"One and Done" how did you decide? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 02-21-2012, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those with one LO, how did you decide that you were done after one?


DS ( 9/2010) and TTC #2 fingersx.gif

 

 

 

 

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#2 of 22 Old 02-21-2012, 07:28 PM
 
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I would also like to know. smile.gif


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#3 of 22 Old 02-29-2012, 10:43 AM
 
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My opinion may not count for much, since DS is only 10 and a half months old, but DH and I are pretty darn certain we are done.  Of course, everyone thinks that is ridiculous and has been on our case about a second since he was 6 months old. uhoh3.gif  There is a very, very small outside chance that we will want to go down the baby road again when DS is 7 or so, but I'm not placing any bets on it.

 

Our reasons include:

  • financial resources (I'm currently a SAHM with our lil guy, so one fixed income) 
  • focused attention/playtime/discipline (we prefer the 2-on-1 approach, rather than being pulled in opposite or multiple directions - especially nice to get a bit of backup when DH comes home - I know this is mitigated some by sibling play as they get older, but still not our cup of tea)
  • travel and inclusion in our lives (it is SO easy to take DS with us anywhere - live music, meeting friends, out-of-town business trips, etc. - and it just wouldn't be that easy with 2 or more - also, it's easy to find a sitter when we get to that point)
  • education (this goes back to financial resources, as I'd love to send him to Waldorf, but that necessitates me pulling in some $$$ while he's at school - college savings similar)
  • career goals (I didn't have a strongly established career before DS and am still in my late 20s, so I'd love the opportunity to explore new ways of using my time and talents outside of mommy world - I am currently happy to be so focused on DS and doing AP, but just can't imagine re-starting the "baby clock")
  • health issues (I have lupus and other health concerns that make extra stress a real problem)

 

Those are the main ones, although I'd also have to say I look forward to being able to buy DS books, enroll him in activities, etc. - things that would be even tighter or impossible with two or more (I know there are threads for help on finding free things to do, though).  

 

I should probably add that DH and I are also a very close couple - we share the same friends, interests, etc. and prefer to hang out together, bringing our lil one along for the ride.  It's just how we roll.  If we were split up more (one of us watching the kids at home while the other does things) it would be alot harder and probably create some resentments.  

We are just so happy with our little family of three!  I definitely don't feel like we are missing anything. joy.gif


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#4 of 22 Old 02-29-2012, 10:44 AM
 
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PS - I meant to add that overpopulation is always in the back of our minds, and the environmental implications of that.  I don't think it's the deciding factor, but it contributes.


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#5 of 22 Old 02-29-2012, 11:12 AM
 
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 Many factors played into the decision for us.

 

It took us awhile to get pregnant, and I was 38 when DD was born. DD is now 3, and I'm 42. Time has pretty much run out for us. Labor was brutal for me, and I can't imagine trying to put myself through another pregnancy, childbirth, and years of sleep deprivation, etc. that come along with parenting an infant. So I would say that biological constraints are probably the top reason we're done.

 

Closely followed by financial constraints. We had to spend a lot of money to get pregnant (artificial insemination with sperm from an anonymous donor). So our savings was drained before DD was born. 3 years of childcare has meant no improvement in our financial situation. I don't know where we'd come up with the money to get pregnant again, let alone raise another kid.

 

And then, the hostility to gay/lesbian families plays a part in our decision. It was crazy hard & expensive to secure some form of basic parental rights for my partner. Things are not getting better in the state where we live; in fact, our options have been narrowed. It's just so exhausting to create a family when there are no structures in place to help and protect you; I don't think I have the energy to fight those battles again.

 

On a more positive note, we are thrilled with DD and think she's an awesome kid, and we couldn't be happier as her parents. We think we totally lucked out on #1, and why push our luck? winky.gif


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#6 of 22 Old 03-01-2012, 07:25 PM
 
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We aren't exactly one and done, but we didn't start TTC#2 until now when DD is nearly 5.   I planned to TTC#2 3 years ago, and have thought about this every.single.day since (sad but true).  Most people (myself included) dream of our kids have a sibling, a best friend for life, we imagine the dinner table with us, DH, and the kiddos all talking happily about the days events, etc.   However:

 

You simply cannot predict your kids will be friends or be there for each other when they are older.  In fact, the closer you space kids in a house that is having trouble keeping a peaceful, loving home (due probably to all the strain) the less likely they will be close; in fact, they may resent the other siblings for having to compete for mom's and dad's attention.  There was a very interesting article in Psychology Today about this ("Siblings: tethered for life." I believe).  

 

I believe Freud's theory that early childhood experiences define one's personality.  You always hear, "you only regret the children you don't have."  Well, of course you love all your children, but it is so short-sighted to never acknowledge that very real possibility that that additional child in the house caused irreversible emotional and social damage to the one(s) currently in the family.  One child is much easier than 2; this means more peace in the house, more time for everyone to be relaxed and happy.   I know in my heart there is NO WAY my DD would be the same kid if we had another baby already.  DH and I both have careers and it would be too much for us; we would be fighting and DD's daily routine and experiences would be completely different.  

 

One example, because DD is an only child, I arrange play dates for her with friends from her preschool and we moved last summer deliberately into a neighborhood with lots of kids her age.   If we had two kids two years apart like I originally planned, I would just assume they would be company for each other and would not have time to bring DD to these playdates (I seek out the kindest children she gets along best with and drive to see them, thinking it will be great for her confidence and sense of self-worth to be in such relationships at this age).  

 

Also, I can't believe how much I cherish the family of three that we are.  It's a completely different dynamic and everyone seems so happy!  We went on vacation to Maine for a week last summer and I kept thinking, "poor only child stuck with her parents for a week and no kids".  Every day the three of us canoed across a lake following a family of loons, whispering to each other the whole time.   We are going to Disney World next month and I can't WAIT. It will be so easy with just her; DH and I can just enjoy her without the stress of anything else.   She's only 5 and in Disney once and we really get to experience it fully.  

 

When I lived in San Fran the family across the street was parents and a 12 year old boy.  Every Saturday morning the 3 of them would load their mountain bikes on the top of their car and leave for the day (probably to the mountains).  They would all be smiling and laughing; they seemed so relaxed and happy.

 

So while I would love for DD to have a sibling she is close with, I have bigger dreams that come first:

 

1) Childhood works out well for her and she doesn't need prozac (or stronger) as a young adult and beyond.

 

2) Her parents not only stay together but actually LIKE each other and are zero financial burden on her when she has a family of her own. 

 

-Jen

 

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#7 of 22 Old 03-02-2012, 08:51 AM
 
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yeahthat.gif  Well said, Snydley!!!  I completely agree.  I have seen the fallout of lifelong sibling resentment and it is not pretty - families put under great stress, cousins growing up estranged, etc.  Parents should certainly consider all their resources, not only financial, before making the decision to have more children.  Some couples successfully juggle the needs of multiple children, and more power to them - but for us, I feel strongly that it would affect the quality of time and attention I give to our son, as well as negatively impact our lifestyle (in terms of spontaneity, travel, leisure activities that nourish our soul, etc.) and our marriage (from stress and by being pulled in opposite directions chasing small children).  

 

I do sometimes worry he might be lonely, but he does have other neighborhood kids his age and a cousin very close in age that lives an hour away.  When I worry about this, I remember that a happy home is the best gift you can give a babe, and I just feel we operate best with one kiddo and two fulfilled, better rested, loving (and in love) parents.


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#8 of 22 Old 03-02-2012, 05:04 PM
 
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Thanks Pickle18.  It amazes me how few people share our beliefs, but honestly the pressure to have more than one is SO great in this country it's ridiculous.  I just can't believe the things people say to us!  "You're not going to leave her ALONE, are you??" One friend said to DH "come on, you've got to have ANOTHER!" while his two kids were screaming at each other behind him.  My DH replied, "why, so I can be as miserable as you?"  ROTFLMAO.gifAnother friend with two girls two years apart actually said "it's an epidemic of only children" because there were so many only kids at the party.  mischievous.gif  Then the next time they visited, his two and four year old weren't exactly best buddies.  He said to me "we're waiting for them to start playing together"!  Good luck.  

 

Our best friends in town have a 6yo DD and are completely one and done.  Interestingly, my DH is an only child, and our friends with the 6yo are an only child and the other's closest sibling is 10 years older.   I'm not seeing only children grow up and feel desperate to give their kids siblings (the opposite in fact!).  

 

 

Quote:
Parents should certainly consider all their resources, not only financial, before making the decision to have more children.

Amen to this!!  

 

 

 

Maybe the difference is also that like you, I'm 100% committed to my marriage and really look forward to hanging out with him.  That said, keeping this 12 year relationship functional has been a massive effort on both parts, navigating family drama on both sides, raising our daughter, and dealing how we both respond to stress.  But I still envision us traveling and putting around golf courses in our 70s, telling stupid jokes and all the rest.  Being a mom is amazing but it's certainly not all of me and not all I have planned.  I think that's functional, right?   wink1.gif
-Jen
 
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#9 of 22 Old 03-03-2012, 04:02 AM
 
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To Pickle18 and Snydley. Thank you for posting here! This was exactly what I needed to hear. I have had so much pressure (not all from outside sources, but mostly from myself) to not have an "only child" and hearing what you 2 had to say just totally lifted everything off my shoulders.

My DH doesn't want to have a 2nd child right now, and I've basically been following his lead, as I'm okay either way. I know that I could handle another child right now, but could my marriage handle another child right now?? We have our differences as it is. With one child. We fight about who's more selfish, and we blame each other for stupid things. (Like if our boy does something wrong we say "you weren't watching him" kinda thing) We have been married for 4.5 years, and we're young. I'm 24 and he is 26 this year. I've been feeling like we're both too selfish to have a 2nd child right now. But maybe we ARE normal, and its okay to want to be able to enjoy life rather than "get through it." I love my husband very much. And maybe he's the smart one for realizing our relationship could suffer with a 2nd child right now.

I've just been led to believe that I'm "messing up" my first born by not giving him someone to play with, or he's gonna be "that kid" in the neighbourhood who no one wants to play with because he's too shy or something. (He's not the shy type at 2 years old though!) I've also been thinking that I'll regret not having anymore, and I'll always be thinking about the child we never had. But now I know that I should stop thinking about the children we don't have and start focusing on the child we do have! We are all the best of friends, even on a bad day. Why mess that up?

Like one of you said, some couples can handle more than one child, we shouldn't feel guilty if we don't think we can handle it.

Its nice to hear that it's okay to be where we are right now. I'm looking forward to our future, even if its just the 3 of us! My son will know he's loved and so what if he's gonna be given what he wants most of the time, I'm going to be proud to be able to offer my child the best and what he deserves throughout his childhood. He will still learn important values and morals, just like any other family with more than one child. But to be able to pay for college, or help them buy their first car is something I want to do for him one day. Like it was done for me.

Thanks again for your posts, I can't say enough about how great it made me feel about our little family!

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#10 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 06:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Snydley View Post

 

 

1) Childhood works out well for her and she doesn't need prozac (or stronger) as a young adult and beyond.

 

2) Her parents not only stay together but actually LIKE each other and are zero financial burden on her when she has a family of her own. 

 

-Jen

 

 

I think it's important to look at your individual situation and factor everything into that.  I don't think we can generalize.  I grew up in a big family and not myself nor my siblings have any mental issues or are on medications for problems caused by the way we were raised.  My parents were also married for 40+ years until my father's passing.  I think how children turn out is more of an indicator of parenting style and the nature of the family.  My parents really treasured their children and viewed them as a gift.  

 

I can see the other side as well, I have a sibling who has chosen to not have children due to her situation.  My DH is an only child and I once asked his mom why she chose not to have more.  She told me she wanted a better quality of life for herself.  I think each person has the right to decide how they want to proceed with their life, and all the types of birth control available these days makes that definitely an option.


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#11 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama4life14 View Post

But maybe we ARE normal, and its okay to want to be able to enjoy life rather than "get through it." 
This is so well put - I've been thinking about this alot lately. thumbsup.gif  I think it is absolutely okay - doing what is right for your family (incl. what makes you a more fulfilled person, what makes you a better mother, what helps your marriage, etc.) is the important thing.  Not doing what everyone says you are "supposed" to do (what do they know???) - are those people going to raise your additional children for you??? Nope! winky.gif
I've just been led to believe that I'm "messing up" my first born by not giving him someone to play with, or he's gonna be "that kid" in the neighbourhood who no one wants to play with because he's too shy or something. (He's not the shy type at 2 years old though!)
I really don't think this is true - siblings don't always play nice, and a happy mom (and parents happily married) is the best gift you can give your kid!  There is no reason he can't have tons of social time through school, play dates, activities, etc.
I've also been thinking that I'll regret not having anymore, and I'll always be thinking about the child we never had. But now I know that I should stop thinking about the children we don't have and start focusing on the child we do have! We are all the best of friends, even on a bad day. Why mess that up?
Like one of you said, some couples can handle more than one child, we shouldn't feel guilty if we don't think we can handle it.
Its nice to hear that it's okay to be where we are right now. I'm looking forward to our future, even if its just the 3 of us! My son will know he's loved and so what if he's gonna be given what he wants most of the time, I'm going to be proud to be able to offer my child the best and what he deserves throughout his childhood. He will still learn important values and morals, just like any other family with more than one child. But to be able to pay for college, or help them buy their first car is something I want to do for him one day. Like it was done for me.
Thanks again for your posts, I can't say enough about how great it made me feel about our little family!
I'm really glad this thread helped you!!! orngbiggrin.gif  IMO, bringing another person into the world is a huge decision, and not one that should be taken lightly (or done "just because").  It's great that you know there are certain things you want to provide for your son.  Also, no matter how many children you have, you will stop at some point - there will always be "children you didn't have."  Everyone has to come to terms with that at some point (and I don't think there is anything wrong with doing it before you hit a wall of total exhaustion winky.gif).  Your family sounds lovely, whether you decide to add more or not!

 

 


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#12 of 22 Old 04-24-2012, 12:03 PM
 
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Thank you Pickle18 its so nice to have someone who sees it the way I do! smile.gif

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#13 of 22 Old 04-24-2012, 12:43 PM
 
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It's great to see these perspectives. I've been looking at how many I would like to have, but I don't have a whole lot of friends around me to discuss it.


Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.  -Hellen Keller 

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#14 of 22 Old 04-24-2012, 02:00 PM
 
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Honestly, I feel overwhelmed with one (23months) and can't imagine having another, at least not until this one is way more independent and in school. Thing is, by then I don't think I'll want to start from square one with an infant and the intense needs of a small child. Plus, I was 36 and DH 52 when ours was born so we are running out of time, not that I couldn't in my 40s but the risks are higher and more importantly DH does eventually want to retire and not have to work until he's 75+ to support our children.
 


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#15 of 22 Old 04-25-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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P.J. - I can totally relate!  DS is high needs - I love him to pieces, and we have learned alot of things that help him out, but I have no idea how to juggle his needs and a tiny infant (especially if they were high needs also!).  The early years are so important and I don't want to give anyone short shrift (DS or a new babe).  I am a SAHM, though, and sometimes I feel like I "should" be able to do it...or else I'm being kinda lazy?  In my head, I've debated...if we were to have a second...would it be better to wait until DS was school age?  Or would that be total torture restarting the "baby clock" and having another super intense first few years (DS is one, and the last one is a total blur for me!) all over again?  How would that mesh with a career?  Would it be better to have them closer together, get the baby years over with and hope we make it through? etc. etc.  And again, I worry about the effects of all of this on my marriage - you are wise to consider your DH's plans for retirement - and for you both as a couple!

 

ETA: These questions and concerns add up to not having another in my head.  Our house is a wreck most of the time; I have trouble getting chores done or cooking as it is...doesn't seem wise to throw a tiny new person into the mix! dizzy.gif


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#16 of 22 Old 04-25-2012, 10:29 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Snydley View Post
So while I would love for DD to have a sibling she is close with, I have bigger dreams that come first:

 

1) Childhood works out well for her and she doesn't need prozac (or stronger) as a young adult and beyond.

 

2) Her parents not only stay together but actually LIKE each other and are zero financial burden on her when she has a family of her own. 

 

-Jen

 

 

Wow so I must really be fucking up my kids, huh? Three kids in 3.5 years..I wonder which of them is going to be on prozac first. thumb.gif


OP....every family is different. You cannot make general, sweeping statements about family size that fit all people, all circumstances. If it's not going to work for your marriage, your situation....then you shouldn't do it. But if you think it WOULD work for you guys, YEAH you're going to regret it later if you don't go for it.


I understand where some of the ideas on this thread are coming from, but some of them are WAY insulting and over the top. My kids are going to be medicated? I might be messing my kids up for life by having a bunch of children? What?

My kids are 16.5 months apart and they ARE best friends...they do EVERYTHING together. They sing and dance and play and cook and get into mischief together all day. They sleep side by side and the first thing they do when they wake up every morning is hug and walk into the kitchen to eat, sitting side by side. They don't have any unhealthy attachment, they *can* be separated..they cling to each other fiercely and kiss and say "I love you, come back soon" for five minutes before they are parted...but they know they will be together again and are okay. They just love the crap out of each other.
I can honestly say that their experience without one another on this earth so far would PALE in comparison to the experience they are having together. They bring MORE harmony in my house...not less. I find two toddlers wildly more easy, fun and entertaining than one was.

 

I'm the eldest of four children and I have no idea how I would have survived my childhood without them. As adults we are all still SO incredibly close. Having these people in my life is a HUGE part of my happiness. I'm never alone. A sister is more than a "close friend". A brother is better than "a guy friend". My kids having aunts and uncles is HUGE in their lives. Now that my younger siblings are starting to settle down and my sister is having kids..it's just so amazing to have them moving into the same phase of life as me. Once again, we're all moving on to the same page, relating to each other in such a close knit and supportive way. We look to the future and the ways in which we will continue to grow as a family and we are so excited. We were thick as a pack of thieves as kids...and we remain as close in adulthood. They are a huge and irreplaceable part of my world.

 

Not to mention that as my mother is growing older, it makes me feel good to know that caring for her in her old age will be for the four of us to cope with together. Not one of us alone. Just as it fills me with happiness that as my MIL grows older, there will be three children in my DHs side(plus their spouses) to care for her. Just as it fills me with happiness to know that the burden of caring for me and my DH when we are old will not fall to one child...there is more than just "yeah, but my retirement savings will support me"  to consider. What if I have bad dementia..or need a lot of support to cope with an illness. What if my husband becomes very ill or dies and I'm devastated...I wonder what would be easier for an adult child of mine..to be one of three or four who come together to care for me while I cope...or to be one child, already grieving...alone to support me while I cope?

 

 

If it's not for you, it's not for you. If you don't think you have what it takes to manage more than one..fine...you really shouldn't mess up the good thing you have going. I have always said that I have the MOST respect for people who know that they are not meant for kids and people who know that one is enough for them, because I know how much pressure there is to have two+ kids these days.

 

But please don't sit here and pretend that the secret to not messing up your life is having one kid. Just as it would be rude, insensitive and wrong for me to say to you moms-of-one that having one kid is boring, cruel to your child and that you'll regret it one day...it's JUST as rude for you mom-of-one to sit here and say to us moms of some+ that our kids are going to resent each other, that our marriages are going to be strained and that my babies are going to end up on prozac from the stress and dysfunction of it all.

 

 

 

There are a lot of other comments made here that I would love to offer a different perspective to...the comment about divided attention, liking to do everything together with your DH and all of that (we roll EVERYWHERE as a family unit. My DH and I spend 99.9% of our time outside of his working hours together..and our marriage is only getting stronger and happier as we invite more children into the picture!)...but I'm not going to spend a lot of time doing that, because that would be relaying MY perspective...and my perspective may not mean much in YOUR situations.

How do you decide if you are okay with "One and Done" ???

 

You look around your life and say:

 

1. Am I happy?

2. Would I more likely be more or LESS happy if I had another baby to take care of right now?

If the answer to 1 is "yes" and the answer to 2 is "probably LESS" - you need to be done, until/unless something changes. If you keep asking yourself the question "am I really done??" over and over again...well, maybe you're not really freakin' done.

Good luck deciding, OP....."good kids who turn into happy adults" don't come from households with "this or that" number of kids. You cn't say that. You CAN say, however, that there is a higher likelihood that your kids will be happier people if they come from a happy, harmonious home where they are treated with respect and love by happy, peaceful parents.



 

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#17 of 22 Old 04-25-2012, 10:49 AM
 
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photobucket-3196-1335375603263.jpg    photobucket-10296-1335375572724.jpg

 

 

These are not campaign posters for The Future Faces of Depression Awareness Alliance.....

 

These are two best friends. These are two people who are sincerely having a more enjoyable and supported experience on this earth because they have each other. I look at my husband and I feel like I was meant to have him in my life...I look at my kids and I see the same spark of deep love. I know they are always going to be there for one another.

Maybe it's luck, maybe it's something I'm doing right. Who knows. But you can't look at my family with two kids, soon to be three kids (which, by the way, is celebrated with eager anticipation DAILY by my DD and DS, DD especially...she is INTENT on catching the new baby) and say that just because having an extra person comes with more stress, our life is less awesome than yours or our kids are worse off.

 

Does having your husband/wife in your life ever mean more stress for you? Cause I know sometimes my partner and I don't see eye to eye and that's stressful....but would you ever say that you are worse off for having him by your side?

 

Only you know if it's not for you....but don't judge people with more than one kid like they are folding to pressure, or "barely making it" through life instead of loving every minute. My situation is BLISSFUL for the most part....I hope you all make decisions that allow you to say the same.


Me and DH ...lovin' DD dust.gif(6/08) and DS kid.gif(11/09) Plus NEW BABY!! DD baby.gif (UC-5/12) We heartbeat.gif Water Birth/Homebirth/No Vax or Circ/BF/BW/Country Livin'! chicken3.gif

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#18 of 22 Old 04-25-2012, 12:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroodyWoodsgal View Post
Wow so I must really be fucking up my kids, huh? Three kids in 3.5 years..I wonder which of them is going to be on prozac first. thumb.gif


OP....every family is different. You cannot make general, sweeping statements about family size that fit all people, all circumstances. If it's not going to work for your marriage, your situation....then you shouldn't do it. 

 

I can't speak for Snydley, but I didn't read those comments as "general, sweeping statements" condemning all people who dare to have more than one kid.  Not at all.  I read those as highly personal (and likely intentionally humorous) comments on her specific situation.  As in...if she were to have another child, she feels the cons outweigh the pros - if she were to have another child, she feels it would not be best for her marriage or her existing child, in her situation.

My kids are 16.5 months apart and they ARE best friends...they do EVERYTHING together...

 

I'm the eldest of four children and I have no idea how I would have survived my childhood without them. As adults we are all still SO incredibly close...

 

I am so happy for you that your kids get along great, and that you have fantastic relationships with your siblings. smile.gif  The pictures are adorable! But part of my joy in seeing it comes from the fact that that is not always the case - that perhaps what they have is special because it is rare.  Both my and my husband's families are torn apart by sibling resentments that began in early childhood.  It is a source of constant emotional turmoil and stress for us.  So while you are welcome to add your positive experience to the discussion, I think it is still fair to acknowledge that it may work out quite the opposite, and that may not be a gamble some people want to take.

 

If it's not for you, it's not for you. If you don't think you have what it takes to manage more than one..fine...you really shouldn't mess up the good thing you have going. I have always said that I have the MOST respect for people who know that they are not meant for kids and people who know that one is enough for them, because I know how much pressure there is to have two+ kids these days.

 

And if that's true, you should realize that arguments like, "they will be left alone to take care of you in your old age" are constantly being thrown out there already.  There IS alot of pressure - I think this forum is a pretty good place to get away from some of that...until now.

 

But please don't sit here and pretend that the secret to not messing up your life is having one kid. Just as it would be rude, insensitive and wrong for me to say to you moms-of-one that having one kid is boring, cruel to your child and that you'll regret it one day...it's JUST as rude for you mom-of-one to sit here and say to us moms of some+ that our kids are going to resent each other, that our marriages are going to be strained and that my babies are going to end up on prozac from the stress and dysfunction of it all.

 

You just made an entire case against having an only child, from your sibling relationships to caring for your parents.  Nobody is saying that YOUR marriage is going to be strained, or that YOUR kids will hate each other, etc.  In fact, if you read the thread you'll find just the opposite - many of us have the utmost respect for moms and dads that feel they CAN handle more, without anyone suffering.  But likewise, it's ok if we think those are real possibilities for our situations, and if those concerns factored into our personal decisions. 

 

You seem to waver between being insulted (when I don't believe anyone meant offense - we are just talking about our own decisions), shooting down or dismissing our concerns, and then saying that you respect the decisions we make.  Well, which is it?  I'm honestly confused.

 

There are a lot of other comments made here that I would love to offer a different perspective to...the comment about divided attention, liking to do everything together with your DH and all of that (we roll EVERYWHERE as a family unit. My DH and I spend 99.9% of our time outside of his working hours together..and our marriage is only getting stronger and happier as we invite more children into the picture!)...but I'm not going to spend a lot of time doing that, because that would be relaying MY perspective...and my perspective may not mean much in YOUR situations.

See, now, the part where you held back is actually the part that might be most helpful, from a BTDT mom!  I would actually be interested in hearing how you prevented your marriage from turning into one person chasing after one kid and the other chasing after the next!  How you found time for just the two of you, what the early years were like, etc.  How you make it work.

 

How do you decide if you are okay with "One and Done" ???

 

You look around your life and say:

 

1. Am I happy?

2. Would I more likely be more or LESS happy if I had another baby to take care of right now?

If the answer to 1 is "yes" and the answer to 2 is "probably LESS" - you need to be done, until/unless something changes. If you keep asking yourself the question "am I really done??" over and over again...well, maybe you're not really freakin' done.


I think this is a good litmus test - I just think it also helps to share in depth our different priorities and concerns...without them being dismissed.

 

Good luck deciding, OP....."good kids who turn into happy adults" don't come from households with "this or that" number of kids. You cn't say that. You CAN say, however, that there is a higher likelihood that your kids will be happier people if they come from a happy, harmonious home where they are treated with respect and love by happy, peaceful parents.

I don't think anyone was saying that.  The bolded portion is EXACTLY what this thread is all about, what I believe Snydley's comment and all the rest of it was about - and for some of us, that means only having one child.
 

 

 

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#19 of 22 Old 04-25-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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I must just be reading things the wrong way. Sorry.


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#20 of 22 Old 05-20-2012, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for sharing. I do agree different things work for different famlies. My reason for asking is I do want 2 children and I want them to be close in age. With that said, I am over 40 and my window of opportunity is closing. If it ends up that my DS is my only one, I wanted to see thoughts from families with one child.


DS ( 9/2010) and TTC #2 fingersx.gif

 

 

 

 

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#21 of 22 Old 07-15-2012, 08:10 AM
 
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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

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#22 of 22 Old 07-16-2012, 04:15 AM
 
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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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