Another thread this morning inevitably leads to the question - is it okay for others to have an opinion on the size of your family? And who, if anyone, should have a say in how many children you have?
From my perpsective, there are a range of factors that need to be considered when having children. Some are purely personal considerations, eg. "How long do I want children at home for?", "How much noise/mess/sleep disruption can I handle?", or "How strong is my biological urge to reproduce?". Some are personal financial considerations, eg. "What standard of housing/car/education do we want to provide?", or "How long can I afford to be out of the workforce for?". And some are wider societal and environmental considerations, eg. "What are the community financial costs/benefits?", "What is the world they inherit going to be like?", or "What is the environmental footprint/impact of each additional person?"
Some of these considerations and choices really have no bearing on anyone else. For example, choosing to have more children and consequently having to share bedrooms, or choosing to have fewer children so they all have separate rooms has zero impact on anyone else. It's not their business, and they have no legitimate reason to foist their opinion relating to it onto you.
However, some of these considerations and choices do have a bearing on everyone else. For example, choosing to have more children leads to population growth, with greater usage of resources, increased future requirements for housing, and greater environmental impacts and degradation. It is indirectly other people's business, because it inevitably impacts on everyone's quality of life.
So, my opinion is that yes, it is perfectly reasonable for others to hold (and to voice) an opinion on your family size, when their concerns relate to the environmental and societal impacts of population growth, because your choice does affect them. If, however, their concerns relate to their disdain for people movers, then no, their opinion should be kept to themself.
I'll also go one step further and say that I think it's reasonable for society to attempt to have some say in limiting family size using influencing tactics such as education, financial incentives/disincentives, providing free, high-quality contraceptives and family planning, and plain old peer pressure.
My own opinion on this is really driven by environmental concerns. I was one of four kids, and was raised in a religious setting where most families had taken the direction to"go forth and multiply" seriously. I even had a couple of friends from families with 12 or 13 kids! However, these days I hold atheist views, and don't believe in any divine direction to reproduce. My uni studies in the enviro field have really impressed upon me the need to reign in the size of our human population to long-term sustainable levels (and quickly), or else head down the path of inevitable self-destruction (taking most other species with us).
So, WDYT and why? What is it in your background that has led you to this view?
Pease try to be rational and dispassionate in your posts and respectful in your discussions!
ETA: I deliberately haven't said what I consider to be a reasonable size, because this thread isn't about the number as such - it's about whether it's okay to have an opinion on the number.