Husband and I have a lovely daughter who is almost 19 months old. I had what was in hindsight a fairly easy pregnancy, birth was pretty easy, and she has been a happy, cheerful, easy child. I've always seen myself having a big family, but now I'm having second thoughts.
It wouldn't be the first time in my life that I had an image in my head of what I wanted out of life that didn't really match up to who I really ended up being. And I want to be careful with this, because I can't undo this decision.
It's just so darn easy having one. She's easy to tote places. She's walking a lot more and we don't have to lug her everywhere; she's starting to talk and is easier to communicate with. We can go to friends' houses and bring her along and she'll charm everybody and everybody will be happy. She finally sleeps really well. Husband and I both have time for our own pursuits and don't feel like our entire life is taken up with caring for her. And though pregnancy and birth were relatively easy for me, I spent the entire first trimester feeling like crap and eating everything in sight, and not going through that again is not going to break my heart.
I love her to bits, and I know I can be a good parent to her. I'm concerned I might not do so well with another. I really do like my personal time, and I struggle still with anger issues due to an emotionally abusive childhood. I worry about spreading myself too thin; I don't want to snap and hurt my children. I think I'd be better with just one than with multiples.
But the idea of our daughter never having a sibling to play with is hard. The idea of not mixing our DNA again and seeing what adorably precious baby we produce is hard.
I know we don't have to decide this right away. I used to think I wanted my kids close together, but I'm starting to think they could still be buddies with a 3- or 4- or even 5-year spacing, they'd just interact a little differently than my sister and I (with our 2-year spacing). And furthermore, my sister and I aren't even all that close now, though it was nice to always have a playmate as a kid (and my husband felt the same way about his two close-in-age brothers). But I don't want to wait too long to make the decision, as my husband will be 36 this year and the longer we wait the harder the newborn stage will be on him and the older he will be when our kids are in high school/college. I know lots of people have a great time as older parents but it does seem a lot harder. We noticed a difference in the impact of the newborn sleep-deprivation on the two of us (I'm five years younger, and not too, too worried about my fertility yet, but I don't want to wait too long for me either).
I think part of the problem is probably that babies are not really my thing. I like older kids. Babies are cute, but I can satisfy a baby yen by cuddling a friend's baby for a little bit. It's hard to contemplate having another small child while I already have one, so maybe I am being short-sighted in thinking of having another baby while I have a toddler, rather than thinking about my future five-year-old and eight-year-old (or whatever).
So what do you think? Any advice for me? How did you know you were, or weren't, "one and done"?