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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have one child, a sweet, adorable, wonderful 18 month old girl.

DH and I have been thinking, ok, do we want another? We are absolutely stumped. We feel fully satisfied with our girl, and neither of us feel like there's some missing piece that would need another child to fill. Yet, we both also believe that children are (for us at least) the purpose of life pretty much, and that they are precious and wonderful and all that jazz. So we know that we would love another child should one come to us. Our emotions aren't really guiding us anywhere here, so we thought we'd try some logic.

How/why did you decide to have a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) child, or not?

And, how is the experience of a second different from the first? I mean, do two children take TWICE the time? Or will they (possibly) eventually be able to play with each other and sort of provide different pockets of EXTRA time, lol? I'm reading what I'm writing and I see how naive I am, but I just don't know what else to ask or what to expect.
 

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I have 2. I felt much as you do when ds was 18 months. Now that we have dd, I can't imagine life without her. We waited a while to have a second child, ds was 4.5 when dd was born. We had planned on having children closer together but life got in the way, I had some fertility issues. Now I am realy glad that they were spaced that far apart. Ds got to be a baby as long as he needed to be. I know tandem nursing is possible, and many parents do a wonderful job with children spaced close together but a newborn does take time away from an loder child. Ds was very high needs and I'm not sure how well we would have done with a newborn when he was 2. By 4 though he has self weaned and was much more independant. He was also better able to understand that the baby is little and realy needs mommy just like he did when he was little. Now they are 2 and 6 and they play together much better than I thought they would considering the age diferance. They like to chase each other, or ds will build towers of blocks for dd to knock down.

I think I would have been very happy with just ds. I don't see anything wrong with having an only child. However I'm so glad we have dd. She is herself, neither more nore less than her brother.

There are somethings that came way eaisier with a second child simply because I had some idea what to expect. Nursing for example. I already had the skill of getting latched on well so I was better able to help her learn. I was calmer though the inevatable fussy times. With ds, I felt that if I couldn't get him to stop crying I was a failiure. By the time dd came though i understood that sometimes they are going to cry no matter what you do. I was able to just hold her though the crying spell and know that, even if she was still crying, my being there was helping her. I didn't take the crying as personally.

It's also really interesting to watch her grow because in so many ways she is very diferant than her brother. The variety of human personalities is amazing to me. Same parents, same gean pool, same parenting style, two very diferant kids!
 

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As a single child I could not have just one child. Only having one child was the absolute best thing my mother could have done under her circumstances. I love her for it because other wise my life would have been even more difficult. Financially and emotionally she could have NEVER handled it.

But then again, what would it have been like to have someone there with me during those nasty hard times? What would it be like now to have someone to share my current life with?

But mostly, my mothering is going to be aging, as all mothers do. She has NOT prepared herself financially for it. And she has wild expectations about what she wants for herself as she gets older. I am ALL alone with that. I will have to make ALL decisions for her. The financial burden for her care will be SOLELY mine! The emotional burden of how to care for her will be mine alone. And most likely any PHYSICAL care will be mine completely. I so wish I had someone to help me.

On another level, EVERYTHING falls on me. I'm the only one who could make her a grandmother etc. That is a lot of pressure.

So, we will have AT LEAST 2 children!

But that is MY life and MY experience. Everyone is different.
 

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We have two -- DS is five and DD is two. I found it easy to transition when DD was a wee one but harder now that they are both very independent little ones. Looking back, I think we would have been content with one (and I don't say that in anyway to diminish my love for DD so I hope that doesn't sound mean). However, at the time, I felt it was important that DS have a sibling.
 

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Someone told me once that you know you should have another child when you feel like there is an empty spot at the table.

I had a lot of ambivalence when we were planning for our second (and then again for our third!) because I worried that maybe I would be shortchanging our son out of our full attention. And I will admit that the first year or so was tough -- they were only 24 months apart, so it was difficult caring for a small infant and a rambunctious toddler. But now that they are a little older, they are like best pals, they entertain each other, they look out for each other, and yes, they do fight, but they learn from it, and honestly I would never go back to having just one. It has been an amazing experience, watching them grow and interact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is really excellent, thank you. I can't wait to read more (I hope) if others contribute. Yes, I would like to hear all different experiences, even (or especially!) if they are very personal (I don't mean PRIVATE but that the reasoning is very UNIQUE to you - such as not wanting an only child due to your own experiences as an only).

I also invite any experiences from anyone who didn't "plan" another but had an "oops," how that turned out. All your experiences are helping putting things in perspective.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by MommaCrystal View Post
But mostly, my mothering is going to be aging, as all mothers do. She has NOT prepared herself financially for it. And she has wild expectations about what she wants for herself as she gets older. I am ALL alone with that. I will have to make ALL decisions for her. The financial burden for her care will be SOLELY mine! The emotional burden of how to care for her will be mine alone. And most likely any PHYSICAL care will be mine completely. I so wish I had someone to help me.

On another level, EVERYTHING falls on me. I'm the only one who could make her a grandmother etc. That is a lot of pressure.
That's an interesting perspective. Thank you. My DH is an only child and what you said rang true a bit. While his parents are financially secure, there is definitely a "heavier" burden on him emotionally, particularly with his mom. Her demands on his, and thus our, time is definitely high. At least with my parents, I feel like at least if I don't have time for them on a given occasion, I know they can always call my brother.

This is something I have also considered when trying to decide whether to have another.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rhiannon Feimorgan View Post
I have 2. I felt much as you do when ds was 18 months. Now that we have dd, I can't imagine life without her. We waited a while to have a second child, ds was 4.5 when dd was born. We had planned on having children closer together but life got in the way, I had some fertility issues. Now I am realy glad that they were spaced that far apart. Ds got to be a baby as long as he needed to be. I know tandem nursing is possible, and many parents do a wonderful job with children spaced close together but a newborn does take time away from an loder child. Ds was very high needs and I'm not sure how well we would have done with a newborn when he was 2. By 4 though he has self weaned and was much more independant. He was also better able to understand that the baby is little and realy needs mommy just like he did when he was little. Now they are 2 and 6 and they play together much better than I thought they would considering the age diferance. They like to chase each other, or ds will build towers of blocks for dd to knock down.

I think I would have been very happy with just ds. I don't see anything wrong with having an only child. However I'm so glad we have dd. She is herself, neither more nore less than her brother.

There are somethings that came way eaisier with a second child simply because I had some idea what to expect. Nursing for example. I already had the skill of getting latched on well so I was better able to help her learn. I was calmer though the inevatable fussy times. With ds, I felt that if I couldn't get him to stop crying I was a failiure. By the time dd came though i understood that sometimes they are going to cry no matter what you do. I was able to just hold her though the crying spell and know that, even if she was still crying, my being there was helping her. I didn't take the crying as personally.

It's also really interesting to watch her grow because in so many ways she is very diferant than her brother. The variety of human personalities is amazing to me. Same parents, same gean pool, same parenting style, two very diferant kids!

Do we have the same life? I agree with everything you said. My DS is 4 1/2 and DD is almost 4 months. I was ready for another when DS was about 2 but it took awhile to get pg and all that. I love the spacing and just wasn't ready to think about another baby when DS was 18 months.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bethkm View Post
Do we have the same life? I agree with everything you said. My DS is 4 1/2 and DD is almost 4 months. I was ready for another when DS was about 2 but it took awhile to get pg and all that. I love the spacing and just wasn't ready to think about another baby when DS was 18 months.
Yup, but I did it first!
:
 

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I have two and am expecting a third. Unlike you though, I never paused at one and thought that might be enough. I always *assumed* I'd have at least two and secretly hoped for three.
From the having two perspective... Mine are 4.5 and 2. What a JOY. Really. They play so well together and their two personalities are soooo fun to watch. Before ds was born my dd always wanted my attention... 100% of the time. I felt a little overwhelmed. With the two together... they have each other and play. Not that I don't play but if I'm washing the dinner dishes no one feels lonely because they'll go do something together until I'm done. I really love it.

I think I felt more like you when considering the third. The two we have... let's just say I would've been completely okay if for some reason I'd not been able to conceive a third. (I'm 36 now). I decided basically to open myself to whatever happened. If there were another child that wished to join our family we'd welcome that child enthusiastically... but if that weren't in the cards... we'd be okay with that life as well. Well, I got pregnant in two months. Guess it was meant to be. We are all now eagerly waiting for August.

I like the chaos of kids (for the MOST part). I like the different personalities and uniqueness each individual brings to the group. I like the humor. I like watching the kids interact themselves and seeing how they problem solve on their own. I really like being a mom. We are pretty broke. Probably would've been more financially secure stopping at two BUT we can still pay the bills, everyone is fed and dressed. We go to the zoo, on small vacations, etc. I felt if we were going to do it we'd better do it. I'm not getting any younger and we have the rest of our lives to increase our income.

Good luck. Just listen to yourself, it will come.
 

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I had an oops with my 2nd, sort of.. didn't really plan it, but didn't really *not* plan it, if you know what I mean. I thought one was enough for us, though. I didn't necessarily *want* more than one (and now I'm expecting #3).

My two are only 19 months apart.

I thought it would be hard, but it was an easy transition. It was like the new baby just fit into our lives. Her sister immediately LOVED her, and it still hasn't changed, 16 months later.

As for time involved, #1 was my high spirited, very very active child, and #2 was my mellow baby. So I don't think it was that huge of a transition for us. Now they are 3years old and 16 months and they play together very well. It gives me a lot of extra time, I don't feel like I have to play with them all the time.

I love having a house full of kids. I can't wait for the #3 to join us. My daughters are so incredibly close, I wouldn't trade it for anything. My 3yr old comes into our room in the morning (she sleeps in her own room lately) and immediately hugs and kisses her sister and they laugh and snuggle and I couldn't trade that for anything.
 

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I definitely agree with the person who said that when you know you want another child, you feel like something is missing, like there is an empty spot at the table. I know, deep in my heart, that I want a second child. I want to experience everything again--nursing a baby, the tiny clothes, the newborn diapers, the milestones, watching him/her grow and change. But this time, I would get to experience all that AND the experiences of my DD becoming a big sister. I also feel like we are great parents and could provide a wonderful life for another child.

Now, the other big factor for me is that I adore my brothers, positively adore them, and that bond just gets stronger the older we get. They understand the profound, character-shaping moments of my childhood because they were there, experiencing them alongside me as children themselves. They get that part of me in a way that no one else can, and I feel a strong relief knowing that those memories aren't mine alone. I know that for the rest of my life, I can count on them. All the things that I have to deal with about my parents and grandparents, I go through it with my brothers. It is part of what defines me and it feels peaceful to me. My identity as a sister ranks right up there with my identities as wife and mother.
 

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I felt the same way about having a second child the same way I felt about having a first child.......I just really wanted to have a child and then a second. I also knew when I had my second child that I would be done, and I haven't changed my mind.

I knew there would be challenges going from one child to two just from the fact that I only had two hands, but similar to learning routines with my first I learned how to juggle two children.

My children are great playmates already. They enjoy playing with each other as friends. When we are out at a park, they play with each other because they want to, not because they have to! I hope their love for each other carries them through adulthood and beyond.
 

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We're not quite to 2 yet, but have already made the irrevokable decision (I'm 23 wks along w/DD#2). They'll be 14 months apart. We knew we wanted at least 2, maybe more, but now we're thinking we'll stick w/2. I was an only child, & DH was one of 3 - both of us felt, from our experiences, that we wanted more than one; also, since I don't have sibs & we're older parents, other relatives will be rather thin on the ground, particularly by the time our kids are adults (DH's parents are in their early 80s, & he's the youngest in his family).
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JanB View Post
Someone told me once that you know you should have another child when you feel like there is an empty spot at the table.
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OMG, this was so true for me! I got to the point where I just stared at that empty space......

We just had our second, and dd is 6 years old. It took me a long time to be ready for a second child (dd was very, very high needs and challenging). Now, I feel our family is perfect. Ds is extremely mellow, esp compared to dd! And dd has chilled out a lot. She is still intense, but has more self-control, and is MUCH more independent. I love our spacing


My father was an only, and my grandmother (his mother) died 2 years ago. That was about the time that we started to ttc #2, and the events were very related. My father was always saying that we should have another. And then there he was--solely responsible for his ailing/dying mother, and with no one to either share the burden of her care, or to share the memories of his childhood. I didn't want that for dd. I know having another is no guarantee, but at least they could be there for each other in adulthood.
 

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First- all of you who have 2 and they play like a dream... will you PM me your secret cuz....

my 2 are 3 years apart. I love the spacing for the fact that dd did get to be a baby for a fairly long time, i did keep nursing her until just recently and aside from a little bump or 2 when ds came along, she ended on her own terms, so that was great. she's potty-learned (tho obsessed w. pooping and whatnot, which is... sigh. tiring), in preschool this year, etc... etc... ie; her level of independence is much appreciated.

she does *love* her little bro, but being a spirited girl and high needs in the attention dept. the sibling relationship is hard. Being spaced this much apart meas that while they are interacting more than i thought they would at this age, dd is really protective of her things and her space and i have been playing sibling referee (for lack of a better term) since ds was like 3 months. literally, i read _Siblings W/O Rivalry_ when he was 3 months, not because i thought i would start early, but because i really needed it!!


As far as the second goes- wow, parenting is a breeze, in terms of it not being new. love it. would do it again. I adore getting to know this new being; i was amazed to think i would have another as much as i love dd, but here he is!!

i'm not sure how coherent this is, but i think my underlying message is: sibs are great, i love having 2, i would contemplate 3 if dh was open and he's not. BUT, for me, it's been hard in ways i didn't expect, easy in other ways.... it's a different trip, for sure. life with one now seems as leisurely as life with none. but i would not go back to either of those lives...
 

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I am one of six, so I guess I can't really bring my personal experience to bear...
But my mother and MIL are both only children and they both regret it deeply.

As children, they were both lonely, and both miss deeply having close relatives for themselves and for their children.

However, I've talked to both of them a lot about this, and they agree that the worst part of being an only child is having to make all the medical decisions about their parents themselves. I guess that's far down the road, but it's a big thing.

I understand why a parent might want only one child, but for the child's sake, I would say to have at least another.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Dov'sMom View Post
I am one of six, so I guess I can't really bring my personal experience to bear...
But my mother and MIL are both only children and they both regret it deeply.

As children, they were both lonely, and both miss deeply having close relatives for themselves and for their children.

I wonder if this opinion varies between males and females. My DH is an only child and has nothing but good things to say about it.

I am really the one who doesn't like having to handle his parents. I think that's because I was totally mentally unprepared to have in-laws. I have my own set of parents and didn't really want any more of them.
 

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I didn't want a second until DD1 was about 19-20 months old.

For the first 6 months after DD2 was born, it was HARD. I am not good with change to begin with, and this was major change (never mind those people that say it's easier the second time!).

BUT - DD2 rocks. She has changed the way I parent BOTH of my kids. I'm much more laid back, let more things go, allow more messiness, try to make them laugh more. I'm reveling in her toddlerhood, whereas with DD1 I just wanted her to get older faster.

No regrets here. (but also no more kids - we are done!)
 
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