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How Many Kids Should You Have?

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A BIG AGE GAP

"My kids are nine years apart."
Brandie and Arthur Nemchenko, King of Prussia, PA

Brandie's story: Arthur and I believed that the ideal family size for us would be two children, and we had Aly right after we got married. We were both in chiropractic school, and it was tough juggling school and parenthood. At the time, it just didn't seem feasible — or fair — to have another child when we had so little time for the one we had. Once we graduated, having another child got put on the back burner again because we were spending so many hours getting our practice started. But once our work became steadier, we started talking about having one more. Everyone thought we were crazy. After all, Aly was 9 years old by then and could take care of herself; having a baby meant starting over completely. And Aly was upset; she didn't want a sibling. After a while, though, she finally gave us the go-ahead — so long as the baby wasn't born on her birthday. (To Aly's relief, Nataliya was born a day before her birthday.)

It's fun watching Aly give Nataliya an education on the Jonas Brothers, and it keeps us young to run around the yard with Nataliya. Sure, I'm juggling bra-shopping with one daughter while potty-training the other, but I wouldn't change a thing about our family. I had nine good years with Aly all to myself. Soon enough, I'll have nine years with Nataliya all to myself.

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