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post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 

(( Deleted. Didn't mean for this to turn into an opportunity for anyone to start drama and toot their own horn. ))


Edited by Vrai - 1/15/12 at 8:02pm
post #2 of 41

I think you are over thinking it.

 

I don't think it's best for a child to always be the center of attention, so your question if it will be unfair to her to have another child isn't, IMHO, quite the right question.

 

In some ways, I think it's harder for parents of only children to do a good job of teaching them to get along with others, to take turns, etc.

 

Either making a baby or adopting one can be wonderful, but I think that's a decision for you and your DH to make from your hearts, not based on your current child, but what YOU want. If you guys want another child, then have one. Don't put it off for 5 years so that you can continue to tell your child that she is the center of the universe. She isn't. She's one of the beautiful stars -- everything doesn't have to revolve around her for her to shine.

 

post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

I think you are over thinking it.

 

I don't think it's best for a child to always be the center of attention, so your question if it will be unfair to her to have another child isn't, IMHO, quite the right question.

 

In some ways, I think it's harder for parents of only children to do a good job of teaching them to get along with others, to take turns, etc.

 

Either making a baby or adopting one can be wonderful, but I think that's a decision for you and your DH to make from your hearts, not based on your current child, but what YOU want. If you guys want another child, then have one. Don't put it off for 5 years so that you can continue to tell your child that she is the center of the universe. She isn't. She's one of the beautiful stars -- everything doesn't have to revolve around her for her to shine.

 

We don't work that way. It's not just about us and what we want any more. She's not a pet to drag along and do our bidding, subjected to our whim without any consideration for her feelings and needs. It does revolve around her because that's what both my partner (not DH) and I believe children should be: not an accessory or an afterthought, but a small human being central in the lives of those wanted and CHOSE to be parents to her, who needs our attention, care, and consideration of what's best for her, not whatever the hell we feel like doing.

 

If you'd read, I did say that we will have another child. It's just a question of when. I think DD's happiness and emotional wellbeing needs to be considered when we're making decisions about whether to completely overhaul her life.
 

I don't think you can overthink something that will drastically affect the life of your existing child(ren) when considering bringing another child into the world or into your home. I'm actually quite taken aback by the idea of "if you want another baby, have it." Really? It's not just about us any more.

 

Then again, I don't buy into that "only children are {insert negative stereotype}," crap. Only children tend to do as well as those with one or two siblings, and almost universally better than those with many siblings. I've never met an only who fit those stereotypes either.

post #4 of 41

I agree - you're overthinking it. Kids can  benefit from relationships with siblings in ways that you can't imagine. You're not just taking away your focus, you're giving her another relationship to build and develop. She's going to need those other relationships no matter what. They can come from friends or they can come from families. If the decision is right for you, as a family, then do it. Personally, I think it puts too much of a burden on a small child to be the one determining (even if you never tell her) when it's OK for the family to expand.

 

(And if you're considering adoption, you might want to hang out in the Adoptive and Foster Parenting forum. Adopting an older child can be very different, and would most likely require a lot of time and energy on your part. You're not going to get an instant playmate whether you're having a baby or adopting an older child. An older child is going to need to learn they are safe in your house and to trust you. An infant will need to grow and develop.)

post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post

I agree - you're overthinking it. Kids can  benefit from relationships with siblings in ways that you can't imagine. You're not just taking away your focus, you're giving her another relationship to build and develop. She's going to need those other relationships no matter what. They can come from friends or they can come from families. If the decision is right for you, as a family, then do it. Personally, I think it puts too much of a burden on a small child to be the one determining (even if you never tell her) when it's OK for the family to expand.

 

(And if you're considering adoption, you might want to hang out in the Adoptive and Foster Parenting forum. Adopting an older child can be very different, and would most likely require a lot of time and energy on your part. You're not going to get an instant playmate whether you're having a baby or adopting an older child. An older child is going to need to learn they are safe in your house and to trust you. An infant will need to grow and develop.)


Oh I fully understand that part. That's part of why I'm so hesitant to bring another child into our home, whatever way we end up going with.

 

I know she needs relationships, we're working on settling down somewhere for that very reason. It's different, having a sibling when the next oldest child is truly a child, not a baby or a toddler. She'll remember it if we do have another child: she'll remember Before Sibling, and After Sibling, and how she had her parents' full attention Before.

 

I just question how much benefit a sibling at this point in her life could be, or whether it would just make her feel left out of everything. I'm wondering if settling in near relatives with similar age kids would be of more benefit, and for my partner and I to wait some years to TTC or adopt. I guess I'm speaking form a position of internal conflict. I have an amazingly close relationship with my brother. We're a year apart and were, at many points, each other's only friend, for a variety of reasons. I KNOW DD will probably never have that now. The age gap is too big for them to really be playmates, at most it would happen once they grew older, if at all. It might just be better to raise two (for all intents and purposes) only children, or raise DD as an only and then later have the larger family we thought about originally.

 

Again, I really don't think that you CAN overthink these kind of life-changing decisions. It's not just her life we'd be changing either. I don't understand that frame of mind of "if you want one have one," like it's as simple as buying a candy bar or something.

 

We aren't burdening her with anything. We're burdening ourselves with making the decisions that will affect her drastically - we're being parents. We're considering the wellbeing and happiness of a child who's already been here 4 years, before that of a hypothetical future child.

post #6 of 41
Thread Starter 

Also wanted to ask those of you with multiple children - what is your kids' relationship REALLY like? I see so many things, even on here with nonviolent parenting (though I guess lack of physical violence isn't necessarily indicative of stability in other areas of life and parenting), about siblings arguing, resentment, hating being around each other. Even as adults, heck, even in my partner's family. His brother is 3 years older and has done nothing but be a drain on the whole family. DP takes care of him out of duty (and because the rest of the family has designated it to be "J.'s job" to take care of C., but the guy is a loser and always has been. Not all siblings get along or relate to each other like my brother and I did. And it gets harder the further apart they are, it seems.

 

Maybe I was looking for someone to tell me my doubts are well-founded, or to give a more child-focused perspective on it, since I assumed there'd be more like me here. I definitely wasn't expecting to be told to just pump out another unit whenever I felt like it, to hell with DD's feelings or needs, though. Maybe someone a little more moderate and less against only children can weigh in, or someone who's felt similar things and had to make a decision?

post #7 of 41

My parents conceived  me after 7 years of TTC and 13 1/2 years of marriage. My brother is 21 months younger than me, so we are very close in age. I honestly could not have ever imagined growing up or my life any other way. I have an extremely close bond with my now 24 year old, married brother. Even through "hard times" such as growing up, growing apart at times from distance (college), and silly family squabbles our relationship is very founded in our childhood relationship. My parents world literally did revolve around me as I was very sick as an infant and on a heart monitor for the first year of my life. While my brother was kind of an "oh, that was quick" moment, he was never given second seat to me. They literally loved us both equally and we have an awesome nuclear family unit. That being said, having that takes work from all parties naturally.

 

I also have many family members who have children when the other siblings were older. My aunt spaced her two kids, four years apart and her daughter did the same. My cousin (aunt's daughter) has two boys who have a horrible relationship with each other and their father. This is not because of their age but due to the parenting choices/ life choices that their parents have made. My other cousin spaced her children six years apart and they have one of the best sibling friendships that I have ever seen. Their parents are very focused on each other and their children though. From what I have noticed it is not really about how many years apart the children are, but how you raise your children to have healthy relationships within your family.

 

If you are aware of how you are raising your child,  happy with how your DD is, content as a family unit, and want another baby, go for it! I do think having another child is something to think about.

 

I'm pregnant with my first and my DSS is 3 years. While even being able to conceive was amazing to DH and I, we are very excited about our new addition. I had some definite hangs up about having another child at this point in my life. I am still a student, we are in the process of saving money for when we move for grad school, DSS has had an inconsistent relationship with BM that is now non existent, and I have taken on being a full time mom since he was 8 months old. I did have that anxiety of "Oh, God. I don't even have legal rights to him yet, how can I have a child and not have him as my son as well?" But that faded rather quickly since he is my son and I have cared for him in the only way I know how, being an awesome mama. I am making sure to spend a lot more time with him before DD is born, though. My DSS is ridiculously excited about having a sibling so far. He tells my belly "Good morning, E!" every day when he wakes up and a good night and a kiss before he goes to bed. We've kept him very involved in the whole pregnancy and he is enjoying it just as much as we are. 

 

 

It is a lot to think about. I won't say do it, or don't do it. I just saw the thread and wanted to give some insight at least. I hope that helped.

post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by csekywithlove View Post

My parents conceived  me after 7 years of TTC and 13 1/2 years of marriage. My brother is 21 months younger than me, so we are very close in age. I honestly could not have ever imagined growing up or my life any other way. I have an extremely close bond with my now 24 year old, married brother. Even through "hard times" such as growing up, growing apart at times from distance (college), and silly family squabbles our relationship is very founded in our childhood relationship. My parents world literally did revolve around me as I was very sick as an infant and on a heart monitor for the first year of my life. While my brother was kind of an "oh, that was quick" moment, he was never given second seat to me. They literally loved us both equally and we have an awesome nuclear family unit. That being said, having that takes work from all parties naturally.

 

I also have many family members who have children when the other siblings were older. My aunt spaced her two kids, four years apart and her daughter did the same. My cousin (aunt's daughter) has two boys who have a horrible relationship with each other and their father. This is not because of their age but due to the parenting choices/ life choices that their parents have made. My other cousin spaced her children six years apart and they have one of the best sibling friendships that I have ever seen. Their parents are very focused on each other and their children though. From what I have noticed it is not really about how many years apart the children are, but how you raise your children to have healthy relationships within your family.

 

If you are aware of how you are raising your child,  happy with how your DD is, content as a family unit, and want another baby, go for it! I do think having another child is something to think about.

 

I'm pregnant with my first and my DSS is 3 years. While even being able to conceive was amazing to DH and I, we are very excited about our new addition. I had some definite hangs up about having another child at this point in my life. I am still a student, we are in the process of saving money for when we move for grad school, DSS has had an inconsistent relationship with BM that is now non existent, and I have taken on being a full time mom since he was 8 months old. I did have that anxiety of "Oh, God. I don't even have legal rights to him yet, how can I have a child and not have him as my son as well?" But that faded rather quickly since he is my son and I have cared for him in the only way I know how, being an awesome mama. I am making sure to spend a lot more time with him before DD is born, though. My DSS is ridiculously excited about having a sibling so far. He tells my belly "Good morning, E!" every day when he wakes up and a good night and a kiss before he goes to bed. We've kept him very involved in the whole pregnancy and he is enjoying it just as much as we are. 

 

 

It is a lot to think about. I won't say do it, or don't do it. I just saw the thread and wanted to give some insight at least. I hope that helped.



Thank you very much. I'm glad someone *gets* the concern and is willing to provide perspective on it at least. Very cute with your DSS, and congrats on your pregnancy!

 

Idk. Sometimes I just don't know what I'm thinking and my head gets a little turned around. I honestly don't think another child is a good idea now, at DD's age. In a few years when she's more independent. I want to have my cake and eat it too, unfortunately. The opportunity for a closely spaced sibling/playmate passed us by, now no matter what we do basically, it will not be the same kind of bond I enjoyed growing up, or you enjoyed with your brother. Not as small children anyway. So at this point I'm thinking letting DD grow up as an only child for her early childhood is best, then having a few more later. I really do like our family as it is right now, even considering the road not taken.

post #9 of 41

Our friends have 3 boys, all 8 years apart and the dynamic is fantastic.  While I would personally rather have them closer in age it worked well for them.  Each kid got loads of attention and each kid got to be part of bringing up a sibling.  They were not forced to help but I recall numerous times when the HS aged son would come home and sit on the floor playing with his little brother while the middle son would stare up in awe at his super awesome older brother.  Ugly treatment of each other was not tolerated and those boys were awesome!

 

I dont think there is any right way of doing it at this point.  My sister and I are 10 yrs apart and we're very close, because I chose to be close to her rather than being selfish and pushing her aside because she was too young to play with.  A lot of sibling relationships depend on how the parents treat the problems.  If they dismiss them as normal sibling rivalry they do a disservice to both kids.  As siblings you learn how to respect others even when it's the hardest to do.  My brother and I would go through bouts of hate and annoyance but my dad would drill the importance of siblings into us all the time.  We never got in trouble for anything other than disrespecting each other.  Man if I walked into my brothers room after he asked me to stay out, I was in for it.  If he shoved me or made fun of me he regretted it.  We learned that we had each other and turned out to be pretty good pals.  learning to treat each other with respect at such a young age and to care about each other was very important.  To this day we're all very close and really do what we can for each other. 

post #10 of 41

My cousins are 5 years a part and very close. They have been their whole lives.

They are both adults now, with their own families. They chose to live within the same housing community together (literally a 3 min. walk from each other). And they see each other on an almost daily basis. They are both close to their parents also.

 

I think part of it had to do with the fact that 5 years was a good distance for them. By the time the first was 5, she was very able to be independent, but also very interested in playing with and "taking care of" the baby with her Mum. It was like another game playing with Mum. A live baby doll. By the time the baby could toddle after her she was loving the attention the baby gave her. She loved teaching and showing the baby how to play and do things.

 

I think part of what helped was that, even though they had 5 years between them, they both had similar interests. The family was a hockey family, and so spent a lot of time on that hobby with the kids.

post #11 of 41

DS just turned 4, and we did the same thing you did. At his first birthday, I wanted another, but knew it would be hard on me, so we decided to wait. Then I saw what 2 looked like and said "no way, not now." Then 3 came and went, and things got easier and I was just enjoying him so much I didn't really push to change anything. Now he's 4 and wants a baby. Mostly b/c we've talked to him about it, and b/c he's very social and I think he gets lonely sometimes. (DH and I play with him, of course, but we don't drop everything to play a game when we have things to do. We play, and we work.)

 

I think now is a great age to have another. I hesitate about the huge age gap, b/c like you (OP), I wanted kids close in age. But he is a great little helper already and loves to be around babies and other kids and I know he won't have an issue with attention b/c he already doesn't get our undivided attention 24/7. He does get our undivided attention at certain times of day, I stay home with him and he often gets to choose what we do on a non-school day, and that won't change. I would imagine it will be the same if you homeschool. If your DD is "in school" she will have your undivided attention while the baby plays by him/herself, sleeps (as newborns do a lot), etc. If you adopt an older child, DD can "help" her new brother or sister assimilate, come along on appointments and have your undivided attention while you wait (unless you go in with child 2, then she can have "special" time with daddy or someone else and still get undivided attention from SOMEONE).

 

It can work out. I don't see my son as an afterthought or an accessory, but at some point he does need to learn that the universe doesn't revolve around him, that he doesn't ALWAYS get to choose what we do and when we do it, and that sometimes I can't do xyz RIGHT NOW. That's how the world works. You don't always get what you want, and it doesn't have to be a major disappointment that scars you for life every time.

post #12 of 41

I should say upfront that we are raising DD as an only and that has been the plan all along. I fantasize about adopting older children someday in the far off future, but as for now DD is an only. And I was raised an only. So clearly whatever I say is going to be influenced by that. Anyway, it seems like you're making peace with the fact that you are not going to have children close in age so maybe my response is irrelevant. Still, I felt compelled to reply.

 

I think your question about whether it would be unfair to have another child right now is completely legitimate. Of course people have multiple children and make it work, make it work beautifully in most cases, but it is hard on kids when they suddenly have a sibling. How could it not be? I don't say that to dispute that it may be worth it because of what sibling relationships offer, but I don't think you're wrong to be concerned about how another child would affect your DD. And I don't think it's wrong that you decide to wait before adding to your family because of this. If it doesn't feel like the right thing then don't do it. Honestly, your DD is going to turn out just fine regardless of what you decide. 

 

And just as a side note, I have a friend who had her two children 11 years apart! Her kids are now 13 and 2 and she truly couldn't be happier, and her kids are happy. It has just worked out really well for them. She was really nervous about the age gap, but it turns out that she's discovering there are all sorts of benefits to it.  I know that's totally anecdotal, but I  just thought I'd share. :)

 

 

post #13 of 41

OP, you write a very thoughtful exploration of what adding a child would mean to your family.

I have a 4.5 year gap between my middle and youngest, and it has been fine so far. I was expecting more bumps. My friend has a 5 year gap between hers and the sibs who are very nurturing toward each other, albeit in a "big bro/little bro way" (eg the younger looks up quite a bit to the older) -- but it's nice!

Our situations sound a little different (kids were in day care/ school post my maternity leave) but outside that, this has helped me:
1) It's more the personality of the siblings than the age gap that makes the relationships work;
2) You can focus on the interests of the older child for quite a while and the baby can tag along during the portable months;
3) By the time baby asserts him/herself as a more defined personality the older child is at a new stage anyway;
4) No media while I interact with my kids;
5) Find a family interest or hobby or goal you achieve together;
6) Guide behavior but let them find their own place together and praise the positive interactions so they are even more rewarding;
7) Siblings are for the long term, and as adults the age gap shrinks dramatically.

It sounds like you already have a wonderful family dynamic -- best of luck to you.

post #14 of 41

My DD (almost 7) was 5 when DS was born. He wasn't planned and honestly, I was really terrified about what he might take away from her when I first found out I was pregnant. However, DD has benefited from his existence so much more than I would have imagined. He is her best friend. She may not always be the center of attention now, and there were times in the beginning that she experienced a lot of jealousy, and some hurt feelings when he was too little for her to do what she wanted to do with him, but there has also been a lot of excitement and love. There is no one in this world who gets more excited over all his "firsts" than her. Every little thing that boy does is brag-worthy to her. Now that he's bigger (17 months), he is her favorite playmate. They have their own made up games and jokes. He has energy as seemingly infinite as hers. He's still up for play long after I've run out of energy or need to do something. Also, someday I won't be around anymore. I like the idea of them still having each other when I'm gone. DS took away her role as the center of our universe, but gave her so much more. I don't intend to have anymore children, but DD has requested more siblings. She loves the way DS looks at her like she hung the moon, being able to say she taught him that funny thing he does or that new word he's saying, and having someone younger to teach all the things she's worked so hard to learn. She just really likes being a big sister, and if it was up to her, I'd be producing an unending supply of babies to worship her. lol

 

If you'd rather wait until your DD is older before bringing in a new addition to the family, by all means. If you'd like to go ahead have a baby, though, it may not be as problematic as you might think. Could be a really great thing. 

post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vrai View Post



 
We don't work that way. It's not just about us and what we want any more. She's not a pet to drag along and do our bidding, subjected to our whim without any consideration for her feelings and needs. It does revolve around her because that's what both my partner (not DH) and I believe children should be: not an accessory or an afterthought, but a small human being central in the lives of those wanted and CHOSE to be parents to her, who needs our attention, care, and consideration of what's best for her, not whatever the hell we feel like doing.

If you'd read, I did say that we will have another child. It's just a question of when. I think DD's happiness and emotional wellbeing needs to be considered when we're making decisions about whether to completely overhaul her life.

 
I don't think you can overthink something that will drastically affect the life of your existing child(ren) when considering bringing another child into the world or into your home. I'm actually quite taken aback by the idea of "if you want another baby, have it." Really? It's not just about us any more.

Then again, I don't buy into that "only children are {insert negative stereotype}," crap. Only children tend to do as well as those with one or two siblings, and almost universally better than those with many siblings. I've never met an only who fit those stereotypes either.


I like the way you describe this, I feel the same way. DD2 was a big surprise and I was very worried about how DD1 would feel, whether she would feel left out since she was older and whether we could keep her feeling as special as she is in our family while making room for another baby to be in the same position.
I'm not explaining it well, lol
Anyway. she was 4 when DD2 was born and at first she was a little upset I think because I couldn't always take the time and attention away from the baby for her. But, it turned out to be wonderful. We always made sure to hold her on our laps along with DD2 and get that snuggle time that is automatic with a baby.
Now they are 6 and 2 and it really is awesome, I'm so happy for both of them. They really love each other and look for each other to play even though they are 4 years apart. In a way, it's nice that they are at 2 different stages because it takes away the competitiveness that might cause problems.
DD1 loves to teach DD2 and DD2 loves for her to do that!
post #16 of 41

My kids are 4 years apart, and my oldest comes up with little songs about how much he loves his little sister, and how happy he is that he has a sister.  He has actually thanked me for having another child.  Do they bicker?  Of course.  They fight over toys, and he gets upset when she breaks his Lego creations and whatnot.  But more often than not, he's completely enamored with her.  They hug spontaneously.  They sit next to each other while watching TV and hold hands.  

 

They adore each other.  They have fun together.  They would rather be together than not.  I know some siblings have trouble adjusting to a new family member, but not all.

post #17 of 41

Mine are 7 years apart and I love the spacing because our first was able to be the baby as long as she needed, and when we had another baby we could give her more focus without our older one feeling we took away from her. They get along beautifully. There really wasn't much of an adjustment either because our older was old enough to thoroughly understand, and really wanted a little sibling.

 

But I think any age spacing works well. They are positives and negatives to any choice and IMO they even out.

post #18 of 41

I think one thing to keep in mind is that children are only children for a short period of time.  They grow up, they become adults and then that 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 year age gap really isn't that big a deal anymore.  A sibling isn't just a playmate when a child is young, a sibling is another member of the family that will always be a member of the family.    A sibling can be a very close friend when a child is an adult (irregardless of age gap). Of course, not all siblings are close as adults, but many are.  A sibling can help shoulder the burden of caring for an aging parent.   Even though I don't live geographically close to my siblings now, I still really value my relationships and visits with them.  My children's lives are enriched by the presence of doting aunts and uncle.   I'm really thankful I have siblings and I'm really thankful my children have siblings.  My DD1 had just as much of a relationship with her brother that is 6 years younger than her, as she has with her sister that is 2 1/2 years younger.   DD1 loves teaching things to her siblings, playing with them, spending time with them, etc.

 

Quote:
I don't think you can overthink something that will drastically affect the life of your existing child(ren) when considering bringing another child into the world or into your home. I'm actually quite taken aback by the idea of "if you want another baby, have it." Really? It's not just about us any more.

 

 

 

I think people are saying this because most of the factors that will affect how a sibling will affect your DD are completely unpredictable and unknown. You have no way of knowing how adding a sibling will impact your DD because you can't predict the future.  You don't know if that sibling will be a boy or girl (unless you adopt), if they will have high needs or special needs, or sleep through the night from day 1 and be an easy laid-back baby.  You don't know, what their personality and temperament will be like or where their interests will lie, You have no way of knowing if your children will grow up and as adults be best friends, or have no relationship, or if you and your partner will die early, leaving your children to only have each other. You just don't know any of it and can't know any of it until it happens.  It could be really  hard on your daughter, or could be really great for her...or it could be really hard on her at first, but really great for her later.

 

Just curious...have your asked your daughter if she would like a brother or sister?  I assume she has friends who have younger siblings or new baby's in the family.  Has she said anything about that?  IME, most kids that age seem to get pretty excited about the idea of a new sibling.

 

I have 3 children and I feel they all three have a great relationship.  Yes, they do fight and argue at times, but I would say that each day, they have about 20 positive interactions for each negative interactions.

 

 

Edited to add:  As someone who has both biological siblings and an adopted sister that was adopted when she was older (6), I will say that adding an older, adopted child to the family is way, way, way, way, way more of adjustment than adding a new baby.  Way more.  Older, adopted children generally have past trauma, neglect or abuse to deal with, that makes parenting them different than parenting a new baby and it is a quite different dynamic for a family to add an older child that didn't grow up in the family.  Our whole family had a major, major, major adjustment when my adopted sister joined our family (I was 14).  I barely remember the adjustment when my younger brother was born (I was 7 1/2).  I love my adopted sister, and I'm glad she is part of my family, but I will say it was a major adjustment and a difficult time.  

post #19 of 41
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the thoughtful responses. Some of you are, of course, right: I am trying to make peace with our original plans not working out. And also that siblings add to life rather than detract from it in most cases. I guess to me, spacing has to be one or the other: very close so that they don't remember life without each other, or very far apart so that one has time to grow up and start moving toward more independence. I know that's probably a weird way of thinking, but it is what it is.

 

DD is... in two minds, it seems, about the possibility of siblings. I've asked her on several occasions and her response was basically the verbal equivalent of a shrug. She's said a couple of times that she wants her cousin (who's roughly her age, my half-sister's daughter, we don't see them often but when we have, they get along very well) to be her sister and why can't she come live with us, but really no more than that. She likes playing with babies and toddlers, but in small bursts. Once she's over it, she's over it.

 

I would say DD is "high needs." Not because her personality is demanding, I actually can't think of an easier kid as she's content with just about anything, but she's a gifted child and needs a lot of stimulation and interaction to really thrive. Right now that interaction comes mainly from her daddy and I, and our daily trips in the park where she's making a few friends. One of my worries about having another child is that she would put up with it TOO well and suffer in silence rather than make her needs and inevitable strong feelings, positive or negative, known in an obvious way. She's not like me - as a kid, if I was upset or feeling ignored or anything, everyone knew it and I was un-ignorable. DD is not the type to raise a fuss about anything that's not life and death. Even now I have to consciously make myself sure that she's getting enough attention and time, because she probably wouldn't bring it up unless I specifically ask her.

 

The more I see here, the more I really like the idea of a 9-12 year age gap instead of a 5-6 year one.

 

Thank you all for the thoughtful ideas and for the honest look at how second children (or more) have affected older ones. I appreciate the honesty, the good and the bad.

post #20 of 41

I havent read through all the replies closely so i apologize if this is a repeat or already addressed.

 

 

Quote:

 

I just question how much benefit a sibling at this point in her life could be, or whether it would just make her feel left out of everything.

 

I guess i'm wondering why, if you are super involved with your dd now, the process of having a baby would make her feel left out of everything? Wouldnt you include her as much as possible, as you apparently do right now? I could totally see a child of 4 or 5 being very interested in the pregnancy,  the midwives visits, even the birth...caring for an infant, picking out toys/clothes/etc. You could look at it like "oh no, now she won't have 100 percent of my attention every second of the day!" or you could look at it like "wow a new chapter, and she could be so helpful and involved"...obviously there WILL be times where she wants you to play, but you are nursing or otherwise attending to the baby. I'm not sure why that seems to be the end of the world for you though. Thats life, thats natural. Its not going to hurt her.

 

I have four kids, ages 15, nearly 10, and two who will be 4 in a minute. I ALWAYS wanted close in age kids, but it didnt work out that way. My son was 11.5 when my first adopted son joined the family at three weeks of age. Then my second son joined the family (via foster care) when  he was 16.5 months (and my adopted son was just two weeks old, so like instant twins)....my fourth child joined the family nearly two years ago, when she was 8. I really wish i would have had a closer-in-age sib for my first son, i think he would have had so much fun. But now its like he is an only child with a bunch of younger sibs he doesnt know very well (and its complicated by the fact that he's chosen to live in another state with his other parent.) When i see the relationship with the two little boys, they are so close and have such a ball most of the time (and other times they do try to kill each other it seems)...even my dd at age 9 can play well with the little boys, but adding her as an older child to the family was by far (BY FAR) the hardest adjustment. But she has alot of emotional issues as well. If you do decide to adopt in the future, make sure you really learn everything you can about the child you'd be adopting, as it can work out wonderfully or be the thing that turns your family upside down.

 

 

I totally agree with the PP who said the reason why people say you should have another if you want another, because no one can predict the outcome. Its confusing to me why that would be considered somehow an anti-child sentiment or somehow not at all considering the current child's needs.

 

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