Will I ever want a second child?

I always thought I would, but right now…

My colleagues are delivering their first babies left and right.  It’s a regular boom.  I look at the newborns and think… man I’m glad that’s not me.

The plan was to have one before tenure, and then one after my tenure packet was in.  DC would be old enough to help and over a lot of those issues that 2-4 year olds tend to have when presented with new competition.

My tenure packet is coming due this summer.  But I’m not feeling it.

Getting pregnant is very difficult for me. It took well over a year and a half (not counting the 9 months of pregnancy that followed) of eating perfectly (no brownies! ), taking insulin-sensitizing medications, not drinking, no sushi, having my legs up in straddle position in one specialist office after another, drugs, desperation, vomit…

The pregnancy itself… tiredness, anemia, a few months of the complete inability to keep literally any food down other than fruit and fizzy water (thank Goodness we figured out that fruit stayed down), a well-trod path between my office and the bathroom (will I make it now that the nearest restroom is farther away and there’s often a line?), trying to find a prenatal vitamin I could keep down, the hypoglycemic mood swings, sudden need for food… and, what’s worse, the constant fear of loss during pregnancy that lasts long after the birth.

Then even our perfect baby destroyed our sleep and made us sick.  Baby boot camp is only two weeks long, but I can’t imagine going through it again.  And it is unlikely that #2 will be as “easy” as #1, just because of regression to the mean.  (Did I mention there’s no maternity leave at my school?)

The plan was to go to the doctor in March and get a prescription for metformin, then ramp up to 1500ml over the course of a couple of months.  First you take 500ml.  Then you wait until you stop throwing up.  Then you take 1000ml.  Another week and a half of throwing up.  Then 1500 ml.  If you eat anything too greasy, you throw up.  If you eat anything you’re not supposed to be eating you go hypoglycemic.  Metformin is the ultimate commitment device.  I’m a size 6 when I’m trying to get pregnant. But if I don’t do metformin, my chance of early miscarriage skyrockets.

We love our kid more than life.  (S)He brings us daily joy.  But (s)he’s also very time-intensive.  Always going, always interacting, never napping.  Do we want to introduce another?  Do we want to keep pouring all our time into this one?  Maybe just a little longer to watch every moment (outside of daycare, of course) of hir growing up.  We kind of like the routines we’ve settled into.  And we’re not sure we could take more time away from work.

Will I want one after tenure?

My mom said she waited until I was old enough to help out and had started asking for a sibling.  DC doesn’t seem interested just yet.  Hir friends are getting siblings but ze seems happy to be an only.

Trying for #1 was obvious… I *HAD* to have a baby.  My need greatly outweighed any rational considerations.  I had baby fever, which I hear is something that folks who don’t generally like kids often get.  Mother nature’s way of getting us to reproduce.

I’m not ready now. Will I ever be? Will baby fever hit me when it is too late to do anything about?  Maybe recently there have been some little twinges.  I’m not sure.  But there’s nothing obvious going on and I’m leery of getting started.  But maybe I’ll go to the doctor and get a prescription and see where that goes.  Or maybe I’ll just keep putting it off.

DC has actually weighed in on this issue… hir friends are gaining little brothers and sisters right and left, and ze is bemused by the entire process.  Hir current stance is that someday ze would like a little sibling, and is confident that ze would make an excellent older sibling, but not right now (or really any time soon).  Luckily 9 months is an eternity in the life of a preschooler, if we do decide to go for it.

How did you know you were ready or not ready for #2?  (Or not ready for a #1!)

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57 Responses to “Will I ever want a second child?”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    It’s okay to have 1 kid. I never had the burning desire for children and was in my 30′s by the time I had my first one and even then it was like “well, let’s see what all the fuss is all about”.

    It’s a lot harder with 2 than it was with one. (Although people say it’s easier because they play together, but so far, mine only seem to fight). When someone gets sick, it lasts twice as long because once one kid gets better the other one comes down with it. Daycare costs twice as much, laundry gets even crazier.

    I also had horrible pregnancies. It was emotional, tiring, draining, and I gained 70 pounds each time. I now have lower back problems as a permanent reminder of my experience. I’m glad that’s behind me.

    I adore them both and now can’t imagine life without one of them but I don’t think having 2.5 kids is for everyone. It just seems weird because most people do have siblings.

    I’m an only child and although I wanted siblings for a little while, later on in life I was glad I had none.

  2. Donna Freedman Says:

    For the love of God, people, don’t have another baby just ’cause your first one asks for a sibling! You’re the ones who have to carry it to term, maybe nurse it, care for it, immunize it, teach it, etc. etc.
    (I’m not saying you’re do this, Nicoleandmaggie. But I’ve heard people say stuff like that.)
    No one “needs” a sibling. Only kids don’t carry some special curse of selfishness frosted with loneliness. Ask my daughter: She’s an only child and perfectly fine with it. My best friend is an only child and ADORED being so.
    If you want another baby *and* are clear-eyed about all the work (physical and emotional) involved, then go for it and bless you.
    If not? Stick with one.
    If you’re on the fence? Stay there until you can make an informed choice. Once it’s done, there’s no going back — even if you keep your receipt.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Yeah, though a problem with known infertility problems is that sometimes there’s no going back on not having a kid if you wait too long. (Yes, there’s adoption, but that isn’t currently something we want to explore. Maybe we would feel differently later.)

    • Amy Says:

      Donna–thank you for your post. I’ll be 35 in a few weeks and Ive been struggling with whether or not to have another baby. My first pregnancy was pretty good, the birth of my son was memorable and amazing, and I haven’t had any “baby fever” even though many of my friends since then have gotten pregnant or are having babies any day now. Everyone keeps telling me I “NEED” another child and that kind of pisses me off. I didn’t NEED to have any children–my husband and I were perfectly happy before our son was born but I WANTED to have a child. I do feel now that I needed him and I feel incredibly blessed to have such a sweet kid. Thank you for pointing out the work that is involved–My husband and I both work full time and we don’t have family closer than 10 hours away. I’ve set the bar pretty high with this kiddo–I have time for him. I journal to him EVERY night. And I know for sure that we can afford him–but I don’t have those assurances when I think about doing it all over again. Add in the fact that the risks go up after 35 and I really hyperventilate about having another…I just wanted to say thank you for putting things in perspective for those of us who are “on the fence.”

  3. Suzita @ playfightrepeat.com Says:

    My husband is just where you are, having just turned in his tenure paperwork. Right now we seem to be spending a lot of time watching people with tenure and desperately wanting to believe life will get better after tenure. Having asked many people about this, I think it really will. The reason I say this to you is that once life becomes a bit less stressful, it’s amazing how quickly feelings/wishes for big life things can change.

    Our youngest finally began full-time school this year. I didn’t know what to expect, but I was quite excited to see what it would bring. What did it bring? Energy to do things I never thought I’d ever have energy to do again. And that was on week two of school!

  4. Perpetua Says:

    I think deciding to have #2 (or not) is the same process of deciding to have #1 (or not). You kind of feel it or you don’t. People say they have “reasons” for having a kid, or for having a sibling, but those are (IMO) made up. We either have the desire or don’t have the desire. I understand completely that infertility treatments make the matter more complicated because you have to plan so far in advance. But if you’re not feeling it, you’re not feeling it. As soon as my #1 had an established pattern of sleeping through the night, for several months, I wanted #2. I was ready. Mine are close together and I wanted it that way (partially ’cause I’m “old” and partially because I wanted to get all the sleep deprivation-diaper-labor intensive stuff out of the way quickly). I get a fairly serious and debilitating medical condition while pregnant, but I didn’t care when deciding to have #2. I just wanted #2. Right now we’re trying to decide about #3. People think I’m crazy for even considering it because of how serious my pregnancy problems are (think, bed rest and physical misery), but I”m not ready to say, THis is it.

    • Perpetua Says:

      PS I didn’t mean to oversimplify with the whole “we either have the desire or not” – I know firsthand that ambivalence is a powerful force. I just mean, in terms of the bottom line.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Do most people get crazy baby fever when they’re deciding to have a kid? That was a really unpleasant and heartbreaking 1.5 years (followed by a nerve wracking 9-12 months)… a less intense need would have been more manageable.

      • Dr. O Says:

        I had very crazy baby fever, throughout working to have Monkey (including a miscarriage), then wanted to step backwards as soon as I was pregnant (crazy hormones I assume). I had no desire for a second for the first couple of months after Monkey was born, either, but I’m now starting to have pings for another. We’ll wait a while, hopefully long enough for me to have a lab set up and a couple of grants submitted (if I ever get a TT job), but not much longer than that.

        I guess the desire to have a first or a second (or a third) comes and goes, and we all just tend to jump to it when it comes. Not sure if that makes it a good decision or not, but it’s how it worked for me at least.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Sorry to hear about the miscarriage.

        So far for us it’s been several years with barely a ping!

        I’ve been torn between the desire to not have my job have any influence on my fertility and the knowledge that higher stress levels do have that influence indirectly. But that stress won’t go away until/unless DH gets tenure which is a year later than when I go up. So I don’t know.

  5. prodigal academic Says:

    Mine are 2.5 years apart. When #1 hit 15 months, I started getting baby fever again. After #2 was born, I felt done. Still do. Spouse was much less enthusiastic about #2, since the newborn phase was not a favorite time, but is much happier now that #2 can walk and talk.

  6. Linda Says:

    When I was young I assumed I would get married and have kids. As I got older, my mind started to change on the part involving kids. By the time I was 30 and serious about marrying someone I was pretty sure I didn’t want any kids. He was fine with that decision, too. Six years later I had a tubal ligation. I was absolutely sure I did not want kids at that point and wanted to stop hormonal birth control, too. I’ve never regretted that decision.

    I’m thankful that there are now so many birth control resources available to women in most parts of the world. I’ve never been pregnant and never wanted to be, so it’s wonderful to have the choice of over-riding my biological workings. I don’t understand the desire to have a child. I’ve felt that it was expected of me, but I’ve never felt a deep desire from within to do it. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    I understand you may have to do a lot of planning due to infertility. If you’re not feeling the deep desire from within, though, then don’t do it. It will work out for the best one way or another.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      This is the other half of the blog here. My story is similar to yours.

      • Comrade PhysioProf Says:

        You know you guys can set this f***er uppe so that you post and comment under different usernames, right? (Not that I don’t enjoy the puzzle of figuring out case-by-case who is saying what.)

        On the baby thinge: I was with a colleague and his three-year-old son the other day, and the kidde threw a balls-out shitte-nuttes out-of-control tantrum. That could certainly give one pause for thought about having a three-year-old.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Please see About statement.

  7. Dr. Crazy Says:

    Ok, I don’t have kids, but can I just say that I grew up an only and turned out just fine? Yes, when I was 5 or 6 I wanted a sibling, but I got over it. And there were a LOT of times when I thought not having a sibling was fan-freaking-tastic. There are a LOT of great things (from the kid’s perspective – both as a child and as an adult) about being an only. So don’t feel like you’re doing your kid a disservice if you choose not to have another. You seriously wouldn’t be. (Not that you’d be doing the kid a disservice by having another – just that it sort of is a wash either way – pros and cons on both sides.)

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Don’t worry… we’re not considering it one way or another in terms of making our kid better off… it’s a more selfish thing. We enjoy spending time with DC, and we’d be able to spend less of our precious time with just hir if we had two kids. We enjoy spending a lot of time with DC. There is something to be said for neither being an absent parent nor a helicopter parent, though there is a large variation in between those two extremes.

  8. MutantSupermodel Says:

    Funny enough, the only child I made any sort of decision on was #2. Numbers #1 & #3 were, well, unexpected. I so do not want to invoke the wrath of others but for me it was a no-brainer: there was no way in hell I was going to have an Only Child. All of the Onlys I knew were flat-out psycho in one way or another and they’d all told me they’d hated being Onlys (I am sure there are millions of exceptions but I still don’t know any personally). I loved having siblings, still do actually. And I just knew that was a super rich awesome gift I could give my child I loved so much. I knew no pet, toy, nothing would ever be able to duplicate a sibling. Now, there’s three kids and they fight all of the damn time and they exhaust the crap out of me and hell yes going from one to two was WAY harder than going from 0 to 1 (going from 2 to 3 was cake though) but every time they hug and comfort and kiss each other, I know a million times over it was worth every part of “it”. Shitty pregnancies, shitty husband, shitty post-partum I’m pretty sure I’ve never really recovered from, shitty lots of stuff but hell they have each other the way I have my brothers and that’s most important to me.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Heh, I know plenty of totally well-adjusted onlies. They may have been a bit spoiled growing up, but so were folks with siblings and SAHM. Eventually they all turned out ok and went out on their own.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I know several awesome people who are only children, too (blog’s other half here). Also, I have siblings but when I was a kid I was really sad to get the first one. I enjoyed the time I had as an only child and resented the sibling who came along to take that away from me. Nowadays we get along, though (after several decades).

  9. retirebyforty Says:

    Hey, we just had our first baby (almost 2 weeks now.) It’s crazy. The Mrs. is never having another one and I am OK with that. tired….

  10. frugalscholar Says:

    Well, I never managed to conceive the third child I wanted, but feel lucky to have two, since I started very late (34). My kids didn’t really manifest rivalry and they remain very close. I am happy about that, since I am not close to my brother. Two kids=more than twice as much work/time as one. I must say that the crazy days of fear about tenure/intense parenting were the happiest days of my life. I can hardly believe we did it!

    As others say, you have to do what feels right for you.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I don’t know… I think it’s that with #1 I had this intense need that contrasted dramatically with the intense no desire. Now I feel more ambiguous on both accounts. It may be because life is kind of stressful, but what if it’s too late when life isn’t stressful anymore.

  11. Jacq Says:

    I feel very fortunate to have had mine almost 13 years apart. It doesn’t sound like that’s an option for you guys though.
    I think kids want a sibling when they go to school. There have been many times when we’ve gone to a beach or camping etc when I’ve thought “boy I wish I had another kid along for him to play with” though. But he usually manages to hunt someone down. Or I build sandcastles. :-)
    I know it’s selfish, but I figure having 2 kids doubled my chances for grandchildren. And I want those so very badly. As many as possible.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Hah, yeah, we’ve definitely taken some of the pressure off my sister. And DH’s brother has taken a lot of pressure off us as his wife seems determined to have as many kids as possible.

      How did you decide to have #2?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I never, ever wished for a sibling when I was a kid. Also I refuse to whelp grandbabies for someone else’s pleasure, so I think my parents are out of luck on that one. My siblings might have some, though, so I can be an auntie.

  12. Tara Says:

    I’m 22, almost 23.

    I’ve never really babysat or cared for kids.

    For a long time, I felt like I had to have kids. Over the last year, I’ve realized that I don’t have to have kids. And my mom has reassured me that I don’t have to. There’s a part of me that feels like I want to pass my genes a long, but there’s a huge part of me that is just indifferent enough that I feel like I shouldn’t have kids. My sister actually (maybe jokingly?) told me she thinks I should never have kids and that I would be terrible with them.

    I know I still have time (at least 10 years), but I feel like there’s something wrong with me that as a woman, I’m indifferent to ever having children.

    I think what I have the biggest concern with is the fact that I could never be a SAHM nor do I see the point in paying someone else to raise my children (nanny/daycare). Beyond that, I don’t understand how you can put a 3 month old child in daycare, nor do I understand how you could stay at home and be bored with the child either.

    I think that either my feelings on this will change over the next 7 years or I simply won’t have children. And I think at this point, I’m totally okay with either of those options.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I sure as heck hope you have a lot more than 10 years because otherwise I am way too late. And all my colleagues must be having miracle first babies since they’re all 32 or older.

      It is pretty insulting to equate a nanny or daycare to “paying someone else to raise your children.” It takes a village to raise a child, whether that village is paid or by relations. I do not know a single SAHM who is happy without a strong support network. Being a SAHP is one of the most difficult and isolating jobs there is. Hit a mom’s forum and browse the archives if you think differently. As we mentioned in our last deliberately controversial post, sometimes the drawbacks to SAHP tip the scale into making someone a much better parent and a much happier person if they work outside the home. And, as we said in the comments, given the wonderful kids that a lot of we working parents have, it seems impossible that they could possibly be improved with 24/7 of just mom and dad as providers… there’s just no way they could have been more perfect, and it would have been very sad had they not been born. In fact, some of us would even dare to say that our children have gotten a lot out of having different perspectives and interactions from different providers, even if they’re not little clones of their parents.

      • Dr. O Says:

        My Hubby had a really hard time with the idea of daycare…until he stayed home with Monkey for a couple of weeks when I went back to work. The folks at daycare have been really helpful – giving us ideas on how to deal with sleep problems, providing feedback on eating habits, helping us to decide what kinds of developmental milestones to look for, allowing Monkey to socialize with other infants. Without lots of family around, we’ve become very dependent on those guys, as well as our coworkers, pediatrician/nurses, and my blogosphere friends. N&M is right – it takes a village. I don’t feel like anyone else is raising Monkey for us, but I do feel like we wouldn’t do as good of a job without all the help!

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Totally agree! We would have been completely helpless without (experienced! pediatric nursing students!) mother’s helpers the first 8.5 months, and then Montessori has just been amazing for all sorts of tips and tricks, like distraction, teaching trading, mediating conflicts, learning how to put things away after you have played with them, and so on. They don’t used time-outs or other sorts of punishments because they don’t need to– they’re amazing and all the kids are so well-behaved, including DC. We like to follow their lead.

  13. bogart Says:

    Oh, tough one (understatement), and I think the infertility treatment thing does make it a very different ballgame. I’ve been pregnant exactly once, with a singleton, through IVF number 4; happily that led to the birth of our now-preschooler. I’d have loved to have a second child, but after 3 more tries have now stopped trying and am at peace with that. For now. And I hope forever. But of course who knows? To be honest, my decision reflects to no small degree my husband’s preferences, which are clearly in favor of NO MORE KIDS; if he wanted another kid I would be willing (nay, eager) to pursue any ethical path to grow our family.

    Which makes it sound like I’m probably bitter and grouchy, but I’m not. For one thing, I’d been told before I ever got pregnant that I’d never get pregnant (with my own eggs, which mattered to me at least at that point more than I’d have thought), so having moved from a point where I pretty much expected zero kids to having one is a HUGE improvement. Also, I have adult stepkids, so DC has siblings, even though his experience is in many ways more akin to that of an only child (however I’m cautiously hopeful about stepgrands, in the not-horribly-distant future, so that may change the equation somewhat if we are lucky). For another thing, having an energetic, social preschooler has led me to understand just what an introvert I am and how much “down time” away from people I need. It’s really not obvious in this regard that I’m “qualified” to raise another kid (though again, I would — for better or for worse — in fact jump at the chance. But at the same time I know that would come with serious costs for my sanity and/or (even more) major juggling). And finally, I’ve realized I can focus on other stuff I value that’s relatively easy and affordable to do with one kid that would be much more difficult and expensive with two, like flying to Europe to visit family there (so a different, and negatively correlated, aspect to the “family matters” from the extended, rather than nuclear, angle).

    I really have no brilliant answer for you, though, as this is all so darned personal. I will note that in addition to adoption (that you’ve already mentioned in reply to a comment above) there are other paths that are as, or almost as, accessible for older would-be moms as younger would-be moms, such as donor egg and embryo adoption. Those too, of course, are complicated and expensive, involve giving up some aspects of the “traditional” approach, and come with no guarantees — but they are options.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Back when we were trying for #1, my sister offered to donate eggs, which would probably be the only donor route I would consider. I dunno…

      And of course the longer I wait, the more irregular I get and the less likely I’ll be able to conceive without medical intervention. If only I had kids to nurse! I probably should be on metformin just for my health.

      I don’t *want* finances to matter, but all of a sudden we’re looking at 12 years of private school just as daycare is ending. We haven’t gotten raises in years. DH may not get tenure… Who knows what is going to happen. And yes, travel is more expensive!

      • bogart Says:

        Yeah, I know. I’m not sure you seem like a person who’d accept a hug, and I’m not really much on giving them, but, you know (((hugs))). That’s all I’ve got. Well, or I could cuss, but I am actually marginally better at hugging than cussing.

  14. everyday tips Says:

    I was never a ‘kid’ person, at least not until I got married. Then suddenly, I caught the fever.

    I got pregnant at 25, had baby #1 at 26. I wanted another around the time #1 hit 6 months or so. I held off until he was 1 to get pregnant again though. So, baby #2 and #1 are 23 months apart. I wanted another 6 months later, but my husband said ‘no way’. Well, nature took over and I was pregnant again when #2 was 10 months old. So #2 and #3 are 20 months apart.

    This has worked out fabulous for us. However, I was driven. I would have had 5 kids if my husband was willing. I was shocked at how much I wanted kids when I never really liked kids before I had my own. It really must be instinct or something.

    However, I am sure that if I had to go through the trials and tribulations you mentioned, my feelings probably would have been different. I was lucky in that I always got pregnant instantly. You are facing a lot of work, and worry. It is a little harder to embrace that.

    I wish you all the luck in the world in your decision making. There is no right or wrong answer. If you have another, then wonderful. If you don’t, then you already know you are happy with having your current situation.

  15. Molly On Money Says:

    I didn’t have as many issues as you but staying pregnant and being pregnant was not the parade I thought it was going to be. After I had one child I shut the chute (so to speak). I think because I had siblings I wanted siblings for my daughter. My goal was to adopt. Things turned out differently when I met my current husband and he had a daughter 6 months older than mine. It was the best, I had a perfectly formed 4 yr old and got to skip years filled with no sleep!

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Ha! That sounds awesome. As much as I loved our DC when ze was a newborn, I keep looking at all these new kids and hearing about the colic and so on and just think… man I do not want that right now. Preschool I can handle. Newborn, not so much.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        There are many foster children and/or kids in the adoption system waiting for a good home, too.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Those kids come with their own challenges, the least of which not being the heartbreak of the adoption system. Even in a state that is pro-child rather than pro-birth parents, there can still be unforeseen challenges to the adoption that make colic seem like a dream.

        p.s. “You can always adopt,” goes on the list of things not to say to someone with infertility.

  16. smeep Says:

    We have 2 young boys, had the second at 30 years old (we’re postdoc and PhD student). The first one was reeeeally tough for 4 years: severe colic, hyperactive, nearly expelled from Montessori, parents concerned about sociopathy, but he’s great now. Pediatrician was right! It was just a phase! I stayed home with him for 2 years, didn’t like it much, and in retrospect realize daycare would have been nearly impossible for that particular child before he was 1, so it’s a good thing I took the time off.

    Yet somehow we decided to have another, who has been average in most respects (is strong-willed though), and went to daycare at 3 months old. Amazingly #1 was lovely with baby #2. We knew we were taking a huge gamble having another and it paid off well, except if we had to do it over again, we don’t know if we would have had the second.

    I know parents are never supposed to say stuff like that. I don’t mean not having my son specifically, I just mean a second child in general. I think having a brother is good for each of my kids, but way hard on us parents. They play together but they fight SO much. The older one is finally old enough to be almost totally delightful, and would barely be trouble at all if it weren’t for his brother egging him on. They hone each other like metal sharpening metal, which is good for them. It is exhausting for us.

    I think 2+ kids works for some people, like with a stay-at-home parent, or for people that are really into having kids, but we should have known that our difficult experience with #1 wore us down so badly that it would be hard to get our heads above water, even without adding #2. I won’t even discuss the finances. This week my second kid is the exact age that #1 was when #2 was born and the idea of having another newborn right now makes me dry heave. I know they’ll get older and probably be positively phenomenal people and I may even wish we’d had another, but right now we thank God every day that we spent $200 on that vasectomy from Planned Parenthood. We may foster some day if we think we have the reserves.

    Also, having friends with children that have developmental challenges makes me realize how lucky we are, and I know those challenges can be formidable to the point of nearly destroying some components of the family’s life (one is sending their SEVEN year old to a residential treatment center in another state – horrifying). That is a situation I am exceedingly grateful not to be in, and I live in fear that some day we will be faced with harm coming to our children in some way. The more kids you have, the more likely one of your children will be gravely hurt in some way at some point, and that may be pessimistic and the wrong way to think, but it freaks my shit out, big time. The family I mentioned above is soon to have their 4th child. I support them but truly do not understand why they made the choice to have another given the terrifying issues they’ve had with their oldest – they are an example of people who are REALLY into having kids, and are different from me.

    One, happy and healthy, is enough for me. I am crazy lucky to have two, but could have been fine with stopping while I was ahead with one. Just thought you might like to hear from a loving parent of two who thinks that one would have been fine too.

    best of luck in making this crucial decision.

    p.s. conception, pregnancy, and birth were a total breeze for me – obviously not a trivial factor in your decision

  17. smeep Says:

    Yes, I’ve got that one, and it was good. I especially liked the parts about “grow the tree you’ve got” and replacing negative words (hyperactive) with positive words (energetic) to describe your child’s traits. I found the most helpful book to be by Alan Kazdin: “The Kazdin method for parenting the defiant child”. That one helped the most during the particularly difficult times, by describing practical, prescriptive, evidence-based techniques.

    I’m sorry if I freak anyone out, and I know that people are sometimes uncomfortable with how frankly I discuss my reservations about parenthood, but I feel so strongly that every child should be desperately wanted by hir parents, I can’t help but try to bring the less-popular view to the table, in which I state that I think my husband and I would have been just as happy having 1 or maybe even no kids. It’s just a given that people are expected to have kids, whether or not they’re good candidates for parenthood, or enjoyment of parenthood. I certainly never heard validation from anyone when I expressed my lack of desire for children when I was a young woman.

    Maybe our first was unusually challenging and we sustained too many battle scars (poor guy, it’s not his fault, I know). I do love my kids and I’m a good mother, it’s just very complicated sometimes.

  18. Lindy Mint Says:

    I think if you’re at the point where it is an actual decision to make, then you’re possibly not ready. If you’re meant to have another one it would seem that the baby fever would kick in again and throw out all rational thoughts so you can do what needs to be done to make it happen. By the way, if I had to go through all that you did, I would have trouble signing on to the idea of another as well.

    My first was not planned, but my second was. I was taking a walk one day, thinking about how old #1 was, and how old he would be in 9 months, then I realized that our finances were stable and it really was the right time. I think it’s those moments that let you know you’re ready.

  19. Link love (Powered by the good oil and slavish labour) « Musings of an Abstract Aucklander Says:

    [...] On the family topic, Nicole and Maggie pose a great question – how do you know if the time’s right for kid #2? [...]

  20. Weekly Favorites, Gratitude, and Giveaways #15 | Budgeting In the Fun Stuff Says:

    [...] Rumblings of the Untenured with Will I ever want a second child?  I’m still waiting to want one, [...]

  21. oilandgarlic Says:

    Having two is very very tough. If I had a do-over, I would definitely have had only one. I think most people forget about the sleepless nights and only remember the positives – cute baby, baby smell, etc..

    I also find it odd that so many people seem to want a second child as a companion to the first! (Not the only reason but oft-mentioned reason..) I think many only children turn out fine and many people with siblings are just as selfish as only-children are stereotypically depicted. Plus, most people should realize that many many siblings don’t get along ever.

  22. Musings on a potential second kid « Grumpy rumblings of the untenured Says:

    [...] already talked about whether or not I was ready to have a child #2.  I’m still not gung-ho crazy like I was for baby #1, but babies are starting to look [...]

  23. Christina Says:

    ahhh..this is sooo true!!! i NEVER liked kids…never wanted to be around them, babysit them, etc…i love sleep…i love being self absorbed…having limited responsibilty…but one day my husband and i ended up with this beautiful terrorizer: My son:) He’s hilarious!! He’s a Joy!! He’s intelligent and wonderful!! But he is ALL we need, and All we could handle!!! He has plenty of love and plenty of cousins his age…We’re Done!!!


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