It is quite possibly the most dynamic topic for parents. A question with no right or wrong answer; yet, we most likely have all asked ourselves at least once:
How many kids should we have?
The answer is not always fully up to us. Many factors play a role, including our health, family dynamic, lifestyle, financial situation and so much more! However, when we are faced with this question, it is helpful to listen to the advice and experiences of other mothers.
So, what is it really like to have 1, 2, 3, 4 or more kids? Below, eight moms lay it all on the table – the best and most challenging things about different family sizes. If you are debating whether you should have another child, hopefully the wise advice from these seasoned moms will make your decision a little easier.
One Child Family
Tracy-ann is a mother who has decided that having one child is best for her family.
Tracy-ann tells us that her favorite part of having one child is the one-on-one time. She explains that “there’s no sibling rivalry or guilt over spending more time with one child over another. No jostling for attention or having to walk away from a toddler who wants a cuddle because the baby is crying.”
When asked what the hardest part is, she explained, “You are your child’s playmate as well as their parent. While this is true for all parents, it is multiplied, somewhat, when you have just one child. Since you can, theoretically, give all of your attention to your child, they can often expect this to be the case all the time.”
Her best advice for any family considering stopping at one is:
Don’t feel guilty for wanting only one child! You will know if it is the right decision for you. For us, our family is complete. We’re a little threesome and we have a great time together!
Tracy-ann’s blog, Organised Messy Mom, is filled with organisation help for the hopelessly disorganised.
For many families, having two children is ideal. As parents, you get to enjoy watching your children grow together; but still maintain some freedom. Below, mothers Emilia, Sabrina, and Lillian share their experience with having two children.
Emilia explains that with two children, you are always 2 on 2 for kids vs adults. She explains, “We have time and energy to focus on them, and we have time for ourselves.” She loves that they are close in age and are best friends.
Emilia tells us that the hardest part is prioritizing your time with two children. She also explains that it is easy to get in a habit of comparing your children. She said, “We have to constantly remind ourselves that they will each excel in their own way and that is okay.”
Her best advice for any parent debating on having another child is:
Decide the reasons you want another kid. Simply wanting another baby isn’t a good enough reason, because you will always want another baby. Decide if that child will fit your family based on the lifestyle you want and the needs of your family. Don’t put yourself in a predicament where you can’t be the parent you want to be to the children you already have.
For great tips on finding ways to make everyday count in parenthood, self-care and personal growth, check out Emilia’s blog: Pursue Today.
Many parents love to see their children play together. Sabrina, a mother of two children, tells us that the best thing about having two children is watching how much they love each other.
With additional children, naturally, there is less time for individual one-on-one time with each child. Sabrina, explained that the most challenging part is feeling like one child is not getting enough attention; however, if you are debating going for baby number two, Sabrina shares:
It is so worth it. Your family will only benefit from more love.
Check out Sabrina’s blog, The Confused Housewife, which focuses on parenting, motherhood, and gift giving.
Mother of two, Lillian, says that the best thing about having two kids is the experience she gained with her first child. She knows what to expect with parenting the second time around, and it’s less stressful.
For Lillian, the most challenging part of having two children was being pregnant while raising another kid. Also, once the baby comes, there is the lack of time and the inability to spend quality time with your first born and spouse.
If you are worried about the cost of having a second baby, she explains:
Having two kids is less expensive. At least you can justify the expensive gear you bought for your first born since your second born will use the same stuff.
Are you looking for great place to find information on baby care, mom life, and specifically breastfeeding/pumping? Don’t miss Lillian’s blog, Enjoy Mom Life.
Someone once explained to me that when you have a third child, you are going from a man-on-man defense to a ‘zone’ defense. With three children, you are outnumbered and there are some challenges that follow.
Myself, along with fellow mother Ashley, share our experience with having three children.
For me, there is no better feeling than when I see my three children playing together. With three, we can’t always logistically have friends over for the children to play with. They are often “forced” to play together; therefore, they have become very close and really enjoy playing together.
A third baby came with many new obstacles. Logistically speaking, when we had our third, my husband and I had to both get new cars that fit a third car seat, for example. Also, I feel that I still struggle with making sure to give each child the amount of attention they need.
My husband and I had one boy and one girl, and we thought we were crazy for wanting a third baby. My biggest fear was that I would be 70 years old some day, wondering why I didn’t just go for the third. If you are debating having a third child consider this:
Having a third will undoubtedly add more stress to your life, but the joy that comes with it will make it all worthwhile.
While you are here, at Simply Snapping Mom, check out my other posts where I focus on simplifying parenthood and photography.
Mother of three, Ashley, explained, “Three kids was never really “in the cards” but felt “right” after we finally bought a house and moved into a better area of town. My husband was actually against the idea at first but eventually agreed one of our kids could share a room (we had one
boy and one girl at the time) and it would make our family complete. “
Ashley agrees that she loves watching her children become best friends with each other. She explains that her favorite part of having three kids is enjoying all of their unique personalities.
When asked what the hardest part of having three is, Ashley said, “Sometimes it seems there’s never enough time to spend just one-on-one. You’re outnumbered and focusing on one child when there are three can be nearly impossible (but doable!).”
For anyone considering a third baby, Ashley suggests:
Go for it! You’ll be outnumbered, yes, but in a good way! They all love you so uniquely and so wholly that it’s worth the hard-work and lost sleep to have this little tribe of people to call family! It’s so rewarding!
Don’t miss Ashley’s blog, Chronically Caffeinated Mom, which focus on motherhood, special needs parenting, lifestyle topics.
Gina is a mother of four children and lends her best advice and expertise.
For her, the best thing about having 4 kids is watching them
interact with each other. She was an only child, and seeing her children play together and be kind to each other warms her heart like no other. She continues, “My middles look up to the oldest, and the older kids are so sweet with our baby. They make up games together and laugh at each other’s jokes. On vacation they have a blast together. Of course there are arguments too, but I just love seeing them be there for each other. I’m so glad they’ll always have their siblings to turn to. In my late 20s, I had to go through the lonely experience of losing one of my parents. I feel better knowing that my kids should always have a built-in support system.”
As you would expect, she says that the hardest part of having three kids is the lack of time. It is easy to feel guilty that not everyone gets as much individual attention as they may like. If one child is in a period where they need more support, it can feel like I’m neglecting the others. We can do with less things and less money, and there’s a neverending supply of love in our house.
Gina added that people pass judgment on larger families, like you’re being reckless and irresponsible. They may not understand why anyone would want that lifestyle. We get invited places less often because there’s so many of us. I’m fine with all of this and couldn’t be happier with the family we’ve made. Gina’s best advice for anyone considering a fourth child is:
It’s chaos and it’s wonderful.
It’s not as hard as it seems – Listen to your heart but do a check with your head. I also loved having 3 kids and was content to stay at that family size for several years. But now that #4 is here I can’t imagine life without her.
Who doesn’t need more tips and support on nurturing our mental health and well-being? That is the prime focus of Gina’s blog, Step to Self. Check it out!
5 or More Children
I was the oldest of five girls. Looking back, we wore more hand-me-down clothes than our friends, and we shared our toys. However, my sisters and I have the fondest memories of growing up in a big family. My sisters were, and still are, my best friends.
Niomi, a mother of 4 children, is pregnant with her 5th child.
She loves that her children play well together and always have a friend.
When asked what the hardest part of having a large family was, she explained that for her, it is the logistics: big car, big house, and traveling.
She stresses that if you have a large family it is important to:
Have self care time and a hands on dad
Are you interested in learning more about women’s holistic wellness? Don’t miss Niomi’s blog Stellar Wellness.
Are You Finished Having Kids?
The decision to stop having kids may or may not be fully up to you. Six of the mothers we spoke to said they were done having kids, 1 said she was not done, and another was unsure.
Of the mothers who answered that they were done having kids, they all agreed that their family feels complete. Some of the mothers added that factors such as age, health, and financial situations play a role in their decision, too.
When asked, “Do you and your husband agree?”, the majority said yes, while two admitted that they would like one more child, but their husbands were not on board.
Only you and your partner can decide what is best for your family. If you are debating having another child, it is best to weigh the pro’s and the con’s. Try asking yourself some of the following questions:
- Will I regret NOT having another child?
- Would we be able to financially support another child?
- How will my other children be impacted?
- Does my family “feel” complete?
- How will my marriage be impacted?
- Am I healthy enough to have another child?
And when all else fails, look inside your heart. That is where the true answer is.
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