Am I doing the right thing?(13 Posts)
Not really sure where to start so I think I'll just write what's in my head...Please bear with me!
DD is 2.4; she was prem (had IUGR) and spent 10 days in NICU/SCBU when she was born. A combination of the trauma of her birth (EMCS), being separated from her soon after she was born, difficulties with bonding (took well over a year), difficulties with breastfeeding, severe sleep deprivation (still ongoing as DD is a very early riser) AND issues from my childhood (mainly emotional abuse) caused me to have PND - was put on ADs and had counselling.
Anyway, we've not hit the "Terrible Two's" although tbf it's not really what she's doing as such, more that sometimes I just feel I don't have the patience to deal with it (not sure if that's just normal or the pnd coming back - am off ADs now). I feel completely incapable of looking after another child, but also feel very guilty if we don't as I don't want DD to miss out on having a sibling - I do have a good network of friends who all have children around her age and I do take her to groups too so she at least mixes with other children.
I don't know really what to think. The idea of having another one scares me, but is it unfair on dd for her not to have a sibling? On the other hand, if we didn't have anymore then we could offer her so much more in terms of experiences - I'm thinking holidays, nurturing talents etc (although I do not intend to be Pushy Parent No1 here!). I really don't know what to do so I thought I'd post here and ask for advice.
I hope I've posted enough here - don't want to drip-feed! Oh and I may not reply straightaway - trying to get an early night in case DD gets up at 3.30 again like she did this morning
We only have one DD (just 3). We only planned to have one, but I'd love another - however we were old when we had DD (40) and am concerned we're too old to have another. I feel guilty of depriving DD of a sibling, but then I remember that not all siblings get on - DH isn't at all close to his sister and they are like chalk and cheese. You just have to look at some of the post on MN about siblings to remind yourself that sibling relationships can be fraught. Don't beat yourself up, if one is the right number for your family and health, then one is the right number.
Thanks snow. Absolutely agree about siblings not always getting on - I'm the youngest of 4 and only speak to my Dsis - am NC with both my brothers and mother. I think being fucked up by my own mother has really made me aware of not doing the same to my daughter, but at the same time it can also make you a bit paranoid!
I have 4 dc and I really think it is completely your decision, I know plenty of singletons who are extremely happy and even more non-singletons who don't have a relationship with any of their siblings!
You may feel differently in a few years time, you may not. There is no "right" decision. Try and enjoy what you have and be there for your dd in a way your mother wasn't for you
Thank you Random and can I say, respect for your 4 DC !
I would enjoy your dd for now.. I had second ds when first ds was five and the gap has been brilliant. All my friends had a small age gap and whilst I felt guilty for not giving my ds a sibling I wanted to enjoy him alone and having another baby would've stopped that. As it turned out we had five marvellous years and then second ds came along. DS1 adores his little brother and is so helpful and understanding. Ds2 adores his big brother and I get to spend lots of one on one time with Ds2 whilst DS1 is at school. Just my experience but thought I'd share
Thank you Mike. That is helpful as I am worried about a large age gap, but maybe I don't need to
I feel the same as you in many ways - I have a beautiful daughter (14 months) and just feel so utterly incapable of looking after another child! I didn't have PND, but found the early months a huge struggle, difficulties with feeding, a baby that wouldn't be put down, a mega-crier, and still a bit of a handful now. I find myself imagining what it would be like to go through that again, but with another child to look after at the same time, and it just fills me with dread.
So it seems that we will only be having one. I know she is still only very small, and lots of people might say that I'll change my mind, but I just can't see how I will. I try and remind myself of all the good things you have mentioned already - taking holidays we might not be able to afford otherwise, having more space in the house, being able to afford to live in a better area, having a close relationship, etc etc. But still I get these pangs of guilt that she'll go without a sibling. I also get a bizarre kind of jealousy when I hear of someone becoming pregnant when they already have a child around the age of my daughter - it isn't jealousy that they are having a baby per se, it is more that I am envious that they feel able to cope with two. Does that make sense?
Anyway, just wanted you to know you are not alone, but unfortunately can't offer any advice, except keep reminding yourself of the positives to an only, and that if they had a sibling, they might hate each other!
Yes Lozza! I completely understand about feeling envious as that's exactly how I feel too! Glad it's not just me then . Sorry to hear your experience of motherhood wasn't straightforward either (if there is such a thing!).
OP, I have felt like you since DD was a few months old.
I can identify so much with Lozza's words - "it isn't jealousy that they are having a baby per se, it is more that I am envious that they feel able to cope with two".
The first few years were extremely hard. Only by the time she was 3.5 I began to come to terms with the situation. There is no way I would have considered having a second until then. After that I have done occasionally, but I'm always put off by history repeating itself. Now I have DD to think about, I can't afford to fall into the pits of despair again. DH is also very reluctant, he was there after all!
But she is 6 now and I still have moments of panic when I think I am doing the wrong thing. Going through a major one at the moment. DD's cousins live abroad and she goes to a tiny school. I spend a lot of my time 'engineering' her social life, which goes so much against my instincts and it's taking a massive strain. I guess the PND never went away.
Must remember RandomMess' words "There is no "right" decision. Try and enjoy what you have".
Hi Gin, I struggle with this sometimes too. My DD is 6, and I am now single, so the chances of having another baby anytime soon are slim. I always said I would never have another one as I don't have a lot of money, patience or any of the other things you need for child rearing.
I'm secretly hoping her dad will have a baby with his partner, that way she has a sibling and I don't have to raise it
Sticky thank you for posting; it's like hearing my words come out of your mouth! PND is a fucker isn't it - I had hoped that mine had gone too, but seems to still be there. It's so frustrating at times. I hope you're able to get support with it.
Puds11 - here's hoping for you!
Thank you everyone who's posted, it's good to hear that there are others like me (most of my friends are either childless, have more than 1 or planning to have another 1) so your words really help
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