The big question is…..dunnn dunnn dun da…..how many children do you want to have? I’m still surprised at the variety of responses that people give when asked this question. Not that my mind is fully made up for my own family, but I have a general idea. A large number of people are quite content to have one child, while others feel that it would be unfair to that child to not have at least one other sibling. Recently, this question came up in a childbirth class I was teaching and the immediate response of one couple was that they wanted at least six children while the other couple seemed that they would prefer a much smaller number.
Of course, this is not a unilateral decision and both mom and dad need to find the common ground when thinking about this question. All kinds of thoughts are involved in this process and a lot of them revolve around finances, timing, career, and parenthood responsibilities. After each child is born, the family dynamic changes and this could influence a previous decision as well. Then there are always those surprise pregnancies or multiple births that give you an entirely different number of children than expected. However, even in those situations, the parents are usually happy to welcome the new ones into the family.
Sometimes your own family dynamics will affect how many children you want to have. For instance, I have two siblings and in my mind, three is a good number for our own household as well. On the other hand, my husband only had one sibling and feels like our two children are plenty at the moment. However, we are both inclined to adopt in the future, so we truly don’t know how many kids we will eventually call our own. I also know individuals that came from large families and feel most comfortable with a household teeming with people. Some people think that they are done having children, and 8 or 10 years later decide to have another one. There are also increasing numbers of people who state that they do not want children at all, only to chance their minds much later on.
Somehow, children manage to change us, mold us, and grow us in new and unexpected ways. Therefore, you may not truly be able to answer the question “how many?” due to the fact that you don’t know how you will be affected by your children. But you could always set a goal and no one says that you have to stick with it.
How many children do you or did you want to have?