2 children, but do you wish sometimes you still only had 1?

(93 Posts)
KLou111 Thu 11-Apr-13 21:44:42

Basically the title says it all really.
My DH and I have the most beautiful, lovely, loving nearly 20 month old DS who we absolutely adore.

We always wanted 2, but DH loves our little family as it is and really can't imagine he would ever want or need another.
I'm on the fence. I would love a sibling for our DS, and feel I would love another child one day, but I am not 100%, so with that obviously I would go with not having a second.

I just feel I wouldn't have enough time in the day, and I would feel so guilty not having the time for DS as I do now.

We enjoy our family holidays, more so now our DS is becoming a lovely age to enjoy them, with a baby they would become a lot more stressful.
We enjoy our own time with friends, but with 2 we could see it being a lot more difficult to get 'time out' for a few hours or an evening on our own, which at the moment my parents would happily have DS overnight once or twice a week if we'd let them. They say they would also happily have a second baby overnight too, but in reality I'm not so sure.
With one child, if we are lacking a babysitter, usually DS stays with us no problem, but 2 we would be a lot more restricted.

There are so many more 'cons' for having 2 for us than 'pros', but I just wanted to know your experiences. Did any of you have 2 children and really truly wish you'd stuck with one?

2BoysAndNoMore Thu 11-Apr-13 22:10:14

I say stick at one. That sounds horrible but if you are happy as you are, why risk that? Not to say you wouldn't love the second child but it can impact on everyone so much. Our second has nearly broke us in terms of one on one time with DS1 and the never ending arguments over toys etc. Since he's been born I miss DS1 more than I could have imagined. Even though I see him the same as I always did, I feel like I'm split and torn all the time. I miss him terribly. It will never be the same. DS2 has brought a lot of stress and health problems which we could never have foreseen. I love him but I can not deny we were happier before.

I have 3 and wish we'd stuck at 1. We are struggling and finding it really hard. Ds2 is nearly 4 so far from a newborn.

LapinDeBois Thu 11-Apr-13 22:15:37

No, but I know where you're coming from. We really hesitated before having another one (now have two boys aged 5 and 2). I was so desperately in love with my first son, but he'd been a hellishly difficult baby, that I felt quite satisfied with one, and very apprehensive about having another baby. In the end, the reason we had another was largely for DS1's sake rather than our own. Not that I want to say anything at all against only children, but I just really wanted him to have a sibling. He's not the most socially easy child, and I thought it would be really helpful for him to have a friend who was always around. Also, I'm very close to my sister and wanted him to have that sort of relationship.

Anyway, we now have DS2, and of course he's wonderful and I would never want to undo him (in fact, I'm secretly perhaps even more in love with him than I am with DS1, at least at the moment). And, luckily my instinct was right, in that it has been the absolute making of DS1 to have a little brother to play with and look after. To be honest, I also think it's been good for him to have a little bit less of our time - he's become much less dependent and more grown up.

From our point of view, I would say we're just reaching the tipping point where it's actually easier to have two than it is to have one. In the early days it was really hard work, and I do still find it quite hard when I have both of them on my own for long stretches (I never did the shrill, screechy mum thing until I had two). And I still think I'm a better mother in some ways when I'm one on one - definitely calmer and more patient. However, they are starting to play together fantastically now, and I find I have to do much less child-entertaining that I would if I just had DS1. (This morning, for example, they were playing board games together, and I offered to play, and was told quite callously that I was surplus to requirements, so I cleaned the house instead.) And I think in perhaps another year, once DS2 is trustworthy enough to be left alone for reasonable stretches of time, they're going to have so much fun playing out in the garden for hours - the kind of fun that DS1 just wouldn't have had if he'd been on his own.

Obviously this is one of those questions that nobody except you and your partner can answer. But my very short answer would be - having two is harder in the short term but easier (and so worth it) in the longer term.

RubyrooUK Thu 11-Apr-13 22:21:29

Well, DS2 is only four weeks old, so my comments are maybe premature.

Yes, there are cons. We are back at the inability to leave the house because of endless breastfeeding/nappies. Both boys wake up at night leaving us exhausted. Everything is logistically harder at the moment. There is no down time when one parent can slack off as the other parent has the sole child. (I am sure it will be hideous when both are ill.)

There are also pros. I work full time usually and so maternity leave is also special time with DS1 as well as DS2. And DS1 is incredibly proud of his little brother and relishes being the big boy (he is two and a half). I don't feel like DS1 is being short-changed at all and having a sibling will enhance his life long term. It has brought out a really lovely side of his character. If possible, I appreciate DS1 more for being so interactive and fun, while DS2 is my snuggly little baby.

So my view so far is that having two will be logistically harder for a couple of years but ultimately it is worth it for me.

Although let's face it, I've got four weeks experience, so feel free to ignore me. gringringringrin

PickledInAPearTree Thu 11-Apr-13 22:21:29

I wanted two, just had ds2. In finding it hard for all the reasons you mentioned.

I would not be without him but life was much easier before - I think you need to really want one to go for it.

ReallyTired Thu 11-Apr-13 22:26:15

I think you know when you are ready to have a second child.

Having two children is more work than one, but it also has its good sides. My two children adore each other when they arent quarrelling.

Negatives

Cost, damage to career, more noise, more mess, the house is never quiet.

Positives.

Its lovely to see the two of them playing together.
I think it enchances life to have a sibling

I think you need to really want to have another child for it to work. Maybe you should wait a year if you aren't sure.

stella1w Thu 11-Apr-13 22:29:30

What 2boys said

For the first 6 months of DD2's life I often lamented that life would be so much easier with just 1 child blush
Now, she is 1, and DD1 (3.5) adores her, and DD2 adores her back. They cuddle and at and yes, fight too, but seeing them together makes me so proud. I'm so so glad I did it. I am now a single mother and think although life may have been a bit easier, I love the noise and hustle and bustle of having 2. And I think DD1 may have been a little spoilt as an only.... She has learnt so much about family love and sharing through having a little sister.

Mandy21 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:38:04

I know I'm being a bit judgmental (I apologise in advance) but all the reasons for not having a 2nd child are about you - obviously considering the impact on your family (including you) is justified but saying it would impact on your holidays and babysitter etc isn't (only in my view) as important as your DS growing up without a sibling. I'm a twin and I have twins so I have no concept whatsoever of an only one, but I can't imagine going through life without that person.

plinkyplinkyplink Thu 11-Apr-13 22:39:34

I always thought I'd have at least two, but I'm very, very glad that I stayed with just one. She's now six and I've never ever had the urge to have more.

Having 'only' one is great in terms of:
* we have so much time to dedicate to DD. Her homework is always checked thoroughly; we can spend a lot of time on her particular interests.
* DD's very good at entertaining herself and seems to be able to spend longer reading or playing alone that most other DC we know. She also seems really content and happy.
* house and home is SO calm and tidy and clean etc, than friends who have more than one (and are clean people - it's just harder with more toys etc about the place)
* more money for everyone in the family - holidays, days out etc aren't a big issue despite the fact that we're not particularly high earners.
* more 'head space' for DH and me. We feel completely on top of looking after DD, and don't feel 'run ragged' like many of my friends seem to.

The down side is that friends always presume that we're happy to look after their DC as we have 'only' one child. So, DD lives in a whirl of playdates, but sometimes it's too much for all of us!

AnythingNotEverything Thu 11-Apr-13 22:40:54

I'd advise you to think about the longer term. I can see your happy with your set up now and naturally probably uneasy about going back to birth and sleepless nights!

I currently have 1 ds who is 13. He's lovely and I wouldn't change him for the world, but I often dream of a sibling for him! He needs a lot of entertaining, he doesn't play on his own when we're on holiday, that sort of thing.

Exhaustipated Thu 11-Apr-13 22:42:56

Agree with others you should wait until you feel ready (if ever). I say this because the truth is, for myself and everyone I know, two children (particularly with a smallish gap) are very hard work. Especially before you get to the golden point where they'll play together (I'm not there yet)!

I love having two children, but I was very unsure about it for a good while. I gradually got more broody and then when DS turned two I suddenly felt completely ready. Despite the hard work, I really wouldn't change it for all the world. I love my second baby so much, I could gush on and on but I think I'll stop now!

I think you'll know when/if the time is right for your family.

PickledInAPearTree Thu 11-Apr-13 22:43:54

It's nice to see people saying it gets easier as its hard going right now...

DiscoDonkey Thu 11-Apr-13 22:44:20

I love my two beyond measure but it is a fact that I was a better mum when I just had one. If I am out with just one of them or one is at a sleep over it all just seems so much easier.

I agree with 2boys. I some how feel I have lost ds1's toddler years, I genuinely feel really sad if I look at photo's of him when he was 2 or 3 because it was all a stressful blur.

DiscoDonkey Thu 11-Apr-13 22:45:31

It does get easier pickled, it really does. I found the adjustment from one to two so hard.

Floggingmolly Thu 11-Apr-13 22:49:11

Of course it's about her, Mandy hmm. She's the one responsible for the child for the next 18 years and beyond; having another baby to provide your existing child / children with siblings is sheer lunacy.

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 11-Apr-13 22:50:26

One is no doubt easier in the short term. Dd2 was very challenging - reflux, sleepless nights, tantrums, constant crying. We were worn out and frazzled for about three years. We call it 'the bad old days'. But she is soooo adorable and I am totally in love with her and can't imagine our family without her in it. dd1 adores her and always has - she has a relationship which is all hers.

Friends who have only children seem to have more cash and time. But now their children are older they constantly need to find other friends for them to play with, take on holiday etc. for me this would be hell.

Mandy21 Thu 11-Apr-13 22:54:16

Floggingmolly I think thats whats called twisting my words hmm

plinkyplinkyplink Thu 11-Apr-13 23:02:13

I think it must depend on the child. My 'only' doesn't need entertaining - she's very happy and amuses herself well. She's very confident in making new friends and does so easily. It's a relief because she doesn't have a sibling, and holidays have always been so easy just having one. I see other parents having to referee between siblings.

Some children are suited to being only children, some are better with siblings I suppose!

rowtunda Thu 11-Apr-13 23:05:54

Flogging Molly - actually having another child to provide you existing child with a sibling is a very obvious reason to have another one. I've got DS and currently pregnant, i don't think I'm the world best mother really struggled with the transition from being wealthy, young, thin and carefree to motherhood and on multiple occasion regretted it secretly to myself. Now DS is 18 months and its hard work but I do love it. We started TCC another solely so DS would have a sibling - it was a driving force consideration for me.

I think having a sibling is great for the child and also at the end if the day make things a tad easier when they are at that playing together stage and there is no relationship like a sibling relationship (I hope they get on!)

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 11-Apr-13 23:08:59

Siblings are also important when you are older too - I love the relationship I have with my brother now. Only he can truly relate to huge parts of my life and I can only really talk to him openly about my parents.

plinkyplinkyplink Thu 11-Apr-13 23:10:37

I wonder if our own experiences have an impact on this. I'm one of three (older brother, younger sister) and it was one long torturous row! Even in adulthood it's a big, fat strain. My parents were always refereeing and therefore arguing with each other too. So, I always presumed I'd have more than one, but because of my pain in the arse situation with my siblings, I think it must be nice to not have to deal with them and have to tag along to things that interested them etc, so I have just one.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 11-Apr-13 23:12:21

I have two and wanted two.

It's hard but once no.2 is here you love them as much as your eldest. Your eldest loses your exclusive attention but they gain another member of the family and it is not necessarily going to be an unending litany of sibling jealousy and rivalry. Sure, they get on each others nerves and fall out a bit, but my DD (nearly 4) genuinely adores her brother (18 mths). I can see it in her eyes how proud she is when he does something new and how delighted when he does something funny. She loves being a little team with him. She thinks she is going to marry him when she grows up!

And for the younger child, there is a whole extra family figure there for them. I remember with my eldest how hard it was to get anything done, as there was only me to provide attention. My DS is generally happy to potter around if his sister is also about, and leaves me much more free than she did to get on with things.

It is much harder work though! smile And going from a family of 3 to 4 is definitely a transition. All the relationships re-jig a bit. Previously you and your DH could together dote on your eldest. After, it tends to be DH deals with the eldest and you deal with the baby. You can feel like ships in the night sometimes. Your eldest has to accept coming second to the baby sometimes. And the logistics of everything get a bit more complex.

But it all soon settles down and you couldn't imagine only being 3 of you. Your baby soon develops a big personality and his or her own place in the family.

Your DS is still quite young so its possible you still feel that he is your baby; once he is getting on to school age, that you might feel differently But if not, no problem!

mybelovedmonster Thu 11-Apr-13 23:12:25

Will you ever regret not having a second? If you will, then you probably have your answer.

I personally couldnt have had 2 close together, I just wasn't ready and didn't have it in me. We'll have a 6 year age gap now which does seem a bit daunting and scary, it'll be hard work, but I know I won't regret it.

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