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I wrote this as a guest post awhile back and with us being gone for the week I thought I’d share it here today with all of you! I was actually pregnant with Leo when I wrote it but hadn’t told anyone yet 😉 This gives you some insight into mine and Zach’s desires for a large family!
Growing up I always knew I wanted to have a large family. I only had one brother as a child and I envied those who had multiple siblings. Both of my parents grew up in large families and I saw the many positive aspects of it. When my grandfather got sick, there were many children to help care for him and to share in the responsibility. When he passed away, they could all rally together and support each other. I wanted that for my children! Siblings share a special bond: they are the only ones who can remember your childhood with you and who will be there for the majority of your life.
When searching for a spouse the “how many kids do you want?” question was an important one to me. I knew it was a deal breaker if a guy I dated didn’t want any kids or only wanted one or two. When I met my husband and he, too, wanted a large family it was a big check in the “yes” box for whether or not he was the one for me! It was also important that my future husband would support my goal of being a stay at home mom. I don’t think you HAVE to stay at home in order to have a large family but for myself I knew it was something I’d have to do. In order to give my personal best to my husband and children I knew I wouldn’t be able to work outside the home (or even be a “working at home mom” either) and I have been blessed to have a supportive husband who feels as passionately as I do about having me home full-time.
For me personally I think that four is the perfect number of children. I have always seen issues with odd numbers. Whenever you have a group of three friends, someone is always left out. I feel the same happens with siblings. I’ve seen so many three child families have issues with two ganging up on the third. My husband came from a three child home and is passionate about wanting an even number so I trust his judgement since he knows firsthand what that experience is like! When we built our home a few years ago we went ahead and had enough space for a four child family. We kept our house very basic (nothing fancy for us!) because having space was our #1 priority.
In a perfect world I’d love to have two boys and two girls. Neither my husband or I got to experience a same-sex sibling and I know that bond is so special. I wish so badly I’d had a sister and he wishes he’d had a brother (although we have both been blessed to now have such bonds with our in-laws!). As an adult with an opposite sex sibling so much of your relationship depends on who you marry. If you don’t get along with your brother’s wife then you aren’t going to be very close to your brother anymore. Whereas if you have a sister you can always be close even if your husbands don’t get along that well!
So far we have one son and one daughter and have said that if we end up with two more of the same sex children then we’d be willing to go for a 5th and 6th child in order to get the opposite sex. I also have it on my heart to adopt someday if that is something God wants for us and I could see us adopting baby #5 if that time comes.
When I say I want four children many people consider that a lot of kids in todays world. But I know people who have many more children than that! I don’t know why four is seen as so many??? I do think once you get to numbers higher than four that it becomes tricky. What vehicle would we drive? How would we vacation? I mean we’d have to start paying for group rates for events and such with that many kids right? 😉
I am a high stress, type A personality. Many people ask how I think I’ll handle that many children but I am a planner and I have a plan! Our first two children were 2 years and 9 months apart and I love that age difference. We actually plan to have our third and fourth ones be further apart than that as it took my son until he was 3 to REALLY be able to help with my daughter so I think the 3 year to 3 1/2 year age difference may be the best! By spacing out my children in their ages I’m able to have the older ones less dependent on me so I’m able to care for the youngest. My son was in preschool three days a week when I had my daughter which gave me quality time with her on those days and gave him an outlet to get away from us for awhile too.
Also by spreading out my children’s ages it makes it more affordable for us to have the larger family we have dreamed of. We only have one child in diapers at a time (I’m passionate about early potty training). We also use the same nursery furniture for each baby and have the older children in “big kid” beds before a new baby comes. I save pretty much ALL of my kids clothing. So far we have one of each gender but when baby #3 comes someday we’ll have plenty of clothes regardless if it’s a boy or a girl 🙂 I also buy quality clothing and toys for my children and train them to take good care of their things so they will hold up for future babies down the road.
We also use Dave Ramsey’s principals for our budgeting and feel secure in knowing that as our family grows, our budget will be able to adjust to accommodate our needs. I try to think big picture about purchases I make for my children now. For example, we only get one big pumpkin at Halloween time to carve as a family. Sure, we could buy one for each child now and it wouldn’t cost that much…but once we have four children that would be very expensive for each child to have their own! Same with school photos. It isn’t too costly to buy the photo packs for our son but we don’t because once we start buying them for him we’d need to buy them for every child and what is “only” $20 for one kid becomes $80 when you have four children!
As a Babywise Mom I find comfort in knowing that no matter how many children we have, there is a schedule to suit them all. As the kids get older, their schedules become more flexible which will make it easier to be focused on the baby and the schedule he or she requires. I know with Babywise my children will sleep well which will give me a much needed break in the day as well as “me time” in the evenings. I know that they will be well rested which makes for better moods during awake times and a happier family overall.
In recent years I have had a lot of personal struggles with my own family. I no longer have ties with many of my close relatives. It has been a heartbreaking experience for me and has made me even more passionate about creating my own family. One where unconditional love is always flowing. Where we put our family unit first in all things and know that we will always protect it and that we are safe within our walls together. I am eager to have that large family that I’ve always wanted as I know my heart will be filled with a love like no other!. I’m excited to share the love I have to give with all of my babies. I have faith that I will change the cycle of hurt for my kids and that they will only ever know love, respect, and pure happiness when they think of the word family.