It's a conversation most couples have in the early days. Long before signing a marriage license or mortgage papers with someone you have to ask them, "Do you want kids?"
The answer is the kind of thing that two people can use to build the foundation of their life together. But before we start building our families, there's a lot we don't know. We don't know if our pregnancies will be complicated. We don't know if we'll be overwhelmed by one or two kids. We don't know if we'll feel like our family is complete with three or maybe four.
That's why having a different answer to the question "How many kids do you want?" isn't a deal breaker for many couples. We go on to sign all those important, life-changing papers and create a family sometimes even if we have different numbers in mind because those numbers can change.
Eventually though, you've gotta come to a consensus. That's what Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are dealing with right now. With North, Saint and Chicago, Kim is feeling pretty satisfied with the current family size, but Kanye is not feeling done yet.
"He wants like seven"
"Kanye wants to have more, though. He's been harassing me," Kardashian said on a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. "He wants like seven. He's like stuck on seven."
Kardashian goes on to admit that she's got a lot of anxiety about keeping her kids safe in today's "crazy world." That, coupled with her history of complicated pregnancies (Chicago was famously carried by a surrogate) means her number is a lot lower than Kanye's ideal seven (which she thinks is "crazy").
Kim and Kanye and hardly alone in trying to navigate this marriage dilemma. The internet is chock full of stories of people whose partners want more kids than they do. But while one partner may feel a certain number is the best number, there truly is no magic number when it comes to how many kids to have.
Pros and cons
For Kim and Kanye, there are pros and cons to keeping Chicago as the youngest or adding a few more babies to the family.
As Anne-Marie Gambelin, Motherly's Features Editor, previously wrote: " A large family is like a built-in community, with shared experiences providing the glue that keeps siblings connected over a lifetime. Unconditional love and support from many siblings can make kids less prone in life to mental health problems brought on by family crises, like marital divorce or parental death."
As one of six children herself, Kardashian likely understands this better than most, and it may be what her husband, an only child, envisions when he imagines adding four more kids to their family.
However, research suggests that the more children parents have, the more mom and dad's resources are spread thin. "It takes a lot of energy, mental resources and money to raise a large family to ensure each child feels loved, special and tended to," parenting coach Eirene Heidelberger, the founder of GIT Mom, previously told Motherly
For Kim and Kanye, the money factor is basically a non-issue. They could have 10 kids and everyone would still have their own bedroom and all the dance lessons and Yeezy sneakers a kid could want, but the one thing the Kardashian-Wests can't buy more of is mom and dad's time.
Dreams vs reality
Kim and Kanye both have demanding work schedules, and dividing the precious one-on-one time they do have with the kids by seven instead of three could mean less attention for each child.
A few months ago Kim told Elle she was already feeling the pinch juggling her schedule with three kids. "I don't think I could handle more than that. My time is spread really thin," she explained.
For some people, a big family with seven kids is a dream come true, and it may very well be Kanye's dream, but it doesn't sound like Kim's planning on making it a reality.
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