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#1 of 12 Old 01-10-2002, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone! I'm glad to be a new member... In looking through the threads, I didnt notice anyone addressing my exact question, so here it is. How have you decided how large or small a family you now have? We are parenting two beautiful kids now, but I sometimes think about a third child. When I do, issues of money, my other children's feelings, environmental impact of many children, time constraints, etc. make me feel overwhelmed! Any ideas on making peace with this decision? Thank you! cds
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#2 of 12 Old 01-10-2002, 04:57 PM
 
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that decision is one that varies so dramatically from person to person.

You just have to do what is right for you and your family. Talking to your partner about it may shed some light onto what you both envision for your future.

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#3 of 12 Old 01-10-2002, 05:12 PM
 
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We are following God's leading for our family size. So far we have two (5 1/2 and 1 1/2 ) but hope to have more in God's timing. We are very carefull to use as little as possible when raising our children by cloth diapering, breastfeeding, family bedding and buying clothes and toys used. We also homeschool, homebirth and have one car (which in my suburban nightmare makes me a homebody ) I feel there is no greater gift I can give my children than siblings to share life with.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#4 of 12 Old 01-10-2002, 06:24 PM
 
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There was a thread devoted to this topic about a month ago. I've chosen to have 4 children. I love the big family dynamic. We try to leave as small a footprint on the Earth as possible by not eating meat, driving an efficient car, walking or biking instead of driving when possible (dh bikes to work), organic gardening, line drying laundry, cloth diapers etc...I'm raising my children to respect the Earth. And, as a Catholic, I have birth control issues.
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#5 of 12 Old 01-10-2002, 06:46 PM
 
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We do not , nor will we ever, use birth control at all. I want as many as God will give us. Unfortunately I have polycystic ovarian syndrome and only ovulate maybe 2-3 times a year so it's hard to get pregnant. I have one son and have had two miscarriages. I very much want another baby. Ideally I would like 5 or more but some of those willl be from adoption (older children adoption).

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#6 of 12 Old 01-10-2002, 07:48 PM
 
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i think it is a very individual decision.
what is right for one couple may be totally wrong for another.
i don't think their is a true "answer" because it is an opinion.

so, here is my opinion, and here is what our family is doing.

i have one 9 yr old from a previous marriage.
i have one 6 month old baby.
both boys.

i don't want anymore children.
my husband does.
we aren't having anymore children.
it has been a "hot topic" around here, but we agree that BOTH parents have to say "yes" to have baby. If one partner doesn't agree, then no baby. ---I plan on a tubal soon, but right now I am on a monthly birth control injection called "Lunelle".

there are pros and cons for big families
there are pros and cons for small ones

your biggest costs will be later in their lives, College, Cars, School Clothes, Spending money, Weddings, Proms.....ETC

"children" don't cost all that much when they are little....unless they are sick or something.

Make a list of pros and cons
Discuss with your partner

Look at your reasons. Think your reasons over.
Ask yourself "Do these reasons make sense?" "Are my reasons good reasons?"

Only you will know good reasons from silly reasons.
No one else has the right to tell you what you need.
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#7 of 12 Old 01-10-2002, 08:54 PM
 
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In my family there are 4 and in dh's there are 4. I would like to have 4 ( two now). Don't all families have four kids?
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#8 of 12 Old 01-11-2002, 10:13 AM
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Using Mallory's logic....my family had three and my husabnd's family had five so....we have eight LOL.

Seriously, I think family size is individual and there are a lot of variables to consider.

I wonder about so many families having two children (I mean how creative and individual) I wouldn't look at a *particular* family with this attitude, though.

I think that having the flavor of different sized families contributes to the culture as a whole.

Yes, we try to lessen the impact of our large family by being conservative.

Debra Baker
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#9 of 12 Old 01-12-2002, 12:32 PM
 
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I also would like to have a big family. My mother is one of six, my dad one of 5. I have 21 first cousins, which was good since I was an only child. My husband has one brother. This means my daughter will only have ONE uncle!!! This freaks me out. I had 6 aunts and 3 uncles, plus all their spouses. It was so much fun for us all to get together every few weekends and raise heck! My brother in law is younger than us, and I doubt he will be having kids anytime soon. This leaves me wanting about 18 kids
I also have big concerns about the environment and the population. Our solution is this: We plan on having one more baby of our own (biologically), and provided we have the resources later on, we will adopt at least one more, maybe two. There are so many beautiful children out there, needing homes. And there are 6 billion people on this earth!!!! resources will be scarce by the time our kids are grown, and we all need to decide what we can do to alleviate this mess.
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#10 of 12 Old 01-13-2002, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for such a diverse group of viewpoints on this topic. I won't know what we'll do for quite a while with regard to our family, but it has been interesting to see the multitude of approaches! I know that decisions regarding family size are idiosyncratic at best, it just seems like such an important topic to me. Some people know they want large families from their earliest days together...others wind up with them by circumstance... there are those who hope for them and struggle to be blessed with even one child. Family size influences your perspectives on life, your goals, relationships, and future plans. Thank you all for sharing: please continue to comment (if desired). All my best, CDS
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#11 of 12 Old 01-15-2002, 04:15 PM
 
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Wow, I'm starting to feel like I need to come "out of the closet" about wanting many kids. It is SOOOO nice to see other people feelign the same way. On another board I'm on I asked how people deal with commenting on how many kids you have. I am single and have 3 boys under the age of 5 and hopefully have a newborn boy coming within a month or so. I love and want many children. All my children are foster children so I don't have any discussion about birthing more children.

My feeling, though, is that so many people, and society in general, has gotten so much into the whole "both parents have to have an outside-the-family-career and LOVE it and have very few kids." GREAT. If that's what you want, there's nothing wrong with having 1 or 2 kids. I want 4-6. I get comments at almost every turn. There's almost nowhere I go with my brood where I don't get comments. Now, all of the comments are good and admiring and all, but people don't realize how tiring it gets with everyone thinking that you're some kind of superhuman (read inhuman) person to be able to deal with many small children. It really ain't that hard with a bit of organization and practice. I am usually sitting down in my living room by myself on my computer or watching TV relaxing by about 7. Everyone bathed and fed and pajamed and the younger ones sleeping and the older one playing. As someone said on my foster parent board, after 3 kids all you notice is more laundry!

As for details, you'll need a car (minivan) that can hold all the children safely and enough beds, etc. My food bill is higher than it was when I had no kids, but it doesn't increase all that much with additional kids. Plus, everything I own is put to good use. Every sling, stroller, toy, clothing, etc. gets many loving uses, not just 1 or 2 kids then gotten rid of. Money seems to be a problem mostly if all parents work or if you're on the edge of poverty. If you can handle the extra child care costs for a few years OR stay at home then money isn't a big deal.

When people ask how many to have I say if you're dying to have another kid around DO IT! If you feel like your family is complete then stop. I have 3 and am DYING to have another one. We'll see where it ends...
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#12 of 12 Old 01-15-2002, 07:03 PM
 
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Dh wants 10 children (we have 2 and we've been married for 4 years). I usually get baby hungry when my babies begin to crawl. I love the newborn age, Although my 2 yo is a barrel of laughs.

I think we are planning on 10. I have had two wonderful homebirths and my pregnanies are uneventful so those issues won't hold me back. Of course money is a concern. But I know too many big families (8 or more is big in my book) that are well enough off to support the number of children they have.

I was on bc when I first got married and dh and I feel that it made me neurotic. So I stopped taking it after 6 months and we decided to try to get pregant. After dd#1 was born dh and I took a Billings Method natural family planning class and have been successful in preventing and achieving pregnancy.

I have 4 bros and 3 sister and dh has 4 bros and 1 sister so my children have many aunts and uncles and cousins. Hopefully they will have many siblings, too. It is sooooo much fun.

Anyway, we will follow our hearts when it comes to having another, I mean timing wise.

Good luck!
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