Carmen and Frank Staicer average 20 loads of
laundry a week.
With six children, the Virginia Beach couple is like many others
in America opting for a large family.
Eleven percent of US births in 2004 were to women who already
had three children. That was up from ten percent in 1995. But there
seems to be a growing openness to having more than two children, in
some case more than four.
The reasons are diverse and the families involved cut across
economic lines, though a sizable part of the increase is attributed
to a baby boom in affluent suburbs.
Carmen Staicer says even with her husband's income as a car
dealership finance manager, the family still must watch its budget.
And every weekday afternoon, she switches into chauffeur mode,
driving her children to after school activities. She says she
doesn't want her children to grow up thinking they weren't able to
do things because they had so many siblings.
Still, really big families remain rare, in part because many
women are giving birth at older ages.