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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 10-01-2013, 01:45 AM   #6
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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   #7
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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   #8
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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   #9
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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   #10
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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   #11
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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   #12
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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, 06:29 AM   #13
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We struggled with this as well. We were so happy with just one, but felt we wanted to give dd a sibling. They are almost 4 years apart. I think it's a good age gap, but wouldn't want them too much more apart.

For me, I talked with a few adults who were only's and they all said they wished they had a sibling growing up. One was very bitter and said he would never do that to a child, he felt it was cruel, not sure why or what happened to make him feel that way. Another was dealing with her mom being sick and in a nursing home, dad passed away and all responsibility was on her. She said she wished she had someone to share the burden. Now we all know just because you have a sibling it does not mean they will get along or help each other. The other is one of my best friends. She is happy being an only but did say she wants one more child, so she will have 3!

I think the key to having an only is to keep them busy and in activities. You have to work harder and arrange play dates etc. since they don't have that built in play mate. I have a friend who has an only and she is so well adjusted, polite etc. She is in many activities like soccer, spanish, gymnastics etc. I think the only children who grow up bitter are those who spent a lot of time alone. That's just my guess.

Either way, there is no right or wrong, there are many advantages to having one child, and I think it is becoming much more common now a days. Good luck in your decision.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:33 AM   #14
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I grew up an only child and hated it. When I was in my late teens, my parents blessed me with two siblings. Both our parents have passed and I am so happy I am not alone! Yes, I am married and have children and grandchildren, but its not the same.
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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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