How Many Kids Should You Have?
FAMILY OF FOUR
"One boy and one girl is perfect."
Lisa Reneé and Russell Thomas, Annapolis, MD
Lisa Reneé's story: I was a kindergarten teacher for many years, so it
goes without saying that I love kids. I always wanted two children, and luckily
Russell did too, even though he's one of five. I was raised with my cousin
Rashida, who is like a sister to me, and having great adventures with her
shaped my sense of family. I wanted to have two children so that each would
always have a friend for life.
Within three months of being married, I got pregnant with Dylan. Two years
later we tried again, and I quickly became pregnant with Allison. After I had
Allison, I had my tubes tied. We knew for sure that we didn't want more
If Allison is with me, Dylan is with his dad. It's always one on one. If we had
one more child, one kid might feel left out. Plus, I don't think we could
afford for me to stay at home if we had more than two kids.
But, most important, we feel that our marriage comes before the children. We
take care of ourselves first, believing that if we're happy, then the kids will
be happy. For example, Russell and I take three trips a year by ourselves. When
we come back from our vacations, we're always so refreshed.
I tell Dylan that I had Allison just for him. I tell him that she's going to be
his best friend for life — even though right now he pulls the heads off her
Barbies and she breaks his Legos.