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How many children do you have/ plan to have?

Discussion in 'Personal' started by connotations, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. I'm about to give birth and my husband and I have agreed to stop at one for many reasons; career, time, financial reasons, I'm 30 already (almost 31) etc. However, having spoken with some lovely friends today, they have suggested that this might be a mistake and unfair not to give my child a sibling.
    So, How many do you have/ want and do you think having only one child is a mistake?
  2. I'm about to give birth and my husband and I have agreed to stop at one for many reasons; career, time, financial reasons, I'm 30 already (almost 31) etc. However, having spoken with some lovely friends today, they have suggested that this might be a mistake and unfair not to give my child a sibling.
    So, How many do you have/ want and do you think having only one child is a mistake?
  3. I have only one child but not through choice. I would have liked four.
    I am one of five siblings and my husband is one of 6 so we are both used to large families.
    Whilst my son has undeniably had more materially than he would have done had he been part of a larger family I think he has missed out on so much more. He has no one to share any family memories with, no one to share experiences with and in later years noone to share the burden of dealing with us as we age who would be equally responsible for us. He is a very self contained young man who enjoys his own company which is a good thing in many ways but I don't think he reaches out to people as much as he could or should because he hasn't had to consider others much on a daily basis. Even living in halls at uni he is generally keeping to himself. I think this is a shame. However, one day when we are gone he will be relatively wealthy as he won't need to share his inheritance. Good or bad? Not sure but in these times when youngsters face a lot of debt perhaps that will help. Not that I plan on going too soon.
    When he was younger I was always with him, playing with him, talking to him etc. When he had a friend round it was much easier as they would play together and I could hear that they were safe without having to be actively involved in what they were doing.
    If I had known I would never have had another child would I have gone ahead and had just one? I don't know, I don't think I would. I feel so sad for him that he's missed out. But HE doesn't. This is all he's known and he likes his own company and he likes not having to consider anyone other than us. He's always had the latest gadgets and appreciates this. He's turning out OK.
    But most importantly everyone is different. What I think shouldn't influence what you think. Much. If you are happy with your decision to have only one child no one should make you feel bad for that.
    I was 38 when I had my son so always knew my chances of having a big family were small but at least one more would have been nice.
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  5. Bethannie

    Bethannie New commenter

    I come from a large family and always hoped for a largeish family of my own.
    However, "man proposes and God disposes". I am now 50, still single and even if I found a partner (highly unlikely for many reasons - mainly the fact that my ASD keeps me housebound and outside of Disney movies your prospective life-partner never comes riding up to ypur front door!) I am unable to have children.
    So, even the one would be a bona-fide miracle. It wouldn;t matter that they were a 'one-and-only'. I think that I could have loved one or a dozen children. Any socialization that a single child missed out on at home could be made up for at pre-school, school, scouts/guides. church, girls/boys brigade football practice...any number of things!
    If one child is all you both want, then love and cherish your little one. Don't be pressurised into a decision you may regret.
  6. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Like Bethannie, I would have dearly loved to be able to have even one child, but 2 ectopics and two failed IVF cycles saw the end of that dream. Be happy you have a child, if another comes along fine, but society mustn'y dictate to you on the size of your family, you and your partner know what's best for you.
  7. Thanks both, it's useful to get alternative views. I met up with three friends and they were all in agreement that it would be a mistake to stop at one and it really made me think.
    Honestly, if we have two we'll really need to count pennies and things will be quite challenging.
  8. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    When i had one i found it very hard, i think I was mildly depressed. When I had the second after 2+yrs everything fell into place and my maternal feelings switched on. Who knew that was going to happen though.I have friends with a single child and they have been very happy with just one. Who knows what is right for you. The financial commitment is a real consideration - my 30yr old costs us far more than ever he did as a child, thank god the first one earns good money.
    Its not wise to live life thinking "what if". Make your choice and enjoy it. There is no right answer.
    Sometimes we privilaged (sp?) western women think we have the right to a perfect life. Of course the pursuit of happiness is a valid aim but so many millions of people have far fewer choices and would not understand your worries in any way. It will not be a mistake to have a single child. I think your lovely friends were sticking their noses in to business which is not theirs.
    Good luck with the birth of your child - what a fantastic time it is
  9. BillyBobJoe

    BillyBobJoe Established commenter

    In some ways I think you just find ways of managing when you are on a tight budget. My mum would by clothes for us from a mail order company because they were willing to take payment in installment via post dated cheques - something I never realised at the time - kids just accept things. We never realised, until we were in our teens, that my parents were short of cash.
  10. We never intended to have any children and when we had the first one we said that we would stop there. Unlike another poster, my son was not a content baby, he cried a lot and found entertaining himself very difficult. I made the decision to broach the subject of a sibling for him whilst observing him one day at the park. He stood on the fringes of the play area, looking longingly at the other children, desperate to join in but unable to just bound in and join in the fun.
    His little sister was born a year later and they have always been good friends (they're now 14 and 11). Given the choice he would spend time with his own friends, but of course that isn't always possible. He's still very shy and finds new people overwhelming sometimes but I think that having a sibling has helped him to learn to socialise.
    For us the decision to have a second child was the right one and my experience tells me that you will know what is right for your little one as his/her personality develops. The important thing is to do what is right for you, and not be pressurised into making a decision based on what other people think.
    PS good luck with the birth - here's hoping it's quick and relatively pain free.
  11. madenglishgirl

    madenglishgirl New commenter

    I spent 28 years of my life thinking I was infertile (confirmed by docs) and suddenly found myself pregnant. I am now a single mum of 32 and I can't envisage me being in a relationship and settling in time for the (probably) lengthly journey of TTC. I always wanted 2, but I am more than happy with just the one - I am an only child, as are my parents, so it is seen as the norm for us to have just the one.
    I didn't suffer socially when I was growing up - quite the opposite, really and I'm glad that my daughter is coping just as well!
  12. wordsworth

    wordsworth Senior commenter

    It is not automatic that siblings will get on, nor is it automatic that they will share the care of their parents as the parents become elderly. Family dynamics can be fraught, and it strikes me that children are shaped in many ways by where they are positioned within the family, each child taking on a different role and possibly taking on different baggage from their parents. Maybe Larkin was right.
  13. anon8315

    anon8315 Established commenter

    My personal view is that family size should be shaped on what parents want and can afford, not on the existing child, if that makes sense.
    By that I mean I feel a little sorry for some second children, whose parents have baby no1 because they want a son or daughter, but have baby no2 because they want their son or daughter to have a brother or sister. I would love to have a baby and I would love to have more than one because I love children - I'd hope they would be friends and support one another but as someone has so rightly said, it isn't given. My brother will become my sole responsibility when my dad dies, which is a very scary thought. That said, if he'd been the only one there wouldn't be anyone fighting his corner then.
  14. I had 7 - 4 girls and three boys. Oldest is 40, youngest 28. We managed fine back then, but I think it's more demanding financially now, I have 15 grandchildren and their parents seem to struggle more than they did when mine were young.
    I have legal responsibility for one grandson who is now 12 and I've had him since he was too. I'm nearly 64 and it seems to me that I struggle more with the 1 than I did with the 7!
  15. Anonymous

    Anonymous New commenter

    Spot on.
    I hate the whole concept of having more than one child just so they can be friends - it is not always the case and not necessarily a healthy reason for having more.
    I was one of 4 children and we never got on as children - we fought non-stop, often drawing blood and there were a number of injuries which required treatment as a result.
    My advice would be to have the children you want and are able to have and STOP listening to other people's opinions of what you should want!
  16. inky

    inky Lead commenter

    You're very lucky if, wanting one, you get one.
    I'll just say this: if you have just one and lose it, you don't have any left.
  17. :-(

    I think about that quite a lot (intrusive thoughts) but I can't see myself having more.
  18. jonkers

    jonkers New commenter

    Bluddy hell that is alot of children.
  19. As an only child myself, I vowed to NEVER only have one child - so I had twins! They are my only children as the odds of subsequent twins were too short to risk.
  20. mmm...Milk

    mmm...Milk New commenter

    I have two and OK, so they don't get on all the time, but then again, thats human nature. I see people with only one through choice or situation, and I see that this person has to have other peoples children around a lot to keep them company, have a play mate. Their children never seem has happy as my two. That probably sounds a bit smug, but really, some of them just look so cross all the time! Children have to learn to share and resolve their differences, and who better to do it with than a sibling?
    When I had my first I knew I wanted a second, which I did 2 years later, and feel no urge to have another. Regarding the cost, you already have pram / cot etc and its getting second use of these things, a lot of clothes (even if you have one of each) can be passed down or swopped with others.
    Yes, as they get older it costs more for trips etc, but I wouldn't give my two up for anything (well, OK, sometimes I would)
    OP - you are not too old, I was older than you with my second. Enjoy this baby and stop worrying about the second. Remember, no two are ever the same, my sister was a horrible baby, but fortunatly my parents decided that they still wanted another, they couldn't be that unluky twice and they weren't!! I was a dream compared to her! [​IMG]

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