Two of the biggest and most personal choices you’ll ever make are whether to have children, and – if you choose to have children – just how many to have. It’s a sensitive topic for a lot of people, and there are many factors that can take the choice away from you: some couples aren’t able to have children at all. Some are able, but find conceiving difficult, which limits the number they can have.
For those who are lucky to be able to have a child, the big question that looms after kid number one is: will our first have a baby brother or sister?
Talking with my friends, I find that the majority of them want to have two or three kids. “I love the image of being surrounded by a big family,” they tell me. “For as long as I can remember, my ideal family has always consisted of lots of kids.”
For my husband and me our choice to have just one kid is based on a few different factors:
Our daughter is a ball of energy. Sure, that first year for any new parent is always the hardest, but our toddler was an especially difficult baby due to her severe reflux and affinity for never sleeping. And she’s now a high-energy toddler who wears us both out daily – and still doesn’t sleep.
Financial constraints. We choose to live in a city. My husband and I love our lifestyle and neighborhood and think our daughter will also love growing up in such an amazing place. But let’s be honest, it’s expensive to live in a city, and adding another kid would likely mean having to find a bigger apartment and scrounge up additional money for childcare and schooling.
We want to travel. Yes, you can travel with kids. It does, however, make travel a lot more expensive, and much more stressful – particularly when your children are young. Pre-baby, my husband and I were huge travelers. We’re so excited to start traveling again with our daughter and to experience as much of the world as we can as a family.
Maintaining a balance. My husband and I both have big career and life goals that we want to achieve for ourselves. We feel that with one child we can balance our own needs with that of our child a lot better than if we tried to achieve our own dreams while raising multiple kids. Sure, lots of people maintain successful careers and big families, but for us, we know that it wouldn’t work.
We feel complete. All other factors aside, this is the big one for us. We love our family of three. Perhaps one day we will add a furry member to the family. Luckily, dog school isn’t as expensive as college!
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.