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Why a Second Child?

  1. Mrs. Jump Rope

    blogger / coconut / 8306 posts

    I have always wanted three kids and my husband wanted two. I can't give a reason other than "because that's what I've wanted" as to why!

    After we had Chloe, I had a hard time imagining TTC again. Somewhere after her first birthday, I felt like we were in this amazing groove and didn't want to ruin that balance. Something inside me said we really should have our second, and my husband agreed. We are expecting baby 2 in about five and a half weeks.

    Now our roles have changed! He is talking about a third while I can't imagine being pregnant again -- this pregnancy has been very difficult for me and has put a lot of strain on our family. It's been tough balancing my health, work, and family. It's been hard enough with Chloe; I can't imagine having a difficult pregnancy with two kids to take care of! I worry it would be selfish.

    But, if health and finances weren't a concern I'd have more kids. Having these two girls is the one of the best decisions I've ever made and I can't imagine our lives any other way.

  2. LuLu Mom

    GOLD / wonderful olive / 19030 posts

    I always knew we would be a family of at least 4, even with a tough pregnancy and a child with some health issues, it never crossed my mind to have her be an only child.

    I'm newly pregnant with our second, and I'm treating this like it is my last pregnancy. DH would like 3 children, especially if this next one is another girl (he's really wanting a boy.) But, honestly I can't imagine having 3 children while working full time, and there is no way we could afford for me to not work if we have 3 children. So, I promised him I will keep an open mind, but if this pregnancy is rough I know in my heart I'm done.

  3. heartonastring

    pomegranate / 3895 posts

    I am struggling so hard with this right now and actually almost posted a similar thread this morning, so was glad to see this one pop back onto the radar.

    I literally change my mind on a daily basis and am starting to drive my husband crazy.

  4. ladybee

    grapefruit / 4079 posts

    I'll give the other side a try. I am an only child (half brother is 11 years older) and I loved it. My mom was and is my best friend. We traveled, went out to eat, to concerts, etc. and I always got to bring a friend or two. I'm a very "need my space and me time" person so this always worked great for me.

    The down side, my parents are aging and it will all fall on me. But they know that and have done everything they can to prepare for and make it as easy as possible. Also, I sometimes come off bitchy even though I'm just shy and unsure of myself. Once I warm up I'm very social though.

    I don't think there is a standard answer. Right now, LO is 9 months and it is so easy in comparison. But I love being a mom so I think I want another. But like others have stated, I don't know how I'd share my love and attention.

  5. .twist.

    pineapple / 12802 posts

    @heartonastring: Can I join your crazy train?

    This is probably going to be long and messy, but I will try to make it somewhat organized...

    So many decisions are going through my mind as to why we're done and, on the other hand, why we're not.

    Why we're done:
    1. I had a really hard recovery period after birth and I'm not sure I could do that again (11 months worth of recovery!).

    2. Finances. Plain and simple, I want to be comfortable in my life and I'm not sure what kind of strain a second (physically, 4th otherwise) would put on our financial situation.

    3. I'm not sure what strain a 4th would put on our marriage either. We are great right now.

    4. We have no room! We desperately need a larger house for the family we have, let alone any future children!

    ETA: 5. uh... 4 kids is hella scary! LOL

    Why we're not done:
    1. I want another one. The baby fever has been creeping in over the last couple weeks...

    2. I worry that L will be lonely. I know he has 2 step bros, and their relationship is great right now. But I worry about what the future holds for them. They come from a household built on lies and deceit and backstabbing and I am so worried that they will abandon L. Which is morbid, but they are my thoughts nonetheless.

    3. Because of #2 I want L to have a bond with someone who (hopefully) may never betray him. At least, was raised to love him and not told that he's not ALLOWED to love or be loved.

    4. I have two step children, but the way things are going they will never love me like they love their father, or their mother and I worry about MY future. What if something happens to L? I will be alone, and I will not have the most precious thing in my world. That haunts me.

    5. I had a brother who was 13 years older than me. While we are/were close, I watched him grow up and wished so badly that I could experience life with him instead of always from the side lines. I considered myself a solo child for so long because my brother was hardly around growing up. So I longed and envied other children who had siblings.

    Sorry for being so morbid!!

    ETA2: ugh. I actually have so many more reasons than what is listed, but they are just popping into my head now.

  6. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @.twist.: Are we the same person? Minus the step children and hard recovery. Exact same thoughts. I haven't always been close to my brother and sister, but we had so much fun growing up.

  7. .twist.

    pineapple / 12802 posts

    @Smurfette: it's such a hard decision.

  8. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @.twist.: So hard. I really want another but I still have this voice in my head 2nd guessing it. And then there is the pesky task of figuring out how to pay for 2 in day care.

  9. MoonMoon

    pomegranate / 3371 posts

    @heartonastring: I'm struggling too. Never in my life did I think I might want more than one child. But I didn't realize how much I would love LO, and for me pregnancy, childbirth, recovery, etc. were really manageable. It was all just so sweet, and I guess that's what baby fever is, wanting to experience it all again.

    But I just don't know how another would for into our life plans. I wish I had a crystal ball!

    Not to mention I'm coming up on 14 months pp, and my cycle has not returned, so it's a moot point right now anyway. Whole other can of worms...

  10. lawbee11

    GOLD / watermelon / 14076 posts

    @.twist.: I often have morbid thoughts, too. Like I think what if something happens to M...does that make me no longer a mom? I think (hope!) the morbid thoughts are normal.

    One thing I've learned from this site and from observing others IRL is that one size doesn't fit all. There are only children who love it and there are those who hate it. There are siblings who are thick as thieves and those who couldn't care less about one another. Analyzing all the "what ifs" will drive you insane. If only we could predict the future, right?

  11. .twist.

    pineapple / 12802 posts

    @lawbee11: I think the morbid thoughts are normal. I have all boys, and my dad and Dh's dad, all come from BIG all boy families. They are not close. In fact, some of them despise each other... I am horrified that all "all boy" families end up this way! HAHA. Not to mention, I've heard girls are better at taking care of their parents in old age than boys, and now I worry, great, no one is going to love me when I'm old! Might as well try for a girl! and if it's another boy at least that leaves 4 boys, ONE of them will still care about me then, right? HAH.

  12. heartonastring

    pomegranate / 3895 posts

    @.twist.: @Smurfette: Yes to all of this. Basically, I could write a novel on the topic....and I just might do that now:

    We always said we'd have two kids. And then DD was born and I love her with every ounce of my being, but it was tough going. DH and I were previously very independent people and it was hard to give that up and have someone so thoroughly dependent on us (but really, on me, since we EBF and I was on mat leave for 13 months). And I grieved really hard for a long time.

    DD is 15 months old now and we're in a good place. She is, and really always has been, a pretty easy kid. She's happy and she sleeps and I love her infinitely. I've developed a bad case of baby fever recently, which I never thought I'd say. But I wonder if I am really capable of doing it all again while remaining a healthy and happy person.

    I will fully admit to being partially motivated by wanting a do-over on birth. But I am rational enough to realize that's not a good reason to create another human being. But that is just one of many factors at play and I am having a very hard time weighing all the variables and making a decision. The fact is, there is no right answer, you just need to pick one and own it. But that is easier said than done.

    The other side of it is partially motivated by finances. We can afford two children, but we can't afford two children and all the other things I want/enjoy in life: vacations, a new house, new clothes/cars etc. Am I saying that I would rather have a car than a child? Of course not. But I think I'm being honest enough with myself to realize that I do derive a great deal of happiness from vacations and good food and being able to spend my money as I want, and I'm not sure if I'd be happy in my life without being able to have those things.

    I feel like there's this notion out there that motherhood = martyrdom and I am just not okay with that. I want to model self-discovery and self-fulfillment for my child(ren). And with that in mind I am trying very hard to be true to myself and figure out what's best for both my family as a collective and me as an individual. But I don't know, I just don't know.

  13. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    I think it's totally okay to decide that you want another/more children for yourself. I think we all know well enough that having siblings doesn't guarantee that they will be close or even like each other. My family used to think I was insane for only having one child, but I think they've come around to accept the reality of it. I don't think my son is going to be any more or less lonely because he's an only, I think he just has to work hard to build his village. I am sure he'll be up for the challenge.

    Personally, age is my limiting factor, I'll be 40 next year and I just am not as energetic as I used to be. I am also a very nervous/anxious person and I have finally gotten to a point where I am able to let my son go on the playground and not hover over him.

    Also, since my son is an only I am keenly aware that I will be the mother in law that might be alone and I hope my child-in-law will be understanding and accepting of the situation. That, quite frankly, is my biggest concern.

  14. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts

    @.twist.: morbid thoughts are the only reason I would want another. What if, God forbid, something happened to M? I would want to die. It makes me wish I could just add another 18 month old into the mix without having to deal with all the stuff that comes before that (and without having to deal with adoption).

  15. septca

    GOLD / pomegranate / 3688 posts

    This is such an interesting thread.

    For me/us, the decision has always been about how we view our family and what feels complete. Before I met DH, I thought I'd have two kids. Once we were together, 3 felt right. I am not sure *why* beyond that it's just what I envision when I think about our future.

    That was before IF and my difficult pp recovery, which included some rough time for me mentally and for our marriage. We started TTC #2 fairly early, but we had some hard discussions about what 1 kid could look like. We could stay in the city, travel more, have more money, etc. But, in the end, we are still set on having at least two kids. We will cross the "3" bridge when we get there. Whether there is a third also largely depends on how hard it is to conceive #2...

    Interestingly, our decision has nothing to do with giving DD a sibling. DH and I have siblings we aren't close to, so we aren't hanging our hopes on that. A second (or third) child would be for US.

  16. lawbee11

    GOLD / watermelon / 14076 posts

    @heartonastring: Love this. I could've written it myself. DH and I are pretty set on being done, and there was a lot of thought that went into it. Having children is obviously an emotional decision, but I think a lot of times people let their emotions get in the way of logic. I especially relate to your section on finances. There are a lot of extras that we enjoy, and I'm not willing to compromise our quality of life for another child. It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into it...I hope you're able to find peace in whatever decision you make

  17. .twist.

    pineapple / 12802 posts

    @looch: My MIL has 3 boys. She has 2 daughter in laws, but I am the only one who keeps in touch with her. I try to make a point to include her in my life as often as possible, because... I don't want her to feel lonely. Honestly, (and I would never tell my mother this because I do love her dearly) my MIL is one of my best friends and maybe you'll have the same experience with your future daughter in law, too.

  18. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @.twist.: thank you so much for sharing that, it does give me hope!

  19. .twist.

    pineapple / 12802 posts

    @mediagirl: I quite agree. Where's the store we can just purchase those cute little 18 month olds at?

  20. lawbee11

    GOLD / watermelon / 14076 posts

    @.twist.: Awww that's really sweet! You're such a good DIL

  21. .twist.

    pineapple / 12802 posts

    @looch: @lawbee11: haha, well, with 3 boys of my own and already feeling lonely with 2 of them, I think I have a pretty good idea of what she's feeling or could be feeling. It definitely helps that we get along so well and live 5 mins apart, but I feel like if I put my everything into loving this woman (and I do, it's not hard) that maybe some girl down the road will do the same for me.

  22. heartonastring

    pomegranate / 3895 posts

    @lawbee11: Thank you. Talking to other mamas who are in the same place helps. If only all the one-and-done HBers could live close to one another and our kids could grow up together!

  23. MrsH

    honeydew / 7667 posts

    I pretty much think about this topic every day

  24. MsLipGloss

    GOLD / pineapple / 12662 posts

    @heartonastring: Having another child for any person other than yourself (your current LO and/or your spouse, for example) and/or for someone else's perceived/imagined future happiness to me represents the ultimate sacrifice on the altar of motherhood. I think the healthiest decisions can only come from self-awareness and identifying--without regard to how others may view your *priorities*--what YOU (generally, not you) need to live a happy, fulfilled life. Period. I loathe the idea that considering your personal happiness, the stability of a marriage/relationship, finances, etc., is somehow shallow or short-sited (the "we'll make it work" model). . . it's actually quite the opposite.

  25. lizzywiz

    persimmon / 1178 posts

    @MsLipGloss: ^above^ well said!

  26. lizzywiz

    persimmon / 1178 posts

    @Fronkinzankinsbride: just saw your answer from 9 months ago. Love it.

  27. abmamma

    kiwi / 641 posts

    This is a really interesting thread and providing lots of food for thought for me. DH and I always said we'd have two. I am an only child and although I never felt lonely per se (I'm very close to my parents, my mom in particular), I always wanted a sibling/bigger family. DH has a brother who is 2.5 years younger and they are reasonably close (considering they live in different states). Our LO will be turning 2 in August and I have baby fever like crazy. I have this inexplicable emotional/primal urge to have another baby that is hard to explain. Plus, I still love the idea of having two kids and for LO to have a sibling that is somewhat close in age. DH is now on the fence. I think he still likes the idea of two kids but is less sure about the realities in the short term, both with respect to going through the newborn phase again (DD was not particularly easy as an infant--we had some weight gain issues that impacted her sleep early on) and especially when it comes to affording two kids in day care. We have a pretty comfortable life right now and a second would definitely require giving up some luxuries (at least in the short term until DD can start school). I have definitely had the "we can make it work" attitude when it comes to the financial aspect but some of the comments on here definitely help me see his perspective a bit better. Unfortunately, there is not a real ability to compromise when it comes to having another child or not and so I worry that one of us may end up giving in and eventually resenting the other. I hope it does not come to that.

  28. heartonastring

    pomegranate / 3895 posts

    @MsLipGloss: Yes, agreed 100% If only it were easy to identify what exactly I need to be happy. Could I be happy with an only child? 100% yes, but I worry that I might regret only having one. Could I be truly happy with two children? It's a big hypothetical, but the honest answer is that I'm not sure I could find the same sense of personal fulfillment.

  29. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @MsLipGloss:
    @heartonastring: Get out of my head!! So worried I am going to regret if we don't have another but I know we would be a happy family of 3.

  30. Boheme

    papaya / 10473 posts

    @heartonastring: Our reasons overlap so much

    I hope this conversation is still active later... Such a great discussion but I can't type much at the moment.

  31. MsLipGloss

    GOLD / pineapple / 12662 posts

    @heartonastring: @Smurfette: Agreed. That question weighs heavily on me as well.

  32. .twist.

    pineapple / 12802 posts

    @MsLipGloss: @MsLipGloss: @Smurfette: Guys. Make room for me in this hug.

  33. heartonastring

    pomegranate / 3895 posts

    @grizz: Looking forward to reading your thoughts

  34. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @.twist.:

  35. MsLipGloss

    GOLD / pineapple / 12662 posts

    @.twist.: you don't even have to ask, yo

  36. jetsa

    grapefruit / 4663 posts

    I this thread.

    I really agree with needing to, "there is no right answer, you just need to pick one and own it."

    My DH and I don't agree, he says he's done and I know I want another. Could I be happy with 1 yes I think so but I'm also afraid I'll regret it in 5 years. I'm just so conflicted.

    A big part of the conflict for me involves infertitily I was at my absolute lowest when I found out my body doesn't operate the way it is supposed to. My diagnosis ended up being unexplained infertility, I don't know that I'll ever feel ready to start that process over so we've been NTNP and nothing that tells me that if I want another I've got to go down that road again. I just don't know that I can pull the trigger, I love my son so much and it was so worth it but I don't know that I want to do it again and my IF battle was absolutely nothing like some other bees and it still hurts me.

  37. Cherrybee

    papaya / 10570 posts

    I knew before I had E that I wanted at least two children. I was an only child and I hated it. I have this vision of our family in 5+ years, on camping holidays, playing in paddling pools together, playing games together at Christmas.....

    ..... but having a baby was a thousand times harder than I could have ever imagined; I'm amazed I survived, to be honest. The thought of going through the first few months again fills me with dread and then I have to ask myself if I could handle two little kiddies (one is hard enough - I really am a crap parent some days).

    A few weeks ago, I started to feel ready to try and I was so excited about it.... but then E had a stretch of really bad nights and I plummeted into (mild) depression again, my relationship started falling apart at the seams and I realised how fragile it all was, how far we actually hadn't come and it scared me. I really don't know that we'd survive a second.....

  38. Mrs.Panda

    nectarine / 2358 posts

    We are still baking our first so things may change but DH and I both want at least 3. He actually wants 4! We will see how hard it is to have this first LO but I can't see myself not giving her a sibling. I had such a great time growing up with mine (brother is 3 years older and sister is 6 years younger). I want my LOs to experience the sibling bond, even if they won't always get along.

  39. keepcalmcarrie

    persimmon / 1096 posts

    J is currently 16 months old, and I'm 15 weeks along with LO#2. To be honest, my emotions about adding another have been a little bit all over the place. I always always thought I wanted a pretty big family - at least three kiddos. I come from a 3 kid family, and my brothers and I were great friends growing up and are still very close today. My DH was an only child and really didn't like it, so he wanted at least 2. And then J was born...

    I love my son more than anything, but I honesty thought for the first four months that I would never have another baby. I actually enjoyed pregnancy, and L&D were fine, but he spent time in the NICU and was an extremely colicky newborn. It was awful, I can look back now and say that I was depressed and hanging on by a thread.

    He's a pretty happy toddler now, but no one has ever described him as easy. He's extremely physical and does not go with the flow at all, which is probably wearing on my nerves more these days because I'm pregnant and tired and worried about juggling his personality plus a newborn!

    I'm hoping LO#2 is a little more laid back. If so, we will probably try again in a few years for #3 and might even be open to #4. But if not, we will probably be stopping at 2. Being a family of 4 would be okay with me now.

    I think so much of this decision depends on what your first newborn/infant/toddler is like. My best friend has the most chill baby you've ever seen - he hardly ever cries, just hangs out smiling and watching the world go by - and if that had been my first experience, I would probably have had Irish twins!

  40. MrsH

    honeydew / 7667 posts

    @heartonastring: @Smurfette: @grizz: @MsLipGloss: regretting not having a second is probably 50% of my reasoning. I just love E so f'ing much.

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