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Bit morbid reason for thinking about baby number 2

(24 Posts)
Songbird232018 Sat 18-May-19 16:33:51

My partner and I have a DS 1.5 years old 💙💙 we have just bought a house so time to decide if we are wanting baby no 2 or not.
This leaves me in so much conflict. I love our little bubble and we have both gone back to work full with minimal issues and grandparents (we have 3 sets!) Look after baby 4 days a week.
Now I know all the great sides to siblings and also to being an only child ( I was one ) however one aspect keeps me up at night.
If you are the only child you are solely responsible for your parents as they get older and the stress that may come with. I was 19 and my parents separated but then quickly both got very serious illnesses and it was touch and go but luckily they both pulled through and 14 years later are both still here and doing well!
However I cant shake how much that affected me and for a good 5 years I was terrified of them getting Ill again and it really became a big problem for me.
I dont want my boy to have to go through that alone with me if it ever happens. My partner has 2 kids from previous so I feel he is not in the same boat.
Am I being silly? Anyone else had these thoughts.

Happycow Sat 18-May-19 16:37:06

Totally normal thought - is a contributing factor to me having DC2 after seeing two relatives look after an elderly parent.

Hopever most people will say that there is no guarantee that siblings will get along, let alone in 60yrs time (i assume) when they will be faced with the situatuon youre talking about. There is truth in this, although i think its more cynical than the situation youre thinking about!

AuntMarch Sat 18-May-19 16:45:38

My dad's friend is looking after his mum, his sister is useless. It's not a guarantee so not a reason in itself in my opinion. I am still expecting my first, but separated and not a young mum so probably my only one - it's something I've thought about a lot too but hopefully I'll be around long enough that he or she will have developed a support network before anything happens to me!

Dyrne Sat 18-May-19 17:01:49

It’s often a consideration for a lot of people so you’re not alone - in fact one of my friends was going to have just the one but then her father died and her experience of her siblings all pitching in influenced her to have a second after all.

Having said that, as PP said there’s no guarantee they will get on (or, as in the case of my sister, one of them may just be a bit shit and useless). You also just have to look through MN for stories of some truly vile sibling relationships.

Ultimately you can only do the best you can for your family - no one can see into the future so just make the decision you’re most happy with now and try not to predict what will happen in the future too much.

Aria2015 Sat 18-May-19 22:14:35

My mum was one of five and she cared solely for her mother and father because all her siblings had moved away and they just sort of left her to it. There really is no guarantees. People move away, don't always get on, some are more responsible and caring than others - there are so many factors that can mean that despite having siblings, a person can be left caring for a parent or parents.

BikeRunSki Sat 18-May-19 22:30:04

I hated pregnancy (hyperemisis ending in emcs) but my overwhelming feeling when DS was about 18 months old was “but I don’t want you to be an only child”. Not because I really wanted another baby; nit because I wanted DS to have someone to play football with, but because I saw how much DM and her brothers supported each other after their parents died 10 days apart. I didn’t want him facing those big emotional traumas on his own. Actually witnessing this happen with adults I knew, loved and respected made me realise how important close family is. I have 3 siblings but they and their children are spread all over the world.

BikeRunSki Sat 18-May-19 22:34:43

Posted too soon..... so I did have a second child

NameChangerAmI Sun 19-May-19 07:07:47

It's so often said that there are no guarantees - but there are no guarantees in much of life. When we get married, we can't actually guarantee that we won't end up divorced, there are no guarantees that a parent won't die before a child, or that a child won't make in to adulthood.

All you can do is go with your gut feeling, then make a decision, and hope it all turns out well.

I do think that as parents, we can work hard to foster positive relationships between our children, and it is our job to do so, e.g. by teaching them how to share, be kind and patient, and to look out for each other; but there will always be cases where this just doesn't work, or of children emigrating, of family feuds in later life, and siblings genuinely not even liking each other. If you don't, I'd be working to foster those relationships, and seeing those children as my DC's brothers, where at all possible.

If not, then there is only one guarantee - that your DS will probably be the only one dealing with it when you die. By then, though, he might be married or in a loving supportive relationship, and it's unlikely that you and your DH will die at the same time anyway. So even if one of you dies young, the other parent will be there to help DC through it.


NameChangerAmI Sun 19-May-19 07:08:34

* Sorry - meant no guarantees that a child will make it to adulthood.

SnuggyBuggy Sun 19-May-19 07:14:21

I have one parent who had to deal with the decline, death and will of their remaining parent alone and the other did the same with a dysfunctional sibling. The former had the easier time.

I reckon this would be an easier situation with siblings who are close and work together but obviously there are no guarantees.

EdtheBear Sun 19-May-19 07:17:48

Op I thought similar things. Part of my drive for a second child was knowing 2 people who lost both parents by the time they were 25. One had a sibling, one didn't, I can't imagine how hard it must be to face stuff like that on your own.

Teddybear45 Sun 19-May-19 07:21:20

It would depend on how close the siblings were. Generally the bigger the age gap the less close they’ll be; so it’s possible you have two kids with ‘only children’ mentalities.

NameChangerAmI Sun 19-May-19 07:21:49

Just read my post - I meant if you don't already, I'd try and foster relationships between DC & his step brothers, not that I would only try to do this if you aren't having another child.

PoorRichard Sun 19-May-19 07:22:29

You don’t mention wanting another child at all. If you don’t, having a child you don’t want in order to (possibly) alleviate the burden of your eventual ageing death on your existing child is a mad idea.

Teddybear45 Sun 19-May-19 07:29:56

It would depend on how close the siblings were. Generally the bigger the age gap the less close they’ll be; so it’s possible you have two kids with ‘only children’ mentalities.

Itstartedinbarcelona Sun 19-May-19 07:36:43

I disagree Teddybear there is 10 years between me and my dbs and we’ve all worked really closely together to look after first my DM And then DF who died within 3 years of each other following disabilitating illnesses. My mil was an only child and said losing her parents was the hardest part as she had no-one to help support them.

bookworm14 Sun 19-May-19 07:52:56

Yes, I worry about this - I also worry about DD being lonely without a sibling. But the bottom line is we just don’t want another baby. I can’t fathom the idea of bringing an unwanted child into the world just so DD will have someone to help her when DH and I are old.

Perhaps that’s a selfish point of view, though - I don’t know.

NameChangerAmI Sun 19-May-19 14:24:24

From reading several posts on this subject over the years Bookworm, I don't think it's a case of people who definitely don't want a second child, considering a 2nd DC just to provide a sibling for DC1.

It's more that they are so happy to have one child, and/or found being a mum so difficult first time round (traumatic birth, PND, for example,) that they are not sure if having a 2nd DC would jeopardise the status quo.

I agree though, why would you have another baby unless you wanted another one just as much as you wanted the first?

NameChangerAmI Sun 19-May-19 14:26:54

Also, regarding the age gaps - there are 8 years between my sibling and I. As children, we had nothing in common at all and didn't get on, as adults the opposite is true.

I am also friend with a twin who really doesn't like his twin sibling, and it's mutual.

snoopy18 Sun 26-May-19 07:51:35

I’ve just had my first and I think one is enough but I have also started thinking about this!

I’ve seen a lot of different scenarios though so I haven’t decided yet.

A cousin of mine is one of two - her mum is still alive but is a vile human being & their relationship is twisted - her brother sided with his mum and bro and sis do not get on. Unfortunately the dad passed away last week & it’s caused a huge family drama at the funeral yesterday. So in this scenario the daughter has looked after the dad in his final stages of cancer & rekindled the relationship with him years ago after vile treatment from her mum. They’ll be cutting contact now the dad is gone.

A family member has 2 kids & almost 2 years ago separated from wife - a year of the 2 years the boys didn’t see one another due to the mum being indifferent & immature & not allowing or arranging regular contact. One of the boys sacked off the mum & lived with the dad thus causing separation from brother. They recently got back together who knows what will happen or if it’ll work out.

Another family member has 1 child and divorced - in the grand scheme of things it was easier to handle it than having 2- both physically with support from grandparents & financially looking after 1 after divorce.

I’m one of 4 and love my sister heaps but one sibling is vile person and I don’t care for him at all in the slightest.

But then mum’s side of the fam have 4 kids & they get on super well.

Everyone’s experience is so different only you can try your best and what will be will be in the end!

Attache Mon 10-Jun-19 09:22:55

I agree with bookworm. Don't have a second child to be a companion to your son or to share the burden in the future. Neither of those are good enough reasons and are unfair to the second child IMO. Quite often one child does end up with by far the lion's share of the elderly parent's care, in the same way that you can feel loneliest in a crowd, it's in some ways harder doing it all when there's a sibling who could help but won't.

Only have another child if you want that child for their own sake. It's possible this will happen but the broodiness just hasn't kicked in yet, as your DS is still very little. We didn't wait for that, we just got on with having another, but we sure that in the "big picture" we definitely wanted 2 even if the brain chemistry hadn't caught up yet.

poppet31 Mon 10-Jun-19 09:33:35

My gran has been very ill with vascular dementia and we have had to make the tough decision to move her in to a care home. This has caused a massive split in the family and none of my gran's children even speak to each other now. Siblings can be a great support to one another but when times are tough, there is no guarantee that anyone will step up or help.

Mumof1andacat Mon 01-Jul-19 23:31:18

My mum is one of 8. It was only her and one of her older sisters that cared for their parents when needed. The other six had no interest or said they were busy. When my fil was in hospital and then transferred to a nursing home for end of life care it was dh that done all the running around as well as working full time and studying for a degree. His brother was not interested in helping but is throughly enjoying the inheritance money though

TwistofFate Thu 11-Jul-19 18:24:27

I'm in a similar position in that I'm an only child of divorced parents who both have health issues. Personally, I think my parents being divorced and still single is more problematic than being an only child, if one or both of them had a partner it would take some of the pressure off me (though that would probably cause other issues). I don't know that having a sibling would make my situation any easier as there's no guarantees that siblings will be close when they grow up or that one won't end up taking on most of the caring responsibilities anyway.

Having said that, I'm very lucky to have a very supportive husband and some really good friends who have always rallied around me in a crisis which more than makes up for a lack of siblings, so a support network doesn't have to be family.

I'm currently pregnant after IVF so not sure if we'll be able to have more than one, but something we've discussed is making sure all our business is in order as we grow older (writing wills, funeral plans, banking, etc) to make everything as simple and straightforward for them if/when something does happen to us.

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