1. I agree ! I love your statement “I’m not sure our family is complete; but I do know I am done with being pregnant.”
    Really resonates with me.

    I think we as society sometimes feel like it’s taking the easy way by having ‘only’ two; we are settling for the middle road; that we need to have more kids to be the best mama or something.

  2. I agree that the number is not important, however I feel that God made our womb…why not let him control the number He wants our family to be? Why, again, do we feel that we need to do His job and control our bodies? If He wants to bless you, do you turn away His blessings? He might to only bless you with 1, or none, it 8…who knows? But if we start playing God and controlling it ourselves it’s like you telling God, that He doesn’t know what He’s doing. But this type of thinking has taken years for me to get to…

    1. I believe God set up the world and it’s creation to function a certain way. If someone ate a dozen donuts every morning, would they say “oh it must be God’s will that I’m overweight, because I ate the donuts and now?” No, God already put the system in place. If everything is functioning normally, and two humans copulate, they will conceive and give birth, we are intelligent enough to know this. We are also intelligent enough to recognize choosing to prevent conception isn’t countering God’s will, it’s merely recognizing He expects us to understand the scientific design and choose responsibly, according to His individual direction of our hearts and minds.

  3. THANK YOU. I can’t have more kids (I have 2 boys) after two 21-week stillbirths (and 2 earlier miscarriages) and as a Catholic, I grew up with the message that not having more than 2 kids was selfish and taking the easy way out.

    I wish this was the easy way! I didn’t arrive at 2 kids easily.

    So hearing that it’s okay is what I needed. Thank you.

  4. I think people need to be careful in judging why some people have smaller families (or larger families), because for one, the same judgement can be cast on someone who did not adopt. I read one blog post which suggested there is no excuse not to adopt, and anyone who does not is ignoring a call to do so. The fact is, these are all very personal decisions – – financial, physical, and marital. I think rather than numbers, or how a child joined our family, we should focus on the quality of how we are raising our children and support each other in that, in terms of raising them in the Lord.

  5. More hair has been pulled out in the Christian community over this topic than any other I can think of. Like my mentor stated, “We expect God to speak to us and guide us in every other aspect of life…except family size.” I absolutely agree with you…God has big families for some, and small families for others. Everyone’s journey is unique, and grace? Yeah, it’s in order….lots of it.

  6. Thank you for this post! I have two gorgeous girls, two perfect years apart, but we’re done almost certainly as well. A lot of things factored into our decision, just like you. I’m just glad somebody said it. 🙂

  7. Yes, 2 children is enough. Good for you!! The Earth thanks you too. Two kids is totally normal out here in California. Live lightly! 🙂

  8. Oh, Kayse, thank you for writing this. It’s one of those posts I read and say “Why didn’t I write that?” because I so agree with you.
    I’m a blogging, homeschooling, mom of… TWO children. For ten years (9.5 to be precise) I was a homeschooling mom to ONE. Then along came the second child we didn’t think we could have. So, in essence we have 2 “only” children.
    Two children was not our plan. 10 years apart was not our plan. And it makes me somewhat of an outsider in the homeschooling and blogging circles. (I was also 40 when our second one arrived so I’m not exactly a perfect fit in the groups of moms of young children, and I can’t quite keep up with the power-bloggers who have 5 kids but are still only 33 years old. I just don’t have that kind of energy anymore.) But I digress.
    I can’t say how often I’m on a blog and feel either left out, or worse, not worthy, because I have “only two children.” Having them so far apart makes it even more difficult when I read all the popular advice about having your kids gather around the breakfast table for morning lessons, or devotionals. Or the activities they do together, or having them play “Secret Santa” at Christmas time.
    I’m not one to get offended, in fact I think we Christians are beginning to be known by what offends us, not by who we follow. I’m not offended by large families. I wanted to be one. I’m sad that I didn’t get to be one. But then, I have to stop and consider, whose plan is better, mine or the Lord’s?
    The births (and carrying) of my two were difficult and dangerous. (My first had an AGPAR of 1.) Even if I wasn’t 47, there is no way I can do that again. The risk is too big. But beyond that, maybe the real issue is that I’m a better mom to 2 than I would have been to many. I think when we’re willing to say “it’s ok that you might not have been designed to be a mother of many” then we can relax and be at peace with the number of children God gives us. Notice I said “God gives us” even though we chose to stop having kids. I don’t believe the two are mutually exclusive. God promises to give us wisdom if we ask. I believe it was wisdom for us to say “We’re so grateful for the two we have… and we’re done.”
    Yes, children are a gift from the Lord. Just because I have two makes me no less gifted than a mom of 10. I am abundantly blessed.
    P.S. I know there is no way to tell, but I do hope the people who reprimanded you about the number of kids you have are not the same people who write the “Open letters to the woman who questioned if all these kids are mine” kind of posts. After all, they don’t like people telling them they have too many, I would hope they aren’t telling you that you have too few.

  9. Kayse,

    Well done! Having had severe post natal depression after my 2nd baby we made the decision that the ‘shop is shut’ for us also. I see my beautiful 3 1/2 yr old boy and would love more babies but I know that I could not guarantee the safety of myself or my family.

    Well done for getting your decision out there and being proud to own it. I know I am proud of you!

    1. Annie, I’m right there with you. I love babies. But the rest of the truth is that when I see or hold a baby, I am also flooded with glimpses–memories– of postpartum depression. It’s a darkness that can’t be explained unless you’ve been there and it’s not something you open yourself up to lightly. It’s another reason we chose to stop at two.

  10. Great perspective here! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. This isn’t the 1st time I’ve read this…still a good read!

  12. Anna Tucker says:

    I totally agree with you. My family has been struggling with deciding to have more kids or not. We have two also. Thanks for sharing!

  13. I totally get where you are coming from! We are a 2 kid family, both girls, and we are also done. I cannot tell you how many times we have been asked “Are you sure you don’t want to try for a boy?”. NO I dont want to try for a boy, I love my two girls and God has made it very clear to both me AND my husband that we are a two kid family. It is really nice to hear someone else in the homeschool community that feels the same way as us!

  14. Beth lynn says:

    We need more grace. Amen!

  15. Great post. Thank you. My husband and I struggle with infertility and we have lost a baby, but to onlookers it appears that we are choosing a small family. It is a very hard struggle for me and I hate the pressure, the comments, the looks (both real and I admit sometimes imagined) from fellow Christians when they find out we “only” have one child. Your post worded it so well. Our God is SO BIG that His plans and desires for each family are unique. There is not only one way to please and honor Him, as both your family and my family can attest. Thank you for sharing on this difficult topic!

  16. Melissa Moore says:

    It is amazing how the reality we are living is often so different than what we had envisioned it would be. It is encouraging to be reminded to just trust God and to be at peace with that.

  17. Would you believe that in my world I have had people put me down for wanting just one more. I have 2 right now 18 and 4. I have a hard time being pregnant and have very high risk so I am sure that people are just worried about me. I really liked this article. Thank you for writing it.

  18. Diane Collins says:

    We have 4 kids, and I think that is perfect for us. We do get a lot of comments about our choice of family size. A lot of people feel we have too many kids. I just respond that it is what my husband and I chose for us.

  19. Cindy Boyd says:

    Your honest approach inspires me.

  20. Yes, yes, YES! “Can we stop counting our kids and comparing our lives? Can we embrace families of all sizes as ordained by the God we all serve? Can we extend grace to all?”

  21. I wish we could come alongside and support each other more as women and moms. I only have 1 and my husband and I are praying about what is next. Thanks for your encouraging words!

  22. its amazing to hear this confirmation. Two kids is just fine! ONE kid is just fine! No mommy guilt needed!

  23. This is a great post and I’m so glad you shared your heart. I personally only have one kid. I wanted more, but after having a divorce and not getting married again until I was too old to bear children, here I am. It’s OK, though, and I’m grateful for my son. I loved the comments, especially from Kim McCulley. All the moms need to encourage each other and have joy and thankfulness for one or a dozen! 🙂

  24. I really appreciate this post and the thoughts you shared. We have two and I believe we’ll (just) have two. We were older when we got married. The second pregnancy wasn’t easy, the delivery was difficult, our son ended up in NICU for 6 days afterwards. It was all very scary and stressful….and we are extremely thankful that everything worked out. Those experiences and facts all play a part in shaping our decision for sure. Our Dr also encouraged us that perhaps it would be good to stop at two. We didn’t know if we would ever have children, so we feel very thankful for the two we have been entrusted with.

  25. Must comment. Must comment. Must comment.

    I’m one of those moms with 5 children (ages 31, 29, 27, 24, 17). I loved raising a large family, homeschooled for many years, was mostly a stay-at-home mom. I’m thankful and content.

    I HATE that you were criticized for only having two children!!! What’s THAT ABOUT? No, no, no.

    Women of the world, let’s encourage and be cheerleaders and love and support and smile at one another. I don’t understand this “mommy-war culture”. It’s unhealthy, it’s pointless and–I’ll just say it–it’s SIN.

    I used to believe there was a “right” way to parent, to be a family. I didn’t correct or argue, but I sure thought self-righteous thoughts. Shame on me. I’ve raised 5 kids, and welcomed a neice, some nephews, and four grandchildren. I’m a preschool teacher now, and have loved a lot of little people. I’ve come to see that there are a LOT of ways to parent, and many, many of them are absolutely beautiful ways to love and raise little people. Don’t raise your family according to someone else’s plan, or convictions, or preferences. Love God, love your family, love your neighbors, and live a sparkly, shiny, joyous life that honors God!

    I’ve got your back! Let’s ALL have each others’ backs!

  26. You have to do what is best for you. No one else is going to live your life choices for you.

  27. Can we just try and parent well the ones we have? And lead those to The Lord and allow Him to multiply their efforts and ours for His glory? My husband and I went around and around about the number of kids we would have. (Multiple bouts of PPD put a damper on things.) and God surprised us with #4. My exhausted brain has so many thoughts on this topic, but can’t articulate them. But, I appreciate your honesty and your heart on this. I would never say you and Jon didn’t listen to The Lord by stopping at 2. Just as each of us has different gifts, each of our families is going to look different. And that’s ok.

  28. 0, 1, … 20. We each have a number that is right for us. When you know, you know.

  29. Thanks for this post! Currently my husband and I have one beautiful, funny, smart little boy. We struggled for a year and half with infertility and only were able to have him through medical interventions. I don’t know if we’ll have a second. It’s not coming any easier than the first and to be honest it’s hard to struggle to conceive and it takes away from my ability to care for the family I already have. I am beyond grateful for the little guy I have. If I’m blessed with another I will be equally grateful but if I’m not, than that’s okay too.

  30. Emily Barton says:

    Thank you so much for this post! My husband and I also have two children as well and the having to explain why is getting old really fast. With two miscarriages and one difficult delivery (that almost cost me my life) and a a c-section all within 4 years. We decided with much prayer, discussion and insight from my doctor we decided it was in my best interest health wise for this to be my last pregnancy. Once again I thank you for this encouragement.

  31. Thanks so much for writing this. I read only because of the scavenger hunt and I”M SO GLAD I DID!! My husband and I weren’t gonna have any children and were given such a hard time because of that decision. God changed our minds, separately and at the same time. God is awesome! We now have two. We thought of stopping at one, but when she was 3 she told us she had been praying for a sibling and we just looked at each other and just kinda knew it was time to have another. Because of my experience with outside criticism and comments about something that’s no one’s business but the couple’s along with God, I learned to encourage couples in whatever decision about how many to have that they have made.

  32. I wanted 4 kids too! I settled with 2 and that’s is ok for me too!

  33. I am SO glad that I read this post (via the scavenger hunt for giveaways!). I am new to your blog, and so far I am very encouraged. We just had our 2nd baby and we don’t know if we’ll keep going or stop with two just yet. It is something we are praying over, and I know the Lord will give us direction as He does with everything else!

  34. Amanda R. in Louisville says:

    What a thoughtful and well-thought-out post. We have two (currently) and are fighting pressure from several sides. We’re choosing to make our own decisions when it comes to the size of our family. The truth is, there are a lot of deciding factors, and it doesn’t help that others feel the need to chime in. We have family members telling us not to have more, others telling us we have the “perfect” family (one boy, one girl) and pressure from the world to either have no more of have ten more. I’m glad I have a husband who helps me block out the pressure and think through the decision in our own home. 🙂

  35. Thank you for this. I have five kids and whenever I talk to people with fewer kids they keep trying to either apologize or tell me how i am being silly for having so many. I am OK with however many you have from 0- ?. I am ok with that please be ok with my choice.

  36. The church stresses how important it is for wives to have babies. Not realizing that there are people like me who have always dreamed of getting married and having kids – probably even expected it. But instead, I did not even meet my now husband until I was 41, diagnosed with cancer the same year, got married at 42 and, that same year, found out that the chemo treatment put me into early menopause. So, that means no kids. It has been really hard, but something I have had to accept. If a woman gets married – that is a huge blessing. It a woman is able to have even one kid – that it a ginormous blessingl If she gets to have two – that is just the cherry on top. People need to remember that they do not know what the other person is going through and just be there for them because they care.

  37. Bless your mamma heart. I’d love to adopt or foster in the future. Talk about making a huge and positive difference in the life of a child.

  38. I LOVE this, so often we as Christians are pressured by other people to do what THEY see as Godly rather than what God actually calls us to do. Go girl!

  39. I’m sure some people thought/think, and one friend even commented, “oh, too bad you only have one child, did you have problems?”. No, no problem becoming pregnant and had a wonderful pregnancy, but we DECIDED to only have one. We thought about two and left our options open for 5 years. FAST FORWARD When our daughter started college 3 years ago we joked about fostering a teenage boy who loves soccer. {we are a soccer family and our daughter has played continually since kindergarten} It would just rock our world a bit much, since we have to travel in order to see our girl play now. No boy experience for us, but we do have 5 nephews. Probably more than you really wanted to know, hee hee!!!

  40. It blows my mind that people would be so critical of your family size! I grew up with only one sibling, as did my husband, so a two kid family sounds completely normal to me! We’re hoping for three, but I met and married my husband much later than what seems like the Christian average, and I am fully aware that it might not be doable, since I’m already 34 with my first baby. And he’s only 2 months old, so I’m definitely not ready for a second yet!

  41. tina smith says:

    i just love your blogs you are so right size of the family doesnt matter so inspired by your godly beliefs

  42. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for your post! I came across it today on pinterest. I totally agree with you! We are a 1 child family. After my daughter was born (8 yrs ago), i developed an autoimmune disease that has prevented us from having anymore children. My friends have long given up asking if we are going to have another. I would love more kids but its not in Gods plan right now. I like what you said in your post, “why do you have to have a lot of kids to be a Godly family?” I often get “well you dont understand because you only have one” or “it must be so easy with one”. Believe me, working fulltime with one child has its challenges. So, thank you for the encouragement! I really enjoyed this post!

  43. My husband was 33 and I was 27 when we married so there’s just not enough time for me to have lots unless I was pregnant every year and that’s not happening…I want to get to know each child for a couple of years at least! We have 2…a 4-yr-old girl and a 1-yr-old boy and we are content with that for now. I do feel a lot of pressure from a few circles, but actually, I’ve met many more couples that have only wanted one or two. I think it’s a sign of maturity knowing what you can handle.

  44. Thank you so much for this post. I am currently expecting #2 in February 2014 and my autoimmune disease has gotten worse. I have had four flares and four bouts of preterm labor and I am just 24 weeks. Not going to do this again I tell ya! I thought I had Rheumatoid Arthritis but now my body has shown its true colors and shown us Mixed Connective Tissue Disease instead, much more serious. If I got pregnant again my disease could cause “stroke, heart attack, rapid high blood pressure, or multiple organ failure” which to me is God’s sign that we are done having children biologically. We wanted 4 children coming into this marriage and that just isn’t in the picture for us. We may be open to foster/adoption in the future but financially that is not a viable thing. I have had comments from both side of the argument “well I guess you are done now since you will have a girl and a boy”, or “well I believe if you get pregnant again you will be ok because God will have deemed it so”. We don’t want to test God. We really believe through prayer and listening quietly that this is what our family is supposed to look like. I also dislike the comment, well right now because I am mourning, “you should be grateful for the children you have”, because we are feeling an ache for children that will never be brought through us biologically. I am excited though to see what path God has laid for us and am keeping my eyes, ears, and heart open for His guidance.

  45. Kayse, there are so many times this theme of post has been on my heart to write, but I have never had the courage to write it, my skin is just not that thick. We have one child and we are homeschooling so double whammy for judgment. I pray continuously to not become embittered at some very hurtful comments that roll off peoples tongue so easily, without a thought for how it could cause a sister to stumble. Thank you for writing this, I imagine it would not have been easy.

  46. Thank you. God answers prayers…and your post was one of them. God gave us the heart wrenching “gift” of infertility. Then answered our prayers with our daughter, who was adopted. She is amazing and completely meant to be. I SEE why we went through seven years of fertility treatments. And now, though I would love another child, and I wouldn’t have PLANNED for a small family, God Conti use to teach me that its not always my plan…if its meant to be, He will find a way. And yes…I feel like my “only one” makes me less than other mothers sometimes…seeing this helps the sting of that. Thank you.

    1. I’m so glad that this post meant something to you, and encouraged you in the family that God’s given you! It’s so hard when our plans don’t work out. I’m still trying to accept that one in so many areas. 🙂 LOVE that you adore and cherish your daughter – that makes you a great mom, no question!

      1. Oh, is she ever cherished! 😉 I see Gods plan in her eyes.
        And yeah…that “relying on Gods plan” part is really hard sometimes!!!!

  47. I came across your site today as I was looking at your organizational things and I saw this post. First of all, congratulations!! 🙂
    I loved your post!! I think it’s most important to pray about the decision and to be in unity with your spouse. It’s sad when other believers feel the need to dictate family size. I don’t see that as a command in Scripture and just as He can close a womb when people are trying to get pregnant, he can cause a couple to get pregnant while on birth control or after a vasectomy. 😉
    Even though I have 5 kids and rarely get comments about us having more (I think most people assume we’re still trying) we also have prayed about it and came to an agreement. Although we chose 4 and God chose 5 giving us twins the last time. 🙂 But I realized after reading your post that when I’m around people who don’t believe in birth control, I am kinda defensive about our stopping at 5 and often feel I need to make excuses on why we stopped at 5. I felt so much better after reading your post and realizing that’s between my husband and I and God, not anyone else. Thank you!!
    Chris (married to her sweetheart for 20 years and proud mom of 5 great blessings aged 17 to 10.

  48. I only have one child and I feel like a horrible person when I’m asked when we are going to try for another one and I say, “Um, no. I can’t handle another one.” And I really don’t think I can! I love my daughter so very much and she is my light, but I’m not sure I can handle another child throwing temper tantrums, having attitudes, and being a picky eater (as silly as that sounds). I think we, as humans and especially as women, tend to compare ourselves with our wives and mothers. “Why can’t I always look put together like her?” “Look at her, she has five kids in Wal*Mart and they’re all behaving perfectly. My one is screaming her head off because she didn’t get a nap.” We just need to close our eyes, take a deep breath, and relax…and be thankful for the families God has blessed us with. You have no kids? That’s great. You have one child? Awesome. You have six and one on the way? Good for you! There’s nothing wrong with our families being different. If God wanted us all to be the same, then we would all be pretty boring, yes?

  49. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I read a lot of blogs and feel at times that the “godly families” have lots of children. Life seems so “perfect”, although I know it is not. My husband and I have a beautiful 2 year old, but have been struggling with infertility after an ectopic pregnancy. I’ve struggled so much with feeling that surely since God isn’t giving us another child we aren’t godly enough and we must not love Him enough because look at all of these other great families with several children!. And thank you for the reminder that “having a bunch of kids is not always God’s will for every family”!

  50. I absolutely could have written this post! My husband and I started out the same – I wanted 4 (or more) kids, and he wanted 2. During my second pregnancy, I started praying wildly that God would make my husband and I ‘of one mind’ when it came to future children. In the past, praying this has done incredible things in our marriage, and I trusted that God would do this again – actually, I trusted that God would change my husbands’ mind. 🙂 Now, I have ALWAYS wanted 4 kids. I dreamed of my 4 kids when I was a child. I named them when I was a teenager (none of the names have I used, but hey…) and whenever I thought about my future – they were there. A few months after I began praying for unity with my husband on this, my ‘extra’ two children started to fade away. My husband was pushing for a vasectomy after our seconds’ birth, and although I had strongly forbidden it – it suddenly didn’t scare me anymore. I had easy pregnancies, but suddenly I realized that I didn’t feel as though I would ever be pregnant again – and I was completely ok with that. Having two daughters suddenly seemed absolutely perfect. I’ve also always wanted to adopt/foster, and if we choose to have more children in the future – we can always go that route as well. The Bible says to ‘Look after orphans and widows in their distress’ – and there are a lot of orphans out there, so I hope that someday, I will open my home to one or two, but for now – I will be done with only 2 children by birth – unless God has other plans, that is:)

  51. I enjoyed this post and I am another mom with only two kids and that is okay for our family. I did not have my first child, a son, until I was 30 years old and he was born on the Autism Spectrum which complicated our life with many struggles. We then had a daughter about 2 1/2 years later and we did think we would have a third after she was born when I was about 34 years old. By the time, she was 10 months old we decided that God just wanted us to have two. I do have other kids who call me mom who are not mine which I cherish. I agree with some of the other comments and I am not real crafty either. I do scrapbook some, but now I have started my own blog I am not doing much of that plus my kids are now age 11 and 14. I do like to cook some, but I still like to go out to eat as well. I am at peace for only having two kids and I believe that is the way God wanted our family to be. By the way, I do not see any problem with not having a big family. I have friends and my kids have classmates who only have 2 children and most of them are the exact school years as my own. I do have a friend who actually homeschools her children and they have 5 children. They are in ministry and that is what works out for them. You do what is God’s will for your own family. God Bless!! Have a Happy 4th of July!

  52. We also have just 2, a boy and a girl. We entered marriage wanting 5, but God had other plans. I had Hyperemesis Gravidarum twice, and endured much trauma and multiple hospitalizations. Basically my body is allergic to the pregnancy hormone. I almost died and we came very close to losing our babies. After much prayer, we decided that I needed to be alive to care for our children. 😉 My husband had surgery and we have moved on and healed. I even finally published a book this past May, telling our story about this rare and incurable condition. We’ve gotten all kinds of comments from folks who think we “just don’t trust God.” But we don’t see it that way. We know we made the right decision. Sometimes we regret that it had to be this way, but we don’t regret our decision. And we would love to adopt someday if God should open that door. Thanks for this post! 🙂

    1. I hear your heart there – I’m praying with you!!!

  53. Don’t let others get you down, Kayse. Not everyone is called to have a large family, sometimes not even those of us that thought we wanted a large family. My husband and I have two beautiful girls that are twenty seven months apart. Our hearts and hands are full with caring for these two blessings and we are fine with “just two”. My husband has post traumatic stress from his tour in Iraq and life in our house has challenges that maybe most other families wouldnt understand. Youre a great mom and you shouldnt be criticized for wanting to focus on Emily and Nathan, and your own well being.

  54. One kid. That’s all we have, and will probably have no more (considering my age of 50+!). That one is our miracle adopted baby, now 10-almost-11, and what a gift he is! He’d like a sib! But…it’s not worked out, though not for trying. We’re thankful for the one we have, the one God brought to us, and we’re content. Think of the Biblical stories of only children. John the Baptist. Isaac. God works through willing servants, no matter how many sibs they have.

  55. Jan Smith says:

    Well, well, well! It never ceases to amaze me how people seem to have the ‘need” to blast others. Being of a more ‘mature’ age, having had to walk in difficult shoes, at times, it has shown me that keeping my thought/comments to myself has served most situations best. Kayse, you and Jon have grown at an amazing rate with all you have been presented with, in these few years. Stay the course and let God lead….at each turn. Lots of love, Aunt Jan

  56. We are a family of 4…2 kids, a dog, no white picket fence though. 🙂

    I am proud mama to 2 miracle girls, now 15 and 9, but born at 24 and 25 weeks. I had wanted at least 3. I had a very rough time with the younger one during pregnancy, bed rest at 20 weeks, hospitalized with full blown progressing labor at 24 weeks that was halted until 25 weeks, 3 days.

    My husband has 5 siblings. Most of his siblings have at least 3 kids. We got those questions for a long time…aren’t you going to have more? It hurt so much. I was so thankful for my 2 girls. Why wasn’t everyone else content with our decision? We had prayerfully considered more children for a long time, but didn’t feel the Lord was leading us there.

    The size of our family is perfect for us. It’s just what God wanted for us.

  57. I get asked regularly about the fact that we have one child. I STILL get asked this question, though I’ll be 43 on my birthday. I have a son who will turn 5 this year. We started trying for a baby when I was 34. I lost 2 before my son and 2 after he was born and he was a twin (one didn’t survive) and I lost one with my ex-husband – that makes it a 6:1 ratio of pregnancies per child. Then I stopped getting pregnant. After my experiences, I can tell you now that no one should EVER ask about how many kids you plan on having, why you only have one, or two, or whatever and if you plan on having more children. No one should EVER utter their words of wisdom about why you shouldn’t just have one child. My husband and I planned on having two children. God’s plan has been different. I went through menopause early this year, yet I still get these misguided comments and questions. God blessed us with ONE child and for that I’m grateful. I have a very dear friend who is 50, single and childless. She wanted to be a wife and mother, but God had other plans for her. That doesn’t leave me a lot of room to complain of the woes of having one precious child. I still answer the questions with tact: God blessed us with one. If asked if I want another (oh yeah), I say, “That isn’t in my hands”.

    1. Valerie, I am sorry. We have been through miscarriage too.

      You do have 5 children in heaven. I’m glad you are grateful for what God has done in your life.

  58. I love this! thank you for sharing! We’re stopping with 2 biological children for the same reasons you said! (and because we want to be financially & emotionally able to foster in the future if that’s where God leads us).
    I have been wanting to post on this very topic, but had been having trouble figuring out a way to phrase it, while still being grace-filled and loving towards all readers. You have done it perfectly. thank you <3

  59. If a family is listening to what the Lord is saying to them on these matters (or any matter,) then what do we have to say other than to cheer them on and pray for them? God’s plan can be so individual… our view of God is so limited if we think one family must look like the rest! Our family happens to be one of those large families (5 bio/2adopted) – but it’s a calling – individually from God. He has spoken to us directly about our family size (7 times, in fact) and we will continue to listen. Being open to what He may ask us to do in the future. Pregnancy is hard on me (and adoption isn’t for the faint of heart), I won’t lie, but if God is ask us to step forward in faith – the blessings will flow. And they have. So keep on keepin’ on listening to the Lord!

  60. We just had #2 two weeks ago and we have always said we will take it one kid at a time. So for now we are a 2 kid family, but we shall see how the Lord leads. For sure we have biological limitations since we have had 2 unplanned c-sections. :-). Thanks for sharing wise words!

  61. We have two adopted kids. I learned many things through the season of infertility that led us to adoption, including that God has many different ways of building family and your family will never look just like anyone else’s. I believe that includes the number. I admire your honesty and the way you intentionally live your life and embrace motherhood. God will honor the way you seek him in this and all the other areas of your life.

    1. I think you have a beautiful family with a beautiful story. 🙂 Thanks for commenting, friend!

  62. Well, I know I’m not really “in this” conversation because I’m single and childless (and currently quite happy about that!) but I’d just like to say…my mom has 8 kids and I am not putting it past her to adopt again. She is very happy to the mom of so many. BUT, when she just had my oldest brother, she was just as happy. I can tell from the pictures. 🙂 Her first pregnancy and birth was very difficult and it took her a long time to recover (which is why we have a fair sized age gap between 1 and 2) and she probably wondered if Joey would be her only child, but she was content with him…and with the first two…and three…and definitely thought she was done at four! It’s NOT about the numbers. It’s about loving who you’ve got to love!

    1. You get to be in the conversation no matter what! Your family is so unique and I love that. And I agree – it’s about loving who you’ve got to love! 🙂

  63. Thank you so much for this post. My husband and I never really discussed the amount of children we would have. Obviously, we knew we wanted a family, just never discussed how big or small. We have 3 boys. Our first was planned, our second and third weren’t. They were all welcomed. I do have to say that when our second was born, I knew I wanted a third child. I’m not sure if it was an emotional or physical thing but I did want another one. My second had several medical issues that caused stress for my husband and myself. Often times he would say “this is why I don’t want anymore kids”. I understood his frustration and knew that he spoke only out of that frustration. That’s not what he felt. After our third was born, we both looked at each other and knew that our family was complete. We didn’t want anymore. Financially, we wouldn’t be able to do it. However, even if finances weren’t an issue, we knew we were done. I made the decision to get a tubal ligation. Birth control wrecked havoc on my body and I don’t trust the rhythm method enough to try it out. I told my husband that he doesn’t need to get “snipped” because I wanted to be the one to get my tubes tied. I felt that I would have control over my body that way. It’s going to soon be a year since I’ve had and I honestly do not regret it, as I heard so many times that I would.

    Often times, we hear oh when are you going for the girl? Or, were you trying for the girl? Or now all you need is the girl? Honestly, I don’t mind these questions or get offended by them. Folks are just curious and that’s okay. I just take it in stride and say that I’m the only queen, princess in the family and have my “men” to take care of me.

    I so agree with all that you said about family and God and children. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for commenting!! I agree with you – I don’t mind the curious comments, just the condescending ones. 😉 I love that you’re the only princess – what a fun place to be!

  64. I appreciate your post about this. I am, however, completely confused about why anyone outside you and your husband would feel the need to comment on how many children a person should or should not have. Why all the comparison and judgment? I am 34 years old, never married, no children. In all reality, I will probably never marry or have/adopt a child/children. Yet I have no question/anxiety that I am not fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.

    1. I have my theories on why people feel the need to compare and judge, but I agree that it’s really something that is between the Lord, my husband, and me. I love that you’re content and confident right where God has you!

  65. I’m one of three kids, and as a homeschooler, that made our family a little unusual! (Although, come to think of it, we knew a Catholic homeschooling family with “only” two kids…even more unusual!) My husband comes from a family of five boys, and we’re open to five or six children… or however many God decides to bless us with. If that’s one, I’ll be thankful. If that’s nine, I’ll still be thankful…just probably a little crazy!

    I do feel that unless it’s physically impossible for a Christian couple to have children, they shouldn’t completely say “NO” to being parents. But I do feel that it’s not up to anyone to judge people for the number of children they do or don’t have! Way to go for speaking out on this–I think there are more people in your situation than you think. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your comment. I love that you have your own opinion, but understand that’s not the case for everyone. I’m so grateful for that attitude! Blessings as you build your family!

  66. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE. I wish there was a love button. We seem to live in a world of judgement and ridicule. For what? There is truly no reason for it. You know what is best for you and that is the bottom line!! Congrats on doing what is best for your marriage, finances, and health!

  67. Stand strong! Just like God doesn’t call all of us to be missionaries in far away countries, not all of us are called to be “fruitful and multiply” in the literal sense of the word. We are all called to be missionaries to those around us, and be fruitful in our walk with God to multiply those who come to know Him.
    Thirty years ago , before I was ever married, I wanted a large family (6 children) Almost 25 years ago, I gave birth to our second child, and we had one of each. I am sick the entire pregnancy (was almost hospitalized with the first), and have difficult deliveries. We decided it was better to focus on the two we had and be thankful. Just before they turned 9 and 6, I gave birth to our third. God knew we needed one more…I somehow conceived during district volleyball when my husband was varsity coach. Did I even see him that week? He is now almost 19, and an absolute joy! He will leave for college soon and we will be empty-nesters. God has blessed us in so may ways, and maybe your call will be to open your home to children who otherwise would not know love. I have taught and worked in the early childhood dept at our church for many years giving me the opportunity to have the other “children” thought I wanted when I was younger, and their parents a measure of peace that their children are being loved on while they are in class or service.
    You know where God is calling you now, and know He has other plans for you down the road. Keep your heart open to Him,

    1. I love so much about your comment. 🙂 Your reference to missionaries is right on – it’s not the same call for everyone.

      Your story of your third kiddo coming right when God knew you needed one is so great. That’s how we feel about this little guy in my belly! We are so grateful for him and excited to see his little life grow. We are excited to start this phase of two kids, and enjoy every second of it. 🙂 Blessings to you!

  68. Great post! We have one and will likely only have one. While it’s not what we may have envisioned 10 years ago, I believe it’s God’s will for us. There are many factors leading to our reality, many of them out of our control. Parents already know that having children requires sacrifice. But I don’t think some couples should have more little ones due to pressure or to the detriment of other vital issues in their lives.

    1. I agree with you there. In fact, I think if we are married, God’s first call is for us to love/respect our spouses. And sometimes, a marriage requires more time and energy than a large family allows. This is one of our factors as well, and we’re not afraid to be honest about it! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  69. First of all, thanks for posting this Kayse. Second, I’m sort of flabbergasted that anyone could write emails telling you how many children you (or anyone should have). I would have loved to have a large family, but reality knocked on my door and I too am one of the (only) 2 kids. We have two boys, so if I had a nickle for every person who asked me if we were going to try for a girl, I’d be able to fund both boys’ college funds! lol The truth is, almost everyone I know has 3 or more kids. The thing is there is nothing intrinsically spiritual about the number of kids you have, and I truly wish we as women could encourage each other instead of constantly comparing our lives with others, and then making value judgments based on those comparisons. Lysa Tyrkhuerst made this comment – when you compare your life with someone else’s, you compare your insides with their outsides.

    1. Just AMEN. To all of what you said. 🙂 So tell me – what do I need to know about being a boy momma??

      1. All I’ve known is being a momma of boys. I guess, my only advice is let them be boys. Don’t overprotect or coddle them. Love on them, set firm boundaries and reinforce without a lot of drama. My boys are 12 and 15 now. We enjoy each other’s company (for the most part). I’m a very firm believer in natural consequences – as in, you don’t eat breakfast, that’s completely fine but we’re not eating until lunchtime. I also will tell you little boys need a lot of physical activity. If they don’t get it, they are like puppies who haven’t been walked all day – causing a lot of mischief. They need to have adventures and all that good stuff. 🙂 You’ll be fine!

  70. We are a one child family…and it works for us. God may indeed call us to foster care of adoption later on down the road, but there is absolutely no peace for us to have another biological child.

    Thank you for this post. It is a necessary topic to bring to light in our society and Christian community today.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Marni. I especially appreciate what you said about peace. I think the Lord really speaks through that, and I want to give you a high five for trusting Him!!

  71. We have 3 boys, very close in age. We would like to have one more…… eventually. I can totally see how there is pressure out there to have a big family. I actually found it comforting, I have always wanted a large family but I thought that was kind of unheard of now days, until I came into the blog world. When I saw so many 3+ households I was encouraged. My older sister has 2 daughters and that’s it! They are done. My younger sister doesn’t want any kids, and that’s works for her life. I think you have to find the place where God calls you to be. Mother of 10, 6, 2 or 0. God has a plan for ALL of us no matter how many children we do or do not have.

    1. Yes! Exactly. I’m glad you’re finding support for your dreams in the blogging world!! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  72. I love this!
    After 5 years of marriage, hubby and I have just tossed all forms of birth control out the window. We get a lot of comments from our family who don’t understand why we are not out there popping kids like the rest of them (lol)
    Every family is different, and if we could be a little more understanding of that perhaps there would be a lot less judgment going on.

    1. I like you, Kendra. 🙂 And I love your stance. Understanding and grace is what we all need a little more of. I don’t really think there’s any room for judgement in this area!

  73. My husband and I have 2 beautiful daughters, and one more due in 4 weeks. We have talked a lot about this same thing, and we both came from large families (my family has 6 kids, and his has 13!!), so we both want lots of children. I have two brothers though, that for health reasons, chose to stop at 3. I completely understand and agree with that decision! You have a beautiful daughter, and I’m sure your son will be just as beautiful! If you and your husband have already discussed this, then there’s no reason anyone else should have any input. 🙂
    I love reading your blog and you really encourage me in Motherhood especially. Thank you!

    1. Thanks for your encouragement, Bethany – I’m so glad you find encouragement here too! That’s always my hope.

  74. Hello! I found your site at the Mama’s Story Link Up. First of all, I wanted to say thank you for sharing your views. I once felt exactly the same way. I wanted to clear up a little misconception about large families though. I do not desire to have a “large family,” but to just give my all to my Lord. So many people sing “I Surrender All” while leaving out this one little thing. The Word of God says in Psalms, “blessed is the man who has many children.” The Lord blesses His people in the OT over and over again, beginning with “I will multiply your numbers.” If what we are feeling contradicts the Word of God, then it probably isn’t coming from the Lord, but our own emotions. Sometimes pregnancy and motherhood is hard, but what worthwhile isn’t? The Lord says He will sustain us and not give us more than we can bear. I believe that this is part of giving our bodies as a living sacrifice. So many ladies are infertile, or only have a few children without using birth control whatsoever. Besides that birth control/sterilization has humanist roots and is engrained in the culture of eugenics and death. God has a perfect plan for each of our lives, and I do not wish to put my own personal preferences above that of the Creator.

    1. Hi, Nicole. 🙂 Thanks so much for commenting!

      I do understand where you are coming from, and I totally respect your decision to be open to however many children the Lord has for your family.

      I think there is a little misconception in your stance, too, which is why I wrote this post. Deciding to stop after two biological children (we are open to foster care and adoption in the future), is not a personal preference, and I hope you understand that in no way are we trying to put our own desires before the Lord’s for our lives. It’s hard to hear from the “large family” sector that by only having two children we are not truly “surrendering all”, when in fact the decision to stop has been God-led and required a whole lot of surrender. My own desire was to have a large family, but I’ve had to put that desire aside as the Lord has shown us that more pregnancies are not the best choice for our family.

      Our decision has not been fueled by the idea that motherhood and pregnancy are hard, as you mentioned. I know you’re new to my blog, but I think if you read a few posts you’ll see that I view motherhood as a divine calling from the Lord. We would never make a life decision simply because it was “easier”.

      I hope you hear my heart here, and are able to see that surrendering all does not just apply to one point of view. Neither does seeking the Lord’s will for our lives contradict what the Bible says about children. Thanks for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      1. You’re right, I’ve never read your blog before. May I ask you a question though? 🙂 Are you seeking medical help to either chemically or surgically end your ability to naturally conceive? If God has let you know that He doesn’t want you to have anymore biological children, wouldn’t He render you barren without any medical help? The Bible speaks of God opening and closing wombs on many different occasions. If you truly believe this is his will, no outside action on your part would be necessary. Birth control and sterilization as we know it was derived from Margaret Sanger, who was a dreadful humanist who was incredibly immoral. She even said that bc was needed to control the spread of Christianity. Would God want us to use these means to control our family size? If you are not using these methods please forgive me for the questioning. 🙂

        1. You know, Nicole, I really appreciate your heart. I do. Total surrender to God is a beautiful thing. However, as someone who had to surgically alter my ability to have children (because I was basically bleeding to death and had severe anemia and couldn’t actually function and take care of the children I had), and came by that decision with a lot of tears and prayer and trying numerous other avenues, and as someone who has seen friends have to have hysterectomies way before they were ready, can I ask you to be careful about what you write? I’m sure you don’t mean your words to be hurtful, but for the woman who really had no choice about undergoing permanent procedures for her health, who has suffered already from lost dreams and/or guilt, this is kind of like putting lemon juice on a paper cut. I would never dream of telling you that you should limit your family’s size. I always smile when I see a mama with a line of children behind her and my heart aches just a little for what might have been. I have a lot of friends who hate it when strangers come up and question their choice to have a large family. Everyone agrees that that isn’t very kind. Those of us with small families would like the same consideration. 🙂 I’m really not trying to be ugly at all and I hope I haven’t hurt you or offended you, but fertility isn’t something that is cut and dried. It’s not something we can made a value judgment about when we are sitting on the outside looking in. It is a very personal decision between the woman, her husband and God. I appreciate Kayse sharing her heart because there are many women who feel the exact same way. As women let’s encourage each other on this journey because as you said, motherhood is hard and it is a divine calling. 🙂

          1. I simply couldn’t have said it better myself. Thank you, Rosanne!

      2. OH kayse you read my mind here:

        Deciding to stop after two biological children (we are open to foster care and adoption in the future), is not a personal preference, and I hope you understand that in no way are we trying to put our own desires before the Lord’s for our lives. It’s hard to hear from the “large family” sector that by only having two children we are not truly “surrendering all”, when in fact the decision to stop has been God-led and required a whole lot of surrender. My own desire was to have a large family, but I’ve had to put that desire aside as the Lord has shown us that more pregnancies are not the best choice for our family.

        We only have one child. I entered marriage wanting 4 or more.

        We definitely want more – at least one more. But right now, God has made it clear that it is not the right time for our family. We have prayed about it, and it has taken an intense about of grief, wrestling with God, submitting to my husband’s leadership instead of my own desires, and absolute surrender to God (daily) for me to accept this. It’s so hard. So when I hear people accuse smaller families of being selfish, I grieve. Because, for me, not having more kids right now is one of the most self-less things I do. And I do it daily – monthly. Using a natural method of birth control which means abstaining from sex at a time when I desire it most. When my body screams at me to go make a baby and I have to give those desires and wishes (both sexually and emotionally) to God and ask that he give me grace to endure this time of waiting. Thank you so much for your perspective!!! *tears here*

    2. Nicole: I want to preface this to say that I LOVE large families, and I in NO WAY condemn families who choose to have 20 (or more) children – that’s awesome. However, I feel as though the tone of your comment is to say that ‘God wants everyone to have lots of children. Period.’ And I want to address that as not being Biblically sound – although sure, you can pull Bible verses up to back that up, please remember that even Satan can do that for his own purposes – he did it to Jesus when Jesus was being tempted. You need to look at the whole picture. 1 Corinthians 7:8 says that “It is better for the unmarried, and the widows, to remain unmarried” – does this mean that anyone who marries is doing so against the will of God? Obviously not, because God also outlines a world in which procreation is necessary, and he wants that to occur within marriage. I absolutely believe that it is not God’s will for everyone to have many children – it is clearly not God’s will for everyone to have ANY children. God has clearly chosen that some people will remain childless. I believe that our purpose must always be to spread the Gospel. Having many children and teaching them how to live for him. Our purpose is to come to him in prayer – with everything – and allow his will to guide us. This woman did some Biblical research on the topic, and you might find it interesting. http://katsyfga.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/does-the-bible-say-you-have-to-have-kids/
      Please be careful not to judge others’ decisions based on one or two verses in scripture that you have taken personally – I believe the theme of the Bible in general (and again – we need to look at the whole picture) would not support your views here.

  75. I’m happy to join you as a 2 baby blogger! We were so grateful for the two we have and we are content and complete and done. I certainly don’t think that makes our family less godly. In fact considering how during the years that my baby was baby, I could do much less ministry, it might make our family more godly.Thanks for acknowledging the unspoken pressure.

    1. Yay! Grateful and content – I think those two things are pretty priceless. Do you have a boy and girl, or two of the same gender? I’d love to hear!

      1. We have two girls. In fact, my parents and have 2 granddaughters (my two) and my in-laws have 5 granddaughters. It’s an all girl world around here!

  76. I agree with you 1000%!! We are a two child family — and while miscarriages and one difficult delivery did factor some into that decision, it was by no means the primary factors. Like you, we prayed intensely before deciding completely, and 3.5 years later, still have nothing but peace about it. Just like marriage is a God-united covenant, it doesn’t mean every permanently single person has less of a calling or blessing from The Lord. My prayer and hope is that we can all embrace and celebrate the differences in how our families look, and focus on Jesus and His unique purposes for us!

    1. Agreed, completely! And your two kids are pretty cute. 🙂

  77. I loved this post! We are joining the “2 kids is enough” club too! When I got married I thought I would be a stay at home mom, have 3+ kids, do crafts all day and make home cooked meals every night. Last year my oldest son was diagnosed with an extremely rare genetic disorder which has made this parenting journey more challenging than I ever could have imagined. So we have decided that the best thing for our family is to focus on the 2 precious boys we have and giving them the attention that they need. So here I am a full time working mom with 2 kids, not a crafty bone in my body and we eat out way more than we should. But that’s ok! We are learning to embrace the life God has given us and be thankful for all the ways in which we are extremely blessed. We know that 2 kids for us is definitely enough and we are at peace with that.

    1. Yeah, I thought I’d be way more crafty than I am too. And I love to eat out! I feel like we would be good friends. 😉 Praying for your sons, both of them!

  78. Thank you for writing this Kayse. (Just) two kids is okay! My husband and I have (just) two beautiful little girls. I feel blessed that we were able to biologically have our own two children. You see, I have Polycystic Kidney Disease and the two pregnancies took their toll on my body. I can only hope now that I will be around to see my little girls grow up. It really is too bad that everyone else has an opinion on how many kids should be in another person’s family or what we are or are not doing right as a parent. We really are all trying to do our best (I believe). When people ask me now if we are going to have any more kids, I say (very bluntly) “no, my body couldn’t handle another pregnancy. I would probably die.” It usually makes them very uncomfortable and they laugh it off or just drop the subject. I have had just one or two people ask me to elaborate. I figure if they really want to get in my business, then let’s talk business and I will share more with them about my life and journey into parenthood. 🙂
    Blessings to you and your “just right” family!

    1. I love your responses. 🙂 I’m all about honest! Praising God with your for your two girls, and praying you get the most possible time with them!

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