Should we have another child??

?

What would you do in this situation?

  1. Have another child now

  2. Not have another child

  3. Wait and decide in the future

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. My fiance (soon to be husband in a few weeks) and I are trying to decide if we are going to have another child but aren't sure if it's the right thing to do or not.

    We have a three month old daughter who is the absolute joy of our life, but whose birth was unexpected. I am 23 years old and graduated from college last winter. I was working for my dad's law firm with plans to go to law school and immediately enter his practice. My fiance (28yrs old) had just quit his teaching and coaching job and entered the environmental testing equipment company. Post-birth, I have cut back on work which I do work from home so I can take care of our daughter during the day. I plan on going to law school when she is old enough to go to school during the day (pre-k).

    My fiance has mentioned several times he might want another kid (hopefully a boy:p), but if we're going to have one, we need to have one now. If I wait, then I either put off law school longer and bring home very little money in the meantime or I have a baby after law school when I have tons of debt and no way to pay it off other than working full time and putting the baby in day care (which we're both opposed to).

    Anyways, sorry for the long story, but I thought it might help anyone giving opinions. We don't want a big age gap between the children, so it's kind of now or never. What do you think? Have you been in a similar situation? Do you wish your parents had another child? Do you wish you were an only child? Do you wish that you had your children at different times/with different age gaps? Please help! I know this is a decision that we ultimately have to make for ourselves, but I could really use some opinions or advice!

    Also, this is sad, but my biggest fears in having another child are that I won't get any sleep again (I miss sleeping so much right now!) and that I won't love them as much as my daughter. Any help on that would be so greatly appreciated too! I can't thank you enough!!!!!!!
     
  2. Well, it's your decision, but if your daughter is the joy of your life, keep her so. You do NOT know how a next pregnancy will be or how the next child might be. You might get a sweet little thing or a super active one that doesn't sleep. Plus, any doctor will tell you that your body needs two years to recuperate from a pregnancy. Pregnancies too close together rob your body of calcium and folate and other things.

    We were in a similar situation and we decided to have one child before and one child after grad school and while the age gap is more than we planned (unexplained infertility), we wouldn't have it any other way. My oldest and youngest got our full attention and we got to enjoy them. Also, my oldest is the best big brother!

    There is no perfect time to have kids, believe me. Before career or after or during. Kids are an inconvenience, simple as that, but don't "rush" just to "do it". You have time and you never know, your life plans might change up on you anyhow. they have a way of doing that! LOL
     
  3. Very well put. That's exactly what my mom told me when I found out I was pregnant! I guess I always assumed there would be that "right" time. Thanks for your advice and sharing your experiences too! My doctor told me to give myself a few months...I thought that sounded short.

    You're right, one of my big fears is that I might wind up with a baby that never sleeps and that I might in some weird way despise them for taking up all the time I could be spending with my daughter. I also don't want my daughter to in turn feel neglected in any way. Then again, it seems like plenty of other people have kids like that and they turn out okay...
     
  4. I was thinking the exact same thing. I graduated 2 winters ago and then the pregnancy was unexpected as well. I also plan on going to law school.

    I wanted my daughter to have a sister close to her age. There is an 7 year gap between my brother and I. I remember wishing I had someone to play with and begging my mother to have another baby.

    Then I babysat my friend's 2 month old boy. Taking care of 2 babies is HARD! I couldnt handle it. One would cry which would make the other cry. I wasnt talented enough to hold both at the same time. I would feed one and the other would be hungry and start to cry. It was seriously stressful.

    So I decided that I had to wait AT LEAST a year or two to have another.
     
  5. ^we should just move next door and pretend our daughters are siblings! Half the work and worry. Problem solved! :p
     
  6. ^^Sounds like a plan!
     
  7. We had our three children in 4 years. Throughout history, women have often had children much closer in age than two years with no real harm done to mother or child. Most healthy women do NOT need to wait two years to get pregnant again.

    Our thinking was that we wanted our kids to be close in age to be able to share the school experience and have common interests. For ourselves, we wanted to have the three children we planned and then be able to be a family without significant disruption later on. For example, it was much tougher to travel with babies, but as the children get older, more and more vacation options open to us, for all of us to enjoy equally. We really appreciate that aspect of having children close in age.

    However, only you can decide what is right for you. Many people will agree that having children close in age is ideal while others feel that having a significant age gap is better while still others feel that having only one child is perfect for them. All of these situations can be just right for different families.
     
  8. This is not true. It was only with improved nutrition that women had babies closer together. MOST of our history (I studied anthropology in college) women had children every 4 years apart because they were exclusively breastfeeding their babies for a LONG time (not introducing foods like we do now at early ages) and because of the demands of pregnancy and nursing, mothers became too thin and malnourished to get pregnant again. A pregnancy too early would mean possible starvation for the older child too. IF a woman had a baby too soon, it was (and still is in some native groups)expected that she would abandon the child at birth. It really is only the last 400-500 years that this has changed in some parts of the world (only where civilizations advanced).

    And, doctors do worry about folic acid more and more and they do not recommend back to back pregnancies. They won't say "don't do it", but their recommendation would be to wait a bit.

    I KNOW everyone has to decide for themselves, but EVERY and I mean EVERY mother I meet (and I was president of our local momsclub, so I saw lots of moms) that has several kids close together looks completely and utterly frazzled. Women are Soooooo alone with caring for children and that has NEVER been a part of the majority human history until this century!!!! It's just a HUGE, HUGE burden on a marriage and especially on mom... no real support besides a man and that is just not enough especially since he is probably working full time too.

    I'm not knocking anyone's choices, but I think it should be WELLLLL thought out and people should OBSERVE those around them in similar situations. Asking may lead to honest answers or sugar coated ones. In the end, we all learn that we can each handle only so much. Neither of my kids slept, so the idea of close together was NO WAY, but that's just me.
     
  9. I know! It's taken alot of effort to maintain a healthy relationship with my fiance while taking care of a newborn. Alot of the time I go to bed at 3am- far to late for any pillow talk. When he gets home, he is exhausted from work and takes a nap- there goes my social interaction with another adult for the day, and my chance to take a short break to do something for myself! I honestly have SO much respect for mothers now. I used to think staying at home with kids was an easy job, but now I KNOW it isn't!! Staying at home to take care of the kids and trying to work...nearly impossible!
     
  10. You know, I'm doing a presentation for the Ethical Society of Northern Virginia in Feb. about this isolation of people in the US especially. We are so alone most of the time and it's EXPECTED to just "deal with it". Why do you think we are drawn to these communities? MomsClubs, etc? Because we are LONELY. We are NOT creatures that lived in isolation, but in groups, yet, while we all live side by side, we do EVERYTHING alone - mowing, shoveling, cooking, child rearing etc.

    Being a SAHM is difficult because you are so darn ALONE and doing the most menial, mind-numbing tasks. WHO likes cleaning up after everyone? And cooking daily for everyone? Scrubbing toilets and vacuuming, and dealing with loads of laundry, and with an older child in the mix, homework and after school activities, etc. At the end of the day you are so starved for your So attention that I think oftentimes we are toooooo demanding because then they don't have "their" time they need to unwind too.

    As I said, I studied anthropology and tend to be drawn to it and I look around at our history and we did things TOGETHER. We raised kids together, built homes together, sewed crops together, and so on.

    Now, we live in our own homes and we even got rid of the sidewalks and front porches... instead we have cul de sacs and private decks and live thousands of miles from our families a lot of the time... it is sooooo not good.
     
  11. There is never really a "perfect" time to have a child.

    3 month old....right now you are experiencing the craziness of having a child! It's hard to adjust. Sleep deprivation is most shocking with the first child. But when you think about it...it doesn't last very long and it's really a small price to pay for having child. All age gaps have positives and negatives. It's up to you and if you want to do school or be a Mom.
     
  12. LOL doesn't last long? I wish! Both my kids were 2.5 years old when the finally started sleeping through the night and my youngest was up 5-7 times a night until he was 23 months old!!!! I was a ZOMBIE!!!
     
  13. ^Wow! 5 -7 times? Did he eat that many times? I guess I got lucky. Belle usually wakes up only once for a bottle. Last night she didnt wake up all! She slept from 10:30pm to 10am! I think she may be sleeping longer now because she has figured out how to roll herself over onto her tummy. I always start her out laying on her back.
     
  14. I KNOW... initially, he would eat every time, then that stopped, but he would still wake every time. FINALLY at 23 months, we stopped all of that, but then, he was going to bed at 9 pm and waking for GOOD at 4:30 am or earlier!!!. If I put him to bed at 8:30 pm, then he would wake for good at 4 am. I couldn't deal with that either because I'm a night person (or at least if I want to spend ANY time with my DH who IS a night person, I can't go to bed early). Then that changed at about 28 months, and then he was waking one to two times a night just because.... It was just this past month taht he started sleeping the whole night, but he's still screwy with sleeping. Like, yesterday he took a 4.5 hour nap and only slept 7.5 hours last night. Today he doesn't want to take a nap which might be a good thing.

    My older son (now 11) was the SAME, but he started to "mostly" sleep through the night at 18 months, but still woke up once (instead of the 4-5 times). He, however, took FOREVER and EVER to get to sleep. We had a WHOLE night routine of BEFORE bed, and then it took anywhere from 1 hour to 2.5 hours to get him to sleep at night until he was 4. Then it was only a 30 min. to 1 hour "ritual" AFTER he was already in bed.

    My kids are HIGH MAINTENANCE I guess!
     
  15. I think it's true that there is never a perfect time to have a child. I do think that since you just had a baby three months ago, maybe you can put off making a decision right now. You are so young and the baby so new, I don't think you need to rush this decision. Your reasons for wanting to have children close together makes sense but so does wanting to finish law school. Maybe you can put this on the backburner for awhile and revisit it a year or so down the road. I had twins and there are six years between them and my last child. When the twins were 15 months old I desperately wanted to get pregnant but my husband was not so sure. The twins were pretty sickly and it would have been hard to juggle another child. Granted, six years is a long time between children but it worked out. The older girls really looked after their sister. I sometimes wish they had been a little closer in age and that we had had one or two more. At the same time I was determined to finish my bachelor's degree and between the children and frequent transfers it was a long, hard road. Going to school with kids is really tough. My children are all adults now but in retrospect I don't think being a SAHM was such a great thing for me. I was isolated and lonely and didn't seem to know how to meet other women (moving didn't help). I think I would have been happier working and would have felt like I was contributing more to the household. I wish you luck with your decision. Keep us posted on your little one and your decision.