The Urge for Another Baby

The decision to be ‘done’ is a hard one. A personal one. One that often leaves people judging or questioning, no matter what you decide. We remember the thoughts of a mama who was real and vulnerable for us.

–A Guest Post By A Mama Who Wished To Remain Anonymous–

I have five children, and five children is a lot in these modern times. Five children means a larger car, a hard and expensive time booking holiday accommodation and mountains of washing and food. It means four school lunches to pack each morning and busy nights driving children to soccer and ballet and swimming lessons.

Five children also means lots of love, lots of fun and lots of friends, as we connect into the little social circles each child makes his or her own.

When people first discover I have five children, their eyebrows shoot up and they exclaim their amazement/admiration/wonder. Then comes the inevitable next question: ‘So are you going to have any more?’  I can barely get through one day without being asked this, biting back the urge to reply – “Isn’t five enough?!”

My eldest child is fifteen, the youngest two. And since the birth of my youngest my answer to this question has been a pretty solid ‘NO’. Life is busy, very busy, and I feel full up with all that I do in my role as ‘mom’. I have recently begun a small business, through which I am discovering a new part of myself and enjoying that kind of recognition that money brings.

And yet.

I always wanted six children. I adore having a large family – the busyness, the bustle, and the organizational challenges on which I thrive. I love being a witness and chaperone as my children grow into themselves. And for fifteen years, as one baby weans at age two or so, the next baby is welcomed into our hearts and soon after into our arms. You could say that birthing and rearing babies has been my career: I began at 23 and now it is the thing I know best how to do.

Related: I Want More Children, But I Don’t Want More Babies

Now that my youngest is almost weaned I find myself standing at a crossroads. My mind can think of a million reasons why our family should be complete as it is now. But my heart and my body yearn for another baby: an urge that feels as though it comes from the deepest part of me, an urge over which I have no power.

After so many years of being in the pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding cycle I sometimes wonder if my body is now hardwired this way, caught on a loop. Or is having another baby the easy thing to do, the comfortable choice? Nudging my business along and stepping out into the world as a professional would be the most challenging thing I could do in life right now – it is the area holding the most potential for self-growth.

My husband is not keen for another baby, and now that our youngest is a toddler, life has become that little bit easier. We can go out at night. We can take on more commitments and begin to work more purposefully toward our goals. We are enjoying the extra freedom, I am enjoying it. Then there is the financial pressure of another mouth to feed, and the social pressure that looks down on large families as the resources of our planet are gradually stretched.

Deciding to finish having children and officially “complete” your family is a big one. It is one that should be discussed with your partner in length, especially if you aren’t on the same page. There is no formula that anyone has that says, “Ok, when I meet 4 out of 5 criteria that means I am done having babies.” Everyone is different, and the reasons for being finished for having kids is different for everyone. For some it may be age. For others is it health reasons, either physical or mental. For some it is financial. For others it may be that they simply feel as though their family is complete, and they are ready to move on to the next stage of their lives. And for some, although they may feel solid in their decision to stop having children, the longing for another newborn in their home may never leave their heart.

One thing I love about some social media apps is that they show us what happened “on this day” so many years ago. I see those images and I think about my children as babies, and how much they have grown. And I think to myself, “I might ever have another baby in this house.” I think it is important for those who are considering to stop having children or who are trying to decide if they should add one more to remember that you will always miss the time when your children were babies. You will always miss their squishy thighs and big belly laughs. But when you have another child, and that one grows up, that hole of missing them at that stage will still be there- it will just be another hole. So having another baby to cure your baby fever might not be the best thing for you. Or it might. That last one may convince you that you really are done. No one knows except you and your partner.

Related: Study: the More Children You Have, the Older You Look

If you are looking for a special formula, there may be a few ways you will know you are doing having children, besides a physical, mental, or financial decision:

  • You are no longer envious of pregnancy announcements
  • You are no longer envious of big pregnant bellies
  • You are able to get rid of your baby things (clothes, strollers, toys, cribs) easily
  • You are looking forward to a new season of life
  • Your family feels complete

Of course, you may still feel envious of pregnancy announcements or big pregnant bellies even if you know in your heart of hearts that you are done having babies. For some of us, that is simply remembering a special time in your life and thinking about what it was like for you. A time when you were younger and more full of energy, and ready to embark on bringing a new life into this world. But if part of you is glad that you won’t be getting up with a newborn all night anymore, then you might be done having babies.

But my heart, and that urge that flicks on like a switch but feels impossible to switch off.  I am between a rock and a hard place – scared to rock the boat and the balance we have achieved by giving into my deep yearnings, and scared that I will one day be living with regret about not following my heart.

Until I have clarity in both mind and heart, I take it one day at a time. I nuzzle next to my girls at bedtime, drinking in their present-ness and purity. I take a moment, each day, to count my blessings, the beautiful children I already have who bring so much light to my life.

Image by:bogonet


62 thoughts on “The Urge for Another Baby”

  1. “When people first discover I have five children, their eyebrows shoot up and they exclaim their amazement/admiration/wonder”. Yes, I suppose that is one interpretation. It could also be surprise that someone would have such a large family when the population on the earth is already past responsible carrying capacity.

    1. That’s why this woman remained anonymous. As a woman with 4 children and living well below my means, we are responsible with the Earth and with our choices. You don’t actually get to tell people otherwise. Refrain judgment upon other people and focus more on what you are personally doing to better the world.

      1. Good reply! I’ve always said that I would rather have large families who know how to care for the earth and each other than teeny families who have blinders on to each other and the earth. And I’d always, always rather see people be supportive of each other no matter what their (non-hurtful) choices than judgmental. Thank you!

      2. Thanks for such a good reply, Jan.
        We have 6, ourselves. We live in a 1200 sf home that we built ourselves. We also live on a farm, and grow a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. We grow virtually all the food for not only our own family, but also about 20 other families! We run all our farm equipment on used veggie oil, and grow all our crops organically, with no chemicals.
        Our trips to town (or much of anywhere else) are made about once a week, and when I go, or local friends go, we ask each other if there’s anything we can pick up for each other. We have virtually no electronics, my kids don’t know what ‘screen time’ is (they read books, climb trees, use their imaginations and play with friends, without texting!) and we wear almost all hand me down clothes. But, because we volunteer at our local clothing bank and food bank, my kids know how blessed we are. We reuse, recycle and craft most of our own needs. We make our own (all natural) soap, laundry detergent, DW detergent. We have fun doing it! 🙂 We raise our children to be hard working, contributing members of society. My hubby works about 5 miles from our home, so commute is all good, too. I would ask Nicole, and others like her, what do you do?
        Like you say, when people see us, we don’t have a chance to tell them all this. And really, I’m over it. I know what I do and how we live, and I stand behind our choice to seek God in His design for our family size, and how we are to live our lives, and to be good stewards to what He has blessed us with. Including our Children 🙂

        1. Consider going vegan to add to your list of environmentalism? Best thing you could do for the planet. Saves a ton of water and trees.

    2. Who are you to say such a statment ? Just as there many people are born, so are those who die. We die just as fast as we are born. There are still parts of the world that have yet be touched by man kind. Its not that we keep repopulating, no its the fact that there are more bad people in this world than good who do nothing but had and horrible things to the earth.

      1. While if everyone would decide to be socially and ecologically responsible it would definately ease the burden on the earth- one of the greatest issues today that many want to deny is the effects of over-population. We are no longer dying as fast as we are born. And those parts of the planet untouched? We are closing in. Check out the group http://www.populationconnection.org

    3. Nicole, you are an uneducated jerk. Large families tend to be far more “green” with their need to conserve gas with their 12 passenger vans and their chronic hand-me-downs and their out-dated technology than the typical two child American family with their gaming systems, smart phones, flat screen TVs, and hybrid vehicles. And I’m pretty sure that the typical meth head has a far greater impact on the environment than a backwoods Christian breeder, but you wouldn’t say anything so judgmental against a meth addict, would you? And I’d bet you wouldn’t support forced sterilization in third world countries either? I’m sure you, Nicole, have done your part to make sure you aren’t wasting any of Earth’s valuable resources by removing yourself from the gene pool, right?

    4. If every being in every country on earth was doing what was necessary to produce the commodities we need in tandem with protecting the environment then the earth would have room for many more people. You frown down on peoole that live in a country that strives to erase a carbon foot print and live in a “green” and “organic” environment. The amount of people don’t effect our habitat, earth, nearly as much as the overwhelmingly abundant stupidity and selfishness of those people. How we choose to live. What we decide to eat. What we choose to do with our waste. Those are the important factors. If you do your research you will find that almost all of the first world nations have a steady if not declining birth rate in comparison to the death rate. The problem you seem to have falls on the other not so civilized parts of the world that are not looking to achieve the same goals regarding the earth as we are here in the USA. Now look at the other fingers on your hand pointing right back at you. Your naivety is the problem we face in the world.

    5. Why did yiu say that? Was it just to get a reaction? Smells like a troll to me.

      I have two children and I always thought I wanted 4. Until I had 2, now the idea of another terrifies me!! I know in my heart I can’t handle any more. I love the idea of a large family, minus all the hard work.

      I am slightly envious of people who can do this intentionally and be genuinely happy. I know I never could.

      Also, I agree that one family of 6 (or 10…) could have less of footprint than a family of 4 (or even 2…). Just look at Arnie and his fleet of hummers. Talk about misdirected anger!

    6. Wow, Nicole. How does it feel to be so self-righteous? Your life must be perfect, and your soul fulfilled in a perpetual zen-like state of eco-friendly bliss. Oh, that’s right – one whose soul is fulfilled would never make condescending comments like that. You are aware that not everyone with 5 kids PLANS on having 5 kids, right? Not all of us with multiple children are ignorant rednecks who toss their Budweiser cans and Cheetos bags off the deck. Birth control fails. Some of us are morally opposed to abortion when said birth control fails, believing that each unborn child is a sacred human life, with every right to live. And we do our best to live with respect to the earth, re-using kids’ clothes & toys, packing lunches in reusable containers instead of disposable baggies, growing some of our own food…the footprint we leave has nothing to do with how many children we have. The way we live our life is no more deserving of judgment than the way you live yours.

    7. If so, then it sounds as though the people concerned don’t know that much about population dynamics. The best way to limit the population is to give every woman the option of choosing, as far as acceptable to her partner and practically possible, how many children she wants to have. In every country where this has happened, the reproduction rate has dropped to or below – typically below – replacement level, because only a small minority of women choose to have large families, and they’re outweighed by the women choosing to stop at one child or to have none.

      So, if you’re concerned about population, don’t raise your eyebrows at families who choose to have large families; donate to charities that work to get birth control and female education to all parts of the globe. That way, women get reproductive choices and options for their life, *and* the reproductive rate drops. Win-win situation.

  2. You are not alone. We were in the same boat. 5 kids. It was wonderful and difficult. We should have been ‘done’, but I never felt like our family was complete. I always had this feeling that there was one more soul that was destined to be in our family, and my husband didn’t quite get it either. 3 years rolled on by, and then I found myself pregnant. A little girl evened-out the balance here, we now have three of each. It is definitely hard, but fun. I am teaching my 16 year old to drive with the baby on board. I am sucking up every bit of her sweet babyness. And you know what, I now feel DONE. Every Mama that has a big family told me they just knew when they felt done – no wishy washy stuff, and it’s true. Thanks for being brave and posting this great article.

  3. Do a little research. There’s a population implosion NOT explosion–that’s old outdated news that people can’t let go of from so reason. Our children are the earth’s greatest resources and their parent’s greatest love. So sad you had to write this anonymously. I’m 46 and I hope that I am gifted with #5, but likelihood it slim. I wish I had a choice.

    1. I would like some information on this please elaborate. I get info from populationconnection.org and it contradicts your statement. Thank you.

    2. Lori, I am a reference librarian in a university library. It is my job to help people find accurate information, and to evaluate information sources. Your assertion that population is falling globally is flat-out incorrect. Since the 1960’s, world population has ballooned from 3 billion to over 7 billion today. We are currently experiencing a net population gain of over 100,000 people PER DAY. You do not cite the source of your information, but I assure you, you have been misled. Children may be their parents’ greatest loves, but that does not change the fact that we are overpopulating the planet, and pushing beyond sustainable carrying capacity. And while it is true that small families can have a large consumer footprint compared to an ecologically conscious and frugal large family, all human beings consume and use resources. The more human beings, the more resources being used. It doesn’t matter a whit how much you love your children, you cannot change this basic equation.

  4. i have 4 and i lost two. i understand the need to have more. but i am on state aide and every single month is such a walk up hill to get the kids shoes and coats and gas to take them to stuff. we did great with taxes but soon itll be gone. i cna save some but not enough to help every month. So when my youngest was still in the hospital I send my dh to get fixed. it broke my heart. I called my doula and cried. My hubby moved in with and my two kids in 09 and we had two of our own. so for him he is ok and he doesnt get how this such a rough thing for me. anytime i see pictures of a new baby online or someone around town i get upset. my uterus kicks up as I say. My baby who is two and half now, andit has been rough. she doesnt sleep well and i m up and down with her all night. I can not function. my 4 year missed school again today. So i have to be done. but i wish more than anything that I could have another. BUt i have had rough preggo and two sections last two preggos. i wouldn’t be able to handle another c section..just to hard to heal after and emotionally and all. SO i would have to go under ground….so i walk on but I have a heavy heart at times.

    1. I feel for you. I understand where you are coming from too. We are a blended family with three. They are 22, 17, and 12.
      We both always hoped for one together…but it just absolutely couldn’t happen for us for financial reasons. I know people always say “If you wait until you can afford kids, you will never have any!” But I believe there’s a difference between struggling some vs bringing another child into a household that is truly impoverished and barely getting by, and for too long, that was us. Many times where we went without so that our kids could eat. Couldn’t, in good conscience, add a baby to that mix despite how badly we both longed to do so.

      Now with the older ones being 17 and 22 we could manage but I am honestly feeling too old at 43. It makes me sad and I wish I could turn back time.

  5. I never had a strong urge to have children. When I got pregnant at age 30, I realized, to my surprise, that I was ready to be a parent. I decided to have a second child 4 years later. I have never wanted to have more children. I am comfortably average.
    But I know there are plenty of women (including two of my sisters) who have no desire whatsoever to have children, who have never had the biological pressure to procreate. These woman are questioned as if they are from an alien species, treated as if, somehow, they are selfish for refusing to add their genes to the gene pool.
    On the other end of the spectrum are women who have a very strong biological imperative and a strong emotional desire to have children. They are treated as selfish for contributing to the world’s overpopulation.
    While I can’t truly understand either of these choices, since they aren’t ones that I’ve ever needed to make, I do understand that demonizing women for their reproductive choices is not beneficial to any of us.

    1. Hear hear!!!

      This is so poignant – no matter what women do it’s wrong. Too many children – selfish trollops who hate the earth. Too few children? Selfish family hating psychos.

      And so, what we have in the end, is another example of women fighting women about reproductive choice.

      This is so SAD 🙁

      Imagine if men treated each other that way.

      1. Well said, Viola – I’ve heard the definition of misogyny is “women hating women as much as men do”.
        On the other hand, if men treated each other this way, perhaps they would preoccupy themselves and tear each others’ self-esteem down to the point that women would be able to take over as the dominant sex…? Just a thought. 😉

  6. It is very hard to know what the best thing for you and your family is but I want to encourage you. As a woman who has had loss and infertility and is now blissfully raising her two year old son who was adopted at birth, be grateful you have an option to bring another life into this earth. You are fortunate and blessed. I realize that doesn’t make your decision any easier but I always want to encourage mothers to be thankful for their kiddos and their health to continue having kids.

    1. Magan, after experiencing loss myself I can only imagine your pain. So happy for you to be raising your son now!! I do feel blessed that I was able to conceive another 5 children after 2 losses, although it’s not easy and most were surprises…and I often wish I could give my fertility to a woman such as yourself who has longed for a child! Thank you for sharing your positive thoughts…it is like a breath of fresh air to hear from someone so kind-hearted. 🙂

  7. Mama, I have seven children. Our oldest is almost 14, our youngest is almost 9months. I can relate to this soooo much! I especially relate to bring asked about having more. It blows my mind how many people make it their business to ask this question, or make the assumption we are done, which really started when we only had three children. Much love to you for taking the time to formulate these words and speak from the heart!

  8. …and just as Nancy said above, I absolutely new we were done having children after our seventh child was born..or even while I was pregnant. But it is still a sad day to come to when we know that part of our life has come to an end. There is much to look forward to, though. That is what I always remember when I start feeling strange about that decision.

  9. I too have that little voice in the back of my head asking “should I have another baby?” I have two beautiful girls & although I feel our family is perfect with two children, I’ve been wondering for a little while now if two really is perfect for our family. After our second was born we semi-agreed that we were done. I think mostly because my pregnancy with my first was extremely difficult. Gallbladder surgery at 12 weeks preggo, morning sickness (so bad I could barely keep down water) that lasted till almost 6 months & then came the pain. I had this pain that I almost can’t describe. It was possibly from the weight of the baby but I never knew for sure. All I knew was that I had to lay down & stay down. Then after the birth, a horrible case of hives so bad I could barely wear clothes or hold my newborn. My second pregnancy was just exhausting. I’m not sure if it was because of my 2 1/2 year old wearing me out everyday or if it was because I was a bit older now. Maybe it was both but all I know now is my baby is not a baby anymore. She is quickly turning into a toddler & that pesky little voice in my head wonders if I should start pleading with my husband to try for a third before I turn 34 (so that I can go through the pregnancy & have the baby before turning 35). I have 1 sibling and my husband is an only child. Maybe we’re sticking with two just so we’re not outnumbered? Maybe, maybe not. But, until I figure it all out I’m keeping my options open; I originally told my husband to get fixed after we had baby #2 but for some reason that still hasn’t happened. Maybe it’s for a reason, maybe not. Only time can tell.

    1. Stacy, my husband & I thought we were done after 4, at age 36 for me, and we just kept putting off making his appointment to get “fixed”. Now I’m expecting #5, quite to our surprise! So I do think there’s something to the “everything for a reason” theory – maybe you’re not quite done. 😉

  10. I feel this way and we only have one! 🙂 Beautifully written and perfectly describes the uncertainty I feel about how having another will change our lives and the courage it sometimes takes to take a step and hope that all works out 🙂
    I hope everything will work out for you sweet mama! <3

  11. We have a blended family of 7. Ages 20-7. I got pregnant right before we got married 3 years ago, but I lost it. That November, instead of delivering our first child together, I had to have a hysterectomy. I still have not gotten over wanting, almost needing a baby with my husband. BTW, nobody has the right to tell somebody else that they need or don’t need more kids!!

  12. Probably easier than knowing you can’t have any… Why isn’t 5 enough? For many people who can’t have kids, one would be a miracle and joyful.

    1. And for those of us with many surprise babies, some of us wish we could give our fertility to a woman who longs for a child! I would be thrilled to give mine away to bring that joy to another family.

  13. I have 8…. started when I was 23yo, and my last child was born 5 days before my 43rd birthday… I have absolutely NO regrets… well… if I could have had two more… ten always sounded so impossible, but now sounds just right… but 8 is good… LOL… Am I worried about over-population, no! Why? Because I do believe God is in control… and He knows how many people He wants in heaven… you can’t overpopulate heaven…. this time on earth is a short time… it will be gone before we know it… but what we leave behind will matter… Am I able to take vacations… no. Am I able to drive a vehicle that has been made after 1999… no. Do I worry about societal pressure… honestly no, but I used to… the fact is, once we understand the beauty of life, and stop trying to intellectualize it, it is much easier to stand firm in what we do. God said that children are a blessing, not a burden… but there are responsibilities that are a burden that come with these blessings… you have to persevere to see the fruit of your labor… and now, I am beginning to see it…. one of my sons is married and his wife is pregnant… with TWINS! I am a GRANDMOTHER!! I have great relationships with my adult sons, and I am still enjoying my little ones who are 5 and 8yo while other moms my age are experiencing the “empty nest.” It is not for everyone, but it IS a BLESSED life… I am so very blessed… No regrets…

  14. First you are beautiful. Five children is a boatload but it’s your boatload. Baby blues is very common. The only thing I would say is while we crave that, sometimes we have to think of the other children and their need for individual attention. I went through this & ended up with a lab lol. After three months of broken sleep and constant running I was glad I made the decision to concentrate on my family. However if that urge is relentless and knowing your husbands feelings will probably translate into you bearing the lions share go for it. God bless

  15. I am a 32 year old Mother of 2 toddler boys ages 3 1/2 and 2 1/2. That’s right only year apart. 13 months to be exact. My story is… All I remember wanting to be as a child was a mommy. A better mommy than the one I had. When I was 19 I got married and was ready to start my family. I got pregnant!! Was so excited. Then I lost the baby. Very bad and depressed . my husband and I learned that we wouldn’t be able to have children. Many years later. I got pregnant with my now 3 year old and thought what a blessing I get to be a mommy and love this baby fully. I was content with 1 baby. But the lord decided I needed 2. It wasn’t a planned pregnancy. We were just blessed with another baby. I was scared not sure I could handle 2 babies. But I wouldn’t change it for the world. Well maybe some days when they are fighting and not listening. I dream of piece n quiet that I never get. Then I realize I just erased the best parts of me. Anyway my point here is… I’ve been on both sides of this wanting my family and that dream ripped from me for years. To having my boys and not knowing I could do this with 2. 2 is enough for me. But for other moms out there 2 isn’t enough. No one should tell any women how many children she should have. God gives them the right amount for them. Even if you can’t physically have children. God will provide you with the one or ones you are suppose to have. I also know that each woman knows how many is just right for her and that’s when she feels complete. For me it was 2 and that was hard for my family to understand. 3 was the magic number for my mom and grandma. I am the youngest of 3. So I get what if my mom decided to only have 2 you wouldn’t be here. I understand that but I am complete with 2 very energetic little boys. Again each women knows when she is complete in her family and if that means 1 or 20 that’s no one can tell her how to feel. Of course there is always the financial side to that.

  16. I know the feeling. I have three and am very overwhelmed, the third is still a baby. So people say “are you done?” I can’t even answer that question. How could I possibly? I know I don’t want another NOW. But to say, forever, “this is it, never again”? I just can’t possibly; it would be too sad to think of never holding another newborn, never going through all those milestones again.

    My mother says this itch does finally go away … when you’re 50. Good to know!

  17. Thank you for writing this, I feel as if it could’ve been written by me! I too have 5 children, and while I often feel strapped for time and have a ridiculously messy house…..I still have so much love in my heart to give and share.

  18. I just had my second two months ago. I already know I want a third–that our family isn’t complete yet. My husband only wants two, and my heart breaks a little bit every time I think of that. I soak up every moment with both my children, enjoying the smiles and coos of the two-month-old as her big sister talks and plays with her. But I’m still sad to think the third will not be a reality for me or my family.

  19. I understand this woman’s feelings. She appears to be a responsible human being, and I would wager that her children are going to be fine adults. If she chooses another child, she has my support. We had three, and we both dearly wanted a fourth child. But s/he did not happen. We have mourned for that never-conceived child, and we feel the hole, even today, in our late 50s, and husband is now 70. We felt that child’s spirit, but the conception never occurred, probably due to my age: around 40 at the time. Looking back, it was for the best financially, and for some other reasons, but I still wish, as does my husband, that Child#4 had come to our family. I will add this: our oldest child, our only daughter, was opposed to adding another child at HER age: she was afraid that everyone would think that she was the mother, since she was 18-20 during the years of trying. In our area, single young mothers are quite common, so her concern was understandable.

  20. It’s very biological to have an urge for babies. I felt the urge a year or two ago and am now about to have my first at 32. I may have three, I’m likely to have 2. This is a personal choice my husband and I will make.

    The comment of overpopulation and usage of resources by western babies (environmentally conscious or not) is very true and very intense. That’s a fact, so accept it. If you want to have 5 babies your environmental impact will be more than if you had less less, that’s a fact. Do what you want, but be honest with yourself.

  21. Having a baby and raising a child is such an amazing experience, expedentially more difficult and yet more amazing when you have more. It is only natural to desire to do it all over again, especially as you become more and more accomplished at it…which comes with experience.

    I know that i will never have another baby because of my age, and social network and finances. There are also other things i want to get on with in my life other than mothering (my youngest is 3). But given different circumstances, i might well want another.

    When is a good time to stop? You know your limits. But that is an intellectual question. Desiring another question is very natural, and frankly, we dont talk about it enough.

    I think that once you become aware of what your body can do, the full impact of what your fertility means, it is easy to want to do it again.

  22. I get your feeling! My husband have been at a crossroads many times on adding to our family. We finally relaxed about it. We now have eight kids ages 18 years old down to 20 months old, with number nine due in Oct 2016. 😉

    We always wanted a big family. My husband thought perhaps four, I thought six… and we just never stopped. I have found through talking to other large families that the baby and kid thing is just that, a thing. Our thing. A really deep passion, desire, and love for children and family. We can’t help it. Babies bring a lot of joy and love and happiness. Kids bring laughter, fun, and insight. Large families are a built in party all the time. When we decide to have a BBQ or a last minute birthday party on an otherwise busy week, we have an instant party. It’s a lot of fun. It’s also a lot of work. And it’s hard. But mostly it is fun. Mostly it is amazing. It is a lifestyle choice that many don’t understand and that’s okay. No one regrets having more children. I hear an awful lot about people regretting not having that “one more” though. However, I also understand the starting to pursue other things and liking it! I have been there too. But a nagging “one more” never left my thoughts. Spacing children a little further apart than you are used to can be a real blessing, too. We once had every two year spacing for a very long time. Finally we had a nearly four year space and it was just the break we needed. The kids adore that baby so much too, and drag her around everywhere and play with her! Once you have a big family child spacing gaps becomes so obsolete. A well run family, a happy and cared for family will always find room and joy in a new family member no matter the spacing. Good luck and my best to you whether you and your husband find yourselves “done” or not, and at peace with what is best. My friend who has 11 kids once said, “How does anyone live without a baby?” I loved when she said that. I get it.

    I left two links above (commented to another person) about population which is not a concern to me. In fact, I am one of five kids and only one of my siblings has a child. My husband is one of two and his sister is not having children.

    1. One more thing, it does seem like the big families I know use less in general. Large families teach less consumption and sharing and reusing. Some others mentioned this too. A lot of large families, at least in the midwest where I am, also farm. We hobby farm, raising our own chickens, goats, chicken and turkey. My in laws raise our beef and pork. We cook from scratch, we buy in bulk, we buy only used cars. Not that all of that is required for a big brood, but maybe the jugemental people should remember not to judge others.

  23. Oh, how I long for one more!!! I can’t even stop thinking about it. I am 42 and have 3 kiddos and yet I so feel that there is another kiddo waiting to bless the world through my family! (my husband is not quite on board yet- lots of praying for that) Some of my friends are so excited for me that I am finally free (of nursing and almost of diapers) and that I can now do more things… I think, I already did lots of that, now is the time in my life for the adventure of family. Kids who will bless the world with their kindness, gentleness, and love. Mountains to climb, trails to ride or hike will always be there. Little ones will not.

  24. To the people who are “concerned” with over-population and the Earth’s resources being stained, pull your head in! Instead of trolling internet blogs and telling loving parents who provide for their large families that they are environmentally unfriendly, why don’t you troll people who have children they don’t want and don’t provide for! Do you know the majority of children in this world are in poverty and many are neglected and abused! Impart your knowledge about how environmentally beneficial it will be for them to stop reproducing, so they don’t continue having unwanted and uncared for children. You are targeting the wrong parents in your misguided concern about the environment.
    Furthermore, why don’t you target the judicial system to re-introduce death sentences for certain crimes, which have the highest rate of re-offending and the lowest rate of rehabilitation…..pedophilia, psychopathic violent crimes etc. Our jails are over populated and the financial costs of prisoners are huge. Culling certain types within the human population would make a huge improvement in the problem of over population and resource strain.
    Or is that too difficult for you? Is the death sentence and the social and environmental benefits too difficult for you to grasp, is it too deep and too ‘ anti human rights ‘ for you.
    Is trolling people who continually reproduce when they don’t want or care for children too difficult for you? Because deep down are you apathetic and lazy?
    That’s right, tell it to the ones who actually love and provide for their families and are contributing members to the community.
    Very ignorant and lazy.

  25. You will know when you are done. my husband declared us done after 2. And on a logical level I could see the sense but I just didn’t feel done. The need for another babe became a physical ache, I felt foolish and concentrated on the 2 I had already, I mean how lucky was I to have even 2 healthy babes! But this stupid ache isn’t logic controlled is it. It created a barrier between my husband and I which had things not changed would have had to be addressed. I considered fostering, I got a job, did some study, we got a puppy. Nothing really helped. Years had passed by this point so time didn’t help either. Luckily our number 3 got sick of his parents indecision, saw his opportunity and became (what my hubby calls) our bonus baby. A hideous pregnancy and hard birth brought us a delightful baby and young man. And despite the fact I started marriage wanting 6 now I do feel done. You will know when you are done, if you aren’t sure give it 6months and see what happens to that ache, can it be redirected or not?

  26. What a lot of viciousness. I don’t see any particular reason to suspect Nicole is a troll. I do see a lot of defensiveness.

    Sure, large families may use proportionally less resources while the kids are growing up. I don’t think that really matters. If you take two two-parent families, each has two kids that marry the other two and and then each couple has two kids, you can do that indefinitely and the population stays stable. Now try doing that with four kids. The issue is not the size of the carbon footprint of a house full of children, it is the size of the carbon footprints after the kids are grown. Resources are finite.

  27. Thank you for this article. It articulates the struggle that I sit with, even though I do only have two children, the third is on my mind. I am now in my early 40’s and my company is starting to grow. my youngest is 4 and i am starting to feel the freedom of my own choices and space. love is love and each baby and child offers this is their mother in their own unique way.

  28. I skimmed through the comments and think many people miss the message a large family brings to the world…children are a gift from God -not a burden! Other than abstinance during certain times of the month (which is humanly possible 🙂 the only alternative to avoiding pregnancy is birth control. I’m sorry but birth control kills implanted babies when the lining is shed and it is full of stuff I don’t want in my body or environment. I could not have on my conscience that I had killed a human being. Hug your 1-3-6 or 12 children and feel blessed! (Look into areas of Europe…they are dieing quicker than re-populating).

    1. The scientific definition of when a pregnancy starts is when it is implanted so if the egg cannot implant no pregnancy is ended by birth control. Still, if your beliefs are that a fertilized but not implanted egg is still a human (which I respect but do not agree with) barrier methods are completely fine and hormone free. Condoms have a bad reputation for reliability but if you do in fact use them every single time you have sex they are very safe, not far from birth control pills at all. Diaphragm are slightly less safe but have the benefit of not being that easily felt by both parties. Some might not want to use barrier methods for religious reason which is fine but the choices are not being on the pill or just keep having babies until you fall over.

  29. I have six, and I have all those emotions, regularly. 🙂 I do get the question how did I decide to have number 3 or 4 or whatever, with the inquisitor trying to decide whether they should have another. I always tell them that if they are asking me, they probably already have their answer. I don’t preach that everyone should have a big family, or a certain number of kids, but when someone says I really want another, they should really listen to that and give it careful consideration. Nobody every says “that last one, little Johnny, I wish we wouldn’t have had him,” but plenty of women reach an age where that is no longer an option and regret not going for that one more.

  30. I grew up in a family of 5 and I loved it so I fully understand the choice to have many children but what I do think could help this person decide if she really should have that 6th child is to wait a little longer than she usually does between kids and see if this is just “habit” or if the need is still there. While it might get harder to get pregnant after 40 it is definitely not impossible for most women. Having time to live in the new reality of no baby might be what she needs to know what she wants.

    I have always wanted to have 3-5 kids myself but only have one which I got at 30 and now I am 33 and not pregnant. We hope to have one more child but I am not sure my husband would want another one but I am pretty sure that if I do have two I will want to have another one.

  31. I haven’t read through all the comments so sorry if I’m being repetitive….I will tell you from listening to the wisdom of older women….if you want another baby then havevonecwhile you can. Your heart will always long for it if you don’t. No one on their death bed ever regrets having kids…they regret not having them. But , I’m the type of woman who at 90 will still probably want another baby! Lol! I have 8, ranging in age from 1 to 23 and each one is a blessing. Yes they are work but they are worth it.

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