The research behind how the number of children you have impacts parental happiness, parenting quality, and outcomes for your children
Congratulations! I love, love, love being a mom of four! My kids are adults now, and it warms my heart to see their deep friendships with each other. Once you have more than one kid, there's a certain amount of chaos that you just need to embrace.
I think it was good for my kids that they grew up without all of the intensity of my attention focused exclusively on them.
One time, my oldest and I were looking online at dresses for an event she had. I said, "Oh, that one's pretty!"
She said, "No, it looks like a fairy princess dress."
I said, "I know. That's what I like about it."
She turned around and looked at me and said, "Better luck with the next kid!"
I laughed so hard!!! She knew exactly what I thought but felt absolutely free to go with what she wanted. How wonderful!
Each person needs to decide what's right for their family. Having two kids can invite comparisons and rivalry. Having three kids often means one tends to be left out. Four kids are expensive for parents (that's the big downside!), but, I think, ideal for kids. There's always someone to play with but the group is small enough no one gets lost.
The best reason for having (another) kid is to be able to fall in love (again) in that wonderful way.
Massive congratulations to you and your family!
You hit the nail on the head in your closing comments as well: whatever number you wanted it to say is the ideal number for you!
Congratulations!!! And lol what a topic to pair the announcement with! 😆 Very happy for you!
I too am pregnant with my fourth and feel absolutely bonkers over it! Ooh the joy AND ambivalence!
I would think that this quote is valid for most of the parents: “Children then raise happiness as long as they do not lead to difficulties in paying the bills.” If there is a proper maternity leave and support from the government, then it obviously helps a lot.
A huge congratulations!!
Yay! Congrats about the little girl on the way! Super excited for you and your family! ❤️
Congratulations Cara! This is beautifully written! Thank you for looking at the research! As the oldest of 6 kids and now a pediatrician mom of 3, big families are beautiful, full, but yes very time consuming which is what makes some parents less happy. For me, growing up with 5 younger siblings gave me a sense of security in this world that I never would be alone if something happened to my parents and also fostered so much independence because my mom and dad couldn’t be at everything! I had to figure it out myself! It was all I knew so the resentment was minimal. I also loved how everyone always wanted to come to our house since there was always so much going on!
Thank you also for sending love and compassion to those who can’t complete their ideal family size . I can’t tell you how many times I get asked by my patients after I had my second, how it feels like to have a third? Families are wrestling with this question
Congratulations! And thank you for providing space and support for all families in this post, including the ones who aren’t yet complete and may never be. Sending solidarity and love to everyone for whom this resonated:
“It is also very common to have fewer children than you would have wanted due to factors outside of your control such as age, fertility, and financial constraints, particularly in countries like the United States that provide little support for parents. This is a heartbreaking situation to be in. Allow yourself to grieve this loss of what could have been, even if you rationally understand the benefits of having a smaller family.”
So exciting!! Congratulations!!