Not So Minimalist: Expanding Your Family

3rdchild

Huge thank you for all of the support last week as Do Less launched. It was a bestseller in several categories on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca! Winners of the book giveaway have been notified.

Should we have a third child?

The question has been pulled and pushed around my home many times since our second child was born. Within days of his arrival I felt an urge to have another baby. Yes, through the sleep deprivation and healing from labor and all that goes with adding another member to your family, I felt quite strongly that I wanted another child.

There is nothing rational about wanting a third child. The list of reasons to keep our family at four is long. We live overseas and have no family support on a day to day basis. We’re older parents. We like living smaller and without a lot of scheduled activities. Tick, tick, tick for staying at two kids.

Sharing my desire for a third child with friends has lead to many interesting conversations and even the unsolicited advice to “not bother and stop now.” It seems this is a hot topic as most of the people I know have just two children and plan to keep it that way. Even those that have a yearning for a third have told me that staying at two is the easier choice. Less time out of the work force, more resources for the two children they already have and so much more. I took it all in as people shared their very personal reasons for choosing a family size with me.

Despite all the great reasons to not have another child, I still wanted a third. So did Chris.

There are some unique things about our life here in the Isle of Man that actually make having a third child a bit easier. I don’t work outside of the home. This is mostly due to my desire to both be at home with my kids but also, to work on my writing career. It’s also due to the very limited career opportunities available to me. This is a small island. There aren’t that many employers. If I wanted to work in the area I did before having children it might take well over a year to find a job.

In January a fantastic opportunity with a great company was posted. Even though I wasn’t actively looking for work the job was such a great fit for me that I applied. I was happy to get an interview. Then I had mixed emotions about not getting the job. Glad to still have time with my kids and to work on my writing career but disappointed that this “one in a million” opportunity was not mine.

So I’m still on the work for myself career path and mostly being “home manager” for my family. Our lifestyle here in the Isle of Man works well for having children and working for myself. It’s quiet here. There aren’t too many demands on my time or tempting distractions. Rental housing is much cheaper than our native Vancouver. If we wanted to move into a bigger home to accomodate a growing family we could easily afford to. Another baby might cut my work hours for several months but it’s not a huge set back.

This dilemma and the many conversations I’ve had with my husband, family and friends about expanding our brood has again highlighted one of the biggest things I’ve learned from trying to live with less: make it simple whenever you can, so you can deal with big and complicated better.

Yes, adding to our family will complicate our lives but we’ll manage it the way we’ve manage all the other changes we’ve faced. Decide what the important things are and make the rest as easy as possible.

After all the discussions and debates we said yes. The heart wants what the heart wants and despite the costs and work, we knew we wanted to add to our family. If everything goes okay #3 will arrive in November.

I know this means a lot of things for my other two children, for me and for my spouse. Less time for each other. Less sleep. Maybe even a microwave. For sure a dryer. Two more years with a young child at home. Less time for me, for writing that novel, for finally getting a pull-up at Crossfit (was an inch off it right before getting pregnant). I’ll now have three children to put to bed on my own when my husband travels for work.

This baby will complicate our lives in a wonderful way.

So I’ll do what I can to make the rest of our life, our home, our schedule, simpler.

For another take on deciding on family size when you’re trying to live with less, read Francine Jay’s lovely piece Is One Child Enough?

Anyone else face a difficult debate about family size? I feel really lucky that I even had this choice to make. That we really can afford another child and that we were able to quickly conceive him or her. I know for a lot of families a second or third child is just not a possibility.

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Like this post? Share it:

Comments

  1. Amanda @ Passionately Simple Life says

    We’ve talked a lot about how many children we would want to have and it is not an easy choice. It makes it much easier when both parties agree and the resources are there. It definitely seems like an exciting and wonderful time for you guys.

    • theminimalistmom says

      Thanks, Amanda. Yes, these are big decisions and not easy to make. There are so many factors. If we were still living in Vancouver I think we probably would have decided to stop at two. The high cost of living there is challenging.

  2. HokieKate says

    Congratulations! Our second was born in September, and I’ve been debating a third. My girls are wonderful, but I feel stretched. I’m worried that struggling with two great kids will lead me to be overwhelmed with three. My husband wants four kids. Right now I’m settling on “not yet”.

  3. Katie says

    Congratulations!!
    The fact that you and your husband want to grow your family is all that matters; don’t worry about other reasons to justify it! I have 3 littles, and in my neck of the world it feels like everyone has 2 and I’m the crazy lady; but it’s an awesome crazy, and to see the dynamic of a group of 3 interacting and playing is so wonderful.
    I’m sure you’re familiar with Leo Babauta and his Zen Habits blog… He has 6! Here’s an entry about his large but minimalist brood
    http://zenhabits.net/minimal-kids/

    • theminimalistmom says

      That is a great post on Zen Habits. Thanks for sharing!
      It does feel a bit crazy to have three children. Of course, I’m from a family with six kids so I grew up with a lot of comments on our family size. How times have changed.

  4. D says

    I don’t want kids but I always find it interesting how people settle on the right number of children for themselves. Desire, income, culture time and other factors — interesting!

  5. Jennifer @ kidoing! says

    Congratulations! We have three children – 8, 5 and 18 mos. It’s been a tough adjustment since our third child came along, to be honest, but our situation may be different than yours (lost a family member while I was pregnant and husband’s job has been very stressful).

    However, she is an integral part (a lovely, sweet, smiley and determined girl!) of our family and has taught me soo much and helped me to reconnect with my spirituality.

    On the topic of minimalism, I actually think that having a third child forced me to want to simplify everything even more. I have been purging “stuff” since before she was born. We are selling our 4 bedroom house (goes on market this week) and most of its contents and traveling for a while before settling somewhere new on the other side of the country. In our new life, I’d like a smaller house (our current one is just 2k sq ft, but still a little too much for me with three kids who are homeschooled)…I’ve figured out that I’d rather be reading to the kids than cleaning rooms!

    All that to say…I think you are making a wonderful decision because children add richness to life like nothing else can. Best of luck to you!

    • Angela says

      Oh yes, having our 3rd (with a big gap between the last 2!) has caused us to minimize more too! We see how we don’t really need so many toys. How there are favorites, and that’s enough. That we don’t need so many clothes; so much furniture; so many dishes to wash…even how we could let them share a bedroom. It is not stuff that brings us joy! Now that we have 3, we want fewer things to have to maintain and clean around and more time to enjoy!

  6. Lisa says

    Congratulations! We have three girls, 8, 3 and 1. We are open to more if it happens. You never need to justify wanting another child! It is truly a wonderful thing!
    I agree that having more children makes simplicity essential. We live in a 100 year old house with no storage space so I am constantly challenged to purge our possessions. I think our lifestyle is teaching the children good habits about not getting attached to toys and clothes. They like to help me go through their room every month and pack up the things they no longer want or need to save for a younger sibling or give away.

  7. Emma says

    Congratulations!! We had pretty much the same discussions you have listed about having our third child so we have a bit of an age gap, 15,12 and 5. It was hard to justify having a third child, it’s not the “norm” in our community and as our first two were a boy then girl everyone expected us to be done, we seesawed between yes and no for years.

    But now our family is complete, she is the sweetest little girl and it’s so lovely watching our older two love and teach her.

  8. Jasmine says

    It’s funny that you mention all of the unsolicited opinions in your decision to add a third child to your family. I have been receiving the same sort of feedback in my desire to stop at one. For me, having a second would change our lifestyle (small house, no car, lots of family time) and (in my opinion) add a lot of stress to what is currently a very pleasant family environment. My husband is understanding and is content to stop at one, but would ideally like to have a second. Some days that makes me feel conflicted, but in my gut I know an only child is best for us.

    • theminimalistmom says

      Everyone has an opinion, right? Most people just shared with me their reasoning and didn’t have an opinion on what our choice is/would be.
      Women with one child are said to be the happiest :)

  9. Anne says

    Congratulations! I understand feeling the pull. We have four children, and sometimes I look around because it feels as though we’re missing someone even though all of us are together. We went from 1 child to 3 children, so I can’t speak to the ease of adding a third to your life, but adding our fourth felt easy.

  10. Lindsay says

    Congratulations!! Been following along with your story as my second baby is the same age as your second.
    I have heard many people say that the transition to 3 children is easier than the transition to 2. I hope that is the case for you.
    In my circle of family/friends I actually know a few people who are having 3rd children. If you can do it and both you and your partner are on board I think that is awesome! Two is good for us, we spent awhile deciding if two children were right for us. For awhile we always thought our first would be our only. You know in your heart when your family is complete. So thankful we had our 2nd as she definitely completes our family. Best of luck to your growing family!

  11. Elizabeth says

    Congratulations!!!

    My husband and I were done at two kids…and then changed our minds. We now have six children out of choice. So…

    I love each of my children beyond words and can’t imagine a world without them. Minimalism helps me focus my priorities on what’s most important: people and relationships, not things.

    • theminimalistmom says

      Hahaha! That is beautiful. I’m from a family of six and it was/is such a gift. My siblings are such a great network of support and have taught me so much.
      Someone asked me if this would be our last. I hope this zaps the urge for more but can’t guarantee it obviously.

  12. Stefani says

    Congratulations! We have three ourselves (we wanted four, but stopped for my health). If you had *truly* wanted to be an absolute minimalist, you would have had none, right? But I suppose when it comes down to it, we just want to be minimalist-er, because we are never going to be perfect at it. Besides, I found that with each subsequent child we needed less baby stuff and the kids spent more time playing together, so I needed to buy less toys to entertain them. :) Now I just hope these blog posts don’t slow down because of baby. ;)

    • theminimalistmom says

      It’s true, I’ve bought so little for our second and I think there will be even less for the third. Our second seems to only want to play with the toys his brother plays with so all those “age appropriate” toys are slowly being given away.
      Hope I am back to blogging as well. I had a rough first few months but am feeling better. Time to clean out my pantry and freezer!

  13. Antonia says

    Firstly, a massive Congratulations! Secondly, it’s funny I was just thinking about you and this subject the other day… 3 people have mentioned me having a third child lately and it made me wonder if you were going to! ;) For me, the subject of a 3rd child goes wayyyy beyond minimalism. It’s soo emotive. and for me, I really don’t think I want or could cope with a 3rd. I hate the newborn stage and have never really wanted 3. My husband jokes and I’m not so sure but I really can’t imagine it…. I could say so much more but I don’t have time :( X

  14. Renata says

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Wow. I wish I had your courage! I have 2 girls, almost 5 and 3 and a half. Deep in my heart I want another one but I confess I am scared. Had really tough moments…
    Number of kids is so personal. It is ridiculous when people think you have too many or you don’t have “enough”!

  15. Bethany says

    CONGRATULATIONS! What a joyful and timely post for me to read! My 2nd is four months old now and after giving away all of his newborn things I had a change of heart and realized our family was quite possibly not complete. There is no logical reason for us to try for a third, yet I feel it in my heart of hearts that I want a third child. I’m still torn about giving the baby things away because even though I’d like a third there are a lot of things that need to change first to accommodate that (where we live, career changes, etc) and I hate the thought of these “things’ sitting around in our house instead of being used by someone in need. There is also the small matter of us living in a 900 sq foot apartment. Anyhow, the things don’t matter, and that’s why I’m here reading your blog! I can’t wait to hear more about your adventures as a family of three.

  16. Jan vaN says

    Congratulations, Rachel! So excited for you and your family. I was in the same boat of wanting a third baby, and put it off thinking the desire would go away. It didn’t

  17. Sher says

    At the age of 27 I had two small children and went through a divorce and thought I would never have any more kids…but you never know what the future holds…married again to a man who had never had children of his own, he took mine into his heart and we had one more together when I was 33. No regrets :) Just gotta do what is right for your family and not worry about what other people think or say!

  18. KathyB says

    Congratulations! i’ve lurked for a while but never posted. We try to live with less also, partly out of desire for simplicity and partly due to economic reality. The minimalist life, as you say, is about living with less so that there is more space/time/money for the life that will be truly enriching, including welcoming another child if that’s where your heart has led you.
    We have 3 kids and only recently got our first house (a small townhouse) and car. Getting 3 around on transit wasn’t really any harder than 2, especially since the older ones were old enough to be walking and out of strollers.

  19. Linda says

    Congratulations! I have a bit of a different perspective than most of the responders because my 4 children are older. 25, 23, 21 and 15. I think it depends on what season of life you are in. Right now you have little ones and the physical demands can make the decision tough. On the other hand, the time goes by faster than you will realize, and before you know it they are independent and you get your energy back.

  20. Hearher says

    4.5 years ago my husband and and I rationalized the same conflict. We chose to stay a family of four. Bought two smaller cars and made plans. We live outside Edmonton and my family lives near Toronto it made sense. 2 months later I was surprised to find myself pregnant with twins. We are now a busy family of six and loving it. We still live in our modest 3 bedroom house on one income. Best life changing event ever. Best of luck :)

  21. Katherine says

    My sister had her third and remembers looking around one day and thinking “Yes. We’re all here now.” And she knew they were done. I’ve always loved that gut-level knowledge.

    Congrats to you all!

  22. Cattis from Sweden says

    Funny that you´re writing about this right now, we´re having discussions in my house… Emotionally I really want a third child, logically I´m not convinced. Somedays I think we should just go for it but other days I love where we are today, our children cares for themselfes, no-one wakes up in the middle of the night and so on. But then again, a baby, a third one to love as much as the other to. And I´m sure they´d love to help if they got a brother or sister… And so it goes… My husband doesn´t like babies so it´s a easy choice for him… I´m not sure what he´d think if I insisted though…

  23. Menai says

    Congratulations! Wonderful news and wish you a happy few months preparing for the new arrival. I love reading your writing. Thanks for sharing your journeys with us

  24. Abby says

    Congratulations! We go back and forth constantly on whether we want 3 children or 4. We have a 3 bedroom, 1100 sq. ft. house, so 4 children would be difficult, even if we had 2 of one sex and 2 of the other, because our bedrooms are quite small (10×10 and 10×12 for the children’s rooms). We actually just had #2, our second boy. We know we want a third about 4 years down the road (God willing, anyway), but a fourth would be nice, too. It just seems to get a lot harder with a fourth… suddenly you need a bigger vehicle, possibly an addition to the house, not to mention we live in an area in which the public schools are of poor quality so we will have to either homeschool or send them to private school. But at the end of the day, I don’t think we will make the decision based on money (so long as we can feed and support ourselves, of course!) or conveniences, I think we’ll make it based on whether our family feels complete after #3. They say you never regret the children you have, only the ones you don’t. :)

  25. Cassie says

    CONGRATULATIONS!

    I wish I had something insightful to say in regards to having a third child, but I’m at the point where I’m just hoping that I’ll be able to have one (preferably two, but I’ll accept one). I’m sure you guys will do just fine with three kids. All the best!

  26. sarah @ little bus on the prairie says

    I found out right after we moved into our bus that I am expecting number 4 (also due in Nov). I think that when you’re done having kids you just know it, and all the reasons around it are just to help others understand. I haven’t even had this one yet and I feel very done in a way I haven’t previously. When you know, you know.

  27. Christine says

    We have two, and while I always dreamed of more and would love to grow our family even bigger, we feel like we have already added more than enough to the world’s ever-expanding population.

  28. Anna D. says

    Despite all the great reasons to not have another child, I still wanted a third. So did Chris.

    That is all you need. Period.
    Congrats!

  29. Chantel says

    Congratuluations of course! I am due with my first biological child in August. We have had 2 boys for the past year and a half who we will be adopting next month so we will “officially” have 3 children in August. My husband is from a family of 5 boys and my sister-in-law is due with a boy in September. I will be introducing the first girl into the large boy mix! :) Will you be finding out boy/girl?

    We have been foster parents for a few years now and have generally had 3 kids (although sometimes 4 or 5). I will say that going from 2 to 3 is the hardest adjustment. From my experience, once you have adjusted to 3 kids, 4 or 5 are really not much harder. I cannot vouch for 6 or more though!

    All that to say, you may not want to stop at 3! HAHA! And I agree with some of the other “commenters” that the more kids you have, the more naturally you lean toward minimalism anyhow. Less stuff and more quality time just make sense and kids can do a really good job of entertaining/teaching/helping each other when there’s a whole brood!

    How exciting! I’m so happy for you and your family!

  30. Lindsay says

    Congratulations! We have the third child discussion a lot! Here’s what we decided: We may regret not ever trying for a third child, but we would never regret having a third child. I’m halfway through your book and appreciating the practicality of it.

  31. Heather says

    Thank you for stating that you know you are lucky to have the choice to make :). I know several women who have one child (not by choice) and have to live with that unfulfilled desire for more children. I have three children and ideally, I do not feel that our family is “complete”, or that I am “done”. Physically and realistically though, I know we are at our limit. My husband is now unable to work due to chronic injuries and I have to return to work. I am blessed to have three beautiful children though!. You truly are lucky to have the means and a husband who wants the same as you . . . good for you for going for it!

  32. eva says

    You have made a wonderful decision! you are giving your children the chance to grow up with siblings, and even though there will be tough times, its all So WORTH it!!! I chose to have my first at a very young age 19, and from there I knew I wanted to have more. I was very blessed to be able to stay home with my boys and my first girl. I had to go back to work when my fourth was born, my second girl. It was very hard, but now as they all get older its such a pleasure seeing how my kids share and keep each other company. Those nights when I didn’t sleep and couldn’t even poop alone were to be honest really harsh, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. People used to tell me I was crazy after I had my third, I learned not to allow people to make demeaning comments about my choice to have four children, I support all of them, and care 100 % for them so I stopped people on their tracks fast by telling them my children were my choice to have and if they didn’t have anything nice to say about it then to mind their own business. You will do great, you will adjust and years from those diapers and crazy days you will never regret having three, or….. four. :)

  33. Melissa n says

    Wow, lots of comments and I can’t take the time to read them. But congratulations!! I am a mom of 5, and we did face this difficult decision ourselves. We had a boy and girl and by all American standards that is supposedly the place to stop. But as my youngest went to Kindergarten, I started to grieve. We went back and forth for a couple of years unable to make a decision. It didn’t make ‘sense’ to have more. We were enjoying some freedom, sleeping all night, not worrying about baby stuff anymore. But no amount of logic can stop that baby urge. So when my youngest was 9, we had another. I still really wanted a little girl, but it was boy so we tried again. Another boy. I decide to try one last time and I got that little girl when I was 38 and my husband was 48. Yes, we did the math and we will have children at home into our 60′s. But we don’t care. These 3 little people are so precious. Yes they complicated things a bit ( and childbearing was harder than it had been in my 20′s) but they are totally worth it all. And your precious baby will be too!

    • theminimalistmom says

      This is wonderful to hear. I am 36, husband about to turn 44, so we are very aware that our early golden years will be with a full house. Luckily there aren’t lots of things we’re waiting to do once the kids are out of the house. :)

  34. Megyn says

    Congrats!

    Coming from a eco-minimalist perspective, may I ask why you didn’t consider adoption as a way to grow your family. We’re constantly asked if we’ll try for a girl (have two boys), and my answer is always that if I want a daughter, there are millions of little girls awaiting a family. This is sort of my beef with humanity in general–why do we keep procreating when there are millions upon millions of children who need homes?

    • Sara says

      My response to that is adoption is not an easy option. People can wait years to adopt or be disqualified for a myriad of reasons. Yes, there are lots of little ones who need homes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are available to adopt.

    • theminimalistmom says

      Just as deciding on the number of children is a personal decision, so is deciding on how those children will arrive in your family. Having another biological child was the right decision for us right now based on our ages and some other factors.
      Adoption is wonderful and perhaps we would pursue adopting an older child if we wanted to expand our family down the road.

  35. Lorraine says

    Congrats on your decision. My husband and I spent a lot of time discussing our third child as I also had that feeling that our family was not complete. In the end, the decider for me was thinking, when I am 80 and I am looking back on my life will I wish I had one more child and the answer was always ‘yes’. I could always imagine having three grown up children. Our No.3 is now almost three years old and the biggest thing I have noticed is that you are always ‘outnumbered’. The transition from two to three is difficult but I also think that it can only get easier as they get older. I wish you all the best.

  36. Clare says

    Congratulations Rachel! Your blog quietness had led me to suspect that there might be an announcement like this coming up :) I hope you haven’t suffered to much with morning sickness. I look forward to hearing your adventures with 3 and how that works out for you and your family. Simple living is an ever-evolving process!

  37. Sara says

    Kudos to you! I think the more children, the more efficient you become! We would have more if my husband and myself had different personalities, but we don’t, so we are set with two.

  38. Ruth says

    I have loved reading your blog. Reading about your decision to have a third child was moving. I was thinking that you are giving a gift to your other children a wonderful gift of more family. When my two children were in High School I sat in the at the school crying and said to myself “oh no, I forget to have more children”. I got too busy with other things and the years slipped away… The decision to expand the family can only be made by the parents because you two are the ones who will be spending all of your time and money, laughter and tears. I believe children are the only true investment in life that make it worth living. God Bless You and your children! Sincerely, Ruth

  39. B-Man says

    We struggled with this one for a long time. Over population of the world, what kind of future our children will have really abstract worries. These are out of your control anyways so why sweat them. More practically, booking hotel rooms sucks. Vehicle options are limited. Getting a table at a restaurant takes longer. However, those things pale in comparison to the joy and energy that a fifth person brings to your family. I once talked to a friend about having to share your love among more people. Her response was that love is not a limited quantity. And she was right. The capacity to love grows. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

  40. SarahN says

    Oh wonderful news! I’m one of three (but the eldest), and it’s been great. I’d like to have three when the time comes, the partner think 2, so we’ve bargained. Two of the same gender – go a third, twins – go another (even if it makes 4!). Good deal really.

    Seriously though, I’m glad you two are both on the same page and delighted with this decision! Enjoy the ‘plenty’!

  41. Vicky says

    Just wanted to thank you for the acknowledgement that the decision is not always yours to make. We endured 10 years of infertility while waiting for our only child to arrive, eventually through international adoption, and soon decided that after the stress and expense of her arrival and our now more advanced agesthat we really couldn’t do it again. We love and appreciate being a family of three (plus cats) but still sometimes wish there was a number four…..

  42. Gillie says

    Congratulations :)

    The decision as to whether we had two or more wasn’t mine as I found myself unexpectedly expecting twins with what we thought would be number two and turned out to be number two and three. We wanted more, but it didn’t happen and in retrospect (the youngest turn 16 next month) four might have been a bit of a handful but I am sure we would have managed. .Having said that, when we got married we agreed that whilst I would work if I wanted to, we would never base any major financial decisions (the most obvious being a mortgage) including my salary. As I writer I too am lucky to be able to work from home and in fact now the children are older and as we live in a remote part of the country I am more in demand than I was when they were younger. Such is the life of the taxi driver mother during study leave :)

    Oddly enough while many of my friends have one or two children, I have an equal number of friends who have four or more.

  43. Miranda says

    I LOVE this: ” make it simple whenever you can, so you can deal with big and complicated better.”

    I had my #3 about a month before you had #2. Whether to go for four is a big topic at my house right now. I have to admit I’m a bit jealous of your confidence in the decision making process.

    Congrats on #3. While logistics got more difficult, my third child was by far the easiest to add to the mix. And watching older brothers dote on the newest has been an amazingly happy time for our family. Enjoy!!

  44. Jen says

    Congratulations1 You will never regret this decision. We had a third child 7 years after our #2. We thought we were done but when we stepped back and looked at what we value most – family – there was no good reason to say no. You are right, the heart wants what the heart wants and our heart knew it would be good, and it has been. Your older two will learn so much from #3 and you can give your older children a little bit of independence as you play zone defense. How wonderful! Rejoice!

  45. Catie says

    How exciting! :) I hope it all goes well for you!

    We added our third last fall and it was SO much easier going from 2 to 3 than from 1 to 2 children. Partly because Baby #2 was colicky and our oldest was only 2 when she was born. But I think because we already had routines in place and as parents with two children, we were both doing our fair share of childcare, adding 1 more to the mix was pretty seamless. :)

    I replied to someone’s comment regarding this, but I just wanted to say it again–we’ve found that having 3 kids has caused us to get rid of *more* stuff. (we still have too much!) But with three, we just can’t keep every little thing; toys, clothes, books, etc.

  46. Quinn says

    Congratulations on your little bit! And I hope both of you remain healthy and happy =)
    We have been in the throws of debating this issue. But the littlest one is only a couple months old now, so it’s really not time to decide. I love your perspective though! And I am happy to hear that we are not the only ones to want more than two! I have gotten much the same response from people as you. =)

  47. Chloe says

    Three children is a kick in the pants. But I love it! I actually have four and my husband and I are considering a fifth(!) and we couldn’t be happier. Oh there are those days. definitely those days, when it all seems too much, but I have my eye firmly planted on a better goal, a family forever, I believe that families are the most important thing on this earth. Plus your children can become the change you want to see. Imagine how awesome the world would be with three more little minimalists running around! LOL! You never know what difference one person can make. I know I won’t regret the children I’ve brought here. :)

  48. Michelle K says

    I love the picture of your husband and kiddos… fatherhood suits him well :)

    We have three… we never ruled it out, but we weren’t planning either. Mentally I just thought if it was meant to be, then it would. I am an older mom and when I was pregnant, some people we knew asked how did that happen. Really?!?! Do I need to explain how it happened? LOL. Three is a bit chaotic just because we are outnumbered now, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. We are extremely blessed and in a perfect world, I would probably have more. Once you become a parent… Never say never, right?!?!

    Congrats!

    • Michelle K says

      P.S. We still live in the same small house, don’t have a dishwasher, only have one bathroom, and don’t use our microwave (besides, it’s unhealthy). Your tips really help, but I would recommend a dryer – the laundry (even with our downsized wardrobe) is never-ending. :P

  49. Sarah Mueller says

    Aww, congratulations! I love hearing baby news. I am quite minimalist in most of my tendencies but I have 4 kids. I figure, that’s all the more reason to keep things simple. Otherwise, I’d go batty! :)

  50. Katie says

    We had #3 in January and I can’t tell you enough about how wonderful it has been. It has been so much more enjoyable this time around; gone are the insane anxieties that came with every cry of my firstborn, and the challenges of adding a second and feeling guilty about not spending enough time with the first. With the third, it is finally fun! I am so much more aware of how miraculous it all is, and it is so amazing watching the relationships develop between siblings. Congratulations to you and I really do applaud you for going against the grain! You will never regret having another child.

  51. Marie-Eve says

    What an interesting post about minimalism! (Love your blog by the way!) I have 3 boys (6, 4, almost 2). I’ve definitely thought about minimalism and the number of children we have. We’re starting the journey to adoption and we’ll be adding 2 girls in the next few years, and 7 people is not a minimal family! But I’m determined to keep my minimalist mindset even as our family grows and as we need more space and stuff to make it work. (7 bicycles is more than 4 bicycles, that’s just basic math! LOL)

  52. Jennifer Roberts says

    Congratulations! I admire the fact that you knew what you wanted and decided to go for it. Family size is something I struggle with very much. I feel like I have my hands full with two (youngest just turned one), I have little support beyond my husband, and I’ve been counting down the days until things settle down and I can feel “normal” again. And yet…I just don’t know if I’m done. I’m hoping that, with time, I gain more clarity about what I really want.

  53. J.Lee says

    Congratulations! Such a personal choice. We’ve thought about having a larger family but for us with the work/family time/ finances balance we’re at a really good place right now. Although another sweet little set of baby feet would always be welcome, we’re planning to stick it at 2. For us, where we are right now, it seems right. If we lived in our old neighborhood we could totally see 3 or 4. More love is always a good thing. =)

  54. Chantelle says

    Congratulations! It’s interesting reading everyone’s thoughts on minimalism and family size. Similar to some I have worried about whether a larger family might put pressure on the earth… But then when I think of the families I have known through my life, it’s often been the bigger ones that have taught me minimalist values – that have put people above things and kept it simple – whether out of necessity or not I can’t say! I’ve just noticed that the 2 sibling family I grew up in consumed way more stuff than my friends’ 4 sibling families and way way way more stuff than the 8 sibling family my mother came from. Which is not to say that littler families don’t live simply too, of course!
    Anyway, congrats again – it’s wonderful you were able to listen clearly to what you really wanted. What an exciting time ahead!

  55. jennifer says

    I love the idea that simplicity and minimalism exist to make room for what you want in your life, like a third child! So true, and congrats and best wishes!

  56. Christa says

    Congratulations on baby 3! We welcomed our 3rd last July and lately I’ve been experiencing an overwhelming desire for a 4th! Which is so odd because my husband kind of talked me into baby #3 and he is a little more fussy than the previous little ones. Haha, who knows what will happen. The more children I have though the more I realize what is truly important and that most of the time the things the children play with aren’t toys. They play with each other, play outside, and love getting into my kitchen stuff!
    My only concern is having enough of me to go around :) children are so fun, congratulations on your new one!

  57. Zanne says

    Congratulations on your new little one. Being a parent is so rewarding. I have a request for you and your readers. Never take the ability to have children for granted. We have a 15 year old boy and tried for many years to have a second child. We endured the well meaning, but still heart wrenchingly annoying question, “when are you having another? you don’t want to wait too long.” There were many trips to doctors only to discover that it was a miracle that we had a child at all. Up until last year we’d still get “the question” and then we brought home our precious little girl from Africa. Now we get a whole different set of questions, but I don’t mind (mostly) simply because we have another child in the house. She was desperately wanted and we endured 5 years of planning and waiting for her.

  58. Coco says

    YAY! Congratulations. We just had our fourth and plan on having more. I think making life simple so I can enjoy my children is worth it.

  59. Starr @ The Kiefer Cottage says

    I somehow missed your announcement last month. Congratulations! While two feels right for some, three seemed complete for us, so we, too, have three children. We’d have loads more if money were no object, but alas, it is. I love having my crew, especially since they’re so close in age. Expect initial chaos after the baby is born and then expect it to subside without you even noticing–you’ll just be in a groove. Take it easy.

  60. Emily says

    Hi :)

    It might have already been said in your ten thousands comments :) but the reason why I am loving simple is because I am getting rid of all the things that do not matter to me and are not useful so I can focus on what does matter to me.

    If I loved painting then my simple living wouldn’t want me to throw away my paints even though they take up space.

    If you really want to have ten kids then that is what you value and you will make everything else minimal while you focus on your beautiful family.

    Every life is different. You do what works for you.

    Em

  61. Ellen says

    Even with three children you don’t need a dryer and a microwave. You just need a good space to hang your laundry to dry. We have three children, they are a bit older now (19,17 and 15) and they all still live at home. We airdried all our laundry through all the years, from cloth diapers to grown-up size clothes they wear now. And we do have a microwave now (a gift from someone who was about to take it to goodwill), but we lived without it for years. I wouldn’t miss it if it were gone.

  62. Angela says

    Congratulations! As I read your words, I kept hoping you were going to say “yes” especially after you said both of you want another one. This is so beautiful you’ve gone with it! I’m also an older mom. It took years to get pregnant with my last little surprise baby after having given up the idea that I’d ever get another baby to love. I feel so blessed to have 3! I’d have loved more, but am blessed to have the 3 we got! :) Enjoy! And I encourage you, if you want a fourth, just go for it while you’re young enough. :) SO HAPPY FOR YOU! :)

  63. Kathy says

    Congrats!! I missed this post I guess. We have 3 girls, (21, 16, & 9 yes they’re spread out but we don’t care.). We wanted 3, didn’t exactly plan on them being so spaced out but figure God had a reason for his timing. My youngest is the one that wants to hold onto everything that crosses her path but we are making our 2nd move in 3 months, 3states away each time, and we know this move is temporary, so she’s starting to let go because of the pain of packing. You will love having 3, it’s challenging but fun.

  64. Marla says

    3 kids has been wonderful for us. It will be for you too. When I was going back and fourth on whether to try for a third a father of 4 said to me, “You will never regret having another child, but you might regret not.” I took that to heart and our third was born 2 days before my husband started residency in Emergency Med. Our youngest is 15 months now and even though there is a lot of time with just me and 3 kids I have loved this past year and have been savoring the baby moments of my last baby (I’m also an older mom). You will cherish this new one knowing that he or she is your last. You will also love seeing the other 2 change into the older sibling role. Congratulations!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>