Years ago, I was having dinner with some childless friends and I asked the dreaded question, “would you like to have kids?” My friend looked visibly upset and brushed my question off. Little did I know that at the time my friend was desperate for a baby, she was going through IVF and must have felt her heart break every time she was asked that question. Happily she has since had a couple of children, we have drifted apart, but I imagine she is a super mum.
That night I learnt an important lesson. It’s not always easy for everyone to have children when they want them, people may be quietly facing IVF, miscarriage or baby loss. Or perhaps they simply don’t want children and get sick of the questions about their fertility and childlessness.
As a mum of 5 boys I get questioned often.
Will I have more?
Will I try for a girl?
Surely 5 is enough?
My answer changes depending on who I speak to and is never the truth. My feelings on having more children is very mixed and I do feel the pressure of other’s opinions. From those I don’t know, but respect, who rightly point out the pressures population growth is placing on the planet, to family members who probably think we have enough on our plate. Or those well-meaning strangers who tell me I have my hands full. Every time I leave the damn house.
Here’s the truth. Yes, I want more children. Yes, a daughter would be lovely, but having a family of boys feels incredibly special. If I could chose I would have 2 more children (both girls). I love having a big family. I love the noise and the chaos. I love being with them, watching them grow and develop, watching how their minds work. In reality I don’t think there’s much difference between boys and girls, but still, it would be nice to mix it up a bit.
I don’t like people telling me I have my hands full, I don’t like the message it sends to my kids. I don’t want them to think they are too many or that we can’t cope with them all. Yes, there are challenging days, but also there are truly wonderful days.
We don’t have that much money, but we are happy and our home is filled with love. I don’t think our children could ask for more. I understand that a large family isn’t for everyone, but it is the right thing for us and should I be blessed with more little ones I will consider myself incredibly lucky.