How many kids do you plan on having? Since atheists aren't generally rhythm method users, are cool with contraception, etc. we have a lot more choice in the number of children we wish to have (no "leaving it to god" for us!)

I have one child, and for me that's the perfect number. I get so annoyed at the condescending comments I get about this. Often the comments are made by older women (like a generation or two older), MEN whose wives did all the parenting work (again, usually older), or other married women. The top 4 most frequent comments (in order of frequency) are:
1) "Well, you'll change your mind when he's older."
2) "Don't you want him to have a brother (or sister) to play with?"
3) "Once you meet a nice man and settle down you'll feel differently."
4) "No man is going to want to raise your kid if he won't get to have any of his own."

I can't actually decide WHICH is most offensive. I mean, 1 and 3 are patronizing; 3 and 4 assume I'll just cave completely once there's a big strong "Daddy" in the picture; and 2 assumes that the entire purpose of younger siblings is for the amusement of the first-born.

I chose to be a single mom. Pregnancy was unplanned, and I did (under religious and family pressure) marry the father when pregnant, but left when my son was just 6 weeks old. And it's been by far one of the best choices I've ever made. Ethan and I have a great relationship, play together every day, and both have our own interests and hobbies. And especially since he has special needs, I really don't want to be outnumbered. I don't think I'm being selfish by stating that I have finite resources of time, energy, money, and patience, and a 1:1 parent/child ratio seems to be ideal for us.

Anybody else done having more kids? Any other single parents who get pressure to have more? Or if you're not done having kids, when do you think you will be? What's the right size for YOUR family?

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Replies to This Discussion

It was directed at JW.
If it's directed at you the little arrow comes out right below your name - which I really think is hard to see and you have to train your eye to see.
Peace ...
I admit that the image text is crude. I didn't make it myself, but found it when I did an image search for "family planning". Is it the word vagina that is offensive, or the sentiment that the sole purpose of a woman is not confined between her knees?
I'm personally a big fan of humor, including off color. I love stand up, which I find to much more original and thought-provoking than FCC approved sitcoms. I think we just disagree on this one. I understand it's crude, as I stated before. But as realitychick says, I have a vagina and if I couldn't make fun of it, I'd probably have a much harder time dealing with all the nonsense of the female body. Again, I'm someone who laughs at EVERYTHING. So, I think we'll have to agree to disagree. My intention wasn't to offend you personally or the blog world generally. It was a comical way of making a point about family size issues, and how certain religious groups run with the Quiver Full concept, or at least full rejection of contraceptions - and that this isn't so much the case here on A/N.
I'm a real person, and I make fun of my vagina all the time. Should I be ashamed of that? Should I be ashamed of joking with friends about our vaginas? I'm sorry, but THAT sounds pretty sexist to me.

I think the text is hilarious, and even more so if this is a QF family. You don't think it's funny, and that's fine, but "shame on you" because others do? Really? Please save it for the Catholics. Shame is not a useful concept to rational people.

And why exactly would off-color humor make intelligent conversation impossible? I don't follow your logic on that at all. Sounds like you've missed out on many intelligent conversations if that's been standing in your way.
I love the picture! I emailed the link to my wife, who cracked up!

Oh, and, we have 4: 6,8,10,12. I'm really glad (now) that we started young; I'll be 47 when the youngest starts college.

I love them all and wouldn't take back my choices, but I do hope that my kids pick a different path. I would rather they enjoy their 20s a bit more, travel, get their careers in line, and then settle down.

I'm a better parent now at 34 than I was at 24. I done grew up.
I didn't see the colon after 4 up there, and thought you had 5 kids, including a 4 year old. :) I'm glad I had my son young too, because he'll graduate high school the year I turn 40 and then I'll be able to travel Europe or whatever, while I still have lots of energy.
OK you guys, quit rubbing it in. If/when my two are in college, I'll be in my late 60s!
On balance Bill, you're probably not as broke, and your 20s probably involved a few more late nights than mine do :)
Oh yes, there were trade-offs. Since I didn't meet my wife until my 40s there wasn't much choice anyway (not saying I needed to be married, just saying I needed to have my kids with *her* in particular). I wasn't ready for the responsibility until recently, but now I am, so it worked out. But if I have two kids in college, I'll be as broke as anyone!
My wife and I stopped at two six years ago but we are keeping our options open. Two is perfect and I have no complaints, but we both really love being parents. We are pretty sure we are done but every year I offer to go under the knife and she says "No I'm fine with birth control, lets wait awhile longer." We don't really want more but we hate the idea of not being able to have more.
I actually just had my first kid 2 weeks ago. She's incredible, but she's the only one I'm planning on having. The unfortunate fact is that my name dies with me. I'm the last of my line, so that sucks, but my daughter is absolutely beautiful.

Luckily, most of my family isn't too hardline Christian (they're Episcopal), so I haven't gotten too much shit over contraception or "focus on the family" type crap.
Congratulations on the little one! Women are used to our names dying - I let my crappy ex stick his name on my son, so later this year we're both getting our last names legally changed to Jackson (my pen name).



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