I’ve become a bit of a queen of lists, a mistress of listicles (the listress?) at the Telegraph. So much so that if you go to this page, with my name in very big type (and it’s a big name to begin with, in terms of length not necessarily in stature), there’s a bit of a list compilation going on. My two most recent are about having three children and the eight parents you meet on sports day.
I’m one of three children, my husband is one of three and we’ve got three children. For us, it’s just what seems normal – a generous amount without the need to buy a silly car with an extra back row of seats (though we have in fact got a silly car with an extra back row of seats…). For others it seems unwieldy or difficult due to having an odd number so someone always gets left out.
Even if it doesn’t fall under the category of a ‘big family’, three is still environmentally unsound. It’s perhaps the most amount of children you can have before being accused of either being a drain on the welfare state or poshly showing off. There’s a part of me that feels rather judgemental about larger families, but perhaps a bigger part that’s envious. There’s something very seductive about the chaos and warmth that goes with five, six or more children. I know I’m far too update to embrace it.
The prompt for the article was the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s latest pregnancy. The Queen had four children herself. I wonder whether times have changed to the extent that to have a fourth now would be a PR negative. Perhaps they’ll reluctantly stop at three as the largest acceptable number.