Surely you’ve heard that well-meaning question: Are you going to have more children? It starts when your first newborn is days old and probably won’t stop until you’re past child-bearing age. I used to be annoyed by it, but I get it now.

So, how many children do you want?

While we don’t always get to choose how many children we have due to medical conditions, infertility and surprises, most moms I know have an idea of how many children they’d like to raise. I have friends who have one and are done, others know two is their limit, while still some have three and four or more. It’s always so interesting to talk to fellow moms about how many children they hoped for. Some families want just one – sometimes one (or both) of the parents are only children themselves, so the idea of more than one is foreign. Sometimes the parents of singletons came from larger families and they appreciate the freedoms and maybe slightly less noisy dinners with just one child. For families who are “through at two,” some like the evenness of two children: their family fits in a booth or at the common four-top tables at restaurants; car choices aren’t as limiting; going to amusement parks means no one has to ride alone or sit out a turn. And I love, love, love to talk to families with three or more children. Those moms are the quickest to admit that things are a little crazy sometimes, but that they couldn’t imagine life without that third baby. Or the fourth. Or the fifth.

Growing up, I wanted four children. Then I thought two would be nice. Then for a while, I (briefly) entertained the idea of no children. We currently have two children: a four-and-a-half year old and a 13-month old. Sure, life got a little trickier when our son was born, but I’m not so sure I’m ready to call it quits. I have people say to me, “But you have one of each! That’s perfect!” If both kiddos are crying, Jim and I can each comfort one. I have two hands, so I can literally have a hand on both children in a parking lot. And while I do like the man-on-man approach we have going on right now, and there’s no way three car seats could fit in the backseat of my car comfortably, I keep thinking of holidays many, many years from now, with full tables and lots of talking and laughter.

Molly and James

Obviously, having more children presents logistical issues for, well, the rest of our lives. But I have never really been swayed by logistics; I’m more of a heart-listening gal myself. Because really, seeing my children love on each other is the biggest blessing. As one of three sisters, I know there will be ups and downs among siblings. That is a given whether we have two or five. (Just kidding, Jim…we won’t try for five!) But I also know that even when there are periods of not seeing eye to eye, or living across the country, or whatever may happen, the memories my children are making together – now and tomorrow and in five years – will be the ones that create their idea of family and remind them that there is a home base.

Molly is so excited to see James in the mornings. She looks out for him and gets up from the dinner table just to give him a kiss and she shares her food (and isn’t that biggest sign of love?). She tells him stories and thinks he is funny. Molly is teaching James all kinds of things – as a little sister myself, I know how much he looks up to her and about his need to be where she is.

James adores his sister. He scans the room when he hears her voice and then breaks out into the biggest grin when he spots her. He thinks she is hilarious and Molly makes him laugh like no one else can. James is teaching Molly how to be more patient and helping her realize that her choices matter to others.

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But maybe we should consider a third, you know, just in case one of them takes a turn for the worse. Then there will be another sibling to bond with. And it will increase Jim’s and my options of being cared for in our old age.

All images from the talented Trica Williams.