How Many Siblings Do You Have? - Studio DIY

How Many Siblings Do You Have?

1/31/2018

How Many Siblings Do You Have?

Without a doubt the two most common questions I got in our 2018 reader survey were “Are you going to adopt again?” and “How many kids do you want?” The short answer to both is: yes and four! But let’s dive a little deeper…

I come from a pretty unique family structure. My dad was married and had four boys. Then, he got divorced and several years later married my mom, and they had me. My half-brothers are 10-20 years older than me. And that made for an upbringing where I was half an only child since they split time between their moms and our house and also all quickly went off to college while I was still little. And the other half of the time I was part of this huge, loud, family of seven. For me, I thrived on that “big family” half. I lived for it, couldn’t wait for when they were all at our house.

And this dual experience led me to something I have never even once wavered on: I want a big family.

Jeff on the other hand comes from your “typical” American family. There’s two kids, him and his sister and they’re just over two years apart. When we first met, and I told him I wanted a big family (Yes, in high school. I wasn’t messing around! Haha!), he couldn’t even fathom having more than two kids, because that’s all he’d ever known. “But you only have two parents, won’t they overtake you?” “How do you fit in a car?” He had so many questions!

Slowly over time, he got to know my family and see why having a big family was so important to me. It’s just SO DARN FUN. It’s completely chaotic and there’s a lot of yelling but man, I wouldn’t change it for the world. Our game nights and competitive spirit are the highlight of my life.

A lot of times I tell people that I want four kids, and they say “FOUR!? Talk to me again once you have one or two.” Or now they’ll see Arlo acting crazy and say, “Still want four, huh?” And I always say, “Yep!” I feel incredibly grateful that I got to see the side of a big family where we’re all adults, growing our own families, getting together for gatherings of 18+ and how WORTH IT it is to me to fight for that for our future. I never said it was going to be easy, but the best things in life usually aren’t!

Now, Jeff happily tells people when they ask, “We want four.” I remember a few weeks after bringing home Arlo saying with like one eye squinted closed “So uh… you still on board with four?” And he immediately replied, “Sure am!” Fell pretty hard for him in that moment!

So I’m really curious… how many siblings did you have? Or were you an only child? Did you love it or hate it? Do you find yourself wishing for a similar family structure, if you plan on having kids? Or something totally different? Maybe you’ve never thought about it!? I’d love to hear your answers below! 

For the record, I’d totally have more than four if we didn’t live in a city that cost so freaking much! 😉

Photo by Katherine Ann Rose

132 comments

  • Kayla

    Wow, I totally get where you’re coming from on this one! I have 9 siblings from a huge combined family. My dad was married before my mom and had a son, my parents married each other and had me and my brother, and then after they were divorced, they each married someone who already had kids…and then they had more kids! I’m my mom’s oldest, but I’m also a middle child so I have alllll of the complexes of both oldest child and middle and it’s pretty hilarious. I’m bossy and controlling, while simultaneously always feeling overlooked, haha. I LOVE my big crazy family and can’t imagine life any other way. It definitely gets loud, but it’s certainly never boring! I’ve always said I’ve wanted 4 kids when the time comes, must be the magic number for those of us with large families. 🙂

    • Kelly

      Oh my gosh!!! Nine sounds SO fun!!! So funny you want 4 too, I have a few other friends from big families who want the same!!

      • Helena

        When I read this post, I instinctively wanted to respond to your IG post rather than in the blog comments – not sure why! Probably because I don’t blog so this doesn’t tie back to my IG handle if that makes sense? But commenting (for the first time) cause I saw your IG Story today!

        I like these kinds of posts! I’m one of 10 kids (6 blood, 4 step!) and I ALSO want 4 kids! My husband wants ~2 but I’m working on him! He is one of 3 boys and so I totally get why he wants a small family and I want a large one! We even have our names picked out! Love talking about family dynamics because there are so many different kinds of family structures!

        H

        • Helena

          Also this might sound dumb but my hubs and I are HUGE fans of party games/board games so we won’t have an odd number of kids because someone is always left out when you need to have teams! His family has 3 kids and 2 parents so they were thrilled when I joined the fam because it made it even! 😀

          Also realized another reason I prefer commenting on IG is because I get to use emojis!!!!

    • Justina

      I totally get the middle-oldest thing! I am the first of my parent’s kids, but have four older siblings who were adopted after I was born. Having all the complex’s is rough, but makes us fun! 😉

  • Naomi

    In my culture it is pretty standard for people to have 4+ kids. My husband and I are both one of 4. I think 4 is a good number without being too big- we still fit in a minivan! But, there were times when it was a zoo (my twin brother and I are 22 months older than my younger brother, and 6 years older than my sister). I think a lot has to do with how you space your kids out as well.

    Before having a baby, I definitely wanted at least 4 kids, but now I’m not so sure! I think we’ll have to take it one kid at a time and see where we are mentally/emotionally/financially. In theory I would love to have a large family, but man, kids are hard!

  • Sarah

    That’s so cool, I’m similar having two older half-brothers! It’s pretty great being the only girl and youngest no? 🙂

  • Staci

    I have three siblings – two sisters and a brother. We have a huge extended family on my mom’s side, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love having a big family! All the personalities and craziness yield a lot of fun and love.

  • Savannah

    I have one little sister, my built-in best friend. We are just three years apart, so I don’t remember a time without her. I guess I was an only child for three years…and she was too, when I went off to college!

    I’ve always admired the bigger family though and I’ve kind of been obsessed with the idea of four too! I know with three, someone may always be left out…but it seems like with four, there’s always someone for everyone.

    I could squeal at the thought of four Mindells! How fun!

  • Kate

    We are the one and done family. I grew up as an only child and loved being the center of attention (not going to lie!). My husband has one brother and they hated each other growing up! They gave each other stitches, kind of childhood. Therefore, when we decided to start a family we knew that we were on the one and done train. I am currently 35 weeks pregnant with our son, so I am soaking up the last few weeks of my only time being pregnant! Every family is unique and each couple has to decide what is right for them!

    • Kelly

      I LOVE hearing from people who loved being an only child!!! I felt so differently but know so many people who loved it!

  • Maria

    I have two half sisters from my dad’s first marriage. One is only 4 years older than me and the other is almost 20 years older than me. It was an interesting dynamic to grow up as an only child and the youngest of 3 at the same time. I’ve always said I’d rather have no kids than 1 child because I really hated being an only child. Thankfully my mom was also pretty close to her sister and her 3 kids so they became my pseudo siblings. I think I’d like 3 kids. It’s nice to see you come from a similar situation!

  • Kari

    I have 1 sibling. A sister who is 6 years older than me. We never really got along until I was older. Like in my 20s.

  • Irma

    For me it was a mix between you and Jeff
    I have 1 older brother and that’s it. But both my mom’s and my dad’s families are HUGE! and I love it!!!
    I love the chaos at Christmas and the loud dinners at restaurants. I met my very best friends in my cousins and so many role models on my aunts and uncles. There was always music and tons of food (we are mexican) every Saturday afternoon at my grandma’s
    So I don’t think you are crazy wanting 4. I want 5!
    So you go guys!!! It’s a pretty special dream to want to love that many kids and give them the best company they could ask for!.

  • Chana

    I’m the oldest of 4. Numbers 3 and 4 are twins so I think my parents were only going for three 🙂
    Growing up, our family was big for our community but now I’m part of a community where 4 is considered small! I have three kids now, thank G-d, but hope to have a couple more. We view every child as a huge blessing, but I think you also gotta do what you can handle.

  • Becky

    Hubs and I are both one of 3. That was enough to make us know that we didn’t want an odd number of kids. Someone is always left out. Two is too few and four seems like a lot. But we’re firmly on our way to 4. We have 3 now (all just under 2 years apart). We’re hoping to welcome baby 4 sometime next year!

  • Laura

    I only have 1 younger brother and he’s 8 years younger than me so it’s always been a challenge since we’re never in the same stage of life. I’m sure my parents didn’t mean to have us so far apart (unless they we’re counting on the free babysitting) but I’ve always wished we were closer in age or that I had another sibling my age. My parents both come from big familes. My dad was the 2nd youngest of 7 and my mom the youngest of 4. My boyfriend has 3 siblings and it’s always fun when we can all get together. I definitely want 3 kids so hopefully at least 2 of them will get along haha

  • Megan

    Me and my husband are both one of 4 kids and we are both firmly in the “no more than 2” category. Growing up, it just always felt like there wasn’t enough time, space, or attention for everyone. While me and my sisters are pretty close, we aren’t very close to my brother. My husband and his siblings aren’t close at all. I think we’re both coming from a place where we want our own tight-knit family that we didn’t really have growing up, and less children seems like the way to do that for us 🙂

  • Sarah

    I’m one of four siblings and I definitely want four! I can’t imagine life without my siblings – we talk almost on a daily basis! My husband is one of two, and he wants to have four (or 5!) because he loves the idea of a big fam. I’m expecting our first late Spring, and we are so excited to start our fam!!

  • Kate

    I had a very similar childhood. I had one half brother and so in some ways it felt like I was an only child because he was 15 years older than me. But I also had a HUGE extended family with so many cousins. I love being a part of our crazy loving family who always have each other’s backs. I have one child but I want four, hands down!!

  • Sarah

    Big families for the win! I’m one of 6 kids, and I’ve loved every minute of it! Sometimes I feel bad for my youngest brother who still lives at home because he doesn’t get the same experience as the rest of us. I have one, just a few months younger than Arlo and I definitely want to have a big family. My husband is one of three boys (it’s really complicated on his side) and was never sure about kids at first, but he was the one who came to me and asked if we could start trying. She’s 6 months old now and he is already joking about wanting more! I’ve convinced him that 4 would be a good place to aim for right now. 🙂

  • Anna

    I love learning about other families! I find birth order and number of siblings SO interesting.
    I am personally the oldest of two. I am just about 2.5 years older than my little sister. Growing up, I hated it of course because we bickered often, did a lot of the same activities, and had a lot of the same friends. We are both textbook definitions of “oldest sibling” and “youngest sibling”. While growing up had its challenges, I’m now so grateful for my sister. People always told us we would be best friends one day and they were right!
    I always wished I came from a bigger family. Our family is pretty quiet and average so I feel like a few more siblings would keep things interesting! My parents had us when they were in their late 30s. My mom initially didn’t want kids but after she had us she says she wishes she would have started earlier so she could have had one more!
    I personally wouldn’t mind having a big family of my own. I’ve always said I’d like between 2-4. I’m almost 26 and have zero intentions of starting a family for 5+ years. Depending on how old I am when I start having kids will probably determine how many I have!

  • Evelyn

    I come from a family of 7 kids, all from my mom and dad! We are all about 2 years apart from each other. Growing up we always fought, but now that we are all in our 20s and 30s we get along so well. When I was a little girl, I thought I wanted a family of four, but after having my son (he is 3 now) I can’t imagine having that many. Sometimes I struggle with my 3 year old, and it’s crazy to think my mom had to juggle 7 of us! Kudos to my momma!

  • Floor

    Cool topic! I only have one sister who is three years older. Secretly I wish I had more siblings so sometimes I get a little jealous when I see big families. My sister and I used to hang out every now and then but nowadays we don’t talk often.

    I don’t know if I want/can have kids, but if I do I guess I would like to have two or three.

  • Miranda

    I’m one of 5 girls! We had such a fun childhood! Some of us have married, moved, have children of our own and we are still best of friends! My husband came from 7 children. I personally want 3 or 4. (We have one right now) Thanks for sharing your family with us. I really enjoy following along your journey!

  • Morgan

    My parents had 3 when they were in their early 20s and then my brother and I when my mom was 37 and 40. He was a surprise and I was so he wouldn’t grow up alone lol So sometimes I was the youngest of 5 and then eventually they moved out and had family’s and there were only two of us. Like you, I lived for when we all got together. I absolutely love being part of a big family and wouldn’t trade it for anything. My sisters have 4 and 7 kids so our family keeps getting bigger and bigger and it’s the best. I would love 6 kids but minimum is 4.

    • Kelly

      Yes!! Nieces and nephews are the best!!!! It’s so fun when the family starts to grow!

  • Rykauna Parent

    In my family, I am the oldest of five. We were a family of three for quite a few years before adding to our family through the miracle of adoption in 2013 and 2015. This is gonna sound controversial, but I actually think that families with an odd number of children work better? (that’s been my experience at least!) So when I have kids I’m gonna go for an odd number. I would LOVE to have a family of five, but the city I live in is very expensive so I may have to cut it back to three, we will see;)

    Loved this post, super fun to read & the comments are neat to read, too!

  • Justina

    There are ten kids in my family (so I have nine siblings) and I loved it. We were never bored and there was always someone to be there for you. There are of course times when you just want to be alone, but those rarely last long. I shared a bedroom for the majority of my life (there was a three year period from 10-13 where I was alone, but I slept almost every night in my sister’s room because I missed her). The most difficult part for me is that we are really spread out age wise. My youngest siblings are twelve and thirteen and, now that I live on my own, I only see them once a week which kills me. Despite the challenges, I wouldn’t trade my big family for anything.

    When it comes to children of my own, I’m not sure I want any. I love being part of a big family, but I’m not sure being a parent is for me. I have a wonderful niece and nephew who I’m obsessed with, so I’m sticking with giving them all of my love for now.

  • Jessica

    I am an only child, an only cousin, and only grandkid, everything. I basically grew up with adults and I kind of loved it. I was able to grow up faster and adjust to being an adult better and I dunno – I didn’t feel like I was missing anything. Al my friends who have siblings even ones with great relationships seem like they had it a little harder in my opinion. I still felt like I learned all the values such as sharing, being considerate, but I learned them from adults and a lot of days spent at the senior bowling league while I stayed with my grandparents while my mom worked.

    Instead of playing outside a lot (I’m a ginger) I spent a lot of time reading and writing and watching movies which super aided in my career (I’m a photographer/run a creative community for small business owners) and helped me deal with all sorts of issues early on.

    My husband has a sibling but they don’t get along so if we were to have a kid which we aren’t even sure if we do want one we’d only have one. And we are pretty certain if we are to have one we would adopt anyways so watching your journey has been super insightful for that!

    • Annika

      It’s so nice to hear that you didn’t feel deprived since you were an only child! I’m planning on probably having only one kid, and people often frown and say that it’s not fair to a baby to not let them have a sibling. I love my sisters, but for my own family and life, I feel that one is enough. It’s a relief to hear from actual only children/cousins/grandchildren that I’m not a monster for wanting only one.

    • Katy

      Yes, it is great to hear your perspective! We are one and done. We thought we wanted 2 but then after our son was born 3.5 yrs ago my husband and I both decided our family is complete. I feel like I get judged too when asked how many we want.

    • Shadnee

      We’re on the one-and-done train! I have 3 siblings, and my husband has a biological sister, an adopted sister, and an adopted cousin-turned-brother. So we always thought we wanted 3-4 kids, but after our daughter was born (almost 2 now) we just decided we were happy just having her. Hubby’s getting a vasectomy tomorrow and we haven’t told any of my family b/c I’ve already been told by two people in my family that I’m selfish for not giving her siblings. For me personally, I would be crazy all the time if I had more kids and I feel like it’s more selfish of me to have more kids and be a mean mom than to have just her and not be so exhausted that we actually get to do fun stuff together. Major props to all the moms out there with more than one kid!

  • Shelby Thrasher

    TOTALLY get it. I’m the oldest of 3 (12 years older than the youngest), but have over 30! first cousins so family time is always INSANE. I definitely want that kind of chaos for my future family 🙂

  • Victoria

    I have four brothers too, all of them younger than me: one stepbrother (my stepmom’s son from her first marriage), two half-brothers by my dad, and one by my mom, who I actually helped raise. Because he and I are twelve years apart, and I basically had the entire parenting experience throughout my teens and twenties (culminating with my chaperoning his grad night at Disneyland when I was a month shy of 30!), I…don’t want kids. At least, I can’t picture them in my life right now. I love being the cool auntie to my best friend’s twin girls, though!

  • Elsa C

    Lol, I used to say 4 when I was 16 and didn’t know the cost of life. For now we want 2, I only have one brother and he also has one brother but I love big families, we are living in NYC now and is crazy to think more than 2 kids but I get your love for big families and game nights are the best, we will start with 2 and if we relocate maybe I’ll be flexible to have 4 (I don’t like 3 because of the sandwich effect 😂) can’t wait to see all of your 4 children outfits and rooms 💖
    Love,
    Elsa C

  • Martha

    I’m one of four, and we’re all 2 years apart. I tell people everyday (or…whenever they ask haha) that having as many children as you can afford is wonderful. I loved growing up with so many siblings because there was always someone to play with, always someone to talk to, and always someone to stand by your side and defend you. The more the merrier is my opinion!

  • Tiffany

    I’m one of 9 and my parents were from families of 8 and 12, so all I ever knew was big families. Until I married my husband who is one of 3 kids.. the family dynamic is definitely different. While I love his family, I am always wishing for the constant chaos of my family as we sit around quietly at his parents. Ironically, we just want 3-4 kids. I was a nanny before and I think it’s about all I could handle. A big family would be so rewarding and I do wish we could have kids that grew up in a more than average size family.

  • Hillary

    I am the 3rd oldest of 10 kids! 6 boys and 4 girls! They were all single births and we are all about 2 years apart(there are two 3.5+ year gaps). Growing up as an older sibling, it was challenging sometimes because I would have some responsibility and help take care of the younger ones. #10 is 15 years younger than me. But looking back, I loved it. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows, but we have some really good relationships now. So our ages are 31, 29, 25, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16, 14, and 10. I wouldn’t trade any of my siblings for the world. I love them so much. As far and me and my husband(who is an only child) go, we would like 3 or 4, and a lot of people reply back with “wait until you have 1.” Lol. We also get asked if we’re going to have 10. But honestly, we don’t know. Every child is a blessing, whether it’s 1 or 10. ❤️

  • Jessica

    My dad has two daughters from his first marriage and I’m the oldest of three girls for him and my mom. I was always fascinated my big families and always grew up saying that I wanted 5 boys and 1 girl so that I could have my own little basketball team and a cheerleader. Plus, if I could choose, I would want the youngest boy and the girl to be twins because I always wish I had a twin brother! Ha!

  • Sophie

    It’s so interesting to me to see how many people also want four kids!! It seems like four is the magic number, haha. So I’m from a family like Jeff’s — I’ve got an older brother who’s three-and-a-half years older than me. He loved me growing up, but I did not feel the same! He had some health problems, and sometimes it felt like he was the only child, which made things pretty tough. Because of that (and other things), I spent a lot of time alone and dreaming of what life would be like if I had more people to spend time with. I also have two older cousins that grew up nearby, and they were (and are!) like older sisters to me, so when they came over there were some magical moments where I was the youngest of four 🙂 I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that “Cheaper by the Dozen” and “Yours, Mine, and Ours” were two of my favorite movies growing up!

  • Katie

    This is so me! I’m one of three girls and want to have a big family SO badly. My goal is four, also! And my husband is exactly the same as Jeff – he’s one of two, him and his sister, two years apart. Our family is loud and big and I love it so much. We have a one month old now and I still want more babies!! I have two very good friends that have 5 children each and I loved every second of being with their families! I hope we can have the same someday.

  • Tesni Phillips

    I have two brothers, and we’re all 14 months apart so we are very close in age! I have friends who have siblings much younger than them so they can’t always relate to them, but I love being so close in age to my brothers bc we all go through the same stuff so they’re great to turn to for advice. We go skydiving together and a bunch of super fun activities I wouldn’t be able to do if they were years younger than me. I’m the middle child and the only girl, and wouldn’t change it for the world! I want at least 3 when I have kids bc I can’t imagine having any less than that after growing up as one of 3

  • Annika

    I have two older sisters and they are the light of my life. My world would just not be the same without them. We talk several times a week despite of our living in three different states and I look forward to getting together for summer vacations and Christmas with our whole big family of now ten that we have partners and nieces.

    Nonetheless, I think I’m only going to have one child. After having two miscarriages in 2017, I’m planning to count myself lucky if I make it through one healthy pregnancy. I don’t want to tempt fate.

    Since following you and Jeff, adoption has definitely seems like more of a feasible option for us, however, there is still a deep part of me that wants to experience pregnancy and I’m not ready to let go of that dream yet.

  • Eleanor

    I’m the younger of two, with an older brother 3 years older (so a lot like Jeff and Jen I guess!). I didn’t consider me and my brother super super close as kids but we are now, and when I look back or talk to friends, I can tell we have always been fairly close, never having huge fights or super super different interests (we’re both nerdy but in different ways). I’m always jealous of girls with sisters because it’s another level of closeness it seems. I know I won’t have more than two biological kids, but I could imagine having a third if I decided to adopt. (just to be clear I have no kids now).

    I also grew up in a new england town where most families had 2, and 4 or 5 was considered huge, so I still kind of think that way, even though my mom is one of 3 and my dad one of 6– so I do have a lot of cousins :).

  • Karlee

    I grew up in a huge mixed family my parents had me and my sister and got divorced when i was 4 they both remarried when i was 6. My mom and my step dad then had 3 more kids and my dad and stepmom had 1 boy and adopted 2 girls and then adopted 3 more boys all together totaling to 10 siblings! YES I’m 1 Of 11!!!! It was crazy loud, always crowded even living in a huge house we were always on top of each other and friends everywhere did i mention that the ages are between 27 and 5! The twins are the youngest and just started kindergarten this year! There is already 6 granddaughters and 1 grandson from this bunch and only 3 Of is have had kids so far! Seriously i never had to lose anything because i had such a huge family it was amazing and every time we’re all together it’s the best feeling in the world! I have 2 babies 13 months apart and my husband’s begging for number 3 we will also be adopting and have no clue what number we will stop at i guess when it’s loud, crazy and feels like home!

    Oh and my husband grew up with just his mom and dad and one brother and thought i was nuts too until he was in my family for just a few months and realized he craved that huge family and was so excited to finally be apart of one!

  • Stephanie

    I come from a crazy mixed family. My dad has nine kids but I grew up in my moms house with my one full sister. So it was much more calm than 9 kids in the house obviously. But my aunt has 5 kids and growing up with all our cousins was just the best. All the loud and crazy!! It’s still my favorite part of Christmas (getting all of us together). Now that I have kids, we have 4😳 and I never thought I would have that many but i LOVE it so much that we may even have one more in a few years. It’s the best and the hardest. Giving your kid a sibling or two or three is pretty special. I pray my boys stay close and really do think of each other as best friends for the rest of their lives.

  • RENEE JOHNSON

    “Won’t they overtake you?” OMG so funny!!

  • Cecilia

    I’m the third oldest of 8 all from my parents and I love having a big family so much that it is my favorite topic of conversation. I love telling people about my siblings and how awesome my parents are and now that the 4 oldest are married and the family is growing is just keeps getting better. To watch my parents faces when all of us are able to be together is a feeling I will never be able to put into words. When the two of them look at this family that they created together I crave for the day when I can have the same thing.

    I’m in a similar situation with you! I met my husband in high school as well and he is also 1 of 2 and to say he experienced some culture shock at my family gathering (my parents are also both 1 of 7) is an understatement but I’ve finally convinced him to jump on the big family train. (I’m hoping for 5!) But here’s why I finally convinced him:

    Growing up in a large family teaches you values that are irreplaceable. It’s very hard to grow up in a large family and not learn amazing communication skills, there are X amount of personalities you have to deal with on a regular basis, you figure out how to get what you want by knowing how to talk to each sibling. It’s very hard for you to not be accepting of other people because your parents force you to accept your siblings whether you want to or not when you young (lol), and while there are countless other things I could mention my favorite quality that I got from my big family is how driven I am. I was given 7 of my best friends and I can never thank my parents enough for that.

    That was long winded….like I said, family is my favorite conversation topic.

  • Les

    I have 1 brother and 1 sister and i am the oldest.
    My father was a man whore (sorry!) So that i am aware, i have 3 others (might be more 🙈) but to be honest, i dont really consider them my siblings since I didn’t grow up with them and were not in each others lives now as adults.

    Now that my siblings are both grown ups and in their 20’s, i think theyre amazing! (Even though I want to kill them 90%of the time) i love them and i couldn’t imagine them not being mine. I sometikmes stop and think about that and it makes me so happy. I cant imagine them not being in my life!

    That being said, my bf’s family is huge and I LOVE IT!!! And it reminds me of the time we all used to be like that with my Grama over the holidays and i miss it.
    I see the way they all bond and my heart explodes but i dont think i personally would want that. Like, i do, but i cant even picture myself having a kid right now and im already 30! It hasn’t hit me yet and I dont know that I do but I’m all for anyone who wants to expand their family because its just an amazing thing to have! Can you imagine when you’re the great grandma! And your kids kids stop by and visit! That would be amazing!

    So at this moment I cant picture having one but if i end up doing it, let’s go big, or stay home!

  • Sarah

    I am an only child, but I come from a huge family (my mom is 1 of 9 – I am the 18th grandchild in the family and there are more after me!) As a child, I don’t remember being bothered about not having siblings, but now that I’m an adult I see that I probably subconsciously did mind (I had a lot of imaginary friends and siblings, haha.)

    My parents are no longer together, and sometimes I think that having a sibling (i.e. a comrade) in that drama would be helpful and make me feel less alone at times, but on the other hand, my mom is EVERYTHING to me, and I know we probably wouldn’t have the same close relationship if I had siblings.

    Anyway, this has been a lot of rambling thoughts, haha. All in all, while being an only child is the only life I’ve ever known (and I LOVE my life!) I think that if I had children, I would have more than one.

    Sarah

  • Hannah

    I have four sisters, a big sister (2 years older), a twin sister, a step sister, and a half sister. While I am not as close with my half sister (9 years younger than me) or my step sister because she is hard to get along with (still love them). My big sister and twin sister are my best friends and I definitely couldn’t imagine a life without them. So definitely making sure I have at least 3 kids. But I do wish I could have had a brother.

  • Melody

    I come from a family with 3 kids and my husband, 4. We have 3 boys, 4 mo, 2 years & 4 years old! They are so sweet and fun and loud and wild AND worth it! They are also the best of friends, even at preschool they play together. Loving the crazy adventure of watching them grow. Can’t wait to watch your family grow too!

  • Breanna

    I am the youngest of 5! Like you, my dad had 3 older kids but my mom also had one before they got together and had me. I only got to live with one sibling & he was 11 years older so he left home when I was 7. I always wished I had brothers & sisters to actually grow up with. I wanted four kids & my husband wanted two- we’ve compromised with three and we have a four year old, 2 year old and 6 month old. I’m so excited for them to always have each other and super excited for a crazy loud house for the next several years! I so feel you on this!

  • Myri

    I’m one of 5 and loved, most of the time, being part of a big family. I always said I wanted 4, but my husband was not on board, so I settled for 3.

    Fast forward to having our 2nd, and he was a horrible baby (the cutest though) he didn’t sleep for a year and he turned blue from crying from birth until 2. That traumatized my husband and he wants to stop at 2.

    I’m still totally pushing for one more, but it’ll be in a couple of years probably, when my son is in kindergarten or something.

  • Kendall Nichols

    My mom always wanted a large family and when she and my dad began having children, she never changed her mind. Dad tried to sway her after number 2 haha, but he figured they were making good kids anyway, so 4 more came along. Growing up in a family of 8 has been, by far, the biggest blessing of my life. Like you said, it is fun and crazy and loud. But it’s more than that. There is a bond that you can’t really ever break and you never want to try. My siblings are my best friends and there is nothing I’d rather do than sit around our living room and talk about food and awkward situations of the day with them. It’s the best. You can bet I’m planning on having at least 10 kids haha 😉

  • Leslie

    I came from a large family with 5 kids. I’m really close with my sister but not with my 3 younger brothers and it makes me really sad. My husband has 3 siblings and is very close with them all. I don’t think that there is any correlation between family size or age Gap and closeness as a family of between siblings. Our only son is 2 and being a mom has been wonderful, but really scary and hard for me. I think I’d love to have 3, but we are just taking it a day at a time. Oh and yes, living in a big city definitely has added to our equation too. Good luck with your decision! Xoxo

  • Shayla

    I think 4 is the perfect number! I’m the oldest of 4, and we are all pretty close. We have one boy a few months older than Arlo and hope to have 4 kids—- maybe 5 or 6— we’re the kind of people who kinda overdue it! Ha! Blessings to your family and family to-be! Love reading about your family ❤️

  • Stephanie

    I love this! I adore following your family on social media. I’m an only child and wanted siblings so much. I’m a rainbow baby and my parents tried and never could have another. If I’m ever lucky enough to have kids I definitely want more than one. (I’m 31 and perpetually single so my chances are super slim) but I’ve always been open to adoption since I have a dear friend who’s adopted and another that adopted a son. I definitely would love to adopt. Seeing your families story only cemented that feeling further. (It also helps with my “I’ll never be a mom!” panic bc of my age/single status) I can’t wait to see your family grow!

  • Tina

    I am one of 9 children! I have 5 older siblings and 3 younger. And it’s awesome. I love love love how a big family helps. My older siblings helped my parents with the younger siblings, then I helped my older siblings with their kids, now my nieces and nephews build into my kids! It’s total chaos when we are all at my parents house with our spouses and kids, but I love it so much. It’s so cool that you want a big family!

  • Ashley Pullen

    I am one of three girls. I also have three girls! I really wanted to have four, but my body caused us to have to stop having babies. I am pray that the door to adoption opens one day for us. I loved having two sisters. We are all adults and best friends now. My older sister is 6 1/2 years older, and my younger sister is only 14 months younger. My daughters are all born within 4 years of each other, so they are super close. I love it!

  • DriverB

    LOVE these stories! I’m the oldest of 8 – four girls, then four boys, same parents, no multiples. We didn’t have a lot growing up, but we had each other – and now that we’re all adults, we’re super close, even though we’re spread all over the country now. About five years ago, we instituted an annual-ish Family Camp where we try to get as many of us in the same place as we can. My husband is an only, but he loves getting together with everyone. Our son was born the same week as Arlo, and we’re just aiming for two kids, but we’ll see what the universe has in store. At the least, little man will have plenty of cousins his age – there are currently 7 cousins, with 5 of them under 3, and 3 born in 2017! We lined up all the babies on the couch at Xmas Family Camp this year and it. Was. Amazing. ❤️

  • Dorothy

    It’s just me and my sister, who’s 3 & 1/2 years older. Growing up I definitely wish I had more siblings as my dad was one of 8 and mom was one of 6! So we had that huge family experience during holidays, I have 26 FIRST cousins! But I missed that at home. Since they came from huge families my parents only wanted two. I’ve always wanted 4 since I was in high school as well also hoping for twins since it runs in my family (my mom is a twin)! But now that I’m older and know all that goes into it I currently feel like the cliche is true, “let’s start with 1 maybe 2 and go from there!” 💞

  • Helen

    I’m one of four and it’s the best! I’m really close to all my siblings and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. It’s so nice to have a group of people that are willing to be your adventure partners and that you can confide in about pretty much anything.

    -Helen
    http://www.sweethelengrace.com

  • Jaclyn

    I have 1 sister who is 6yrs older than me and it was wonderful. We definitely had a few years where the age gap was rough but we had so many kids in our neighborhood and spent a lot of time at each other houses which made up for the lack of siblings. Plus our parents took in our cousin for a few years who was right in between us age wise. He had always felt more like a brother and honestly those were some of the Best Memories!! I would love 4 as well. It does seem to be the magic number because my dad came from 4 and loved it. My mom was an only child but she was so close with her friends that I grew up with them like sisters since we were really close in age. More the Merrier right!

  • Kristina B

    oh wow Kelly you and I had almost the exact family situation! I have 3 much older siblings from my dad’s previous marriage but I actually went the other way: I was a-ok with having my parents to myself! Ha! Although, they didn’t come hang out as often or all together. The oldest was in the Marines, the middle boy was kind of a jerk haha! but I did get to know my sister and of the 3 of them, I am still in contact with her but she lives in NC.
    I have a friend with FIVE littles under the age of 10 (wowza) and I can’t figure out how she makes it from day to day especially when they are all sick but I imagine they will just have the most full life together and will bring their mom and dad so much joy. She tells me how people look at her when they all go to eat together or if even just THREE of them go to Target together and it’s just awful and ridiculous what people do with their opinions. You do you, girl. xoxo

  • Shea O'Quinn

    I am actually adopted and in my adoptive family it’s just my younger brother and I. As an adult I finally decided to reach out to my birthmom. She had unfortunately passed away just weeks prior BUT… the silver lining… I was able to connect with half siblings of mine (3 total). I can’t help but wonder what growing up with them would have been like… chaotic I’m sure but also, so fun! I’m definitely on team Big Family! I say go for it!

  • Alexis

    I grew up the oldest of 5 kids. I loved it but looking back on it now I wish i didn’t have to be the second mother. I feel like as the oldest I was forced to grow up too fast and take on a more parental role than a sibling role.

    I have 2 kids and for me that is the perfect amount so I can give them the attention I feel they both need.

    There are pros and cons to both but it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks it’s your family and you should do what’s right for you!

    Love is all that matters. You and Jeff are the best. Do you!

  • Lauren

    Your family sounds like my husband’s! He’s the only child of his parents’ marriage, but he has three half-brothers that are 10-20 years older than him!

    I have a younger brother, but after my parents got divorced, my father had 3 more children.

    I love having our baby girl, but I’m hoping to give her a sibling!

  • Chelsea

    I’m one of seven kids – all from the same mom & dad – and I absolutely love it! I’m the 6th child (and the baby girl) so it was a full house already when I was born and remained that way until I reached high school, when there were just three of us left at home. This summer, all seven of us will be over the age of 30, and many of us have already married and had children of our own so now our number is at 19 (and counting). We only get the entire family together once or twice a year, but I live for those moments when we’re all together. It’s chaotic and loud but WONDERFUL.

    My husband is an only child but he grew up with a bunch of cousins around his age who were basically like his brothers & sisters, so he also loves having a big family. We hope to be able to have and/or adopt a big family, too! Four or five would be awesome, but we’ll see how everything goes.

  • Megan MPatt

    I am the baby of 4, my husband like you had 4 older half siblings and one sister from his parents marriage. He always wanted 2 kids (boy and girl) and I being the youngest always wanted this massive family traditionally or non. We were well on our way with our son and 5.5 years later when I had our daughter she had a stroke and life took a unique turn. Now at 40 we are looking at expanding our family…there’s a chance that’s already in place which is crazy and scary. bottom line if I could adopt one more and have one more safely it would be no question. Family is everything and to some that’s one child, no child or many…whatever works for you is what’s best. Arlo will be lucky and loved no matter what!

  • Faith

    I come from a family of 4 kids and I was the third born. I always LOVED having so many people around to play with and hang out with. It’s even more fun now that we’re all grown up and growing our own families. I always said I want 4 and when i met my husband he knew I wanted 4. However, he was like Jeff and he was one of 2 kids. It was always just him and his sister 4 years apart. And he only wanted 2 and never wanted more. I always told him that he’ll change his mind once we had kids. After having one, he still only wanted 2. After having our 2nd(18 months after our 1st), he still only wanted 2. A few years after our second was born, when we didn’t have babies anymore, he decided maybe he actually wanted a bigger family than he originally thought…so we’re “in progress” of growing our family bigger and I’m so excited about it!!!!

  • Jackie

    I have a twin brother and a younger sister! My parents went through IVF in the early 90s when it was still SUPER new and we were the third success where my parents went through the process. My sister was a blessed oops! baby a few years later, and was born with Down syndrome and later diagnosed with Autism. Needless to say, if raising twins wasn’t enough for first-time parents, following up with a special needs child really topped it off. So growing up wasn’t anything normal, but I wouldn’t have changed it for anything else. My dad got cancer when we were young, so I stepped in to help my mom take care of my sister while he was being treated and then as we were growing up because he became disabled. What I’ve learned the most is to take each step as a blessing, for whatever lesson it teaches you along the way! I definitely couldn’t imagine having an only child, so I think I’d be good with two (or so). It’s amazing to have a support system and learn from each other.

  • Ryley

    Me and my 2 siblings are all adopted, we’re each 4 years apart, and we all have crazy different personalities, so there was never a dull moment in our house growing up. My parents originally wanted 4 kids as well, since they both grew up in 5-child families, but they changed their mind when they got my younger sister. For them, 2 boys was easy, but my sister was a pain in the butt (and still is, at 22. Haha). I don’t know about your adoption situation, but my parents didn’t know our genders until they had already met and connected with our bio-moms, but if you can, I would totally save a girl for last — just like your family! And who doesn’t want all those big brothers to look out for them! Best of luck with Arlo, and whoever may come into your life soon. Arlo is one lucky kid to have you as a mommy, and I really think he is meant to be with you guys. XO

  • Megan

    I’m an only child/only cousin/only grandchild and growing up I alwayyyys craved a loud exciting family. I do love how close I am with my parents (true bff’s) and think I had a great childhood. However, as I’m getting older (and still single) I have found myself wishing more and more for siblings so I’m not family-less one day. That being said- if I every find someone to share life with I plan on having/adopting at least 3 kiddos if possible!

  • Sarah

    oh man, I’m young (22, I know, SO young to be thinking about kids) but I’ve ALWAYS wanted a big family. I grew up with a younger brother who is two years younger than me and even though I love him and he’s my best friend, I always wanted more siblings! my mom is the oldest four and she is super close with her siblings, and I just always wished I had that. I definitely want AT LEAST four haha! my boyfriend grew up similarly with an older sister and thrived like that so he only wanted two for the longest time but I’ve gotten him up to three in the past year. we definitely have a lot of time ahead of us for me to convince him that four is a good idea 😉 my dream though is to have four of our own and then adopt two. but like I said I’m super young haha!

  • Hilary

    Good for you! I am always in AWE of people who want this many kids. I am an only child and totally and completely hated it. When I got older and had a really close group of friends, I didn’t mind it as much. But now that I’m in my 30s, my friends and I have drifted apart (compared to what it was before), so I wish so badly I had someone I could go to other than my mom and my husband.

    My husband and I have two kids, almost 5 and almost 3. They are the best of friends, and I don’t regret one thing. But, this is what I have learned from having two kids: I do not thrive on chaos and noise. I’m guessing this is because I grew up in a very quiet house and am pretty introverted. When they fight, scream, whine, etc., my brain literally wants to explode. So I’m good with 2 kids!

    Our pediatrician once told me that she sees two types of parents when families go from 2 to 3 kids. The first are people who thrive on chaos and noise, so the third kid just adds to the lovely mess. The second are people who don’t thrive on chaos and noise, so the third kid sends them over the edge.

    It sounds like you’re the former! Go go, girl. Enjoy all of the fun expanding your (already ridiculously adorable) family!

  • Nikki

    So I have one sibling, a brother who is older than me by 4 years and he is my absolute best friend. My girlfriend has 4 siblings and she’s the second oldest with one older sister, a younger sister, and then 2 younger brothers. I’ve always wanted 5 kids, like how her family is and she’s always wanted two, like how my family is.

    I love the idea of having multiple siblings, especially with how my relationship with my brother is. My girlfriend has such a unique and beautiful relationship with each of her siblings and I want the same experience for my future children as well.
    I’m so excited that you’re thinking about siblings for Arlo and I wish your little family all of the best as you guys expand!

  • Brittany Chinaglia

    You’re brave! actually, 4 sounds OK but 3 sounds better to me haha! I have 9 siblings, grew up with 7 under one roof, and I have to say i don’t want a big family, but hear me out! As the 4rd oldest of 9, I had a LOT of responsibility, my parents couldn’t actually take care of us all, so the older kids had to care for the younger kids, which doesn’t really allow for you to BE a kid, if that makes sense. also, it was just impossible for my parents to really have quality relationships with all of us, so as adults, I’m not as close to my parents as I my friends are to theirs (who grew up in smaller families). I ache for a more intimate relationship with my parents. As a parent of 2 now, I feel my kids deserve more of my time, more quality and undivided attention to them, rather than spread my time across more children. I think about having 3, but I never ever want them to feel like I don’t have time for them. So, while a parent might want to have lots of kids because they love the chaos, considering it from the perspective of the child, do the children really want to have so many siblings they don’t get seen or paid as much attention to?

  • Francheska

    I am an only child. However, I have 3 kids and am happy to have them. I have one boy and 2 girls. The boy is 15, girls are 8 and 2. They are very spread out in age and I like it. I couldn’t imagine having them back to back I would go crazy. Thanks for sharing Kelly and can’t wait to see your growing family.

  • ashley

    I grew up in a more non-traditional family too. My mom and dad were both young when they had me and had broken up well before my first birthday. My dad met my step mom before my second birthday and they were married when I was five. I have no memory of life before having two moms so it’s totally normal for me. I have a “half” sister and brother that are 9 and 13 years younger than me. My poor little brother has said sometimes he feels like he has three moms because of having two older sisters. lol. I’ve never lived with my half brother and sister because I would go on the weekends and spend a few weeks in the summer. My mom met and married my step dad with I was in the 4th grade. I have a step sister and brother who are 8 and 5 years older than me. My step sister lives three hours away from us and always has. My step brother lived with my step dad so I went from never living with my siblings to one being there all the time! So, technically, I am an oldest child, youngest child, middle child and only child. I don’t have the traditional sibling relationship with any of my siblings and I’m closer to some than other but I love them all and I’m used to my confusing family tree. I have two kids and probably won’t have more unless we look into adoption or fostering. They may happen as these two get older but who knows. I would love more kids but my husband is on the fence, but I have the feeling that may change when our guys aren’t so little anymore. I just know if we do have more I won’t be giving birth to them, the last one almost killed me, literally.

  • Christine

    I grew up as an only child. But when I was 14, my dad and his wife (not my mom) had a son. So he’s my only half brother, and we grew up together when I was home. But I quickly went off to college so we both grew up as only children mainly. I actually have LOVED being an only child. My parents made major effort for me to be social, have friends over, and put me in all the extra activities. I think for myself, I just want two kids. the bond siblings have who are close in age is something that no one else can bring. And I also would love for my kids to have each other when we’re traveling or doing activities that maybe other kids won’t be at. More than 2 just intimidates me. Haha! Not opposed but definitely not a longer dream I have.

  • Sarah

    I have three younger sisters and it’s been a lot of fun. I’ve actually liked the age difference between us (4 year gap between the first two kids, 4 years between the 2nd and 3rd, and then 2 years between the 3rd and 4th) because as the oldest it made it fun to be there to help take care of my siblings and give them advice and whatnot as we got older. Best of luck to you and your family! Arlo (and your future kids) are pretty lucky to have you and Jeff as parents.

  • Kerri

    My husband and I decided when we were 17 that we wanted four kids and we are 3 kids in now and I just told him the other day that I don’t know if I want to stop at 4 anymore 😂 It just keeps getting better and better!!

  • Aimee Swindall

    Love that Jeff loves your big family! I’m the oldest of 5 (4 girls, and then a surprise baby brother when I was 13- best surprise ever!). It was definitely pure chaos when we were little, and I really have no idea how my parents survived at times. BUT, now that we are all (mostly) grown up, and having families of our own, it’s the absolute BEST. We all get along so well, and really love getting to spend time together. My husband comes from a 1 boy/1 girl family, and our compromise is 3.

  • Sarah

    I’m the oldest of three… I have a younger sister and my brother is the baby. I loved growing up in a family of three — noisy, in each other’s business and now we are all best friends as adults and text each other constantly. I now have my own family and wanted three as well— apparently I wanted it so much that I willed it into being exactly as it was growing up- I have two girls and then a boy. I love it. It’s noisy and crazy but I love watching them interact and play. I think what is wonderful but exhausting about being on the parenting end of a big family is that as a parent you play a HUGE role in facilitating the relationship between your children- we are constantly teaching about empathy, kindness and compromise. Sometimes I think about having a fourth but none of the “odd man out” concerns that a lot of people predict with an odd number of kids came true. It’s not possible for there to always be a perfect match and I think it’s important for kids to learn how to include everyone- whether they can easily partner off or not. My pregnancy struggles and miscarriages also keep me from entertaining the idea of another. I love my family of three kids and i honestly can’t imagine it any differently!

  • Laura

    I am the oldest of three. I am 3 years older than my middle brother and 9 years older than my little brother (who most likely was an oops, lol!). Sadly the only girl! I actually don’t think it ever bothered me until I was older and I heard about / saw the relationships my friends had with their sisters and it made me really wish I had one growing up! Not sure how many kids I want to have.. but I’m really hoping I get to have two girls close in age just so I can see that bond grow in front of my own eyes!!

  • Ally

    Im sort of similar to you…an only child biologically, but my parents got divorced and remarried so I have step-siblings on one side. So half the time I was an only child and half the time not. I really feel like I missed out on an essential part of life by not having any biological siblings, and I remember being lonely a lot as a kid. I tell anyone who is wavering on the subject: don’t have only 1 kid!

  • Jess

    I’m one of three, as is my husband, but while I never thought I’d even wanted kids, he always told me he wanted 10! He says he knew I’d change my mind! My mom was the second oldest of 9 and I LOVE huge family events. Well, now we have three so far and know our family still isn’t complete. We had a bio son, adopted our daughter, then had another bio son. and now we’re almost done being certified to become foster parents. So who knows how many kids that will bring into our life – temporarily or permanently. We just know now that the love only multiplies and we have more room in our hearts to give!!! There’s nothing better than watching your kids laugh and play together. Hopefully they’ll have that friendship with each other long after we’re gone too.

  • Ruby

    So my family is a little complicated.
    I have one older half sister. She, in turn, has two younger step sisters and one half brother. Her half brother and I were born about 2 months apart and ended up growing up together. We spent every summer at me and my sisters grandmothers house all together. Now that were all grown and the older girls have families, my sister hosts $1,000 Thanksgivings with over 30 people and we have 4 or 5 Christmases in a three state radius. It is crazy and incredible and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  • Marie

    It makes me so mad when people say thigs like that. Like F yeah i know how many kids i want, take your know-it-all judgement somewhere else😡 I also grew up as one of two. And i have been thinking about adoption after seeing Arlo and your experiences. My daughter was born prematurely and passed away and my son was born prematurely but is thriving. I have too many issues to have any more biological babies so if we decide to have more, adoption is it! (Not sure if we want more. I go back and forth pretty frequently)

  • Molly

    Oh this post made me so happy, I love couples that want big families and even more so love couples who adopt. I’m the oldest of five girls, my parents always wanted all girls ( they get asked that a lot). My three youngest sisters are adopted from China and have special needs and there is also a pretty large age gap between me and the youngest Vi (19 years). Which is one of my favourite aspects of our large crazy big girly family. Being the much older sister, I got to travel to China to bring them home, babysit daily and answer all their questions about what they were like when we first met, their first words, first tooth loss… We still live in one house together and I love waking up to my little sisters voices outside. I especially love how every birthday, holiday, vacation or even just average daily dinner is an huge event in itself. Also I know you are a baby name fanatic like me so I thought I would tell you ours. Molly (23) Ruby (21) Evie (13) Iris (7) Violet (5)

  • Katie

    I love this post! I have one sister, three years younger, and it’s been awesome having a best friend for life! (Well, best friend since high school, she was definitely moodier than me in middle school and I didn’t get it! 😀) My Mom and Dad also have one sister each, so our extended family is pretty small as well. I have loved having such a small, tight-knit family. But I’m also a teacher and feel like I’ve seen every single family and sibling dynamic there is! Personality and temperament are real, y’all! Family dynamics fascinate me. So I actually think I would love to have 2-4 kids and want to have a big group of people as my family unit!

    P.S. I also love your Arlo adoption experiences because my cousins are both adopted from South Korea! I’m always so excited to hear about other people’s adoption journeys. I am so thankful that it continues to be an honest conversation about how each family is different and amazing, no matter how they became a family!

  • Erin Maree

    I’m one of three and in my mind I see myself having three kids. My Dad was the oldest out of two kids and my Mum was the second oldest out of four kids. They met in the middle when it came to how many kids they would have.

  • Annie

    I was totally like Jeff, up until about two years ago when my boyfriend and I started dating and I met his awesome family. I grew up as an only child until I was about 10, and then we fostered and adopted my now brother who is 9 years younger than me! But my boyfriend has FOUR brothers, and they’re all so close. I hang out with his family more than he does because I love that environment so much! They’re also Mexican, so they’re super fun and always ready to party and dance and eat! It makes me REALLY want to have a big family of my own some day!

  • Katie

    I come from a family of 5 – 3 kids! I have two older brothers and wouldn’t trade it for the world. It was so fun growing up with older brothers and we were all in high school together for one year- the oldest as a senior, middle as a junior, and me as a freshman. I am still young but don’t know that kids are right for me but am so excited to become an aunt (hopefully in the next year or two!)

  • Lindsay

    I am an only child and I HAVE ALWAYS hated it. Some of my first memories are sitting on Santa’s lap and asking for a sibling, or writing to the Easter bunny to please deliver me a brother or sister. There was a point in time where I tried to talk my parents into leaving their (well paying) jobs and go work for Wendy’s, because they have a program that would help you adopt a child (Wendy’s founder, Dave Thomas is adopted himself).

    I still struggle being an only child. My mom has passed and my Dad has moved on and I am alone A LOT. I don’t have a super close connection to my family members (they all have their own siblings, after all, and I am the only only child). I sometimes get sad at family events when my cousins take “sister” selfies, have inside jokes, or just share that closeness. I will never never know that.

    Also, when the time comes and my dad passes on I will be left alone. Living only with my memories, my feeling of loss with no one to commiserate with, with the burden of caring for a parent and/or making decisions or arrangements all by myself. It all lies in my shoulders.

    I personally want a large family (my dream is 5 kids). I want my kids to have what I never did, the late night giggles, silly inside jokes, shared memories, and a connection to one another from beginning to end.

    I IMPLORE those who are “one-and-done” to rethink their decision. The absolute best GIFT you can give to your child is a sibling!

  • Megan

    I think you two make the best parents and more kids deserve the love you have to give, so that’s awesome you want a big family! I am the middle child of 3 girls and my husband is the fourth child out of 5, he has three older sister’s and a younger brother. He loves his big crazy family (and I do too) but I have picked up on some things that he disliked about growing up like lack of privacy (he had to share a room with his brother his entire life), always noisy in his house, severe lack of 1 on 1 attention from his parents and stuff like that. I think my parents did really good juggling my sisters and I, so I think 3 is the perfect number. I have always hoped for twins though and if I lucked out with that on the first try I’d be done. One thing for me I worry about is not being able to handle/connect with a boy. It’s predominantly females in my family so the thought of having a son is kinda terrifying! Can’t wait to see your adorable family grow. 💕

  • Brianna

    I am an only child and for a while I didn’t want to have any other children. However, once I met my current boyfriend and we started to talk about having children together I began to rethink the whole not having children idea. After a lot of consideration I believe I would like to have two children. I loved being an only child and it afforded me a lot of opportunities that I am not sure I would have had if my parents had decided to have more children, such as paying for my undergrad and getting to take yearly vacations. However, the older I get the more I begin to realize that once my parents are gone I will be the only one to carry on the memories I had with them growing up. With a sibling you are able to share your memories with someone and you also have someone to remember your childhood and parents by.
    I’m slightly envious that you are so sure about how many children you want! I’m still unsure about having children and wish I was more confident in my decision. You are going to have a beautiful, busy and well dressed family! 🙂

  • Vannah

    Hi !!

    It was just my sister and I are 7 years apart. I grew up only visiting friends who had siblings close and wished there was not such a huge age gap. I never really contemplated how many kids I would have but after my first marriage failed with two kids I was ready to tie my tubes then started dating my husband who at the time joked about how crazy I was to not wanting anymore kids since I did not know who I would marry if I ever married again. Sure enough I married him and we are expecting number 10.. It still is crazy for me.. I love my children dearly. The noise is just something that is so different. We have 5 boys who are loud energetic and all over the place. It is nice when other people assure me boys are loud lol. We do game nights and getting together with friends and family they always say we bring the fun and the party. I love it so much but some days I am like can I get some ear plugs haha. And my husband is used to the noise he grew up in a family of 4 all close in age so he is used to the noise and energy. I remember when I started dating him and going out with his family they were all loud and laughing and I felt like sinking into my turtle shell I grew up in such a quiet home..I love that you have let us be a part of your adoption story Arlo is amazing and You guys will make one beautiful large and colorful family.. Xo

  • CC

    I have two half brothers and one half sister. I have always loved the chaos of a large family!
    We have a teenager and a toddler. We would’ve loved to have more, but after infertility issues, a 5+month NICU stay, we have changed our minds just a bit. Go big!

  • Ana

    I was the only child for twelve years until my mother remarried and I had my sister. I always said that I would not do that with my children! I always wish to have siblings with whom to play. When I met my husband I told him I wanted a big family and he answered … me too! At least four! and now 10 years later we look forward to our fourth child! The last one, I promise

  • Ashley

    I am the second oldest of 8 children, 3 of which are half siblings and live across country with our father. My parents divorced, both remarried, and both had additional children. Growing up I was constantly surrounded by siblings whereever I lived or travelled, and it was wonderful (although I will say Disney World trips were VERY hectic! lol). In addition to all those siblings, my mother (who was the oldest of two and wanted a BIG family) also fostered several children in our home. AAAND she ran an at-home day-care during the work week. I’ve never known anything other than the chaos of many children! But to be honest, I haven’t given much thought to how many children I intend to have. I just know for sure that I want to adopt – and maybe foster, too! Despite growing up in a very large family, I truly believe that I’d feel more comfortable with 2-3 children at a time. I have a TON of respect for people like my mother who manage a huge household with conflicting interests and schedules… I just don’t think I’m THAT much of a Wonder Woman! 🙂

  • Emily

    I’m an only child and I honestly would only want one child if I ever decide to have children. I *love* being an only child and have never wanted a sibling. The strong bond I have with my parents, especially with my mom, I’m convinced is in large part because I am the only one. It also really forced me to feel okay being alone and entertaining myself and that has definitely carried into my adult life.

    On a practical note, I personally can’t imagine feeling financially stable enough to support more than one child either! Maybe because of where I live (NYC) but the idea of not only supporting more than one child for their needs growing up but then putting multiple children through college is unfathomable to me at this point in my life.

    However, I do think I tend to be in the minority because all of my friends have siblings and simply can’t imagaine not have a sibling, and also, cannot imagine their children or future children not having a sibling!

    • Kelly

      I never thought about it but I think I’m probably similar in that I’m very close with my mom and doubt we would be AS close if she had had another child. (biologically, that lived in our home full-time… obviously she loves my half-brothers too!) I’m so grateful for that bond!

  • LirioRubio

    Number 4 of 5 kids here! And don’t get me started on all the cousins and relatives. We were definitely a big, loud Mexican family but I still loved it! Religiously and traditionally speaking there’s pressure to settle down and whip out kids ASAP but that just hasn’t happened for me. If I’m lucky enough to become a mama great, if not I know I’ll be ok too. I have two awesome nephews to spoil since I’m pretty sure I’m their favorite Tia! Ha!

  • Gilanna

    I come from a super similar family as yours: 4 older brothers with the first three being 13+ yrs older than me, except all of us are from the same two parents. Even though by the time I came around I got away with murder and was completely spoiled as the only girl, and although I loved the madness as a kid, it drove me in the complete opposite direction. We planned on having only one child. We have an amazing little girl and can’t imagine our family any different. So funny how crazy siblings can veer you one way or the other.

  • Kirsten

    I am the fourth of five kids and I wouldn’t change it! It was so much fun growing up with siblings. We would play street games, go exploring together, ride bikes, etc. It was the best. I loved having siblings before me in school because my teachers would know them and I would feel cool. I have one child now and am hoping for 3-4. Bring on the babies!

    Kirsten

  • Amelia

    I have one sibling, a sister 3 1/2 years apart from me, and we are very close. I grew up in a culture where bigger families are more common (Mormon, haha), but I never felt I was missing out. Partly because I have a big extended family (my mom is one of 6), am close with my cousins, and got my dose of chaos with my friends’ big families. I loved that!! However my roommate grew up exactly the same and feels exactly opposite (she wants a big, big family). But as an adult I sometimes wish there was another one of us. Seeing my Mom’s siblings support her and the family whenever there is a crisis is a pretty inspiring thing. Anyway, so fun to hear your vision for your family! Don’t let people talk you out of it!!

  • Erica

    The number doesnt matter, there are bonuses and hardships with each number. What matters is relationship. Time spent. Love shared. Everlasting bonds forged. Strive for that and youll find happiness and fullfilment Everyday!

  • Stephanie

    I’m an only child and hated it!!! I always wishedddd for a sibling. Every year I blew out candles and asked for my parents to have a baby! I have a 1 1/2 year old, one due in a few weeks, and my dream is 3. But now that you say 4 that sounds amazing! But you’re right, sadly the $$ plays a big factor xxx

  • Laura

    I have one sister, but she’s a lot older. So I was pretty much an only child. Not fun. I now have FOUR kiddos ranging from 13 years to 9 months. It’s messy, loud, chaotic and FUN! Yes, fitting everyone in one car while fighting tooth and nail against buying a mini van is hard. The thought of college tuition is frightening. But the laughter and happiness that always fills our home is soo worth it!!

  • Bromte

    Hey, Kelly 💕🙌🏼 I have two brothers and a sister making a totally of 4 kids in my family !
    Yes it does get super annoying, but at the end of the day I don’t know where I would be without them… and never a day goes by where there’s not someone in houses to play or talk to x

  • Kelly

    Love hearing your thoughts (and Jeff’s!). I have just 1 older brother and we’re about 2 1/2 years apart. My husband has two younger brothers. We’re all pretty close and I feel super grateful to have had a sibling to lean on and grow up with. It makes life more fun. However, I remember going to my friends house growing up (she had 4 siblings). It was always chaotic, loud and fun, but I LOVED going home after a sleepover and having my own low key space with just my brother and parents.

  • Desiree

    There are five of us. And I’m the oldest of the five. I personally hated having such a big family. There was never enough attention to go around and I ended up shouldering a large majority of raising the younger kids. I am glad that it turned me into the hyper organised person I am today but what I wouldn’t have done to be an only child or only have one or two siblings. It might sound bad but I moved a state away from my family and that was a huge blessing because it allowed me to create my own life and to learn to take care of myself instead of being the parent to them.

  • Erin

    I’m an only! I was lucky enough to grow up next door to a girl my age. (now my best friend). We grew up together like sisters. Being an only I got lots of travel opportunities that I wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. I used to wish for a sibling, but looking back now it’s not so bad. I just grew up super independent and had to ability to be comfortable alone. The only thing I’m sad about is not being a true blood aunt. But my “sister” just had a baby and I get to be aunt Erin.

  • Whitney

    My husband is 1 of 7 kids and I’m 1 of 5. We ‘ve got together and had 6 kids! Large families are obviously our jam!

    • Whitney

      I figured I might as well add some more details, haha! So there’s 6 in a 10 year span. There’s Ezra (12 yrs), Georgia (10), Scarlett (9), Oak (6), Fischer (4), and Tallulah (almost 2). There’s definitely a lot of craziness and chaos, and it’s definitely not all rainbows and sunshine, but I love it! Growing up in a large family had its pros and cons, some of then unavoidable, but my husband and I have tried to learn from them and avoid some of the negatives in our own family (we try really hard to have 1 on 1 time for example).

  • Ashley

    I had one brother and my mom homeschooled us so we are very close. Even tho me and my brother fight I’m glad I had someone to play with and talk to growing up.

  • Sabrina

    I love that you want 4 kids! I am the second oldest of 4 and I absolutely love it! Being able to be an even number is great for rides in Disney and sitting on an airplane and taking up a whole table. Many benefits! But since there are 3 girls and 1 boy in my family couldn’t say my brother feels the same way!
    Can’t wait to see your family grow!

  • Lindsey

    Love the idea of 4 kids but would find it difficult to travel everywhere (internationally), which is important to me, with so many, unless you have a lot of $$! But otherwise, can’t wait to add to my family of 1 kiddo soon. 😊

  • Anna

    I am one of 5, and absolutely LOVED it. We are all 26 and up, but just got together for a family wedding. On our way home, I told my husband…. man I really love my huge crazy family and kind of want that for us!! We’ve always planned on having 2, but the older I get, the more I want the crazy!!!! Lol

  • Cyd

    We have FIVE kids! And I am so fascinated because how did I not know that your sibling spread is so similar to Em’s? She’s the youngest of five, with four older siblings, but my first/last/only. There’s 15 years between her and her oldest brother and her youngest older sister (she has two of each) is four years older than her. Same deal! She functions as an only child in so many ways but then she’s also one of a crazy blended family of seven. Oh the ways I need to pick your brain about this! lol Anyway, we are done at five but I am a huge advocate of big families. We have loads of friends with 4 or more kids – I think big families are “chic” again! We are loud and rowdy and FULL TO THE TOP with love and laughter. I would have it no other way!

  • Tiffany

    I love this! My husband and I both come from a family of 4 siblings, so we also love the activity and loudness that comes with big families!
    I’m currently 4 months pregnant and he’s already mentioned starting the adoption process for our next kid ASAP so that our children will be close in age. 😍 That makes me heart burst!

  • Maggie

    I am 1 or 4 and my husband 1 of 2… I wanted 4 kids and we have 3 because I think my husband would have a heart attack if we add one more. Three is a lot of work! Love it but a lot of work!

  • Rebekah

    I have five siblings! One older brother, two younger brothers, and two younger sisters. I wouldn’t change anything. I’m so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life with whom I was able to grow up and evolve. It’s so fun as adults to continue to get to know them. My husband and I also want around 4 kids. It’s a lot, but I can’t imagine not having at least a little bit of chaos in our home!

  • yooying

    I also love the idea of having big family. My grandparents has 6, so gathering in Christmas is a great festival everyone is excited for.
    https://www.yooying.one/

  • Brenda

    We had 4 in a row and it was the best thing ever! They are now all married with amazing spouses and they’ve made us grandparents to 14. We are loud and fun and crazy and great friends with each other. Friends don’t get it. “You’re like a cult. How did you get them to all be so close?” Well, it was a lot of work and I made it my job to be accountable to God for how they turned out. Family is more important than anything else.

    It’s called talking to them from birth about your expectations for them:
    You are expected to be kind and decent, respectful and generous, happy and hard working, diligent and faithful, and to grow up to find a spouse who makes you want to be an even better version of yourself.

  • Tali

    I have four siblings + LOVED it. We all did + still do! I have four kiddos + we don’t feel done growing our family yet. Two came to us via my belly, two via fos/adopt.

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