I have recently found myself talking to other mums about how many children they have/would like. Finding out a bit more about how other people feel about having bigger families, or why some would like just 1 or 2 children.
I was one of 6 including my step brothers and sister. The atmospere in our house was lively, energetic and non stop. There was always something going on and meal times were our family "get together". My parents had strict household rules and we all (to an extent!) did as we were told. When you are in a family of 8 its hugely important for everyone to chip in and help out with every day chores.
I often wondered if Mum would have had more children, she too has 2 boys and a girl and as people who know me well, will know its an ongoing debate in my head about whether to have more children or not. We recently had a mile "scare" and i use the time lightly and I ended up being nearly 3 days late. It put us into complete shock and i had the total mindset of "omg i can't do this". It really made me think about the future and what we want, and i guess what we really don't want.
A mild epiphany waved over us that 3 is enough. To have more children would be foolish, selfish and actually, down right silly. When we were planning Oliver and Elsie we didn't really have to think about much. It was just a case of "shall we have another baby?" "Yep, lets do it!" 3 is fairly easy in terms of cars, bedrooms and from a financial point of view we would be fine. The bigger boys would share and the 3rd would go in the box room, we'd fit 3 car seats in a row in our 7 seater car we had anyway, the boys slept through and we were in a great place. Number 4 would mean new car, house, and we would financially not be "comfortable".
The only reason for me personally to want another baby is that i want to try breastfeeding one last time, i want to know my body can do it again. I want to grow my new born baby myself without any help from a bottle, and take pride in myself for feeding my 6 month... 7 month... 8 month old baby. See what i mean about being selfish? This is just the reason i need to get over and KNOW there was nothing more i could have done and actually whos to say it wouldn't all go wrong again.
We are happy, so so happy. The 5 of us make a great team. The children adore each other and we can COPE. So maybe thats a good enough reason alone to know that one more would throw all that out the window.
Why stop at 1 or carry on until 5 when you can have 3 and be content? (yeah i'm totally going to have to get over my odd number phobia.) I'm always going to be broody. But my very (sometimes!!) wise sister in law said to me the other day that she thinks that anyone who is a parent will never get rid of that "awwww" moment when you hold a newborn. Doesn't mean you want a newborn, it just means you can appreciate their squishy cheeks and untouched toes knowing you will get a full nights sleep that night. ;)
It would be unfair to seperate my time for a 4th space when i feel i don't have enough for the 3 spaces that need to be filled.
So the maternity clothes have been sold, and luckily for me i have a LINE of new baby nieces and nephews to hand down all the childrens clothes to. The living room is getting free of the big toys that babies tend to take up and our daily routine is getting easier and more laid back. My nappy bag is getting a bit less bulging on a day out and the cartons of formula are well and truly a distant memory. I'm getting ME back. It feels good, if slightly daunting. Heck, i may even dye my hair blue. (Joking, Mum. I wouldn't do that to you again.)
I guess i'm just writing this to justify it to myself like i always do, but ya know, it might help you make that decision you have been pondering on too. Look at everything on a whole, not just what YOU want but what is best for your family too.