Four kids and counting…?

It is quite rare that I get hold of the remote control in this house. I’m normally stuck losing the will to live watching obscure programmes about truck drivers or things with subtitles that drive me up the wall. Thank the television gods for Sky+ I say. Anyway, the other night, my Other Half wasn’t around so I got the remote all to myself and I got to watch 15 Kids and Counting on Channel4 and judging by Twitter, many of you did too! (For those of you that didn’t, it was just what it says in the title, a new documentary exploring the lives of some of the biggest families in the UK.)

And I was completely fascinated.

This blog post isn’t meant as a review of the show. I think there was enough judgement flying around the interwebz as the show aired and I certainly don’t feel the need to add to it. But it definitely made me think. You see, as bonkers as it all might seem, I sort of kind of get it. I’m not sure I would ever go on to have another eleven children but I completely get the whole thing of maybe  j u s t  o n e  m o r e.

I have four wonderful children and I count my blessings every single day. It isn’t that I am not happy with the family that I have. I honestly and truly couldn’t be happier. And I think it is in fact because I love my big family so much, that I would never say no to having more children. It’s the whole never say never thing. If I am like that after four children, then I can totally hand on heart understand why another mother would feel just the same even after fourteen children.

I am sometimes quite envious of people who say that they are ‘done’ at one, two, three, four or more children. But I just don’t think that I ever will feel that my family is complete. But that doesn’t take away from the fact of just how happy I am. It’s really very hard to explain. And I don’t think I am doing a very good job of it. No doubt some people will read this and dismiss me as being completely mad. You see, it’s not that I can’t be happy and be grateful for the family that I have – I am! Very happy and very very grateful!

I have a wonderful life and feel so lucky to have my big family (although my four make me look like an amateur compared to the sizes of the families in this show of course!) When I look at every one of my babies, I am amazed that they are mine. They still bowl me over every single day. I remember when I was in the latter stages of my pregnancy with my second baby, I became consumed with worry that I would never be able to love another child as much as I loved my firstborn. I didn’t know how it could be possible. But of course I quickly learnt that the more children I have, the more love I have. It’s not a case of sharing my love between my children, it’s more a case of multiplying it with every single child that I’ve had. And that’s an amazing thing for a soppy daydreamer like me.

I have talked before about how I found the step from two children to three the most difficult of all. There was quite a large age gap which meant going back to the baby stage after almost seven years often left me feeling like I was a first time mummy all over again. Plus my third baby was a particularly awful sleeper nursing almost hourly for the first few months of her life which is such hard going at the best of times never mind when you have other children to look after too. There is no sleeping when they sleep, you have the school run to do and everything else that comes with having older children! But for me at least, once I mastered three, having four didn’t actually feel any more difficult. Our fourth baby actually came along as a very happy but very unexpected surprise and I think that reinforced my never say never philosophy. The more children I have had, the more confident I have become as a parent and so in turn, I have enjoyed my children more and more.

I think once you have ventured into the larger family territory yourself, your perceptions of having lots of children is totally altered. And it actually doesn’t sound altogether crazy to have so many children. It actually sounds pretty amazing. Is it really that strange that I would want to carry on having babies..?

*Photo credit 
 

55 thoughts on “Four kids and counting…?

  1. Rachel says:

    I so get where you are coming from! We have 3 children, and despite having a very complicated pregnancy and delivery … I still want more! I cannot accept that I will only have 3 children. I do not feel complete in my family. Would ‘just one more’ complete it? I don’t know? Perhaps I’d want a 5th or 6th.

    Unfortunately, my husband is against any more children (think he’s secretly scared of what his family will say as they weren’t happy at us having no 3!)…despite him knowing from early on in our relationship that I have always wanted at LEAST 4 kids!

    So, we’ll see what happens ….

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    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      It must be really difficult when your husband doesn’t feel the same way. For me it’s the opposite way around and mine is terribly laid back about the whole things and I know that he would happily have more children.

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  2. ContentedMummy says:

    I totally get the multiplication of love, I have just had my second and your blog articulates how I feel. I’m struggling with the multiplication of attention I can give though. Maybe because my babies are so small (3 and 5months). I can’t split myself in two and there are only so many hours in a day! I admire large families, I had a friend with 6 siblings & their family unit was always fun & lively. Saying that I’m far too selfish to consider more, I love having time to work & write! Thanks for sharing, nice read.

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      When your children are so small it is such hard work and I completely understand what you are saying about being able to find the time to give them the attention that they need. It’s so important. And you are of course completely right – there are only so many hours in a day. I don’t think you sound in the least bit selfish, it sounds to me that you are very much the Contented Mummy in fact 😉

      Like

  3. Jordan says:

    I know just where you are coming from too.
    We have two boys at the moment who are my absolute world. There is 4 and a half years between them and that is simply because, like you, we pondered & wondered & pondered some more if we could *ever* love another like we did our first born & our smallest boy is now 11mths old & of course we do love him just as much.
    So, we ask ourselves almost daily (well, i do anyway!) if that was all that was holding us back with baby 2, why not have another – or should we just be very, very grateful for what we have & leave it at that.
    If we do have baby 3 (and i think we might), would i (ahem, we) be asking myself (ourselves) the same thing again, and then, why would we stop there? Well, of course, money, house size, car size, amount of holidays (selfish, i know, but we love to holiday) are all factors.
    I’m rambling now, but i think i can honestly say that if we lived in a huge house with unlimited funds we could/would quite happily have 15 kids…..maybe!
    Something to say about the program though, which i thoroughly enjoyed is how ‘un-chavvy’ the family were – i just kind of expected they would be – terrible of me, i know, but i did & they weren’t & it pleased me a lot 🙂

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      It’s not in the slightest bit selfish – it is just very practical and as a responsible parent I think you have to consider all of these factors. I’m very much the same. If we lived in a big pile in the country somewhere and money was no object, I wouldn’t think twice about having at least one if not two more.

      Like

  4. Kelly Wiffin says:

    I have always wanted two children and that’s it. However as I have got one and she is lovely, I would like more but due to living away from family and having a dog, travelling by train will be a nightmare when visiting people. I don’t drive and nor does my fiancé so unless one of us learns, I can’t have more than two unfortunately! We shall see what life brings!

    Like

  5. theperfectbadmummy says:

    Oh lady loo. You totally know my feelings on the matter. We did decide that we would stop after the fat one was born. It was a DEFINITE decision. Honestly. I am awful at pregnancy, neither going well. However, you also know that I have been asking Mr Aimee for “just one more”. Now, some people question if it’s to see if I can get a girl this time, and I’m sure part of it is that, but it’s the “I’ll never get that feeling holding a new born again” and “I’ll never feed again” and “I’ll never have a 1 year old again”. I think it’s almost human nature.

    However, knowing some of the tragedies my friends have gone through recently, I always remind myself I thank my lucky stars I have two healthy boys, and I should focus on not breaking them.

    Anyway, I’m rambling. Basically. I understand.

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      I think it’s the whole I’ll never have a newborn baby thing that gets me the most. I can’t imagine never holding another newborn in my arms. But I couldn’t agree more on the thanking your lucky stars thing. Too true.

      Like

  6. mettephebs says:

    I always wanted lots of children, 4 would have been perfect. Then I got MS while pregnant with my 2nd child and have been advised to not have more. So I don’t get to choose…. it would be very very selfish of me to insist on more children if I get as sick as last time. Not fair on the rest of the family. But I do feel it’s not a choice I made myself but I can live with it because I have to! .

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  7. Karen (kbmanc) says:

    Oh I totally get where you are coming from. I am in exactly the same place. I have 4 children who I absolutely love with all my heart. I’ve just turned 37 and my youngest has just started pre-school, my eldest is at college.
    After my 3yo was born we did discuss my OH getting a vasectomy as we thought we were certain we didn’t want any more. He even went to the GP for a chat but that’s where we left it. We just couldn’t face the finality of it.
    I always say that if we could afford an extra bedroom and an extra seat in the car I’d have another in a flash.
    I love being pregnant, I love giving birth and I love my big family and busy, crazy house.
    I honestly can’t see us having another baby but I feel happy that the option is (hopefully) there should circumstances change.

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      It sounds like we are in a very similar place! We talked about the whole vasectomy thing at one point but soon came to the same decision, that it was all just too final. I don’t think either of us are really ready to say that we are ‘done’.

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  8. Susan Mann says:

    I would love to have a third but right now it’s not happening, but who knows. If I didn’t have to worry about money and the childcare problems with me working then I’d have more. I don’t there is anything wrong with wanting more children. As long as they are happy and are supported I say go for it to anyone. xx

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      It is really hard. One of the reasons that there is such a big gap in between my second and third was because for a time, I was working full time and there was no way that we could afford to give up work at that point or indeed pay for childcare for three. We were actually crippled by childcare costs for just two children!

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  9. Muddling Along says:

    This is what makes me sad about our struggles to conceive a third baby – I know that our family would be great as 5 rather than 4 and I have always wanted another baby

    15, well I’m fairly certain I don’t have enough childbearing years left to achieve that but can see that it can work for some families

    Like

  10. elishevasokolic says:

    I think saying goodbye to having children means also saying goodbye to a certain stage in your life. No longer are you ‘child bearing,’ no longer do you feel young enough to be doing nighttime feeding and running after toddlers. You’re ready to move on to a different stage of your life. Perhaps even admit that you’re not quite that young anymore, and you don’t actually want to be doing all the busy ‘mummy of young kids’ activities that keep us up all hours and happily exhausted.

    I think there is a certain maturity in getting to the point where you can say “This is my family, we can be the best parents possible to these kids, (in our current financial/emotional/mental/religious position) and so it’s okay to stop now and start the next stage of our lives.”

    Different people will stop at a different number, I don’t think thats the point. I think it’s all about keeping your finger on the pulse of what’s right for you and your family. For some, one might be too many, for others, they are happy to keep going at #14!

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      Thank you for such a fabulous comment! I think you are absolutely right. I sometimes think that my life has become so focussed on being a ‘mummy’ I just can’t face saying goodbye to what has been such a huge chunk of my life. And you are of course spot on about there being no right number – it’s about what is right for you and your family.

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  11. Misty says:

    I can completely understand this point of view wholeheartedly. I only have the one daughter myself but if someone says to me ‘I think 2/3 is enough’ I think to myself… Well I don’t know actually. The only reason I’m not ready for another just quite yet is because 15months on I am still reeling from my first labour.
    I’ve always wanted a big family and I absolutely adore being pregnant, its the labour part that gets me! After having an emergency c-sect after 29hrs with your first is enough to terrify you for life. Once I’m over this fear I will no doubt go on to have more babies & just like you, I don’t feel like I will ever really be ‘done’.
    Love this post x

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      Thanks so much. I’m so sorry that you had such a hard time in labour. It’s quite understandable that you feel that it will take time for you to consider having any more children just yet x

      Like

  12. 21st Century Mummy (@Mummytweets) says:

    I have 2 children and would really love more, perhaps because I am an only child and love the idea of a big family. However, age is not on my side and it took time and a lot of heartache to get number two, so part of me thinks (as does my husband), we should stick with two happy and healthy girls.

    Like

  13. Corinne says:

    I feel completely the same way, we have 3 boys and I would very much like that number to be 6, but my partner and I always say if we’d have met met when we were 20 we’d have a barrel full of children by now. It’s the more the merrier in our household.

    Like

  14. itsasmallworldafterallfamily says:

    I don’t believe that anyone KNOWS they’re finished. Ours heads might tell us we are finished, but we are biologically programmed to reproduce, so our hearts will always want just one more.

    Like

  15. CoffeeCurls says:

    I had no idea that you have 4 children!

    Lovely post. Although I have to say the thought of 15 mouths to feed, beds to find, christmas presents to buy (eeek!) leaves me cold, I have always liked the idea of having a large family leading to lots of grandchildren and warm family get-to-togethers with adults and children everywhere; something that having lots of children would I guess ultimately bring.

    How big was your age gap? I’ve got 2 children, the youngest is 10, and I do often get VERY broody but keep saying to myself that I don’t want to go through the sleepless nights and another 10 years of school runs!

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      There was just fourteen months between my first and second, just short of seven years in between my second and third, then twenty three months in between my third and fourth. It was hard going back to the baby stage when my eldest two were becoming so very independent I must admit. Many people thought I was mad! But to be honest we never planned for there to be such a large gap, it’s just how it worked out. Life just got in the way and before we knew it, all that time had gone past.

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  16. Fiona Scott says:

    I do understand how you feel too! I have three children and a step-daughter and I do feel now that my family is complete. But after having two, my husband became very ill for several years and I abandoned hope of having a third child that I always wanted. I didn’t feel I could complain as I know so many people who’ve struggled to have one child. Why three? No idea. It was just there, irrationally, all along and when I turned 40 I finally expressed my desire out loud.
    When after a six-year gap, I had my son at 41, many eyebrows were raised and often people said I was too old, or said it behind their hands. But I’ve got friends who, the last two years, have had children at 44 and 47. I love my brood but sometimes get furious that this world expects a family to be two adults & two children. Booking a hotel room is a feat in itself.
    I’m one of two and my sister, who’s a young widow, also has three children. I feel that we are a large family and I’ve no regrets. I’ve also recently supported a young mum at school, who’s 32 and just had her fifth child. Many parents see her as a bit of a joke, a baby machine (they don’t say it out loud, but you can get that playground vibe) – no matter that she works shifts, full-time, is fully supported by a partner and loves all of her kids deeply.

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      Thanks so much for the fab comment. I’m with you, I can never understand why having two children is seen as ‘normal’ but any more then people really do raise an eyebrow. It sounds like the young mum at school is really lucky to have you as such a supportive friend x

      Like

  17. troubles' mum says:

    I never wanted a big family. I still don’t consider myself a maternal type, but now that we have 4 children, I can totally see why people have loads of them. For me, two children was manageable. I could work and it could still be financially viable. Our old car was just perfect, my sanity relatively intact. Since the twins came along, working (for me anyway), nice cars, and my sanity have all gone out of the window. I can see how it’s really easy to say ‘in for a penny, in for a pound’. We are deffo finished now (that’s all the info you are getting) and I do agree I feel all grown up now I can say we have drawn a line in the sand. We are now free to concentrate on what we are already fortunate to have. But I can see why people keep saying ‘just one more’. Babies are terrifyingly addictive. I understand your mentality. 🙂

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  18. ystewart says:

    I so enjoyed reading this lovely post.
    I have 5 children – and aside from the fact that I am forever referred to (in sometimes hushed or shocked tones by everyone at work etc) as “the woman who has 5 children” – I can say honestly that I would happily have had more.
    My children are – 21yrs, 18yrs, 14yrs, 11yrs and 8yrs. A girl (now woman) three boys (one now an adult too) and then another lovely girl.
    The house is busy and lively and loving. They are all at different life stages but love and support one another.
    I was 36 when I had my last. My husband was 42. It was he who decided that 5 was enough for him – and much as I remonstrated he was determined. It was a practical sensible decision on his part.
    We are fortunate – he is a headteacher of a large high school and therefore we always had school holiday cover. I finished a couple of degrees and post-grad during and between children – much easier to manage children as a student as opposed to an employee – and am now a lawyer.
    I am 44 now (and miraculously still fertile!). I still feel the familiar tug when I see a baby. However, I am now old enough to understand that I have nowhere near the same energy I had when I was 23 – and that late parenthood is not for me. I am simply so glad I managed to have my fab 5…

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  19. Kara says:

    I know exactly how you feel!!
    I have 5, ages ranging from 18 years to almost 1 and everyone keeps asking if I want another. There is so much pressure to say No, but in all honesty I would love another one.
    Like you I found the transition from 2 to 3 the hardest. I think once there is more than 3, then you just take it in your stride! Well I do anyway.

    Like

  20. Fab At Any Age says:

    I thought I was finished at 3 girls, but when I remarried, my new husband had no children and we went on to have a son, a welcome relief to OH. It was really hard for me as there was an 8 year gap between my then youngest and my newborn but I love having 4 kids, although I would never have had a 5th purely because I thought I was going to die after having my boy! But I love a big family and I am at the stage in life where it gets sad, the eldest at 22 has lived with her boyfriend for 3 years, the middle one has been away at Uni and is now in her final year and I have to say I am truly at my happiest when all my kids are here and I know that I have three gorgeous girls who adore their baby brother as if he was their son. x

    Like

  21. Mistress Mummy says:

    What a lovely post. I’m sure it’s difficult to stop once you’ve started. Like pringles 😉

    Like

  22. sherrie says:

    I love this post, there’s nothing stronger than a mother’s love for a child and wanting to grow her own family. I know not all women feel the same but I would love a 3rd child. The only thing is will I then say this on my 3rd saying I want a 4th. Who gets to say when enough is enough? Surely that’s the women & her body. I had 2 great pregnancies but my 1st labour didn’t go to plan & I had a bad tear so had 2nd by elective c-section. I will probably opt for a c-section again as I am so scared what might happen to my womanly parts ha ha! x

    Like

  23. JenN says:

    I’m envious, because I’m of the “two is enough” ilk, although I wish I felt otherwise. I was so sick during both pregnancies – not the trly debilitating bed rest kind, but my body reacted so bizarrely…and honestly, I struggle so much in this parenting gig – I can’t subject another one to our chaos.

    Plus, if I couldn’t guarantee it would be another boy, life woud be hell as Pea would make for a dreadfully awful middle child, bless her heart….

    I’m jealous of those who can handle more than 2, simply because I’m so overwhelmed lately.

    Like

  24. would like to be a yummy mummy says:

    I missed that show but have heard so much about it. I honestly thought I would feel complete after two but there was always that feeling that we still had more room in our family for maybe another. I am now pregnant with number three and am sure this will be our last but you never know 🙂 x

    Like

  25. alysonsblog says:

    we have 3 and my OH had the snip – it still makes me feel sad that this is it and I’m done now – I think I would love another but I barely manage with 3 and so agree the transition from 2 – 3 is epic, but I wouldnt change a thing – lovely post x

    Like

  26. Cherished By Me says:

    The programme made me feel very broody. I think if my husband was still around we would have had more children and I feel a little cheated that I didn’t play a part in making the decision to not have anymore. I understand what you mean about feeling a little envious of people that know they don’t want anymore…however I always wanted five children and i am extremely lucky to have them and my family does feel complete. But, I think I have to accept that I will always be broody and I am totally aware that bringing up five alone is really hard so I know that’s it. x

    Like

  27. writeonmum says:

    Hello (Mostly) Yummy Mummy. I just found the programme yesterday after reading about one of the families in Closer mag. Wow, they have it tough and I too, like most of us who have commented here, can understand the pull of ‘just one more’. My three are nearly 18, nearly 16 and nearly 12 and it was only until very recently (44 now) that I’ve decided that’s my lot. I think it is mostly down to my age and, after a year of exercising, finally having something near the body I had before kids…I’d never get it back after a fourth! So, I got a dog who I adore (so do the kids) and I’ve noticed (with all the dogs tied up at the school gates) it’s becoming a bit of trend. Not sure if you want a 4th or 5th? Get a dog! Only problem is I keep cooing over little puppies now and my hubby is really worried 🙂 Love your blog by the way!! xx

    Like

    • (Mostly) Yummy Mummy says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and your lovely comment. I have to say that last nights show was so very different to the first one that prompted this post but interesting all the same. I love the idea of getting a dog! Ha! I must confess that we actually had a cat.. who had kittens.. and we kept three of them.. so I think that might be my equivalent 😉

      Like

  28. Maria (mum_on_the_move) says:

    I know that I am rather late to comment on this post but was just having a flick through your blog and came across it! Lovely to read, because now I know I am not mad and it is not just me that feels this way. I have 3 children and am blissfully happy with what I have, but I too very much have the same philosophy and use exactly the same words of ‘never say never’ when it comes to the mention of further children. We have no plans at the moment to try for more. And I feel very happy with my 3. But I cannot bring myself to say ‘this is it’, even if it might be. My baby sister was a surprise to my parents when I was 13.5. She is 22 next week and was the best mistake my parents could have made. She has kept them young. Any my brothers and I have always spoiled her and adored her! Lovely post. 🙂

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