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hampoky

Thinking of TTC no.5 but teenage daughter is VERY much against us.

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hampoky

Hi all,

 

We currently have 4 children , aged 14 , 12 , 10 and 7 ... I have never felt done but hubby was very much done. After years and years of me wanting another , hubby has come round to the idea and is very much keen now as well... even though the age gap is going to be big. We are both excited to experience it all again....

 

So tonight I asked my kids opinions , my 14 year old daughter has always said no more whenever I mention it but I just thought she was being cheeky ... but tonight she burst into tears , told me it was a dumb idea and that I was disadvantaging the kids I already have by having another ...

I feel devastated , I could never go through with it knowing she may end up resenting me... but at the same time I don't want her dictating my life to me...

 

Any advice? Anyone else gone through this?

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PhillipaCrawford

WE only have 3 with 6.5 years between 2 and 3 so when the baby was born DS was 10.5 and DD was 6.5,

 

Baby days were great, childhood was great all went fairly well until the baby was about 11 and suddenly the adored big kids started taking off for lives of their own and she became an "only" child.

She was unprepared for it and so was I since there had always been other people in her life. So I would recommend with your age gap going for 2 but not 1 and really do you want 6.

 

BTW we worked out we would be doing adolescence for about 15 years straight!

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Lady Door

I've got four younger siblings who were born when I was 8/10/12/14 respectively. After being an only child for so long I was super keen for siblings, but by 14 I realised the impact it had on the whole family. I think my feelings wavered through the time - from excited to 'how can they be doing this to me again?!'! I wasn't asked my opinion on the matter however.

 

She's 14 years old, she's not responsible for the big family decisions and her opinion/thoughts/feelings will most likely change over time as well. I adore all of my siblings and feel my life was overall improved for the better by having them!

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Chucky & Slappy

We have 5.

 

We were done at 3, had surprise #4 with a big gap and then had #5 2 years later. As mentioned by PP we didn't want a future only child which is what we would have ended up with due to such a big age gap.

 

TBH, it is not something we as the parents ever thought to discuss with our teenagers. DH and I made that decision with no input from our older children.

 

Good luck!

Edited by FeralSis

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Stylus

Hmmm. It is your decision ultimately, but I have a lot of sympathy for your daughter's position. I also had siblings born when I was a teenager, although I was older than your daughter. I was very neutral about the whole thing during the pregnancies. Of course I loved them when they were born and I love them now, but living with them was not easy.

 

Space for everyone was at a premium. I shared a room with one of my sisters as having my own room was no longer an option. There was NO quiet space in the house. I spent a lot of time outside hanging washing to get away from the house. I was finishing school and trying to maintain a study schedule, which was compromised without having the space or environment to maintain it. Bringing friends over or spending time with friends in my room or in the house never happened. Household chores are magnified with more people in the family, money was tighter and you spend less time with everyone you love when you have more people to love. I ended up moving to my grandmother's house at 17 for my final year of school and never went back home. I still feel upset that simply living at home was so difficult during that time and that it wasn't practical for me to return. Those decisions of others have had a lasting impact on me, particularly financially. All of my friends had families who could house them and in that way support them through school and university - not mine.

 

This is just my experience and maybe your circumstances are different and none of these things would be an issue for your daughter. But to the extent that they might - perhaps you can think of ways to soften the impact on her. Maybe that's by carving out space for her that is just for her. What does she feel that she would be missing out on? Maybe you can compensate for that in some way. If the impacts on her are softened slightly, perhaps she'll find it easier to enjoy her new sibling and build a relationship.

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~river song~

This is yours and your husbands decision not your childrens. While opinions are ok they final say is with you so frankly your teen can just wear it. She'll be an adult before her sibling is even at school so what's the gripe

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JoanFontaine

Are you incredibly wealthy with a humungous house? If not, then I sympathise with your daughter.

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Lucrezia Bauble

its ultimately your decision - but i sympathise with your teenage daughter.

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Fossy

Are you incredibly wealthy with a humungous house? If not, then I sympathise with your daughter.

What a ridiculous comment. We are not incredibly wealthy nor have a humongous house and we are expecting baby number 5, it will be loved and cared for, be feed and clothed, and will live a good life like its siblings, who are very excited about a sibling. No sympathy required here!

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~Jolly_F~

While it's your and your DH decision, I really feel for your DD!

 

This is yours and your husbands decision not your childrens. While opinions are ok they final say is with you so frankly your teen can just wear it. She'll be an adult before her sibling is even at school so what's the gripe

 

I can completely understand her gripe. She already has 3 siblings she has to fight for attention with and probably misses out on certain things due to money and time. A baby would make that even worse.

 

I see it with my own kids, the one with more needs gets more time and attention and as much as we try to give the other 2 the same, a lot of the time we are knackered and have nothing left for them. It's sucks.

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MerryMadrigalMadge

Eldest of 5 here - youngest brother born when I was 12 - love them all dearly, but yes, there was a lot of resentment. Juvenile and petty in hindsight, but that's how I felt.

 

I took a lot of caring on right up until my early twenties, and it was hard to walk away from living at home when I did as my parents were in a very bad place and I was doing a lot of the day to day running of the household. I think it really stopped me moving on as an adult having this weight of responsibility and it does sometimes fester as an issue when my parents talked about how great our family life was.

 

That's my story, so it probably won't be yours. I was also the only daughter so I think that added to it.

 

I like the PP's idea of carving out some space for your daughters transition to older teenager, with all the need for privacy, structure etc that comes with that.

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hampoky

Thank you for your replys. Time and money is not an issue. My husband works very hard and I work 3 days a week and we provide a great life for our children. Including overseas holiday etc (not that I have to justify that) ... I don't do anything else but stuff with my kids, I don't really go out with friends or anything so spend all my time with them , and me and my oldest daughter are very good friends , she texts me all through the day and we have chats even when she is at school.... I have no doubt in my parenting abilities.

 

I completely understand that large families arnt for everyone. And that is ok. If I was a selfish parent I would be rushing into it without considering our children's feeling towards this hence why I have asked. I will take all these opinions on board. Thank you .

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hampoky

Also , all our children have there own rooms which I have recently done up for them. My oldest daughter room is quiet large and we are on the middle of building her a walk

In robe. They have their own lounge room. And we have a spare office which we could use for a possible baby.

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Forever_searching

Has she said why she doesn't want another sibling?

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laridae

 

What a ridiculous comment. We are not incredibly wealthy nor have a humongous house and we are expecting baby number 5, it will be loved and cared for, be feed and clothed, and will live a good life like its siblings, who are very excited about a sibling. No sympathy required here!

 

But your eldest is 6/7, and they are all close in age. I don't think that's comparable to a teenager who has a pretty good idea of what adding a much younger sibling entails, requires more privacy, plus is starting to get into the harder years in school.

 

OP. I totally get your teen's reaction, but it's really not her descision and will get used to whatever you decide. I may have called my unborn baby brother all sorts of things, but I did like him (mostly) once he was here.

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kpingitquiet

Popping in for this but I think a lot depends on the eldest's personality and the family culture relating to older siblings having caring responsibilities. Some families operate where all kids are kids and are expected only to contribute to the care of their own spaces and to contribute to common spaces (ie dishes or whatever). Other families rely heavily on teen siblings, especially girls, to be big helps in caring for infant/toddler sibs. My nieces had a 12yr and 14 yr gap with their littlest brother and were expected to do a LOT of the caring (babysitting,. some meals, lots of supervising/playing with brother(). One child has a very maternal personality and loved this. The other child had a very demanding academic and extracurricular schedule (she got a full music scholarship to uni) and resented being expected to be a carer to a little sibling and being treated as less favored because she had her own work to tend to.

 

So, good for one, bad for the other. Only you know your kids and your family culture.

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dearydo

My eldest is much younger than your DD and she loves her siblings too bits, but she would be sad if there were more. Less time for her to have one on one, harder to take places or not going to places, naps to be considered, sleep times to be considered, space in the house, yet another person in her stuff and space, etc. (Noting that all of ours are refluxers with horrible sleep, who hate the car and have looooong witching hours - going places is often hard). Also despite all efforts otherwise, the eldest does often end up helping to at least some degree. I try sooo hard for this not to be the case but even if it was just can they throw me a nappy or wipes or watch while i grab the pot off the stove, it's a role they don't always appreciate (i was the oldest too and can remember the same thoughts).

 

I guess it's thinking about why she would feel this way and thinking if and how the issues can be managed.

 

No she's not the decision maker but I guess I would be thinking about and considering the pros and cons and wishes of all family members just as if it were another big decision that effected them all (eg moving).

 

If you do choose to go ahead, tell her first and separate to the others with an honest discussion acknowledging her opinion and feelings and how you and your husband are going to address her worries and support her through this.

Edited by dearydo
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CallMeFeral

What a ridiculous comment. We are not incredibly wealthy nor have a humongous house and we are expecting baby number 5, it will be loved and cared for, be feed and clothed, and will live a good life like its siblings, who are very excited about a sibling. No sympathy required here!

 

But your children are excited about their new sibling.

A child who doesn't want a new baby around will suffer more from the birth of one if it puts pressure on space, money, time, etc. The PP was commenting on a situation where that is how the oldest child felt - not YOUR situation where your children are looking forward to it.

 

me and my oldest daughter are very good friends , she texts me all through the day and we have chats even when she is at school....

 

 

This kind of jumps out at me. It sounds like she craves contact with you and enjoys it. Which is wonderful.

Could it be that she is scared this will end? Can you find a way to reassure her it won't, and put measures in place for you two to still have designated time together once the baby is born? Babies can be so all encompassing, and perhaps she remembers feelings of neglect from when the others were small?

 

I think in the end you need to get to the root of what it is she is afraid of losing. She has told you it disadvantages your existing children - it's likely she means herself. She fears losing something. 'Stylus' has talked about her experience, which was obviously exacerbated by space issues, chores, etc. And the sort of issues she has named (increasing chores, etc) could easily happen if things aren't put in place to stop it.

It is not your DD's decision whether you have another child. But IMO your first responsibility IS to consider your existing children, which obviously you are. I would put every energy into finding out what she is worried about and putting plans in place to mitigate them. You could go and talk to a counsellor together, if you are unable to get it out of her in a coherent way. But I do think that unless that is done, it's a little unfair on her to go ahead.

She doesn't necessarily need to get to the point that she's happy with it. But ideally she could get to the point that she is ok with it, and not resentful, worried, or fearful.

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amaza

My DS has asked that I not have any more children and I'm listening.

 

He is a lovely child but he really struggles with change and upheaval. He also doesn't handle the mess of babies very well (eating, toilet training, drool etc). He is serious when he asks to have no more come into the home and watching him struggle with 2 babies coming into his life recently I have taken his concerns very seriously.

 

I know that it's ultimately not his choice but he is here/alive now and has to live closely with these people that I birth so surely his opinion counts for something?

 

I do admit that as much as I'd love another I also know it's not really practical for many other reasons also so my situation is a little different to yours.

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Hands Up

How much are you expecting her to be involved? My mum is one of five and as the second oldest spent a lot of her childhood rocking babies, plaiting hair and giving babies their bottles. She was resentful for a long time. She probably still is actually. In her mind, she got very little time to just be a kid (who knows whether that is accurate). Is that potentially why she is worried?

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JoanFontaine

I was my baby brothers' surrogate mum. 13 years older. I'm speaking from experience. I loved him but boy, it changed my life. Saturday nights were not spent with my friends, but babysitting my brother so my parents could still have a life. I didn't get much choice.

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hampoky

Thank you again for all your comments... my kids all have one chore each , her job is to take the washing off the line once a day , she gets paid $30 a fortnight plus her phone bill paid for. ( i don't think this is an excessive amount of chores but would love your opinion)...She doesn't babysit or do anything for her siblings and I wouldn't expect her too. From what she has mentioned , she said that we won't be able to go on big holidays anymore and she is worries about the financial costs. Both valid points.... of course I would happily accept any help the older siblings wanted to give me but I also would never expect them too.... lots to think about.... after reading all the comments I am now feeling like an idiot for considering it , and think councilling might be my next step to help me get over my desires.

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Astrocyte

I have a 11 and 15yr age gap with my sisters. I don't remember being told I was going to have a new sibling. I adore my sisters and we are really close. But when the family broke down and my single mother became ill, I became a caregiver and it hasn't really changed. I don't think I resent it, but now that they are teenagers I can see how I missed out on a lot of love, care and attention when I was at an age that I needed it. I just needed someone to be there for me, instead of being asked to look after the baby and having to take a 4 year old to preschool.

 

Ultimately it is a decision to be made by you and your DH. Have a chat with your daughter and make a pros and cons list and then go through it with her, reassuring her of her concerns and making a plan for dealing with them. It might just have been a shock for her and she's probably just worried about the changes to her life a new baby would bring. Being a teenager with a baby sibling is different than being 5 and having a baby sibling.

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Ianthe

Wouldn't most 14 year olds be horrified at the thought of their parents having a baby unless they were maternal? 14 yos are very egocentric and then have to acknowledge their parents having sex.

 

She may have genuine concerns but she may just be reacting to unexpected news.

 

I really don't feel it is her decision to make if you have the capacity to care for another child.

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bubba boo

I have five children. I myself was one of only two. However when I was around 10 my parents asked me whether I would like another sibling and I said no way. To this day I still wonder what if I had of said yes and to some extent I regret ruining my parents hopes of having another. Its too much responsibility to put on a sibling and there is no way a child whether it be 10 or 14 has the maturity to fully comprehend the consequences. Try to make the decision with your dh and then explain that decision and why you made it to your dd. Your certainly not wrong to consider another but just don't involve your dd in the decision.

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