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I'm not sure I can do it again

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Ds is 2, and we have always planned on having another baby. But now that the time is looming to TTC, I am having serious doubts that I have it in me to do this again, with a toddler on top of it. Ds still doesn't sleep through the night, he's still nursing like a newborn, we don't have much babysitting help, I don't have any good friends with kids who are around during the day, and I feel at the end of my rope with just ds most of the time - and he is a pretty darn good kid!

I want to sleep through the night. I'm tired of nursing all the time. I want to go to a movie with dh. I want to not feel so lonely and isolated during the day. And I just feel like all these things will be compounded if I have another baby. I just don't think I'm one of those moms that would be good at the logistics of two kids. I can barely keep it together with one - cooking, cleaning, laundry, carseats, slings/strollers, etc.

Today I was holding my 10mo neice, and ds figured out how to open the door of my SIL's house and started to walk out to the street, totally ignoring me telling him to stop. So I'm trying to drag him back inside, while still holding onto the baby (barely), he's fighting me, and the door is slamming on my back. The thought of doing this daily made me laugh with insanity.

And yet that's not even the main reason I have doubts about having a second. I just don't think I can go much longer without sleep or more consistent time out with dh. And my already brief alone time would surely shrink - it's going to be a lot harder for dh to take care of 2 kids while I go out than 1. And how the heck do you even put a baby and a toddler to bed? It takes the two of us tagteaming to get ds down. I just can't imagine how we'd cope with a new baby around here.

Has anyone felt like this and still had another baby? Or did you feel like this and decide not to have another baby? How did it work out for you?
post #2 of 18
My husband said we couldn't start ttc the second until dd was at least 27 months old. The idea was that she would be 3 when the next was born. Things didn't work out, and she will be almost 4.5 by the time the next one gets here. I've noticed that she is much more receptive to the idea of a brother or sister now than she was last summer when I was pregnant. She really went through a lot of developmental changes between 3.5 and 4. She started using the potty, playing with other children without having to have me by her side, mostly sleeping through the night in her own bed, and weaned (although she just asked to nurse yesterday) I have some other friends who have a spacing of about 5 years between their children and think it is great, so I'm hoping I'll have an easier time of it than if I had had my second when my daughter was younger. I don't really know, though, but I'm hopeful.

I think it is good to consider all these factors when deciding about whether to try and conceive again. There were times when I wasn't sure if I'd ever want to try again even though I know I wanted to have a second. I think knowing what you can handle in your life and making decisions based on that is a great idea. I'd say to think about postponing it just for awhile and see what happens and if you start to feel differently.
post #3 of 18
my son will be just over three and a half when our baby is due.. some days i worry about the stuff you mention.. especially in light of the fact that i'm going to be doing it all alone again.. but the weird thing is, i really am looking forward to it. i think A LOT has to do with the magical transformation a child undergoes sometime around three. my boy was the highneediest of the neediest.. even at 2 and three quarters he was driving me up the wall many a day with constant needs.. but suddenly, now that he can speak fairly fluently (enough to get his wants and needs across), and has acheived confidence in other areas, and has a better concentrative ability, i feel okay most of the time with the idea of having a new one fully dependent on me. you might change your mind once your son becomes more autonomous. and tho it may not feel like it'll happen, it will!
post #4 of 18
but then again, i say all this cuz we had a good day. some days he still whines and gets into stuff he's not supposed to, etc etc all day long. on those days, i am really weary of doing double duty.. and have images of scrambling back and forth between rooms, checking the children, juggling chores, cooking, phone calls, trying to find five minutes of quiet for my sanity.. BUT overall, i sense a gradual easing up in terms of my son's neediness.. and my heart is very excited to love and know another!
post #5 of 18
is there is any need to have another baby soon? maybe you have serious concerns about your age?

my kids are nearly 7 years apart, not that we planned it that way, that's what happened though, and now the new baby will be nearly 6 yrs younger than ds2 - families come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, don't rush it if you don't want. I've heard lots of people say that they don't want to get good sleep then have to give it up again (ie with a long gap between kids) personally I was glad of the respite
post #6 of 18
oceanbaby, i am right with you! we had thought we would try for a second baby when shoshanna was 2, so they would be about 3 years apart.

so not gonna happen.

i absolutely am not going to try to get pregnant until shoshanna is weaned and using the toilet regularly. there is no way i can handle a newborn and a toddler. i don't even want to imagine trying to meet a toddler's needs with my incessant vomiting during pregnancy.
post #7 of 18
I have thought the same things. My dd just turned 4, and we are still not TTC. My bro's wife just had a baby and their dd is 6, almost 7. My best friend just had her second, and her first is 8. The older kids are helpful, no sibling rivalry, no toddler chaos. If all goes according to plan our dd with be 6 when we TTC. I just couldn't handel it now, even at 4yr. That is just us though. Good luck with your decision.
post #8 of 18
I'll lay it on the table LOL I had ds2 when ds1 was just 22 months old. It was a huge adjustment, bigger than just adjusting from none to 1 kid for me. ANd I also was fairly isolated, though I did live a fewblocks away from Mom so that helped a lot (I would go hang out there, clean her house , well clean up messes the kids made usually, cook dinner, let the kids play in the yard, I liked it better than being cooped up in my little apt all day). Now ds1 is going to be 4, ds2 just turned 2, and with the new boy here well that just turned everything upside down again LOL, what's worse is the older two are double trouble! And I swear they know when I"m "out of commision" because I'm sitting down to nurse the baby, and they get into what ever they want.
And I haven't slept in 4 years, so it feels. I definately do not want to be TTC for a good long while. NOt only are my hands full, I dont' want to further test my limit at the moment and want to be a good halfway sane mommy to the 3 that I have. I'm hanging in there though. I give lots of props to moms who have bigger families than I do!!
post #9 of 18
I am one of those people who can juggle it, and we have our kids 22 months apart, and are wanting to TTC again (youngest is 18 months). I think a lot of it has to do with creating the enviroment that makes it so you can handle things. My family is all nearby (well, relatively; about 20-30 minute drive that we make several times a week), and they are great. My kids have always been good sleepers; even DD, who was a high-needs baby (extremely so) had a 6-hour stretch right from birth. So we aren't feeling especially sleep-deprived. We've learned to forgo cleanliness in the interests of keeping the kids happy and ourselves sane. One of the reasons we started having kids so early (pregnant with the first at 19) was that we knew that we wanted them close together and that we probably wouldn't have the energy for it if we were too much older (or wiser LOL).

But there is absolutely no reason to rush things if you don't want to. Spacing is all about what works for your family, and even if you decided before that you wanted them X amount of time apart, that will change as you find out what your family is all about. Remember, each new child is an equal part of your family and will exert a lot of influence on the family dynamic, so it isn't all that surprising that your whole outlook changes when 1/3 of your family dynamic is a toddler, you know? Individual kids change the family in their own ways; how my first changed our family lent itself to another child soon, but how your first changed your family may mean that another child wouldn't be the right thing for you guys right now. We really need to see this child-spacing issue not as an issue of ditching 'goals' or 'plans', but one of being flexible and doing what we think our families need. When we ditch an old notion of how close together our kids are going to be, we should not see it as a failure but rather as a wise re-mapping of our idea of what our families should look like.

My life now is full of juggling-type activities. That little story about your DS running out the door sounds like some of the things that happen frequently (although we've made the door off-limits so that exact thing has never happened). Some people couldn't handle getting to the park and having the children run like mad in opposite directions. Some couldn't handle two kids both deciding they really, really, need the same rock. And those are the people that have their kids 6 years apart. There is nothing wrong with that. My sister and I are 6 years apart and are great friends, so I'm just not seeing how having them far apart hurts their bonding. And certainly, for you, it may save YOUR sanity, which is perhaps even more important.
post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your thoughtful replies and for sharing your experiences. I am so back and forth on this. One moment I am convinced that there is no possible way I can have a baby any time soon, and then the next moment I feel so positive that having a baby soon is the right thing for our family. I guess I'll just give it some more time and see how the feelings evolve.

My dh is definitely the type that doesn't want to start getting sleep and then start all over again. As much as we both absolutely love the baby years, he (and me to some degree) kind of want it all done at once, rather than spreading it out over too many years. Of course, I also have this fantasy about the kids being almost grown and oops, I'm pregnant!

I also think ds would really enjoy having a baby around. I don't see him as the type to have jealousy issues (although I could be wrong), he absolutely loves babies, and is really gentle and sensitive with them. He's also a bit bored most of the time, so it would also be another person around to play with.

Ooops, gotta run. More later.
post #11 of 18
my first 2 are 18 months apart and really good friends.they are 6 and 5 now. my third child is 5 months old and everybody loves her.(what is not to love in a baby? )anyway,both age spacings have worked out really well for me. Maia was still in diapers and didn't talk when Mason was born,so it did not feel so strange to have another baby in the house.they are very close to one another still and sleep together and they get upset if one does not want to play with the other.
my younger sister and i are just 14 months apart and shared most everything growing up and are still great friends now.
but,that is my situation and may not suit everyone else!
BTW,none of them were "planned" pregnancies.just worked out this way!
post #12 of 18
Don't forget a lot of kids regress when a new baby comes into the house. Your little one may be a darling now, but I've heard a lot of mamas say their toddler turned into a kid they didn't recognize when that new baby came home.

Just something else to think about.
post #13 of 18
I've been following this thread, as oceanbaby's past threads of a similar nature, with interest. I could write my own called "I don't think I have what it takes." To have a second child, that is. But I didn't think I had what it took to have one.

We are planning to pull out the IUD in a few weeks. I'm ambivalent about it. I look at the logic and it makes no sense. But that drive that has populated the earth seems to come through on it's own. I can't not pull it out.

The ideal answer for us would be to wait, but I'm 43 and I don't have the luxury of waiting until Dd is sleeping better, weaned and out of diapers, and asking for a sibling, which I'd prefer.

If I do not conceive, I think I will cry, but I will be at peace with that. If I do, I'll probably cry (as I did the first time), but figure it's what the universe means for me and our family. I feel like I have to give TTC my best shot, that if I don't I'll look back with regret.

I don't have any idea how I would cope with certain things - like two that need attention at once, like two that won't nap when one that won't nap makes me absolutely crazy, how I will nap with two that may not nap, how I'll deal with nursing when Dd loves to nurse and I've struggled with low supply. I have so many fears.

But I'm soooo stubborn (Taurus, by the way), and I REFUSE to be ruled by fear. Maybe that's why we're going ahead. I hate the idea of pulling back from life out of fear, so where angels and rational people fear to tread I will go forth...
post #14 of 18
I felt exactly the same way. One was going to be it for me!!!! Then my dd got older, starting sleeping better, listening more, entertaining herself more, etc. So I was brave enough to have another one. Our kids are 5 years apart and it's a great span, I think!!!
post #15 of 18
I can totally relate!

You are wise to wonder if now is the right time to TTC. Mine are almost 3 years apart and it has been HARD. Dd weaned while I was pregnant, but without going into all the details, I figured 3 years would give us enough time to be ready for another baby. If I were doing it over, I'd wait at least 4 years, as dd just wasn't mature enough to share me!

I'm not one who *personally* worries or cares about how good of friends or playmates my little ones are. No amount of them playing together in 2-3 years from now would have kept me sane enough to be able to personally handle 2 babies!!!!!

Anyway, no matter what your spacing is, you'll still be waking up at night, BFing (if that's your choice), etc. None of that goes away, so it sounds like you need to decide if you can do those things all over again.

Good luck!
post #16 of 18
My signature pretty much says it all! What's not there is that dd1 is high needs, spirited, very attached to her momma, and did not entertain herself very well for the first 4-5 years of her life. I started thinking about #2 when she was four. That was also when she began to ask for a sibling. They are 6 yrs and 2 1/2 months apart, which is exactly how far apart my brother and I are (there's a sister in between though) and we have an awesome relationship. I remember his joining our family very fondly and loved helping my mom with him. My dd has had ocassional moments when jealousy rears its ugly head, but I'm not entirely convinced it's all coming from her. She watched a video at a sibling prep class that talked about feelings that a kid might have when a new baby comes and I wonder if she doesn't play act some of that. She really has a flair for the dramatic! So I wouldn't put it past her!! She loves being a big sister and likes to help with the baby. She sometimes remarks that she is looking forward to Ellie being old enough to play with and she has realistic expectations that this will involve peekaboo, rather than "house." She can also make her own breakfast, take her own shower, do her laundry (well, Gramma prefers she not use her machine, so she just carries them up and down the stairs for me), take care of the animals, take out the garbage, dress herself, make her own lunch, and wash her own lunch dishes. She has gotten to be a BIG help recently and is quite independent. I have arranged her environment for success from the beginning (and my sister taught to take her own shower when she was here right after Ellie was born! ) and it is really paying off.

That said, my less than stellar moments come when she is trying to talk to me when the baby is screaming. I have trouble handling that and am often very short with Sophia when that happens. I also try hard not to take her for granted. Sometimes she seems sad and withdrawn, so I will work on that.

Good luck with your decision!
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
I am really realizing how much of this has to do with two things primarily: sleep, and isolation during the day. The past few nights were horrible, and I was soooo tired during the day. It made me cranky and depressed, thinking about how this was too hard, I must not be cut out to be a mom, and that there was no way I could have another baby. Then last night I actually got a good night's sleep, and I wake up this morning still thinking about a second baby, and it seems to be so much more doable. Ds is in a better mood too, playing more independently, doing things with me rather than clung to my leg, etc.

And I really can't gripe enough about feeling isolated during the day. I live in the middle of a big city, and all our family lives 20-45 minutes away, and I have plenty of girlfriends (all childless), but with all that, there is not a single person available during the day to hang out with us. How I long for a mom friend. We could hang out during the day at each other's houses, cooking, cleaning, watching the kids, playing in the backyard, we could run errands together, take field trips, etc. What a difference that would make! The first year of ds's life my mom used to have a lot of free time during the week (she now works full time), and it made such a difference to have someone with me during the day. I meet moms, and we have playdates and such, but as of yet no real friendships. I feel like I try and really put myself out there, but everyone seems so much busier than we are - they always have plans. Anyway, this is getting off on another topic.

I really don't know what we're going to do. A part of me really wants to wait until ds is 4 or 5, but yet I feel an equally strong pull to TTC this year. I guess I'll just wait and see how things go around here in the next few months.

I have really enjoyed, and appreciated, reading everyone's responses. Please continue to share your experiences - I find the decision to have a second baby soooo much harder and frightening than the decision to have a first baby!

(Oh, and I wanted to add that my age per se isn't a huge issue, I'm 31, but my mom went through menopause in her early forties, and I've read that age of menopause is hereditary, and that fertility begins to decline years before menopause sits in. So I don't feel a huge time crunch right now, but don't feel comfortable waiting too long either.)
post #18 of 18
If you feel liek that then what's the big deal on waiting another year or so. No one says you have to have a toddler and a baby, you have to find your middle ground and maybe close spacing isn't what your after.
Saying that I would liek to point out that I've done both ways. My son and middle daughter are four years apart and admittly this was the easiest for me. While I wanted them a little closer together(three years) this worked fine. Than came the new baby with her and sister only 18 monts apart while it's hard it's not undoable, nothing is undoable for us women, we are stong as you already know. But if I had to repeat(and we will accoording to my husband) I prefer a few more years. Wait until you feel comfortable that you mentally(and physically of course) handle I say.
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