Thursday, February 9, 2012

Family Size

Welcome to the first Family Size Blog Carnival!
This post was written for inclusion in the Family Size Blog Carnival hosted by Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling and Patti at Jazzy Mama. Today our participants share their decisions on family size and whether or not to grow their families. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.

Ironically for us, this carnival is happening less than two weeks after officially "closing up shop" by way of vasectomy.

With a boy and a girl less than one year apart, it would appear to many that we chose this family size and spacing, but circumstances dictated most of it.  When we first set out to have children, we wanted three and thought that we would shoot for 2-3 year nice age differences.   First of all, we didn't get T, our son, until 3.5 years after stopping birth control.  Because we were so young we didn't rush out the the infertility doctor for at least 2 years.  Then we needed some medications and minor procedures.  Thankfully we didn't get as far as invitrofertilization or anything with actual embryos outside the body which would have required much more consideration of the moral aspects.

Then T didn't nurse all that well due to a neck problem that wasn't fully diagnosed until later (luckily it has gotten better as he has gotten older and doesn't seem to be causing issues now).  After the heart wrenching amount of time to get T we weren't going to use birth control even though we weren't trying to get pregnant all that quickly the second time.  Then, surprise, surprise, we were pregnant again two months after T's birth.  C, our daughter, was born less than one year after T.  The timing means that for several weeks each year they are the same number before T turns the next number.  C did nurse well, but since we had two so close together we were very cautious about getting pregnant again. 

While we had intended to pursue a third child, circumstances continued to rule and the idea of a third got less and less appealing.  With one of each so close together (and such great friends together), our family just felt complete so even after several years we didn't try to get pregnant.  Finally, C was about to turn 4 and we realized that we were done.  That was just too much of an age difference from the other two.  Since Tom and I each are five years apart from our siblings, we didn't want to do that in our family if it could be avoided.

Vasectomy seemed like the right thing to do for several reasons.  First of all, it is less invasive for men than women to have something done.  Second of all, anyone considering it needs to be sure because it is permanent.  While two people may feel done having children, what happens in the case of a death or divorce?  We are old fashioned about divorce.  Unless, you are cheated on or suffer significant abuse, stick with the one you are with, end of story.  But what about death?  Tom felt he is done having children with anyone no matter what.  I on the other hand, if Tom died, I would consider one more under very limited circumstances.  If I got remarried to someone with no children at all, I would consider having one only because I know how heart wrenching it is to be childless.  Other than that, I am completely done also.

It just feels like the perfect family, one boy and one girl.  Tom got the son he always dreamed of and I got the daughter I always imagined having.  Out and about, we each have a child to take to the restroom when they have to go.  They are great friends and can do similar homeschool activities.  It just proves that even when things don't go as planned, it can still be perfect.



Visit City Kids Homeschooling and Jazzy Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Family Size Blog Carnival!

Please take some time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants below:

  • The Perfect Family The family at Living Peacefully With Children isn't perfect, but the size is just right for least for now.
  • Family Size Carnival Zoie at TouchstoneZ discusses how she loves the extremes of being happily child-free for life to being a mom of several. And on knowing when her family is just the right size.
  • Is Adoption for Me? Christine at African Babies Don't Cry shares why she would consider adoption as the socially responsible way to have a large family.
  • Getting Used to Having Kids Lauren at Hobo Mama went from "probably one, maybe two" to wanting a handful, but not without some major struggles and soul searching along the way.
  • Magic Number For a while, Phoebe at Little Tinker Tales has wondered what the magic number will be for their family, but now thinks she's finally settled on an answer.
  • How Did You Get That Size Jorje explains how she "chose" her family size and why they aren't planning to grow again on Momma
  • Family Size On A Per Kid Basis Sarah at Parenting God's Children shares how plans change as families grow.
  • More Babies: How, When, Why Joella at Fine and Fair writes to her daughter about when, how, and why she might get a sibling.
  • Family Size Kelly at Becoming Crunchy shares how she has no idea what size her family will end up being; though she used to be sure, a few factors have recently come up to change everything.
  • Thy Will Be Done CatholicMommy hasn't decided how many children she'll have. And she never will. Because, you know, she's Catholic.
  • Sanity and Health Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment talks about sanity and health considerations when deciding on her family's size.
  • Love Comes In All Sizes Melissa at White Noise and Mothers of Change shares her family's journey to becoming a family of six!
  • Family Size Liz at Homeschooling in Buffalo discusses how this carnival occurs less than two weeks after "closing up shop" by way of vasectomy.
  • Family Size Blog Carnival Billy, a single mother by choice, writes about the size of her family at My Pathway to Motherhood.
  • Creating Your Perfect Family Size Dr. Alan Singer shares insights from his new book, Creating Your Perfect Family Size.
  • Our Family Size You might not be surprised to learn that Patti at Jazzy Mama can't find any reasons NOT to have more babies.
  • Economics of Family Size Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling uses an economic cost-benefit analysis to determine her family's optimal size.


  1. Liz, I am so thrilled that you participated in today's blog carnival! And what timing! It sounds like you have given lots of thought to your family size decisions and that you have your perfect family. Thanks for sharing your thought process on vasectomy too. My husband has a real phobia for needles and such, so I don't think vasectomy will work for us, but we'll have to give some serious thought to other options when the time comes...

    Thanks again, Liz!

    -Kerry @ City Kids Homeschooling

  2. Such a great post. My children aren't as close in age as yours, but seeing what great friends they are is one of the best parts of being their mother. I look forward to visiting your blog again.

    patti @ jazzy mama

  3. Great to find you through this carnival! We're just down the Thruway, outside of Rochester, so as my little guy gets older I'll be stealing your homeschooling ideas. :-)

    1. It is great that you are close by! You'll have to come out for a field trip sometime with us or one of the homeschool groups. I have some good links to groups on my page. Click on the link to the page from my homepage. I don't know too much about the groups in the Rochester area.

  4. I feel exactly the same way about vasectomy; that is the route we'll go once we're sure we're done having children! :)

  5. It's so cool to hear your story. I love that even though you hadn't intended to have two kids so close together that it's worked out so well for you and feels just right. My roommate in college had a younger brother who was just about as close in age, and they were such good friends. Seems like that would make for a lifelong bond!

  6. I have several friends with the same experience of having two close together. They all talk about what terrific friends they are to each other. And the majority of the families I know with 2 this close together are also feeling like their family is complete. It must be intense in the early years, but rewarding, too.

    1. In all fairness, I should disclose that the first two years until C was 1.5 years, Tom was home and I worked. Then we switched. Although I have to say that it didn't really feel like it got easier until C was 3.5 and T was 4.5.