The problem with babies is they are just so adorable that as soon as you have one, you want another!
On our recent trip to Queensland we caught up with some of my husband’s family for a picnic and canoeing by a lake. His cousin has five kids under the age of eight. All together there were three families with ten kids between us. I kept expecting to look around and see one of the babies crawling into the lake. There was actually a moment when one of the little toddlers picked up his baby sister and charged towards the lake. When his Dad asked him what he was doing, he said that he was just going to throw her in! Scary! We had a lovely time, but by the end of the day, my nerves were shot!
The funny thing was, when we said goodbye, the mother-of-five had a long cuddle with Molly and said something along the lines of, ‘I wouldn’t mind just one more.”
If there was one thing I learnt from that day, I could not cope with five kids. I would be a nervous wreck.
I don’t know too many people who want five kids, but many people seem to have very clear ideas of how many kids they would like. Of course it often doesn’t work out that way in practice.
I always wanted three kids and my husband always wanted two. So when we were first married, I used to say I wanted four in the hope that we might be able to compromise at three. I come from a family of four children, so the family car always feels a bit empty with a spare seat in the back. When I was a kid we had this XF Ford Falcon with a bench seat in the front. All six of us would be packed in like sardines. I loved sitting up the front in that middle bench seat. It’s too bad they don’t make cars like that now. But while there’s a spare seat in the back of the car, it still feels to me like there’s someone missing. I doubt I’ll be able to twist my husband’s arm into letting me try for one more. He likes his peace and quiet far too much!
The thing I’ve noticed is that when you’ve been going out with someone for a while people start asking, “When are you two going to settle down?” Then when you get married people want to know when you’re going to have kids. Then when you have a baby, people immediately start asking if you want another one.
My sister-in-law has three kids – one is still a baby – and she says people are always asking her if she’s going to have another one. I’ve really tried not to think about it with Molly. I joke about having another baby to tease my husband, but actually I don’t want to colour every moment by thinking, “This might be my last baby” or by thinking about wanting another one. I just want to enjoy her for the baby she is, not where she comes in the birth order. I think sometimes when people have their fourth or fifth child, their friends and family don’t always celebrate it as much as when they have their first or second. But people who have four or five kids appreciate and adore every baby just as much as somebody who has one or two. Every baby is special, precious and unique, whether they were born first, last or (like me) somewhere in the middle. And even if you have five of them!
How many kids did you always want and how many do you have? How do you work it out if you and your partner have different ideas? Do you think about ‘just one more’? Do you have a big family, what kinds of things do people say to you about it?