Sunday, September 19, 2010

T/F: People with Four Or More Children Cannot Be Adequate Parents To All

I'm participating in Kludgy Mom's Back To School, Back To Blogging Challenge. We're on week 2 of the challenge, to be honest, I sucked at week 1's assignment.

As usual, Gigi aka Kludgy Mom, has come up with a fantastic idea. Why didn't I think of something like this?

She's come up with the Idea Bank. A bank of ideas from bloggers, moms, and various other people to help those moments when we suffer from writer's block. She's asking that we come up with 10 ideas/questions to help inspire others. I've made my deposit and now I'm withdrawing from the bank.

The inspiration from this post is from Sarah: A Better Magnificent Mom
    7. Tue or False. People who have more than four children cannot be adequate parents to all of their children. Explain.

Before I answer, I'd like to add a disclosure: I'm going to answer this question from my own lifestyle, point-of-view, financial situation, etc. 

Four or more children, the idea crossed my mind once upon a time. That once upon a time was when I was growing up as an only child. My first and only sibling didn't arrive until I was 6 years old. 

In retrospect, H comes from a large family. He is the eldest of 7 siblings. 

Although, I had neighborhood children to play with and a hand full of cousins that lived in the same city, I really wanted to be part of a large family. I vowed to myself that when I grew up and started a family on my own, I would have at least three children maybe even four. Oh, how I spent many days wishing I had older siblings that would teach me to be "cool" and drive me around. How I longed for younger siblings who I could help baby and oh and ah at. 

When I was pregnant with my first child, H and I knew immediately that we would have more. Remind you, I didn't even give birth yet. To be honest, being pregnant was the easy part compared to actually raising Princess Ninja. After she was born, H and I knew we would try to have another child. Almost exactly 2 years later, we were blessed with Chubs. 

It wasn't until my own children came along that I realized how much work, effort, patience, sleeplessness, money, and responsibility came with a human being. I've had more than my share of mommy fails and a few hand fulls of mommy high 5s. 

Two children later, I question having another. It's definitely a topic H and I have discussed.  Although, we are not opposed to being done, there is a piece of me that longs to have more. To be able to make the wish of a little girl who didn't get a sibling until she was 6 years old a reality. Then the 30 something, mom of two comes in and slaps a dose of reality into me. 

   1.) I'm stretched and pulled between 2 children, I can't imagine adding another one
   2.) I hear it only gets harder as they grow older
   3.) Financially, how can we support another one
   4.) I want my kids to be kids and not have to take care of their younger siblings. I'm all for teaching responsibility, but it's mommy's job to be mommy
   5.) What is another pregnancy going to do to my body
   6.) I want to one day be able to get sleep
   7.) What would another child do to our current family dynamic
I'm sure one can go on and on. For me, I have to be honest and say I know I cannot be an adequate parent to 4 children. I sometimes wonder if I'm an adequate parent to my two children. In the mean time, we are enjoying life with the two kids. Only time will tell if more is in our future. 

For those of you who do have 4 or more children, how do you do it? 


  1. I have two and I juggle a full time career with motherhood, marriage, and everything else. I chose not to have anymore for the same reasons you stated above. I don't know how anyone with more than two kids and a career does it.

  2. I was smart/dumb enough to have 3/4 of them 5 years apart. If I would had the first two close together, they would have been the only two!

  3. I have four & I love it.
    Ours are spread out in ages. They help out, but I am the mommy. They don't have to help each other, they choose to. It's an incredible to watch their bonds.
    I make time for each of them as individuals.
    I am very fortunate to be able to focus on our family full time- We mad that financial leap when we had #3, It was scary, but so worth it. We sacrificed a lot.
    I do some volunteering and tutoring that takes me away sometimes, but work family things around it.-I think you are incredible to work & do all that you do. It's hard.
    For me, the mom work that gets harder is the emotional work. The physical work has lightened up.
    I promise you will get to sleep again someday & then you will feel like something's wrong because you are getting sleep.
    And- I can't imagine our family without the last two. They have added so, so much.
    We are very fortunate.

  4. Such an interesting post, because I completely solidified my opinion on our family size earlier this week.

    I am going to be a wimp and say I cannot definitively say true, because I know families with more than four children who have excellent parents.

    However, it's absolutely true for me. Finances, unfortunately, play a large role in the decision. We are making a sacrifice for me to stay at home with our two kids; we couldn't do it with more, especially as they get older and their activities become more expensive. However, it's more than finances. Our children are 23 months apart, and I already love, love, love that spacing. I like the dynamic we have, and I don't want to change that. I'm looking forward to having two kids that close together throughout their lives.

    Also, FWIW, I do think there is a point where it becomes nearly impossible to parent thoroughly, but I don't think it's four. I think as long as you can fit all of your kids (and their carseats) comfortably in one car you're ok.

  5. Wow, really something tot think about! I am a mother of two, not having any more. I mostly worried about changing the family dynamic and the relationship between the two I had (who are 4 years apart).

    And financially? Wow, it sure does seem to ramp up as they get older. My oldest is a senior in HS this year, and college is looming....daugher loves to play sports, which aren't cheap.

    But, I do have to say that I have friends with 3 or 4, and they are wonderfully tight-knit groups!

  6. I don't really think that is a true or false question. There are so many variables to consider. Really only the family can decide what is a good family size. We have four children but they are ages 11,8,4 and 22 months so the gap between makes things easier I think. Organization and dedication is key to big families in my opinion.

  7. I only have one and she is just going to be a year in a couple of weeks. But I know that I want another one. Right now I want 2 more (we were blessed with a very good baby and we know there is no way we are going to be blessed with another very good baby). But financially right now we can not afford another one. There is no way we could afford day care for 2. But when we do have another one, eventually, we will see how we feel about another baby.

  8. My wife and I are still planning on having 4, and the reasons you outlined are our exact concerns.

  9. I always wanted three but #2 is quite a challenge. We pondered, decided to go for three, and then I had an early miscarriage. I realized I was done and happy with two. And then a few months later, surprise! I was pg w/ #3. This is what we've heard, and it makes sense for us when we weren't entirely sure we were done at two: You'll never regret having a third, but you might regret it if you don't. My baby is my little love and I can't imagine our life without him. My kids are almost 7, 5 and 18 months. It's chaotic, it's expensive, but I love our crazy family.

  10. Great post and spoken from a place of honesty. We had all the same concerns you did. Plus, we had our ages against us - Had #2 at age 37 and frankly didn't think I could do another baby phase. I think we made the right choice. I am amazed at the chaos in houses with 4 or more, but they seem to be fun and full of life, too.

  11. I have 4 and they're quite close in age. I never even wanted kids growing up... then hello, I fell in love with my growing family and popped them out. We're done now, for the same reasons as your concerns.

    I am not the Mum that bakes cookies and has a spotless home. I'm the Mum that loves her work so does it from home and gets the kids involved in everything. I go to opening nights and I have a gang of little people behind me. This is my modern family and we do things a little differently. I live in my trackies, my hair is in a pony tail and I rarely wear make up. BUT when it all comes down to it, I have extremely well behaved children that adore being part of this family. I teach responsibility from a young age, we talk about everything - nothing is taboo, they set their own goals and they are the sweetest kids (most of the time). I Mother them all; I feel loved because they feel loved. They're 8,6(almost 7), 4 & 1. They're each others best friends but you better believe there's also rivalry. You juggle 4 the same way you juggle 2. The house is chaos at 9am and 4pm but other than that, life is great.

  12. This is such a great post right now. My husband and I are at odds over this at the moment. Way back when, he wanted a bunch of kids. I didn't know if I could handle one! Now, with a 4 year old and a 19 month old, I really want to add one more, but my husband does not. I have been playing with drafts about this subject for awhile, but it's so hard to get "just right". I guess time will tell.

    Great topic choice!! Visiting through #b2sb2b!

  13. Really enjoyed this post! I agree with a lot of your reasoning. Thanks for the shoutout.

  14. Great topic. I only have one child right now and hope to have another. I am the baby of 5 though and what my parents were not able to do b/c there were so many of us, my siblings filled in for. Having a lot of siblings is a great thing.

  15. I have three- 3, 2, and 2 months and I'm riddled with guilt about not being able to spend enough one on one time with each! We've started taking our oldest our once a week by himself but it still doesn't feel like enough.

  16. Ummm...I have one and can't imagine having more. My sister and I were four years apart which was perfect. If we had another one now, bratchild would be ten. So now I wonder if it's too late?

  17. For similar reasons as you, I always wanted to have four growing up. And I do have four kids now (ages 5,8,11,13). It is expensive and hard, but so worth it.

  18. I am an only child, so having more than one was always on my list. Two is perfect for our family...when they were young my husband and I always said that having a one to one ratio of adults to children was perfect...we could not imagine running a zone defense. Enjoyed your post.

  19. I'm right there with you. Most times I struggle with 2 so I really question my ability to be a good parent to another. We are stretched very thin too, for now our baby shop is closed.

  20. We're big sports fanatics in our house... we've always said that man-on-man defense we can do, but not zone defense! So we're sticking with two. I think there are a lot of good parents out there that can balance more than that, and I admire them... but we're not in that boat!

  21. I was the one who wasn't going to have kids when I was younger and then TADA... I have 4 of them.

    It's been a wild and crazy ride for sure... one that is probably it's own series of blog posts!

    My oldest is 14 (15 in Dec), 11, 8, and then the youngest is 8 months. Yes, I started over. It was hard and still is but I wouldn't give him up for anything in the world!

    My husband and I wanted another one and went through a miscarriage and then a chemical pregnancy before having our little man.

    I will tell you have your babies while your young! Because being pregnant at 37 isn't a walk in the park!

  22. I have 2 kids and they are twins, and I am also an only child. I'm an old, old Mommy (50) and really, there ain't any more coming out of this factory. But if I had been able to start earlier (boys are 8) I probably would have had more. The families I know who have 4 and are loving it did it in 2 batches of 2 - a pair of kids 2 years apart, and then 6 to 10 years later, another close pair of 2 (or twins). That way by the time the second set come, the older kids are in school all day, and focused on their friends more than Mommy, also old enough to help a bit. The parents never felt overwhelmed, but were still able to have that larger family they had wanted. Also, BONUS - down the road you don't have more than 2 in college at the same time.

  23. I have 7 kids. The two oldest are non biological. I had custody of my niece since she was born, 19 now. My 21 yr old is the biological brother of my youngest 9 yr old autistic son. I have 4 boys and 3 girls.

    I had my share of crazy! I worked a full time job, juggled all the kid's extracurricular activities and appt's by MYSELF. (The reason why my husband is an ex. I also have a knack for picking Mr. Wrong. Lucky me.) It's not easy, but it is rewarding. My oldest son is in the Navy, climbing up the ranks very quickly. My niece (19) is working and going back to college. My son (18) is doing the same. My 17 yr old daughter is a senior-she's the over achiever. My 15 yr old son is the all around athlete-excels in 4 different sports. My 12 yr old is an honor student and my 9 yr old is on the autism spectrum.

    I now work from home, providing social media marketing and link building services. I own 80 sites, blogs and other VRE. May return to a 9-5 soon. Tired of being home alone without adult conversation.. LOL!

    I blog about all of the above. Never a dull moment...