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.


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


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.

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 11-Apr-13 23:14:55

Yeah I guess we are all different. Maybe we argued lots too and I am being rose tinted about it now!!! I just know that I love that my little girls have each other and always will.

Piemother Thu 11-Apr-13 23:19:18

I have two and I'm now a lone parent so I'm even more challenged. I haven't looked back since dd2. When she was born it was a scary challenge. Then for a bit I felt frustrated and guilty that dd1 didn't have all my attention but then dd2 got to 5 months and they started to play together and it's all been worth it. Dd2 is enchanted with everything dd1 does (there are 3 years between them) and now dd1 has adjusted she makes a huge effort and is very loving toward dd1.
Don't forget you will be a much more confident parent second time around - its not like starting from scratch again grin

Andro Thu 11-Apr-13 23:20:58

Siblings are also important when you are older too

Really? 19 years down the line I have yet to find a single positive about either of my twin brothers. I don't like them, I certainly don't love them, they still think it's hilarious to dope my food with cheese (I'm severely allergic) and my dc are kept away from them because I don't trust them at all.

I had a great life as a solo until they were born, after they were born I was sent away and my relationship with my mother took 10 years+ to repair. Having siblings isn't always good!

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 11-Apr-13 23:24:07

We can't predict how relationships will work out - that's true.

prettymum Thu 11-Apr-13 23:24:50

I have 2 dc, dd 8yr and ds 6yr and I am really glad that I had 2 because they get on very well together when they're not bickering and always have someone to play with.

I found it so much easier with ds and as I am very into routines, he fit just right in and once he got to crawling stage, the mischief started with dd leading the way.

Startail Thu 11-Apr-13 23:30:25

I have two DDs and yes if foods involved I wish I only had DD1. Considering if DD2 will eat anything you cook or any meal out is very very wearing.

The rest of the time I love having the two of them. They are as different as chalk and cheese and yet play together pretty well. As they get older they do elaborate hair styles and share their love of Twlight.

We live in the middle of nowhere so I'd have to do a huge amount of child entertaining and play date organising if they didn't have each other. Also I'm far happier letting two of them out in the garden together as hopefully both won't fall of the trampoline or climbing frame at the same time. Likewise they go cycling to the shop together (they are 12&15).

Apart from the practicalities they simply complement each other in so many ways.
DD1 was born in hospital and FF. DD2 born at home and BF forever.
DD1 is dyslexic and DD2 absolutely isn't she's corrected my spelling since she was 8.
DD1 refuses to be a teen, she sees zero point in being rebellious.
DD2 does friends and peer group and fashion and no doubt will do teen angst.

I could go on. No I couldn't imagine having one without the other.
When I was feeling a bad Mother because DD1 had no friends and was getting bullied. DD2 would reel off the 101 people she'd played with at break. When DD2 is being stroppy DD1 gives me a look and we'd end up in fits of giggles. While DD1 was an exhausting toddler who messed with everything and ran of all the time, DD2 played with toys and held hands.

Ok ok I'll stop, but you get the idea.

Iwaswatchingthat Thu 11-Apr-13 23:34:49

Star tail - exactly!!! Great post.

Bellebelle Thu 11-Apr-13 23:49:59

My main motivation to have a second child was to give DD1 a sibling and I don't think that's lunacy at all. I was quite happy to have another but knew that I would have been satisfied sticking with one child. It was wanting to give DD1 someone to share her childhood (and beyond) with that made me have a second.

Mine are now 4 and 7, the early years are hard but worth it in the long run IME. One of my favourite things in the world is when one of them makes the other laugh. The bicker and play together in equal measure and its fine, just part of family life. I can't imagine not having two and while I think DD1 would probably have been quite happy as an only child I don't think she's suffered from lack of attention at any point.

Our holiday last year was amazing as they played so well together. I read books! On a sun lounger! On a beach! DH and I couldn't believe that we'd finally reached the point if not being needed every minute of the day - "now that's why we had two" became our catchphrase for the holiday grin

atrcts Fri 12-Apr-13 00:03:32

My husband and I were horrified at the idea of having a second because or first son was such hard work! now that he's out of he terrible two's and potty trained etc, he's much easier to handle, and so we've felt ready for our second.

Someone once told me that if you don't have your own second child then you spend your time looking after someone else's (to entertain you only child), which is a bigger headache to have to organise practically, much less deal with different house rules etc.

Our son is just starting to become quite bossy and self absorbed, despite our efforts to prevent a spoilt child. I think sharing his parents with his new sibling will be healthy for him, even though I'm sure it will be an adjustment for him (all of us, actually!).

I agree with the poster who say its harder work now but pays off later.

RubyrooUK Fri 12-Apr-13 00:32:31

I think whoever said you view it through your own experience is probably right.

I love having a brother as an adult. I don't think we are especially close as we are very different and sadly live very far away, but I love him and like having someone to share my family memories with and someone who just "gets" certain things.

My step sister, however, has stuck with one child for many of the reasons mentioned in the OP. She is very happy with that decision and feels the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. She was an only child till adulthood and liked it.

You can't predict how your children will get on in future so I guess you just hope for the best.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 12-Apr-13 02:49:18

How many children you have and what your ideal gap is is a very personal thing, and I'm not sure anyone can ever answer the question for you.

From my personal experience, I decided that two fairly close together was the way forward (DS is 2.7, DD is 8mo). This is probably because

- my sister and I are 15mo apart and whilst we did (and still do) get on each other's nerves, we played together a lot as children and as an adult I really appreciate our shared perspective on things that happened in our childhood.

- I didnt think DS would make a good only when we were TTC DD. Now he's older, he plays by himself really well in the house, but when out and about (parks etc) not so much. On balance I think he would be happier with a sibling as he does naturally gravitate towards other kids where available- he would definitely be the kid that ALWAYS wanted to take a friend on holiday or we would always have to go places where there would be a guaranteed source of playmates for him.

- More than two is (for me) too many in terms of both time and cash. I work and I think the time left over split three ways would be too little, especially if any of them needed a lot of parental input. I'm also keen to encourage extra-curricular interests and that takes time and money.

So, all that said, the points you make in your OP are completely valid. Especially when the second one is very young, you go back to being quite restricted. We were at the park on Sunday and DS was off on his scooter, and we'd be sitting reading the papers were it not for DD being at that annoying stage when they want to be mobile but can't walk so wriggle all the time grin I totally forgot the PITA that is the combo of crawler and wet ground. Also- you are right- there are more people prepared to take one child for the evening/day than two.

YoniSingWhenYoureWinning Fri 12-Apr-13 02:59:20

It really depends if you feel your child is missing out if they don't have a sibling. For me I felt we had to have a second because the sibling relationship is too important not to have experienced and we have no regrets.

I have two, wanted two, and am a third of three myself. My sibling relationships have been a great source of pleasure for me (almost) all my life, and I watched DS 1 totter after his cousins aged 1, or always gravitate towards other children, and knew a second was right for us.
DS 2 is three months old and a much easier baby than or first so far, plus some aspects of the newborn phase (for me breastfeeding and soothing to sleep) just deemed second nature to both of us this time. Less stress about having to learn everything, but more stress in that its hard to take them both somewhere complicated without two adults. I can take my nearly three year old to the park with three baby in a sling, for example, but a supermarket our restaurant is out of the question.

It is lovely watching them interact. DS 1 likes telling everyone he is a big brother, likes being able to make the baby laugh. The baby only has eyes for his brother and will sit in his bouncy chair watching rapt as DS 1 builds towers or bounces on his trampoline.

We are in the early phase and shattered all the time, but I don't have any regrets so far. I think having a brother is a gift I have given them both. That said, we are poorer and tireder and less mobile, not really a bad trade off if you are certain, but not to be overlooked.

Should add, if you'd asked 'had a child and ever wished you'd had none?' I would probably say yesgrin

you give up more freedom and leisure moving from none to one, imho. I have enjoyed my second baby because he came without all the angst of 'my freedom is gone, I'll never go backpacking again' which hit me with my first. I'm already a Mum, so have come to terms with that great life shift .
Doesn't mean I don't long for a long weekend in Paris without our children grin

Guitargirl Fri 12-Apr-13 08:10:50

Only you and your DH will know if you want a second child or not but I agree that it can be helpful to hear the experiences of others. I started a thread last week about the transition of going from 2 to 3 as we are undecided.

I am an only child and I always knew that I did not want an only. My mum issued dire warnings to me about sibling rivalry, fights, jealousy, etc. but I was adamant that I wanted a sibling for DD.

Our two are now aged 6 and 4 and are the best of pals. Am not denying that the first year was very hard. With the first baby when the baby sleeps you can sleep, with the second when the baby sleeps I ran myself absolutely ragged trying to spend time with the eldest so she had 1-1 time with me. I was breastfeeding but as soon as the baby would go reliably for 2 hours between feeds I used to leave him with DP and take DD out to a cafe just the two of us.

Now they play together beautifully and really look out for each other. I watch them cuddled up together with DD reading DS a story and it's lovely. Am just hoping it lasts!!

OP we've decided to stick with one for about the same reasons as you. I did have a wobble about it last year but am really glad we're staying with one, DS is 3 now and life is really good. We get plenty of sleep, we can go out once a week, we have loads of time for DS and feel like we can give him a good life despite not having much money.

I agree with plinky that it depends a lot on your child as well -- DS is a very happy, sweet boy who likes to amuse himself for ages, so I've never felt tempted to have another child so that he'll have someone to play with or anything like that.

I'm an only child myself -- it's no big deal. There's no guarantee siblings will get along throughout life anyway. My mum's two brothers are drug addicts who have been leeching off her for thirty years now, I'm sure she wishes she were an only child quite a lot.

Branleuse Fri 12-Apr-13 08:55:35

I have 3 and wish I'd stuck at 1, although I do live them all obviously. having 3 children has cost my mental health more than I could have predicted

SoYoFromKokomo Fri 12-Apr-13 09:01:05

I'm an only child & sometimes when I was young I wished for a sibling (but I was lucky to be very close to my cousins) but I have always had an still had an incredibly close relationship with my wonderful parents & feel I had a very lucky upbringing. We never had bags of money but I was spoilt in terms of time spent & attention. I also think it helped me learn independence and how to amuse myself and spend time alone without being bored an also confidence as I spent a lot of time in adult environments.

I think I probably want 2 children as does DH (who has siblings but isn't close to them) but I certainly wouldn't be concerned my child would be disadvantaged if she was an only.

MorrisZapp Fri 12-Apr-13 09:09:53

I don't think anybody should have any baby they don't definitely, positively want to have. The default is, don't have one. So going from your op, I'd say stop at one.

We have DS, he's a wee only, and it works for us. I look at people with more than one child and wonder what drugs they must be on to get them through the day. (I'm on sertraline, but coming off it slowly).

All this playing together stuff sounds lovely, but the practicalities of two kids is basically doubling costs of everything, including help with university etc later on.

I'm an older mum and I'm desperate to get some of my life back, so i love it when ds makes progress. I don't get sentimental about the baby stage, frankly I hated it and could never go through it again. Ds is fab now, why drop a bomb into our lives?

Of course its a very personal decision. Only you know what you can cope with and afford etc. but I've found that the general advice on having kids ie ' oh you'll be fine! Kids are great! I love mine to bits!' Etc is unhelpful. For me, coping with a baby wasn't fine, I wasn't ok, and I didn't love it. Also re money 'oh you'll manage!'. Well yes, you won't starve. But it is so expensive having a family, and unless you have a money tree in your garden you are going to have to make big compromises. Worrying about money is horrible, I grew up poor and I don't recommend it.

Sorry, that was a bit of a diatribe wasn't it. Obviously very personal about my own situation. Good luck either way op smile

KLou111 Fri 12-Apr-13 09:13:34

Wow, thank you for sharing your stories.
I don't think I would ever regret not having 2 if we decided to stick with our DS as an only. He is just utterly perfect and love the time we have together which I would miss extremely if another baby came into the picture (at the moment).
With regards having another child to give him a sibling, I don't think personally that is enough reason to have another child.
I would want another child for myself as much or more than giving him a brother or sister. The same way how much I wanted my first child. I would hate the thought that my parents only had me to give my brother a play mate!

I am one of 3 (2 older brothers, 6 and 9 years older), and I can't stand either of them, I wish I'd been an only child, and in some respects I was. My DH on the other hand has a brother 2.3 years older and they are the best of friends, and it's so lovely seeing them together.

I know for a fact that my DS would make a fantastic brother. We have a springer spaniel who is only 6 months older, and they are like 2 peas in a pod and happily entertain each other all day. And when we go to playgroups, the park etc he has a whale of a time playing with other children. I'm just not sure if we or he could handle it full time.

KLou111 Fri 12-Apr-13 09:16:18

Must add too. It's not as if we don't have the time at home. We are landlords, own property and don't 'work' as such, so we have all the time in the world for DS. Also knowing he would never potentially have to work is a very comforting fact smile
But sharing our time with the addition of a baby and knowing how demanding they are is what puts us off, even if just for a year or so.

Does your DH's brother have kids? I know cousins aren't the same as siblings, but they can fill some of that family role as well. I'm very close to one of my cousins who was also an only.

I think I really know what you mean, I just feel like everything is so nice right now and I don't want to risk 'breaking it'.

I have two and wanted two. They are very close together in age.

Oh, if I had stuck at one, then I would not have heard DD say to DS last night, and honestly, completely unprompted:

"I have the very best brother in the whole wide world".

They are the best of friends, and sparring partners, and they bring so much to each other's lives that we as parents just could not bring. They have a very very special relationship. That is not guaranteed of course, there are plenty of siblings who fight constantly.

I was terrified I would not love DD as much as I loved DS, but my heart bursts equally every time I see either of them, about 50 times a day!!!

20wkbaby Fri 12-Apr-13 09:26:26

I find it much easier when I only have one of them at a time - 2 DDS (5 and 18mo) but I never regret having DD2. I truly believe that the good far outweighs the bad and I did have to steel myself to start the new baby thing again. What was really hard was when DD2 was a newborn, DD1 was needing more attention for reassurance and DD2 just wanted to be held all the time and was breastfeeding on demand.

After that I have to remind myself that things are getting better every day although the problems never really go away they just turn into new problems. This is true of only one child.

My sister has an only child and has chosen to have no more after almost 5 years of saying she wants to be pg by x date. I truly believe she will regret not having another but I suspect her DH was totally opposed due to the trauma of 1st birth.

Cravingdairy Fri 12-Apr-13 09:33:52

If I have a second I would hope it would be because I wanted another to love and cherish. I find the idea of having another principally for the benefit of my first a little unsettling. It seems to set up a little hierarchy of importance even before the secind is born.

I am very close in age to my sister and we have always been close - great. My mum however, had a tough time. I think as we got more independent she distanced herself a little bit almost to compensate for how intense it was in our early years. I get on fine with her but we aren't close and I felt a lot of resentment growing up which I am starting to recognise and deal with.

The parents' welfare is too important to dismiss as self centred.

I agree with everything MorrisZapp just wrote, btw. Money, getting my life back etc are skill my reasons for not having three, like both of my siblings and lots of my friends have.
The default is always, surely, to never have a baby you don't desperately long for. I knew after my first I wanted another, I'm equally certain after two that I'm FINISHED having babies! grin

Blackcurrants - I am so with you, I knew I definitely wanted to try and have a second, and after that, there was absolutely no question. We were done with the babymaking!!! Have never ever even contemplated a third. It just felt "right" and was what we both agreed on too, luckily!

mistlethrush Fri 12-Apr-13 09:54:59

I wanted two - but we have just one. There is no doubt that DS would have made a wonderful older brother. However, he also makes a charming only son. He is very gregarious - if we have a holiday down on the south coast, he will find other children to play with very easily and happily spend the day playing with them.

I was an only child and never missed not having a sibling - I enjoyed far more of my parents' attention than I would have, and had more advantages in many ways. I am the only one there for my parents, it is true, but MiL is currently ill and BiL is about as much help as a wet blanket and so everything is resting on DH (and me) in any case.

KLou111 Fri 12-Apr-13 10:07:14

No, our DS is an only, only of everything. Neither of my brothers have kids noone would have the obnoxious arses nor does my BIL, they have been trying for 5 years, but nothing sad

foryonisonly Fri 12-Apr-13 19:13:21

Gosh i am really surprised at these answers. Doesn't every parent of 1 have that feeling that they could never love anyone like dc1 BUT then go on to love dc2 (and more) in equal measure? I have 3 and yes it needs a lot of planning and organising and doesn't give a lot of "me" or "we" time but I have never regretted it for a nano second (and I am not a naturally maternal person either - I am only keen on my own dcs, not children in general). The house certainly gets tidied more than with one
child but our home remains clean and show homey. Its really not all doom and gloom!

Coconutty Fri 12-Apr-13 19:18:41

I love having 2, but when we brought DS2 back from hospital I felt totally overwhelmed. I thought I would never leave the house again.

It does get easier and things like holidays etc are so much easier as they have an instant friend to hang out with.

Catmint Fri 12-Apr-13 19:21:12

I don't think anyone with two children would wish one of them away, even if unplanned.

But only you know when your family feels complete, and that might be with one child.

We have one, by choice. Not always an easy choice, but the right one for us.


KLou111 Fri 12-Apr-13 20:10:15

I'm just so scared of the unknown I suppose. I've got my longed for little man, and now I have him, I am scared of missing anything to do with him iykwim? I don't want to miss a single thing, which I feel I would with a second child, but would I miss more not having a second if that makes sense??

A few friends that have 2 (mainly the men!) say stick with 1, wouldn't change things for the world, but just have 1.

It's not that I had a bad pregnancy, it was perfect. It's not that DS was a hard baby, he slept 7-7/8/9 from 4 months old!! It's nothing about our experiences with him that put us off, if anything it would make us want another one. But what if we get a devil child, what if it's more needy, has health problems, doesn't sleep etc etc. why mess with the perfect arrangement we have now?
I just basically wanted to know if any of you felt like that, had a second and thought oh shit, we really should have stayed with one.......

Not saying you would ever wish your second/third child(ren) weren't there, just if you could fast forward and rewind life, would you choose to go back (honestly)

ExcuseTypos Fri 12-Apr-13 20:17:41

No I don't regret having two.

I do understand what people are saying about missing having the time for the first born, but I can honestly say I've enjoyed parenting dd2 very much. I found I was much more confident with her as I'd 'done it all before'
Both DDs are amazing and I love having two children.

Backinbelfast Fri 12-Apr-13 20:19:40

I am a single mum and have two, have always been on my own with them. DS2 is 9 months old. The adjustment has been much, much harder than anticipated, I agree with the poster up-thread who "misses" DS1 now she has two. That said, their love of each other is wonderful - when the older one makes the younger laugh etc. It was particularly important for me as a single mum (for the foreseeable future!) to have two, as I just imagined a family of three feels more like a family than a family of two. That's turned out to be true, when we go out now all three of us it feels like a little family unit, rather than a very close mother-son, although that may feel like a loss to both me and DS1 in the short-term in the long run it will be a gain.

But, from what you have written OP it really sounds like your choice may be different from mine and why not?

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 12-Apr-13 20:22:29

I have 2, sometimes I really wish I had one as my house would be so much tidier, no bickering and play fighting and arguing over who sits where and whos turn it is to open the door or something equally inane. On the other hand I would also like another one just to have my house even busier and happier.

Backinbelfast Fri 12-Apr-13 20:24:41

KLou111 - just to add my experience of DS1 made me very anxious for DS2: birth of DS1 was not great at all (long long labour, emergency section), he was a very "needy"/ upset baby for the first months. And I did fear, as everyone does, health problems with DS2.

As it turned out, pregnancy was harder with DS2 but birth much easier. Baby more laid back as a newborn, though does have some medical issues which have needed hospital treatment.

Anyway, I suppose what I am saying is there are always risks with pregnancy and having children, everything is unpredictable...

christinarossetti Fri 12-Apr-13 20:30:34

I don't regret having two at all, but I sometimes look at our friends who have one (who is nearly 10 now) and think what a fabulous life they have.

They both work part-time and are devoted to their child in a way that you can't be with two as you're always split in half.

It doesn't make me wish that I only had one, but it definitely makes me think that what an only 'misses' in terms of siblings, they can have in other ways.

Allegrogirl Fri 12-Apr-13 20:52:20

It would be easier with one but it wouldn't be so much fun. My DDs are 5 and 2. DD1 says DD2 is her best friend. They adore each other. What DD1 has lost in frazzled parenting and not having our undivided attention she has gained in having a friend wherever she goes. I have a brother 8 years younger and DH is an only. We are both quite envious of what our girls have.

However we made a conscious choice to have a second and if you are happy as you are then there is nothing wrong with stopping at one child.

Timetoask Fri 12-Apr-13 20:52:52

I don't regret having two, I adore my ds2. But I always wanted 2.
If you don't want another please don't have one.

nethunsreject Fri 12-Apr-13 20:57:59

If you're not sure, then wait. We have two and it took three years to feel ready for the second. It is hard, especially when number two is a baby, but it is so wonderful to see them together. Mine are 2 and 6 now and they adore each other. It's chaos but lots of fun and there is always lots of smiles and hugs

Cheerymum Fri 12-Apr-13 21:04:53

This thread has made me nervous. 2 year old and twins on the way. Oh boy.

I have 2, was happy with 1, but had a nagging feeling that I should have 2! It has been a struggle, have bad PND this time, and I have often thought 'why the heck did I do this', but I love both my boys and really wouldn't do without them. They are polar opposites, so am hoping they will get on well together. DS1 has been very good with DS2 so far, and DS2 loves his big brother.

I'm one of four, and originally wanted four, ha ha!

"If you're not sure, then wait." - true, true, true!

And so much depends on the personality of your child. Our 'divvel chile' was DS1- high energy, never slept as a baby, still fights sleep as a nearly 3 year old - has to run/jump/climb on everything, is always getting out of my grip and making a break for the door in a shop, for example.
So, oddly enough, we laughingly told each other at least we knew what we were getting into, when we decided to go for a second.

As it happens, our second is much, much easier - but he does have health problems which are going to cost us a packet (we live in the USA, no NHS, even with insurance the bills keep coming) and that puts a stopper on lots of things, frankly.

Guitargirl Sat 13-Apr-13 09:13:10

OP - obviously I don't know you at all, all I know about you is what you have posted on this thread but from your posts it sounds as though you really would not like a second and you sound perfectly happy with having one child.

Honestly, I think you should just have confidence in your decisions and choices about what is right for you and your family without expecting a lot of strangers to justify your choice by saying that they regret having a second child.

Guitargirl Sat 13-Apr-13 09:23:32

And as you asked for honesty. No, I do not regret and have never for one second regretted having our second child. Having been an only child myself, I very much wanted a different family dynamic for our own children. I remember many days of loneliness and boredom as a child. There was a family living across the road from us who had several children and yes, they argued, but it always seemed such fun. I used to spend a lot of time hanging around there and, in hindsight, I was probably a real PITA for their parents who had this extra kid around all the time.

When I see my friends who have one child I do not have any feelings of envy of that at all. Friends of mine who have one DC tell me their children torment them all the time with questions as to why they can't have a brother or sister.

But my feelings are probably based a lot on my own experience as a child which is obviously not the same for every only child just the same as the sibling experience is not the same for everyone either. Just do what is best for you and YOUR family and you sound very happy with your family as it is.

KLou111 Sat 13-Apr-13 09:47:24

There are so many positives to 2 smile

I look at our little man and would so love to give him a sibling, he is just so bloody lovely (despite screaming at me at 12 midnight last night for no reason!)
It doesn't help now that Dh came home from a night out with his brother last night and has started saying about another baby!

I've just got to remember that another one would enhance life (or should do!!) The same way ds did smile
Maybe the best time would be around 3 when he goes to nursery so he doesn't feel so left out, and I don't feel so guilty about not spending time with him.
But I do know if or when, we will only try when we want one, not just for ds.

Guitargirl Sat 13-Apr-13 09:53:28

I bet in ten years time you will be on MN posting about your 4 DCs wink smile!

KLou111 Sat 13-Apr-13 10:28:39

Ha ha, NO! smile

bbface Sat 13-Apr-13 18:52:42

as i write this, ds1 2.7 watches toy story in pjs whilst i feed dd1 5 weeks.

It is epic, mad and crazy hard work at points but but but it is incredibly amazingly wonderful too.

My ds' life has been changed quite dramatically by dd's arrival i.e. bath time used to be solely about him. Now my attention is firmly on dd and often backdrop to bath time is dd screaming. However he seems oblivious. He is so protective and loving towards her.

The thought of one crack at experiencing the insane wonder of having a child made me absolutely certain i wanted a second. DH too.

No regrets in any shape or form. In fact it has confirmed to me that i would love a third.

MUMMYDUDE Sat 13-Apr-13 22:47:43

No one can give you the answer but I can tell you my experience. We have two. When I had my son, we kept discovering lovely new stages, the crawling stage, the walking stage, the talking stage etc. I didn't want two close together as I wanted to make sure we had time to give my son plenty of time, love and cuddles. I'd had a big brother and loved it when I was growing up and still get on really well with him. I wanted the same. We eventually decided to have a 3 year gap and tried for number 2 when my son was about 27 months old. Unfortunately, I had an ectopic pregnancy so things were delayed. One overy and a tube less later, I got pregnant again and had a lovely little girl. There are 4 years, 2 months between them. My son is the perfect big, protective brother. They play lovely together on holidays on the beach or in the swimming pool - I personally think it is easier having two as they entertain each other so much, even with the age difference. Yes it is more expensive, especially having one of each, but it is worth it.

rowtunda Sat 13-Apr-13 23:09:54

I really don't get when people worry about not having enough love for DC2 or that they won't be able to love DC2 as much. All sounds a bit melodramatic to me, maybe it's because I'm a younger sibling so I never even considered that it could be a possibility that you could love one child less or that you you wouldn't have enough time for DS1 when DC2 comes along.

Thousands of millions of parents have been able to love more than one DC - so don't over think things!

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Sun 14-Apr-13 09:03:13

row I think it's because it's hard to imagine loving an abstract child as much as the one you have - kind of like imagining what it's like to be dead or something. However, most people do make the leap of faith and discover that it's all fine (second child, not death). I did find the first few weeks of having DD tough because I "missed" DS.

changeforthebetter Sun 14-Apr-13 09:22:23

I have never regretted having a second DD - it's an impossible one to answer really. I can't imagine life without her. She is wonderful (if a proper madamwink) DD1 struggles with life and DD2 is her best friend, despite all Dd1's problems.

Logistically, it has to be easier. If your DS has cousins who are close in age and proximity that helps too.

Good luck with your decision. brew

shopafrolic Sun 14-Apr-13 09:29:41

KLou i completely get where you're coming from. I debate this in my head all the time.
I am 40, my DH is 43. I have a brother who I have an awful relationship with, my DH has a fantastic relationship with his brother.
DH is adamant that he doesn't want a second child - I am 90% sure that I don't either.
DS is fantastic. 2.5 yrs old, very happy, sociable, sleeps well, good eater. He goes to nursery 2 mornings a week which he loves, is very outgoing and sociable, happy playing on his own or with others.
At the moment we are very fortunate and can do lots of things together as a family, but DH and I can also still pursue hobbies etc.
Every now and again I think should I have a second (biological clock ticking) but since I don't know - I believe I am best not to, especially respecting DH's views. I would rather be a happy family of three, than put pressure on our relationship by having a second child that DH doesn't want. We often say that if we had met five years earlier, we'd wait until DS was 4 or so and then have another, but our age denies us that and we feel that we simply couldn't cope with two at the moment. Also, the prospect of having twins second time around is unthinkable for us (emotionally and financially).
It might sound selfish, but I think it is important to do what feels right in your gut, and I do not have a burning desire for more children. Selfish I may be, but sitting here watching DS zoom round the room on his trike with a big smile on his face, i think we'll be just fine!
Whatever you decide, make it right for your family unit.

Bumpsadaisie Sun 14-Apr-13 11:41:33

One of the arguments against having 2 is that you will "miss" part of DC1s development because you have less time. This is true. Inevitably the focus is diluted.

But (1) I think this is not necessarily a bad thing for DC1 and that actually not having the full focus of two obsessive parents (like I know we were) might actually be quite a release for them!

And (2) some very interesting and important development in DC1 is fostered by having a younger sibling. If you don't have a second, you miss that!

I don't think you can overthink it. You have to go by feelings. Do I want another baby, or not (at the moment). If not, then leave it. As your eldest grows he won't be a baby any more and he will look outside the home to peers; at that point you might start feeling broody, OP! But at 20 months, he is still your baby. No wonder you don't feel the need for another.

LapinDeBois Sun 14-Apr-13 22:35:53

Bumpsadaisie I'm glad you were brave enough to say what I was about to come on and say: that there can be downsides to being too focussed on one child. Before DS2 was born I was very much 'in love' with DS1, to the extent that I didn't really think about anything else - and looking back, I think being the receptacle of so much parental love, attention and expectation was probably quite hard for him (I was also far too over-protective and 'helicopter parenty'). I'm not saying you're like this - but I certainly was. When DS2 was born I think it was probably very hard for DS1, precisely because I'd been so obsessive about him previously - I did do the classic thing of falling out of love with DS1 for a time, which must have been difficult for him (however much I obviously tried to hide it!). But, as awful as that sounds, I'm convinced it's been good for him in the long run - he's much more confident and independent and just freer now, without me constantly hovering over him. I'm not suggesting for a moment that this would be true for everyone - but I'm a fairly obsessive/control freaky person, and it was certainly true in my case. After a relatively tricky couple of years, we're sort of falling in love again now, which has been wonderful, but this time round it's much more balanced and healthy.

The other thing I would say is, it's easy to think in terms of a mooted second child as 'another baby' rather than 'a different child' - but of course a second child will bring an entirely new personality into your family. DS2 is so utterly different from DS1 that he really adds a different dimension to our family unit and makes us feel more complete. (In our case, that's partly because DS1 is so similar to DH in every way - looks, personality, interests etc - and DS2 is far more like me.)

YoniSingWhenYoureWinning Wed 17-Apr-13 19:46:46

But (1) I think this is not necessarily a bad thing for DC1 and that actually not having the full focus of two obsessive parents (like I know we were) might actually be quite a release for them!

And (2) some very interesting and important development in DC1 is fostered by having a younger sibling. If you don't have a second, you miss that!

Yes, yes, yes and yes to both these points. I think the benefit to our DC1 from having DC2 has been immeasurable in ways I would never have even thought of. She has become so much more considerate, warm and loving. For me (and I can only speak for myself) having a sibling is the best thing that has ever happened to her.

imour Wed 17-Apr-13 22:58:30

i would of regretted having one child to be honest my two are so close , it was nice when they were small as they were ideal playmates , and its nice to know they will always have each other when im not around ,my friend has one child and he always seems bored and wants attention , like hes lonely .

rhetorician Wed 17-Apr-13 23:04:20

It is hideous when they are ill...have just barely survived dd1 (4) being in hospital for 5 nights with pneumonia, and dd2 (16 months) at home with vomiting, diarrhoea and ear infection. BUT they missed one another horribly, dd1 is so lovely (for the most part) with dd2, that I often feel a bit envious. I am an only child myself, and none the worse for it, but am delighted to see them get on. At the same time, looking after one much easier than two, but possibly not in a couple of years when they really will play together. Stick at one if that's your gut instinct, but you will get a lot of comments, not all of them kind. I have spent years being pissed off at the only child= spoiled etc assumption that so many people, wrongly, make

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 17-Apr-13 23:09:02

My daughter is 16months and to be honest there were times I regretted it (usually after repeated nights of sleep deprivation). However now we are mainly out of that stage (and I did find the first year very tough after a traumatic birth, lots of "what have I done?!") I am so so so glad we had two.

Just tonight my 4 year old and 16month old were playing together on my bed (with me sat half in it) after a bath. They were playing games of hiding under the towel, peepo, and just insanely giggling. They give each other so much joy and hearing them laugh is just wonderful. We all snuggled up together for stories and then, as we do, baby and sister have a goodnight cuddle and kiss and it is heartbreakingly cute. Yes its practically and physically quite hard at times but its been so worth it.

yellowhousewithareddoor Wed 17-Apr-13 23:10:10

Ooh just realised, rhetorician, that we have similar aged daughters smile Sounds like a tough time, hope they all feel much better soon.

rhetorician Wed 17-Apr-13 23:13:31

Clearly we do, dd1 wavs jan 09, dd2 dec '11. Was hard going, house a wreck as DP and I literally switched places about every 24 hrs. But they were so thrilled to see one another smile

yellowhousewithareddoor Thu 18-Apr-13 00:00:32

dd1 feb 09 and dd2 dec 11 here! Great age gap smile Well done for surviving it! Hope you all catch up on sleep soon too. It's very lovely to see their love for one another. My brother and I aren't particularly close and its lovely to see a sibling bond working.

wiltingfast Thu 18-Apr-13 00:09:49

God no, do not regret having no 2 at all AT ALL! 21m between my 2, first 6m were hardcore tough but just gets better and better since. I can't imagine having only 1. Is it not a bit intense? All that focus on 1?

rrreow Thu 18-Apr-13 17:10:51

I don't have a 2nd DC yet but will soon (31w pregnant). I imagine that you might wish longingly for the days of only one from a practical point of view (the same way you think longingly of the time you didn't have kids and could go to the cinema, or the time you were single and weren't accountable to anyone but yourself!). But I cannot imagine ever wishing a second (or subsequent) child away from an emotional point of view.

lydiajones Fri 19-Apr-13 17:31:59

I found it really hard at first as my DS1 was going through a really difficult stage at 2.5 years when DS2 was born. I never regretted it though and although at the time I wished I had left a bigger age gap, now I actually wish it was smaller if anything. They play together so much now and if we are out at a park or on holiday they always have each other there. They fight a lot too but the getting on bits are starting to outweigh the fighting now!!

I am actually considering a third now!

I have two. Best decision ever.

Yes it's harder to get out, it's more expensive and your relationship with dc1 changes. But they are both amazing and I love watching th grow together. You always get naysayers saying they hated their siblings. However I love mine.

Dd and ds are really growing together nicely. Ds wants his sister to play with 90% of the time. Dd looks up to her brother. They both will have different family relationships aside from parents, grandparents etc. it teaches them to share, to empathise and negotiate. Having a sibling around is great IMO.

As for loving them, I don't love one more than the other and my love for my first hasn't diminished with the arrival of my second. I see my second grow up with the experiences of my first and I appreciate it so so so much more.

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