Everyone wants to have the perfect family. The big debate seems to be what IS the perfect family? Here is the kicker: everyone seems to have a different opinion on this. A question I hear over and over from moms is how many children they should have. Here is what I have to say about the “perfect family.”
Every Family is Unique
Not all families are created equal. By that, I mean that they don’t always look the same. That doesn’t make any one format better than another. Some families have a mom and a dad. Some have two moms or two dads. There are families with only a mom or a dad. Families sometimes don’t have a mom or dad, but have grandparents, aunts and uncles, or foster parents.
The bottom line is this: As long as a family is loving of and caring for one another, it is the perfect family.
So How Many Children are in the Perfect Family?
The answer is simple. Zero. One. Two. Three. Four. Five or more. Again, not all families are the same. What works for one, may not work for others. So how many children are right for your family? Here are some things to consider.
Your Financial Situation
This is a big question. Let’s face it, kids are expensive. Diapers, formula (if you choose), sick visits, daycare, clothing, shoes, sports, school activities, college…the list could go on forever. This is a consideration when having children. Financial struggle can be super stressful. It can have negative consequences for your health, your relationship, and your potential children.
Don’t mistake me. It is completely possible to have a successful career and a family. However, your career and what it requires can take away time from your family life. It may require you to travel and be away from home frequently or for long periods of time. Or maybe your partner’s career does. This is something to consider when deciding to have children or how many children to have.
What You Value
If you are someone who loves to travel, consider the fact that having a child or multiple children will have an impact on your ability to travel. As an example, the cost of a trip to Disney will be considerably more for a family of 6 than it will for a family of 3.
If something that is important to you is being able to pay for your child’s college education (in part or in whole), that may impact your decision on how many children to have. As I already mentioned, college is costly. This goal is more attainable with one or two children than it is with five.
Do you value a large family? Some people just know that they want to be surrounded with lots of love and laughter and a bunch of children and eventually grandchildren. If that is the case, a larger family is right for you.
The Ups and Downs of the Perfect Family
There are up sides and down sides no matter what size family you choose. Just like with anything in life. Let’s take a look at some of the ones I have experienced as an example.
One Child – The Upside
Having one child has many benefits. As a parent, you don’t have to split your attention. You have more time to focus on your child and their needs. You can focus on giving them more opportunities.
One Child – The Downside
Being raised as an only child, I can say from experience that it can be lonely. I always wanted siblings and always felt kind of left out when I saw the bond my friends had with their siblings. I feel like socially I struggled a little more. Not being around other kids as much, social interactions always felt awkward to me.
Two Children – The Upside
With two, your children will always have a friend. They will have someone to play with. They will learn to interact with other children. With two children, you will also have twice the love.
Two Children – The Downside
Sibling rivalry. Your kids have a built in friend, but not one they always get along with. There is twice the work. Your attention and time and money will be split.
Three or More – The Upside
Having a large family was something that I was always drawn to. There is an energy in a home with three or more children. Its a vibe I cant really explain, but there is always something going on, or something exciting happening. Its louder and more hectic. But again, there is so much love and laughter under one roof.
Three or More – The Downside
Its chaotic. There is a lot more work. There is a lot more drama (especially in the teen years). The expense is greater. There is more work involved. Your time will be stretched even thinner.
The Bottom Line
Your family, however it looks, will be perfect for you. Married, divorced, widowed, single parent, same sex parent…whatever your family has, will be perfect.
No children, or one, or two, or three, or a whole baseball team’s worth, you will have the perfect family.
All boys? All girls? A mix of both? You have a perfect family.
We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be the “ideal” family, but when you get right down to it, that “ideal” is different for everyone. Fill your home with love and laughter and happiness, and I promise, in the end, it will be perfect.
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