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"One and Done" how did you decide? - Page 2

post #21 of 22

Hi-  Sorry, I am just returning to this thread.  

 

When you have one child, people act like you are doing something wrong to them..and they often say it to your face.  "You're really going to leave her ALONE??"  When I write that my top goals for my DD are to give her the best mental health possible as an adult (which I believe is linked to early childhood experiences) and parents who stay together and remain friends, this is in reference to MY family only.  My DH and I both have careers, no family around, I'm already pulled in many directions and I also understand MY DH and what he needs to be the best parent and husband he can be (it's tough for him to handle more chaotic environments).  I know that for MY family, two kids close in age would have changed EVERYTHING around here and I believe would have been a huge negative for my DD.  If MY circumstances were different (if I could have taken complete time off from my career without financial trouble or losing all that I had worked for for the last 20 years) two kids close in age would have been doable, and I probably would have gone for it.   That said, siblings OFTEN (not always) are negatives throughout life and I DO 100% believe that true lifetime friends ARE family- the family you choose.  My DD's "aunts and uncles" are DH's and I best friends met decades ago..people with whom we have healthy relationships.  This is how WE operate and it's perfect for us.  

 

BroodyWoodsGal- you are completely reading what I am saying the wrong way.   I hope my post clarifies things (and thanks pickle18 for your reply).

 

-Jen

post #22 of 22

I knew i was done until DD1 was 3.  She was a HN baby and toddler, i had psychosis from sleep deprivation in the early days (which everyone said was "normal" until years later) and my relationship fell apart (it was on the cards before she was born) when she was 4months old.  I was on my own with her and then i was in a relationship with someone but not living with him and certainly NOT thinking of having any more kids.  When DD1 was nearly 1 i went to get sterilised but because i was 26 and only had one child the Dr wouldn't refer me, instead telling me to get two Mirena's, back to back, and then in a decade i could get a referral.  

 

As it turned out DP and i moved in together when DD1 was 2.75, and by the time she was 3.5 i was pregnant again, something we both really wanted.  My experience with DD2 has been so wildly different to that with DD1 (who for example slept 5-8 hours/night FROM BIRTH rather than waking to nurse every 45mins, both were EBF, DD2 has an incredibly mellow character, DD1 was FULL ON the whole time, it amazes me that they are related at all!) that i am now pregnant again.  This will be my last baby, and i'm now really glad i didn't get the sterilisation.

 

I think that whether or not to have another baby is something a lot of people agonise over.  I think you have to know and BE HONEST about the needs and abilities of your family at a given time.  And i think we all have to accept that we have little control.  Older mums feel the "clock is ticking" on their decision, but in fact i know two women in their early 30's with secondary infertility which is making having extra kids hard.  I know someone who planned a beautiful family with a beloved only child and that child died, age 3, and the mama now has 2 more, having realised that she wanted more after living through that.  I know lots of women who want at least one and are struggling to have them, and women like me who never planned their first, never wanted any more and ended up with 3.

 

There is no "best" family.  I am the youngest of 6, and i'm close to one sibling, semi close to 3 others and estranged from the other (due to her behaviour).  That is due to their personalities and lives and the distances they live from me.  When my mother died they WERE mostly a great help and comfort to me and to one another, but then one of them wasn't and that caused a lot of friction too.  I have friends who are only children who are happy and well-balanced and close to their families.  And some who aren't.  I have friends from big families who are happy and well-balanced and close to their families.  And some who aren't.  

 

I do think it's true that you don't regret the children you have, whatever their arrival heralds, because it's hard to blame a specific person for the events which follow, if that makes sense.  My life completely fell apart in EVERY way after i had DD1, but i don't blame her or regret her.  Some of what went down after she came is regretful, but i don't feel in having her i lost anything worth having.  A bad relationship ended, a selfish youth came to a close, financial freedom (and with it irresponsibility!) was taken.  There is nothing i had before i had her and lost when i got her that i wish i still had, nothing.

 

I absolutely think you can tell in the playground which kids come from happy families and which don't, but you can't extrapolate the size of those families from that.  I had plenty of "aren't you going to have another!?" when DD1 was small, and now i get a lot of "ANOTHER one!?" because i'm expecting #3.  People are nosy and have too much to say.  That's a terrible reason to expand or restrict your family!

 

So this was a big ramble, but i basically think that some of the reasons *I* wanted to have an only child were related specifically to the conditions of my life at the time, most of which changed.  My experience with DD1 had also coloured my view of what a "normal" babyhood looked like, and without having DD2 i couldn't have known that they could be SO different.  I was happy before i had DD2, i'm still happy.  I think DD1 benefits from having a sibling but i know she loved being an only child too.

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