To wonder how having two kids is easier than one?

(229 Posts)
superstarheartbreaker Thu 29-Aug-13 19:31:06

My friends tell me that two children is easier than one because they play together. I only have one and I find it really hard work. I do want another in the future but worry I won't cope.
It sounds a lot harder logistically and financially.I think it is lovely to have more than one but then I love the lifestyle I have with one. I am in no position to procreate anyway atm as am single and this is purely hypothetical. Thought I posted this thread earlier but I lost it!

Hehe Juggling you may be right grin

Maybe it's like that thing of people being promoted until they are in a job that is a bit out of their depth ... maybe people do the same with having children ?!

Seriously this thread is a bit mad - of course having 2 (or 3, or more) children is not its not "hellish" for most people - its just tiring and a bit stressful during some phases.

It depends hugely on the temperaments of both children and parents - sleep wise for example my 3rd was a non sleeper for so long that I was getting far more sleep when I had a 2 year old and a baby with DC1 & 2 together, than I would have been if I'd had 2 year old DC3 as an "only".

My DC1 needs constant social interaction, and can get that from her siblings - on the odd occasion we are 1:1 at home I don't get a second to myself, even though she's 8 now - when her little brothers are home I actually get more time to myself - not a lot of time, I'd count it in minutes grin but I can, for example, shower in peace as the 3 go down and get their own breakfast (DC1 & 2 help 3) and start before I get down - if its just DC1 she doesn't like to be alone so sits and talks to me while I shower - which is fine, its just that I prefer to shower without having to hold a conversation! Those are just examples, these situations are throughout the day obviously.

Of course during school time it would be "easier" just to have 1 school age child than 3 going down in age to a toddler - but not being the easiest option doesn't mean its bad shock or "hellish"

If somebody was thinking about going for a more challenging new job or going back to studying after a gap of decades, it would clearly be easier not to bother - but few people would try to dissuade them on that ground - they would look at whether it was worthwhile.

If you are very house proud or a perfectionist, more than 1 child is probably going to be stressful and maybe not for you - but if you can tolerate a bit of noise and have a DC1 who loves company, and is still quite young, it really isn't as bad as people are making out. I am finding this thread a bit over dramatic (my kids are 8, 6 and 2 - 2 kids was easy and for me easier than 1 as my first was so intention intensive before she had siblings old enough to play with and talk to, 3 is mostly fine and a lot of fun, but harder than 2) grin

GetYourSocksOff Wed 04-Sep-13 22:47:26

"planned for a hellish 2 years..." There's the key. I went into it thinking it would be easier, or maybe about the same or a little bit harder if we were really unlucky. I really had no idea.

I love my two more than I can explain and I don't regret it for a second... but I do miss that one to one time with DS (and how settled he was, although it could be partly an age thing anyway) terribly. And sleep.

Balloonist Wed 04-Sep-13 20:47:07

"Anyone care to explain why you'd put yourself through three years of hell? "

Because we didn't know what it was going to be like with two until we had them. Like with your first people tell you it's hard and you think yeah yeah yeah I know and then you discover how hard.

Plus I quite wanted to give birth again so I do it differently (it was fantastic! but I know I was lucky)

I do love my DD2 though and couldn't give her back as she is the easiest, cutest, funniest 2 year old ever.

As individuals they are both great so I'm hoping it will pay off in the future when I'll have two lovely girls to visit/go to lunch with. As a friend told me you have to keep in mind the long term picture

MadeOfStarDust Wed 04-Sep-13 10:59:27

mine are 18 months apart - and after the first 6 months of DD2, I would say, yes it was easier than we thought - certainly not twice the effort of having one... and in some ways a lot easier, from an early age they have entertained each other...

Since reaching 8/9 the kids have especially been much easier - they go out together - where you would not allow one alone to the park, 2 together seems fine.... they go swimming/cinema/town etc now the eldest is 12 and the youngest 11 - again they go together where I would not let one go alone..

They seem so much more independent than the "onlys" (age 11) of my 2 friends who don't even get to go to the local park without mum.....

But we were lucky, we planned to have 2, and planned them to be close together, planned for a hellish first 2 years (and only had a hellish 6 months) and that is what happened - others are not so lucky.

GetYourSocksOff Wed 04-Sep-13 09:56:08

Londonlivvy grin

I'll tell you why, it was bloody hormones I tell you! We swore never again for nearly 2 years then broodiness kicked in.

And the strangest thing, given the PND and adjustment difficulties I had this time, is that it's happened again - I'm wistfully checking out women with tiny babies. That's biology for you. I'm begging DH to get the snip because my evolved brain knows that I will not survive if we go for number 3.....

londonlivvy Wed 04-Sep-13 08:57:39

Crikey well this thread has dissuaded me from ever having a second!!!

it sounds like about 70% of those with more than one are run ragged and exhausted until the second is about three. Anyone care to explain why you'd put yourself through three years of hell?

This is a genuine question btw. we are debating a second at the moment and think we may just get a dog instead. One child was already insanely hard with me with PND, we are still feeling perpetually exhausted though dd is 10 months old and we are not sure I could cope with 2. Perhaps these things are more manageable if you have family nearby who can help or friends? We moved a year ago and are gradually making friends but they are only friends to chat to at the play park, not friends who'd take your child for a couple of hours whilst you sleep/ recover your sanity.

Bumpsadaisie Wed 04-Sep-13 06:34:33

Pitmountaim, mine are now 4.2 and 22 mths so prob same age gap as yours just a few months on.

Things have definitely got significantly easier over the last three mths. The little one can understand everything now and can make himself understood much better. They play together more as they can "talk" to each other and DD loves "teaching him to speak". He has stopped hurling food around at every mealtime.

When the baby was 0-6 mths it was a bit mad but ok as he was an easygoing baby (only issue was dd was at the height of the "twos"!)

But from when he was 10mths (crawling) to about 18 mths was really hard.

Of course in a few months he will be in the twos and it will be hard again. But for now we bask in the golden sunshine of the summer uplands !

MyBaby1day Wed 04-Sep-13 02:03:54

To be honest I'm not sure but I don't intend to find out (am having just the one)!! grin

Pitmountainpony Wed 04-Sep-13 02:01:59

Two is so much harder....one was like a holiday looking back. It is now relentless. Honestly they are telling you this to encourage you to join them in their sleep deprived purgatory.
Even if they are sweet with each other they fight over toys and yes the housework is never ending
And you get very little time to enjoy them, serving their demands, one after another. I just accept you have to go through this to get two older kids, who fight a bit less and demand a bit less. But at 3.8 and 17 months I am we'll and truly in the trenches and look a little longingly at friends with one kid, with their groomed appearance and relaxed manner.....those days are over for some time when you have two.

lymeregis Tue 03-Sep-13 22:49:48

It was much much much harder and more than double the work as you are dealing with people...

hopingforbest Tue 03-Sep-13 19:55:41

twins. for me DEFINITELY two seems easier. they play together all the time.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

impecunious its not bad. DC2 and 3 (both boys) play together now (nearly 2.5 and nearly 6) and Dd (eldest) enjoys playing the little parent to DC3. The big 2changes fight with each other but never with DC3 - however the big 2 are often a unit, esp on holiday when their individual friends aren't about, which gives a strong 2+1 feeling to the dynamic.

Of course its harder having a toddler as well, rather than just 2not school aged kids (at least DC2 would be school aged in the UK) but it'd be a blander, less interesting family without him - in most

impecuniousmarmoset Tue 03-Sep-13 19:01:25

ah no don't tell me that MrTumbles, those'll be exactly our gaps too! Though I guess they have the rest of their lives to be together, so not being playmates as young children isn't necessarily the end of the world especially if they get on well.

Openyourheart I have 3 and say 2 is easier than 1, but 3 is harder than 1 or 2 grin Depends on age gaps and personality, but I don't think at all on gender.

Think 24 months between DC1 and 2 was ideal, 3.5 years between DC2 and 3 was much too big a gap, esp given the gap it gave from DC1 (although she is great with him, but not a playmate on his level).

impecuniousmarmoset Tue 03-Sep-13 16:53:00

Openyourheart, I have 2 and I think it's easier than one! I'm pg with no.3 though and I have no doubts at all that 3 will be harder than 2. I'd v. much love someone to come on and tell me they thought otherwise though!!

i vote that two is better than one - my heart melted every time my DDs hugged and kissed when they were younger. 10 & 12 now & they play with each other and are never bored. occasional squabbles, but so so worth it. i would recommend a two year age gap. it was hard going back to interrupted sleep when DD2 was born, but i overall 2nd baby is much easier as 1st baby trained you up.

Openyourheart Tue 03-Sep-13 16:24:31

2 is certainly harder than one. I have only ever heard parents of one child ever say that 2 is easier than one. I've got 3 and three is harder than 2.

jennymac Tue 03-Sep-13 12:47:08

I think it is definitely easier but it maybe depends on the age gap. There are 17 months between my two and they are now 5 and 7. They are fantastic playmates despite being different sexes and have been for years. They generally just go off and play together, rarely ask for adult intervention - that's not to say that we ignore them or anything, just that we can get on with stuff like housework and cooking without having to entertain them constantly. TBH, I don't remember finding it terribly difficult when they were young either, although I think I lucked out as the eldest was a pretty difficult baby but a very easy toddler and the youngest was an easy baby.

I really am no expert because DS2 is only 16 days old and DS1 just turned 3 last week so this is my first proper week of parenting the two of them mainly solo since DH is back to work. It is hard work!!! DS2 is easy peasy, he's feeding well, not a bad sleeper etc. but DS1 just needs / demands so much of your attention that whenever he is contentedly doing something I need to squeeze in time for the baby and time to do a bit of housework and I can forget having time to get a shower or put on any make up!

But I do love seeing DS1 fuss over DS2 and rock his chair and show a lot of interest in his new brother, and I'm guessing that with practice and time things will become easier. So if you'd like another DC, I'd probably just go for it and learn on the job!!!

Discussions of the day ...
"Two kids .... easier than one ?"

Ha, Ha, Ha grin
In a word, no

Even though my two are fantastic friends and companions and I would do it all again (though not with a third - that really would be madness smile)

Cluesue Mon 02-Sep-13 22:58:21

I have two girls 1 aged 7 and 1 14 months,it's a living hell,wish I had stuck to 1,I'm pretty sure daughter 1 wishes I had too,very jealous of daughter 2

I found 2 easier than 1, because my first is so sociable that the one thing she can't stand is being alone - until her brother was big enough to play with she needed constant interaction with me, once he was crawling she got him to pretend to be her dog smile Once he could walk and talk he took over a lot of her play needs. She was never really a full time only as I was a child minder from when she was a baby, but that still left a lot of time when the mindees weren't about. She was never noticeably jealous or negative about wither mindees or sibling.

2 was so easy I had a 3rd - left the age gap too long between 2 and 3 (3.5 years from DC2 to DC3 is totally different to barely 2 between DC1 and DC2) and in some ways the set up is so much harder ... However DC3 is the hardest work toddler even taken all on his own, which could be birth order related (keeping up) but I think is largely just him grin

My older 2 fight a lot now but equally play very intensly together for extended periods and are still really close and rely on each other a lot - they are physically the same size and people often ask me which is older, which I think is a reason for both closeness and fighting TBH. Nobody fights with DC3 and both big kids indulge him and look out for him, but only DS2 really genuinely plays "with" him - the gap from DD to DS2 is too big (5.5 years).

1 child, when you usually have 3, is incredibly easy in a lot of ways - esp if out and about - but at home can be hard work as they expect more continuous interaction and become somewhat demanding and stalker- like grin

I often have a house full of kids and find 5 or 6 kids easier than 3 grin but only if at least 2 or 3 aren't mine - lots of kids is easier if they are mostly just visiting, so the kids play without getting on top of each other and you can send the surplus ones home at dinner time grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now