I would classify myself as one of the ‘older’ parents common to Generation X. I was raised at a time when motherhood was not valued; successful women (at least within my sphere of influence) went to university and sought out a career. These were the things that defined you. I never remember there being any question, I would go to university. Motherhood was for later on.
And I did enjoy a fulfilling career and the time (and financial security) to travel, knowing that there was plenty of time before I needed to concern myself with the question of raising a family. Once I was ready, the birth of my child was carefully planned and prepared for (as much as these things can be planned). What I was not however prepared for was how much I would love being a Mum. How much I would love my child. How much I would love being a family with children.
And now I feel a sense of regret. That I did wait. That now, at my age and stage of life my options for having more children are more difficult (on many levels). I love my child and wish I could surround her with a cohort of siblings to bond with, fight with, confide in, wrestle with, rely on. I think if I had my time again, I would like six children. Yes, six!
But as this is unlikely, I have recently enjoyed reading Michael Grose‘s strategies for raising a small family using big family strategies;
1. Make sure children have time away from parents.
2. Raise your children as if you have six.
3. Dirt is good. Let them get dirty.
4. Keep in touch with the tribe.
5. Lighten up.
6. Stand back and allow your children in.
7. Make sure children keep pets, contribute to charity and practise other acts of generosity.
(From XYZ The New Rules of Generational Warfare, 2005)
Some of these we currently, as a family, do better then others. I am planning to share more about our journey through these seven strategies soon.
How did you decide on the number of children you have (or are planning to have)? Large family or small, what are your thoughts?