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Why a Second Child?

  1. Boheme

    papaya / 10473 posts

    My whole thought process is caught up in risk analysis. If we never have another I have zero risk of
    *more PPD
    *another traumatic birth
    *a mind numbing lack of sleep
    *a colicky, screaming newborn
    *figuring out our marriage with 2 kids

    I am cautious to a fault, and I run risk type scenarios in my head constantly, obsessively.
    I don't really have any concerns for NOT having another besides the fact that I'm 90% sure my husband will resent me. He has huge issues with being an only child (which are related to the type of parenting he had. I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with being an only) so....yeah. This is hard.

  2. Applesandbananas

    pomegranate / 3845 posts

    @grizz: this is how I've thought it through as well!

    I feel pressured to have a second, I'm asked on a nearly-daily basis about a second but I just can't get on board and even lurking this thread... I think we are one and done.

    That being said, reading about your LOs' sibling love is heartwarming i appreciate all of the perspectives!

  3. MsLipGloss

    GOLD / pineapple / 12662 posts

    @looch: "I don't think my son is going to be any more or less lonely because he's an only," This was very helpful to read. Because you're absolutely right.

  4. heartonastring

    pomegranate / 3895 posts

    In case anyone is wondering what my state of mind is today (because, I know you are all hanging on my every last thought ) this thread actually helped me feel like I'm leaning back toward being one and done.

    Ask me again tomorrow. I will probably change my mind again.

  5. Smurfette

    GOLD / wonderful coconut / 33402 posts

    @heartonastring: make sure to report back tomorrow!

  6. MsLipGloss

    GOLD / pineapple / 12662 posts

    There has been a lot (!) of threads lately about 2+ children . . . in case anyone is feeling alone in their decision to be one and done, rest assured you are not alone.

  7. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @MsLipGloss: what's on your mind, friend?

  8. MsLipGloss

    GOLD / pineapple / 12662 posts

    @looch: There has been so much chatter on the boards lately about families with 2+ children . . . for me at least, it seems to have taken over the boards. I just wanted others to know that not everyone is having more than one child . . . even if we can! And that it doesn't mean that your child is *doomed* to a life of loneliness and longing. I don't think that message can be said enough!

  9. septca

    GOLD / pomegranate / 3688 posts

    @MsLipGloss: I think it's completely normal to second-guess/have doubts or to feel like you have to justify it no matter what your decision... If you decide you only want one child, you have to scream at everyone that your child will be well-adjusted and just fine, thank-you-very-much. If you decide you want more than one child, you have to think about what you are giving up to do that (in my case, money, the ability to travel, time and attention, the ability to stay in the city...). Every decision has pros and cons and *all* decisions are okay as long as you are doing what you know is right for your family.

  10. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @MsLipGloss: Totally on the same page. The one thing that kind of surprised me, though, is that it took me a rather long time to be okay with the fact that we'd only have one child. My son is going on 4 and he's mostly fun...but I really only came to terms with it this past winter, when we had a negative experience with our day care and I began looking for other options. To be able to make a choice that was best for my son without having to compromise was such a wonderful feeling.

  11. looch

    wonderful pear / 26210 posts

    @septca: it seems like all decisions come down to money and time, doesn't it?

  12. septca

    GOLD / pomegranate / 3688 posts

    @looch: Seriously. If only I didn't need sleep and money grew on trees.

  13. Boheme

    papaya / 10473 posts


  14. mediagirl

    hostess / wonderful persimmon / 25556 posts

    @MsLipGloss: I agree. There has been a lot of chatter in a small group of women I am part of recently about second babies, as well, so I'm kind of bombarded by it. All of the women had babies around the same time and now at least half, if not more than half, have had their second or are pregnant with their second. There is a lot of pregnancy talk and talk about how your kids interact with one another. It makes me sad. I no longer have the longing feeling for a second but I do ask myself the "are we making the right decision?" question a lot.

    I also worry that I won't have much in common with them in the future or I'll feel ostracized when I'm the only one with one and they're all talking about sibling relationships.

    I like that there is also a (albeit small) group of one and done parents to commiserate with.

  15. youboots

    honeydew / 7622 posts

    I've been enjoying this thread so much. @looch I am In love with my mother in law, seriously, she is such a wonderful person and the 3 of us have so much fun together. It has not always been this good but I have always loved and respected her, we are very different, but in her I have found a friend. She is going through a divorce right now, and is going to be living with us after her house sells and while she is house hunting and I'm really looking forward to having more time with her.

    Being here on HB has been a really good fit for me because I feel that people are so accepting of each other and their differences. I love that there are people who live in big cities, small towns (like me) and out of the country. Within reason anything goes and I'm thankful to have such a diverse and wonderful group to share my journey into parenthood with. That said, this post reminded me of a lot of my feeling when we were really trying to decide if we even wanted children. We would have been so happy the way we were going, choosing to start a family is the way I felt about the way many have expressed having seconds. I have had some guilt over that and been in a place where I have needed to defend why we had been married for 8 years without children. My point is there is no right way to be/have a family and this thread represents that so well. Thanks for sharing y'all.

  16. lawbee11

    GOLD / watermelon / 14076 posts

    @MsLipGloss: I you. Thanks for reviving this thread.

  17. Aimed

    apricot / 469 posts

    For me I think it's self pressure to a large extent. A number of ladies that I was pregnant at the same time with are now pregnant again and for some reason this makes me feel like we 'should' be going for a second, even though I know its not the right decision for me, our family or anyone else at the moment or maybe ever. Yet, I too find myself reading about child spacing etc. It's crazy, I think I am too easily influcenced by others! Maybe I need to take an internets break!

  18. Espion

    pomegranate / 3577 posts

    @MsLipGloss: I think it's because we're scared!

    Seriously, how many children anyone has is their personal choice. I'm pregnant and we're already getting pressured for more, which is kind of effing ridiculous and a serious invasion of privacy. And after seeing what some of the ladies go through on here, I don't see how anyone can judge someone else's family planning. Siblings are not guaranteed BFFs.

  19. sandy

    cantaloupe / 6687 posts

    As someone who is currently pregnant with #2 I just wanted to say that I have absolutely ZERO judgment or negative thoughts about those who are one and done. In some ways I am very jealous as we thought about being one and done before ultimately deciding on adding one more baby. I have several friends who are one and done - I feel like it's so much more common now. Our world is so much more connected now that the "worry" of having a spoiled and isolated only child is laughable now. And I've seen plenty of spoiled children with siblings so there's that.

  20. FliegepilzHut

    pomegranate / 3533 posts

    Reviving this AMAZING old thread, as DH and I are going to try to make a definitive decision re: having a second child this summer. Briefly, he's a contented only (but with grown half-siblings in another household) and I am one of three (sibs are 9 and 11 years older than me)... I always wanted more than one and this had been driven further home to me as I've watched our son get bigger and more independent every day...and because (morbid, I know) I would be absolutely devastated if anything ever happened to him...and I REALLY value my sibs and our adult relationships. But unexplained infertility/IVF. And a ticking clock. And trying to make sure that DH and I prioritize our marriage (we are both completely crazy about our boy) and are financially responsible (and comfortable)...

    Any thoughts? Any updates from folks who were on the fence?

  21. Mrs. Goose

    pear / 1737 posts

    I'm one of six and my husband is one of two. It was never a question whether we would have two or not (currently pregnant). Three is our questionable. I couldn't imagine not having my siblings and I seriously love it now that we're older. We have a bigger age spread and when we're all together at my parents' house there is something or someone for everyone and I love how busy it is.

    Maybe give yourselves a time limit for it to happen with whatever help and interventions you need/want and if it doesn't during that time then just have your family as is.

  22. skipra

    pomegranate / 3350 posts

    We were on the fence about #3. DH was totally fine with 2 but I wanted to try for a third. We decided to give it a try for about 6 months and if it didn't happen then it was the universe telling us we were done. Also morbidly, if something were to happen to one of our kids the other would be all alone and I would hate that we never gave it a shot. And I always seem to hear that you never regret having another baby but you might regret not (or at least trying).
    Good luck with your decision!

  23. Eko

    nectarine / 2148 posts

    @FliegepilzHut: we were on the fence with #2. We struggled to conceive DS, he had bad reflux issues and we didn't really know if we had the means to support a second. I am one of three and DH is one of 4 but grew up as an only child so he was more content then I was with the idea of only having one. We knew that we did not want a large age gap between kids if we did want a second, so it was something we had serious talks about. When it came down to it, when I thought about my life 20, 30+ years from now am I going to be happy with a choice of only having one. The answer was no. We made financial adjustments to accommodate a second and had an easier time conceiving (currently pregnant). DS brings so much joy to our family that we wanted another. No way in help am I having more than 2 though.

  24. wrkbrk

    pomelo / 5082 posts

    We are one and done, and to answer a previous question, no-it's not because of any medical reason. I don't worry the least bit about DS being lonely or badly adjusted. I worry I'll never get to snuggle a newborn again!!!!! But I'm sure he feeling will pass as our friends get past the newborn stage with numbers two and three. I'm sure a negative relationship with my two siblings somewhat influences my view on this.

  25. FliegepilzHut

    pomegranate / 3533 posts

    @Mrs. Goose: I think that sounds like a reasonable approach...only both my husband and I are not averse to possibly pursuing adoption to grow our family. The biggest question right now is whether we (jointly) want more than one...and whether we will go through the biological route again, pregnancy, tiny baby stage, etc.

    @skipra: Thank you! It's fascinating to me that the same logic (or at least worry) still applies even with more than one kid...

    @Eko: Those are my thoughts as well. I love thinking about our future (vacations in the short term, holidays in the long term) with more than one child. And our experience so far as parents has brought us both so much joy. What is really hard is trying to make an emotional appeal (usually I'm the "rational" one!) while my husband is thinking of the nuts and bolts, day-to-day experience of 2 kids under the age of 5....

    @wrkbrk: Thanks for updating! Yes, the newborn stage (I loved it) is one of the points on which my husband and I most disagree.

  26. Mrs. Goose

    pear / 1737 posts

    @FliegepilzHut: hmmm. First give yourselves a time window to decide if you both agree on a second and then another time window for adoption which I know can be a long process at times. Then you'll have "deadlines" you can work with and meet.

    My husband and I talked to someone who went through the adoption process for years and then ultimately they couldn't adoptfor some reason. (We are not very close to the person we were chatting with so didn't get details). If it was me for adoption though, which we had talked about in the past, I wouldn't want to devote too many years to waiting because being in that period of the unknown would be stressful for me.

  27. FliegepilzHut

    pomegranate / 3533 posts

    @Mrs. Goose: We've actually talked about adopting an older child...but later, obviously, since DS is still little and we would want to respect birth order.

  28. themrsgoff

    coffee bean / 43 posts

    I just always had pictured my family with several kids.

    The caveat was that I generally do not enjoy other people's kids, so I did worry that I might feel that way about my own. The day I had DS, though, I knew - in the hospital, I knew - that we needed more. He was amazing, we were totally smitten. I started having baby fever when he was 6 weeks and now that he is 7 months, I'm ready to go again. Husband is ready for more, also.

    That said, we did IVF for DS so I'm not sure how many more we'll get to have. At least one, would love 2, we'll see about 3. I love being a mom more than I could have ever imagined.


    apple seed / 2 posts

    I did not want children at all until about a year after we got married(I was 28), we decided to try for one and just take it as it came. It was hard at first but by the time my first was a year old we were having so much fun with him we decided to have another! I will admit I think we may have been better off just sticking to one child. I go back and forth and at times I am so happy we had another and I love seeing there relationship as brothers grow but I have many days where I see how different things would be if we just had only my 5 year old son. My second child is also the more difficult child and has had some minor illnesses that made the first year of life really tough on us. That said we decided to have 2 mostly because we were enjoying our first so much and liked the idea of him having a sibling to play and forever have a special bond with. I think as we get out of the "terrible twos" I may feel that it was the right choice but right now there are days I still struggle with the decision(We love my second son dearly but these are my honest thoughts!).

  30. babycanuck

    pomegranate / 3105 posts

    We are one and done.

    There are two factors for us not having another:
    1. I had issues conceiving. While it was resolved surgically, I'm sure we would conceive quickly again, because I already had a high chance of twins, being over 35 having another would make that chance even higher, and I don't think I have the energy for 3. Don't call me selfish for that.

    2. I had really bad HG. Yes, I'm aware every pregnancy can be different, but I cannot take a chance with a toddler and the HG like I had before. I just don't have the support system for it, to help take care of my LO while I'm stuck in hospital attached to IVs, etc.

  31. MrsBucky

    kiwi / 656 posts

    @FliegepilzHut: I'm in a slightly different boat but I'll share anyway fwiw. I have one 26 mo and my husband is ready for the second to be born like yesterday (I am not pregnant). Actually he is already talking about adoption after we have our third. (!!) I feel a bit more ambivalent. I love my son deeply, but my husband is way better at the toddler stage than I am. He is also better at rolling with whatever comes than I am. I'm afraid of rolling the dice on another child's personality, being able to do things, being able to take care of more kids. But, like others have said- I always wanted more kids, I picture a larger family long term, and the spiritual part of me believes that whatever hard parts come (and I know there will be many) will help me become a better person. I also do want to give my son the gift of a sibling/siblings. So, we are trying, and I'm trying to focus on being open to whatever comes and let go of control. I will also add that my son was in a traumatic accident recently (he is miraculously fine thank goodness) and it has made me more afraid of having more kids because of fear of being less able to keep him/them safe. Thank goodness for therapy to help me work through that. 🙂

  32. mrskansas

    nectarine / 2813 posts

    @JENNZMT: I really appreciate your honest response.

  33. mrskansas

    nectarine / 2813 posts

    I am really struggling with this right now. We've been trying for #2 for around 10 months with three losses and now are dealing with unsuccessful fertility treatments.
    I think after this month I will be at the point of being done. I fear having a second child who is really difficult (my daughter has been a dream) and regretting the decision to add to our family.
    This thread has really helped a lot. @FliegepilzHut: Thank you for reviving it!

  34. babycanuck

    pomegranate / 3105 posts

    I also want to note...I always wonder. In the back of my mind it's there.

    Should we?
    Could we afford it?
    Am I not giving my son something he should have?

    I had a strained relationship with my sister growing up but we're so close now.
    DH had a great relationship with his brother but now his brother doesn't talk to anyone in the family.

    So hard

  35. snowjewelz

    wonderful kiwi / 23653 posts

    Hah, I wasn't even pregnant with my first when this thread started, and now I have two!

    I was never not gonna have a 2nd if I have a 1st. We both have siblings so to me it was just never even a question. Timing was the only question but DD2 came early as a surprise!

  36. PawPrints

    pomegranate / 3658 posts

    Same as @snowjewelz, it was never a question for us, since we both come from 2-sibling families with 3-4 year age gaps. It's what seems normal to us. We will absolutely be done after #2. I'm a little worried #2 will be a difficult child since DD has been such a tender sweetheart, kind of seems like we're due for a terror!

  37. wrkbrk

    pomelo / 5082 posts

    @JENNZMT: Wow, thanks for being honest. I feel like you almost never hear anyone express any doubts about having had a kid or more kids, although statistically, some people have to feel this way. Refreshing.

  38. Bernieboo

    cherry / 121 posts

    We currently have one (almost 8 months old) and are casually TTC. I am an only and I have always known that if I had kids, i would want more than one. DH wants 4 or 5, I want 3 or 4. I've seen both sides of the sibling issue; DH and my mom have terrible relationships with their siblings. But I've known a lot of people who are incredibly close to their siblings into adulthood. We've resolved to put a lot of effort into helping our kids develop good relationships with each other. I did not like being an only. I spent a lot of time being lonely and I think I grew up a lot faster bc I was always only around adults. Another thing that factors into it for us is that I have no siblings and we will never live near DH's sister, so our kids will never have the experience with cousins. DH was ready for another within a month or two of M being born, it's taken me a bit longer, but now we both have baby fever!!

  39. lawbee11

    GOLD / watermelon / 14076 posts

    @FliegepilzHut: Sounds like we have similar situations My daughter has half-siblings who are older and live out of state. I will say that considering the distance they are pretty close with her (we FaceTime with them every day and they visit us/she visits them on a regular basis).

    We will not be having anymore children (and have taken permanent measures). My DH got a vasectomy right before my LO turned 3 (she'll be 4 in a couple of months). It's such a personal choice and obviously depends very much on your family. For us we just felt complete after LO was born and realized shortly after her birth that we were on the same page. It helped that she was a horrid sleeper for the first year of her life and I have no desire to repeat that.

    Being able to focus my energy and attention on just one LO has been great for me and I think fits my personality best. I don't have to worry about juggling sick days for two kids (DH and I both work full-time and can take turns taking days off for this stuff). I don't have to worry about trying to fit activities in for multiple kids (I've found this challenging enough with just one!). Travel is a huge priority for us and now that she's older it has become so enjoyable for us to travel as a family....and it's dare I say...easy (especially when her older siblings are there to help out!). There are obviously pros to having more than one, but seeing some of the challenges my friends with multiple children face makes me thankful for some of these pros of only having one

    I hope you can find peace with whatever decision you make!


    apple seed / 2 posts

    @wrkbrk: I think more people feel the same way but feel they are doing an injustice to their second child if they say it out loud! My friends gasp in horror every time I say it, but anyone who know me knows I am brutally honest and very blunt. The truth is I sometimes worry that I favor my second because we have similar personalities and similar likes/dislikes, so its not that I don't cherish him!

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