I really like blogs like this, this , and this about having big families and how to respond when people ask you about them. Some women get very annoyed and defensive when they hear questions like,
"You have your hands full, don't you?"
"Are you going to have any more?"
"Why do you have so many?"
"You know what causes that, right?"
Those types of questions just don't bother me. Maybe it's because I'm naive or have just been lucky to not have rude encounters with strangers, but I think every time I've been asked about my family size, I've personally seen it as an innocent way to start conversation. And while I value privacy, I also enjoy open conversation.
Anyway, the following is my usual response (or rather, the long version if the other party is interested in listening) to the question, "Do you think you'll have more children?"
My husband and I have always wanted a "big family." My husband was an only child and feels like he missed out on some experiences he wishes he could have had. So he's dreamed of having 8 daughters. And I came from a big family, 9 children, so having a lot of kids seems very doable and not scary at all.
But our financial situation is awful. When we decided to conceive #3, my husband had just been given notice that his company was leaving the state. But we were not worried because they gave us an awesome severance package and job search training and assured us that companies would be knocking down our door wanting to hire him and his colleagues.
But then we got pregnant with Tertius six months earlier than we expected and Hubby wasn't having an easy time getting hired. It was also really hard being pregnant when Secundus was still so young. But it was a blessing that Tertius came early because if God had waited even one month to send him, our medical insurance would have run out before he arrived.
After that, financially things were only getting worse. I still felt like Heavenly Father wanted me to have my "big family," (and stay home to raise them) but I got comfortable with the idea of not having anymore for a while. I thought it might be fun to have three close together now, and then another group of three later on.
But once again, Heavenly Father had other plans. We were surprised to be blessed with a fourth pregnancy.
I really struggled this time because we've had to rely so much on our family and government assistance to get by. I HATE being dependent! I babysat starting at age 12, worked from age 16 until I had Primus, was a part-time nanny until I had Secundus, and I had saved every penny. After our marriage and as our family grew, I remained incredibly frugal. This allowed us to build quite a large savings, even on only one income. But now all that savings was getting used up.
But for some reason, Heavenly Father really wanted Quartus to come to our family. That's why he's here. I was even blessed with a miraculously "easy" pregnancy.
Now Quartus is three-and-a-half. That's older than Tertius was when he was born. Our littlest is not so little anymore. This is the longest time that we have been without an infant in the house. I miss having a tiny baby to snuggle on my chest.
"So, are you going to have any more children?"
We have close friends that have a two year old and a 4 month old and we have thoroughly enjoyed loving on them. But even still, we're starting to feel "baby-hungry." No matter how sweet it is to hold someone else's little one, it's not the same as snuggling my own. My own infants just fit in my arms perfectly. We feel (or hope?) that Heavenly Father probably has more to send us.
But it would still be irresponsible of us to try to have a fifth child right now. Hubby has one more semester of school before he can get a full time teaching job. Further, some health issues are making it so that we have infertility to deal with, too.
Will we have more? Maybe. How many more? I don't know.
Something my mom always told me that has stuck is, "Take and love as many babies as God will send you." We're going to joyfully welcome all the children that Heavenly Father will entrust us with. And we're going to love and cherish all of them.
Maybe that means learning to be content with four. Maybe that means we'll miraculously be blessed with 4 more (and the means to provide for them). God often seems to have different plans than we do. So we just have to wait patiently with faith to find out what His plan is.