I have been thinking about this a lot lately. Maybe it is because we are fast approaching little B's first birthday? Maybe it is because there has been a gush of pregnancy announcements (most of them 2nd or 3rd) in the past few weeks? Maybe it is because the farther away I get from my whole infertility, terrible pregnancy, unplanned c-section experience, the less bad it seems?
Regardless of the reasons, it's happening. Baby fever? Not exactly. I am torn. Completely undecided on the idea of having another child. Every time I make a decision in my head and think that it is the one that makes the most sense, I think of something to refute that decision and I'm back to square one. What gives?
My husband is just as much on the fence as me. He went from not wanting any kids, to wanting one child, to wanting for children, and now he isn't sure if he wants any more. He really likes CrossFit (did you know???), knows that it takes lots of his time, and knows it already makes me resentful sometimes. Why would he want to introduce another needy individual into the mix when we already struggle to keep everything together right now?
Google, "Should I have a second child?" and the results that you get won't really surprise you. There are articles to support both decisions, although it seemed that there were definitely more articles that I found that supported the idea of "one and done". I think that if you are looking to be convinced on the side that you are leaning towards, you will find what you want. If you are completely undecided, like me, then the articles won't really help.
Why shouldn't you have more than one child? Well first off, you'll be more wealthy than if you had more than one child. Your child will be able to go to good schools, will be able to go to expensive summer camps, and you'll be able to take that family trip to Europe. You'll have a nicer car and a nicer house.
Another reason to only have one child? You'll be happier, apparently. There are several articles that I found, such as this one, that suggest that mother's of only children are the happiest. Maybe this is because they ultimately have more time to devote to themselves and don't have to give *everything* up. I would assume that this would ring even more true for mothers, like myself, who work full-time, exercise regularly, and have some semblance of a social life. Life is already hard enough balancing the needs and wants of one high-maintenance child, that juggling all that with two children seems downright impossible to me.
Oh and you'll sleep more, that's for sure (unless you have my child). Once you have successfully sleep trained one child (they say this happens eventually, but I am not convinced) then along comes the second and poof you are at square one again. This is especially true since you'll be living in a smaller house and your kids will be sharing a room so when one of them wakes up, they both wake up. Hugs for everyone!! Please put on another pot of coffee!
Internet searches aside, I have seen my friends go from one child to two and for most of them, it hasn't been an easy transition. They have less than no time to do anything that they have to do let along time to do things they want to do. One of the children is always sick and then once one of the recovers, the other one gets it. Someone is always crying. The house is always messy with kids toys everywhere. They have no time or energy to exercise. I have even had several friends confide in me that if they could go back and do it again, they would not have had a second child. I am not sure if there are lots of parents out there that feel this way or if I am just randomly lucky enough to know a few of them.
You would think that this knowledge, alone, might be enough to scare me away from the idea of a second child. Just when I am making sense to myself regarding the idea of one child, this thought hits my head, "What happens if my husband and I die? He will be all alone in the world. How sad." Those thoughts are accompanied by thoughts of, "He'll be a spoiled brat" and "He'll have imaginary friends", along with "I'll have to entertain him until he is 10 years old."
I knew only children growing up, in fact, one of my best friends from high school was an only child. She is a very smart and incredibly nice person, but she definitely had an only child "diva" side that I saw on more than one occasion (albeit many, many, years ago).
The truth is that I don't know a ton of only children, but I do know of the stereotype. Bratty, spoiled, entitled, lonely, bored, and overprotected. I have also heard that only children are usually smarter and have lots of friends (probably because they have to or they will get bored!), though so it obviously mus not be all bad.
What I do have a ton of experience with is multiple child households, since I came from one and most of my friends came from households with more than one child. There was always someone to play with, but also always someone to fight with (haha). Now that I am grown up, I appreciate my siblings a lot. They, especially the my 3 next youngest sisters, are my best friends. We share tons of memories and inside jokes. We have built in support systems when we need it. We always have someone who we can cry to and who understands the full story because we really, really, know each other.
Our neighbor has warned me over and over again, "Have your second (and third, and forth...) child before the other one is out of diapers because it will be hard in the beginning, but then much easier later on in life." They have two girls that are about 20 months apart. I feel like I can understand this logic. You wouldn't want to wait too long in-between children because you want to be able to reuse your baby stuff and of course the art of diaper changing is easily forgotten! ;-)
So what is the decision going to be? I guess it just isn't as straight forward and will require more time. Who knows, maybe we wouldn't even be able to have another child. I guess that would solve the issue for us. Or would it? Would I become a jealous, second-baby-craving, mommy? Would I revisit my RE and get put on meds again? Would I become obsessed like last time? Would I have more miscarriages? Would I need more D&Cs? What if I have another boy? Would I want a girl instead? After having two, would that be all or would I go for a third? I am also heading into my mid-30s and we all know what happens to every woman's fertility at the age of 35. Ahhhh sometimes I wish I could just shut off this side of my brain and let what will be, be.
share this on »