Do/did you know your family was complete?

OK, I know sometimes babies come by surprise, but apart from that...

I'm wondering if people knew while they were pregnant that this was it - they did not want any more pregnancies (assuming this one worked out) or if they knew shortly after the last baby was born, or if they never did know and left it up to fate/nature, or something else? Or were you so sure you were done that one of you was sterilized or got semi-permanent birth control?

Was it dependent on the gender of your kids, or your income/living status, or did you have a set number of kids you wanted period? Or a minimum number and anything over that was welcome as well?

I've always wanted 4 kids and ideally a mix of genders and I still do. I could maybe live with 3, but I know I won't feel complete with 2 (but if that was all I had... heck if I only have the one...I'd try to be grateful.) But I was realizing the other day that the less kids you have, the more you can do for them in terms of education and activities and so on. How important are those considerations to you? If you live modestly, did you choose to limit your family size because of that? If I do have 4, I'll need to take some big job to give them everything I think they should have.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











I was never sure. I am now realizing that I don't want another young toddler, to me it's so much more work than a baby. Also, I am stretched financially with three. Because of these reasons, I think I may be done.
If we do not have any more kids, I will still be thrilled that I have my son. I used to want 4 kids too, but after having one very active little boy, I have come to the conclusion that I don't think *I* can handle that many children. I grew up with 3 kids in my family. That was a nice number to me. I think 3 is perfect for us. I guess I will have one every 2 years until I am 30...
And, mine isn't based on the number of pregnancies. I LOVED being pregnant. I would love to be a surragote, but it would be tooooo hard to give the babies up after they were born. Mine is based on the number of kids I can handle and afford. I do wonder if I would to have a girl someday. Sometimes I think I do, but other times, I think having a pack of boys runnign around would be great! Either way is fine! I think it is sad when a couple keeps trying for a certain gender. It isn't fair to the say fourth boy in a row that he was born only in hopes of him being a girl. It's like being born a disappoinment/failure. That is so sad to me.
A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

"...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

"I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
cosmicfly, I agree. I don't get why people say babies are such hard work... they're a picnic compared to toddlers!

I do love babies and always thought I was a baby person, but now, having a son who's almost 2, I realize that, much as I like babies, I love them so much more at this stage even though it's hard work. It is such a joy to watch my son notice things, learn to communicate, show affection, develop his own talents.... do so much more than a baby can do, but still be attached to me and have his moments of baby-ness. Every new stage he reaches, I like even more than the one before. And I definitely want to experience that again, as many times as I can.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











If we do not have any more kids, I will still be thrilled that I have my son. I used to want 4 kids too, but after having one very active little boy, I have come to the conclusion that I don't think *I* can handle that many children. I grew up with 3 kids in my family. That was a nice number to me. I think 3 is perfect for us. I guess I will have one every 2 years until I am 30...
And, mine isn't based on the number of pregnancies. I LOVED being pregnant. I would love to be a surragote, but it would be tooooo hard to give the babies up after they were born. Mine is based on the number of kids I can handle and afford. I do wonder if I would to have a girl someday. Sometimes I think I do, but other times, I think having a pack of boys runnign around would be great! Either way is fine! I think it is sad when a couple keeps trying for a certain gender. It isn't fair to the say fourth boy in a row that he was born only in hopes of him being a girl. It's like being born a disappoinment/failure. That is so sad to me.
Originally Posted by shellibean

Shelli, I know what you mean. I do worry about that because some little nagging voice tells me I could be mother to a pack of boys and no girls, and I've always wanted a girl - and not so much for the more superficial things like pink dresses and braiding hair as for the chance to mould a young woman's life. As a teenager, I used to write in my journal things I had learned that I would like to say to my daughter some day. But I would never want to be disappointed with my own child or have them feel like a disappointment. And another nagging voice tells me, what if I have trouble getting pregnant again (one reason I'm a little scared to try, even though the first time was easy... I worry it was TOO easy) and I would then be glad to have more of anything.

I also struggle with the idea that once I am pregnant and have another baby, my son will be displaced. I know it is temporary and in the long run he'll love having siblings, but I still don't want to cheat him of anything. I think that's why I personally didn't want kids too close together - I didn't want anything to impact on his nursing time or co-sleeping time or push his development farther than was comfortable or turn him into a 'big boy" before his time. I'm now more comfortable with another pregnancy since he'll be past his 2nd birthday, but it's still hard to accept that he will no longer be the baby.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











If we do not have any more kids, I will still be thrilled that I have my son. I used to want 4 kids too, but after having one very active little boy, I have come to the conclusion that I don't think *I* can handle that many children. I grew up with 3 kids in my family. That was a nice number to me. I think 3 is perfect for us. I guess I will have one every 2 years until I am 30...
And, mine isn't based on the number of pregnancies. I LOVED being pregnant. I would love to be a surragote, but it would be tooooo hard to give the babies up after they were born. Mine is based on the number of kids I can handle and afford. I do wonder if I would to have a girl someday. Sometimes I think I do, but other times, I think having a pack of boys runnign around would be great! Either way is fine! I think it is sad when a couple keeps trying for a certain gender. It isn't fair to the say fourth boy in a row that he was born only in hopes of him being a girl. It's like being born a disappoinment/failure. That is so sad to me.
Originally Posted by shellibean
I don't have children yet, but I love to lurk around these threads. I just had to comment on the bolded. My SO was the last of the 3 boys in his family. His mom so badly wanted a girl that his nursery was all pink and frilly, rose wallpaper, lacy curtains, the works. He turned out to be a 6'3 huge manly guy, totally comfortable with being "sensitive," who also loves roses and gardening. I also think he was an "accident" (as his mom was in her mid40s and his middle brother was 11 at the time) and she was just hoping for a girl, not necessarily taking one more shot at having a girl. Sure, it's probably not the best way to build a family, but it doesn't have to be detrimental to a kid's future life. Just saying.
Not Cindy or Sindy or Syndey or any other such abomination.
It's Sydney, like Australia.
Formerly known as SydneyCurl.
I have 3 boys (and 1 girl) and I wanted a girl every time. I was never disappointed in my boys though, and I don't think it's "sad" for them that I wanted a girl...nor do I think it's really any of their business what my preference was at the time I was pregnant, so I don't tell them. I tell them what I really wanted was a healthy baby. And that's true.

I suspected my family was complete when I had my last baby at age 38 and my body felt like a wreck. Finances played a small role in our decision, but if I had felt up to more pregnancies, we would have found a way to afford more children. Hubby had a vasectomy when the youngest was 2 years old. We knew he was probably the last while pregnant, but we didn't want to do the vasectomy then, just in case we changed our minds. Now that I'm babysitting a 1 year old, I know for absolute certain that I'm DONE making my family. I loved sitting him as an infant and it fulfilled my baby-lust, but I do not like the toddler age...never have, never will. He destroys my house, and I really can't stand it, and sometimes I wonder how I managed to stand it when it was my own kids doing the destruction. I'm trying to figure out a way to get out of this babysitting thing gracefully without ruining the friendship I have with his parents.
We too want 4 (or more) kids, but at least 3. Finances are important to us as far as necessities, but we'd rather have a large family and a more modest lifestyle. Having me continue to stay home is really important to us. We live in a great school district so we'll definitely do public school (or homeschool, which we're considering as well). We take advantage of free activities like story time at the library and playgroups.
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we live in a mid-size city with a good job industry. we get people from all over moving here. the cities in the area can be costly if what you are looking for is a safer and peaceful neighborhood, better childcare providers and schools, and community activities.

the quality of life that we want for ourselves and our children in this area requires both of us to work. for example, intercession and summer camps alone can run from $190-400 a week ... for just one child! so you do the math if you have 4 children all wanting to be in a summer writing camp or sports camp or swim camp or dance camp in one given summer. even the lower-priced camps are well over a hundred dollars a week, and the sibling price break that they give you isn't significant enough for you to think you are getting a great deal. and i won't even mention music lessons and other activities that children often want to participate in that are costly.

so, our income was a major factor when determining how many children we'd have. honestly, i would have wanted 3, and while i think we could have managed it, it would definitely have taken a significant adjustment in how we allocate money toward their college funds and how we budget money on a monthly basis for just our essential needs. we don't want to live paycheck to paycheck. we always want a buffer after our expenses are paid. having a third child at our combined income now would greatly reduce that buffer, not to mention thwart some short- and long-term financial goals that we've set for ourselves.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
we live in a mid-size city with a good job industry. we get people from all over moving here. the cities in the area can be costly if what you are looking for is a safer and peaceful neighborhood, better childcare providers and schools, and community activities.

the quality of life that we want for ourselves and our children in this area requires both of us to work. for example, intercession and summer camps alone can run from $190-400 a week ... for just one child! so you do the math if you have 4 children all wanting to be in a summer writing camp or sports camp or swim camp or dance camp in one given summer. even the lower-priced camps are well over a hundred dollars a week, and the sibling price break that they give you isn't significant enough for you to think you are getting a great deal. and i won't even mention music lessons and other activities that children often want to participate in that are costly.

so, our income was a major factor when determining how many children we'd have. honestly, i would have wanted 3, and while i think we could have managed it, it would definitely have taken a significant adjustment in how we allocate money toward their college funds and how we budget money on a monthly basis for just our essential needs. we don't want to live paycheck to paycheck. we always want a buffer after our expenses are paid. having a third child at our combined income now would greatly reduce that buffer, not to mention thwart some short- and long-term financial goals that we've set for ourselves.
Originally Posted by rainshower
That's what I'm thinking of, rainshower. I think it's easy to live modestly when the kids are younger, but the older they get, there are more things that *I* feel are essential to their quality of life and not luxuries.

I know that there are many parents who do without and are wonderful parents with a loving home and kids who turn out well, but my personal preference is not to constantly be telling my kids that I'm sorry they can't go to camp or play a sport or take music lessons or attend the college of their choice without a scholarship.
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











This is an issue we're currently struggling with at our house. DD is two and I am 38. I would love to have more children, but we're tired now. Plus, we live modestly and both earn a good living. We can afford the best of everything for DD which will change if we have more children.

I don't know what we're going to do. Some days it feels like our family is complete, and other days it doesn't. I will be 39 in October, so I don't feel like we have a lot of time to decide.
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I always liked the idea of having 3 children but when I actually started having babies I think I (we) realised that 2 was going to be it. I think it was partly because I was older when I had them (31 and 34) and was honestly so physically exhausted after the second and partly because I began to think about the financial side of things.
I feel very shallow and materialistic when I say finances come into it but I want my children to have things, do things, go places and also don't want to have to say "no, we can't afford it" to even simple things. I think being an older mother played a part here too - I'd had experience of disposable income and didn't want to take a backward step. We are comfortable as a foursome, I can't imagine another body in the family and feel right about the decision we made to stop. That said, when my SO made an appointment to get a vasectomy I have to admit I felt a twinge of something - maybe disappointment that the daughter I always imagined wasn't going to happen, I don't know, I can't now, for the life of me, see myself with a daughter, I'm so used to my boys.
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This is an issue we're currently struggling with at our house. DD is two and I am 38. I would love to have more children, but we're tired now. Plus, we live modestly and both earn a good living. We can afford the best of everything for DD which will change if we have more children.

I don't know what we're going to do. Some days it feels like our family is complete, and other days it doesn't. I will be 39 in October, so I don't feel like we have a lot of time to decide.
Originally Posted by LoloDSM
I'm on board w/ this & older than you
Code:
we stopped at one...
Sorry to guano your thread, Amneris, but Wile, how did you ultimately decide to stop at one?
Loose botticelli curls and waves
No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
Good question! I don't know. I have some of the same concerns as many of you have already stated. We have our two boys who we love dearly. We fit nicely into our current house and cars, we have a budget that works, and it's comfortable. But I kind of want a girl, and I kind of feel sad about the idea of not having another baby.

Expenses are a huge issue. I'd like our kids to be in sports and piano lessons someday. My husband and I like to travel, and we've gone abroad with our first son when he was a baby, but it can get very expensive with more kids. We live in an excellent school district, so we aren't planning on private schools, but college is another issue. I don't know where we stand on that. Both my husband and I didn't get much financial support for college from our parents. We had scholarships and fortunately kept student loans to a very minimal amount. We both attended a public state university because it was more affordable, but we had the scores and grades to have gone to a top private university if we/our parents could have afforded it. I don't want my kids to be limited in that way or have to take out huge student loans.
Sorry to guano your thread, Amneris, but Wile, how did you ultimately decide to stop at one?
Originally Posted by LoloDSM
Not a guano at all... this is exactly the kind of discussion I'm interested in!
Get used to me. Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours; my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me. -Muhammad Ali











When we got married, we decided that we wanted 4 kids. We're both only children and we wanted a full house. So when Emma was born, there was no question that we'd have another and Colin arrived 19 months later.

My deliveries were difficult, my body doesn't like being pregnant, and I had PPD. Because of complications during my c-section with Colin, my OB recommended that we wait at least a year before we even thought about another one. I got an IUD since I can't be on BCP.

Hubby and I talked a lot about the pros and cons of more children. We saw, right from the beginning, how well Emma and Colin interacted. Did we want to add another child to the mix? Would my body take another pregnancy and delivery?

Of course finances were an issue. 3 children meant childcare for 3 children. We both have small cars and we knew we'd have to get something bigger. Our current apartment was small and Emma and Colin were already sharing a bedroom. Plus, I was finishing my PhD and wasn't sure if we'd be moving to another state.

As we talked, we realized that we felt "complete." Just a feeling, I can't pinpoint it. There are four of us at the table for meals, four of us in the car, and our family feels full.

When the time came last year to decide what to do about contraception, the idea of permanent sterilization didn't upset me. The thought of not having anymore children didn't make me sad. And I think that's what sealed the deal.

And thank goodness! We go through 4 loaves of bread and 3 gallons of milk a week!
God doesn't give special kids to special parents. He takes ordinary, imperfect people, and gifts them with his greatest treasures. And therein, he creates special parents.

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Join Date: Apr 2001
Posts: 6,000
When we got married, we decided that we wanted 4 kids. We're both only children and we wanted a full house. So when Emma was born, there was no question that we'd have another and Colin arrived 19 months later.

My deliveries were difficult, my body doesn't like being pregnant, and I had PPD. Because of complications during my c-section with Colin, my OB recommended that we wait at least a year before we even thought about another one. I got an IUD since I can't be on BCP.

Hubby and I talked a lot about the pros and cons of more children. We saw, right from the beginning, how well Emma and Colin interacted. Did we want to add another child to the mix? Would my body take another pregnancy and delivery?

Of course finances were an issue. 3 children meant childcare for 3 children. We both have small cars and we knew we'd have to get something bigger. Our current apartment was small and Emma and Colin were already sharing a bedroom. Plus, I was finishing my PhD and wasn't sure if we'd be moving to another state.

As we talked, we realized that we felt "complete." Just a feeling, I can't pinpoint it. There are four of us at the table for meals, four of us in the car, and our family feels full.

When the time came last year to decide what to do about contraception, the idea of permanent sterilization didn't upset me. The thought of not having anymore children didn't make me sad. And I think that's what sealed the deal.

And thank goodness! We go through 4 loaves of bread and 3 gallons of milk a week!
Originally Posted by PhDCow
my girlfriend has a juvenile-like fantasy of 4 children, 2 girls and 2 boys, spaced exactly 18 months a part. they already have one of each, 18 months a part, as she wished for them to occur. but she doesn't work. and while her husband earns a nice income, they live in brooklyn and have 2 children in childcare (don't ask why, when she doesn't work. that's another story that i won't get too into. she calls it school, but it's daycare.) her husband told my husband that he can't afford a family of 5, let alone 6 on his earnings alone and that he told my friend that she'd have to get a job if she wanted more children. that hasn't happened, though to my knowlege she is still planning a third baby by her 40th birthday, which is fast approaching. they have 2 tenants whose rent they rely on to pay for the childcare of the two children they already have. having 2 tenants means their living space is reduced to an area that one person could live comfortably in. adding a third baby would require them to get rid of one of the tenants, which would make them lose additional income. a catch 22 that my friend doesn't seem to appreciate.

he claims that he has to keep "mama" happy, but to me, having a child that one person isn't on board with isn't how you should keep a spouse happy. i think my friend needs a reality check in the worst way.

they can't afford a car because they had childcare to pay for the second baby, so the car had to go. they have to borrow his relative's car when they just can't get around by mass transit with the kids. that's kind of a red flag that you are biting off more than you can chew. but i digress.
"Dogs stink too, but I like dog stink." ~ rileyb
Honestly I would probably have a ton of kids if we could afford it, but I feel like no matter what I need to have one more so Izzy doesn't have to be alone like Quino was.

We too want 4 (or more) kids, but at least 3. Finances are important to us as far as necessities, but we'd rather have a large family and a more modest lifestyle. Having me continue to stay home is really important to us. We live in a great school district so we'll definitely do public school (or homeschool, which we're considering as well). We take advantage of free activities like story time at the library and playgroups.
Originally Posted by PixieCurl
This is how I feel as well.

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