is it selfish to choose an easy life

(29 Posts)
lighthouse17 Mon 09-Nov-15 10:39:02

hi it's me again posting as I have been thinking on the weekend about this sooo much why I want another baby and I can't find a reason... my husband won't even consider another one but I just can't stop thinking about it. My husband is saying that he can't go through another 2 years of sleep deprivation, sickness, etc.. and he wants have an easy life. We have no family to help. I work full-time so as my husband, very demanding careers and we choose to have luxuries as well. I also can't be a stay at home mum as this will drive me mad. do you think it's selfish to choose an easier life, obviously life with 2 kids would be busier and another 2 years of hard work. my husband does not want to re-live it. but if he agreed to it, I would do it, but I also suffer with body issues, and anxiety so I am thinking should I just go with him and accept this or keep pushing it until he agrees (this might be never) but I just feel like I need to make a decision and move on, does anyone feel this way? What if another child make our life really stressful?
I feel like having an only is the easy way out (please don't judge) as you can still work and have a comfortable life but with 2 children I am not sure???

my close friend is saying that don't make a decision and just wait another year. I am 37 so I don't want to wait too long and also I just can't not make a decision. it's driving me mad...

juneau Mon 09-Nov-15 10:51:39

From your post it sounds like you'd like a second and would go for it if your DH was enthusiastic, whereas he's dead against and won't even consider it. So one of you is going to have to change their mind and it sounds like you're struggling to do this. I think if you want a second child its hard to just put it out of your mind, simply because your DH doesn't. People do manage it, but its a very personal thing and you can't just switch off that desire like you can a tap.

FWIW I have two and yes, its the same thing all over again, expect now you have an older DC to care for as well. So it is a lot of work and it is exhausting and it really helps if you're both committed to having a second before you do it. I wanted a second more than my DH did and I did all the donkey work with both our DC as babies and toddlers and it was hard. And I don't have a job either! So is choosing an easier life unreasonable? Absolutely not. I often envy my friends with one DC, because their lives ARE easier and their one DC gets way more attention than either of mine do, but I really wanted a second, so to me its worth it. Maybe having an easier life would make sticking with one worth it for you? It sounds like it might.

lighthouse17 Mon 09-Nov-15 11:09:44

hi thank you for your reply. It really helps to post here and talk about it. I just don't know if we can as a couple can cope with the stress 2 children will bring. so my husband has to be totally on board with the 2nd child.
I work full-time so I really don't know how would the logistics work with 2 kids. it's already very hard to juggle nursery, sickness and work... so I am sooo puzzled. I think that I would love to have another one in a different life where I didn't have to work. I looked at our finances and even if we cut back and I gave up work I would be very depressed as I am used to having a career and my own money but with 2 kids I would have to do that. the problem is that we have been together for over 10 years before having a child and we had an amazing life, money was not a problem. so my husband is used to having an easy and luxury life, me on the other side I could live with a lot less money to have another bay if my husband was also thinking the same. I am soooo confused...

misscph1973 Mon 09-Nov-15 11:49:40

Could you get help? Like an au pair? A friend was really desperate for no 2, and eventually her DH gave in, with a 6 year age gap. They are fine, she is now 42 and no 2 is 2 years old. I am thinking that if you have a large age gap like my friend, it would be easier for yourself and your DH, and if you can afford it, a nanny or at least a cleaner could make it easier on you all.

OffMyAyersRocker Mon 09-Nov-15 11:52:49

I have just had dd2 but thought for a long time we'd stop at dd1 as l like an easy life! I have to say it's hard work having a baby, but for me it's not so much the 2 dc iykwlm. Dh really wanted another (in fact he wants 3 - not going to happen! ) so he is really hands on with dd1 leaving me to mind dd2 (7 weeks old) which works for us.

Personally I'd never have had dd2 if dh wasn't on board.

To answer your question, no it's not selfish to choose an easy life. But l would wait a few years until your current dc is older. Dd2 is nearly 5 which l think has made the difference for us.

Kennington Mon 09-Nov-15 11:57:20

Am in a similar position and have opted willingly for one although DH wants two.
Look at it another way of it makes you feel better: your child will financially be more secure. It isn't the best argument though.
Plus I drag mine all over at the weekend to the theatre, restaurants, galleries etc....because having one makes them more portable! Again not a fantastic arguement but I do enjoy our life as it is. I would be able to do as many fun things if I had two.

Thurlow Mon 09-Nov-15 12:01:33

How old is your DC?

We're just TTC no 2 but DD will be in school by the time we have another baby. DP is keener than I am - I'm not unkeen, iykwim, more that I want two children rather than another pregnancy and a baby.

Anyway, what I mean is if you leave a longer gap so that your older DC is in school then you halve a lot of your childcare problems, and it might help with the logistics.

bazzit Mon 09-Nov-15 12:03:47

For me having an easier life and being able to be more selfish were the main reasons I stuck to having one. I don't feel guilty about it and I believe that DD and DH both benefit from the decision as well. We keep our lives busy but I'm always on top of everything that's happening, and I have enough time to just chill as well, and haven't had to cut back at all on luxuries which most couples have to do.

ovenchips Mon 09-Nov-15 12:18:44

You are obviously making it work with one. You want another and must feel the second would be worth the extra work/ sacrifice. Your husband doesn't.

IMO this isn't about having 'good enough' reasons for wanting/ not wanting something. It's you wanting another child and your husband not. Neither of you is 'right', neither of you is 'wrong'. But obviously there is precious little room for compromise on this subject!

I guess you have to keep talking and talking and most importantly hearing each other, and see where those discissions take you.

Sympathies though as it's an awfully hard issue to resolve.

lighthouse17 Mon 09-Nov-15 12:26:25

thanks again for your posts. My DD is 2 years old and just started sleeping through the night. she was a very difficult baby and still is a fussy toddler and I think thats why my DH doesn't want another one. I just don't know why I want another one knowing how difficult life is going to be with 2! one of my reasons is that I come from a large family and I would love to same for my DD even though I don't get on well with my siblings, it's still nice to know that they are there if I need anything.
Also I am afraid that I am getting old to have another, I am 37 now so do you think 39 is too late to have another? I wish I was in my early 30s and I had many years to wait....

lighthouse17 Mon 09-Nov-15 12:27:05

by the way, nanny sounds like a good idea if we have anothersmile

ovenchips Mon 09-Nov-15 13:43:52

No-one can tell you if 39 is too late or not. There are no guarantees of a single thing whatever your age anyway.

You may get pregnant at 39 and have a blissfully easy pregnancy and birth. You may find that you're unable to have any more. What you need to consider is if you did wait until you were 39 and it didn't happen for you - could you live with that reasonably well? If you couldn't then 39 is too old isn't it?!

FWIW I don't think there's anything wrong at all with wanting another, even though the early years were very hard with your first. Most people have more than one child so you're not alone in wanting more. But neither is your husband unreasonable in not.

Millionprammiles Mon 09-Nov-15 14:06:32

Look at it this way:
Ultimately there is only one of you. The more children you have, the more your time is divided between them. If you want to continue working ft (and especially if you don't have a ft nanny/housekeeper etc) that can equate to not very much time per child. There's no real way to avoid that.

We stopped at one as I already feel short of time for dd. I already feel guilty that our time together is so rushed on weekdays. I already feel I'm trying to cram in so much at weekends. And once she starts school there will be homework to factor in.

I'm selfish for wanting to continue working. But I'm not sure its selfish to stop at one. I'm not convinced dd's childhood would necessarily be better if she had a sibling in the same circumstances.

Of course I worry she'll feel lonely, particularly when we are older but I have to weigh up what I know now against a future I can only speculate on.

M4blues Tue 10-Nov-15 13:44:46

It's not at all selfish to stick with 1 if that's what you want. You don't need to justify your reasons to anyone. The problem here seems to be that you don't want to stick with 1. Only you know how strong your longing for another child is. If you wait and it doesn't happen or if you agree to stick simply because that's what your DH wants then you must be sure you can reconcile yourself to that decision. If there's a chance you will become bitter and resent your DH for his decision then you must sit down and explain this to him. He is, of course, perfectly entitled to stick to his decision but he needs to understand that making it could affect his marriage. And of course, he may reluctantly agree and you find that the stress of a second child affects your marriage. There are no easy answers.

For me, if DH had said no more after ds1, it would have been the end my marriage. But that doesn't mean more that 1 is right for you or your family. I just knew I would not be able to live with DH having made such a fundamental decision about my fertility. We went on to have Ds2&3 then a DD though so clearly neither of us were keen to stop at1.

I'd be lying if I said it was no more stressful or expensive. I had a very strong bond with ds1 before ds2 came along. Ds1 was a terrible sleeper. Really awful! Ds2 slept like a dream from about 6wks. You just don't know who that little baby might be. But it's best to be aware that no2 might be just as much hard work as no1.
I think you need to work out how you will feel in 10yrs if you stick. If you think you will be happy and relieved then great. If you think you'll still be thinking about it or worse, blaming your DH then you must sit down and explain how you feel. Good luck

Oh and although I don't work f/t, I do teach 3days a wk. DH works stupidly long hours and travels a lot with work. We have no living family at all. It can be done but I'd be lying if I said it was just as easy as when we had 1!

Ragwort Tue 10-Nov-15 13:59:21

I don;t think it is 'selfish' to have an only child - the vast majority of people have babies for pretty 'selfish' reasons anyway - it has been drummed into us that the 'norm' is two children. I had a friend who had three children, wanted more, and admitted it was purely because she loved to feel 'needed' - that it pretty selfish in my opinion.

We chose to have just one child - I don't think there is anything selfish about our decision, it was a sensible decision. Interestingly our decision was reached for totally different reasons to your's - but it was the right decision for us.

MyLifeisaboxofwormgears Tue 10-Nov-15 14:06:40

What is behind this disagreement?
What is DH's decision based on - does he think he can give one child a better life due to being less distracted and more money to spend on that child?
What is your decision based on? You want to have a new baby to take care of - you think your child will be lonely?

If you sit down and discuss what your reasons and emotions for taking up these positions you might move away from simply a debate about 1 or 2 children and look at what you think is important for family life and how your view parenting children and your life together as a couple.
You may always have assumed lots of kids while he assumed no kids but maybe one if his wife really wanted one.

Perhaps your DH hated the baby years?
Perhaps he wants to spend more time with you?
Perhaps he thinks he's struggling with being a parent and doesn't want a second to struggle even more with?
Do you think 2 children is normal/expected?
Do you see children as the logical extension of a family while your DH sees them as things women want and men put up with?
(All suggestions and may not apply to you at all)
However - if you look at what is driving your "number of children" decisions you may find out some interesting things about yourselves.

lighthouse17 Tue 10-Nov-15 14:41:37

hiya very valid questions you raised. I want another child as I want a big family. I don't have any family here and I think I like to create my big family here, obviously it's not guaranteed that my children will visit me but I am so scared of being lonely. I also like being super busy, so now that things are getting easier with my 2 year old DD I feel I can cope with another one.
My DH doesn't want to go through any of this again. He found every stage very hard. He never shows it though, he is an amazing dad, a lot more patient than me. He also saw how stressed I was after having my DD and went through PND. when I asked him last night he said every stage is hard. For example even though she sleeps through the night, she still wakes us up by making noises or getting ill, or just being a toddler so my husband is not into doing all this again. I find it selfish but he wants to have an easier life with one and he knows how difficult it would be with 2 children with no family to help. He also thinks that I won't be able to cope with the stress too and he might be right but I would like to try at least as I might be more relaxed the second time around.
I don't want to wait too long as I feel like the more I wait the less likely I would want another as things are getting easier and I am getting more comfortable and older. ohhh I wish it wasn't this difficult to decide.

Im0gen Tue 10-Nov-15 14:49:42

Why don't you give up some of your luxuries and spend more more money on childcare and support in the house ? That would make everyone's life easier .

Is your two year old in FT nursery now ? Could you afford a nanny ?

You talk as if all the work is in the first two years of a child's life . Can you cope financially later, with out of school care ? Do you Intend to pay school fees ?

lighthouse17 Tue 10-Nov-15 15:11:59

hiya she is at nursery 4 days a week, I managed to reduce my hours recently which is great! I think that nanny is a better choice when you have more than 1 child. I think we can definetely cope financially with 2 kids when one is at school. what my husband is worried is all the logistics. For example when they are sick, pick up drop up school/nursery etc... When we have demanding jobs it makes it very difficult to juggle all this. also how tiring it's to look after a baby/toddler and all the responsibilities it brings. if my family was nearby my husband would go for a second child.
I feel that there is something missing in my life if I don't have another child sad

Bumpsadaisie Tue 10-Nov-15 16:54:27

Just sth to think about, as an alternative take on this, there are ways in which having one child is harder than having two.

Of course with two there are two lots of baby/toddler stage to get through, but once they are say 3 and 5 (assuming a two year age gap) they PLAY together and amuse each other.

I know several friends with onlies, lovely children and lovely parents all, but they have to spend an awful lot of time entertaining their child, in my experience anyway. Whereas I occasionally play with my two but not that often - as they are playing some imaginary game together.

AndNowItsSeven Tue 10-Nov-15 17:11:05

Two children is really not a lot though, I don't understand why it would be stressful. Obviously I am am biased but , two dc ( without disabilities/ health issues) is a pretty easy life.

Tyrannosaurus Tue 10-Nov-15 17:16:10

I don't think it matters if it is selfish or not. The vast majority of decisions we make in life are selfish, in that we do what we want to do, not necessarily what other people want. What matters is what will work best for your family as a whole long term.

PacificDogwod Tue 10-Nov-15 17:18:50

Lets face it, whatever choice we make wrt number of children, whether it's one or a baker's dozen wink, it's always 'selfish' - I don't see that as a valid argument.

Also, one could argue that in terms of resources and looking after out planet having no or one child is less 'selfish'…

The desire to have another child can be very powerful and is IME not always amenable to rational argument - I've had 4 and certainly after Nr2 when TTC I kept thinking 'what are we doing?' but I had to do it anyway confusedblushgrin

I think you and your DH need to sit down and draw up a time line with what might happen immediately/in the first 2 years/in 5 years with DC2 goes to school/in the longterm and see how either of you feels then.

Keep talking and listening to each other - there is not true compromise here, only one of you coming round to the other's point of view.
thanks

Tyrannosaurus Tue 10-Nov-15 17:21:14

Oops, posted that before I was finished. I am the parent of an only child. I would have liked a second but for one reason or another it didn't happen. He is 8 now, and the more time goes on, the happier I am with only having the one.

I have regained my energy for progressing at work, and competing, at my hobby. I can just about manage to fit those things around DS doing his hobbies, and a reasonable amount of family time, which I would not be able to do if I had two to consider. There is no sign of him being a lonely only so far. He has now started organising his social life, and I am frequently asked if he can invite a friend home from school.

I don't doubt that if I'd had a second, I would have been very happy with that too, but just having one definitely has its positives.

Im0gen Tue 10-Nov-15 18:23:50

One thing I would advise against is agreeing with your husband that you will both have another child, as long as all the stress and inconvenience is carried by you . I think that will breed huge resentment in the long term and possibly destroy your marriage .

It will also teach your children really unhelpful things about relationships and parenting ( mums do all the work , dads do all the fun bits ) .

I have to say that your husband sounds a bit spoilt . But maybe he's just a realist and honest .

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