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Any Moms of An Only Child Tribe - Page 74

post #1461 of 1645
I am not sure how active this thread is but thought I'd jump in too. I was a "no kids" person for most of my life and then we had DS when I was 38. Having him was a decision we agonized about, not being people who were "drawn" to parenting- what if it was awful, what if something was wrong with him, etc. Pregnancy was fine, but I hated the infant stuff and the beginning was so awful I thought I was going to have to go into the loony bin, but like the others have said I think we hit our stride at 18mo or so and now that he is 22mo I can imagine doing it again. I keep thinking, it is not something I want but that DS would benefit and it would have to suck less than last time (right?) b/c we had learned things. So I waffle. I think- it would be unimaginably horrible, and then I think it would be lovely and awesome. How to decide? I thought we were "one and done" . . . and the biological clock has ticked it's last breath, so I really need to figure this out NOW. I keep thinking that my head knows this is the wrong choice, but my heart is telling me to have another.
post #1462 of 1645
first of all, it can be, in many ways, that one finds the second child easier than the first one was, just because one has that experience. BUT - first of all, it's not necessarily the case. You don't get the same kid over again - the next child is a whole new person, and you've never raised that child before; yes, it might be easier than the first one was, but it also might not be. I know plenty of people who had an "easy" firstie and a really rough time with the second (about as many parents as I know who had a challenging time with the first and found their second to be easier). AND - it's never going to be easier having 2 kids than one. yes, the second one may be easier than the first one was, but it's still not going to make one's life easier to have another child. you'll be BFing and dealing with your toddler/ small child. you'll be dealing with the small child on top of the sleep deprivation from the baby. etc etc. at some point, they grow up a bit and play together, entertaining each other, BUT as I've seen, you spend just as much time dealing with the sibling rivalry and sorting out their arguments, and there's no guarantee that they'll like each other at all. I *hated* my brother - we never ever got on or played well, and ironically, he was purpose-concieved to be my playmate.

not that I'm trying to talk anyone out of having more kids... just that I think people should go into these things without the rose-coloured glasses. Kids should be concieved consciously, and very much wanted; wanted for the person they are, and not just as a playmate/ sibling to existing children.
post #1463 of 1645
I concur with majikfaerie. We were similarly not planning to have any and then at 11:59pm decided to try and we had dc when I was 40. We have thought to have another, but circumstances actually prohibit it at this time. We have never thought to do so for a playmate, but that would be a benefit. Its just that it is has been so much more fun than we ever imagined it would be and would like to do it over again. I think in many ways though, that that is exactly what I want. I really would like to just rewind the hands of time and do it again. I am not so sure that I would be a good parent of two, especially on "those days" when i am struggling to be a really good parent of one.
post #1464 of 1645
Wow, the replies here have been amazing and the stories are powerful. I guess for some of us, arriving at one was easy; or a foregone conclusion. For many others, though, it seems like it's been more a "journey to one;" or you think you've made your decision (like me) and then it changes. For some of us, there are very practical considerations, like age or illness and for others it's straight-up preference. Yet here we all are!

Puffingirl, I feel for you. This is the situation I want to avoid with dh. I hope your week has gotten better with your dp. I decided a long time ago that I would rather have a close relationship with dh and one child than a strained relationship with him and 2 children. This has served me well in avoiding resentment over how long I had to wait before we tried again and now maybe it's too late. So many friends told me to "just tell him," as their reasoning was that since I would be caring for the baby and taking time off work, it should be my decision and he should stop being so selfish. Many people told me this and I was kind of shocked. I can't imagine how hard it is to be the one who wants only one and be expected to have more, though. I can see how awful that pressure must be and how hard it would make it to enjoy the family you have now. I'd love to hear an update.

Sarahdavida, big hugs to you! Thank you for sharing your story.

For me, I had a big talk with dh yesterday and actually spoke the words aloud, "I don't think I want another baby." I know it's too soon to be shutting the door, but that was a HUGE relief and it's stayed that way for 24 hours. That's the longest I've felt peace since even before the miscarriage. I get excited thinking about the future of our little family. It's so easy for me to list off my goals for us:
-to strengthen dd's bond with what little and spread-out family she does have, give her a sense of her roots
-to have dh have a vasectomy and for us to reclaim our sex lives, outside the context of sleep deprivation/TTC/birth control, etc
-to travel with dd and have adventures
-to go back to school
-to work on the house we all love so much

For now, we are MUPPIES; a modern urban pod

Thank you all for your amazingly compassionate responses
post #1465 of 1645
Thank you, Carfreemama, for your kind words of support. It's been a really bad time here and just to read a compassionate response brought tears to my eyes. I am happy for the peace you have found in your decision.

Things are no better here--in fact, they have gotten worse. We went round and round again on this after a very unpleasant weekend away when I felt shafted in the co-parenting dept to begin with, and our relationship is faltering. We've been married for 8 years and together for 13, but things have become sad and cold and lonely. We finally decided tonight to make an appt with a couples' therapist (which is a little tricky because I'm a therapist and personally know all the couples' therapists that I usual refer clients to). We're both hurting and grieving the idea of losing what envisioned our life to be like.
post #1466 of 1645
puffingirl, that sounds really hard. My dh and I have been to counseling several times to help us work through various phases in our relationship. As you know, seeking counseling does not mean the relationship is over; it just means you are in a time of change and adaptation will follow. The last time we went to counseling, I think we were dealing with somewhat similar issues that you are now: major life changes that we were having difficulty adjusting to. Whenever we are in a difficult phase, I find myself questioning the foundations of our relationship; then when we work through it, we usually are better than ever and I wonder how I could have had such fatalistic thoughts about our relationship. Anyway, I know this is kind of off topic for the "onlies" discussion, I just wanted to lend another note of support.

And that really is support not just for you, but for everyone on this thread who might be having a difficult time with the decision of having just one or having more. There is no one perfect decision, but we can always embrace what we have.
post #1467 of 1645
Quote:
Originally Posted by puffingirl View Post
Thank you, Carfreemama, for your kind words of support. It's been a really bad time here and just to read a compassionate response brought tears to my eyes. I am happy for the peace you have found in your decision.

Things are no better here--in fact, they have gotten worse. We went round and round again on this after a very unpleasant weekend away when I felt shafted in the co-parenting dept to begin with, and our relationship is faltering. We've been married for 8 years and together for 13, but things have become sad and cold and lonely. We finally decided tonight to make an appt with a couples' therapist (which is a little tricky because I'm a therapist and personally know all the couples' therapists that I usual refer clients to). We're both hurting and grieving the idea of losing what envisioned our life to be like.
so sorry you are going through such a difficult time...
post #1468 of 1645
Hello, I am a 38 year old mother of a 3 year old DS; he is my only child and will remain an only for all the reasons many of you have listed. I love being the mother of an only! However, DH took awhile to accept this, I'd say it took him 2 years or more to fully accept this decision. So I can relate to many of you who are having difficulties with their DH in deciding how many kids your family will consist of. DH has siblings who he likes very much and is rather traditional, ie, families have 2 kids or more. I wasn't close with my sibling and thought I'd have 2 kids before I had one and realized #1 how much work is involved, and #2 that I had absolutely no desire to have another, I have the child I want, why try for another?

The best of luck to everyone who does not share the same viewpoint as their spouse on this issue, my DH and I have had multiple arguments about this issue, but my feeling to not bring a child into the world that I did not want overweighed all the pressure that DH put on me. I guess it took our very easy going baby to turn into a high demanding toddler for him to see my point: we are happy as a family of 3, we have lots of free time to ourselves for going out w/our friends while the other parent watches DS, we have a great babysitter to watch DS when we like to go out on dates, so why change things. Finally one night when DS was particularly difficult going to bed DH said "I'm so glad we have just one". I told him "ha, welcome to the 'dark side' ". He laughed.

I firmly believe that societal pressure of "a family consists of at least 2 kids" is what drove DH's thinking for so long. Goodness, at my 6 week follow up appt after DS was born, the doctor mentioned "the next one" I would have! I thought to myself "who says there will be a next one???"

I read all the posts here starting awhile ago, when I was researching the "only child", and it has been invaluable for me. Thanks to everyone who wrote about their experiences. I have a friend who is getting the "so, when are you going to have the next baby?" now from many people. I told her to say this to them: children are not like potato chips, you can stop at just one!

Regardless of how many children one has, or chooses not to have, I believe in following your heart, even if society says you are wrong or different. You will be raising your child or children, society will not be popping in and saying "how can I help you?"
post #1469 of 1645
I really appreciate hearing all of your honest stories of how your family came to be as it is. As all of you probably know, it's so nice to not feel alone in these thoughts about having an only.

I'm hopeful that DH and I can work this out. I really relate to what you said, Ali, about not wanting to burden a child with pressure. I can really think of only 1 good reason to have any child--because you want to love and raise it to the very best of your ability, no matter what. Everything else seems like pressure and unfair expectations. And if I don't feel that (which I don't), it doesn't seem like bringing any other child into this world would be a good idea.

It is good to hear that some of you have had conflicts with your SO about this but have worked it out. It's just hard to know that one of us will have to give up on how we see our ideal family size--there really is no compromise on whether it's one child or two.
post #1470 of 1645
[QUOTE=puffingirl

It is good to hear that some of you have had conflicts with your SO about this but have worked it out. It's just hard to know that one of us will have to give up on how we see our ideal family size--there really is no compromise on whether it's one child or two.[/QUOTE]

You are totally correct about that, there is a mourning process of sorts after that decision was made between myself and DH. Every now and then, when I see siblings playing nicely together on the playground, I think "what if", but then reality hits me--I don't want another child, and DS has plenty of friends already. It is easy to romanticize a situation when you only see the benefits and the positives; I don't take two children home after the playground is done with and have to deal with any of their negatives!

Here is a link to a blog about only children, and the comments have helped me so much:

http://www.workitmom.com/bloggers/workitmom/?p=482

Also this book by Susan Newman: Parenting an Only Child

I would tell DH some of the research in the book, letting him know that mutliple studies have proven the many advantages of being an only child. I think he was just worried due to hearing so many stereotypes.

I just put DS to bed, I think I'll go and enjoy some "me time", just another plus of having an only!
post #1471 of 1645
I've been reading the comments on the workitmom article. I highly recommend it.

And now I know what to say if someone (again!) asks when am I going to have another child. "Why do you ask?" It is polite and should hopefully cause the other person to think twice about the rudeness of their question.
post #1472 of 1645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Down2Earth View Post
I've been reading the comments on the workitmom article. I highly recommend it.

And now I know what to say if someone (again!) asks when am I going to have another child. "Why do you ask?" It is polite and should hopefully cause the other person to think twice about the rudeness of their question.
Or, you might find they are asking because they are interested in just having one also, and think you may be of a similar mindset, or respect your opinion and would like to learn more about that option. Either way, it is great to learn more about why they are asking before embarking on your answer.
post #1473 of 1645
Quote:
Originally Posted by Down2Earth View Post
And now I know what to say if someone (again!) asks when am I going to have another child. "Why do you ask?" It is polite and should hopefully cause the other person to think twice about the rudeness of their question.
nice idea
post #1474 of 1645
bump
post #1475 of 1645
I have been thinking about this "tribe" lately
post #1476 of 1645
I've been thinking about this tribe too. Actually bought Time Magazine last month...cover story was "The Myth of the Only Child." (or something like that).

I might have posted to this thread a long time ago...don't remember. But, DH and I were one of those couples who planned on never having any children. DD was born when I was 42 and DH was 58. I wouldn't trade DD for anything in the world, neither would I trade our family of three!
post #1477 of 1645
I didn't see that Time magazine...did you like the article?
post #1478 of 1645
Quote:
I didn't see that Time magazine...did you like the article?
Hopefully I'm doing this correctly, but here's the link:

http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...002382,00.html

The article was okay (perhaps slightly fluffy in areas), but what was most interesting was the history behind the myths regarding only children. It is funny how one man's conclusions in the late 1800s led to a century of misconceptions that we are still dealing with.

I normally don't buy or read Time but saw it on a news stand and it immediately peaked my interest.
post #1479 of 1645
oh thanks for that link
post #1480 of 1645
Hey other only families! I grabbed that issue of Time magazine too, I never read it, but I saw the cover and thought "Vindication!"

DS is going to be two next month and so we've officially decided that we're one and done. DH has started the process for getting a vasectomy, which is quite the process in the military, luckily his command doesn't care about age or number of children so it isn't too much of headache. I'm excited. I'm excited to know that this is our family, whole and complete (well except for a few pets we'd like to add for DS when he's bigger). I'm also excited to get our sex life back. For years now I've been on and off hormonal BC, which all make me crazy, or IUDS which make my sex drive crash, or condoms which just plain suck...it's going to be so great to be with my husband without any hormones or barriers interfering. And to not be struck with terror every single month thinking that I might be pregnant will be great too. I know vasectomies aren't foolproof but they're much more reliable than condoms!

We're loving the benefits of only one child while we're living in Japan, it's more expensive here, especially with the exchange rate right now, but because it's just the three of us we're able to get out and explore. I'm also loving that we got a three bedroom apartment, so now we'll have a guest room!
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