How Many Children Do You Hope to Have?

Alex and I have been talking recently, and we would like to have…

…two children still, most likely. Now and again I’ll wonder if we should have a third (it was actually my birthday wish!), but our boys are such a lovely little handful, we think we’ll probably stop now. And, when I think about our family, it feels like everyone is here. It feels like our family was meant to be this way. I don’t feel like we’re waiting for anyone else, if that makes sense.

Interestingly enough, according to the U.S. Census and Gallup polls, the average American married couple wants 2.5 children but has 1.86 children.

How many kids do you hope to have, if all goes according to plan? Has the number changed as you’ve gotten older? Have you been surprised about how things have turned out? I’m curious to hear…

P.S. On having a boy. And would you ever decide to NOT have kids?

(Photo by Stefano Azario for Vogue)

  1. Natalie says...

    I’m late to comment but maybe just finding this today was fate. I had two healthy kids (girl and boy) 18 months apart and we thought it was overwhelming but awesome. We just couldn’t decide whether or not to go for the third, with my kids at 5 and 3.5 and much more independent we went for it and just had our second miscarriage today, meaning we will have to make that decision again – oy. Thanks for all the comments – I can never get enough of this topic because dramatically changing the flow of your family is a big deal!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m sorry to hear about your miscarriage, natalie. thinking of you tonight. xoxo

  2. Kiara says...

    I don’t have kids yet, but when I do, I always thought I’d want a perfect trio. But now I’m a grown-up and i see how hard it is for my friends who have JUST ONE! Everyone I know who has 3 def didn’t mean to have that last one. The 3rd always seems to be the “Oops, I’m preg again” baby! Lol. Except for my cousin who just had her 3rd and is already talking about a 4th. She’s insane – we live in the San Francisco Bay Area! Who can afford 4 kids living here?!?! But I guess the more the merrier, right?!

  3. Brian says...

    Beautiful children

  4. Amanda says...

    This is way after the original post (which I read before I had kids)…but I have to say that after having our daughter my mind has changed. I am totally enthralled by our beautiful girl, but mommin’ ain’t easy. The baby/toddler stages are particularly stressful and all consuming. So the truth is that if we can give our girl a sibling at some point in the next couple of years that would be great. But that would be it in my mind. I initially thought I would like a house full of joyous children running amok, but the reality is that 2 is probably what I can handle. I hope that doesn’t sound awful, but is what’s real.

  5. Stella says...

    I’m late to comment. We have a son who is almost 5 and am pregnant with my second due in about 7 months. I always said I wanted three but I am absolutely certain this is my last pregnancy. I’m getting older ( 39 this summer) and this pregnancy is MUCH harder than my first. So….although I am overjoyed and a bit terrified at adding another child to our lives, I am positive this is it. It feels good to know that we are nearly complete. I guess the saying.” you will just know”, rings true!

  6. Catherine says...

    I have two girls and am currently pregnant with my third daughter, due in March. I always thought we’d probably stick with two, especially as my two are so close in age but within two years of the youngest being born and having weathered the trauma of two under 17 mos, biology overtook my pragmatism and the yearning became all consuming. It was never about chasing the boy but an incompleteness and knowing there was another face out there for me to love. My husband was not on the same page as me, for all the practical reasons of having three children bring and I understood that and never pressured him, but the sadness never went and enveloped me. It was hard for us finding the compromise and I’m so thankful that we did, but then we miscarried our baby at 11 weeks. I was too scared to try again in case life overruled me, again, but too scared to not, being 38 and having time against me. The regret would haunt me. We did try again, loaded with Prosecco we took the what will be will be mentality and we are currently 23 weeks pregnant with our third daughter. I am so grateful to have this again and so sad this will be our last, that I wonder if the saying ‘every woman has one less baby then they hoped for’ is true.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your beautiful honest comment, catherine. congratulations on your baby news, i’m really happy for you. i have never heard that saying (“every woman has one less baby then they hoped for”), but i have to say, for myself, i agree with it!

  7. Marie says...

    We have 5 girls. My husband got fixed right before our fifth was born. I would love to have two more, but my husband doesn’t want any more. Kids are so much fun!

  8. Ash says...

    Since we met, my husband and I have talked about having 3 children (we are both one of 3). Right now we have 2 and things are so good. We are both getting up there, I’m turning 40 next month. We have been going back and forth for so long, and we decided to go for #3 a couple of months ago. I got pregnant and it was the weirdest mix of emotions I have ever felt. I was so overjoyed but have never been more scared in my life (and I like being challenged and trying new things but all of these fears crept into my mind). Then, I miscarried at 7 weeks and have felt incredibly sad. I also have a sense of doubt, like maybe it wasn’t meant for us. So my confusing feelings continue…

  9. Don says...

    The picture with the three little ones…is almost exactly how we wake up every day. When it was just one child it was very special and a whole feeling came over me; after our second it changed from sharing this one little life into more smiles than and one man can handle. Seven years ago my boy was born. I struggle with how to explain the difference except now that I am a single dad…these three little lives are what I get to pour my life into.
    I’m sure you will do a wonderful job with the children you do have, because it’s on your mind…and that is a key ingredient:)

  10. Adelaide says...

    We want no more than 7! My husband is 1 of 6, and loved it, and I grew up as an only child and it was miserable. We plan to do foster-to-adopt as well as birthing our own. We are both very extroverted, relational people and know that having a big family won’t prevent us from having intimate relationships with each child or cause us to neglect each other. We still plan on waiting 3 or 4 years to grow our family though!

  11. Lauren says...

    I always hoped to have 3 or 4. I grew up in a large family and loved every minute. After having my first, I’m not sure I’ll have any more. My pregnancy and delivery were easy and I have one of those babies who is happy 24/7 and slept through the night at 8 weeks. But my recovery has been awful. I have some permanent changes to my body, and I’m not sure my body can handle more. But we will see. Hopefully I will have one more.

  12. Sarah says...

    My husband and I have been married for two years and are trying so hard to get pregnant. I have always said I wanted 4+ children, and still see myself having at least 4. I hope some are through adoption. My husband has 3 adopted siblings so we have a heart for that as well. I’ve always loved having 2 siblings and would’ve loved having more. A big family sounds like the perfect life for me.

  13. Jessica T says...

    We have one boy. He’s now 2 and a half and we’ve been trying for a year to conceive #2. Nobody tells you on the way home from the hospital with #1 that you might not ever get a #2. It’s difficult. And I’m over 40 now so …
    I am the youngest of 7 kids and always thought I’d have a large family but I married late.

  14. Anonymous says...

    We have 3!! All girls.. and I do wish to have the 4th one.. I have that feeling like I’m missing one more. Could it be because, my second pregnancy I was carrying 2. But only one born. I love my kids and even though it geta Crazy. I would not change a thing and will do it all over again!!

  15. I have one son who is 17 (I had him right after my 19th birthday). I’m expecting my second now, due in July and already mentally planning for a third. I don’t want my second child to be an “only” child like my first.

  16. I was lucky to be pregnant with the first along with my 3 best friends. The four of us gals had our first little one’s within 6 weeks of each other. I have decided that until the girls are ready for #2, I will wait. I want to deal with pregnancy with friends again and I want to go into #2, #3, maybe #4 with besties. This is so ideal and I am completely unable to control that- but how wonderful would it be?! If we all said ONE AND DONE, how great to have a circle of girls who get it and you can relate to. :)We are clearly not set on a number- we take it as it comes.

  17. We have a boy and a girl now. I am always very firm on having 2, especially now I have a boy and a girl. A lot of things make sense with 2 in today’s society, one parent takes care of one, travels where room occupancy is 4, sitting in a car comfortably with 4 etc. Not to mention expense and time commitment for your children’s activities and interests. But, few months ago, my son asked me for a baby, he sincerely asked to have another baby to care for and he promised to help me. That really touched my heart.

  18. It’s so difficult to speculate about how many children is “just right” for you. How much more organic and healthier to think, firstly, not of yourself, and secondly, of the present. Right now, Toby and Anton are perfect. They are all you can handle at this moment. Jo, you and Alex are such a loving parents that it seems crazy to rule out any future children. I think there must be an element of “how much can I handle”, but there must also be the less selfish thought, “what is best for my children (present and future)”? If you think back to when you had Toby, you were sure that one was enough- more than you could handle. Now can you even imagine life without Anton, too?
    Your love for Alex and his love for you is written in the sweet little lives you’ve created together. Let your love be limitless by at least allowing for the possibility of more children together. As you know, your love only grows with each new member of your family. Don’t limit yourself. You’re capable of much much much more than you give yourself credit for. But don’t worry. All in good time.

  19. 31 + in a relationship (not married) yet– this is something I think of more + more as I get older. I have always wanted three children, so that they could grow up with siblings. But, realistically– I am starting to think just two. But who knows where life will take me!

  20. I have always wanted to have many children (at least 3) but my husband and I can not have biological children and have been on a waiting list to adopt for almost 3 years, so we will be super thankful if we will ever become parents to one.

  21. I am 33 and have two, I got married at 29 and had my first at 30. My husband had cancer as a child and we weren’t sure if the chemo and radiation he had would mean no children at all, period, and we’ve been blessed with two children. I plan to have as many as God gives me, I am nowhere near feeling “Done,” and I do hope to have more, if it happens!

  22. :) lovely… sending you lots of love, and i have a question: did you stop breastfeeding anton or still keep going on?

  23. :) lovely… sending you lots of love, and i have a question: did you stop breastfeeding anton or still keep going on?

  24. There are 4 kids in my family and it is very chaotic and overwhelming at times. Nobody can hear me talk!! Originally my husband and I said we were going to have 5 but the more I think about how I feel in my own family, I think we will have 3 at most. I don’t want anyone to feel neglected.

  25. I had this plan of marriage at 21, first kid at age 25 and we would have 4 children and I’d be done having kids in my early 30s. Well, I didn’t get married until I was 25 and now at almost 33 I have two boys. Our first is 5 and has ASD. It was really hard to have our second son, who is just 2 months old now. It didn’t feel like a blessing when it was so hard having #2 but it definitely helped to give 100% of my attention to our first son and it has been a somewhat challenging road at times with his needs. Those 4 children I planned on have now become “I’ll take them one at a time”. I feel inside of me that I’m a “boy mom” not a girl mom, but I’d like one girl at least. I still want those 4 kids, sometimes I’ve considered a fifth, but the reality of life may not bring them. I’ve actually considered adopting a 2-3 year old to sort of fill in the gap, but I don’t know if I’m up for that yet either. I’m just going to enjoy these little sweethearts I have. Time is flying by way too fast! I’m afraid to move too quickly on #3 because I don’t know if I can take multiple kids with ASD so I want to see how #2 develops. So far he’s actually ahead of the game with social cue’s. Just so grateful I get to be a mom!

  26. I have two, been thinking about a third.. One day i’m all for it, the next i think ‘absolutely not’. However, even though I’m not that keep on having another baby I always seen myself having 3 grown up kids. 3 Kids to share all of lives joys and excitement with, kids that come home for sunday dinners and help you rake leaves in the autumn. So I think we might be going for it.. Have a girl and a boy already so whatever happens next would just be a bonus either way!

  27. Well, I was set at 2 but that picture is making me want a third……! :)

  28. 5!

    I never knew for the longest time, I just knew I wanted to be surrounded by littles and laughter and love. I’ve always wanted to have a mix of biological and adopted children, and if my career permits me to be able to afford that many, five has become my magical number.
    It’s just that weird feeling I have.
    I also realistically think I could do it! Haha

    But truly, I never tire of them, even when I do. I recently just finished working at a childcare center, and have taken up nannying 5-6 two-year-olds a few days a week while I’m studying at university. They’re just the best. I can’t imagine life without many of them.

  29. I was diagnosed by my doctor last year that I suffer from a condition called “Premature Ovarian Failure” – I can no longer have babies. I went to get my body check because I stopped getting periods after the birth of my second baby. It’s heartbreaking – I know we’re blessed with two beautiful daughters, but it was painful news when my husband and I were ready for a third and not being able to conceive. But again, I feel maybe our family is meant to be this way – fantastic four…

  30. We don’t want any kids!!

    (A few years ago, I would have never believed that I would have just typed that).

  31. My mom always said exactly what you said! I think it’s really great to follow your intuition. I have three siblings and my mom said she felt that someone was missing and when she had my younger sister, she knew instantly that she was the last piece to our puzzle, it just felt right, everyone was accounted for:)

  32. I’ve always wanted three.. we’ve always wanted three.. but now that i have two. a toddler and an infant I think I am ready to close shop.. two seems to be the perfect number.

  33. @lovely_amazing I agree we need to broaden our idea of parenthood (adoption, fostering, mentoring, etc.)
    @Eliza well said, thank you!
    @Rebekah environmentalism is a pro-human (and every other species) movement.
    @Martini – I’m sorry for your loss and can’t imagine what that would be like. I happen to be “one and done” and felt comforted by a comment upthread from @Martini who loved being an only child. There are so many potential tragedies and losses in life. Not sure if you’ve had to deal with the decline/loss of your parents yet, but in a way your single child will not have to endure that. I always think, what if something happened to me or my husband? Won’t it be easier for the surviving partner to take care of one over multiples? In addition, sometimes siblings are not always close, or worse. Try not to regret! xo

  34. No children yet, but I had always hoped to have 3 or 4. Husband has always thought 1 or 2 was a better number. Turns out getting pregnant with just one has been an unimaginable struggle. I am thinking one would be magnificent!

  35. I’m still a few years from being a mom. My boyfriend and I have been together for a couple years, but we don’t really have any plans to get married or start a family until he finishes school and I no longer have to be the primary breadwinner. So, I’ve had to stifle my baby fever for a bit longer than I would have liked. :)

    I’ve always wanted two kids. I love babies, but for some reason, I always felt like I’d be the best kind of mother to one or two children. I think two is pretty much perfect, especially when they’re close in age, because then the kids have a playmate and a friend to grow up with.

    P.S. I’ve been a longtime reader, and I remember you asking this before, but I have no problem with repeat posts. Like some of your other readers have mentioned, I think it’s ok to revisit topics even if the answers don’t change. For example, I love when you ask us about our celeb crush or where we’d like to travel. Please don’t take the angry readers out there to heart, because your blog is always a pleasure to read. :)

  36. We have chosen to have only one. We have a 5 yr old daughter who is the light of our lives, and truly feel our family is complete. I never envisioned a large family for myself, and my husband feels the same. It’s so interesting, people’s view points on how many children to have, and more importantly, why they came up with that number. I highly recommend this book, for an insight on why some of us (a growing number) have chosen to have just one.

  37. We wanted 3 or 4! Our third is now one. 3 can be uncomfortable at times. The baby can be soooo unreasonable;), and of course he’ll forever be the baby. We’ve decided that everyone is here so to speak. After the third was born I implored my husband to go for a vasectomy because once the youngest turned one I’d be thinking about a fourth. It’s an addiction with me. As the first year has been survived I am relieved, but sad, that there will not be a fourth. If that vasectomy had not been taken care of…

  38. I know no one is purposely saying anything negative or critical, but I just have to speak up to say that there are advantages and disadvantages to all family sizes. We are all making decisions that we feel are best for our families. I honor all of us.

  39. This is a great question! My husband and I both come from big families and we want 4 or 5. He is one of 5 and I am one of 6. We both love having a boatload of siblings for so many reasons but Frank Bruni says it so much in this NYT op-ed:

    When people bring up the over population/ environmental argument against having more kids I think about this quote from Raising Arizona: “and Ed felt that having a critter was the next logical step… Her point was that there was just too much love and beauty for just the two of us and every day that we kept a child out of this world was a day he might later regret having missed. ” such a beautiful and inspiring perspective especially on those tougher days of parenthood!

  40. Our magic number was 2, but in my second pregnancy we end up with twins (4 months now), LOL.
    So I guess it was not to us to decided.

  41. We have two (a 3 year old daughter and a 1 year old son). We’d love to have more, but we always take one addition at a time, so we don’t have an ideal number in our heads.

    The overpopulation posts are interesting. I have read scientific articles on both sides of the spectrum. It does irk me that some commenters seem to think they have the definitive answer, and appear to be trying to shame anyone for dating to have more than two kids. The world has faced many previous challenges (there was a worry that each of our historically varying sources of energy from wood to coal to oil would run out), and so far humans have been innovative enough to survive and thrive. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I did recently come across this article and found it thought provoking:

  42. When I was married, I always wanted one but as I got older I realized I don’t want kids.

  43. Depending on what age I was my answer would range from “a bunch! five!” to “ONE, only ONE” as of now I don’t really know. I’m not having children for a while so I guess we’ll see:)

  44. We have a daughter of almost four, and we wanted another child but someone had other plans and a surprise for us. I am pregnant with twins.

  45. I wanted two but didn’t give away the baby clothes until after my 3rd…which shows how many I really wanted!

  46. We were only planning on 2 for sure, but now i’m expecting identical twins! Surprise baby #3! :)

  47. We have 4. My youngest is nearly 11. He was about 5 when I started wishing for 2 more. By then though we could not have anymore.

  48. You’re great! Maybe when I start having children I will have the same feeling that “everyone is here.”

    I read someone was opposed to you having more children due to overpopulation. I think they’re confused with overcrowding.

    No bother, economics and science have a way of helping the world oscillate people in and out. Here’s some more information about the subject:

  49. I always wanted a big family. I have four and I’m expecting my fifth. This one, I think, is our last. My mom said, “When you’re done you just know.”

  50. I always said I wanted 3, but currently we have a 2 year old and a 5 week old, and maybe it’s just that I’m in newborn mode, but I don’t think I could handle another one! Of course I may change my mind in a few years but I doubt it. I think 2 is our number!

  51. I don’t have kids yet, but have always thought 3-5 is my range. I grew up with a big family – lots of cousins and siblings – and it is THE BEST.

    I fully acknowledge that kids are ex.pen.sive! But! I would encourage everyone wavering on having more children because of the expense to consider what you gain with another child. You may have to give up a vacation(s), new clothes, nicer cars, but what you gain from a large, strong family is truly priceless. My siblings and cousins are my BEST friends. Nothing makes me happier than being with them. We may not have grown up going on expensive cruises or wearing all the name brand clothing, but as an adult I am so much more appreciative/satisfied/grateful for the presence of my siblings in my life than I would ever have been for those fleeting things. Plus, you’d be surprised what you can accomplish with a big family – no need for a cleaning or lawn service, baby sitter (once the older kids get old enough!), etc.:)

    Ultimately, I know/respect that everyone has their own sense of when their family is complete. I just had to toss that out there in defense of large(r) families!

  52. @Martini, I am so sorry. Your story makes me so sad. :( But you brought up a really good point. I also think an only child feels extra sadness and loneliness after the death of a parent. That has been my husband’s experience. At 40, he still regrets being an only child. He says he wishes he had someone to reminisce about his mom with.

  53. We have two (girl and boy) and hope to have a large family. As in, we don’t want to choose the number. It feels impossible sometimes (when I think of the possibility of having a lot of kids, especially since we are starting out young) but I know we will be given the strength to do it as each baby comes. You don’t know how you’re going to do hard things until you HAVE to! …and you don’t see how rewarding it is, either. It’s disturbing to me to hear claims of overpopulation (like commenter Eliza Dipper) when Americans and Europeans hardly replace themselves. Deeper research can give you a different perspective! We are very environmentally conscious.
    But anyway, I don’t think I could ever resist the idea of another newborn! Not that I’m ready now with a 3 month old…;)

  54. We have two and are hoping for four, although some days I’m tempted to just quit now and enjoy not being spread so thin down the road! That said, our family doesn’t feel complete yet and I’m excited to have at least one more baby to squish and cuddle :)

  55. We have 3 and it feels absolutely right. We are totally done now. I was one of two and always wanted a younger brother or sister. My husband was an only child and he wanted 3 or 4. Frankly, I think the adjustment from 0 kids to 1 kid was way harder than the jump from 2-3. I have two girls and a boy and really couldn’t feel luckier.

  56. We have 3 and it feels absolutely right. We are totally done now. I was one of two and always wanted a younger brother or sister. My husband was an only child and he wanted 3 or 4. Frankly, I think the adjustment from 0 kids to 1 kid was way harder than the jump from 2-3. I have two girls and a boy and really couldn’t feel luckier.

  57. We just had our first child in January. My husband has always wanted a lot of children (5+) but before we had any, we talked about 4 being a good number for us. Now that we have our little one, I go through days when I’m just not sure! At times, I feel like I couldn’t imagine doing it again but other times I really want him to have siblings since I was an only child and always wanted siblings.

  58. When I was young, I wanted a huge family. I was one of three, and knew I didn’t want that because someone was always the odd man out and being ganged up on… usually me, because I’m the oldest but smallest, and my younger sisters are twins. Now that we are older, my husband and I have decided that we just want one… but are mentally preparing ourselves, in case we get pregnant with two, because there are twins born in every generation of my family. It’s interesting how peoples ideas of how many children they want, evolve, with time. That is what makes posting about a similar topic as you had a while back, interesting, we get to see how your opinions develop, just as we explain to you and the other readers how ours have.

  59. My husband and I had a conversation that went something like : We feel happy with our two children. I had a daughter in my previous relationship. My husband and I welcomed a baby boy into the world and we felt content and lucky to have one of each! We talked about how it would be fun to try for a third but it probably would never happen! After our son was born I had a copper iud put it for maximum birth control. We decided to worry about buying a house and getting on with it. I also had some not so pleasant experiences with the actual birth of both my children. First baby was an emergency c-section followed by severe anxiety and postpartum depression. Second baby was a solid attempt of a VBAC that failed and a nice dose of postpartum to follow. So personally I felt terrified of the birthing process:(!! Well life has a funny way of working out! Last year about this time I found out I got pregnant on the copper iud! We were in TOTAL shock. My doctor laughed out loud she couldn’t believe it! It is like getting pregnant with your tubes tied. Not completely unheard of but it happens. So after a moment of about a zillion emotions and tons of life changes, we welcomed our son into the world this past January! My scheduled c-section was so much better than I had expected it to be. It all came full circle for me. I feel glad that my last child had a much more gentle birth and I could close that chapter of my life feeling good. Although a c-section was not ideal I am grateful my children are healthy, I am healthy and I don’t have total anxiety when I look back at it!

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  61. @Martini – that is such a sad post, thank you for sharing your thoughts. It definitely makes me think about having more after reading what you said.

  62. Dear Martini:
    I am so sorry for what you posted. I cannot imagine how is like.

    But what you had mentioned it is one of the reasons I’ve always liked big families. (I posted before about it).

    Some time ago I lost a friend, she was just 21… She had to fight against cancer… Her siblings helped her more than you can imagine, and now they are the reason for her parents to keep smiling…

    From my experience, big families are the best to share the happy moments. And the best support through difficulties.

  63. We are “one and done” for a variety of reasons (finances, age, and lack of libido all contribute). Every now and then I think it might have been nice to have a 2nd but I don’t see it happening. I’m thinking about getting another pet – to compensate? :)

  64. all my life i thought two was the magic number. then i had my daughter in 2012 and decided our family would be complete with three children. in march we found out that our second child is actually twins….twin girls. now that we got to three faster than we planned we wonder if a fourth child will be in the cards. time will tell i suppose.

  65. You’ve written on this topic before, but it’s nice to see you evolve! I have two, a girl and a boy. I think the best thing I’ll ever do in my life is be a mother to a son – which was a surprise. He is so tender with a wonderful sense of humor. I have an IUD and we don’t plan to have any more – life is just complete, we’ve figured out the work/activities/school shuffle!

  66. I have one and one is all I want or need. Getting pregnant with him took several years due to health issues and I’m so glad I have him. He is very social and wishes he had siblings (he now has an older stepbrother but the 8 year difference means they aren’t close)but that was something I was unable to give him for physical and financial reasons. That makes me sad, sometimes, because I grew up mostly with multiple half and step siblings and that is a special club to belong to. But we don’t always get what we want in this life and I am just so happy that I was able to have him at all. :)

  67. We have two boys, aged two and a half and 3 months. I think we’re done – haven’t closed the door on a third but had difficult pregnancies and a really miserable birth and recovery with the second one so not in a rush to do it again! I have to say if we did try again it certainly wouldn’t be to see if we got a girl…I don’t think this is a particularly good reason to have a baby!

    I’ve had perfect strangers ask me if I’m planning to ‘try again for a girl’ or if I’m disappointed I had two boys – I find this so rude! Maybe it’s acceptable if you are asking a close friend, but to be asked by a supermarket cashier if I’m sad my sweet baby is a boy is just ridiculous. It makes me so defensive of my baby, as if they think I should wish for him to be someone else…I always imagined being the mother of boys, in a messy, muddy house full of lego, and I am delighted with my two!

    Sorry, I’ll put the tiger mama away now! But I am just so aware that I am blessed to have had my children with no intervention and born healthy that to be upset that I didn’t have ‘one of each’ seems a bit ridiculous!

  68. Joanna, I know what I’m about to share is redundant for you already, but if it will help just one couple then I will be glad.

    I’d never suggest having just one child.
    We had just one, had hoped for more but I just never got pregnant again.
    We lost her when she was a teenager.
    Just before she died she mentioned she wished she’d had a sibling. How sad it made us feel for her.
    How we wished we’d had more children. Even just one more.
    It’s been 27 years now we’ve been childless and it’s been agony.
    It makes us cringe when we see only children.
    Being left childless surely is worse than being left with “just one child”.
    This happens more than you imagine.
    Have that second child and/or more.
    We know what we are talking about.

  69. I lean more towards three, my husband leans more towards two but we’re both undecided right now. no kids yet!

    it’s funny I was just talking with both our moms – both were one of three kids. both said they wished they had more kids now that they’re older. neither really had an option – my mom had to have a hysterectomy after me and his mom had a heart condition that stopped her from having more.

    but both of them say now that they are older it would be nice to be even more surrounded with family – the more the merrier!

  70. I’ve always wanted two, and my fiance is happy with that (though we’ll see what happens once we’re ready to start a family!). I loved having one sister, especially because we’re pretty close in age.

    Also, my grandmother apparently told my mom, “Never have more kids than you can carry.” She had three kids…so maybe three was too many?!

  71. My husband and I have been married for a year now and are trying to conceive now. We’ve never really said we want a specific number: we’ll take as many or as few as God gives us!

  72. We are FINALLY done talking about this and the husband is on a waiting list for a vasectomy! There were times only a few months ago when I was positive I wanted another but I always felt a bit stressed when I thought about it. Since we’ve decided to stick at 2 it just feels like a weight has been lifted and suddenly everyone makes sense. Also our life feels so perfect right now with 2 it seems crazy to add a third.

  73. well we have one between the two of us. My husband has a child from a previous marriage, so he technically has two. But we want another one. After that, I think I will be done!

  74. First fo all, I like you to know I am Spanish and cathoilic, same as my Irish boyfirend (I think it will help you to understand my answer).

    I always liked big families. My mum has 8 siblings (9 counting her) and my dad 4 (5 counting him). My parents had 3 daughters and I am the eldest. I know big families are a lot of work, but I feel like if you can afford it and you have enough time for each of your children, you should have as many as you can!
    Yes, I know it sounds crazy, but growing with all my aunts, uncles and cousins around has been the best thing in my life and I feel so grateful for it. I want all that happiness for my kids!

    Been realistic, my boyfriend (who I am sure will become in time the father of my children) wants between 1 and 3 (3 is really his maximum). And life is too expensive and complicated for big families now a day. So probably 3 will be our number.

  75. None! So far, so good. :-)

  76. JB says...

    I used to think about it when I got married at 22. 2 maybe 3 kids. But then life happened. My husband got ill and suddenly I’m 39 . He started to get better but I think conceiving will be nothing short of a miracle. So I say 1 baby would be just fine .. I’m still hopeful it can happen.

  77. I hope you enlarged and framed this picture. It’s precious.

    Have a wonderful day!

  78. This comment has been removed by the author.

  79. I wanted three. I have three-one boy, two girls, and it’s perfect for me. They’re all here. :)

  80. I want two, a pigeon pair. I have a 15 month old boy now – and we’re beginning to think about #2. My husband wants three, but only if #2 is a boy will I consider trying one. more. time!

  81. I think two kids would be ideal. I still want to go on big holidays and buy nice stuff for them and don’t negect them in any way. But if the firt two were boys I’d be temted to try again since I REALLY want a little girl =)
    Can’t wait to be old enough =)

  82. Since I can remember I wanted 3 kids, two girls and a boy is what I want in my mind, but who knows what’ll happen. Things change, and no one knows what the future holds and all those cliché’s.

    By the way angry reader, do you not think that a blog like this gets new readers, so something you may have read twice could be new to someone else? That’s always my thinking on posts that appear similar. And to me, that’s just fine.

  83. I am part of one of those families who “inherited” a stepson, so we’re 3 and every other week, we’re 4. It feels weird, because I believe my son will never have the true experience of having a sibling full time.
    I’m pretty conflicted about this – and must confess I feel a bit robbed of the possibility of having 2 kids, because one was already here and of course he counts, but it’s not the same thing for me, as a mother, because he has his own.

  84. All of them :)

    We’re open. Though it’s harder to say some days than others.

  85. I have a feeling part of my hesitance to have a second child is that I predict if we have another I will end up wanting 3 or 4. Whereas at the moment I feel quite content with just William. Although he keeps telling us about his sister at the moment!

    Amy x @ForDGRedial

  86. We wanted four. Then our daughter started walking and we were like, whoa! Maybe not. Then she hit the terrible twos and, luckily I was already pregnant with number two because we couldn’t imagine having any more!! ;) HA!! True story. Now our little boy is due the first week in August and our daughter is coming out of the terrible twos and will turn 3 at the end of September. So we are happy. We will wait and see how we feel about more. You never know, of course.
    Joanna, do you feel tempted to try again for a girl? I have several friends with two boys and most of them still want a girl! ;) It’s okay if you do, too. <3 xoxo

  87. I think I’ve decided on two. I’m from a family with two children, and it was really wonderful. I used to think two was boring. I wanted three, because it seemed cozy and fun and kind of wild, but as I’ve gotten a bit older, I love the idea of two. And I am also increasingly concerned by the impracticality of three children. Who sits next to the third child on the plane??? The world seems to be made for families of four. And based on the experiences of friends who are one of three children, two siblings are inevitably closer, and the remainder often feels left out and sometimes even ganged-up-on. I guess I’ll stick with two (one day) and just love them being the closest friends they can be, getting to be each other’s only irreplaceable sibling.

    p.s. I think it’s great to come back to things like this. It’s so interesting to see how our beliefs and desires evolve over the course of a year. My answer was different last year, and maybe yours was too. I think these little checkpoints are a neat way to assess our personal evolution.

  88. Such an interesting topic! We do not want to have children anytime soon but I also think that it all depends on where you live (can you afford a big enough house?) how much you earn ect…the South African government doesn’t help parents at all and good private schools are ridiculously expensive here so even if we did want to, we could never afford it.

  89. Before I had kids I wanted zero kids! Then I had my son and thought ‘I should probably give him a sibling and be done with it.’ Now my second son is 3 months old and I am considering a third! I look at him and almost feel sad that I’ll never have another little baby in my arms again. That said, I’m no spring chicken anymore. Perhaps if is started earlier I’d have had a bigger family? Who can say. All I know is that on more than one occasion I’ve had older people with grown children say to me that they’ve wished they’d had another one or two more. Sure the early years would be HARD but I love the idea of a big family with potentially lots of grand kids when I’m older.

    As for angry reader, I don’t know why you would get so negative and aggressive over something as minor as a repetitive blog post. We all get to enjoy Joanna’s blog and her hard work for free. Just relax and skip over a post if you don’t like it – easy!

  90. My husband and I don’t hope to have a certain number of kids anymore. Early on we had a plan to start having kids 3 years into marriage, then have a certain number, then stop. The first came right on clue. But then we decided to not plan and allow God to decide the number – seriously. We’ve had 6 kids to date ages 10 down to 1. We lost our second child prematurely – a beautiful daughter. Our bodies are designed to have kids for a time, then not. I’m 37, so there could be more, but there’s no target. Every child is so valuable. We think, if we’d stopped after our second son, then we would not know the 3 daughters we had after that. Who knows who God may choose bless us with in the future? As a side note, we’ve discovered over time there are many serious health benefits to multiple pregnancies and breastfeeding. Each baby deposits stem cells in damaged areas in mamma, risk of female cancers significantly reduced… it’s remarkable. One source – Google Dr. Epstein “Breast cancer prevention program.”

  91. @Megan Maguire – SO true! Nobody talks about the environmental impact of having more than two children, despite the fact that overpopulation will kill this planet (and everyone on it) in the coming generations.

    My fiancé and I only want two. Though he comes from a large family (he’s one of six) I come from a two child household, in a long line of two children families. My mom’s ethos was always that it’s ecologically irresponsible to have more than two kids. You get to replace yourself and your partner, and that’s it.

    For those who want to raise more than two children, why not consider adoption? Better the life of a child and help the planet at the same time.

  92. Definitely 2, but maybe 3! ;)

  93. I have 4 kids ages 11 to 23! I think something people do not factor in is the cost of raising four children I never have regretted my choice but college is $40,000 a year and my husband and I both work full time to cover all the expenses of our big family. Again I wouldn’t change it for any amount of money but something to consider when adding another baby.

  94. I have 4 kids ages 11 to 23! I think something people do not factor in is the cost of raising four children I never have regretted my choice but college is $40,000 a year and my husband and I both work full time to cover all the expenses of our big family. Again I wouldn’t change it for any amount of money but something to consider when adding another baby.

  95. I always thought I would have two, since I am one of two…but the more that I look at people in my field then more I see only children and think that maybe we should only have one. My boyfriend is insistent on two because “the first one needs a friend!” I always laugh when he says that. I think we will have to start with one and figure things out from there. I definitely don’t see myself with more than two. That seems like it would be really tough, especially in a city like LA with the houses out here being so small!

    PS @Angry Reader- No one is making you read this blog. Please take your negativity elsewhere. I happen to be a newer reader and missed this post the first time. I have since been a devout reader and would never get so upset over revisiting an older topic.

  96. I always thought I would have 2 – I have an older brother who I have a very close relationship with, but after a rough pregnancy and an even rougher post delivery period, we are one and done with our beautiful son!

  97. We weren’t sure if we even wanted a second after my daughter came. She was just so great. But did have a not so secret longing for a son. He’ll be here in Sept :) they’ll be 21mo apart and I’m glad for that. We’re taking permanent measures after this though. We are very very sure two is our number. In this day an age it’s a good number financially as well. We wanna be able to provide as many opportunities as we can and higher numbers is just harder these days.

  98. Love reading these comments! It’s so interesting to me how many readers said that they ‘felt’ their family was or wasn’t complete or that there were more children ‘out there’ somewhere waiting to join their family. My husband and I have always said we’d like five. We never pictured our first being an only child but after our second we seriously considered stopping. However I am now six months pregnant with our third and can’t imagine this being my last ever pregnancy.