I need some urgent advice(28 Posts)
Hoping for some opinions on my predicament. I am 39 with a 2 year old daughter who I adore. I work full time (by necessity) and have done so since she was 6 months old. It is a struggle now to fit everything in.
I don't have any friends with kids her age and she has no cousins (nor will she). She is also a shy little thing just like me. I don't make friends that easily and will find the whole play date thing hard.
Anyway I have just found out I am pregnant. Neither my dh or me are pleased. In fact we are dreading it but feel obligated to have it.
I have been reading here that you have to do a lot of social coordination with an only which I am going to hate. So from that aspect I guess it will be easier with 2. However we love our life now and never intended to have 2.
I am trying to work out which decision I will regret more- have the baby or not. Any advice???
Oh I should add - dh is not hands on at all and works long hours anyway. I will still need to work full time if I have the second too.
I don't think it's ever a good idea to bring a child into a family that doesn't want it. I also don't think it's a good idea to have a child FOR an existing child.
I love the 1 DC lifestyle so maybe I am biased but if you feel as strongly as you seem to I wouldn't have a second.
When your DD is older though I think you will have to take her to activities, take her to her friends houses and have her friends to play at yours. It would be unfair to isolate her because YOU don't like socialising. I think she would need this whether or not you have DC2. A sibling does not make up for a variety of friends with different personalities and cultures to learn to get on with.
Imagine how that child would feel to grow up and know it was dreaded?
You need to think about what is best for you and your family including that possible child
What if that child were to have an additional need or disability? How would you cope then?
Completely agree with Charles.
You must take the time on weekends to get her to build her confidence with other children. What childcare setting does she go to?
I am so sorry OP this is such a tough decision to make.
I can't tell you what to decide, maybe talking it through in RL with someone who doesn't know you might help? (GP, advice line, counsellor maybe? )
Whichever choice you make will affect your life tremendously, make sure you consider all consequences before making a decision.
I really feel for you OP, good luck!
Thanks for your responses. She's in a small family daycare setting with 4 other kids around her age. And yes given my age- the fact that the second might have a disability is a constant worry. I really don't know how we'd cope.
I just cannot imagine looking her in the eyes when she is 5 or so and asking for a sibling and knowing she would have had one if ...
She might not ask for a sibling, not all children do!
My ds1 asked for a baby when he was 4 (he already had a brother at this point). I told him another baby would cost lots of pennies and would mean not as many treats. He choose treats over a new baby!
I feel strongly that a sibling would be best for my daughter but definitely not for the rest of the family.
I think having 2 DCs means double the social co-ordination, not half, eventually!
Once two children are at school, they'll both have different sets of friends and will probably be invited for tea separately and vice versa, but it gets easier then, honestly!
At 2 years old though, there is no need for her to be having play dates yet, anyway. I certainly don't think you need to be dedicating weekends to building her confidence any time soon!
Soon enough she'll be mixing with children at nursery if she isn't already. I think it's quite normal for children aged 2 yrs to be shy.
im sorry you are in this difficult situation. what do you feel in your heart that you really want? if you feel that you want to have the baby even though you will find it hard, you might really regret it if you get a termination, and there are many people who have gone through termination and have really struggled afterwards. no matter what choice you make you will be able to get support and find ways to make it work for you
Jan: in my heart I don't want a second. But I am pretty sure I will regret it if I terminate. Every time my daughter says she lonely for example, or that she has no friends- I will feel terrible - even if she probably would have said these things with a sibling.
I should add that I had terrible anxiety whilst pregnant with my daughter too - I was worried I was doing the wrong thing n having kids at all. And although all those fears turned out to be well founded- the love I feel for her outweights the negatives. But perhaps that is only because I now have some headspace. Whereas with 2, I doubt I would have any.
I love 2. They have a brilliant play mate and hopefully a life long friend. I work FT. I am not going to say its not hard work and child care expensive though, but for me the +ves outweigh it all. As this is on a 1c board you may however get most people saying 2 is best. I have many friends who stuck at 1 as their career, hobbies and free time were too precious to them: such an individual choice. Hope you find a way to decide
You have said that you will regret it if you terminate. Think some more about this. Will you regret it because you want to give your DD what she wants or because you will never be able to forgive yourself for denying your second child a life.
They are two very different sorts of regret. The first you will be able to manage but I've watched the second tear apart the lives of two of my friends.
You probably know deep down which it is.
Goldmandra: I will regret it because of my DD not because of the second child. This is going to sound terrible but I don't really having feelings yet for the second one.
I think I would worry about my relationship with child no.1 if I had child no.2 for her rather than for me. I might find myself blaming her for the extra stress the second child brought.
Can you put those feelings to one side and try to work out what's right for you and your DH?
Oh and no. It doesn't sound terrible. It sounds like you're protecting yourself until you've made a decision which makes perfect sense.
Ds was an only child until he was 3 when dd came along. It has been the making of him and he adores his sister, as do we. He was shy and didn't really like cuddles to be honest but now he is a real social butterly and loves snuggling up with us. The social thing could be due in part to him going to an excellent nursery age 3 tho!
They share a room as they can't bear to be parted at night and when I put them to bed they chat and giggle and mess about for a good half hour.
I wasn't sure how we would cope but we do. I gave up work and started my own business - I am a childminder and make bespoke cakes.
I love it and the dc love the company - seeing them pottering about in the garden hand in hand is beautiful.
I was an only child and I hated it, I was awkward in social situations until I was an adult and didn't know how to relate to other kids really. I would have loved a sibling but my mum couldn't have any more and it was her biggest regret that she couldn't give me a brother/sister.
My mum was dd2 and overheard her parents one night saying how her sister was the apple of their eye and she felt unwanted from then on and didn't enjoy her childhood.
So you can't let that happen to your child!
You just found out you are pregnant, of course you don't have feelings for this one yet! That's not terrible, it's perfectly normal, I'd think.
I have a friend who is having a second solely because she doesn't want her DD to be an only. As time has gone on she's gotten really excited for the baby's own sake, though. (It'll be here this autumn.)
I think that if you'd regret it, don't do it. A close friend had a termination she wasn't 100% sure on and the fallout has been terrible.
I'm not typical on here as I don't find termination to be a difficult, upsetting issue to think about or deal with.
I have an only child, we only ever wanted one. Our lives are completely geared around him being an only. If I were to have an unplanned pregnancy now, I would not hesitate to have a termination as I know that's what's right for my family and most importantly, for me.
I'm not the greatest mum in the world, I do my best but I feel stretched with one, never mind two.
Kids don't get to request siblings. It's not a reasonable concept. Adults have to plan their families for themselves, based upon what they want and what resources they have to provide.
You may feel very differently OP, but I just wanted to give my perspective. I hope you find your way through this.
Hi op, I don't have much experience but I wanted to offer you my view, I agree with most of the others. I have a sibling very close in age. My parents always thought we'd be life long companions but we never were. Everyone in my family with siblings has very complex relationships with them. Dh is an only child and has never had a problem with it neither have any of the other only ones I know. I also have 4 step sisters and 1 step brother and still feel like I'm in competition in everything we're constantly being compared to each other. This is just another reason why I know I'd be happy with one. I think you'll find your dd might grow out of the shyness.
I had a termination when I was very young. I do still get the what if feelings but I know deep down it was the right thing for me at the time. I wish you all the best op.
I would also say, respectfully, that it seems there is a bias on MN towards continuing with unplanned pregnancies. The advice given so often is not to have a termination unless it's 100% what you want.
But there is a balance to find in my mind, because I would advise any woman never to have any baby she wasn't 100% sure she wanted it.
its ununrealistic to say that it should be a decision based on absolute certainty. It's more likely going to be based upon a weight of balance.
If people had 100% certainty about their feelings then they wouldnt need to ask us here for advice.
Confused, I've just re-read:
"the love I feel for her outweights the negatives. But perhaps that is only because I now have some headspace. Whereas with 2, I doubt I would have any.."
There's a real chance that the same will happen if you decide on DC2, i.e. that you find the love outweighs the negatives.
My youngest is nearly starting school, I'm passed the nappies and the potties and not being able to go to the toilet on my own...you do get through it. If you had a DC2, it doesn't mean that you won't get head space in time. If you proceed with the pregnancy, you'll be exhausted, you'll have sleepless nights and there will be more nappies etc, and precious few opportunities for head space, but, in a few years that period will be over for good. When you're in the thick of it, sometimes it feels like those toddler years will never, ever end, and then you blink, and you think...it's gone!
With your youngest being only 2, you've yet to come out the other side, really, you've yet to experience that it gets easier, that they become more independent, and can amuse themselves. Maybe your DD doesn't sleep through the night yet, or you never get a lie in past 6.30am...again all of that will pass, no matter how many DCs you have, it doesn't last forever.
OP I was devastated when I found myself pregnant with my third at 41.
I went through all the worry about how I would cope if there was something wrong with the baby.
For me, termination wasn't an option because I had previously lost a pregnancy and had found it very hard to come to terms with the loss.
I have a big gap between my eldest two and my youngest. It was very hard having an unplanned baby in my forties.
For me, now that the 3rd child is a teenager, I can honestly say that I am truly blessed and I wouldn't change a thing.
Everyone is different though, and I think talking this through with a counsellor would perhaps help to clear your head and help you to make a decision.
I hope you manage to decide on the best way forward for you.
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