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Everyone's having another baby!! Help!

(46 Posts)
Allyinoz Wed 16-Sep-09 04:09:48

I have a 2 year old. I had problems conceiving him and had pre eclampsia and a 'difficult' baby. I adore him now and love our time together. I am 36 and would like another but I don't know if this will happen for me.

A lot of my friends and aquaintances are having another, even when their children are a lot younger than mine.

These events have made me feel very upset and jealous about the fact that they feel ready to have more and able to. I know I shouldn't compare myself as this doesn't help.

I find it hard at social do's, but I can't avoid everyone. The whole situation leaves me feeling inadequate. It all feels like a competition, which I know it shouldn't and isn't. Do you know what I mean?

Any advice?

sdr Wed 16-Sep-09 14:02:44

I'm a firm believer in that the perfect number of children for your family is exactly what you have. We're all different for lots of reasons, so while it's hard with some people please try to ignore it. What is important is that you adore your DS. Bear in mind that some people just have to compete, if its not kids, its cars or houses.

RacingSnake Wed 16-Sep-09 15:58:07

My daughter is three and is now the only one in my (and her) group of friends without a sibling. I know there will never be another as we are very very lucky to have her.

I don't know about inadequate, but it does make me feel very sad, knowing that everything is this time only - there will never be another child who will learn to walk, say their first word ... I think it makes letting go and celebrating her growing independence quite hard.

I'm afraid I haven't got any advice at the moment. From my own (very limited) personal experience, one-child families are more common in Europe and maybe in large cities rather than in the countryside where I live. Are there other families with just one child in your area?

There is the 'One-and-only tearoom' on this site, which has some families who glory in life with their only child, but here too there are others who have more than one. At least there you know that there is no competition and everyone knows where you are coming from!

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Wed 16-Sep-09 19:59:26

I was in a similar situation. We were very fortunate to have our daughter. When she was born we decided to be thankful for what we had and not to pursue having another child. And now I am far too old for another baby, anyway.

Like Racingsnake, I did feel very wistful that things were happening for the first and also the last time. I did feel a pang when the first of my baby chums fell pregnant again. But I made myself focus on how lucky I was to have my child and, after a while, I began to feel relief that I wouldn't have to chase after a toddler while pregnant or would no longer have to sing The Wheels On The Bus.

I don't know whether this helps much. Feel free to drop into the tea room at any time if you want to let off steam!

Adryath Wed 16-Sep-09 23:09:16

For as may women as there are here who "glory in life with their only child" (and I most defiitely count myself among them) there will be women who feel thoroughly miserable about having one child.

I am yet to be convinced that these two groups can co-exist on a board for one child families when the experiences of women with one child can clearly be so totally different.

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Wed 16-Sep-09 23:43:17

Well, as someone who spents an awful lot of time on this board, my experience suggests that they can.

Of course, in some respects the experiences and perspectives of those who have one child by free choice, those who have one child by constrained choice and those who have one child by force of circumstance are different. But there's still a lot that we have in common - whether it's questions about our child's social development, dealing with pushy friends and family demanding to know when our child will have a sibling or whatever it may be.

And we now have 130+ threads in this topic, which also suggests to me that there are plenty of points of common interest for us to discuss.

KiwiKat Wed 16-Sep-09 23:53:40

Allyinoz, I know how you feel. I still have a brief moment of sadness when I hear that other friends are pregnant, then I move on to being genuinely happy for them.

One thing that helped was to remember that there isn't a finite number of babies allocated, and they're not 'using up' or 'getting' all the available babies, meaning that you're going to be short supplied. But this is a really emotional rather than logical issue, and it ain't easy.

teafortwo Thu 17-Sep-09 01:04:49

Adryath - Sorry to be blunt but I really don't understand how that is helpful to the OP.

Allyinoz - I am so sorry you are feeling down. It sounds like you are in a really raw place right now. I think the key is to let yourself be. Be easy on you 'cause you deserve it! - Let yourself feel these things... don't think it is unusual... infact it is completely 100% normal. I don't know anyone wih one child who hasn't even just for one second had a thought and feeling you have described.

Just let these thoughts and feelings be. Then one day you will have felt all this enough and will feel ready to make a decision to move forward in one way or another and you will do it for you and your family not because you feel society says you should.

You may very soon or in a while just go for it and I don't know - TTC (eeeek), adopt, foster, buy a dog (err???) or a cat or decide to "glory in life with one child". However, if you force yourself to not feel these 'negative' feelings moving forward will be more challenging because they will always be there. IYSWIM?

Good luck smile

Jacksmama Thu 17-Sep-09 01:33:54

I'd like to back up what MadBad and Teafortwo are saying - having one child, whether by choice or circumstance is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. I have one. My husband is an only and he wants only one. I am not sure but at 40 I'm getting on in years and DS's birth was pretty awful so I don't know, even if I could convince DH, whether a second is in the cards for me.
Most of the time I'm perfectly happy to have one. Sometimes I worry whether he'll be lonely later when he's older. Then I think that my sister is estranged from me (and our entire family) and I'm not lonely. Sometimes Im sad that I may (probably will) never have a bump again. Etc etc... the ups and downs in my thoughts are always there. I feel for you.

By the way, I'd also like to warmly invite you to the Tea Room in the One Child topic. Come and hang out and share your roller coaster thoughts. We have at least one woman pregnant with her second and I assure you we all co-exist quite giddily drunkenly teasingly happily! smile

Adryath Thu 17-Sep-09 17:58:32

But surely if one lot are prefectly happy with having one child and see it as completely and utterly normal, while the other lot are clearly disgruntled with it and are always agonising over what to say to folk who ask when they're having another or feeling racked wtih guilt over disadvantaging their only by not providing them with a sibling, there can be little real common ground?

Personally I think those who are not happy with their lot might be happier on a separate board with like minded people. As one who is in the "blissfully happy camp" I feel I have little in common with people who are not really happy with having one child, and as a result feel compelled to post up threads like "I can't take having just one child and I hate it".

Just my own personal thoughts anyway....

Jacksmama Thu 17-Sep-09 18:49:06

Sorry but you're clearly not getting it.
There is common ground - we all have one child, regardless of why we have one child.
That's like saying there is no common ground between blondes, because some are natural blondes and some due to modern chemistry. There is much more to us than how many children we have, even though that is how we ended up on that particular board.

Anyway - you don't have to take my (or MadBad's, CMOT's or tea's) word for it. Feel free to come visit the Tea Room and see for yourself that we get along fabulously not just with each other but also with the mums who have more than one child.

MagicGlassesFairy Thu 17-Sep-09 18:59:43

Can you focus on the things that are easier to do with one child than with two? When I thought I was never going to have any children I tried to get on with the things that you couldn't do with chikdren - although it was hard it makes you focus on the positive rather than dwelling on the negative?
Also - bizarrely perhaps - I really like being with our friends who have 3 children - it's so different (and so loud - it's also nice to come home afterwards). The middle one is v keen on playing with my DD - a bit like a surrogate sister? And you get to sort of share the children out - that probably doesn't make any sense but someone might know what I am on about....

teafortwo Thu 17-Sep-09 19:01:11

Adryath - If you wish to discuss the organisation of a topic it is probably best to create your own thread in 'Site stuff'.

Allyinoz - smile I was thinking about you today - So how are you feeling now and how did your day go?

MadBadandDangerousToKnow Thu 17-Sep-09 22:04:31

From Adryath - But surely if one lot are prefectly happy with having one child and see it as completely and utterly normal, while the other lot are clearly disgruntled with it and are always agonising over what to say to folk who ask when they're having another or feeling racked wtih guilt over disadvantaging their only by not providing them with a sibling, there can be little real common ground?

But the point here, it seems to me, is that very few are disgruntled, as you call it. Some may be feeling real pain (especially if they have one child because of fertility issues, say) but there are some of us around here who can testify that that pain is not acute, it can be short-lived and it is possible to emerge from it and come to be extremely happy with one's lovely singleton. Nor do I think that many people agonise over how to respond to questions about when the next baby's coming - whatever the reason for having one child, it's still boring and intrusive when people assume that any proper family has 2+ children and so there must surely be another one in prospect. The annoyance and irritation about such questions isn't confined to the not by choice parents of one.

I agree with Jacksmama's analogy about blondes. Whether it's nature or Clairol, it's still blonde. I am always baffled on those very rare occasions that someone turns up to inform us that everyone who has one child through choice is happy as a lark while everyone who has one child not through choice is miserable and desperate. It ain't so - and it's very unhelpful to people who are trying to get through whatever unhappiness they are feeling to suggest that there is no escape from it.

MagicGlassesFairy - You are quite right. I love spending time with friends who have big families but have no wish to trade places with them!

Allyinoz Fri 18-Sep-09 05:42:51

Thanks for all the replies, most were very helpful.

I adore having just one and think there are many pluses!! However at the same time I morn the loss of not having another, if you know what I mean! I am not down on having an only child, if that is to be the case. I think we will be just fine.

Ironically, I felt much better when I braved the social world of the mums and saw them all struggling with pregnancies, thoughts of doing it again and coping with more than one.

Just sometimes I wonder if we all realise how lucky we are to want a child and get what we ask for.

teafortwo Fri 18-Sep-09 10:26:53

Allyinoz - How Very well explained!

I am glad you are feeling more 'up' about your 'one child' status today. Do you sometimes get a sort of shocking irrational panic that just hits you? For me it is not very often but when it happens it is less "I want another one" feeling and more "Oh no! I was wrong to think having just one was right for dd!"

For me, recently, it happened when dd wouldn't share a ball in the park. "Oh no." I thought to myself "She really is a spoilt rotten only child" And I felt really bad about that!!!! Like it was all my fault.

Or when I was siting in a café on a Sunny Sunday afternoon and it seemed to me that every woman who walked past had two children or more or was pregnant. It generated the exact same feeling I had once, a long time ago, when I was on the wrong page of my hymn book at my Brownie church parade!!! hmm No - Seriously!!! Ha ha ha!!! And afterwards you think "What was all that about???"grin

Doozle Fri 18-Sep-09 14:36:14

Teafortwo, I get that feeling too at times.

I think it's something to do with doing things differently from the vast majority ie. we get ourselves in a panic because, in having one child, we're not doing what most people are doing. Surely if they're all having two kids, it must be the right way?

Then you calm down and realise again all the reasons you're happy with one.

Adryath Fri 18-Sep-09 14:53:11

But I find those who are "down" on having just one chid and want to harp on about it just as annoying as those who assume that any proper family has 2+ children.

To me there's no difference between them.

Jacksmama Fri 18-Sep-09 15:24:51

Oh FFS Adryath.
If you only came back to tell Allynoz that you find it annoying that she has occasional doubts and sorrows about having one child, please go be unsupportive somewhere else.

I apologize if I've misunderstood your last post, but really - how is that helpful? This is not AIBU. She does not need to be censured for her feelings. You're of course completely entitled to feel annoyed, but your last post just smacks of stirring the pot.

Takver Fri 18-Sep-09 15:46:27

Allyinoz, a bit late to this thread, but I know exactly what you mean. Just at the moment, it feels like everyone in the world that I know (well, the female half at least) is either pregnant or just had a baby. And, two of dd's closest friends, who were also onlies (age 8 & 9), have just aquired siblings.
Even DH and I have been having the odd mad moment of thinking maybe we should try for another - then sense kicks in and we realise that (a) I'm 40, with various health issues (b) life is fine as it is thank you very much, (c) neither of us is great at babies, and the thought of going back there is not a good one . . . well you get the picture! But it doesn't stop that little niggle, all the same.

Adryath Fri 18-Sep-09 16:32:41

Sorry Jacksmama, but they are my feelings. I can't and won't apologise for them.

I don't think there's any need for a "FFS" from you in response to them.

I thought the one parent board was a place where people who had one child could go to get away from the considered wisdom of some that proper families don't consist of anything other than 2+ children. Yet we seem to always be having to read posts from people with one child who clearly think the same thing themselves. They must do or they wouldn't be struggling to come to terms with having one, admitting they hate it, or feeling inadequate about it. That's the point I'm making. I'm entitled to make it on a public board and I'm sorry if you can't understand it, or think it's stupid.

I have no desire whatsoever to "stir the pot" as you call it. I resent that suggestion and think it's very unfair but I suppose that because you've been around here a lot longer than me and your face clearly fits, others will allow you to brand me a trouble maker with impunity.

As far as the OP is concerned, I would advise her to seek counselling to help her come to terms with her infertility issues or try and conceive another child if possible if having just one makes her feel the way it does. Life is far too short and precious to to spend it feeling miserable and inadequate and those feelings will inevitably at some point be transferred onto her only child and her partner and create a bad vibe in the whole family if she carries on feeling that way.

Jacksmama Fri 18-Sep-09 18:04:36

<bangs head against wall>

Jacksmama Fri 18-Sep-09 18:12:59

My point is that nowhere in the title of the OP did she say "please come tell me how annoying I am because I have the occasional moment of sorrow over having only one child". She said "everyone's having another child! Help!"

In my world, "help" is a request for support, not to be told that the feelings that prompted the request for help are as annoying as people who think that a family should have 2+ children.

Look at your last-but-one post. How, exactly, is that helpful to allynoz?

You shouldn't apologize for your feelings - but since your feelings are those of annoyance you should maybe express them somewhere where the OP hasn't asked for support.

FWIW, I have only been on MN for less than a year. My face, as you put it, fits no better or worse than anyone else's.

Allynoz - I hope today is a better day.
Here, have The Tea Room Rabbit to make you smile.

thumbwitch Fri 18-Sep-09 18:42:39

Allyinoz (btw, where in Oz are you? I am here too) - I have just the one at the mo and am currently ttc (again) no. 2 and am beset by doubts about that too! DH is very keen to have another, I am aged and concerned that no.2 (if it ever happens) won't have the same attention etc. as DS has had because of having to share. I am not yet sure how I will feel if I never manage to have no.2 - part of me thinks "relieved!" and another part thinks "sad". I didn't enjoy being pg though, maybe that also has a bearing on the issue!

Even in the tearoom there are occasional times when the mums-of-one feel a pang - it comes, we support, it recedes again.

Not sure if that helps you in any way but wanted to add my support!

Jacksmama Fri 18-Sep-09 18:45:29

Whoops - I keep forgetting the i in Allyinoz blush. The hazards of typing while BFing...

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