N.Q. asks from Irvine, CA on January 13, 2009
Scared to Go from One Child to Two, Need Encouragement and Advice
We are planning to try to (edited to say "try to") conceive our second child next cycle but I am feeling nervous. I am worried mostly about my loss of independence and how will I handle the additional work of another child. (ETA: I love my daughter very much and I have willingly given her all my time and all of my heart and soul.) A 17 month old is still so much work, but she will be at least 2 before the second comes along. I am worried I will get more isolated and lonely and I feel I don't have anything for myself. This week I tried to arrange a sitter for a manicure for myself and it feels so hard. Babysitters are flakey, I don't want to bother family with it, DH does not want a stranger watching her. He says he will help out more when #2 comes, but I just know the sleepless nights and crying all falls mostly on my shoulders. Any advice on the transition from one to two? About getting babysitters and not feeling guilty about it? It seems like it is very hard for me to get a sitter/help for some reason. I guess I feel as a SAHM a sitter is a luxury and I should be able to do it all myself. I am also worried I won't have anymore one on one time with DD and that I'll be too tired and stressed out to enjoy the whole thing. Anyone else feel this way before #2 arrived?
10 moms found this helpful
So What Happened?™
ETA: I would just like to add that my question was not whether to have a second child, there is no question we will have one if not two more, I just was feeling scared and anxious the day I wrote the post and wanted to hear from other moms who've been there and made it though. I am so excited now to conceive #2 if we are so lucky. I feel bad for my moment of weakness and negativity, but as so many posted, we all feel that way sometimes. I thank God and cry with gratitide everyday for my DD, and I pray now that we are blessed again with a miracle from Heaven. I feel strong now and I know I will be a great mom. One person said something like "I have 4 children and I was nervous before each one" That really struck home with me. I also got a PM from another IF person who made me remember how hard we tried for DD and how getting pg for some is not so easy. I appreciate those who told me to wait (in a nice way). I really did think about your words and follow my heart.
ETA: Wow, all these responses really helped me to realize what an important decision this is and also that all moms go thru similar dilemmas. I want to add that I'm sorry my post was so negative, it was a bad day for me and DH and I had just had a spat about the babysitting issue. I feel better now and I feel more prepared for the challenges ahead. After struggling with infertility for our first daughter, I am extremely grateful for her and for the chance to try again. I think I am just letting my fears grow out of control and I am anxious about the IF treatment next cycle (clomid, etc)
Thanks so much everyone for your help. Your comments go through my mind all day and have really caused me to think alot. I did talk openly with my husband and he has agreed to watch her more on his own. He really wants #2 soon and I love him for that. He also understands I need to do some adult stuff without her. I realized that I have gotten a bit depressed because I isolated us over the holidays (afraid of germs), so while we didn't get sick, we also didn't get out with friends. I am already a member of my local Momsclub (Irvine), I just need to go more. Going today! She was napping during most of the events and during MOPS, but now she has given up the morning nap finally. So, my new resolution is to be a SAHM who goes out! I'll make a point to schedule a sitter once or twice a month for my sanity and it should get easier the more I try. If I was younger and wasn't struggling with infertility, I might wait longer, but we have the momentum now for the infertility treatment and i don't want to put it all on hold. I also feel very sad when I think of waiting, like I don't want to wait. I want another child. I have loved being a SAHM so far and I love every minute with my daughter. I've been here for every poop! But, it's time I miss a few poops too I guess if I want some me time. I also think once that little miracle is growing inside me, I will feel that love that only a mother knows, that makes you move mountains with no problem. We are also going to have help here for the first few weeks after the birth and as needed after that. Thanks all and I will try to stay aware when I get too isolated and down. I also need to remember, the diaper years don't last forever. thanks again I am reading everything you write and thinking about it alot.
Update as of April 12, 2009. We are not pregnant yet. I think it might have been God's plan to give me a bit more time. DD has grown so much since January and DH has changed so much and really has been spending a lot of time with her. I am praying so hard for #2 now that I can't even remember being so worried about it. Thanks for all your kind and thoughtful words.
G.B. answers from San Diego on January 18, 2009
Hi there -
I have two daughters ages 4.5 and 2.5. They are so close and play together so nicely. The first year was tough - the first two actually. But it is so worth it. 2-3 years apart is ideal. More than that and they don't play together as well. I felt the SAME way you are before my second. I am now 39. You don't want to wait too long as it might not be as easy to concieve, risks of advanced maternal age, etc. I still feel guilty about sitters but with them together it is easier. They have each other. It is so cool to see the interaction. Hope this helps. I say go for it if you have a supportive husband. G.
R.L. answers from Los Angeles on January 14, 2009
Last year at this time I had just found out I was pregnant with number 2. My first baby was a little over five months old. Now I wake up everday and try to make it through. I have a highly active 17 month old and a strangely mellow 3 month old. From what I have been told is that the first year is the suckiest. This is the hardest job I have ever had, not kidding. No matter what, having more than one will be a challenge no matter the age spread. Good luck to us all, it has to get easier over time!
D.L. answers from Reno on January 14, 2009
Hi, N.. You've gotten a ton of advice already, but I thought I'd add my two cents. :-)
My dad told me once that the only thing he regretted about having kids was not having more (there were 4 of us). I have 5 birth kids and 3 steps. I don't regret a minute of it and would have more if we could. Every one is different and unique. I am blessed every day to watch them. They are each other's best friends, biggest aggravations and biggest supporters and defenders.
It is challenging to go from one to two, but well worth it! Good luck.
J.A. answers from Los Angeles on January 14, 2009
I completely sympathize with you, N.. All of those fears, insecurities, and concerns are understandable. But at the same time they dont have to inhibit you doing things you want/need. It's a crazy paradox -- very much like the oxygen mask while flying on an airplane, they tell you to use the oxygen mask first before you would give it to your child, because they know full well that mommies can't take care of and tend to their children because they are passed out and have no oxygen. A little more dramatic of an illustration, but I think you can understand. I'm a SAHM with three kids, a 6 year old daughter, a 4 1/2 year old daughter, and a 1 1/2 year old son. I'm evidence that IT CAN BE DONE! LOL! Don't get me wrong, it takes time, effort, creativity, and open lines of communication with your husband. Those guilty feelings and unrealistic expectations of "having to do it all" will leave you exhausted, frazzled, bitter, and resentful. You do need time to take care of yourself and do things YOU enjoy. Just like a car, you won't go anywhere or do anything with an empty tank, and may even cause more damage to yourself and your loved ones by forcing yourself to be "Super Mommy". I tried! It's important to meet with other mommies and get adult interaction that way. Great friendships can result. And from that, a trustworthy group of women who can be part of a baby-sittig co-op can begin. Trade off nights, so you can get a date night with hubby. Find another lady who can watch your kids a couple hours to get groceries and errands done and do the same for her. Get involved in a Mom's Club or MOPS (Mothers of Pre Schoolers - moms of kids to age 5) group in your area. Mom's Club is more casual and informal, usually with calendar events that can be attended at your convenience. MOPS usually has on-site childcare so you can enjoy time with other mommies in similar seasons of life. They have guest speakers on parenting, education, marriage etc. Sometimes a fun craft or social gathering. And definitely make it a conscious team effort with hubby. Share those needs with him. I often ASSSUMED my husband would know my needs, I mean, couldn't he "tell" it's 2 in the afternoon and I haven't showered? LOL! No, they don't see things like we do. And it's not fair to put that pressure to tend to our needs that were never voiced. I'm guilty of that too! My two girls are 17 months apart...that would be you WITH another baby RIGHT NOW! I survived -- yay! Take time to discuss all these feelings with hubby. I believe that a marriage should be priority, yes, even before kids. I've learned that if I put my husband first, he is eager and much more willing to help with responsibilities around the home. It fuels a great connection with hubby because he is aware of what you want and doesn't have to play the guessing game. Be specific with him -- my hubby needed detail in my requests for help. Keep it simple...he will thank you for it! Sorry for rambling...hope it helps!
2 moms found this helpful
D.M. answers from Los Angeles on January 14, 2009
you will love having 2 children, despite any struggles. you will figure it out. i have 3 children, 8 & 1/2, 5 and 8 months old. somedays are better than others and DH does try to help as much as he can. We only use family as sitters.
I think the benefits far out way the negatives. Your children will grow and always have eachother. Think about the long term effects, not just the immediate. Family is so important. My children will have friends for life, and a strong sense of family. Yes, it is an adjustment, but anything worthwhile is. Stop over analyzing this!
You will find time for everyone. And your heart will grow to find love for both your children. I can't remember a time when I didn't love all my kids- it just happens!!
I would recommend you find a support group. I am Pres. of my local MOMS Club, and we help moms so much with managing stress, and from feeling isolated. You need to have friends that are in the same boat as you are! Plus we trade babysitting favors all the time, and we have so much fun! I joined over 7 years ago when DS was a year, and it saved me and my family!! It is an amazing resource, i highly recommend!! check our chapters out at www.momsclub.org We have chapters all over!! Call me if you want more info or email me. ###-###-#### or ____@____.com :)
2 moms found this helpful
J.S. answers from Los Angeles on January 13, 2009
Sounds like your kids would be spaced out like mine and I love that age difference. They have their moments of fighting, of course, but I cherish the times they really get into playing with each other. They are very closeand get along wel for the most part.
To be honest, the first 3 months after #2 were rough. It takes time for everyone to adjust. Since my son slept a lot at first during the day I still had tons of one on one time with my daughter. I changed her diaper when I changed his. She was excited to be a big sister and helper. When possible, one parent would be with our son and one with our daughter. You can still read, play games, sing, etc. while nursing the newborn. Remind yourself it is OK to have the house be messy =) Once you get a routine down, most everything will be similar to before. I use my crockpot a lot more.
It's OK to ask for help from family. There is no need to feel guilty because you are doing nothing wrong. Having family help out and spend time with your kids allows them to build their bonds and relationship whether it's grandparents, aunts, cousins, and so on. It also gives you that well deserved pedicure! Needing help isn't a sign of a bad mom just a tired one.
Join a moms group or start your own with friends and have a co-op babysitting. That will help with the isolation and give you a chance to meet people. Try a mom and me class through parks and rec or gymboree.
It's easy for us mommies to slip into resenting our hubbies since they are off at work all day and we are at home. Don't let this happen. He's not out there slacking off, he's slaying dragons to provide for his family. Given the chance, our hubby's would rather be home with us. Keep those home fires burning while he is gone and greet him every night with a smile (even the days you need to fake one),a hug and a kiss.
You'll never regret adding to your family. the family of four club is filled with lots of love and laughter.
2 moms found this helpful
J.W. answers from San Diego on January 14, 2009
Wow, you need to get some one to talk to. I can tell you as a grandmother that I would love to be bothered with my grandchildren lots of times!! So check out the family. If you feel trapped with one it will get worse with two, you need to change the way you feel and the way you look at your life. Remember a couple of things, feelings are not always reality, not all strangers are bad and not all babysitters are flaky. If you are not in a play group, get in one, that will help you with your feelings of isolation. It will also open up a pool of people that will help you with your child and your emotional state. Look at the good things that will come of the second child. You are focused on the negative, and I would encourage you to write down all the wonderful things that are going to come with having a second child. You don't have to be a super mom, put on a hat, strap them in a stroller and take them to the zoo!! Find another mom to walk with, the kids love it, you are with them and another adult and it gives them fresh air and they take a great nap. YOU CAN DO IT. As far as deserving a break, your husband may work out of the house but he gets a lunch break every day, and if he likes you looking nice for him find that sitter and get a manicure and a massage while you are at it. If you don't take care of yourself first the rest of the family suffers anyway!! As a last not, there is a natural herb called Rhodiola that has been used for centuries as a mood lifter and an energy boost. You can get it at we-us.mychoices.com
I use it for menopause crabbiness, it is totaly safe, but don't just take my word for it, check it out.
Good luck, and take care of yourself.
2 moms found this helpful
J.L. answers from San Diego on January 17, 2009
Hi N., Let me try and ease some of your fears, first all I have 3 kids, The fact tha you re going to try while your first child is 17 months is good, because when baby #2 is older both your kids will entertain each other, and you will not always have to be the entainer. I agree with your husband about no strangers watching your children, I was and still am a SAHM, my kids are grown now, but when they were little and I had to go and run arrands, I tried to do those on Saturdays when daddy was home, or I took them with me, we raised thenm to be very well behaved, so I had no problem really having my kids with me, plus they more you take them out in public, the more they larn how to behave in public, but we all need our time for us as well, so most of the time I had a friend go places with me, which gave me my girl time, but it also gave me the help I may have needed with my child, and I did the same for a couple of my friends as well. The sleepless nights, they don't have to be so sleepless, of lot of that is the parents own doing, when our babies were new born and would wake up to be feed, my husband and I both got up, if I was getting the bottle ready he would be chan ging the diaper, if he was getting the bottle ready then he would be changing the diaper. we made our babies together, so we shared the responsabilty togeter, and my husband was in the Navy and had to get up eary every morning for work, but still helped me with everything, by six weeks we had all 3 of our babies on rice cereal at night (MY MOMS ADVICE) and they started sleeping through th night, also we always rocked our babies to sleep, we NEVER EVER put our babies down and expected then to put themselves to sleep, our babies fell asleep loved and nurtured and we believe that is one of the reasons, we didn't go through all the sleepless nights that many do. When our children became toddles, we would gather in one room, and my husband would read the kids a story, they we would pray with them, by 2 they were already praying, then together we tucked them all in, they we had our own time together, having multi kids is great, those who tell you he oppisite, sweetie it is because of the way they did things. My husband and I tried to have our kids no more that 2 years apart, we had 2 boys first, they ended up 3 years and 4 months apart but they have always been close, no they are 25 and 22 and they have been the best of friends for years. are 22 year old son amd our 19 year old daughter are 2 years and 4 months and are very close to one another. our 25 year old is married and lives in Tucson Az, when we got visit our other son and our daughter stay with their big broher and sister inlaw, and my husband and I get a hotel and we have that time together, and our 3 kids have time together as well, and of course we all have time as a family, I'm in to tell you don't be affraid to have child numbet two. You may want to have your husband read this message, so he can see how doing everything in a partnership makes a big difference, and I'm only a message away if you need any encourangement of advice, I don't claim to kn ow everything but I do kno what worked for my family, I have been a mom for 25 years, my husband and I have been married and have worked together for almost 28 years, I'm going to give you my e-mail addres so you can write me direct, ____@____.com J. L.
1 mom found this helpful
L.E. answers from Los Angeles on January 14, 2009
I felt much the way you do when I (unintentionally) became pregnant with my second child just six months after the birth of my first. I am busier taking care of kids now that I have two than when I had only one. I'm not so tired and anxious, though, that I can't enjoy some moments of parenthood of two. I hired a babysitter to help me a couple of times a week after my second was born because I needed the help to stay healthy and sane. (I attend graduate school part-time, and my husband is out of town most of the year.)
If you feel really apprehensive about having another child, I recommend that you tell your husband exactly what you have told us and that you NOT have another one. I believe that families of three can be just as happy, if not happier, than families of four or more.
Some of my friends say that they want to have more than one so that their only child won't be alone after they pass away. I appreciate them wanting their child to have company. However, I know quite a few people who want nothing to do with their siblings or other relatives. To help prevent offspring from feeling lonely after we (parents) are gone, I think that the most important thing to do is to help them develop social skills, an open mind and a compassionate spirit.
By the way, I have been through virtually every type of infertility treatment, especially high-tech infertility treatment, so if you have any questions about it, feel free to e-mail me.
1 mom found this helpful
T.F. answers from Los Angeles on January 18, 2009
I can't believe the horrible comment I saw! UGH! So to counter that...
Yes it will be challenging, but you can do it! Going out for a few hours a week (get a sitter if your husband can't watch your kids) is nothing to feel guilty about! I don't have a nanny, but I do have a regular, trusted sitter for my sanity. No guilt. (I never used a teen - they are flakey. I found a 21 yr old who has been with us since my son was 1.5 yrs old.)
The best thing you can do for yourself is find some parent education class in your area (most are very affordable) that way you can learn about child development.
I'm speaking as someone who has made mistakes. I did "too much" for my youngest, now 8.5 (I'm 40 and want a 3rd) and I wish I knew then what I know know. Read POSITIVE DISCIPLINE by Jane Nelson.
Nobody is able to "do it all" by themselves. Even in other cultures, mothers and mother-in-laws (and grandmothers) lend a hand and help.
The thing that saved my sanity when I was a first-time mom was finding mommy friends. I found mine at my local La Leche League meetings (free breastfeeding support). But there are LOTS of mom's groups.... Mothers and More, MOPS, etc... Taking a class will also help you make friends.
1 mom found this helpful
T.V. answers from Los Angeles on January 14, 2009
As I started reading your concern about having a second child I immediately thought you should just not have the second one if all those things bother you, then when I got to the end and saw you were 37 I understood. I am 80 and have my second one at 21. It's a whole different "ball of wax" and although you are always going to fear the unknown, by the time you've reached 37 and had all that free time I can understand. My granddaughter just had her first at 35 and she had so many more concerns than I did having my first at 20. She has talked about having a second one already but I don't know if that's fair to you or your child. Two year olds are a handful in themselves and I think it would be for fun for all of you to raise the one you have at least until he is 3 and that will give you all some breathing room as you can spend so much more time with him and they are like little sponges at that age so you could spend your time with him and teach him all kinds of things and read to him where if you go back into the baby stage it is time consuming and like you say it is going to fall mostly on you. I had my second one when my daughter was a year and a half and she just recently told me (at age 60) how much she resented the intrusion. My next sister didn't come until I was 6 and I still resented her for a long time, but 6 years is too long to have all the attention and then have it taken away. So pray about it and do what makes you feel most comfortable...Love and God Bless...Tillie
1 mom found this helpful