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!