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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!) how many kids should I have?

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.

Here we are:
family smiling

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:

how many kids should we have

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:

How many kids should I have

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. ♥

If you liked that post, you might like these ones, too:
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Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. After having 2 kids, it definitely feels like more kids= less stress.
    Love this saying..

  2. Wow, this is such an awesome post! Great information!! Thank you so much for sharing at A Bouquet of Talent! Have a wonderful weekend.

  3. This was interesting to read. We have four kids though my husband was insistent on only having two, and I had always envisioned having two to three. However, God blessed us with a couple of surprises, and after having baby #4, our family really felt complete. It is often crazy as you know, and it may not be for everyone, but I can’t imagine it any other way.

  4. My husband and I went back and forth for over a year on having a third. Now that we are preggo with baby #3 we are so excited! While our kids have moments where they drive us nuts we are glad that we have them. 🙂

  5. I agree with this post! My mom has 5 kids (me and my awesome siblings!) and she says now that she is in her late 50s, many of her girlfriends her age who had only 1 or 2 children tell her, I wish I had had more children. Of course, it’s easy to say that now that we are all grown adults and no longer requiring diaper changes/school dropoffs/etc! Still, I think your point that you never regret any of your children is a very good one. My husband and I have “agreed” on four and are working on #2 now, though of course we don’t take anything for granted and are taking them one at a time!

  6. I had one at nearly 30 years of age, the hubs was 30 that was enough for us..My husband the oldest of 8 kids living with no father around and little food and clothing, he was the designated person to do much of everything including cooking, cleaning and rounding up the pre-criminals as he sometimes said..His Mom lived to nearly 87 and she expected my husband to do a lot for her, we lived far away and moved closer but we could not help her out, no not with sons who drank and drugged it up and used her social security and her son’s ssdi and paychecks to boot, every single kid in that family save 3 never ever worked and we were not about to support that at all.. Our only is nearly 38 and single and unmarried, doubt she will ever marry and no kids, she is kind and loving and creative no time for a mate or kids..She is happy as can be. Not everyone is cut out for large families at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. So very true. It is really something that has to be what is right for you. My brother always said “don’t have more kids than you have adults” hahaha! (They have 2… my sweet niece & nephew!) 🙂 I tell them if they want the craziness they can hang out at my house! lol!

  7. I have always felt that if you are able to plan children (not surprises), that one shouldnt have a child unless they were sure they wanted it, and could provide for it. I didn’t even want one until I was 38! By then, our families were sure we wouldn’t have any. So, with me at 40, and my hibby of 17 years at 45, we had our beautiful, and perfect son (concieved naturally). Even if I’d had him at 25 or 30, he would still be an only. I’m An introvert, and I need some alone time every day to recharge. I don’t possess the patience for more than one, and know myself well enough to know that I could only be a GOOD mom to this one child.

    My theory is that the people who have 3 or more kids ate extroverts, who are dtained by being alone, and recharge by being with others. Some of us who are born to be only mamas feel pressured by society, stereotypes of only kids, family, spouses, etc to have another. It’s these moms, who while they love their children, and can’t imagine life without them, would have been better parents to a single child. They lead stressed out lives, with little patience for tiny minds/bodies, because they’re overwhelmed and taxed beyond their abilities to cope. So, yes, it IS possible to regret having another.

    I def think the best question is if you feel ‘complete’ …many of us feel complete at one, and the trend for onlies is actually becoming larger and larger…

    So I’m glad you extroverts are happy with your 2/3/4/5+ kids. You’d have to check me into a nut house! LOL