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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.

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

drawacircleroundit · 10/08/2022 07:09

Wouldloveanother · 10/08/2022 07:05

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

Thank you so much for your input; brilliant post.

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Strawberries86 · 10/08/2022 07:11

I have 2, first was a little monster but I would now say is relatively easy. Second is another level of hard work. My partner was useless and is now a useless ex. Without my family I’d have gone insane.

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Beelezebub · 10/08/2022 07:13

If you had an other half who was pulling his weight your list wouldn’t exist (I’m ignoring your ‘easy’ child one because you can’t pick, there’s no menu pre-conception for easy or hard children).

He’s your problem, not whether to have another child.

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Backofapostcard · 10/08/2022 07:15

So if you picture your life in 10, 20 years time, would the bigger regret be not having a second dc or having one and struggling?

I'm similar, except I've already got 2. I get no support externally and there's only 13 months between them so it's been hard and testing at times. Wouldn't change it though

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loislovesstewie · 10/08/2022 07:15

I would advise anyone who is considering having children to only go ahead if you can do it without expecting grandparents to help. Think about how you would cope if your spouse was ill or just had to work shifts/every hour under the sun, or away most of the week. Some kids are 'easy', some have chronic health issues , additional needs etc . At the end of the day you will be the one to cope, no -one else. BTW, I had no help from grandparents ( mine had both died) and all the other factors applied at some point. It was a struggle at times, but I really expected nothing else.

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CleopatrasBeautifulNose · 10/08/2022 07:19

I think it is really high risk to do it.
If you can cope essentially being the only good role model (and children can copy either parent so you may duplicate the lazy man), maybe you can parent well enough so that your children are decent people you like having around that's great. But if you don't cope with that and the parenting isn't brilliant because you're so poorly supported (he's undermining your best efforts because he's taking the path of least resistance while you're trying to effectively parent) you could (possibly) have sibling problems or just a kid who is hard work to be with.

Then there is the ever present risk that things don't go well. All pregnancies have this risk but the consequences are harder to bear if only one of you is stepping up. The risk of you suffering physical harm from the pregnancy/birth and needing plenty of support after the birth. Or the risk the child is disabled in some way and has high needs.

It's a bit of a gloomy question but you shouldn't go into such a big thing without weighing up the risks. It's a long old life to ponder it afterwards.

Personally I wouldn't do a second child with a lazy partner I'd just ride out the broody feelings. I don't think it's fair on the kids apart from anything.

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Macaroni46 · 10/08/2022 07:24

I was determined to have two having grown up as a (in my case, lonely) only child. My now exDH wasn't great at the baby stage and I had no family support. But I had two anyway because I wanted my DD1 to have a sibling. It's the best thing I did. They're 18 months apart. No sibling rivalry as they're so close in each, played together (same sex) and now as young adults are each other's best friends. There were hard times - having two under two wasn't easy and they often fought ferociously growing up! DD2 wasn't the easiest child, very stubborn and quite tantrumy but I never regretted having a second. Now as a mum to adult children I am so pleased I had two. They were also there for each other when my marriage broke up.

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crosbystillsandmash · 10/08/2022 07:29

Not necessarily.

I was a single parent when my 2 were young.
My dd was the opposite of easy, I had limited support from family and although I have some great friends, I had my dc years before they did, so they weren't really around to help me.

I worked too and it was really tough at times but actually much easier once my ex dh was out of the house as he contributed very little to daily family life. I actually look back at the years I was on my own very fondly.

I'm naturally a highly organised person and a fidget, so ok with not sitting down much - maybe that helped?!

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Pom87 · 10/08/2022 07:30

I think this is a thread of overthinking, imagining the worst. In my experience, ultimately nothing can override the drive to have a child and you're more likely to regret not having one than you are the hard work. People cope. Through sickness, through money issues, job issues, family issues. People get through it.

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LearnedAxolotl · 10/08/2022 07:32

I don't agree with deliberately bringing a child into the world when your relationship is probably going to end on account of he's a lazy shit.

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Miffee · 10/08/2022 07:41

I had another baby as I didn't want an only child. I felt that outweighed any risk. I don't know what I would do without my siblings, we fought as kids but we have an amazing relationship as adults (and no at the time they weren't really able to help with DC1 due to their own circumstances).

I felt that giving my child at least one sibling and the chance to have that relationship was one of the most important things I could do for him. They are adults now and it seems to have worked. They are extremely different in every way but have a great deal of loyalty to each other and get on well. We were as poor as church mice when we had DC2, DH was never lazy but due to work he simply wasn't around most of the time. It was not ideal circumstances and I would have been very judged by mumsnet for planning a baby. I don't regret it for a second.

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creekal · 10/08/2022 07:41

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.

Even if you have a partner you could both be in a car accident. There's no point wrong about the worst case scenario.

In answer to the OP, I think I got all of these fills me with absolute dread to think of a 3rd. I thought I could pick up the slack for my lazy DH and I did for a while. It's extremely wearing by the time you get to 1y+ of doing everything, with no intimate sports network to take the load off. 0/10 would not recommend.

Sibling are amazing but I'd focus on giving them the best life rather than chancing it and then struggling through. I guess waiting isn't an option of your older, so you'll have to make your own call.

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Mommabear20 · 10/08/2022 07:42

You manage, not always in the way you think you will, but you will.

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basilmint · 10/08/2022 07:46

The good relationship is key. Easy kids helps. I have no nearby support and NT kids, although they have their own challenges as most kids do. I have a supportive DH who helps a lot. Most issues are with juggling everything alongside FT work. One DC makes that easier. I wouldn't have a second child in a relationship that is not solid.

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RayneDance · 10/08/2022 07:47

Money plugs those gap's.
Do you have any spare money 💰?

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CleopatrasBeautifulNose · 10/08/2022 08:06

Whether your dh is lazy or not though he is still the other parent. Does he want a second child?
Making someone a parent (first time or again) against their will isn't right, have you talked to him about it?

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Goldencup · 10/08/2022 08:12

My biggest question is if you are SAH or trying to work, if the former your life is about to get immeasurably easier when DC1 goes to school. If you are trying to hold down 2 careers think very, very carefully childcare for 2 is no joke and you absolutely need a DP who does their share.

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kikisparks · 10/08/2022 08:34

I have a very involved husband, great family support and I’m not sure if DD is easy as she’s only 9 months but she’s wonderful, sweet and fun- and I still feel I don’t have the capacity to parent a second child, I feel I can be a good parent to my one child but not more. So it’s probably more an individual thing albeit the factors you mention are important.

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NerrSnerr · 10/08/2022 08:35

Gruffling · 10/08/2022 00:49

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

We don't have any family support but I do have a supportive husband who does his equal share of the parenting.

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kikisparks · 10/08/2022 08:42

And siblings can be good but in my very close family alone:

  • one adult didn’t talk to their sibling for 10 years, they talk now but it’s strained
  • one has a sibling they haven’t spoken to in 20+ years
  • one has 2 siblings who he barely speaks to and they did no care of his elderly parents and made things harder after they died

I love my sibling but our contact is sporadic and my adult life would be much the same if I was an only child.

Personally I think “giving a child a sibling” is an unfair reason to procreate, a second child is a human being not a gift for the first. IMO a good reason to have a child is because you (and their other parent if applicable) want one.
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Goldencup · 10/08/2022 08:49

kikisparks · 10/08/2022 08:42

And siblings can be good but in my very close family alone:

  • one adult didn’t talk to their sibling for 10 years, they talk now but it’s strained
  • one has a sibling they haven’t spoken to in 20+ years
  • one has 2 siblings who he barely speaks to and they did no care of his elderly parents and made things harder after they died

I love my sibling but our contact is sporadic and my adult life would be much the same if I was an only child.

Personally I think “giving a child a sibling” is an unfair reason to procreate, a second child is a human being not a gift for the first. IMO a good reason to have a child is because you (and their other parent if applicable) want one.

I do get this, I really do. But my sibling is my best friend and greatest support in the whole world, if I was fleeing a burning building and it was her or DH (after I'd saved the DCs) I would think carefully. I have loved her completely and unconditionally since the day she was born and we unreservedly have each other's backs.

Now I know there are no guarantees but even there was even a 10% chance of giving the DCs a chance of knowing that connection I'd do it.

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HoppingPavlova · 10/08/2022 08:51

Nope, need none of those (although I’m sure they would be good, they are not necessary). We lived far from family, no established network and managed. We did it by working opposite shifts and days (both full time and I was pulling massive hours over usual shifts at times). We didn’t piss each other off as we rarely saw each other, either tagging in/out a door or someone was sleeping while someone was up so the relationship aspect was neither here nor there really. Also didn’t have ‘easy’ kids as two had/have SN. DH did take a year off though with one as they were in hospital for several months after birth and then constantly and out and it wouldn’t have worked with us both working when I returned. That was only for one kid though and special circumstances otherwise we managed to juggle.

To my mind the barrier here is the your DH, not the other aspects. My DH was not lazy with the kids as there was no option for him to be.

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GreenFingersWouldBeHandy · 10/08/2022 08:53

my partner is lazy

I think this is your issue.

Why have you put up with this?

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creekal · 10/08/2022 08:54

With siblings I think people misunderstand. The parents want a second child and they also want to create a sibling relationship. My sibling died quite early, but I wasn't going to not have another child on the off chance they despised each other or one died. Besides cultures where people are pressured to, or pushed to by their partner, the parent still wants a second child.

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Miffee · 10/08/2022 09:18

Goldencup · 10/08/2022 08:49

I do get this, I really do. But my sibling is my best friend and greatest support in the whole world, if I was fleeing a burning building and it was her or DH (after I'd saved the DCs) I would think carefully. I have loved her completely and unconditionally since the day she was born and we unreservedly have each other's backs.

Now I know there are no guarantees but even there was even a 10% chance of giving the DCs a chance of knowing that connection I'd do it.

Exactly this. If you have this relationship with your siblings it's the greatest thing you can imagine giving to your child.

Of course I wasn't niave enough to believe they would caetainly have it too but I encouraged it how I could and obviously I modelled it. They are still in early adulthood at the moment and shit could of course go tits up but so far they seem to have a very positive and equal relationship. If they hated each other o don't think I would have regretted at least trying.

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