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Too many kids? - Page 2

post #21 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
My parents should have stopped at one. Better yet, none.
But aren't you kinda glad they didn't do what they "should" have done? Do you really think you'd be happier if you'd never been born?
post #22 of 219
It really depends on the parents, many can't handle ONE.

I have 4 & 1 on the way & I can HONESTLY say I do find it very easy. I stay home & it just never got "crazy" like people expect. I expect we will be adding until we have 6 or maybe 7. If it wasn't such smooth sailing I wouldn't even consider it.
post #23 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by velochic View Post
As others have said, it's an individual issue for each family. I have to say that when I see other women with 4 or more kids and they look like they have it all together, I often wonder if that mother has completely lost her SELF... that part of you who makes you you. Sometimes they seem like they never get to take off the "mother" hat, if that makes sense. When you are forced to be mother 24/7 just because of the sheer size of your family, I can't imagine that it's healthy, even if it appears that she has it all together. I'm sure some women thrive in those situations, though. They appear to love having a very large family, and indeed, do, as it is their fulfillment.

I am the youngest of 4. It was made well-known to me my entire childhood that I was a HUGE accident, that my parents really regretted having me. It wasn't until I became an adult (really into my 30's) that they seemed to be able to relate to me... perhaps because they could see me as a peer almost. Amazingly, I now have a good relationship with them, and my mom even lives with us.

My parents should have stopped at one. Better yet, none. My impression of my mother is that one was too much. Wearing the "mother" hat often seemed very uncomfortable for her. I chose to have 1 in part because of my own experiences growing up in a largish family. I'm sure other women have similar influences. Perhaps my dd will have a large family because of growing up an only.
Some of us are very content to not take off our "mommy hats." I AM mom 24/7 & don't feel I am missing a thing, and no - I don't live in denial. Why can't mothering be totally fulfilling? For many, of course not all, it is. Is for me.
post #24 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmzbm View Post
Some of us are very content to not take off our "mommy hats." I AM mom 24/7 & don't feel I am missing a thing, and no - I don't live in denial. Why can't mothering be totally fulfilling? For many, of course not all, it is. Is for me.
I don't even get what it means to "take off our mommy hats." Even when I just had one child, I never felt a need or desire to take off my mommy-hat. To me, it's not really a hat, anyway. It's more like a piece of living tissue in my heart. With both my girls, we never separated until each started going for short walks and errands with dh as toddlers.

Even when both girls are out for an errand with dh, and I'm home on my own, it's not like I stop being Mommy. I'm often on here discussing various parenting issues. Mothering is a big part of what makes me, me. It's changed my whole life. For the better.
post #25 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I don't even get what it means to "take off our mommy hats." Even when I just had one child, I never felt a need or desire to take off my mommy-hat. To me, it's not really a hat, anyway. It's more like a piece of living tissue in my heart. With both my girls, we never separated until each started going for short walks and errands with dh as toddlers.

Even when both girls are out for an errand with dh, and I'm home on my own, it's not like I stop being Mommy. I'm often on here discussing various parenting issues. Mothering is a big part of what makes me, me. It's changed my whole life. For the better.
post #26 of 219
Thread Starter 
I *DEFINITELY* need to be more than a mommy. I think many kids would not be good for my mental health.
post #27 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
I *DEFINITELY* need to be more than a mommy.
Oh, I'm definitely more than a mommy: I just never stop being a mommy. It's an integral part of who I am -- similar to the way my Christianity, and the shape and color of my eyes, are always part of me wherever I go, rather than being hats I put on or cast off depending on what's convenient at any given moment.
post #28 of 219
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Oh, I'm definitely more than a mommy: I just never stop being a mommy. It's an integral part of who I am -- similar to the way my Christianity, and the shape and color of my eyes, are always part of me wherever I go, rather than being hats I put on or cast off depending on what's convenient at any given moment.
Somehow I'm finding this vaguely insulting.

Obviously I am always a mom, but some people said that having many kids means always being on as a mom; I don't think I can do that and need to have activities/jobs that are just me. But to say that this feeling is tantamount to casting off my motherhood for convenience's sake...

This is totally derailing my thread, anyway. I just wanted people's ideas about having large vs. small families. Actually, maybe it isn't derailing; if having a large family requires your attitude, then that helps me make up my mind.
post #29 of 219
I have four kids and would like to either have one more in the future or do foster care. Since dh probably won't go for both, I will probably go the foster care route instead. For me, four is not too many. While they drive me nuts sometimes, ds1 did the same thing when I just had him.

Quote:
I have to say that when I see other women with 4 or more kids and they look like they have it all together, I often wonder if that mother has completely lost her SELF... that part of you who makes you you. Sometimes they seem like they never get to take off the "mother" hat, if that makes sense.
I had dinner last week with two other moms who both have four kids, my neighbor around the corner has four and a lady I babysit for has five. I can say at least for the five of us moms, we each have our "self" intact. Each of us have things that we do that are our own interests, along with doing cool things with our mobs of children

Quote:
Obviously I am always a mom, but some people said that having many kids means always being on as a mom; I don't think I can do that and need to have activities/jobs that are just me.
I don't think having a large family requires not doing anything that you want to do. It does make it more challenging juggling childcare, but it can be done.

The lady I babysit for who has five children enjoys rehabbing houses to sell. She always seems to have a project going on. Her family is also looking at buying a far.

My neighbor with four kids is a hairdresser. She loves to do hair and has a salon in her basement.

I started having kids young enough that when they are going to college, I will have another 20-30 years to have a career. I'm planning to finish college by going part-time in the evenings when dh can be home with the kids.
post #30 of 219
I may not be the norm, but I think it was wrong that this person told you all of this without his wife there to hear it. He sounds frustrated with his "choice" of family situations and he sounds unhappy. I feel sorry for him. He really should be ashamed more than anything else to be talking about his wife and kids behind their back. Kids are a blessing and not something you should regret.

And to answer your original question, you can't go by what someone else says about having children. You and only your spouse can determine what is good for you. So what someone like that would say to me would have no bearing on my choice to have more children. IMO the man just sounds unhappy with his choices and that's what I probably would have told the person that if they told me that much about their private life. He needs to talk to his wife, not you, and he probably needs counseling.
post #31 of 219
Having lots of kids is hard, i can tell you from firsthand experience, my mother had five and was horrible at it, she will tell everyone that she never liked having so many kids. Me? I love it, it's hard work but i wouldn't change it for the world.
post #32 of 219
As far as those of you who have issues with the thread and say that you are "always" a mommy. Well the others on here have a good point. You can be mommy and also be YOU. You can't lose sight of the woman that you are. You were you long before you had children so you need to keep that or else somewhere along the road you might realize you aren't so happy even though it seemed like you were for so long. Children are a blessing, no doubt about that. But we can't lose ourselves in our quest to be the perfect parent either.
post #33 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
Do you really think you'd be happier if you'd never been born?
I'm sorry but whenever I see this statement made I can't help but point out that not being born pretty much precludes there being a person who would feel anything at all about not being born.

Even people who hold a religious belief that each soul is already in existence prior to birth do not believe that the soul is aware and would have an emotional reaction to "missing out" on being born into a specific body.
post #34 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatea View Post
Somehow I'm finding this vaguely insulting.
I never meant to insult any individual person. However, when I hear stuff like "take of my mommy-hat," maybe it reminds me a little too much of the societal belief that after we have kids, we need to arrange our lives such that they resemble, as closely as possible, our lives BEFORE kids. That we need child-free time, child-free zones, and such-like.

I'm not saying that's the attitude of the poster who talked about taking off the mommy-hat: it's just my (possibly quite inaccurate) reaction to the phrase itself. I believe most people on this board (including probably the person who used the mommy-hat phrase) celebrate their children and are certainly not in a hurry to act like they don't have any. That's why the "mommy-hat" idea just seems out-of-sync. Probably just my own personal weirdness about it.

Quote:
Obviously I am always a mom, but some people said that having many kids means always being on as a mom; I don't think I can do that and need to have activities/jobs that are just me. But to say that this feeling is tantamount to casting off my motherhood for convenience's sake...
I understand what you mean about not always wanting to be "on," in the sense of needing down-time. I get that throughout the day, with my children right here with my. And obviously, there are enough mamas with large families that post here, that it sounds like even they get some down-time occasionally.

Quote:
This is totally derailing my thread, anyway. I just wanted people's ideas about having large vs. small families.
I didn't realize what I shared was totally disconnected from the issue of large vs. small families.

Quote:
Actually, maybe it isn't derailing; if having a large family requires your attitude, then that helps me make up my mind.
Well, since I only have 2 children, and I'm 43 so I'm not likely to get to have more than possibly 1 more baby, I certainly can't claim to represent all mamas with large families everywhere. I think there's lots of variation in individual personalities and attitudes -- among women with large families just as there is among women with small families -- so I don't know why you'd assume that having a large family "requires my attitude" -- especially since I don't even have a large family.
post #35 of 219
I have trouble with just three, but that's just me. I love them to bits, but I have a lot of my own personal issues that keep me from being a great mom. It's really hard (for me) to be a mom, and the troubles I'm having stem mostly from me, not from them (meaning they've picked up some of my bad habits).

I became a mom almost 6 years ago, I'd still be a mom 24-7 if I stopped at one child. It's not something you can't "not" be once you are one. You can be an (partially or completely) absent mom - either physically or mentally, but once you are a mom, you are one 24-7. There are times when you are on call at 2 am holding your dc's hair while they puke into a bucket and rub their back (I've done that recently).

You can have interests of your own, that is for sure. But each mom has to make decisions to balance those interests and the needs of the family. Whether it's working because you have to or because you want to, a hobby you are passionate about, or just having some time to be with adults (and other scenarios I'm sure I'm missing). That doesn't make it wrong, it just makes you a balanced person if that's what you need. And it also depends on the individual too. There are women who thrive on serving the family, there are others who give what they can and complete their needs in other ways.

For me, personally, I need lots of rest and good nutrition, and some intellectual stimulation. I thought that last one had to come from a work environment, but I realize that I don't need a job at this moment to feel fulfilled. I've just taken up a few hobbies, and I am reading a lot and occasionally, I need to get out without kids once in a while.

And there are seasons where you move in and out of different "phases" - I've been a WOHM and I'm now a SAHM. I will return to the workforce, some day.
I have a college degree and I have had 12 years in the science field. I'm not too worried about it. But for now, I'm having a season at home taking care of my young children.

There is nothing wrong with having balance in your life. Some women can achieve a balance they are happy with and they have 12 children, some can't achieve it well when they have 1 or 2. There are a multitude of difference forces at work when it works for one person but not for another.

But comparing your situation with another's is not a good idea. Meditating or praying on the matter for your specific situation is the way to go and getting dp on board with the idea. If now doesn't feel like a good time to add to your family, then don't. If you (and dp) feel more children are meant to be added to your family, then do that and don't mind anyone else.

Dh and I thought we were done at 2. We felt that was all we'd be able to handle. I quit my job to be home with the two I had, dh was all set to get a vasectomy, and the day it was scheduled to happen (so we thought), we found out the dr was on vacation. That evening, we ended up conceiving dd #3.

Apparently even though we were done having children, children were not done coming into our family. It's been rough, I have some bad days, but they are farther and fewer between. It gets easier as they get older.

And yes, dh did go in for his vasectomy the very next opportunity he could get scheduled.

At any rate, family size in an incredibly personal decision, but more often than not, I see a lot of posts where it's almost like moms are so uncertain about adding to their family they almost have to take a poll about it. Yes, I understand the need for reassurance, but the only real way to know you are comfortable with it is to meditate or pray about it, and have dp on board with it (this is very key here otherwise resentment could build up). That's all you really need to move forward. Either you will find the answer, or the answer will find you.
post #36 of 219
You know, I always wanted a big family--6 children and all that. I love children so much. Now that I have one and another on the way, realistically I think I can do this once more, maybe twice. I know that with faith and careful planning, all my children will be well taken care materially and spiritually but . . . I also have dreams and things I'd like to do with my life that are just not realistic with young children. I'd love to write a book one day but I can't even get 20 mins. daily to write in my journal.

It's such an individual choice though. I know some mamas who want as many kids as they can have because being a mother completely fulfills them. I think what is most important is knowing who you are and what you want so that you don't harbor any resentment against anyone for your choices. For me, that means stopping after 3 (maybe maybe maybe 4) so that by the time I'm 40, they'll be old enough where I can do other things with peace of mind.

I like for people to be frank with me, OP. I think he was being frank about his experience. It might not be everyone's experience but it is something to consider. I *never* fully grasped how much work it is to have children until I had one. And although I wanted so many before, it is overwhelming now to think of having a lot. Goodness, I'd have to get a new car, new house, more car seats, booster seats . . . it's overwhelming.
post #37 of 219
There is no magic number. 5 for someone might be "hard", but for other might be an easy beginning. I have three and I don't regret it at all, and want more, but have known others who thought three was waaaay too many, and that two should be the maximum. We are poorer than most of those, but don't feel as poor as they felt. Some people I have known had one or two and just couldn't fathom that anyone could possibly love and care for more than that.

I think it depends a lot more on personality, lifestyle decisions, how one rates things as "needs" vs "wants", than on an actual number.

Honesty is good. But someone else's experience doesn't apply to everybody. I had two good older friends warn me against having more than two or three, because in their experience, motherhood was restrictive and terrible. It's been a completely different experience for me.
post #38 of 219
I also think that for some people, they felt like a "mom" BEFORE they had children. I have always wanted children, worked with children, gottten attached to children... to me actually having one if fulfilling something that's always been inside me and is now out and growing and making me into the person I've always intended to be.
post #39 of 219
I have too many children.

In a few years I may not say that, but for now it is really hard. I lost "me" with the twins. BUT, I know that I will get "me" back in a few years. And I can live with that. And if I wasn't willing to give "me" up for few years I wouldn't be able to do this parenting thing justice. ((Did I lose you yet!!!))

I love my kids but do feel they are being shortchanged since my last pregnancy. I'm not saying 6 or 7 is too many, but for my situation, my comfort level, my finances and priorities, 3 would have been better. (But, since I can't write a short post, I have to admit that I really like some of the changes in my older two kids since the twins came. So there are truly a million wonderful things about having "too many.")


Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
Honesty is good. But someone else's experience doesn't apply to everybody.
I think it is the rare person who will admit that their family planning didn't work the way they thought it would. Or that they are in over their heads on such an important task.
post #40 of 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommy68 View Post
As far as those of you who have issues with the thread and say that you are "always" a mommy. Well the others on here have a good point. You can be mommy and also be YOU. You can't lose sight of the woman that you are. You were you long before you had children so you need to keep that or else somewhere along the road you might realize you aren't so happy even though it seemed like you were for so long. Children are a blessing, no doubt about that. But we can't lose ourselves in our quest to be the perfect parent either.
Well yes, but who we are changes as our lives change. If you think about the maiden/mother/crone life phases, I think it is really healthy and fine to embrace 'mother' and not try to preserve the 'you' that existed in the maiden phase. That time is gone. 'Mother' has changed who I am, it is woven into the threads of me and there is no part that is 'me' without the threads of that experience.

I think there is a miscommunication happening here in that some are speaking of that identity and how there is no need to try to erase it, while others are speaking of the duties of mothering, and how they can be all enveloping, or not. And how that is fine for some women, not fine for others. It wouldn't be fine for me. I see some making the argument that the more kids one has, the more all consuming the duties of caregiving become. I don't know as I only have one, and my bet is that more children do = more work, AND that it is highly individual, depending on the particular children, particular mother, and particular style of parenting. I know that while my own life and identity have changed hugely since my child was born, I am not overwhelmed by the duties of nurturing.
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