The Surprising Thing I Discovered When Strangers Thought I Had 4 Kids

The author's son and cousins out for a walk

The author’s son and cousins out for a walk

My husband and I have one child, a 2-year old son who is as kind as he is rambunctious. Despite the insistence of family members, acquaintances, and waitresses at roadside diners, we’re planning on keeping our family limited to three. While part of me would love another child, it just doesn’t feel right for our family unit.

Still, there’s a strong desire for a large brood of kids running around. Being raised in a small family where I was an only child, part of me can see the joy of having a very full household. Sometimes I wonder if those strangers are right and I should have a larger family.

Recently, trying to provide a little relief for my aunts and a little entertainment for myself, my husband and I babysat his cousins. Three children, two the age of 11 and one 8-year-old — and they gave my active toddler a run for his money. My brief time as a caregiver to four children taught me more than I expected about parenting.

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