Wednesday, 28 March 2012

How do you decide how many children you have?

Today I have Emily who used to blog over at Baby Rambles guest posting. Emily thought this post appropriate for me as it's about deciding how big you want your family to be to which sort of ties in with the fact I'm about to have my second. Strange that she asks at the end of the post if we're have any more or stop at two, this has been a recent topic of conversation between me and the man. Three sounds like a nice round number but I think we'll have to see how we deal with two first.

I remember the urge to have a baby. It lasted for years and became stronger and more unbearable as time went by. Once we decided to try for a baby, it took three years until I successfully fell pregnant. I can’t really describe how much I wanted a baby during that time, other than the feeling was so intense that it physically hurt.

A little while after my first was born, I wanted a second. That familiar ache returned and luckily my second son arrived without too much of a wait. But when he was a young baby I realised I really wanted a third. This worried me slightly as most people seem to stop at two. Would I be one of those who would forever want a baby? Would the feeling ever go away?

After my third, our little girl, arrived I felt complete. Suddenly I no longer wanted any more babies and it was a refreshing feeling. Now I’m looking forward to watching the children grow up and I’m happy we won’t have a baby in the house any more. I feel we’ve gone through that stage now.

I wonder what makes us decide how many children we want. Some people want large families and others just want to stick with one or two children. Sometimes the choice is taken out of our hands if a relationship ends or our partner doesn’t want any more. Sometimes we can’t have children at all.

For some reason I always wanted three children and I consider myself lucky I have them (although it’s good to have a moan about them on bad days, who doesn’t?). I put my foot in it the other day with someone who told me they were expecting a fourth, “you’re brave” was my reply without thinking. Whatever happened to ‘congratulations’? I’d thought about how I’d feel about having a fourth instead of them.

So as Emma gets ready for her second baby, I wonder if she too, will want to have more. Or whether she (perhaps sensibly for space and money reasons) will stop at two.

Sometimes I think it’s just age and tiredness which stops me from wanting more children. If I’d had my first in my early twenties, maybe I would have had a fourth. Then again, maybe not. We’re already driving a people carrier as it is, many more and it would be a minibus. Not a good look.