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IronMamma May 16th, 2013 01:11 AM

Moms with more...
For the life of me I cannot find this article I read a few weeks ago! Gah! If I come across it I will def share it with you girls. But, I have been thinking about it and I keep re reading it in my mind.

DH and I have been one and done foreverrrr, but there are key times when we talk about the pros and cons of having more. I am always leaning towards no more, and so is he. Then I see siblings playing together and the joy in Drakes eyes when he sees that and runs to them to play and I am like "I can do it again." Then all these thoughts run through my head about how I will have to split my time, chose what games to go too, who is sleeping, who is not, who is waking up who, and then I am like "Yeah I totally don't want more kids." I cannot tell you how many dance classes my Mom missed because I had 3 younger brothers. How many games she missed. At one time my brother and I had graduation on the same day, different places yet not close enough for my parents to go to both so they missed mine. I am 28 years old and I still remember how sad I felt. I do not want that for my son. I never had a childhood. I was raising two younger brothers (before the third was born), I had so much responsibility when I should not have. My Mom could not read to me anymore because she had two boys a year apart running around and by the time she got to me I was asleep. So, really my decision to just have one is very personal. Dave also had a terrible childhood. He lived all over the world because his parents were Military, they were never home and spent no time with him. So me and Dave kinda feel like we owe it to Drake to have what we didn't and never blink and eye on anyone else.

Now, here is where this article comes into play.

This woman had a toddler, 2 years old and got pregnant. She was saying how life was all about him and she loved that, she loved napping with him, giving him baths, doing what he wanted, just focusing her whole self onto him. Then she felt the first kick of her new baby was not happy. She felt regret, because every kick she felt was one stop closer to not having alone time with her son and one step closer to him having to share her. She did not enjoy her whole pregnancy. When the baby was born she cried because she was sad her son was not number one anymore and almost all of her attention had to go to the new baby. So long story short, she did not enjoy her pregnancy, she did not enjoy the newborn stage etc etc. She talked about how her first would cry when she changed her new babies diaper and she would cry too. She said she felt bad for having another baby because her first was so upset. I can totally understand what she is saying even though I do not have another baby nor am I pregnant. But I would imagine this is exactly how I would feel.

So my question, for you ladies that have more then one, have you ever felt this way?

sareymac May 16th, 2013 05:34 AM

Re: Moms with more...
THIS is my fear even though we are trying. BUT for me, well us, we just do not want Gary to be an only child. And we also don't want a big gap between children, that way they are close enough in age to not really remember ever being the only one ya know? Like so that they always feel equal, if that makes any sense lol
But trust me, there are many times that I am just like, HOW will I be able to have two kids and divide my time, but apparently talking to other moms, it just happens!

KMH May 16th, 2013 07:12 AM

Re: Moms with more...
I definitely had my moments where I wondered what in the world we were doing! My pregnancy with the twins was not so great...16 weeks on bedrest. I felt awful because either Claire stayed with friends during the day while DH was working or she stayed home with me, but I couldn't really play with her like she wanted. Then I lived at the hospital for 4 weeks with the twins and only saw Claire a couple hours a day (DH took leave from work and stayed at home with her). At times I felt like we were going to ruin her.

BUT, in the grand scheme of things, that was such a short time in their lives! To me the short-term frustrations were worth what they will have for the rest of their lives...each other. My sister was the best gift my parents could have given me, and I never wanted just one baby.

I kind of babied Claire in a lot of ways and though I didn't see it before, I was doing things for her that she could do herself. Now that I am busier, I often ask her to do the little things for herself, and she is SO proud that she can show me what a big girl she is. Letting her be a little more independent has been great for her.

I also get to see what a wonderful big sister Claire is. The other day I was in the middle of changing one of Abigail's blow-outs, and George woke from his nap a little upset. Without me saying a word, Claire jumped up and said, "I'll go check on Georgie." A few minutes later, Claire was sitting by his pack-n-play reading him a story and he was all smiles. It was so sweet! She loves to dance around and make them giggle, and when she lays on the floor the babies love to crawl all over her and smother her with kisses :heart:

Sorry to be long-winded about it. I guess the short answer is that I did worry about how Claire would adjust and if I'd be able to be a good Mama to 3 kids, but I have no regrets. Watching the love these kids already have for each other is priceless, and they'll have lifelong friends long after DH and I are gone.

ratladee May 16th, 2013 08:50 AM

Re: Moms with more...
My main difficulty was not being able to breastfeed full term with Madison because I was pregnant. Not ONCE did I feel negativity towards Caleb. And he wasn't planned whatsoever. I cried when I found out, but it was because I knew I couldn't give Madison my milk for as long as I wanted. To be honest I think that lady you read about might have some mental issues. :-/ There is something underlying there, and it's hard since I didn't read the artical, but PLEASE do not go off of it, because knowing you, and how loving you are, you would be AMAZED at how much your heart can love. Mrs. BWF always said, you do not have more love for one child over the other, you love them uniquely.

‘Roommate Wanted’ {Going from One Child to Two!} | Birth Without Fear

Jule'sMomInOR May 16th, 2013 09:37 AM

Re: Moms with more...
I have definitely been leaning towards 1 and done for a long time and I have a lot of the same concerns. If I were to consider having another baby, I would wait until J is at least 4 and weaned, sleeping in her own bed, etc. But then it would be even hard to manage going to the different activities and they would be in different schools most of the time, etc.

My DH brought up the other day that he is not completely sold on being done at one, but I am. I hope it doesn't become an issue.

My biggest thing right now is that life seems so good now that Juliana is STTN and doesn't mind going to they gym daycare so I can work out every now at then. It took me until she was almost 3 to get comfortable putting her there and I don't want to start over.

breathing for two May 16th, 2013 11:28 AM

Re: Moms with more...
I think that if you have another you will be very surprised. You're a good mom, and you want what's best for Drake, and will certainly feel that way towards the new baby (barring issues like PPD, which can pass with time and care). That's enough (I think) to make everything work out fine.
It's a new balance, and a different dynamic, and there will be times that the older child will have to wait. But you all become accustomed, and all of your lives and the potential to become much richer for it.
There have definitely been times where I felt guilty for having more, but most of it was from false feelings (for example, before I knew Eliana had autism, a lot of people said it was simply my fault she was so behind and out-of-control. I assumed it was because I couldn't do 100% for her when I was pregnant, but I know better now).
The majority of my feelings towards my 2nd and 3rd babies are more like gratitude and love, and I really believe that Eliana's, and Eli's and Baby's lives are all better because they have each other.

NinjaCakes May 16th, 2013 11:28 AM

Re: Moms with more...

Originally Posted by ratladee (Post 27368622)
To be honest I think that lady you read about might have some mental issues. :-/ There is something underlying there

You read my mind, there. If nothing else PPD, but I think perhaps that combined with something else from her past. Not to criticize her because most likely it isn't her fault she has those problems, but it does sound like she needs a little help. My heart goes out to her, but more so to that second baby if she wasn't able to seek help. Feelings like that can lead to resentment of the child and that just isn't fair. It reminds me so much of my younger cousin Jordan, whose parents admit they did not bond with him or love him at all. They never had any issues with the first or third children, though. Just him. He has so many problems now because of them.

Anyway, I have three siblings myself. I grew up with one and I couldn't imagine how much more a nightmare life would have been without him. I still feel that way, I guess our bond runs that deep. I never hesitated knowing I would gladly have more than one. If we can, we will. We obviously haven't though so, I was going to refer to other people's children. I've seen some parents who did an excellent job with two kids. The kids were close as close could be, no emotional or mental health issues. They improved each others lives in a way. I've also seen some parents who did a terrible job of it, and it really destroyed those kids. Of course some of those first kids had been failed by their parents long before the second child was thought of.

I know it can be done in a way that is healthy for the children. It just takes a little figuring out sometimes because every child is different.

KatyG May 16th, 2013 03:26 PM

Re: Moms with more...
I agree with breathing for two, you're a good mom and I think if you have another baby there will probably be a period of adjustment but you would figure it out. My perspective is a little different because I went from no babies to two at once. And it was tough at first and sometimes it still is but I'm glad they have each other. And I know how you feel about raising your brothers sometimes I felt like I was always babysitting my younger siblings and I complain about that but I liked growing up in a big family. When I think about my the best memories of my childhood my little sisters are in most of them like the time we stayed up until 5 and watched all the twlight movies or getting excited and nervous during elimination rounds of the voice.

mama_2_Callen May 16th, 2013 07:55 PM

Re: Moms with more...
I never had any feelings like that. It always felt like it was meant to be. That probably sounds weird but I don't really know how else to explain it. I will try to explain more later when I'm not on my phone.

alittlelost May 16th, 2013 10:06 PM

Re: Moms with more...
I never felt that way. When you have more kids, your love is not divided, it's multiplied. I understand why your experience with having siblings has made you feel that way, but for what it's worth, it doesn't have to be that way if YOU decide to have more kids. And if you don't want to have more kids, that's okay, too.

You know what's funny? One of things that made me want another (after having 3!) is that my daughter wanted me to have a baby. don't get me wrong, I didn't have a baby because my 6 year old wanted me to. It just sort of stirred those feelings in me, her bringing it up. I hope that makes sense.

Can I give my kids attention all at the same time? Well, actually, sometimes yes! But when I can't, I assure them that they will all get my attention and when, then start with whoever needs my attention first. In the end, they ALL get my attention and they ALL get what they need, and they ALL learn to be patient and to understand that other people need things, too. I think having siblings has made my children extremely compassionate and considerate of others. I can't tell you how many times one of my kids has given their treat to another child/each other because one wanted what the other had, and the other was HAPPY to give it to them just to make them happy. At the same time, sometimes they don't want to share, and I always tell them that is okay, too.

Anyway, my daughter does a lot of activities, and my husband sometimes has to stay home because he cannot go to every event she has unless we have a sitter. BUT he always asks her: Do you want me to go to this and mommy's friend go to your event, or do you want mommy's friend to babysit and I go to the event? Many times, for now, my daughter picks my friend to go. Sometimes we don't ask and just have my friend babysit because my husband wants to go lol.

Then I also think of it like this. Will my kids have my attention ALL the time? No. Not that I would think that would be healthy for them anyway... But when they don't have my attention, they have each other! And when I grow old, and one day I die, they will have each other. If they are not married or don't have many friends, it won't matter. They will ALWAYS have each other and they will ALWAYS have family.

I also think of my own upbringing. I was (miserably) an only child for so many years. I have siblings, but we aren't close because my mom waited until I was 12 to have another baby. I wish my sister and I were closer in age. I envied my cousins growing up (there were four of them). And you know what else? I loved HAVING cousins. My kids don't have cousins because I didn't have siblings close in age, so it STINKS because I know they are missing out on that. But you know what? There's a good chance my grandkids will have cousins now.

I think it's also what people make of it. If a parent is feeling guilty about having another child, and stressed and depressed, her children are going to sense that. They are going to think "Oh, my mom feels bad about taking care of the baby, that must mean it's bad she's not giving me 100% of her attention 100% of the time. That must mean she owes me 100% of her attention 100% of the time and isn't giving me what I need." (No, they don't think it in that complex way, but it works subconsciously). So, by a parent feeling guilty, THEY are sending the message to their child "I am not giving you what you deserve" which makes the child FEEL like they aren't getting what they deserve. But if a parent's attitude is, "I love you 100%, 100% of the time, even if I can't give you 100% of my attention 100% of the time" and "In life, it's healthy for the world not to be about you all the time." then the child grows up feeling like "My mom loves me 100%, 100% of the time, and sometimes she has to do other things because that is the way the world works." I mean, you either make it normal, or you make it a "thing" and if you make it a "thing" it becomes a thing for the child. I hope that makes sense....

I involve my kids a lot when I have a baby.

"Hey, kiddo, why don't you read your little sister a story?"
Kid reads story. Kid is getting attention from baby and self-satisfaction from caring for another person.
Me: "How sweet of you! Your sister is so lucky to have a big brother who can read her stories like that. Look how happy you have made her!"
Benefit: Child has satisfaction of making baby happy and mommy proud. Child is getting attention from baby and from parent.

So, yes, sometimes they give up your attention for a little bit. but sometimes they get NEW kinds of attention from you AND they will get attention from their sibling, who will be there for them in life when you can't be. My kids know that I will help them when I can. They also know they can help each other. They also know they are capable of helping others. All these things are good things :)

I'm not saying there aren't benefits to having and being an only child. There definitely are. But as I see it, there's pros and cons to BOTH. If you ever end up pregnant again, my advice would be to start looking at the new pros for Drake and focus on that.

klockert May 16th, 2013 10:15 PM

Re: Moms with more...
I feel 100% the same way you do Jess. I cannot imagine not giving all my love, time and affection to just Gabby. We are 95% sure that we are one and done. Well at least I am. DH sometimes hints at wanting more, but he just doesn't get it. Also with me suffering from such horrible PPD I just don't think it would be fair to Gabby or another baby.

IronMamma May 17th, 2013 12:22 AM

Re: Moms with more...
You all have good points. I want Drake to have a family, and he will. Just maybe not siblings. I know that if I was to get pregnant I would be a good Mom, I just know it, but I also know that I do not want to divide myself at all. I cannot imagine going to say a football game (if he played) and not being able to focus 100% on him. I don't know.

ratladee May 17th, 2013 11:17 AM

Re: Moms with more...
Daaaaaang a littleost that was a bomb diggity post you made. Extremely well written!

IronMamma May 17th, 2013 11:30 AM

Re: Moms with more...
She always writes novels for us to read. :giggle:

alittlelost May 17th, 2013 02:54 PM

Re: Moms with more...
Well, I am a writer after all :)

When we go to things for my kids, we usually have a sitter stay with the other kids, or one of us stays if they prefer our usual sitter to go to the game. (At this age, they think it's way more cool to have their sitter go to a special event). It works out for everyone because it's a treat to go to an event and to bring who you want, and it's also a treat to stay home with a preferred sitter or parent.

I think it's normal to think that you have to "divide" yourself to have more kids, but most AP moms I know when they have more don't feel divided--they feel their love has multiplied.

I also think it's normal to want the opposite of what you had. My friend for example is 30 and won't marry her boyfriend because he doesn't want kids, and she wants kids. Well, not only does she want kids, one isn't enough. She wants a lot of kids. But she was an only child. I was also an only child (for many years, anyway) and I wanted to have a lot of kids. I think it's almost like a pattern--only kids wish they had had siblings, and kids with siblings wish they had been an only child or want their kids to be only children.

It's that whole "grass is always greener" thing :)

IronMamma May 17th, 2013 03:40 PM

Re: Moms with more...
Dave is an only child, and likes it but not at the same time. He was neglected a lot as a child, even as an only child. His real father rejected him, and his Step Mom was abusive. His Mom and step Dad were heavy into drugs and were NEVER home. So he is like "I want to put my everything into Drake." I can totally understand. It's just that, sometimes I get these feelings like I want more, but when I actually think about it, I do not. Maybe it's because I am a female and I am meant to make babies that I get these feelings? Because when I imagine me actually bringing a baby home I am not happy about it. Like this morning, me and Drake were sitting on the floor and hugged for like 20 minutes, literally. He does that all the time. And I was like "I can't have more kids. I would never be able to do this and just this and not have someone else needing / wanting me." My cousin (before she got killed) never wanted kids, and people including me called her weird, selfish and you name it. Who doesn't want kids right?! I wish I could tell her sorry because I know how she feels, except me with just one.

mama_2_Callen May 17th, 2013 04:04 PM

Re: Moms with more...
I know what you mean. I have moments where I'm like yeah a third kid would be awesome. And then I really think about it and I think I could never imagine a third kid. My family is complete. I can't imagine adding a third Callen and Kellsey get along so well that I don't want to mess that up. I think everyone thinks differently and want different things in a family. You know whats right for your family Jess. What works for some people doesn't always work for others. I can't imagine not having my two but that doesn't mean two kids is right for your family and that's ok!

alittlelost May 17th, 2013 05:29 PM

Re: Moms with more...

Originally Posted by IronMamma (Post 27372642)
Dave is an only child, and likes it but not at the same time. He was neglected a lot as a child, even as an only child. His real father rejected him, and his Step Mom was abusive. His Mom and step Dad were heavy into drugs and were NEVER home. So he is like "I want to put my everything into Drake." I can totally understand. It's just that, sometimes I get these feelings like I want more, but when I actually think about it, I do not. Maybe it's because I am a female and I am meant to make babies that I get these feelings? Because when I imagine me actually bringing a baby home I am not happy about it. Like this morning, me and Drake were sitting on the floor and hugged for like 20 minutes, literally. He does that all the time. And I was like "I can't have more kids. I would never be able to do this and just this and not have someone else needing / wanting me." My cousin (before she got killed) never wanted kids, and people including me called her weird, selfish and you name it. Who doesn't want kids right?! I wish I could tell her sorry because I know how she feels, except me with just one.

"He was neglected a lot as a child, even as an only child."

Things like neglect, missing out on a child's special events, etc . . . that has nothing to do with being an only child or not. It doesn't become more likely with the more kids you have. It's a parenting decision. You make things work for your family, or you don't, whether you have 1 child or 10.

If you don't want more kids, and your husband doesn't want more kids, don't have more kids :) But just remember that those who do have more kids aren't putting less into their kids just because they have more, and if YOU ever decided to have more, Drake and your other child wouldn't get any less from you either. Want to know why? Because you aren't your mom. You aren't your husband's father. You are you, and you is an amazing mother who would be amazing with 1 kid or 2 or however many you decide to have/stick with.

I have 4 kids, and it's not uncommon at all for me to get a chance to hug them for 20 or minutes at a time. So just keep in mind that while you may not feel you could be as good a mom to more than one kid as you are to Drake, in reality, you CAN. And LOTS of mamas are being just as good to their multiple children as you are to your one.

It's okay to only have 1 kid, just don't confuse being an only child with getting more love/attention than not being an only child, because that just ain't reality ;)

(Also, there's always an adjustment period, whether going from 0 kids to 1 or 1 to 2. And as kids get older, they become more independent and don't always want mommy's attention 24/7. I know some people who space their kids out really far, and that works for them, because their kids get to an age where they still want mom, but not ALL the time, and so it's easy to have another child)

Oh, and for a long time, we thought we were done with 3 because I didn't know how we could manage more. But then our kids got older, our situation changed, and adding another seemed easy enough. But even if we'd gotten pregnant by surprise before then, we would have made it work. Because we love each of our kids 100%, whether it's 100% times 1 or 2 or 3 or 4. Our love is not divided.

alwayssmile May 17th, 2013 05:32 PM

Re: Moms with more...
I have not read all the comments posted, but I have not felt that I've done a disservice to Aiden for having his little sister. While some days are tough because they both need me more than I can manage to do as a solo parent, other days are fantastic as I see them interact. I do feel that there's another chid waiting for our family, I'd just like that child to wait a bit so that Aiden is much older. Even on the toughest of days I have never once regretted having Zoe.

And obviously what our family wants is not for other families. :)

IronMamma May 17th, 2013 06:53 PM

Re: Moms with more...
Lost, my point is, he was the only child yet he got no attention. That's lame if you ask me. :(

I just feel like my family is complete and I am sick and tired of getting comments because I do not want more, I am sick and tired of being "less" experienced because I only have one. Kwim? A Mom is a Mom, not matter 1 kid or 17.

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