Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why most families have 2 children.

This could end up being a controversial post, but not intended to be. The average American household size is 2.5 persons with the average household having .90 children. Wow! When I looked up this statistic tonight, I was shocked by the number. The number of children per household has drastically fallen since I last checked about 10 years ago.

Not until I had children did I ever understand why people only had two children. In my dreamy world, I grew up wanting hundreds of children. Truly. I dreamed of a home full of children and babies. I didn't understand the realities of motherhood at all. I didn't know what it felt like to have morning sickness. I didn't understand how pregnancy is hard for most people and very scary at times. I didn't know what it felt like to be up all night for several weeks at a time with a new baby only to be woken in the morning by a very rested 2 and 3-year old. I never thought about those things. I didn't know what the pain felt like to hover over a sick child worried to death. I didn't know what it felt like to continually ponder a child's future and formation. You see, I was confident and ignorant. Then, I had children.

I had my first child and fell desperately in love. Like most mothers with their first, I was meticulous about everything. I made sure I read to him 40 hours a day, taught him baby sign language, made all his baby food, took him outside everyday, and read every parenting book to make sure that I wasn't messing him up for life. Looking back though, I was very overwhelmed. You see, when a woman gets married and has children, the life you once knew has now completely changed. Your life is not your own anymore...forever. You are now responsible for entire human being. I remember thinking when he was sick for the first time, "If I don't take him to the doctor, nobody will." You have to make serious decisions about things like vaccinations, schooling options, medicated or unmedicated birth, allergies, parenting techniques (i.e. to spank or not to spank), sleeping troubles, temper tantrums, eating issues, etc., etc. There is no barometer in motherhood. You do not get a medal at the end of the day that says, "Well done, you handled that fit well" or "Well done, you chose wisely on the vaccination decision" or "Great diaper change!" So, for the first time in lives of most women you are faced with a scenario that makes most feel like they started preschool again only this time the textbooks are on the level of your post-doctorate.

It seems around the 2-year mark, most people venture out and have another child. BAM! ENTER... why most people never go beyond this point of having more than two children. Yes, I know, some say it is for other reasons i.e. financial, challenging pregnancies and even scary pregnancies. Although, when you get into deep conversation with a woman, you see the longing and the loneliness on her heart for more children. She may not even know it. For me, I had my first child whom I gave ALL MY ATTENTION. I then had another child WHOM I FELT AS THOUGH I HAD TO GIVE ALL MY ATTENTION. This truly was an impossible task. Who can do that? I remember when I would go anywhere I would make sure I had army of people to help. Truly. I admired mothers of large families and felt so inadequate next to them. I would be at the zoo with my two children and six of my sisters to hold each of their arms and legs and possibly breathe for them...if they needed that. Then, I would see mothers of ten children...GET THIS...BY THEMSELF AT THE ZOO...and actually smiling. When we lived in Oklahoma, I would pack enough toys for the eight hour drive so that they would have something new to look at every 2.3 minutes. It was ridiculous. At mass, we would bring a buffet so that not a moment would go by that HOUR that he wasn't eating or looking at something. I would NEVER drive anywhere more than an hour by myself because HE MIGHT CRY OR SOMETHING and that just isn't right.

It is the first time in motherhood you are experiencing a toddler and then also having a new baby. My mom always says that most babies become normal at their one year birthday. Meaning, I have seen it time and time again. You have this sweet, beautiful, innocent baby who does everything he is supposed to for his first year of life and then...something happens. They start developing opinions. How dare they start thinking for themselves? Suddenly, they throw fits in public, arch their back, lay on the floor, climb on everything, go fishing in the toilet, become a picky eater. They are a mess and you are mess. I remember one of my dear friends crying at her sons baby pictures because he had morphed into some sort of something his second year of life. Never before are you faced with constant decisions on how to handle the octopus that now lives in your home. On top of that, you have a new baby who decides that the middle of the night is his favorite hot spot. Side note, the toddler whom has been sleeping in the other room for 13 hours didn't get the memo and still wakes up for party time at 6:00 AM. How come he didn't know that you just fell asleep around 5:30 AM?

Really, who would do this again and again? You are so tired and overwhelmed that you know that God doesn't want someone to exist in such a way. You will say, "I'm not being a good mom to the two I have, why would I have more?" "I can't imagine feeling this way the rest of my life." "I can use my talents in much more productive ways besides having more children." "I was much more patient before I had children." "I am of no use to anyone in such a state." This little voice in your head is not from God. It is the devil trying to discourage you from THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK you will ever do.

You see, like every new job something begins to change after two children (some say three children, but most say two). You begin to settle into your new job. All your little fears and questions really aren't present anymore. You start seeing trends with your children and know that usually "this too shall pass." You begin to have a peaceful acceptance of your promotion and begin to look at it as such. How come I felt more overwhelmed with one than I do with six children? How come I wouldn't think much about driving 8 hours by myself with all of my children, but a few short years ago, I wouldn't have driven 30 minutes with one? How come I will drive to see my mom three hours away and each child will only bring one book to look at and be content the whole drive when in the past they had a toy for every 5 minutes and most trips were very hairy and stressful?

YOU BEGIN TO CHANGE. You begin to see each child very differently. You begin to look at your oldest as not being five-years-old, but as only having 13 years left at home and that takes on a whole new perspective. You start cherishing their baby hood and know that most things are phases. You start realizing how fast it really is going and you start to slow down. You know that they will eventually sleep and even if they don't, it suddenly and weirdly becomes "okay." Why does that happen? When I just had Dominic and was getting up with him in the middle of the night, I truly was the most tired person in America. Really. I would take two naps a day because I thought I was so tired. You adjust. I don't feel anymore tired now than I did with just one. You just keep going and God keeps you going. A very wise mother of nine told me, "The days are long and the years are short." I want to change it to "Some days are long, but to me the years are way too short." You begin to see things changing from one season to the next, and you start to change. You will say, "Just last summer, he loved to ride his bike outside, now he is more quiet and wants to stay inside while we go out."

You see, these are the lessons in the school of motherhood. With each new child, you are promoted. God chips away at us and refines us and makes us beautiful. Why are mothers of large families edifying? Why do we want to be near them? Do not misunderstand my words that mothers of two children have nothing to teach us. That is not what I am saying. What I am saying that with any job, usually the person whom has been there the longest and has the most experience is pretty wise.

There are those who want children and can't conceive. Are people not wise unless they have children and especially "lots" of them? No, not at all. Everybody has something to teach us. I am not here to pat myself on the back (I am still a work in much progress). I am here to encourage and simply say keep going. The world tells you to stop. My whole point is simply that if you are blessed with the gift of fertility, please let us see it as such. If for some reason, God decides not to give us anymore children, I pray that we use our lives to glorify Him in whatever avenue he chooses to take us down. I have many friends and family members whom have not been given children yet, but glorify God beautifully through their lives with their openness to adoption and other great works.

I write to encourage young and older mothers to keep going. One more life. One more soul. A whole new person. The possibilities in one person are breathtaking. I meet so many women who wished they would have had more children, but I've never met a woman who wished they didn't have so many. God gave women the gift of fertility really for a few short years in the perspective of a lifetime. I pray that I treasure this gift and use it wisely.

My brother Dominic was born seventh in our family. Little did my parents know that a few 18 years later, he would be caring for my father during his last days on this earth. The scenes I saw with Dominic and my dad still make me cry. To see a young, strapping 18-year-old lift his crippled father into his wheel chair all the while giving him such beautiful dignity. I would see Dominic turn and cry so often. It was so moving. What a gift and privilege Dominic had to take care of him. John's uncle Fran is the third youngest of twelve children. He is a physician and has spent many years doing mission work in Australia for the poorest of poor. He has repaired peoples lives with his gift of medicine. He has restored vision and hearing to hundreds. One life, his life, has changed many lives. I believe all work is important, but nothing is more important than bringing souls to this earth with the possibility of eternal existence with God forever.

I beg you to realize how privileged you are as a woman to even have children. Let us give God our whole beings without reserve and let Him write the story of our lives and the lives he chooses to bring. For some reason, God does not let us know the end of the story of our lives. So we must trust. As Mother Teresa said, "I want to be a pencil in his hand."

696 comments:

  1. Oh I just love your writings! Thanks for the encouragement. Great post.

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    1. U must not have any more children than u can support. If u have any government assistance than u are not supporting them. That's why I will have just 2, I can't support more.

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    2. Another reason most families limit the amount of children they have is because they love their children very much. If I have two dogs should I accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel? I'd pray by some miracle, the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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    3. We all decide in which way we will bless and enrich the world.In answer to your dog analogy (and I don't love children being compared to dogs) I have a friend that rescues and fosters Pug dogs. She often has more than two in her home. She has blessed and saved the lives of many and it is her sweet mission in life. No it is not everyone's calling. But she has chosen it as hers and I would not disparage nor discount it. The sweet author of this essay has chosen to give life, love and care to a large family. And truly if she succeeds in caring for and loving them all and in presenting to the world children that are good citizens and plan to serve and bless others she too has chosen a great work.

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    4. Yes it is a great work. We have to agree that there are only 24 hours in a day, a certain amount of dollars in a paycheck, and the fact that children thrive on attention. I'm sorry about comparing children to dogs, i was just trying to get the point across that you cannot spread yourself too thin just because something is honorable and worthy of doing.

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    5. As one has more children, she does not love any less the other children. Her love multiplies. She changes as the author has expressed. I have raised six children whom all have been loved dearly. They are all grown now. We have a close happy family. Raising children cannot no be about how much money one has. When you do not have extra money the children learn valuable character lessons that material things are not what makes one happy nor content. They learn to share bedrooms and other spaces. My children were not spoiled with all of the niceties (electronics, cell phone, and whatever the latest gadget were). Christmases were not loaded down with lots of stuff either but we had happy Christmases. One of our poorest holds the dearest memories as we made gifts for each other and invited a broken family to share our Christmas dinner. Some (not all) families who only have 1 - 3 children who never have to share a bedroom and overly shower all sorts of worldly material things so they grow up as spoiled brats who expect more than they deserve. My children have good character and it is partly because of the fact they didn't have everything handed to them on a silver platter. You cannot put a dollar value on children. Time spent with them is more precious than any material goods you can give them. My children do not go through life expecting freebies from others, they work and earn what they get.

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  2. I read this while nursing Raphael and exhausted from missing that glorious thing called sleep :-). What an inspirational post!! Some parts reminded me of an article I posted on my blog last year that I think you will love Lindsay and goes along side of some of the things you talk about. Hope you are well!!

    http://www.stateofmotherhood.com/2009/02/invisible-mothers-article.html

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  3. Just remembering how overwhelmed I was by one first child, when she was all I had, still makes me laugh. God works in mysterious ways, and the work does get easier!

    You said it all so beautifully.

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  4. !!!! speechless....so beautifully said...

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  5. You put this so beautifully! I truly feel the Holy Spirit speaking through your words. I know you must pray before you write. I love your words. It is so difficult to explain to the world the beauty of big families when they have not personally experienced it. I am from a family of 6 children and absolutely loved being a part of it! Througout my life, I have seen so many people look down on large families, but I am so proud and blessed. I hope God blesses me with many of my own children. Mothers are truly the hands of God.

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  6. absolutely beautifully said! so much to comment about but often times...especially after your wonderful words.....less is more.

    Thank you so much

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    1. lol yes less is more, in all areas of life

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  7. I saw this link posted on someone's facebook page and I am so thankful I took the time to read it. I wish the world would read this. I will certainly be sharing this.

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  8. Wow, awesome post! Brooke Keller sent me this link; I didn't know you had a blog! Congrats on #6! Adrienne Doring (p.s. I am sure Greg would want me to say hello for him!)

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  9. Everone needs to read your post! May God continue to bless you and work through you to touch the hearts of many.

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  10. Thanks for your post! I have older friends and say the same thing. "We wish we had more they 2 kids but now the opportiunity passed us by!" My wife & I are on the fence about having one more but we need prayer and wisdom and God to open our hearts for more children. But again, great post & very insightful.

    thomas & jean

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    1. Another reason most families limit the amount of children they have is because they love their children very much. If I have two dogs should I accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel? I'd pray by some miracle, the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  11. Lindsay,
    A mother of four just told me if she can't have any more, she'd love to adopt because it'd be a shame not to continue to use her motherhood when she's just getting good at it! Amen!

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  12. I found this right at the moment I needed to read it. I am homeschooling our 4 young children and it's February and we've been sick and there's 2 feet of snow outside and the baby cries every time I bundle her up. And all I can think is, I can't wait for spring! Thank you for your beautiful, encouraging words...and for the feeling of solidarity. I know I am not in this alone and it will pass too quickly. If I spend my time complaining I will miss it. Going to go hug my children and find a game to play. :)

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    1. Another reason most families limit the amount of children they have is because they love their children very much. If I have two dogs should I accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel? I'd pray by some miracle, the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  13. Thank you so much for your post! This is the first time I've read your blog, but I am so glad to have found it! What a breath of fresh air! I want every woman out there to read this post, as well as the others on your blog! Thank you for showing so beautifully and eloquently what it means to be a woman, wife and mother in a world that is telling us we need to be the opposite. Your words have been an inspiration to me (a first time mother of a Dominic :) Thank you!

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    1. Another reason most families limit the amount of children they have is because they love their children very much. If I have two dogs should I accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel? I'd pray by some miracle, the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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    2. Dear Happy Person....a blog is a place in which to put your opinions into words that can be read and agreed upon or disagreed upon, hopefully in a civil manner. The definition of a "troll" is someone who thinks that they need to make sure that the world sees and hears their opinion by being obnoxious and trying to take over the discussion. You made your point the first time that you posted. The second time made us realize that you were not kidding, and by the third time, we understand that you do not agree with the author and are trolling. I doubt the author was trying to make all of u females into "baby factories." She was giving encouragement to those that desire a large family and to those that are doubting their ability to parent their child(ren).

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  14. You should seriously submit this to be published. It has truly blessed me. Thank you.

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  15. Well put. You are a wonderful writer and my thoughts have echoed your written words time and time again. I will be sharing this post with many!

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  16. Ever since you wrote that post about husbands I've been waiting for this one...;)

    My (our) friend Liz G. just had her 2nd and said to me today, "I don't know how you do it with 5." Believe me, I was so overwhelmed and exhausted when I had two under two and didn't understand how anyone else did it, either.

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  17. I loved this post. I read earlier in your blog about how you had elaborate plans for your life...and God had different plans. How you wanted to lead Bible Studies and do Pro-Life work.
    You are doing Pro-Life work through this blog! It is really inspiring to read your perspective on motherhood. Thank you.

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  18. What blessed words you write...thank you for sharing and encouraging me.

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  19. I love your blog! Thank you for such encouraging words!

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  20. I love your blog. You write so well and such important things. I'm catholic. Mother of 3. Oldest is 4.5. Youngest is 10 months. I love my kids and want more but I feel just.SO. Overwhelmed. Everyday. How do you do it? How do you handle everyone needs? I'm just so weary of the sleep deprivation, the nursing, the tantrums, the constant needs of the young ones. Do you have siblings or grandparents that are around to help? I just can't see doing it over and over again. I hate pregnancy. I am sick the whole time. I can't sleep. Its an awful dark time for me. But yet I want more but I don't want to go through it all again. I feel like I have run out of patience due to sleep deprivation and it makes me a grumpy awful mom. Do you ever feel this way?

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    1. In a word. Yes. Every mother feels that way. Every woman questions if they can handle having another baby. If they can survive pregnancy, childbirth, infancy again. My 4th is 6 months old and it took almost a year of questioning and struggling spiritually with the decision to have another baby before I finally realized that I didn't want my lack of faith in God's plan for me to deprive me of His blessings. And she truly is a blessing. But after a difficult third pregnancy I needed to rest for a season until the time came that the difficulties of pregnancy seemed conquerable. I'm glad I had that rest and a chance to enjoy my boys, to let them get a little older so they could enjoy the process of having a baby too. (They are 8, 6 and 4 and are the absolute best big brothers ever.) There is a time and a season for all things. Hang in there.

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    2. Another reason most families limit the amount of children they have is because they love their children very much. If I have two dogs should I accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel? I'd pray by some miracle, the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  21. I had to search and find this to reread. Thank you for being so open and encouraging people to keep going. We are expecting number 4 which is exciting to us, but it seems as if we have but a giant scarlet letter on us in public. Really??? 4? I don't think that is any grand number. Not that many years ago it was the norm, and now 4 gets looks, comments, and LOTS of questions. Had to come back and read some reality. :-)

    Jeanna

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  22. Praise God for your words of wisdom! My wife and I have two in heaven, one on earth, and one on the way. What a blessing it is to be a parent! Your thoughts seem to be right in line with my wives. We hope to be blessed with many more...I will pray that we may have your attitude of being open to "bringing souls to this earth with the possibility of eternal existence with God forever."

    God bless you and your family!

    - Patrick K.

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    1. Btw, I meant wife's, not wives :)

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    2. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  23. That was so beautiful! I am a wife and mother of 5 children, 2 of which has cerebral palsy (they are twins). I have been struggling lately with the task the Lord has given me and this post helped me to gain a better perspective. Thank you for that and God Bless you!

    Allison

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  24. I always wanted lots of children. After years of trying, miscarriage, we finally adopted a son. We want more but we may not get the opportunity again. It is hard to sit at mass and see big families (I come from a big family myself) knowing that I cannot have that.

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  25. The only thing I don't like about your post is this: "when you get into deep conversation with a woman, you see the longing and the loneliness on her heart for more children." Not every woman wants a lot of children; some don't even want one. We can't lump all women into this statement.

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    1. Thank you for acknowledging those of us that have never wanted, even 1, child. I like children, I have just never felt the need to have one.

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    2. Preach. I truly appreciate this dear woman's perspective, but the gift of free agency is as important (if not more) than the gift of fertility, and I believe that as we use it in planning important life decisions like this, we will be blessed, whether we are content without children or abundantly blessed with seven.

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    3. I agree 100% - not all women want children or any children. I disagree with the statement "when you get into deep conversation with a woman, you see the longing and the loneliness on her heart for more children." Maybe you and your friends feel that way, but I know quite a few women who do not want children or to get married. Not all women are the same.

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    4. I don't think she is saying ALL women. She's saying "when you get into a deep conversation with A woman", not necessarily "when you get into a conversation with women..". I think she knows some women absolutely do NOT want children. But women who do deep down inside and make this their reason for not having children, when you talk to THOSE women, you really can see how much they want more children but allow fear to get in the way. (:

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    5. I have ALWAYS only wanted 2! I have my 2 now, and I am so sure that I don't want anymore, that I am looking into getting a hysterectomy! Even if we had the resources to have more, we wouldn't! I know women from all situations. Some have and want no children at all, some have or want up to 7. Not all of us feel "the more the merrier" sentiment! God has plans for the lives of my 2 daughters (4&6 years old), but those plans don't include having any more!! I can honestly say I would've only had one if I didn't understand how lonely an only child is. (From experience). On a side note, I would have loved to be a surrogate if I didn't have medical issues. I had 2 wonderful pregnancies, so that has nothing to do with my decision to NOT have more. I can concentrate on meeting my girls' needs without dividing my attention anymore. :-)

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  26. Single lady here, but thank you for writing this. I have so many people look at me like I'm crazy when I say I would love to have more than two children ("Goodness, you're thinking about having 3 or 4 or 5 or maybe even more kids?! That's ridiculous!!" so it goes...), and I can't understand why it's so difficult for the world to grasp the concept that our fertility is a privilege we are lucky to have, and children are the best gifts we could ever receive.

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    1. The desire of wanting kids and the gift of being able to have them are 2 different things. Not everyone has the blessing

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  27. Great writing. But that family of yours..... BEAUTIFUL!!!

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  28. Replies
    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  29. Just a question . . . I am a mother of 4, and I struggle with making enough time to give each of my children individual attention in a week, much less every day. Do you have any tips or suggestions?

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    1. We take a different kid with us anytime we go anywhere so that they each get individual time with both my husband and I. They love going anywhere, their favorite place is going to the dump. It doesn't have to be weekly with each kid, just anything consistently. We have 7 children, 5,4,3,2,1,1,and 6wks old.

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    2. I have a friend with 5 children who struggled with this same problem. She had the brilliant idea to let each child have a night of the week that was theirs to stay up 1 hour longer than the rest. They got to pick what they did together for that hour. The kids love stand look forward to their night. It is an incredibly unselfish decision because we mothers all know how cherished bedtime and anytime is!

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  30. Lisa, I am a mother of 4 as well. My oldest son just turned 5. I also have a 3 year old son and my twin boys just turned 1. Sometimes all the individual attention they get is when I'm tucking them in at night. And when my husband is home (he's in the military and often gone) many times he'll put the boys to bed and I'll follow after him and sing a song or read a book to each of the boys. You do what you can and let that be enough or you'll drive yourself crazy.

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  31. Please explain how a woman would want more children and not be aware of it? REALLY?! If a woman knows what she can handle and has decided she doesn't want to have more children, maybe you should be open to the idea that G-d gave her that thought, and that HE knows what is best for her! After all G-d knows us best, correct? And surely He wants us to raise all of our children to the best of our ability, and being given the best opportunities they can be given. It's simple math that two salaries (or perhaps one, for you SAHMs) don't spread as far over twelve people, as they do over four. The more people you try to divide your attention, money, and time among, the less distance they go.

    A friend told me that since I am a woman of child-bearing age, that when the opportunity arises I should have all the children G-d will give me. I have told her that my genes are not something I would intentionally pass along to a new generation and she has informed me I am abusing my "gift" of fertility. I want to be a mother, and will gladly accept and love any child G-d gifts me with, but I'd prefer to seek that gift via adoption. I personally believe that creating life, JUST because you are capable of it, is abusing that gift. Do not tell me that a woman could somehow NOT KNOW she wants more children. We are individuals and by YOU telling ME how I feel, you are taking away my individuality.

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    1. While I appreciated the article, I was thinking this exact thing while I was reading it. Not every woman longs for children, and that is okay. It isn't fair to assume that every woman, deep down, desperately longs to reproduce. I know many who have no desire whatsoever. I also have genes that I do not want to intentionally pass to someone else either. I am also concerned about over population and the sheer number of children in this world who are starving, abused, or in need of a loving home. I can't reconcile this fact with the idea that we should produce as many new children as possible just because we can. It seems selfish and irresponsible.

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    2. Couldn't have said it better myself! I wad thinking the exact same thing both of you were! I have two beautiful children - one boy and one girl - bith under the age of 5. I love them both and strive to spread my time and love evenly between them and my husband. Fact is, even though I have the 'ability' to have more children, I don't want to. I am blessed with the two that I have. And they remind me every day that they are all the children I need to be happy and live a life of fulfillment. I take offense to those women who tell me that I'm wasting the gift of fertility by not having anymore children. Fact is: it's my body and my (potential) children that I would be raising. Therefore, MY CHOICE. And on another note: are you saying that even the women that CAN'T financially afford to have any more children SHOULD STILL have more?! You realize that means they'll go on financial assistance of some kind (ie. WIC, Food Stamps, etc.)?!?! Meaning MORE babies coming into this world than we can afford to feed... more babies/families being supported by the taxpayers than their own parents?! And for that matter: what about those people who have children SOLELY for the purpose of that federal financial assistance?! Those that drive BMWs and have smart phones but still use food stamps?! Or those sick people who have children just so they can abuse them?! Just because a woman has the ability doesn't mean she should... Just Sayin'!

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    3. Not to be taken the wrong way (although this blog was border line offensive) this mom must live a very privileged life to have these perspectives. My son is a child of a single hard working mother and an incarcerated father. Do I need to take my UBER FERTILE body and give it to a man to procreate to give more glory to god? NO. Does my son HAVE to have a brother or sister to live a life of fulfillment? NO. Will my life be any less fulfilling without more children? NO. I am happy and content. I take my son on 12 hour road trips with no qualms, he does have my undivided attention 90% of the time, and I think he loves it. Ive never felt overwhelmed being a mother to my son for the reasons stated. This mom must have a HUSBAND whos not in prison, who makes a ton of money, they probably own a beautiful home, and she gets to stay home and focus on her mommy blog once a week after ballet lessons... Seriously? This isn't realistic...

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    4. I am so glad someone spoke up. Mother of twins here; not only do I only have two kids, I only gave birth one time. So, I guess I am really low on your judgmental perspective. I too stay home and educate the boys. My husband is going through medical school and he has a hard time giving the little time he has left to the three of us. I believe that the Lord has different purposes for different people. Some are asked to carry many children, others a few. And let's not forget that the Lord only needed to bless Abraham with one child from Sarah in order to bring about a nation. Yes, beautifully written. You are very talented. Being on the receiving end of it all, I feel that you are abusing the talent of writing and using it not to build up, but to tear down. You could have built up ALL women with your writing, regardless of the number of children they birthed. But it seems to me, that you missed the opportunity to use your talent as a light. I thank Sharon, Anonymous and Carley for writing their thoughts and helping lift the darkness that your words brought upon me as I read. Blessings to your large family. Blessings to all the small ones too.

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    5. I think that the beauty of a blog is that one can write about their feelings and perspectives and potentially give certain people that relate a feeling that they are not alone in theyre feelings or to gain some wisdom or hope that apply to their lives. The beauty of being human is that we are all different and have our own views and opinions. Everyones lives and hopes and dreams are different but isnt it amazing when you read something that really hits home and just makes your day better? One pet peeve of mine is that for some reason people who do not relate to a post book show whatever it it feel that it is wrong and must comment negatively on it.nothing one person says or feels or dreams is going to reach everybody or please everybody. If you feel moved by something youve read let the author know that they made your day, if a small part was relateable but nothing else then take that little bit and leave the rest and if you dont agree move on its not mandatory in life to critisize someones writing who does not share your views and feelings. Realistic? What does that mean anyways realistic is a relative term a starving childs life is not realisic to us unless youve witnissed their suffering firsthand.we should all remember that saying about walking amile in someones shoes , dont punish someone for being brave enough for putting thier hopes dreams feelings and fears in the hopes that someone out there will relate and find some comfort hope or inspiration in words. Ease up people lifes too short

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    6. (Anonymous #1 here) I didn't criticize her writing or her 'hope dreams...etc' as you said. I simply stated MY views. After all isn't that why there's a comment box on her blog?! And for that matter, why are her views more important than that of every other woman reading her blog?! My husband was injured over seas and barely made it home for the birth of our 1st child. When we decided to have the 2nd we tried for almost a year, lost a child and then conceived our daughter. The second pregnancy was hard on me and my body. I made the decision not to have anymore children and he agreed. We are more than greatful for the two beautiful and healthy children we have. As far as your comment about the realistic aspect: just because you don't see something first hand doesn't mean it isn't REAL. 2nd Anonymous was stating in her own opinion/observation that the writer must feel compelled to have more children because she must not have the day to day struggles that MOST women do these days. Be it long work hours, an absent father to said children, a lack of financial means...etc. THAT'S realistic. THAT'S honesty. It's unrealistic to live in a world full of women procreating just because they can. And it's also irresponsible. If you don't have the means or the capabilities to take care of a child, YOU SHOULDN'T, even if you can. THAT'S REALISTIC!

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    7. This blog is vomit inducing!!! I love big families and came from one but WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? You clearly know nothing about real life and I feel sorry for your kids to be raised by such a narrow minded, uneducated person. WOW!!!!!!

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    8. I usually don't respond to blog posts but this sat so uneasily with me that I felt I had to speak up. You see, I have 2 children whom I love very very much. I have no intention of having more. I don't feel like I'm abusing my God given "talent" for having babies. I just feel our family is complete with two.
      Every child IS a gift... I couldn't agree with you more. But when my sister found out she was pregnant in her 3rd year of PA training and had to give up her schooling... and then found out she was pregnant with her 2nd days after finding out her husband had been cheating on her... well, let's just say that parenting is difficult under the best of circumstance. Does she love her children? Obviously they are cherished. Is there a bit of resentment over the circumstances? How could there not be?
      And then I have a friend who is unable to conceive. She has one adopted son that she loves passionately and looks upon my children like she's hungry. Should I have more children just because she can't? Please. Yes, my fertility may be a gift but those who are unable to have kids aren't paying for MY KIDS food, diapers and clothing.
      Families come in all shapes and sizes. Want to have 6 kids (or more?) Great!! What a wonderful, full household you have! Want to have 0 kids? Great! You must be able to travel and see so much, not to mention you look FABULOUS because you have practically no wrinkles and your tummy and breasts are still where they are supposed to be. Want to have 1- 2 kids? Great! You will be able to enjoy all the benefits of parenting!
      I understand the point behind your post, I do. I just wish you hadn't made it so patronizing to those who don't share your viewpoint.

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    9. "Looks upon my children as she is hungry"????? What are you saying??? I pray to adopt my son who came to live with us just after his 1'st birthday and he is now over 3yrs old. If a "friend" said that about me I would be so hurt!!!

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    10. Wow I'm glad people mentioned that they were saddened by this post, too. We are an overpopulated planet. We cannot support all the people in our world, how can we desire for people to have tons of children? Adopting would be a more appropriate way to get your desire of a big family. Tons of children really need a good meal, and creating more kids just takes away from the less fortunate. Everything is connected. The more and more education a country develops in it's women, the smaller families will be. There's a direct, researched correlation between woman's education and family size. Granted, people should all be able to choose, but God doesn't make people more fertile because they need to populate the world. Women have much more value than their fertility.....

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    11. Lovely, heart-warming blog. I would have loved to have a large family, but with 7 billion on the planet already, I could not feel positive about doing more than replacing my husband and myself. http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

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  32. This was excellent! But even if you don't have fertility, you can still have a big family. Adoption is one of the most beautiful pictures of what God our Father has done with us. Plus there are 160 million orphans in the world and that number is growing. Thank you for writing this article! -Brandon

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    1. Have you ever adopted? I'm the adoptive mama of one, and to get my ONE child it cost so. much. money. This was a domestic adoption as well. We have looked into international adoption, but the price triples. Unless you are very well off and can afford to keep adopting to create a big family, it isn't realistic for most of us. We are praying that we can save up enough for a second adoption, but that will be the last one because it's such a grueling, expensive, and HARD road.

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    2. One international adoption here and currently waiting to adopt two from foster care. Foster care is ridiculously affordable. Our two our a sibling group so we won't even pay for our adoption.

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  33. wonderful post. would like to hear you speak about marriage too. x

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  34. I am a mother of 4, the eldest turned 5 recently and there are no twins...3 were actively prevented so I assume God REALLY wanted me to have these kids...I love them with everything I have but most days, I wish God didn't have such faith in my abilities. None of them are mistakes but I intend to have a "what were you thinking?" Conversation with God one day and having Him give me an answer...I may see it in 18 years or something like your brother but right now, most days it feels like Hell

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  35. "Although, when you get into deep conversation with a woman, you see the longing and the loneliness on her heart for more children. She may not even know it." Or you might wrong. A woman has no value outside of breeding? I have two children and made the decision to set a very different example for them. A woman can be valued as an employee, a friend, or a wife. She can choose to have a career that fulfills in ways that children cannot. I'm not even going to touch the overpopulation argument here. How nice that you assume to speak for every woman. You are wrong.

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    1. So she is wrong because she doesn't agree with you??? As far as the "overpopulation issue" The world produces enough food to feed over 10 billiion people.....the world only has around 7 billion..so as far as I am concerned Malthus and his followers are (gasp) WRONG! You do the math....10 billion vs 7 billion....nope doesn't look like we will be running out of food any time soon...And to add another point...the population rate is actually declining, in fact there is more concerns with some countries like Europe with negative population growth and what that could do on the worlds population if it doesn't change. To the writer of this blog, keep on speaking your mind on YOUR BLOG.

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    2. You're assuming I'm only talking about food production. There are myriad other problems around the population increase. Sure, we produce enough substandard food *gasp* with no distribution system in place. Despite all this production, we still have people suffering and dying of starvation. We are rapidly encroaching upon ecosystems that are not replaceable. Humans are the stewards of this planet and to use resources merely to further our own population is selfish and irresponsible. Negative population growth? It's about time. This is also about valuing a woman for more than her ovaries and mothering skills. I am more than a mother and it's important for my kids to see it. Besides, isn't there something in Christianity about not judging?

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    3. Nobody said (correct me if I'm wrong) that a woman shouldn't be valued for anything more than her ability to have children and to mother them. This blog is celebrating the JOYS of motherhood and trying to encourage those mothers who are having a rough time!
      My own mother bore eight children and although I value her MOST for being the wonderful, kind, compassionate and generous mother that she is, I also value her for her ability to run the office (the bookwork and take care of the taxes) at my father's business, I value her for her ability to educate her children (homeschool) and to teach us how to think, how to cook, how to sew, etc. (invaluable knowledge in today's world), I value her for her contributions to our community as a religion teacher at our church, as a soccer coach for my younger brothers, as a volunteer to local pregnancy centers, as a friend, as a daughter, as a wife, and as a sister. I only hope I can be half the woman that my mother was.
      As for the myth of overpopulation (see {www overpopulationisamyth com}) it has been proven that a family of 6 or greater actually are BETTER stewards of energy and resources in their home then a family of 3 or 4. Why? Because they are often living in the same size house or often smaller houses....yet using the same amount of electricity and heat. BONUS, less food goes to waste in a larger family because SOMEBODY is always hungry..:)
      And for the poor, while I am saddened that there ARE people that live in this world that suffer and die because of lack of care and food, Jesus Christ said in the Gospels, "the poor will always be with you" - that doesn't mean not to help or contribute (I do) to their needs, but that no matter how many people live in the world, having less people doesn't make poor people rich, and less people doesn't make starving children full. This is a different matter - it has nothing to do with the myth of overpopulation.
      So, Anonymous (the first), I applaud you, because you ARE more than a mother, I believe you; but I also strongly believe that you being a mother... it is your greatest calling and at the end of your life, that one thing you will be most proud of... Blessings to you.

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    4. p.s. I don't believe the blogger wanted to criticize or condemn families with 2 children. I don't either, so please don't take my post the wrong way. I posted because I was offended by the "overpopulation" comment and also because I don't believe women should be valued on their fertility and mothering skills either. But I do believe it is one of the greatest joys there is in life. :-)

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  36. I am perfectly happy with only two children and don't want to feel bad for only having two children. I did have difficulties with one of my pregnancies and was told I would have to possibly abort my baby. That was very difficult on my marriage and wasn't sure after that if I could have more babies. I feel I am a much better mother because I only had two children and with the pressures of Mom's needing to work full-time to make ends meet it is the decision that my husband and I made and I am very happy with it. I am grateful for the time and ability to help our parents during their trials and sicknesses and to teach my children what it means to help volunteer in the community because I don't have a large family and have time to help neighbors, friends and family in need. I am not condemning you for having a large family but I don't want to be condemned for only having two!

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    1. AMEN! I totally agree as a mother of two children who doesn't want anymore. I am of an age where further pregnancies are a risk. I want to get back in the work force in a year or less. I have been a stay-at-home mom for 5 years, and I want to talk to adults on a regular basis again. Whatever size family people choose to have is up to them. I don't condemn big or small families or those with no children, as long as they take care of the ones they have. It's sad when children are left to be on their own at a young age and don't have parents who take care of them.

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    2. In today's economy, a woman popping out baby after baby is an occupation. Most go on public assistance yet won't dare tell you that.

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    3. As a woman who is "popping out baby after baby," as I'm sure you would refer to having 4 children in 5 years, even in today's economy, I am not on public assistance, I have many, many friends with more kids than I have who are not on public assistance, and I'm wondering why you think "most" of us are. In my experience, most of us have learned to live on a budget, and we make financial sacrifices joyfully so we can keep poppin' those babies out.

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  37. As I sit here at 7am in the morning reading your post, I am crying my tears out, I have almost 5 year old boy, That I have been blessed with, I wanted more n more kids after that still praying to God for Twins my husband n I wanted twins right away, anyways later after trying to have another baby i was diagnosed with endometrosis There are days and night even minutes go by that i am in major pain inside, I will be having my lap surgery very soon,I am in pain right now reading it hurts my stomach,i shiver to write this i am very upset with myself not to be able to give my son a brother or sister to play with,Sometimes it hurts me seeing him play so good with him cousins but when we come home he asks me why he doesnt have one, He knows i will be having a surgery and he is still asking me to bring him a sister home, Knowing i might not be able to have kids is very hard, seeing girls pregnant or on there third trimester is very hard i have a sister in law who is having her 3 baby in two weeks, I dont know how i will be able to handle it I get sad, depressed, sick because I might not be able to have kids but others can, dont get me wrong i am very happy i will be able to spoil my niece's n nephews, at the same time I want to have that feels back also being pregnant having morning sickness, the joy of delivers a beautiful baby that God has Blessed upon. I feel like we as people we get judged so quickly why we only have one or two kids, as there is a saying goes dont judge a book by its cover, I wish people would ask me why i only have one child so i can explain to them what endometrosis is,.

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    1. I just commented below and then saw your comment. I think we feel the same way! I feel for you! We are in the same boat! God know what He's doing, however painful it may be for us!

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    2. Thank you so much,

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    3. I am still 24 years old, and my husband my parents siblings still tell me to this day that God knows his timing and when that time comes it will be very Joyful and Fulfilling.

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    4. Just wanted to let you know. I had severe endometriosis and after treatment had FOUR children. Be encouraged and know that I prayed for you!

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  38. Please don't forget about the thousands of couples out there who are longing to have more children and can't. Please don't look at someone with only two children and judge them. God is the one who is control of how many children we have and sometimes it is just a few. I always wanted to have 7 children. I look at your beautiful family and I am thinking how blessed you are! But I am blessed too. Because God has chosen to give me only ONE child. And I have struggled and struggled with this. It's a very real pain for many, many people. It's called secondary infertility. And it's REAL! It hurts to think that people like you look at people like me and think that we have somehow CHOSEN to only have a few children. NOT SO! It has been a long journey of trusting the Lord and realizing that His plan is different than mine, and I am going to invest everything I have into my one child. Yes, adoption is also a wonderful option, and I am so glad for those who can do it. But some couples can't afford adoption or both spouses aren't on board with adoption. So please stop and think about the pain of infertility and secondary infertility and realize how blessed you are before you judge. I am not trying to be critical of your article. I think it was very beautifully said and I agree with every word. But I just want to make you aware of those of us out here who want so badly to have as many children as you, but God has told us "no". It's not God' plan for everyone to have many, many children. Just remember that.

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    1. Thanks for posting your thoughts. My experience is very similar to yours and your response communicates everything I would have shared.

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    2. Very well put!!! I have one son who is now 23 yrs old and is in graduate school. He is the only child GOD provided me and he turned out to be a wonderful young Christian young man. My husband and I would have loved to had more children, however, it wasn't mean to be, so we truly love the one we have and thank GOD for who he has turned out to be.

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  39. I think is well written! Thank you for sharing! The only thing I would say is that there are many people that use children to take advantage of the system. I don't agree with having more children than you are capable of providing for financially.

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    1. Wow, what books do you spend your time reading if you think THIS is well written? This is a clear case of an adult temper tantrum. There is no "art" to this blog. It is not soaked in expertise, real-world experience (and by world I mean beyond the outer perimeters of your church community) nor is it written with impeccable logic or any fascinating insight. Nothing here is tied to any solid logic. It's just a personal commercial for why she feels the need to justify her family to..herself.

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    2. Exactly! ! My thoughts exactly Larissa! Kudos!

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  40. People always write to perpetuate their own beliefs and make their own situation sound like the best thing ever. I'm a woman with one onederful child and I do not long for more children at all. Everyone is not the same.

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  41. I believe that you meant to be encouraging so please take my comment as constructive criticism (something to think about and take to the Lord in prayer). You wrote: "but I've never met a woman who wished they didn't have so many." While your statement may be true that you haven't met someone like that, unfortunately, there are mothers who have hurt their children emotionally because they voiced their displeasure at having so many children. It breaks my heart to think of it. Stasi Elderedge's mother told Stasi more than once when Stasi was a child that she regretted having so many children. Stasi was the youngest and you can imagine how much that wounded Stasi's heart -- utter devastation to a little girl's soul to be told by her mother that she wish she didn't have her -- only God's amazing healing could mend that heart. Stasi realizes that her mother spoke out of her own wounds and brokeness and Stasi has forgiven her mother for the emotional pain that she inflicted on Stasi. She writes about that in Captivating which she co-authored with her husband John.

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  42. I also agree that a family should not have more than they cannot finacially afford to raise.

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  43. What a BEAUTIFUL and MOVING post! I can't stop crying. I want to share this with the world, but sadly like so many above posters they do not want to hear it. I am definately going to look through your other posts because I have never come across your blog before. THANK YOU so much for this post!

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  44. Do not be overly critical of those you see with just two children. After my second child I found out from my doctor having another would very likely kill me. (Very sick during the pregnancies and complicated labors and births, c-sections for both, and with last one I had uterine rupture). I am now glad I only had two because I believe this is the number God knows I will do best with. Women who are blessed to have easy pregnancies and deliveries, remind yourselves that you shouldn't take this for granted or look down on women who don't possess your same ability. Also, one thing I wanted to contribute here (why I posted my "two cents") is that having a small family doesn't make you any less of a mother. I think that was the thing I kind of struggled with having other friends and sisters with big families around me: that I was a lesser mother because I only had two. BUT I can honestly say I am proud to have just my two. I worked very hard and risked my life to bring them here and we are a WHOLE family just the four of us. <3

    God bless you, ma'am, I am glad you enjoy having a big family because it is something not everyone is called to have.

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  45. I appreciate your perspective as I was home-schooled and grew up around many big families. I respect large families who can financially provide for their children and maintain a personal relationship with each one, providing him or her with the tools necessary to function independently doing whatever he or she chooses to do. However, the big families I grew up around were unable to provide these things for their children.

    Living on one income so the mother could stay at home to care for the children led to huge financial stresses. There were many times that the homeschool group I was a part of was called to provide meals to a struggling family. I loved the sense of community and that everyone had such servants' hearts, but was frustrated by what looked like a lack of planning on the family's part. If someone is no longer able to provide financially for the children they have, adding more mouths to feed seems very irresponsible to me.

    Also, because I was friends with many of the "older" girls (who were adolescents at the time) in large families, I was able to hear their perspective of big families. While most of them said that they too would want large families when they were older (and some are now well on their way), they also said they felt unable to talk to their parents. This was hard for me to comprehend, because I told my parents everything and constantly asked for their advice. My friends from large families seemed to think the idea of chatting with their parents about anything other than their family Bible study was completely off limits.

    Lastly, the families I grew up around we're also home-schooled. However, the girls my age did not receive much schooling at all because they were constantly helping their mothers care for their younger siblings, clean the house, or cook meals. I think these are excellent life skills for an adolescent to have, but they were not being provided with many other skills. This is perfect if they decide to also become stay-at-home mothers with large families, because that is a very time consuming and difficult job that only experience can teach. However, if they wanted to do anything else with their lives, they were up a creek. I saw a couple of these girls struggle horribly when they tried to enter college, and it made me feel awful for them.

    In my opinion, parenting is a huge responsibility--one that never ends. I'm sure some large families are financially secure and able to devote the time and attention necessary for each individual child, and I commend and respect those who are. However, it is very upsetting to me to see families like the ones I grew up around where the mothers are completely focused on the newest baby, and only raise him or her until the next one comes along. Meanwhile the older children are feeling more and more neglected, with more and more responsibility of caring for siblings.

    I'm sorry this is so long and probably appears to be attacking the woman who wrote this article. I just felt as though this article was saying that women who have fewer children are not fulfilling God's will, because women are intended to procreate (which is the same opinion held by the mothers I grew up around). However, in my opinion, if a mother is unable to fulfill each child's physical, emotional, and spiritual needs, then she is creating beings who will likely struggle in life and not live to their fullest potentials. I do not see how this is fulfilling God's will. I'm sure some large families are able to fulfill each child's needs, and that is great. But others are not. Some choose to still have large families, and their children suffer because of it. Others choose to have smaller families and are just fine. Please do not make those who choose to have fewer children feel as though they are going against God's will, as we all just want what is best for our children.

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    1. Anyone who feels slighted by this garbage should just look around at the outside world. This isn't the 1800s. Women actually have choices though clearly some choose to let their husbands and their religion remove it from them.

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    2. Couldn't agree more!

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    3. Yes, that's true. I haven't seen a large family that didn't have difficulties with the older kids exhibiting some signs of severe stress from lack of attention combined with all the heavy responsibilities they had to carry from a very young age.

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  46. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

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  47. This is very lame. Then again, it is catering to the Christian belief of women being barefoot and preggers.

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  48. I understand what you're writing... and I agree, that for ME, that's what I would like. I have two close in age and I would like more. BUT,what you're saying to ALL women is a little scary too. Many woman long to have even one children and can't... Also, I think many women know their financial, logistical, spiritual and psychological limits as to how many children they decide to have. If we all lived in a village and not in isolation from friends and family, having lots of kids would be different because it would mean that women would have a support network. As the situation stands now, not everyone can cope with the massive demands from multiple children on their own. Also... the environmental negative impacts of having so many children would be astronomical if every family 'went forth and multiplied'. Like, are all the kids wearing cloth diapers and recycled clothes and local food? Because, if every family had seven kids, imagine the piles and piles of diapers that would be in our landfills for thousands of years...

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  49. It's incredibly sad the number of Christians who are judging others. Have you fully read the bible? I find this article sad. You are judging so many people in this world without another thought. What if one of your daughters decides she doesn't want children? What if one day you lose everything and cannot provide for your children (as has happened to so many) and cannot viably have more children?

    This article is nothing more than selfish and judgemental. It makes me sad for the future generations. What are we teaching them?

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    1. i agree. shame on this person for writing such bogus garbage.

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  50. The title is very misleading. I came on here expecting to read why my husband and I only have 2 children and gosh darnit, I can't find one sentence based in fact.

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  51. As a mother pregnant with her 8th child, I appreciate your take on large families as a viable option, even in today's small-family world. Healthy families come in all shapes and sizes. We love our large family but many times others just don't understand why we want so many children. I feel that God teaches me what I need to learn through my family--patience, trust, devotion.
    I also feel that it allows me to teach my children to live simply because we must in order to survive as a family unit. My family of 9 uses fewer resources than families of 3 that I know. We grow our own food in our garden and can it and dehydrate it for the winter, we raise our own meat and process it ourselves. We reduce, reuse, and recycle at every step. Though I have potentially added an exponential number of children to the world for future generations, it is my goal to teach them to be stewards of the land and to respect and appreciate what we have been given.

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  52. I must say that as I read this I felt a great heaviness lift from my heart, I have c onstantly wandered why I would be so tortured by the mother of 5 controlling her children so much more adequately than I can control my 2, I'm forever relying on tons of help from families and friends when deep in my heart I know I've got this under control, loosing my temper much more often than I should listening to society say 1 boy & 1 girl its perfect why would you want another and the truth is I love them so entirely I don't feel the need at this time but I may eventually and I want to hear that encouragement! I thank you for helping me understand I'm not bad at my job just new!

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  53. After my 4 th was born that Dr. Told me I couldn't have any more and then a few years later had to havea hysterectomy ata mere 31 years oldi thought my heart would break, but now I am a nanny to 4 amazing children besides mine! It's wonderful what God can do through us mom's if only we let Him.
    Thank you for posting this.

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  54. "Although, when you get into deep conversation with a woman, you see the longing and the loneliness on her heart for more children. She may not even know it." Or perhaps you are projecting something that you think and feel on that woman. I think the solution to true loneliness and discontentment (usually stemming from the overarching sin of pride and selfishness) is not in more children, but in a deeper, more authentic walk with our Creator. My husband and I carefully, with prayer and fasting, just decided on a vasectomy. That is what we believe to be right for our family - the direction that God is clearly leading us. Additionally, your assumption that mothering is the most important work I can do is also one that I am not willing to accept. Yes, my children are one of my greatest joys in life and yes, raising them is very important to me. But ANY work that furthers HIS kingdom is the most important thing I can do. Yes, birthing more children may do that, but so does a whole host of other things that God leads us to accomplish. I'm going to take the kids I have and go those things with them. The reason families with few children don't understand large families and vice versa is because God did not design all family units to have the same mission and to accomplish the same things. Just as though my personality doesn't make me the best choice for certain things, the mix of gifts, personalities, talents, and callings make my family uniquely called and designed for our niche is God's plan. Also, having many children - whether through natural birth or adoption is a blessing for your family setting from a financially secure and unbroken home situation that should not be remotely expected of families in a different situation. I am glad to hear you celebrate the children you have, but much of your language seems to pass judgement or assume that your way is the best way - you are not me, nor do you know me, thus God has no reason to communicate his plan and desires for MY family to you.

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    1. Oh Kristin, thank you so much for your words. I love large families, I came from one myself, but to be told that honoring my gift of fertility through giving birth to as many children as possible sat very wrong with me. I'm a religious person, and my husband and I decided how many kids to bring to this world in a prayerfully manner.
      Something else that disturbed me tremendously is her advice that when you think to yourself that you're overwhelmed somehow that's the devil planting ideas in your head... holy ignorance, let's not ignore the fact that mental health breakdowns are a real thing!!! Depression is real! Telling yourself to sick it up and have more children anyway because you get better at it eventually isn't a responsible way to live.

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  55. While I can hear your love for children coming through in this post, not only do I think it is true what others are saying about the inaccuracy of all women longing for more children, you need to go to some of the developing countries of this world to hear the mothers who have large families and cannot care for them because of poverty. The amount of times I had to sit with a woman as she wept when she discovered that she was pregnant again, because her husband and religious leaders forbade contraception. .. The bodies unable to bear any more live children ... The malnutrition in families as food has to be shared with more and more siblings. .. The inability to educate the children equally so often the girls had to stay home... While I am sure the article was well-meant to encourage Western women who feel judged for having a large family, it could have been written differently.

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    1. Very much agree. I tried very hard to read this article with an open and appreciative mind but there's things said here that are so very deeply troubling and completely lacking in a broader, world vision. There are too many children in the U.S. alone suffering their own hardships thanks to extremely fertile parents that cannot provide for them. It's not just simply a matter of: have uterus, will procreate.

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    2. I agree with both of you. I am truly satisfied with 2. No secret wanting here. I had a late period recently and panic set in: more is not right for me.

      And because I have 2, I financially capable of providing for some of the hungry families in my community. That's what I'm thankful for.

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  56. I understand the spirit of the article, but for someone who is claiming to be doing what God wants, you are being kind of judgmental. Because we have decided to only have 1 child we are all of a sudden being influenced by the devil??? Next time you write an article about having a big family, keep it about your own experiences and don't try to tell other people how to live their lives.

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  57. I have one child - one, very special child. We tried for eleven years you see, to have a child. We cried, we prayed, we grieved... at last, we conceived. I was pregnant for just 25 weeks and my daughter was born weighing barely more than a pound. She was in the NICU for nearly six months before she finally came home - and the horrors we suffered in those six months are not something I care to revisit, even in memory. Now, she is nearly four years old. She doesn't speak. She didn't crawl until she was over a year old, didn't walk until she was two. They say she has autism. I am not sure... I think she's just who God designed her to be. I get her the therapy she needs but I never wish she was 'normal'. I never take her to specialists to be labeled this or that... she'll talk when she's ready. God gave me this... incredible person to watch out for. Do I want more children? Yes, someday... I would love that. But I am also realistic in my expectations. I am no longer all that young, I don't have another eleven years to give. So my daughter will probably be my only child - but what an amazing gift she is, what a blessing!!! God you see, doesn't call us to have large families... at least, not all of us. He gives us the children we are meant to have.

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    1. Amen!!!!! Thank you!!!!! The writer is very ignorant and uneducated.

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    2. Too right. Blessings on you and your little girl.

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    3. Thank you so much for putting out there that no matter how well intended our desires are, however much we want to bring many children into this earth, God's plan for us may be very different than what we had imagined in our heads. Being able to take inventory, accept our circumstances, and adjust rather insist on forcing our wishes to come to pass anyway takes courage and is a very humbling experience. How nice that to this woman, everything has worked out great so she can have the picture perfect life she always imagined having.

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  58. I am a mother of two because that's what I chose for my own reasons. I too, felt that unfathomable love when I held both for the first time and I too, see them in many ways that you see them (the years will be too short, my babies aren't babies anymore etc). However, I am heavily saddened by your post. I was born to drug addicts and mentally ill parents, in a family that could have taken me and my siblings in in theory but chose not to. We lived in foster homes. Some were abusive. Some were okay. All were temporary. They all had kids of their own. When I was a teenager, my aunt adopted me and my one sibling, the same aunt that put us into foster care. She immediately started having kids of her own. Again, it was temporary and she was clearly overwhelmed with the tasks of having teens and children of her own so she handled it by keeping us away and busy out of the home every moment she could. I had to move out the day, literal day I turned 18. No help. No support. No guidance. I pour my heart into my two girls today and do everything with everything I am to make sure that they know that they are loved, wanted, valuable human beings. Not every kid is born with a mother like you. Not everyone has the life you have. Not everyone should be having kids. Not everyone should be making more kids when kids are alive, right now, desperately needing permanent homes and love- perfectly good, small, vulnerable, homeless, loveless humans right now. My job on earth isn't having kids or being a mom. It's being the best person I can be with the blessings I do have today. What that means for my family I don't know, but I take it one day at a time. My girls are part of that. Both of them.

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  59. I am a mother of two because that's what I chose for my own reasons. I too, felt that unfathomable love when I held both for the first time and I too, see them in many ways that you see them (the years will be too short, my babies aren't babies anymore etc). However, I am heavily saddened by your post. I was born to drug addicts and mentally ill parents, in a family that could have taken me and my siblings in in theory but chose not to. We lived in foster homes. Some were abusive. Some were okay. All were temporary. They all had kids of their own. When I was a teenager, my aunt adopted me and my one sibling, the same aunt that put us into foster care. She immediately started having kids of her own. Again, it was temporary and she was clearly overwhelmed with the tasks of having teens and children of her own so she handled it by keeping us away and busy out of the home every moment she could. I had to move out the day, literal day I turned 18. No help. No support. No guidance. I pour my heart into my two girls today and do everything with everything I am to make sure that they know that they are loved, wanted, valuable human beings. Not every kid is born with a mother like you. Not everyone has the life you have. Not everyone should be having kids. Not everyone should be making more kids when kids are alive, right now, desperately needing permanent homes and love- perfectly good, small, vulnerable, homeless, loveless humans right now. My job on earth isn't having kids or being a mom. It's being the best person I can be with the blessings I do have today. What that means for my family I don't know, but I take it one day at a time. My girls are part of that. Both of them.

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  60. I simply wish people who wish to read blogs would stop criticizing them. If you don't like a post read what you want and move on with your life.

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  61. I feel as if God lead me to read this. My husband (of 3 years) and I have been debating when the "right time" is for us to have children, as I am still attending college. We both want children more than anything but outside influences have made us hold off having them. I feel like this has made me understand that God willing, we will have children when He knows we are ready and when we can handle those blessings. Thank you so, so much.

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  62. I am so glad someone spoke up. Mother of twins here; not only do I only have two kids, I only gave birth one time. So, I guess I am really low on your judgmental perspective. I too stay home and educate the boys. My husband is going through medical school and he has a hard time giving the little time he has left to the three of us. I believe that the Lord has different purposes for different people. Some are asked to carry many children, others a few. And let's not forget that the Lord only needed to bless Abraham with one child from Sarah in order to bring about a nation. Yes, beautifully written. You are very talented. Being on the receiving end of it all, I feel that you are abusing the talent of writing and using it not to build up, but to tear down. You could have built up ALL women with your writing, regardless of the number of children they birthed. But it seems to me, that you missed the opportunity to use your talent as a light. I thank Sharon, Anonymous and Carley for writing their thoughts and helping lift the darkness that your words brought upon me as I read. Blessings to your large family. Blessings to all the small ones too.

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  63. For the love of God, please people, stop giving birth so much. If you want another child, why don't you adopt someone who truly, truly needs a family? This blog is so outrageously pretentious and nonsensical, I can't even begin to wrap my head around it. Encouraging OLDER mothers to keep having children? Do you know how risky pregnancy gets for women as they age? There comes a time when you need to focus on the children you have, and not on your own selfish desire to always have someone who completely depends on you.

    That's all I saw in this article: "Me, me, me!" Shame on you. I feel terrible for your children.

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    1. I can't help but ask, have you adopted? Are you aware of the expense and difficulty involved, even if you go through the state, and the fact that after a lot of expense and work, it still might not work out? Are you familiar with average waiting periods? If you could just go pick up a child wherever and whenever, I could see your point. As someone who has looked into adoption, I can't. Secondly, I've never met a mom who said, "I had this baby because I really just wanted someone who completely depends on me." Pretty sure that's not what this blog was saying anyway.

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  64. The articles or stories I like reading are ones that are from a personal testimony point of view...where the word "I" is used. Not the word "you". When the word "you" is used it closely borders judgement and I begin to not like what I'm reading because I feel judged.

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  65. Thank you for this...I am early in my pregnancy with our 3rd. I was excited for another child but after getting pregnant have been so overwhelmed, full of doubt in my capabilities and giving love, time, attention to another child without losing it with my other 2. I know this is a gift from the Lord, and I am trusting Him in that. Your post was so encouraging though to see some things from a new and different perspective. Thank you!

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  66. LOVE! (Although you almost instantly brought me to tears with thinking that my 5 y.o. only has 12 more years left at home!!!) xoxo

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  67. (2 of 2) In a society such as this that highly values women and more so through child bearing, it creates unnecessary pressure on people to have children in order to feel their worth much at all, which is a breeding ground for women having more than they can bear, and this blog post reinforces that pressure. Other comments say to stop criticizing this post. Just know that I'm not criticizing you or your choice of having many children. What I feel is important to criticize is the unintended negative message that comes through coming to incomplete conclusions about those with few children. You should trust women's ability to know their limits. You said the devil is what's putting in to some mom's minds that thought they're not being a good mom and therefore shouldn't have more children? Though I do think that most of us are overcritical of how well we're mothering, who are you to say the devil that gives women the instincts and insight to know what they can and can't handle. And what message is this sending to the mothers out there who are happy with one or 2 or 3 kids? You seem like a very kind person so please open your heart to see how hurtful this is. What needs to be criticized is that you didn't just speak of your own experience (which I think everyone should express) but you expanded and made opinions about others without adequately walking in their shoes and understanding the many other sides of the story of why people do or do not have children. If you said something like, "The average number of children people have is 2.5, but in spite of this I am so happy to have more. For me, it has made me grow and learn and has provided me the wisdom that I don't think I would have attained otherwise. Being a mom and having multiple children is what works for me . . . " That provides a way for you to express the blessings you are grateful for through having children without unintentionally passing unfounded judgment on others whose experiences are not yours (and having a different experience from yours is OK!). This last part is a bit trivial, but you didn't really address why people only have an average of 2 children. The reason can be explain by the increase in technology/health and affluence. When life expectancy in children was much lower than it was now, birth rates were high. Practically speaking, when you don't know if your child will make it through childhood you have more. Also, 2 makes sense as it's the steady no population growth rate.

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  68. (1 of 2) I understand your intentions in this blog post. Children give you great joy and you see it as a gift from God. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I commend you for being a good mom for your kids. I just want you to be aware that even though your intentions are very well and good, it doesn't mean that parts of your message can be critical, even hurtful to others. Many people are not shocked by the average number of children per household. The fact that you are shocked simply means it is not the norm for you and where you live. People will be just as shocked when they hear of someone have 4,5,6+ kids. It's just not something normally observed in their immediate area/culture/community. I believe you adequately described those with no or few children as have something to teach and contribute to society, but it you also said, "With each new child, you are promoted." Though this does not imply that those w/out children don't have anything beneficial to give, it does imply that growth (promotion) can only be obtained through having more children. I'm sure you didn't mean this but regardless of your intention, it is reasonable for someone to come to an alternate conclusion that can make those w/out children feel alienated. You said you've never met someone who wishes she had less kids. I would be surprised if a woman said she wished she had less children! Once that child has come to this Earth and becomes a part of someone's life it's hard to think of life without them. My child was a surprise. Has becoming a mom make life way more difficult? Oh yeah! Do I regret having her? NO! She is the most wonderful thing that has happened to me. Also, just because a woman is blessed with fertility doesn't mean that by using it more and more they will continue to benefit the world. My mom had 5 children, easy pregnancies, labors, nursing, etc. But my mom (and dad) terribly neglected and abused all 5 children. She was blessed with ample fertility, but she did not have anywhere near the appropriate skills and characteristics to be anywhere near a good mom. It was more than just a parent learning and making mistakes as she grows through parenting as is normal for the average person. She would not and could not take care of us. And she is not the only one. So many people are abused and neglected by their parents. Perhaps it's not the majority (I really don't know) but regardless of percentage of total population it is a lot, and it happens in every religion and every society. I have one child and my mental and emotional capabilities have made me start to "escape" and be distant the same way as my mom at certain stressful times and not give my child the adequate help and attention she needs (though it's not a constant state like my mother). But I'm aware of it and taking steps to change that by seeking therapy and learning skills as an adult and I am improving. I would be worse off than where I am if I didn't put off having another child. Do I want another child? Yes. I think babies are so cute and sweet and having one is so much fun. But babies aren't just for fun and it would be selfish of me to put my ideal feelings of having a baby before having the necessary skills and discipline to provide my children with a supportive environment and mother. By putting off having another child I am actually thinking of my future children's well being more selflessly. So I'm not going to have another baby until I'm stable in my mind, education, and career (and yes, having sufficient finances help parenting in tremendous ways).

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  69. I just became a mother for the first time. My baby girl is three weeks and although all my life i said I dont want kids just because I was afraid of labor pains. And since I am a preschool teacher I always said , "am always with kids why would I need to have more". I treat my students as if they are mine. But now that God blessed me with my girl i would go all over again with labor pains because nothing compares with having your own flesh. Now as far as having more than two kids , that is what i pray and want for my life. why do I think like this? My mother has six kids and in her time she did not have the liberty of saying how many she wants. Kids just came naturally and are counted as blessings and in worst conditions than what we are in now days. But we all know that we have free will and can do and wish whatever we want. No one can read nor should try to read Gods mind. There are millions of people in the world who dont have kids and cant have kids and that doesnt mean God hates them nor doesnt want them to have kids. And I dont think we should judge others on how many kids they have or dont have. For me having a kid comes from a decision a couple makes when they want to have a kid. It has nothing to do with someone else's wish.

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  70. Thank you for this post. The first half seemed like you were writing about my life! We have 5, the oldest is 7, and are in the process of adopting. I completely agree, 2-3 was the hardest. The extra little blessings are just icing on the cake.
    The last couple of paragraphs brought me to tears. I love the way you expressed everything in this post. Beautifully written.

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  71. Thank you for this! We had our 4th blessing this year and so many people think we're crazy as we walk through the store with a high energy 5 year old and his three sisters! I am excited to see what God has in store for our family. My kids are already requesting a brother. We'll see when God is ready to give us another blessing! Thanks for the encouragment!

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  72. This is so ignorant. You are beyond blessed to be able to have kids. Not all of us can. Get off your high horse! This makes me sick to my stomach.

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  73. Repulsive. Who are YOU to claim to know people's hearts, situations and motives for having kids? Wake up- you sound like a moron!!!!!!!!!!

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  74. to me, biology is not what is important or "Godly" when it comes to families and having children. You have six kids? well kudos to you! While many people breed 4, 5, 10 of their own, there are hundreds of thousands of orphans in America whose biggest wish is for a family. I see foster and adoptive parents who lay down their lives every day to care for children not biologically their own, but who need families, thus making them their own. This, to me, is answering God's call for us all.

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  75. Shared by a friend...Wonderful. We were blessed with 5 children the youngest is now 18. Wise words to younger mothers and to others who often make comments to those who have large families and have no idea. Thank you :)

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  76. Your post and the sentiment is very sweet and loving. I actually like it a lot. But it really is a good thing that a few people choose to have big families, and most folks only have 1 or 2 or 3. If most people had big families, then there would be a very serious problem with providing for all those people. Look at India and Africa. It's truly horrible. Just think, one person has ten kids, then each kid has ten kids, then each of them has ten kids. That's a 1110 people in 60 or 10 years, and that just started with one couple! There is also always adoption. There are so so many children in the world who have no mother and father, no home, no one who really cares about them or loves them. What a beautiful thing to give them a home as well :)

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  77. Absolute garbage!!!!!

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  78. Just like that 3rd child could be a doctor or a giver to charities... it could also be a horrible person. Had Hitler's parents stopped at just 2... well, some pretty horrible stuff probably would not have happened.

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  79. While this post is cute, the reality is that alot of "fertile" women in America are single. Especially with those of us born after 1980, men do not want to settle down anymore, and to top it off we have a whole generation of men who were raised by single mothers....and don't seem to know just how to be men. I have one child, a daughter, she is 12. I had her in high school. While I love her to pieces, I am glad my baby days are over and am looking forward to pursuing things that I want to do. Kids are great, a friend of mine has 4 kids and I am often awed by how each child is a different reflection of her and her husband. Still, children can be quite burdensome and some people do want to enjoy their lives without child-rearing, and i don't think there is anything wrong with that.

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  80. Yikes! It looks like you have touched a nerve for a lot of people! I just wanted to add that I'm 3rd in a family of 8 children and I had a wonderful childhood! I feel so blessed to have a large family. I am currently pregnant with my 3rd and I am thankful everyday for the children God has given me. I have very stressful and risky pregnancies so I realize what a blessing each child is. I would love to have more, but I am leaning on the Lord and my husband when that decision time comes. Bless you and your family.

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  81. That was beautifully written. I have tears in my eyes. I didn't read the comments, just the post, but thank you for eloquently expressing those thoughts on motherhood, and being a mother of more than the average number of children. I love having a houseful, and all of them at different ages, while a challenge, is a fantastic ride. (I don't always smile when someone throws up in the middle of the night, but having little arms thrown around me when I get home from the store, or my oldest's arms around me in a hug when he comes home from a date, make up for all of those awful times, no question.) I am so grateful for the wealth of children I have been blessed with, and thank you so much for the positive parenting post!

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  82. I am a christian and do understand in trusting the lord, but I have also seen many times that women have kept having children but cannot afford them. Then society ends up having to take care of all the children that that women had and cannot take care of. Yes children are a wonderful blessing, I have two of them, and I would love to have two more if my husband would permit it lol. But I can afford too. If you are going to have children you cannot just go into it blindly, you have to pray about it, and actually listen, God does tell people no and people don't listen. God does provide we know that, but not everyone trusts that or even believes it sadly. I think there has to be a certain amount of things to consider before you make the decision to keep having children. In today's society it is twice as expensive to raise children, and more and more people are deciding not to work for a living and live off the government and it's people who do work hard, I have two children, and yet I am paying for the women down the road who has ten children living in a hotel room, not working. if this women would get financial help for a babysitter so she could work for a living (which is available in every state) then I would think, good for her she's taking responsibility. 50 years ago, there was not near as much people who live off the government on purpose, who worked hard for a living and had a wonderfully blessed big family, I wish it were still like that but it's not. Children are a blessing, but I do understand in today's age why people stop at 2 children. Thank you for your post, it's was well written, and God bless your beautiful family!

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  83. This was a beautiful article. Why so violently reproach her. If you don't agree with her that is fine, but you don't need to insult her!

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  84. Thank you for this post. I wanted a dozen children. I remember telling God I'd have as many as He wanted me to have. I had two boys 13 months apart, waited 9 years then had my first daughter, lost two babies then had twins! I wanted more, longed for more, but my body was finished and I ended up needing a hysterectomy. at first I was so heartbroken but then I accepted it. I was 42 years old, my marriage was over, so was my time for having babies. now I look at my family and see that 5 was the number God always had in mind for live children for me. I wouldn't change a thing. I am sooo blessed! God bless you for being a mother of many and for reminding the world of how important it is for those who can to have children! I've never met anyone who regretted having children. but I've met many who regret not having any and/or aborting. motherhood is a gift!

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  85. Thank you for this post. I always thought I wanted a large family. After a terrifying first birth followed by postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder I was convinced I never wanted another child. Then about 2.5 years later my husband and I decided to try for a second. We were terrified that the second birth would be just like the first but we made the commitment to take whatever came our way. Now my second baby has struggled with food allergies and eczema and I've endured some pretty painful bouts of nursing issues. I like my family of four right now. We can "divide and conquer" errands and always have a buddy for riding rides etc. Right now I'm at peace with our decision to stop at 2 but my youngest is still under a year old. Who knows, maybe in another 2 years or so I will be ready for a third. I'm just trying to enjoy the time I have with my babies now while finding my way in my faith. I will gladly take whatever God decides to send my way.

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  86. I love the article but I do have to say, I think she has gone overboard with this one: "Although, when you get into deep conversation with a woman, you see the longing and the loneliness on her heart for more children."

    Nope. Really and truly some women just want one or two children. I have no desire or longing for more children. I simply love having an only child. I don't feel like I"m missing anything in my life, at all. Why women think like this is beyond me. Women have a real tendency to justify their own choices by wishing/willing/thinking that all women want to be just like them and it's simply not true. Lumping every woman into one big pile really doesn't work, even if it does make her feel more solid in her choices/desires. I don't desire a large family and I never have. Some women hate dogs, other women love dogs. We don't fit into one mold! We are a diverse people. lol

    Of course, she is entitled to her opinion (and I am to mine) but it's pretty small sighted to assume that women all have a deep desire to have a large family and have loneliness in their hearts. I honestly laughed out loud when I read that part of the article. I do not have a loneliness or longing in my heart for more children. Shockingly enough, some women don't want any at all. Different strokes for different folks. ;) :)

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  87. What a wonderful gift that you have chosen to give your children!!! Siblings are a gift that can only come from your parents. No matter how rich one gets, one can never give oneself a siblings. My parents gave me ten on earth and one in heaven and they are the best that anyone ever gave me! You and your husband are wonderful parents! Keep up the good work! I envy you!

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    1. Friends =) My husband has several brothers that live very degenerate lifestyles, and we can't distance ourselves from them, because they are family. It is much better to give your children the ability to make life-long friendships that they can walk away from quietly, if the person takes a wrong path.

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  88. I was so encouraged by the statement long days and short years. We have 3 we are done, I haven't regreted it for a moment as I am fallowing my husbands lead. I love the slowing it down. God is doing a great work in me as a mom/teacher in this season. Thank you for your words.

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  89. As a father, it's really cool to be able to read a mother's perspective on this topic. You and your readers may also appreciate hearing about the blessing of fertility from a father's perspective. Check out this article on the FatherVision blog: http://www.fathervision.com/the-curse-of-hating-children/

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy

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  90. Some of what you say is true. But from someone who knows that 2 children was all God planned for our family (and who has always been 100% content with just those 2), I must say it stings to hear people say things like "with each new child you are promoted". I dont believe anyone is more or less of a mother because of how many or few children they have. There are amazing mothers of 2 children and mothers with 6 kids who are not wise or overly caring. The number of children really has nothing to do with it - but rather how much are you seeking Gods will along your journey? I think we as women mature and grow as we travel the journey of motherhood whether it is as a mother to one child or to 13 children... You grow and you learn and you adapt to whatever God has called you to. None of us should presume that another's journey will look like our own. God gifts each one differently and calls us to different things. And we should support and live each other no matter how different out journey may be.

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  91. Proverbs 35 talks about the attributes of a virtuous woman. Amount of times those verses mention the size of the family of a virtuous woman: zero. Because that doesn't matter to God. Before God we're each unique, with unique missions, talents, purposes, and unique families. Having more children or less children is FAR from being how we show our love and dedication to Him. Encouraging women to give birth to as many kids as possible is simply a humongous lack of spiritual understanding. :/

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  92. hahahahah I pity your ignorance really

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  93. This is incredibly loving and well-written. However, I must stand up for those of us women who do not want to birth their own children. I love them, and currently put myself through advanced degrees by being a professional nanny. But I also know that unless God overrides my decision, I do not wish to be a mother. Some of us are truly meant for other things. I volunteer time with different programs in my community, am working toward a human services degree, and looking forward to the finalizing of a family adoption of a beautiful ten-year old girl who desperately needed a healthy home. God works through different ways. Simply because one is capable of one plan does not mean it should be done, and parenting is nothing to be taken lightly simply because one has the option. I would love to see more women developing careers, supporting their communities, and adopting children who have no homes. Perhaps my opinion will someday change as I know children are gifts. But again, I believe God has different plans for all of us.

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    1. I completely agree. If you want multiple kids and to help save lives, expand with adoption.

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  94. Thank you for your blog post. I hear you loud and clear. Children are a blessing. :) God bless!

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  95. As a seventeen year old and senior in high school, I already feel that God has laid the purpose of motherhood on my heart and life. In the future of course! I have a great desire for a large family, but so many of my friends think I am absolutely crazy for having this desire at my age, or at all for that matter. I know that this is one of the reasons I was placed on this earth; to me a mom, to raise up people who will love and serve the Lord with their own talents and in their own special way. I wholeheartedly agreed with what you said about each child being their own individual self and each moment being precious.

    Currently, I work at my school district's Afterschool program. We take care of anywhere from 80-100 kids, ages K-6th grade, every weekday afternoon, from school dismissal until six. People think I am crazy, but I LOVE my job, and I LOVE those kids. I can see all of their individual personalities and gifts, the things that make them laugh and smile, and when their faces light up, mine certainly does too. Though they can be absolutely frustrating and make me want to pull out my hair, there has not been a day that I have not walked out having learned something from those awesome kids. Children fill up my heart with such joy. They are such a beautiful portrait of God's love for us. I hope that one day I can have my own children, and as many as God see's fit to bless me with.

    Thank you for your beautiful words. It is so wonderful to see that I am not the only one who feels this way about being a mom.

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    1. Just wanted to add that I do not think that having children or this many children is right for everyone. God knows if families should be big or small and I feel that it may not necessarily be the "devil" telling a couple they should not have more children. God may very well be saying that to them. I know so many families who just have one or two children, and that is all that was laid on their heart. God may not intend for everyone to have a large family. There is absolutely nothing wrong with small families. God sees all of us as individuals too. I will NOT EVER tell someone that they are being selfish, dishonoring the "gift of fertility," or giving in to the devil if they only have one or two kids. That is not something that we can know, only God, and the couple can know how many children are right for them.

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  96. Saw this that a friend posted on Facebook. You have a gift for words. ~ A mom of nine.

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  97. I am surprised by the number of negative comments. My husband and I have always wanted a large family, but after having our 1st, we have just decided to take it one at a time and see how things go. That being said, I did not take offense to this blog. I actually found it encouraging to know that even when you feel like you are too exhausted to have another child, the end reward is so worth it and God will give you the strength. I did not get from this that EVERY woman should have tons of babies. I thought the blogger was just encouraging those who are considering having more (and who want more) but feel discouraged by the reality of parenting. The truth is, it isn't easy. It's tiring, sacrificial, and full of questioning your own abilities. But it is also a beautiful experience.
    I certainly didn't think the blogger was trying to give women a guilt trip into having more and more babies despite their own desires or that she was trying to convince single mothers or those on food stamps to continue having children. Maybe she didn't cover all the bases, but this isn't a doctoral dissertation that she is presenting to a college board. This is her own take on parenting. She stated in the beginning that she didn't intend for it to be controversial.
    I think mothers are too hard on each other. I read numerous comments, and not once did I judge anyone for how many children they had or didn't have. I think it is great that the blogger is in favor of numerous children, and if she is raising them in a Christian home, then all the better. Perhaps her wording was wrong at times. When I read the bit about how we may be giving into the devil by not having more children, I didn't feel as though she was attacking me for wanting fewer children. But maybe there are women out there who satan is attacking by causing them to become excessively overwhelmed by their children, thereby causing them not to want any more...not that he is causing all women to stumble into not wanting more children. I guess I read this differently than many of you, or I just don't get offended as easily. I feel that when it comes to kids, you should have as many (or as few) as you want and no one should tell you otherwise. I personally didn't take offense to this because I trust that God will guide me when it comes to child-rearing, and even if I believe she HAD been claiming that ALL women should have numerous babies, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest. People have their opinions and bashing them on their own blog isn't going to change that.
    I had an older friend who had no children, and she would see a woman at a store with 5 or 6 children, then tell me about it and almost seem disgusted that the woman had had so many. She brought it up on different occasions, and each time, I just brushed it off knowing that I someday wanted 5 or 6 myself. I could have taken offense to her attitude, but why bother? The fact is, all women are different. Having or not having children is a personal decision, and clearly, this blogger has loved being a mother so much that she is simply encouraging others to enjoy it just as much.

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    1. Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy.

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  98. I got pregnant @ 24 & couldnt go through with it. I knew since i was 12 i dint want kids & folks kept saying i will change my mind. I had to get an abortion cos a) i was doing a lot of drinking & drugs @ the time & b) i wasnt living in a stable home enviroment. I couldnt return home with mom cos we werent on good terms then. My christian friends hated me after that calling me a bad person for having an abortion. Nobody was going to help me raise a sick kid (if it came out intact @ all!) Yeah i later cleaned up & got some stable work but it barely pays the rent. Do i long to have kids? No. Yet my family & friends keep saying i will change my mind. Im 30 now & moved back with elderly mom helping her care for my brother's crackhead baby since my sister cant do it (she is easily squeamish). The constant screaming stresses me out & i hide in my room. I started drinking again because i cant stand the stress of dealing with children. I will never be cut out for this mother thing. because i was born with ovaries dont mean i *should* pop out kids or even adopt them. It's rubbish like this i find annoying. You prolly not poor husband makes good pay & i bet you're not brown & in the ghetto.

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  99. Linsday, you do have a gift for writing eloquently, with purpose. You have clearly communicated your POV and "call to all fertile women". But, as many pp have noted, you missed the mark. Many of us fertile women who had relatively easy pregnancies and births have made the responsible decision to not have large families for various reasons.

    I am now 43yo with two young boys, 14 months apart - nearly 4 and 5yo. Both have special needs. I am blessed to be a SAHM with a business on the side. My husband earns enough to keep us content but not without sacrifices. I can't imagine raising 6 children on his salary, surely we would not be able to do it without government financial assistance. And at that point, is it the responsibility of others to financially care for your present and future children? No way! What about saving for college? Saving for retirement? Funding life insurance and emergency funds and staying out of credit card debt?

    I only responded to your blog because really, your blog is public and the comments section wasn't closed. I hope you take to heart the meat of your message, and come back with a rewrite.

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  100. You have a beautiful family! =) Another reason most families have two children is because they love their children very much. By this logic if I have two dogs I should accept any puppies that come my way, because I will get very good at running a kennel. By some miracle the food for the dogs will continue to be high quality, and the older dogs can shepherd the puppies. I will develop a formula for training the dogs, because sending a good dog forth into the world is worth more than spending time with any one individual puppy. Please forgive me, I'm trying to make a respectful analogy. I don't want to sound like a b*tch.

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  101. Well, I read this article. I read encouraging comments, negative comments and downright rude comments. The secondary comment, why most families have 2 children, is unfortunate. It could have stated why my children have made me grow as a person, how they have changed my view on life, etc, etc. Instead, as the author, not currently in personal situation of having only 2 children, can only comment on her PERCEIVED reasons why families have 2 children. We all have and do things in our lives that make us feel valued as a person and a woman. Because everyone has different PERCEPTIONS on religious vs modern ideals of a woman's fertility, old-fashioned or modern ideal of family life and gender roles, how we choose to divide our finances; between family, material, charity, or hobby pursuits, writing about a PERCEIVED reason for having 2 children will only ring true for a VERY small percentage of individuals. I think, (have the PERCEPTION) that the intention of the article was to be encouraging but I PERCEIVE that the secondary comment made it easy for others to criticize.

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  102. Ya'll, take a chill pill. The main point is that most women have two kids because they don't see how they can handle more AS THEY ARE HANDLING THE FIRST TWO. The author proceeds to say, "Please don't worry - you will change and that will make more-than-two doable!" This speaks to the Mom's non-physical assessment of herself. In other words, IF THIS IS YOUR ROADBLOCK, don't sweat it. But obviously this does not mean to ignore factors like high-risk pregnancies, financial constraint, or even certain emotional limitations or illnesses. Please. Let's not globalize issues in a lovely essay addressing ONE TOPIC.

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    1. Let me state that more clearly: there may be ZILLIONS of OTHER reasons why some women have 2 kids, but the author is just addressing ONE of those reasons. Not all of them. In my experience, though, she's right -- the reason she gives is a big reason a lot of well-meaning women stop at two. This said, there are undoubtedly OTHER GOOD REASONS. But it wouldn't be an essay if she tried to cover them ALL; it would be a book. Lets appreciate this essay for what it is: a lovely exhortation to recognize that mothering changes you (slowly) and not to freak out ahead of time. As my husband and I say it, "We're taking it one child at a time. As soon as we can wrap our minds around having more, we'll have the next ONE (not the next nine all in one batch!)... then the next ONE." The woman I was just three years ago could not have handled what I handle on a daily basis, but she didn't have to... the woman I am now cannot handle what I'm sure will be second-nature to me in another five or ten years. I love how the author equates this to a job promotion. What guy in his right mind would say to the boss of the company, "Don't even CONSIDER me for a big promotion because I couldn't POSSIBLY handle all those responsibilities right now. All I'm good for is an entry-level position!" Of course he KNOWS that's all he's good for NOW... but naturally he aspires to more and more over time. And I think this whole essay is about letting us aspire to more over time, knowing that our skills and abilities will grow with each little bit that we stretch.

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  103. Beautiful post, and for the mothers looking for this encouragement this will be meaningful. I could have written very similar words. Being the seventh of ten, and having seven children myself, I am a witness of the truth of these words. We are better, more disciplined and organized parents when we have many children--because we need to! No time to fuss over every little whim or burden them with too much parental expectation. The children feel freer to pursue their interests and learn earlier on some helpful skills. Of course many children is not for all, for so many reasons, not excluding age, fertility issues, state in life. But oh the world would have happier, more confident, less selfish children if families that are able were willing to be open to life, that is certainly the case. Having a larger family may seem to the world like a crazy project, or irresponsible, or whatever the world may think. It isn't. Large families can be a source of great happiness in so many levels!

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  104. Having divorced parents who re-married and had more children, I grew up in a family with only 3 children AND a family with 5 children. While I spent most my time with just one brother and one sister, as a wife and mother now, I feel it would be a wonderful gift to bless my children with an abundance of siblings. I experienced most of my life with an "average" number of siblings, when in actuality, I have 6 total and would even have loved to have had just one more sister. Lol. My parents worked hard to take care of us and never took government assistance. My step-mom was even a stay-at-home-mom while my dad took financial care of her and all 5 of his kids. While a lot of people may say it's financial reasons that limit their children, I believe there is always a way. My dad's work was never steady. He is a salesman who still bounces from job to job, but has always figured out a way. I'm not saying that should be how everyone views it, but I do. All in all, I absolutely love how you put this. Thank you.

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  105. I have a three year old, an 18 month year old and am 12 weeks into another pregnancy. I don't like to tell people when I am pregnant because I don't like hearing peoples comments about how many children I have and how close they are in age. I know this is what the Lord wants me to do. Thank you for your blog. It made me feel much better about my decision to have more children.

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  106. I'm the youngest of seven kids. I only have two children of my own. I made a promise to myself everyday when i was little, then I would never have more children then i could care for, love and give attention to adequately. My heartbreaks for the children of large families, even happy ones. Because I know some of their suffering and quiet pains.

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  107. I read this yesterday and I was so hurt by it. We are stopping at two, I am ready to be done and be able to focus more on my other calling in life, midwifery. I suffer from depression, and come from an abusive home. My husband is gone A LOT at work, I always have tons of homework, I have two very needy young kids, I have very hard pregnancies, I struggle every day against the abusive instincts that come from generations of abusers. Knowing my limits and stopping does not make me influenced by the devil, it makes me smart and strong. I will be a great mother to the two that I have.
    And btw, I don't think my mom regrets having me, and I know that she wanted more than me and my older brother, but my brother and I both wish that she would have stopped with him. She could handle one kid, it wasn't until I came along that the abuse started.

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  108. You cannot receive revelation for my family. Pregnant with number 2 and then stopping...

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  109. I came from a family of five, my mom a family of 9 and our neighbor had 16. Now with most women working they could never afford the 150 dollars a week per child in daycare. It's sad that larger families are becoming smaller but it's hard to save for college and for day to day things with even two incomes. I was fortunate to stay home with my three children, I wish that every women had a choice. I babysit for three of my grandkids and two other little boys. The two other boys have a mom who works and just would never stay home if she had the choice. She doesn't like being home and doesn't like always being tied to her kids. It makes me feel bad, but some women just are not meant to be stay at home mom's. I am glad we all have the choice to decide what is right for us. God Bless every mom out there!

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  110. Thank you so much for writing this! It is exactly what I needed to hear. Our first is 7 months old and I already long to meet our next child. My husband would only like to have two children (as of right now) but I know in my heart that there are more children waiting for us. I often find myself though, falling into the trap of thinking: two kids fit in a normal car, it would be so expensive to feed more than two, Disney vacation packages are based on a family of four, etc. Thank you for so very much for reminding me that God gives us children as a gift and that my childbearing days really are short in number and that they shouldn't be wasted.

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  111. This was a wonderful post! I've always wanted a lot of kids and I am pregnant with my first and it has been so hard, but this article definitely put it all into perspective. I feel inspired! I just feel bad that others get so defensive! You're article wasn't judgmental at all, it was very well said. So glad you wrote it!

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  112. Thank you so much!!!! So beautiful. I agree completely.

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