Monday, June 7, 2010

What's your ideal number?

I come from a family of three kids {I'm the forgotten middle child *sigh* woohoo is me}. Flyboy comes from a family of two kids {you would think he'd be the type A first child but shockingly, he's the baby}.

We, obviously, have three kids. And in case your new, they are 5, 3 1/2, and 9 mths. All boys. ALL BOYS!

We had always talked about having three kids, ironically shortly before getting pregnant with dash3 I was starting to think that maybe two was a nice number. Dash 1 was getting to be a big boy, dash 2 was a full on toddler and I could see the light at the end of the baby stage tunnel, maybe our family was complete with 2 little ones.

And then I had a miscarriage and realized that we weren't so complete. Something just seemed missing.

Darling dash-3, and his sweet little dimpled left cheek, fills that spot.

But.

There is a little dissension among the ranks around here between flyboy and I. More specifically, sometimes I think maybe, just maaayybe one more baby would be kinda nice.

Flyboy's answer? I can have as many babies as I'd like .... with my next husband. As far as kids with him? He's done. Done done. {Yet not done enough to schedule his vasectomy. I'm just sayin.}

Three kids is a lot, especially in a military family where dad is here one day and gone the next. Not to mention the money involved in child rearing. In case your wondering... kids.... not so cheap, especially as they get older. Shoot babies are cheap, school age... not so much.

Flyboy's concern is college. Heavens knows how much that's gonna cost by the time the kids are college age and we want to do our best to help our kids out. If our boys can and want to get into MIT, then dammit, we want to have the savings there to help them out.

I am at least able to stand back and realize that part of my waffling on the number of kids is due largely to hormones {a joy of breastfeeding is that your hormones can still play around with you some} and how fast babies seem to leave that sweet baby stage.

I'm pretty sure in time I'll come around and realize that flyboy's right. I was talking with my military bestie yesterday and we were both lamenting that our husband's were right and well meaning when they both have said that we probably {both} couldn't handle anymore.

So this leads me to the title question, what's your ideal number? How many kids do you want? Have you already reached that number?

And, what I'm most interested in if you don't mind me asking, how did you reach that number? Is money a factor, time, space, sanity {that's a big factor round these parts}, plans to return to work, what is it for you?


ps. don't forget to stop by etsy, check out the service stars, and give mama some love. k? thanks!

30 comments:

  1. I have no idea what are ideal number is...we've yet to reach one. Sometimes I don't even know if we'll get there. Only time will tell!

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  2. I didn't have a specific number, I just wanted a girl. After trying three times, and getting boys EACH TIME, I decided to stop... for fear of having a fourth BOY!

    As it stands, my youngest son turned 9 Saturday, so I am WAY out of the baby stage and the biggest thing I have learned. Boys are cool! Seriously! I may not get to braid their hair or shop in the pink aisle at Toys R Us, but I will never again have to take out the garbage or wash a car. Boys are awesome, sometimes they fight and bicker like little girls, but all I need to do is remind them that their voices are getting shrill, and the argument is over. Manly pride intact.

    So, my number is 3, even though I didn't realize it before.

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  3. oooh, am i first?

    we'd love as many as God sees fit to send :) The best gift you can give your kids is a sibling and babies always come with a loaf of bread under their arm :)

    that being said, every family has to discern this for themselves, but i will say that the whole "$$ for college thing" never flies with me (no disrespect intended). My parents had two kids - my sister and i, i'm the oldest - and didn't have one red cent for my college. they chipped in some while i was there (they're "how much is the monthly payment" kind of folks) but i paid the majority, with scholarships and loans.

    there is so much $$ available for college out there, i can't see letting that limit your family size. plus, i really do think it means a lot when you have to pay (mostly. thank you US govt' stafford loans :-p) your own way.

    on a completely separate note, i think the only positive thing about my husband eventually deploying will be the blue star i plan to buy from your mom's store :)

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  4. I was an only child at my mom's house and had 4 step-siblings when I visited my father, so I got to see both ends of the spectrum.

    Pre-Children, I always said my number was 2.4. It was the stereotypical American family. 2.4 kids, white picket fence type deal.

    I'm very content with 2. I find it interesting that random people will ask me when I'm trying for the girl. What's wrong with boys? (Granted, I used to fear little boys. Now I realize how awesome they are)

    Should we have a 3rd, I would love it. I'm very open to that happening, but I would not actively encourage it. Currently, we're using the Navy as our birth control which is pretty effective :-)

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  5. Haha! I say 2 kiddos, hubs says 3. He tells me that I'm gonna have twins on the second go round and be tricked into having 3... I don't think it's so funny.

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  6. I used to always want 3 kids. And then I got pregnant and was sick as a dog for 5 months...and completely miserable and uncomfortable for the rest of the pregnancy. So we might just stick with 2. Also, we think we can give more to 2 kids than 3 {private Catholic schools, college, family vacations} But at the same time I get sad thinking of just having one more baby. I honestly don't know what our number will be!

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  7. Two is my number. I'm also the forgotten middle child and P is the baby of 2. I'm pretty sure we're both happy with the idea of two, but since kids are a ways out yet, I'm sure we'll make that concrete decision later.

    Although his mom is pushing for kids (after marriage, I think) sooner rather than later. I think she's just ready for grandbabies.

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  8. I'm so glad your mom has an etsy store. I still think about the blue star banners she made and I will likely get one from her.

    Two. Husband says maybe three, but pregnancy was just trying enough to say two. And ideally three years between this one and the next. I'm young (24 until next monday) and I want the baby we have now to be a bit more self sufficient before we go for it again. Actually there are a lot of reasons why I don't want two in diapers. Mostly, I see how difficult life can sometimes be for friends of ours with two kids in diapers and not talking well.

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  9. Those crazy hormones have me thinking the same too! We have decided 2, but largely because we got one of each. Had it been the other way, maybe we'd have gone for a 3rd. Heck, the hubby wants the vasectomy but can't schedule it til September, maybe later. So I guess time will tell!

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  10. We have 2, hubby and I had agreed on trying for a 3rd, but hes taking back his word and only wanting 2. I still want three, 1) to try for a boy (wouldn't be crushed if it was another girl though, love my girls) 2) I have always wanted a large family. I have 4 sisters and a brother, I'm the 4th child. 3 of my 4 parents have 5 or 6 siblings in their family too.

    My parents made us pay for anything we wanted to do and I think its great. It taught me to be very cautious with my money and to make it count. I am saving money for my kids, but I don't kid myself into thinking that I would ever be able to save enough to send them to college.

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  11. I am the 3rd of 4. I think one is the perfect number. I would be almost home free by now, wouldn't have a kid calling 911, dying the dog pink, or refusing to poop on the potty.

    I thought I wanted 4. What was I thinking? Three is actually perfect, and I wouldn't have it any other way, most days.

    My parents didn't make me pay for anything. I still tell them that the 4 best things they ever got me were braces, a college education, summer camp each year and my wedding. I'll do the same for mine. (I can't wait till all three can go to summer camp at the same time!)

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  12. Three is ideal for us, but if I was younger, and more fertile, and didn't need to spend tons of $$ each time to get pregnant (IVF) then we would probably have 4. So many people assumed that I was trying for a boy after my 2 girls, but it didn't really matter to me, I figured that we would have what we were suppose to have.

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  13. I am at the same crossroads. I would love another - especially a girl. I always wanted a sister and I ended up being an only child. My son is almost 12 and his two from his first marriage are 7 and 8 and our daughter will be 2 tomorrow. Since his kids stay with their mom it's almost like I have two "only" children. I would love another-but seriously how do you time another kid when Captain America is out there saving the world every other year. Either I spend my time baking a kid in the baby over while we could be spending time together or I play super mom and be the pregnant and give birth while he is gone. Really, I am starting to think the US government is keeping us in these wars to keep military birth rates down.

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  14. We want 2 or 3. We don't really have a set number yet, I think the third will probably depend on how the first 2 turn out. As a teacher, it is all about my sanity!

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  15. I'm gonna break the mold and say one. I'm very happy with my little Noah-bear and am NOT feeling the baby fever what-so-ever. Maybe it will come over me at some point, but... ??

    :)

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  16. I am the oldest of four (three younger brothers). When it came time to start a family, knew I wanted at least two (didn't want to have an "only" child)...so had the son, then the daughter......and, after two miserable pregancies, closed the store. Both hubby and I are happy with the decision....especially since my daughter and granddaughter have moved in with us. Now I know for sure why you should have babies when you're young!!!! lol.

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  17. Hmmm since we haven't even attempted #1 yet, am I qualified to give an answer? Ideally, we want 3 or 4. Z originally wanted 5 (aka, a basketball team). I have since talked him down a little. Because I have decided to put my education and career first, it means baby making is coming a little later in our life, and I don't want to still be pregnant at 40. Michelle Duggar, I am not. For our decision, we have looked at finances (we want to be able to pay for all kinds of activities, vacations, dream weddings, college, etc.), and timing. We both want to be younger parents, so with us not starting for another year or two (we will likely be 27ish) it means we are going to run out of time to have 5. Unless there are multiples involved, haha!

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  18. Early on, DH and I settled on 2. We both come from larger families (he has 3 siblings, I have 5 from my parents multiple marriages) and thought any more than 2 was just too much. LOL Now that we have Dylan, one seems like the number. That might change, but at the moment I'm content and do fear my sanity if there was another youngster. At the same time, like you, I miss my "baby baby" - they grow way too fast! Then there is the money factor. Unexpectedly going from double income, no kids to single income for a family of three has been a challenge. A segment on The View the other week said it would cost about $400k to raise a child today (including in-state college tuition) - yikes! Makes me thankful that we've at least started his 529 plan for college savings although if we don't start adding to it, it might barely buy two books come 2027. So, for now, yes, one is the number.

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  19. I have 1 younger brother and my husband is one of 4 kids.

    I wanted to have a household of kiddos...4 or 5. My husband wanted 2, so together we decided having 2-3 would be a good fit for us. However, it didn't work out that way.

    It took 5 years for me to get pregnant. I had test after test, took drug after drug, and finally decided to try IVF. Thank goodness for Tricare...we paid $1,700 total for thousands and thousands of dollars of treatment. And our end result was a perfect baby boy!

    Our babe is now 8. I feel a little sad now and then about wanting to have another baby, but I've come to realize that our family is just right with the 3 of us.

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  20. We go back and forth all the time. Seriously. Husband wants one so we can spoil that one rotten and I want 3 (as of now, but that could change after we have one) but then I watched my mom go through hell and high water with my sister and that scares me because they raised us the same way and she turned out the exact opposite as me (meaning she is a rule breaking rebel) and I dont know if I could handle that.

    We literally go round and round allll the time. We can't decide.

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  21. our number is 5. that's actually our minimum number. 8 is the "dream" number. definitely requires frugal living. but also, we're an adoptive family, so we don't always have to choose the baby route; we can start at any age. our actual agreement is no more than 5 children living in our house at one time... but as soon as one is gone, we can adopt another!

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  22. 3 is it for us! J had a vasectomy last October. We always knew we wanted 3. I think if we had had a boy and then a girl we might have stopped at 2, only for financial reasons, but I probably would have always felt a little sad about it. I'm glad it worked out as it did.

    I expected I would get to a point after Vivi turned a year old that I'd begin to feel that baby fever the way I had with the boys, but she is such a high maintenance Diva child that I know I am DONE. I don't have the energy or patience that I did at 25 when Dillon was born. I haven't felt so much as a twinge for another baby yet, and my "little one" is nearing 2 now. I even did a mini photo shoot for a newborn this weekend and only felt, "aww, he's so cute! Now take him back so I can go home and sleep all night while I enjoy my spit up free clothes", lol.

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  23. Well, I don't know if I'm allowed to have an opinion on this this since we don't have kids, but here goes. We are not at a consensus as far as kids. For background, I'm the first of three and SoldierMan is in the middle of 6. He (and apparently his siblings thus far) all seem to feel that 2 kids is pretty much all you need. I think they feel that part of their unpleasant growing-up years was determined because there were more kids than their parents could afford. It was very stressful. So for him, 2 is perfect. (I also think that's because his brother only has 2, and whatever BIL does with his life - apparently - how the rest of the world is supposed to live. but that's another story.)

    I am the oldest of three. Me and my sister are 23 months apart. My brother came 10 years after me. I can't IMAGINE my life without him. I am much closer to him than my sister. My opinion is, God will give us as many kids as we're supposed to have. Now, don't read too much into that. I AM on birth control and don't plan on popping out 15 kids. Heck. No. But I am very open to adopting as many kids as God wants us to. So I don't feel it's fair to limit our family plans. Biologically, I don't intend on having more than 2 or 3 kids. But I am willing to welcome as many kids into our family through adoption as God wants us to.

    So, okay. Long enough? ;)

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  24. I would love to have 4 kiddos. James Bond says we are done with two. Baby Girl is only 3 weeks old so I think maybe he will come around eventually... He is an only child so he thinks having 2 kids IS having a big family. Plus, we can't financially have another kid in the next year or so. I totally get that, but I don't think that should stop us from being open minded about expanding.
    Right now we have to wait and see whether or not James Bond stays in the service and where our lives go in this next year.

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  25. We have 6 happy, healthy children. I am pregnant with baby #7. When I told the great-grandmothers on my husband's side, they were both so delighted. I have a sneaking suspicion there might be one more after that.

    It helps that I have ridiculously easy pregnancies. I've thrown up 3 times total. Sure, I get tired and achy at the end, but my body was made for breeding.

    My MIL has 11 children. She's in the sainthood category. She currently has 41 grandchildren (with 3 more on the way). She loves them all so much.

    Yes, kids are expensive, but sometimes people make them more expensive than they need to be. Clothes come from Goodwill -- we eat lots of rice and beans -- birthdays are small affairs (unless you're turning 8, 12, or 16 and then it's an all out bash) -- Christmas is 3 presents per child to represent the "gold, frankincense any myrrh" from the three wise men. Also, on Christmas, we go to the VA with homemade goodie plates and storybooks.

    Anyway, I think our number is 8. I promise I'm not crazy.

    Even now, with 6 kids running around the house 'cause school's out and baby #7 coming at Christmas time, occasionally I'll have what I call NEK moments. Not Enough Kids. So I might be a little crazy.

    And I agree with Mrs. 2nd Lieutenant about college costs.

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  26. Physicallee Fit why 8, 12 and 16??? My rule is 5, 10, 13 and 16.

    Well you know where i stand on this. I always wanted 4 I have 2 girls and my husband keeps saying he wants a boy but doesnt think "we" can handle it. I guess we will see where we are in 6 months as far as the behavior of my little princesses go. And If we can get a 3 bedroom bc its going to be tight enough in our 2 bedroom with the 4 of us.

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  27. Response to Brie:

    I'm LDS and in our church, the child can choose to be baptized once they are 8 years old. So that's a significant birthday for us.

    Also, 12 is kind of a significant age in our church, too. All kids who are under 18 months stay with their parents during Sunday School. Age 18 months to 3 years are in Nursery, snacks and fun songs and the like. Age 3 years to 11 years, children go to Primary (aka Sunday School). Once they turn 12, the girls go to Young Women's and the boys go to Young Men's. Focus in the Sunday School lessons shift just a little bit towards more mature material.

    And 16? No real reason besides it's another 4 years old and Sweet 16.

    Generally, it'd be normal to consider me, a Mormon, having a large family. But I grew up with 1 brother so having a large family is lot different than what I'm used to.

    :)

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  28. My ideal number is, and always has been, 3. Four is too many and two would make me want more! Of course, we'll see how it is once I have one. My husband just wants 2. "Two's enough" he says.

    As for cost, we'll hopefully be able to keep up. We'll both work to retirement. And our kids will be smart so they get full rides for college! :P

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  29. We don't really have and "ideal number". We have one precious daughter right now, and we're both really itching to add to our nest :) After that...I'd love a full house, but my husband thinks that 3 might be enough. With all the moving that we do, I'm not sure having a lots of kiddo's will be the easiest thing in the world, but it will certainly be an adventure...and I'm all for that!!

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  30. Both Rob and I want three. I used to want two, him three, but now we agree. Reached that number for the following reasons:

    1. I am essentially an only child. I moved out of the house when my brother was five. My entire childhood was playing by myself. I didn't really hate it, I read a lot and did projects for myself (bug collection). I played in the woods and was lucky enough to have a really wonderful pet that let a clumsy toddler play with her way too roughly. Nevertheless, I think growing up with another child is really important, and that the benefits expound when you add a third kid. I have really worked hard to push myself out of my shy nature, but is has and is still challenging. I spent a lot of time by myself as a kid and got used to it. As a result, I don't know how to always deal with people. I want my kids to have built-in friends in each other, and also to learn from each other.

    2. I want a large, close family. More kids = more grandkids. As you know, I don't have a close family. And it's also very small. I feel like as I age, this is going to become more and more important to me, and I really want a great family, since I've already found someone so wonderful to share it with (I know he's your smelly little brother, but I wuv him).

    3. I secretly want the challenge. This is just how I am. I want to be frantic mom going crazy a little bit, and then look back on it fondly once they're a little more grown up.

    As far as you having more babies - stop for now. Rob and I want to have the first girl in the fam. Once we have ours, you may proceed.

    Also, on an unrelated note - blog idea: birth control methods for ya'll married, baby-havin folks. I think you'll get a lot of comments, and that they'll be interesting.

    xo

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