Why I Regret Not Having More Kids, Despite Having a Big Family

Why I Regret Not Having More Kids, Despite Having a Big Family


Lovely big family with four cheerful sons are playing on yellow autumn leaves in park

I am a mom of four, and I love my kids more than I ever knew possible. I love them so much that sometimes I feel a bit of a hole in my heart because I regret not having more kids. That probably sounds totally ridiculous to a lot of people, and maybe it is, but there are days that I look around the room and feel like someone is missing.

When I was a little girl, I spent hours playing with my dolls. I still have Sherry Amelda, my first Cabbage Patch Kid; I took her with me everywhere I went. I changed her clothes, fed her, and put her to sleep. And I twisted her red yarn hair into braids and softly cleaned spots from her face and body. Sherry Amelda was my first foray into motherhood. I knew even as a young girl that I wanted a house filled with children.

Serious Regrets About Not Having Another Kid. Or Two.

I had my first baby in my late 20s, and my husband was in his mid-30s. We had three boys in five years, and life was great. Then, two days before I turned 37, a little girl entered our life. My oldest son was 8, and I felt blessed to have a baby in our home. Now, she is ready to turn 8, and her biggest brother is learning to drive. I look at my life and wonder how it went by so quickly. It makes me regret not having more kids, at least another baby or two.

Yes, life is chaotic as a big family with four kids, and we are all crammed into a house with lots of stuff and a big dog, but we are happy that way. I grew up with three brothers, and our home was always loud and filled with people. It brought me comfort. I feel the same way in my own home. Something is always happening, and people are talking, sometimes yelling, but those noises bring me joy. I think about what life will be like when it is just my husband and me, and it seems so lonely.

If we had another child or two, that joyful noise would last much longer. No, I don’t want to have enough kids that we could star in a reality show, but I regret not having another kid. Even two more would’ve been okay. My husband has said that if we had married a few years sooner, he thought six kids was a great number and would’ve loved to have had more. Thinking about that makes my heart ache a bit. I think about those what-ifs and how different our lives would be. But I can’t help but think that it would have been fantastic.

Unfortunately, We Won’t Have More Kids

I am getting ready to turn 45, and my husband will be 51. We could certainly have another baby, but we won’t. I genuinely get jealous when I see pregnant women. I loved feeling my babies growing inside of me. Even with the endless diapers, cries, and sleepless nights, it was worth all the emotions. And it’s hard for me to think about the fact that I have about ten years until my baby will be an adult.

Lots of Kids Is Exhausting, But Fulfilling

Having a house full of kids means big messes, endless laundry, dishes, and hours in the car going from one place to another. It is exhausting. But for me, it is also fulfilling. I love to look at pictures of my kids smiling and enjoying the most mundane things in life. The more children you have, the less expendable income there is. We don’t go on fancy vacations or cruises. But we go on a glorified camping trip with our families every July. My kids will tell you it’s their favorite week of the year filled with a whole lot of nothing. Those days will probably be some of their most vivid childhood memories. I hope so.

I must remember that as my children grow older, so do I. In my 40s, I have pains in body parts I didn’t know I had. My hair is sparkling with grays, and my face has some laugh lines. At my age, I probably wouldn’t be great with a baby, but I could still keep up with a kindergartner if I had one. I know you aren’t supposed to have regrets, but if I had to name one, I regret not having more kids.

I believe everything happens for a reason. So the three boys and one girl setup I have, a mirror of my family growing up, is probably what I was meant to have. But it doesn’t mean I don’t wonder, wish, and yearn for another child to love. If I am lucky, someday I hope to have a home filled with grandchildren, and I can watch my kids learn about the joys of parenthood. Until then, I’ll take every hug and kiss I get. My babies fill my soul, and I am grateful.

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