The story goes that for years, my mother's mother was never happy to hear that she would be having more grandkids.
My parents would take her out to dinner, butter her up, let her down gently with the news of a baby on the way - and she would be furious. Mostly with my dad. He had no right, she told him, to do that to my mom and to their children.
(As if it wasn't her choice too!)
My parents more than held up their side of the family (with twelve children!). My mother's other siblings, however, have all had smaller families; some struggled with infertility which even left them childless. I vividly remember the day when, years ago, we were piled in the van leaving my grandparents' house. My dear Grandma came to the open window and asked Mom, "Couldn't you just have one more?"
This cracks me up, and for many reasons. I wonder how I will feel about the decisions that I am making 30, 40, and 50 years from now?
I don't presume to tell people how to live their reproductive lives (ha!); nor do I adhere to any Quiverfull Movement weirdness. But (if you recall) I am fascinated by demography - and I do wonder what influences people most as they make their family planning decisions. Money? Time? Culture? Career? Standard of Living?
And do these factors change over lifetimes? Generations?
And since we're on the subject ... what do you think about spacing siblings? Heaven knows we can't control it completely, but if you could, what would your ideal family look like? Kids right in a row, or three years apart? Six? Please tell.