87 answers

Will I Regret Having Only One Child?

my son will be 3 in April and everyone around us is asking when #2 is coming. my husband is pretty much leave it up to me to make the decision (so unfair). i need to act quickly because my biological clock is ticking!
1) will i regret later in life not having a sibling for him? when he starts asking for a brother or sister...what do i tell him?
2) am i being selfish for not wanting all the responsibilities that comes with another child?
3) financial impact on our lives?
4) i am 38 and my husband is 48. are we too old to be parents? my husband will be in his 60s when the child graduates from high school!
5) risks involved as having a child when both parents are older. down syndrome? or slow development or disability?
any advice you may give to help me make THIS LIFE CHANGING DECISION will be greatly appreciated.

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So What Happened?™

A BIG THANK YOU!!!!i got so many responses on my request and wanted to let everyone know how much i appreciated your advise. many of you shed some light of situations i have not even thought of and lots of encouragement to make my own decision versus being pressure to do what others think. At this time, we are putting a hold on our decision to have baby #2. my husband and i said we are not ruling it out, but mostly on my part i will not want to. thank you again. p.s. my father is recovering very well.

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Hi G.-

I am an only child and a mother of 2 boys, 7 and 9 1/2. I can't speak for everyone, but all I know is I loved being an only child when I was kid, but as an adult it is very difficult. As I see my friends' parents passing away, I realize that when my parents are gone there will be no one left to talk to about my childhood or family history. I would give anything to have siblings.
Having the experience of being an only child, I, personally, would not do it to my child. It is a difficult lace to be as an adult.

Hope this helps-
LP

I found that 2 was easier because was not my childs only playmate. I wasn't that much different from having one, except I had more time to get things done because I didn't have to entertain my child all the time.
I usually advise those who ask, to have at least two, just for that reason.

Yes, you will regret it, but that is not a reason to go ahead and have a child you don't want. Only have a child if you truly want it!

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My only child, daughter is now 18 and leaving for college. Do I regret only having 1, no. I had her when I was 28 and my circumstances are different from yours. I divorced when she was 4 and would have loved to have had other children, but there was alot to consider. My decision came at 35. I was in a relationship and getting ready to marry, my daughter now 7, involved in extracurricular activities, our travelling, East Coast to West Coast and then just the Mommy and me events, which we still do now. I look back at it now and tell her when she asks about not having siblings, we take out the scrapbooks and realize, she would not have wanted the attention shared and I wonder with all we did, would I have had the energy to do every one of those things with more children. No.

She is well balanced, has had chores from day one, great grades, decided on her own to get a job at 16, that wasn't necessary, in ASB, and other high school activities. Just stay involved in their lives. I could have had it go the other way, because she and I truly don't need to worry about finances etc. She knows what a dollar is and gto the mommy gene of what a real bargain is.

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As far as being too old, I wouldn't worry about that part. I had my only child, my daughter, less than a month before turning 42. I think it's more an issue of whether you will have regrets, whatever your decision is. One thing I try to do is live with no regrets. Personally, we have tried for a second as I always wanted at least 2 kids, but so far it has not worked. All I can do is try and the rest is up to God, so at least I won't regret not trying. I suggest just thinking (and praying if that's your thing) about your decision and make whatever decision will bring you peace and happiness. Don't worry about what others think as you will be the one raising the second child along with your husband, so you and your hubby are the ones who need to feel good about whatever you do, regardless of what anyone else has to say. And you still have time to make that decision, so don't put pressure on yourself. God bless.

My opinion is that having at least one sibling is better than not. As a generalization (this is not always the case), single children have trouble sharing and sometimes have trouble with socialization, and most often are lonely a lot and wish they had a sibling. HOWEVER, with that said, you have to decide for yourself if having another child will make you feel resentful.
As far as financial impact, don't let that deter you from having a second child. Yes, kids cost money, but that is where the family has to make sacrifices in other areas (get a cheaper car, don't go out to eat quite as much, buy Target diapers instead of Huggies, things like that). And I think those sacrifices are SO worth it!
About the age issue, again, that's something you'd have to decide for yourself. But I do know that a lot of moms have kids at that age, and they don't regret it. Yes, the risks of down syndrome, etc are greater with age, but I wouldn't let that keep me from trying.
I'm sure you can tell from my response, but I'm one of those people who is totally open to life and children and family. I love big families and want to have a lot of kids myself. However, that's me. But, even if you are the kind of mom who feels "done" after one child, do consider your 3 yr old and his social needs. Take care and good luck!

I am 44 and have a 19 y/o son and 4 y/o dtr. My husband is almost 39 and he desperately wants a sibling for our dtr. (my son is obviously from a prior marriage). It is great that my son has a sibling after all these years and he adores her and visa versa, but my dtr. would benefit from having a younger sibling. I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years, and although it scares me because of my age and our lifestyle (very busy, ect.) I think I would be happy to have another. It is a decision that only you can make.

Dear G.,
To be honest with you, I'm not sure if my advise will help. But I'm in a similiar situation myself. Our daughter will be 3 in April. She is our only child and we are both 42. I am an only child and always felt very strongly about having more then 1 child (husband grew up with 5 siblings) For the past year we have been trying and are still trying. We both have strong feelings about this being in God's hands and if its meant to be it will happen.... with a happy, heathly,(no down-syndrome or austism) baby boy or girl! Have faith that what ever happens, it will be okay.
C.

I think that unless you have an overwhelming desire to have another kid, there is NO other good reason to do it! I was an only child and turned out great (if I do say so), as were some of my friends. We are no better or worse off than my friends who have siblings, as all people are complicated and wonderful with their own strengths and weaknesses.
Having another baby for the sake of giving your child a sibling is ridiculous unless it is also something YOU really want. As a child I sometimes wanted a sibling but I also wanted a pony, to live in a castle, to have parents that would let me eat candy, etc. etc... Children with siblings sometimes wish they were an only child, children with strict parents wish they had more playful parents, etc! Kids grow up in all kinds of situations, and most turn out FINE and happy! The important thing is loving attentive parents, ideally as non-stressed-out as possible, and plenty of opportunities for socializing, like going to school and other activities, even playing in the park or with neighbors. Part of being a child and a human is learning to make the most of he family you are born into. It is not up to children's desires for playmates or playthings to make major, major life decisions in their parents lives.
You can tell your son that families look all different ways, and that variety is one of the wonderful things about this world. Ask him if he knows any children with single parents, with one, two, three, or no siblings, or kids who live with their grandparents. Or couples with no kids. Ask him what other arrangements he has seen. Say isn't that so interesting! You can talk with him about all the other facts of our lives that it's not usually up to us to change, like who our families are, what color is our skin or eyes, whether we are rich or poor. Ask him what things each of us CAN change about our lives? You can talk with him about all the wonderful advantages only children have, like much, much, more of their parents attention (and how lucky he is to have 2 parents!), and the wonderful ability of imagination to make up games for himself, and the greedy pleasure of not having to share his toys or his dessert at home unless he chooses to have a friend come over!
It sounds like you have a lot going on in your life, and that while you enjoy motherhood it is not particularly something you LOVE to do for its own sake. If you are on meds for panic attacks, I definitely see that as a sign that the additional stress of another child is not something you should be taking on (again, unless you strongly desire to have another child in your life.) If you don't want the additional responsibilities of another child, it would not be selfish AT ALL to not have one. In fact, it is selfish for people to have children they are ambivalent about. If you see it as a stressful thing you "ought" to do, then I think it is your obligation to yourself, your husband, your first child, and the world to be happy with your son and give him all you've got a a parent!
My husband and I have decided to have a second child, but only because we both want one so much, and have both always wanted 2 kids, and have decided that the additional stress, work, lack of sleep, and financial hardship are overwhelmingly worth it to us, and we are both in a psychological place right now where we can handle that and look forward to the challenge. Otherwise, I think it would be an irresponsible decision, and unfair to both kids.
Good luck to you and I hope you can find some peace of mind once you've made your decision!
-S.

I have a four year old daughter, and I don't think we'll have any more kids. I try to just accept the fact that people are nosy. So what? That's their problem, not mine. I grew up as an only child, and I didn't hold it against my mom. Maybe he'll be glad that he doesn't have to share you with anyone else. There are positives to being an only child, you can focus on those with him.
Whether or not you regret it later, is up to you. I personally don't think that its good to regret anything, because that changes nothing. I think things happen for a reason and they are the way they're supposed to be. Follow your heart and don't look back. I don't think its selfish to not want the responsibilities of another child, its being realistic and honest with yourself. It's better to not have kids if you don't want the responsibilities of taking care of them, rather than, having them and not taking care of them or not being happy about it. You can give your all to thet family you have now. I'm only 26 so I can not really relate to the age issue, but I wouldn't worry about being a senior when they graduate, or see that as a bad thing. That's just the cycle of life. As for risks, I sort of see it as a balance between, there are risks with any pregnancy, and there may or may not be an increased risk due to age. To me with all your concerns it sounds like you're leaning more towards not wanting one. But maybe having a little bit of trouble saying it. and wow, you are dealing with panic attacks and an aging father? That seems like quite enough.

Dear G.,

I don't know if you will regret having only one child but I will tell you this: I'm an only child and I'm FINE. I don't miss having siblings because I never had any so how can I compare? Do what's right for you and your family. Your son will be fine either way.

H.

I found that 2 was easier because was not my childs only playmate. I wasn't that much different from having one, except I had more time to get things done because I didn't have to entertain my child all the time.
I usually advise those who ask, to have at least two, just for that reason.

Hi G.,
It sounds like you are possibly leaning toward not having the second child and are questioning your decision.

So don't have one. It is not such a bad decision. I grew up with 2 older sisters by 7 and 5 years and I felt like an only child. They never wanted to play with me because we were on different levels.

I had my older daughter at a very young age and she was raised by herself. She is a little on the spoiled/selfish side at times, but she is fine. Now we have a new baby who will also be raised by herself. I am done, so there will be no little sister or brother, but I am not worried about her since the older one is just fine.

It sounds like you already have your hands full.

Best of luck with your decision. You can't go wrong whatever you decide.

C.

There have been some really good responses to this, and I have only one thing to add. What I have observed with a couple of my friends, each of whom has one son between the ages of 5 and 10, is that the Mom is at times worn out with having to either be her child's constant playmate or constantly find places to take him to to be with other kids. I'm sure this is not the case for every single-child family, but it is a concern for the two that I know. I guess it depends on how big your concern is about another child making extra work; if that's a major part of the decision, rest assured that the extra work comes up front, but you soon adjust to it, and after the first couple of years you actually get a break because the kids play with each other instead of constantly wanting your attention.

Obviously the decision is much bigger than just this one issue, but I did want to weigh in as a mom of more than one - two was actually easier in the long-run. And then I had two more, so I'm officially nuts :-)

Hi G.,

I was in a similar situation when it came to having another child. My husband was ready for child #2 since my son was about 2-3 yrs. old but he also said it was up to me. I had a high-risk pregnancy with my first and it would be the same with the 2nd child too.

For me personally, I had trouble adjusting to being at home too and was really overwhelmed the very first day our son came home with us. But as I was around my friends' toddlers and with my son going to preschool soon (he's already in it now) and the fact that I was going to miss having him home, I was torn. I have a school debt I need to pay back and I pretty much stayed home most of the time, I thought I was going to head back out and work at a regular job like my husband. BUT I felt the desire to have another child. I would try to get advice from friends and family...(in-laws didn't make it any easier because they wanted another grandchild so the pressure was on!). I never did understand why so many women had their children at a younger age, but now I know why...so we as mothers can keep up with them!

People have their reasons for only having one child. I know a couple that decided not to have another child because their 1st child has severe food allergies and didn't want to have to deal with another child with the same condition. Another couple I know decided not to have another because they're older (wife late 30s and husband in 40s).

Finances is big thing with families too. If I didn't get pregnant like I did, I might have just asked to have my tubes tied or be put on birth control. Having financial problems was the biggest issue with me and that was one of the main reasons I had a hard time deciding. But I knew God would take care of my family, like he's always done.

You should discuss it again with your husband and really ask him if he wants to raise another child in his 50s and 60s. You're not being selfish if you have one child, because you have very valid reasons. And you can concentrate on raising your son to the best of your abilities.

Hope this helps in making your decision!

Wow, it seemed I was readng about my life (right down to the panic attacks)! I have a son who will be 3 in June and I will be 40 in July. I have all of the same questions as you when it comes to making the correct choice. I do not think that there is a right or wrong answer here. Here are few things I found out when I started asking questions:
1) You might regret not having another, but you might regret having another! As my friends who have gone for the second child tell me, "two children is not the double of one, it is ten times one!" At least when one child goes to nap or bed, you have a few minutes of peace. When there is more than one, you never seem to have those moments!
In regards to what to say when your child asks for a sibling, a friend of mine had a good response: " Daddy and Mommy love our life with the three of us and want to be able to give you every bit of our love and attention."
2) Are you being selfish? I don't know, but I do believe that you must base this decision upon what works for you and your husband's life. As you have learned from the one child you have, it is a huge responsibilty. Everyone is different and we all have different capacities for what we can give. When this question comes up for me, I often think that maybe "being selfish" is the right thing to do.
3) Financial Impact: This is always my husband's main issue. My thoughts are that you can make it work if it is what you decide to do. Of course, that might mean a change in lifestyle.
4) No, we are not too old! What we may lack in energy we make up for in patience. Besides, everyone else in your kids graduating class will have 60-ish parents!
5) Yes, there are increased risks with having children at our age. (I don't know where you stand with amnios and other procedures, but they can give you peace of mind.) I also have numerous friends who have beautiful, healthy children and had them in their 40's. These women also for the most part have chosen to have only one child and are very happy with their decision.

I have talked to many of my friends who are only children. Most of them tell my that you don't miss what you have never known. That they are happy to have been only children. All of these friends are very successful and happy in their lives and have great relationships with their parents. The only issue that one of my friends brought up was that now that his folks are getting older, all of the responsibilty for their care falls on him. Let me tell you that in my family of 3 children, all of the resonsibilty for my parents still falls on me! There are no guarantees!
I am still not sure sure what our final decision will be, but we are really trying to make the best decision for all of us. Ultimately, if we are happy and lessed stressed I believe that it will be the best life for our son.
I wish you the best with your decision.

If you don't like being home don't have another. You don't want a day care to raise your baby. You'll only be miserable and the family will suffer. Enjoy life. You will have a lot of fun with this one and be able to do a lot more. Like travel! It's a lot cheaper with just one. You sound very similar to me with post partum and panic attacks. That being said, number two will not be easier. It only complicates the problems. I had my second child at 35 and I just don't have the energy i had with my first born at 25. BTW-I was an only and i LOVE it! No problems taking care of aging parents. My husband is very helpful and supportive. Risks? There are always risks. Tell those nosy people to "bug off"!

Hi G.,
We have an 11 year-old daughter who is our only child. We have always been happy as a family of 3. It has just always felt right to us. My daughter and I are very close and she still says she is glad she's an only child.

Having another child does not solve any and all potential problems, as some people insinuate. And it certainly does not guarantee a "friend" for the rest of his/her life. My husband and I both have a brother who we never talk to, our mothers have siblings they constantly fight with and are not close with, even our grandmothers have siblings who they are not close with.... So a sibling does not guarantee companionship. Society puts a lot of pressure on women to have 2 children, and sometimes treats mothers of 1 as if they are not a true mother until they have 2. I find that ideal strange and idiotic. A mother is a mother, and a family is a family, regardless of how many children she has.

You need to do what is right for you and your family, not what everyone else says is right for you and your family. If it feels right to you to have one child then you should listen to your own heart and mind. =)

M.

My husband and I are in a similar situation as you. We too are in our mid-30's and are trying to decide whether we should have no. 2 or not. We are really happy with our 2 1/2 year old and worry about the change in dynamic if we have a second child. I heard an interesting story on NPR (National Public Radio) about the same thing and they interviewed "only children" who were perfectly happy in their adulthood not having any siblings. The story also discussed the impact on the environment, etc.

I can't wait to read all your responses. Maybe it will help us decide too!

Only have another child if you strongly feel that you want one. As an only child, I have thought about how my life might have been different if I had a sibling. But the truth is.....not all siblings get along. There's no telling what they're relationship will be. So....I'd choose to have another child only if I was certain that I wanted another one....without giving thought to the benefits/disadvantages. Only children can be happy and well-adjusted.

First, the answer is no. I was a single mom for 8 years when my son was 1-9 years old. Then I got married again and 5 years later I now have a daughter (she is 14 months and my son is 15 years old). I had her at 45 years old! My husband was 56 when she was born! She was a miracle because we tried a full 2 years with 2 miscarriages and one artificial insemination and gave up. My sister then got pregnant at 42 (without trying), I went off the pill and 6 months later got pregnant. Obviously, no stress about trying to have a baby helped! But we were pretty happy with just one child (obviously he is a stepfather) until my sister got pregnant and my husband had a hard time with it because we had tried and not succeeded up to that point. He did not have any children of his own and got married for the first time with me at age 51! So, you are not that old! I always worked full-time but with my son went into severe post-partum depression for 5 months when he was about 2.5 months due to my personality flaws including low self-esteem about being a new mom, loss of jobs, financial problems, not standing up to my husband, etc., etc. I finally came out of it just before my husband and I split up and stood up to him (my son was 7.5 months old then). This second time with my daughter I went back to work full-time when she was just less than 2 months old because I am definitely not the stay-at-home mom type. We already had the nanny set up which is actually the same nanny I used for my son! I did suffer one week of post-partum depression when my daughter turned 3 months and I started trying to put her to sleep in the basinette and was not getting enough sleep. I got help right away but by the 6th day, I vented in my car, a little at my husband (which probably was not appropriate) and it cleared up before taking an anti-depressant. I did stay on Lexapro for about 6 months anyway just because of the hormone changes.

In sum, I was happy with just one child, am grateful for my miracle daughter, think about my age and more so my husband's age all the time, but I am so, so happy!

how can you honestly regret something you've never had. if you had another one, you probably wouldn't ever say, i wish i didn't have another one. but if you didn't, you might say that you wish you had another one, but I'm sure you'd still be okay with the decision.

all the points you mentioned are very serious to consider. this really should be a choice that you and your husband make together. it really does affect him too. so go to him and tell him that if you have another child, it's just as much his.

and don't let other people pressure you into having another one. be confident in the decision you make. if they ask, it's really none of their business, but you can tell them that you are so blessed already with the child you have.

G....I was raised an only child, my life-mate of 15 yrs. was raised an only child, several of my friends were raised as an only child.
My x-husband and I had 1 son and I've never regretted it and he loved being the only child.
As a child, my parents would allow me to take a friend with all our travels...no fighting, lots of fun and lots of attention. Everyone I know that was raised by themselves, love/loved it. My x and I were pounded by people/society to have a second child, including my parents. Tell your friends, "you like having one child only." Don't listen to them, do what you want.
My x and I had a business and two children did not fit in our life style...I rode horses, my son rode with me, I biked, my son rode with me...We skied often, my son was always allowed to take a friend..it was happy, effortless and absolutely perfect. My son was raised athletic, he was/is bright and happy with lots of friends. I have never regretted having one child nor has my son ever found the need of a brother or sister...He has mentioned that often.
Live your life with fun and family outings, who cares what 'they' say...NEVER LIVE FOR OTHERS!!
P.S. (their probably jealous you have only one)!

Of course this is a personal decision that only you can decide, but I don't think you are too old to be parents. All I can tell you is that every only child I know says he/she wishes that he/she had a sibling. My best friend is an only child and her father died when she was 12 and now at 32, her mother has terminal cancer and she says she feels very alone in the world. I feel that siblings are very important in life. :) Good luck with your decision.

This is a very personal decision but I'll be the devil's advocate.

I think we are all better off with siblings when we are lucky enough to have them. They teach younger children how to share and deal with other people. And when we get older, they go through life with us, even to the point where they are there when our parents are gone. I personally wouldn't want to be without a sibling in life. I have one brother. I wish I had more! My husband's family has four children and it makes us all having our own families so much more fun. Cousins galore!

I'm probably biased because in my family, quite a few aunts and uncles have had only one child, and the child has been pretty awful. Of course they grow into adulthood, but in adolescence they have not been very good children.

That being said, only you know what is right for your family! I wouldn't worry about your age now, but I wouldn't wait too much longer. I do know the risks for down syndrome go up after 35. Sounds like you should also be better prepared for post-partum depression if you decide to take the plunge again!

Hi G.,

Ultimately the decision is yours, but I can only share my experience with you. I am a single mother of an only child who is now 15. I sincerely wish I would have had another child because she needs someone to share her memories with, we do not have relatives who live nearby who are similar in age, therefore, those experiences and memories are going to be hers alone. I have a sister and see the difference in which we communicate and share experiences and my daughter will be the first to tell you she wishes she had a sibling. A child is a blessing, but so are the parents who provide a healthy environment for their children. If at the moment you feel a little overwhelmed with your panic attacks and your father being in the nursing home, you may want to evaluate how effective you will be as a parent to two children.

Also don't worry about age, people are healthier and live longer nowadays. Your husband wouldn't be the only father in his 60s. Good luck with whatever choice you make, you sound like a loving mother who only wishes the best for her child(ren). I wish you well.

I understand how hard this must be for you G.. I am a very spiritaul person and I think mom's are angels without wings. We do it all. What I will say is just the fact of you asking or wondering if you should have another child would suggest you truly do want one more(at least one more). You are blessed to have even one child in your life. I know it takes money,time,energy and so much more to have another child but I think it would all work out. I have two children who are 4 years apart. I suffered from post partum depression after my second.It was sooooooooooo hard.Thankfully I am doing well now.What you may want to do if you choose to have another child is begin an anti-depressant a few days after delivery to promote emotional balance and a state of well being. My kids are very happy to have one another and everything balanced out.We were able to financially afford it by making a few minor changes. The age difference was great because we didn't have two children in diaper's using bottles at the same time. It was great!!! Give yourself an emotional break. Don't feel that you have to save everyone.As long as your father is well taken care of and you do what you can,don't worry.As for your age I truly don't think it's a problem so long as you start and finish within the next two years. A child is a blessing and I really feel you can't go wrong if you follow your heart and soul.

no one should make this decision for you, I am in a similar boat having my first child at 36 but for me even though the financial hit of me being pregnant and unable to work and staying home with my now 8 month son....gives me anxiety I know I will have another one for two reasons, the first because like you said we will be older parents as they grow up, and I would like my son to have another sibling to lean on as my husband and I get older so they can have each other as a family and support. but ultimately for me when I see my son playing and interacting with other children and how much fun they have together I know I can't help but melt thinking a sibling would be great so they can share their childhood's together. But I KNOW it isn't going to be easy. Good luck with your decision.

Not sure what the right answer is. I struggle with the idea myself. Like you, I have has always worked and had a career, now I stay at home. It makes me a little crazy, but I can't imagine anyone else raising her. I am 36, about to turn 37 and have a 7 month old daughter. Sometimes I feel like NO Way am I having another and then, like you mention, I'd like to give her a sibling. My husband will leave the decision to me, I am sure. I have a couple friends who only have one child- and they wish they had another- they didn't back then (9 years ago), but now with they did. There are plenty well adusted single children families-- but I think that I may go for it-- just in case! good luck!

G.,
It sounds as if you have already made your decision. My husband and I are of similar ages to yours. (He is 48 and I am 35, expecting our first child this Spring.) We want to have at least 2 children as he has 6 siblings and I had 1 who is not biological. I personally felt as if I had missed out by not having someone who looked like me and my sister also felt the same way. Now, that I am older, I still miss having that sibling bond, however I have great friends who have taken on that roll as "sister". What ever you decide will be the best decision. Do not let family or friends determine your life decisions for you. Maybe one child is plenty for your family. Good luck to you.

As a mother of four, and having come from a large family myself, I would STRONGLY recommend having at least one other child. As I watch my children grow and interact, I am amazed at the value I see in their having each other. Emotionally, they have someone to connect with - this connection is especially strong in the young child, adolescent and teen years. They learn from each other things they can't learn from us. My second child is much further ahead mentally than my first child because she is being exposed to her older sisters efforts to learn alphabet, read, etc. Being a big sister or brother helps a child learn responsibility, which builds confidence. Siblings learn social interaction with each other (sharing, service, etc) in a more wholesome way than they can with friends in daycare, etc. A brother or sister will always be there when others aren't (i.e. at night when the boogie man is in the closet). There are so many benefits, they can't all be listed.

While the sacrifices we make as mothers are huge, so is the reward. I just had our fourth little girl, and I am amazed each time at the outpouring of love I feel towards each new baby. Sometimes you think, "Could I really love another child as much as I love this one?" But you can! Love multiplies. Undoubtedly, it would be hard to have a second one, having the first one was hard. But would you send him back? It will be the same with the second. The things we do that are the hardest for us become the most valuable. The things we sacrifice for are the ones we love the most. Motherhood is hard, but it is worth it. The greatest rewards are yet to come.

It sounds like you have enough on your plate. Another child will certainly add stress on you that will not be good for you or your family. I am 53 years old and mother to one child who is now 29 years old. I worked full time since she was four months old.
1 I have never regretted having only one child. My daughter had other children with whom to socialize when she was in daycare. In the evening, she had the undivided attention of two parents. With both of us working, we could afford to send her to an ivy league college.
2 You are not selfish to limit yourself to one child. You have lots of yourself to give your son, your husband, and your work. Think quality, rather than quantity.
3 With only one child, you will have more money to put into your son's college fund, not to mention his first home and your future grandchildren. Also, since you don't care much for housekeeping, perhaps you would have enough money to pay for biweekly housekeeping service! or nice vacations!
4 I don't believe you and your husband are too old. If you keep in good health, there is no reason you couldn't raise another child, if that's what you decide.
5 Sorry, I can't answer the odds of birth defects.
I spent my childhood with four siblings. There was (and still is) a lot of fighting between us. I also feel guilty at times that I am not bailing two of my siblings out of the constant problems that they get into. I don't want it to sound mean, but I feel I would have been better off if my parents had stopped having children after me. They fought a lot and eventually divorced. I don't know how much of their arguments, if any, were about finances or the stress they felt with so many children making demands on them.

Good luck with your decision. I encourage you to draw your husband back into the discussion.

You may regret having only one child and you may not. It depends on where the regret is coming from. If it stems from what someone else says then ignore it because no one has to live your life but you. But if it stems from you truly wanting more children then maybe it's something you should fulfill.

I was an only child and I regretted not having a brother or sister, I felt very lonely most of the times and I grew up with my older cousin so we were always together but I knew she was my cousin and not my sister and so I never quite felt the same about our relationship. I think my mother and I discussed it and she did wish she had another child but she didn't want to be single raising two kids and I think that's the only thing that stopped her from having another child.

So from that perspective, I think it's good to have a sibling but from a financial and age standpoint, if you believe it'll be too expensive and that the child may end up having a disability then are you prepared for having to provide full time care, having him/her in specialized schools at all time which could be more costly than a able bodied child.

The thing is, this is not something another mom can advise you on, as well meaning as we all plan to be, this is something you have to search in your heart and ask what do I want. Do I want my child to be alone for the rest of their life without a sibling or do I want my child to share their life with someone else. Are you willing to take that chance if the child is disabled? If the doctor says it'll be born with downs syndrome will you keep it or will you terminate it? Very tough questions to ask yourself and to be forced to answer but it's better to ask yourself now and answer honestly than to get pregnant and have to be faced with tougher questions.

I have two girls but my husband and I are younger and I wouldn't change the decisions I made at all. I am glad I had two, they were both conceived under very different circumstances but I love them both just the same and I would like to have more but if not then I am satisfied with the hand i've been dealt.

Dear G.,

I believe that you should have as many children that you feel in your heart is right for you. I am an only child and many times I wanted siblings but now I feel that It was right for my parents not to have any other children. My parents were older in their late 30's when I was born. I have ADD and was never diagnosed until I became an adult. Plus I always had the undivided attention of my parents.SO don't worry and just continue to love your child.

Sincerely
V.

It seems like only you can answer that. I too have one child, she's almost three. I constantly wonder the same thing. For me the answer is a little easier, I had issues conceiving and after ten years got pregnant with my daughter. I am 36 and my husband is 39, I "tried" to get pregnant since I got the green light after my daughters birth with no success. Recently, I decided I was done trying so I got my daughter a puppy (fantastic). The way I see it, I have more to give my daughter (time, finance, etc.). I am also not crazy about being a stay home mom, not my bag, but love, love, love being with my daughter so I've decided to go back to work when she starts school. Whatever you decide, don't beat yourself up over it, I'm sure your son won't. He'll have plenty of friends. Quality not quantity ;)

I was all prepared to be the mother of an only child until my marriage fell apart and now I am pregnant with my second.

I, too, got all the questions about when we were going to have another. I didn't want another! I had the perfect child. So well behaved, so smart. I loved taking her places and it's so easy to manage just one. I didn't have any issues about it at all.

However, my new husband and I really wanted a baby together so here comes #2.

I am an only child and I don't feel any anger about it. I wanted a sibling when I was little, but the older I got, the more glad I was that my folks had just me. All my friends had at least one sibling who was always bugging us, etc.

My husband and my ex each have a sister, and they hardly talk to them. My sister in law emails me, but not my husband. So go figure. Having a sibling is not always the lovefest it's cracked up to be.

I don't feel like you should have another just to avoid the questions or give your child a sibling. Your child will be fine one way or the other. There are lots of us well-adjusted only children out here. :-)

Good luck with your decision.

ETA: My husband is 41 and I will turn 34 before the baby comes, so we are not really spring chickens, either. We have three other kids, the youngest of whom is 8.

I also want to address the people who said only children have trouble sharing and socializing, and will have no one to share their grief when parents die. Hello? I don't live in a cave, guys! I don't have trouble sharing; my stepson has been a sibling for 8 years and he sucks at sharing. He has to own everything. He also has some trouble knocking other kids around at school. I hardly think we can blame that on his being one of two. I adjusted very well to dorm life in college, and I liked having a roommate, but I also liked that I could go home and be alone there. I have lots of friends. Some of them don't talk to each other, but they all talk to me. I have fabulous self-esteem and since I spent a lot of time alone as a kid and teen, I know who I am, and that is not something everyone can say.

Also, when my parents die, well, I have spent a lifetime surrounding myself with people I love who are not family. I have three best friends who grew up with me and know my parents and will grieve with me. My husband and my children will comfort me. We will all have parents aging at the same time, so I'm pretty sure they will be able to empathize.

I have one beautiful daughter and we are completely happy. We chose to stop at one for many reasons, but we always made sure that our daughter didn't feel alone. She is always able to bring a friend on vacations, on outings and out to dinner with us. She has 12 cousins as her extended family. She has lots of time on her own, time with us and I always let her have friends spend the night or just hang out. I never make it a hassle for her to connect with friends or neighbors. I always support it.

Make the decision that is right for your family.

:)

G.. I'm in the same kind of boat right now. My son is going to be 2 in September. I go back and forth on the decision of having another one all the time. If I did want another child, I'd have one soon because I fear the huge age gap because I experienced it with my siblings. But then there is the issue of finances, more responsibilty, umm... and everything else twice as much as with the first one.
I have witnessed the outcome for both situations.
A child with no siblings can grow up very introverted. Yet very stable. Because parents had so much time to focus on that ONE child, school and general behavior are excellent. Grown up very organized, mature, dependent. Not to say if they had siblings they'd be different. It's just the time and effort are easily given with only one child to look after. Plus with daycare/preschool, there shouldn't be a problem with sharing or communication.
Now a child with one, two, or more siblings can grow up with someone to relate to on a daily basis. They tend to be more caring and it shows as adults. A very extroverted person. And as they always grow up together, they'll always have each other God forbid something happen to us parents.
Which leads me to believe I want more kids. haha.
At the same time I do think with everything I've been thru with my "rough and tough" 16 month old, I don't know if I want to do that with another.
So luckily enough I have at least 3-4 more years before we get to that "Mommy, I want a brother" statement.

Sweetie, if I could reach out and give you a hug, I would. You obviously have a lot on your mind.

If you weren't into staying home with your first one (it's one of the most frustrating jobs I've ever had!) then you're probably not going to change your mind and want to stay home with two. So you'll be working full time and having to mother two small children. I come from a family of three girls, so I pretty much knew I wanted to have at least two children. If you're questioning whether or not to have another, it sounds to me like you really don't want to.

Don't feel guilty for not giving your son a sibling. I know plently of people who grew up happy and healthy without siblings. Friends are a great stand in for siblings... sometimes better, because there's less history!

I'm going through a similar situation with my father-in-law being in a nursing home. I have a newborn at home and all my friends are telling me that I have enough responsibility, not to feel guilty for not taking on Bob's care too. I would tell you the same thing. Your father is getting better care and more attention where he is than if you were chained to the house having to take care of him and your son.

It sounds like you need to take care of yourself right now. I'm glad you have a supportive husband. If he's leaving the second child decision up to you, do what's in your heart.

Take care of yourself!

Here's my advice: YOU HAVE TO HAVE ANOTHER BABY!!!! I am an only child & I really disliked it! I wanted a brother or sister SO BAD just like each and every one of my friends. To me it is scary to know that when my parents are gone thats it, just me left in the family. No one will truely understand what it is like to loose "MY mom" like a sibling could. Road trips, rainy days, etc. were boring since there was no one to interact with. Your child will thank you for it, trust me!!! As far as your concern of being too old, your first child is only going to be 3 years old & you weren't too old to have him. =) The age of having babies seems to be getting older & older- take a look at the celebrities even. Also watching your children interact & learn together is a priceless experience you DO NOT want to miss out on! Good luck! =)

My husband and I also struggle to decide if we want more children. Having more than one child is considered the norm, and if parents choose not to have more than one, well, as we were once told, we are selfish. I have always had a career and enjoy working, and my husband has his own small business. Our daughter is 3 1/2 years old and has been in a daycare/preschool environment since she was 5 months old. She doesn't have and I don't worry she will have social issues or be selfish. It is up to my husband and I to make sure we don't allow her to be selfish or spoiled. I know children who have siblings who are spoiled, selfish and lack socialization skills. I have a sister who is selfish, never helps out with our parents and because her and I are so different, we rarely talk. I get more enjoyment in my life from my husband, his family and the friendships I've made than that of having a sibling. I agree its up to each indvidual couple to do what's best for them. Life is challenging (career, marriage, finances, raising good kids) and expensive, and I think for my family it would cause unecessary stress. The only reason why my husband and I would want another child at this point would be to give my daugther a sibiling, and we don't think this is a good enough reason.

Yes, you will regret it, but that is not a reason to go ahead and have a child you don't want. Only have a child if you truly want it!

I agree with Jamie S ... go with your heart. Do what is right for you and your family. If you truly desire to have another child and you can afford it then do so.

If that desire isn't there then don't make something happen that you never felt right about in the first place. You can't let other people pressure you. It's too big of a decision to regret later on.

Yes girl! I have a 17 year old boy and have always had to bring a friend along. It's always been me and him, dad is not involved. So yes do it, you have a husband who is active and involved. Do not deprive your baby from a brother or sister, trust me you'll have to bring someone along anyways so you might as well pay for your own. You won't notice the need to bring someone else along till about the age of 5. Good luck, hope this helps.

Dear G.,

You clearly have received lots of good perspectives. It seems like you care a lot about the people in your life and don't want to disappoint them or let them down. This is admirable but it's not the way to make such a personal and important decision. You want it to be true desire, not guilt or anxiety, motivating this decision.

It is OKAY whichever way you choose. I am an only child and I have an amazing relationship with my parents. At times I have wished for siblings, but it may have really been the IDEA of siblings because my husband has 3 sibs and they are not that great. You can make whatever type of family you have wonderful. I don't think you're too old to have parents- you and your OB can assess your health and your risks. I'm 37 and just had my first, so I will be in the same position as you. Also, since you did have some postpartum, that may return because of your history and because the 2nd one can be even more exhausting (since you're already taking care of the 1st), so if you do go forward with a 2nd, be sure to surround yourself with lots of support during pregnancy and after the birth, have your husband cut back hours if needed, hire a nanny etc. But in the end this is you and your husband's decision, not anyone else's (not even your daughter's!). Many only children make their friends or cousins into their "siblings", so you can still create wonderful sibling like experiences for her.

God bless.

you need to make the best decision for your family my husband and i are going through this right now. we have 2 beautiful girls and people are asking when is #3 going to be here I finally started telling people when they come over every two hours for the first 3 months for nursing the new one. It seems to stop it. Make your decision and just say no we're done. My friend has only one daughter and when they decided she was going to be the only one people were like oh okay that's great you'll be able to focus all your attention on her that's great. She was older as well. it's your life that is forever affected in either way, do what's best for your family and no one else. And as for him asking for a brother or sister that's what friends and cousins and preschool and My Gym is for.

I am in your same boat. I am 32 and had my son at 30, so the biological clock issue isn't as relevant. It's annoying to have people constantly ask when the next one is coming, and then their "WHY NOT?" when I tell them we are done and happy with one.

I don't think it's selfish to think that you don't want the responsibility of another child. I think it's about accepting your limitations. In your summary about yourself you have already admitted that the way things are now, you are overwhelmed at times. You have to do what is best for you and your family. I'm sorry that your husband can't help you in the decision making.

Honestly, I also think that your husband having another child at 48/49/50 is not the best situation for a child. Like you've said, it's expensive to have another child. Also, would you stay at home with this next child? Or will he go to daycare? I don't think a daycare should be raising your child.

As for your concern in denying him a sibling, you can tell him that he's all you need. I don't think you'd be denying him or playmates or anything. Maybe he has cousins or your close friends have kids. I don't think you need to explain yourself to him at this age. It's not about him.

We all want what's best for our children, but part of that is accepting our own limitations and making sure that we take care of ourselves to be the best parents we can be. It seems like your plate is already pretty full with your son, your husband, your job, and watching over your father. I'd hate to think that another child would stretch you further and thereby not allowing you to be there for those that need you now. Good luck...

Hi G.- It sounds like you have a lot on your plate! Don't let other people's ideas of what a "family" is complicate your life any more. It sounds to me like you and your husband have a great relationship, and with one child, you can balance work, family issues, personal health issues, etc. , and still give your beautiful son all of the love and attention that a small child needs. As long as he has good friends and family his age, he will adapt just fine. I was an only child, and although some child hood moments may have seemed lonely, the benefits far out weighed those moments. I had my parents undevided attention, went on plenty of vacations, and was usually allowed to choose a friend to travel with, etc. We also spent alot of time with cousins, etc. My daughter, Sofia, is 5 and an only child. We just came back from a trip to Quebec City where she spent 5 days in a house with 6 other kids between 5 and 12. What a blast! She had soooo much fun pretending to be in a big family- but when we came home, she relished in some quiet time alone with her room, her toys, and her usual lifestyle. Do what feels right to you- you will have more regrets if you introduce another child to the world, and find that rather than enriching your life, your life has become even more complicated. Obviously- this is the view of an only child, choosing to have a one child family. I truly see the benefits of 2-20 children, but you have to do what feels right for you and your family. Either way- you have known the beauty that children bring to your family and to the world! Good Luck!

G. - I also have an "only child" so I know about the questions you are geting. I don't have any regrets. I don't think you need to have any guilt about whatever you decide, you and your husband just need to do what feels right for YOUR family. Your son will be fine as an only child, and fine with siblings, if that is what you decide, because you will make it work either way. I believe the only reason to have another child is that you really really really want more children, and you are financially and emotionally in a position to manage it. Otherwise, just sit back and enjoy your wonderful family as is.

You didn't ask about it, but your profile mentions that you are feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything on your plate. I think you are being too hard on yourself. Remember that no one is superwoman (no matter what it looks like from the outside) and you can't do it all, so you need to decide what is really important to YOU and let the other stuff slide, delegate, get outside help, etc. Regarding your father, you don't have to feel guilty, you are doing what you think is best for him and for your family, and that is all anyone can ask.

L.

1) will i regret later in life not having a sibling for him? when he starts asking for a brother or sister...what do i tell him?

when you thought about having kids...did you always picture yourself having just one or more than one? i ask only because i always wanted to have two kids. i have an older sister and although we fought as kids, she's my best friend now. i can't imagine my life without her. but my first pregnancy was rough. i was on bedrest from 15 weeks to 35 weeks. my recovery after having my daughter was difficult. i was overwhelmed by everything and experienced post-partum blues. the first two months after having my daughter was pretty rough. and because of it, i had no interest at all in having another child. i was happy with one. she was a good baby and i felt blessed. my husband and i fought over having another baby because he didn't understand why i didn't want to go through the same thing again. i struggled with it because of the possibility of having to be on bedrest again was so terrifying and then being out of work and only getting a portion of my pay from the state was an added burden. but the thought of my daughter missing out on the bond that i have with my sister made me take that leap. and although i was scared, i wouldn't change it for the world. my second pregnancy was much easier (didn't have to go on bedrest) and my recovery time was much faster. my son is now 18 months old and i am truly blessed to have both my children and have no regrets at all.

2) am i being selfish for not wanting all the responsibilities that comes with another child?

no, i don't think it's selfish at all. it can be hard raising more than one child. i love both my children, but i have no plans to have any more. does that make me selfish, too? no, i don't think so. if you don't want that added responsibility then don't have another child. you'll only be cheating them.

3) financial impact on our lives?

i thought about the financial impact about having another child especially because we had just bought a townhome a year before we decided try for another child. i voiced my concern to my husband and he reassured me that we'd be fine and we are. he's really good about our expenses and if he wasn't worried then i knew we'd okay. but it's a valid concern and one that should be taken into consideration in making your decision.

4) i am 38 and my husband is 48. are we too old to be parents? my husband will be in his 60s when the child graduates from high school!

i don't think you're too old to have another child. just from reading the other responses there are women out there who've had healhty children after 35. the bigger question is...is it a problem for you to have a baby at 38?

5) risks involved as having a child when both parents are older. down syndrome? or slow development or disability?

yes, the risks for down syndrome and other birth defects increase when you're over 35, but it's not a guarantee that your baby will have down or any other birth defect just because you're older either.

any advice you may give to help me make THIS LIFE CHANGING DECISION will be greatly appreciated.

Like you said, having another child v. just having one child IS a life changing decision, which should only be answered by you. We could all give you advice about our experiences, but in the end you have to do what's best for you and your family. There will always be people out there that are going to question your decision (whether if it's because you only had one child, you formula fed over breastfeeding, working over staying at home, etc.), but as long as you're okay with it...screw everyone else! =)

BTW, I noticed that you mentioned being overwhelmed at times. It's hard finding that balance...I'm constantly struggling with that, but it helps to set aside time to do something nice for you (like getting a massage or a mani/pedi). It gives you a break from your day-to-day responsibilities and allows you to recharge.

Good luck with everything!

I think you have the answer but the main reason pulling you to have one is possible future regret for you and your son. All the other resons you put forth point to not having one.

I don't think there is anything wrong with having just one child if that suits your life and your family wishes. There are pro's and con's to having one child, two children (three.... or none) and you need to decide based on your situation only, which out weighs the other. And once you and your husband decide, move forward. No regrets. You can only do what you know is best at the time and can't beat yourself up 15 years from now. As long as you make a conscience "right" decision and not chicken out by taking a "see what happens" approach.
There are no absolutes in life so at some time you may be saddened, regardless which approach you take but the over all time is what you are looking at. And if you do decide on one, make certain he is around cousins, school chums, and many times, extended friends become family. (I think the same holds true if you have more than one)
Personally, I couldn't imagine my life without my two but I'm not you. You sound like one is plenty and I applaud you for listening to yourself and what your family can handle. And your husband needs to buck up. It effects his life too!!
Good Luck
K.

Hi G.,
When I first found out I was pregnant I didn't know what to do. I never planned on having kids. I was a single mom from the get go, and yes scared. You are rarely financially or emotionally ready to be a parent. Life and kids are unpredictable. You do what you can and somehow get by. My son was 4 and took so much attention, he was a sick baby, things were tough. Then I got married and got pregnant again, and divoriced shortly after the baby was born. I look at my kids, and they make my life complete. Seeing them play together, seeing them fight, argue over my time, seeing my oldest teach his little brother to tie his shoes or ride a skateboard is all worth it. And when I am old or when I pass they will always have each other, a part of me, family. My kids have been in daycares since they were 6 wks old and they are just fine, and very smart, and very loved. I work full time as a nurse, single, and home school myself at night. I take advantage of my time with my boys, and when I'm studying they at least have each other to keep busy or when friends can't come over. Yes I'm tired but what mom isn't? If YOU want to have another baby talk to your doctor about the medications you are taking and if it is safe. YOU made the decision when you got pregnant with your first, and only you and your husband can make this. You say he is very supportive and together you can make it work. Your dad - I'm sure you do what you can for your dad, and you shouldn't feel guilty for loving him and wanting the best care for him. Taking care of a parent is a lot more emotionally wearing than taking care of a child. Visit your dad on a regular basis, you will know if he is being taken care of and that's what matters most. Good nursing homes are trained and staffed to provide the care needed. Love him and show him the wonderful or caring person he created. Follow your heart and you will make the right decision.
Best of luck,
Jill

Someone once told me that you will never regret having kids, but you will regret not having them.

the only thing I can add to that is I was an only child (spoiled rotton) and had lots of friends. I was never a child always with my parents. I got married and had 6 children. Now these children say, You were an only child, wish that was me. But I really feel more than one is better, but I am now married 50 years and I have the 6 children, 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Do what you think is right and God bless you always. F. A.

Normally, I would say have another child, but it seems that you are dealing with several other challenges. Personally, I think this would not be a good choice for you, but make sure to keep your son in plenty of church, extended family, and other types of after school activities so that he doesn't become lonely and can develop a good friendship and surrogate sibling base.

G.,
Hi. I am an adult only child and just wanted to let you know that I have never want a sibling and feel I have never missed one thing by not having one. I feel being and only child was a true blessing. Now that I have 2 children of my own I understand how my mom and dad could only have me. Your son will not miss a thing as long as you believe hes not. Bring good positive people around him with alot of love to give and he will be blessed as I have been.
I hope this helps. J.

Hi G.
I am also 38 and I actually just had my 1st child (my husband will be 41). Mu son just turned 5 months. Both my husband I decided that we wanted to try and have another baby ASAP. Luckily we are both on the same page on this and he is pushing for sooner than later.

We were blessed with a very happy little boy and want to try and give him a sibling. I come from a very large family and I am very very close to all of my siblings. It is a bond that is very special and I would not trade it for anything.

I am also a working mom. I stayed home for 4 months and just went back to work in early January. I loved being at home but also realized that I am just not the stay at home mom type. I like having my career.

We realize there are risks involved due to our age but are willing to try and give it a shot.

However, you have to do what feels right for you and your husband. This is a big commitment. What I remember with my mom however is that the older kids always helped out with the younger ones. I think your soon would be very happy to have another baby in the house and be a big brother.

Dear G.,

Having a bit of post partum is like being a bit pregnant. You did have post partum and suffered unnecessarily - take your meds and get over the panic attacks.

Also, forget about being guilty about having your father in a care facility. We older people love our quiet and restful times, and we like to be with older people too. They are not as loud as young families are and they move more slowly than young families do. Just go to see him, take a special dessert or something like that, and love him and get on with your life. He is happier than he admits and you need to relax so that you can give happy memories of Mother to your children. O.K.?

Oh, and by the way just one child is good, and you can make sure that she has lots of friends who are welcome at your home. That will make her very happy and know that you love her and respect her need to have close relationships with friends.

sincerely, C. N.

Hi G.,

I raised four children. My 25 yrs old daughter is married,had 18 mths old daughter,21 yrs old son lived and studied Video and Game Designer in NY,16 yrs old daughter is Junior College,14 yrs old son is freshman in high school. My husband used to have his own business. I am a home maker and raised this four children. I keep them busy in academic and extra curricular activities, boy scout,girl scout since I am Co-leader with my 16 yrs old daughter troop. Having children is a wonderful gift to us by god. Imagine, that other woman cannot have a child for unknown reasons but others can have a child. If I were you, have another one child so that your son have some company and someone to talk too when he is upset and had problem. My mother have 10 children but we are all born in the Philippines so the life style there is different from US. Even my daughter who is married, I told her to have another one so that my grand daughter had anybody else to be together. The key of having a children are lot of responsibility and patience,understanding,care,love and attention but it is worth of living to raised your children in a proper way. I love children and that makes me happy,around with children that makes me young because they make you laugh, they say things that they don't think it first. They are very challenging persons. Don't worry about your age, I have my fourth child when I was 36 then I have tubal ligation because of health issue of diabetic,herperthyroid. My husband is 69 and I am 50 yrs old. We take care of ourself by doing exercises,eating healthy food,doing some positive hobby because we are both semi-retired. We still have to put two children in college then we are doing lot of traveling. I keep myself busy when I am stay home mom by volunteering in school in PTA, Room Mother,Art Docent,I enjoyed doing that. My two daughter and young son played 5 musical instruments, they're in a Marching Band, my 21 yrs old also played clarinet but his passion is art. He is very talented in doing art and that his passion. Enjoy your children because they grow so past. Look at me, I can't believe it that I am 50 yrs old and already gradma with my first grand daughter. I babysit her four times a week. I love her dearly and she is 18 mths old but very talented little child. I enjoyed hanging around with her in the park when the weather is nice and sunny. My advised to you, if god give you another chance to have a child, go for it. Enjoy life and your family because this is our most accomplishment in life to be married and have children. It is rewarding after you raised your children. Get you and your husband involve with what your son likes to do. Challenge him in everything he likes to do and teach him a discipline,routine schedules so that when he goes to school, he is ready to learn and handle the outside world. I know that your son is young but I believe that the younger they are, the best to train then and discipline at younger age. You will be surprise how clever is your son to handle different things in life. Have him some extra curricular activities so that he will learn some positive experiences in life. I have my four children busy in Art Lesson,Music Lesson,Sports,Different classes,boy scout,girl scout besides school. One thing I taught my children is they needed to learn how to work their homework first as priority then they can have extra classes that they wanted to do. The more you expose your son with class, he will be good on working in routine schedules and what is important first,decision making is good and also social life skills is important to them. Good luck and keep asking if I could share with you more, I don't mind.

A.

I can really relate to the difficult decision you are having to make. I just had my first child in December. I'm 47 and my husband is 46 years old. I too worried about my age. However, for whatever reason, this is the time in our lives that we were meant to have a child. Our son is a healthy baby and perfect in every way. I have fared just as well and have handled pregnancy and new motherhood as well as can be expected for my age. I would encourage you to find a way to engage your husband in the conversation as you'll both be parenting and taking on this responsibility. Even if he is fine with either choice, it would probably be helpful for you to have him as a sounding board for your thoughts, questions, and fears. As far as your son is concerned, if you're comfortable with your decision, then I'm sure that you will find a way to help your child be comfortable with it as well. Your son is looking for a playmate but you'll be making a choice to add the responsibility for a new human being for the rest of your lives. I know that your decision is one that we'll have to make here in a very short time. Good luck and best wishes that you're at peace with whatever choice you make.

Hi G., Reading about you and your question I thought of just one thing to say that hasn't already been said (I think it hasn't since I couldn't read all the responses). It sounds like it might be a good time to check into talking to a counselor about the things you mentioned. You have alot going on and, if you haven't already done so, you might feel alot of relief getting heard by and gaining insight from someone regarding your concerns. I spent lots of time in therapy and am now a therapist myself and I can safely say it's the best money I ever spent. As to your question about another child, my first thought was to say Yes! Have another! But I am saying that out of my own longing for another since I have one and feel I am now, at age 49, too old to have another. But reading about the other emotional issues you have going on I'd say to try to get some of that resolved first and then see what you feel. It can pay dividends in many aspects of your life and may free you up to tackle that question with more focus.

Hi G.,
I say go with your heart. Dont listen to what others say. Having more than one child is for some and not for others. You have a lot of other responsibilities. If those were not present I'm sure your decision would be easier. As far as your son, tell him the truth. Or tell him that you were worried that having another child may not have been good for you or the baby(in the medical sense). Or you can tell him that with all of the other activities you have going on, you wanted him to get the attention he deserves. Children are very understanding. Your husband is probably letting you make the decision because he knows how it was for you. I am like you, the staying home thing is not for me. And now that I have my 2nd...the work is double! My son is older so he helps, but if she doesnt need something, he does. Hope this helps:D

I completely agree with Jamie S. This is something that my husband and I have thought a lot about as well. I think that you are doing the responsible thing by considering all aspects of this decision. In my opinion, this decision shouldn't be purely an emotional decision. You are smart to consider your age and finances. Don't make a decision based on "what if's". You never know, bad or good, what may or may not happen if you did or did not have another child. Make a decision that is best for you and your family. Remember that whatever you decide, your son will be fine. Good luck. I completely understand how difficult this decision is!

as mothers, we make decisions on a daily basis and know that as long as we stick with them and believe in them, we are okay. i have an only child who is 4 and do not plan on having another. no matter how many children a mother has, she justifies it in some way. the first thing to do is let go of what society thinks is right for you - for every person who says you need to have a second, there will be a person to say you need a third. so without offending any mama's that have more than one, here are my reasons:
1. having a second does not ensure the two siblings will be and reamin best friends throughout their lives
2. if your child asks for another, tell him you decided to save all of your love, time, and money for him
3. finances are never a good reason to have or not to have a child - only the super rich would have them :) however, i believe i can give my child the best of everything (not everything she wants to make her a brat, just things such as better schools, traveling more often, etc)
4. i don't think you are too old to have another one if that's what you decide - age is a state of mind
5. the risks do increase as you get older -something best discussed with your obgyn

on a personal note, my friend has an only child who is one month younger than mine. we perform a brother/sister ceremony for them every year, so even though they aren't related, they can always be there for each other if they need to. so if either asks about a sibling, they have a "pseudo one"

sorry this was long - i've gone thru the same decision (and post partum!) so i wanted to try and help out. good luck and whatever you decide, know that it is what is best for YOU!

It sounds to me that you have enough on your plate - don't beat yourself up because you only want one child. It is not selfish at all. I think that there will always be that question in your mind of "should I have had more kids" but people that have 2, 3 or more ask themselves the same thing! I have a boy and girl, and am happy (and done!), but my daughter is constantly asking for a little brother or sister. I think it's just the way it is. I tell my kids that God made our family perfect for us, and believe me, He knew my limits. It sounds like you know your limits and in the end it will make your house a happier place. As your kids get older their circle of friends grows, and so my advice is to just be open to lots of play dates and nurture his friendships.

Dear G.,

If you do not strongly want another child, I wouldn't try to have one. My first baby was so easy! Having a second one was overwhelming. I was shocked at the difference between taking care of one baby and two - my sister-in-law said the same thing. AND it seems like the babies (at least) of families always want another baby (mine and their cousins all did). You can't please everyone! When your son asks about a sibling, just tell him that families come in different sizes, and yours is a family of three. If he had a younger sibling, he'd find something else to complain about - sharing or broken toys, not enough attention, etc . . . Do what's best for your family, and don't worry about others' opinions. Again, you can't please everyone - people ask now when the next one is coming - have one or two more, and you'll start hearing about over-population . . .

Enjoy your family every day - this time passes all too quickly!
B.

Hi G.:
I have 37 and I just had a baby girl who is 2 months old....and I made myself the sam e question?...should I have another child?...will my husband and I be old parents?...and things like that....
And my answer is...definitely YES.....I would love to have another baby, I want my daughter to have a sibling so she can play with, fight with, and they could lean on each other in the future....and the main reason is because we would be old parents and they can have each other.....
I know is hard....and it involves to make a lot of adjustments....but I think is worth it....
I have one brother and one sister, and I think that the best gift for my baby is giving her a sibling....
I hope my advice help you....My husband and I don't have enough money, we are just starting together since $0....I am a full time mom.....but I think God will help me .....we live in a nice place, we both work, and we have very possitive attitudes....
Good luck....and keep me posted....

This is obviously a very personal decision, but since you have asked for opinions, I will give you mine.

Have another one.

Yes, newborns are draining and expensive, but you've been through it already, so you know that stage doesn't last forever. What will last forever is the family bond your children would share after you and your husband are gone. You say your DH will be in his sixties when the second graduates from high school, but won't he be nearly that old when your first graduates, too? Should that have been a reason for you not to have your precious little boy? Of course not! If you and your husband live a healthy lifestyle, there's no reason you both shouldn't be around well into your 80's, possibly even 90's!

As for risks, well, those risks are there for every pregnancy. I have a friend who is in her early 30s who just delivered a baby with Down's. It can happen to anyone. But she loves her little boy just as much as any mother loves their child and will delight in his triumphs just as she delights in the triumphs of her older daughter.

When my DH and I were deciding when and if to have a second, money was a huge concern. And still is. But I could never have imagined the level of joy, love and pride I feel when I see my two little ones playing together. When I see them hug each other, tell each other "I love you" and write little love notes to each other, I practically weep. We are still struggling financially, but neither one of us regrets our decision in the least. Even if we had to declare bankruptcy and live in a shack, we still wouldn't regret it. Finances can change, but nature only gives you a certain amount of time to make a family.

My little brother's girlfriend accidentally became pregnant last year. When he told me they were expecting and how scared he was, my only response to him was, "No matter your circumstances, you'll never regret becoming a parent." Now he has a beautiful 2 month old little girl and he recently told me, "You were so right."

Having two kids is a little more difficult in the beginning, but once the second one gets to be around 2, it will get a lot easier for you. They won't demand so much of your attention because they've got each other to play with. And all of this is not to mention the benefits of being raised with a sibling. The kids will learn how to cooperate, negotiate, problem-solve, when to stand up, when to back down, etc. And what a blessing as an adult to have someone in your life who knows you -the whole you - so intimately.

Best of luck with your decision and bless you for taking this decision so seriously. You are obviously a great, conscientous mom. Wish there were more like you!

1) will i regret later in life not having a sibling for him? when he starts asking for a brother or sister...what do i tell him?

I was an only child and had a WONDERFUL upbringing. It is not until now that I truly wish I had others in my family. My parents will pass one day and I will be alone in the grief with no one else in my life to share memories and pain with.

2) am i being selfish for not wanting all the responsibilities that comes with another child?

You are not selfish if thats what you choose. It is hard just doing one!

3) financial impact on our lives?

I think you may due with what you've got. Your kids don't know the difference of vacations every year or every 3 years...they are memory makers all the same.

4) i am 38 and my husband is 48. are we too old to be parents? my husband will be in his 60s when the child graduates from high school!

This is just about how you feel. It IS tiring having more than one but when they play together and laugh, it is priceless.

5) risks involved as having a child when both parents are older. down syndrome? or slow development or disability?

This can all be checked to ease your mind by a doctor.

My final note: You have done the hardest part. The transition from no children to one is the hardest. You went from only taking care of yourself to having someone COMPLETELY dependent on you. When you add another, it is just a small adjustment in the schedule you are already living....its really not that hard.
Truthfully, I think you may wish you had another if you are debating it now, but I don't see how you could ever regret it if you do.

I think you are being brainwashed - as you don't want to have more children
and you are not a ' home maker type ' you say

my advice ...
you need to say sweetly that he is all you could want
and offer them another drink
;-)
don't get into conversations about NUMBER 2
what do they think you are - a baby mill?

this is not in his interests
you should never have a sibling FOR HIM
this is not sense.

enjoy your son,your man, your job, and your life
at least your husband is not puching for another child!
one is fine.

I have been a teacher for many years the single children were just fine. You can get lots of friends and play dates, later plenty activities where they learn to share etc.
Only difference is only children seemed to concentrate better and might just be left without supervison less... so i think that's actually a good thing!

As for feeling guilty about everything , your father etc you might need a counsellor who will help you value your wishes more. Do what you can. or decide not to. Either way is your choice not other peoples.

Sounds like you've got enough on your plate already. My husband and I have also been debating this same issue seriously for about the last 6 months. We go back and forth depending on what kind of day we have had with our first child. She is quite a handful at times. He always says he feels lucky to have had ONE healthy, intelligent, beautiful child. It's a lot of responsibility to take on another and I don't think it is selfish to not want to start all over again. It can be overwhelming and you owe it to yourself, your husband, and your little one to be a happy person and enjoy life becuase as you know, life is short. We need to enjoy it.

Probably,but most of all, your only child will likely regret not having a sibling. But it sounds like your state of mind is a little fragile. You should take that into consideration before bringing in another new life into the world. Best wishes.

NO you won't. Don't listen to anyone else, this is your decision. Spend as much time with your son as possible and enjoy him. Stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.

First of all, don't think about what anyone else has to say about the number of children that you will have. It is completely irrelevant because YOU are the one to raise your children. Look within yourself...if you are religious, pray about it. I think you really do know when you are done... I have 2 girls and I think I am done. I just don't have the patience to start over again. I see new moms with all the gear and strollers and little bowls and bottles and I say "whew, glad I'm done with that!!" I really don't have a sense of longing for "the good old days" when my girls were babies.

There are many advantages to being an only child, and also many advantages to having siblings. You can spin it any way to your child. For the adults who push you, just say "I guess it is just not in God's plan..." which usually quiets them, because then they assume you are trying and struggling with it (you don't have to tell them that God made you feel like you want to stop!!) It really is OK to have just one. I had a sense of control about my life when I had just one... traveling was easier, I could resume hobbies such as skiing and hiking, etc. With 2 kids, it is WAYYY more chaotic, you have to wait many more years before your family can go on a ski vacation where it really is fun for all, traveling is more of a hassle, etc. Believe me, I would not trade it and I love having my 2 kids, but my interests and life have become theirs for the past and the next several years.

Good luck with your decision and remember, it really is YOUR decision!!!

Stop feeling guilty!!! I am a mother of 2-my first child is 19yrs, living on her own and my son is 18months. I raised Ashley as a single parent and did not want to take away from her to have another child even though I had always wanted a houseful of kids. I have been with my sons dad for many years now and although we would love to have another child so Tre can have a sibling, we both work and are about your age. It is such a huge undertaking-potty training, one to one time, dinner, playtime, bathtime, and storytime every evening-then to add morning sickness, tiredness, crankiness, Dr. visits...we have decided to wait until Tre is 4 or so and then see what happens. It sounds like your hands are full enough at the moment, and while you are worrying about your son not having a sibling, he is only thinking about mom and dad..

Hi G.,
You pretty much have answered the question on our own. How you feel about your present situation is a clear picture for all of us. Yes, 38 can have its pleasures and then again...the endurance for toddlers diminishes.
Having an only child has its advantages and its disadvantages, being a single mother of an only child I raised on my own.
Kids tend to want siblings,especially when parents are busy. I used to be the "stand in" for when his friends were busy and since I provided 100% of our financial independence, it was more difficult being a one parent home.
I had my son at 23...so I did have the stamina to sustain the long hours and activities he requested...and yet there were many times I thought...geez...am I ever going to make it through his growing up years. Every parent has these moments.
Being at your age and what you have already experienced, I would suggest being thankful for the child you do have and when times come where your child needs that "sibling", find some moms with children in your child's age bracket, in the area to share time with. Children do ask for siblings...as your child grows...encourage peer relationships. Have sleep overs...get your child into sports and activities that surround him with other children. Make his room special, his life special...give him lots of love and others to share his life with. He'll still ask for the sibling and later on if you think you can handle another child...adopt an older child. There's more of them out there waiting to have families love and care for them.
Life is choices...choose those things in life that will add happiness, peace and prosperity for you and your family.

well..lots of people only have one..i say do what you want..don't worry so much though about age..i'm 43..got pregnant at 40..my son is so strong and healthy..i'm a single mom..and i believe you're only as old as you feel..you never know how life is going to go...so i don't worry that i'll be in my close to 60 when my son graduates..i had a sibling but he passed away a few years ago..but i still have my parents..so really there is no knowing who will go first and things like that...
you can always adopt too..i was thinking i would possibly adopt later.

Hi G.-

I am an only child and a mother of 2 boys, 7 and 9 1/2. I can't speak for everyone, but all I know is I loved being an only child when I was kid, but as an adult it is very difficult. As I see my friends' parents passing away, I realize that when my parents are gone there will be no one left to talk to about my childhood or family history. I would give anything to have siblings.
Having the experience of being an only child, I, personally, would not do it to my child. It is a difficult lace to be as an adult.

Hope this helps-
LP

I spend a lot of time pondering this too. The best support and advice I have been given is follow your heart. If you think you have the time, energy and money to have another child and you want to do it... go for it. I no longer consider it "selfish" to have an only. I love my family of 3, I have plenty of time and almost enough energy for my child and my relationship with my husband. Happy mommy=happy child. We can travel and ski and rock climb and ride bikes. Sending her to college is not going to financially destroy us in our early retirement years. If I had a second child based on my age, it could easily be a special needs child as well. Do I have what it takes? How would that affect the quality of life in my little family? I willingly embraced that with my first pregnancy knowing that I could care for a child whatever his needs would be. Now I think of how that would impact my daughter. I have talked to a lot of adult "onlies" they are pretty split on the issue. Some happy, some felt like they missed out on the sibling thing. I have a sibling. We are not and have never been close. My husband and his sister are close. Why is 2 the right number of kids? Why not 4? Our society has picked 2 and if you choose 1 or 5 people tend to condemn you as strange. I've researched the "only child syndrome" myths and found them to be just that... myths. The book "Maybe One" is a bit dated as far as statistics, but it gave me peace with my decision. I don't think providing a sibling for my child is a good reason to risk what basically feels perfect right now for us. I have seen many of my friends marriages struggle or succumb to the stress of #2. We still haven't made a permanent decision, but we're happy with one right now and the bio clock is ticking here too. I think that you probably know in your heart whether you actually want another baby or whether you don't , but feel guilty due to the outside pressure our society places on us to "fit in" and have the perfect mommy, daddy, son and daughter life.

Aloha G.-

You have so many responses, but I will still add my thoughts. First, it is no ones but your husbands' and your business as to how many children you have and you don't need to explain yourself. Any child can be a blessing. You will have a lot of time to spend on one, the more children the less time for each. I have two grown boys that I had at 36 & 38. The oldest NEVER excepted the youngest. He was number one for three years and was never able to accept having to share with a usurper. At a young age he decided that he didn't want a brother and at 27 does not acknowledge having one. This has always saddened us, but nothing we could say would change his mind. The youngest boy was always a joy and I felt sorry that he missed out of the love of a brother, but he is a survivor and cultivated many friends along the way. Growing up it was like having two "only children".

It sounds like you have so much on your plate already and as you say being a homemaker wasn't for you, are your children going to be raised by day care? Your boy will be in school in a couple of years, do you want to be at home again with a second child? If you decide to stay with one, don't worry. He will have lots of friends, he will have one-on-one time with his mom and dad and will be fine. I don't think you will regret any decision you come to because you will have thought it out beforehand and done the best for everyone, including yourself.

When I read your post, I thought I was reading about me. I'm 38 and my husband is 47. We also have one son who will be two in May. We already decided one was enough for us. At times I wonder if I'll ever regret this decision but then I think about how hard it would be to have another one. I don't have any real advice for you but just wanted you to know you aren't alone. My husband already had a vasectomy so the decision is made. We just feel like at our age and place in our life, we don't want all the added stress of another child. Some days I can't even imagine having to deal with a newborn and my toddler! My hat goes off to moms who pull it off because it must be so exhausting. I guess you just have to dig deep inside and ask yourself do YOU really want another one. I don't worry about all those who ask about No. 2. I tell them we are done and if they want to pay to raise No. 2, we'll have another one...that usually shuts them up :-)

G., I am a 40 year old single mother of an 18 year old daughter and not once in those 18 years did I ever regret having only one child. I was able to devote my attention completely to her. She went through a phase very briefly when she was 6 or 7 where she wanted a baby brother or sister but it didn't last. Kids learn very quickly that having a sibling means sharing....everything. The only thing I would caution you about is the feeling that you need to over compensate because they are an only child. Just be very cautious about spoiling.

I think my daughter turned out pretty great! She started college classes at 14 and graduated from high school a full year early and is almost done with her associates degree and ready to transfer to a 4 year. All while working part time as well. So, I really don't think being an only child has done her any lasting harm. Best of luck in your decision.

Trust your gut. If life is full enough, just back to work, dealing with aging parents, one child is a blessing and you can leave it at that. Talk with some "only" adults. There are always pro's and con's...this one seems like it's really your call. Sounds like some counseling for whatever' s behind the guilt/worry/fear or a support group might help your stress. Panic attacks are a huge red flag that you have enough on your plate. Take good care of yourself and enjoy the blessings you do have. Feelings of guilt and regret are a choice. Why not choose gratitude?! Blessings and good luck.

Hi, I am 38 also. I have three kids but I see that you are needing someone to tell you it is OK to have only one child. Today's society is so focused on having more than one kid. My neighbors have one child and he is superb!! They travel with him and have much more time & money. I love my three kids but I see the advantages of having less. Our energy is spent, we have very little time for our marriage and money is tighter. You have the advantage of giving your one child a loving attentive home. Yes, it is OK to have one. You are just feeling unnecessary pressure from others. Not fair. Just hold on to your ideals with confidence. Deep down you know the answer. You just need help feeling like it is right. Yes, it is right for you!!! And yes, I would hate to have another one at this age. I would feel as if I was tempting fate. You have one healthy child. Now go and enjoy your life!!!! :-))))

You can't have another child simply to provide your older child with a sibling. That would be stupid. A more realistic way to think about it would be what is the best decision for my family? The financial thing is always the most difficult- I think about all the stuff we DON'T have to buy because we already have it, but there's still hospital bills, and medical bills, and more food, diapers, etc.

So far as the responsibilities go, I've heard the second child is the hardest. But lots of people do it. I'm not trying to talk you out of it, though, because I do think that it is an awful injustice for a child to have to grow up without siblings. I can't imagine not having brothers and sisters to play with. It's such a unique relationship that can not be replicated anywhere, even with the closest of friends. Plus, children who have siblings learn more about sharing (both their stuff and your time and attention), compromise, coexistance, etc. People who grow up without siblings tend to have a much more difficult time in relationships, especially when they get married or move in with someone, because they are used to having everything to themselves. There's a lot of psychological research, actually, on the affect of being an only child.

However, if having another child would put so much strain on you and your husband that it would affect your relationship or your overall well being, then maybe it isn't for you.

I really don't think I've helped much, but I try!

G., I think it is a decision that you have to make yourself. My two boys are exactly 3 years apart (5 and 2). My favorite part of the day is watching them play together. Least favorite is watching them fight. Good with the bad. Two are twice as much work as one. But twice the fun. I grew up in a family of 4 and couldn't imagine my oldest not having a sibling but now we have half as much time for him as we used to and his brother go the short end of the stick because he was never the only child. You know what you can do as a parent and if you don't have the bandwidth to have a second child your son will be blessed with being the only child and get all of your attention. If you decide you want another then he will be blessed with a sibling.
Good Luck

Dear G.,
Wow, your story sounds so much like mine as far as trying to decide whether to have another. I have one daughter, that is now 11.(I am 46 and husband is 49) Up till she was about 4 or 5 I wondered if I was being selfish by not giving her a sibling...(after that I decided I was too old and there would be too big of a gap between the two, so it was out of the question) like I may be depriving her of something. After that the guilt wore off and people stopped asking if I was going to have another, so it does get easier. My husband was on the fence about the whole thing too and would go along with what ever I wanted. Well, having one child is awesome. It's perfect for our family and she has never complained about being an only child. It should not be looked upon as something that she is lacking.(or I am lacking) We have talked about what it's like to have a sister or brother, and at times she thinks it would be neat, but she has some very close friends and of course a very close relationship to both her dad and I. With our life and schedules and finances and size of house, a second child would have (and would still be a big strain) I don't know how we would juggle it all. We definately would not be able to give her the things we give her now. There is no right or wrong choice. Kids do great as only children, and we should not feel guilty by choosing to have only one. (I know a lot of older moms with only one)Sometimes I look at her and think she is so cute and wonderful, I wonder what a second child would look and be like. But I guess you'd think that no matter how many kids you have....always wondering what another would be like. I'm just happy with the one great child I have and feel really blessed! Good luck in your decision. Whatever you decide will be the right one!

Hi! You are not being selfish and enjoy caring for the one you have. I had my last 7 years later and she and I have a fun relationship,I had her when I was 37 and I would do it again that way less troubles if she gets lonely for her age group she has friends at school and at church, I think folk just say that to have something to say. Do what you want.That way you can enjoy both equally and even though I was older when I had her everything turned out (health wise)great for both of us pulse it put less strain on our relationship ( that is my husband and me). God bless.

Hi G.,
Well it seems like you have a lot on your plate already with your father's health and your panic attics. As I read your question, it sounds like you are trying to justify your decision not to have another child. This is a personal decision and you should not consider cultural standards when you think of what is best for you and your family. Plus for every person who can give you ten reasons to have only one child, you will find another who will tell you the contrary. My advice for you is not to listen to any advice and just listen to your heart of hearts. This is the feeling that you have in the pit of your stomach that tells you, you are making the right decision. I do understand your predicament, once you are no longer fertile, you cant change your mind and you dont want to regret your decision. Please try to find a quiet place and listen to your heart of hearts.
I hope this helps.
S.

You will always second guess any decision you make! You have a lot on your caregiving plate right now, and you're feeling pushed by your age, all the questions, and the fact that your husband has left it all up to you. (By the way, I'm sure he feels that his stepping out of the picture is being supportive. He feels that anything he says will add to your feeling of pressure.) Make sure you don't jump into a permanent decision, like a tubal ligation or a pregnancy, just because you feel you need to make the decision now. You have a couple of years, at least, to think it over. Answer all the questions (which are well intentioned, but inappropriate) with something generic like, "We'll see," or, "When I know, I'll tell you," or, "When God (or Nature) decides that for us." Ask your doctor about any health concerns.

My dad came to marriage and family late in life, and was 56 when I was born. (I'm the baby. ;D) Don't worry about how old you'll be when your child, or children, are grown. I thought it was perfectly normal to have an older dad. I thought it was kind of odd when my friends had young dads.

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