Does/did your child's personality affect your decision to have another child? - Mothering Forums

 
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#1 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have debated whether or not to post this. Writing it several times, in fact, and then deleting it. But it's troubling me so much I finally figured I should just post.

I'm having trouble deciding whether to make the jump from having 1 child to TTC #2. DH has said he is ready and willing whenever I am, but it's still been difficult.

There are a number of factors holding me back: Me, of course, feeling fatigued, guilty, indecisive as to whether this is the "right" time.
A big factor though is that we are a military family. We move so much and it does take time to get acclimated to a new community. And then once you do, you're likely to be moving again. Therefore there are few family and friends around, sometimes I can't even depend on DH b/c of his work schedule, etc.

But one thing that keeps coming up more and more in this debate in my mind is dd. She is spirited, persisitent, intense. Frequent breastfeeding still at almost age 3, many days where only mama will do (sometimes DH is ok for her, sometimes not), high frustration level and not being physically able to do things she wants to do. Her sleep schedule still defies explanation - the child is just not on a 24-hour schedule (long story there). While I sleep when she does, it is much harder for me to fall asleep when she does and to get restful sleep.

Of course, she is endlessly fascinating to me and amazing and I do accept and love her as she is. But she is *not* what one would call an easy child.
While I have been guilty of not always eating well, exercising, or resting when I should, most of my fatigue comes from caretaking for her. We all know how exhausting motherhood can be.

I can't help but wonder if she was a more mellow child: how much would that change things? Would I be more ready to TTC right now? She still needs me so much right now... <sigh> I feel guilty: I can't bring another child into this family when she still needs so much attention right now. But I think I sometimes feel resentful towards her b/c of that, too. No, I'm not proud of that emotion, but there it is. And then of course I feel guilty for feeling resentful.

I suppose I'm just impatient as well. I guess I want to be able to say "yes, we'll TTC at this time" or "we are done have children, dd will be an only." It is so NOT a clear-cut decision. I guess I always thought it would be for me. I never doubted that I wanted children. And I always thought there would be more than one. How things are of course, is certainly much different than how you thought things would be.

I know the decision ultimately rests with me. But I am looking for support, opinions, experiences from other mamas to give me a different perspective.

Thanks....

Loon , dh , dd , and twins ds1 dd2 **Thoughts become things. - Mike Dooley**
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#2 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 02:44 PM
 
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I know of one family that after their first want no more. Their child is very high needs, high IQ and the list goes on.

Our first was a very difficult child, didnt sleep through the night till she was about 3 years old, high needs... We however wanted more children and didnt let her deter us :LOL AFter having had the second we have found for us 2 easier and three even easier than that. If I didnt love a challange she would have been our only and I am so glad that we have had more children as its really neat to see the girls interact with each other.

I had a brother till the age of 5 that lived at home and after that i was pretty much an only child the rest of my childhood. I both loved being an only and having a sibbling.

Only you know what you are comfortable handling, go with what you feel best.
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#3 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 03:04 PM
 
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I too have an intense child. I found that after she turned 4yrs that things got alot easier, though dd has been a great sleeper since 15m, a nightmare before though. Looking back, at 3yrs would have been a great time for another child. dd loves children and often ask for a sibling. At the time though dd was just getting easier and my DH and I were finally able to re-connect. I'm feel that my marriage is better off without an additional child. While I have no regrets over not having another child I feel that I didn't see the window to have another child. Not that I was actively looking, I just never noticed until dd was so easy that I could have done it sooner. We're happy the way things are, DH does have 2dd from a past marriage so that does make our situation different.

mom to 14yr dd and 4yr dd
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#4 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 07:27 PM
 
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#5 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 07:36 PM
 
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Count me in. Dd is wonderful but is quite spirited and has serious sleeping issues. When I first got pg, I totally assumed we would have more than one. I was thinking like 5. But I am tired and stretched as far as I can go with dd. She is like your dd in that many times only mommy will do. Whenever she is sick, popping a tooth, tired, etc (which means ALL the time), she only wants me. Dh travels a great deal for business. And while we have a nice community of friends, we have no family here so I do not have anyone to fall back on when things get rough. I feel like such a baby since most people handle more then one child with more energy and grace than I can muster on even my best day. Dd is only 20 months now and probably will mellow out when she is more like 3 or 4 but I do not want to start all over again that late in the game. We have firmly decided that dd will be an only and I am at peace with that....sort of....
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#6 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 07:38 PM
 
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Yes, it is surely one factor. And I have many reason to not have another baby (the possiblity of having to have another csection, preemie, etc.). Bay was a high needs infant. The first year of his life was exhausting on all fronts. I didn't have sex with my husband for almost 2 years as I was too tired- too touched out. I stayed up for 3 out of 7 days (straight) for over a year!!! The constant needyness and vocalizations... too much. And I would really DREAD having another hn infant. Even though he's grown into a wonderful affectionate normal toddler... I do fear having another hn baby. It could kill me- really!
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#7 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 07:41 PM
 
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First child- Poor nurser. Horrible sleeper. But went on to adopt second child when he was nearly 4.

Second child: Needy, didn't sleep for a year, woke up screaming for about 8 mos. But has bright, sunny pesonality. Went on to have third child.

Third child-Pleasant baby, good nurser, good slepper, but born with multiple needs and birth defect that required surgery & 5 yrs of therapies in OT & PT. Emotionally a high needs toddler, high needs child to this day, but darling and sweet. Wanted more children, so waited 5 yrs to have 4th child.

Fourth child- Doesn't need much sleep, had reflux, but has a bright, sunny personality. But did I say she doesn't sleep? LOL Even at age 6 she doesn't fall asleep until after 10 and still likes to nurse. Sleeps in, however. Now. But didn't always. lol

I would have another in a heartbeat, but dh was done after second : child.

I am working right now on possible fostering, but my sister is due to have a babe soon, so for a time I will care for her and love her babe up.
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#8 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 07:52 PM
 
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Adding another child into your family may make life with your daughter easier. In my family, we are a team. When Nadia was born, Skanda had a great time "helping" me take care of her. He showed her how to nurse when she was born and would get diapers for me to change her and offer her his toys. They play together so well now.
Now that we have Amelie, Skanda is so proud to be a big brother again. He just beams when people say she looks like him. He likes to sit on the couch and hold her. Nadia likes to lay next to her while she naps and share a blanket with her and she also likes to help with diaper changes.
Having another child may not be like having a clone of your daughter with two times the time and energy demands. It could be just the thing for your family. Plus, as a military family, wouldn't it be nice for your daughter to have a sibling?

I forgot to add that Skanda didn't sleep through the night without needing to nurse back to sleep until he was 3. He weaned last fall when he was 3 yrs, 9 months. Nadia still wakes once or twice a week to nurse at night and nurses about 4-5 times a day and she'll be 3 in July. I always thought that was pretty normal.
I was scared of adding another every time I did it. But even though Nadia was in a bad mood her first 5 months of life and having three under 5 seemed like the scariest thing in the world, it hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. You just do it and you some how all figure it out together.
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#9 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 08:14 PM
 
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Our first dd was -- and still is -- a very spirited child. She was nothing like I expected, and I was exhausted for the whole first year. When she was around a year, dh came to me and said he was ready for another baby. I distinctly remember saying to him, "Are you out of your mind!!? How on earth could I handle two of these?" But, I also knew in my heart that dd would grow into her spiritedness, that the traits that so drove me crazy would enable her to become a strong, loving woman someday. So, we jumped into pg #2. I also remember dh saying, "Won't it be boring if this baby isn't as high-energy as dd?" Ds was, and is, a very mellow boy who is the polar opposite of his sister. The funny thing is, he was so calm as an infant that for a long, long time, I couldn't imagine adding another one to our family. I didn't want him to have to adjust to that, and I was worried that because he's so sensitive, he would feel really displaced. He was nearly 4 before his younger sister was born.

I'm rambling a bit, but I do have a point :LOL We always knew in our hearts that we wanted more than one child. That our first child required more of us than we had anticipated didn't change the fundamental fact that our family did not feel complete. This may or may not be true for you. Yes, your dd may always be spirited, full of energy, and need more than other children her age, but adding another child means adding joy as well as labor. If you imagine your life in the next five or ten years, does it feel positive or negative to have another child in that picture?
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#10 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 09:06 PM
 
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Yes. Hayley is a very challenging child, always has been. I don't think we could handle another child, honestly.
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#11 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 10:56 PM
 
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#1= Holy Moley!!! What a handful. (still is!!) BUT as she was our 1st, we didn't know any better. We thought that was normal.

#2= Mr. Laid Back..everything's cool daddy-o. Hmm..How could these 2 come from the same pairing of genes???

We are glad we had the high maintenance child first. If the "easy" one had been first we wouldn't have known what truck ran over us when DD came along.
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#12 of 15 Old 04-10-2005, 11:13 PM
 
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:LOL, nankay!

I didn't want a second after my first incredibly high needs child. She pretty much screamed and cried through her first year of life, no joke.

I got pregnant with #2 by accident when my first was around 20 mo. old. Whoops.

He is a very sunny, happy little guy and he and his sister are absolutely the best friends in the world. He's been very good for her because it took attention AWAY from her every demand... I jumped at her every cry and demand and I really think it helped to exacerbate her neediness. Now that I've "cracked down" on behavior issues, and now that she has another little person to play with, talk to, etc., everyone is much, much happier.
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#13 of 15 Old 04-11-2005, 12:05 AM
 
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We have decided to have an only based primarily on dd's sleep issues. She is high spirited and all, but I can handle that. The colic was terrible, and traumatic, but 3, 3 and 1/2 months? I could grit my teeth and get through it.

Over a year of profound sleep deprivation? I don't know if I could survive it again. I know why sleeplessness is used as a torture device. It breaks you down.

Dh is on the same page.

Short of an "oops," we're having one child.
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#14 of 15 Old 04-11-2005, 12:31 AM
 
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No... and yes.

We kind of decided that dd would be our only during her first year and that was before she got really challenging. There were many reasons that had nothing to really do with her personality.

There have been many times her personality has re-affirmed our decision as the correct one for us since then. If we were making the decision for the first time today it would definitely be a big factor.

Almost five years of sleep issues here.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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#15 of 15 Old 04-16-2005, 08:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to all who replied. It's so nice to know I'm not alone. And while I to all of you with more than one child, it's comforting to know I'm not any kind of flop as a parent just b/c I can only handle my one (wonderful) child.

Yes, sleep is a big issue for us. I can never seem to get enough time to catch up on rest or catch up on just me time. While I still do love the idea of having another, I just don't know how I would do it...right now. It's the "right now" part that is driving me nuts. The "will we or won't we" indecision. :

This week with dd has been wonderful. Don't know why, but I'm suddenly enjoying her so much and I'm thinking "I can't have another child. Why mess this up?" <sigh>

So I can't say I've decided one way or the other. Still thinking. And enjoying dd.

Thanks again everyone.

Loon , dh , dd , and twins ds1 dd2 **Thoughts become things. - Mike Dooley**
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