That decision to have more than One.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Most couples I come across have more than one child. I see families with more than one kid in tow at restaurants, malls and playgrounds. I see expectant women carrying barely toddling babies. In some cases, one tandem stroller doesn't seem to be enough, and the kids are not twins, triplets, or quadruplets.

Remind me again why the government thinks that the child bearing generation is not producing fast enough? Anyway... that's another thought to think about another day.

What is it that influences a couple's decision to have more than one child, and why is it that many children are produced almost consecutively, with a minimum age gap? I've wondered about that, especially with one child who demands my complete attention and leaves me thoroughly exhausted at the end of the day. Multiply that by two or three, and I don't think this old bag of bones (or my sanity) will be able to take it.

My gynaecologist tried to encourage me to have another child, going so far as to promise to give me 50% off the entire package, including delivery costs - should I get myself pregnant within the first 6 months of giving birth to BabyMoo. She did mention that it is medically proven that a woman is most fertile during the first 6 months post partum, and that if we were to try, chances are, it will be a hit and hit. Maybe she made a mistake of telling me this when I was struggling to stay awake for night feeds, battling engorgement, struggling with trying to understand the cries of the baby and melting from the heat while the stomach is boundsotightithurtstobreathe.

My friends and I have discussed this issue at length. Perhaps in the case of many couples who have kids close in age - they choose to get the production 'over and done with', putting up with sleepless nights and making sure that their acute senses work 24/7 all in one time frame. I'm sure all of us agree that taking care of one child is no joke... and it makes superwomen out of regular ones with the onset of two or more.

As one mum has succinctly put it: one steriliser, one steamer / blender, one tandem stroller, two messy mouths to feed at one time, and one shout to warn both. Not to mention that if you have 2 of the same gender, you won't have to purchase any clothes or shoes for #2.

In the case of another mum (who has the luxury of being young enough to space out the production), she was extremely thankful for the help rendered by her 7 year old son when it came to taking care and looking out for his younger sister. She was then able to do the housework or have a necessary breather when her son helps to keep an eye on the baby. She did confess to being tired of having to go through the 'new mum' motions all over again, though - just when she was already able to not worry about feeding, toilet training, and having eyes at the back of her head all the time. She also appreciated not having to deal with the usual jealousy which could be present in 'younger elder children'.

Regardless of the age difference between the kids, I have the utmost respect for mothers of two or more. They work, keep house, deal with a cacophony of repetitious: 'MummyMamaMommmMummyMamaMommm' twenty million times a day, and still find time to see to their Misters, too. I suppose when one becomes a Mother, like a superhero... life is faced headlong - because there is no time to worry or be fearful of failures when there isn't the luxury of time to dwell.

What influenced your decision to have more than one? Looking at it from a parental point of view (apart it being great for the kids as they will then have playmates / siblings closer in age) does it make better sense to have kids consecutively, or for them to have an age gap, at least enough for the older ones to grasp the concept of having a sibling better?

Do share your thoughts!

The first twelve months is the toughest, especially for a new mum. Does it get better with the 2nd child onwards?

MummyMOO


23 comments :

  1. I guess all parents have different views. Some of my friends swear that it's good to do the 'over and done with' and such that the kids grow up like playmates, another group says it's better to wait till the first is older so that he/she can help out with the younger one and it would be less taxing for the mum. There's no ideal age gap in my opinion. Twins are great, so are siblings who are 10 years apart. =) So long as we are a family.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally agree! I suppose a lot of factors come into the equation, but we are on the same page in that every child is a precious Gift.

      Delete
  2. In all honesty, we've never planned for no.2 to come along! It was an "accident" but a wonderful one because we got ourselves a girl! :p I would have been happy with just one child but it changed my parenting perspective when we had 2. Because it was not planned, I was able to take it in my stride and cross every hurdle that came my way. With just 2 years age gap, I did go through a trying time with breastfeeding. Weaning the older one off while I was feeding the baby so there were times having 2 on my breasts! But you know what? Am glad this phase is over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is it ever really over? :)

      I think as long as we're parents, there will always be trying times ahead!

      (lucky got SP friends)

      Delete
  3. I guess everyone has different views on the number of children they wanted to have. When I was young, I wanted to have just one coz I wanted the baby to me like myself, getting all the attention I wanted from my parents. As I grew older, I hope to have 2 kids so that they will have companion to play with each other as I felt lonely at times with no sibling to share my sorrow & happiness. Until I met my hubby, he wanted 4 children and we thought probably or maybe we should give it a try if finances and circumstances allow us to. But after so much complication during my 3rd pregnancy, we decided to stop at 3 and we are happy with that decision.
    I believe the challenges will always be there irregardless how many children we have. It will just be a passing phase. As long as we live, the children are always our babies in our eyes and worries will never end.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true.

      I think we have never really lived until the children came along.

      Delete
  4. The reason why we desire to have a 2nd child is so that Sophie will have a sibling to grow up with. Having come from a family with 2 other siblings, hubby and I have many fond childhood memories playing and growing up with our siblings. Sure we had our fights and quarrels as well but as we got older, we got closer too.

    Pray that the age gap will not be too big for our number two :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Susan!! Praying for you, definitely!

      I do agree - even though my brother and I had our differences growing up, we are totally great now. I keep on wondering if our early relationship would have been better if we were closer in age rather than 4 years apart.

      Delete
  5. Well written. I have a son and a daughter both 1 1/2 years apart. To any typical Singaporean that should have been more than enough. But we recently added another member to the household. When i was pregnant nosy people would ask if this is my 1st kid. When i tell them that this is my 3rd. They would then all ask if the 1st 2 are both both boys or both girls. Duhz!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's so weird that many Singaporeans (maybe the older generation) seem to think that the ideal will be 2 kids, Boy and Girl. Any other mix to the equation will propel them to ask the couple to complete the family unit by adding on a girl / boy, whichever is lacking.

      I thank that's just so sad - to determine the completeness of a family based on kids immediately after the union, the gender, and then seeing if it meets the ideal. Unfortunately, gender preference still exists in many households, especially in Asian countries.

      Delete
  6. For us we always wanted many kids. Infact if I can afford we want 6!!. But of course taking into considering the high cost of living and other commitments that we have we decided on 3 for the moment. I wanted a boy while he wanted a girl. We had #1 a boy so we wanted a companion for him..and planned for #2 boy. #3 girl is for HB who always wanted a girl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. DaddyMoo wanted a girl, too :) And a Moolette will finally break the tradition of boys one after another on both our sides.

      When I read your comment, I was thinking of an extra 3 R names! Haha!

      Delete
  7. I once heard a friend tell me she decided to have #2 when she felt she had space in her heart to love another baby.

    For me, the highs of enjoying life with the kids outweigh the pains of bringing them up (for most part, anyways)...

    This is the same theme as my Thursday post leh! Hahaha... Talk about great minds. :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ayoh!! So sweet... 'space in her heart to love more' :)

      You have the motivation to write on this topic leh. Dunno where my motivation for this post came from! Hahaha!!

      Delete
  8. We want to get it over with, the night feeds, soiled diapers, and eventually weaning off diapers :)

    My kids are two years apart, and they do bond easier. We can bring them to the same group activities too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'Get it over' seems such a brash term, ya? But I think that's just it... I would imagine after we have the opportunity to 'relax' even just for a little bit - even the thought of having to go through the motions all over again can be extremely exhausting!

      Delete
  9. For us, it's get it over and done with (2 should be a good number) cos we aren't that young and don't want to be still working our ass off for their university fees. An insightful read, thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm too old to have another one... so I think I'll start on slaving for his University fees whilst I still have energy left after all that running and jumping after him!

      Saving for one is lighter than having to slog for two. At least that's what I tell myself! :D

      Delete
  10. All my 3 kids are exactly 18 months apart and no, I didn't time them at all. All we knew is we wanted three and somehow, it just happened. :) I'm looking forward to being more relaxed when they are about 7-10 years of age. But right now, things are indeed crazy and I sometimes wonder what the hell I was thinking, wanting three kids! It's very fun though for them cos they play with each other and laugh A LOT together! And they are all very close. I hope it'll stay this way! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids can be more than what we bargained for, but we wouldn't trade that experience for the world, yes? :)

      Delete
  11. Looks like I will be only one with one, and probably will only have one commenting on your post :P I always wanted 2 kids, and was keen to have no.2 when Kyle turned 3, as I felt that 3 years was a comfortable gap for me to manage. But sometimes things don't quite happen the way I planned, that made having no.2 very difficult. Do I still want to have no.2? My cut off date is when I turn 39, but my hb not keen since we are heading down the wrong side of 30. These days I am thankful for 1, and that I am still have time for myself, since it is more manageable when I have only one. With only one child, I quit a full time job, So I am not keen to find out what I will do looking at my track record for making extreme decisions for life changes of this sort!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel,

      He decides. My Mum keeps on reminding me that I can have 2 more years till I'm officially an 'old fart' (read: hit the four-oh)

      But I can understand where Keith is coming from. Talking about the wrong side of 30, there are days when I REALLY feel it. I don't have that energy to keep on going and going the way I used to be able to!

      Delete
  12. "Because there is no time to worry or be fearful of failures when there isn't the luxury of time to dwell" - I like what you wrote here, can totally identify with it!

    I am also thinking that since with one kid (who just turned 21 months) I am just as limited in my lifestyle, it works to have two close in age because by the time they turn three or four, I don't have rush home from errands for nap times just because I am tagging along a baby, that's my rationale, provided I don't pop a third!

    ReplyDelete

 

Powered by Motherhood