Motherlode has a post today about a research study on the 'perfect' family. Apparently someone did a survey about parental happiness, and the results showed that having two girls is the ideal. The rankings were based on factors like minimizing arguments, fostering communication, and helping around the house.
Psst! Researchers! You are asking the wrong questions. There is no such thing as the 'right' mix of sexes, or the 'right' number of kids to have. There is no such thing as the perfect family. Happiness has nothing to do with figuring out the proper formula for family structure. Happiness begins when we work with what we're given.
If we work really hard at accepting what and who we are given, and nurture cooperation between our children, and value problem-solving skills, and fine-tune our temper-taming tendencies, maybe some days, for a moment or two, we get a glimpse of perfection. And then life quickly resumes, in all its crazy, I'm-not-really-in-control way.
And this is good. Because on all those days when life isn't perfect, and your children aren't perfect, and you aren't perfect, you're still given the chance to grow in grace and thankfulness and wisdom and love.
Whether you have two girls or eight boys, it's what you do with the challenges of parenting that tilts your family life closer to or further from perfection. If you choose to look conflict as a challenge to become a better and stronger person, you grow. If you look at family friction as an interference with who you already are, you shrink.
Silly researchers. I'd only be 2/5 of the mom I am today if I had only two girls instead of five raucous, interesting, challenging kids.