To wonder if I should have another child?(11 Posts)
DH and I always planned to have two children. We were both only children and didn't particularly want that for a child of ours.
DC1 is almost 17 months and I have just found it SO hard. The lack of sleep, the constant demands on my time and attention, and now the endless whining as we enter toddlerhood. DC1 is particularly clingy towards me and I find it suffocating at times. DH tries to help but most of the time DC just wants me and it's so draining. DC is upstairs with DH now and all I can hear is whingeing and crying and DH getting annoyed by it.
Obviously I love DC, more than anything, but I suppose I don't always enjoy being a parent that much. I don't think I was prepared for how tough it would be.
Makes me wonder if we should realistically have another. Then I feel rather sad and that I must be a shit parent.
We're only having 1. She's amazing, can be whingy but generally the perfect baby sleeps through etc don't want to risk the next one being a nightmare. I don't think it's bad to think that way and remember you don't have to decide "once and for all" Just see how you feel once your first is a bit older you might feel differently. You're not a Shit parent you're just a realist.
You're not shit. It's tough at times. Is there a rush to have a second? You might feel differently in a few more months.
Having a second was tough for us, but I'm still glad I did it.
Couple of things. Generally children get easier as they get older - I panicked when i got pregnant when ds1 was 15 mo, wondering how I'd cope with two but he was far easier by the time ds2 arrived (first year was still tough though). Second thing, do you need to decide now? What if you waited a year or two and then thought about it again. You might be in a totally different place.
How old are you OP?
10 years between my 2. It works.
How old are you? There no need to rush into a quick decision now. Once oldest is three they will be much more independent. And second babies are easier as you know what you are doing. I know a number of people with 5 year gap so oldest at school before they have second. I have two children and seeing them play and laugh together is amazing. But you don't need to rush into a decision
Only 17 months? Give it time! They become more independent as they get bigger.
We felt the same OP - but by the time DD was nearly 2, she was much easier. I'm now 16 weeks with number 2.
I know lots of people who have stopped at 1 through choice and they have good reasons for it. But I honestly don't think it being hard work is a permanent good reason - sure it could be hell on wheels for a bit, but in the long term, would you want 1 or 2? Imagine holidays; birthdays; Christmas etc - do you picture your family as already complete or would you want to see your DC with a sibling? In the long term do you think you would regret it or be relieved - after all you can give one much more time and attention. I'm sure you've thought of all the practical stuff like expense, but there's that to factor in too.
They are only so little and so needy for a short term in the scheme of things, so I would try and look past that at the bigger picture.
And get your DP some lessons in patience - and then tell me where you got them
You're not a shit parent, you're just exhausted. Some parts of parenting are tougher than others and the toddler parts are exhausting enough without adding another baby into the mix.
Friends of ours had three daughters within 4 years. The Mum looked perpetually broken, the Dad was constantly out working or golfing because the house was in chaos and nobody looked too happy. They're through the worst of it now and everyone sleeps, is civilised and they're happy and healthy but there's something to be said for pacing yourself.
I didn't want a second until DD was about 2yo. We're expecting dc2 now.
That said, I definitely see the appeal of having an only. There are many benefits to it. I wouldn't have considered having another unless DH and I really wanted one. I don't buy in to the "you must have a dc2 to keep dc1 company" argument. Many adult siblings I know didn't like each other much growing up and only tolerate each other now. I have two siblings. One I'm close to, but it's still a difficult relationship and we disagree a lot. The other I barely speak to.
I also think if you aren't sure about having another, just don't do it. I know you never regret the children you have etc. But if everyone lived by that, we'd all have about 10 each! I couldn't afford that financially or emotionally and I hate it when people are egged on to have more children than they really want.
On the other hand, one of the offputting things for me about stopping at one, was that I think that, as dc1 got older, I would have felt I had to host a lot more play dates. Someone said something like that to me once and although I'm sure it isn't the case for most parents with one child. But, knowing me, I'd be inviting children over to play every day of the week! It's only a small thing and definitely not the reason we decided to have a second, but if you are looking to reduce it to pros and cons, then that is one of the pros for me about having a second.
Who knows? I might end up being 'that mum' anyway, but with two sets of friends for two dcs!
Thank you all, you all speak so much sense. I am feeling a bit fragile right now, mentally and physically, so I don't think that helps with thinking positively about these things. I have been poorly with various bugs for over a month (thanks nursery!!).
I am mid-thirties, so would prefer not to leave it too long to try for another. Although we had never planned to try before DC1 is two anyway, for financial and practical reasons. I don't know how people manage two under two!!
I don't know why I am in such a tizzy about it. I think I just often feel like I'm not cut out for this at all. But the idea of not having another doesn't sit right either, it feels like something I need to do (assuming we are able).
I am going to put it too the back of my mind for now and see how I feel nearer the time we planned to try.
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