Small family poll - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: What is your main reason for having a small family?
Concern for the environment 14 16.09%
infertility or other health reasons 14 16.09%
financial reasons 10 11.49%
just don't have the emotional strength for more 14 16.09%
want to give each child their own babyhood 14 16.09%
other 21 24.14%
Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

Parenting > Small family poll
USAmma's Avatar USAmma 04:01 PM 10-01-2002
For those of you who have chosen only to have one or two children, what is your main reason?

Embee's Avatar Embee 05:06 PM 10-01-2002
Good quesion/poll.

I voted "other." Our main reason for having an only child is simply because we love it. We like how cozy, comfy and focused our little family is and just can't seem to wrap our minds around having another... can't reconcile how having another child woud change our relationship with DS.

I short, we just like our little family the way it is and aren't looking to change it.

TrinitysMama's Avatar TrinitysMama 05:07 PM 10-01-2002
I am the oldest of 3 and dh is an only child. I have always said that I want either 2 or 3. Our first was stillborn last year and I am due next month with our second. She seems very healthy and it looks like she is going to make it here just fine.

I don't think that I have it in me, emotionally, to get through another pregnancy. Also, while I will only have one living child, I will still have 2 children. I don't think that I need to "replace" the first just so I can meet my quota, IYKWIM. We have put a lot of thought into it, and as of right now, this baby is going to be our last.

I'm 24 and dh is 28, so we're both still young. I don't think that we are yet prepared for sterilization for either of us. I guess in a way we are leaving the door open for one more WAY down the road, but our decision as of now is that this baby will be our last.
khrisday's Avatar khrisday 06:37 PM 10-01-2002
Hubby always said that it is only fair to replace ourselves in the great sceme of things (ie there are two of us, we should have two children). He feels that having more than two children is bad for the environmanet and that if we wanted more we should adopt. I just couldn't imagine having the emotional energy (or the hands) to deal with one more person in our family.
scribblerkate's Avatar scribblerkate 06:55 PM 10-01-2002
Some of the reasons you listed are considerations for us, but they are not the main reason so I voted other. Like Embee said, we will have only one or two children (still thinking about whether to have another) because we like the family size. It's cozy and intimate and fun. It's how we always pictured being a family.

Some of it does have to do with our temperaments. Lots of people drain, not energize, both of us so I think that's a big part of why we never pictured something big. Also, it just isn't my personality to be momma to a big clan. Don't know how else to say it. It's not who I am. And, if we have another, the two will be four or more years apart for the "enjoy each babyhood" reason.

The environment is a consideration and always has been, but I think if I were one who thrived on the energy of lots of kids and projects and chaos underfoot, I would find a way to explain it away. As it is, it does feel comfortable to say we will leave no more than we are.
Astrid's Avatar Astrid 06:56 PM 10-01-2002
We are spacing ds and our next child appox 5 years apart (we are just starting ttc) and are planning only 2. We have really enjoyed watching ds grow and have had lots of baby/toddler/preschooler time and feel he is now at an age where he could really be a part of helping with the new baby and not feel any sibling competition. Of course I might be wrong about this as I am an only.
But if a suprise baby was to come along we would be happy too.
menudo's Avatar menudo 10:21 PM 10-01-2002
We have never planned any children and have 2. Much of my family has 2-4 kids each, none planned. I had never heard of the concept until I was in my late teens. Weird huh? No religious reasons either. I do not plan on having any more kids but then again my son was quite the surprise. So the plan is to keep it at 2 unless nature has other plans for me. I still haven't figured out how I got pregnant with nmumber of us remember being particularly very active and not careful. So I believe if it is meant to be, it will be!
its_our_family's Avatar its_our_family 10:58 PM 10-01-2002
I voted other because we have more than one reason.

I love being able to be able to give Tracy all of my attention.

The main reason is that we feel that our family is complete with Tracy. He is was the missing piece of the puzzle.

We are not going to plan another....but things happen. If we end up with 2 then we will know it was divine intervention!!! And we will be blessed by being a family of 2!!
candiland's Avatar candiland 11:02 PM 10-01-2002
Bebesho2- I could have written your post. We did not plan either child. But since they are here, it is a great blessing. I voted "no more for emotional reasons". I would need a paddywagon, STAT, if I got pregnant again!!!! Although I AM only 23, so in five or six years, I may be pining for another wee one in the house.... but as of this moment, this year, we are NOT planning on having anymore.
oceanbaby's Avatar oceanbaby 03:53 AM 10-02-2002
Ditto what Scribblerkate said. I'm not that type of mom either. I wish I was sometimes, but it's just not who I am.
mirlee's Avatar mirlee 05:46 PM 10-02-2002
The things we like about having one are that we get to really spend a lot of time with him and experience him. He also gets the benefit of not having to share us. As he grows, we get to celebrate his achievements and say good bye to his previous stage. (We are working on saying good bye to diapers these days. )

We really like one child, but are keeping ourselves open for adoption in the future. We talked about this recently. We aren't able to have anymore biological children, but we can't help but think of all those children out there who would love to have parents to tuck them in at night and just love them. If we do adopt, it won't be for several more years and we will adopt an older toddler or a child less than 6 or 7 years old.

Our other reasons for only having one are environmental, population (there really are a lot of people on this marble), and financial (hopefully, only for the immediate time being).

For now, we are three, and are just darn happy about it.

New Moon's Avatar New Moon 03:40 PM 10-03-2002
[QUOTE]Originally posted by candiland
I voted "no more for emotional reasons". I would need a paddywagon, STAT, if I got pregnant again!!!!

LOL, I feel the same way. I am stretched to my parenting limit at this time with 2 kids. I love them dearly but whew! They are tiring. I would love to be pregnant, give birth and have a newborn again, but raising another child is a different story. Not to mention the financial hardship it would put us in. And environmental reasons are valid too, replacing ourselves is a nice thought with the threat of severe overpopulation. That said I am not ready to say I will NEVER have another becuase you just dont know what will happen down the line. I certainly support women who have large families, more power to them!
New Moon
MamaBug's Avatar MamaBug 04:00 PM 10-03-2002
I voted other. Right now we have 2 boys ages 4 & 2. They are my worlds delight. For a while after first ds I really considered not having anymore becasue I felt so happy and complete but then I wanted him to have a sibling. Although at first I was still unsure if we did the right thing seeing them now I know that we did.
The issue now is that I still don't feel complete. Like Khrisday my dh is of the mind that you replace yourselves. I have days where I think that if I didn't at least try for another one ( no guarantees since it took 4 years to get first one!) I would have this huge regret for the rest of my life. Then there are other days where the youngest is almost potty trained and they are both so easy that I think " What am I NUTS! Things right now are perfect!" I am also pushing 35 and need to make a decision soon, at least for my own sanity. I think that for now 2 is perfect and in the summer we will see how we feel and where we are at. Deep down I am hoping that the baby pangs go away, I dread another c-section, but boy did I LOVE being pregnant!
sleepies's Avatar sleepies 06:14 PM 10-03-2002
here are my top 5 reasons for not wanting more (i have two boys)

1. i don't like being pregnant.
2. i don't like giving birth.
3. wouldn't want to pay for two college educations.
4. i really want a girl, and think i'd be upset if i had another boy--which is totally UNFAIR and wrong. so, why go there?
5. i want to get back to working, but i want to stay home until this one is 3 years old or so first...don't want to delay it.

i could go on and on. these are my reasons though.

ps. these are all reasons about "me". i guess i'll list a sixth reason--so not to sound 100% selfish.

6. i like the idea of having my boys so far apart (they are eight years apart) i feel that each one got to be the only baby for a long time this way. i like to spoil them one at a time, when they are very little. and 8 years from now, i plan on NOT having small children anymore.

ladylee's Avatar ladylee 03:42 PM 10-04-2002
Our main reason is that we just like the size--at most I'll have 2 more, which I don't think is a "big" family. We're very active and like to travel, we're 38 years old and at some point want to actually have a retirement--so we're not into more than that. Finances are not a big factor, but are a consideration--we don't think it's the most important thing, but at the same time don't want to be stressed or feel like we can't do for them. I'm quite certain that we could provide for their emotional needs whether we had one or 11, but I do need some time and space for myself & that would certainly be difficult with a big family.

I'm an only child--dh has one brother.
Gagesmom's Avatar Gagesmom 07:26 PM 10-05-2002
I am now pregnant and due any day with my 2nd, and probably last, child. There are a few reasons:
1. By the time I'd be physically able to have another, I'd be over 35 and my DH would be over 40. We feel very blessed that we have 2 healthy children and don't want to push it. DH doesn't want to be in his sixties and still have kids in school. I agree with him.
2. I have had 2 pregnancies now that I've been sick pretty much the entire time. I can't imagine going thru it again.
3. My DH has a daughter from his first marriage, and doesn't really want more than 3 kids. I agree with him on this.
4. I see people with more than 2 small children and I think, "how wonderful for them" but I KNOW that it is just not for me. I love my children desperately, but I don't want any more than these 2.

If for some reason we got pregnant "by accident", we would have that baby and love him/her, of course!! But, it is highly unlikely as we are pretty sure DH will be having a vasectomy soon.
El Casey S's Avatar El Casey S 06:05 PM 10-06-2002
When we first got married I was 28 and we had no insurance and DH thought it was foolhearty to have a baby with no insurance and no money. Then we were waiting to be sent overseas, so we thought we'd wait unti we got settled before we would try. Then it didn't work for years, and I had my first child at 39. I had a miscarriage when our son was 1 and have had no luck since. So now I'm 44 and very happy to have a child - but sad not to be able to have more.
The Lucky One's Avatar The Lucky One 05:56 PM 11-03-2002
We have chosen to only have two children for several reasons.

Probably first and foremost, is that dh was 35 when our first was born, and will be 37 or 38 when our second comes along. He plans to retire early, and if we have children any later than about 38 for him, he will have to work longer.

Also, we're quiet people who enjoy small groups-our family included.

Financially, we are better prepared to take care of no more than two children.

I suppose there's always a small option for a third child, but the way it stands now, we want only two.

lisa--mama to bright-eyed Aidan
DiaperDiva's Avatar DiaperDiva 06:13 PM 11-03-2002
I needed to vote for 2 options. But I voted infertility. The other reason is financial, oh and another reason may be fear of pregnancy(if ya can believe that one)
mother_sunshine's Avatar mother_sunshine 08:26 PM 11-03-2002
We have one child. We are all 3 happy and we want to keep it that way. I feel it in my heart that having one child is the right choice for us. Environment and finances are part of the list of important reasons, but the main reason is that we are happy just the way we are.

Every now and then somebody plants the concern in my head that our daughter will come to resent us for not giving her a brother or sister to play with, but to me that is the most ridiculous reason to have another child. I look at our happy thriving child and know the answer. My daughter can have as many friends as she wants, and they are always welcome here. Plus I have friends whom I consider my sisters and am closer to than I will ever be with my brother (I don't hate him, we are just complete opposites).
EFmom's Avatar EFmom 12:48 PM 11-04-2002
I voted concern for the environment, which is primary, but it's also a quality of life issue. Both DH and I came from large families. I grew up in an Irish catholic area where everybody had big families. It sucked. I have 19 nieces and nephews. I see a huge quality of life drop in my siblings and in-law's families once the third child is added to the family.
JuneMama's Avatar JuneMama 04:13 PM 11-04-2002
Originally posted by mother_sunshine
We have one child. We are all 3 happy and we want to keep it that way. I feel it in my heart that having one child is the right choice for us. Environment and finances are part of the list of important reasons, but the main reason is that we are happy just the way we are.

Every now and then somebody plants the concern in my head that our daughter will come to resent us for not giving her a brother or sister to play with, but to me that is the most ridiculous reason to have another child. I look at our happy thriving child and know the answer. My daughter can have as many friends as she wants, and they are always welcome here. Plus I have friends whom I consider my sisters and am closer to than I will ever be with my brother (I don't hate him, we are just complete opposites).
Mother_sunshine, I cant believe that people tell you your dd will resent you for not giving her a bro. or sis. That is complete bunk! And ITA, an absolutely ridiculous reason to have another child if to only give your child a sibling.
Ms. Mom's Avatar Ms. Mom 09:58 AM 11-06-2002
I voted 'infertility and health reasons'. I really would like 2 more, but my body dosn't think it's such a good idea.
Curious's Avatar Curious 02:22 AM 11-07-2002
There are many reasons we will probably stop at 1, even though I ponder the question often.

I thought that after 3 days of labor and 10 hours of pushing through what turned out to be an oddly shaped pelvis, that my midwife would say Never Again. But when I asked her she said, Oh, the tracks have been greased!

What feels like one of the biggest reasons for not having more children also seems like one that shouldn't matter as much as it does. Many other courageous women in my position have gone on to have many more children, but I think I'd go crazy if I had to go through my low milk supply thing again. Call me weak. (I would not count on being able to breastfeed after a second pregnancy.)

The experience of ot being able to breastfeed as much as I would have liked, and all the associated junk, threatened to rob me of much of my enjoyment of Dd's infancy. I refused to let that happen but it was a tough battle. Now that Dd is almost 15 months old and my (essentially full time) efforts have resulted in a wonderful breastfeeding relationship, I would hate to cut it short by having another baby. After all we've been through, Dd loves to breastfeed, and I just can't see ending it before she is ready.

Sometimes I think I'm allowing myself to be doubly hurt by this, pain with Dd and not allowing myself another child because of it. But there are other reasons too. This one just looms as the largest.

Other reasons include, yes, the environment. Also I am the kind of person who has always focused on doing just a few things at a very high level. I worry that with more children I would feel spread too thin. I still hold Dd for all naps. I need a lot of sleep that I get by doing this. I want to continue this for as long as she is in need of this.

Our finances are comfortable at this family size, and to add to the family would mean more work hours for Dh. What's the point of having more children if he has to take more time away from home to feed them?

I've thought that after Dd weans herself I might be willing to consider another pregnancy, but I don't think I have many fertile years left.

But we are very happy. Our family is very cozy. I understand that love grows and I'm sure it would if we had another child, but right now I think it would be hard to be drawn away from Dd. Rather than have another child, we are concentrating on the one we have, reveling in her every moment. Dh thinks that Dd will consider her family so great that she'll never want to leave, and he hopes that is the case. I guess I worry that she'll feel so focused on, she'll choose the most distant college she can find and live in Europe for 10 years to get away from us.
DaisyD's Avatar DaisyD 07:47 PM 05-04-2003
We have one for now and plan on trying for a second when Maeryn is 3 or 4 years old. We would like more, but I will be in my mid-thirties at that point and can't see myself having a third or fourth child in my forties.
Teresa's Avatar Teresa 11:00 AM 05-05-2003
Every child needs tape!

(Time, Attention, Patience and Energy)

Yes, I know there are some mothers who can provide tape to a whole passel of very closely spaced children. I know some who can't. For that matter I know some mothers who don't have tape for even one child. . .

We both feel comfortable that we have the resources (internal!) to be good-enough parents to our two well-spaced children.

There IS a little bit of that zero-growth, environmental concern thing, too, though. . .

And of course (sarcasm alert) who wants to have to drive a mini-van?!
Arduinna's Avatar Arduinna 12:39 PM 05-06-2003
I voted other as none of the choices were the primary reason. All the choices exceplt financial were part of the reason though. I am soon to be 39 and dh is 44. We have a teenager and don't want to be raising kids in our 50's +. We want to retire and enjoy our lives together. And grandkids are something to look forward to. Overpopulation was a consideration for not having a large family (we wanted 2-3). But health (both dh and I have had life threatening illnesses since we had dd) and fertility were issues that caused us to have an only.