Am I being selfish to hesitate to do this again?(62 Posts)
DS is 6 months old and I love motherhood now. I loathed the first 3 months when he was a newborn with the non-stop bf and sleepless nights. The lack of sleep affected my mental health and wellbeing and I really struggled. Thankfully DS is now settled and all is well.
DH and I have been talking about the next baby. I feel I need a long break before thinking about number 2. In fact, the more I think about it the more I question the practicalities of DC2. The thought of the newborn phase fills me with absolute dread. Am I being extremely selfish for wanting to put off DC2 as I can't handle the early days again or should I just bite the bullet and focus on baby making whilst I still can. I'm 36.
The thought of having a toddler and a baby seems totally impossible to me. I know plenty of women juggle both but I don't think I can or want to. Do I need to step up? I want DS to have a sibling but can't face doing it again...any thoughts or tips?
I felt like that, didn't do it, and have no regrets. I'm now 44 and DS is 6. I'm working again, have got my figure back, and we have time and money to spend on DS who is a perfectly happy little soul. We don't worry about activities clashing, and there's always friends happy to come along if we fancy one extra on a day out.
At first DH wanted a second but now he says he's glad we didn't have anymore.
I felt very similar op. Had dd at 32 and found the baby stage boring, stressful and difficult and couldn't imagine facing it again. I got unexpectedly very broody when dd was 3 and had ds aged 36. Same thing happened when ds was 3 but dh and dc outvoted me and I opted for sterilisation instead aged 40. I now have 2 amazing teenagers and lots of quality time with dh. My experience became very positive and I hope yours is too. Good luck op.
You are an important part of the equation. If you're not happy, everyone's life is affected. So don't discount your feelings. I guess you have to weigh up how much you want your dc to have a sibling. Many people choose not to and remain perfectly happy.
Just to add - I don't think having a dc is something you can/should do to appease other people. It's you that has 24/7 care of that dc IME. I have a very helpful dh. But ultimately the responsibility comes down to me in reality.
6 months is a bit early to be thinking about this anyway. Despite your age, I would suggest you shelve the whole idea till your baby is at least 1.
I don't think it's selfish. If you are not ready then you are not ready.
A toddler and a baby is HARD. I've done it can even with the toddler in nursery and a pleasant 2nd baby it was grim. Two bad sleepers at the same time.... and a toddler who is learning how to tantrum about every single thing whilst breastfeeding. Nappies and pooey bums constantly.
It's not for the fainthearted. If I had been younger (I was much older than you) I would have had a gap of at least 3/4 years.
I felt a lot like this - we had 8 yrs of infertility which was tough and I couldn't face putting my body and emotions through it again. we had my daughter when i was 36. It took 4 yrs until we felt ready again and thankfully we had my son first time round with IVF again when I was 41. there is almost 5 yrs to the day between them and it was like having an only child again for much for the time as my daughter was at school. they are 8 and 3 now and they get on well but both get individual time. the gap worked for us. Don't feel pressurised your little one is still very small. Give it time you may feel ready for another you may want to stop at one.
*whilst you're breastfeeding.
I wasn't still BFing the toddler, thank goodness!
It's still very early days!!
And I say this as a mother who suffered pnd around the 6month mark and thought there is no way I want another and can't wait to return to work! Now my dd is turning 1 and I'm sitting in a coffee shop trying not to cry cos It's her first day at childcare and I'm back to work next week and I miss her soooo much.
The first bit is soooo hard but now she's doing more and her personality is coming through I just love being with her! I wish I could do the whole year again, even the horrid parts.
I'm in no rush to have another as it was so difficult but I know we prob will at some point. I'm 31 but our dd was an ivf baby so no guarantees and I'd be happy with just one but we always planned for more and have some eggs frozen.
I have nearly 5 years between mine there is no way i wanted a baby and toddler if you dont want to do it don't .
If you conceived this week you would have 2 babies if you waited a couple of years you would have a preschooler and baby which is a bit better sounding isn't it
Of course you're not being selfish! It would be more selfish IMO to have a baby that you don't feel ready for.
I really wanted two close together, for various reasons, and it was hard work. Much less so now, at 3 and 5. My second wasn't sleeping through for a few months after I went back to work. I did very little but raise the kids and go to work for quite a while. Had I not really wanted it, I'm sure it would have been harder.
The flip side is, you only have a baby and a toddler for a while! (assuming you stop at 2). Consider waiting a while as on my experience they get easier every few months (well, I got more sleep, which amounts to the same thing). And I agree with the poster who said nursery. If you don't have family nearby, you need nursery or a childminder to keep your sanity and make things fun.
You don't have to decide now!
It is never, ever selfish to not have kids, however many kids you do or don't have at the moment. Have as many or as few as you want, and don't allow anyone else to pressure you into any decisions you are not certain of.
I am the mother of one child. He has cousins, friends, a network of other children, so isn't lonely in the slightest. Because I've only had the one I've been able to give him experiences and a life that I could have never afforded if I'd had two (we live a very modest life but it would have been a hell of a lot more modest if I'd had another child). I did imagine myself with a big family, but now I have only the one, I don't regret it in the slightest.
My cousin had a 15 month and twins TWINS bugger that
You aren't being selfish because you are the one who will carry, birth and nurse the baby and your health is crucial. Give yourself another year of feeling well, building your health both mentally and physically, for example pregnancy really depletes your mineral reserves so take vitamins, eat well and get as much rest as is possible.
Enjoy your DS and focus on him for a while. Having 2 little ones is exponentially harder.
I am very hesitant to do it again!
Dad is 17 months and I love her immeasurably but I'm exhausted and had pond/pna. I told dh that I really can't contemplate trying again until dd is in school, it would be unfair on everyone to try sooner and for me to be in a bad place mentally.
Thanks for the comments everyone. It seems to be the case that all others in my NCT group are keen to have a 2 year age gap and for me that sounds like hell! I want to spend time enjoying DS before having to start again with the next one.
I always maintain that if I had been forced to decide whether or not we had more kids when DC1 was under 1yr, he would have been an only child. He didn't sleep until he was 2.5, was a terrible eater and I didn't adjust well at the start. We now have 3 children so clearly we came to feel differently!
It's very soon to be talking about doing it all again. Give yourself some time and see if your feelings change. They may never and that's absolutely fine too!
I really really struggled through the whole first year with DD1. I couldn't fathom why anyone would voluntarily do such a horrendous thing more than once! I hated the exhaustion, she woke to feed every 2 hours all night long and I felt like a chewed piece of string. But I knew I didn't want her to be an only child - I was the youngest in my family by a decade so I didn't have siblings my own age and I felt it was a bit lonely. So we decided to have another when DD1 was 2. I dreaded the sleepless nights, but to be honest it was easier second time because I was used to having less sleep and less 'me time' generally, and also I learned to breastfeed lying down and co-slept from day one. This made a huge difference to my sleep and energy levels.
I have now had a third baby, just 3 weeks ago. DD1 is 6 and DD2 is 4 next month. It is hard waking at night, but DH does a lot around the house and is responsible for getting the older ones up, breakfasted and dressed in the mornings - so it's not been too bad.
You're not selfish, your baby is only 6 months old and not very many people are ready for another newborn only 6 months after the first!!!
A lot of my friends have chosen to have 4 years plus between children, so they only have one lot of childcare costs now, and being able to support their DC in the future at university.
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