Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Family=3, maybe 4, no more than 5!

The parent coffee hour before our first aid training yesterday was a good opportunity to "see" into the thinking of the german mind. Germany has one of the lowest birthrates in the entire world. The German government is trying to give couples incentive to have babies. They receive a large amount of money every month and more for each additional child. Dresden has had a baby boom so to speak and has seen an increase in the birthrate, up to a little above 1%! There are also laws that allow women to keep their job for up to 3 years after the birth of the child so they can stay home until then. Many women will plan their children exactly 3 years apart.

As we were eating cookies and drinking coffee, the parents began to discuss how difficult it is to find cheap places to vacation with large families. The couple had 3 children I think. Jason volunteered that we have 4 kids. Everyone was surprised we had so many. It seems that 1 child is typical, 2 children is becoming more common, 3 children is pretty rare but not so bad, but apparently 4 children is too many, over the top! Someone made some comment about 5 but unfortunately I didn't hear it. We know several families with 3 kids in our neighborhood, and our neighbor actually has 4 daughters, and another family in our church has 4 but they are the only exception I know of! So, we were not exactly normal in the states but we are definitely just strange here in Germany!

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