You, or them?

I recently played hostess to a family of five for a weekend. Three children under five years old and their mum and dad descended on our house like a whirlwind of noise and activity. You can imagine how well I coped when the children woke me at 5.30 one morning, and turned my house upside down just by being themselves. They were nice, polite children (and a baby). I like their parents a lot and they really made an effort to be good, thoughtful house guests. But…

(There was always going to be a “but”, right?)

…it made me think “how could anyone cope with more than one child?” This is not a new thought for me, but it’s a recurring worry, because I know my husband would like more children. He sees a family like that and just thinks it’s normal, and happy, and wonderful. I see a family like that and think ‘thank God it’s not me’!

I can’t imagine any happy or positive way for me to have more children. But could it be wrong to refuse? Who do you choose – yourself, or ‘them’? Is it selfish to have only one child? Is it better to roll up your sleeves and accept a life of running around after little ones?

Just thinking about it makes me more exhausted. Surely I have the right to keep my family small without worrying about socially damaging my child, or spoiling my relationship with my husband?

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