How to Be a Dad

How to Be a Dad

Should We Have Another Baby?

Posted by on May 30th, 2011, under NOTEBOOK

Be Quiet, Dada!

My head has been a mental maraca with these kinds of thoughts lately. The question of whether or not my wife and I should embark on having a second child has been lingering. I know it’s not just my decision, but I want to be certain with my own stance on it.

Two brothersShortly after this picture was taken of my brother and I, the riot squad was called in.

Growing up with my younger brother was a continual contest of strength, strategy and wit. And by that, I mean we basically beat the living sh*t out of each other all the time. It must have been a herculean effort for our single mom to raise us and I can’t imagine what what she went through when we entered puberty. My poor, poor mother.

But, the differences between my childhood and this phantom second child’s would be many. We don’t have a single-parent situation, my son wouldn’t likely react as I did to an added sibling and stun guns are way more powerful these days. Finally, on the off chance we’d have a girl then every variable would be in complete flux anyway…

But I can’t shake the feeling of constant and impending overwhelm that’s present nearly every day. Financially, there is nothing urging us, telling us ‘you can handle it’ and our resources have hit max capacity with Finn in many ways.

So, it appears the most ardent supporter of our adding another kidlet would be our innate desire to procreate. Right? It’s not an easy thing to deliberate. Maybe you guys know something I don’t?

But let’s break this thing down a bit further and be brutally honest.

IN FAVOR
A few reasons having another baby might be a good idea…


I dare you not to want to make another of these… Finn at 9 months

1. Love without measure: Finn’s ability to make me laugh, make me proud, make me realize why I became a parent in the first place is so immense, that I imagine a second child would overflow my cup of happiness even more. 1 + 1 = ∞
2. Finn would have a friend: He would gain a buddy or “buddette”. Wow, I just realized I’m illiterate.
3. Have them closer together: If we did it (proverbially) sooner, we could condense the whole teething, no sleep, screaming into a shorter period. Yikes.
4. Kids with siblings are more well-rounded: Wait a sec. Not true. I’m pretty effed up and have siblings. I know plenty of wonderful, genius-level people who were single kids. So scratch that.
5. We know more now: Hahahahahahahahaha…
6. The miracle of birth: Watching my son being born was an ultimate, joyful, profound experience. Like a skydiver on his second try, I could breathe in the adventure that much more, without the terror-soiled jump suit.
7. My growth as a person: I’ve learned more and become more of an adult than ever before. Until we had Finn, I thought I wasn’t a lazy narcissist. I now know I was wrong.
8. A petty reason: I know other fathers that have multiple kids who are lesser men than I. Shouldn’t I be able to take on the challenge?
9. My wife is a pro: Avara gave birth to Finn in under four hours. The nurses in the hospital were practically insisting she have 17 babies.
10. My family isn’t complete: I can’t describe it. I’m not looking for an egotistical copy of myself. I just have a sense that we’re not done.

NOT IN FAVOR
A few reasons having another baby might be a horrible idea…

Sometimes you gotta hit the ground cryingPlease stop talking about this in a public forum, dada. I’m gonna write a book!

1. I’m not a great father: I love my son, Finn. I love being with him and protecting him and trying to teach him. But I am not the paragon of fatherhood. In fact, I’m calling Child Services on myself right now.
2. We can’t hack it: Physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and otherwise, I feel pretty tapped out. I’d hate to give two kids half of what I don’t got now.
3. Those first few months: I look back on those first few months like a Vietnam Vet flashes back to being deployed into a jungle bristling with booby traps of dung-encrusted bamboo stakes. Oh the horror. It’s an experience that shaped me, but do I want to jump out of that chopper again?
4. There are so many children out there without parents: We could adopt. This one is a not-in-favor/in-favor thought. Why should celebrities get all joys of adoption? Regular people, in some ways, are better at it.
5. The turbulent world: I’m not saying people should discontinue making babies, but these are trying and challenging times. I have to examine the world to which I am gifting this baby.
6. We’re only 19 months out the gate: Maybe it’s too soon? It feels like we’re getting back certain areas of our life that became complete and exhausted chaos. It’s a small price to pay for raising a child, but going back to “normal” is starting to grow on me again… like athlete’s foot.

We talk about this every other day. The decision, if you want to call it that, changes as often. To make matters worse, TONS of our friends are moving on to Round 2, and TONS of you bloggers and commenters are on Round 2. Thanks for making it easier on us…

But there is one thought that keeps me up at night. It’s a bit morbid but I feel like it comes from a truthful place inside. It’s the thought that one day, when Avara and I are dead and gone, my son will be alone. Sure, he’ll have cousins and uncles and people who cherish him but he won’t have someone of his blood who knows him as only a sister or brother could. And that thought, wakes me from sleep and rouses me as I lay down.
 

Comment what YOU think (below),
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158 Comments

158 Responses to “Should We Have Another Baby?”

  1. Charlie, I was just going to write about this. Though I hadn’t gathered my courage yet to be so open about my feelings of wanting another child. I can’t explain it either, but I feel that I’m not done. We’re not a complete family yet.

    And having just read your last point? I’m so going to have #2, more sleepless nights, feeds, poopy diapers, money etc be damned!

    Good luck, you guys!

  2. piper says:

    I was/am an only child. It sucked. Even more so as an adult. We have an almost 6yr old and a 3yr old. Boy and a girl, boy older. They fight all the time. But protect each other with that same energy. Have another, totally worth it.

    • charlie says:

      I love “They fight all the time. But protect each other with that same energy.” Totally understand that one.

    • Shain says:

      I’m an only child, and I loved it as a child and it’s all I’ve known as an adult, so… I had an extremely close relationship with my (now late) mother and I’m very close to my father. I’m very self-aware, happy in my own company but have close friends and lots of mates. My husband’s one of five. We had our son four years ago, and we feel like our family is very much complete. Financially we couldn’t afford another child, and we only ever really wanted one. Our reasoning was “once you reach perfection, you stop”! Our son is loving, sociable, close to his (eight!) cousins, smart and definitely benefits from having more of our attention than many of his peers get from their parents. And we still get to be husband and wife and lovers without every ounce of our strength going on our children. It doesn’t occur to me that I’ll be left alone when my 2nd parent dies (how depressing!) – I have my husband, son, aunt, uncle, nieces, nephews, etc, etc, etc! Oh yeah, and friends – the family you choose! ;-)

      But you’ll probably go on to have another one or two. The vast majority of people seem to think that you need a certain number of people in a family for it to be a “real family”. I don’t get it, but I don’t question it either. Unlike the people who tell us how selfish we are to “only” have one and ask us when we’re going to “give our son a brother or sister” [sigh]…

      • Sarah says:

        I’m so right there with you. We have a four year old girl and immediately after she came I knew I was done. Luckily my husband felt the same. I kept waiting for the feeling to change and to want a sibling like seemingly every other parent I know, but it still hasn’t. In fact it’s been reinforced over and over again. I still know no one IRL that only has one by choice, but we know it’s the right choice for us.

        I relate to nearly everything in the blog post except not feeling complete. My family is completely complete!

        • Amy says:

          Thankful to have read this from both of you. :-) My husband and I have a 19 month old son. I love him more than I ever could have imagined. We have decided to only have 1. My husband is an only child and I have 7 other siblings. I am the oldest. I love my siblings, but my husband is not lacking because he had none. I love the time I have with my little boy and I personally feel like I would be torn and miss parts of his life if I had another child. I know it works out and I know you love them all, but I guess being the oldest, I feel my parents missed out on things in my life. I had to share everything, got less than my friends did with less siblings. So I do not see the harm in only having one. He too has lots of cousins and friends. :) So thank you. Just nice to read we are not alone.

  3. Breann says:

    Part of me thinks that if you are thinking about it this hard, you are ready for a 2nd child. But I am still in the “Holy crap my life is unrecognizable” stage with a 6 month old so.. asking me if I want another gets you the death stare.

  4. Kristina says:

    I hear ya 100%. We’re on the fence too. RC currently insists we’re a one kid family, but I’ve told him I haven’t fully decided either way. We finally came to the agreement that 1) We aren’t planning one. But if it happened, it happened – and of course we’d be so happy. 2) If it didn’t happen in the next few years, then we’d consider adopting. And that’s only if we were in the uber comfortable position to do so. That’s where we stand right now. :) Honestly, maybe by the time they’re 2 or 3 it all becomes clearer?!?! Who knows.

    • charlie says:

      I’m hoping it becomes clearer. But I also don’t want to wait for that divine intervention of time to tell me. I guess we’ll both seeeeeee!!!!!

  5. Kristina says:

    Oh and I wanted to say, I come from a big family of brothers. (3 total). I’m the only girl. And while I love them. I was never super close to them. My mom and I however are best friends. So, does it really matter in the end? Is having another kid, just so you’re first can have a “sibling” or someone to “grow up with”, really the right reason?! That’s what bothers me about the whole subject. If I have another one, it has to be for the exact reasons why I had the first. That they were made out of love and not convenience. :)

  6. My vote’s in favor. My wife and I are no more experts than you guys, but we’re doing ok. Our kids are 33mo, 19.5mo, and 3mo (2 boys and a girl, respectively). We’re aiming for 1 or 2 more before we’re done. :)

    • charlie says:

      ohmygosh, you’re a machine! that’s amazing. i look at the parents of 3-5 young kids and i immediately think “superhero, no doubt.” you must be endowed with super-parenting mutant powers. right?

  7. serena says:

    Charlie, you are hilarious. I was laughing so hard while reading this.
    You don’t give yourself enough credit, you seem like an awesome dad, don’t sell yourself short. I already have 4 kids. I started way too young and have made millions of mistakes. I can not afford to have this many kids and we do lots of second hand clothes and hand me downs. We are constantly struggling and trying to keep our head above water. It does not help that I have a child who is allergic to everything and that triples out grocery bill. That being said, i wouldn’t do anything differently. My husband and I make tons of mistakes but our children know we came from tough backgrounds and know we are doing the very best we can, children are amazingly resilient and forgiving. One thing that helps them through the tough times is each other. It is hard to make it but you find a way. Kids dont need as much crap as we think they do and having a sibling teaches them so much. My kids are already masters at conflict resolution. Watching them all together is the most amazing thing, I can watch them for hours. They love each other so much and when they dont its like having WWF in my back yard.
    So anyhow, that is my opinion. I am sure if you don’t have anymore children Finn will still grow up to be a totally together guy because he has awesome parents.

    • charlie says:

      Incredible comment, Serena. Thank you for taking the time and the compliments. Geez. I probably under-sell myself, but I’d rather be cautious optimistic than blindly jump into it, ya know?

  8. Do it now while you still have the strength.

  9. Wendy says:

    I’m in favor. I wasn’t ‘complete’ until we had 3. Granted my kids are all 4 years apart. Part nature and part planning, but I got a few full night’s sleep and even a break from diapers in between. In all honesty, I didn’t really become a better mother until the third. Every child is so different, and my 3 are completely different from myself and my siblings. Ask my mother.

    Financially, and in other ways, I believe that when time is right and it’s meant to be, it comes easy. The simple fact that you are having a deep personal debate about it is a good sign that you are a good parent. I have no more money now than we did when I had the first one, but we have never gone without. It just works. You can’t really see how the budget will work until it needs to work.

  10. Stephanie G says:

    Liam is now 2 months old and I’m loving having these two little guys every day. And please note I am home with them all day every day. If anyone has a right to be going crazy and not wanting any more kids it me. But I still want 3 more :-) plus, in a few more months they will be able to play together which will make it that much easier. And like you said above, you love and happiness an laughing completely doubles – super theta. Also, while I may have just gotten lucky, Liam is such an easy baby. He is not at all phased by Braelyn’s shrill screams and loud noises. I think this has a lot to do with her being loud during my pregnancy. And ive heard the second child is usually easier anyway :-)

    My final pitch to you will be bringing Liam over so you and Avara can hold him – that will at the very least sell Avara hehehe!

    • charlie says:

      First of all, you are superwoman. I think we also got a very active little monkey on our hands. This guy wants to do backflips and explore. That needs its own attention to a certain degree.

      And we DO need to see Liam, but I hope Avara will be immune to his baby cuteness enough to hold off until we fully decide… :)

      • Wendy says:

        Beware the “second is easier” stories… It is not entirely true. Some things, yes, like changing diapers in the dark at 3 am is easier the second time. But, my first born is a totally easy going, quiet little man, second is spiderman and always moving. And my third, my little girl is super smart and getting into everything much quicker than my boys did. Also, I now have 3 kids to have nightmares or growing pains or just plain wake me up during the nights…
        Every child is different. We love them all the same. But it is NOT necessarily easier.

  11. Stephanie G says:

    Oh and Braelyn waved at the video of you and Finn, so she days hi :-)

  12. Matthew H says:

    We were going to wait 4-5 years after our son was born to have our second. Ha! Our children are 21 months apart and I wouldn’t have it any other way. We have a boy and a girl, ages 3 and 1 and we are getting everything out of the way now. (#3). Also, since I am an older dad (43), it makes more sense to have them close together.

    Also, I disagree about single children being better. Every only child I’ve ever known has a hard time thinking about anybody else and the conversation invariably circles back to them. The weird thing is that they don’t know that they are doing it even as adults. It’s all they know. Every Christmas is all about them, every conversation at the dinner table was about them, and they never had to compromise. Now I came from a family of 6 kids, and I’m not suggesting that, but you need to have one more so that your son (and new child) learn the art of compromise.

    Another thing, the point about the world that the child would be born into? There have always been problems. Pioneer women facing attacks from tribes of Native Americans, unsanitary conditions at the turn of the 20th Century, the threat of nuclear war in the 60′s and 70′s, etc. I do like your idea of adoption, because there are many babies out there that need good homes.

    Anyway, enough of my yakking. I enjoy your tweets and blog!

    • charlie says:

      Hey Matthew, I hope I didn’t make it sound like single children are better or worse. Honestly, they’re children. I have experiences showing both. It’s the parents’ responsibility to validate their child without feeding a sort of self-centeredness.

      Great point about the pioneer women and I love your comment. So in depth and thoughtful. :)

  13. Ed Smith says:

    Do it now. Its harder when you’re older. I’m 42 and have a 21 month old, 5 yr old and 17 yr old. If you’re waiting for the perfect time, you’ll wait a long time.
    My little girl picks things up so much faster with siblings. It’s amazing. Kids minds really are like sponges so with siblings there’s more info to soak up.
    My 17 yr old and I have our routine down for when the boys come calling in 12 or 13 years. He’ll answer the door with an aluminum baseball bat, I’ll be cleaning my gun. Little sis will be well protected and her boyfriends will be thoroughly intimidated!

    • charlie says:

      Baseball bat and gun cleaning!!!! AMAZING!!

      Yes, youth is a valuable commodity. I definitely don’t want to squander it on misgivings and doubts.

  14. Dawn says:

    You are right, your family isn’t complete yet. I definitely see a second Capen on the horizon.

    • charlie says:

      Oh, Dawn. So simply and effectively put. It’s predictions like that which make everything seem clearer. Can’t wait for your little boy. We need to come visit Europe and all meet up.

      And what an AMAZING room you’ve given him. Everyone needs to click Dawn’s name above and check out the INSANELY BEAUTIFUL room they’ve created for her son-to-be.

  15. I’m in the one-child van. It’s easier and smells better.

  16. andy says:

    This post and its topic make my head want to explode and it made me laugh my neather regions off.

    We’ve got the Jeopardy theme music playing in the background of our lives as well on this question. The comment thread makes me feel like **I** should get pregnant! With octuplets!!! Man!

    You are all amazing. This is the most profound feedback we’ve ever had and it is very flattering and very appreciated. Wow!

  17. Desiree says:

    1. Gender of siblings has nothing to do with fighting or not.

    2. I can’t speak for only-child households en toto, but I do know that most of the people who I would tag as selfish are self-professed only-children.

    3. Thank God I had twins, because I wanted more than one kid, but would never have done that twice in a row. Hell no.

    • Desiree says:

      By the way, in case my comment sounds like an argument against more, it’s not. Have as many as you can. Do you remember the moral of Idiocracy? Good, smart, funny people need to breed more, to combat a future of having a pro wrestler for a President.

      • charlie says:

        1. No, but my son loves helping other children, especially little girls. He already has a very paternal/fraternal instinct. That would’ve been on the list too. He effing loves helping other kids.

        2. When there’s an obsession on BEING an only child, that probably figures into the mix.

        3. Smart. Double up and done.

  18. Jessica says:

    If you are really not sure, then I say wait a little bit more. You can have another in year or two even, and Finn and the imaginary sibling will not be too far apart in age and perhaps you and Avara will feel even more secure both financially and holistically by then…. its not like Finn is six already and Avara turned 49… you have time, use it to your advantage. I’m sure if you decide to have a second child you will devour it with just as much love as you have been doing with Finn and if you don’t and you go the adoption route.. same idea.. OR if you choose to stick just with Finn, it will be fine too. But no need to rush since it is a very serious decision, and warrants all this great internal and external dialogue.. whatever you and your family decide will be fantastic.. just give it the time it seems to be asking for..

    • charlie says:

      Time is a bit of a consideration. My wife is older than I am. But we’re definitely not going to rush something this important. No reason to make it harder.

      In the end, it’s a self-imposed question anyway. There’s no NECESSITY to do it other than a survival-type impulse and a desire to bring to the world someone we know we’ve taught well enough to help out humanity or just make awesome fart jokes.

  19. saraflate says:

    I’m telling you…once he hits 3 life will be gravy again and the strange “parent amnesia” kicks in. The first 2 years of Luna’s life seem to have gone by quicker than the summer breeze. When I reeeeeally try to remember those early months…I get nervous about doing it again. But then I just remember how it seems like nothing in the bigger picture now. Field trips, slumber parties, packing her lunch for school, endless art projects, learning to read (!), oyoyoy- the amazing is just ahead of you. We decided that we’ve love to be right back here in 3-4 years while we’re still young…only with 2 kids. We have no fucking clue HOW we’re going to do it. But we know we’re damn good at this and we’ll never run out of ways to make shit go right.

    Maybe wait a bit if you must. I think the urge will overcome you when the timing is right for you. Just fucking do it. =)

  20. For me, coming from a family with a very close older sister (2+ years older), there was a big difference between one and two kids. When we had the one kid, we were a couple with a kid. When we had the second one, we became a family. And I understand not everyone will see it like that, but that’s the way I saw it.

    I hope we will all be in your thoughts when you have unprotected sex.

  21. [...] from How To Be A Dad asks the world, “Should We Have Another Baby?” and manages to come up with some of the most compelling pros I’ve seen in a while. PS [...]

  22. Liza@Blahggy says:

    We are going through the exact same thing. And #3 on why NOT to have a kid? Yeah, couldn’t have said it better. In the first week, given the option, I MIGHT have taken it all back.
    Oh, and I think ALL THE TIME about Sailor being alone one day when we’re dead and gone if we don’t have another. BUT, I’m an only child and so is my husband. Hopefully, as my dad pointed out, you hope by that time that Finn has a wife and family and he will be far from alone.
    AND, there’s always the possibility that the siblings won’t like each other when they’re older. I know entirely too many siblings like that. Or, at the least, who just don’t talk or see each other much.

  23. Desiree says:

    Loved this, Charlie! Who cares what I think? I’m just a wholly acknowledged and self-proclaimed lazy narcissist (and I like it that way…SEE?) Anyway, if having children was based on analytical evaluation, history would — well, there wouldn’t be any. I say have 3 more (1 more for you and 2 more for the ones I didn’t have). Oh, and make sure you check with Avara first.

  24. Samantha says:

    I can’t help but comment on your last thought, especially since I’ve been thinking about that time as well, the time after my folks pass on. I’m 35, my brother is 42 and my folks are in their mid and late 60′s.

    My brother and I live in two different states and he is not the best communicator. He is a ball of fun when I visit him and my mom in the state they both live, but forget a brother motivated phone call or email and rarely a text, one on my birthday is about it. And when I reach out to him I almost never get a response, so it’s not from a lack of effort on my part.

    Granted we come from divorced parents (I was 5 and he was 12 when it happened) so our dynamic is different from your family, which is a given no matter what, but I honestly wonder if I will have someone in him, in the way you describe it, after our folks are gone. It seems that even if you have another child, it doesn’t mean they will have the connection you want or hope for to squelch that fear.

    I will be forwarding your blog onto a good friend of mine who just had his first this May 2011. Hopefully it helps him navigate these new waters.

    Thanks for sharing so intimately. All at once it’s refreshing and informative.

    • charlie says:

      Samantha,

      Thanks for your thoughtful response. You sound like someone from my hometown in San Francisco, the way you speak. Divorce and death are the great separators in some ways. And I have siblings (half siblings) that I rarely talk to, although I wish I did more… but at least there would be a physical anchor in the world.

      I would love to care for a little girl someday. It might just be the stuff of dreams. I do feel complete with my little Irishman.

  25. Craig Grella says:

    I have an eight month old, and I cannot imagine having another one right now. Not even in another 9 months from now. Too soon, for sure. Our little one has been sleeping through the nite for sometime now, and the thought of more sleepless nights outweighs the thoughts of us being dead and our daughter being alone. At least for now that’s the case. Our friend just found out she’s pregant with her second, so I’m sure my wife will start bugging me about it now too. You do need two to tango…

  26. Great article. We are going through this ourselves. I want #2 b/c I’ve always known I’d have more than one, but DH is fine with just 1. This is not what we talked about before we got married. He remembers how hard those first few months were and financially it’s tight. But to your point in your last paragraph, I don’t want my DD to be alone. I’ve seen friends who are only children suffer a lot at being alone now that their parents are gone. They feel so alone.

    • charlie says:

      I understand that experience. I totally do. And I know we are capable of making things happen when we want them and are willing to put the work in. I just don’t want to sacrifice my relationship with Finn or my wife by doing it or doing it too early, if I want to do it. :)

  27. Jenny says:

    Do it. Proverbially and literally. Your kid is too gorgeous to just abandon the gene pool now. There are far too many ugly people in the world. We need to balance it with extra beautiful kids. DO IT.

    • charlie says:

      Dear Sex Coach Jenny,

      Why don’t you and your husband do it and keep your doing it to yourselves. :)

      Just kidding. Thank you for the compliments, but I think a beautiful baby should be backed by a beautiful family who can support a beautiful life.

      Besides, you redheads are the ones in danger of extinction. Propagate that!

  28. rikard says:

    If you’re raising the question you’re probably the kind of parent who would do well taking care of more than one kid. It’s the people who don’t intend on having kids, much less one kid, that have trouble.

  29. dadand:Pete says:

    I think I was spoiled with the one I have now. She’s awesome, smart, behaved, polite, funny, etc etc etc.. The one thing my ex and I DID figure out how to do together was somehow pull off the first 2 years without a hitch, and I’ve done 3 more years on my own just fine, well one trip to the ER for stitches in the bean’s forehead, but I digress. So it scares me that another child might be SO OPPOSITE and be a TERROR.

    From what i know about you from our conversations you’re a caring husband, a sensitive artist (that’s a good thing, not mocking like king missile http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-kHB2fWUS8), and a loving father. To me, that means adding another cub to the pride wouldn’t breaka your stride. (yeah that rhymed)

    So I guess you follow your heart. or just do what your wife wants.

  30. dude. we are in the same exact place.

    Scot wants another like, a year ago. i got stuff to do like travel and drink wine and the whatnot and well, while me being pregnant can suck for him (the yelling and the demands and whatnot), it sucks more for me. i love being pregnant (well i did last time) but let’s be real – it’s exhausting, gross (i barfed for 5 months) and it ends with a baby. right now we have a toddler who sleeps for 12 hours a night. i know it’s selfish, but i’m not ready to give up my sleep again. first time around you’re all blissfully ignorant. but KNOWING how hard the first few months are? it’s hard for me to cosign on that.

    but! the further along we get the more comfy we are with having such luxuries as sleep and things. so i feel like we need to get this party started. and like you, i KNOW we aren’t done. shit, maybe we need 2 more. oh the many many factors!

    this comment has been no help. but i’m here. for you.

    p.s. you guys freaking rule.
    p.p.s. MODED.

  31. Kye says:

    Hi Charlie,
    Popping over from your link on dooce. Great site!
    We just had our first little guy three months ago. During my horrific pregnancy, and the couple of weeks that followed the birth, I would have said ‘no way hosé’ when it came up on what we thought about having more kids. But now that we’re in a routine and are seeing those first smiles and laughs out of him – well, we’re already talking about having a second. Just going to be a matter of time, and a little planning, in case of another brutal pregnancy. I’m actually shocked that I’m even considering it again — but when I look at our son now, I know that it’s totally worth it in the end.
    I think you really know deep down if another one is in the cards. I believe that even with what we went through with our first, we’ve always known that we wouldn’t be complete without another. Possibly the fact that you’re questioning whether you should have another or not, and weighing the various reasons if you’re “ready” (no one is ever ready for kids. Ever :P), it’s pretty apparent that it should happen.
    I say, jump in with both feet. Do you really think you’ll regret it?

  32. Tracy says:

    When LJ was about 3 weeks old, I called my mom late one afternoon hysterically threatening to put the child in a cardboard box at the foot of the stoop with a sign that says, “Free baby!”. Those first 2 months were AWFUL. Everyone kept saying, “Oh, enjoy every second because it goes so quickly!”… and that made me feel REALLY shitty, because I WANTED it to go quickly. Desperately. The zombie-like sleep deprivation riddled me with anxiety. I would stare at her while she was crying and i literally had no idea what she needed from me (besides the obvious). So frustrating. Like parenting boot camp.

    That, coupled with my awful delivery made me not even think about having another one. I knew that I *wanted* one… but i wanted it to arrive as a one-year old. So we waited.

    Now LJ will be 3 this weekend, and I decided I’m ready. We went to Mexico last week, and I found myself feeling a little sad that she didn’t have a sibling to play with. Going on vacay with just your parents must be a little bit lame- she needed some sibling hijinks. (Or at least someone to play with while mommy and daddy wanted to drink Dos Equis and lay on the beach). She’s old enough now that i would never need a double stroller. I would never have 2 kids in diapers. I would never have to pay for 2 kids in preschool at the same time. It’s time.

    The only problem is our living sitch. We can’t afford some nice-sized 3 bedroom (or even a huge 2 bedroom) in our neighborhood of Bklyn, but we’re unwilling to move out of the city. So we’re just going for it anyway. I mean, is there ever really a “perfect time” financially? There might never be for us, at least.

    I say go for it… BUT, maaaaybe wait until your son is 2.

    Also, I’m sure you’re a great dad. I mean, you have a dad blog for christ’s sake. ;)

  33. DonnaKaye says:

    Charlie: I don’t have children and am not married, but I’m an Aunt to a 8yr old girl and a 4yr old boy. And I’ve been ‘Aunt’ to my best friends’ kids since before the oldest was born. I’ve been reading your blog with Andy and this is my .02…

    If you and your wife feel that you should have another in a couple of years, then do it. I guess I would ask this question of you: how long did it take you guys to get pregnant with Finn? If it was fairly easy, then I would suggest waiting. But if it took quite a while, then pick a ‘time’ that you would want to start trying for Finn’s sibling (say when Finn turns X age) and go backwards to the amount of time it took to conceive Finn. That way 1) you have a cushion of time for conception 2) you would, in theory, be ready for the new baby. Again, it’s only my opinion. I have one sister 2 yrs younger than me and WE have 4 step-brothers and sisters all older. Its funny, we run 2 yrs apart starting from my sister all the way up to the 2nd oldest sister, from there, its only a year a part. My sister and I didn’t grow up with them, but I know that if all of our parents had passed, I’d be able to rely on them. But that is my story. I wish you both the peace of mind to make the right decision for you both. But if you guys can make another one as adorable and gorgeous as Finn, you should reproduce.

    all my best: (love your column. gives me great insight in understanding dads)

  34. Cambria says:

    I have two beautiful little girls. Who are 20 months apart. And I’m not going to lie… We’ve been in the trenches. Not that I’d change it for a moment. But it’s “hair on fire” most of the time.

    The are now almost three and 14 months. They play together. Fight. Play together. Fight. But the best part is that they snuggle and love each other. They are excited to see each other in the morning and after they’ve been away from each other. My oldest takes care of her sister. It’s all so sweet. I feel like they not only have a playmate in each other, but a soul mate. It’s wonderful.

    We didn’t plan our babies. I am not going to say they are accidents, because things happened they way they were meant to. In fact, we found out we were pregnant very early on in our dating relationship! I won’t go into those details, but she was what we needed. And then we learned we were pregnant when our first was 12 months old. YIKES! We were buying a house in another state, preparing to leave my home state of California to move somewhere where we only knew each other. And here I was. Pregnant. And committed to spending thousands of dollars on a house in another state away from my support system.

    My biggest worry was what this would do to my now (almost) three year old. How would she react? Would she be angry? Could I possibly love another human being the way I do her?

    And you know what? It all worked out. Sure we had an adjustment period, which hindsight could’ve been worse. She wasn’t mad, she loved her sister. The biggest thing is that I realized that my heart just grew! I could love two people so fiercely!

    My point is, I am happy we have two. I wouldn’t change a thing. Even when I think things happened in sort of inconvenient/strange times, they happened. They are my whole world.

    I say do it! They are going to fight and do not so great things, but they are pretty incredible. And the incredible far outweighs the not so great things. I

    OK, I could talk forever on this. I just feel beyond lucky to have created such beautiful creatures.

    DO IT!

  35. brandy says:

    Oh you can’t stop now. What’s that saying? “Misery loves company?” Juuuuuuust kidding. Seriously 2 is easier than 1, 3 is the same as 2, and 4 kind of fucks it all up. So the way I see it, you have to hurry the fuck up (literally).

  36. We are in the same boat at our house. Our son is now two, and my friends who were pregnant when I was pregnant have already had number two. How they manage? I have no idea since I am still figuring out how to deal with one child. Since we made the big 1000+ move to Pittsburgh last year, I’ve been working freelance. Money is beyond tight. All of my logic tells me to NOT try for baby 2.0 right now…but that damned biological clock is effing loud!

  37. Non-Stop Mom says:

    OK, I’m a single mom. Right now (for a few more days) my kids are 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 (cool, huh?). But the youngest will soon turn 4 and jack up the whole They’re Two Years Apart Sequence. Anyway….I didn’t plan on having 5, but it just kind of happened that way. It’s a crazy life, but it works. They fight constantly, but the older 3 have been gone for the last 10 days with their father and they all miss each other so much. I like that they’re this close together in age, but having 3 boys in diapers at the same time was a bit rough. My mother had 6 of us spread out over 21 years, and I can’t imagine having to constantly “start over”. I know for a fact that there will be no more, and therefore I will not be changing another diaper any time in the near future (I hear angels singing on that one).

  38. jon long says:

    I just started following you on twitter on June 3rd and I gotta say that I was laughing my tail off about this post! My wife and I have a beautiful 18 month old girl, and she is 12 weeks into her (our) 2nd. It was a surprise, and I have had a lot of the same thoughts that you expressed in this post! I look forward to reading more hilarity and from my point of view you should go for it! Good luck and have faith, it seems to all work out even if you think it will not.

  39. Charlie …
    Great post. Honest. Sincere. And certainly one I can relate too. Every one of those thoughts you shared, went through my mind before too. Ultimately … my wife and I decided #2 was a great idea and will be here in a matter of a few weeks. Some days I think it’ll be awesome. Other days it freaks the living hell out of me.

    Of the advice I’ve been given … 2 is not twice as much work as 1. It is nearly 10x as much work. I’ll report back in a few weeks and let you know my thoughts.

    Keep up the great work here!

  40. Mae says:

    You said it yourself, your family doesn’t feel complete, yet. And you don’t want to leave him all alone.

    I’m an only child and I can tell you from my perspective, I feel very much alone a lot of the time, despite wonderful family and friends.

    And I can only assume it’s going to get worse as my parents age and eventually die.

    I want a larger family for a lot of reasons, but not leaving my daughter alone is definitely in my top 5.

    PS love the blog, you guys are awesome.

  41. Cheryl says:

    Hey there! I just had my second son in February, and you can add another notch to both the in favor/not in favor lists…

    In Favor: at 5yo, my first often entertains my second for me and loves to help (getting diapers, feeding, etc.) – huge bonus!

    Not In Favor: kid #2 gets frustrated way more easily than kid #1 did because he sees kid #1 running around like a maniac and wants to (but can’t yet) join in the fun.

  42. Maggie a says:

    Love this post!! My son is 19 months and we feel the same way. Many friends are onto number 2 and we just cannot wrap our heads around it. However, the thought of leaving my son alone when we pass away haunts me. I think we may just have to take another one for the team.

  43. Chris says:

    I am an only child and I would like to share two thoughts…

    1. To those commentors who say that only children are self-absorbed and unable to talk about anyone other than themselves – I would be happy to have a conversation with you that is all about you and what an arrogant, narrow-minded ass-hat you are.

    2. If I could go back in time and ask my parents for one thing it would be for a sibling. We just buried my mom last week and I can tell you I would give just about anything to have a brother or a sister to lean on right now.

    • charlie says:

      You just stabbed in the stomach laughing with #1 and stabbed me in the heart with #2. Killing me.

    • Anne says:

      Dear Chris,

      I am so sorry for your loss.

      I do have a sibling and she began stealing from me at 7. She stole from all relatives by age 10. She was kicked out of school for stealing from teachers and classmates. All of my family’s money and energy went into her endless rehab stints, unplanned pregnancies, special schools, and bail. When our father died two weeks before I delivered Baby 1 she was not to be found.

      There are no guarantees that a sibling will provide comfort or support yet fully understand that deep desire.

  44. Stacey says:

    I as a one of seven children think that you should have another child. Sometime I want to beat the living day lights out of my brothers and sisters but personally I think that it made me a better person; it helped me gain knowledge on sharing, charitable behaviour and how to be a generally nice person.

  45. Mike D. says:

    I have a 2 1/2 y/o, and a 4mo. old…Being a Dad is he best thing I have ever done. Yeah some days are better than others, but thats life! I have an older brother, and he has been an amazing friend/mentor for me. My wife and I went through the same thoughts you are going thru now…It all works itself out, I would NOT change a thing! Charlie, I wish you luck, its not an easy decision…

  46. I think you just about echoed the entire human race when deciding about having a second child. I only have a 6-mo-old and I’m starting to think about it. Yikes. I’m still having Nam flashbacks that leave me peeing my pants – oh wait, that’s actually because I haven’t done my kegels.

    • charlie says:

      The number of moms that sneeze or laugh and pee just a little bit, would at best guess, be every mom. :)

      It’s a universal question I think, for the most part, for parents. Do we or don’t we. One of those open-ended deals…

  47. maddie says:

    Economist Brian Caplan wrote a book titled ‘Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids’ and I highly recommend his book.

    If you were 60 and the kids all move on, they’ll give you grandkids. Your life will be full of children’s laughter for a long time.

    You rarely hear about people wishing that they had fewer kids.

    The more you have, the likelier you’ll get one to change your diapers.

    It’s a lot cheaper for the next kids because you don’t run out and buy all the fancy gizmos you ‘thought’ you needed the first time around.

    but the best part of having more kids is that they are all so different and it makes life really fun! The number of special moments multiply.

    If they get obnoxious, you could do what I do and buy a bunch of test-tubes and put them in the freezer. Threaten to make more and dilute their inheritance.

    btw. mine where all accidents. uh..luck.

  48. jetts31 says:

    You’ll never believe you can handle it until you actually have the 2nd one. I was pretty sure I couldn’t handle one let alone 2. I think you can list all the pro’s and con’s and what it will come down to is you and your wife’s heart. What is that telling you? Listen to that because you’ll never have enough money, time, or patience but sure as hell you’ll have enough love and really, isn’t that the most important thing? Oh, that and the 2nd tax credit you’ll get on your taxes.

  49. KittyCadaver says:

    If you feel tapped out… especially emotionally, and financially, then you’re at your limit for now. Re-evaluate that after awhile. You haven’t even hit the terrible twos so I’d hate to see you with another child while you go through sleep deprivation while financially shelling out more. Btw. The terrible twos don’t mean while the child is two. It means about two years of really super intense training… for you. lol. Going from 1 to 2 children is a huge adjustment. After having 3, it’s just another gallon of milk, and after 5, hell, you don’t even notice there are any more. Good luck making your decision. I will end with saying, a house doesn’t really need a ton of money to be a happy home, but there MUST BE ENDLESS love and patience.

  50. Laurie says:

    yeah, have another one, and asap.
    hubby and I planned on the one, but God decided that we were going to have a second. She screamed the minute she arrived, and continued for 12 more weeks.
    On week 13, she turned into the happiest kid on the planet, and still is.
    Her big sister and her are great friends. Oh they bicker and fight, as they are very different people.

    But they also snuggle.

    I’m glad it happened they way it did for us. The first couple of years were quite the challenge, but totally worth it.

    I have always believed that if you are 75% in, to have another one, than you might as well be 100% in.

    good luck and great blog!

  51. As a girl with two brothers and three sisters, whose father died ten years ago, I have to say, I feel more alone having siblings than if I had dealt with my father’s death with just my perspective in play. We have all grown apart in substantial, somewhat irreparable ways over the years (Dad was a tortured, complicated man who left a mess of shell shocked kids behind) and having so many people you’re supposed to feel close to feel like strangers you have to force yourself to find common ground with is heartbreaking.

    Blood does not equal “family” in the end. Family is who is there for you when the chips are down. Your son will have close friends, and hopefully a life partner as well, who will become his “chosen” family when you pass, who might prove to be more supportive than any sibling competing for that “Dad and Mom loved/hated me more” trophy too many siblings seem to go for.

    Obviously not every family is this fractured by any stretch. But, by the same token, not every child without siblings is lonely, or selfish, or self centered, or unable to form close, meaningful forever ties with other human beings.

    I think it’s lovely to give all that love you have to one special little boy who, when you do pass, should you choose not to have more, will know he was your favorite for certain ;)

  52. I think you have your answer by the sounds! I only have one child, but i feel how you’re feeling now. you should do it! xx

    PS. even when you wrote your bad points, you still ended up saying a good point at the end. more pro’s to cons!
    We all know you want it. I’m in the same boat except i can’t cope financially with another. Let me live vicariously through your babies!!! :)
    @Booksandbabies1

  53. Naima says:

    Definitely have another one NOW, and do it before you get rid of the baby things, or worse, get out of practice.

    It might be a tough year or two (hey, keeps you younger), but the rewards of having siblings that can be playmates are simply infinite.

    All the best!

  54. futurecurio says:

    let nature take its course, we are all unique, so will be your kids, you will not have another Finn. So you will be in for a real treat and so will Finn. I had 3 kids in my first marriage and when I remarried my wife thought she could not have children, she had tried for about 10 years. Then she got pregnant and we had Fredrik, when he came along my other kids were 10, 16, 19. I had all sorts of anxieties about having a child with my 2nd wife and impact on my other kids. They think he is great and I had thought i had passed by bringing up more kids but Fred is fantastic and now I stay at home with him.

    I never planned on Fred but somehow nature took its course.

    @myeverydaydaddy.com

  55. Anwen says:

    Reading this it actually sounds like your question isn’t IF but WHEN you should have your 2nd. We’re waiting ’til Caitlin’s 5 for the next coz my actor hubby is training to be a nurse so we’re waiting til she’s in school (free childcare) and we have 2 incomes before numbers 2 and 3. I want 5 kids in total so want numbers 4 and 5 to be adopted. That way they both have something in common. I’m just rambling now…

  56. Nicole says:

    I have 8 sons. I wouldn’t trade any one of them for anything and would do it all again in a heartbeat! Yes it’s work and yes it’s hard. But everything in life worth anything is hard work. I would have a dozen more if my health would allow it. There is NOTHING in this life that brings the joy that another human being can bring. I say GO FOR IT! Have a DOZEN more!

  57. [...] make me immune to criticism. I don’t think I’m a perfect parent (as further explained here). Hell, I’ll be the first to say I’m not that great at it. I feel like I’m failing half the [...]

  58. Brittany says:

    Do it! Life is too short to determine when the time is right. There may not be a tomorrow, but you have today to love someone, to enjoy your family and spend every day with your most cherished. Money will come and go, you will cut where needed, My husband and I are only 14 months in and its taking a lot to remember, its not about what other people think or when you think the right time is. If you have love in your heart and have that certain feeling there’s something good coming your way… why doubt yourself?

  59. aarontp says:

    Love this post! We have an 8 mth old, and its coming up in discussions lately if we want to give Seth a little brother or sister. Much like you we are tapped out in terms of space/cash etc, but I’m pretty darn keen.

    I had a two year gap with my sister, and would like the same for our kids.

    My wife studied for her bachelor through pregnancy, and has one paper to go(yusss!). So I think it’s now or never :)

  60. Mimi says:

    I’m pregnant with number 2. I have many nieces and nephews who have “plaudates” with each other all the time. We love it! I had 5 siblings growing up (my hubby has 7), and I feel much more well rounded as an individual. As crappy as we were to each other sometimes we knew we loved each other. The plus side of siblings is having someone to play with! Having children is a very personal decision, but if you’re looking for input, I say go for it!
    More babies EVERYWHERE!!!

  61. Michelle Bird says:

    Wimp, my kids are, all but 10 days, a year apart.
    only joking about he wimp bit lol

    Butmy ids are close in age, i fell for m son when my dugter was 11 weeks old. he was born 10 days before her 1st birthday.
    Yes it was hard, yes i felt like tearing my hair out. But as they grew older together i loved the closeness they had. It wasnt till my daughter went to junior school (age 7) they realised they were different ages.
    I’d have loved more, but when my son was born it felt right and complete.
    I have siblings, i have a 7 yar, an 11 year and a 12 year gap with them. We have nothing in commen, hardly speak and as we get older we get further apart.
    I wanted mykids to be close, and like you say, have that person that has known them thier whole life out there. That person with a shared history, shared stories, can laugh about all thie parents silly mistakes.
    I want the relationsip for mykids that i wish i had with my siblings. They are closer in age, and closer in life than i can ever be with them.

  62. Jennifer says:

    Have the next baby. We’re gearing up to try as soon as our first, a little girl, turns 1 this month. I’m a glutton for punishment, I know.
    But the age gap between myself and my siblings is over a decade, and they were mostly out of the house by the time I was born. Being that only child, except on holidays when everyone showed up for Mom’s dinners, was a lonely experience. We’re trying again to give my little girl that close sibling gap that neither my husband or I had growing up. And because he’s deploying again, and dammit, he’s going to be here for labor and delivery this time.

  63. Natalia says:

    I still have only one but I’m totally in for at least one more, maybe given the fact I came from a 3 child family and being the last one, I had tons of fun (and fights!) with my brother and sister. I want the same for my family, maybe because I had a great experience. Being raisen alone for me, seeing people around me who are, makes world revolve around you and this comes in good and bad consequences, being the most significant at our age having the burden to take care of your parents all alone when they grow older and need us. My mother has had Alzheimer for several years and unfortunately two of us are overseas so my sister has to deal with it all alone, which is hard, but at least she has our economic support which means a lot. I have several friends who had temendous difficulties with this and although it seems so far away in time, I think it’s some aspect we should consider (yes, anything can happen until then including the end of the world, but I love my child so much as to want her have support from her own blood when she might need it).

    I don’t have much to say other than what people already told you as trying it (good father, the world has been worse even if we don’t remember it, budget adjusts, etc) but something many people who already passed it had told me: waiting will make it harder. As soon as you end the diapper-endless nights-toddler-messy phase, you will not want to start it all over again, or at least you will have more fears on loosing again what you have hardly gained again. Hopefully I won’t have to experience it by myself and get to round 2 soon.

    Good luck with your decision :)

  64. sam says:

    Coming from a family of 4 children,things were tight when we were younger..but in our darkest hours we are not alone..siblings are a blessing..U shud have as many children as you can love,cherish and provide with necesities.. they don’t need the latest game boy or the most expensive bike..but they do need time and love..if you BOTH have that to share,what greater joy is there than an offspring..

  65. Tina Reher says:

    My own personal opinion is no; I don’t want to have another one. Getting pregnant was no fun at all (hardcore IVF) Being pregnant wasn’t all that great. Giving birth was brutal and the months that followed where scary.

    Yes there is the whole ‘we’re going die one day and she will be all alone’ worry that makes me feel really guilty from time to time, but we are making sure that she is still surrounded by people who love her even if they are not siblings. Ida is 3 years and 3 months olds and she is it for us. She is my favorite person on the planet and while I’m sure she would be a wonderfull older sister I just can’t fit another child into our family because we feel spread kind of thin already.

    Also there is the whole ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ issue. Today was the first diaper-free-day and as we pass more of those landmarks it feels more and more like life is winning back its sanity.

    Not sure how usefull this is since my/our experience has been somewhat ‘extreme’ in the sense that we went throught IVF and openheart surgery and a pacemaker and such so yes that’s colored our point of view for sure, but yes we are on team-just-one-is-perfect-for-us!

  66. Catherine says:

    I am 46, the oldest of three, and had three myself. My weeds are now going to seed, both daughters in their twenties are now having their first babies! I’m telling you, love and energy doesn’t split between the kids, it only multiplies the way one flame multiples flames.. a flame doesn’t diminish itself in the multiplicaton, in the slightest. If my husband had been willing to have more, I would have had 4-6. I grew up watching my Dad and his 5 brothers together and the love and support they offer each other, and the love my younger sister, brother and I share makes it so worth it. My kids are extremely close and protective of each other. I won’t pretend there aren’t a few bumps in the road, we gave up yearly vacations to be able to afford the third, but it is worth it every day of my life. My children are my greatest joy and my deepest heart! Go for it, you will never regret it!!

  67. ty says:

    Two kids is awesome. My wife and i just had our second almost 6 months ago. We have two girls and they are 21 months apart. Now i would suggest a little more spacing then this which is what we are aiming for with the next one. But as you said with getting it over with i think i somewhat of a good idea. More in the aspect of keeping them close in age. With the hopes that they will be closer to their siblings. I am 4 years older then my brother and 8 years older then my sis. We have no real relationship. On another note, not having another child because of money or selfish reasons is lame. we don’t become parents to get rich or live life awesomely. We hopefully become parents to not only grow a person but to grow ourselves. I am pretty sure having two girls has kicked the crap out of the ego i once had. But i most definitely wouldn’t change a thing. hope this helps hope it also made some sense. I’ll summarize
    Kids = Awesome

  68. Beatriz says:

    My husband and I have two boys. The first was planned and is 2 1/2 years old and the second is fixing to turn one and was not planned. We had an idea that we wanted a second child but were not sure about the when. When I found out I was pregnant I cried, and not a happy cry. I was overwhelmed. A million questions and doubts filled my head. Were we ready physically, emotionally, financially? I was scared, for myself, my husband, my son. My son-would he receive the love and attention he deserves with the new baby? It was too late for all that though. We were going to have our second baby. Fast forward a year, and it’s the best thing that could have happened to us. It’s been tough, it’s been great, it’s been life changing. I’m motivated to be the best that I can be for my two boys in every aspect of my life and I’m feeling complete. I’m one of six children, my husband is an only child, and we have decided that our family is complete at two kids. From what I’ve gathered in my personal experience, it should ALL be about that child. They don’t choose to be brought into this world, we do. Whatever you decide is the right choice, I think…..but I hope you do have that second baby. :)

  69. Christina says:

    Oh gosh. That sounds like me. Your Not in Favors sound exactly like us o.o

    I’m only 2 months out the gate so…WAY to early to be considering #3 lol.

    But when it came to planning for #2, I underestimated how terrible 3 was going to be. And he hit those 3′s while I was pregnant. It’s terrifically challenging. And most of the time, I feel like an utter and complete failure for losing my temper or being to tired to go do stuff with the toddler. I keep thinking this is never going to end…but perhaps it will? And when I’m done growing to accommodate the new size of my family, perhaps I’ll suddenly ask myself again – do I want another?

    The most wonderful thing about having all your kids young at the same time is that they don’t remember the growing pains the family goes through when welcoming a new member. I just remember how much fun it was to welcome a baby brother. Now that I’m bringing the babies home, I know my mother had to have been pulling her hair out on a daily basis!

    I honestly think deciding on how big you want your family needs to happen before you have kids. And then just be versatile while in the throe’s of parenting… We wanted 3. So we’ll see in 16 months where that leaves us.

  70. K-chan says:

    Alright, so here’s my story. We had our daughter and she is an amazing person, bright, caring, loving. She’s also what you would call a HANDFUL. She was so picky with her eating (starting from the first spoonful of food pretty much until 4.5 years old) that it was the single most stressful thing in our lives for several years. Change one little thing and it would result in a 30 minute (or longer) freak out session. She’s extremely independent, knows what she wants and has a deep imagination. She makes her own world when playing and doesn’t want any interruptions or intrusions (e.g. mommy telling her to get ready for bed, have a potty break, you name it). Things are better now – way better – but this really didn’t start until a few months ago around 4 and a half years.

    Add to this child #2, almost exactly 2 years younger than child #1. He was fine for 2 months, then decided not to sleep for 5 and a half months. It was hell. HELL. I kind you not. I was in the middle of a career change at the time and neither of us were working but I tell you there was no way either of us could have worked or gone to school at all during that time. Eventually his sleeping improved and that helped a lot. Then he learned how to walk and take his older sister’s toys. My kids hated each other for about a year. My daughter once said we should “kill” my son because she didn’t like him. (To be fair she didn’t understand the word except the idea that he wouldn’t be around anymore – but you get the idea.) We used to call them Medussa and Krakken, and supper was usually “Clash of the titans”. There was (and is) a lot of screaming from them a good amount of the time.

    When I tell people about my kids they go “Oh, hmm, maybe I don’t want to have kids (yet) after all” and I almost unintentionally convinced a friend not to have a second. She did in the end and was happy but my stories made her a bit nervous to say the least. I think you get the “luck of the draw” and you might get an easy baby (I know a few) or you might get kids like mine.

    Now at the ages of almost 3 and almost 5 things are pretty good, we have our stress times and bad days but overall more good than bad. That’s 100% improvement from 2 years ago.

    My advice: If #1 is a handful, WAIT. It will be worth it. He will be an amazing older sibling when he’s old enough to understand. But if #1 is hard you might end up with #2 being difficult too and then you will be in insane land like we were. It’s not pretty there.

  71. amandakathryn says:

    it’s funny number 6 on your pro list “the miracle of birth” would definitely be on my con list as a woman! In fact number 6 combined with pregnancy are the biggest things making me wait for the next one :)

  72. amandakathryn says:

    The nurse during our childbirth class says when you see a newborn and you don’t think “aww geez maybe we should have another…” then you know you are done. I am definitely not there yet, so I assume I will have more!

  73. Emily says:

    As the mother of a wonderful set of twins that are coming up on 7 months old soon, we really never were presented with needing to make the decision do we or don’t we with the second one, we just got 2 precious boys for the same price. That said, we have already started discussions about the next one. Added to the normal worries most parents have about adding a new bundle of joy to their household, I have the very real concern that our family of 4 could easily turn into a family of 6 instead of 5, and I am not sure if I have the stamina for twins again. Either way it is a decision that will have to wait for a while. Nursing 2 at the same time is quite enough for now, thank you.

  74. Rognvald says:

    My wife and I have a 2 year old boy and went through the same thing 6 months ago. Will we or won’t we? Our list of positives and negatives were almost exactly the same as yours. My wife(Kasia) comes from a big family and naturally finds it “normal” to have more than one, where as I have one sister, so was quite happy to stay as we are.

    The thing that swung it for us was the fact that our family is spread out quite far. We live in Scotland, but my wife is from Poland and all her family stay either there or in Germany. We decided that if anything happened to us later on in life our son would possibly find himself
    alone. We also realised that financially our parents managed to bring us up well despite having a lot less than we have now.

    The up-shot of it all is my wife is 20 weeks pregnant and we couldn’t be happier…..although we do realise we are putting our life back into turmoil for another wee while.

    At the end of the day, it makes no odds either way. You will have a happy family whether you have one child or ten…..you will just go grey quicker and will save money on haircare products as it will all fall out! :)

  75. Crystal says:

    I am young, only 22. I was not a “trouble maker” and I was actually enrolled in massage therapy school, but during my schooling, when I was 18, I became pregnant. By 19 I had the most life changing experience of my life when my daughter was born, she is now 2 1/2. As she grew older and I became better at parenting, I started to think about having another child, hopefully a boy, so that I could get the “baby years” over with and so that she would have a sibling. My husband and I talked about it for a couple months, pros and cons as you did, and finally decided to make a go for it. After all, we didn’t want to have another child 7 years from now and have such a large age gap. So we did. It took 6 months, and finally we conceived a boy (yay). I expected a negative, dependant reaction from my daughter when he was born. I just expected it, I didn’t believe she would adjust well to a new baby taking up all of my time (i breastfeed) but i made sure she had time with me, and she spent alot of time with daddy. Except…the moment we brought our son home, she was happy. she showed signs of love from the very beginning. Our son is 8 months now, and she is 2 1/2 and they absolutely adore each other. I can’t explain how cute it is when they play together on the floor, or the fact that she HAS to give him a kiss each night before she goes to bed. And our son loves watching her be a crazy, silly, 2 year old, it makes him laugh and giggle. That being said, the cons are definitely present. Aside from all the sleepless nights, and the explosive diapers, some months we feel financially strained. On top of this, there is NO real free time left unless you have two very well natured easy going children. Mine are fairly easy going, but not completely mild tempered. I was most overwhelmed when my son was a newborn. I would make my daughter food, feed my son, and then (who knows what i was thinking) would try to make MYSELF food. The first 5 or 10 minutes would go by and then my son, the newborn, would cry for his mommy. I cant tell you how many bagels sat and got soggy from the cream cheese because i had to put them down. Either way, even throughout the added stress, my family does indeed feel complete now. I have two beautiful children, I love them both with all my heart, they have a great daddy (although he is not perfect and neither am I, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE for them is what is most important to us)

    My husband and I do not regret out decision, no matter how much more stress it has brought. I would never go back and change my mind, their smiles and love just warms my heart completely.

    So really, it depends if you can handle the added stress. ;)

  76. 2 is awesome. says:

    Hi,
    Well we had #2 5 months ago. And it wasn’t exactly planned (silly birth control, Christmas vacations, a nice hotel without #1 around… ;)). When I got pregnant, was in the mindset that just one child would be totally manageable and be good for traveling around, going places, having a smaller car (!), etc. My life felt organized, manageable. And then baby Maya decided to come into our lives. And I can tell you, I have NEVER felt happier to be alive. I became a mother with my firstborn. I became a Better mother with my second child. On top of that, this one looks like me!

    Sure, it’s chaotic. But it’s beautiful chaos. Who wants to live an organized life? You want to die with matching socks on? My point exactly. ;)

  77. Ginger says:

    Im a new reader. I’ve got a 5 yr old, 3 yr old and 1 yr old. Girl, boy, girl. I think having 3 is easier than 1. The first child was so earth shattering, it was a complete adjustment. With #2 and 3, much less so. They all play together and keep each other company. The rare times I have just my youngest I find it hard because her older siblings arent around for her to watch and be entertaining. I am considering a 4th. I have visions of loud family parties and I just love it. It’s a hard decision either way, and I wish you luck!

  78. Ashley says:

    I had 2 sisters and 2 brothers. My mom is an effing saint. Me, I have a two and a half year old and while I want another baby, I’m on the fence for all the same reasons you are. My son came to us via IVF and I’m not really sure I could do it again. However, if I magically got knocked up by accident (or won the lottery), I wouldn’t be mad either. At the end of the day, what works for your family is all that’s important. Second baby? Just the one? Either way, I bet you’ll still be happy and Finn will think you’re an awesome dad.

  79. cindy says:

    19 months is young. I’d reevaluate when he’s 2 or even 3.

  80. Kelli says:

    I loved this. So true. So honest. And you know what they say about opinions… But since you asked:

    I have an almost 4yo and a 7 month old. Girl, boy. It’s easier the second go round. And it’s harder the second go round. I loved having only one. I love having the second one.

    I was raised with a sibling and we hated each other. He passed away and I miss him.

    My point is–this is one of those things that defies all logic. It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever to have a second baby. But for us, it made no sense at all not to either. It’s just one of those lovely things.

    Cheers!!

  81. Amy says:

    I have a 2.5 year old daughter and my partner and I are thinking about having another child. I’m pretty excited for the challenges that another child may bring, but then again I’m beyond blessed to have the one I’ve got. I’ve read through the comments though about siblings not getting along, and your last point about dying and your child being alone brought back a lot of thoughts. I had a brother who was 5 years older than me, we didn’t really get a long but we loved each other. He died 3 years ago I still remember telling my mother that night, that even though I had my partner and my daughter, he would be who I would grow old with, he would be there to help when our parents died, he and I would raise our children together and carry on our family traditions. He did leave behind a child before he was KIA, but non the less I miss him dearly, and when I think about the future and the things I will have to deal with without him is really quite scary.

  82. olderdad says:

    Hi, I’m a 55 year old dad with an almost 3 year old boy. My wife is 15 years younger. We love our little boy. She’s the one with the career, so I’m the stay at home parent. Last week my wife surprised me by telling me that she’s pregnant. She stupidly stopped the pill without telling me. She’s real sorry, but she says that she would consider going ahead with the pregnancy, although she knew that I did not want a second child, mostly because of my age, and because I did not want to become a “manny” for ever. Another reason would be that having a second child has the potential for disrupting our domestic and financial “comfort” Am I being selfish? Besides the initial anger, how can I react to this and be convinced that having a second child at 56 makes any sense?

  83. Louise says:

    It’s like you’ve finally got a really great table at a rooftop patio and then you look over at the top of another building and see an even better version. To get there, you have to gather your entire party and jump over the gap between the two buildings. So you stand at the edge and you look at one another and you question the risk. Jump. Fly. Soar. It’s so worth it. (Mama of four)

  84. Laura says:

    I’m trying to decide upon whether or not to have a second baby & basically I think it’s impossible to decide. This is because a conscious decision must be made with the front of the brain. The front of the brain is rational and there in lies the problem. Having a baby is the least rational thing I’ve every done! It is surely the back of the brain, the ancient unconscious part that tells us to procreate and despite the fear, the exhaustion, the giving up of one’s time, money etc the urge is overwhelmingly strong. I too feel the impending overwhelm and I’m really not sure I’ll cope at all but I’ve stopped taking my contraception. The older part of my brain is winning!

  85. Robyn says:

    Two was so awesome. One on one. And ours were 21 months apart. They (male and female) are inseparable. They fight and argue, of course, but are really best friends. Now, we have 3 and expecting #4. And seriously, the variation of personalities from the same set of genes is fun to observe. :)

  86. We are going to stick with one. Sibling relationships can go either way. I read “Maybe One” by Bill McKibbon and felt much better about our decision after that. My son is now 5 and I feel like I’m doing a really good job…not sure I’d feel that way if I had more! (Plus, who can afford it??)

  87. Kat L-B says:

    I would say wait, but that’s just me. We’re almost due with a surprise #3, though, so I’m biased with the whole “family larger than budget” mindset, lol.

  88. Hanan says:

    I was an only child and still hate it to this day. I have no one to turn to when it comes to family shit, and it’s another reason my kids won’t have cousins. Have another one, it’s totally worth it.

    Plus, the trying part is tons of fun.

  89. Sally says:

    Wait. Our kids are 4.5, 2.5 and still baking (due in Oct), I’m so tired and overwhelmed and yes while you have enough love to go around to each child there is NOT enough patience to go around. The poor kid who isn’t even here yet is already getting in trouble and blamed for lots of things. So for the love for everything that is holy just wait awhile. :)

  90. Robyn says:

    And really, can you EVER afford it? ;) The company my husband worked for for 7 years closed when we found out we were expecting #3 after a year of trying. Were we at all upset at the timing? No way! He has actually been a highlight of a really tough time in our lives. They’re not a car or vacation home that you can call an asset. The “returns” are what you make of them. Our debate about #4 was if our sanity could handle it. We knew we’d never “afford” it. And no, we’re not on government assistance, we just have to budget our money. I was one of two children. My brother and I had a horrible relationship and I always wanted more for my kids. But our relationship was because of my mom, not because we were siblings in the first place. :)

  91. Stacey says:

    This article is such a answered prayer from God!! I have a 20 month year old who is absolutely my partner in crime! She’s my best friend, my shoulder to cry own, my confident, and my reason for striving for perfection in parenthood! We just found out we’re pregnant and I ran to my daughters room and cried! I felt as of I betrayed her by letting another life in. All our days would soon be gone. Our moments would end forever and all the attention would now be divided. My heart was broken and even though I praise God for the gift of life, guilt would overshadow my thoughts. It was until now that I was wrong. My daughter needs to know of a love I will never give her. True she is my best friend, but one day she’ll need her own. When she runs crying to her room because I didn’t allow her to go to a certain movie or a boy breaks her heart, I’d love to believe her sister/brother would be there to listen. When death strikes the home as it did to my husbands mom, he and his sister stood together. And on my wedding day when my veil was lowered as a symbol of becoming someone else’s partner to lift the veil the last and final time, my brother was the one to lower it with pounds of tears streaming his face.

    Thank you Charlie for letting God use your hands to answer my prayers. I now have a peace this is the right thing for my daughter. I just asked God for a sign this morning and checked my FB with this.

    God bless you and your family, and let your families journey began when God decides to.
    Stacey

  92. Holly says:

    We’ve all been there. My husband and I debated for a couple of years and always decided we weren’t ready. Then when my daughter was turning 3, I felt the window closing. I didn’t want to start over with them much further apart than 4 years, and they wouldn’t be close enough in age to get the best benefits, like being playmates. My daughter was a great age, really independent and caSo we did it, and it turned our perfectly. No, actually, it’s terrible. As we all know, one child is nothing like the other, so forget the idea of feeling like you have any experience to carry over. Chances are t won’t apply. As far as labor and delivery, what a joke. I gave birth both times au naturale; they said the second would be much easier. He got stuck, totally tried to arrive “Superman Style” and wasn’t good for anyone involved. We both brushed too closely with death and my husband could barely take it. He actually had to have his appendix taken out 2 days later. They say they don’t know the cause of appendicitis; apparently extreme life or death stress could be a contributing factor. Oh, and we were told we were having another girl; so we thought we at least knew what that was like. They got that wrong too, and we were completely ill-prepared for this very loud, strong, messy, high-energy BOY!
    Now that the little guy is 18 months old, I can easily say it was a huge mistake; but then he and my 5 year old daughter, who are BFF’s, start belly-laughing in the back seat over peek-a-boo, and I know it was the best mistake ever. They balance each other out; they have completely different personalities, talents, strengths and challenges, and it’s true that once you have more, like it is with the first, that you can’t imagine being without any of them…except a few nights a week or so. That being said, we are definitely done at 2. I think you’ll know when you’re most ready and when you’ve had enough.

    • Holly says:

      I also wanted to second the person who said family being so far away was a contributing factor to having another kid, and that you definitely can not base it on your relationship with your own siblings. If we all thought that by having kids we would definitely turn into our parents, none of us would do it. Same applies to how you parent your own kids; they will be completely different people. Also, I’d like to mention that for me, I didn’t feel ready until I had the chance to “miss” having a baby. I never really missed the newborn phase, but I think when having them too close together you can miss that opportunity to have a little time to reminisce about what it was like, and then I think you can (try to) appreciate it more rather than feeling like you’re just constantly in the throws of it. Then again some people just love having babies and being pregnant and staying home with their kids and are great at it. I am not one of those. It’s a personal preference for sure. Hope that helps, good luck!

  93. Elvis says:

    It is an endless debate and one I have been powering through for at least a year. Here are my thoughts (if anyone out it in the ether wants to read them).

    A couple initial thoughts:
    - I have a toddler, she’s rad…but totally exhausting. She has enough energy to power a small city or a nuclear reactor, you decide.
    - I grew up the oldest of all boys and we were nice to each other.

    I have many cons below, but know that this is an open debate (in my head regardless, so the pros are down below):

    Pros:
    There are many more, but it is getting late, so I may forget a few.

    - Your kid will not be alone after you go out early in that squirrel suit accident.

    - It would be fun to take all sorts of pictures as they grew up together.

    - They may just get along great from the beginning and for life.

    - There will always be someone to take with on family trips. Part of me feels like, isn’t this what their friends are for? Bring them a friend, have a trip of a lifetime, then check the friend back in with their parents when you return.

    - There will be more than one person to take care of you when you get super old.

    Cons:

    Buddy Syndrome:
    - “My kid will be messed up if they are alone.”: Kids don’t “need” siblings. Every study done over the last few years has solidified they can be just as well adjusted as any kid with brothers and/or sisters…but this myth prevails for some reason.

    - Most of my friends who had a second are telling me they fight ALL THE TIME, this would drive me crazy. Long story short, I’m not really sure most siblings even get along for the first 25 years. How many people do we all know who really don’t even like their brother(s) or sister(s)? I am the oldest of 4 and we all get along great, but we are really rare and aren’t really great about keeping in touch as often as we should.

    - Money: There is never enough of it and one kid in daycare is enough, starting at $2300 and rolling down to $1300 once they are in pre-school. And I’m not really sure quitting work and taking care of the kid(s) all day is my idea of fun. It is completely exhausting and not really everyone is designed for that sort of abuse anyway.

    - Time: I’m not sure I want to spend 10 years taking one kid to a soccer game while my wife takes the other to a different game. How is that family time?

    Personal Limitations:

    - I’ve realized that I am a very creative person and when I didn’t sleep for 2.5 years (she didn’t nap for the first year or sleep at night), my life meter went WAY down. I pretty much lost it due to depression.

    - More importantly, I am someone who realized they needed the energy and time to explore this creativity and being home shackled by two screaming kids isn’t seemingly something which is going to increase my life happiness meter.

    - I love being a father, I almost hate being a parent. It’s not fun and never ends…but I have and will bust my butt to be an amazing dad.

    Getting really real here…and this is where if you are an emotional person, you may not be able to handle what I am about to write. :)

    - I’m a technologist and I can tell you that most people’s lives are not improving with all of these tech advancements – especially if you are not in technology. Most people have no clue what it is in store for us, yes, we’re talking matrix/minority report kinds of weirdness and fast.

    Population/Societal Issues:
    - I’m not trying to be a pessimist, but I just don’t feel like the world is becoming a better place to inhabit. Why bring more people into it? So they can suffer with the rest of us? If you are super wealthy, you can get around most of this mess.

    - I’m tired of Americans (yes I am an American) acting like our children are some sort of gift to the world. They aren’t, they consume X times the worlds resources compared to most other children of the world. We’re worried about how many trinkets from Babies R Us to get for showers while there are kids who don’t have f*cking food. I mean seriously, it is really sad and most americans don’t really want to dig in too deep on this because they are afraid of what they will find…a child, just like theirs, living on a garbage pile in a slum in India. It’s scary out there people.

    - I’m also tired of people saying things like; “It’s just so rewarding.” or “It is so great to feel like I am needed/helping someone out/improving the world one person at a time” etc. What!? You made it (the baby), it is your JOB to make sure it doesn’t wreak havoc on this world. It is like buying a car, you bought it, now make sure you maintain it so it runs, don’t act like you are helping it out by ensuring it goes speed limit. It is a pre-requisite, not a charity website you started with altruistic intentions.

    - I’ve heard this several times; “And, well, if one of them dies, at least you know have another child left.” Ahhhh, not a good reason to procreate. Humans are not like turtle eggs on a beach “playing the odds”.

    - Want some global perspective? Watch these documentaries: Blue Gold – World Water Wars, The End of Poverty & Park Avenue – Money, Power and The American Dream.

    Anywho, this is the debate in my head at the moment. Hope this is useful to someone out there in a similar predicament!

  94. You forgot a con: Once the second one is old enough, they unite against you, their parents. Good luck with that.

    As for this:
    “2. We can’t hack it: Physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, and otherwise, I feel pretty tapped out. I’d hate to give two kids half of what I don’t got now.” Not to sound like a Hallmark Channel original movie, but love multiplies. It energizes. It really is pretty incredible.

  95. christine says:

    we had two boys, and i just didn’t feel done. can’t explain it. so i convinced the husband for one more shot at a girl. now we have three boys. i feel done now…. ;)

  96. Nicole says:

    Well, you make very sound points. But, as a mom of three (ahhh!) with our last unplanned, I must say it ‘s very worth it!! I recommend trying when the boy turns two. My two oldest are 3.5 yrs apart and it’s perfect. My youngest is 22mo younger than the middle and it was (is) really hard to have an infant and toddler. Toddlers are needy creatures, much more so than infants in my opinion. Good luck in procreation!!

  97. Laney says:

    I have two! They’re 2 years 5 mos apart and are currently 4.5 and 2. I was an only child growing up and wasn’t a fan, so I knew I wanted at least two kids.

    After my son (the older) was born, I DID revise my estimate from 3 total kids to 2 total kids, however. Kids aren’t easy. That feeling you have that your family isn’t complete is what will ultimately decide it for you. May just not be time yet!

  98. Charlie,

    I think the best reason you gave was the last one. I recently wrote an article for the Good Men Project, http://goodmenproject.com/families/learning-to-love-again-a-miscarriage-a-misconception-and-a-second-child/, where I discussed my biggest fear in having a second child: that I couldn’t possible love him as much as I love my little girl. In retrospect, SO DUMB! But at the time it was a very real concern. Our son is one now. I could not imagine our family without him.

  99. Elena says:

    After our first had turned 2, we naively thought it would be great to have a sibling. After being pregnant for 10 weeks, I found out at the ultrasound we were having twins. We now are the happy parents of 3 girls (ages 7, 4 and 4). I wouldn’t do it any differently, but just so you know, twins are A LOT of work. Also, the noise level in the house increases exponentially when you add one more (let alone 2 more) child.
    That being said, I often tell friends who are considering having another child that it takes more physical energy, it’s harder to tote 2+ kids around to the park, library, music festivals, hiking, camping, etc… It will stress you out. But the infinite love part kind of makes up for that.

  100. We have THREE kids now – was ‘three under four’ at the beginning… We survived.

    And yes – it was tough – but won’t kill you – and we have the most amazing family. They’re growing up well together – being so close in age – as opposed to 5 years apart.

    It’s chaos for my wife somedays – getting them ready for school/kinder – if I’m outta town.

    But – it’s almost ‘exponential’ – 2nd kid brings 2nd level of love & happiness – next kid is double again…

    Family hugs with all five of us – amazing.

    And – I think you have a lot of great ‘observations’ – and you ARE a good Dad – otherwise, you wouldn’t give a shit if you were or not.

  101. Jeaneen says:

    We have 2 girls, 3 years and 10 months. Hopefully we’ll have more. But, there is one thing I should tell you that NO ONE told me until after we had our second. Having 2 is infinitely harder than having one. Going from 1 child to 2 children was way harder than going from 0 children to 1 child. I don’t know what it is exactly, but it’s tough. Someone described it as going from playing man-to-man to zone. That’s pretty accurate. But don’t worry. You just do it and life is awesome. A sibling is the best gift you could ever give your son.

  102. Victor says:

    I think that every person goes through this when having a baby. I wrote about my fears and a few situations that popped up during my wife’s second pregnancy. I guess no matter how we all feel, we find a way to make it work; financially, mentally and emotionally. You’ll be alright.
    http://fandads.blogspot.com/2013/03/baby-number-two-is-on-way-so-why-am-i.html

  103. Bizzaromom says:

    I’ve been battling with this myself, for a decent two years now. But between layoffs, and bouts of unemployment, and our most recent paycut, the stress hasn’t really made for the right timing, or the inclination to get a lot if practice time in… (This is totally TMI)… Now that Little G is about to turn 4, I’m starting to wonder if I should give up on the idea altogether. She’s amazing. I could be happy with just her… I mean, I AM. I have 28 first cousins, and together we have accumulated 19 of progeny so far… So she’ll never be ALONE…

  104. Sally Falkow says:

    Charlie,

    It is so worth it. You know my boys. I loved every minute with them and I’d not change having both of them for the world. Even now every day is a joy having them both in my life.

  105. Joanna says:

    My SIL would tell you to stop at one. She told me all the time. So fair warning, sometimes 1 might be better.

    We did not listen, we just waited a long time.

    My oldest turned 5 a couple months after the 2nd was born. There are advantages and disadvantages to waiting longer in between. She did not sleep through the night until 2.5 years old so I was really not in a place to have another baby yet. I needed some freaking sleep first! But I never felt done or complete. It was really nice to have an older kid instead of a toddler to help me when I was pregnant and barfing/tired/dropped things. She could handle herself for a bit while I laid down or pick things up for me when I could not.

    She has always been a “mommy” type of little girl and adores her little brother (now 2). He totally loves her too and he is so sad if she is gone for a day. They have their moments (usually when the toddler is freaking out over something he wants to steal from her), but since she is older we can usually talk it through and explain to her. Usually. 95% of the time she says she likes having a brother, that is pretty good I think.

    The downside: It was HARD to go back and start over at baby land. To have a newborn at the same time as sending the oldest to Kindergarten was a bit hard to wrap my head around. I miss the freedoms we had gotten but I now know that this young age does not last forever and those freedoms will return (and sleep. sleep will return some day right?).

    I knew from when my first was a baby that I wanted another, this time I do not have that feeling. I feel complete and done and happy with how things are.

  106. Daria says:

    Wow, it’s like I wrote this. And we are one-and-done for sure. We love our boy, but he is plenty, at 35 months. Going through the fresh hell of the first sleepless year again is not in the cards.

  107. Lizzie D says:

    We always spoke about having only one; we liked traveling and living in different cities and thought this lifestyle would still be viable with just one kid. When we started considering a second, it was what one of our many “only-child” friends – who are amazing human beings – said that really made us think. I asked her if she had enjoyed being an only child, to which she replied, “Yes, but I didn’t know different… Today, I wish I had a sibling, my parents passed and I really have no other family.” She felt as if she was on her own. And while I also know that some siblings drift apart or don’t get along as adults, we just felt it in our gut that having a second would make all the sense in the world and our family complete. I am older, so we didn’t wait much before trying to get pregnant with our second (2.5 years apart) It’s tough, but it’s also the best :) There are some things we work on, one of which is sharing our attention fairly with both, or maybe even giving our eldest just a bit more, and always letting her know how much we love her and how important her role is as a big sister… It’s so easy for the oldest to feel neglected when a new child comes along. I recently wrote a post regarding some feelings towards our second child; I hope you don’t mind my sharing… http://pearoo.com/post/55111058871/i-think-i-may-have-mentioned-this-before-but-then#notes In the end, I say, go with your gut; you’ll know in your heart what the best decision is. Just an additional thought: You guys make really cute and sweet human beings :)

  108. Beth says:

    I actually wrote up something like this before on my blog. In March, we’d decided now just isn’t the time for #2. Naturally, despite this, I find myself looking at my beautiful 2-year-old toddling his way into being a little boy, and… I want. Badly. The “no” reasons are all the same as yours, but the yes sometimes feels bigger than all of that. We still haven’t decided, and we still have some time before it will feel like too late, but that doesn’t make it any easier a debate to have. Good luck!

  109. Ian Cook says:

    This post is extremely timely. About 3 years ago, we were perfectly happy with 3 beautiful children. They were 10, 8, and 6. My wife had a procedure done that should have prevented anymore. Well, less than a year after her procedure, we were expecting child number 4! It threw our lives into crazy mode. She is now nearing on 3 years old, and my wife decided that maybe we should try for another, so here we are, expecting number 5….

    I don’t think I could imagine having just one child, it would be too calm and peaceful. I guess I like things hectic.

  110. Nadia says:

    We have a 14 month old boy with special needs, so this question is much more complicated for us, in my opinion. Pros: We’ve wanted 2-4 children and are a bit heartbroken with the idea of not having another. DS would have someone else to interact, grow up, and connect with. And we also feel like having another child would allow us to experience what it’s like to have a healthy child. Not that we would love the child anymore than we do DS, but just to have an experience without a bunch of specialists, therapists, hospitals, procedures, etc. I don’t even know if DS will ever say my name. It’s heartbreaking to be a mother, but possibly never be called “mama.” Cons: We can’t afford another child. We’re very young, so that may change as we build our careers. But the emotional toll has already been quite a lot. And how can we divide our love, time, and finances when our DS depends on us much more due to his special needs? I just feel so guilty wanting another child when I know I need to do all that I possibly can to give DS a good life.

    So it’s hard. I’m not sure what we will do. It’s a decision that will certainly have to wait until our finances are much, much better. Has anyone else faced this dilemma?

  111. Cj says:

    Should have stopped at 1.
    I love both of my kids more than life itself, but I see that I don’t have enough (time, energy, patience) for both of them. I feel like I’m watching both of them missing out and I hope they don’t grow to resent each other as my 3 siblings and I did.
    Should have stopped at 1.

  112. Danielle says:

    Im a little late :P
    But I’d say ADOPT!!!!!!!! I think you guys would be the most fun adoptive parents ever. Some kid has been dreaming of you and your wife and son. I mean… you could adopt a baby and induce nursing and all that jazz, but somehow, I imagine you guys adopting a 2 -3 year old. It’s got its own challenges, cause you gotta get acquainted, quell misdirected fears and scale emotional safety nets, but I just see you being great at it and loving it. Y’all would be a great blessing to someone out there.

  113. F says:

    Yeah I feel our family is complete with one child…. I can relate to all you say …. my son is so much fun and he brings me so much happiness and smiles and has expanded my world but then again ….. the first three months were super tough … do I want to go through that again? and also I am enjoying life going back to “normal” I have had to drop so many things but things seem more balanced now … I have the best of both worlds … I have fun and love with my son but I can also attend my friends birthday parties and I don’t say “no” to everything else that is not my son, I say “no” to more things than I did before kids because I don’t want to spread myself too think but at least I can do basically most of the stuff I used to do but I do it less often ……. plus I always dreamed of being an only child ………….oh yes and I understand “can I handle it” yes I am tired and I am managing with going to bed really early and getting exercise so I can cope with the long hours and sleep deprivation but will I cope with a second …… also my belief we are all part of the entire human family…. before a baby I rang my niece every week and now it is every 3 months…. I want to have space for my existing friends, relatives and even strangers

  114. Brent Almond says:

    Um, why are you reposting this NOW? Your mind-reading powers must have kicked in. Especially that last line. See the time-stamp? Yup, 3:45 am. Thanks for that…

  115. Michelle L says:

    When our oldest son was 3yrs old, he kept asking us for a baby sister. At the time, we thought 1) we can’t afford it and 2) my husband thought why have another when we have such a spectacular child. While we had always talked about having two, one was plenty for now. Our son was old enough where we could start being a little more social with friends, again (grandparents are the best) and after awhile he became 4,5 and so on into the “fun age”. His little personality developing more and more where you can just do fun stuff, where he can express his opinions,etc. not that the baby stages weren’t great but now we didn’t have to worry about changing diapers, bottle feeding, you know. Then I realized I’m in my mid-thirties and the clock is ticking louder again. I had to persuade my hubbie about having that 2nd kid (just a little) and unfortunately, it did not happen right away. It was 2 yrs later and now my son was 7yrs old. We had a beautiful baby girl. Yes, we are a little more relaxed with the 2nd child (we were hypervigilant 1st time parents and did everything by the book) things are not easier or harder, just different. Our son loves his sister, but sometimes wishes she would be able to play nicely with him, not take his toys and not be so bossy. She doesn’t understand she can’t just take his toys and cry just because she doesn’t get her way or just take over his spot when he moves. While they have their disagreements and fights, he is always such a loving and protecting brother and will get whatever she asks for. She, now only being 2yrs old will be so thoughtful. If someone gives her a sticker or something, she will look up and say in a nutshell “where’s Ben’s” and points, making sure he gets something too. My point, other than bragging about my kids is that when you are ready to have a 2nd now or later, it will all work out in the end. Even when we thought we couldn’t afford a 2nd, we made it work and then changes in our finances and careers improved. There is never the right time but somehow it does work out. If you decide to have another or not, it’ll happen when it needs to happen. I always wondered if I had a 2nd child pretty close to having our 1st would she be the child I have now. I can’t imagine. Their personalities as so different but they are both so amazing. I am in awe.

  116. Ilovebean says:

    Oh man. I wrote this SAME post blinded by red wine a couple of years ago. Trust me. EVERYTHING you are feeling is totally normal.

    So, I did have a 2nd baby. She’s almost 10 months and my older daughter is now over 4. It’s a good age difference.

    I’m not gonna lie. It’s hard. A LOT harder than having one. Way harder. There are days that I am overwhelmed by the fact that it’s so much more work than one was. BUT, she’s a baby. And I knew this would be the case. Everyone told me to just get through the first year. And it does get easier every month.

    The plus side is seeing them together. It’s pretty much the most amazing thing I have ever seen. They love each other in a way I didn’t know was possible. Sure, there will be fights, but to be able to sit back and see this relationship form is the best thing ever.

    Also, as soon as my youngest was born, I couldn’t imagine life without her. I took one look at her and was like, “How did I EVER question this?” She just fit from the moment she was born. I can’t imagine life without her. I can’t remember having just one child these days.

    I will say the thing that saved us was that we waited. My 2nd wasn’t born until my first was 3.5. I’m glad we waited. Two-Three years old was REALLY hard for us. And I can’t imagine having a baby while the oldest was 2-4. She is just now returning to a normal human again. I would have probably jumped off of a cliff. it works for some people. But, I knew we couldn’t have handled it.

    This probably did not help you at all. Ha. You’ll figure it out. And you are a good dad. Obviously. :) Good luck!

  117. Ilovebean says:

    Oh, I also wanted to add that I was totally fine with her being an “only” child. Families with one kid have a lot of advantages over families with more kids. We figured we would try for a few months and see what happened. Ha. You know that that one worked out. I was pregnant like 5 minutes later…

  118. Jordan says:

    Hi, Charlie! Just thought I’d chime in here. We are a single child family. Every great now and again, I get a very small, whispy “what if” in the back of my mind about having another, but that puff of insanity is quickly dispelled by whatever dose reality is currently dishing out. Put simply, my husband and I don’t have that “unfinished business” gut feeling when it comes to our family planning. If I am being completely honest, we weren’t sure we wanted kids at all, but we were in our late twenties and felt like (for our particular family) it was now or never. We were blessed with the easiest, most enjoyable baby in the world, and we don’t feel the need to fool with destiny and perfection by having another. ;)

    If you have any lingering feeling of your family being left undone, I’d say go for it. The timing will never be perfect for adding your second, just like I’m sure it probably wasn’t perfect when you and Avara decided to have Finn. You just do it and it works out.

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