Table for Five

Welcome to the first Family Size Blog Carnival!

This post was written for inclusion in the Family Size Blog Carnival hosted by Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling and Patti at Jazzy Mama. Today our participants share their decisions on family size and whether or not to grow their families. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

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English: A large family having fun by the water.

Image via Wikipedia

I grew up an only child. I remember growing up and observing the closeness of siblings, but never grasping what that kind of relationship felt like. I knew that if I had children, I wouldn’t want to have an only child because I had experiences of true aloneness at ages too early to cope with them. I don’t think being an only child means feeling lonely, but I was also a latchkey kid with a single parent who worked long hours. I am not sure if having a sibling would have eliminated the loneliness, but it may have.

I also experienced several years of abuse and wasn’t believed when I told my trusted adult. This fairly sad and lonely childhood, along with my growing horror over the events in human history, convinced me that I didn’t want to bring more life into the world. I couldn’t bear the idea of watching another human being’s light being snuffed.

My path through life has been one of questioning. Every opinion I take, is one to be continuously examined. A belief is a red flag to me to poke and prod in case it’s a delusion. It was natural at some point that I would begin questioning my desire to remain child-free. I pursued this for years until I finally got to the point of not knowing.

And not knowing was enough for me to have children. I knew there would always be ambiguous answers to this and the only way to find out was to do it. It seems naïve of me now. I really had no idea what parenting actually was about. I had spent next to no time with children and had many false ideas about them. Mostly my ideas had them being quiet while awake and sleeping all the time by themselves. I didn’t think being a parent would change my activities or interests much.

And it was easy. We got pregnant within a few months. My pregnancy was easy. I was able to research a new topic that had held no interest for me before. Pregnancy was very intellectual for me. I think it was a defense mechanism to avoid feeling how fully present I was with my body for the first time.

Then I fell in love with this person who took over my senses completely. I drowned and I loved it-at least when I was coherent enough to notice. So, I got pregnant again quickly. And everything shattered. My daughter was stillborn and I had to confront my demons about not bringing life into the world and my own loneliness.

Then, unexpectedly, I got pregnant again right away. And I began questioning those old ideas again. I had evidence of unconditional good now. I understood the hope that having more children gave a chance to bring more light into the world.

I knew I didn’t want my son to be an only child. And after his brother was born, I felt like I was still waiting for the rest of our family to join us. I joked when I had my first baby that I would like to have five children, but it felt right the more I thought about it. I have three living boys and one stillborn daughter.

I am sure our family will feel complete at five.  I have a feeling of fullness. It’s as though all the dinner guests have arrived at the table and it is time to move on to enjoying the dishes we have prepared surrounded by those we love.

I feel this post is incomplete, like our family. Updates to come.

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Visit City Kids Homeschooling and Jazzy Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Family Size Blog Carnival!

Please take some time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants below:

  • The Perfect Family The family at Living Peacefully With Children isn’t perfect, but the size is just right for them…at least for now.
  • Family Size Carnival Zoie at TouchstoneZ discusses how she loves the extremes of being happily child-free for life to being a mom of several. And on knowing when her family is just the right size.
  • Is Adoption for Me? Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares why she would consider adoption as the socially responsible way to have a large family.
  • Getting Used to Having Kids Lauren at Hobo Mama went from “probably one, maybe two” to wanting a handful, but not without some major struggles and soul searching along the way.
  • Magic Number For a while, Phoebe at Little Tinker Tales has wondered what the magic number will be for their family, but now thinks she’s finally settled on an answer.
  • How Did You Get That Size Jorje explains how she “chose” her family size and why they aren’t planning to grow again on Momma Jorje.com.
  • Family Size On A Per Kid Basis Sarah at Parenting God’s Children shares how plans change as families grow.
  • More Babies: How, When, Why Joella at Fine and Fair writes to her daughter about when, how, and why she might get a sibling.
  • Family Size Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she has no idea what size her family will end up being; though she used to be sure, a few factors have recently come up to change everything.
  • Thy Will Be Done CatholicMommy hasn’t decided how many children she’ll have. And she never will. Because, you know, she’s Catholic.
  • Sanity and Health Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment talks about sanity and health considerations when deciding on her family’s size.
  • Love Comes In All Sizes Melissa at Mothers of Change shares her family’s journey to becoming a family of six!
  • Family Size Liz at Homeschooling in Buffalo discusses how this carnival occurs less than two weeks after “closing up shop” by way of vasectomy.
  • Family Size Blog Carnival Billy, a single mother by choice, writes about the size of her family at My Pathway to Motherhood.
  • Creating Your Perfect Family Size Dr. Alan Singer shares insights from his new book, Creating Your Perfect Family Size.
  • Our Family Size You might not be surprised to learn that Patti at Jazzy Mama can’t find any reasons NOT to have more babies.
  • Economics of Family Size Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling uses an economic cost-benefit analysis to determine her family’s optimal size.

11 thoughts on “Table for Five

  1. what a beautiful post! i do understand what you mean. we are blessed to have two little boys, but i know there is one more child waiting for us, and that we’ll meet him or her via adoption. i can’t wait for that day!

  2. I sometimes feel overwhelmed by world events and have wondered if this is a good time in human history to bring more children into the world. But then I look back over time and realize there has never been a good time. There have always been struggles, violence, hatred. If most people had waited for a “good time” to have children, we would probably be extinct by now! Thank you for such an honest, heartfelt post. It’s a privilege to read your writing.

  3. My grandmother was an only child who had five children. :) I think it’s so interesting when people know how many children will feel complete.

    This:
    “A belief is a red flag to me to poke and prod in case it’s a delusion.”
    is so helpful to me. Thank you for explaining my own thought processes so well and giving me a glimpse of hope that not all the things I believe now are necessarily so.

  4. Wow. Those last two paragraphs have me holding my breath!

    I am so moved every time I read your story of how you came into mothering and how it has tested every belief and attitude you’ve ever had. And really, if mothering DOESN’T make us grow, then we MUST be doing it wrong! Ha ha ha!

    Thankyou for your thoughtful post and for giving all of us more to consider about family size.

  5. Pingback: The Perfect Family « living peacefully with children

  6. Zoie, thank you so much for participating in this blog carnival! This is such an insightful post– as your posts always are! I like how you end provocatively about feeling that this topic is incomplete, something to be further explored. I think that family size decisions are often incomplete, deciding as we go along whether or not to add to the family through birth or adoption.

    Thank you again for sharing!

    -Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

    http://cityhomeschooling.blogspot.com/

I love comments and try to reply to each one. I look forward to connecting with you. Namaste

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