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to think that two children just looks a bit too much like hard work?!

(138 Posts)
Bullets Mon 03-Dec-12 19:41:51

DS turned two in October and is such a lovely little boy, very kind and caring, I really enjoy his company. Six weeks in and no sign of any terrible twos yet, plus he's finally started going to bed at bedtime, staying there all night, and getting up at a reasonable hour, so he's okay with one of our mums babysitting meaning DH and I can have the odd night out.

DH and I always planned to have two kids, but are having a serious case of not-wanting-to-rock-the-boat-itus. I've recently started a new job that I'm really enjoying, three days a week, and childcare is all covered by DH and grandmas, so DS is very happy with this arrangement too, and our finances are healthy enough to start saving for a holiday. Life is good!

I feel happy, fulfilled and well-balanced.

We've just got back from a weekend staying with friends who have an 18 month old and 5 year old, and without wanting to sound too wet, it just all seemed a bit too much like hard work! The parents were arguing over who did what, the kids were fighting over their toys and which parent they wanted to do something for them. I don't think anyone was enjoying themselves!

AIBU to think that one child might be enough? For me and DH as well as for DS - is it fair on DS not to give him a brother or sister? Things got pretty rocky with DH when DS was young and not sleeping or feeding well, we're back on solid ground now but I don't know if our relationship could take it again.

Bullets Wed 05-Dec-12 15:06:07

I also think it might be easier to get on when your sibling is the same sex as you??

naughtymummy Wed 05-Dec-12 15:25:44

So long ago now....loads around keeping the routine for dc1, I had a bouncy chair with handles and would carry dd from room to room in it doing Ds bed time routine. Allowing dc1 to touch and "play" with dc2 no matter how much your heart was in your mouth. If the baby started crying saying to dc1 "oh what a pain now we have to feed dc2 before we can go to the park" or wherever.

I had been back to work after Ds so when I was on maternity leave with dd he probably actually got more one on one time than before.

naughtymummy Wed 05-Dec-12 15:30:36

When dd slept I would do special games with Ds. I always gave the impression that I was really looking forward-looking to this time with him.

TBH I still do this to an extent they both have and really like time alone with me, as well as time all together.

Gilberte Wed 05-Dec-12 20:33:15

"My Dm was very open about how she did things when dsis came along to minimise problems and offered me loads of advice when I had dc2.

Now it may be chance but dsis and I couldn't be closer (to the extent that others including Dm can be a bit jealous). I think I am too close to see it but others tell me my 2 are very close.

I have always thought this was by design. Would like to hear what others think"

Well I did everything I could to minimise jealousy, talked about the baby before it arrived, bought DD1 a present "from the baby", didn't show excessive affection to the baby in front of her, asked her to help me/involved her in nappy changes etc, encouraged her to put her doll in a sling and get her off to sleep whilst I was doing the same with DD2, played with her every nap time.

Spent a lot of time at weekends doing things 1:1, tried to big up the what a great big sister you are thing. Now i try to play with them both and do lots of fun things they can both join in with, lots of physical games with turn taking. I'm not sure what more I could have done. Things are getting better but there's still a lot of fighting and DD1 tolerates DD2 rather than loves her.

naughtymummy Wed 05-Dec-12 21:19:47

Sorry to hear that Gilberte. How old are your dds ?

Another YANBU. We stopped at one and have now gone past the point of no return.

I'm so glad now although we did go through a phase where I wanted another but DH didn't. I'm glad I didn't push him. I posted on MN at the time, and everyone told me not to even try to talk him into it, and they were soooo right. DH was right on the edge of not coping with work stress and found DS very difficult when he was a baby. I'd been seriously ill when DS was a toddler which was very worrying for DH, and I was just starting to get my health, our finances, my career and our relationship back on track when baby-hunger hit. It passed, and now I can see that things would have been too hard for us.

Myself I have two siblings who are royal PITAs. My parents did everything to ensure we didn't fight as kids and we didn't. We got on okay as children. But now we're grown up I find them insufferable and I see them every five years or so (usually when they want to borrow money... And they have much more money than DH and I.). And they don't help when Mum and Dad are ill, it's always just me. I don't get the whole 'giving your child the gift of a sibling' thing. If anyone wants a 'gift of a sibling' I've got two you can have for postage grin

Gilberte Thu 06-Dec-12 20:11:01

Mine are 5 and 2 so it is early days. Eldest had my undivided attention for 3 years and she was very clingy and our relationship was and is intense so I think I really rocked her world.

They are starting to play together a lot more now but when they are tired/grumpy I can't leave them alone together for a second without one or other of them hitting or screaming because they are being hit/ sat on/ squashed.

AmberSocks Thu 06-Dec-12 20:19:23

i have 4,i found 2 easy,3 was hard once they were all toddlers,4 is hard now at times.

i guess it depends on lots of things,personality,support,health,etc,i would love more one day.

naughtymummy Thu 06-Dec-12 20:22:28

It's difficult with one at school. IME they are just totally knackered at the end of the day. Mine are a little closer in age and dd went to nursery 3 days week from aged 2 so we're both equally tired and grumpy.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Fri 07-Dec-12 01:44:35

I think there are just tonnes of variables which determine the relationship between siblings and these will all play out differently in every family

- gender
- age gap (Anecdotally, it seems that siblings closer in age are closer as children, but also fight more. Children with a larger gap (4+ years) are at different life stages so there's less scope for conflict but also don't really want to do the same things)
- how many siblings there are in total
- whether they like the same things
- whether they compete in the same areas

And all of these things can go either way

I think you can prevent siblings fighting but I don't think you can make them close/friends IYSWIM.

Groovee Fri 07-Dec-12 08:19:49

I have a 2 year 9 month age gap with my 2. The early years were hard. I remember wondering why I'd had 2. Now they are 12 and 10, life is a lot easier. They get on well most of the time, holidays are fun. Both kids are quite independent. It's so much easier than the earlier year were and more enjoyable.

I couldn't imagine life without either child now, as both bring different joy to my life x

ellee Fri 07-Dec-12 08:37:48

21 m between my two, the early months were v hard, I was at my wits end trying to cope but it all started to settle around 6m and now it's no trouble.

I. Think 2 do take over and you become completely immersed in kid stuff. After a while you get totally used to that. My 2 get on but that's a roll of the dice. I get on really well with my siblings and my mum and her sister have always been v close. So it would have seemed unthinkable to me not to have at least 2. In fact I sstress a bit that I should have a 3rd but our finances won't allow it realistically.

But if you are happy and comfortable and feel fulfilled, why not stick with one? Going from 1 to 2 IS a big upheaval but it does settle down. Up to you and your dh op!

KitCat26 Fri 07-Dec-12 09:00:46

I've two with a 17.5mth gap. It was hard in the beginning but by the time DD1 was 2 DD2 had just started to crawl and life seemed to get a bit easier. Personally I found the jump of none to one much much harder than one to two.

There wasn't any jealousy from DD1 because she was so little when her sister arrived (she basically ignored her for the first 6mths), but they do argue and get jealous of each other much more now (3.4 and 22mths). The arguing is the thing which drives me nuts the most and there are many more years of that to come.

But, they play together, get excited together and will be a joy at Christmas.

We won't be have a third though!

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