WHAT’S the ideal age gap between children garnered quite a lot of interest from readers. It then led to a conversation about the ideal family size. So, this week, I’ve asked mums (and a dad) what THEY love about the size of their family and why that number works for them.

One child: Caroline from Nightwolf’s Den

Nightwolf's DenWe’re a one child family at the moment. I love that I can give Miss K all the attention (and I’m not worried about spoiling her). I don’t know how those with more than one cope. LOL. Hubby and I discussed how many kids we wanted pre-kids and thought maybe two, but now we have Miss K we are happy being a family of three (well five if you include our two cats). I think three is a nice comfy number for us at this stage, especially after taking so long to get pregnant.

Two children: Alex from Dad’s Ramble On

Having two kids is the perfect family size, as it means that as parents you are less likely to be outnumbered when the kids start scheming (especially in their teen years). It also allows each child to form a close bond with their other sibling, which establishes a good basis for how to relate to others out in the “big world”. It also helps with the smaller things in life, such as purchasing cars – try fitting more than two car seats in the back of a standard sedan. And we drive a Rodeo! I can also remember trying to negotiate a double pram down at the shops with the boys. No idea how we would wrangle them if we had any more children.

Three children: Cathy from The Camera Chronicles

Cathy from Camera ChroniclesMany people think it’s one child too many because children outnumber adults, or even one child too little because it’s an odd number and some say one child is always left out. However, for us it just seems like the perfect fit! Having three children makes it feel “not standard” and adds some variety via the different dynamics between the boys. Sometimes they all play together, sometimes it might be the two eldest playing together or sometimes it might be the eldest and youngest together. In a practical sense it also suits us. They each have their own bedroom and we don’t need to upgrade the family car because everyone fits. We were blessed to get the number we wanted, but I think no matter what you are given, you make it work and there are advantages and disadvantages to each size family.

Four children: Kate from Picklebums

Kate from PicklebumsWe have four children – seven-year-old twin girls, a four-year-old boy and a one-year-old boy. We didn’t plan to have four children before we started (initially we were thinking of having two) it’s just how it turned out. There are many reasons why four works well for us. On a practical level, we have two girls and two boys so that makes sharing bedrooms easy and, although it meant we had to get a ‘bus’, we still have two spare seats in the car for extras. It also just feels right for our family. Four kids means things are always busy, and often a little crazy, but there is always someone to play with, someone to chat to and someone to cuddle. For me there was no definite amount of kids that I really wanted to have. We decided to have each child because it felt right and we have decided to stop because it feels like it is the right thing for us and our family, even if I’d really like to have just one more!

Five children: Kate from Puddles and Gumboots

Kate from Puddles and GumbootsIf you had told me 10 years ago when I had my first child that I would end up having five kids I wouldn’t have believed you. However, I love our family size and wouldn’t have it any other way. With five kids there is always something happening in our house, someone to play with, someone to talk to and something to do. We’re busy, we can be loud, we turn heads when our little tribe is out and about but we are very happy and there is lots and lots of love around here.

Six children: Glenda Rouxel, youth pastor and author of “The Embarrassed Evangelist”

Six kids is perfect for the Rouxel family! We have three of each, between eight and 15, plus a handsome paramedic husband and a rather absentminded laid back Mum (me). Four of our kids came the natural way but two of ours are through foster parenting. Six makes for a full car, a full dinner table and a very active games night, especially when it’s Boys Vs Girls! I think six is best – we all loved the Brady Bunch, didn’t we?

Seven Children: Naomi from Seven Cherubs

Naomi from Seven CherubsWe always planned to have a large family in the Ellis house. Originally we planned to have 10 children and we always said that we would take one child at a time and stop when we felt we had reached our limit. So imagine our surprise when twin boys came along and threw out our whole plans!! We decided to stop at seven and we have four girls and three boys in our family and find it is a wonderful mix of fun, energy and enthusiasm for family games and activities. It also means there is a lot of washing, housework and food shopping but we work together as a team to keep our house running and functioning so that we have a house of order and time for fun. As a mother to seven children it is very tiring and exhausting some days and I work really hard at making sure I have a close relationship with each child to make sure they are happy and feel loved. Sure we get stares, sure we are noisy, sure as parents we are seriously outnumbered and sure we are large but I would totally have seven children all over again for the joy and happiness that they bring to my heart each day. Seven is our perfect number and we love our seven cherubs. Of course this also means that I should hopefully get many grandchildren in the future and I am looking forward to that day!!!

What’s YOUR ideal family size and why does it work for you?

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41 Responses to What’s YOUR ideal family size?

  1. Cathy says:

    Thanks for including us in your post on family size. It was great to read everyone’s thoughts on the issue.

  2. Two children is our ideal size. We always wanted two, there was never any other discussion. We would have liked a Boy and a Girl, we have a Girl and a Boy. we would not have minded if we had of had two girls, we are done. It does feel a little weird or sad to think that I will not have anymore children but I dont want to be changing nappies for years to come, I want to get out there and play with them.

    • Kel says:

      I can relate to feeling sad about there being no more, Courtney. With each milestone Baby Holly reaches, I feel the baby stage is one step closer to being over. xx

  3. Nyssa says:

    I am with Caroline we are happy with onefor now. We may decide to have one more in the future bur that would be it 🙂

  4. I always wanted 4 kids and 4 kids is what I have.

    My husband’s 2 sisters have 24 kids between them. The older sister has 14 and the younger sister has 10.

    They didn’t plan out to have such a large family, it just sort of happened that way.

    And yes, Christmas is CRAZY!!!!

    Love & stuff
    Mrs M

    • Kel says:

      Wow, Maria. That’s incredible. I love how some big families “just happen”.
      Imagine when those children start having children!! Phew! 😉

  5. Great post Kel! It’s really interesting reading what works for each family. What I love is how happy each family sounds with the choice of size they made 🙂 Thanks for featuring us and you’ve inspired me, I’m going to write a post today on why I love being a large family

  6. katepickle says:

    So great to read how everyone’s family size works for them. I am a firm believer in there being no ‘perfect’ number of kids… everyone’s family is different and it’s lovely to celebrate that!

    • Kel says:

      So right, Kate. I think we would have been happy with whatever number we ended up with. You make it work for your situation.
      Thanks so much for being a part of it. xx

  7. Candice says:

    We had four girls in my family (i’m the baby), and Hubby has four as well. In the back of my mind, i always thought four too, but i think that was for sentimental reasons.
    Having my sister here with her two crazy, gorgeous girls is certainly making me think twice. My two other sisters also have two. An even number of boys and girls
    With one on the way, who know’s where we’ll stop. Do we keep with the trend of my family (Hubby’s siblings have no kids at this stage) and have two? It will just depend on how we feel and cope as we learn the ropes of parenthood!

    • Kel says:

      It’s a really interesting topic, Candice. The Bloke in The Shed is one of seven and I’m one of three, so we wanted anything BUT those numbers. I guess that’s how we arrived at two!!
      I’ll be interested to see how your family grows now!!! 🙂

  8. Tania says:

    Great post! We have three children. I always wanted to have two. Then our first was born and I didn’t think I wanted any more because she was so perfect (in my eyes!). Decided that we should have another and when he was about 4 months old I was DESPERATE to have a third. Absolutely consumed my thoughts! When our second was around one I thought that really, I didn’t want any more. Decided we might give ourselves time to think about it a bit and see how we felt. Fate took over and then there were three!!
    I wouldn’t have it any other way. I really feel like our family is complete

    • Kel says:

      Wow, that’s really interesting, Tania. Love your story! 🙂
      I think it may have been severe morning sickness that has sworn me off any more. Although, we did decide prior to having kids that two would be right for us. We’re both still pretty set on that!

      • Tania says:

        I hear you on the morning sickness… I think it got worse with each one. Hell!
        That is something that I took into consideration when deciding about more children – that and the births of the first two… eek!

  9. Julie says:

    It was nice to read about so many families of all different sizes who experience their own family size as ideal.

    I think it is good to remember, that family size (or spacing) is not something we can always control, and there are many families out there with one child (or none), who would wish for 3 or 4, and vice versa.

    I have been very blessed with our 3 children (and perhaps more in the future) and feel that our family, though not planned this way, is “ideal” for us. I am conscious though, that not everyone ends up with their “ideal” family size, and this can be a source of disappointment and frustration for many people.

    • Kel says:

      Thanks so much for sharing that, Julie. You’re quite right. Sometimes it doesn’t happen quite like we plan.
      We have people in our life who have been through IVF and ended up with three children; a couple who adopted two children; and another whose first child was stillborn, second was born with Down syndrome and have not long had a third child. I find them all so incredibly inspiring – that against the odds they were determined to have their “ideal” family. Maybe one day I should get them to tell their stories.
      Thanks again, Julie. xx

  10. Kirsty says:

    Great discussion. My husband and I always wanted four but after two we reconsidered having any more due to my son’s special needs. We did end up having number three and we think that’ll be it, even though it does mean we have a ‘middle child’. But while a part of me would love to have number four it would mean a new car, a new house and I would seriously have to reconsider continuing to work. I want the best for my kids and we think we have enough resources right now to give our three everything they could need (but not necessarily they may want!)

    • Kel says:

      Love that answer, Kirsty. You’ve really considered a lot in your decision. Thanks for taking the time to share that.
      By the way, LOVE the last line!! LOL! 🙂

  11. I always thought maybe 3 or even 4 but after having such a hard time falling pregnant the second time around, 2 is it for us. It is sad to think that Little Miss A is our last baby, but also happy with our healthy pigeon pair!

    • Kel says:

      I feel the same way after having pretty severe morning sickness with the second, Larissa. It really knocked me about and I’m not sure I could go through that all again. I’m so very grateful for having two happy and healthy little princesses in our lives. xx

  12. Sara says:

    I always longed for a large family; having been in a small family of three. I had a relative who had two sets of twins and two sets of triplets as well as seventeen other single births (yes; that does make a total of twenty seven and I was told that all made it to adulthood). The great-grandmother that I was named after had twelve; and I always thought I’d follow in her footsteps. I was married at 20 and had four within 5 years (the first only lived 6 hours); then I got a divorce and thought that would be it. I have married again and have four more (I tell my husband I would love more; “it’s cheaper by the dozen” lol) but we shall see. So far the ages are 20 (Richard), nearly 19 (James), 17 (Scarlett), nearly 15 (Savannah), nearly 12 (Caitlyn), Emily (nearly 6) and Rebecca (turning 1 this month).

    • Kel says:

      Oh my goodness, Sara. I can’t even imagine what 27 children would be like. Surely, the eldest child would be providing grandchildren, while the mother was still producing children. Wow! I have relatives down the line who had 22, but I’ve never heard of 27 before. I won’t be able to get that out of my head now!! Ha!
      Love the reference to “cheaper by the dozen”. That’s classic. 🙂

  13. Martine says:

    I like Kate never thought I would have a large family but it kind of just happened and I love it. My husband was one of 8 so he thinks it pretty normal where as I was one of 2 so not as used to big families although I have a very close extended family. After we had our 3 boys we thought that would be it until they got a bit older and we realized that they do start to become more independent and less reliant on us for everything. So we decided to go again which proved harder than we thought. After losing a daughter we then felt a far greater need to try again. I am so glad we did as our 4th little boy is an absolute joy. Then we decided that he needed a mate due to the bigger age gap between him and his brothers……so this time next week I will have given birth to baby boy number 5. And we love the closeness of all the boys and knowing that they will always have each other

    • Kel says:

      Oh, how exciting, Martine. I’ll be waiting to hear the news. It will be interesting to see how each of the different ages reacts to a baby in the house too.
      I love having a bub around. Baby Holly is 10 months old now and the thought of her turning into a toddler soon makes me a little sad. Especially because I know we’ve decidded not to go back for another one. It just goes by all too quickly. xx

  14. Kirsty says:

    I’m also a mummy to five and I get asked ALL the time, why 5, why so many, how do you do this, how can you afford that… and I have the same answer to everything… its the path God led us down. Obviously when hubby and I got together we didnt just say we wanted 5, we thought after we had the twins (babies 2 &3) that we were finished, then we wanted to have another so we would have two girls, two boys and then we thought we were done… then to have Harry, and hes perfect, hes the next chapter in our lives.
    People still now ask if we are done, are we finished having children and you know what. I cant say for sure that my answer is yes. Its certainly No, while I still ahve 4 children are at home, but when the twins go to school and if it happens, it happens!
    I loved reading everyones stories to how they came to have as many children as they did.
    The story is still the same, two people got together and created the magic of life! Its just beautiful to read!

    • Kel says:

      What a beautiful answer, Kirsty. I love that. Can’t wait to see what happens in your future and what path you’re led down.
      I’ve really enjoyed the answers too and that people have been so willing to share details of their family. I’m so glad I did this post now. 🙂

  15. rachel says:

    i love this post! as you know I posted recently about having more children and people really got into it – its a great topic at the moment!
    i loved seeing the families and hearing all the stories about all the different family sizes. the bigger ones definitely appeal to me. i think my magic number is in the hands of fate but would love to have one more.. i think!

    • Kel says:

      I loved your post, Rachel. And I’ll be interested to see if your family expands further. 😉
      It’s funny, but a few conversations I’ve had with people (offline and online) lately have all led to this topic. It’s obviously something we all think about. Although, I’m well and truly done!!! xx

  16. Jo S says:

    We have 3 kids at the moment. Sometimes it feels like enough (or more than enought), but at other times I would love to have more. When we had just one I thought I could never love another child as much, but as soon as I was pregnant with number 2 I couldn’t wait to meet it (her. It’s true that love multiplies, and there is always enough to go around. That said, all 3 pregnancies were tough physically on me and had complications. So though sometimes I would love more, the reality is that I don’t think we will because of the pregnancy issues are guaranteed for each pregnancy, and it takes alot out of me.

    • Kel says:

      My story is very similar, Jo. My pregnancies, especially the second, were very tough. Mine, due to severe morning sickness.
      You’re right about there being enough love to go around. I love my girls equally. 🙂

  17. sarah says:

    Love this post! I have to say seven cherubs post really resonated with me! Both HB and myself are from large familys. I’m one of 9 and hes one of 8 so we are pretty into the whole crazy big family thing Ive always wanted 6, but like 7cherubs we;re happy to take it one at a time.. At the moment we have three and I’m happy but I wouldn’t say no to more if it happened x

    • Kel says:

      Wow, both from big families? That’s fabulous! The Bloke in The Shed is one of seven, so he “gets” it too. I’m one of three, so I can’t even comprehend what it would be like. The way Naomi describes it, is just wonderful! x

  18. Maxabella says:

    This is a really fun post, Kel.

    It was always three for us. x

    • Kel says:

      That’s really interesting, Maxabella. Some people have the number set from the start and others just go with wherever the road takes them. We were firm on two and definitely won’t be changing our minds! It works just right for us! 🙂

  19. Atri says:

    Currently I have 2 lovely girls, 4 years and 1.5 years old. I always wanted 4 children, until just recently. 1 month ago we all got sick from a terrible bug, we can hardly take care of our selves not mentioning having to take care of sick children (vomitting, diarrhea, fever, day and night). It puts my thoughts of having more children deep in the closet.
    But whenever I get cuddles and kisses from the girls, I am not sure if I am done with having children. If they grow up and become independent, will I feel content?
    We are quite comfortable now, trying to give the best (life and education) to the girls. Maybe we have to stay as we are now and not think about expanding our family?
    As you can see I am still in between… neither here nor there =(
    Can someone please help me?

    • Kel says:

      I think there are many women who battle this same thought, Atri. Some days are wonderful and others tough. Parenting really is a mixed bag. I guess, it doesn’t matter how many children you have, they will all eventually head off and lead their own lives. Although, I’ll then be hanging out for the grandchildren! Hehe!
      My only advice is to look into your heart, Atri, and ask yourself what you really want. What would make you happy? All the very best. xx

  20. […] post on What’s Your Ideal Family Size? and What’s The Ideal Ideal Age Gap Between Children? raised some really great discussion and […]

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