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Old 10-29-2007, 08:11 PM   #1
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How many children?

If you only have one/will only be having one:
What made you choose that, and why?
What do you feel are the benefits to having only one child

If you have more than one child:
Do you feel they take attention away from each other
How did you know when your family was complete?

DD is 16 months, and the perfect toddler. Her dad is coming home from deployment sometime in Dec, and wants to have another. Besides the obvious of he has no idea what being a parent is like (he left when she was 4 months), and the financial strain it would put us in, I'm not sure I want anymore children.
I love my daughter, and she is getting into the fun/active stage. If I were massively pregnant, I couldn't be down playing with her all the time like I am now. I want to spend all my time/resources on one child and know they are getting all they deserve from me, instead of worrying about splitting between two or more
I'm also in school, and have another 3 years. Another baby would mean dropping out again.
On the other hand, I do miss having an infant (sometimes) and would like to take another crack at BFing and have the opportunity to CD from birth, and Rannen would love a younger sibling.
So I just wanted to get some thoughts from mommas of singles and multiple children to see how it differs

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Old 10-29-2007, 08:29 PM   #2
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Re: How many children?

We have two living children. Honestly I didn't even want kids. That changed when I was suprised by having Kearnan. I love him but he can be a ton of work, especially as a toddler. He has special needs and well that is alot. I love him to bits and I really think he would have been a perfect only child. Dh and I had talked and we had decided that we wouldn't try again, but we wouldn't do anything permanent for a few years just to be sure we really didn't want more kids. Then I was suprised with a second pregnancy when Kearnan was just two years old. I have to say that I was scared. We weren't even through the diagnosis process with Kearnan and I didn't know how we would handle a second child and all of Kearnan's needs. But I fell in love anyway. And suprisingly so did Kearnan. When his sister was born still he took it very hard. He couldn't talk much then, but he would pat my tummy and cry. Then he started talking a bit more and would ask me things like "why baby bye bye". I realized that he really wanted a sibling, that he had really been excited about having a baby. And I realized that we really wanted a baby too. It took us about a year to get pregnant again, so Kearnan was 4.5 when his brother was born. I like that spacing, I couldnt' do kiddos much closer than that.

Do they take attention away from each other? Yes, and no. I don't have as much undivided attention for Tharen as I did for Kearnan at that age, and I don't have all of the 1 on 1 I used to have with Kearnan. But they have each other. We can do things as a family that are more fun now (ever try to see saw by yourself?) and they play together for hours, even though they are so far apart in age. They fight too, I can't lie, and there were times in the begining when it was really hard. But I am glad we went for it. And I realized that I really want at least one more baby to raise. But we won't do it right away. Tharen is almost 2, and I still don't think we are ready for another just yet. Probably when he is 3.

I don't know how to know when it is complete. Sometimes I think my family will never feel complete because my daughter will never be with us. Other times I think we don't feel complete because we really do want another baby. But most people tell me that you just know. You may think about how nice it was having an infant, but you don't long to do it again. You feel comfortable with the family that you have.

I can't tell you what is right for you. I don't think I would start TTCing right when your SO gets home. Let him spend some time being a parent and see how it goes. Let him see what it is like, and figure out how money will factor in. Plus that will give you some time to see how you really feel. You may find with him home to help that you really want to go for it too. If you jsut don't want to miss out on all of the fun with your LO, you can wait till she is a bit older to go for it. And you can wait till you are through with school, no one says you have to do it right away. Some people say having two more than 4 yrs apart is like having 2 only children. I don't think it is quite that extreme, but it does give each of the kids a chance for one on one parental attention. Both of my boys got to be babies as long as they needed to. And Kearnan was through some of the harder points by the time his brother came along. Now he is a big help to me. And having a brother is like the ultimate therapy for him because he is forced every day to deal with things that aren't jsut as he would have them. The noise and the mess and the sharing. IT's all good for him.
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Old 10-29-2007, 08:49 PM   #3
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Re: How many children?

Well, I am a SAHM of 5. We do run a business out of our home and I do pretty much all the work of that while DH is working a day job. I always wanted a big family and I told DH from the beginning I at least wanted 3 children. He comes from a family where it was just him and a brother. Me, I have a sister and a brother. I know everyone is different but I could never have just one. Everyone says you can't afford more than one but then on the other hand, who can afford just one anyway? My BIL and SIL just have one and only want one. Like I said, with no disrespect, everyone is different. I think having them close is tough in the beginning but I think of it as I am giving them a best friend for life. I have had 5 children in 10 years. It is hard while you are pregnant but that only last a few months compared to a life time. I know the school factor is a issue for you and I have never had to do that. I guess you have to decide if you were going to be a working mom or a SAHM to help you decide. If you planned on staying home while they are little or what not then maybe getting your schooling done could be put on hold for now. I guess you just have to go with what your gut is telling you. I hope I helped in a way.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:43 PM   #4
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Re: How many children?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haulin5 View Post
Well, I am a SAHM of 5. We do run a business out of our home and I do pretty much all the work of that while DH is working a day job. I always wanted a big family and I told DH from the beginning I at least wanted 3 children. He comes from a family where it was just him and a brother. Me, I have a sister and a brother. I know everyone is different but I could never have just one. Everyone says you can't afford more than one but then on the other hand, who can afford just one anyway? My BIL and SIL just have one and only want one. Like I said, with no disrespect, everyone is different. I think having them close is tough in the beginning but I think of it as I am giving them a best friend for life. I have had 5 children in 10 years. It is hard while you are pregnant but that only last a few months compared to a life time. I know the school factor is a issue for you and I have never had to do that. I guess you have to decide if you were going to be a working mom or a SAHM to help you decide. If you planned on staying home while they are little or what not then maybe getting your schooling done could be put on hold for now. I guess you just have to go with what your gut is telling you. I hope I helped in a way.
The best friend for life factor is what's making me think I need to decide fairly soon (in the next year or so) if I want more. I have 4 younger sisters, one is 10 months younger, one 4 years, one 10 years, and one 13 years. I look at all our relationships and it's actually the one 4 years from me that I get along with the most, but we were never really "friends" growing up.
As for school and finances, the military will move us every 2 years or so. The last duty station we were in didn't have my program (studying to be an interpreter for the Deaf) so I'm trying to get it out of the way while we're in WA. It's been a challenge. I have to deal with fin. aid and grants for childcare (1500 for the quarter for one child...we only made 19,000 last year...which is why the financial aspect is so daunting), not having a car, and dealing with someone else having my child 4 hours a day.
I was in daycare full time for the better part of my childhood, and I don't want my daughter living that way, but I am hoping to be out of school by the time she's in pre-k so I can work freelance and be home when she gets home from school.
Another child would mean delaying that significantly, paying for daycare for two, etc etc.
And to think, DH wants 4! Lol
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Old 10-29-2007, 10:54 PM   #5
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Re: How many children?

If you have more than one child:
Do you feel they take attention away from each other
How did you know when your family was complete?

No they dont, they get along fine and everyone gets equal attention and i dont think much will change when the 3rd one joins. I knew our family was/will be complete when i can feel in my heart i do not want anymore kids.
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Old 10-30-2007, 12:16 AM   #6
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Re: How many children?

"If you have more than one child:
Do you feel they take attention away from each other
How did you know when your family was complete?"

The only difference in attention is on DS's side. He doesn't get the full attention from me that DD did when she was a baby. I do have occasional pangs of guilt about that, but he is a perfectly healthy happy baby and doesn't realize that his sister got more attention at his age than he gets. For my DD, she was almost 3 when he was born and wasn't demanding all of my time at that point, so him joining our family wasn't a negative thing for her at all. I do have days when I feel like I didn't give one or the other of them as much attention as I should have, but I had those days when I only had one too.

They love each other so much and play together remarkably well given their age difference. DD sometimes hides her toys so DS can't wreck what she was playing with, but more often than not they'll be playing on the floor together and laughing like crazy at each other. I wouldn't give up the sounds of their play for anything.

As for complete, I'm not there yet, so I don't know. I do know that as much as I love this stage, I'm kind of secretly looking forward to the day when all my children will be able to behave in church and won't need their food cut into little pieces for them.

Honestly I don't feel like the addition of another baby is a huge financial burden. Our kids wear mostly hand-me-down clothes from cousins, I have a full diaper stash of smalls and mediums, I BF and make baby food when that time comes, so the only real expenses for us in the first year are hospital co-pays and a new car seat.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:30 AM   #7
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Re: How many children?

We have 2 (both girls). We decided to stop at 2 because this is what we both felt we could handle. With the way we live and what we want for our family it is what we feel is best. As long as nothing drastic happens we will be able to afford to put kids in private school, and activities of thier choosing, ect... without stress. We also jokingly say anymore and we'd be out numbered.

We seriously thought about only having 1, but with DD#1's personality, and the fact we don't really have a large family we thought 1 more for family sake would be good. I'm 36 and DH is 37. DH has a older brother (40 & gay), no kids in the future for him, and I have a older brother who just got married in July, they would like kids, but are both 37 and the clock is ticking, and I have a younger sister (25) who doesn't want any (at least for another 10yrs).

We are pleased with our decission, with a 4yr old and soon to be 2yr old there is a lot of screeming, but I think they will be great friends. I'm glad we had them as close as we did.

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Old 10-30-2007, 01:50 AM   #8
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Re: How many children?

I have 2 kids. DS is 8 and DD is 2. I wanted 5 when I just had my son. But then the unthinkable happened, he got Meningitis. He is now deaf and has brain damage. I am a SAHM because I can't work, I have to take him to too many doc appts. He is about 3 kids in 1.

I want more now but not sure I could handle it. I actually posted over in TTC/pregnancy because I wanted a take on some women who had "difficult" children and whether or not that helped the decision of having another.

And then there is my infertility/medical issues. I don't know if I can have more kids. My doc might say no due to the medicine I am on. I will find out next month when I go see him.

For me, I was the youngest of 4. I liked having older siblings though I hated my bro who was 18mo older than me. We still don't get along real well.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:56 AM   #9
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Re: How many children?

I want to have another if I can. I am already 39 and the first one took 1.5 yrs to conceive. We started trying the day we got married. My baby is 8 months old now and we're going to start TTCing this next month. I wouldn't want to try so soon again if I was a bit younger, but the risk factors go up so much as you get to 40+.. even 35+. I can't wait just for him to be older because of that, so I'll have to deal with the difficulty of two close in age IF we are fortunate enough to have another child. I wanted to wait longer to lose more weight, since I'm a very heavy woman, but we're not going to postpone trying. I will keep trying to lose weight while we TTC.
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