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Is giving your child a sibling a good reason to have more kids?

Categories: Balancing Act, Parenting & Family

34 comments

My husband and I have one daughter, who just turned five a few weeks ago. (I’m still in partial denial, but she reminds me frequently, so it’s hard to forget.) For a long while since she was born we both thought that we’d just have her and that’s it. But lately — say, in the past year — we’ve been talking a lot about whether or not we’ll have another kiddo. Maybe it’s the fact that our daughter is a delight and things are relatively easy at this age. Maybe it’s because most of our friends have now gone on to have more than one child and it’s giving us food for thought. Or perhaps it’s just that while we’re still fairly young (early 30s), life does seem to be flying by and we’re starting to think of those BIG fundamental life questions, like, say, how big of a family we’d really like to have.

This decision about how many kids to have is ranking fairly high on the-really-tough-parenting-decisions scale, at least in my book. So naturally, I’ve been talking about it a lot. And here’s what’s struck me:

By a huge margin, the most popular reason people give me for having more kids is so that our daughter has a sibling. (It’s also one of the most popular reasons listed in the comments on my Why is it such a crime to have an only child post.)

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m an only child, so the topic of siblings is one I can only approach as an outsider, not someone who can relate to my own personal experience of having one. I’ve seen some great sibling relationships, some OK ones, and some terrible ones — in our family alone we have the full menu of them. and I can completely appreciate the value of having siblings, from having someone with whom to bitch about your parents to someone to help you take care of your parents when they get older. Believe me, I get it and I’ll even go as far as to say that at times, in my adult life, I’ve thought about how nice it would be to have a sibling.

But is giving your child a sibling a good reason to have another child?

I’m having a tough time with this one. Part of me says yes, it seems like a very good reason. After all, we want the best for our daughter and if we believe that she would benefit from having a sibling — either now or later in life — it’s a good reason to consider having another child. They would benefit from having each other.

On the flip side, I kind of think this is a strange reason to have more kids and if we decide to have another child it should be for us, as parents and as a family, and not some martyr act just for our daughter’s supposed benefit. It seems like an odd way to treat our possible next child.I also have trouble using as a reason something that is by no means guaranteed — a good relationship between siblings. Enough of my friends have shared horror sibling stories with me to give me pause when considering this. What if our kids end up hating each other?

One of the reasons my husband is hesitant about having another child is his worry about my ability to maintain sanity. It sounds more dramatic, perhaps, than it is, but with two full-time working parents (with relatively intense jobs), our life is hectic and stressful, and I stress more probably because 1. I’m the mom and 2. I just stress more. In his view, the benefit of a happy and more sane mom is of greater value to our kiddo than a sibling and I have a hard time disagreeing with that. If we decide to have another child I think the benefit of our daughter having a sibling can be part of the decision, but the deciding factor for it.

Like all major parenting decisions, this is a sensitive, tough, and extremely personal topic and this blog post was more difficult to write than I thought, mainly because I can’t find the right words to express most of what I am feeling and thinking. (Or rather, to express accurately.) I hope you’ll share your perspectives in the comment, which I look forward to reading.

(Blog note: This post is slightly altered from it’s original draft. By me. For reasons of my reading through it and wanting to be more accurate in how I describe my feelings on this. Blog note over.)



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34 comments so far...

  • FIrst, yes, it’s a very good reason to consider having another child.

    Second, from your article, you seem to be more in denial than really thinking clearly. You imply that having a second child would amount to providing an accessory to your first child. (So do all your friends’ second kids appear to be used and abused as accessories? Are they seeing shrinks over it? I haven’t noticed that in my environment.) But then, what were the reasons why you had your first child? One would extend your stated logic to conclude that your first child was conceived to be an accessory to you and your husband - which is at least as “ridiculous” as the argument that a sibling is a good thing for a child to have.

    Why do you send your child to preschool? After all, it only benefits her, so it must be ridiculous.

    The fact that the benefit of siblings is a “consideration” for having another child doesn’t mean it outweighs every other consideration. If you decide the cons outweigh the cons for you, fine, don’t get pregnant - but don’t put down people who decide the pros (including sibling benefits) outweigh the cons in their families.

    I chose to adopt two girls because I strongly believe in the benefits of having siblings. Their development so far has proven to me, overwhelmingly, that I did the right thing. I also happened to consider myself capable of caring for two tots without losing my mind or going bankrupt. If I had issues that made the latter questionable, maybe I would have adopted only one - or maybe I would not have adopted at all, rather supporting another family’s financial ability to build a family with siblings. I don’t know - there are plenty of good people that choose both paths. But the important thing is, you have to be honest with yourself, get past the defensiveness (re how others judge) and think objectively. Calling the sibling consideration “ridiculous” equals not giving it a fair hearing, which is really not fair to your daughter.

    SKL  |  June 30th, 2009 at 8:13 pm

  • My husband and I were happy with our one son. I’m an only child and had a great childhood - never ever even wanted a sibling.

    That is, until my mother died when I was a new mom at the age of 32. I was completely devastated, and it was truly the first time I wished for a sibling - to share my emotions, to share in the responsibility of planning for her funeral etc, to deal with my dad for the future, and to (at some point) share the responsibility of my dad’s death. I FINALLY realized what people meant by ‘lonely only”.

    On a daily basis, I still don’t feel the desire or need for a sibling (obviously at my age it’s a non issue). We did though, go on to have a second child and we are very happy with our decision. We also know that neither of our sons will need to go it alone when we get old and die…

    I will, though, tell you that having 2 kids is a HUGE adjustment for us only children. I still don’t ‘get’ the more than 1 kid in the house thing, I don’t ‘get’ the way that the boys interact with each other (read: FIGHT). I can’t understand why they can’t just be nice and quiet and more like I was as a kid ;)

    Lynne  |  June 30th, 2009 at 8:17 pm

  • Because my daughter really likes having company (i.e., she’s not big into independent play) I often think that it would be great for her to have a sibling. Then again, having a sibling now would be meaningless on the play front (i.e., an infant does very little for a 5 year old as far as play is concerned).

    Ultimately, though, I think the decision has to feel right on a family systems level. Do you and your husband feel like your family is complete as is? Do you feel like there’s another little spirit floating out there somewhere for you? As you said, you don’t want to feel like a second child is merely an accessory - it should be a person welcomed with loving and open arms.

    -Christine

    Boston Mamas  |  June 30th, 2009 at 8:43 pm

  • Here is my response and it may sound incredibly non-rational. This is something I, too, have gone over and over both before we had our daughter (now approaching 3) and since. All of the pros and cons you mention in this and previous posts. I’ve decided it’s more helpful to stop worrying about all the specifics and focus more on, I don’t know, just living life to the fullest.

    And I’m gradually concluding (though not 100% there yet!) that it might be good to just go with the flow and have more if it works out that way. Physically, emotionally, socially - having children to raise, and for your children to have siblings or other close relatives to grow up around, is just central to the human experience.

    Plus, having had another one, I think, it’s not like I’d regret it! I think I’d just adapt and continue with more love in my life. Yes, that sounds very wishy-washy, Summer of Love, doesn’t it??!!

    Finally, having more kids makes it more likely one of them will take care of us when we’re old and decrepit. Hee hee, just kidding!

    DianeR  |  June 30th, 2009 at 11:40 pm

  • The tone in this article reminds me of the plot in “My sister’s keeper” where the couple had a second daughter to make a matching donor for their ailing first daughter, which is a little hard for me to digest.

    I had one sister and I enjoyed her company and our sense of togetherness and our relationship that was different than with my parents. I definitely want my kids to have similar relationships. It does not imply that it was for our first child’s benefit. It is good for each of them individually, the way I feel. Ultimately it all adds up to your feelings and values, doesn’t it?

    Lakshmi  |  July 1st, 2009 at 7:27 am

  • Yes - it is a good reason, but I don’t believe it should be the only reason. As parents, most of the time we start putting our childrens futures and needs ahead of our own. Before kids, I too, thought the perfect number of children one day would be one. At 5 years old, our daughter started noticing all the other kids who had siblings and wanted one too. In my case, I wanted another child as well. So for both selfish and selfless reasons we made the decision and now have 2 beautiful daughters who are 8 years apart.

    I have never looked back at that decision. I know that, even if the relationships aren’t perfect, there is no other like family. I know that our daughters will have each other when we are no longer here; I know that they will have each other when they have to help us in our older years. They are 3 and 11. Was it a major adjustment with some bumps in the road after being an only child for so long - absolutely. But the good far outweighs the challenges, which, by the way are manageable . . . so don’t be afraid of them.

    You have obviously been very thoughtful about the pros and cons. Good luck as you make this important decision. I hope my experience helps.

    Tami  |  July 1st, 2009 at 8:34 am

  • We had another baby and some of it was for that reason. He is 4 months old and we can’t imagine NOT having him. He is an incredible addition to our family. We adore HIM!!!!!!!!

    Amanda  |  July 1st, 2009 at 9:49 am

  • After reading some of the comments, I’m trying to figure out which of my daughters was an accessory for the other one, LOL.

    Children are individuals regardless of birth order. One is never subordinate to the other in any way. The “benefit” spoken of isn’t that of having the equivalent of a really fancy doll; it’s of learning how to deal with the good AND the bad of other individuals. If it’s wrong to want that for each of my kids, I think I need to move to another planet.

    SKL  |  July 1st, 2009 at 9:59 am

  • It’s a good reason, but it’s not good enough as the ONLY reason. First , there’s no guarantee that your children will even like one another or have a decent relationship. I know lots of siblings who hate one another and are estranged. Second, if that is the only reason you add to your family, I think you might end up resenting the insane amount of work involved and everything not being rosy and sunshine and rainbows. If that’s the only reason you add to your family, rather than actually wanting another child and valuing him/her as a unique individual that may or may not be a friend to your first child, I would say wait. (General “you,” not necessarily, you Nataly.)

    Robyn  |  July 1st, 2009 at 10:07 am

  • My husband and I always wanted two, so this wasn’t the only reason for having our 2nd, but all I can say is this: my two daughters are best friends, constant playmates, comforters to one another, “sleeping buddies” (they share a room), and the loves of each other’s lives! Sure, they fight–they’re 2 and 5, after all!–but they make each other’s lives so much better, by having one another; that is crystal clear. I don’t know what their relationship will be like when they get older, but even if it’s poor, I’ll still be grateful they have each other during childhood, now…and I’ll be glad they’ll have one another in the future to handle, together, issues like the decline/aging/deaths of us, their parents. Even if sibs aren’t the best of friends as adults, they generally manage those kinds of issues together, and that must be some sort of comfort no matter what, to not be navigating those things alone.

    And then of course there’s the fact that seeing my girls together is the most wonderful, loving, joyous sight imaginable–unthinkable to me before having two. I know that’s biased; but there’s no other way for me to describe it.

    Shannon  |  July 1st, 2009 at 12:48 pm

  • Shannon, I know exactly what you mean in your “biased” last paragraph. Ah, how I wish everyone could see it to understand. The way my girls will be running a race and suddenly stop and laugh and hug each other, then go right back to competing. There really is nothing like it.

    SKL  |  July 1st, 2009 at 12:56 pm

  • I am the third in a family of five children. I am only close to my only sister and am incredibly thankful to have her, but we did not grow up together in the same house. I am also a single mother of an only child and am in no hurry to have any more. I firmly believe that siblings are not the only source of family a person has. My daughter has a strong relationship with one of her female cousins, just as I have strong relationships with my cousins. I also have lasting friendships from childhood that I have maintained throughout the years. Family is where you find it. I am a strong believer in the health of the parents dictating the health of the children. A stressed out mom will have a negative impact on the kids. Do what’s best for you and maintain healthy relationships with other parents. Kids adapt.

    Jennifer  |  July 1st, 2009 at 1:47 pm

  • My husband and I have talked about having more children. we both come from family’s of multiple children and kinda used to the chaos. Originally my husband wanted as many as God can give us . After we adopted our daughter who is also 5 now and who has been begging for a little Brother for about 2 yrs. My husband had a reality check now we are at 2 maybe 3.

    we decided we will adopt one more maybe 2 from foster care. having a sibling is one factor Even if she doesnt end up being her brothers Best Friend there is a connection. but def not the only reason . Although I wouldnt count on the whole someone else to take care of you when Your old.

    I do think having more kids does make your chances higher that you wont be shipped off to pasture when your too old to care for yourself. one of them usually steps in but rarely more. out of 8 children only one is helping care For Grandma and she was the youngest so if they would have stopped at one G-ma would be in trouble

    . Also we have so much love to give and would love to give it to
    a child who is already here and needs parents. Very often I have this feeling at the dinner table that someone is missing. so next yr we will be adopting a boy or maybe siblings.

    Coolnanny  |  July 1st, 2009 at 4:32 pm

  • You never imagine the importance of having siblings. I have two siblings and they brought me up in spite of a little sister and a little brother. I learn a lot from them and need the three-way relationship for us. We each have important friends and a partner, but we can’t miss each other. So I want three kids. On the other hand, my husband wants two kids because he has a big sister and he never knows about the relationships of three kids. After all, I think everyone never knows the benefits of the different situations but ours. And every situation is right for the child or children. So the right answer for your child is both a present situation and another.

    Keiko  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 8:10 am

  • I’m one of three and have two of my own. I love watching them together more than anything in the world. The other night, when the 4-year-old had a nightmare and I couldn’t soothe him, I picked him up and plopped him in his 6-year-old sister’s bed and they cuddled up and slept until morning.

    So, yes, siblings provide each other with love, comfort, learning, and so much more. Maybe that is a “good reason” to have another.

    But you know what’s not a good reason? Just because you feel like you “should.” If you’re happy with the family you’ve got, love it and enjoy it.

    Tricia  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 9:13 am

  • No, I don’t think giving your child a sibling is a good reason to have a second one. My husband and I never imagined — or wanted — to have a big family. So when we got the daughter we dreamed of on our first (and only) try, we were thrilled. We wanted a girl and only a girl, and frankly we see no reason to try for a second.

    I have been very surprised at how unsupportive other people are of the notion of a planned only child. “You’re denying her the joy of having siblings!” I don’t think that having a sibling is the “instant” or “permanent” friend that some people make it out to be. I didn’t become friends with my sister until we were both adults.

    In our case, I think giving our child a sibling would take away from her life rather than enhance it. I’m a WAHM so though I am busy with my business, I am always there when she needs me and she gets an incredible amount of attention. To have another baby would change this dynamic and I’d feel horrible that my second child simply wouldn’t have the same childhood as my first.

    Also, and this may sound selfish, I just cannot handle a second. My daughter is a beautiful, intelligent and quite more the handful than your average toddler. She not only needs but demands all the attention that I can give and more. What (very little) downtime I get, I cherish and I am selfishly not going to give that up.

    Michelle  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 9:59 am

  • Honestly, I think it can be a lot easier at times to have two kids instead of one. They love to entertain each other, play together, read stories to each other, etc. We have a total of 3. Our oldest and youngest are 5, almost 6 years apart, and they do play. Especially since the oldest is a girl and LOVES babies and little kids. She’s dying for another brother so there will be one brother for her to play with, and one for her sister… The reasoning cracks me up!

    Adding another kids is always a little stressful, but it really isn’t as hard as it seems.

    Kristie  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 11:18 am

  • We are having our second and our first is 7 years old. I have no illusion that they will be best buddies with such an age gap, but my older one can actually help a little. And hopefully he will be happy to act as a “teacher” for his little brother. (He even talked about how he will have to drive his little brother places when he’s 16!) I had given up on the idea for a while and thought my son was happy being an only, but he did tell me he really wanted a brother or sister. Only you can know what is right for you! Only children turn out just fine.

    Larisa  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 12:03 pm

  • Interesting to see a comment that essentially says, I don’t want to give my child a sibling because that would reduce her chance to be as spoiled as she is. Oh well, different strokes for different folks.

    SKL  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 1:42 pm

  • As others have mentioned, having another child for the purpose of giving your daughter a sibling is not a good way to enter into motherhood a second time. In a perfect world, parents have a child because THEY desperately want one. If you don’t have that passion and attitude, you run the risk of being miserable about the extra work, the sibling rivalry, the noise, the clutter, the uptick in grocery bills, the reduced freedom…and the list goes on. When a second child is wanted by the parents, none of these issues seem to matter all that much.

    And, if you daughter is asking for a sibling, note that most children stop wanting a brother or sister somewhere around the age of eight when they realize how good they have–all the attention, all the resources.

    All these points aside, it’s an impossibly difficult call. For those interested, I have looked at many of these dilemmas and issues in depth at Psychology Today: http://blogs,psychologytoday.com/blog/singletons

    Susan Newman  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 2:30 pm

  • I haven’t read the rest so it’s possibly been said . . . but as for the stress, yes there are times having more than one means you have to break up fights or be in two places at once, etc so it adds to stress. but there are many (many more in my house anyway) times when they entertain each other and thus reduces my stress to 0.

    I felt tremendous guilt at first having #2, taking away my time from #1, sharing my love, etc. Once #2 was here though I realized that in fact it’s better, we do things as a family, the love of course is limitless, and as long as I get in individual time with each when needed, all parties feel loved.

    gretchen  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 2:35 pm

  • I don’t think that children should ever be a means for another person’s happiness. This line of thinking seems to approach children as functions for another person–even though that other person would be his/her sibling. Children should come out of a desire for them for their own end, their own sake. They should not be brought into this world to fix a marriage, to make a couple less lonely, to DO something. They should arise out of the mutual self donation of love between husband and wife.

    I applaud your thinking and your careful pondering over this important issue. I wish more people had a greater desire to do what is truly best and separate what they WANT from what is BEST. I hope that your reflection yields wisdom for you and your husband, for in the end, only you and your husband know the wisdom of your choice.

    Michelle  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 7:08 pm

  • As a mother of 3, I DON’T think it’s a crime to have only one child (as per your last blog post). But I find myself wondering about your question here. Do parents need a REASON to have more than one child? Is there someone judging us and holding us accountable for choosing to have children based on our REASONS for having them?

    Isn’t loving your spouse/children and wanting to do your very best for them always reason enough? Why on earth do we need to justify our parenthood, and to whom?

    Taximom  |  July 2nd, 2009 at 7:39 pm

  • I can think of no WORSE reason to have a child than to give your other child a sibling.

    If YOU GUYS want another kid, sure, go for it. But if you’re just doing in the hopes this is going to put a smile on your kid’s face, you could be in for a very rude awakening.

    Not all siblings get along. Some are close, some are cordial, some can at least be in the same room without problems, some can’t even be in the same state without having a throw-down.

    I have always hated the ‘…but he’ll need a sibling’ defense from folks when we tell them we have no intentions of giving our son a sibling. No one needs extra people in their lives — we find them ourselves. We find them in school, at work, at places of shared interests, etc.

    CAH  |  July 6th, 2009 at 5:42 am

  • My child’s view on a perfect sibling would probably be to adopt a brother close to her own age so they can play. She’s a rough-n-tumble type girl who is perplexed that the boys don’t want to play with her anymore, and though she tries, she really isn’t into dolls & ponies the way her girl classmates are.

    But as a single WOHM who falls asleep in the middle of evening chores…I can’t imagine having another child in the household.

    Mich  |  July 6th, 2009 at 1:43 pm

  • I am glad I am not the only one sweating on this subject. I have a 5yr old beautiful daughter. Until 2 yrs back, I never wanted a second child. Then everyone started having a second one because it ’suits’ them or they got ‘convinced’.This makes me think whether i am doing it wrong by not having a second child. The biggest issue is this there is no right or wrong. Thank you for starting this blog.

    SK  |  July 7th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

  • Hey Nataly,

    I have never really weighed in on your thoughts regarding a an only child or child #2.

    When I first had my son, I thought “No way, will I have another!” He was born sick, a horrible labor etc.. My husband is an only child and in his opinion life was great and he never missed having a sibling, so our son would be just fine being the only child.

    After a 1 yr. I knew I did not want my son to be an only child. There is the stereo type of an only child and some fit the bill and some do not. My husband does in certain aspects and in others he does not.

    First and foremost you need to do what is best for you and your husband and then daughter. But honestly speaking….you seem to be having a lot of question in your mind on should you or shouldn’t you.

    Know that the sleepless nights, diaper changing, etc.. goes fast. You will be able to keep your sanity. You are a strong, bright, compassionate woman. It’s exhausting. Having one is hard but easier than two. Yes, I did go for two. I am soooooooooooooooooooo
    thankful I did.

    Watching two little people that you created is such a beautiful thing AND NO they don’t always throw the “I love you” card around but when they do it sure makes up for the times they fight.

    I know they will always have each other. They may become adults and say “I can’t stand my sister/brother” and when someone asks “who is your best friend?” they might just say “My brother/sister”.
    My point is you will never know unless you do it. Yeah there are horror stories and there are also beautiful sibling stories.

    I just can’t believe that is sounds like the most negative thing about having a sibling is “loss of sanity, additional stress, etc”. Let’s put it in perspective…LIFE IS STRESSFUL!!!! Having kids is stressful 1,2,3,4 and so on…we do our best. It is what is…ENJOY if that is what you decide to do. Yeah you will lose your sanity the first few months. You will lose sleep….of course you will feel NUTS and want to kill your husband, feel ugly, fat etc.. Those are all very good reasons to lose sanity. Oh and let me not forget the money involved with another child…..

    Bottom line, the love you will have for your child, the love your husband will and give your child, the love your daughter will have for her new sibling(and FYI…might not come immediately) WILL override all the negatives.

    For me…there is no negative…AGAIN “FOR ME” there is NO negative. I love my family of four. My son loves having a sister. When comes home from school the first thing he says is “where’s Scarlett?” Be blessed with a healthy child and try to stop thinking about what hasn’t happened.

    How about if it happens it happens…..? Have fun trying…;) It is a blessing 1 or 2 children either way. It is a very personal choice and I promise you if you decide to go for 2 it is EXTREMELY fulfilling.

    Everyone in todays world is pretty stressed. Everyone’s career is stressful. It all comes down to what “you” want in life.

    K…enough said from me. sorry to ramble. Good luck.

    p.s. my husband btw is equally thankful for baby 2. He now sees what it is like to have a sibling and loves it.

    Yvette Segal  |  July 7th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

  • Thank you for posting this blog. My husband and I have an almost 2 year old son and have been struggling with this issue for about a year now. I could have almost written your exact words.

    Neither of us really have the desire for another child and we agree that the only reason we would choose to would be to give our son a sibling. We want what is best for him, but which would be best? Would having a sibling really make a difference in his happiness or would he be just as happy as an only? That is where my struggles lie at this time.

    I believe what really matters is doing what is best for your family. I wish you luck with your decision and please know that you are not alone!

    Amy  |  July 14th, 2009 at 11:18 am

  • My husband and I also are facing this decision. Our precious daughter will turn three in two weeks. It is interesting to read all the posts. I do not think that providing a sibling should be the main reason you have another child. It is certainly not like getting a second dog to entertain the first one…many siblings are not close and have very little in common. There can be a lot of pain when sibling relationships are not good. I also do not think you should have another child to increase the chance that someone will be there to care for you when you are old. Also, I work in healthcare and it is my experience that even in large families it is usually one child that steps up to care for mom and dad as they age. I hear people saying that parents who only have one are selfish but I believe it is more selfish to bring another soul into the world for the wrong reasons.

    I also find it interesting that so many parents report that their children are great friends and playmates. I grew up with a younger sister (3 years apart) and I did not see her as a playmate. Usually a 6 year old wants to play with another 6 year old. I deeply loved my sister and we had lots of good times together but I would not have considered her a playmate…I was bored at times just like many only children are…when we got older we became much closer as friends but I also have several very close friends.

    When I observe my friend’s children, I do not often see the older siblings playing with the younger siblings. They usually go in opposite directions or fight. Saying that, I do see the benefit of siblings and the benefits of only children (both for the children and the parents).

    The good news to me is that there are pros and cons of every situation and every family. There is no right or wrong answer floating around out there. There is no perfect family. The decision you make will be right if it is right for your situation. I think you have to ignore all the social pressures to have more children (easier said than done) and make the decision based on your own heart. I believe you will know in your heart what is right for you and your family if you take the time to really soul-search. Whether it is one child or more - if you do what is in you heart - you will make the right decision.

    Lynn  |  July 16th, 2009 at 2:03 pm

  • I would say no, not a good reason. While yes its a plus to having another child - that your son or daughter may have a playmate or someone to be there for - its (in my opinion) not a good reason to have a baby. You daughter won’t be taking care of the child you will - and now you would have 2 to take care of one - some people just can’t juggle kids plus everything else life throws at us and thats why they have only one (and I know this isn’t the only reason people may have only one child). Like you said Nataly - you know siblings that get along great - some that are oK and some that don’t at all - And like you I have the blend in my family also. There is no way for you to predict that your kids will get along perfectly and be best friends - they may have opposite personalities and interests and fight all the time.
    I say if you want to have more kids it should be all about what you and your husband want and BIG BONUS if you children get along great and stay very close throughout their lives.
    And just as a side note - me and my sister are 11 years apart - we fought all the time when she was younger and not until now (she’s 14) are we getting along mostly and growing closer. While me and my brother are 1year and 8 months apart were best friends until high school and then drifted and now we are much closer again but he’s still a young college student and I have started a family so we have different interests.
    SO in summary if the ONLY reason someone wanted a second baby was to give the first a sibling I would tell that person to not have a second baby.

    mandy  |  July 23rd, 2009 at 4:36 pm

  • Hi
    Iam also having the same problem. My son is 5 and half years old.He feels very lonely and left out though Iam a stay at home mom. I have to entertain him all the time.
    But at play time, he treats me as a friend but when he uses some bad words , i mmediatelyc correct him
    Many a times he has aasked why we dont have another one.
    I have pco problem, so it is quite difficult for me to conceive, though the first one was a miracle.
    Now iam convinced my hubby for trying for a second one….god willing if it happens…my child also can enjoy growing with a sibling and we also will get the joy of holding babies again
    See my parents were working.i have an younger brother. So once they are gone to work, i always had the comfort there was someone with us.
    So if you are working there will be intial stress, may be you have to look for a a prt time, employ a maid, or take off from work from a short period. But if you are healthy please have one more kid. Your daughter may intiallly feel bad but later that child will be the greatest source of comfort for her.
    Also liffe is too short….what they become after they grow up is up to them…but while growing up we can ensure the importance of human relationship.
    So please do not hestitate and brood…..have another baby
    All the best

    poora  |  July 27th, 2009 at 11:54 pm

  • I do think that it is a pretty crappy reason to have another child because you want your child to have a “friend” to gow up with. But then, I think, how is that any less logical than, I want another child to feel complete as a mom. What if they grow up hating eachother, like me and my sister. But then I think about the few good times me and my sister have had in our life. We have just grown closer..at the ages of 19( her) and 23 (me). We enjoy the occasional ” bitch about the way our parents raised us” convos. We now fit into each other’s clothes and have an endless woredrob. We still fight and argue like grown men..but..at the end of the day..we know we can count on eachother to wipe our tears and just laugh with. So it leaves me to another question..I am currently a mom with one child..a 10mth old beautiful, healthy boy. I am now going over the thought of having another child or not. I wonder..should I wait longer…but then I think ..why should I ? I will always have a full time job with demanding hours. I will always have a supportive family and MONEY will never be PERFECT! I think ..what if my second child is a girl? Then my son will not have his “buddy” ..I think well my son has cousins..but the youngest is 8 yrs. old..so that means he will not have someone his age to be with at home when he wants to play superman..or legos…I don;t know what to do? I am so confused? Do I have another child soley becuase I am worried for my son who doesn’t even know if he is missing out on a sis/bro or not? Or do I take the chance of raising a bratty, lonely , extra mature for his age son? Any suggestions???

    Melissa  |  August 10th, 2009 at 1:02 pm

  • Melissa, you seem to have a prejudice against only children, which is wrong and ignorant. You could have 5 children and all of them could be bratty, extra mature, and even lonely.

    Sprite  |  September 15th, 2011 at 2:12 am

  • I have a unique situation. I am an only child now do to my sibling passing away. He was 9 years older so I know the experience of essentially growing up as practically an only and I know what it is to have a sibling too. Let me tell you that I LOVED having attentive parents who “indulged” me and never once as a child I wanted or needed anyone else around that was my age or near my age to play with…I find it amusing when people tell me now to have another child so the first has someone to play with! I didn’t have that, nor cared.. In fact, I love my alone time, crave it and pride myself in the fact how I don’t particularly “need” anyone. I am very comfortable in my own skin and I have wonderful, adoring, parents. It truly is a special relationship you share with your parents when you are an only or like an only child..
    With that said.. Their are things that me and my older brother shared that only a sibling can give.. Goofing on parents, a common past, someone to have when my parents pass away. However, I have my own daughter now and hopefully my daughter will have her own family by the time me and my husband leave this earth like I do and then not feel so alone. I wouldn’t have traded me and my brother’s relationship for anything in this world but remember an only child wouldn’t know any different. Am I going to have another? Like you– I am not totally sure yet. Just keep in mind that me and so many others have to face the world, burying parents without a sibling.. It is what it is. Would I love my brother to be here to help me? Sure, but I am a mature adult and will get through it like other things in life.

    g  |  October 15th, 2011 at 5:08 pm

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