This is Probably the Most asked Question our family gets from others. “Do You Think You’ll Have Anymore?” It’s a tough one to answer and I’ve been answering it for a couple of years. Now, I finally know how to answer with confidence. Do you ever wonder if you should have more kids? Have you been asked “Are you done?” Inquiring minds want to know, and maybe you’re curious too… Should I have more kids?
Should I Have More Kids
First let’s talk about the social norms when it comes to having children. One is great! Two is perfect! Three is only a good idea if you still want to try for the “other gender”. Four or more is ridiculous. Obviously, this doesn’t count for everyone, but if majority rules, then this is it, folks!
The Real Question
Now let’s talk about what the person asking the question is REALLY asking. I have loads of friends who ask this question with genuine love and care. They really want to know if we’ll pursue the dream of motherhood even further. They ask with a bit of excitement, sort of hoping you’ll say, “Of course!”
Then there are the ones who are trying to sound like those in the above paragraph, but what they’re really asking is, are you crazy enough to have more? They ask this because, they genuinely cannot imagine why we would want more. I get it, kids are a lot of work, they’re time away from sleep, sometimes exercising, and other healthy habits. Kids can even take away from your marriage, and your spouse IS the MOST important human in your life.
My Thought Process:
Because I can only speak for myself. Even though I feel like I know what’s in my husband’s heart, I wouldn’t presume to tell you all here as if it were the truth. He’s his own person, and maybe he has thoughts he’s not ready to share with me. Maybe he’s thinking in a way I can’t see yet. So this thought process is mine… not OURS.
In the Beginning…
When we were first married, I KNEW with absolute certainty I wanted to have a large family. I was from a family of 6, which to many is big, but it doesn’t feel “big” to me, it’s just NORMAL. I am the middle of four girls, and while our growing up wasn’t all daisies and roses, I have memories of us being a family, not just living side by side, but being a true unit. The good outweighed the bad and I wanted that for my children.
Our first to kiddos were born just 15 months apart… on purpose. That was rough. To this day, I will always tell people, “Two was the hardest.” when it comes to parenting. Lot of people don’t move past two because it’s intimidating to go out into the world with more children than you have hands. I felt that same feeling.
Not one month in, I was asking myself, “What did we do?!” I was already struggling to keep the house clean, balance working and being a mom, and then there was my marriage…. how in the world could I keep it all up if we were to add a third, much less a fourth or fifth?
It Happened Without Our Permission…
While we knew the risks, we still weren’t anticipating getting pregnant, and definitely NOT so soon. Our number 3 was born just 14 months after the second child. The entire pregnancy was full of worry as to how we could make it work. I avoided thinking about the inevitable (not being able to pay for daycare on a teacher’s salary… thus not being able to justify working) for as long as I could. We had no family closer than six hours away. It all seemed so dreadful at the time.
Luckily, I didn’t know my own strength, and six days in I felt more confident with three than I ever felt with two.
The Answer to the Question: Do you think you’ll have anymore?”
The answer is, “I sure hope so!” I love the joy that fills our home, and even some of the chaos. It’s hard some days, of course, but as with every career we are called to be challenged and to grow. So I’ve conquered a few of the battles of motherhood, and I’ve come out alright. Actually, I’ve come out more than alright…. I feel like I’m actually on a path God wants for me.. for us! There is true Joy in my motherhood…
The thing of it is, though, is that I don’t feel done, but yet, I also don’t know exactly what that means… Maybe it means we will be pregnant again. Perhaps it means we will adopt at some point. It could even mean years later we’ll be foster parents. I’m not sure. What I do know is I’m not in control of our future, and while I may make plans, I am going to follow God’s lead.
So Why Would Anyone Want More Kids?
We’re in it for the long haul, folks! Yes the baby, toddler, kid, preteen, teenager, and beyond ages can be exhausting, relentless, and feels like it never ends. One day, though, we hope to have respectable adults who we can talk with and hangout with and be proud of coming in and out of our home whenever they desire. I look at the way my aunts and uncles talk to each other, talk with their mother, and I can’t wait to get there (well, I don’t mind waiting because I don’t want to be old any faster than need be, and there’s no since in wishing the years of my kids’ childhood away).
What Changes from Two Kids to Three?
Well, you have to lose some of your control. Ooooh! Does that sound awful to you? Don’t worry! It’s actually a good thing.
You see when you have one or even two kids, you tend to hold on to this idea you can be the perfect mom. By perfect I mean you don’t let your kids get hurt or bumped around, you can make sure you are the one entertaining them, or perhaps it means taking them all over Tarnation without a fear of looking like you’ve lost control. You’ll probably start to feel this feeling of “ALL IS LOST” in the last trimester of your pregnancy, because you’re too tired to keep up the energy you need to be the “perfect” parent.
It’s okay. It’s going to be alright, but you do have to let go! Letting go of having full control over everything going on in your kids’ lives is a blessing. (I’ll write more on that in a later post!). By letting go of that little bit of control, you can begin to see new growth in your children. You see them stumble, but ultimately you see them learn by doing… without you.
There are times I’ve come around the corner to see my five year old has gotten the two year old out of the crib on her own. It was risky, we were thankful it worked out and no one got hurt. We talked to her about how it probably wasn’t a great idea. But inside, I was proud of her for trying to solve the problem on her own.
Okay, perhaps that was a scary example, but you’ll love this one. Potty training is exhausting and we struggled with our first one (hindsight, we were trying to control too much of the situation). By the time we finally got through that headache with the three year old (no diaper to full independence took about 6 months) I had a little boy turning two in about a month and a 5 month old. When one day I looked over and my little boy was trying to pull off his diaper to poop on the potty. He wasn’t even two, but he was telling me he was ready. Reluctantly, I attempted the “Strip and Go Naked” Method, and three days later he was in underwear. He could drop a deuce and take a whiz without our help. Trust me! Let go!