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Is it true that 2 kids are easier than 1, and at what point does that become true?

(32 Posts)
oldnewmummy Mon 02-Jul-07 06:56:37

The story: DH and I married for 17 years. Initially we though we'd have kids after about 2 years, but it was never the right time. We then moved to Singapore 10 years ago, got caught up in long hours etc, and talked ourselves out of wanting kids, thinking it was too late. At the same time, always said we'd want to adopt if possible as so many kids need a good home.

About 18 months or so ago we realised we were in denial, and who cares if we were too old. So we decided to look into adopting, thinking it would be just 1. We adopted a little boy in Jan this year who is just the best thing ever.

So now that we realise just how fantastic he is, we're thinking of another.

In favour of 1 child:

More time to devote to him
More energy to devote to him (I'm 41 and DS is 44)
MOre money to spend on him, pay for education
He gets all our money when we die, so easier to buy house etc

IN favour of 2:

They can play together
They can argue together, therefore learn socal skills
They may lose us relatively young (gosh how maudlin) so they can be support for each other.

Some friends said that 2 are easier than one, as they amuse each other, but the first 2 years of the younger's life are really hard.

Any views/comments?

Any views on age gaps? DS is only 6 months so not yet mobile so relatively "easy", and he's a textbook happy, smiley, sleeps-well baby, so we may get a shock next time.

Gap would need to be at least a year, but clocking on so can't wait too long!

SittingBull Mon 02-Jul-07 06:59:55

Message withdrawn

whomovedmychocolate Mon 02-Jul-07 07:03:50

Oh do it, you are doing a wonderful thing adopting one child and giving them a chance, let alone two. Fabulous!

I only have one but I reckon two would be just as easy because once you've had one and gone through all the crappy bits, you are a bit more relaxed with the second one and enjoy the experience more.

More in favour of 2:

(1) The world seems design for two adults, two kids, one lap each, family tickets tend to be two adults, two kids.

(2) You can reuse toys and clothes

(3) They can share special moments together and conspire against you (in a nice way) as kids.

(4) Very morbidly, I personally think having an 'heir and a spare' is not a bad idea having seen friends who have one child lose that child too late for them to have another and have their lives ripped asunder (yes I know anybody's life would be devastated with the loss of a child, but they were in their 50s and had devoted their entire lives to one kid and had no clue what to do with themselves when he'd gone).

I don't suppose your son has a sibling available? It's worth asking you know, my mum is a social worker and quite often the parents of the first adopted child, have the next one adopted too and often quite quickly.

BandofMuggles Mon 02-Jul-07 07:03:59

Someone said it gets easier when the youngest is 2 ish???

Thank God, only about a year to go.

It is hard, as DD2 is only 11 mths \i can't say about it being easier, I suppose it depends how well they get along.
Perhaps if you're worried about it you could adopt an older child. I definately love that we have 2, they love each other. And when I am getting a decent amount of sleep again I will be beaming about it.
If you're worried about them quarreling over a house tyhey inherit, stipulate the rules they must follow in the will.
God I'm tired, sorry for waffling.

Nemo2007 Mon 02-Jul-07 07:15:18

completely depends on you how the gap works and if 2 is easier. Some people are more able to cope with a few children where others find it a struggle. I have 3 very close [ds 3,dd1 18m dd2 6m]and it works for us but we do have very hard days.However the plus side for me is
they are never lonely
if something happens to dh and I they have each other
they will always have family

DH is an only child and loved it while younger but now is getting tostage where his parents[mil in particular] are sick and are talking about not having long left etc, which means without us dh would be alone.

manuka Mon 02-Jul-07 19:31:31

Its not true in every case that 2 is easier than 1!! I have a few friends who will vouch for that in a big way!
Not all children get on with siblings. Not all babies are as 'good' as yours.
Only have another if YOU want one. There should never be any other reason to have a child because if its a really hard baby you may regret it if you had it for the sake of your first.

pevie Mon 02-Jul-07 20:16:06

Have only recently had my second so am unable to be very objective at this stage as is very hard work at moment, 3 years between them with eldest being pretty put out and youngest being quite unsettled still. I read a book called something like '3 socks, 1 shoe, 2 hairbrushes' cant remember title exactly but it was all about the highs and lows of 2 children. Basically research said about 50% found it easier and 50% found it harder, so obviously depends on lots of different factors.

fryalot Mon 02-Jul-07 20:24:33

as has already been said here, they are all different and you can't guarantee anything. But in my case:

14 months between dd2 and ds. They play together fantastically (although they bicker and fight sometimes too) It is definitely easier with two (I have an older daughter ten years older, so can speak with experience of both) they amuse each other, leaving you free to get on with things.

This has been true since ds could sit up unaided and I could actually leave the room without worrying that dd2 was going to sit on his head or something!

If you decide to have another, the older one won't remember a time without his sibling, and obviously, the younger one won;t ever have had a time without his/her sibling.

If I had my time again, I would have had two the first time round as well.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

mummypigoink Mon 02-Jul-07 20:25:12

19 months between my two, and dd2 has just turned 2.

It has started to get easier as they can play together and are becoming more independant. for the most part they are very good together and it's a joy to have them.

But tbh, I think one would be easier!!!

TranquilaManana Mon 02-Jul-07 20:31:47


based on my experience and your OP; have the two. no more mind!

elliott Mon 02-Jul-07 20:32:02

tbh, I can't really see how 2 can be actually easier than 1 - but I don't think it is twice as hard (except in the beginning). I think once the younger is 2 or 3 or more you can hardly remember what it was like with just one, so its really hard to imagine whether it would be easier. But surely, less things to worry about, one less person to have to organise, less time spent giving each one attention etc etc. sure, there are times when they are off amusing each other, but also times when you ahve to mediate disputes...
Suspect it depends on the personality of the children really - some onlies might need a lot of attention from you, others might be quite self sufficient. ds1 as an only - piece of piss. Ds2 as an only - nightmare!!

DoubleBluff Mon 02-Jul-07 20:33:52

When small found teo more than twice the work. Now DS's are 4 and 6 life is much better and they are great mates. Last holiday we had they kept each other occupied pretty much most of the time.

elliott Mon 02-Jul-07 20:36:09

Mine are 5 and 3 - and yes, often they will keep themselves happy. But if ds2 wasn't there, ds1 would keep himself just as happy (perhaps happier!) - but ds2 would be on our case the whole time.... (actually I guess that's why ds1 can't cope with him all the time - neither can we!!)

LyraB Mon 02-Jul-07 20:39:59

My boys are 4 (nearly 5) and 3. The first two years, with a two-year-old and a newborn were incredibly hard but now it's all worth it. They play together all the time, so I can come on MN/read the paper. But they also fight, which can get really wearing.
I think it's good for a child to have a sibling close in age, if possible. I don't regret it one bit, despite the hard bit at the beginning.

popsycal Mon 02-Jul-07 20:40:24

Oh gosh - I second what elliott says but in reverse. DS1 would be a NIGHTMARE as an only child but ds2 would be easy (bar the ridiculous sleep thing).

They are now nearly 5 and nearly 2 and a half and (bar nights) it is much easier though it has been touch and go for the last couple of years. They play together well (interspersed with fighting...), enjy similar activities, love each other to bits.

Go for it - but be prepared for hard slog for a while before you reap the benefits IME.

MrMaloryTowers Mon 02-Jul-07 20:41:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hassled Mon 02-Jul-07 20:46:45

I do think it's easier in terms of them entertaining each other, having sibling support, etc., after the age of 3.5 to 4 - but before that, having 2 is actually three times the work. It's relentlessly hard at times. I have 4 DCs and they have very different relationships with each other, depending on their personalities - 2 of them just don't get on, and I don't think ever will. So that needs to be built into the equation as well - you can't be 100% sure that they will actually like each other. I still think you should go for it, though - I'm very very glad I have my DB and step-sisters.

Quattrocento Mon 02-Jul-07 20:52:40

At no point that I have experienced are two children easier than one. Mine are 9&7. Maybe this strange law I had not previously heard of or experienced applies when they have left home?

SenoraPostrophe Mon 02-Jul-07 20:54:23

lol. 2 are most definately not easier than one.

It's fun having more than one though.

elliott Tue 03-Jul-07 09:06:04

And of course, far far easier to get time alone with an only.

elliott Tue 03-Jul-07 09:06:23

Sorry, I meant childfree time - not time alone with the child!

Elibean Tue 03-Jul-07 10:32:23

We had all the same pros and cons on our lists as you.....but in the end, it just felt 'right' for us to attempt #2 (we're definitely getting on, you, m'dear, are a spring chick ).

Now with 7 months and 3.5 yr old dds, we have little sleep, are knackered, find it very hard work, but no regrets so far! TBH, I'm v glad we have a 3 yr gap - not sure I'd have had the stamina to deal with potty training or a non-verbal toddler with a new baby, but thats me. If you have energy, help, or just courage, go for it

Furzella Tue 03-Jul-07 11:12:24

Mine are now 5 and 3, 22 months apart. The first six months were very difficult because dd1, after being a super-relaxed and very cheery baby, was appalled by the arrival of her little sister. I grossly underestimated the amount of work it would be having such a close gap. I think because time goes so slowly with your first child, I thought she was older than she was when I had dd2, but really dd1 was still a baby herself - not yet 2.

Once dd2 got to be of a size to be interesting to dd1 (around 8 months) it got much easier. Now it's fab as they play together wonderfully. Dd2 is very advanced and independent socially for her age (partly nature and partly having a big sis) and I don't have to do lots of boring let's pretend games as they do it together. They're really close and adore each other.

I think it's easier for us now with two rather than one - but it depends which parts of parenting you find easy and which difficult, I guess. I find the entertaining a bit of a challenge, but the organising/general care and cuddles side fine.

fillyjonk Tue 03-Jul-07 11:18:49

i dont think its easier

i do think (sorry) that parents of 2 are more experienced (parents of one have many many other good characteristics, eg hair) and so when you have only 1 it is easier.

Think the real q is-do you want 2? What appeals to YOU?

I wouldn't be without 2. But then I've pretty much always HAD 2 - theres a 22 month gap between mine.

fillyjonk Tue 03-Jul-07 11:19:18

(I mean when parents of 2 have only one of the kids with them)

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