To Not Be Sure About Having A Second Child?

(50 Posts)
JRsandCoffee Tue 30-Jul-13 14:08:43

OK, briefly, DD is coming up to 9 months old. She has been an absolute angel on the whole, yes she has her moments but they all do, generally speaking she is calm, delightful, sweet, sunny, funny and I adore her, she has even (thus far, crosses fingers) slept (bar the odd blip) beautifully since she quietly stopped night feeding at about four months old. I AM RUINED, and I know it, really I do.

Now, everyone around me is broody as heck and I'm just not. I adore my girl, I love every second with her but I'm just not chomping at the bit to do it all again! Any child even if I conceived tomorrow would be born when I'm over 40 so the clock is ticking but I just can't seem to want to go for it. DD was prem and given that she took a while to come along I don't want to overshadow her toddler years in pursuit of a sibling and then if we did have another fear having another premie or a very stressful and not so calm baby and end up being frazzled with them both. I also feel that with one there is much that we could afford to do in terms of activities and hobbies etc that we took for granted as kids that now seem to cost proportionately more and therefore might not be on the cards for two. Might seem an odd thing to say but if like her to have the chance to do things I loved as a child. I also was never close to my brother so don't buy the whole it's nice to have a sibling line, there are cousins, family and lots of friends, I'm happy to put the effort in to making sure she has as much social life and activities as she wants.

DH has been away since DD was 4 months and it could so easily happen again, we've been fine this time but would worry on a second round! I can see a lovely future with the three of us and coping just fine when I'm inevitably left fort holding but equally don't want to get three years down the line and wish we had tried while there was still a vague chance!

So, anyone felt like this? Am I being unreasonably chicken here? Did anyone have a second an wonder what on earth they worried about or has anyone stopped at one and never looked back?

JRsandCoffee Tue 30-Jul-13 14:10:25

Apologies, just read that back and I can't spell!!

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Tue 30-Jul-13 14:15:16

DS is 2 and I'm still dithering. He was a small nightmare of a baby, and is a demanding toddler. It's only recently that I've even given a thought to a second.

But I'm not broody. And for all the reasons you list, including significant financial stability vs. moving-in-with-parents poverty (childcare costs) we're still not sold on a second.

I say "we". DH is still saying never-again.

Interested in others answers.

I stopped at one!
Had I had a boy first I might have had another but I got my little girl.
She was like yours - perfect baby and toddler.
Then school - and.... oh dear!
Now she's 15 and a handful but I love her dearly.
I've never ever regretted only having 1 child.
Like you, I love her more than words but just wasn't that maternal for another one TBH.
Ex always wanted another but it wasn't for me and I knew that.
Just as well really as when DD was 11 he left me on my own with her. Had it been 2 and things might have been very different for me now.
You know in yourself what you want and if you don't want anymore, then don't have any.
I have sisters and I really don't know what I'd do without them.
Youngest and I are best friends but it doesn't always work out like that.
Do what's right for you.

CrazyOldCatLady Tue 30-Jul-13 14:22:32

We said 'never again' for most of DD's first year. She was a terrible sleeper and we were both perpetually too exhausted to function properly.

But we didn't want her to be an only child, and I was pregnant again by her first birthday.

I'm so very, very glad now that we did it. She loves having a little brother and they get on really well (they're 3 and 18 months now). Her new favourite song is one that she made up about how cute her brother is and how much they love each other. Having seen how much they mean to each other, there's no way I could recommend stopping at one.

DumSpiroSpero Tue 30-Jul-13 14:35:18

It's not compulsory to have more than one if you don't want to!

I always assumed I would have at least two children. Then DD came along.

Our reasons for not having any more are diverse and too numerous to list, but like you we never felt the urge to have another and were/are very aware of how much more we can do financially with one than we could with two.

Tbh the older DD gets the more of a 'luxury' I think it is to have just the one and she has no desire to have siblings whatsoever.

TeaCuresEverything Tue 30-Jul-13 14:38:21

hellsbells you should not imply that a mother of just 1 son is in any way less fortunate than a mother of just 1 daughter! I have 'just the one' a ds, he is 2.10, and brilliant. I don't want any more, and I don't have 'my little girl'!

If I ever did go for no.2, it wouldnt be about trying to get a little girl. I really don't understand this "girls are best" mentality that is around nowadays.

guthriegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 14:41:46

Hi. I am currently TTC number 2 but at 42 I know that it might not happen. My DS is 2 and a half. Like you I wanted to enjoy his first year without worrying about trying for another. When he turned 1 I wanted to start trying for another but my husband ( for many of the reasons you mentioned ) wasn't keen on the idea. For me it is a heart over head decision. I know I would love another and ( having good sibling relationships myself) I think it would be great for DS.

lotsofcheese Tue 30-Jul-13 14:45:06

YANBU! After DS was born very prematurely, I could not face the thought of another child for nearly 2 years, and even then insisted on a consultant opinion regarding the potential for another premature delivery.

I had DS at 36 & got pregnant very easily. So we tried again at 38 & I had a m/c, then another at 39. On our last try (age 40) I conceived DD who was born a few days after my 41st b'day, at 36 weeks.

Unfortunately the biological clock doesn't answer to anyone, nor does the miscarriage rates for over 38's. Being a bit older forced me to make a decision I would otherwise have delayed.

For us it has been the right decision, and I am SO bloody grateful we have her, but I was very close to giving up.

Good luck with whatever you decide - there's no rights & wrongs.

guthriegirl Tue 30-Jul-13 14:45:23

Though I should add that I don't think it'll be the end of the world if it doesn't happen.

Oh and not trying for a girl. Another boy would be great!

dingledongle Tue 30-Jul-13 14:45:29

Have two DC and after first child did not feel broody or ready for another. Friends and colleagues went on to have other children so there was only a two year gap.

Talked through with DH and we decided to see whether we conceived for second child. I would have been happy either way (an only child myself) and we ended up with dc2 and three year gap.

This gap worked for us, oldest more independent at this stage out of nappies and able to dress and feed self etc.

DC 2 completely different to first child a terrible sleeper (despite us finding first one tiring!).

No one can tell you when or whether to have another child.

My observations of my own experience is having two has been really good for me and them. They enjoy each others company but do argue/bicker. They have a relationship different to that of adult/parent and child and do look out for each other,

It has been hard work but now both are at school it is simpler. When I only havè one with me it is sooooo easy. So having one child is much easier to be honest. But the tiredness and relentless caring has been worth it.

Life throws all sorts of things at you some you can see coming and others you cannot. Circumstances have meant I have ended up being the main carer as husband has to work away. But I can see how the children have benefitted from a sibling but equally as an only child myself I am happy with my childhood and would have been just having one child.

Good luck.

Thumbwitch Tue 30-Jul-13 14:49:54

YANBU to be unsure. YAB a bit U to write yourself off because you'll be over 40 though, IMO.

I had DS1 when I was 40 (pg at 39, 40 by the time he was born) and he was an only for nearly 5y, as it took that along to get DS2 (with 3 MCs along the way). DH always wanted two; I was less bothered and if no. 2 hadn't happened by the time I hit 45, I think we had both decided that we'd stop trying - but luckily I got pg with DS2 last year when I was 44 and had him when I was 45.

Although the 5y age gap wasn't what I'd wanted, and not what I'd planned - it's actually worked out really well in terms of having time just with DS2, while DS1 is at school. DS1 is also a big help (although I try not to load too much onto him) and understands better how to be gentle with the baby.

I can tell you that when DS1 was 9mo, I still hadn't got any urge to let DH even come near me again - it took until he was nearly 11mo before I could bear the thought; and DS2 is now nearly 10mo and I've only just got my periods back this time around, and still have absolutely no libidinous urges.

I won't have any more - I only just got away with a few things last time around and the pg was more difficult than the first one - my body just couldn't take it a 3rd time (SPD, acid reflux, tremendous hip pain, polyhydramnios, unstable lie - ugh - PLUS I had to have daily clexane injections to protect against blood clots). So I'll never have "my girl" but I don't mind.

CarpeVinum Tue 30-Jul-13 14:51:38

i'm 45 now. Our son is 13. There are many reasons why we stopped at one, and any blips pf broodiness never broke through the barrier of the reasons why we should stop at one.

And I have absolutly no regrets. I realise that my firends and family with more than one are likely very happy with their lot. But I look at the (to me) negative aspects of their having more than one, and am very very glad we stuck with an only child. Becuase I just don't facney their lives compared to ours (childwise). And I'm sure they'd say the same in the other direction.

Which is why it is propably a good idea if people have the number of kids that suit them, rather than aiming for a number cos other people think it's the correct number to have.

GetYourSocksOff Tue 30-Jul-13 14:54:06

We initially thought no more after DS. When he was almost 3 we had DD.

I love DD more than I can express..... But..... For us, 1+1=chaos. DD is more spirited than DS. DS, our previously chilled little man, goes a bit crazy when in the vicinity of DD, copying her screeches and generally ensuring no loss of attention. I struggle with the feeling that I'm not giving either of them all the attention they need and with the fact that DS now gets into trouble when he otherwise wouldn't have done.

There are plenty of moments I cherish, they are both amazing, but I wouldn't recommend trying for a second unless very very sure that it's what you want!!

MrsRambo Tue 30-Jul-13 14:56:46

Just marking my place because I am in exactly the same place as you OP, except my DD is now 2. Be interested to see the replies you get. In many ways we would like to have another but I go round and round in circles in my mind with:

The negatives:

- Don’t earn enough to pay for more childcare nor for one of us to give up our jobs and stay at home (we are talking about enough money to live on, not having holidays, maintaining a certain 'life style' etc)

- Both just turned 41 so time is not on our side (nor energy levels)

- No guarantees siblings would get on (I spent most of my childhood fighting with 2 sisters, although get on well now with one not the other)

- Impact on our relationship which has been pretty stretched at times with the stress of having DD (not an easy baby/toddler)

The positives:

- Would love to bring another person into our family

If I had met DP in my early thirties, I suspect we would have waited till DD was at school and then tried for another as we could then afford the second lot of childcare but such is life! Not much I can do about how my life has unfolded on this front.

I suspect we will stick with one. I hope when that decision is made we can decide to be happy with the decision. Make a conscious choice to be happy with it rather than constantly wondering about ‘what ifs’ or living with regrets.

It’s not easy though. Everyone around me seems to be popping out 2nd babies left right and center! Makes me feel wobbly (rather than broody).

All the best in your decision making journey OP!

TinyTear Tue 30-Jul-13 15:03:04

I have a 18 month old daughter and before her had 3 mc
We are trying for number 2 but I am turning 40 soon and with the mc history getting pregnant doesn't mean a baby...

one thing seems to have happened, I used to get pregnant easily and not only had one chemical in the 7 months we have been trying...

it's weird, but in a way I am glad it's taking its time as on one hand it hopefully means my body learnt to only hold on to good embryos (my non-scientific mind hopes) and on the other hand it's giving more time to appreciate my perfect little girl and really enjoy her toddler time.

I have friends toddlers the age of my daughter that already have a number 2 and I think I would go mad...

Figgygal Tue 30-Jul-13 15:04:32

I was insisting I had no interest in another up until DS was 1 then I suffered a maddening rush of hormones and ever since I've been obsessed with another. Dh is saying no generally but can see how irrational I am over it so he is wavering yay but will be at least the new year before we try due to logistics at home/work commitments. I don't want another at any cost and timing not great at the moment.

the fact I sold and gave away every last items of clothing and baby junk we had is now really annoying grin

But it is valid to not have another if that's your choice.

treaclesoda Tue 30-Jul-13 15:07:56

I was not even vaguely broody again when DD was only a year old. I was amazed that people kept asking me when I'd have another.

I did go on to have another, but not until five years later. I realise that its a different situation when you have less scope for leaving it a few years.

But, anyway, what I'm trying to say is that a second is not compulsory, and there are many perfectly happy families with only one child. On the other hand, just because you don't feel broody at this stage doesn't mean that you might not feel broody again in future. For some people, like me, it can take years to feel broody again and for some people it never happens.

AppleYumYum Tue 30-Jul-13 15:12:49

I'm pregnant with dc 2, my pfb ds is now 14 months. I am not looking forward to going back to sleepless nights and cluster feeding... but in a way I'm having another for my ds, I wouldn't want him to be alone when we're gone.

I say that because my mum died a year and a half ago, so my take on it is a bit influenced by that now. It was awful but having my sister to go through it with made it much easier. You realise that they are the only other person that truly understands your upbringing, what your mother was really like - good and bad, all the background history, someone to talk to about how you feel (all the time as other people only want to hear so much) and reminisce with about the time she took us to the zoo or how she used to tuck us in bed so tight we couldn't move, secretly admit we'd sniffed her clothes or perfume and it made us cry, etc etc. Also to share taking care of my Dad afterwards who didn't ever really cook etc so needed retraining! And I suppose down the track if he gets sick or ended up in a home we have each other to share the load, it will be a lot for an only child to deal with on their own and lonely once their parents have gone.

Plus they do keep each other amused I am told, hope it's true, and have to fall into the routine you already have with your first.

CoffeeOne Tue 30-Jul-13 15:51:10

I felt like I was broody my whole life and the a switch was flicked as soon as DS was born. I have no broody feelings at all anymore and really enjoying parenting him on his own.

We've discussed having a second to give him a sibling and I think we might try in a year or two (DS is 17 months). But if it doesn't happen it doesn't happen, some families just work well with one.

hamab Tue 30-Jul-13 15:54:44

For me there were a few reasons why having a 2nd wasn't a great idea. I had my dd at age 37 and due to medical problems following the birth and two close family members being very ill, it just wasn't something we could consider at all because we wouldn't have coped. I started thinking about it after age 40. And decided against it. I do feel sad that my dd won't have a sibling. But I just hope she finds a good partner later on and some nice friends. For me my heart just wasn't in it - I think I wouldn't have been a good mother to another dc. The benefits are we can now just go out and do things really easily. We can afford for her to do any activities she likes. We can afford all the clothes and shoes she needs. One day she might even inherit the house - so she won't have to struggle like dh and I did. The only times I regret it are when I go into the garden and hear all the neighbour's dc having a whale of a time, all shouting and laughing and she just doesn't have that. We invite people round, we holiday with other families, she has lots of company but it isn't the same as when I was a dc and we all used to play. I suppose it's just different and I have quite mixed feelings about it. I don't regret the decision, I do feel it was the right one, but I still feel a bit sad for dd.

I have two and the first year, having a toddler and a newborn (they're 22 months apart) was very difficult but I'm so glad I did now. They're 9 and 11 and they're each other's best friends. They fight like all siblings but on the whole they enrich each other's childhoods in a way that no amount of days out, activities, cousins or friends can.
I'm now pg with #3 and DS2 is really excited about being a big brother smile

higgle Tue 30-Jul-13 16:43:52

Of course there is no reason in general terms why not to try for a second at 40+. I had my second at 38 and would have had a third, if I could, at 40 had it not been for a horrendous financial situation which made it too difficult to envisage. However I would urge anyone thinking about this not only to think about how they will cope when the children are little but to look ahead to how you will feel about dependant teenagers and the student years as you approach 60. I'm now coming up to 57 and my youngest is off to uni this time. I'd rather be having fun while I'm fit and healthy than spending out vast sums on keeping him. A friend of mine (male) was nearly 50 when his second child was born and this means he will be 71 when she graduates.

I always wanted at least 2 children, so it wasn't a difficult decision for me, but no one really talks about the second stage of parenthood, which is as complicated and expensive as the earlier years.

DumSpiroSpero Tue 30-Jul-13 17:47:02

higgle makes a great point.

One of my main reasons for not having a second child was chronic PND/niggling health problems after the birth of DD which went on for a few years.

Obviously as she's got older those issues & memories have faded, but there was always a cut-off point in my head by which time I wanted to have grown up kids and that has now long passed.

As it is, God willing, my DD will turn 21 & I'll turn 50 in the same week which will be just perfect for me and a great excuse for the mother of all birthday parties!

JRsandCoffee Tue 30-Jul-13 17:56:00

Thank you for all the responses! All good points and the one about the later stages of being a parent is an excellent one which I've thought of but not dwelt on if you see what I mean. Thank you everyone, much food for thought and glad to know I'm not alone. On the one hand I think why not go for it, it would probably all be great and on the other........lots of reasons why not!

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