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