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Anyone else debating w-yourself on having another child or not?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Anyone want to process this with me? I am trying to decide if I want to have a second child or keep 2 yr old ds as an only. I know this conversation has been had ad naseum so I was looking for others who are actually going through this right now so we can process it together! Anyone else trying to decide if they should have another child? And specifically any parents of onlies trying to decide on a second or not? let's talk-

post #2 of 12

Hi Snapdragon! Thanks for posting this--I have been tearing myself up inside trying to make this decision. I guess I will tell you my personal pros and cons--I hope that's helpful. 

 

On the con side (why I don't want another one): First of all, I have a logistical childcare problem. I work full-time and have no choice but to keep doing so. My mother and MIL are my childcare, with my mother taking most of the burden. This has been an incredible point of stress between my mother and me, and she is not willing (nor am I willing to ask her) to have two children full-time. We can't afford daycare. Emotionally, I am reluctant to have another child because parenting has been harder than I ever thought it would be, and I feel I was naive to think that choosing to have a baby at 23 would give me the mothering experience I always dreamed of. I love my baby girl (20 mos.) more than ANYTHING and I could never say that I regret her, but sometimes (ok quite often) I think, "Wait, why did I sacrifice my responsibility-free youth?" Add to that the awful postpartum depression I struggled with for my baby's first year and obviously I am hesitant to add ANOTHER child, and all of the depression, extra work, lack of sleep, chaos, etc. that would come with that. 

 

On the pro side (why I do want another one) I never planned to only have one child, and when I look into my future and see only my one, I feel very sad. I feel so, so sad for DD when I think of her never having a sibling who can deal with family stuff with her both in childhood and adulthood, and never having nieces or nephews to dote on. Another big issue is that one of our reasons for having kids so young is that we would have a lot of youth left when they were grown, so if I wait and have another baby when DD is much older and I feel I could handle the responsibility again, our original plan will basically be ruined, and I won't have pure "me time" before OR after the totally dependent kid phase. I know this all sounds terribly selfish, and that is the problem: I AM terribly selfish. I seriously doubt my ability to be a good mother to two right now--or maybe ever. But in so many ways I see the positives in having two, and in having them close together. 

 

My own childhood makes my decision more complicated: my half sister is 18 years older than me so growing up I was basically an only child and I LOVED it. My sister lived out of state, so I got all of the attention and my parents and I were this calm little threesome. Then, right when I hit the teen years, my sister moved back and she and I got really close and she has been an important part of my adult life. So I had the upbringing of an only, but then I magically got an adult sister when I needed one.

 

I hope there was something helpful in that and that it wasn't just a personal rant! What's your situation? Thanks again for the thread! 


Edited by annaknitsspock - 6/27/12 at 1:24pm
post #3 of 12

So much to consider. There is many points of view and attitudes in both my blog, Singletons, at Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/singletons (note articles: Mothers of One are Happiest and What Difference do Siblings Make? among others. For more thoughts, check out my book, The Case for the Only Child: Your Essential Guide. You will learn what the research shows and what people with the same question are facing. Best, Susan Newman

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Right now I feel like on good days- when extended family is around, helping out with ds, encouraging us to have more little ones to love and bring into the family, and ds is happy and calm- then I feel ready for a second. That was yesterday.  Then days like today when I feel tired and sick and ds is whining from the mometn we wake up and all I want to do is sleep the day away and no one is helping me take care of him- I think, I Am just having this one so I only have to go through this once!

SO on good days I Want more and on hard days I want to stick with one.

post #5 of 12

Ha, Snapdragon, I completely understand about the kind of day making the difference in which way your decision sways.

I (we) got about 4 hours of broken sleep last night... yes, total... and started the day off crying and pinching.  (Of course!  Crying and pinching are what we do when we're stressed out from not sleeping all night!)

 

So today, I want an only child.  And I kind of want that only child to go live with relatives for about a week.

 

I think my decision is made; for me, my brother (the one I was raised with) is an anchor for me in this world.  I want my daughter to experience having a sibling.  Even if it means I'm twice as tired.  (Let's not discuss the possibly that my exhaustion will multiply exponentially with each subsequent child.  Just. don't. go. there!  redface.gif)

post #6 of 12
I always thought I wanted two for sure, until I had my first. For awhile I wasn't sure I wanted another. Now I am sure (or as sure as you ever are, right?) but some things I thought about:
  • Finances - we both work FT and FT daycare for two is expensive and we really want a center for a variety of reasons. As a somewhat compromise, we are spacing further apart than we might have otherwise to lessen the amount of time with two in daycare, daycare is just the most immediate financial concern, there are plenty of others I know will be in the future and I want to make sure I can provide what I want for my child(ren) while not sacrificing important things to me (retirement, luxuries, etc.)
  • Free time - with one, she naps (usually) and sleeps at night consistently now, so DH and I get some child-free time without having to get a sitter and with her allergies and our lack of geographically close friends, sitters are few and far between
  • Ease of going places/doing stuff - with one, while it's much harder than with just adults, it's is pretty easy to wrangle one child with one or two parents, adding another to the mix will make that much harder
  • Lack of sleep - Once they are older, not as bad, but with two it makes for more chances of nightly interruptions and I NEED my sleep, again spacing out the second further that originally planned made this ok for me
  • Split attention - I think this is mixed, DD is a bit spoiled because we can pay a lot of attention to her, but she is also a lot nurtured because of that attention as well, I think it will be good for her to have to wait more, to help out more, etc. but I also know that there will be opportunities missed with two kids to wrangle
  • Siblings - I want my DD to have a sibling, I loved my siblings growing up and love them so much now, it may not be the same for her, but I want her to have the opportunity for that
  • I want two for me - I want to have more than one, I know how much I love my DD and how awesome it is to teach her and see her grow, I want that with another child too
  • Another pregnancy/childbirth - Minor, but I would enjoy another pregnancy and childbirth and all that, it was such a powerful experience!

That's all I can think of for now, but I thought it might help you clarify your own thoughts a bit.
post #7 of 12

I'm right there with you. Though I'm kind of worried I'm already pregnant, as my cycle has been a little weird (none of my normal ovulation signs). 

 

I LOVE my son so much. And I couldn't imagine splinting myself between to kids. But then I LOVE my son so much I would love to share that love with another child. 

 

The biggest downsides to having another for me would be, the possibility of being miserable for months (like my first pregnancy), the lack of sleep (though I don't think any child could sleep worst than DS did his first year), and the possibility of another traumatic birth experience. I had an unplanned C-Section last time and would like to try for an HBAC but I'm worried it won't work.... the possibility of another section really scares me. 

post #8 of 12
I am with you in the complexity of this decision. I always wanted 2 because I was so close to my sister but M is 3 and we are in such a good place after an overwhelming couple of years. We are happy and fit together so well. Everyone is getting their needs met as much as possible and I love getting to focus on her. There are days when I question and wonder but we keep reaching the same conclusion. Goos luck.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snapdragon View Post

Anyone want to process this with me? I am trying to decide if I want to have a second child or keep 2 yr old ds as an only. I know this conversation has been had ad naseum so I was looking for others who are actually going through this right now so we can process it together! Anyone else trying to decide if they should have another child? And specifically any parents of onlies trying to decide on a second or not? let's talk-

 

 

My kids are 5 years apart precisely because it took me that long to decide to have a second (and then I had to convince H).  You don't have to decide right now.   But I love having two and of course, I'm glad I made that decision.  But I'm also glad I waited until it felt right (and I was getting enough sleep to be willing to do it again!)

post #10 of 12

My kids are about 4.5 years apart b/c I was sure I was not having anymore! It feels more complete now tho. You do have time. I actually have a little helper now and DD is totally 100% in love with her little brother. She actually asked us for a little sister now too. LOL 

Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

 

 

My kids are 5 years apart precisely because it took me that long to decide to have a second (and then I had to convince H).  You don't have to decide right now.   But I love having two and of course, I'm glad I made that decision.  But I'm also glad I waited until it felt right (and I was getting enough sleep to be willing to do it again!)

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tajayana View Post

I am with you in the complexity of this decision. I always wanted 2 because I was so close to my sister but M is 3 and we are in such a good place after an overwhelming couple of years. We are happy and fit together so well. Everyone is getting their needs met as much as possible and I love getting to focus on her. There are days when I question and wonder but we keep reaching the same conclusion. Goos luck.

 

yeahthat.gif

 

I have had no desire to have a second child, practically since the day my first was born. I love things the way they are, and like Tajayana, I feel we are already a perfect fit. There are certain things about our life right now I really enjoy, that I think would change with a second child:

  • Driving a small, fuel-efficient car
  • Being able to spontaneously go on day trips, such as a 5-hour hike up a mountain. We just got DD to the point that she can do 3-5 mile hike without being in a carrier, I don't really want to start all over again!
  • Having more time to work at home. Probably the biggest reason. DD is now in a Montessori preschool, and I relish the time she is there. And this is coming from someone who thought she was going to homeschool! orngbiggrin.gif

 

I also feel we were lucky with DD. She has always been a rather easygoing child, going with the flow. The one place we struggle is nighttime (she gets night terrors, and also ends up in our bed around 1am every night). I can't imagine doing that with two! I love the time we spend together going on nature walks, reading books, just enjoying life!

 

I was an only child, so that may explain my ambivalence. All I know is we're happy where we are. That might change in the future, but then again, last week my hubby brought up the topic of a vasectomy!

 

What I am soooo tired of, is all the random people who claim to know me better than I know myself. "Here, hold the baby, I'm sure that will make you want another one." Or, "Your daughter is going to be so lonely if you don't give her sibling". Argh, those kinds of comments drive me nuts!

post #12 of 12

I always wanted 2 kids and then be done.

My kids are 9 years apart. My oldest had been an only child for 9 years before his little brother was born.

The youngest is an absolute blessing to our family and my boys have a very special bond.

I love that I can give each child my attention. I don't think I'd be a good mother to 3 or more children. 

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