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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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Rainallnight · 10/08/2022 09:26

Ignore @Sartre being sanctimonious. L’enfer, c'est les autres, is sometimes all too true. Some kids just are the way they are.

I’d say it depends on how lazy your partner is. We have no support network, one tricky and one easy child and I definitely carry the mental load, but DP does a decent share.

It is sometimes (very) tough but I’m glad I’ve got both of them and glad they’ve got each other.

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Louise0701 · 10/08/2022 09:28

I’m pregnant with number 4.
Brilliant marriage
Close to family who we see often but they don’t babysit
I don’t know whether they’re “easy” they’re generally lovely and well behaved, get along very well. Eldest son has AN.

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stairgates · 10/08/2022 09:30

Nightmare DH, no support network but great kids so we are our own team, you can do a great job on your own you just have to accept that you are doing it in your own and save the upset of other peoples let downs.

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AllThatAndMore · 10/08/2022 09:32

I have two children ( a three year old and a one year old ), no family in the country , my husband has no family in the country and we have no friends close by. My second doesn’t sleep through the night . It’s hard but it’s doable .

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SecondhandTable · 10/08/2022 09:33

My kids definitely aren't 'easy' so far - eldest is 4 and youngest is 10 month, although eldest always been much more difficult than youngest (so far!). We don't have that great a support network. We did with DC1 but it was mostly one particular grandparent, but they are now unwell so can't really help anymore, and the few other relatives that sometimes did are also having to now provide care for the grandparent, so can't help us out much. If there is an emergency type situation we can usually call on some support but not for run of the mill things. E.g. it's very rare that anyone looks after eldest for us - has happened maybe a handful of times for a few hrs at most since youngest was born - and I've had youngest minded once for about an hour. And almost all of those times were for medical appointments I think. DH and I do have a good relationship tho. Yes we bicker a lot atm because we have two young kids but I'm sure as youngest ages, it will settle down, as it did when eldest came out of baby stage. Neither of us enjoy the baby stage, not helped by youngest not being a good sleeper. Having said all that, we probably won't have anymore, basically for the reasons you outlined (and then some!). We'd like to, but not sure we would cope.

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neverbeenskiing · 10/08/2022 09:34

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.

I agree. My DH is supportive, our relationship has always been strong, he's my best friend and we are very much a team BUT having a 2nd child still tested us more than I thought possible. Our DC2 has SEND and as much as we adore them, it has not been easy. If our relationship had already been on shaky ground or DH didn't pull his weight there's absolutely no way we would have made it. I don't think it's fair on anyone to bring DC into a family situation that you already know is likely to break down.

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Willyoujustbequiet · 10/08/2022 09:37

Yabu

I have 2 with sen. No family at all and a lone parent. I'm Gen X though so we just get on with it.

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Thatboymum · 10/08/2022 09:39

I have none of the above and have raised 3 wonderful smart polite little humans, I’m a single parent their dad is eow, youngest two have adhd and hard work I am autistic little to no support, I have a great job and we have a great quality of life that I am proud of. You can’t plan everything in life so don’t over think it nobody’s life is perfect

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drawacircleroundit · 10/08/2022 09:49

I am so envious of the posters who are single and manage, without fear of the future. That sort of positive can-do non-catastrophic thinking will rub off on your DCs. I have made mine so risk-averse with my worst-case-scenario muttering about everything that I’m now trying to undo it all. You all are so great.

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SallyWD · 10/08/2022 09:56

Well yes that's the ideal but often not the case. I had 2 children with a lovely man who worked very long hours and often travelled for work so I did most parenting on my own. They were NOT easy children when young. We lived in a city hundreds of miles from family and friends and didn't know anyone nearby. Guess what? It was fine! We (I) coped and it just got easier and easier as they went to pre-school then school etc.

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Greenginghamdress · 10/08/2022 12:21

I appreciate all the replies, thank you, plenty of food for thought.
As @PurplePansy05 said (are you me, by the way?!), its not really an option to find someone new. I know it does happen but I'm pushing 38. It may be too late for me to have a 2nd child anyway.
When things are going well i feel I want another. When they aren't just feel I have enough to cope with!
My partner does want another child but he wouldn't get up in the night, likes his lifestyle and although is a great dad, he can be very selfish. We do however have plenty of money for childcare and paid help.
I feel its a toss up between sticking where I am and always wondering and possibly regretting although finding it manageable, or going for it and risking my MH and relationship but I would have done my best to give DD a sibling and I definitely would love 2 adult children. Obviously a lot to go through before getting to that point!

To answer what some posters have said about 'my list' , I know it's not what is required. But it is surely ideal? I do know plenty examples of cases where some has been missing ie. A friends marriage broke up but her parents are extremely helpful and do a hell of a lot of childcare and her children have always slept well. Likewise, my own mum had zero support as she was hundred of miles away from her family but my dad was always very supportive and she said we were relaxed as children (more than DD...she says).

All things considered it's a tough choice with no easy answer. Maybe I'll make peace with sticking with one or perhaps time will decide for me.
Again, cheers everyone for the advice Brew

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Oblomov22 · 10/08/2022 12:26

If partner lazy no.
Dh is a star, but we had no family support. ds1 was a very difficult child and seriously nearly broke me. Ds2 easy.

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NerrSnerr · 10/08/2022 12:42

My partner does want another child but he wouldn't get up in the night, likes his lifestyle and although is a great dad, he can be very selfish.

Would you describe a woman who was selfish, put their lifestyle first and wouldn't get up in the night as a great mum or does having a penis make the bar much lower?

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WhatNoRaisins · 10/08/2022 12:44

With two or more kids you need to be tag teaming otherwise you'll just end up hating him for letting you get burnt out.

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PurplePansy05 · 10/08/2022 12:49

@Greenginghamdress I totally get you. I will be 38 too when DS starts school and when we could potentially have another child, so we are in a very, very similar position indeed.

I think the problem is, even with reasonable amount of money for childcare, when the kids get ill, this is pretty much worthless - if you have no family around, it will be juggling this between you and H and with two kids I can only imagine the challenge. It is difficult with 1 as it is. Plus all their appointments, activities, different schedules etc. You are clearly very switched on so I'm sure you've gone over this in your head.

I am pretty capable I'd like to think and I am good at organising, juggling and generally being busy. I like managing. But I also have a demanding job which isn't particularly geared up for flexibility and certainly not for part time working. It's improved post pandemic, but it's hard to juggle it with childcare without a doubt. My MH suffered a great deal because of the sad history of baby loss pre-DS and then DH not stepping up. And I need to factor this in too, unfortunately. Maybe at my best I would juggle two kids and my job fairly confidently, but now I am not so sure if it's too much for my frazzled head.

What is your job like? I sense from your posts that your heart is longing for another child and I agree that having a sibling relationship is something very precious for DCs too. Of course they may not end up being close in adult life, but this doesn't mean they shouldn't have an opportunity to be in each other's lives in the first place. I am an only child after my brother passed away before I was born and it's something I have always longed for and wanted to give to my DC.

Sending you love and an extra strong cup of tea 🍵 xx

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ErmIDontKnow · 10/08/2022 13:03

I think what you have mentioned really helps, but its doable without

I have 2 DC, I've raised them on my own since my youngest was 8 months old. We had to move away from our hometown due to DV. We dont have any family local and I'm not going to lie, it was so so hard whilst they were babies and toddlers. But their 5 and 7 now and it's relatively easy.

Theres a 22 month gap between my 2. I dont think I'd ever have another baby just because of how hard I found it with these 2 once I had my 2nd.

But I look back now and I'm immensely proud I've done it all by myself and their both happy confident children

I think it's easier to raise them on your own than with a partner who doesnt help and or is abusive. The not helping builds massive resentment, at least on your own you know you just have to crack on

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roarfeckingroarr · 10/08/2022 13:04

I'm having a second (due January) in a doomed relationship (no arguments, just not right, he's a great father but we don't work romantically) with little support! You'll manage. I'll manage. Our DCs will have a sibling.

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Highfivemum · 10/08/2022 13:53

we had no support network except my DB abut he works away a lot. Have 6 DC and we cope fine. They are all very well behaved. My DH is a fab support to me and all our DC. We work together. Routine is what sees me through. Always had it with all mine and it works well.
if your doubting it then maybe not a good idea.

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Charlavail · 10/08/2022 14:28

My DD was 5 when I had DS. She was very much used to being the centre if my universe but she has been an absolute star and dotes on DS.
DP is ok. Probably not amazing on MN terms but he earns good money meaning I can do lots with DC. He does go through fits and starts of trying hard. I have lots of support on both sides which is priceless.
DS couldn't be an easier baby and I had a much happier pregnancy with him. DD is a really good girl apart from being a minnie moaner at times.
Despite all that (especially as recently had some rocky times with DH in the past few weeks) I have sometimes thought I've made things much harder for myself or too different for DD and get jealous of my sister having just one child to giver her all to but how can I regret DS when he brings me such joy. Maybe I did have him selfishly but having any baby is selfish when you think of it like that?
Just as a side note because I saw it mentioned earlier I feel less able to leave DH (we aren't actually at that point) now I have DS as well. And come to think of it most single parents i know only have one child.

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TheTeddyBears · 10/08/2022 14:31

In your shoes no u may likely regret it. 2 is so much harder and more so if that baby is a needy one. I thought I might have a third but absolutely not! I underestimated how hard 2 wld be. That's with a dh that helps and my family that also look after them and often overnight a few times a month. Youngest is 2 now and eldest 5, I find when I only have one of them it's so easy in comparison. I can't wait for my eldest to start school soon 😂 means I'll get more 1 on 1 time with both them and less fighting!

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Greenginghamdress · 10/08/2022 17:02

Some very interesting stories here.

@stairgates How do you mean by nightmare DH?

I wondered if anyone who decided to stick with 1 had lots of questions from other people?
I went out with a couple of mum friends (they don't know me really well; in fairness, we've just known each other for a year or so through DD's class) and they kept asking if I was going to have another baby and that I shouldn't have just one as everything will be tied up in DD - whatever that means!
How do you answer these kind of questions?

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PurplePansy05 · 10/08/2022 17:11

I get this a lot, even from close friends who know my history of baby loss, but they constantly comment on the lovely relationship between DS and I and throw in comments like these too. I just say "I am not thinking about this at this stage" and this shuts them up. I think it's a very intrusive question for a variety of reasons tbh, and a rather insensitive one.

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gogohmm · 10/08/2022 17:27

No - I have 2 kids. I lived nearly 5000 miles from family, knew nobody really, eldest has autism exh worked 60 hours a week. I got on with in

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Pleasecouldihavesomeadvice · 10/08/2022 17:37

If your relationship isn’t strong, I would strongly recommend sticking with one child.

2 children are hard work, and especially on your own. The 2nd might be harder than your current child too, so if there’s a small chance of splitting with your partner, I’d suggest not having another.

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SisyphusDad · 10/08/2022 17:56

Two kids. Widowed 10 years ago. No family or other support network. Fortunately the boys are / have been good most of the time, otherwise it would have been extremely hard.

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