What’s the Perfect Number?

What’s the perfect number of children to have? Well how on earth am I supposed to know until I actually have that number of children? Is it just a gamble?

how many children
Before Mr. G and I became parents it seemed that for us the perfect number was 2. I’m not sure why, it just seemed like a good old, well rounded number. I never really had any definitive reasons for wanting two children, that’s just what it was.  Three children was too many (for us) and well, to only have one child, preposterous!

Fast forward a number of years and actually, I’m starting to feel more and more like one child is the perfect number for me. But my predicament is this,  Mr. G wants another. Part of me does, part of me wonders what it would be like if I didn’t experience it all again, part of me wonders if I will be guilt stricken for the rest of my life never knowing child number two. I wonder how Elliott will go being an only child, the….of having only one child whirling around in my head. Up until now at three and a half years of age Elliott’s doing just fine, but I still think…what if?

I’ve been asked the question so many times since having Elliott, ‘when are you having your next one?’ Or ‘Are you having any more kids?’ Perhaps they think that I’m getting on in age and I need to be considering it…or else? To be perfectly honest with you, I’m getting a little over it. I have so many other things happening in my life. I keep finding myself just making up a response to keep them happy, whether it’s true or not. At this point in my life things are perfect, my little family unit, we’re renovating our house, I’m enjoying my work….I’m just happy doing what I’m doing.

What I want to know is, how do you know when you’re ready to have another baby? because I’m pretty well convinced that my mind is playing games with me, it keeps changing.  I go from wanting another baby to not wanting one and then back again. I’ve even gone through moments of not ever wanting another baby and feeling perfectly happy to have only one child.

I know that part of my predicament comes down to the challenges I’ve faced that have created immense fears and self doubt. What if my horrid postnatal depression comes back? What happens if I have a fourth miscarriage. What happens if I just can’t cope? How will I manage my work, a baby and a pre-schooler? Of course it’s easy enough to say to give up work, but this is me I’m talking about….I just don’t find it that easy, my work is engrained in me, it’s what makes me, me.

This post is almost like a bit of a brain dump, all of my thoughts and feelings into one post. What I’m hoping is that someone who’s reading this can relate, someone who has gone through this same thought process can give me some pointers or tell me that my constant change of mind and self doubt is normal and that I’m not being selfish. Or am I the only one and I’m just a tad abnormal?

I never thought it would be this hard, just a natural progression of things, but it’s not. What is the perfect number….for me? I’m still trying to work that out.

Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT

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Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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23 Comments

  1. July 14, 2015 / 6:30 am

    It’s such a huge & tough decision. I’m sitting on the 2-3 kids fence. Always wanted 2 but my perfect first child experience made me think 3 was good. Fast forward to my experiences of a yucky pregnancy & birth, plus a slight more full on second baby, and 2 is probably good now lol my best friend is like you – thinks one may be the perfect choice but her hubby wants 7 lol slight exaggeration I hope! You will work out what feels right x

  2. July 14, 2015 / 7:35 am

    It’s the most difficult question I ever contemplated. My journey was similar to yours, only I had little support from my then husband. My daughter was 5, and I was really happy with our family of 3, however my husband wanted another. To say I made a decision would not reflect accurately, more I came around to the idea. And it was the best thing I ever came around to. My depression was well managed this time, because we were aware of what was happening, and though my husband still offered no support, I had surrounded myself with a support network of friends and family to help.
    To reassure you, yes in my experience everything you are going through it totally normal, exactly what I went through. Its a little ironic, that I now have 3 bonus kids, because two was most definitely enough.
    Can I also share, that I remember sitting on my daughters bed, watching her sleep, and crying for my baby because I didn’t think it possible to love anyone as much as I did her, turns out that was a huge waste of worry.

    Good luck with your decision, don’t put too much pressure on yourself. xxxx

  3. July 14, 2015 / 8:01 am

    I always thought 3 would be lovely. But life clearly has its own plans! I’m at the stage where I would be thrilled with even just one!!! xx

  4. July 14, 2015 / 8:20 am

    It’s a tough call. I always wanted one, and when she was three, I gained two step kids. Then 7 years later, we had our daughter together. So that’s four all up. And I want one more that I can’t have due to financial constraints. It breaks my heart but what can I do? Such a personal decision with so many factors.

  5. July 14, 2015 / 9:16 am

    I’m going back and forth on this issue at the moment. We have 2, but some days I really feel that something – or someone – is still missing. But other days I’m completely happy with our family unit as it is. Very confusing!

  6. July 14, 2015 / 9:34 am

    It’s such a tough decision. It was three for us and we are just lucky, I was made redundant while on maternity with our first and we decided to quickly add to our family (3 under 3) because thanks to a health scare with the big C, I lost the ability to have children soon after.

  7. July 14, 2015 / 9:57 am

    My husband and I were undecided about having a third child. I felt like something was missing while he wasn’t sure we would be able to handle another one. In the end, that decision was made for us and I unexpectedly fell pregnant last year. Our baby girl is almost four months old and has fitted into our family so easily it’s like she has been part of our family for so much longer. It was obviously meant to be. Good luck with your decision. There is no perfect number, everyone is different. Remember not to put too much pressure on yourself and just do what feels right for you and your family xx

  8. July 14, 2015 / 10:48 am

    when you’re done, you know. But I think while your mind is over-thinking about it, you’ll never figure out if you know, because it’s playing tricks on you. Take a break from thinking or talking about it, and set a date with hubby to revisit it in the new year.

  9. July 14, 2015 / 11:10 am

    I totally get you. When we had our first I told my husband that if he wanted more than one we’d need to have them as close as possible or I’d chicken out and we’d only end up with one. I didn’t enjoy pregnancy at all and I’m not a big fan of babies (Gosh! Am I allowed to say that out loud?) I like children when they reach about 7 or 8… I’d have a big family if I could skip the early years. So we have two. I know what I can cope with. Thumbs up to big families, I’m in awe. I’m not risking another.

  10. July 14, 2015 / 11:12 am

    Oh how I hear your brain dump…..and this is a good place to do it as it’s ‘your place’! I had child #1 so easily (age 21) that ‘yes it was a shot gun marriage…that’s last 44+years LOL’ I knew I wanted another one (hub and I were full time teachers) when our DD was around 3. Tried. Nothin’.. and for over 4 years it was (for me in particular) heartbreaking) tests revealed a few sources of why I couldn’t fall pregnant. However, with surgical intervention in 1978 and son was born in early 1979. We have a 7.5 year gap. Now, in those days I HAD to return to work for financial reasons and my mental health as I am not good at staying home full-time. I know I may have found it easier than some with 2 with the age gap. We contemplated 3 but didn’t go there for reasons already stated.
    I was a reluctant accepter of having a single child but delighted to be a parent of 2.
    For others in my family – my DD had 2 daughters, then a son ‘not planned’ and with a second partner…a daughter at 41 ‘not planned. She is exhausted with 3 teens and a pre schooler and being a single full-time teacher….but she wouldn’t be without those kids.
    Our son and wife have just added #4 to their delightful family.
    It is such a personal needs decision and my view is that letting some of the ‘control’ you have already in your life might be the challenge for you…but would it be worth it? only you can say.
    Denyse xx

  11. July 14, 2015 / 12:03 pm

    I totally understand the going back and forth, especially given the circumstances you’ve experienced – it makes it all the more emotional and difficult. For me I’ve always wanted to have 3 babies. Although after all the hardship I went through to get bub I honestly don’t know if it’ll ever be a possibility for us. For the last few months I put off trying for another child because I still wasn’t ready to face the disappointment again. Although now I’ve gotten to the point where I want another baby more than I can ignore. Even though pregnancy wasn’t the best for me I still really want to do it again so I’m going to give it a try. Although I still have it in the back of my mind that I might have to accept having an only child at some point if nothing works.

  12. July 14, 2015 / 4:08 pm

    Love the honesty in your post Eva and I have to say all of us mums go through it. I always wanted two and then Maggie was a dream baby and I entertained thoughts of having another baby even though I was adamant about equal numbers and then we fell pregnant with Phoebe. My work life changed and I’ve had to adjust my dreams and plans but I believe that it’s only for a short season where those dreams kind of go on hold or sit there while we bring up our babes. Work may be important to you now but will it be important when you’re 50? Will you have regrets about not having more children when you physically can’t because you’re older (I mean in your 50’s). Asking these questions helped me from going from one to two and there was no time to think between 2 and 3. And the fear… I understand it but it may not happen with your next conception or baby to experience a miscarriage or post natal depression. So many things to think about. The other consideration is letting go and letting life run its course. Easy said than done. I’m so sorry about your previous miscarriages too. Xx

  13. July 14, 2015 / 4:34 pm

    It is such a hard decision. I thought I wanted three but once we had our second I changed my thinking to just two is fine for me. I am still 99% sure it is right but very soon I am going to have to make that final decision as pregnancy scares are not fun when you have decided you are done. I recently had a lady come up to me randomly and told me to keep having kids until you physically can’t because she had major regrets for not having more. I nothing more of her story it was just a random pop up in my face meeting. She got me thinking again though.

  14. July 14, 2015 / 5:25 pm

    We started out thinking we wanted 2; but when Mr 21 came along, he was just so perfect we didn’t want to upset the balance and thought for quite a while that we would be happy with one. He was about 15 months old when I was overcome with cluckiness and lo and behold, Miss 18 was born not even 12 months later. Now we can’t imagine life without her! It’s like getting married – you “just know”.

    Visiting today from #teamIBOT x

  15. July 14, 2015 / 5:43 pm

    After the ‘joys’ of fertility issues, we thought we’d only ever have one, and were told it was a miracle we got him. Then five years later, we were blessed with a second one. After all the struggles along the way, similar to yours, I honestly don’t think I could handle that roller coaster again. I know I’m definitely done now, but I’ll happily cuddle (and then hand back) all my friends newborns!

  16. July 14, 2015 / 8:26 pm

    It’s such a hard (and personal) question to answer. I’m definitely done at four, but as my youngest approaches 5, I find myself sad I won’t ever have another baby. But it’s not the sadness of missing out, so much as ‘that’s done.’ I guess you have to define how you feel, and how you might feel in a few years if you make a decision. I can understand that with a few losses, it would be hard to try again. I think if you decide one is enough, then that’s just fine for you . xx

  17. July 14, 2015 / 8:52 pm

    I think there are pros and cons to all numbers of kids… right now my middle child is totally struggling so I could say 3 is not right for us – but I’m sure there would also be issues with 4. I know I thought and overthought each pregnancy (especially after miscarrying) and the fear that it would happen again WAS very hard to overcome… the most helpful thing I ever heard was from my life coach who asked me what was the WORST thing that could happen… it helped me realise that nothing would happen that I couldn’t overcome (with support of friends and family, of course). Whatever you decide, I hope you find peace – because in the end, there is no “right” answer. xxxx

  18. July 14, 2015 / 10:21 pm

    Oh mate, I wish I had more to say but I just knew. Luckily, my husband and I were both very firmly on the same page, because I imagine it must be incredibly difficult if you aren’t. Good luck with your decision x

  19. July 16, 2015 / 2:32 pm

    It’s a tough decision Eva! A wiser much older friend once said to us, you never regret the children you have, you regret the ones that you don’t. You will work it out x

  20. July 16, 2015 / 2:52 pm

    I’m not sure on the perfect number, but I’m sure this varies for everyone..me?? I knew I was well and truly finished after 4!!

  21. July 16, 2015 / 5:18 pm

    Good question! It’s one we’ve been asking too. Mr Vick would be happy with five! I find that absolutely terrifying, so we think, 3 is the right number for us. In truth when to have another is tricky. I have been a more of a throw yourself in type when it’s come to another baby. I doubt that you can ever feel 100% ready or sure. I can tell you this: if you do decide to have no. 2 you will manage and you won’t regret it because, love.
    A wise Aunty once told me (and it seems to have merrit regardless of your religious preference) God only sends you what you can manage. That has always encouraged me x

  22. July 27, 2015 / 9:02 pm

    I think I’m actually slightly opposite you! We always said 2 was our number, although in my head I was almost thinking 1…. now I have 1 I’m not sure I’ll want to stop at 2. Ok, so the labour pain is so bad it might slow me down, but I loooooovvvvveeee being a mummy! I’ll be so sad when I have no more babies 🙁