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How many children is a good number in Poland?


natasia 3 | 368
13 Dec 2012  #1
Do you think, backed up or otherwise by experience and/or statistics, that there is an ideal number like the notional 2.4 children that Polish men, and women, consider a 'good' number of children to have?

I live in a slightly eccentric, highly-educated enclave of Oxford where those who can have at least six children, and then tug them around on the back of their bicycles. My experience is that Poles, Catholic as they (kind of) are, consider this crazy and feel that one is OK, two is perfect, three is for the rich, and any more is for the poor, the mad, or the pathologic ...
milky 13 | 1,657
13 Dec 2012  #2
, consider this crazy and feel that one is OK, two is perfect, three is for the rich, and any more is for the poor, the mad, or the pathologic ...

haha, same in Ireland. In Poland one is all many have room for.
OP natasia 3 | 368
13 Dec 2012  #3
In Poland one is all many have room for.

Well, yes, I suppose that makes sense ... but how does that sit with being Catholic ... ?
zetigrek
13 Dec 2012  #4
haha, same in Ireland

Catholic as they (kind of) are

That makes it even more strange knowing how Monty Python stigmatised Catholics in The Meaning of Life:



but how does that sit with being Catholic ... ?

What's so contradictive in being a Catholic and having only 2 children? :)
Marek11111 9 | 816
13 Dec 2012  #5
How many children is a good number in Poland?

If you are a farmer then more kids = free labor and if you a factory worker kids = expense
legend 3 | 664
14 Dec 2012  #6
2.1 is the magic number in Europe if you want to sustain a population.
Poland is much below that. 2.5 would be nice. 3+ would be awesome.
Ant63 11 | 403
14 Dec 2012  #7
Monty Python stigmatised Catholics

Do you really feel stigmatised by this? You are intelligent so I don't think so.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,670
14 Dec 2012  #8
Monty Python stigmatised Catholics in The Meaning of Life:

you know what 'stigmatised'means right?
zetigrek
14 Dec 2012  #9
Do you really feel stigmatised by this? You are intelligent so I don't think so.

I've just checked the meaning in a dictionary, and you're right it wasn't the best choice of a word. What I meant was "label".
jon357 63 | 14,341
14 Dec 2012  #10
but how does that sit with being Catholic ... ?

Indeed - for Catholics, birth control (whether pre-or post-conception) is forbidden by the Church. But it isn't usually taken seriously.
kcharlie 2 | 165
23 Dec 2012  #11
A lot of women would like to have more than one kid, but having more than a couple is generally impractical, because if you work hard enough to be able to afford more than one kid, you're not going to have any time left for child-rearing. If you have a good work-life balance, kids are unafforable, especially since the State does very little to support parents apart from give a one off payment on birth and maybe give you a tiny top-up if you get less than 500 zł per family member per month - i.e., you live in absolutely extreme poverty. And there's a huge amount of insecurity - you never know when your employer might make you redundant, and becoming pregnant is just asking to be fired.

Wages are typically around half of the EU average, whereas child-rearing costs are huge, from clothes, to school books, to paying for preschool, etc. And the government helpfully increased VAT on kids' clothes, just to make sure there won't be any more of those little b*ggers around.

As for squaring it with the Catholic teaching on contraception, well, you have close to half of the population who take the Church seriously enough to attend weekly, but the proportion falls among the younger generation. Some simply have more kids, if they can afford it, some may attempt to space births using natural methods, which have varying levels of effectiveness from quite good to pathetic, and others use artificial birth control as a practical means to avoid conception and abstain from receiving Holy Communion. Even though the Church condemns ABC as sinful, it is understanding and there is no stigma attached to not being able to receive Communion. It will happily grant reconciliation to anyone who stops using ABC when they are ready, which may well be once their fertile years have passed.

Poland is a terrible place to have children, since in the last 20 years, it managed to import the insecurity and instability of Western capitalism with but a few of the economic advantages, and it managed to dismantle many of the family-friendly policies of the former communist government.
Ant63 11 | 403
23 Dec 2012  #12
You paint a bleak picture.

Most people just manage when child number 2 comes along. You have to. If you plan in micro detail you would never have kids. A lot of people these days think they have to give a child everything. Most are happy with what they get.

Maybe lowering the school age would have a positive effect. I don't hear Polish mothers complaining about their kids going to school at 5 here. Perhaps having a school day like the UK's might help where it doesn't change from 9am till 3.00pm. It must be difficult to manage your time around starting at different times of the day.


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