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Emily entered our lives this July and made us a family of six. Many of you are reading this and thinking, “A family of six is NOT a small family.” and I totally agree. Nowadays, a couple choosing to have more than 2 kids is considered to be a big family. To understand where I’m coming from, you’ll need to know that I come from a very big family- 10 girls and 3 boys and all from the same mommy and daddy! My parents wanted to have a big family. When they immigrated to the US from Thailand, they left everything and everyone behind, including their families. It was just them and my 3 older sisters. They were lonely and homesick. They wanted to have a big family. Coming from a big family definitely had it’s bad days, but I remember the good days the most. And family gatherings now are crazy with the extended family but, once everyone goes home it feels so .. quiet and lonely. So if you ask me if I prefer big families or small ones, I 100% percent would say big families. So, why am I choosing to have a small family (ending it at 4 kids)? It’s because I have no time any more. The only bad thing I really remember from my childhood was that my parents had to pick and choose which child to spend time with. Which event they could attend. They had so many kids that they could only attend so many events and they couldn’t afford our dreams because feeding us and clothing us was more important. Its not like they were millionaires who could afford to have a lot of children. So, by the time I was in 6th grade and started working the summer at ginseng fields, it was obligatory that I started buying my own clothes and school supplies. And I had worked the ginseng fields every summer to afford my own things until I turned old enough to work a real job at retailers where I didn’t have to work at ginseng fields anymore.
So, you see… it’s not that I don’t want any more kids or that I’m worried about my body and health (I am considered advanced maternal age in doctors terms), but I have never felt so confident in my body than I do now. I am choosing to have a small family because I feel awful that I don’t have time for the kids I have now. I feel bad that I can’t afford the things they want and I might not be able to afford their dreams when they get older. When I’m nursing my 3 month old, Emily and my 19 month old daughter, Molly, is crying because she wants me to play with her… I get so emotional and the “mom guilt” consumes me and effects my whole day. It doesn’t matter if it’s your 2nd child or your 8th child, having a new baby means having to find balance in your life again. That is why I’m choosing to not have any more kids. And when I was pregnant with Emily, I had a plan put into place so that it would be permanent. I had wanted to tie my tubes but, I changed my mind the day before because what if I change my mind 2 or 3 years from now? What if one day when my life seems balanced and I want another child to complete our family? I didn’t want my decision to limit my options in the future. So, I told my doctor that I changed my mind and she was totally okay with it. I’m sure she sees that a lot.
As of today though, I feel confident that Emily is our last child. But one day… when they’re all grown up and more independent and my husband and I feel like we want another one to make our lives crazy fun again, then we will at least have that option.