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Question and Quandry (to conceive or not to conceive -- that is the question)


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I'm probably among the few for whom life didn't turn out as planned.

But one area in my life where it didn't go "as planned" has been in the area of child spacing.

 

I have 2 kids (boys). Had my son, miscarried twice and ..... long story short.....my kids are 6 years and 1 month apart.

 

My firstborn adores his brother and my youngest worships his brother. They light up when they see each other and interact well (given the gap and the fact that the baby is too young to "play" with my son). I didn't like the spacing, but it wasn't my plan/doing, so I have to accept the pros and cons.

 

I get MANY negative reactions (surprisingly many) from random souls who feel the need to express their pity that my oldest is not "ever going to have someone to play with" (even when they know he has a younger brother). And (believe it or not) attempt to shame me and my husband for our creating this.

 

When my son was 5 (before my pregnancy was announced or showing) a man (age 65 or so) would almost weekly come up to us and say, "When yall going have that boy a playmate?" and the like. People who had NO clue about our history or our losses would feel this sort of freedom. Even our preacher made a comment about how sad it was for my son. All these examples to say that my own personal pain and sorrow over the 4+ year struggle to conceive a viable pregnacy has only been heightened by all the other crap I've had to endure from people's comments. It's been quite amazing to me how bold, brazen, and rude folks are in their comments -- EVEN NOW that I have two child simply because of the 6 year gap. I hear the "you have 2 onlys" (in a negative connotation).

 

For myself, I don't know that I really thought about being an only as a negative thing, but had I gotten to order it all MY way, then I'd have preferred about a 2.5 yr gap, but alas this didn't pan out.

 

This brings me to my question and quandry (if you're still even with me):

 

Recently we've been thinking about having another child. (A third would be our last for sure per hubby). But, I am reluctant as I fear that child3 will likely play with child2 due to their being closer in age/having more in common and my child1 will be left out and feel lonely AGAIN. My oldest is highly social and it has been hard for him not to have a peer/playmate, and so my "mama bear" is out for sure for him in this area.

 

Then, on the flip side, I think that if all this info I've been told by others (that they'll likely not play or interact well anyway given the 6yr space), then its not fair to make child2 endure what child1 went through and therefore I should try for a 3rd child so #2 won't have the no one to play with issue to deal with.

 

Right now, I feel there's HOPE that my boys will get along (as they so love one another now) and that I don't want "to risk" adding a 3rd as I fear that two of them will #2 and #3 will probably "pair up" and one will be left out. As you can tell, I'm highly sensitive about this as it has (it being my son's loneliness heretofore) has been hard on me emotionally.

 

It's almost like I'm trying to play keep away (by not having a 3rd) so my two boys will HAVE TO interact and play with each other.

 

So, there it is laid out there.

Any advice/thoughts/rebukes/etc.?

I'm feeling :confused:.

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If you want to have another baby, have another baby! They may or may not be best buddies. I am in shock that more than one person has made comments like that to you. I have NEVER heard such ridiculous things. FWIW, my sis and I are 4 years apart and never got along very well as kids. We're good now- though not very close. My bro and I are 10 years apart. We got along VERY well. I think it was partly that we weren't competing for the same things, but I babysat a LOT and adored him- he's told me that lots of his best memories are of my watching him.

A person could just as easily say that you should only have one kid because then they don't have to share parental attention, money for college, etc.

Enjoy your kids, try to help them enjoy each other......and have as many or as few as you want!!!!

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My two cents...I think you should go and have another baby. If you think you have enough room in your house and your heart for another, go for it. The kids will all play together, play separately, and one will be left out on occasion. But that will probably vary between which kid will be left out - especially if baby number 3 is a girl. What I am saying is that at some point, each one of your kids is going to feel left out. That shouldn't stop you from having another.

 

In addition, maybe your older can find a play group or sport to have friends to play with. I don't know the age because my kids aren't that old but I know that I was 6 years older than my sister and we still had a blast together. Still do as a matter of fact. At times she felt left out of the group (there were 4 of us in that 6 year period) but at times I felt/feel left out. Its the nature of sibling-hood.

 

HTH! Best of luck TTC!

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I get MANY negative reactions (surprisingly many) from random souls who feel the need to express their pity that my oldest is not "ever going to have someone to play with" (even when they know he has a younger brother). And (believe it or not) attempt to shame me and my husband for our creating this.

 

When my son was 5 (before my pregnancy was announced or showing) a man (age 65 or so) would almost weekly come up to us and say, "When yall going have that boy a playmate?" and the like. People who had NO clue about our history or our losses would feel this sort of freedom. Even our preacher made a comment about how sad it was for my son. All these examples to say that my own personal pain and sorrow over the 4+ year struggle to conceive a viable pregnacy has only been heightened by all the other crap I've had to endure from people's comments. It's been quite amazing to me how bold, brazen, and rude folks are in their comments -- EVEN NOW that I have two child simply because of the 6 year gap. I hear the "you have 2 onlys" (in a negative connotation).

 

Jerks. Some people are just idiots. I've heard them all from family, friends and strangers. I've never found it gets easier. The unsolicited comments just bring reminders of the pain and what-ifs. :grouphug:

 

If you can and want to have another baby, have another baby. Don't add "I wish."

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First :grouphug:

 

Second, relax. You would be surprised at how kids will match up at any given moment. Sometimes my 12 1/2 yr dd will be on the floor with barbies [which I hate] with my 5 yr dd. They all play together in various ways. I don't think you have to worry. I think teaching them the value of family goes along way.

 

My kids love each other and love to play with each other. Of course, they also like to fight each other. :D It's all good and while I wish my son had a little brother to play with, that appears not to be for us. He gets by though.

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It's truly amazing to me what people think is their business on which to comment! For Pete's sake, they have no idea why you have children spaced the way you do. So what if you'd WANTED your children to be 6 years apart?

 

Sometimes when people have children in a pattern that doesn't make sense to me, I confess that I do think it odd. I don't comment on it, though! For Pete's sake, you just never know what happened. Maybe there was a miscarriage. Maybe there were infertility issues. Maybe they had a reason for their planning that is beyond my ken. Guess what? It's none of my business! (And then, look at me, I had the first two a year apart and Schmooey 6 years after the second one - so I have NOTHING to say about any kind of planning, since I did none.:lol:)

 

My dh's dad and his brother are NINE (9) years apart. His grandmother had something like 6 miscarriages between babies. Can you imagine how completely over-the-moon giddy with joy they must have been when she was able to carry FIL to term? Of course, had anyone been foolish enough to comment on the age spread, she'd have ripped them a new one. Grandma H. was quite a charmer.

 

If you guys want to add another little person into your family, you should do it because there is someone missing who needs to be there, if you KWIM. You should not avoid doing so be because clueless people are rude.

 

Whatever you decide, your second son will still think the sun rises and sets with the older one. The baby will think so too. Of course your family dynamic will change; that's what happens when a new person gets added into the mix. I don't think it will ruin the relationship that your 2 sons already have, though.

 

:grouphug: I am going to bed now. Apparently I am in the mood to kick hiney and take names this evening. If you decide to have another baby, I hope we get to weigh in on the naming and I can't wait to meet them!

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I get MANY negative reactions (surprisingly many) from random souls who feel the need to express their pity that my oldest is not "ever going to have someone to play with" (even when they know he has a younger brother). And (believe it or not) attempt to shame me and my husband for our creating this.

 

When my son was 5 (before my pregnancy was announced or showing) a man (age 65 or so) would almost weekly come up to us and say, "When yall going have that boy a playmate?" and the like.

 

 

People need to shut up. Seriously, WTH is wrong with people that they need to comment on your family size, structure, etc.??

 

Look, my advice is simple. If you want to have another, then have another. But if you don't want to, or are only contemplating it in order to assuage misplaced guilt due to others' (rude) comments, I'd say "no." You should really examine your motives, because I think having another baby should be something you desire, for yourself.

 

And as far as worrying about how your ds will feel about not having a sibling close to age, that's what cousins and friends are for. Also, my ds is an only child, so I'm used to tuning out the "woes" expressed by others for the plight of children not having a sibling close in age. Yes, my poor ds is so lonely, he has 2 cousins, plus several friends from school and his ice hockey team.

 

Hope that's helpful!

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Ahhhh....you all are such comfort!

:bigear:

 

 

Forgot to mention that one dude from church asked my husband if he had " E D " !!!! (I'm SERIOUS!!!!!!!!!)....and my husband is a completely healthy hunk of man who was then in his late 20s!!!!! Can you imagine having the nerve to SAY that?! (and he barely knew this man).

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:grouphug: for all the rude comments you've had to endure. We've heard way more than our share for many different reasons..............our oldest is adopted, we did infertility for years, had triplets, and had a miscarriage....all of this apparently gives people the right to say stupid stuff to us quite often.

 

As for the spacing, I am the oldest of 4 and had a "playmate" 2 years younger, a sister, and we could not be more different and have never been very close. I also have a sister 7 years younger and our life situations/choices keep us apart now, but we were close when she was younger. Surprisingly, I'm closest to my brother and he was born when I was 11.5 and going into middle school. I was off to college by the time he was 6, so we didn't know each other well until adulthood and have much more similar personalities than my sisters and I do. We are best friends now at 43 (yikes!) and 31 and I talk to him on the phone almost every day.

 

All that to say, you never know. Do what is best for your family and enjoy how close your boys are now ~ it sounds sweet to me. The ages don't matter.

 

The best to you in your decision-making!

Warmly,

Julie

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I didnt have my second child until my oldest ds was almost 6 (not by my choice either) and used to get comments all the time about how sorry they were for him from various people. I ended up having my second, a girl, and they played together, still do! I have gone on to have 2 more babies (total of 4 now...12 ds, 6dd, 3ds, 1dd) and they ALL play together sometimes, sometimes they dont ;) whats funny is that now I get comments on how SORRY they feel for my oldest who has to help all the time with his younger siblings....or WHY do I have so many? Will I have more? Its annoying, but I figure people are always going to continue to be nosy in this dept for some reason and just shrug it off. I acutally like to shock people sometimes and answer with a "we'd love 6 more to make it an even 10!!! Lol". They usually leave me alone after that :D

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If you want another, have another. DH came from a big family. His older sister is very close to his younger sister, and they are about 10 years apart. DH gets along better with his older brother than his younger brother, but I wouldn't say age has any bearing on the interactions between the six of them as adults.

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Pshh, don't listen to what people say... There was a time when I just had my 4th babe, a couple of years ago, so we had 2 girls and then 2 boys all pretty close in age. Every time we left the house I would hear "oh, 2 girls and 2 boys, just perfect, pefect, perfect," so much it seriously made me cringe. And then I went and had another boy... and suddenly my family no longer qualified as "perfect" :001_huh: not one mention of that word again.:tongue_smilie: People are goofy.

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:grouphug: Oh.my.gosh. people can be such jerks!! :glare: I had no idea! (Our spacing and gender apparently met with the approval of strangers because we never got ignorant comments.)

========

I am closest with a sibling 10 years older. I don't think you can plan compatibility.

Edited by happi duck
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It doesn't matter what you do, stoopid people will stick their noses where it doesn't belong and say rude and hurtful things.

 

My friend has a boy and a girl spaced six years apart. She had one lady at church make some assumption about the older child being from a previous relationship (he's not). But they get along really well, they're very sweet to each other. They'd hold hands in church even when he was a teenager.

 

I am the middle child, stuck smack dab in between and older and younger sister and an older and younger brother. The four oldest all were spaced two years apart, with child #5 coming four years after child #4. Growing up, there were times when I was close to and times when I couldn't stand each and every one of them (long periods of time, not like I was flip-flopping back and forth each day). So in my personal opinion, age and gender of the child won't matter.

 

I do understand your concern. I had the exact same one when child #2 came 3.5 years later than child #1 only to have child #3 be 20 months behind Digby. I try very hard to foster a love between all of them. The older two don't really play together much yet, but they do generally get along. And child #2 liked to poke and hit baby girl when she first came along, but we worked on that a bit and now he loves to smother her in kisses and hugs.

 

And the next time someone were to say something rude and hurtful to you and you just snapped and yelled at them, I don't think anyone would blame you. I had a miscarriage after Pigby (which the in laws knew about) and a few months later they asked if we were pregnant yet and DH said, "No." And they asked, "Why not?" and DH said, "It'll happen when it happens" and they said, "What does that mean?" and he repeated himself and they brought up the suggestion to send Pigby (2 at the time and they live 2000 miles away) out to them for a few months so we could "work on it" :glare:. The ONLY reason they didn't hear my screaming and yelling about it was because DH was quick enough with the mute button. Yup, I wouldn't blame you at all.

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Have another baby! For several reasons...

 

A close age gap does not necessarily guarantee they will get along well. Also, if you want another baby and do not have one, you will probably always feel regret for that.

:iagree: As a disclaimer though, I'm in the conceive camp 99.9% of the time.:D

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Our kids are 5 1/2 years apart, and it wasn't by choice for us either. And I know what you mean about the comments. We've gotten everything from criticism for having them so far apart to praise for having one of each sex (as if we picked..lol) so now we don't "have" to keep having more. I'd totally have another one at this point if I could. (Well, technically I could, but it's pretty unlikely.)

 

They still play together, though, even though they're different ages and genders. They just play in different ways than they would if they were closer together in age and the same sex. Also, closeness in age doesn't automatically translate to a close relationship. Of my six siblings the one I had the hardest time getting along with was also the closest to my age. And the brother and sister in the middle who were only a couple of years apart had a hard time getting along too. Still do. In a lot of ways it depends more on individual personality than age difference. I have a great relationship with my youngest brother, who is 12 years younger than I am. (Though I have to admit that it freaks me out slightly that his wife has an aunt the same age as me...lol...)

 

I say if YOU want to have another child, have one. Your kids will all learn to cope, and they will all have good relationships with each other, or not. There's a lot more that goes into good relationships than just spacing of birth. On the other hand, if you DON'T want to have another child, don't use your kids as an excuse. It's ok to just not want to do the baby thing again. Or to want to wait awhile and see. What do YOU want, deep down inside?

 

Kids are resilient. They'll sort it out, whichever way you decide.

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If you had trouble, for any reason, I would say you should get on your horse and move on the issue. The clock is ticking.

 

There are far too many unknowables about your son's personalities and any further children's as well, to make the kind of plans and predictions you are chewing over. Have confidence you will all cope.

 

And for all the comments, tell them to put it where the sun don't shine. Sheesh!

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Pshh, don't listen to what people say... There was a time when I just had my 4th babe, a couple of years ago, so we had 2 girls and then 2 boys all pretty close in age. Every time we left the house I would hear "oh, 2 girls and 2 boys, just perfect, pefect, perfect," so much it seriously made me cringe. And then I went and had another boy... and suddenly my family no longer qualified as "perfect" :001_huh: not one mention of that word again.:tongue_smilie: People are goofy.

 

 

"Goofy" is too gentle. I'd call such comments "asinine."

 

You know? We're talking about having children, not designing a Feng Shui exhibit for Focus on the Family. Really. I understand that everybody has got feelings about what the "perfect" size or composition of a family should be. But, it annoys the ever living crap out of me when rude or unsolicited comments like this are made.

 

I always think "What if the 'extra' children heard such comments said about them?" No child wants to hear that he or she wasn't "wanted," or "unnecessary."

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I am 6 1/2 years older than my youngest brother. While I was also the baby sitter for mom and dad, the gap isn't that big, really. When the older is 12 the youngest will be 6 and if they are raised to be close and friends, they will be. they will be able to ride bikes, the oder can teach him baseball, etc.

 

Go for it.:)

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My dd1 and dd3 are 15 years apart. Sometimes I think my 2yo is a better friend to my 17yo than her teenage peers are. It's impossible to know how the dynamics will play out, so if your heart is for another baby, go for it. Ridiculous comments may abound, but they won't last, and they don't have to enter the walls of your home.

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"Goofy" is too gentle. I'd call such comments "asinine."

 

You know? We're talking about having children, not designing a Feng Shui exhibit for Focus on the Family. Really. I understand that everybody has got feelings about what the "perfect" size or composition of a family should be. But, it annoys the ever living crap out of me when rude or unsolicited comments like this are made.

 

I always think "What if the 'extra' children heard such comments said about them?" No child wants to hear that he or she wasn't "wanted," or "unnecessary."

 

:iagree: My thoughts exactly!!!

 

 

My oldest two are 17 mos apart, then little sister is 7 years younger than our youngest son. We also didn't plan on it, we went through 4 years of secondary infertility and 2 miscarriages before our dd came along. The funny thing is the boys get along much better with their little sister than they do with each other, lol! I worry for her sometimes that she doesn't really have anyone her age to play with, but she has some little friends at church that she loves and she gets such a kick out of tagging along after her big brothers. Only time will tell if that will continue. ;)

 

I say go for it! Who cares what other people think, this is your family and it doesn't matter what others may say.

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Just have another child. They are the light of our lives, however they come. My child spacing is all messy and not what I had in mind, either, but other than the occasional idiot who feels they must interject, it isn't important in our day-to-day lives.

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People are idiots.

They think my having 5 kids is crazy.

They think my sister having an only is crazy.

They think certain gender combinations are better than others, certain age gaps are better than others, and don't forget how "important" parents' ages are!

 

Don't let them get in your head.

 

And don't forget that siblings, no matter what their age gap, are only going to "play" for a small fraction of their lives. They will grow up, move out, make friends, create families of their own, and when they're 62, how much are they really going to care about their siblings' ages? "Oh, it's so HARD having a brother who's 49 (or 58 or 61 or whatever the case may be)!" Really???

 

FWIW, my daughters can't stand each other 60% of the time, and they're 13 months apart. My sisters and I have a 3yr gap and a 4yr gap. We didn't get along at all as children. We do much better as adults, and I often feel closest to the one 7 years my junior.

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I've heard the same comments and then some, my kids are 8 yrs apart. Someone told me the other day that my dd couldn't possibly be mine because the kids were to far apart, really:confused:. People also ask if their both my dh's, yes we've been married for 12 years! People are just like that, they don't always think before they speak. Have another if you want to and if you can, but don't let others decide that for you :).

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I agree with the previous posters that some people are just stupid. If you want to have another baby, then do it. In my family, I am 6 years younger than my sister and 7 years younger than my brother. They had experiences together that I didn't have because they were so close in age but we have all always been close. It remains so to this day including the fact that we all live within 10 minutes of each other and their older children are all close with my girls as well even though they are much younger. My sister and I are incredibly close.

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People speak without thinking!! Perhaps you can come up with something like, "It wasn't up to me, this was God's plan." or "You'll have to take that up with God."

 

I say, have another child if that's want you and your dh want! For goodness sake, it's no one's business but yours.

 

Most of us have received stupid comments from others. I constantly hear things like, "All boys? Are you going to keep trying for a girl?" Really! As though having only boys is a shame. I have only 4 children because that's all I CAN have! I don't care at all that I don't have a girl. And, it's none of their business!!

 

Usually, people are not really trying to be mean. They are just speaking without thinking and don't restrain their thoughts as they should! It IS stupidity.

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I have a ten year space between my oldest and his younger twins. I don't recall comments like you have received, but I think I also am good at tuning out people.

 

Anyway, there are various types of relationships that siblings can have with each other, and "play mates" is just one of them. Kids separated by a lot of years may not play the same way, but whether they are more or less close will be a matter of temperment and family dynamic, not a matter of counting months and years. I am quite close to my sister who is six years younger. My twins are very very close with a ten year older brother. They will bless each other's lives, even if they weren't co-equal play mates. The whole argument seems really silly to me.

 

Do you want a baby? Can you afford a baby - financially and in terms of energy and time? Do you feel like someone is missing. Then have a baby.

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I get MANY negative reactions (surprisingly many) from random souls who feel the need to express their pity that my oldest is not "ever going to have someone to play with" (even when they know he has a younger brother). And (believe it or not) attempt to shame me and my husband for our creating this.

 

Wow. My oldest dd is 6 years, 2 months older than her twin sisters (like you, not by choice). I have never heard any negative comments about the age difference.

 

You should absolutely have another child if you and dh wish to! I know alot of families which had 2 sibs close together, and the kids never were close to each other. You just can never predict how family dynamics work out. Good luck in your decision.

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My first two are almost 6 years apart (5 years and 9 months). Then we had a surprise pregnancy, and #2 and #3 will be 16 months apart.

 

I'm really not concerned about 2 & 3 excluding their big brother. If anything, I'm more concerned about DS1 having two littles tagging along after him all the time, vying for his attention!

 

You also never know how things will work out long-term. My father is one of five. He has a brother who is two years younger than he is, and he was very close to him growing up. His youngest sister is ten years younger than he is, and they weren't close as kids. Now, as adults, he rarely talks to his brother, but he and his youngest sister are best friends.

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I've not read all of the replies.

 

First of all, hugs to you! :grouphug: :grouphug: :grouphug: I'm sorry that you have had to endure some very insensitive comments regarding your family size and the spacing of your children.

 

Second, and I say this gently, but I think that you are way over-thinking this. Relax! A baby is a joy. If you and your dh would like to have another then by all means, do so. Don't worry about spacing and playmates and all of that.

 

Breathe. :grouphug:

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