Your Childhood Family Size Should Not Dictate Your Present Family Size
Maybe I’m the only person on the face of the earth who feels this way, but I automatically assumed that when I got married, my family size would be similar to how I was raised. I guess I’m not the only person who feels this way because my husband shared the same views.
We both came from three-kid families, so we assumed we would have a three-kid family. We talked about it a little, but it was kind of a given. I don’t know why. It just was.
I’ve shared before that one baby put an end to our “perfect” family planning. There’s nothing wrong with having a three-kid family or even larger, but my husband and I never questioned the reality of the situation until we actually had a physical baby keeping us up at night.
Even more than the sleepless nights, we thought about all the stuff we wanted to do with our family that we were never able to do as kids—vacations, eating out once a week, brand-new school wardrobes. These “luxuries” aren’t a must for every family, but we decided that we wanted to have them. We decided that having one less kid was the best way to save our bank account and our sanity.
I’ve talked to friends who expressed wanting to have a small or large family, based specifically on how they were raised. I guess you can’t fault all of us who find ourselves in this predicament. What other reference point do you have besides the family you grew up with?
From my own personal experience, I’d encourage parents to be open to discussing family size based on whatever curveball life throws your way. Maybe you’re like me, and you realized that you planned one or two kids too many after factoring in work schedules, college, and the economy. Maybe you’re the opposite of me and realized that one or two kids just weren’t enough, and you weren’t done trying yet.
It’s funny how many unspoken expectations I had going into parenting from my own childhood. I’m glad my husband and I were able to look at each other in the midst of the stress and reassess. I’m sure we would have loved our third child more than anything, but I can’t tell you how happy I am to have a family of four.