The Duggars have 18 children. They had 17 at the time I was reading this interview with them over at ParentDish, but their newest baby was just born. 18. I am just going to type that again so you know it’s not a typo.
But back to the interview. As I was reading it I started to think about how families make the decision about how many kids to have. Because I think it’s one of those, you know, LIFE DECISIONS, which might come easy to some but is likely emotionally and otherwise charged for others.
If you want some quantitative evidence to back this up, let me just tell you that my post titled Why is it such a crime to have an only child? is the most popular post on this blog, with over 100 comments and going. And the recent episode we recorded on Momversation, about deciding when to have another child, now has the most comments from viewers than any other, including those covering discussion-inducing topics like natural vs. cesarean birth and how to deal with your family if you can’t stand their politics.
I am a fairly rational person and like to think things through. (Well, most of the time. Those ridiculously uncomfortable 4 inch red heels I got on “sale” for $200 a few years ago are testament to the contrary.) So when it comes to deciding how many kids to have, my husband have a LOT of conversations about it and consider a lot of factors (including how we’d juggle more kids and our fairly demanding careers, which apparently more and more people are considering.) But I know many other couples who think it’s strange to have such rational discussions about having kids and they are more intuitive about it, for lack of better terms. “We just did what felt right,” a friend told me after she got pregnant with their third child. In a less pleasant interaction one mom I met mentioned, in passing, that she thought it was strange when people considered things like money when thinking about having more kids. “That’s just cold,” she said.
So I am curious — how do you decide how many kids to have? Do you think things through and consider things like money, work-life balance, etc.? Or do you follow the what feels right approach and don’t over-analyze?