I Dreamed of Having 4 Kids but Found That 2 Is Enough

kids at beachThere's an interesting discussion happening on the CafeMom boards about the number of kids people thought they wanted growing up and the number they actually have. When we're talking about real kids and real life rather than just those just in our plans, things often change in ways we could have never expected. In my case, they changed big time.

Most of my life I didn't want kids at all. I didn't grow up dreaming of becoming a mommy; I dreamed of traveling the world and doing exciting things. Then after meeting and marrying my husband, the ache for a family came on hard and strong.

I went from wanting zero to four kids rapidly, and just assumed that's what we would get. I'm the oldest of four children, and growing up, I honestly found families with just two children to be beyond boring. I could not fathom just one sibling, and the lack of activity and chaos. Mostly I thought about the holidays, and how odd it would be with just one other sibling with whom to share it.

As we grew older and all went away to college and other cities for work, I loved nothing more than the flurry of airport runs to collect everyone, the reunions, and late night Scrabble games as we all congregated for special occasions. How dull if it was just me and one other sibling, I thought.

So when the baby bug bit me, all these thoughts came flooding forth for the vision I had for my own family. Four children it would be.

Then came infertility, and miscarriages, and secondary infertility. And all of a sudden, not only was I looking at life without a big family, I was looking at life with an only child. Then the surprise of my life came when I found myself pregnant with my daughter, and suddenly I had two. We were on our way to four after all ... until we weren't. 

As lovely as her arrival was, I quickly realized, holy hell, this is hard. Strong-willed doesn't even begin to describe her, and the first three years of her life were beyond challenging as we juggled both children and jobs and life. Don't get me wrong, we were glad to be doing it, but to think of going through all of that again, two more times ... let's just say, we're not up the challenge.

And the fighting. Good lord, the fighting. With two of them, it's bad enough, but to think of putting two more in the mix ... makes me think of putting my head in the oven. I'm also a big fan of order and organization, which took a HUGE nose dive in our house when we were managing not one but two children. I shudder at the thought of it tanking even further.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that I found my limit, and it was much lower than that I dreamed of. I love my children dearly and would not trade a minute of the chaos for anything (okay maybe I'd trade a few minutes of the bickering),  and I have nothing but the utmost admiration for people who do raise big families. I, however, have definitely traded in my dream of a big family for the one my younger self found so boring. And for us, it's not boring at all. It's perfect.

How many children did you dream of? How many do you have?


Image via Julie Ryan Evans

a mom's life


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lobus lobus

Always wanted three boys. To me, siblings come in threes. I love having more than one sister to talk to and they're both so different and have influenced me differently. I coulsht imagine having only one. But I have two boys and we are just done. Sometimes I wonder if we could make three work but it wouldn't be for a long time and by that point gosh I probably won't want to go back to diapers and breastfeeding and not sleeping through the night.

Coles... Coles_mom

I have three and have always fluctuated on my number. I've had three csections though, so I don't need to be doing any others.

nonmember avatar Hannah K.

I currently have two wonderful daughters. And I knew I wanted at least two, maybe three, children. My husband, on the other hand, is completely content with two. Me? I definitely would not mind having a third. Even if we were to have another girl, I would be completely okay with that. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

sassy... sassykat122

When i was in my teens i always thought 4 sounded like a nice even number. Then in my early 20's i watched the mothers with that many walking through the store and realized there was no way i could. Down to three. But husband initially was happy with just one so i compromised at two. As effective as the pill is is how sure we are that we are done. We talk theoretically about another but 99.9% of the time i feel our family is complete with two kids.

stara... starandseen

I thought that we'd have three children but realized that we'd be broke with three, so two are fine. We have two boys, which is great. We've had to buy very few clothes for our youngest because he gets the hand me Downs. It's a great money saving way that's usually only possible with same gendered kids.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

I would never have more than 2 kids. The world is built for families of 4.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Thought I wanted zero now have 4. After we had our first 2 I really wanted a 3rd, hubby was on the fence and said let's have another so we did and recently had an unplanned pregnancy, he arrived on the 19ty and we couldn't be happier, really! It is difficult cause our youngest is VERY head strong so we are trying to adjust without pushing him aside. The other kids always adjusted easily with every new sibling so this threw me off. : /

taira... tairakittie

I had always ever wanted 2, a boy and a girl, and that is what I got... now they are 3 and 5 and I find myself with rediculous baby fever. SO does not agree... so we are not trying, but I wont be disappointed if we get a surprise anything soon. lol

aimesnyc aimesnyc

Growing up, I wasn't sure if I even wanted children.  Then I met my husband and changed my mind.  But even then, I've since said that In only want 1 or maybe 2.  We have 1, and right now we are ok with that.  I want to wait until I am absolutely positive we are both on board for another before we have two.  And right now neither of us are really feeling the need/desire for another one. *shrug*

Wifey... WifeyKish

I am fine with 2 as well but mostly because I dislike pregnancy. Honestly, I wouldnt mind adopting another. DH is fine with 2 lol. Our 1st is very strongwilled and so far my second is very mellow.

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