Quandry; I don't want another
but maybe it's best for our son
More than a Mother
, Nov 26 2012 10:55 AM
12 replies to this topic
Posted 26 November 2012 - 10:55 AM
I was hoping to get some view and perspective on my indecision around having a second child.
Up until recently, I was happy with our decision to stick at one. I found it very hard to cope initially, and was often very anxious up until recently. I've just turned 40, and our son will turn 4 in December.
We have no family over here, so we really felt the lack of support - another reaon for stopping at one. Some days I still struggle and feel constantly exhausted, so I wonder how I'd manage another. I'm pretty selfish, and so sometimes resent the demands on me, in all honesty.
Plus I've never had a strong desire to have children - although obviously I'm happy with our boy. I suppose we felt one was all we needed. Plus if we went again, would the age gap be too big for them to enjoy each other? My sister is 4 years older than me, and I don't remember playing with her, and we're not particularly close.
But over the past couple of weeks, I've seen him playing with friends and noted how much fun he has - the laughter and boyishness that he exudes turns him into a different child.
I was satisfied that I'd done my research - don't have a sibling just to keep one company - what if they hate each other?, What he doesn't have, he doesn't miss etc., but then I realised that he'll miss out on family things when we're gone. No siblings to spend time with, no cousins, aunts uncles etc.
I'd have to hope that he had an amazing partner whose family accepted him as one of their own.
I have lots of reasons for not having a second child, but only one pretty good reason for having one. I'm feeling pretty confused and really don't know where to go from here. I realise there may not be any decision to make, given my age, but still..........
Is there a solution that doesn't involve having a second child? Apart from moving back to the UK. Although thinking about that, he probably wouldn't see much of his cousins for various reasons anyway.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:01 AM
Make sure he has lots of opportunities to socialise with other children.
Focus on his friendships - mates can and will get you through a lot. If I had a crisis and couldn't rely on DH for whatever reason, I would turn to my friends. Whereas, I have 2 sisters and I wouldn't rely on them for anything. I haven't seen any of my cousins since I moved out of home 10 years ago. Family is just genetics - you can't force a bond.
Friendships and relationships with all people are what is truly important.
Don't have another child if you don't truly want one. You just need to shift your focus on making sure your son is well socialised and has good friendship-making skills.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:03 AM
IMHO - you should never have another child simply to provide a sibling for your first child.
We had DD#2 because I was even more desperate after having DD#1 to have another baby / child. We did not have her simply to provide a sibling for DD#1.
DH & I are very much in the same boat as you - no family support etc - *I* find it very very hard work looking after 2 children. I realise there are families out there with 5 or 6 or more kids and they seem to handle it a lot better than me - more power to them - but I know that I wouldn't cope.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:21 AM
Just wanted to add my support.
I feel very, very guilty that we are still unsure about having a second child, when I think it will be a great thing for DD.
I have been thinking about how I will feel in 10 years time, how my husband will feel, how DD will feel. How will it all effect us long term?
No answers yet...
Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:33 AM
I'm thinking long and hard about this too - far too much. After DS I have been adamant I don't need/want another. We are very happy as a little family of three, but lately 'number two' seems to be occupying my thoughts. Right down to a potential names list etc.
The sibling thing is tough - no guarantees.
I've been tying to do the 'in ten years', 'in twenty years' etc and seeing how many adult children I feel are in our family.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:42 AM
I had no such indecision about having #2 but I did about having #3. For me the 'give #1 a sibling thing was a factor for #2 (mainly for selfish reasons tbh) but that was no longer an argument for #3. In the end it came down to how I pictured our family in 20 years time. Plus I wasn't ready to give up the baby years.
Only you can decide what is really right for you. As others have said the sibling thing is no guarantee. My boys are very close and best mates but my brother and I were never close. We rarely played together. My niece and nephew are best friends and love spending time together. Its the luck of the draw and age difference is not the only factor.
I know lots of single child families and they are happy kids, lots of friends, lots of attention from mum and dad, more time, more money etc. Lots of pros.
You need to weigh up your needs as against how you feel your son will benefit from a sibling. Which is hard I know....good luck.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 11:57 AM
But does our lack of extended family have an impact? He met his cousins when he was 18mths old and still talks about them. There was such a bond. I think if we had more family around, I probably wouldn't be feeling like this.
Also, my hubby and I find it hard to make friends, and I don't want that to rub off on him.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:07 PM
ssorento, we have no family around and I really struggled too. Our decision to have two was easy for us as we always wanted more, however the combination of our ages, my career and lack of family support has meant that we are no longer planning a bigger family.
I also thought about how I'd feel in 5 years, 10 years etc but decided not to think that way as it is irrelevant really, if I can't cope now there's not point having another one or two and thinking it'll be ok in 10 years.
I don't think an only child misses out because they have no siblings, they have different relationships around them to balance a lack of sibling. I also agree having a child to play with the eldest isn't terrific, but there are worse reasons!
All the best with your decision, it's never an easy one to decide when to start or stop the family line.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:11 PM
Another who understands.
I am very like you in that I also had no desire for children and a very self centred lifestyle. It's because of these reasons that we certainly won't be having another. It doesn' mean I don' have intense periods of "what if?" In fact, I think that is very normal to always wonder.
The desire to have another has to be stronger than the desire to NOT have another and as much as I miss having a really small one, I just don't want to go there enough to actually do it.
FWIW, I have a very supportive close family. That makes no difference in our decision because ultimately the work still falls to me.
A single child does not have to mean a lonely child, either. DD has lovely day care friends, I met a wonderful woman at the park (I don't "do" people really, and we just meshed) and our children adore one another. There are so many ways to socialise a single child nowdays - you just have to do it!
Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:16 PM
I wouldn't do it simply to give him a sibling however I can say I'm pretty thrilled to have had a second 'accident' that did give ds his brother. The bond they have is pretty amazing. I won't lie - it does seem to be so much harder with two in some ways (although sometimes not as they entertain each other). They have a four year gap and it's pretty good. The eldest is at school full-time so that makes it easier.
We had a similar situation to you OP in that all his cousins were 15+ years older than him so there was no chance of having a relationship (more Aunt/Uncle than cousins). We have no close friends with kids of similar age.
Are you perhaps having the "... this is my last chance" jitters as you approach 40?
Good luck with your decision.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:22 PM
My husband was an only child. His parents were 43 and50 when he arriived ( honeymoon baby). His closest cousin in age was 8 yrs older. He has cousins who are 30 yrs older then him, so he is not close to his extended family.
He has been fully adopted by my family
He loved his childhood and never felt anything was missing. He sometimes finds my family a bit overwhelming.
We have three children ourselves.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 12:46 PM
My second child just turned one year old a couple of weeks ago and my first child just turned five a couple of days ago.
DS1 wasn't an easy baby or toddler. He has always been needy and constantly on the go but always wanting us to do everything with him, never letting me have a break to do anything else. He also had bad reflux as a baby and would cry constantly all day and night when he was a baby and he would fight every time we tried to put him to sleep up until he was three. He was an awful Breastfeeder. It was a horrible time for us all. So I was worried about having another child and having to deal with all of that again. That is why waited so long to have the second one.
The reasons why we wanted a second child were:
a) I wanted DS1 to have a sibling, with all the good times and bad times that siblings have.
b) They will always have each other when DH and I are gone.
C) I didn't want to put all the eggs in one basket.
D) We could financially afford another child.
I am so glad that we decided to have DS2. He has been such an easy baby and so easy going compared to his brother. He sleeps well and doesn't make a lot of noise when he's awake. I was very prepared to have no sleep again for the first six months after he was born like I did with DS1, but he started sleeping through the night by 10 weeks and has done so ever since. If I had decided not to have another child, then we would have missed out on how wonderful DS2 is. We all adore him. DS1 thinks it's great to have a baby brother and is very protective of him. Even with such a large age difference, they play together a lot.
Everyone has to do what is right for them. Just do what is right for you and your family situation.
Posted 26 November 2012 - 01:08 PM
I am of no help, but we only have the one (nearly 5.5yo) I am AUstralia, we live in Australia but my son (and husband) were born in England, we are not having another, for lots of reasons but I look at it like it is not like trying out another for size, once I went ahead there would be no tunring back and I can't do that.
No matter what you decide just make sure you are making the right decision
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