I’m the mom who wants a big family. There, I finally said it. Well actually, I’ve been saying it. And you should see the looks on people’s faces when my husband and I mention we want about five or six kids (four would be our sweet spot, but we’re not opposed to a couple more). Seems absurd, right? 

Well, it’s the complete opposite for me. I’m one of nine kids. Imagine growing up in a family of 11. Now what I want doesn’t seem too ridiculous, does it?

I’m sure to some people, it may still be a shocker. Especially because the number of children that families are having is decreasing. In Motherly’s 2022 State of Motherhood survey, results showed that this year's survey finds the largest percentage of moms ever saying they do not plan to have more children. 48% of mothers said they are not planning to have or adopt more children. Of those moms, 31% divulge their family feels complete and 14% report that they don’t want to be pregnant again. And of those 14% who don’t want to be pregnant again, most are working moms (62% of them work FT).

Related: What is the perfect number of kids to have?

But despite what statistics are saying and despite all the reasons women are deciding not to have more children, I still do want more—and more than the average woman or couple might be comfortable raising. Because being from a big family has made me a family-centered individual. 

I know this may come as a concern to most people. My husband and/or I have often received questions like: 

Are you sure you’re prepared to have your hands full?

Why do you want so many children?

Don’t you think that maybe just a few are enough?

And while these questions may cause someone to second-guess themselves, they don’t really affect me. Because from experience, I know what having a big family is like—and that still doesn’t dissuade me from wanting one of my own.

There are certainly a lot of things to consider when it comes to having a big family (finances and time management probably being the top two), but there is also so much to enjoy. 

Having a big family is a different experience than most families of just a few would ever know. And though the thought of it can sometimes seem overwhelming, the reality of it is absolutely wonderful.

Family rests at the core of who I am as a woman, as a mother and as a wife.

One thing I loved about being from a big family was the comradery built amongst my siblings. We grew up with each other, experienced new things together, made neighborhood friends together and prepared each other for elementary school, middle school, high school—and whatever else the world threw our way.

There was never a dull moment in our house (and rarely any quiet time). Sure, we picked our fights and tattled on each other often, but we also had each other’s backs and learned how to have fun together. 

Related: Why moms of 4+ are so chill

We used our creativity—making up games, cooking new meals, playing pranks on our parents. And though sometimes we were up to no good, most times we were creating the best childhood memories that we still cherish to this day. And now, we get to sit around my parent’s dining room table and reminisce about those precious moments. And the laughter that fills the air warms my heart every single time.

I know that having a large family will mean having our work cut out for us. It would mean more pregnancies that my body would have to go through, more sleepless nights, more tantrums, more helping with homework, more extracurricular activities, more college send-offs, more challenges. But with all of that comes lots more adventure, lots more laughter and lots more love. 

Related: It’s Science: Having the ‘right’ number of kids is different for every family

Our kids will have each other as built-in best friends and protectors. They will learn to look out for one another and defend each other—inside and outside the home. They will learn responsibility and how to work together as a team. But most importantly, they will learn to cherish family. 

And more generations will be created within our family name. 

Family rests at the core of who I am as a woman, as a mother and as a wife. Certainly, life takes its course and doesn’t always go according to our plan, so if we are only blessed with a few—we will still be big at heart. But if we are blessed with a large family—we will love them all for every second of our lives.

METHODOLOGY STATEMENT

Motherly designed and administered this survey through Motherly’s subscribers list, social media and partner channels, resulting in more than 17,000 responses creating a clean, unweighted base of 10,001 responses. This report focuses on the Gen X cohort of 1197 respondents, millennial cohort of 8,558 respondents, and a Gen Z cohort of 246 respondents. Edge Research weighted the data to reflect the racial and ethnic composition of the US female millennial cohort based on US Census data.