Should We Have More Kids? | 5 Questions to Consider

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Upon having our third child the question that we are most commonly asked is; “how many children do you want to have?”

I’m never sure how to answer the question.

In fact, I’m fascinated by families who can state with boldness that they are “done” having children. Or that they want “one more”. I simply don’t have this type of conviction and am genuinely unsure what the answer is (will be). In my quest to find out how I can answer the above question, I’ve asked many families how they determined that they are, in fact, “done” contributing to the population of the planet.

My discoveries may simply help you in your journey to answer this question for yourself. Here are some things I like to consider while working through this question (keep in mind that we still don’t have an answer and we’ve decided that we aren’t quite “done” as of this writing.)

  1. Consider TOMORROW: How many people would you like to have around your holiday table when you are 60?
    This question takes some soul-searching, but I found it to be the most helpful in my realization that I’m willing to change a lot of diapers now so that I can enjoy a table full of children, children-in-law and grandchildren in my old age. (This question was inspired by a book my husband read called “Selfish Reasons to Have more Kids”.)
  1. Consider YOU: Are you healthy? Do you have a career you’d like to get back to?
    I am pretty healthy and my pregnancies, though not a walk in the park are fairly manageable. I certainly think that it’s worth it for me (and my family) to endure another pregnancy so that another person might enjoy a full life. However, if I had severe complications or life-threatening experiences with my health, I can definitely see that we would take these things into consideration because we have a responsibility to be wise in this area.Likewise, everyone has different dreams and aspirations. If I never have to work in an office again, it will be too soon. I love my role as wife, mother and business owner and I’m also passionate about finding ways to work from home. This is my thing. What’s yours?
  2. Consider YOUR SPOUSE: Is your spouse healthy? Does he work a lot? Are you alone with the children most of the time?
    This is perhaps something that we (as a culture) don’t typically think about when deciding about growing a family, but it is vitally important to consider. If one if you is battling poor health or if the child-rearing responsibilities tend to rest on one spouse more often, this can add real stress on ALL the relationships (i.e. I can be short-tempered when I’ve been without relief for several days at a time).It might not be reasonable (or realistic) to ask your spouse to change his career or to get well or be home more so that you can have more children. So, it’s best to look realistically at your family dynamic, marriage and how much each of you are able to handle.We have gotten to experience both extremes in our short stint as parents. We’ve had weeks where Kevin worked many 14 hour days and I’d be home to manage things on my own. And, recently, we’ve enjoyed more flexibility with his work schedule and that has made all of the difference to our overall quality of life. I was definitely in survival mode when he was away and was able to thrive when he was home.
  3. Consider YOUR CHILDREN: Are your children physically healthy? Consider their personalities, are they easy, challenging, spirited or mellow? This is another area that I have taken into account when thinking about adding to our brood. Our children are healthy and pretty even-tempered. However, when my youngest, went into the hospital with RSV at 10 weeks old, I quickly learned about how one child can quickly dominate all of my thoughts, time and energy. It was then that I understood how important it is to take into consideration what adding another person into the mix can do.
  4. Consider TODAY: God’s Will.
    So, this is the wild-card that I throw in here because it’s very important to me as we consider growing our family. Just as taking the relationships within the family into account, my husband and I consider our relationship with God and what He would ask of us. Perhaps this is really a point to be intertwined into the preceding four. Regardless, we seek to please God with our lives and this means asking Him for direction in this area too. We expect he will speak to us through our circumstances, reading The Bible, praying and through our relationships. It’s not a science, but a relationship.

This whole thing comes down to relationships. It’s not a crystal ball or a black and white answer that is easy to for us. It’s a bit messy. I find that some families know early on and some are like us, just taking it one step at a time, one person at a time and asking for help along the way.

What about you? How did you decide that you were “done” having children? What variables have I left out? Were you able to come to a decision early in life about how many children you wanted to have? Are you like me where you don’t really know the answer?

5 COMMENTS

  1. Very good post. We have decided to try for another one. For us, the biggest decision maker was insurance and money. We have private insurance and money can be tight around here. We decided that in the long run, we will regret not trying to have a 2nd child. I had a high risk pregnancy the first time and I am almost to that magical age of 35, so we decided it’s now or never.

  2. love this. esp #1 and #5. I think people often think of the immediate ease but thinking long term is a precious thing. loved the reminder we had that no man has ever said on his death bed that he wishes he had fewer children. 🙂

  3. I love your post. I always get confuse and don’t know how to answer whenever someone asks me “Do I want more kids?” Honestly speaking I don’t want anymore. 2 kids for me is enough but my husband wants 7 kids. Your post give me some hint to rethink if I want more kids or not. Thanks for posting.

  4. I think people approach this SO differently and it’s interesting. You did a great job of writing about it both from your personal perspective, but also in a way that can help other frame the conversation.

    I never started out with a number, as some people do. I always jokingly said “more than 1, less than 4” but that was sort of just a funny remark. In fact after #1 I actually thought 4 might be possible.

    Here’s what I know: in the moments after #2 was born I had this euphoric rush of a feeling like “OMG I want to do that again”. It was a very strange thing to think, having just had a baby a minute before, that I wanted another one. But that’s what I thought. I was nowhere near “done”.

    After #2 I just felt like there was, as I put it to Bryan, “someone out there who is in our family but isn’t here yet”. I was eager to “get us all here in one place” and #3 was definitely planned and welcomed. But I do feel done – I just feel like we’re all here. That’s all I got.

    Great post, friend. 🙂

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