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AIBU?

To say that to have 2 or more kids you need to have a great relationship, a good support network, and (relatively) 'easy' kids?

105 replies

Greenginghamdress · 09/08/2022 22:12

...Or all three!

I have none of the above unfortunately. I'm doing lots of soul searching about whether to have a 2nd child or not (I have one DD of 4). I'm scared of regretting not when I am too old.
I have read a lot of mumsnet threads! Such a hard decision.
Relationship has struggled since DD and my partner is lazy. My family aren't interested in DD much at all (my partners are but we've had difficulties with falling out etc) and DD is a constantly on the go child who doesn't sleep much.
I can't rid of the nagging broody feeling though!
People ask me about it all the time; colleagues, friends, acquaintances, my boss! It's hard to know what to say. I go from really wanting another baby to a definite no 3 or 4 times a day! 🙈😂
Feel free to offer any words of advice; MNetters.

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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PurplePansy05 · 09/08/2022 23:30

Wouldloveanother · 09/08/2022 22:50

Yeah I knew this would be one of the first answers, but to be honest if I was OP, I would see the value in my child having a full blood sibling IF I felt able to pick up the slack.

This is precisely my thought process. But I don't know if I can pick up more. How do you feel about this, OP?

I think it's rather sad, actually. My H just hasn't stepped up as much he should have, even though he is trying (not hard enough, IMO). Certain things about him became really apparent and far more annoying challenging after my DC arrived. I would love my DS to have a sibling and it really isn't black and white like some posters say. Considering our age, it isn't as simple as dumping H, finding someone else and having another baby. Besides, H is a good dad objectively. These decisions require a lot of consideration for sure.

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FancyFelix · 09/08/2022 23:39

All you need is the supportive partner. The rest of your list pales into insignificance if you are a team

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WorryMcGee · 09/08/2022 23:40

I have one child. My husband is incredibly supportive, and I would not have another. Each to their own of course but even with a husband that is an incredible father, cooks every single night, cleans the house and does more than his fair share I would never entertain the thought of another child because I know I wouldn’t cope. Many many women do and they are incredible, I am not one of them and only you will know if you are.

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Kite22 · 09/08/2022 23:55

Of course you don't.
How do you think all the single parents with more than one dc manage ?

I had 3 dc, but only one of your criteria. You crack on with life in whatever boat you find yourself. My 3 have all grown into decent human beings, and we've had a lot of fun along the way.
Would life have been easier with two, or three of your criteria ? Yes, of course, but of course you don't need them all.

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Hunkydory99 · 10/08/2022 00:00

@Greenginghamdress different genders.
sorry to put a negative spin on things! He’s amazing. She’s brilliant. It’s just hard going. I wish you all the best whatever you decide o

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Helpmethinkofasolution · 10/08/2022 00:15

I disagree that a supportive partner is the most important thing to be honest. I have 2 DCs and a soon to be ex- dp. He just isn't good at being who I need him to be e.g. organised, patient, proactive, rational. It's not in his nature and unfortunately these characteristics rarely show until you are a parent. Or maybe we're blind to them because we so want to find the father of our children?
Either way I'm doing it alone. I work FT. I wouldn't be able to do this without my support network (grandparents) so I am very lucky. I also think I'm lucky to have two children who are relatively 'easy' (one ND, one NT). I have a friend who's DC has quite challenging behaviour relating to autism and she can't work or leave her loveless relationship. It's also a sad fact that having a ND child means less offers of help. My DC is lovely but can't be left with just anyone and has few friends so can't go for the usual sleepover/ play dates which would give me a bit of a break at her age.

In short I don't think you need all of the list but having a strong two out of three is probably the least you could have and remain sane. I know there are incredible single parents with no support who have incredibly rewarding careers, social lives and are always present for their children. I just can't name many. I can't name many parents in general who have 'it all' so maybe the whole thing is a myth!

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Aleeza91 · 10/08/2022 00:30

Hunkydory99 · 09/08/2022 22:52

I have a 4.5 year age gap and it’s very hard. The oldest obviously used to being an only child and personally going back to the baby years once you’re out of them is tough. Oldest can ‘help’ to a certain degree but there’s also a lot of resentment/jealousy we have to work through. I don’t regret my son but I do wish I’d had him sooner. By the time he’s able to ‘play’ my oldest likely won’t be interested.

I second this.

My 4 year old is so jealous and it's been a hell of a 15 months

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Gruffling · 10/08/2022 00:49

I think the people saying family support is not important probably have more support than they realise.

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WonderingWanda · 10/08/2022 00:50

I don't think having another child is a good idea if you relationship is struggling, a second child will take more likely to tip things over the edge. Family break ups are often difficult for children.

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FlyingSaucerss · 10/08/2022 00:55

Well I have 4 kids as a lone parent (no ex he is absent) no family help because I “chose to have them” no friends that can help, I manage but I wouldn’t recommend it. So you don’t need that stuff but it makes life considerably easier with it

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MeenzAmRhoi · 10/08/2022 06:29

You missed the most important one out...a supportive, hands on husband.

We have families who adore our DS but all live far away, so we're on our own. DS was a difficult baby but a very easy toddler and I have an equal parent in my partner. We have decided on a second. I would never in a million years have contemplated a second if I had a lazy partner. We have friends in a different city in the same situation as us, no family nearby. They have three. One is constantly full of energy, hyper and generally hard work. Again, they manage because they are a very good team.

Sorry, op. A shitty dad is reason enough not to bring anymore kids into your relationship.

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olivida · 10/08/2022 06:40

I live abroad, we don't have support - literally no family here! You also don't NEED 'easy' children.

But if your husband is a lazy arse then I'd not even consider another child.

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OneCup · 10/08/2022 06:41

We had one difficult child. Hands on partner. No support network. We decided not to go ahead with another one. We both work full time and feel really stretched to start with. It felt unfair on everyone to bring another child into the equation. No regrets.

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olivida · 10/08/2022 06:42

Gruffling · 10/08/2022 00:49

I think the people saying family support is not important probably have more support than they realise.

When I say 'no family support' I mean, we live on the other side of the world, have visited home twice in almost 8 years, my parents have visited us twice. Only one of my children has met their grandparents but was too young to remember the visit. My other children have never met another biological relatives. So we have literally 0 family support. But it's really not that hard.

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Chdjdn · 10/08/2022 06:44

Having 2 made my DH pull his weight more; before it was too easy to say that DD always wanted me whereas after I immediately made it clear that I couldn’t be doing stuff for both kids at the same time so he needed to help. We used to have a good support network but in the last 6 months that’s gone and it’s much much harder.

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BertieBotts · 10/08/2022 06:46

Rotherweird · 09/08/2022 22:44

As somebody who also had a lazy DP, now ex-DP, I can tell you that IME it is a million times easier being a single parent with one child. You don't need a big house, you only have one set of expenses, holidays are more affordable, and the one child-one parent dynamic is delightful. I can afford to work part-time and still have enough money for extra-curricular activities and treats. It is also easier co-parenting with an ex when you only have one child (fewer issues to resolve). Although I would have loved to have more children, I've come to the conclusion that it is a good thing I didn't and I love my life as the single parent of one.

This is sadly true. I felt like this as well. I did ultimately end up getting together with someone else and went on to have more children and am happier than I was in the single parent single child set up, but there is something special about that and I completely agree with this poster.

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Dogsandbabies · 10/08/2022 06:46

I have a great relationship. None of the other two. We are still very happy with our 3.

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Flopisfatteningbingforchristmas · 10/08/2022 06:50

I don’t have easy kids, especially as babies and no external support network but I do have a great husband who supported. I wouldn’t be adding another child to a crap relationship no matter what else you have, it’s not fair on them.

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MercuryOnTheRise · 10/08/2022 06:58

It's difficult op. I had a never present dh, a very full on toddler and no family support. Support was paid for but never unconditional. Nursery, au-pair at various stages. 3.5 years between the DC and they were very close as littlies, grew apart in the teenage years and back together again when dd hit early 20s.

I was an only with parents who had a very dysfunctional relationship and pioneered serial marriage. My mother had very supportive parents and they, my grandparents, became my surrogate parents in many ways. I always felt the lack of a sibling but know now it isn't always relevant as DH's live thousands of miles away and rarely engage with their family.

I think the key thing in your posts is that you are asking if another would be a good idea. If you have doubts then don't. The one constant in my life, from a very small child, was the fact that all of my being wanted to be a mother - it welded into me in the way a town is stamped through a stick of rock. If you have doubts then I think it will be harder for you so perhaps not.

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Hesma · 10/08/2022 06:58

I am a single parent with 2kids (exH left) since they were 5&2. Have no support network as my family live 100 miles away. It’s busy and tiring at times but by no means impossible

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YukoandHiro · 10/08/2022 06:59

My first DC was(and to an extent still is) very hard - ill at birth, colic for seven months, multiple severe food allergies which gave me PNA. Partner is supportive but works shifts and so wasn't around or needed to sleep a lot. The resentment/tiredness/anxiety on my part defInitely affected our relationship.

I am an only child and needed a lot of convincing to have a second. Weirdly I've found it so much easier having two. The second also has allergies but was a dream baby. They entertain each other. Because there's two the labour is shared more equally. I'm much less resentful, and our relationship is flourishing again. So glad I went for it.

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WhatNoRaisins · 10/08/2022 06:59

I reckon most mums will need at least one of those things to cope with a second child and at least two to cope with a third.

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drawacircleroundit · 10/08/2022 07:00

It breaks my heart to write this, but I wish I had stopped at one.
I have a great DH; he excels at the day-to-day but his executive functioning skills are non-existent. He does not have empathy - this does not cause problems, because I have come to terms with it. We have no support network whatsoever.
Life stopped being joyous as DCs headed towards secondary school. The pressures regarding their happiness, future financial security (when our own disposable income is relatively low), not being able to afford holidays, being frustrated at some of their teachers (hard work not marked, unwillingness or inability to control class behaviour, not knowing who they are because they are both quiet…), trying to embed healthy eating habits, moving house to escape unbearable neighbours to secure undisturbed nights’ sleep for them, the sadness when one of them (DS, ASD) only receives a single birthday card - and that’s from us, the suffocating realisation that we alone are responsible for their security and happiness - and what if something happened to us…
We went to make a will a few months ago and gave up because we don’t have an executor or the ready cash to pay a solicitor to do this. We are literally running our household on the good fortune of having good jobs and our health, and, when one of those goes, we’re fucked.
So if you haven’t got a support network, be prepared for the guilt of knowing you’re relying on luck.
Sorry, that all sounds very depressing, but I suppose I’m saying that, once the broody feeling is satisfied, you have at least 18 years of navigating a difficult world for your DC. Unless you’re independently wealthy, mentally resilient and don’t have to work, in which case go for it!

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drawacircleroundit · 10/08/2022 07:03

Hesma · 10/08/2022 06:58

I am a single parent with 2kids (exH left) since they were 5&2. Have no support network as my family live 100 miles away. It’s busy and tiring at times but by no means impossible

What would you do if your health failed, or if you suddenly couldn’t drive, or work? Genuinely curious as I’m in awe of how you don’t crumble into a catastrophising soup of worry about the future.

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Wouldloveanother · 10/08/2022 07:05

drawacircleroundit · 10/08/2022 07:03

What would you do if your health failed, or if you suddenly couldn’t drive, or work? Genuinely curious as I’m in awe of how you don’t crumble into a catastrophising soup of worry about the future.

She probably doesn’t have the time to do that.

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