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Old 10-01-2013, 12:12 AM   #1
dismom22
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Only Child...input needed.

DH and I are in discussion of having our second child. DD will be 4 in February and I *thought* our plan was to take out my Mirena when we got back from Disney...so, uh, now. What I thought was our plan has quickly changed and become more of a debate. I realize this is a serious decision that only DH and I can make; I was just hoping to get some insight from a variety of people. Some things I'm trying to consider:

1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?

2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)

5- What's the age difference between your children along with the pros & cons?!

Anything else you'd like to add, I would certainly appreciate. I would love brutal honesty. I am on the fence but leaning towards DD getting a sibling. I don't want to fight with DH about this. I respect his opinion and do understand his concerns because I have them too, I suppose I just see the bigger picture. For instance, he's concerned with finances, being "stuck" for the next 3-5 years, normal stress of baby (late nights), DD's current behavior and future, our lack of organization around the house, and the fact that our relationship could use some work, nothing terrible, just typical married life stress, etc...

Whew, that's a lot. Sorry so long...just something constantly on my mind lately and need input. Thanks!!
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:25 AM   #2
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We have an only child, partly by choice and partly not.

I always only wanted one and after a pretty terrible labour and delivery I was even more sure. When our son was a year, we started talking about a second and had decided to shelve the convo and look at it more when he was two years old.

Then, when he was 17 months old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and the result of all of it is that I can't have any more children.

Had this not happened, I am pretty sure we would have had a second.

I feel bad for our son, he is 8 now and for the last year or so he has been talking about how sad it is that he does not have a brother or sister and he won't ever have one. But then I remind him that if he had a sibling, we would not be able to visit Disneyland as often as we do!

All joking aside, while I am mostly at peace with only having our son, there is a small part that feels terribly guilty that I can't give him the sibling he wants.
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Old 10-01-2013, 12:58 AM   #3
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My son likes being an only child. I was 1st in a family of three kids. Everyone I've ever talked to about a 2nd child said it was MUCH more work with two, but wouldn't change things. This is such a personal choice and one you'll have to work out at home, eh?
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:12 AM   #4
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My only is 10. I would like to have more, but his father and I divorced 4 years ago, and I am not in a place, nor would I like to have other children by myself.

Sometimes I do worry about him being by himself as he gets older, but then again, I am the oldest of 4 and I am not particularly close to any of my siblings. I do hope that he meets someone who is close to their family so he has that sense of belonging. He does have lots of cousins and 2 step siblings, although they are much older, so he does have some family.

Having one isn't what I planned, and sometimes I get really sad/upset about it, but it is what it is, and you just have to keep on going on.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:24 AM   #5
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I am expecting #3 at the moment. It is a very personal choice for parents. DH and I knew we wanted more than 1 child. We agreed on a number before we started having kids. DS #1 loves being a big brother. We will have all boys when DS #3 shows up. My oldest and middle are 2 years apart. My oldest will be almost 5 years older than his little brother and my middle will be 2 1/2 years older than his little brother. The best part is DS #1 and DS #2 really are best friends. They love to play together and have a lot of fun. Both are VERY stubborn and like to have their own way. Having a sibling helps with having to share time and toys. Good luck with your decision!!
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:22 PM   #6
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Please don't feel guilty. He gets to experience all of the attention and never has to compete with anyone else. You also don't have to deal with fighting. I have daughters who fight all the time. It drives me batty!

I have read only children tend to have more friends because they are more inclined to be social. (This is contrary to some of the other posts but this is what I have read and observed with other kids).

Plus, you seem like a great mom so that is a HUGE bonus for your boy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aladora View Post
We have an only child, partly by choice and partly not.

I always only wanted one and after a pretty terrible labour and delivery I was even more sure. When our son was a year, we started talking about a second and had decided to shelve the convo and look at it more when he was two years old.

Then, when he was 17 months old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer and the result of all of it is that I can't have any more children.

Had this not happened, I am pretty sure we would have had a second.

I feel bad for our son, he is 8 now and for the last year or so he has been talking about how sad it is that he does not have a brother or sister and he won't ever have one. But then I remind him that if he had a sibling, we would not be able to visit Disneyland as often as we do!

All joking aside, while I am mostly at peace with only having our son, there is a small part that feels terribly guilty that I can't give him the sibling he wants.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:51 AM   #7
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I am the oldest of 4; we were born over a 10 year time span. I love my brother and sisters, but they each have brought their stress and drama into our relationships over the years. Nothing permanent, but at any given time I have had a sib who has stopped talking to the rest of us for months on end, or longer. (I, in retrospect, am perfect and I'm sure none of them would complain about me... they wouldn't dare! ). DH is #5 of 7 kids, youngest of the four boys, and the stories are legend! They all get along well now as adults, but were contentious as kids, to say the least. I am sure his parents' divorce when DH was 14 didn't help, but these are kids who fought with each other long and hard, and bloodshed wasn't uncommon. (Neither were threats to hang the kitten (literally) if sibling X didn't do what sibling Y wanted.) My MIL did the best she could, raising 7 kids, working full time, and dealing with a philandering husband.

Our DD is an only. I had her when I was 37, and it was a hard labor and delivery, and ended up with a 43 week pregnancy, a broken pelvis, and a post-partum infection that almost killed me. Needless to say, I wasn't interested in "trying again" right away. However, when DD was 4, I was pregnant again. I just couldn't believe it. I wasn't thrilled at all- more like in shock. I didn't want to have another child. It wasn't fear of another god-awful pregnancy or anything like that; I just knew I didn't want another child. One is a good number for me. Of course, the OB/GYN office was packed with patients, and I couldn't get a first appointment until I was 6 weeks along. However, the morning I was supposed to go for the first U/S, I miscarried. People are always shocked when I say this, but it really didn't bother me. I knew I didn't want to have another child. Don't get me wrong, I am sure I would have fallen in love with the new baby and raised him/her with endless love, but I just knew that one child was all I really wanted to have in my family.

DD20 (WOW how'd THAT happen?) is now a junior in college, dean's list student, VP of her sorority, teaches 5 dance classes a week, and dances with two ballet companies as a soloist in one and a demi-soloist in the other, so I don't think being an only has left her shy or introverted, or spoiled (can't work your way up through a ballet corps as a high schooler if you are self-centered!. Growing up she went through periods of wishing she had a sibling, but she says it was always more in passing and never really bothered her that much. She was often horrified by the mess and confusion in the homes of friends where there were 4 or 5 kids and admits that she was often happy to return to the peace and orderliness of our home. DD went on many trips with us and enjoys my company. In fact, we always offered to take friends to Disney with us, but usually DD turned us down; she was always disappointed when her friends would come with us, thinking "vacation" meant "laze by the pool all day and eat junk food." Several of those vacations weren't much fun.

Oddly enough, in the past few months I have found myself wondering about whether we should have had that second child. Maybe it's easier to consider, knowing that that ship has sailed, and I'm guessing that it's because DD is really away at school and we don't see much of her this year (college is in the town we live in). I don't know... but I don't dwell on it, and don't regret the decisions we made. It worked for all three of us!
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:45 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dismom22 View Post
DH and I are in discussion of having our second child. DD will be 4 in February and I *thought* our plan was to take out my Mirena when we got back from Disney...so, uh, now. What I thought was our plan has quickly changed and become more of a debate. I realize this is a serious decision that only DH and I can make; I was just hoping to get some insight from a variety of people. Some things I'm trying to consider:

1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?
Skipping this question

2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

I am an only child. As a kid I had great childhood but rember always wishing my parents would play with me more. I wanted friends over a lot.
As I got older I became almost smothering being my mother's sole focus. I wish there was someone else to share this attention.
As I see my parents aging it is stressful to me to think about caring for them alone. Even simple things like calling a sibling and chatting about how my parents are doing or how they are annoying me would be great.
Now that I have children I wish had had siblings so that they could have an aunt/uncle and possibly cousins. (DH has a brother but that is another story)

I have very much benefited from being an only financially. My parents paid for my undergrad degree and helped me through school more than they would have been able to with more children.


3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

Yes, we very much had the same issues you are dealing with. We finally decided that although we were unsure we must try. If we did not deep down really want another we would not be wrestling with the issue so much. We decided to try for a set length of time, 6 months. If nothing happened within that time frame we would be happy with what we had
.
4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)

Life with 2 is more hectic. More of everything. Laundry, cleaning, junk around the house. But..I love it. Could not imagine things any other way.

I believe having a sibling has helped my DS6 socially. He is much better at realizing the world does not revolve
Around him and loves DD1.

5- What's the age difference between your children along with the pros & cons?!

DS was 4 when DD was born. The downside to this age difference is that we were out of the baby stage and enjoying the freedom of not carrying supplies with us everywhere. We could go to movies, DS's ball games, events without major hindrances. Now we are back to chasing a toddler around and scheduling around naps.

The pros are DS is helpful with DD. he can entertain her, help her, let me know if she needs something, hand her stuff in the car etc. All these little things that add up to be really helpful.

Anything else you'd like to add, I would certainly appreciate. I would love brutal honesty. I am on the fence but leaning towards DD getting a sibling. I don't want to fight with DH about this. I respect his opinion and do understand his concerns because I have them too, I suppose I just see the bigger picture. For instance, he's concerned with finances, being "stuck" for the next 3-5 years, normal stress of baby (late nights), DD's current behavior and future, our lack of organization around the house, and the fact that our relationship could use some work, nothing terrible, just typical married life stress, etc...

Whew, that's a lot. Sorry so long...just something constantly on my mind lately and need input. Thanks!!

Good luck with your decision. I completely understand where you are coming from.
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:53 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dismom22 View Post
DH and I are in discussion of having our second child. DD will be 4 in February and I *thought* our plan was to take out my Mirena when we got back from Disney...so, uh, now. What I thought was our plan has quickly changed and become more of a debate. I realize this is a serious decision that only DH and I can make; I was just hoping to get some insight from a variety of people. Some things I'm trying to consider:

1- If you only have one child, why did you decide to (assuming you had the choice which I know is not always the case)? How is it raising your only?

2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)

5- What's the age difference between your children along with the pros & cons?!

Anything else you'd like to add, I would certainly appreciate. I would love brutal honesty. I am on the fence but leaning towards DD getting a sibling. I don't want to fight with DH about this. I respect his opinion and do understand his concerns because I have them too, I suppose I just see the bigger picture. For instance, he's concerned with finances, being "stuck" for the next 3-5 years, normal stress of baby (late nights), DD's current behavior and future, our lack of organization around the house, and the fact that our relationship could use some work, nothing terrible, just typical married life stress, etc...

Whew, that's a lot. Sorry so long...just something constantly on my mind lately and need input. Thanks!!
I have 2 dd's that are 5yrs apart. They are 22 and 17. Pro is that each kid is sort of an "only child", which is also a negative. My dd's are not close but then again my oldest is also a "spitfire".

We wanted kids closer in age and more than 2 but we had fertility issues.

That is a tough spot to be in.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:26 AM   #10
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As the only child of parents who were also onlies (all by choice), I can honestly say that at my age (69) I have never once been disappointed in not having siblings. Life is much less complicated. Decisions concerning my grandparents & parents were straight forward with no squabbling, resentment, etc. Inheritence issues didn't exist. We were a very close knit family & I know I had opportunities that some of my friends did not.

I fully planned to have an only, his father was oldest of 4 & hated it. But lo & behold 5 yrs later, I went to the ER with back pains & left with a 9lb son! Surprise! Because they were far enough apart, we were able to give each one the attention we felt we should. And yes, they were as different as night & day. My oldest was as you say a "handful", but the youngest was so laid back sometimes it drove me nuts!

Life does go on, & I eventually divorced. I raised my sons within my close family & they had the priviledge of knowing their great grandparents who loved them unconditionally.

However, neither one was able to find a wife so the line ended with the death of my oldest in 1994 and his brother in 2007.

I am totally alone now. Does it bother me? No because I have learned to enjoy my own company. Of course I miss my sons terribly & the rest of my family too. But I could be more alone & have more stress if I had siblings who didn't get along.

I also find it somewhat laughable when a young child sees his friends & asks for a baby brother or sister. Looks like fun but the reality is far different. So parents, I think you should get over the idea that another child is some kind of a gift for the child you already have and have a 2nd or 3rd child for yourself because you really want one & have the resourses to raise them.

Good luck in your decision. It won't be "wrong" no matter what!
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:37 AM   #11
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Only child here...and lovin' it!!!

I never, not once, wished for a sibling. OK, maybe once. But I really, really wanted a puppy...

Seriously though, I have never felt lonely, my parents were never hovering and cloying, I have lived a normal life and most people are surprised when I tell them I am an only child because I apparently don't fit the mold. Even when I was younger, I remember my parents going to teacher conferences and several teachers remarked that I didn't seem like an only child. I am always surprised, though, at the prejudices and preconceptions of what an only child is like.

As long as you don't cloister your child, have access to playmates, etc, your child will be fine as an only.
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:47 AM   #12
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Obviously, this is something only you and your husband can decide. We have two boys who are 2 years/2 months apart and for us, it's perfect. After DS#1, we were debating having another and really weren't sure. Well, nature kind of made the decision for us and it was the best one ever! We're lucky that my guys get along great and always have. Even at 13 and 11, they choose to spend time together and have a very special bond.

As for two being a lot more work, I never really thought so. The adjustment to the first one was much, much, much harder than the adjustment to the second. With a second, you already know what you're doing. And all those jokes about not worrying as much are definitely true! You know the joke. For the first you sterilize everything, pack everything, scrutinize everything, babyproof everything and then for the second it's just grab and go. Yep, that's the way.

I do marvel at families with more than two, though--where the adults are outnumbered!

Good luck with whatever your decision!
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:15 AM   #13
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Nothing wrong with just one. Lots of great people are only children.

I think you can make zero predictions about sibling relationships based on how far apart they are.

Why does DH think another child would make DD "worse"? If she's used to being the center of the universe....well, that shouldn't continue, whether she's an only, or not.

There are no financial guarantees in life, you can plan and prepare the best you can, but there just aren't.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:22 AM   #14
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I am an only child. I hated it, hated it, hated it. I was alone with adults a lot. Vacations were usually just me and my parents. I vowed to never have only one. We have 3.

More of a spit fire? No. I think she will learn it isn't all about her in the long run.

I never debated a #2. I knew we had to have at least 2 children.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dismom22 View Post
2- If YOU are an only child, how was your life affected both as a kid and as an adult? (This is one thing I struggle with...DD being alone as she gets older and we do as well...)

3- If you have more than one child, did you ever have this issue, debating #2? How did you handle it?

4- Is more harder than just one? We have our hands full with DD, she's a spitfire that's for sure. DH is concerned that having #2 will not help and possibly cause DD to be "worse" (I hate that word but for lack of better...)
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:34 AM   #15
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I'm an only child with an only child.

I was fine being an only child. I have a lot of friends who aren't particularly close to their siblings, and there's a ton of family drama I got to skip without all those sibling relationships.

My son didn't come along until I was 40. If it had just been a few years earlier, like 37 or so, I probably would have had a second, but as it is he has some special needs, and it's good we can devote all our resources to him.

You mentioned some issues in your marriage. The thing about having a second child is that for many, it is exponentially harder. I know more than one marriage that a second child sank, just because the parents couldn't handle the workload and maintain their relationship. Sad, but true.
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