How many children are enough?
Natasha Clark asks for your help: how do you decide how many children to have?
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The other night, my husband and I were literally playing Ching Chong Cha (rock, paper, scissors) to decide on having another baby. Wait, don't judge. Let me explain. It's something we're not sure about. It's not even that one is saying "yes" and the other "no", it's just that neither of us can decide. While we want to be all romantic and carefree about it... our heads are drumming to a different beat. I’d like your input. I want to hear happy, bad, honest and joyous stories from parents and kids that were one of two, one of three, four and so on.

No more babies!

1. Our boys have such a great age gap. They're like 22 months apart and they get on so well! They'll be one year apart at school and I just know that their friendship will last their entire lives. I just know it! I worry about the potential age gap between our last born (four) and the new baby. By the time "new baby" would arrive, our youngest would be... five? And our eldest would be seven. A five and six year age gap between kids is massive, isn't it? I know that my brother and I are a few years apart and we were never in the same school at the same time.

2. Three is a crowd. I always said I'd have either two or four children. I was one of three. My older brothers usually played together and, being the only girl (and the youngest) I always felt a bit left out. Like... my parents would do their thing, my brothers would do their thing and I'd have Barbies and diaries. I never really felt suppressed, isolated or even lonely. I just remember feeling a bit left out. On the flip side, I am never bored and have always been fiercely independent.

3. We had our babies youngish. My husband and I both wanted to be young parents. We have loads of energy, we're still quite playful and silly and well, I just think being a young mom works for me. It's fun. I feel like I am almost always having fun. I'm sure that will all change when homework and 'big' school starts but right now it's FUN! Will we still be this eager when we're 32 /34 with a newborn / toddler? I quite like that at 30, our kids will be turning five and six this year. When we're 40, they'll be 15 and 16. And 40 is YOUNG! Right?

4. I worry about kid safety a lot. I worry that if we're at the beach, I can't really watch three kids. I don't know if I'd be able to keep three kids safe all the time. From themselves, from each other and on outings. I also worry about the amount of attention they'd receive. Will I be able to give THREE children equal amounts of love? Is my heart big enough? I mean, our second obviously got waaaaay less attention than our first because that’s just the natural cycle. I always felt guilty about it. I worry that the third baby would get shoved in a walking ring for the first two years of his life, you know?

5. Our boys are both PERFECT. Great health, ten fingers, ten toes. They're adorable, kind, bright and pretty darn cute. I worry that they got all the good genes and that the third might not be as strong. I worry that if the third child isn't that strong, that it will pull all the extra attention away from the boys. I worry that the third child might have a weakness that may pull some of Noah and Ben's strength from them. As parents, we worry about these things from conception, even with our first child. Now that we want a third, I worry about the 'child' and I worry about my current children. Stats and studies show us that we produce stronger children as younger parents. Now that I’m in my 30s, I’m not feeling as confident about all future chromosomes.

Then again, maybe…

1. We want another child. We don't know why, we can't explain it... both of us are just really excited at even the thought of another little life in our lives. We have all of the right urges, resources, love and longing, but all these big THINGS are standing in the way. I love being a mother, and we love our boys so incredibly much. Do other parents feel the same way? Do these urges go away, despite all the rational reasons to throw the nest out of the tree?

I am curious, how did you decide to have a third, fourth or fifth child? Is it something you just knew would work? I have friends who have two children or one child and they just KNOW that they can’t have another. Did you have these internal debates too? And more importantly, how do I make these strong, maternal urges go away? Please share your happy stories with me, I’d love to hear from other parents!

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

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