*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission
Having a loving partner and kids while looking after your home and making memories is one of the most wonderful things for a couple. Sometimes, though, kids bring joy, and then it turns to stress if there are too many. And being unable to cover the costs of what they need while also wanting to be close to your partner will add pressure to your relationship.
My friend Will has been married to his wife, Allison, for 13 years. During this time, they had nine kids, four girls, and five boys.
While the couple started out excited to raise a family, Will is now struggling with expenses, while Allison is a stay-at-home mom with a lot to handle for their kids and the house.
"It's not easy to be home with nine kids, do the laundry two times a day, clean, and cook every meal. My days start at 5 a.m. and usually end well after everyone's asleep," Allison said.
Despite the tiredness she feels, Allison is happy to have a big family because that's what she's always wanted.
"I was an only child, and I felt I had no one to talk to or play with. I did have friends coming over to my house, but it wasn't the same as living with siblings and playing anytime. I'm also teaching my kids to support each other in life, and their bond gets stronger every day. It's a wonderful thing to see," the mom said.
Even if his wife is happy to raise nine kids, Will feels it's very hard to come up with the money his family needs. And doing overtime is not always the solution.
"Some months, I have to borrow money from friends. It's very difficult to keep things flowing. And now she's talking about having more kids. I don't think I handle anymore," Will said.
He hasn't told his wife anything because he values her dedication and how she looks after the whole family. Unfortunately, money is an issue that's just not going to go away, so he's considering his best course of action for the future.
"We had 9 kids in 13 years; it only takes a few days to have another baby. I can't cope. I wish I could, but it's getting to be too much for me. And every time we're close it starts again. At this point, I feel like sleeping in a different room to get some peace of mind. I still care about her and want to be with her. But we have too many kids. There's no way I want more," Will said.
Allison is actually thinking about 11 kids, but Will hasn't told her how he feels. He likes playing with his kids, answering their questions, or going hiking, but paying for what they need is getting to him.
"I will have to get two jobs, or my wife will have to start working. I see no other way around it," Will said.
Allison has been considering a part-time position, but then they will have to pay for a babysitter, so they won't really be saving.
"If we have to pay someone to watch over the kids, it will be the same thing. No extra money because we're giving it away," the mom said.
Will has decided to wait a while until he tells her he doesn't want any more kids. He's also been sleeping in the living room after he told her he needs more space.
How do you think this should be handled? Is it ok for Will to decide to stop at nine kids without telling his wife why? Would it help if she went back to work even though they'd need a babysitter or friends to come over to look after their kids?
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