A minor difference of opinion

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A month or two ago, I was just about ready to declare that I was all done having kids. After all, as my husband would gladly point out, we went about this thing in the most excellent, efficient way possible: first pregnancy, boy/girl twins.  Boom. Done.  We’ve got our two kids, we even lucked out with one of each gender.  What else do we need?

And then… a switch flipped in my brain. We were at the playground. A mom I don’t know, but had seen here and there while she grew more enormously pregnant all summer long, was there with her newborn daughter snuggled in the Ergo while her older son played.  And even though an itty-bitty newborn is far from my favorite age, I couldn’t help myself.  I want.  WANT.

My husband does not want.

This is not a huge surprise.  Back in our pre-child days, we had always had a difference of opinion on how many kids to have.  He was firmly in the two-and-done camp, while I was on the two-as-minimum side.

Truthfully, I’m not sure whether I’d feel quite as strong a desire for a third child if I hadn’t had twins first.  But that’s the weird catch-22 of starting out your parenting life as a mom of twins.  Always a mom of two, never a second-time mom.  And… I don’t know… but there’s this really strong pull to give it another try. Not because I feel as though I did poorly the first time, but rather the appeal of trying it again with even the slightest clue of what I was doing.

My husband, of course, feels no such desire.  The idea of throwing another baby in the mix only feels like taking a few giant steps backwards.

What I find most interesting is one of his main arguments against having more kids (aside from his life-long fear of all change).  He says that he already feels as though our kids are short-changed by being twins. He feels like he can’t give enough to either of them (enough of what is somewhat vague), so he thinks adding another child is only a disservice to the ones we already have, not to mention the third yet-to-be-determined.

Knowing my husband, I understand how he feels this way.  And, yet, I fundamentally disagree.  I do not believe that we do inherent damage to our children by creating siblings.  Which is not to say I think people should have more children than they can realistically take care of (financially, emotionally, or otherwise).  But I don’t think kids are automatically worse off for having another brother or sister.

And I definitely don’t think my kids are worse off for being twins.  In fact, there is a (sick, twisted) part of me that would almost like to have twins again, because I’d be a little bit sad for the fact that a singleton child of mine would not have that automatic playmate.  I do not believe my kids feel neglected or in any way under-served because there are two of them at the same age.  Yes, sure, I could never give the constant, full-time, one-on-one attention that might have been possible with only one baby.  But I’m not convinced that’s always the single-best way to raise a kid.

Anyways, here we are. Just this teeny little difference of opinion.  One of us wants more kids, one of us doesn’t. And yes, my kids are only a bit over 2. I’m only 31. The clock isn’t ticking all that loudly, and I’ve got time to wear my husband down (kidding, honey!).  Or, maybe I won’t.  Maybe we’ll stick with the perfect pair that we’ve got. And I will be happy, either way.

But I can’t help wondering. And wanting.

So, what about you? Do you think having twins has made you more or less likely to want a larger family?  Are you and your spouse/partner on the same page?  Do you think your twins are at some kind of disadvantage by always having a same-aged sibling?

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19 thoughts on “A minor difference of opinion”

  1. husband wanted one. i wanted two. we got triplets.

    and then i realized, after the boys were born, and when i emerged from the newborn haze, i wanted to experience two pregnancies. and i really want to experience a singleton newborn.

    i’m a few years older than you, so i don’t have quite as much time to convince my husband, but fingers crossed…
    .-= pam´s last blog ..Cans for Comments =-.

  2. We had spontaneous, identical twins, who developed TTTS early in my pregnancy, 11 weeks of bedrest, 3 weeks of hospital bedrest and and emergency premature delivery at 30 weeks, with a 6 week NICU stay. There will always be a part of me that yearns for a normal, complication free, singleton pregnancy. That said, I babysat for a friend yesterday, for just a couple of hours. I took care of a darling 5 month old and my 4 year old twins. It was a bit insane. I loved cuddling that baby girl, but I was pretty darn glad to send her home, too. Trying to settle her for a nap, while my own children were taking advantage of my being otherwise occupied, was an unpleasant experience.
    .-= Rhonda´s last blog ..Cooking with Dad =-.

  3. Same as you…I started wanting to have the experience of a “second-time-mom” where you have the tiniest bit more understanding of how to take care of a baby. And I also secretly wouldn’t have been sad if it were twins again–for the same reasons you said. Part of me just wanted a d0-over since I finally felt like I knew what to do with two babies. My husband was on the same page, though, so we went ahead and had another baby, born when our b/g twins were barely 2. A single baby and yes, part of me will always wonder if he will be “left out” in someway for not having a twin like his older siblings. Maybe we’ll just have to have a fourth! :)

  4. Did I write this post in my sleep? Although my husband is on the same page as me, the rest of this post sounds exactly like all the things I think. I want a normal pregnancy, a chance to do things over now that I know what I’m doing … and I wouldn’t care if we had another set of twins. Never thought I would think that in a million years!
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Own Your "C" =-.

  5. We’re on the same page sometimes. My husband is done (he’s scared we’d get the double whammy again!). We only wanted two and I long for one more–sometimes. My girls have been perfect, happy, easy sleepers. I don’t know that I want to have another. Maybe the next would be more difficult? The thought of teaching another kid to eat solid foods even makes me cringe and we’re in that new to toddling stage. More kids wouldn’t be until the girls were kindergarten age–at the earliest. However, I feel like I missed out on so much snuggle time and observing the small things because we’ve done this alone without ANY outside help. We live overseas away from family and it’s been hard, especially because the hubby is gone 90% of the time. Until we decide I just have to keep convincing the hubby that he’s to young to get “snip”–as he so lovely puts it!

  6. I did it reverse … I had the singleton first and then my b/g twins. So, I think my perspective is a little different. Had I had the twins first we probably would not have had another pregnancy … but that is mostly because of my age.

    I think your husband is right about taking a huge step back … but it is only temporary. The next child will do everything faster because they are learning from their siblings. First time parents don’t realize how much quicker the second child learns things.

    The next child will have two playmates instead of just one and you will be surprised at how much help they will be. My daughter was only 15 months older than the twins and she could get diapers, take toys to them, and even hold a bottle.

    They are all great friends (of course not all the time). They all play together. I don’t think anyone would say that they feel short changed.

    I came from a large family and I love having brothers and sisters. Growing up there was always someone to play with.

    I’m really glad I had three … but I have to say my husband was totally with me about the size of our family.

    Good luck with your decision.

  7. Right there with you! Always a mom of two, never pregnant again. Feels weird. I blinked and my child-bearing years were over. Which could be a blessing, and is smart for us for so many reasons. But there’s a sentimental and hormonal part of me that WANTS another. Or two.

    And I think it would be great for my girls to have a sibling. They’re as baby mad as I am. It’s good for kids to interact, and to do things for themselves, without a one-to-one parent to kid ratio.

  8. My brother did feel left ou from us three triplet girls but… there was a sex and 6 year age divide. I also secretly wanted another set of twins but I figure with boy/girl twins if I have another girl or boy they may end up playing together because gender differences. I figure there is something to be said for learning group dynamics. That said, it is scary, scary, scary to implement another kid in the routine and I don’t think I would be nearly willing to do so if my husband hadn’t said “what’s one more?” And I love the idea of one-on-one time with a new baby that I didn’t get with my twins. You keep talking about it so I think this means you want to and should go for it. It will never be the right time or the perfect situation- there is just love and willingness to give your all. :)

  9. I was with you until you said you might want another set of twins. I love my duo with all my heart and think raising them has actually been easier than expected. BUT. I do NOT want another set of twins. I want one more and that’s it. For the do over, for the snuggle time, for a second chance at breastfeeding, for all the things I felt I couldn’t do with the twins.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..In Da Klub =-.

  10. I am so glad to hear I am not the only crazy one out there. Totally thought I’d be in the 2 and done camp, but now that they’re a year old, there’s a big part of me that really wants to do the whole thing again–with only one, I hope! My husband isn’t sold on the whole thing, but hasn’t given me an absolute no, he just wants to wait until they’re a little older before we talk about it.

    The part that worries me is the being pregnant and chasing around toddlers. I was sick as a dog for the first 1/2 of the twin pregnancy, and it would be really hard to be a good mom and be that sick.

  11. I always said 2 and that was it. I was sick most of my pregnancy and even after delivery staying in the hospital over a week, but I have forgotten all of that. Is it to prove to myself that I can do it? I don’t know. My babies are only four months and every day gets more exciting and sad at the same time. It is one less day I can cuddle with them.

    I think hubby is on the same page. I even said to my mom today I would not mind another set of twins. After it came out of my mouth I realized I was completely crazy. I think hubby is on the same page. He would also be happy with no more.
    .-= Michele´s last blog ..And the Jay-Z song was on =-.

  12. Hmmm…. We’ll have to meet up for cocktails in beantown and further debate this issue 😉 Like you, I talk about it a lot, oscillate a lot. I just don’t know. I’m 30 now, and will probably be weighing pros and cons for the next 5 yrs., maybe longer!
    .-= Jungletwins´s last blog ..Does Marriage Change People? =-.

  13. Well we did the singleton and then b/g twins. At around the time the twins were 1 years old I was having baby fever like you wouldn’t believe! It was not to say I wanted to start trying right away but I wanted to know the idea was open for discussion. It really wasn’t. So I let it go and now they are just over 2 and the baby fever right now is out the window and miles and miles away. I couldn’t imagine having another one right now. As many things have gotten easier, the 2’s are still pretty tough in different ways. I’m a younger mom so I definitely have time on my side. I wouldn’t consider one more until they were at least 4. Our son just turned 4 before they were born and he was so self sufficient that it helped us out so much!

    Oh, and my husband also has the fear of twins again, I try and agree but really wouldn’t mind at all! : )

  14. I had a girl first then g/g twins 4 years later. When we found out we were having twins we were surprised and then happy – 3 kids, just what my husband wanted (I, for the record was a 2 at the most kind of gal). But then, after their birth, I was told I can’t have more children and the sadness and longing for another, for a single baby was extreme. With having twins, there wasn’t the intense snuggle time I had with my first and I missed it, because I knew what it was like. But then again, when would there be that time with 4 kids to care for?
    What I will say though, is having 3 is so much fun – 4 years difference is awesome. K loves playing with her sisters, she is very caring and nurturing yet still has her own time to do her thing. Sure, there are moments, lots of them, where I think – what a drag for the little ones that they don’t get the one on one time that Kayla had, but if they were a singleton pregnancy instead of twins, it would still be the same issue. I think every parent that is choosing to add to their family has the back and forth, the list of pros and cons, and you need to do what’s right for you. And for the record, I’ve asked my first how she feels about her sisters and her answer is always that she loves having them around.

  15. I didn’t want kids, to the point that when my husband proposed, I answered, “Yes, unless you want kids.” When he asked me to rethink my stance after we were married, I found myself a therapist. I wanted her to certify, so Lucas would understand , that I should never ever have kids.

    After a year in therapy, I caved. He wanted a zillion kids. Five, actually. I wanted two. We agreed to two. He wanted to be done having kids by the time he was 24. (Yeah, I think he’s nuts too, but his parents were very young they had him, and they’re great parents.) I wouldn’t consider kids before I was 26.

    Six days before I turned 27, when Lucas was still 24, I gave birth to spontaneous identical girls. We were done.

    Lucas loved having infants. He was great with them. He wanted twin boys to add to our brood. I told him he was nuts. Plus, he’s overseas every other year, so guess who gets to change the diapers!

    The girls hit the toddler years and my friends with kids the same age as mine started having number two. I’d never had the biological urge to reproduce before, and I suddenly started feeling it. I wanted to nurse again, to be a parent with some experience under my belt. I mentioned it to hubby, and he said, with no wiggle room at all, that he would not deal with a pregnant me again. We were done.

    Now, if a baby (or a pair!) pops into our lives at some point and need(s) a home, we’re open to adoption. We probably won’t seek it out, though.
    .-= Sadia´s last blog ..Girly girls =-.

  16. I grew up as the only sibling of identical twin boys who are 18 months younger than me. I was pretty lonely at times. They have a very intense bond, and as I was more reserved and bookish in comparison, I often felt that I was best known as “the twins’ sister.” My parents didn’t encourage this, but in some ways they subtly reinforced it by always letting my brothers choose each other for seat partners at amusement parks, car rides, etc.

    I realize this is not a popular opinion, but I think 3 can be a lonely number when the other 2 are twins and especially if the non-twin is of a different sex than the twins or close in age so as to invite more comparisons. We’re stopping with 2 (infertility and out-of-pocket IVF prevents us from considering 4 or more).

  17. I, too, could have written this post or something very similar. It’s almost been as if I always knew I would have twins. I used to say I wanted to do the pregnancy process twice, so if we had twins, that would mean three kids. Immediately after my girls were born, I declared how crazy I had been to say that!

    Now, 7 months in, I recognize that longing for a singleton experience. My husband and I say all the time how easy it would be to take care of one baby now that we’ve lived through taking care of two. But the reality is that it wouldn’t be all that easy…I already have two children to care for, and at times I wonder if there’s enough of me for the two of them (not to mention my husband, work, etc….). When I actually stop to imagine it, I think my family may be pretty perfect as it is now, with our two girls. My sister and I have become best friends as we’ve gotten older, and I love to think that my girls will have an even stronger bond. I can’t help but think a third would probably feel a little left out at times. (And although I would be okay with another set of twins, we would all be in the loony bin, so the point of having more children would be moot!)

    Of course, I am only 27, as is my husband, so who knows what the next 10 years or so hold??

  18. When we decided to get pregnant for the second time, twins were no where on our radar. (This was pretty stupid given the fact that there are so many twins in my family it is hard to keep track of them all.) We had one daughter and thought a second child would be nice. We kept the door open for a possible third but figured we’d likely be done with two. Then at six months gestation, we learned that I was carrying twins.

    I am really happy that I had the opportunity to have a singleton and while there were a lot of mixed feelings about the twins in the beginning, I’m happy that I got to experience twins as well. (My g/g twins are 8 months old.) I am absolutely done having children but it is such a gift to hear my oldest daughter say, “Mama. I really love my baby sisters.”
    .-= Samantha´s last blog ..Handmade for the Holidays =-.

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