyone else. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to parenting, but it can't hurt for parents to self-reflect, have these conversations, and truly understand what it means to have multiple children.

No child should be parentified, and it's up to the parents to consciously prevent it from happening.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.