How many children?

I know that answer will vary from family to family, but I am wondering about how many children would be best for my family. HG notwithstanding as I still have a lot to think about with that whole issue. But if I could take a magic pill and know that HG wasn’t going to be an issue this time round, would we  have another child? and if we would the when?

Thinking back to my childhood I can only really remember two people in my circle of friends at school who were only children, and I am sad to say that I avoided both of them.  One was selfish, nasty and had to be the centre of attention at all times, and the other was so depressingly needy that it drained you emotionally to spend any length time with her. Now I know that they are probably complete different people now (we can hope right?) and that they were children and that I was no angel (and I am not an only child, I have a younger brother) and that the way these children/teenagers where was probably down to upbringing and not just because they were only children (as obviously being an only child has some impact on their upbrining). But I can’t help thinking about that from my childhood these are my overriding memories of only children.

My husband (one of four) can only really remember one only child from his childhood and he doesn’t have very nice memories of that person either.  On the other hand my husband doesn’t speak to any of his three siblings and they don’t get on an all.  Whereas I get on really well with my younger brother and we are really close.

Now, I am not intending on bashing only children, I am sure there are lots of lovely only children, and in all likelyhood Boo will be an only child because I am not sure I could risk HG again – (and Boo is my perfect angel – not that I am bias at all!!) I just worry because maybe it is difficult to bringing up at only child?

I have already noticed that Boo at nursery (and have had this confirmed by the staff) will play by herself… usually as far away as possible from the other children.  She doesn’t like to sit down at the table with them for meals, and will take herself off during meals to play by herself, far from the table. Now I wonder if this is because Boo hasn’t really had much interaction with other babies, and it is something she will get used to in time and before long she will be playing with other babies, not just next to them… or across the room from them? (She has only been going to nursery for a couple of weeks) I will add of course I have taken her to postnatal groups, bounce and rhyme, and other baby groups and I have a friend round the corner who has a little girl two weeks younger than Boo who we see about once a week (But again they don’t really play together) Are the too young? Am I expecting too much? The other babies at nursery are a couple of months older than Boo, and they do seem to like playing together or at least close to each other.

Are some children more suited to being only children? Would some children thrive more, do better without siblings? Is Boo one of these children? She seems to interact a lot with adults, strangers as well as people she knows, but when it comes to other babies and children, even ones she knows… she doesn’t react at all really. Will this change? My husband thinks that maybe Boo’s personality is one which would be better as an only child, though he has not fully decided one way or another yet and obviously Boo’s personality is just emerging at 10 months.

This feels like a lot to consider, and feels like this decision is even more critical than the decision to have children in the first place, as you are making a decision which will change the life of someone who can’t voice their opinion on the matter. Oh for a way of seeing in the future to see what would be best for Boo!

And… this isn’t even considering all the, can we cope with another? can we afford another? how can I look after a toddler and breastfeed… I was chained to the sofa for the first few months with Boo.

Before I had Boo I had no idea what people talked about when they mention unconditional love, the love that a parent has for their child.  But now I can understand completely.  There is a little person who you are totally responsible for and who you love more than you love yourself. It’s incredible.  But in the same way I can’t really imagine how people can feel like this about two or more children… I guess it must be that the feelings don’t get shared they get multiplied. It sure is a lot to think about and  I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the decision!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

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12 thoughts on “How many children?

  1. So true, love isn’t divided but multiplied, my good friend Uju of Babes About Town told me that and she was right. Two is a lot of work, it’s worth it though and you can’t imagine life before in the same way pre your first kid! Thanks for linking up to #brilliantblogposts x

    1. I think a change as massive as a baby no matter what the number cannot really be fully appreciated beforehand! My life has totally changed since Boo and for the better, no doubt about that.

  2. I maybe the wrong person to ask this – I have 7 children who I love enormously each and every one of them. We have very little money but I my family is priceless and I don’t regret any of my (planned) children. My daughter’s BF is an only child and her mum says she is glad she has been able to spend time in ours to experience life with “siblings” She has the best of both worlds – parents to herself and she takes my daughter on hols and outings to have that shared fun experience and to gee her parents a break from being the only entertainment!

    1. I can only hope that, if Boo is and only child she befriends a lovely family like yours =)
      How exciting! Though I think I would have to get my bum in gear and be more organised with two never mind 7!! You must have the patience of a saint =))

  3. It is a really tough decision but I am sure you will make the right one. it is different for us in that we always knew we wanted another, but due to problems out of our control (infertility and loss) I don’t know if it can happen. I do worry if it doesn’t about my LO being a single child but then I know that his upbringing will be what we make it and we will ensure he has lots of interaction with other children and not just his Mum and Dad. #PoCoLo

    1. I think that’s the only thing you can do, but don’t we all try to do whats best for our children? =)
      I hope that you can have another child, in a way I feel like the decision is partially made for me because of how ill I was, but I suppose I do still have a choice and so must be thankful for that.

  4. Interesting post and I really think it is a difficult decision to make. At 10 mths I think its pretty normal for little ones to be play on their own rather than together. Monkey is 2 1/2 and he has only started to enjoy interacting with other kids recently. We’ve just had baby no.2 and it is amazing how much love you feel for both of them, but oh my is it hard work! We are pretty convinced we wont be having a third! Xx #pocolo

    1. One feels like hard work!! Well they keep you busy, I think I would need more hours in the day!!
      I am sure you are right and Boo will settle in at nursery, my worrying has just gone in to overdrive I think!!

  5. Hi hun, I wouldn’t worry at all if she has only been at nursery for a few weeks, I wouldn’t even worry after a few months. My son (an only child currently) started nursery at 9 months, they don’t really play with each other at this age, only next to each other, later on though he made a best friend and then it became 2 and then 4 best friends, now he is almost 3 and has 10 close friends at nursery that are coming to his birthday party, and watching them play together is magical. Also, my best friend is an only child, and she is the best person I have ever known, she always had and still has loads of friends.

    1. Such a lovely comment to read, it has really cheered me up, thank you.
      It’s good to know that other babies are making friends and it just takes time, I don’t know maybe I am just expecting too much for her to dive right in!

  6. Well, I am the eldest of 7, Ross is the eldest of 2 and, at the moment, Grace is an only child. I don’t want her to be but if she is I know that she has loads of cousins and is great at socialising – I think much of this is down to my big family. She would love a brother or sister though! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo 🙂 x

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