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older parents, no support, thinking of no 2....

16 replies

cerealqueen · 12/04/2010 21:02

I don't know where else to post this! I had my first child at 40, I didn't think I'd have children as I had not met anybody to have children with until DP came along. DD is nearly 18 months. I'm thinking now about a second. I'm 42, DP is 45. Both of us come from big families so I'd like DD to have a sibling.
I worry though, how we will cope, physically and financially. We have no help or support, its just been DP and me. DP sometimes works evenings and weekends and and he can be away all weekend. I feel some days like parenthood is just like a treadmill, with nobody to offer us a break. I know we are not alone in that. (we do have family but they are either too far away or not interested). Sometimes I'm just so knackered.

On the other hand, more importantly, DD is such a delight its all so so worth it, she lights up our lives.

I work part time at the moment. We are just ok financially but if we had a second, I'd end up with 2/3 of my pay going to a childminder and what would be left would not even meet my half of the mortgage. Or working full time and not seeing my children, which I'm not keen to do. I am of the age where I need to be with them as much as I can as being an older parent, I know my time is precious (I lost both my older parents when I was 36) Again, I know I can't be alone in this dilemma. Not sure we could cope just on DP's salary, he is self employed and sometimes work is not that regular.
A few days ago, I thought I might be pregnant and had a day of freaking and worrying how we'd cope. Then found out I wasn't and spent ages calculating my fertile period to make sure I would next month. Every day I swing one way, thinking yes, lets go for it, then the other worrying about it all, even how I'd fare being heavily pregnant with a toddler. Has anybody been in a similar position, any words of wisdom to offer?

OP posts:
cerealqueen · 12/04/2010 22:26


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Greenshadow · 12/04/2010 23:21

Sorry no one else has replied.

Can't really help directly as had mine in my 30s (although now 48 with youngest just 11).
What I would say is that although while they are young, having 2 would be a fair bit more work, as they get older, they will occupy each other and therefore 2 can be less work than one....some of the time.
My feeling is always if in 2 minds, go for it as otherwise you know you'll regret it when it is too late. Yes,it may be hard for a while, but worth it in the long term (I hope).

LittlePushka · 13/04/2010 00:02

I had mine at almost 39 and 40.(DC almost 18mths apart)

My little pearls would be:

  • go for it9agree with greenshadow0,

-go for it now (well not necessarily this minute!) not in a year or two. Mmy dear dear granny had a mantra which applied to every part of her life "Now is best" dont save clothes for best, wear 'em now, now is best.

-it is hard work, especially in the first year but having two, so close, is a joy and I guarantee that their interaction with each other you will smile EVERY day at some point...

  • cannot really comment on the financial side my lovely, its such asubjective thing,... but I would say look about you and see how others mamage and look to yourselves to see what you need to have and what's nice to have.

  • they are only little for a little while. In time they will be adults and as you are from a big family I am sure you both hugely enjoy the extended relationships having siblings provides. Both DH and I very much wanted to offer DS the possibility of a great wider family experience as we ourselves currently enjoy

  • one DC is a true blessing, but two are ten times that IMHO

  • you have one life - live it now, now is best
jabberwocky · 13/04/2010 00:12

I am in a similar position, did not meet anyone that I would have wanted children with until I was 35. We had ds1 when I was 38 and dh really thought that was enough. But I reallllly wanted a second so we had ds2 when I was 42. My parents are in their 70's but still in fair health so they do help out occasionally with the boys. But even if they couldn't I would have done it anyway and figured it out as I went along

Dh and I say often that having ds2 was the best thing we ever did for ds1 - and us!

cerealqueen · 13/04/2010 21:04

Greenshadow, , I think you are right, now is best, or at least very soon. Its the regret thing which I am determined to not do, its generally the things we don't do we regret. I can't really afford to wait.
Littlepushka, Love what you say about watching the interaction and guess they will entertain eachother and I'm prepared for the hard work, just hope DH is!
Jabberwocky, its even good to know there are other mums the same age as me (I don't know any my age who are hoping to get pregnant again) I have had to figure it all out as I have gone along. I remember being pregnant and worrying about what I'd do with a baby and no mum to ask advice from and thinking to myself, oh it'll be OK, the Health Visitor will be popping in to see me. How wrong was I!

Fingers crossed it'll all work out Ok and even if not, I will know we tried. Thank you for your kind words of wisdom!

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jabberwocky · 13/04/2010 23:35

I think you are making the right choice.

Don't forget to go for all the supplements that help cervical viscosity. I'm convinced it made the difference in helping us get a BFP both times. Or maybe I'm just freakily fertile

Umnitsa · 14/04/2010 00:01

Cerealqueen - I think I'll be in your situation next year. Now 39 expecting our first child, I am not in a position to advise on the level of fatigue or financial challenge two kids will pose, but dh and I both know that we want at least two. We are both foreigners in London => zero practical family support (his elderly mother is in San Francisco, my parents have died and the extended family are in my home country), so no grannies who could conveniently take dc to ballet classes or stay with them during chicken pox... Yet I am sure we will manage - as we have managed through dh's cancer and extended periods of job search...

Agree with the other posters - now is best!

And some words of wisdom [slightly New Age-y] from my boss - when I was concerned about delivering some of my projects given that during pregnancy I cannot travel long-haul, he just said, "Don't worry, you stay focused on what's important to you - this baby you are carrying - and the Universe will arrange itself around you, things will get sorted although we don't know how yet". Get that second baby - and things will work out somehow!

Good luck!

pinkhousesarebest · 14/04/2010 21:09

I had mine at 39 and 41. We had absolutely no support as live abroad, but also absolute freedom to raise our children as we wanted. It was tiring, but, to be honest my much younger friends complained much more about tiredness and curtailment of liberties than I did, and I was no martyr. But I was so utterly delighted to have them both, and we were both so thoroughly bored of pubs and lavish holidays anyway, we loved just being with them. And very soon they became great friends and amused each other with little intervention from us. I say go for it quick.

hellymelly · 14/04/2010 21:18

I had mine at 41 and 43.I haven't had any support from family or friends especially as we relocated to another part of the country when dd2 was 7m,and that has been harder than it would have been if we had been surrounded by helpful rellies,but my dh works from home and is around a lot so that has helped.Tbh I think you would really regret not trying,I love seeing my girls playing and cuddling,even seeing them fighting,I am so happy to have more than one even though I am very tired (still bfing a toddler).It might be hard at times but it is worth it.

cerealqueen · 15/04/2010 10:57

Reading all these lovely messages is so reassuring. I must stop worrying. I am still bfing my DD, only once in the morning but am having regular periods so hoping that I can still get pregnant. DD shows no signs of not wanting it so hope I can continue!

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Swanky · 15/04/2010 18:15

Me and my DH are 40ish and we have 3 with no support whatsoever. Age is a number, ignore it and go for it! I think they keep us young

You do feel like its a bit of a treadmill but look out for sitters or even SITTERS.CO.UK and make time for one another.

hellymelly · 15/04/2010 22:16

Oh I bf all through the second preg.Took literally 20 minutes to get pregnant even though I was feeding a lot,my periods had been back for about 6m.Good luck!

cerealqueen · 16/04/2010 11:49

Thanks Hellymelly, thats reassurring to know.

Hav not heard of sitters swanky so will look them up!

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thirdname · 16/04/2010 11:54

HAd 2 dc in my 40s. Sec is chaeper I think. Once your sec dc is born and you have had your mat leave, your first should get some free childcare (15 hours or so for 3 y olds). Lot of stuff sec one used from first. Interaction between makes it worth (says someone who isn't really a "baby person").
O, and no family help here either.

violethill · 16/04/2010 13:19

Go for it!

The reasons:

Basically, I don't think anything you have described is different to what many parents face. You are just slightly older than average. I don't think that needs to be an issue.

The period of paying out double childcare is relatively short, because maternity leave is long these days, plus there is some free childcare once the child turns 3 - so if you do the sums, I don't think you'll find it's a huge time. Don't give up your job, because the long term investment is the key thing here.

The issue of not having family and practical help on tap is common to many parents these days - a lot of us have moved away from original areas, so don't have local support, but that's ok, you just get on with it - as you've been doing!

Good luck

cerealqueen · 19/04/2010 14:36

I am so glad I posted.

I was never a baby person but now when I see them, I peer into prams and smile at other mums and babies. And cry at any painful issue involving children on the tv. Poor DP!

I had some vague knowledge about free childcare but never really factored it in so that is really helpful advice, to work out the actual costs, thank you.

Job issue is actually difficult - got made redundant when expecting first, did not get another permanent job before DD born. Am in a contract now until June so have to look for something else and prefer part time. I probably won't go down too well that I am trying for a baby but what else do you do? Can't not look, as baby may not happen. Am hoping what Umnista ssays is true and I'll do what I need to to get a job and It'll all work out, somehow.
Oh, and Jabberwocky, what is that supplement for cervical viscosity???

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