While out with our family last week I was talking to another mom and she asked me a question that caught me completely off guard: Did you plan on three? I sat there for a moment, I’m sure with a look of bewilderment on my face at first, before I realized she was referring to the number of our children. Obviously she did not notice the nearly 22 week belly bulge that is baby number 4 in the works, ha ha!
I realize that the norm today is a family of 4: one boy, one girl, mom and dad. Some people do spring for that 3rd child if the first two are the same gender………but since we had our son and daughter with us (#1 & #2), that obviously wasn’t the case with our 3rd child.
I answered her in the same way I do everyone who asks about our family size and if we’re done after the fourth baby.
We don’t necessarily “plan”. We haven’t “planned”. We don’t really have a set number in mind.
Now it was her turn to look at me in bewilderment. I don’t think she knew quite how to react.
Then the conversation shifted and we started talking about other things……but I have been left thinking about it ever since. I realized that our family un-planning is just so different from most families. It doesn’t make sense to most, but for us………well, we love it. It’s freeing to not be tied down to a number.
While it’s bewildering to many people to understand why we would want 4 children (and so close together in age) or maybe even MORE, it’s equally bewildering to me why some people would want to limit themselves to 2 children. I know many couples who decide on 2 children before they are even pregnant with their first. Look, I’m not saying if your family is a family of 4 that you’re wrong. The number of children you decide to have is entirely your decision. I have lots of friends with only 2 kids, and that’s all they want. They are happy with their family size.
But what I am saying is that while some people are looking in on our “large” family with thoughts of how crazy we must be, I’m looking at our growing family with nothing but love and excitement as it grows. And I’m looking out with bewilderment as to why everyone wouldn’t want a full house of children. Who knows, maybe we are a little crazy. What I do know is that my husband and my children bring me the greatest joy. When I look at my 3rd child, I can’t imagine life without her. What if we’d stopped at 2 children? She brings so much to our family! My children (oldest two, who are old enough to understand) are so excited to meet their new sibling in a few months and the three of them just adore each other now. And, while you’d think that each new child would add a new level of stress to our lives, I’ve found the opposite to be true. I’m a more relaxed parent now than ever before. The more children we have, the more children I desire to have. Our life is so fun, so exciting, and although we may not be living the “Keeping up with the Jone’s” life, I feel like I’m living a life better than I could have ever imagined or hoped for.
Did we plan on 3? Sure, I guess you could say that we did. We planned on 3, then 4, and maybe we’ll plan on more, because life is short and children……….well, children are truly one of life’s greatest blessings.
I’m leaving you with one of my favorite YouTube videos — we can’t stop having babies, because we truly just love this life.