The decision to have a second child... - Page 3 - Mothering Forums
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#61 of 103 Old 07-30-2007, 10:20 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Swirly View Post
At 17 months now, with a baby who still is up 3-5 times per night and who is mentally and physically exhausting (but also a joy and delight), I think we are finally reaching the point where my DH will go get his vasectomy. (please God, let it be soon) I could never, ever do this again.
We also have zero desire to have another, ever, and dh will probably get the V in the next year. Although we had a very rough start (PPD and severe bfing problems), dd is actually a very easygoing little one--happy, independent, etc. Our desire to have only one is not b/c she's "difficult", but b/c we really, frankly, want our lives and careers back to some semblance of normalcy. We love dd more than anything in the world, but we do not love parenting; and the toll it's taken on my work is especially vexing. I do not feel comfortable hiring a nanny or using daycare (though I certainly don't think there's anything wrong with others doing so--it's just a personal feeling), and I cannot, CANNOT be a full-time care provider for another 5 or 6 years (assuming a second child--so a couple of more years with dd and then 2-3 with another child). Bfing will never be easy for me, as I have an underlying medical condition that makes it painful (Raynaud's syndrome), and I couldn't bear to do several more years of that either.

All that aside, we are very enthusiastic about life as a family of three. We feel that the freedom it will give us--financially, professionally, logistically--will be wonderful. We can send dd to the schools we want to, w/o worrying about paying for other educations. We can travel more easily. We won't outgrow our home. We also feel it is an ecologically responsible choice.

Dd has many cousins and we have many friends who have or will have children. We don't feel that she will be "lonely." Dh and I both have siblings, and we are friendly but not particularly close with any of them, and two of mine are are estranged from my family. I don't believe that siblings guarantee that kids will not be lonely, that they will have companionship when they're older, that they'll have "someone to play with," that they'll necessarily have someone to share the burden of elderly parents (in so many families I've seen, one sibling ends up with all the responsibilty and ends up feeling used and resentful), etc. I know many people who have wonderful relationships with their siblings and many who had/have antagonistic relationships, growing up and/or in adulthood. I have nothing but awe for those who parent more than one--and I can understand the many reasons for having 2+, even if I don't share them--but I know many happy, well-adjusted only children, and I don't believe that any one family dynamic is the "key" to happiness. I feel every parent, or pair of parents, should do what is best for her and/or his own family, period.

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I know this is a very personal decision, but a vasectomy is pretty hard to reverse if you change your mind when your baby is older. Also, as a pp mentioned, your next baby might be really easy!
Just wanted to reiterate what I said above--there are many reasons for only having one, not just b/c the first is "difficult." I don't think anyone considering permanent birth control takes it lightly.
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#62 of 103 Old 07-30-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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This is an interesting topic. I think the decision is a very personal one that is based on widely varying circumstances in each of our lives.

I know several mothers who are pregnant with their second baby and their first baby is younger than mine.

I am really in awe of them, because I still feel completely overwhelmed by one child, although things are starting to feel normal and managable.

I think it depends very much if you have a strong support system, such as a parent/grandparent who will help you or a husband/partner who has flexible work hours, or maybe is a stay at home parent or can work from home so that you are not alone caring for a newborn the bulk of the time.
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#63 of 103 Old 07-30-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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Just a note: a vasectomy is very painful and potentially dangerous...I wouldn't put my dh thru it unless he volunteers...
I wouldn't get my tubes tied either...too afraid...

However, I have one very spirited child and I feel guilty not to give a sibling, but I have NO DESIRE to have another one. First year was such hell for me, I cannot imagine going thru it again.
If God came to me and said: Jane, your next child will be a very calm, sweet and easy baby girl, I would contemplate. However, there is no guarantee I won't have another little menace.

It's really not about career or getting my life back, it's about my relationship with my DH that has never gotten quite back on track yet after such demanding 2 years.
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#64 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 09:29 AM
 
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Just a note: a vasectomy is very painful and potentially dangerous...I wouldn't put my dh thru it unless he volunteers...
I wouldn't get my tubes tied either...too afraid...
Where on earth did you get that idea? From what I understand new procedures are of outpatient quality; if done with the right doc, there is very little pain which only lasts a few days. And potentially dangerous? Is he getting his balls hacked off with a saw or what? I'm pretty sure if you have a qualified doctor do the procedure, it's not any more dangerous than, well, a not very dangerous medical procedure. Also, how would you "put your husband through it" if he didn't volunteer? strap him down? of course he's going to have to volunteer!

I do agree that vasectomy is a much better option than a tubal. Tubal is open surgery (well, I guess some might do it laproscopically now, I'm not sure), an in-patient procedure, and requires much longer and more painful recovery.

But my understanding is that vasectomy is way less invasive, painful, dangerous, etc.

It's fine for you and your husband if that's not your choice, but why go around scaring other people?
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#65 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 09:34 AM
 
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To the "second one may be easier" crowd - while I personally appreciate optimism, practically, I think it's important to plan for a worst case scenario. It would be irresponsible to my own mental health and to my current daughter's happiness to assume my next one will not be high needs. We'd have to find it in ourselves to really want another new life to join us, come hell or high water, come hideous birth, hideous breastfeeding problems, no sleep, months of thrush, allergies, general high needs, PPD, relationship stress, career worries, you name it. So, all that said, if we said "yes, it will be at least as bad as round 1, if not worse, but it's totally going to be worth it" and we went ahead fully prepared for battle, we'd be living a dream if it turned out easier. But counting on an easier ride can only lead to disappointment if the second child and our coping skills are still not aligned.

I think the real answer to when/whether to have a second is "you just know." It's fun to argue all the reasons for whose plan is better on the internet, and some people are being very introspective and thoughtful in the process, but I think you'll feel it in your gut and somehow be guided to the next step when it's time (or not time).
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#66 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 10:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Janelovesmax View Post
Just a note: a vasectomy is very painful and potentially dangerous...I wouldn't put my dh thru it unless he volunteers...
I wouldn't get my tubes tied either...too afraid...
Actually, a vasectomy is a very safe, outpatient procedure. The 2 guys I know who have had them (one is my BIL) found them to be totally no big deal. Yes, any procedure has SOME risk, however small, of complications--but so do most forms of birth control (the pill, IUD, etc.)--and so do pregnancy and birth, for that matter. There is no form of birth control that I both trust and feel to be safe (we use condoms, which are safe, but which we hate and which will not 100% guarantee that I will not get pregnant). A V seems a far better long-term option than 25 or so years of birth control that we don't like, abstinence, or fear of getting pregnant. (And that fear is HUGE for us.) Dh is frankly quite eager to get it done. Like me, he absolutely doesn't want another child, and he would like for sex to be more enjoyable again--no fear of pregnancy, no condoms. A tubal ligation, on the other hand, is a much more serious and riskier procedure.

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To the "second one may be easier" crowd - while I personally appreciate optimism, practically, I think it's important to plan for a worst case scenario. It would be irresponsible to my own mental health and to my current daughter's happiness to assume my next one will not be high needs. We'd have to find it in ourselves to really want another new life to join us, come hell or high water, come hideous birth, hideous breastfeeding problems, no sleep, months of thrush, allergies, general high needs, PPD, relationship stress, career worries, you name it. So, all that said, if we said "yes, it will be at least as bad as round 1, if not worse, but it's totally going to be worth it" and we went ahead fully prepared for battle, we'd be living a dream if it turned out easier. But counting on an easier ride can only lead to disappointment if the second child and our coping skills are still not aligned.

I think the real answer to when/whether to have a second is "you just know." It's fun to argue all the reasons for whose plan is better on the internet, and some people are being very introspective and thoughtful in the process, but I think you'll feel it in your gut and somehow be guided to the next step when it's time (or not time).
ITA with all of the above. I think gut is the most important factor--we have lots of logical reasons for only wanting one, but I know all those reasons would be insignificant to us if we felt in our hearts that we wanted another.

And I agree that you can't bank on the second one being easier. S/he might be. But you also might have a high-needs baby or a special-needs child or any number of problems. My friend's second baby has serious mental and some physical disabilities--he is deeply loved and wanted, of course, but he is definitely not "easier" than their first. I also know a family where bfing was a breeze until the third child--and then the mom had a horrific time. So you never know.
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#67 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 10:27 AM
 
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The least I have between kids is 20 months. I'm cool with that!! I would be totally ok if my dh said he wanted to TTC #6 right now!

EVERY age difference has it's own set of challenges.

I take all my kids out and it doesn't phase me a bit!! I love getting out with them. We go out all the time.


As a sidenote- I read somewhere that there is a corraltion between prostate cancer and Vascetomy. Surgically altering your body isn't natural and has MANY more risks than just leaving it alone!

Mommy to ds12, dd11, ds8, ds6, dd4, ^dd^ HB Loss, and dd 1
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#68 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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As a sidenote- I read somewhere that there is a corraltion between prostate cancer and Vascetomy. Surgically altering your body isn't natural and has MANY more risks than just leaving it alone!
Again, if you're going to use scare tactics, please back them up with research. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/f...Risk/vasectomy According to the national cancer institute, there is no scientific correlation.

Of course surgically altering your body isn't natural. Neither is suppressing the "natural" urge to reproduce. That doesn't mean I'm going to keep popping out kids as long as I'm physically able.
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#69 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 11:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Janelovesmax View Post
Just a note: a vasectomy is very painful and potentially dangerous...I wouldn't put my dh thru it unless he volunteers...
I wouldn't get my tubes tied either...too afraid...

.
Any surgery carries risks, but the risks with vas. are extremely small.
http://www.emedicinehealth.com/vasectomy/page2_em.htm
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/bir.../vasectomy.htm

RE: Prostate Cancer

http://www.umm.edu/men/vasect.htm - Studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 1993 suggested that there is a "weak, positive association" between prostate cancer and vasectomy...HOWEVER, more RECENT studies find no association between prostate cancer and vasectomy: http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/gca?sen...ca=287/23/3110
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#70 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 11:22 AM
 
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And I agree that you can't bank on the second one being easier. S/he might be. But you also might have a high-needs baby or a special-needs child or any number of problems. My friend's second baby has serious mental and some physical disabilities--he is deeply loved and wanted, of course, but he is definitely not "easier" than their first.
This is one of the reasons we're NOT having a second. DH has a history of birth defects in his family...three sibs dead at/right after birth, a brother who died at 19 of a cong. heart defect, among other problems, and a sister with some major problems. Some issues are hereditary, some appear to have been horrible luck on his mom's part. DH's body is also riddled with chemicals after two tours in Iraq, so, who knows what effect that could have. He loves his siblings, but, being sandwiched between *two* special needs kids (his sister was an "oops" after a failed tubal) who were constantly in and out of the hospital, his parents simply didn't have time for him.

I've said it before...we played Russian roulette...we figured if Katie was special needs, with no other children, we'd be able to handle it with no serious repurcussions. Were we to have another, the chance of a special needs child is more than we're willing to risk, and, were that to happen, would take up the majority of our parenting resources. Not something we're willing to do to Katie or ourselves. Call me selfish.
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#71 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 11:50 AM
 
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We had infertility issues when TTC our first, it took us 3 years, a varicocele repair, IUI/injections and finally IVF. So I didn't worry about birth control after DD was born
But I got pregnant naturally this time, and they will be ~23 months apart. Sometimes I feel like it will be very hard. DD is still too small to understand what will happen exactly. But I will be tandem nursing (we didn't give up nursing despite the no milk and sensitive nipples). And I have 2 sibblings very close in age which I liked a lot growing up.
I am working full time and DD will stay part time in daycare when the new one is born, so I feel I will have one-on-one with the new baby also.
Without fertility issues I probably would have tried to plan them 3 years apart, so I knew for sure I could nurse DD for 2 years at least.

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#72 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 02:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mommato5 View Post
As a sidenote- I read somewhere that there is a corraltion between prostate cancer and Vascetomy. Surgically altering your body isn't natural and has MANY more risks than just leaving it alone!
For me personally, having 5 kids is a much bigger risk to my physical and mental health, then letting my willing DH get a vascetomy!
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#73 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 03:13 PM
 
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Two years apart is so hard on the toddler, and the mom who feels torn between her two babies, and on the baby who might be minorly neglected because mom is busy with the older baby - It's hard on dad too because mom is stressed and overworked and not feeling able to be a loving partner to him.

My best advice is to wait another year, at least. I've had 3 that were 2 years apart and then waited 6 years and then waited 5 years and let me tell you that it was SO nice to have an older child who could go potty by themselves, fix a bowl of cereal, turn on the TV - I didn't have to do everything for everyone and it made a big difference on how I felt about mothering and caring for my children - I actually got to enjoy my baby!
I agree. A 4 year spacing is really, really nice IMO. For you and for the kids. My sister and I are 4 years apart, and brother is four years younger than she is. My dd1 and dd2 are 4 years apart (on purpose, because it worked so well in my original family - when we were kids, and adults). Dd2 and dd3 are 2.75 years apart. Doable but definitely harder. Dd2 had the worst of it, and continues to. She had to grow up quick when dd3 came along. Dd1 got all the time she needed to go through that early childhood before dd2 came. Dd2 didn't get that. But she does have a doting little sister.

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Ds will be fully potty trained, hopefully be sleeping in his own bed all night (this is important to me because I love co-sleeping but do NOT want to do it with TWO kids), and will be old enough to amuse himself at times and possibly even amuse his younger sibling. He will also be old enough to understand that he needs to be gentle with the baby (a friend has two that are not quite 2 years apart and she says the older one will try to hurt the younger one when he is tired and it's really hard on her because she wants to protect her baby, but the older one is her baby too : ).

Further, down the line....there will be a LARGE gap between when they can drive and go to college. This is important to me because I want to get my kids a car, but I don't think we could afford to have FOUR cars! Also, I would prefer to have just one kid in college at one time. I know that our money situation could change, but realistically, I don't think we'll ever be having tea with Mr. Monopoly and I want to retire with dignity and I ALSO want to be able to do the things for my kids that my parents didn't do for me, so thinking that far ahead helps me to be rational when I look at ds' itty bitty baby clothes (had to get them out for a friend).
I also agree with all this. I think besides being easier on the parents and the older sibling(s) to have a four year spacing when they are kids, it is also less financial drain to not have two or three kids in college at the same time, and hopefully the wedding costs will be spread out some too.

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I have an almost 3 year old dd and a 7mo ds, and it is exhausting. I thought dd would be old enough to kind of want to help and be involved with her little brother, but she hasn't had much to do with him. I constantly feel like there isn't enough of me to go around.
I know! When dd1 was four (and dd2 came along), she was a great helper. She wanted more independence by that time, and was really able to wait while I changed a diaper or nursed the baby, could walk near me in the parking lot without holding hands to keep her close. She had gotten four years of undivided attention, and really wanted a sibling.

But when dd3 came along, dd2 was only 2.75. Just a little over a year younger than dd1 was when becoming a big sister, but it was a BIG difference. She really was still a baby... She couldn't wait for me to help her; there was a lot of sadness and frustration and anger. She also loves her little sister of course. It was just harder - on us and on her - to have less than three year spacing. Four is just easier - having done it both ways.
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#74 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 03:37 PM
 
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I often feel that really strong hormonal pull to have another baby, and I wonder if by spacing my children further apart I am making it less likely they'll be close.
FWIW, I'm 4-1/2 years older than my only sister and we're very close as adults.

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#75 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 07:18 PM
 
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Good post. I think whether and how soon to have a second baby (or more) depends a lot on how your first pregnancy and labor went, how much support you had to care for the newborn and yourself following the birth, and of course what personality your toddler has, and probably a lot of other variable issues that will differ so radically from woman to woman.
Weird! For us whether and how soon to have a second child depends soley on us, the Mom & Dad, wanting to expand our family (not "wanting a baby"!)! My DD screamed day & night & fought sleep until recently (15 mo). We had no help or support until last month when my in-laws moved closer. My family is not only not helpful, but anti-helpful. I was also sick my entire pregnancy. Horrid!

After our first screamer we're somewhat afraid of babies but thankfully they grow into toddlers/children/adults in a blink & we simply love the relationship & learning we get from children & feel blessed (most of the time ) to have the opportunity to watch a new individual grow into the world. If I could somehow birth a toddler it would be wonderful! But again, the means outweigh the ends.

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#76 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 07:29 PM
 
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Dd has many cousins and we have many friends who have or will have children. We don't feel that she will be "lonely."

The mentality that only children will be lonely is so false! Having a second child for a "friend" for your first just doesn't make sense to me. Friends are family YOU choose & siblings are family your parents choose! Personally I don't get along with anyone in my family! My mother had my brother 9 years after me because she thought it would be for my benefit. My mother hates kids (& most adults too!)! Why oh why mom!?!?! Why couldn't you just have hated me? My brother and I get along now, but as you can imagine growing up in a hateful household was hard on both of us.

I want to have another child because my partner & I want to partake in another journey as parents. We love people & get great enjoyment of watching them grow & learn. In fact, I expect that my kids probably wont get along a lot of the time. I am prepared to be creative & model problem solving & maybe someday they'll want to strive to be excellent to one another. Maybe they'll never speak again. Who knows, but at least we have realistic expectations & got to observe their own individual journeys, something we truly enjoy. We also get to challenge ourselves in new ways that we never thought of. There is nothing sexier to me than seeing my husband/soulmate be a father.

I also plan on enjoying the lessons they will most likely teach each other, from how to pinch someone without getting caught to how to convince someone to do something wrong & then snitch on them for it Sounds like a barrel of monkeys to me!

Did I mention my criteria for second child comes with third row seating as to seperate any touching in the car?

Yeah.

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#77 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 07:36 PM
 
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I also agree with all this. I think besides being easier on the parents and the older sibling(s) to have a four year spacing when they are kids, it is also less financial drain to not have two or three kids in college at the same time, and hopefully the wedding costs will be spread out some too..
I hear this a lot from people trying to convince me to space my children further apart. Isn't that funny? Some people actually try to tell others what child spacing is best?

I'm only sharing this information because I find the contrast so interesting. Not because I think you are wrong or right. I think whatever you do is best for you and that is totally awesome. Anyway!

My BIL attended Duke out of highschool on his own student loan process that his parents used as a learning experience, guiding him through the process. Now he has a full ride scholarship at Yales' school of medicine.

My brother was given thousands of dollers in state education credits & they are unused to this day. He recently moved in with a friend, has no job (how does he pay rent? we don't know!), too many rats (weird!) & plays a lot of video games.

Every individual is so different. If someone wants to go to college, they will go to college whether it's paid for or not & vice versa.

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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#78 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 09:56 PM
 
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"Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Flower
Good post. I think whether and how soon to have a second baby (or more) depends a lot on how your first pregnancy and labor went, how much support you had to care for the newborn and yourself following the birth, and of course what personality your toddler has, and probably a lot of other variable issues that will differ so radically from woman to woman."

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Weird! For us whether and how soon to have a second child depends soley on us, the Mom & Dad, wanting to expand our family (not "wanting a baby"!)! My DD screamed day & night & fought sleep until recently (15 mo). We had no help or support until last month when my in-laws moved closer. My family is not only not helpful, but anti-helpful. I was also sick my entire pregnancy. Horrid!

After our first screamer we're somewhat afraid of babies but thankfully they grow into toddlers/children/adults in a blink & we simply love the relationship & learning we get from children & feel blessed (most of the time ) to have the opportunity to watch a new individual grow into the world. If I could somehow birth a toddler it would be wonderful! But again, the means outweigh the ends.
"Weird" as a response to SF's post seems a little disrespectful. Everyone is sharing here and we all have our own viewpoints/opinions/life experiences. Making someone feel that what they have gleaned from their own experience is "weird" seems sort of rude. Maybe I'm just understanding your response wrong?

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#79 of 103 Old 07-31-2007, 10:18 PM
 
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"Weird" as a response to SF's post seems a little disrespectful. Everyone is sharing here and we all have our own viewpoints/opinions/life experiences. Making someone feel that what they have gleaned from their own experience is "weird" seems sort of rude. Maybe I'm just understanding your response wrong?

You're right! It does look that way! Thank you for pointing that out before someone felt attacked!

To clarify, I don't think SF, her experience or her post are "weird," I think her point was awesome. So valid, in fact, that it made me reflect on my own experience as "weird" since my pregnancy was miserable, our only support was my husband & myself, my newborn cried day in & out regardless of my attempts to "fix" her, I experienced "postpartum" intensly and my toddler is the epitome of spirited yet we are still TTC. Maybe "I'm probably completely insane" would have been a better way to put it

Anyway, thank you for the opportunity to clarify myself!

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#80 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 12:32 AM
 
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Did I mention my criteria for second child comes with third row seating as to seperate any touching in the car?

Yeah.
ROFLMAO!

I really really wish someone would put this on the commercials for a minivan. Forget the DVD player, we need 3rd row seating to prevent "mom! he's on my side! mom! he's touching me!"

XOXO
B

mama to Milena Anjali (4/26/06) and Vincent Asher (4/13/09) ~ married to the love of my life since 2002.
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#81 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 12:36 AM
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HONESTLY, the MIL of my MIL (got that? dh's paternal grandma) told us that if we had an only child, she would turn out just like my MIL, who's an only child. We started trying for #2 that night!


(Nothing against other only children, but the thought of our child turning out like my MIL scared us!)

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#82 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 12:48 AM
 
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I was all ready to reply with this big, lengthy dissertation on the pros and cons of having closely spaced kids, since my two little ones are just 20 months apart and I feel like the poster child for this lifestyle. But you know, as I look at my newborn's face, I can see that none of that stuff is even close to what really matters. Yeah, she may grow up and be a great playmate for my older girl-- but so what? She consumes a lot of what little free time I have-- but who cares? To try to distill her existence down to simply a positive or negative impact on my life is kinda ridiculous, because her existence is not about me at all. And to weigh her value against whether or not I'll be able to catch a movie for the next few years... well, it just seems silly when I look at it that way. Like all children, she's so much more than that.

To me, being open to another child is reaching outside yourself, it's sidestepping all that pro and con stuff, it's saying yes to more love even when it's hard to do so. And being a parent is hard, no matter if you have one kid or 10, no matter if they're deemed easygoing or high-needs.

Anyway, the bottom line is this: If your intuition or your gut or the small, still voice in your heart-- whatever you call that internal direction we all have-- is telling you to be open to another life, base your decision on that. Forget how impossible it'll be to enjoy a fancy restaurant meal for the next couple of years; forget how nice it'll be for your older kid to have a sibling; forget all that stuff and concentrate instead on what your very soul is telling you. We rely on logic too much for matters of the heart, and I think it rarely (if ever) serves us.

Best of luck to you, mama, whichever way you go! I'm sure it will all work out for you.
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#83 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 02:02 AM
 
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I hear this a lot from people trying to convince me to space my children further apart. Isn't that funny? Some people actually try to tell others what child spacing is best?

I'm only sharing this information because I find the contrast so interesting. Not because I think you are wrong or right. I think whatever you do is best for you and that is totally awesome.
The abundance of smilies seems to indicate that you in fact do think I am wrong. Which is certainly your right. We all have opinions on this board. But I see that you have a one year old child. Come back in ten years when you've seen firsthand the pros and cons of your kids' spacing. I'm happy to wait a decade to have a conversation about it again.
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#84 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 03:08 AM
 
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beccalou79 that was a beautifully articulated post. Your words touched me deeply. Thank you!

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Originally Posted by Kirsten View Post
The abundance of smilies seems to indicate that you in fact do think I am wrong. Which is certainly your right. We all have opinions on this board. But I see that you have a one year old child. Come back in ten years when you've seen firsthand the pros and cons of your kids' spacing. I'm happy to wait a decade to have a conversation about it again.
I'm sorry that my smiles indicated that I thought you were wrong. Once again the internet has proved a faulty method of communication for me! My smiles were meant to animate my laughing at the thought of people who think other people are wrong for making different choices. I don't think you are wrong at all. I believe you experienced sadness and frustration and anger with your 2.75 year spacing because you said so.

My mother in law had 4 children each 15 months apart. 34 years later they are all grown & she only remembers joy.

Based on my experience with my first child after our second is born (if we are fortunate enough to conceive) I will probably regret having any children for at least the first 9 months, swear off any future breeding, get an IUD 6 weeks postpartum & then come back to my dream of a large close family (like my husbands) again by the end of the first year (note: that was typed in total jest of myself & not intended to offend anyone)

Happy breeding/sterilization everyone!

Wife to my of 10 years, SAHM to my 2 beautiful homebirthed girls Sydney (4/29/2006) Kennedy (3/21/2010) & 1 super Newfoundland
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#85 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 08:57 AM
 
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Thanks for the lovely post beccalou79. Just what I needed to hear!
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#86 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 09:51 AM
 
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I was all ready to reply with this big, lengthy dissertation on the pros and cons of having closely spaced kids, since my two little ones are just 20 months apart and I feel like the poster child for this lifestyle. But you know, as I look at my newborn's face, I can see that none of that stuff is even close to what really matters. Yeah, she may grow up and be a great playmate for my older girl-- but so what? She consumes a lot of what little free time I have-- but who cares? To try to distill her existence down to simply a positive or negative impact on my life is kinda ridiculous, because her existence is not about me at all. And to weigh her value against whether or not I'll be able to catch a movie for the next few years... well, it just seems silly when I look at it that way. Like all children, she's so much more than that.

To me, being open to another child is reaching outside yourself, it's sidestepping all that pro and con stuff, it's saying yes to more love even when it's hard to do so. And being a parent is hard, no matter if you have one kid or 10, no matter if they're deemed easygoing or high-needs.

Anyway, the bottom line is this: If your intuition or your gut or the small, still voice in your heart-- whatever you call that internal direction we all have-- is telling you to be open to another life, base your decision on that. Forget how impossible it'll be to enjoy a fancy restaurant meal for the next couple of years; forget how nice it'll be for your older kid to have a sibling; forget all that stuff and concentrate instead on what your very soul is telling you. We rely on logic too much for matters of the heart, and I think it rarely (if ever) serves us.

Best of luck to you, mama, whichever way you go! I'm sure it will all work out for you.

GREAT post!!

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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#87 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 10:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by beccalou79 View Post
I was all ready to reply with this big, lengthy dissertation on the pros and cons of having closely spaced kids, since my two little ones are just 20 months apart and I feel like the poster child for this lifestyle. But you know, as I look at my newborn's face, I can see that none of that stuff is even close to what really matters. Yeah, she may grow up and be a great playmate for my older girl-- but so what? She consumes a lot of what little free time I have-- but who cares? To try to distill her existence down to simply a positive or negative impact on my life is kinda ridiculous, because her existence is not about me at all. And to weigh her value against whether or not I'll be able to catch a movie for the next few years... well, it just seems silly when I look at it that way. Like all children, she's so much more than that.

To me, being open to another child is reaching outside yourself, it's sidestepping all that pro and con stuff, it's saying yes to more love even when it's hard to do so. And being a parent is hard, no matter if you have one kid or 10, no matter if they're deemed easygoing or high-needs.

Anyway, the bottom line is this: If your intuition or your gut or the small, still voice in your heart-- whatever you call that internal direction we all have-- is telling you to be open to another life, base your decision on that. Forget how impossible it'll be to enjoy a fancy restaurant meal for the next couple of years; forget how nice it'll be for your older kid to have a sibling; forget all that stuff and concentrate instead on what your very soul is telling you. We rely on logic too much for matters of the heart, and I think it rarely (if ever) serves us.

Best of luck to you, mama, whichever way you go! I'm sure it will all work out for you.
And, at the same time, I think it's brave to resist the societal pressure that tells you "You must have two or more!" and have the self-awareness to know that bringing another child into the world will cause more stress on your family, your self, your marriage, whatever than you can handle. If your heart tells you that the time is not right for you (now or ever) to have another child, you are not selfish, you are not harming your first child, you are not thinking only of fancy restaurant meals and missed sleep. But, yes, some people DO care about free time and time to nurture our marriages and our careers, and even--gasp!--the occasional dinner out, because for some of us the absence of those things becomes psychologically debilitating and saps our energy and joy. Some of us do not thrive with noise or chaos, and would buckle under the strain of a house full of people. Some of us simply feel we do not have more to give, and that doesn't make us selfish--it makes us realistic. Some of us feel we do not have the resources to support more children. Some of us suffered through severe PPD or medically complicated pregnancies and feel it would cause more harm than good to go through those things again.

There are more ways to find happiness and fulfillment than through children, and if you need to nurture some of those alternatives, and having more than one child does not allow you to do so, you should not feel guilty about being "closed" to a new life.
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#88 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 10:57 AM
 
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And, at the same time, I think it's brave to resist the societal pressure that tells you "You must have two or more!" and have the self-awareness to know that bringing another child into the world will cause more stress on your family, your self, your marriage, whatever than you can handle. If your heart tells you that the time is not right for you (now or ever) to have another child, you are not selfish, you are not harming your first child, you are not thinking only of fancy restaurant meals and missed sleep. But, yes, some people DO care about free time and time to nurture our marriages and our careers, and even--gasp!--the occasional dinner out, because for some of us the absence of those things becomes psychologically debilitating and saps our energy and joy. Some of us do not thrive with noise or chaos, and would buckle under the strain of a house full of people. Some of us simply feel we do not have more to give, and that doesn't make us selfish--it makes us realistic. Some of us feel we do not have the resources to support more children. Some of us suffered through severe PPD or medically complicated pregnancies and feel it would cause more harm than good to go through those things again.

There are more ways to find happiness and fulfillment than through children, and if you need to nurture some of those alternatives, and having more than one child does not allow you to do so, you should not feel guilty about being "closed" to a new life.
Thankyou for writing this. I loved Beccalou79's post and totally agreed, but personally, I have no desire for another child (and may never have, who knows yet?).

Some families thrive as a busy household; me and my partner thrive in a calm environment. I am very introverted, and as the primary caregiver 23.5hrs a day to an exuberant (yes, and wakeful) toddler, I sometimes feel like my inner self is crippled so I can be present for my boy as much as I would like to.

But, there *is* so much pressure for folks to have more than one. There is a presumption (albeit hidden) that parents of onlies are "selfish".

If only everyone were as tolerant of individual differences as posters here. Interesting discussion - and best wishes to the OP.
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#89 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 01:02 PM
 
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beccalou79 that was a beautifully articulated post. Your words touched me deeply. Thank you!
:

I actually emailed it to DH, since we just put the 2nd child conversation on the table! (This is how we ended up with Lucy... not actually trying, but having a conversation and then agreeing, kind of, to stop trying not to try... ooh. I'm confusing myself!)

Stacey teaching teens to read & write... Daddy plays ska, DD1 (7/05) loves trees & princesses, & DD2 (3/10) loves mommy-milk! Please get your kids tested for lead.
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#90 of 103 Old 08-01-2007, 01:27 PM
 
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Yeah to everybody LOL

I'm sticking with my previous assertation that I'd feel more comfortable waiting a few years.

However, beccalou's post almost made me change my mind. For a minute.
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