Two’s company

Smoothie share

Having recently read a post from one of my favourite parenting blogs, Raising Edgar, on the subject of the decision to have (or in their case, not to have) more than one child, it got me thinking about why I wanted two myself. Of course there are just as many reasons for not wanting more than one as there are for not wanting any at all – the less you have the better off you are financially, the more time you are likely to have for your one child, or for yourself if you have none at all, the easier it is on your body and the way you live. Plus, no arguments to break up, no disagreements to mediate, no fights to referee…

As I said in my comments on the aforementioned post, I can’t, off the top of my head, give a really valid reason except to say that with one child it felt like we were a house with three walls and now, with our two boys, it feels like we’re a house with four walls – ie, complete, symmetrical.

Financially, childcare is the key factor that we had to take into consideration and I think timing is key on that one. Being an older mum I didn’t have the luxury of waiting for JJ to turn school age before getting knocked up for the second time, but I did, just about, have time to get him to pre-school age at which point nursery fees dropped by 3 quarters, just in time for EJ’s to kick in! In future it will of course be more expensive to go on holiday, out for a meal, day trip, anything really, but those are all luxuries that you either put aside for, downgrade or give up on until finances permit.

To us though (and I’m guessing to a vast number of other people) the material considerations are massively outweighed by the desire to fulfill our destiny as a family. I am one of two, my mum and dad are both one of two, the hubster is one of two – I guess for us two is the magic number. I can’t imagine being happier now if I’d been an only child. I love my sister and I love my nieces. I love the fact that that my boys have got cousins (albeit girls who are a decade older than them but still just as loved!) (their cousins on the hubster’s side live in another country mind you so they never get to spend time together but that’s another post).

And to the argument that you don’t need a sibling later in life because you make better friends – well, maybe that’s true, I don’t know from personal experience but I do appreciate feeling a part of something which to me, is forever, binding and unconditional. Maybe that’s not true of everyone’s families but it is true of mine.

I am also just starting to see the lovely relationship forming between my sons – even with EJ at the tender age of 15 months. JJ makes him laugh hysterically chasing him up and down, and, even though EJ is known as the Destroyer of All Things, JJ still also refers to him as his best friend.

And despite my longing for a little girl, I’m glad that I had two boys because I think they will have so much more to do with each other’s lives and so much more in common as time goes by.

To those reading this who may want but be unable to have a second child, I really hope this doesn’t come across smug or thoughtless in any way – I do realise how lucky I am and this is merely an unravelling of my own, up to this point, undefined reasoning for making my life (temporarily) more difficult. Two is not by any means better than one, or three, etc, ad infinitum, but it is nice to have been able to have the choice and been blessed with the gift of fulfilling the biological destiny which I had mapped out for myself as far back as I can remember.


6 thoughts on “Two’s company

  1. We always wanted more than one because hubby said one of the worst things about having a child by themselves, as he experienced in his first marriage, is that they don’t have someone else to occupy them. This was especially true when mine were very small – they totally adored each other and watching the relationship was very special. I saw a friend today with her two, whose relationship is similar (girl and boy), lots of genuine affection and a bond between them.

    After the young child bit, there’s a bit of a hard work period in between when they tend not to get on, and then both are separately bored and need separate entertainment. But they’ve more or less got over the overtly bored period, which is great.

    It was really thoughtful of you to put in that last paragraph too.

    • Thanks Denise – I know from personal experience that there is a bit when they don’t get on! Me and my sister were only two years apart at school but I don’t remember us even acknowledging each other during that time! Fortunately we re-bonded when I was 16/17 and she was 19 and we were both at 6th form college. Now I’m so glad I have a sister who I get on with and love – we’re very different but we will always ‘get’ each other in ways that maybe even good friends don’t always.

  2. Lovely post. I whole-heartedly agree, as hard as it must be to have more than one, I love the idea of coming from a bigger family, from not being an only child. I have a twin sister and a little brother, and I love them both so much – they bring so much joy to my world. I have just recently had my first son (9 weeks ago) and I’m lucky that at 27 I have the luxury of time, we plan to wait around 4 years before trying for a second baby. I think two will also be our magic number – we have a 3 bedroom house, and financially would struggle with any more than two – and I’m not sure I would want to put my body through any more stress than I feel necessary (my birth was horrendous!) I really hope I’m lucky enough to have a second child in the future, but at the moment I’m just going to spend every single moment cherishing my gorgeous little man in the here and now. 🙂
    I’d love you to check out my blog if you get a minute
    Thanks again for a great post
    Lucy xxx

    • Thanks for commenting Lucy! It is nice to have two and although the waiting is a luxury I don’t feel too bad about the gap between my two because I think just under three years means they will still be close enough in age to get on as friends as well as siblings. I will check out your blog!

  3. Really lovely post. So thoughtful and considerate too. I am one of three, not counting two half brothers and sisters and so is my husband. I always thought I would have AT LEAST three!!! Ha ha. I’m only just on number one and of course I would love more. Whether or not that happens is another matter. I’m not a spring chicken either in a biological sense. I would love for my little man to have a sibling, as I don’t know how anyone can deny the beautiful relationships that siblings have, even during the difficult periods. I am so close to my brothers as is my husband with his siblings. I’m sure if I didn’t have another, little man will still grow to be a great, well adjusted individual but I would always have wished he’d had a sibling. I’d better crack on then, as people are already askijng – in fact they’ve been asking about number two since number one was about six months old! People eh? Really enjoyed this though-provoking post xxx

    • I’ve always quite envied people from big families really! More the merrier and all that. Having said that I still wouldn’t want be the mother/matriarch of a big clan – not at all! I’ve just had a quick think and I don’t think I actually know anyone who’s an only child except for my husband’s parents (both of them!). Which is quite weird…

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