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!

SoupDragon Thu 29-Aug-13 19:34:09

It is both easier and more difficult smile

[helpful]

They do, generally, play together.
You are more confident in parenting.
You are pulled in two different directions
You have two children needing your time

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 29-Aug-13 19:35:32

It can be less intense as they tend to play together more and you're not the default playmate as you are with one. Also looking after the younger child is much easier as you're a dab hand at the things they need having practised on the older one. However, you do obviously have more work to do overall and you do need to juggle competing priorities (eg, stopping breastfeeding hungry baby so potty training toddler can use the potty!). I'd say two is 1.5 times the work of 1 but not twice the work smile

appletarts Thu 29-Aug-13 19:36:13

It's bullshit. It's 1000000 times harder. They play together and then they fight together. The housework is insurmountable. It is the most exhausting thing I have ever done.

treaclesoda Thu 29-Aug-13 19:38:02

I don't think it is easier. Some people might find it easier, but I'm not one of them!

PoppyWearer Thu 29-Aug-13 19:39:01

I'm with appletarts but then I'm still in the 5yo-and-under age bracket. You have to divide and conquer.

Maybe it gets easier when they are older? But I doubt it!

TwasBrillig Thu 29-Aug-13 19:40:37

Its an easier experience in the sense you already know how to parent and aren't all pfb. However no way is at easy as one! I'm permanently exhausted.

Dackyduddles Thu 29-Aug-13 19:41:56

Agree 1.5 times the work. I've got 2.5 and 7mths. The baby was by far easier than the toddler. I'm guessing because I knew what I was doing this time. 99% of stuff thus far I haven't thought about, I've just got on with it.

Toddler is different. I'm learning all the time. She's always on the go and I'm always feeling guilty I don't do enough and I'm a sahm! I'm accepting I'm just far more up tight re her. Because I don't have experience to draw on.

That's what I'm telling myself at least......

Harryhairypig Thu 29-Aug-13 19:42:31

It's really not, not if they don't play together and suffer bad sibling rivalry. It probably is if you get two that do get on and play together but I wouldn't know - been the hardest thing I've ever done/am doing. Love them both immensely though, which is why the fighting hurts so much. They are getting better as they get older.

Rhino71 Thu 29-Aug-13 19:42:40

One is a thousand times easier, on the very odd occasion my twins have been separated, it's like a holiday with just the one.

I wouldn't even consider having a second child until this one is at least five. It wouldn't really be fair to her.

emuloc Thu 29-Aug-13 19:45:03

As Appletarts says. I sometimes wonder what on earth was I thinking of by having two. I have no time to think when they are at home and their demands for attention/food/drink/tv is never ending. All that before I even look at all the washing/cooking/ironing that needs to be done. I am always tired.

MrsBungle Thu 29-Aug-13 19:46:18

Well, I haven't found it easier at all! Mine are 4 and 15 months, they don't really play together. It's much harder than just one! IMO!

Dirtymistress Thu 29-Aug-13 19:47:18

What appletarts said. I have two under two. Easy doesn't come into it.

MrsBungle Thu 29-Aug-13 19:47:27

Oh I agree with rhino when I have just one with me it's so easy and calm!

emuloc Thu 29-Aug-13 19:50:18

Ditto the rare times when I just have the one is easier as no fighting/yelling and less mess to tidy up.

Thepowerof3 Thu 29-Aug-13 19:52:31

I find it easier now they are 4 and 6 and they play together instead of asking me all the time, I have 3 though so must be mad

LanguageTimothy Thu 29-Aug-13 19:53:26

Like Rhino I have twins. I used to wonder what all my singleton friends did with all that time.

On the other hand it is lovely to hear them laugh, giggle and whisper together and I can't imagine only having one.

My best friend was an only child and always says they had a great childhood and never missed having a sibling.

If you only want one, that's fine. Sometimes it's easier than two, sometimes it's harder.

If you have another in the future that'll be lovely too. Sometimes it will be easier and sometimes harder.

slightlysoupstained Thu 29-Aug-13 19:55:29

How long before it gets better? Being an old gimmer, don't really have the luxury of waiting till DS is five.

I've got 5. The eldest is 12 and the youngest is 14 weeks. I think the gaps between children make the difference, not the number of children. From my experience, 3 year gap is ok. 4 1/2 yr gap is great. 22 month gap, not so much!

Saying that, I don't see how having one child to look after could possibly be harder than two.

On Tuesday I had my 5 plus my twin nephews, (18 months) for a few hours. Having my older children here to help entertain the little ones definitely made things easier.

Nomnew Thu 29-Aug-13 19:56:59

It's much more difficult (for me).

"Three Shoes, One Sock and No hairbrush" is a good read for those finding it tough with two.

It is lovely and easier when they play together but mentally I have really struggled with the noise, the fighting, bedtimes, being pulled in different directions, them needing different things, shouts of "mummy", "mummy" all day long. The logistics can be tricky. When they are younger a sling and pushchair combo is great.

When they are older one gets tired and won't walk, so the other decides they want to be carried too. You have to find things to do suitable for two children of different ages/stages in their development.
One wants a toy, the other wants the same thing at exactly the same time. Neither wants to go to bed first. Or if you are trying to get one to bed/nap, the other will sabotage it by shouting loudly or jumping up and down while you are trying to read to the other or calm them down. Doing bedtimes on your own is hard. I used to draft in people to help occasionally if DH wasn't around.

Having a baby the second time was a breeze but once that baby started grabbing things off its sister, things got very tricky for a while. Now they are both talking, yelling, it's very difficult to get any mental space in daylight hours. It can be fun and I'm sure it will be fantastic to have two when they are older but when they and I are both at home it is hard.

It's great when the eldest starts school though. Looking after one seems so easy once you have two.

Icantstopeatinglol Thu 29-Aug-13 19:57:33

Oh god it is a thousand times more difficult with two but worth when in that split second of a day you hear them giggling together!
.....the rest of the time they fight and are constantly trying to get one up on each other. I've got a 5yr and nearly 3yr old and it's all about who's getting/doing what first at the minute.
My nearly 3yr old dd never, I mean NEVER stops talking to the point I don't even know what I'm agreeing to most the time!
I love them!! grin

AcrylicPlexiglass Thu 29-Aug-13 19:59:27

I wouldn't even consider having a second child until this one is at least five. It wouldn't really be fair to her.

?????????

Are you serious?

Thepowerof3 Thu 29-Aug-13 20:00:54

I've had a couple of mums of one child tell me I have it easier with multiple children, how they know that I'm not sure!

Thepowerof3 Thu 29-Aug-13 20:01:36

I did raise an eyebrow to that Acrylic

Nomnew Thu 29-Aug-13 20:04:18

Well I tell you one thing. I don't think I ever raised my voice at my pfb until I had two. My DM always told me she admired the fact I had never shouted at her. And my DD1 is a very difficult/demanding child

Things soon changed after I had two. I'm still not very shouty but I have lost my patience/temper on occasion and I sob in front of them (a lot)

maybe3x Thu 29-Aug-13 20:07:44

I've got a 2yr 9m gap and would say it's harder at first in that you have to juggle more but easier in that you're more laid back plus I had 1 starting preschool as no2 born so that was easier. As they've grown they generally get on and play together although obviously have squabbles, now 7&4 I've had days this holiday where they've played for hours together its been great smile

Wuldric Thu 29-Aug-13 20:08:05

My experience is that having two children is more than twice the work of one. Before I had DC2, I did recognise that it would be more work but I naively thought that there would be some economies of scale, such that there would be maybe 1.5 times the work. It's more like 2.5 times the work tbh

The reason is that people will offer to have one child but the offers for two come far less frequently. Also you have to manage both all the time, and tots are prone to finding new and innovative ways of self-harming. You dive in the pool after one child who has decided to divest itself of all floaty paraphernalia and jump in. Meanwhile the other one runs off into a busy street ... Finally you have to manage (referee) the interaction between the two. Generally to stop one of them being killed.

If I'd known what I was letting myself in for, I'd never have done it, but I'm glad I did smile

As to when it stops being hard work, I reckon that happens when they leave home.

bigkidsdidit Thu 29-Aug-13 20:09:31

I am new to two, having a 2.7yo and a 9 week old. It's ok in that I'm more confident this time. But bath / bedtimes are a nightmare and I dread them all day. DS1 doesn't get enough cuddles either as DS2 is aleays in the sling and I am sad about that sad

I remember when DH went away for a night when DS1 was 6 weeks ish and I was so anxious. This time je took DS1 away for a weekend and I was left with DS2 alone and it was like a holiday grin

Perhaps it is easier when they are 10 and 8? Certainly, certainly not now.

Thepowerof3 Thu 29-Aug-13 20:13:38

It'll get easier so quickly, don't forgot how recently you had a baby and how that affects your emotions. How ever many children you have you'll find something to feel guilty about, at least it shows you care

BreasticlesNTesticles Thu 29-Aug-13 20:15:44

Mine are 2 & 3 and I find having them together much easier. They play together, laugh together, and generally have fun. It does help that DD2 is very relaxed and ignores the incessant orders from DD1.

I am also fairly strict with them, use the 123 step when I have to, but am under no illusion a lot of it is down to luck that they have personalities that are very compatible.

Am currently expecting dc3 and I am expecting this to be the difficult one smile

BreasticlesNTesticles Thu 29-Aug-13 20:16:42

Sorry should also have said, I don't have the time to worry with two like I did with one, and for me that has helped me relax a lot.

Lweji Thu 29-Aug-13 20:18:29

It depends on the second.

Both my siblings have two children and the second child can be very demanding as they are risk takers.

But I'd agree that siblings entertain each other more (although also cause more disruption with fights) and the younger often learns lots of things from the eldest.

furbaby Thu 29-Aug-13 20:26:54

Only had one child as we could, nt afford more but our dd has produced 3 beautiful dgc .....
she said going from 1 to 2 was fine and they play together well but going from 2 to 3 is something else sad
If she has 2 children with her (any 2 ) all is well but with 3 all they ever do is fight sad
She would never regret having her 3rd child but don, t think she ever realised how tough it would be .

I think Its easier mine are teenagers now, they are 2.8 years apart. So oldest was toilet trained sleeping through when youngest arrived. Yes the did fight and argue when they were younger but they always had someone to play with on holiday and on days at home. They are quite close now they are older, my son looks out for daughter they do not spend much time together but they have each other if need be.

paperlantern Thu 29-Aug-13 20:33:44

bollocks!!! one is a hell of a lot easier

but my second has sen so that has an impact too

furbaby Thu 29-Aug-13 20:37:29

Can also understand Wuldric,s point about others looking after your 1 child but harder if you have more .
With our only child we had loads of adult time with her with family and friends .
I would be happy to have dgc for weekend together to give her and her partner adult time but dgc like time alone with us to we are getting ready for weekend with youngest dgc as last 2 weeks the other 2 have enjoyed a weekend solo with nanny and grandad .
mind you it will be nice and peaceful weekend after next when we have had them all and can have a lie in smile

Therealamandaclarke Thu 29-Aug-13 20:38:13

I am blessed to have two. They are adorable. I am utterly smitten.
Having two is almost exactly fixty six times the "work" of having one.
The eldest is not yet three yo so I'm hoping things level out when they can play together.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 29-Aug-13 20:42:34

It is harder work having two.
Significantly harder.

Layl77 Thu 29-Aug-13 20:46:46

I'd agree, for whatever reason Ive always found it easier having two even from newborn. Think one hit me as such a shock and by no#2 I knew to follow instincts and relax a bit. They play together now and love each others company.
Of course logistically it's more difficult but you just find yourself being more organised, DC2 seemed to live in a sling for 6m then crawled and became a playmate for DC1

PoppyAmex Thu 29-Aug-13 20:53:06

Oh shit.

DD is 17 months and I'm about to have another child.

I'm officially panicking.

Maryann1975 Thu 29-Aug-13 20:56:37

I've got three dc. The hardest was going from one child to two. It is such a difference, but I don't believe it was double the work. Having three dc is hard work, but Hoovering, dusting, cooking, it isn't three times as much work because there are 3. The hardest thing is trying to listen to them all at the same time. They all seem to need my attention at exactly the same time, usually after no one has wanted anything for ages. I always wonder what it would be like with only one child and how I would spend my extra time, but I guess if there was only one dc, I wouldn't know any different and would just spend longer doing all the jobs instead of always rushing.

WheresMeJumperOhNo Thu 29-Aug-13 21:02:20

From my experience I find having two easier. You become less obsessive PFB about things when you have another baby which I think benefitted my DS1!
There is a four year age gap between the two of them so I haven't juggled a newborn and a toddler which does sound hard.
I found people really wanted to "help" me more when DS2 arrived, and I already had a good network of friends with children at that point which I didn't have before I had DS1.

Now having DC3 and I'm 100% this baby will not make life easier at all grin

RobinSparkles Thu 29-Aug-13 21:08:49

I love having two. They play lovely together - but they also fight and they tell tales... a lot.

If you have a big age gap then they won't really play together because they'll be into different things but otoh the older one will be a bit more independent, which is also good as you won't have two babies crying at the same time etc.

Mine are 3 years and 9 months apart which, to some people, is quite big but they do play together and strangely they like a lot of the same toys and programmes/films.

I think 2 is great. I can't understand why people have more though - I have two hands to hold two children's hands. How would I catch a third?! grin

<<I am kidding, I can totally understand why people have more children. Sometimes.>>

LondonMother Thu 29-Aug-13 21:24:02

I have two and they're now grown up. The age gap is 19 months. The first three years of having two were the hardest work I've ever done, not least because of the lack of sleep, but it was so worth it. They get on really well and from quite early on they did keep each other company, even though they did fight and bicker a lot as well in the early years. Obviously there are other ways to learn those essential social skills of sharing, not always being no.1 etc etc, but for most of us the family is where it starts. Having one child would have been great too if that's how things had panned out, but having two has been just wonderful. I remember thinking not long before my son was born that I loved my daughter so much I just couldn't imagine how I could find room in my heart for another child, but of course the love you have for your children isn't finite, it grows according to need and from the first hour he was born he was the other apple of my eye.

If all goes according to plan they will both graduate in two years' time (daughter had a gap year and is doing a 4-year degree, son had no gap year and is doing a 3-year degree). I am so proud of both of them.

fedupofpoo Thu 29-Aug-13 21:27:50

I agree,much easier 2.2 years between my first 2,they play together very well.when DD(5) started school last year DS(3) was lost,didn't know what to do with himself.I have friends with only one and find the demands for attention exausting!

adie3 Thu 29-Aug-13 21:58:23

I have 5 children and totally agree that it is the age gaps that make the big difference. Dd3, dd4 and dd5 were all under 2.5yrs and we're really only getting out the other side now they are 5,3 and 2.5. They do play well together and I wouldn't change it but the exhaustion and constantness(is that a word?) nearly went for us!! Ds1 and dd1 had 18 months between them and that seemed fine to us. Then we had a 3 yr gap between these 2 and the 3younger ones. Mind you still all a bit of a blur with 5 under 7 at one stage. Certainly they have got louder as they have come along, I presume the younger ones have to shout to be heard in our house!!

impecuniousmarmoset Thu 29-Aug-13 21:59:15

If you're lucky, they play together and entertain each other much better than a parent could ever manage. Mine are 3 and 5. The 5-year-old ignored her brother, considering him no more than an irritating source of noise and mess, until he was well over 2, but since he's walking, talking and able to play, they've become completely inseparable. I'm aware I'm lucky - they are very different personalities but complement each other well - but for me, having 2 is now waaaay easier than what I'd imagine having just a single 5-year-old would be. Having said that, it's also nice spending time with just the one of them occasionally, especially if a trip into town or suchlike is needed, as the logistics are so much more straightfoward.

DC3 is due early next year, so that will obviously throw the cat amongst the pigeons!

idiuntno57 Thu 29-Aug-13 22:01:58

I think in terms of housework etc. every child added squares the amount of work. In terms of entertainment more comes into its own as they play with each other.

I have x4 - 8yrs. Laundry, cooking and cleaning is endless but the kids have a ball together.

idiuntno57 Thu 29-Aug-13 22:02:24

sorry should read 4-8yrs

ohforfoxsake Thu 29-Aug-13 22:08:13

I have 4 DCs. With pretty small gaps by most people's standards.

When I just have 1:1 I find that it is much harder, and more intense.

amothersplaceisinthewrong Thu 29-Aug-13 22:09:23

For the first year two kids are three times the work of one, but it gets easier after tha.

ILoveDolly Thu 29-Aug-13 22:12:28

You should try three! Some lying bint told me it got easier with each child but its. Not. True

Ilovemyself Thu 29-Aug-13 22:15:46

We find it easy with 2 18 month olds and a 6 month old. They can be trying at times, as can any child. But generally they play together, keep each other company and have a close bond. Our 6 month old is desperate to playbwithnour 18 month olds.

acrylicplexiglass are you being serious with the comment that it is not fair on your child to have another so close in age? There are equal ( if not more) good reasons for them to close in age.

FixItUpChappie Thu 29-Aug-13 22:16:06

To wonder how having two kids is easier than one?

um....its not. To suggest otherwise is a massive generalization.

whitesugar Thu 29-Aug-13 22:41:48

My experience is the same as LondonMother. The first 3 years with 2 DCs were really hard. The the next 7 were pretty tough as well. They went through a phase of killing each other when DD was 11 and DS was 9. That seemed to abate a bit as time went by and now at 16 and 14 they are great friends. Their friends are friends and hang about together, its lovely having a lot of children in and out of the house. I think having a sibling gives them a bit of confidence. Well it does if they get on with one another. Two close friends of mine have one child each and they say its hard work keeping them amused and they always have to invite friends over. I suppose there is no ideal situation. I always wanted lots of children until I had two and decided that that was absolutely it. I don't regret that decision.

LongTailedTit Fri 30-Aug-13 01:26:38

This is not great reading when pg with #2!
DS will be three when DC2 arrives if all goes ok.

At least I won't have the 'people are less willing to take two' thing - no one has been able to help in that way since DS was born anyway grin <- manic grin

A friend recently had her second, and reassured me somewhat - she said the difference between first baby and second is nothing compared with the culture shock of going from full time working woman to sudden SAHM to newborn PFB.
The first year was horrendous for me - at least I'll know the drill somewhat this time!

You know some children struggle with the idea of sharing toys? Well they also struggle with the idea of sharing Mummy, Daddy, bedtime, mealtimes, the car, the TV and everything else. They constantly monitor everything that is going on around them in order to ensure that they do not "lose out" to the other.
They only play nicely together when I have completely removed myself from the situation, they cannot play nicely if I am in the same room - the temptation to vie for my attention is too much.

They are also lovely, funny, entertaining, loving, kind and gently children but there is a dark side to their relationship which I find hard to cope with - probably because my DSis is 10 years younger than me and was beneath my contempt while we were growing up so we never fought much (I think she if rather fab now grin).

SoleSource Fri 30-Aug-13 02:22:35

Have your second baby when the first child is six. Upon the second child reaching the age of two, first child is eight. Babysitting and housework sorted!

Zoe900 Fri 30-Aug-13 02:52:38

It has not been easier for me. It has been more than twice as hard. they are so competitive. they fight. I have to make time to spend time with both on their own. I have to make sure everything is fair, but they are both the judge of what is fair. it is really really hard having two. Having one was easy. if I knew then what I know now...........

Zoe900 Fri 30-Aug-13 02:59:56

Agree with posters upthread, having just one child with you is almost the same as being childfree, so calm! I don't know if I've adjusted to having two children yet (7 years in)

"having just one child with you is almost the same as being childfree, so calm"

<looks at DS> Damn, I picked the faulty one didn't I?

On another note why oh why did I read this thread while pregnant with a second child????

SoupDragon Fri 30-Aug-13 08:04:38

Anyone who thinks having one child with you is anything like being child free probably hasn't been child free for a while smile

marriedinwhiteisback Fri 30-Aug-13 08:14:58

A lot depends on what you want. I found the first four months of that first baby the hardest. Two for me were physically demanding (3.5 year gap) but was the end of a journey to get what I desperately wanted and the birth of no 2 brought me inner peace and emotionally I found inner peace.

If you want two, can afford two and have stable circumstances then have two; if not stick at one.

cory Fri 30-Aug-13 08:45:57

The trick, of course, is having a second child who is easier than your first. Entertain those fairy godmothers lavishly! If necessary, order in some new crockery! grin

I did find that in a sense having a second baby made life easier, because I had to spend less time worrying about him and I also had less time to worry about no 1. It did make me realise how much of the stress and exhaustion was actually created by me, not by them; once I didn't have the time to do that, life did in some ways get easier.

And if you are lucky enough to have two children who get on well then a lot of your entertainment problems will be solved- at least in the longterm. We did go through a horribly rough patch during the early weeks, but that has been outweighed by years of them amusing each other, comforting each other and (lately) being able to go out shopping together while I put my feet up.

Thepowerof3 Fri 30-Aug-13 08:50:41

Any amount of kids are hard work but so worth it

Wilma123 Fri 30-Aug-13 09:00:13

I had 18 months between the 1st two and 11 months between the second and third wasnt always easy, but we had a great time when they were little we painted - play doughed - it was like living in a nursery - my Friends who left big gaps struggled with activities because there children were at different stages. Now they have grown up they still get on great they have the odd spat but nothing bad x

PoppyAmex Fri 30-Aug-13 09:03:35

cory I think I love you.

Thanks for that post.

HolidayArmadillo Fri 30-Aug-13 09:12:16

I get the poster who said they wouldn't consider having another until number 1 was at least 5 as it wouldn't be fair because personally I couldn't cope with 2 at home all day, at least when one is at school you get that 'break'. I have a 6.5 year age gap between my two as it wouldn't have been fair on either child to have a smaller gap as I would have been a terrible mum to 2 kids at home all day. Just ask my two now at the end of the summer holidays <shouty emoticon>

SHarri13 Fri 30-Aug-13 09:14:17

I found 1-2 an absolute breeze and they still are now but they have their moments. Imagine a friend over to play, they just entertain each other.

Number 3, however, has pushed me over the edge and I don't know if I'll ever come back. It's terribly hard work!

MiaowTheCat Fri 30-Aug-13 09:19:31

I think after the initial newborn bit it's easier, and easier with a small age gap (mines 11 months, both under 18 months still - as most people run away screaming in terror at the thought). Dd2 is at that point where her boredom threshold and her capacity to so stuff are totally out of sync but she'll watch her sister play for hours giggling with laughter. Nappies and the like are just one more to do, you've got the stuff out anyway which is the annoying part. Thankfully mine take one nap a day together which is a bit of sanity time. Washing, well I wash every day anyway so no difference there.

Added bonus of people thinking you're some kind of barmy superwoman and it feeling soooooo easy when you just have one to handle for a while.

I find life now easier than when I just had dd1, I get so much less time to fret about milestones etc, and I'm busy so the day just flies by.

FloraDance Fri 30-Aug-13 09:24:06

My BIL put it well I think when he said that one is a full time job and so is two. I did find two mentally much easier but it was physically exhausting.

NiceTabard Fri 30-Aug-13 09:26:30

I have two. I remember by brother and I playing loads when we were little and thought that sounds good for parents and children. The risk is that they might not get on.

Anyway they are 6 and 4 now and they do get on very well and that is a real bonus as they will go off and play together and we only need to intervene when there is a row or something. But generally the pressure is off. Also the older one will do stuff like helping the younger one get dressed, putting the toothpaste on the toothbrush for her and so on.

When they were younger it was bloody hard work though and at that point I felt that having 2 was more than twice the work of having one, and I found it really difficult.

MsVestibule Fri 30-Aug-13 09:31:51

I found having two babies 20 months apart incredibly difficult and was off and on Prozac for two years. I'd never suffered MH problems in the past, and was suffering from stress rather than depression.

Having said that (to reassure those pregnant with their second child!), I think it was the stress of looking after a very difficult toddler full time - well, I found her difficult to look after; a more competent mother would have done a better job! Obviously throwing a newborn into the mix didn't help, but with hindsight, I'm not sure that having 2 DCs close together was the main issue.

They are now 6 & 4, generally play together well and enjoy doing the same things, so I'm now very glad I had them close together. Most of the time.

IvanaCake Fri 30-Aug-13 11:14:12

Having 2 is easier in some respects but damn hard in others. So much depends on the age gap too imo.

I have a 23 month gap and the first 2 years were bloody hard work. Now that they are 3.5 and 5.5 though they play together loads so I no longer have to sit and play barbies/tea parties for hours.

I do find the bickering, competing for my attention and endless talking waring though!

Groovee Fri 30-Aug-13 11:21:05

I found the early years hard. Now they are 13 and 10, they have been so much easier since ds was 5 and dd was 7. It's had it's ups and downs but I don't regret any minute of it. They get on fairly well and have their moments. I get equal alone time with them now and they have great personalities it's great.

The arguments can get on my nerves big style. I was brought up and only child as my siblings were teens when I was born, so not used to all the arguing.

Peetle Fri 30-Aug-13 11:26:26

We have twins which was a nightmare to begin with, though at least there was no debate about whose turn it was to get up in the night; we both did. Now they're 6 they can entertain themselves, although we are often required to referee, break up fights and deal with a perpetual competition for attention. Also, being both girls, they do have similar needs and desires; we're not juggling school and nursery drop-offs, etc. As they get older I'm increasingly convinced there's a big advantage in having twins, even though it was hard work to begin with.

If we ever have just one of them for some reason, they are completely angelic, though I think this is because the competition has been removed.

I agree on the endless talking. It only stops when they're asleep.

But the idea of having a third is simply laughable.

MyHuckleberryFriend Fri 30-Aug-13 11:41:03

This is an interesting thread. I have a 2.5 year age gap between my two DDs. Initially I thought it was much harder than having just one, and longed for the days when DD1 was a newborn and I could just breastfeed and snuggle on the sofa, without having a toddler to entertain too. (Never thought I'd hear myself say that as I found the early days with DD1 really difficult!). However, now the youngest is nearly a year, I've found it easier as she is quite entertained by her elder sister. Also it helps that DD1 is very close to her Dad, so he spent a lot of time with her when DD2 was born which meant I didn't feel so guilty about the lack of attention she got.

Those of you with two children who are a bit older now, did you find there was an age when they were particularly difficult, lots of fighting etc? I'm wondering if the worst is yet to come......

I have two boys with a four year age gap (it took longer than planned). I find it hard, being honest here, in terms of housework and just going out for the day. However, when I see them cuddle each other and play together it makes it worthwhile. Yes, there will be fights at some point I'm sure (they are 1 and 5 at the mo), but they have each other.

Do what is right for you though. No right or wrong way here. What does your heart tell you?

KatyPutTheCuttleOn Fri 30-Aug-13 11:57:40

No. You need all the diplomacy of the UN peacekeepers at times, and then some. Occasionally it is massively rewarding.

It depends on so many variables you just can't be so black and white.
Today I'm juggling 2.6 DD and 5 week DS. It's early day's, but feels like 100 times more work.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 12:09:48

much easier I think and fun. my 4 are now 23 and 22 and 14 and 13 so close together pairs with a big age gap inbetween.

the pairs played together and the older ones helped.

can't imagine focusing on 1.

thebody Fri 30-Aug-13 12:11:08

disclaimer... you do forget the lack of sleep as they get older though 😃

Mandy21 Fri 30-Aug-13 12:16:11

Haven't read all the replies, but I have twins so never knew life with just 1 child so can't really compare. All I can say is that when I do have 1, it is so much easier.

I don't think the logistics of having 2 is much more difficult - OK, there are 2 of everything to sort - washing, food, bathtime, bag for nursery etc etc - all of that is time consuming and physically hard work but I'm sure most people would expect that when having a 2nd child.

The 2 things that are INCREDIBLY HARD in my view are :

1. The juggling - pulled in 2 directions - you want to spend time reading to A but B needs their bottom wiping, or B needs help with his homework and A has trapped her hand in the door. B needs to be at football by 5.30pm, A needs to be at dancing at 5.45pm 5 miles down the road. With twins, at least they're the same age, if they're the same sex, even better from a logistical point of view, but with different ages and different interests etc, thats quite hard.

2. The bickering / refereeing - Oh my god - it is just emotionally exhausting with the "he took my pen", "I had the toothpaste first", "he sat in the seat behind daddy last time, its my turn". I can now sometimes tune it out (my twins are 8 and I keep explaining they are old enough to sort it out themselves) but thats the hardest thing in my view about having more than 1.

But having said that, the giggling, seeing them play together, going upstairs to find they've got in the same bed, the shared secrets / experiences, the companion they'll have through life are all priceless in my view. Its definitely a decision not to be taken lightly, if you only want one and fear how you'll cope, it might not be wise to have another because it is overwhelming some days. But there again, at least you'd be going into it being realistic about how hard it will be. Good luck whatever you decide.

Mandy21 Fri 30-Aug-13 12:18:56

And having said all that, I went and had a 3rd just what in hell were we thinking

Gruffalump Fri 30-Aug-13 12:33:57

I have two, fourteen months apart, eldest under three. It is HARD!!!

Just having one is so easy, not looking forward to my youngest dropping her nap!

MinimalistMommi Fri 30-Aug-13 12:45:40

It's really hard and exhausting, two lots of needs/wants. Feeling guilty when you pay attention to one and not the other. When they play it is lovely but when they fight its horrible. Twice the noise also.
But I wouldn't be with out them and I love that they have a sibling to love/hate/get annoyed at.
It is hard work though. When I do have one child if the other has gone out, it's a breeze, especially if its my older daughter grin

Zoe900 Fri 30-Aug-13 13:02:51

do anybody else's two children both try to tell you something at the same time and it becomes a show of who you love, who you listen to! and if you silence them both, and suggest that one talks first while the other waits, the waiter wails with indignence, that is proof you love the other one more, just as they always suspected! arghghghghghgh

MinimalistMommi Fri 30-Aug-13 13:05:56

Absolutely Zoe confused

Taffeta Fri 30-Aug-13 13:13:52

Impossible to say as so much depends on the children themselves. I have a 9 yo DS and a 7 yo DD eh could not be more different. They like different food, different activities, different films etc etc.

But when they get on it is a dream. But then the juggling with football, tennis, horse riding etc means we had to get 2 cars.

I wouldn't say one is easier. But there is less juggling and refereeing.

Tournesol Fri 30-Aug-13 13:15:58

I have three and in one sense do find it way easier than just having one. When I just had one I was really bored and struggled to structure my day and this made me feel pretty low.

Once I had another I was more busy and add the third and I am so busy running around after them I have much less time to get bored and mope about.

Mine are 5, 3 and 1 and they do play really nicely together most of the time and keep each other company, it is lovely to watch!

Wibblypiglikesbananas Fri 30-Aug-13 13:18:42

I shouldn't have read this thread, given it's a couple of months until DC2 arrives - there'll be a 25 month age gap.

It doesn't help that my DM had my twin brothers when I was 2(!), so anything I have to do is easy by comparison!

DD starts nursery 4 mornings in a couple of weeks, so hoping that will help somehow... Fingers crossed!

PoopMaster Fri 30-Aug-13 13:20:55

I'm finding it hard work, I think a helpful DP really helps...however eldest (2yo) is learning (without too much trauma) to wait for me to finish with her 9 wo baby sister before I see to her...so I think it is helping a bit already with toning down the whole me me me toddler phase she says naively before said phase kicks in properly

Jergens Fri 30-Aug-13 13:24:49

Mine are exactly two years apart. It's harder with two, but wonderful. Seeing them interact, laugh and smile at each other is the best thing ever! smile

Emily1974 Fri 30-Aug-13 13:27:26

Depends on their age? Undoubtedly they are more difficult before they are at the age when they can play together and more independant. Things only started to become easier for me when the younger one was 2.5 yrs old. Now they are "easy" in terms of entertainment as they are close age gap too. However, some of the practical things require twice as much work/time like homework, reading, getting them ready for school (they talk and play too much), bags carrying, making different food in their lunch boxes, obviously more clothes to go through and washing etc. Luckily mine get along really well so there is not as much fight as some of the siblings I've seen.

becscertainstar Fri 30-Aug-13 13:29:28

I only have one. It's easier, definitely. You adjust to whatever life throws at you, so all my friends with two or more just keep going, and I see them refereeing, washing, cooking, juggling playdates and parties and lifts to activities, paying two lots of childcare, needing bigger houses and bigger cars etc. They tell me it's easier with two and I think 'I see what your life is like and you have no idea how easy my daily life is compared to yours, and I shall never tell you.'

BettyandDon Fri 30-Aug-13 13:34:22

The second baby is easier than the first as you have experience, but no, 2 is not easier overall.

I think 'playing together' is a bit of an urban myth to be honest. I think a child needs to be at least 2 or 3 yrs old before they have the ability to play properly with a sibling. Steal things and smash up the eldest toys yes, but have the patience to share and take turns, absolutely no way!

ringaringarosy Fri 30-Aug-13 13:38:09

well my oldest is 5 and she has 4 younger siblings!she seems to think its very fair and wants me to have another one!

its easier and harder,just like everything with kids really.

less one on one time,for sure,but that is a modern thing really isnt it?when i was a kid i didnt wantto play with my mum,i wanted brothers and sisters to play with!

Also your either the kind of mum who wants to spend time with your kids or your not!my mum only had 2 9 yrs apart and she never did anything with us,i have 5 and we have lots of fun!

ringaringarosy Fri 30-Aug-13 13:41:39

plus i imagine its harder the bigger the gap,theres never been jealosy with mine as none of them can remember being an only child,they are used to sharing and having to wait etc,plus they are more independant than most kids i know.

Tbh theres lots of only children where we live and they are a bit erm bratty?sorry cant think of a nicer word,i guess it depends how much family they have,but thats the word that springs to mind and i tend to invite the mums over with bigger families like mine as its just nicer and the kids tend to get on with things.

MadameJosephine Fri 30-Aug-13 13:42:40

I find it's easier if you leave 16 years in between babies then the older one can babysit!

magentastardust Fri 30-Aug-13 13:43:51

I found going from 1 to 2 easier as in that you knew what your were doing so didn't panic and fret as much about sleeping, teething weening etc as everything wasn't so baffling 2nd time around and you just got on with it.
However I all off a sudden found my amount of housework needed to keep on top of things seemed to just go through the roof. So it was definitely harder financially, on time we had as a couple , on having time for both dc's and the amount of toys and paraphanalia left around the house in a mess seemed to multiply x 15!
There are 3 years between my ds and dd though and they have never ever fought -they get on so well -which makes things a lot easier.
However we now have a third , who is wonderful and so much fun but so active and full on and now I really feel exhausted! (Plus she bickers with dd1 ) -It is hard work giving everyone attention and sometime you and dh can get lost in it all for a bit but it is only a short time that they are tiny.

becscertainstar Fri 30-Aug-13 13:53:14

What do you mean by 'bratty' ringaringarosy? I understand you were trying to think of a nicer word, but what exactly were you trying to describe?

Many of those saying it's harder have very small children. That is a really short phase.

The first year is harder but then it gets easier and easier for every year they get older. I say this based on a two year age gap and same sex siblings who have always played together.
Even now they are teenagers it is easier. During these holidays they have been doing stuff together, cinema, swimming etc.
People I know with one child seem eternally required to be the companion, and holidays with one are trickier as they get older.

Mamatomanymunchkins Fri 30-Aug-13 13:56:09

I now have 5 DC age between 6mths and 11 yrs.

When I had first child couldn't believe how life changed and all the work involved, then when had second couldn't believe how easy I had it with just one, and so it goes on.......

smile

Crowler Fri 30-Aug-13 13:56:29

My kids are almost 8, almost 11.

I now find that when one is on a sleepover, my life becomes pretty hard. That's when I realize how much they entertain each other.

When they were little, I often found it so hard I just wanted to die.

ringaringarosy Fri 30-Aug-13 14:02:05

well they dont want to share,dont want to take it in turns,tell tales on things that can be easily sorted amongst themselves,want all the attention,obviously not all of them are like this as like i said it depends on the situation,but my children who are at school,the older 2,their friends are like it.

You expect that kind of behaviour from kids when they are little,like 2 or 3,but not at 5 or 6!

forevergreek Fri 30-Aug-13 14:16:17

I find it easier. We have a small gap ( 15 months), and tegu have always played together.
From the beginning they went into same feeding/ sleeping/ playing etc schedule.
And being close in age means they can go to same classes and groups.
They play together at home and when out meaning I don't have to always be the playmate or find another child

SmiteYouWithThunderbolts Fri 30-Aug-13 14:20:46

Two children can be easier than one. Two babies or toddlers, definitely not.

It also depends on the age gap. I have four children (and lots of grey hair). My 8 year old is amazingly helpful with my 4 year old and 15 month old. However, pair him up with my 7 year old and they just fight non-stop. When they were both tiny, it was often hell on earth. They have been known (when they were younger) to run off in opposite directions in the supermarket, leaving me in the middle deciding which was my favourite and should be chased after.

Two is definitely more work than one, but once they are both eating the same food as the grown ups and can walk places by themselves, it gets easier I think. You do have some sibling rivalry to deal with, but every fight they have helps to teach them how to deal with a conflict (which is not to say I don't sometimes lose the plot after hearing the same argument for what feels like the zillionth time). My DS (6) has quite a temper at times, but is already learning how to control it as a result of frequent disputes with his 3 year old sister. If he could only learn this at school and on playdates I imagine it would take him a lot longer and we might have to see his teacher quite a lot.

Also on the plus side you don't have to teach a second child nearly as many things - they just pick it up off their older sibling as they are desperate to be just like them.

Overall, more work in terms of more washing, more complicated bedtimes, etc as there is an extra person and definitely more arbitration skills required, but interactions between the kids are very funny at times and I think it teaches them an awful lot to have a sibling. They also clearly adore each other (between the arguments) and it gives them someone later in life who will hopefully always be there for them. Totally worth it in my opinion.

PS To someone further up the thread who said there's lots of competition for who gets first turn at everything, I picked up a tip off the internet that has saved my sanity in this regard - we write the initial of each child alternately on all the days on our calendar - whoever's initial is on today, it's their turn to go first. No more arguments! (about this anyway)

trickydickie Fri 30-Aug-13 14:34:32

One is as good as none. (Another mn saying and very true!).

doublemuvver Fri 30-Aug-13 14:35:23

No idea, I got twins so I know no different!

BooCanary Fri 30-Aug-13 14:37:13

Two are definitely harder work. There are occasional glorious moments when they play nicely together and I start to think that two can be easier than one, but then they start kicking the shit out of each other and I remember the reality!

Age 2 and 5 were the best years and DC2 did whatever DC1 told him to do. Now DC2 has opinions of his own (4yo) and DC1 wants to read quietly/build intricate lego/play on ipad. Plus everytime I try to spend some 1on1 time with one of the them, unless the other one is with DH, it always ends in strops.

Saying that, nothing is harder work than a newborn baby and a toddler <shudders at the traumatic memories>

What gets me is people with just one baby who can't seem to understand why people who have a toddler and a baby can't go shopping for hours/have a leisurely meal in a restaurant/sleep when the baby is sleeping.

smoothieooo Fri 30-Aug-13 15:00:38

IME it is harder with 2. Emphasised by the fact that I didn't appreciate just how easy DS1 was (slept through the night, napped for at least 2 hours during the day and although he had a lot of attention was also happy to just sit and watch the world). DS2 made things 10 x harder. There are 18 months between them and I naively assumed that a smaller age gap meant they'd get on really well.... but they are so different (we're talking polar opposites) it is rare that they actually want to spend time together (and they are now 15 and 13)!

DalmationDots Fri 30-Aug-13 15:09:09

I found two easier in that the spolit child tendancies of number 1, stuff like demanding attention, getting what they want at meal times as there is no other child to say I want X when child1 wants Y, not learning sharing particularly well.. etc.. all went rather quickly after a few tantrums and a bit of discipline.

That was probably me being a bit rubbish at parenting just one, with one it is easy to slip into habits and be relatively unaware that your little angel may not be such an angel in a group situation. Once you have two, you become less my DC are perfect, you see them argue and have to deal with it and stop the behaviour.
It is lovely when they play together and I found bringing up DD easier as I had done it before with DS. I can't imagine how either of them would be without a sibling.

Not sure it made life easier, but made life better for us. (But everyone is different)

blueshoes Fri 30-Aug-13 15:19:51

Superstar, maybe because you have an easy baby/child that can entertain him/herself?

Both my dcs needed a lot of parental attention particularly as babies and could not entertain themselves. So when they started to play with each other (when ds was about 18 months) my life changed. The juggling and everything else paled on comparison with the extra time and freedom I discovered because they would increasingly leave me alone.

2 is definitely easier than one, in my case. Of course, I am very lucky in that dd and ds play so well together. It may not have worked out that way. But I figure there is a god and it is payback well deserved for dh and I enduring their horrendous baby days.

hullmum31 Fri 30-Aug-13 15:40:28

Personally I have found having 2 children to be sheer hell! Obviously I love them dearly and have no regrets but I do think about how much easier life was when I only had one. I have 2 boys, one is 5 and one is 2. I really love spending time with them individually which I do occasionally get to do, but when they are together my life is just one bloody hard slog and some days they drive me to tears (actually most days!). No pleasure without pain though and my boys are my everything.

Want2bSupermum Fri 30-Aug-13 15:47:25

For me going from one to two has seen the amount of work increase. I don't know if it doubled or what but it got to the point where we needed to change the way we were functioning as a family. There is a 19 month age gap between DD and DS. DD is going through the terrible 2's and we pulled her out of daycare. She is now home with our neighbour who has raised 3 kids (2 with ADD) and ran a daycare back in the day. Her behaviour is improving now she has firmer boundaries.

While cleaning is the same there are more dishes and laundry. DS has reflux and the laundry was so volumous I got a 2nd washing machine. Sounds silly but doing two loads at once saves me so much time. I did 4 loads of laundry last night in two hours.

With a toddler and baby I plan out days down to the half hour. Everyone including the dog is on a schedule and there is a routine. It is the only way I can make sure everyone's needs are met.

GetYourSocksOff Fri 30-Aug-13 16:55:06

This thread is great, I've read some and will go back and read properly in a sec but won't have time to post if it do that first!

I feel such relief though just from the replies I've already read. Mine are still under 5 and I am absolutely definitely not finding it easier with 2. I feel outnumbered most of the time. They don't play nicely together, DS is too rough and DD messes up his stuff (she's only 15 months so just barges her way in) and chaos ensues. They both want what the other has, regardless of whether it interests them at that moment, and that includes me. I find it very difficult to find indoor activities which will accommodate both as they are at completely different stages.

There are fantastic moments but generally my internal dialogue is simply going aaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrggggggggh hhhhhh is it bedtime yet

(I am only able to post because they both fell asleep in the car which is bad because it's too late and I'll have to wake them in a minute and they'll both be grumpy as hell and dinner will be a nightmare.... but sod it - I can actually feel the quiet)

Taffeta Fri 30-Aug-13 16:56:06

My DS is very high maintenance. If I hadn't had DD, his attention needs would have expanded to fill the gap.

GetYourSocksOff Fri 30-Aug-13 16:58:53

want2be yy the only way I can keep some sort of order is using a 30min block timetable! But we've moved on since I did the last one and I'm waiting until DS goes to school next week to 'reset'.

I'm massively relieved reading this thread. I actually thought I was pretty lame struggling with 2 kids at times ( aged 4.5 and 9months). grin

Snatchoo Fri 30-Aug-13 18:37:26

I have four and a half year old twins and a nearly two year old.

I agree with Rhino ^ up there, when I take just one twin out it is a walk in the park! The almost two year old used to be easy too but he's turned into a right little bugger lately grin

Mine are all boys, and although they do play together, it's more a case of barely contained wrestling that has me fraught that someone is going to get hurt.

Which they usually do.

Manoodledo Fri 30-Aug-13 18:39:48

Ha ha, I was just about to post that I was enjoying fabulous peace with my 7 and almost 4 yr old out playing in the garden when a fight broke out and I had to go and referee. In general though I'm so glad we have 2. I think there are a lot of factors involved though. The age gap is important and temperament of the children and whether they get on. Mine have been great friends recently (although DS1 has just told DS2 he's the worst brother evergrin, 2 mins later though and they are laughing together). Even in the early days it wasn't too bad as DS1 was reasonably independent and also he completely ignored DS2 so there was no fighting. Or maybe I've blocked it out.
I am currently days away from having DC3. I have no idea how that will affect things. I am worried about the age gap that it will be hard to find things to do all together. But I will effectively have only one child at home most of the time, which will probably help. I'm also looking forward (naively perhaps) to seeing what kind of big brothers they will be, especially DS1 who is really looking forward to the baby coming.

Wuldric Fri 30-Aug-13 20:13:15
peanutbutterandbanana Fri 30-Aug-13 20:13:37

What an interesting question! I speak as one who has 3 and the youngest is 10 so I have got through the tough time of very littlies, but have 2 teenagers in the house grin. DC2 was born when DC1 was 3.5 and I definitely found life much easier once DC2 hit 7 months and started sitting up and the two began responding to each other. DC1 needed company and friendship when on her own and I've noticed that friends who have one child tend to a) get their own lives back much quicker (as child has to fit in with them rather than the other way round so holidays get back to being more adult focused fairly quickly for example) and b) the child gets or needs attention so parent can sometimes be tearing their hair out as they rarely get away from demands of child for more years than those who have a second - so swings and roundabouts.

I agree with Ghoul that two children are probs 1.5 times the work of one but 3 children seems to be double the work of 2. But just wonderful watching the dynamics between them change and develop as they get older.

Ah well, all your stories just prove that it is more difficult and less difficult having more than one child - I knew that already grin

The most stupid untrue pearl of wisdom I was given when expecting DS4 was: "Every child more than three, looks after themselves" hmm.
Em, my DS4 certainly didn't. And still doesn't... he is only 3, so fair enough

DeckSwabber Fri 30-Aug-13 20:34:48

Depends how old they are - different stages present different pros and cons.

Depends on the age gap.

Depends how much room you have.

Depends on the children's personalities.

Mine generally get on and always have but I was lucky. They have enough shared interests for us to do stuff together, not too many years between them.

I know lots of people with one who have a wonderful, close relationship with that one child.

I know people who have larger families where the children are like chalk and cheese and its really hard work, though in the long term I think they will have very rich family experience as a result.

Junebugjr Fri 30-Aug-13 20:38:17

A big reason for having Dd2 was to have a pal for Dd1 to play with, making things easier for us when they were a bit older <hollow laugh>

Dd's are 5 and 2 an a half, so I'm hoping and praying in a few years this comes true. Atm they are in the playing for 5mins, then fighting stage.
It is harder, no doubt about that, i don't find the mess, household work much different than having 1, but mentally I find it more wearing.

Also, I really enjoy my older 1, but find going through the same old stages of toddlerhood/pottytraining/tantrums with dd2 extremely boring, as I've done it all with dd1, didnt enjoy it then and just can't wait until dd2 reaches 4/5 and its all over. That's a reflection on my hate for the baby/toddler years though. I think it would be quite enjoyable having 2, ages 5 and up, although I'm prepared to be told different!!

lade Fri 30-Aug-13 20:42:22

I do think it is a lot harder when they're younger, but gets so much easier as they get older.

My DDs are almost 10 & 7 now. They're perfectly capable of getting up, getting their own breakfast, making me a cup of tea and so on. The actual care for them is very little now, as they are generally quite self sufficient. I would say DD2 adds to the washing, but most other things she doesn't particularly. She gets her own breakfast, dresses herself, washes herself (supervised ESP on hair wash days), yes we cook for her, but we'd be cooking anyway and her hobbies all fit inside the hours of DD1s hobbies. So there's very little 'cost' to her.

However, the benefit is that she entertains DD1. They go off to the park together, and won't come back until lunch. When they're together, they don't need me to entertain them. This school holiday, I've barely seen them as they've been off out and about together.

Yes, they argue from time to time, but they play together more.
I would say now that the benefits outweigh the costs ATM.

Junebugjr Fri 30-Aug-13 20:46:03

That's EXACTLY what I wanted to hear lade! Only 5 more years to wait!

kay1975 Fri 30-Aug-13 21:01:18

We always wanted our two children close together and the boys are 6 and 7, 13months apart. They are very close and play together all the time, I've even managed to sleep in till 8am during the hols sometimes because they keep each other entertained in the morning! I'm not sure it would have been the same if I'd had 1 boy and 1 girl tho!!

Annakin31 Fri 30-Aug-13 21:13:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Guitargirl Fri 30-Aug-13 21:20:29

DD and DS are aged 6 and 4 and now it's great. The first year after DS's birth was like bootcamp and I approached it like that tbh. Now they are best pals. When DD started school 2 years ago DS found the adjustment very difficult, he used to cry every morning waving her off.

margot1962 Fri 30-Aug-13 23:54:45

My two are 22 months apart and they are the best of friends! It wasn't always the case during the teenage years, for about 3 years, but they love each other now and played well when they were little. I really can't understand anyone saying it's "not fair" to the older sibling to have a younger sibling! Remember, they will be adults long after you've gone and hopefully have a lifelong friend and shared memories!

nooka Sat 31-Aug-13 06:45:03

I remember someone saying of having two children than having one was like having a pet, and having two was like having a zoo and I thought they weren't that far off grin

My two are 16mths apart and the first couple of years were for us pretty hellish. However I think that was partly because dd (no2) was a very demanding baby, and also because neither dh or I are really very keen on babies.

Once they got of an age to play I think generally it has been easier, not easier than having a singleton perhaps but definitely easier than friends of mine with bigger gaps.

Mainly because ds and dd have always been very close (they do fight, but not in a particularly bad or frequent way - or maybe I'm just good at screening that out!) It helps that they are really at a very similar developmental age (even now at 14 and nearly 13) and most of the time into similar stuff. Some logistical issues, but then can also be left alone together pretty happily. They give each other a lot of support, and I hope when they are older potential boyfriends/girlfriends will be easier to find among their friendship groups (that's why I wanted a not quite as older as he was big brother anyway!)

SquidgyMummy Sat 31-Aug-13 08:01:08

I just have DS who is almost 3. Really would like a #2 but am almost 43 so probably not possible and DP not keen

Most telling was having friends with a 2 yo & 3yo to stay for a month over the summer. The noise was constant from about 7am till 10pm (friend liked her lo's to stay up late during the hols.)

I wasted spent most of my summer trying to seperate 3 toddlers.
We were just exhausted when they left and really appreciated our generally quiet, self entertaining DS...

But i do wish he had a playmate for those days out and holidays; but he knows no different as he has the full time attention of his Mum & Dad.

GlobalWarning Sat 31-Aug-13 08:09:15

I think it's easier. But I only had one for 18 months so nothing to compare it too really. If we had one, we would have more money and our pfb would have been perfect.

But we chose to have another. She broke us all. Ds used to sleep, dd never so woke us all up every night for two years.

Finally now they are 4&6 it is utterly worth it. They are best friends. They tell on each other a lot, but as soon as we tell the guilty one off, the other one pipes up and gets upset as us for telling off their brother or sister. Which tells me they have a great bond. When we finally go, they will have each other. They help each other and tidy up, get breakfast, do homework, read stories etc. it's lovely.

The first 3 years were hard, the baby stage, toilet training etc. but once that was done, the last year my life has been so much easier. They play for hours together and I can do so much more. And we has all found a family balance. I wouldn't tip that with a third though wink

Tubemole1 Sat 31-Aug-13 08:27:43

I was considering adding another baby to counteract my nrly 7yr olds massive attention seeking. After taking charge one day of my niece and nephew one day on a day trip involving public transport, with my daughter as well, I am so glad we stuck to one.

I am worried about spoiling my daughter but she is high maintenence enough for me. After a day of constantly splitting up the siblings to prevent killing each other, I realised how peaceful our little household is. I have enough on my plate guiding one little soul to potential fabulousness, any more would turn me into a shell of my former self.

paperlantern Sat 31-Aug-13 08:49:52

posted earlier but wanted to post in more detail.

The age gap between mine was a very planned 18 months. it was well thought out, play companions same development stages etc. It's utter tosh.

1) play companion you can just invite friends over more, take them out.

2) development stages. because of SN my two still ended up at different development stages but dd was less independent making it harder.

3) housing with one you can guarantee that you will only ever NEED a two bed place. mine (girl+boy) were lethal sharing a room from 2ish

4) after school activities are totally restricted because my two can't be at the same school therefore and have very different needs.

love both heartily, but good god it would have been so much easier (and easier to maintain a career) with one. honestly I can't see there are any advantages of more that cant be covered someway with 1

paperlantern Sat 31-Aug-13 08:55:05

oh and the physical (made worse having two close together) and emotional toll of a bad pregnancy when you have a very dependent 1 year old

Parmarella Sat 31-Aug-13 08:58:49

For me having two was MUCH harder until they were 4 and 6 when it became MUCH easier, and still is ( 8 and 10 now)

That is having two boys with a 2.5 yr age gap.

They play lego together, computer games and play cricket/football/random games outside.

This summer has been a doddle as a result, saying that, 5/. Of the time they fight and argue, but are getting better at solving conflicts themselves

Parmarella Sat 31-Aug-13 09:01:14

I see I say the same as Global, almost smile

Dancergirl Sat 31-Aug-13 09:01:34

I have 3 and I love it.

Of course or depends on the child but the amount of 'work' really depends on your attitude. Now my oldest is 12, I can really see how fast it goes (sorry about the cliche!), and that when your dc are v small is really such a short period of time.

My older 2 are only 21 months apart and for me the hardest bit was from 1-2. Two babies effectively. I just muddled through that first year. But I look at them now aged 12 and 10.5 and in spite of a bit of bickering, they really have a lot of sisterly fun together.

Dd3 is 4 years younger than dd2 and she's a bit on her own really. I do try and encourage the older 2 to include her but tbh a 6 year old is really quite different from a 10 year old plus dd3 is quite naughty and lashes out in frustration. My parenting has been challenged with dd3! But in spite of all that, I absolutely love her to bits and know that in only a few years, she won't be little any more. Really trying to make the most of everything. I get less annoyed about toys and clutter around as I know on a few years time we won't have many toys at home!

This summer I have realised that IMO the primary school age years are the best. You're past nappies/toddlers/buggies etc, you can go out and about and really enjoy your dc. Dd1 is 12 and still enjoys family outings with us, I know that won't last either so I'm making the most of that too.

Iggity Sat 31-Aug-13 09:22:17

Two definitely seem like much more work.

I speak as a mother of one and say this as an observer of others with 2+ and having 4 siblings. Despite wanting to have more, I couldn't for medical reasons but I sometimes wonder if it was a blessing in disguise as I don't think I would have the patience or energy. We have a pretty easy DS but he's enough on his own. I bow down to those with more than one.

TheNewson Sat 31-Aug-13 09:22:51

Never known any different, having twins; though everyone tells me it's easy that i had two at same time ho ho........
When I just have one the noise levels go right down and their behaviour is always betterwhen not in a collective; but then I love hearing them laugh together. When you have two and are trying to juggle one sick child at home and one in school that's really hard.

Takver Sat 31-Aug-13 09:31:30

I can't comment on having two from experience, but I can tell you that having an only child is really not that much work! Especially when they are 11 grin

StitchingMoss Sat 31-Aug-13 09:41:03

I agree with those who say it's hard to generalise - I have two, same gender and only 16 months apart and they really are the best of friends. They play for hours without needing my intervention (small squabbles are left for them to sort out and they rarely resort to anything worse).

They have actually asked if I can "make them be twins" because they want to share everything grin!

I'm dreading the end of the school holidays because DS2 is going to be bereft when DS1 goes back to school sad.

Reading this thread makes me realise how incredibly lucky we are that they get on so well!

TorchesTorches Sat 31-Aug-13 09:42:18

I have an 18 month gap and DD is just over 2, DS is 8 months. He isn't sleeping well and that determines how easy i find the day. If he wakes only once, the day mightbe ok, if he wakes multiple times it can be hellish. They rarely nap simultaneously, and i find i am willing DH home every day. Having said that practise is making things easier and i am clinging to the generally agreed wisdom it gets easier when the youngest is 3.

Spongingbobsunderpants Sat 31-Aug-13 09:45:25

I think it's a different version of hard having two. When I had just ds, I thought it was the hardest thing in the world - I constantly worried he was getting enough stimulation, eating enough healthy food etc, all that pfb stuff. When dd came al

Thefallentowerofpisa Sat 31-Aug-13 09:51:39

I have one (not especially by choice) and confess it is easy but that's because my one is pretty happy entertaining himself for quite a lot of the time and was from an early age. I do still get asked to play footie or a board game but he hangs out playing Lego or the like for hours or reading.

I definitely have a much easier life than friends with two or three as there's no squabbling. Equally I honestly don't think mine is a classic only now and is pretty sociable (slightly quiet sometimes but thats personality not family structure) and really happy.
Possibly a bit of a kidult but knows how to have fun and giggle a lot too.

There's no right answer to all this surely. One can be very easy but not if they are demanding and always want a playmate.

I do feel sad for when I'm old and will only have the one with fewer or maybe no gc and if dc is lonely one day once we are gone.

Spongingbobsunderpants Sat 31-Aug-13 10:04:49

I think it's a different version of hard having two. When I had just ds, I thought it was the hardest thing in the world - I constantly worried he was getting enough stimulation, eating enough healthy food etc, all that pfb stuff. When dd came along, the type of worry was pushed aside. The first few months were horrendous as dd2 was ill and ds basically ran feral round the house as it was virtually impossible to go out much or for very long. My main focus was just getting through the day. When dd was better, it was still hard but more because of trying to cope with the competing demands, not for the type of worry I'd had with ds1 about his development, his stimulation etc. When ds was on his own, we travelled the length and breadth of the country visiting family and friends, had loads of days out and did the rounds of all the play groups and soft play - dd2 has not had even half the number of these experiences but ironically she gets as much, if not more stimulation from ds's friends hanging around, taking him to school and the day to day busyness of just living, which we didn't have when ds was an only child. Now the challenges I find are mostly ensuring they don't fight and behave better when we are out! When I have just one out with me, it is infinitely easier but it's taken me to have two to realise that fact. All my friends with one young child always say " how do you cope with two when I can barely cope with one?" Which is exactly what I would have said before I had my new reality with two.

Stripedmum Sat 31-Aug-13 11:21:09

Hmm. To be fair I haven't found it harder. I have DS 2.4 and DD 21 weeks.

I found it heinously hard with DS and find it heinously hard with the two of them. But not harder.

Geneticsbunny Sat 31-Aug-13 13:39:29

I have two and I think it is easier. HOWEVER my first was special needs so I think that is probably why. They are 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 and will play with each other for bits of the day, sometimes half an hour or so. Number 3 on the way so I am in for even more trouble. I am going with the removing the plaster theory that quick might be more painful but at least it is over sooner.

happyhorse Sat 31-Aug-13 13:42:52

I don't know the answer to this, only having one child myself. What I do know is that all of my friends with more than one child are tearing their hair out waiting for school to go back next week, whereas those of us with an only have enjoyed the holidays and would happily have another week if we could.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sat 31-Aug-13 13:46:57

2 is not easier, but having a second baby is easier (even a nightmare like ds)

Octopus37 Sat 31-Aug-13 13:54:00

Harder on the whole, but easier in some ways, have two boys, 2yr9month gap, now aged 3 and 6. Older boy has just been shut in the garden for wrecking the younger ones train set. They fight, the house is never as clean as I want, I am knackered and overwhelmed, but it is easier than the very early years. Think that a lot of the fighting comes from sibling rivalry, mainly the older one wanted to be top dog all the time, find that and the noise v stressful. However, there are times when they play and laugh together. In my darker moments wonder if I should have stopped at 1, cause I would at least be doing that child properly, I am definately more slap dash than I ever meant to be and would love to feel more in control. Also worry cause my older one (very proud of him for this btw) is very clever at school and brilliant at football, has just been selected to do advanced training etc), which is great but hope that the younger one has areas that he excels in too for the sake of his self-esteem. I say this cause I was the younger sister who was noticeably not as bright, to this day don't earn as much, not talented at anything really etc.

YoniBottsBumgina Sat 31-Aug-13 14:17:18

I only have one so you may wish to disregard my opinion!

However I have been pondering this a lot recently. I think whether you find it easier or harder probably depends on what you find good/hard/easy/boring etc as a parent. The thing I struggle with most having one is DS always seeking me out as his main playmate, entertainer, etc, and him always wanting me to be interested in the things that he likes such as Ben 10 or whatever - snore! So I think if i have more children I would find them playing together, sharing some interests etc, a relief. I also think it's easier to help teach problem solving, sharing chores etc, when there are more than one of them, and I know it's not the same, but I've found it fairly easy to do conflict management when we spend time with friends' DC.

I can see with two+ you would get more of the "mummy, watch me/look at this/ listen to my joke" (although holding out a vague hope that this would be balanced by them telling each other some of the time, and at least there would be a variety of personalities and stages rather than 10 million knock knock jokes all on the same theme). And oviobsly the housework would increase (but I barely do any housework anyway). I think the biggest one for me would be conflicting needs and also the practical considerations - having to buy 2 of everything, extra entry costs, less freedom to just go and do things on a whim due to extra transport costs etc and needing more space as a family.

But we will see! If we have any more DS will be at least 6 so quite a large age gap and I think I'd want more than one more in order to have the benefit of them being close in age and not being effectively stuck with a single child who needs a lot of entertainment when DS hits the teen years.

jamaisjedors Sat 31-Aug-13 14:32:13

Our 2 are 6 & 8.

I have found these holidays a total breeze because they play from morning to night together, the eldest reads to his brother, they watch TV together and occasionally fight

If one of them goes to a friend's to play, the other is lost (and we don't know what to do with him!) - luckily they are close enough in age to play with each other's friends too.

I say 2 is definitely easier past age 6.

happybubblebrain Sat 31-Aug-13 14:43:53

I have one child, I have never even considered having two. I think it's easier to give one child all the attention they need, things get trickier and more thinly spread when you have two. I don't think I'd cope well with sibling rivalry, because I had enough of that growing up. Hats off to anyone that manages to bring up two children or more and still manages to have a nice life.

I once read that if you have one child you still have a few bits of free time to yourself. When you have two, that is gone.

I think things are easier for me also because I don't have a manchild to look after.

flowersinavase Sat 31-Aug-13 15:21:36

DC#2 is considerably easier than DC#1 was (more experience, no time/energy/inclination for PFB): having just him is a holiday. An utter breeze. And when you only have one you actually can 'sleep when the baby sleeps': not remotely possible when you have two.

The issue is having both of them to look after together. And then it's constant. I don't sit down: one of them always needs something - a nappy change, the potty, a drink, a bath etc etc. And then there always seems to be laundry/grocery shopping/cleaning etc. And we don't have a car so I push a double stroller everywhere. I maybe get an hour to myself in the evening to sit and read if I can get both of them down. I feel woozy and light headed a lot of the time I'm so tired. One was ridiculously easy compared to the incessant, repetitive lifestyle of looking after two.

Charlottehere Sat 31-Aug-13 15:37:28

I found 1 to 2 really hard for the first few years. Definitely easier now as they have each other. I have 4.

JoandMax Sat 31-Aug-13 15:58:01

I think it depends on the DCs personalities and how well they get on and if they have the same interests

Mine are just 5 and 3.5 and it is pretty easy and has been for ages but they're best friends, adore eachother so play for hours and rarely fight. They like the same things so its not hard to find activities for them.

On the other hand I have a friend with 2 same ages who are chalk and cheese and her life is infinitiely harder than mine as shes always pulled between them.

A lot of luck involved!

Thinkingofmyfabfour Sat 31-Aug-13 16:23:37

I think it's just different, not easier. And I think a lot depends on not just the children's personalities but also yours as a mum. I've just had no4, I love having a big family and all the noise and busy-ness it brings. I look at my friends with 1 or 2 and honestly think I'd be bored grin
However I accept that I'm no domestic goddess, my house is only occasionally tidy, I don't iron etc!
I think you lower your standards a bit with each child, but the advantage is the fun your kids have playing together, and how much they learn from each other eg sharing, entertaining themselves, looking after each other etc.
Hmm that sounds like I live in a hovel but its not that bad honestly grin

MrsMelons Sat 31-Aug-13 16:45:26

Mine are 7 and 5, both boys and I find it easier in the way that they play together, particularly on holiday or if I am trying to do stuff at home. They like similar things and are close enough in age to play with the same stuff. It has got easier as they have got older as the age gap seems smaller now.

My friends who have just one say they find it hard as they are the sole source of amusement for their DC which they find tiring at times, those friends say they would love another. I can't imagine having just one but I also know lots of people who would never want more either.

However obviously playing together also means fighting together . . .

jamtoast12 Sat 31-Aug-13 19:24:07

I have two dds aged 7&5 and they are best friends. It is harder practically in terms of housework etc but its miles easier in terms of demands on my time so I have lots of spare time to catch up with the practical side. Holidays and days out are a breeze as they play so well. Though I think its harder with mixed sexes maybe? none of my friends kids (who have one of each) play together so I think 2 kids of the same sex are easier than mixed but that's just my observation.

Personally, I had dd2 purely for dd1 as I think its important to have that best friend and everyday I instill that into them. When I see how much each of them gains from having a sibling, I think its worth every bit of any extra effort.

MilestoneMum Sat 31-Aug-13 20:03:39

Caitlin Moran wrote that having one child is like having a pet, having two is like running a zoo.

I have decided to stick with my one DDgrin

Zoe900 Sat 31-Aug-13 20:12:07

She's right.

Stripedmum Sat 31-Aug-13 20:14:40

How the feck does that mum off the telly cope with 16? I marvel over that every say with my two. Every day I make it through without Valium is a day I am proud of myself.

Zoe900 Sat 31-Aug-13 20:27:28

As soon as a child is 8 it takes over the care of a younger one. .

ilovesmarties Sat 31-Aug-13 20:43:23

Hell no! "They will play together" - NOT! My eldest was not at all interested in playing with my youngest until he could talk. Yes, now they play together but they also fight a lot. Most definitely hard work having two boys under five. I'm told it will get easier.... not convinced!

The shock of going from working full time to 6 months maternity leave with pfb massive shock to my system! Going from 1 to 2 I found easy, routine already in place, worked ; data a week by then, more work, much more tired but nothing like the culture shock as my first. Dc3 had been both hard and easy. Friends with I dc tell me about how I would k is hard work if I had a dc as 'demanding' as theur's I just ignore...I'm also s single parent and walking half hour each way school/preschool 6 times a day : days after emergency c section with dc3 I wouldn't know hard work wink

Well, my gran (just turned 100) spent a lifetime resenting the fact that she was expected to look after her 9 year younger brother when they were little I exaggerate; she did not like the expectation, but very much loved her brother.

I like the "1=pet, 2= zoo" theory. I wonder what 4 boys under 10 makes? A war zone? grin.

atrcts Sat 31-Aug-13 22:44:32

My son is much better when he's around other people. He always was, even as an infant.

I was petrified about having another because he was so much work. But actually it's even really ok. I don't know if it's because the second baby is an easy personality in comparison, or whether I am not much more experienced and that makes a lot of difference.

I was always told that it's easier to have 2 of your own because if you don't, you'll spend your time either being the playmate, or arranging a playmate to come over. And it can be much harder to enforce your home rules with other peoples children not always, but certainly sometimes

My family have had decent gaps between all their kids and the older children like to play 'Mum' with the younger ones. While they shouldn't be used as childminders, it does sometimes help a bit, and they are entertained while doing so as well!

Of course all kids are different and you never know what temperament and personality you'll get, but in really glad I went for two and its really not as bad as I'd feared.

Maybe it helps not having 2 in nappies and such like though?

LazyMonkeyButler Sat 31-Aug-13 23:01:06

I admit I haven't read the thread. I have three DC. DS1 is 16, DS2 is 12 & DD is 2.

I think my age gaps are actually too big for the whole "easier because they play together" lark.

I am hopeful of being able to get a babysitter for DD in a couple of years' time though wink.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 01-Sep-13 05:02:26

I think a lot depends on what your second is like as a baby and the character of your eldest/how they cope with the new baby.

The ideal scenario is that your second is an "easy" baby, who really just needs feeding and cuddles and who is happy to sit around in a bouncy chair watching proceedings and playing with his feet. This means its not too much of an upheaval to your eldest, who you can still give plenty of attention too and who probably will therefore feel quite positive towards the baby. It helps too if your eldest is the kind of child who is inclined towards feeling motherly towards the younger one.

If though your second baby is high needs, won't be put down, and your toddler is also a high needs child, then your toddler is going to feel very displaced and is much more likely to have big jealously issues.

I was immensely lucky with mine. DS (no.2) was an easy going baby and DD (no.1) is a gentle, quite motherly kind of girl. They do have their spats from time to time but they adore each other. DD is genuinely proud of him and fascinated by watching her brother learn all his new tricks. She is going to school soon and not sure what DS is going to do all day without her!

conorsrockers Sun 01-Sep-13 05:36:14

I have 3, and I'd have kept going if it wasn't a problem financially. I think 1 was MUCH harder work than 3. We have a 3 yr and 14 month age gap and if I knew then what I know now I would have squished them up as close as possible! grin

It's swings and roundabouts. When they are playing nicely together, it's easier than 1 because they are not demanding time from me and I get a break. However at all other times when they are either fighting with each other or individually being demanding of my time for one reason or another, then its harder as there are double the demands + the fights to sort. For me, overall its harder smile

Rewindtimeplease Sun 01-Sep-13 07:26:54

3 and 6 months. Much easier and much more enjoyable than one. As a SAHM I found one quite intense. With two, I am on the go almost constantly 7 to 7, but life feels very fulfilling and, well, lovely. Generally speaking.

Getting into a decent routine from early on is the key I would say. I have a come of hours to myself over the lunchtime nap, and the evenings to my husband and I, as both are down at 7.

filee777 Sun 01-Sep-13 07:28:31

I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old. 2 are much easier, play together and chat to each other in the night, big one seems to have regulated the little ones sleeping pattern.

Ghanagirl Sun 01-Sep-13 07:32:55

I've only ever had two as I have twins
But I find it really hard work, although getting easier as they are now six, lots of fighting always speaking to me at the same time, financially very expensiveconfused
Love them to pieces but one has to be easier

PrincessScrumpy Sun 01-Sep-13 07:33:56

I have dd1 5yo and dtds 2yo and a friend told me she thought twins was easier than one baby... It's not! But it's so much more fun which balances out the hard work. Also I'm much more laid back as a parent (I probably came under the helicopter parent title with dd1)

Ghanagirl Sun 01-Sep-13 07:53:04

Princessscrumpy
I used to get really upset when they were babies and would go to Gymboree and the like, there was mostly first time mums with one baby who would say either I feel sorry for you it must be awful having 2 babies or those who would say I'm sure it's easier having 2 as they play together er not so much at 6monthsconfused

Bumpsadaisie Sun 01-Sep-13 08:17:23

I do agree with people that its less intense with two. I remember my first mat leave, me and 10 mth old dd at home all the time together. There was a real intensity in the non-verbal relationship and I spent every minute of my day imagining what life must be like for her and what she was wanting/feeling.

With two it was much more of a noisy jumble and my relationship with DS is much less full on and more relaxed. His experience of childhood is v different to DDs, he's had DD around him all the time playing with him etc with me in the background. With Dd I'm sure I was much more in her face all the time.

Flibbedyjibbet Sun 01-Sep-13 08:32:24

I have 2, DD1 is 3.2, DD2 is 9 months. I am exhausted. As mentioned above as soon as DD2 got mobile squabbling began. DD2 is bf, still not accepting a bottle, DD1 always needs a poo/drink/some other bloody thing when I sit down to eat or feed her sister.

I feel guilty all the time. If I spontaneously kiss one I feel like I have to kiss the other. I probably over compensate, I'm an only child so have no experience of how a parent distributes time and affection.

And my poor house, it will never recover. Packing for a day out and unloading the car at other side...urgh.

I do sometimes think what on earth were we thinking of.

And then the sun comes out from behind the clouds and they giggle together or DD1 will just randomly kiss DD2... nice moments, far between ha ha

Zoe900 Sun 01-Sep-13 09:06:15

it's so tough that first year with a dc2. the moment I took dc2 home from hospital dc1 turned from my sweet little angel into a petulant fight-my-corner-cos-I-have-to angry girl.

jemmacutts25 Sun 01-Sep-13 10:15:05

Hi smile well i have four boys! and i think it's easier than having one because they can all play together....well most of the time anyway! i think when i had just the one, he wanted all of my attention all of the time, also made it easier to spoil just one too, having multiple has helped them with things like sharing also.

Willemdefoeismine Sun 01-Sep-13 12:18:50

I'm not sure and as the parent of children with a five year age gap I would say it's not ideal if they're not the same gender. I have found the last couple of years particularly difficult, trying to marry the needs of a younger DD and older DS - it has not been easy by any stretch of the imagination.

I also think that with a larger age gap, yes it is easier once the older one has started school but there again it's effectively like having two only children.

Just my opinion though......

Only children get lots of attention and tend to grow up and be mature quite young. I also feel that they tend to be brighter because they get that undivided attention from their parent(s). On the other hand the only children I know tend to be rather precious (or spoiled or both) and they do get lonely.....

Rattle Sun 01-Sep-13 12:32:44

I have two with 5 years apart. My holiday will start when the oldest will go back to school. I enjoy having the second, but sometimes forget that the first needs equal attention, as he can manages many things by himself but still a little child.

GwennieF Sun 01-Sep-13 15:09:16

Having just one is a hell of a lot easier! You don't appreciate it, though, until number 2 arrives! By that stage it's too late!

Saying that, I don't think it's double the work... but my 2 have only 18 months between them and play relatively well together.

According to my brother the trouble only really starts when you have 3 and the kids outnumber the adults...

Charlottehere Sun 01-Sep-13 17:56:38

My first two are girls, just under three years apart and fight like cat and dog. I think two sibs getting on is more luck and personality.

Having any one of my 4 on their own is a rare and enjoyable pleasure.

Any combination of 2 or more, requires more nervous energy.

I did often wonder when I was in the neverending fog that was the first year or 2 after having had DS2 exactly 12 months after having had DS1 whether twins would've been easier or harder grin.
And was then terrified I might be expecting twins when I was pregnant with DS3 (who was a single baby)...

Re fighting: yes, FAR more to do with personalities than age gap/gender IMO and IME

PavlovtheCat Sun 01-Sep-13 20:50:59

hahahahahaahahaha! <hollow laughs>

She is telling you lies.

It is fabulous, enjoyable, brilliant. They play together, they love each other, they both have fab personalities and I would not be without either of them. It is the best decision ever and the rewards are immense.

But, easier? Not a fucking chance. It's the hardest job I have ever ever done, raising two.

sandiy Sun 01-Sep-13 21:30:21

I've got twins and a spare 13 months younger.Ive never had just one child so could nt tell you if it's easier or harder but what I can say is at the age they are now it's bliss.Old enough to be independant young enough to still need lots of love.Ive had the most amazing summer sat on the beach reading and watching them swim body board build sand castles even at home they knock about together really nicely It was tough for the first few years but not that bad I still work and am a lone paren and have just finished post grad study so I would say while it may not be easier it feels very rewarding.I am so proud of my children and frequently complimented on what nice considerate balanced children they are I'm sure that's because they've never been pfb always taking turns and sharing.Of course I may just have got lucky and I'm sure they will be hellish as teens.

Bunnyjo Sun 01-Sep-13 23:07:47

I have a 3.9yr gap between DD and DS. Having two children is NOT easier, but I can see why people would allude to it being so.

When my first child was born she literally turned my life upside down - days became nights, nights became days and I was completely responsible for ensuring the comfort and safety of this tiny little being. Everything was/is new with my first DC; from the newborn stage, to school and beyond - and that, in itself, can be scary.

When my second was born he had to, somehow, fit into the family routine we had. The difference was I had experience and knowledge I could fall back on. Not everything was new anymore, and I was more confident in my abilities and opinions, as a parent.

So, whilst it is not easier having 2 children by any stretch of the imagination, in my opinion having a second child does not completely upturn your life in the way that having a first child does.

ThreeTomatoes Mon 02-Sep-13 07:40:44

I was one of 2 (I have only 1 myself). My mum always said it helped having a second, at least once the early years were over, as we entertained each other. What I remember most from middle childhood is me & dsis spending all our time together playing upstairs or in the street, heaven knows what my mum was up to.
But, we were very close and got on well. My life would have been a WHOLE lot different if I'd been only me. e.g. my mum said she's not sure she would have allowed us to play outside or walk to school or the shops unaccompanied if we were only one. Also, there were always lots of adults around (lodges, family friends etc) so i think i would have been a lonely & more dependent child amongst all the adults had it not been for my sister, and our friends.

I'm glad I only have one myself though grin. I sometimes feel sad for dd that she doesn't have the sibling i myself cherish, but at the same time I think it would have been different for her -rivalry and fighting etc - as it would have been a lot more claustrophobic than it was in our childhood (we had a big house and a lot more freedom than i would give my own kids).

To conclude, i think it is entirely dependent on the parents and the children and the situation whether one or two is more difficult, tbh. For me, two would be more difficult, for my mum, it made it easier.

ladymontdore Mon 02-Sep-13 08:54:20

Haven't read the whole thread - but it must be scary for people expecting number 2.
I love having two. A 22 mnth gap. The first year was hard but now they are 5 1/2 & 3 1/2 and the best of companions. They are in the next room right now in their own little world of imagination, a queen & a pirate I think. If they are feeling a bit shy their little hands unconsciously reach out for each other - always gives me a tear. They fight like anything at times and know exactly how to most provoke each other. I guess it is more work, more shouting anyway, and I don't enjoy the school run! But very worth it, I have siblings but a big age gap and spent lots of time entertaining myself - I feel almost envious when I see my two playing together.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 02-Sep-13 10:23:41

I agree Lady - I love my sister but with 7 years between us we were never a little gang like my two are.

jenny77 Mon 02-Sep-13 10:50:21

I have two who are 3 and 5. They used to have really horrible fights, but now play together and it's lovely. Much easier than having to entertain one!

MCos Mon 02-Sep-13 11:28:21

I have 2 DDs, 22 month gap. 2 definitely easier than one for me.

They have been the best of pals since the youngest was about 2 or 2 1/2. If one is at a birthday party or other event, the child left at home doesn't know what to do with herself. (But, there are several arguments/hurt feelings each day - but usually very short lived).

If they were different sex, or larger age gap, I'm not sure it would work like this. I see cousins with 6 year gap, where the children have nothing in common and much more sibling rivalry.

MCos Mon 02-Sep-13 11:32:10

ThreeTomatoes - like your mom - I too give my girls more freedom when they are together than I would give to a child on their own. I feel there is safety in numbers, and if a tricky situation occurs they have backup from their sister. (I hope there is better chance of at least one of them remembering 'what Mom said'...)

BreakfastEpiphany Mon 02-Sep-13 15:32:50

Not harder, just more frenetic (have 2 and 6 months). Baby incredibly easy, no learning, no anxiety. Toddler will always be 'first time' but already they are entertaining each other. I am currently at home but get some help from family my mum is great, also I get out of the house and into the buggy for a walk most mornings to entertain them. hard to stay anywhere near on top of housework though

VileWoman Mon 02-Sep-13 18:05:43

Two is great when they entertain each other, it's also way easier than being pregnant with a toddler to look after (DC2 was a very easy baby though!). When I was pregnant with DC3 life was easy because the oldest two played together so much, I could sleep for a large chunk of the day and they would be fine. Three now, that's hard work, I now officially live in a pigsty. I clean a room and half an hour later it's a tip. I do two loads of the dishwasher every day, one load of the washing machine, cook two big meals a day, hoover the sitting room daily, sweep the rest of downstairs daily and barely have time to do the rest of the housework. I remember the days prechildren when we could clean the house and a week later it still looked OK and just needed a quick dust and clean of the bathroom.

One child does feels like being childfree again if the one is my eldest. She's five and doesn't require a change of clothes when we go out, is interested in museums and historic sites and loves 'grown up' time with me and is lovely company. DC2 is almost at that stage as well and having just the two of them is lovely. If one is the youngest (just under a year) it's lots of work!

BigDomsWife Mon 02-Sep-13 21:40:58

I'll be the odd one and say having two is so much easier that one!! Yes, its more demanding physically but my 2 have started to play together so the minutes that they occupy one-another allow me to go to the loo! I managed a hot cup of Tea today.

I love watching them play together so the joy is more too! Mine are 3.8 (DD) and 11 months (DS).

dollybird Mon 02-Sep-13 22:25:24

Having only one seems a dim and distant memory now as mine are 10 and 11 with only a 15mo age gap. The early years were incredibly hard work, but as someone else further up said, it gets easier each year that passes. They get on really well (fight a lot too although that is getting better) and spend most of the day together on the trampoline (usually talking about Minecraft) or playing games/watching TV etc. DS likes to have someone to talk to almost all the time, so if DD is at a friends I notice how much more he'll come to us for that company. When DS isn't around it's boring as DD only talks to us when she needs to! I think life with only one would be very different, and equally would be different depending on which of my DC we had..

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

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

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)

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!!!

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.

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.

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.

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!!

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 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.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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

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...

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.

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

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 !

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.

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.....

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.

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

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.

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

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 ?!

Hehe Juggling you may be right grin

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