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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.

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!

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

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 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.

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.

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??

Bullets Wed 05-Dec-12 15:03:45

naughtmummy interested to hear what sort of things your mum and you did???

ClairesTravellingCircus Wed 05-Dec-12 14:43:35

naughtymummy I think there are things you can do to minise impact, sibling jealousy etc, but ultimately whether they'll become best friends or not is down to personalities.

naughtymummy Wed 05-Dec-12 14:16:54

Just returned to thread. I am interested how many people seem to think how well siblings get on is down to chance.

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.

Bullets Wed 05-Dec-12 13:37:51

I keep popping back on to read all your replies, so reassuring to know other people feel the same!

jesus everything you said is exactly what I've been thinking - too many "what ifs" and unknowns, especially when we know we're already the happiest we've ever been! Thank you all for being so honest.

Had a chat with DH last night and we've agreed to carry on as we are the three of us, and review things every six months or so. If we feel something's missing / a real desire for number two, then we'll hop to it!

FieryGingerBeer Tue 04-Dec-12 20:20:13

I became a parent of two this year. We have DS1 who is five, and DS2 who is eight months. They adore each other (for now) and it is lovely to see them together.

However, two is more than twice the work of one. It's been stressful at times. I'm back to work soon and really have no idea how we will manage. I'm doing all the child related tasks at the moment, and well over half the housework (which is fine as I am at home all day) but I honestly think DH has no idea how much more work it is, and he is in for a big shock next month.

Horses for courses, if you don't want another, don't have another. It looks like hard work because it is hard work grin

SlowlorisIncognito Tue 04-Dec-12 16:32:57

I don't think you should have another child because you think your son might want a brother or a sister. I am an only child, and it is quite interesting to hear how a few of my friends/exs (mostly older brothers) actually slightly resent their younger siblings in some ways. I don't think they would ever say this to someone inside their family, especially not the sibling in question, but they see how their lives might have been different had their sibling not been born. Conversely, I know some siblings who are very close, even with a larger age gap.

Being an only child meant I had a lot more oppourtunities as a child, and as a young adult, because my parents were able to offer me a significant amount of support during university, giving me lifts to activities and giving me lifts to my first saturday job and so on. I think having a sibling can obviously be nice, but being an only taught me to enjoy me own company, which I think is valueable in itself.

socharlotte Tue 04-Dec-12 15:17:13

3 to 4 was the hardest for me, but that might be because DC4 was a screamer!!

2monkeybums Tue 04-Dec-12 15:11:52

The first 8 months or so of having two was pretty easy compared to how i had imagined but then Ds2 started to crawl/play with Ds1 toys and its steadily got harder and harder ever since. But I know there is light at the end of the tunnel and one day they will run off at soft play together or go swimming on holiday together and leave me to drink coffee/gin and it would have all been worth it.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Tue 04-Dec-12 14:35:27

We have 1 and are all really happy. I wouldn't rule out no 2, but I think we'll stick at 1.

What works for you doesn't another

Procrastinating Tue 04-Dec-12 14:31:52

I thought this thread was going to say two children looks a bit too tame!

I have three, when one is away (doesn't matter which one) it is easy and peaceful.

One is a shock, I found going from 1-2 fairly easy, but 2-3 was the killer. But they are older now (7, 5, 3) and lovely together. The bit when they are little and very demanding only lasts a short time OP, don't make decisions based only on that.

BeaWheesht Tue 04-Dec-12 14:21:35

We have a 3 year 8 month age gap - ds first and then dd. They have always adores each other but have started fighting recently at 2 and 5.

It's more than double the work IMO especially when they're ill- then it is utterly hellish!

However, the thing that swung it for me was that theyd have each other when me and dh are old or dead. hmm

It's been hard though that's for sure.

QueenofNightmares Tue 04-Dec-12 14:15:27

I felt exactly the same, I still feel the same way sometimes and I'm 20 weeks pregnant with number 2! grin There will be a 10 year age gap which is massive I know but I was 17 with DD and I wasn't ready at all for her let alone 2 of them. I think the age gap will help us a lot and DD is very very excited.

Don't rule out the possibility that you may change your mind I was adamant I wouldn't change mine until DH was booked in for the snip blush

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