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  • #364678
    Charlie
    Participant

    Thank you, Anita! Also, I meant to also ask if you think Trump’s presidency is a valid reason to re-consider having another child? I believe you might have hinted at that above, and I was wondering the same. If he is re-elected in November, I will certainly feel more hesitant, but I’m not sure if that’s a valid reason, as I know every generation has had their challenges. Interested to hear what you might think.

    #364681
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Charlie:

    You are welcome. Yes, I think that it is unwise to bring children into a Trump presidency.

    “I know every generation has had their challenges”- yes, but no president has come anywhere close to the combination that Trump presents:

    (1) Low intelligence/ IQ.

    (2) Low, elementary school (at best) levels of reading, writing and spoken language.

    (3) Lack of basic education on US history and government, science, and every other subject.

    (4) Arrogance- so he does not ask or allow the help of people more intelligent, educated etc. than he is.

    (5) Impulsivity in talk and action.

    (6) Habitual lying: he says whatever fits him at the moment, with no consideration of truth vs lie.

    (7) There is more, but enough for now.

    You wrote that your parents are “well-educated people” who support Trump- mind boggling to me, that a well educated person will support, for the highest office in the land, the most uneducated person who will not allow the help of those who are educated, and go as far as attacking experts.

    anita

     

    #364690
    Charlie
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you, and I completely agree. My parents are big city lawyers at the top of their organizations. I always thought they were decent people but seem to have been more radicalized recently. The only silver-lining I see is that, until recently, I always sought their approval and was very hurt when I didn’t get it. Seeing the types of things they stand for (i.e. Trump) was a wake up call, and I no longer have the desire for the approval of people like that, parents or not.

    Thank you again for all of your help. Fingers crossed for a change in administration in November and for the end of the pandemic. I’ll touch base here in a few months if I’m still feeling unsure about a 2nd child and run my thoughts past you, if that’s ok. You are the best.

    Charlotte

    #364693
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Charlotte:

    The Trump issue is so upsetting to me that I forgot to address you as Charlotte in my previous post (I noticed that after submitting). I can’t think of a louder wake up call to no longer seek your parents’ approval than their … approval of Trump. It is almost similar to .. seeking Trump’s approval, if you take a shortcut.

    You are welcome, thank you for your kind words, and I am looking forward to you writing to me again. My fingers are crossed as well, for the same reasons.

    anita

    #364694
    Charlie
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    No worries at all about the name confusion! Thank you so much for being here in this space and for sharing your wisdom with people like me. I am sure you’ll hear from me in a few months, if not before. 🙂 Have a great day!

    Charlotte

    #364696
    Anonymous
    Guest

    – Thank you, Charlotte, and have a great day yourself!

    anita

    #366642
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    I am going to encourage you to actually read a variety of news sources and don’t take anyone’s opinion for anything political in the USA. People often disagree about things political but that doesn’t mean we have to hate each other or do the old blame and criticize game. Learn to think for yourself.  I encourage you to not just watch the mainstream news but to listen to a variety of radio shows, read a variety of news organizations and start to recognize when stuff is a personal attack. People should give examples, and figure out for yourself is this is a lie. Find good news sources that are not opinion, and yes it is hard to find these. The flip of the script that Orange Man is bad is that a Biden presidency has its own scary issues. You have corruption with that man with China and his son,  Hunter. You have his poor cognitive functioning, someone will be controlling him. Ms. Harris has her own corruption issues, she was pro police and locking up criminals before now, and both Biden and Harris and Trump are multi-millionaires if not billionaires. I heard it said recently that we are all being fed a hoax in our country. If we examine the history of our public policy in the USA, we see that neither of our political parties have truly had the people’s well being at the forefront. Some say that Trump is hated by the media so much because he isn’t a true politician, he is his own thinker and he does what he thinks is right rather than playing the game of doing nothing for the people. The Dems play the Repubs and the Repubs blame the Dems — but what if neither party is doing anything for us. The blame of Trump is merely a smoke screen to get people to not be objective and not look behind the curtain and figure out reality from falsehoods. Every action has both bad and good in it. Nothing is 100% anything. Those who have power in our country are not looking after the little people, the you and me people, which is why they scream that this one is bad or that one is bad. We have to think deeper and reason things out. Actually listen to the upcoming debates and listen to what the candidate say in their speeches. Question things, for example why is an issue an issue, what is the for and the against as we reason in our own minds. Listen to a debate or a political speech and say to yourself, is this simply criticizing someone personally or is this person able to talk policy and give facts, history, reasons? Again, my goal is for you to think for yourself and don’t take anyone else’s ideas as right or wrong.

     

    Children can bring you much joy if this is what you want. The world is difficult right now for many people. The news we hear in the USA is mostly falsehoods. The lies and disrespect from one person to another is breaking our country apart. I do not think whomever is elected come November is a reason to not have a child, or to have a child. I admit I did not read this entire thread but I would say that the reason to have another child is because you want one and you feel ready to raise another. This may never be how you feel but it has to be true to what you think is best for your life. Knowing yourself and learning to examine things in life will give you more confidence and less anxiety. Your young one is still very young. Many people choose to wait until their kids are about 4-5-6 years apart, others think 2 years apart is ideal but that is like having two in diapers. If you feel you are a good parent and have more love to give, then I encourage you to do what is right for you according to your own decisions about what is right for your life. Best wishes.

    #381406
    Charlie
    Participant

    Hi everyone (and especially Anita!),

    I spoke primarily to Anita about this issue of whether to have a second child or not about a year ago. I wanted to update her about my current thoughts on the matter and receive her insight as best as she is able. Basically, my son is now almost 2.5 years old. I’m overall feeling much more confident about parenting than I was last year, although this has been a rough week for me due to potty training and a sleep regression. My husband and I had been thinking about trying for a second child later this summer. I’d been feeling more ready and capable, but then received some distressing family news that has my anxiety at higher levels again. I suppose my basic question, is are my anxiety levels too high to be in an emotionally healthy spot to have a second? If that makes sense….

    To remind Anita, I had a really difficult pregnancy which included extreme nausea/vomiting I had to go to the hospital to be on IV fluids, and had to stay on medication for it the entire pregnancy. Among many other ailments. I assume the same would happen with a second pregnancy. Childbirth was also traumatic and resulted in an emergency c-section. I was told I would have to have a c-section in all subsequent pregnancies, although hopefully a scheduled one would be less traumatic than the one I had…. in theory at least.

    Overall, my anxiety had been much better the past few months. Trump was no longer president, and we were finding our way out of the pandemic. But these family issues really go to me recently. Lond story short, my parents object to my sister’s boyfriend for a variety of reasons but also because he is black (I find it very upsetting that my parents are this racist). My sister is pretty much estranged from them now and my Dad is so upset about it, he has been admitted to the hospital several times for heart issues due to extreme stress. I know it’s not *my* issue per se, but it still affects me mentally. I wish it didn’t.

    But anyway, I am 33 years old so I feel I can’t push this issue of a 2nd child off for too much longer. I don’t want my family issues to be the reason I don’t have a 2nd child, but I also worry that my mental health won’t be able to handle the family drama, the pregnancy issues, and also be a present and happy mom for my son. Very interested to know your thoughts, Anita and thank you so much in advance!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by Charlie.
    #381410
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Charlotte:

    I read your recent post before brunch, thought about my reply to you during brunch, and while cleaning after brunch, and this is my best effort at this time to provide a responsible and thorough reply:

    1. Your choice to have a second child, or not, is a very personal choice. You will be the person living with the consequences of your choice, not me nor anyone else who may reply to you. Please keep this in mind.

    2. If you choose to have a second child, you will regret your choice at times. If you choose to not have a second child, you will regret your choice at times. No matter what you choose, regret will follow. So, after you choose this or that, when you feel regret- please remind yourself that your regret does not indicate that you made the wrong choice.

    If pregnant again, I imagine that you will regret the choice when feeling sick, when your son is not doing well, when you hear about the next mass shooting, and at other times. If you choose to not have another child, I imagine that you will regret it when you see a happy older mother with a toddler, or worse- with two young children, and when you hear someone say that your son must be lonely for being an only son, and at other times.

    3. I need to give you my long-held position on having children (I don’t remember if I already shared it with you): by the time I was 20 (and not married or in a relationship), I made a lifetime choice to never bring a child (or children) into the world. My reason: I experienced a lot of emotional pain in the two decades prior to my decision, and didn’t want to bring a child into the world to experience anything close to the pain I experienced. I figured that if I was going to raise a child, better I adopt a child who .. already had the misfortune to being here.

    If other members reply to you, better ask them to elaborate on their personal position on bringing children into the world, not just on having a second child. Then consider their advice in light of their pre-existing position (their long-held position before reading your story).

    I will add to this point, that I grew up and lived until my mid twenties in a country that suffered instability, terrorism and war. I did not change my position when I moved to the U.S., even though at the time climate change was not big in the news, and mass shootings were rare, if they existed at all, and the U.S. democracy was strong and stable.

    4. You mentioned Trump no longer being president. Unfortunately (!!!) he is The Power behind the Republican Party and (1) the Republicans may be back to being the majority in congress in 2022, (2) Trump or someone like him may become president in 2024, moving the U.S. toward autocracy, and allowing climate change and mass shootings to worsen with no interruption.

    5. Climate change is not looking good in the U.K either (you mentioned living there as an option), and the  right wing rise is happening in Europe as well.

    6. It is true that the world was never really great for children, but the current reality of climate change and the newer reality of the pandemic (and possibility of future pandemics) exists now in a way it never did: masses of people flying across the world in the last decades provide effective vehicles for dangerous  viruses to spread into a pandemic.

    7. You were sick in your first pregnancy, likely to be sick in the second and that’s enough to increase your anxiety, and an increased anxiety will harm your ability to parent your first child well.

    In summary: I think that having a second child is not a good idea.

    anita

    #381472
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Charlotte:

    I submitted my yesterday post to you before re-reading your June- August 2020 posts on this thread. I did this afternoon, and following my reading it is very clear to me that it is an excellent idea that you drop the considerations for a second child for good, not based on my position about children, but based on your mental health and personal/ world situation. I have a few comments following my today re-reading:

    July 2020, you wrote: “I want to be able to be at peace with just one (child) ..without feeling like I’m lacking”- well, quite frankly, it’s quite impossible for you to not feel that you are lacking, to not regret, and to be at peace with making any major choice because, as you wrote, August 2020 : “I am definitely one of those people who is inclined to regret/ feel guilty about things. I think it’s due to the way I was raised and my 12 years of strict Catholic education.. my mother and father.. always expected me to be perfect and were always very opinionated about everything I said or did. I always felt like I was letting them down and still struggle with wanting their approval to this day”-

    – what you always felt strongly=> you likely to always feel, to one extent or another.

    2) About your mother: “My own mother is a very stressed out person, but whenever I express having anxiety about something, her response has always been to ‘stop making a mountain out of a molehill'”- she has been telling you to do what she has been unable to do/ what is impossible for a very anxious person to do (and which is therefore, unwise to suggest to a very anxious person): to.. just get over it.

    Similarly, your former therapist pushed you “to have the second child sooner rather than later, because it’s looming over my head anyway so I might as well get it over with.. She said all the fears I have about pregnancy, childbirth, newborn stage (as well as concerns I have over the state of the world and country) are just fears that I’m letting run my life and I need to get over them and accept whatever comes”- I bet she has been unable to get over her own fears, I bet she has been unable to accept whatever comes, but she thinks she should, and therefore, that you should too. Your mother and former therapist simply repeated to you what they were told, and in turn, you repeat to yourself, what they told you.

    Fast forward, June 2021: “Long story short, my parents object to my sister’s boyfriend for a variety of reasons but also because he is black.. and my Dad is so upset about it, he has been admitted to the hospital several times for heart issues due to extreme stress”- his extreme stress most likely, has a lot more to do with his wife/ your mother being “a very stressed out person” than with his daughter’s choice of a boyfriend (He lives with his wife, not with his daughter and her boyfriend).

    3) Your anxiety, June 2020: “My anxiety since becoming a mother hit record heights.. I’m starting to feel a lot better.. In theory I would like a 2nd child.. but the thought of going through pregnancy, childbirth, the newborn stage again, all while taking care of my son, sends me into a near panic attack every time”. June 2021: “I also worry that my mental health won’t be able to handle the family drama, the pregnancy issues, and also be a present and happy mom for my son”- I agree that your mental health is not likely to handle a second pregnancy, child birth, new baby.. and still take good care of your son.

    “Overall, my anxiety had been much better the past few months. Trump was no longer president, and we were finding our way out of the pandemic”- your anxiety gets better, then worse.. then better and it is affected by family drama, politics and local/ world events. Take advantage of your current few months relief from anxiety to prepare to what comes next that you cannot control (politics.. Trump is still very much.. there), instead of creating unnecessary stress for yourself.

    June 2020: “Right now I am pretty confident that I can be a loving and calm mother to my son, and I fear that a second child might make things a lot more stressful for me”- I agree.

    June 2021: “I am 33 years old so I feel I can’t push this issue of a 2nd child off for too much longer”- you can push it off permanently. It’s okay. It will be better for you, for your son and for your husband.

    anita

     

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by .
    #381488
    Charlie
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Wow, thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to write two very well-thought out and insightful responses. I appreciate it so much. Sorry for the delay in responding. I wanted to digest everything and also have had a really busy week as my son has been protesting naptime, so I haven’t had my usual chunk of time in the middle of the day to write. I am sorry to hear that you had such a difficult beginning to life, and I am grateful that you are able to share your insight into this topic with your perspective of the world. I agree with everything you said, but still can’t help feeling a bit torn. My husband would like a 2nd child, although he does say it’s ultimately my decision. He had such a perfect childhood and sees the world in mainly rose-colored glasses, which is nice in a way, but can be frustrating to someone like me who doesn’t. He says things like, “the world has always been crazy, and there have been numerous near-total disasters in history that have been averted” such as nuclear war with Russia, Nazi’s taking over the world, etc. And that the world is probably safer now than ever. Of course, I’m not sure I agree. I’m certainly going to think about all of this more today and will circle back with you with more questions I have if that is ok? Having a second child is so tricky because it’s almost like there is no reasoning with it. I was never sure I even wanted children to begin with, but now that I have one, I feel much more of a pull to have a second. Even though the only *pro* to doing so is the fact that, ideally, I’d want one and the fact that it might be nice for my son to have a sibling to navigate this crazy world with. What a tricky thing…..

    Charlotte

    #381492
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Charlotte:

    You are welcome and thank you for your empathy and appreciation. Of course, you can circle back to me later, anytime!

    “I agree with everything you said, but still can’t help feeling a bit torn. My husband would like a 2nd child, although he does say it’s ultimately my decision. He had such a perfect childhood and sees the world in mainly rose-colored glasses”- I bet he sees his childhood through rose-colored glasses, and that’s why he thinks of it as perfect.

    “He says things like, ‘the world has always been crazy..'”- I agree, and that’s why no childhood can be untouched by crazy.

    I understand you being torn, I would be torn too, being in your shoes, wanting to please a good husband who wants a second child, and is so nice as to not pressuring you, being as understanding as he is.

    He said: “‘.. there have been numerous near-total disasters in history that have been averted’ such as nuclear war with Russia, Nazi’s taking over the world, etc. And that the world is probably safer now than ever”-

    – Many millions of people hid from the Nazis and otherwise survived them, but not a single person  can survive when unable to breathe, no one can survive the effects of climate change if it is allowed to deteriorate more and more.

    “I was never sure I even wanted children to begin with, but now that I have one, I feel much more of a pull to have a second” – is your pull strictly about (1) pleasing your husband, and (2) “it might be nice for my son to have a sibling to navigate this crazy world with”? Or is there anything else to the pull?

    anita

    #381523
    Charlie
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    I definitely appreciate that you are as concerned about climate change as I am. I lot of people think I am too “extra” in that regard. I am vegetarian and am raising my son to be so too, and I try to minimize my plastic consumption and buy secondhand toys, but it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like everything I do isn’t enough at all. It is scary how it seems like the world is dying.

    You asked an interesting question about my “pull” to have a second child…. in addition to the two things you highlighted, I suppose in my heart I do want a second, even though my head and anxieties give me a million reasons why I shouldn’t. If those fears weren’t there and I knew pregnancy would be manageable, I would choose it. Like, for example, this is kind of silly but our dining room table is a rectangle shape that sits four people, so we have four chairs. But with the 3 of us, one part is always empty, and sometimes I look at the table as if a member of the family is missing because I see the empty spot. And it’s like a longing for that member. But then I remember all the negative things I listed to you, and I get overwhelmed about what to do. It’s such a difficult decision and I really wonder how so many people seem to just be able to decide this stuff one way or the other. No one I ever hear about ever seems as torn as me. It’s always “no kids, no more kids, or I definitely want another.”

    Thank you, Anita, as always! I hope you have a great night 🙂

    Charlotte

    #381524
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Charlotte:

    Sometime after I posted to you last and before I read your most recent post, I thought to myself that if you choose to go for a second child, you will have to have the best prenatal care and the best postpartum care (the care of the mother after giving birth) by the best obstetrics team that will include perhaps a counselor, so that you feel that you are in the best hands. Maybe you can get in touch with such a team/ service now so to discuss your dilemma with them, and get a feel for the place?

    I will reply more to your recent post tomorrow morning, good night, Charlotte!

    anita

    #381537
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Charlotte:

    I came across two excellent websites on the topic: kids health. org/ parents/ second child, and healthline. com/ health/ pregnancy/ second child making a decision,

    as well as an interesting discussion on reddit. com/ have a 2nd baby or no?

    And I came across an interesting article on medium. com/ a parent is born, which is very interesting to me as it fits with a lot of what you shared. It reads: “Strangers sometimes ask, ‘Is she your only one?.. Are you planning on having another?’ And then they explain all the reasons why we should have a second child. My husband gets annoyed and always says to me later in private, ‘Are they going to change the baby’s diaper? Raise the baby for eighteen years? Pay for the college education? OK then — people need to quit asking!’..

    “I don’t get why people don’t know by now: it’s insensitive to ask anyone what their family growth plans are, unless they offer this information…. ‘Bearing children’ is a delicate topic, and you don’t know everyone’s story, so no one should treat ‘having a kid’ or ‘having another’ as easy — or ‘the thing to do’, like picking up the latest handbag in fashion to add to a collection.

    “My husband and I feel blessed to have our daughter, who is now five. She’s so cute, loving, smart, and funny. She’s our pride and joy, and we make sure she knows this every day. Did we always only want one kid? No. We used to talk about having two. My husband has a brother, and I have several siblings, so we’d always figured something like two kids would be perfect.

    “However, once I birthed our daughter and we experienced the day-in, day-out sacrifices of parenthood, we had to have several serious conversations about whether or not we wanted to raise another kid. We were ‘out of the trenches’, so to speak! She was already in daycare, done with the addictive pacifier, potty-trained, and sleep-trained in her own bed . . . did we really want to start all over again with a new baby’s needs? Also, didn’t we already feel ‘complete’, with our one beautiful, healthy kid?

    “Yes. Yes, we do feel complete. Trust that we have had MANY conversations to ensure this is how we truly feel…”

    Back to your most recent post: “our dining room table is a rectangle shape that sits four people, so we have four chairs. But with the 3 of us, one part is always empty, and sometimes I look at the table as if a member of the family is missing because I see the empty spot. And it’s like a longing for that member… No one I ever hear about ever seems as torn as me”-

    – first, seems to me that you are not the only one torn about the topic, second, notice the incomplete/ empty/missing/longing theme in the article I quoted from (“didn’t we already feel ‘complete’, with our one beautiful, healthy kid? Yes. Yes, we do feel complete”) and in what you shared right above, boldfaced by me:

    I feel that my following input on this theme is the most important input I ever gave you on the topic of a 2nd child: this theme is not going to change if you have a 2nd child (or a 3rd or a 4th). This theme is part of the human condition, and it is especially acute in people who are more anxious than others.

    There is a human longing to fill the emptiness we feel, to finally have that which is missing in our lives- to finally feel calm, satisfied, satiated, not wanting for anything. This longing is behind the human invention of heaven: we can’t be perfectly satisfied in this life..  but we can in the next, up there in heaven!

    In this life, people try to satiate themselves in so many ways: over-indulging in food, drink, drugs, shopping, making more money, entering a relationship… and having a 2nd child. It is valid to eat, have some wine, take prescribed drugs responsibly.. and, for some- to have a second child, but not with the expectation that any of these things will resolve the innate human longing for that .. something-is-missing, something-just-isn’t-right.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by .
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