Charming though the prospect of a 'Waltonesque' style family is, when you consider the reality it seems mad to even consider it.
First there is the financial burden
Everything is so ludicrously expensive at the moment with household budgets being squeezed ever more tightly.
Later there is the issue of having to fund your child's college and/or university education, and then, chances are they won't be able to get a foothold on the housing ladder and will consequently be living with you until they are in their mid to late twenties! Alarming prospect? Definitely.
As much as you love them, you strive for them to gain their own independence one day.
The other consideration is not spreading yourself too thinly in terms of love, care, and time spent with your children
There is understandably a push to get everyone back out to work at the moment in order to drive the economy forwards and hopefully propel us out of this awful recession.
Like it or not, the family dynamic is rapidly changing
Gone are the days when Granny lived next door and auntie so and so lived a few doors down and you could all share out the childcare. Mums are having to go back into the workplace earlier and earlier after having their children and this obviously places restrictions on time spent with the family.
A male friend of mine once shared his experiences of growing up in a family of six brothers and sisters. Although he has some fond memories of being in a large family, his overriding feeling was that his mum simply didn't have enough time to cater to all their individual needs. She tried her best, but she worked a few hours a week and was always so busy running the home and keeping an eye on the younger children that he felt deprived of the one on one time with her he so badly craved. He now has three children of his own and feels satisfied that he can divide his love and time equally between them.
Ultimately, like everything else, it's down to personal choice, we all have different views and ways of managing things.
I'm happy with two. It was always going to be that way for me having grown up with just my brother (and half-brother, although he didn't live with us). We had loads of fun growing up with all our extended family and friends, but also got to spend lots of quality time with our mum and dad.
Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor