This came up in my journal but deserves a spin off topic I think. Are you considering being one and done? Are you? Please weigh in!
@Sunflower @meerkat @Meowkins @Ferngully
For me, fertility issues and genetic health risks (Alzheimer’s especially) are on my mind, and the impact another kid would have on husbands risk profile. (Journal for more, and I may copy later, but rushing to post right now!)
Gotta to wake Latte from nap.
I’ll start with a few thoughts…
First off, I have absolutely no judgement for anyone who is making different choices than I am or has different feelings. There are no perfect answers.
We are very comfortably one-and-done at this point. We have always talked about doing some foster overnight relief and/or fostering in the future but at this point it won’t be for another 4-5 years at the earliest and never with the intention of adopting.
Shoot, Pipsqueak just woke up. Will add more later.
The unifying theme of oh so many parenting discussions.
I’m in the flip side, supervising dinner then bedtime, then I can post at a real computer! Maybe.
Following because with our first taking a lot longer than we expected, being as of yet uncertain that they will ever exist, and not knowing how much time or money it will take to get them, I’m very interested in this topic.
There’s nothing wrong with having just one child. More people are choosing to do this. For me personally one child is too precious. When I married my second husband he adopted my son and he wanted another child. We had 2 more as I felt it was important for him to have 2 of his own. My oldest has remained very close to his adopted dad and considers him his only dad.
After my kids were adults I moved to Nevada and 2 of my closest friends lost a child. They said that the only reason they didn’t exit life was because of the living child.
However, dementia is a horrible disease and I have went through the journey with a good friend of mine that started in her early 50’s. The doctors said hers was caused by the chemo because her cancer came back 8xs in 20 years. The decision to have kids is huge and it’s a lot of work. I think people should follow their hearts.
I recently asked my son and Dil if they ever regretted not having kids since she is past the point where it’s likely as she is 45. They both said how tired and stressed people with kids are so the answer was no.,
A bit of my pro-one-and-done thoughts, from a non-parent.
I was reflecting some time ago on my childhood, and my experiences there in relation to people’s declaration that children need a sibling.
My happiest childhood years were the only ones before I had a sibling. As an adult, I have an excellent relationship with one of my siblings and the other the loving but distant relationship of a cousin that I used to see regularly but no longer do. But as a kid, I vividly remember around age 9 or 10 feeling like my life was ruined due to having siblings (the first at age 4, second at age 8) who had periods of high need for attention and feeling that my parents no longer had time for me or focus on me.
In addition the fewer kids I have, the more resources we have per kid. The less we have to work to provide for us all. The less sleep deprivation.
I’ve always wanted many, many kids, but the older and less energetic I’ve become, the less that seems feasible and enjoyable. At optimistic college grads who thought we’d be startup millionaires quickly to thirty somethings that hope our investments do grow enough in the future to ever get to that level, we went from a flippant “as many as possible” to “well, at least two, definitely” to “we’ll do anything to have one that is genetically Greyman’s and then if we happen to have leftover embryos to implant or a random spontaneous pregnancy, so be it, but trying this hard beyond once is just too much.” As many as possible might just be one. And that might be fine, but to say you’ll be happy if you only ever have one may be easier from the point of having zero.
One and done was basically chosen for us. We started off with the usual infertility journey - clo… dang, I’ve forgotten the drug name now because it’s too similar to covid. Clomid? Is that right? Anyway, that, then IUIs, then IVFs. We had one last round of IVFs and if it didn’t take then fuck it, it was a sign that we weren’t meant to have kids - except that resulted in Kiddo and a few frozen embryos.
The first year with Kiddo was rough. He wasn’t even colicky but holy shit the sleep deprivation. And it turned out that he had some unspecified issue at the time and was slowly falling behind in milestones, then got RSV at six months old, plus the constant parade of day care illnesses … that first year was the biggest hurdle to “do we even want to try this again”? We decided that we did.
I’m not sure if we would have made the same decision if we didn’t have frozen embryos - I very firmly did not want to do things the old fashioned way to try for another baby. My mental health would not deal with that. We decided to do one more round of IVF and the timing worked out within two weeks Kiddo turned two, we found out the transfer didn’t work (and due to the defrost process had no more surviving embryos), and finally got the official diagnosis for Kiddo’s cerebral palsy after he had an MRI.
It was kind of surprising how my reaction to hearing that the embryo didn’t take was “Oh. Kinda figured. Okay then.” and basically went on with my day. Such a contrast to the grieving process of prior rounds, but I was already actively parenting daily and always appreciated every newborn moment in terms of a “I may never get this again” lens so maybe that helped? Appreciated in the awareness sense, not in the Pollyanna way. I got an IUD put in shortly after that last failed IVF.
Then later on after Kiddo was finally, FINALLY potty trained I was like “hell no I’m not starting over from scratch” Potty training is a convenient thing to point to when making small talk with people, but really the ship had sailed before that.
Gotta run, but I think that’s everything. Oh and at this point if we had an “oops” somehow, my reaction would definitely be “aw, fuck” because I’m really enjoying having an older kid. Newborn-dom is something to get through, from my perspective.
Happy one-and-done mom here!
I always wanted one or two, my husband always wanted two or three. Getting pregnant was pretty easy. Pregnancy was so perfectly fine we figured we’d do it again. The newborn stage, not so much. The sleep deprivation was rough on me and I think the hypervigilance because everything tells you your baby is constantly at risk of dying was worse. I was so happy when I went back to work.
My husband still wanted another. I thought about it a lot. I envisioned scenarios of us having another kid and decided I could handle it, so on our son’s first birthday I told him I did want another. He was like “oh” and “now?” I assured him that I didn’t want to start trying for at least another year. The next day I thought about his reaction and asked him about it. He said that he wasn’t really that interested in a second kid anymore. (I’m sure 9 months as a stay-at-home dad helped!) The amount of relief I felt was… informative.
So I got an IUD and later he got a vasectomy and we haven’t looked back. We’re both really happy with our family size: two parents, one kid, two cats. It’s right for us.
My heart still wants two but my brain and my body and bank account are pretty sure we can’t handle this shit again.
I am still in the newborn hazy days, so it’s too early to say. DH and I are both the eldest of 3 and have really grown close to our siblings over time. I have a lot of fond memories of playing with my brother and sister growing up. I know you can’t guarantee siblings will be close or even remotely like each other. But I think for us it’s worth the risk.
That’s part of our challenge here. I AM the 3rd/4th kid. I wouldn’t exist. And SirB and I are each now close to one of our siblings. Idk man.
I have two and there were factors that made me particularly determined to have a second child, probably so much so that I didn’t properly consider the case of having just one.
I like both my kids but if it was possible to make the optimal choice for our family, one (and this assumes its the same one we got) would probably be it. Regret isn’t the right word because my second child is brilliant and I’ll definitely be keeping him, but I can acknowledge now that we could have stopped at one and been just as content as a family and a lot of things would be easier, especially on me. I also think my older child would have thrived as an only child.
Happy to answer questions about why I feel that way. Please be kind.
I don’t have any desire for kids but I am happy to chime in as an adult: love being an only child and think a lot of my skill sets come from having to talk to adults at a young age, and making my own fun. Only downside for me is that the burden of taking care of my parents is solely on me. Both my parents are the youngest of 5 children but my mom taught me to say “I’m the first and LAST” from a young age
How do you now realize they would have thrived? Latte loves babies and asks for one, but she’s also so happy playing with us and neighborhood friends. I don’t actually think she’s missing out at this age. I do think it would be a negative for her in the next few years because she’s a VERY high one on one needs kid. And that’s not just me, lol, my daycare worker friend has corroborated that she’s the type of kid to thrive in a one on one environment a lot.
Dude yes. Meowlets keeps saying he wants a sister. I’m comforted that he seems to have aggressively gone out and found some. So maybe it’s ok…
YES. She is adopting neighborhood children. But I know it’ll get harder/weirder as she gets older. Everyone is having second+ kids now, there’s no one her age who is an only anymore in the neighborhood.
Pikelet so far as not adjusted brilliantly to having a sibling. She enjoys the company of adults and mostly is frustrated by the existence of her brother. I hope that improves as he gets older and can do things like follow instructions and understand rules and have more complex conversations with her, but who knows? If we didn’t have a second child I could definitely spend more time with her which she desperately craves. At the moment she would be happy to spend her free time playing chess with us and reading books. Neither are easy with a two year old stomping around.
They are 5 and 2 so I can’t really be certain. I’m sure their relationship will change several times as they get older and I hope it’s beneficial to them both.
Edit: she was keen on babies when I was pregnant and was cool with waffles mostly when he was immobile but once he started moving that all changed. She still says things like that I should have another baby, even though her actions scream do not have another baby haha.
I’ve got one and a second one on the way, but it took quite a few months of couples therapy to get here. The first year and a half (+ pandemic) was rough on our mental health and our marriage.
I’m still not sure if I can truly articulate how much I wanted a second one, but I just felt like I wanted a second. My husband was on the fence. I’m the oldest of two, with a younger sib 8 years younger than me.
I have clear memories of being an only, and feeling incredibly lonely. But - I think that’s no small part to how I was parented, so maybe the moral of the story is don’t parent like my parents did? I think that if we did stop at one, my son would have a much different experience than I did.
This is childhood memories so not sure how accurate -
I didn’t have much interaction with other kids other than in school growing up. My parents didn’t speak enough English to arrange play dates, and after school was for supplemental Chinese and math lessons anyway. All the focus on me as a young child was academic, and I don’t really have any memories of my parents actually playing with me, so I remember wanting a sibling to play with. I think I was the only kid in class who dreaded weekends and the summer because it was sooo boring.
My parents have relaxed a lot more since then, and they were different parents to my sister, and have really mellowed now as grandparents.
I only wanted one, and then once we had her I realized that I wanted more. That did surprise me, and dh and I always joked that it’s a good thing we got such a late start or we’d have been up to our butts in babies.
But I think there’s no downside to only having one, unless your heart is longing for more.
I’m a little sad that the little boy will probably be my only grandchild, but he’s a terrific little guy. His parents waffled about it, and a combination of health issues and politics and climate issues weighed on them.