After having my son, I was plagued by a constant question in my mind. I barely had a newborn, but I was already obsessed with trying to figure out if I should have another.
In those early days, I was so sure I wanted two. I was plotting ways to convince my partner that two was definitely the right number. But in the months since, after battling postpartum depression and struggling to breastfeed, plus realizing that traveling with one baby is doable, but multiples would make it harder in many ways, I’ve started leaning in the other direction.
But I grew up with siblings, and it’s hard to imagine life without them.
I know that MANY of us battle with this question of whether or not to have more than one child. Recently, I asked on my Instagram stories to hear from parents who were one and done about why they chose to stop at one child, and today, I’m sharing the other perspective. This is why parents of two or more children decided to have bigger families:
Some posts have been edited for clarity
“For me, I struggled to get pregnant with the first and postpartum was hard. I feel bad that I don’t remember his baby years that well because I was in so much physical pain. So I really thought hard about a second. I always thought I’d have two but I wasn’t afraid to raise an only kid, as I’m an only. In the end I decided I’d regret not trying and to not let fear hold me back. I was willing to do IVF if needed to try for the second. I didn’t want to feel later in year that I didn’t try all the options. So after all this soul searching and being proactive about my IVF appt just in case – we got pregnant right away with our second. And he’s amazing. Honestly the toddler is still 90% of the work, and baby is only 10%.”
“We decided to have 2 kids after having our first. I just loved watching my first growing up so much I knew I wanted to do it again. Now with 1 daughter who is 3.5 and 1 daughter who is 13 months old, I’m so happy I have 2 kiddos.
But it is so much harder than I expected. With 2 kids I am the primary caregiver, and have a nanny about 8 hours a week while I try to co-manage my own bookkeeping business. My husband and I try to split the household and kid stuff as evenly as we can but someone pretty much always needs something, which means more or less no down time all day. I know this will lessen as they get older, and they already play together a lot for kids 2 years apart but it’s so important to make sure I get time every day for some sort of self-care – alone. Even just 15 minutes to do an Instagram DM to one of my fav bloggers 😁. On the plus side with daughter #2 the parenting learning curve was much easier! You know what isn’t working much quicker 😂!”
“We have two kids, 6 months and 2 years old (21 month difference). We found it so much easier to adapt from 1 to 2 than from 0 to 1 kid. I think it’s because we were already more confident as parents and not as stressed about doing everything “perfectly” (Epidural? Yes. Not enough milk? Here is a bottle.) My toddler loved his baby sister from day 1 and never displayed any jealousy. We are very happy we decided to go for a second with a small age gap.”
“We struggled with having one or two for over 2 years. My husband was happy with one and I wanted two. Why? I grew up with siblings and there’s something about your kids having a sibling that teaches them so much. There’s a level of support that remains even as friends come and go and when I think about the future and when my husband and I pass, they’ll still have each other.”
“It’s a tough question. Our son is only 9 months old but we’ll try to have a second child starting when he’s 1,5 years old (or that’s the plan so far at least). It wasn’t super easy with him as I had to take hormones in order to make the pregnancy possible and they knocked me out, plus because of COVID I had to stay at home during 2/3 of my pregnancy, which wasn’t good for my mental health.
But being a single child myself, I wouldn’t want that for my boy. I had to attend the funerals of both of my parents this year and I would have wanted a sibling to talk to about the old times and share all the responsibilities with…. I know especially the first years will be so tough as sometimes I don’t know how to do everything on my list with even one child, but I hope it will be worth it in the end as there are more years in life than these first challenging ones.”
“The transition from a 3 month old and an almost 3 year old has been incredible! My toddler absolutely loves her brother and they get along great. Not going to sugar coat it though, this depends A LOT on personalities. My son is a fantastic sleeper and at 3 months is sleeping through 10 hours a night. He’s very much go with the flow vs. my daughter who is the life of the party. So it’s a Yin Yang situation.
There is for sure a period of time where it’s divide and conquer. My toddler and husband spend more time together now than before because I’ll be feeding or because my hands are full holding the baby and cooking Dinner or vice versa.
I don’t think it’s harder physically, but mentally for sure. You’re juggling different schedules and personalities and needs all within the same 24 hrs. The thoughts and guilt that come up when you can’t meet both their needs are tough to navigate and a learning curve as well.”
“My children are 9 years apart (not by choice but due to fertility struggles) and I’m very thankful for my surprise 2nd. The bond and relationship is so special. I now realize all of the life and interpersonal skills that my first would have missed out on if he continued to be an only because friendships just aren’t the same as having a sibling.
It is definitely harder having two, but the reward is so worth it. I am also thankful that my son won’t have to deal with life’s hardships alone if something were to ever happen to me and my husband or as we age. I now couldn’t imagine life with an only child.”
“We have 2 and one more on the way. For me it was never a question, I was always going to have more than one child. Both my husband and I grew up with siblings and we wanted that experience for our children. Having more than one is more work in some ways but less work is others, and knowing they will always have each other make the hard times worth it.”
“I had twins, so we didn’t have to make a decision. Otherwise, I would have only had one. Because it was difficult getting pregnant, first. And second, my age. I am 40 now, and the boys are 17 months old. But – I really missed having a second pregnancy.
It is cool that they have each other and are never alone. But I also think that it would have been great if we only had one child. We would surely travel more and to cooler places.”
“We always knew we wanted two. To have a sibling, a playmate, and all of the life lessons that come along with that. But it is so much harder! It’s like going from Pee-wee to the pros. It’s bananas. They’re only 19.5 months apart.”
“0-1 is the hardest. 1-2 is not too bad, but 2-3 is awful (haha). I love my kids, but I feel like I’m a taxi driver. However, I always knew I wanted at least two, and probably would have even had four if the third had been a boy.”
“I grew up as an only child, and always wanted a sibling. I wanted a big family, but I’m OK with having two kids for now. It is harder, but it’s also amazing. But I also became a homebody now that I have two and I was never one before.”
“For us, the choice was easy. I grew up with siblings and family is the most important thing you can give to your children. They have a built-in best friend and confidant – someone they can always call.”
What do you think? Do you have more than one? What were your reasons? Are you on the fence too?