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can you love more than one child?

(30 Posts)
nobodysawmedoit Thu 26-Dec-13 22:12:47

Ok, I know it sounds weird, but I'm afraid that if there's a DC2 I won't have enough time / love / emotional energy to split between them both (plus DH), and either DC2 won't get enough love and be neglected, or I'll feel like I've damaged my relationship with DS1. I know most people have more than one child and they all manage, but is it really REALLY possible to love them both and not feel like something has had to suffer as a result? I am truly mentallly in love with my DS1 and I can't imagine being able to feel that about more than one little person!!!
The background to all this is but this is I got pregnant with DS very quickly after DH and I got married. We were a very close couple, very in love, and excited about baby. But when DS1 was born I had terrible - T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E - PND and it was mostly because I felt he had "ruined" our relationship as a couple. I couldn't cope with the lack of time for us as a couple, the stress, the constant demands from this new person, etc. Basically, I just couldn't cope with two lovely people in my life!
Once I got over the PND things got much better and I adore DS with absolute insanity. RElationship with DH is very good but nothing like when we were first married because there just isn't enough time to devote to keeping our relationship strong (sex? evening out? relaxation? What's that?). I'm terrified of doing anything that would "ruin" my relationship with DS1, I could never forgive myself.
Sorry this is a bit long, it's hard to explain in a rational way.

TheGreatHunt Thu 26-Dec-13 22:15:46

Yes. Yes yes yes! I have two and love them more than anything.

You do need to make time for your relationship with DH if you can. At times I felt like i couldn't give DH more of me as the two DC took it all but thats fading as my youngest gets older and more independent. I now focus more on me and DH too.

mousmous Thu 26-Dec-13 22:19:11

yes, absolutely possible.
it is possible to keep loving dh/dp and any children there might be. yes timewise it is always a compromise, but there is definitly enough love for everyone wink
maybe you should talk to your gp if you are feeling low and overwhelmed?

SamU2 Thu 26-Dec-13 22:21:35

Well, I have five and I love them all.

It is a common fear for sure. Remember, love just grows, you can never love too many people and you always have enough to go around smile

Worriedthistimearound Thu 26-Dec-13 22:21:45

Well, there are two issues here. Firstly, your relationship with your DH and secondly, whether you could live another child.

First, lets deal with the easy one; you would absolutely love another child just as much. They bring the love with them. They just do so no amount of love needs to be taken from your DS.
The second issue as to whether it would adversely affect your relationship with your DH is more complex. It almost certainly would as having two small children can be very stressful. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't do it as it's a temporary state which you come through together and which hopefully makes you stronger.

TheBuskersDog Thu 26-Dec-13 22:22:00

As you said yourself many people have more than one child, do you think they are all regretting having a second, third etc. Some things are finite like time, money, energy but love is not and your love for one child does not take away from another.

nobodysawmedoit Thu 26-Dec-13 22:26:06

That sounds like a pretty unanimous answer! I know it must be possible, I just can't see how it would work. Maybe I phrased the question badly - I know I would love a DC2 just as much as DS1, but in the same way I feel my relationship with DH suffers because we don't have enough time for each other I'm afraid that DS1 (and 2) would suffer if I had to split my time even further between them. I imagine a scenario like both of them crying about something and I'll only be able to comfort one at a time, so somebody gets left out. I know this sounds so stupid when I write it but it really worries me. I don't want any child of mine to grow up feeling unloved because their sibling takes up too much of Mummy's time (oooh, what a backstory that comment has....)

Mrswellyboot Thu 26-Dec-13 22:27:13

This is a beautiful poem about having a second child I read a whole back

www.bellybelly.com.au/baby/loving-two-children#.UryszMsgGSM

NachoAddict Thu 26-Dec-13 22:27:26

I had the same worries when I was pregnant with dc2. I was terrified I wouldn't love her. Love grows and I love them both plus dc3. The love is addictive infact, I would love more.

RubyrooUK Thu 26-Dec-13 22:30:59

I have found it exceptionally easy to love DS2. In fact, I started with directly the opposite thought to you: "God, I love DS1 so much. How could I NOT want another?"

The way I thought of it when DS2 was born was like meeting the love of your life again. With DS1, our love is three years old and so it is very deep; with DS2, it was a new love and infatuating. Over time, I'm graduating to the same sort of love for both.

I never think I've ruined DS1's life. Yes, sometimes he is competitive or clingy. Sometimes he wants to be a baby too. But he also adores his little brother and they already play together (DS2 is 9mo). It is beautiful to watch DS1 be so nurturing. And we still do lots of special things together - today we danced in the kitchen until he was giggling so much he almost wet himself.

And my DS2 is the most stunningly beautiful, sunny child to ever walk the planet. The complete opposite so far from his quirky, emotional brother, but just as surprising and wonderful.

The only thing is that the logistics of having two children have definitely taken their toll on mine and DH's relationship. We have so little time for it between work and the children - that's really hard. Hopefully it will improve as DS2 gets older and sleeps more though. At the moment, it feels like romance is a long forgotten thing.

FreakinAllAboutSugar Thu 26-Dec-13 22:32:12

YES, you will love them equally but will relate to each DC in a different way as their little personalities become more apparent.

I adore both my boys to distraction - DS1 is 9 and has been very good about me being less physically available during the tiny baby nursing-round-the-clock stage. It's been amazing seeing a new side of him, he's so loving and protective of his brother.

Also, please be assured that it doesn't follow that you will have PND with any subsequent DC, just because you had it with your first. I had it after DS1 and worried about it recurring when I was expecting DS2. I discussed it with my GP, HV etc and all were very supportive but as it turned out, the PND never came back.

Primrose123 Thu 26-Dec-13 22:34:28

I felt that I wouldn't be able to love my second child as much as my first, but I did, as soon as she was born.

My second baby was born by a planned c section and the few days before the birth I felt terribly guilty, as if I was betraying my first child. I blame the hormones, as I was fine after she was born!

FreakinAllAboutSugar Thu 26-Dec-13 22:36:59

Rubyroo, you could be me!

nobodysawmedoit Thu 26-Dec-13 22:38:04

It's really interesting reading what everyone says (and the poem - thanks). What I hadn't realised before, but what seems obvious now, is that what underlies my fears is the experience both me and DH had growing up. We're both the younger of two siblings, both of them are very difficult people (borderline personality disorder) and we never got on with them at all. As adults we're both essentially estranged from our siblings. So the idea of having two children who get along, enjoy each other's company, play together, LOVE each other etc is just completely alien to me. I never even thought of that as a possibility. Inshallah, we will have two (or more!) and they will have the strong loving relationship that DH and I never had with our own siblings.
As for relationship with DH, I'm still a bit worried. We do have a good relationship, it's strong, we're a great team. But we've only had sex about 7 times in the two years since DS1 was born. I know all new parents are knackered but I think that can't be normal, can it? It's like we're both dead from the waist down these days. I cannot muster up the enthusiasm for it and neither can DH... sadconfused

tiamariaxxx Thu 26-Dec-13 22:48:01

Yes course you can. It just comes naturally take it from a mother of 4 smile

flatmum Thu 26-Dec-13 22:48:53

Of course you can! I love three! The way you are feeling is entirely normal though.

mousmous Thu 26-Dec-13 23:01:19

sex is not the only thing that makes a great relationship!
yes relationship is 'work', it's about sharing and pulling together and talking and respecting each other. if you don't feel like sex it's fine, too. sometimes just sitting down together and talking is just as intense.

FreakinAllAboutSugar Thu 26-Dec-13 23:03:36

Perfectly normal, worry not!

FlatsInDagenham Thu 26-Dec-13 23:04:19

I had exactly the same worries while pregnant with DC2.

And I must be honest - it is much harder to maintain the same intensity of relationship with DD1 now that DC2 needs so much of my attention. I sometimes miss the way things used to be between us and how much more time I was able to focus just on her.

Yet at the same time, DD1 is growing up and becoming more independent in so many ways - for example, she chooses to play by herself in her room sometimes, something she would never have done as a 3yo (age when I was pg) but now as a 5yo she would have probably been doing this whether her sister had been born or not.

Having said all that, DD1 and I are still incredibly close. She tells me she loves me about 10 times a day, we hug all the time, we read stories together while DH puts DD2 to bed. We bake, craft, walk, etc with DD2 in tow. She is sunny and happy. And best of all, she absolutely dotes on her little sister, who adores her in return. Watching them playing and nuturing a lovely relationship together is one of the greatest pleasures of my life. DD1 has often thanked me for giving her a little sister. It has certainly highlighted new aspects of her personality to us - DD1 is nurturing, caring, protective, inventive in play, funny and incredibly selfless when it comes to DD1. She is also just as proud of DD2's latest achievements as we are and constantly shows her off to other people!

In short, while we all had to make adjustments, DD1's life has been massively enhanced by the arrival of her sister - as have mine and DH's.

As for our marriage, we have accepted that we are in a temporary phase of our life together in which our own romantic life has to take a back seat. We're both ok with that because the pay off is our beautiful family. And the rare occassions that DH and I get to go out together without the DC are all the more appreciated and enjoyed for their rarity.

I wouldn't change it.

MoreThanChristmasCrackers Thu 26-Dec-13 23:10:38

I have enough love for dh and all 3 dc and love them all as much as each other.
To me you love what comes along. All the dc and dh have different flaws and talents varying personalities, it isn't a competition.
Sometimes one person will need more from you, such as time or sympathy etc, but it evens itself out.
Personally, I didn't think it right that our relationship should come second to the dc, and we have been together for 25 years now.

Mumsyblouse Thu 26-Dec-13 23:14:26

You can easily fall in love with a second child, but you can't ensure they will love and adore their sibling in later life. You can hope they do, but it isn't guaranteed at all- as you and your husband's experience have shown.

But that isn't a good reason to not have another child if you want one, they may get on very well and there are lots of pluses for me anyway of having two children close in age, not least that they play together a lot.

As for your relationship with your husband, you will reconnect at different points in the marriage and almost fall in love again. But undoubtedly having more children is tiring and prolongs the baby stage.

If the only thing holding you back is that you are worried you won't love another child, you will, if time with your husband is more important, then having one child may work better for you- I have friend with one child and they definitely have a more adult lifestyle (e.g. holidays late nights, socialise more) than say those with three or four. You have to do what suits your family.

bunnymother Thu 26-Dec-13 23:27:17

I'm completely in love with my 3 DDs. They are each my favourite, in their own special little ways.

God, I'm going to have this post deleted - it's too saccharine for words!

ChristmasCareeristBitchNigel Fri 27-Dec-13 01:07:15

It's not compulsory to have two children, OP. I have absolutely no desire to have another child, neither does DH - i hardly have the patience for one, let alone two.

If you don't want another you can be perfectly complete as a threesome. I'm an only and i don't feel as if i missed out on anything. I never wanted siblings growing up either, mainly i was glad i didn't have any.

nooka Fri 27-Dec-13 01:19:21

My children were almost too close together to remember only having ds, and dd was an accident so we didn't get to worry too much before conceiving. Although my two are very close and I love having them both I've plenty of friends with an only who are also very happy. Different dynamics, but then every family ticks in their own way.

I'd echo everyone else and say that your fear is quite common and also unfounded. It's pretty unusual not to bond with more than one child with no ill effect on the others, and there are plenty of plus points for children who get along (and most children do).

I think that this is very different to the effect on your relationship (also common) where it takes work, patience and time to regain (or deepen) your couple relationship when you have small children just because having small children is physically and emotionally demanding and it's easy to turn away from each other for a while.

SpikeHairandFab Fri 27-Dec-13 01:40:56

Have no power to read all thread,as I am toooooooo merry from jack daniels,but I can tell you it is absolutely possible ,whe I have my first I was pretty sure that I can't love anyone else as much as him,then I got pregnant and I was worrying through whole pregnancy that I wont be having that unconditional love for my newborn ,but in this nanosecond I set my eyes on her I knew that I love her just as much;if not more. Then I fell pregnant again when she was 18 months ,unplanned,and I can still remember sitting by her cot and crying my eyes out because I thought I am so cruel to bring new life to our world ,while she still was a such small child,and then I gave birth to my third baby ,had terrible PND,couldn't bond with her at all,my doc and my husband helped me to get through it,and the medicines cured me and I started to have feelings for my baby,now she is 15 months,and I never been happier in my life,I love them all so much ,every single day I am amazed how much love one human being can have. Cant imagine my life without any of them. They are my world. Hope it all made sense.off to sleep now,they will ne uo very early ,ready for my kisses and love and everything I can give them and bit more x

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Fri 27-Dec-13 01:46:49

Yes! Absolutely yes! I have 3 DC, and worried this immensely whilst pregnant with DC2 fgrin.

I thought I couldn't possibly love another human being in the way I love DS1, but I was wrong. It's not so much a case of 'sharing' DC1's love, more a case of extra love growing grin.

AlaskaNebraska Fri 27-Dec-13 01:47:59

No. Only one
rolls eyes

Weegiemum Fri 27-Dec-13 02:45:33

I have 3 - and I love them all. It was very hard work when they were small (when dd2 was born, ds was just under 22 months, and dd1 was 3y10m - so I had 3 under 4!). The love just expands and grows (even through PND that had me seeing a psychiatrist).

Have to say though, OP, I'm quite amazed that both you and dh have older siblings diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder! As I have it myself, I know just what a struggle it is to be taken seriously and get an official diagnosis, because it's a very specialised field. Just saying!

TheGreatHunt Fri 27-Dec-13 07:13:47

Yes there will be times when one cries and the other one has to wait. However I'm not sure that's a bad thing - helps you to learn patience etc. If anything, the youngest might get more attention as the "baby".

I have several siblings but grew up with my brother who was 18 months younger. It was awesome having someone to play with and grow up with. Also as an adult, I love having someone who shared my childhood with. My DH who has 3 siblings is similar. Hence us having more than one. However if you didn't have a positive experience with siblings, then I can see why people stick with one.

I should name change for this, but, don't know how.

I have 2, and while when she was born I loved dd2 instantly, I find it very hard. Sometimes I'm not sure I love her as much as dd1 and my parenting has suffered. I'm a worse parent to two than I was onesad But, the thing that makes me happiest in the world is how much dd1 and dd 2 love each other. From the day she was born dd1 has adored dd2- they are now best friends, they.play together, comfort each other, are do delightful and lovely to witness, that it's unquestionably worth it. Atm I feel like having dd2 was the best gift I could ever have given dd1- a friend. Despite my struggles I wouldn't change for anything.

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