Monday, January 11, 2010

The Baby Conundrum

I was told I send "mixed messages" about my, um, oh let's say "family planning". I have often said I'd like to have a big family, and have even remarked on many occasions that I'll be the chick that ends up with 12 kids just because I really like babies. On the other hand, I've made a lot of jokes about how I'm done now, and we can just stop at three kids. I'm not sure why anyone would really care what our plans are, but let me set the record straight a bit.

I would love to have a really big family--I absolutely would. I mean, like 8, 9, or even 10 kids. I would do that and I'd love it. Oh sure, it'd been insanely intense and I'd be a haggard old woman by 40, but I'd love it. I love kids and I love big families. If I'd done things the way I wanted, Kylie would've been born more than a year earlier than she was, we'd have a fourth kid already and would likely be gearing up for number 5 (alas! the Lord had other plans, and now I see why).

At this point, I don't know how large our family will be (likely not 8 or 10). We're both pretty darned sure that there are at least two more coming at some point. After that, its hard to say because we just don't know yet. Here's the problem: kids are expensive. I don't even have a problem scraping by our whole lives because we've got a large family. I don't care if I never have a fancy house or nice things or travel much; people never seem to believe me when I say that, but I really don't care (of course I'd love to have all that, but its just no big deal if I don't). And I trust that if we accepted the responsibility of all those children, the Lord would ensure we had the means to provide for them. What I don't trust is our ability to develop the self-discipline necessary to stretch those means to care for a large family. Maybe as I develop better financial management skills, I'll develop that confidence.

But here's the bigger problem (and this really is a really big deal for me, even though I know it sounds ridiculous to a lot of people): once you get past six kids, you have to either spread them way out, age-wise (and I much prefer them all scrunched closely together--I feel like the almost 3 year gap between Dylan and Kylie is huge), or you have to take two cars every time everybody goes together. Or (this I hate almost as much) you have to get a ginormous vehicle, like a 12 or 15 seater van.

So there you have it. My biggest obstacle to a gigantic family is transportation. Call me selfish, but there it is.


Laura... and the boys said...

You know, growing up in a big family, I completely understand this! We never went anywhere without two vehicles after our huge van died and we replaced it with a mini van. We never went on road trips or vacations. As a kid- it always kind of sucked. I'd hate that I was the "only" kid who'd never made the drive to Disney Land! We did fly with all of us once or twice, and now that I look at prices, WOW I bet that was expensive!!!

I think if you can provide for them, then a large family is great! I love all the perks of a large family.
That being said, We plan to stop at 4 if the Lord doesn't mind :) I've been there, done that, don't need to repeat!

Becky said...

I came from a family of 7 kids. We did have to take two cars every where we went, but the older kids kinda liked it because they got to drive their own car. As a child, I didn't much care about the mode of transportation. What really stunk about being a big family was not being able to go anywhere really far because it is expensive to pay for two cars to go places.
But, I think that big families are great! I love having a ton of brothers and sisters. It does mean that my parents have to have a big house now that they are older though because now that we are all married and a lot of us have kids, we would not fit in a little house.