This is one of the most common topic between couples. “How many children should we have?”. Some might not want any children, while some might still not be satisfied with 6! People tend to make these kind decisions from their heart but since you are going to be responsible for another life it is important that you think from your head. If you have more children than you can handle, you are being unfair to another living being which is wrong. How many children should you have, depends on several factors:
Age of the mother
This is the top criteria to consider when you are trying to conceive or planning to having a child. In my opinion, 35 years is the limit for a woman to have a child. After that if you do conceive, there would be increased chances of complications. For example, the older the mother, higher is the chance of the child having downs syndrome. Also, after 35 years, a woman’s fertility starts declining. You might argue that, women are now conceiving at all ages 40,50 and even 75 years(through treatments, not naturally). But in my opinion, handling a child at an older age is much harder. I have seen 40+ women struggling to cope with their toddlers despite having help. As a result the mother is not able to keep up with their children and end up being unfair to them in terms of spending time with them or playing with them.
Health of the mother
If you have children already, its likely that a lot of nutrients have been already taken away from your body during the pregnancies and childbirth and if you have breastfed your children.If you want to have more children, make sure your body is able to cope with the pregnancy and that your unborn child gets all the necessary nutritional requirement. Another question to ask is this – has the mother had any complications in the past pregnancies or at child birth ? If the answer is yes, would the mother be able to go through all that again- as most likely the complications would be repeated especially if these complications have been life threatening to the child or the mother.
How many children would your partner like to have?
Is your partner agreeable to having another child? At the end of the day the responsibility of the child rests with both mother and father. If your partner doesn’t want another child or not have a child at all, you must respect their decision as well. After all, having a child is huge responsibility.
If you already have a child or few children, the question you have got ask yourself is that will you able to physically cope with another pregnancy, another child. If you have one child and you plan on having a second child, your work will double up. Keep this in mind if you want another child. With every child your workload will increase.
This is a very important consideration. Children are very expensive! Even if you do say that we will “adjust” for another child- be honest with yourself. Will you be financially comfortable if you have another child? If both the parents are working childcare will be one of the biggest costs to think about. Have you got enough space in your house for another child, if you not will you able to afford a bigger house? There are other costs to consider too like food ,clothes , education for another child.
In case you want only 1 child, consider a few things:
- Make sure your child doesn’t feel lonely. Children always look for other children to play with. If they don’t have a playmate will they be happy?
- If you have decided to have only 1 child make sure you stick to your decision as time is of essence. If you change your mind few years later and you want another child, it might too late (age wise or health wise) to have another.
Trying for a boy or girl
Some people who have got 2 boys for example, will try for another child just because they would like a girl. Have a child (irrespective of the sex) if you want one ! It doesn’t matter whether you have got 2 boys or 3 girls.
If you decide to have lots of children , consider the world population. Each person is responsible for leaving a good legacy for their descendants.
There are a couple of things that I would like to shed light on especially to people who haven’t been parents yet:
Should you have children at all?
Whether to have a child or not is a personal decision. Have a child because you want one. Don’t feel pressurised by societal laws or by your parents to have one. If you are not mentally ready to have one, don’t have it. Remember you will be responsible for another child. If you can’t take the responsibility but decide to have a child due to society or pressure from your parents, you might end up ruining their life.
Is there a perfect number?
There is no perfect number as to how many children you should have. For me, 2 was a perfect number and I still maintain that. Try to go with your instinct on this and if not consider all the factors I have mentioned above.
Rather than trying to go for perfect number of children or a high number of children, parents should strive to create a loving,secure environment filled with fun and happiness for their child/children. If you have lesser children, it will be easier to achieve this and if parents are happy children are happy!
Do you want to share how many children you have or how many would you like to have? Have you got any opinions on what is the perfect number? Please put your comments in the box below, I would love to hear from you!