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Seven years ago, I attended a child’s birthday party. Afterwards, I asked my mom “Will you be disappointed if I never give you grandchildren?” Well, a year later, things changed for me and my husband. Something triggered our desire to start a family. We were ready to increase our family size. In 2009, we welcomed our beautiful daughter Lydia into the world, and in 2011, we welcomed our handsome son Bryce. With two children, we felt like a complete family.
Several factors helped us determine how many children were right for us:
1. I only have two hands. I say this all the time. As a work-at-home mom, I am with my children 24/7. Their safety is my top priority, and monitoring two little ones can be a challenge. Whether we are crossing a street or playing in the backyard, I don’t want to feel as though I am sacrificing one child’s safety for another.
2. I had a girl and a boy. I am beyond grateful to be able to experience raising both a boy and a girl. It gives me a feeling of being balanced and complete. While I don’t define individuals by their gender, by nature my children are already so different, requiring different approaches and asking me to adjust my thinking to be the best mother to each of them. I want to raise my daughter to be a strong woman and my son to be a strong man.
3. The rising cost of raising a child. Beyond the daily expenses, longterm expenses are huge monetary commitments. When each child was born, we purchased prepaid college funds we pay monthly. According to FinAid.org, the cost of college tuition increases between 5 – 8% annually. The projected cost of college tuition for your child can be calculated here. Another huge monetary factor is the cost of health care. Currently, we spend almost $400 a month on a very basic health care plan. Adding another child would increase these expenses for us, which would be outside our budget.
4. Making health a priority. Eating healthy is very important to my family. According to a USA Today article from this past May, the average cost of feeding a family of 4 healthy food is between $146 and $289 a week. Family size is a definite factor in the amount spent on groceries, especially since we eat an organic, GMO-free diet as often as possible.
5. I want time for my children. My husband is a teacher, and I am a work-at-home college instructor and blogger. While we are not wealthy, we have maintained financial stability over the last 5 years, since I became pregnant. If we had additional children, I would have to return to work fulltime, missing all these amazing moments with my children. That is a sacrifice I am unwilling to make.
All of these factors contribute to limiting our family size to just two children. How did you determine the size of your family?