Having children is a blessing no matter how many you have, but according to research, there is a magic number of offspring that brings parents the greatest amount of happiness.
A family satisfaction study from Australia's Edith Cowan University set out to determine the number of children that brings the greatest happiness for parents – and their findings might terrify you.
Apparently, parents with four children or more are happiest.
Researchers spent five years intervening hundred of parents to determine how resilience, social support and self-esteem contribute to parents' happiness.
"[The parents] usually say they always wanted a large family, it was planned that way, and it was a lifestyle they'd chosen," University researcher Dr Bronwyn Harman told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Speaking to ABC News, Dr Harman explained some of the benefits for larger families.
"With large families, we think they have social support within the family," Dr Harman said.
She added: "The kids are never bored, they have someone to play with and they get independence quite early on."
While larger families are more chaotic and expensive, Dr Harman says this is balanced out by the joy in their lives.
"Parents accept that there is chaos in their lives but it does not negate the happiness they get from their families."
This article first published on Practical Parenting.