How many kids?

I want three kids. I’ve always wanted three kids, perhaps because that’s the size of my original family (I now have five step-siblings.). Two seems like too few, and four always seemed like too many- we’d need a bigger car, house, etc. With kids being in child seats so much longer these days you actually need a larger car a lot sooner. We have a small SUV that’s really squishy with only two kids. At one point I might have been able to be convinced to have four, but not anymore. Pregnancy sucks, especially since I get gestational diabetes. Every time it increases my own chance of getting permanent diabetes.

It seems like I may be in the minority, at least in my small circle of friends. Most of the moms in my playgroup are content with one child, or possibly two. There is only one mom who wants more than two children besides me (she wants like six or something). Keep in mind that this is just one playgroup. Most of us are stay at home moms, which means we have a pretty decent household income. Not many people can afford to stay at home with the kids these days.

I know the fewer kids I have the more effort I can put into them. Families with only a single child only have one place to pour all their resources and it can give them an edge. From a biological standpoint, this just seems dangerous to me. What if something happens to that one kid? Your line dies. Game over. Generally people are having fewer children these days, so it makes sense to lean on the side of caution. My stepfather has three children. One is divorced with a single child, and wants no more. Another has trouble dating and could easily end up never getting married or having kids. The last has dated numerous women but doesn’t seem interested in settling down. If he did, I could easily see him marrying someone with her own kids and leaving it at that. That’s one grandchild from three children- not a lot to keep things going. I suppose it’s a weird way to look at things, but then I also view humans on some level as mobile, sentient collections of cooperative cells.

From SMBC.

Long term care is another concern. I can’t imagine being old and having no close family left to care about what happens to me. My maternal grandparents only had two children, and one moved seven hours away. When anything came up with them the burden all fell on my mother. It was a tough job to handle alone. On the other hand, too many kids can cause bickering. My paternal grandparents had four children and all lived locally. When my grandfather started dying he had a ton of family support, and died surrounded by loved ones. However, when it was time to decide about my grandmother’s future, the children couldn’t come to a consensus about whether or not to coax her into a home, so no decision was ever made. She stayed at home, which was fine at the time, but now that she has dementia and could really benefit from a home the window seems to have closed. My uncle lives with her, a stressful arrangement for them both, and that’s just going to be how it is until she passes. One of my aunt’s handles her finances and my dad visits weekly for moral support. There have been arguments though, and my dad and his other sister don’t really talk anymore.

My current plan is to wait until V and little A are around 5 and 3 before popping out the next kid. Part of me is afraid that if I wait too long I won’t want to be pregnant again or start over at the baby stage. If that’s the case I should start trying again sooner, like when little A is a year. I’d just like the two of them to be a little more self-sufficient and semi-helpful by the time the next one rolls around.

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