We have four (adorable) kids and I hear on a DAILY basis… “So, are you done or do you want more?” You might be thinking the same thing: How many kids should I have? Well- today we are diving into that very question (who knew it could be so easy, right? hahaha!)
Our four children are each two years apart, so it seems natural that people would ask us if we want more, seeing that our youngest is two years old.
I have always wanted a large family. I guess that it started with my grandma. She had four kids and she just loved being a mom. She loved having a large family and I loved the joy in her eyes and voice when she talked about it. I guess that I just knew that I wanted four kids (and luckily, I had told my husband this since we were about 14!) Perfect scenario, right? …. wrong.
After two kids, he was pretty sure that we were all set. One for each parent. Two boys. Easy-peasy. The real reason was that our second baby gave us quite a scare when he was born, following a very high-risk pregnancy. He required a lot of medical attention from hypertonicity and it scared us enough to consider stopping after baby #2 , unless God had other plans for us. Yet, as Beau came out of infancy an into toddlerhood, we saw his amazing progress and knew that he would be OK (thankfully).
We got past the “I’ll never sleep again!” stage, and into the “Hey, babe? Do you want to think about having another baby?” stage. And we did… two more!
“According to Guinness what is the record number of children born by one woman?
Click here to see if you can answer the question! sponsored by Trivia Today! “
Now if you are thinking the same thing, here was my list of what to consider:
1). Do you feel “complete?” I never felt complete until our fourth child was born. I was always very happy with two kids and I loved it, but I didn’t feel “whole” just yet. It was like a piece of our puzzle was missing until our fourth child came along, because I was at that “magic number”.
Now, I would still have more kids, but I don’t feel the “need” to have them, as I once did. We feel complete. Our family feels whole. (And our oldest son has stopped asking “Can you have another baby, Mom?”) haha!
Just to give you an idea… here is the average number of kids per woman as of 2010:
2). What does your spouse think? Are you both on the same page? If ONE spouse does not want another baby, it will not help to have another one. You have to both be feeling the SAME way and agree on this! I have seen this, first hand, many many times. I can tell you from their examples that a baby will not save a marriage- you have to do that by working together on your marriage.
3). Consider your age. The risk factors go up after the age of 35. I’m not saying that you won’t have a healthy baby after 35, just be aware of the risks.
4). Can you afford a baby? Ok- can you ever really afford a baby? It kind of depends what kind of lifestyle you expect to give your child, honestly. Babies and children are expensive, but I feel like we could spend and spend and spend. Preschool, sports, clothing, food… all of this gets MORE expensive as they get older. I’m sure college will throw us for a whirlwind!
USA today says that what we spend depends on what we give them (so true) From 1936-1967, the ideal family size, in America, was three or more children. In the 70’s, that number went to two and remained top choice, according to 52% of Americans. Why?
We view children differently. Mintz, of USA Today, tells us “In earlier times, kids were clearly assets,” he says. “You put them to work, and they took care of you when you were old, and you didn’t have to spend on their education. What happened is that we began to believe children required investment in order to have a successful adulthood. Most recently, that sense of investment has gone up and up and up.” The Department of Agriculture found that middle-income two-parent families could expect to spend up to $286,050 to rear a child born in 2009 to age 18.
5). One day, while in a MOPS meeting, I was talking about all of this with a friend and she gave me the answer that I had been searching for when she said: “You may regret not having another baby, but you will never regret having them. Think of your kids now. Do you regret having any one of them? No? Then you know your answer.” It was the best advice we ever received because I knew in my heart that four was our magic number. ♥