By Kelsey on January 23, 2013 63

Are We a Two-Kid Family?

*This is not a pregnancy announcement in any way. I apologize if the post title is misleading…I couldn’t think of another way to word it. Moving on…

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You may remember that I’ve always thought it would be cool to have four kids. I’ve thought about it a lot. And lately I’ve been trying to be more realistic, now that I know what it’s like to have a baby, and taking my personality into account.

A few weeks ago Roo and I were both sick, and it was really hard. In the midst of it, I told Eric that I think I can maybe only handle two kids. And he said he was thinking the exact same thing (for the record, he’s always thought he wanted two).

I’m actually not even sure how people with two kids do it!

Back when I wanted 4, I thought we better start pumping ‘em out. You know. I’m going to be 30 this year. But if we’re only having two, then I don’t need or want to rush into having the second! Which has honestly been a relief for me (not that we’re locked into this or can’t change our minds).

More Random Thoughts in My Brain

  • I think it is very important for kids to have at least one sibling.
  • My fear with only two kids is that they wouldn’t have enough siblings, and that I wouldn’t be ready to be done after two.
  • My sister lives fairly close and has three daughters, who we see a couple times a month. I’m anticipating our kids will be close with them and they might be able to stand-in as additional siblings. :)
  • If our kids get married, their spouses would be like the two other kids I never had, and when they come home it’d be like having four kids!
  • I’m someone who doesn’t like to invite chaos into my life, and I think at times I’d be overwhelmed enough with two kids!
  • We want to go on family vacations when it’s ideal for all the kids’ ages.
  • With two kids, Eric and I could play man-to-man defense rather than zone (two parents vs. two kids).
  • I only have two hands…can I handle more than two kids?
  • I’ve always wanted my kids about three years apart. At that point hopefully Roo will be toilet trained and we can also keep her in the crib for as long as possible without needing it for the next kid.
  • I was 28 when I had Roo, so if we only have two kids, three years apart, my last pregnancy will be at age 31 and I’d be 49 when the younger one graduates high school.
  • I want to be financially prepared for our kids, and to be able to give them experiences and have everything they need.
  • Looking at our budget, we’d only be able to afford two kids, if all things stay the same (income, day care fees, etc.).
  • This whole conversation leaves me wondering…is three the magic number? (I grew up as the middle of three and Eric’s the younger of two! All three years apart!)
  • How do people decide when they’re done for good?


Do you have just one sibling? Did you enjoy growing up in a two-kid family? How far apart in age are you? Are you the same sex? What did you like about it? What didn’t you like?


P.S. It’s all in God’s hands, and I shouldn’t feel the need to control this. He’ll be playing a huge joke on me if I get pregnant with twins.


I love my husband, my kids and the Internet.

  1. I like the post script. In the same vein, I know a family with five kids and they are often asked, “How many are you planning to have?!” The answer is always, “Well for now, five.”

  2. This is such a hard choice for me. I had my first very young and, for a really long time, didn’t think I’d have any more children. I was okay with that but, eventually (5 years later), I was ready for another one. Now that I’m pregnant, I can’t help but being a little sad that this will be my last pregnancy. My last newborn baby. But I think that two is the magic number for us. We live in Erie, PA and yesterday the windchill was -12 and we had 18 inches of snow … all I could think about was how on earth do mothers of 4 and 5 kids get everyone ready to go in the wintertime? Haha.

    • Wintertime definitely adds another layer of work! Putting on her socks, shoes, coats, hats, mittens…and warming up the vehicle early. I’m so ready for it to be spring!

  3. so interesting to read this right now! we JUST found out on monday that we’re pregnant with our second! it’s still really early and we’re praying for no complications, but if everything goes smoothly we will have our second little almost exactly one month after our first turns 3. (i turn 29 this month) this has always been our hope and we feel so blessed that things seem to be coming together this way. i used to always think we would have 2 and be done, but the number 3 has been creeping into my head. but i have a lot of the same feelings as you, wondering if it would be more beneficial for everyone (mostly my sanity) if we only had 2. but that would mean this would be my last pregnancy! and that kind of breaks my heart. i loved almost every minute of my first pregnancy. (though i have no way of knowing how this one will go!) i’ve always had adoption at the back of my mind, too, so maybe i could embrace this pregnancy as my last, but know that God could still have number 3 in our future through adoption. it’s tough making grown up decisions!

    random fact: i can’t remember if i’ve commented about this before, but my husband and i got married on the exact same day and year as you both!

  4. We just welcomed baby #2 in Nov! Our second little girl! She was born just a month after our oldest turned 2 and it couldn’t have been more perfect timing. Life is crazy and hectic but couldn’t be more perfect! I’m a SAHM and I love being a wife and mommy! I grew up the oldest of 9. Yes 9! I have 5 sisters and 3 brothers and we are all so very close. My hubby is the youngest of 4 and he is the only boy. We are all about 2-3 years apart. Knowing what’s like to have siblings we couldn’t be happier that we have two daughters ourselves. We would love to have three or even four if that is what we are blessed with but we’ll leave that in His hands and trust His timing. I don’t want to have 9 though lol, I’m turning 29 this year! :)

  5. I am the oldest of a two kid family, and I wouldn’t change it for the world! I have one younger brother who is three years younger than me, and we are absolutely best friends. Growing up we were always close, which made family vacations great because it was like always traveling with a friend. But now that we are both adults, we are truly best friends. We have the same friends,hang out together all the time and tell each other everything. My mom always really wanted three kids, but had a hard enough time getting two so she stopped after she had one of each. While there may have been times growing up when I wanted a sister, I would never, ever trade my baby brother for anything in this world. He’s the best part of my life, and I really attribute that to it just being the two of us growing up.We also had two older cousins (like 10 and 8 years older than me) who spent so much time with us over the years that it was like having two older brothers, for both of us I think, so I think your argument about your sister’s kids is very valid! Cousins can be amazing :)

    Anyways, I’ve rambled on long enough about my own experience, but in the end I think whatever works for each family is the right way. I know everything will work out the way it is supposed to for you and Eric, especially since you guys have such an amazing attitude about the whole thing!

    • That’s cool to hear that you and your brother are so close. I have an older sister and a younger brother. I’d love even more siblings, although I have a unique relationship with each one and love them both so much!

  6. I used to think I wanted three kids…mayyybe four (three biological and one adopted). But after living life with just one and also taking into account my personality, etc, I think two is plenty! I knew I wanted Liam to have a sibling and I wanted to wait a few years but I got pregnant (haha, joke is on me! So yeah, don’t plan too hard lol) when Liam was only ten months. And yeah, if I had any doubts before I know for sure now that I am DONE after this one. We will really have to be on top of whatever birth control method we use because I really don’t think I could handle another. And I guess at the end of the day I am glad my kids will only be a year and a half apart. I think they will play well together and be good friends. My sister is four years older than me and we never got along! I also had a half sister who is eight years older than me and didn’t live with me so we have never been close.

    Anyway, I guess you will just know and it will be fine.

  7. It’s very important to be realistic about what you think you can handle. There’s a decent part of me that really wants one more child. BUT when we all had the stomach flu last month–I thought no way! Even during our weekly activities, which really just includes two of the three at this time (though all three go along) I think about how chaotic life will be when Mylie starts her own activities–carting 4 kids to different activities seems impossible. I think three is our stopping point for many of the same reasons you mentioned above, but I know many people wisely put the cap at one or two kids depending on their personality and what they feel they can handle.

  8. i have a sister that is 4 yrs older and a brother that is 6 years younger. growing up my sis was my best friend … it was her and i against the world. my bro and i didnt really become close until i was about 22. i cannot imagine my life without either of my siblings, they mean the world to me. i get a different type of support from each of them and i offer each a different side of me. we just had our first and im thinking i want at least 2 more. i want him to have what i have.

  9. The possibility of having twins or triplets is pretty unlikely! Kids usually come into this world one at a time for a reason. If and when you are a mom of four, you will be pretty different than when you were a mom to one because you’ll have time to adjust to two kids and then three kids. Be open to new life! After all, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.

    • “Kids usually come into this world one at a time for a reason.”
      Love it!

    • My sister has twins, and I have a number of friends with twins and even one with triplets! So it’s something I think about on occasion :)

      Maybe another fear of mine, which I didn’t mention above, is that I think it would be difficult to give my marriage the focus and attention it deserves if we have 3 or 4 kids. But, like you said, hopefully we will be able to adjust to each new stage as it comes.

      • Sure, there might be some rough spots, like when you have kids ages 6, 4, 2, and newborn, but in the long run it would totally be worth it and bring you guys so much closer together. If you raised four kids in a loving home that emphasized the beauty of marriage and child-rearing, perhaps they would each get married and have four kids of their own. Then, on your fiftieth anniversary, you would be surrounded by twenty of your descendants who wouldn’t be bringing good into the world if you two hadn’t fallen in love and said “yes!!” to God.

  10. I think you know when you know….when we had our second we were living in Arizona and we strongly felt like we were done. Then we moved back home to Iowa. Our situation changed and now we have a third and I feel like we could add one maybe two more to the mix:) Ours are spaced out (3 1/2 and 4 1/2 years) and we have been able to enjoy them each. It has worked well for our family. There is no perfect recipe. God’s plans just seem to work out perfectly.

    • I am praying that He will make it clear to me! I’ve heard people say that they never felt that closure or knew that they were done, although 10 years later they are glad they stopped when they did. My sister has 3 kids (Mylie is almost 2) and she still isn’t completely sure if she’s done. So I’m just nervous that I won’t know when I’m done, or that Eric and I won’t agree!

  11. I’m right there with you. In high school, I was all about having four kids because I come from a two-kid family, and I thought having a bigger family would be fun. Now that I’m a mom, I can barely imagine having more than one, but I really want Bridget to have a sibling. My husband has always been set on two, so two it is (even though I really, really would like to adopt, too)!

    I wanted my kids to be close in age since my younger brother and I are less than two years apart, and we were close growing up, but it’s a little too late for that now that my daughter is already 2. I’m liking your three-year-apart plan, though, and I’m hoping that’s how it will work for us!

    • I think a big fear of mine is that Eric and I won’t agree on how many to have! He’s always been pretty set on 2. I hope you’re able to give Bridget a sibling in the next year or so :)

  12. We currently have two boys. We are hoping to adopt 2 or 3 more. Trevor and I both grew up in large-ish families (four kids in mine, five in his). My first child was still born, second was premature due to preclampsia. Third was at 37 weeks and was a homebirth… but only because we didn’t realize at that time that I *probably* have some sort of metabolic disorder that I passed on to both children (it’s complicated and I’m not going to explain it here lol). So no more pregnancies for us. I’m still recovering from the last one and and he’s 2.5 now. But I can’t imagine only having 2 children.

    I am very confident that things will work out financially. We save, budget, use deals, are careful. I know we will get our other children and I know we will be able to take care of all of them. Every once in a while I look around at all we deal with, the doctors for me and the boys, the treatments and medicines and everything special we have to do that many families don’t experience on a daily basis. Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn’t just be happy with two. But something in my heart says no, I know there are other children out there for us. We just have to trust God will help us work it out.

    • That is so awesome that you feel a calling for more children and are planning to adopt! I’m sure things will work out financially if we’re called to have 2 or more. Heck, we weren’t sure how we’d pay for all the things required with one kid, and we’re doing just fine!

    • P.S. I love Tristan’s page on your blog :)

      • Thank you! He was super excited and proud to have his very own blog page to post on =)

        It is crazy how finances seem so much worse when you are planning for baby, but somehow once baby is here things manage to work themselves out =)

  13. We have 2 right now, our budget says it’s enough, but our hearts want more!! It’s a very difficult decision. Having 2 kids I feel it’s only 50% more difficult than having just 1. I prepare food at the same time, just a little more, I go to wash hands in one trip to the bathroom, it just takes me a little longer, baths together, play together, etc

    Some people base their decision on the thought that children are blessings, so why would you want to stop receiving blessings? Other people think about money, very realistic and smart, but how much do kids need? Is it better to have more trips in your life than having another sibling? Or better clothes or education?

    Right now money, time and energy seems to be tight for 2 but we really like to see bigger families, how happy they seem, big tables in restaurants, it looks like a lot of work and a lot of fun!

    • I say go with your heart over what the budget says :) I’m not sure what my heart is telling me. Probably 2 or 3 kids. It’s good to hear that it’s not twice the work to have two kids! I agree that babies are blessings, but those blessings also have to be managed, and God can provide blessings in other ways. I would never want to stop receiving blessings!

  14. We don’t have kids & for a long time we(I) didn’t want kids. We’ve decided we will have one, probably two. Honestly, I could stop at one, but DH wants 2 ..

    I have one biological sister, 1 half-sister & 4 step sisters… = 6 sisters. No brothers. Oldest sister is 35, youngest sister is 14. Three of us are married, two have 2 kids each.. That’s a whole lot of people at Christmas. It’s chaos – in the very best way. We get along most of the time. I am the best of friends with my biological sister (who is 2.5yrs younger). I get along with my step-sisters alright, and i spend almost no time with my half sister (who is 14). She lives with my Step-Mom/Dad, and we don’t see them often.

  15. My parents wanted just one child, but my mom ended up pregnant with TRIPLETS. Talk about a major joke from God!!

  16. I have one younger sibling, my brother, who is almost 3 years younger than me. I like the 2 to 3 year spread. I don’t know, more than 3 years seems kind of far apart. Then again, a family can be close no matter what the ages are.

    When my husband and I got married, we thought we wanted 7 kids. And now we have 3. I find myself more and more content with 3, but I do wonder what 4 would be like. I had a friend tell me once that more than 3 is a piece of cake. I laughed :P

    For what it’s worth, the sick thing gets better as they get older. This weekend, my husband, myself, and our second son were all sick with a stomach bug and we barely batted an eyelash at the whole thing. When our first son was sick, it felt like the world had ended. And if we were sick with them? We felt like we were going to die, haha.

  17. From my experience the 2nd is a breeze because you know exactly what to expect. Even though my 2 girls have completely different personalities I felt more prepared with the 2nd. And my girls are almost 5 years apart. So the oldest sibling was a lot of help too and she was able to do things that helped me, like getting dressed on her own, putting her own seatbelt on, brushing her own teeth, getting herself out of bed etc etc. Now that the 2nd is a very very VERY busy toddler I am definately glad there is the age difference. But I think that as a woman, you never loose the feeling of “wanting to be done” It is our natural instinct to love babies and be nurturing. Even with a complicated pregnancies I thought for sure I was done. But there is always this knawing feeling of wanting a “baby” (and now I cannot have anymore children so maybe that is why. I am not sure) But even talking to my other friends that have children they feel the same way as I do. Women are motherly beings and that’s why I think Grandmothers get so excited over Grandchildren :)

    God will help you guide your way! Great post!!

    • I hope you are right that the second is a breeze! Becoming parents was NOT a breeze for us. :) I hope I can someday give Roo a sister!

      I also think you are right that there will always be a piece of me that wants to have another baby. The final-ness of saying we’re done is something I can’t bear to even think about yet :)

  18. I have an older brother and sister and a younger sister, all 2-3 years apart. I loved it! My sisters and I are best friends. I never felt like I didn’t get enough attention and I always had someone to play with. We didn’t go on a ton of vacations but we went camping, went to Worlds of Fun and little things that were fun as a kid. And now my older sister, brother and I all have kids and I love experiencing it with them and having lots of cousins in the family.

    My husband (30) and I (29) have 2 biological kids and 4 foster kids. I never imagined myself as a mom of 6! I know people are capable of more than they think. It’s amazing how the more kids God puts in my care the more patience (and other fruits of the Spirit) he gives me. On the other hand we do make a lot of sacrifices and I can definitely see the appeal of having two!

  19. My brother is 10.5 years older than me, so essentially I was an only child growing up. I feel so jipped that I didn’t have that bond with a sibling. On the other hand, I was spoiled rotten, so…ya know. ;)

  20. I’m the oldest of four, I had one brother 19mo younger, and my other brother is 7yrs younger and my “baby” sister is 9yrs younger. My brothers were never very close. I’ve considered them all my best friends at different times in my life.
    My two are almost 39mo apart, which is farther than I wanted but has worked out for the best. We’re leaning toward a 3rd, but 2013 isn’t shaping up like we’d hoped (and it’s only January!) and I really would like less than 4yrs apart, so who knows. Two are pretty easily manageable and fun.

  21. My mom said that having young kids was extremely hard, especially more than one or two. However, she had all of us far apart 3-5 years, and when I became old enough to help with chores she said it just got easier and easier. Pretty soon she had 6 kids and she said it actually gets easier to have babies when you have older children to help out. I guess it all just depends on the ages and gap between children :)

    • Thanks for sharing! I find this so interesting. Of course, I only know what it’s like to have a 0-10.5 month old, so maybe when Roo is 3 I will feel completely different. I’m so glad we have wise mothers who can share such experiences with us :)

  22. Kelsey~I like this post, because I can totally relate to it! We just had baby number two and while scheduling the c-section, the “tying the tubes” question came up. We immediately thought, no way. However, after having baby #2, (with baby #1 being just 18 mos), we’ve now said multiple times there’s no way we could have another. Balancing both of them is enough of a challenge for us right now; although, I get the feeling I, too may have baby fever in a few years when I don’t have a newborn to hold and rock with. Also, with the surprises we had during the pregnancies and potential serious issues that could’ve sparked from them, we feel these two may be all we are given from God and if so, we’re happy and satisfied. So, we can’t really say for sure if we’re done, but I think when you revisit the bigger picture, the answer may be there. Love reading your blog posts, by the way! :)

    • Congrats on your little man, Kally! I imagine it gets easier as they grow up, right? I can see us having 2 or 3 total, unless God really throws us a curve ball :)

  23. I have one brother who is three years younger than me. Because of the age and sex difference, we never really had a lot in common. We get along great (now that we’re adults)! But it would have been fun to have an additional sibling or two to play and grow together with.

  24. If you feel like you want a large family, don’t stop having kids because of money. That’s what my parents did. They only had 2 and we were 17 months apart. They talked about having 2 more but ultimately decided not to so they could afford to give us a “good life” financially, whatever that means. So I didn’t have to get student loans for my Bachelors OR Masters, they bought me multiple cars, I never had to share a bedroom or bathroom, etc. But then 3 years ago my brother passed away from cancer so it’s just me & my parents and it’s TERRIBLE. I wish so bad they would have had more kids so I would have siblings left. I would gladly have been happy with less money and stuff if I had another brother or sister. Now once my parents are gone I’ll be one of these people with no family. It sucks. I want 4 kids so my kids will never feel this way.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that, Emily! I don’t think we would stop BECAUSE of money, but it might be another factor that helps us decide if we’re already leaning toward a certain number. I guess after reading all the comments, I think 3 might be the magic number for us.

    • Big hugs, Emily. Losing my little brother is the most horrible experience of my life and I can’t imagine not being able to talk about him with my other siblings. Big, big, hugs.

  25. Kelsey, these are such great questions. Obviously you’ve hit a chord with many women (including me) who struggle with the same questions. I always thing two won’t be enough for us but my husband’s hope of four seems AWFUL. :) So, we’re likely going to be a 3 kiddo family if God agrees. Through the last two years of pregnancy, then Jonathan’s cancer, then getting pregnant unexpectedly again (yay!) I have realized that God reveals your heart and his heart at the perfect timing. That sounds cliche and I don’t mean for it to be. Being pregnant again is super fun because I know the joy to come, but I do have to admit that while I want a third kiddo I really can’t imagine being pregnant again. Good for you in not following friends or other’s opinions and evaluating your heart, your fiances, your age, etc. :)

    • Thanks for sharing, Lesley. I feel guilty trying to control this or decide on a number before we need to, like I don’t trust God enough to author this part of my life. It’s just hard to not think about it when managing one kid is sometimes quite challenging, and I’m not getting any older!

  26. Hi Kelsey, great post and very honest and open. My little boy is 5 weeks and I am already wondering myself about siblings for him. Although not jumping into anything! I thought to share something my mum shared with us… She shared that 3 kids is best, one for you – one for your spouse and one for your country! Who knew parents of three were being patriotic!

    • I first started thinking about siblings for Roo when she was 3 months old. I thought I was ready then! But, once she started moving, things changed a lot and I thought we should wait a while.

      My mom always told me that 2 wasn’t enough, and 3 was too many :) Although, my brother (the youngest) was quite a handful…

  27. What an interesting discussion!
    My husband and I always said that we’d like a big family…we never put a number on it, but I think we were leaning toward around 5. Seven years of marriage and four babies later (they are 6, 4, 2 and 4 mo), our lives are wonderful and full. Don’t get me wrong, there are many hard days, but I think those happen whether you have 1 or 10!
    Honestly, I think it all comes down to your priorities and your perspective. For example, with all of these little ones, my husband and I don’t have a lot of alone time. But that doesn’t stop us from trying! Sometimes when they’re all playing, we steal away to another room (or even a closet!). We’ve tried to be intentional with at-home date nights too…they’ve done wonders for our marriage! Money is much the same. We have three boys who eat like linebackers, so it has made us more aware of where our money is going, cooking at home, finding good deals, etc. All good things to learn.
    Good luck in your discernment for future babies!

    • Wow…four kids! Go you.

      P.S. At-home date nights are our favorite!

      • I just re-read what I wrote and feel like I kinda went off on a tangent there! haha
        Just wanted to add that with each baby, we had those moments of fear and anxiety with all of the questions: “How will we afford another? How can my type-A tendencies handle all of these kids? Can I be the mom I want to be to all of these babies?” etc etc. I’ve thought so much of what you’ve written above. Honestly, my husband and I are talking that way now, wondering if we’re “done” or not.
        At the end of the day, we have to trust that God has a plan and that He’ll give us the grace we need to make it work. He’s been faithful so far :)

  28. Melanie Henderson February 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Kelsey I was almost four when Cory was born, and it was just the two of us. I liked only having one sibling, less fighting, and my parents able to provide more to us and spend equal time with us. The only thing I miss now, being older is having a sister to talk to, but I am extremely close to my mom so that counts for the girl bond thing. I knew that Aaron and I would only have two children, I dont think we could handle three or afford three. So following in my parents footsteps, I had a Kadence first and four years later had Austin. It’s just perfect. Aaron was the baby of three kids, but he never wanted more than two. Love reading your blogs. You amaze me how you guys have a gift of writing and being honest. I love it.

  29. My mom had just my brother & me and always said, “God gave me two eyes, two ears, two hands & two kids– one for each of you!”

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