In many mom circles there always seems to be a spoken and unspoken debate over breast feeding vs. formula feeding, co-sleeping vs. separate beds, baby-led weaning vs. purees, spanking vs. no-spanking, homeschooling vs. public school, and the list goes on. I have noticed though that there are a lot of opinions (both solicited and unsolicited) on how many kids a family should have. Some women like myself can get pregnant pretty quickly and have fairly easy pregnancies and safe deliveries. But there are also women who are barren, women who only adopt, mixed families, families with kids via IVF, families with 8 kids, and families who just want one child.
Every mother has her own set of values, problems, struggles, anxieties, financial restraints, health issues, dreams, goals, etc. Each family needs to exercise wisdom in making the decision to have one child or ten children. Not wanting a lot of kids is OK.
Genesis 1:22 "And God blessed them saying, "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let the birds multiply the earth."
Psalm 127:1-5 "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one's youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate."
Biblically, there is no set number of children that a mother should have. A mom with 6 kids is not held up any higher in the sight of God than the woman with 2 kids. As sinful people we can defend either side of the coin to justify our reasoning, but what it comes down to is being in prayer and using wisdom. Ultimately, what matters most is that mom is taking care of her children and raising 2, or all 6, or 19 kids in the fear and admonition of the Lord. That's what God cares about.
I want to be the best mom and wife to my husband and boys, because at the end of the day this is the family God has blessed me with and it is my responsibility and privilege to care for each of them. Our decision on whether we should add another sweet child into our family will not alter my calling to be a great mom to Calvin and Max.
Depending on what time of the month it is, I have recently considered whether we should have another biological baby or not. Being the planner that I am, I go through scenarios like: what time of year is best to have another baby, what's an ideal age difference between my kids, would we need a bigger car, etc. But then there are days like today when I am totally content with where we are at. Contentment does not mean that I am lazy, complacent, or not wanting things to be hard. I am content and happy to be able to be home and love on my kids. I am so thankful that there are days that I am able to help watch a friend's baby or when I can complete the laundry and actually make some dinner. Adding another baby could change a lot of what I am able to do now, but that doesn't mean they would be an inconvenience. A new baby or child changes a lot in a household, mostly for the good. For example, I have yet to meet a family who regretted adding another child to their family. But if I or any other friend have decided that what they currently have is enough for them, that is OK!
Honoring God in our callings as mothers should take place no matter the number. The greatest gift apart from Christ is to be able to love on your family. So whether you are in favor of giving the whole scenario to God to decide how many kids you will have, you are on birth control, condoms, your husband gets a vasectomy, whatever, know that the woman next to you probably has her own reasoning. Encourage her to be the best mom and friend she can be instead of judging how many kids she does or doesn't have.
I personally am not convicted about having a huge family. God is sovereign over all and can change my convictions and my plans and that would be fine. But in the meantime I pray that God will continue to grow and use me to be the best mother and teacher for my boys. If you want to have a big family or are going to have a super small one know that I support you. The laundry, cooking, cleaning, book reading, diaper changes, and memorable moments will always be there (well, hopefully not the diapers forever). We each will have our pleasant and more trying times despite how many mouths we are feeding. Let's glorify God in the privilege and honor of being mothers, together.