Working Moms

Yes I Do! Wait! No I Don't!(also a family planning question)

So the heat is on me to have another. DS will be turning 3 in 3 months and I keep getting the "it's time for him to have a brother/sister".

Most of my in laws had their kids within 18 months of each other. I keep getting warned that if I wait too long to have another, DS will be too old to bond with her and they won't be close. I have no idea personally because I only have half siblings that were born a whole decade later (I think it was more of the fact that we lived 120 miles from each other that caused a bonding problem though lol)

Some days I want to get on having a baby like yesterday. They're mainly emotional reasons. I want a little girl. I miss being pregnant. I see DS kiss his little teddy bears and call them babies and I would just melt to see him do that to a real baby. 

The reasons I would love to wait another year....or 4.... are what quite a few people in my life call "over thinking". We both just re-started our careers a year (me) and six months (DH) ago and we need to get a little more settled in. We're broke. I have quite a few debts from the jobless days that I'm trying to pay off and at this point we can't afford daycare but at the same time make too much money to be eligible for Head Start (another baby would shift those numbers, but I'm not a baby-for-benefits kinda girl). Our apartment is a shoebox. Our car is a piece of......doo doo. We have a very old and angry chihuahua who can't take too much change right now.The list goes on and on.

I don't know.... I may just be thinking out loud (kinda). But I do have a somewhat related question....

Has anyone ever done Natural Family Planning? I was on the pill before but I think I'm finally letting all the religious talk about artificial contraceptives get to me (we're Catholic, but I'm the only one who practices and I also work at a Catholic School so I'm getting hit on the head with it everyday). Does it work? Is it some scheme from the Vatican to get us all pregnant? I would like to try it to clear my conscience about the whole manner but I think I'll just say a couple extra Hail Marys if it's just a bunch of hooey.

 

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Re: Yes I Do! Wait! No I Don't!(also a family planning question)

  • Your kid is adorable. But if you're broke, live in a shoebox, and need a new car, you should probably keep it to the one cute kid for now. And I think you already know that answer. Emotions aside, religion aside, you have a responsibility to provide for your family. You will be doing a disservice to your son to have another baby now and put your family further in debt. Get your finances in order, then try. But seriously, cute kid!
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  • I think you know your answer. You can't have another baby because you want to be pregnant/have a newborn again. Babies cost money and it's completely unfair to your son/potential future child to bring them into a situation where you're nowhere near financially ready for him/her.

    Yes, the dynamic of kids spaced 4+ years apart will be different than 18 months apart. Their relationship will be special in its own way, though.

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  • image Estwd2:
    Your kid is adorable. But if you're broke, live in a shoebox, and need a new car, you should probably keep it to the one cute kid for now. And I think you already know that answer. Emotions aside, religion aside, you have a responsibility to provide for your family. You will be doing a disservice to your son to have another baby now and put your family further in debt. Get your finances in order, then try. But seriously, cute kid!

    All of this.  And no, I have never and would never do natural family planning.  But yes, your kid is adorable. 

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  • From what I understand about NFP - academically and from Catholic friends who have tried it - it can work if you have clockwork-regular periods and are extremely attentive.

    But for the most part, people who use NFP are collectively referred to as "parents."

  • NFP totally works.  We used it for our first year of marriage to avoid getting pregnant.  It's about the same thing women do when they want to get pregnant - they chart their fertility symptoms.  If you want to get pregnant, you have sex.  If you don't want to get pregnant, you abstain (or do something else like a condom - althrough true Catholic Natural Family Planning doesn't allow for condoms).  It's especially great if you're just so/so about not getting pregnant...you can change your mind at a moment's notice - no waiting for the pill to get out of your system.

    That said, hardly any time will ever be perfect to have a kid.  I'd go for it, but I'm a 2u2 wanna be!

    ETA: I don't have clockwork cycles. I'm anywhere from 28 days - 42 days and NFP works for us.  For those that don't abstain during their fertile times or aren't Catholic, they call the method Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) since it allows for you to seek or avoid a pregnancy.  Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a good book on it.

     

     

     

  • It doesn't really sound like a good ideal financially to have another LO right now esp if the motivation is b/c your family says you 'should' in order for them to be close. Plenty of kids born close together are not 'close' and plenty of kids born a few years apart are... But to be born into a family where the financial situation causes a lot of stress on the entire family unit is not good for anyone.

    As for NFP it can be relatively successful if used absolutely correctly (not just taking your temp but using all the parts) and there is a lot of room for human error & other variables, unfortunately. But many people love it and if you feel that it is the only option that adheres to your beliefs and you're comfortable with it, then go for it. Just know that there is more room for error (pregnancy) than the artificial methods.  Taking Charge of Your Fertility is a great book like pp said.
    GL.

  • jlaOKjlaOK
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    I agree with PP's, I think it sounds like you have too much on your plate right now to think about adding another baby in. My husband and I have been following Dave Ramsey's financial advice and I have made real progress paying off debt and getting our finances in order.

    As far as natural family planning, it can work well if you chart and educate yourself on how your body works. I would suggest reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility. We used the book to get pregnant with DS, but half of the book focuses on pregnancy avoidance.

    Good luck! 

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  • image Estwd2:
    Your kid is adorable. But if you're broke, live in a shoebox, and need a new car, you should probably keep it to the one cute kid for now. And I think you already know that answer. Emotions aside, religion aside, you have a responsibility to provide for your family. You will be doing a disservice to your son to have another baby now and put your family further in debt. Get your finances in order, then try. But seriously, cute kid!

    I agree with all of this.  Also we have done NFP and it works (yes I MEANT to have 5 kids 18 months apart), but it takes a lot of work (IMO) and you need a regular cycle.  We also used the "pull and pray" method along with NFP because I didn't trust it 100% on it's own and I didn't want to end up with kids 9 months apart.  If you choose to go that route, I'd do a lot of research before starting, esp because your reasons for not having another are greater than mine, I simply did it to get the ideal spacing I wanted, you really want to wait until you have your finances in order.  If I was in that situation I'd probably stick to the pill.

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  • image Estwd2:
    Your kid is adorable. But if you're broke, live in a shoebox, and need a new car, you should probably keep it to the one cute kid for now. And I think you already know that answer. Emotions aside, religion aside, you have a responsibility to provide for your family. You will be doing a disservice to your son to have another baby now and put your family further in debt. Get your finances in order, then try. But seriously, cute kid!

    I agree with all this, especially the cute kid part.

    As for NFP, I went off of BC after DH and I got married and we did NFP. I recommend the book Taking Charge of your Fertility. Like PP mentioned, you have to have very regular periods and be very very attentive. I loved not being on BC BUT DH and I both talked in length that while we weren't ready emotionally for a baby at that time, we could afford one in case I did get pregnant. If we couldn't really afford a baby, I would of probably stayed on BC and not taken the risk.

    Also wanted to add that my sister (not step or half) and I are 9 years apart, and while we have a much different relationship then my brother and I who are 3.5 years apart, we are still very very close. Wait another year, work really hard on getting your finances in order and re-evaluate your plans for another LO then.

    Best of luck to you and your family.

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  • image Estwd2:
    Your kid is adorable. But if you're broke, live in a shoebox, and need a new car, you should probably keep it to the one cute kid for now. And I think you already know that answer. Emotions aside, religion aside, you have a responsibility to provide for your family. You will be doing a disservice to your son to have another baby now and put your family further in debt. Get your finances in order, then try. But seriously, cute kid!

    All of this. There's nothing wrong with a larger space difference. The closest set of siblings I know are 7 years apart. DH and his brother are 13 months apart and can't stand one another. My brother and I are 19 months apart and are somewhere in the middle. It's a crap shoot. As for NFP, I know people who have practiced it successfully but I could never trust in it. Plenty of practicing Catholics use articifical BC -- you have to do what's best for your family and shut out all the opinions you get from others.

    FWIW, I plan to space a 2nd kid (if it happens) 3-5 years from DD for my own mental heath reasons. Smile

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  • image MrsG2B83:

    We both just re-started our careers a year (me) and six months (DH) ago and we need to get a little more settled in. We're broke. I have quite a few debts from the jobless days that I'm trying to pay off and at this point we can't afford daycare but at the same time make too much money to be eligible for Head Start (another baby would shift those numbers, but I'm not a baby-for-benefits kinda girl). Our apartment is a shoebox. Our car is a piece of......doo doo. We have a very old and angry chihuahua who can't take too much change right now.The list goes on and on.

    I think you know the answer here...I know it's tough to resist the call of having another baby if that is what you truly want, but the responsible approach is to look at the way things actually are now - ignore the voices of family members telling you what they *think* you should do - and evaluate based on the current reality.

    If you have a choice in the matter (as in you are not currently pregnant and can wait) - don't you think it would be a lot stress to welcome a new baby into a life that isn't one with a lot of debt stress, a shoebox apt, and an unreliable vehicle? Well there is no perfect time in general to have a baby, there are certainly things you CAN change that will make life much less stressful when the time comes to decide to try for another and so in a way, you can make it a better time to have a baby. You really need to think about what is best for your family picture overall.

    FWIW, I have friends with large age gaps between their siblings (we are talking 7 years for one friend, 10 years for another - and they are very close with their siblings). One situation is not necessarily better than another when it comes to child spacing - each has it's challenges and advantges!

    Best of luck!

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  • I don't mean to be crashing this thread (though I'll be going back to work in October!) but I'm a firm believer that there's never a perfect time.

    We had to undergo a very expensive DE IVF cycle, I was finishing grad school, had just been promoted at work, live in a one bedroom apt hundreds of miles from our nearest family members, blah blah blah...and yet, I am SO glad we took a leap of faith and went for it.

    Now, if you're having trouble making rent or paying bills, and your car isn't reliable in any way, maybe I'd reconsider. But otherwise, I'd totally go for it. Things always work themselves out.

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  • image MrsG2B83:

    So the heat is on me to have another. DS will be turning 3 in 3 months and I keep getting the "it's time for him to have a brother/sister".

    Most of my in laws had their kids within 18 months of each other. I keep getting warned that if I wait too long to have another, DS will be too old to bond with her and they won't be close. I have no idea personally because I only have half siblings that were born a whole decade later (I think it was more of the fact that we lived 120 miles from each other that caused a bonding problem though lol)

    Some days I want to get on having a baby like yesterday. They're mainly emotional reasons. I want a little girl. I miss being pregnant. I see DS kiss his little teddy bears and call them babies and I would just melt to see him do that to a real baby. 

    The reasons I would love to wait another year....or 4.... are what quite a few people in my life call "over thinking". We both just re-started our careers a year (me) and six months (DH) ago and we need to get a little more settled in. We're broke. I have quite a few debts from the jobless days that I'm trying to pay off and at this point we can't afford daycare but at the same time make too much money to be eligible for Head Start (another baby would shift those numbers, but I'm not a baby-for-benefits kinda girl). Our apartment is a shoebox. Our car is a piece of......doo doo. We have a very old and angry chihuahua who can't take too much change right now.The list goes on and on.

    I don't know.... I may just be thinking out loud (kinda). But I do have a somewhat related question....

    Has anyone ever done Natural Family Planning? I was on the pill before but I think I'm finally letting all the religious talk about artificial contraceptives get to me (we're Catholic, but I'm the only one who practices and I also work at a Catholic School so I'm getting hit on the head with it everyday). Does it work? Is it some scheme from the Vatican to get us all pregnant? I would like to try it to clear my conscience about the whole manner but I think I'll just say a couple extra Hail Marys if it's just a bunch of hooey.

     

    Natural Family Planning works well if you do it properly. You can't mess up and expect it to be ok and you can't take several days off. There are books, sites and classes you can take if you want. IT's the only thing that has worked for me. The pill and the patch failed me and I was careful. For me it's not the religious aspect but it actually worked better. (in my life) People will confuse the "rhythm method" or the "calendar method" and that's too bad because Natural Family Planning does work.

    If you are in a bad financial state and you aren't sure if it's the right time but you are considering it because you are afraid your kids might not have the right bond.....don't do it. I am 4 years apart from my brother and we are close. My mother is 20 years apart from her brother and sister and they are very close. It's not just about age gaps. My kids are almost 3 years apart and they are very close.

  • image RoxyLynn:

    From what I understand about NFP - academically and from Catholic friends who have tried it - it can work if you have clockwork-regular periods and are extremely attentive.

    But for the most part, people who use NFP are collectively referred to as "parents."

    This isn't what I have read and heard. It can also work when you don't have clock-work periods.EDIT I would like to say that irregular cycles make things more difficult but people can still do it.

    The second part is insulting. When used correctly it works as well as the pill, similar failure rates.

  • image blush64:
    image RoxyLynn:

    From what I understand about NFP - academically and from Catholic friends who have tried it - it can work if you have clockwork-regular periods and are extremely attentive.

    But for the most part, people who use NFP are collectively referred to as "parents."

    This isn't what I have read and heard. It can also work when you don't have clock-work periods.EDIT I would like to say that irregular cycles make things more difficult but people can still do it.

    The second part is insulting. When used correctly it works as well as the pill, similar failure rates.

    OK I get why you thought pp was insulting but I think you are very off in stating that the pill ( around 91% typical use) effectiveness is the same as NFP (around 75-80% typical use).   In addition 'perfect use' of the pill is still higher than NFP even with the most generous estimates for perfect use NFP.

  • FWIW, my sister and I are 6+ years apart and grew up incredibly close. Probably closer than our much younger siblings who are only 2 years apart and were always competitive with each other growing up. I'm sure it depends on the individual kids, but distance in years doesn't equal a lack of a bond IMO.

    And my only experience with NFP was when the couple that led our pre-cana retreat were beating us over the head with it and espousing the many virtues of NFP ... they were expecting their 5th surprise.

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  • Do you have a timeline for getting back on your feet financially?

    If I were you I would start very intentionally working towards a baby -- figure out how "ready" you could be to have #2 15 months from now or 21 months from now, and then use the 6-12 months before you start trying to really put things in order.

    And I would prioritize: Small apartment is a bummer but you can deal with it indefinitely.  Debt will eat away at your income, so you should get on top of that.  A different car is more or less important depending on how much you can use public transportation and how bad it really is (like old and no air conditioning bad, or like sinking money into it all the time bad?).  

    And NFP... I think you should have sex with a clear conscience, so if I were in your shoes, I would do it.  Know that you need to REALLY follow it though -- NFP and the Rhythm Method are very different.  If you are in a catholic setting, start asking around and you will probably be able to find some women who really know their stuff and can help you out.

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  • Re: financial stability

    Do you & your husband have a financial plan for getting back on track? If not, make one and set a goal for yourself of when you'll be more stable and when you'll be able to start working on child #2. BTW - since you're Catholic anyway, the Catholic-run nurseries are way cheaper than standard daycare so check out some of the local parishes and see what the options are. You might even qualify for a scholarship.

     

    Re: NFP

    Most of the critiques people are offering here refer to the rhythm method that was popular in the 1980s. The thermo-symptom method currently taught by the Couple to Couple league is much more scientific and does not assume regular cycles like the rhythm method did. We use it & it works. I'd recommend taking the full course before deciding whether or not to use the method - until you've really studied it & started charting, you won't understand what it's all about. Hint: it's not just a scheme to make you the next 20 kids & counting mom.   

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  • hocushocus
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    While I'll admit that if you wait until everything is perfect then no you probably never have another child. However I think you need to wait until things are "good enough" and there really is a difference. I 'm a planner so if I wanted another baby and knew that we needed to x and y first I'd get out a calendar and a spreadsheet and figure out when we could get x and y done. I also have to say that as much as I love kids I wouldn't want one if it meant a major drop in the quality of my life. I am not talking about living lean, I am talking about choosing between rent and dinner and dodging phone calls from creditors. I don't really know how bad things are but I'd focus on having a kid when you can be the parent you want to be.

    I can't comment on NFP because we don't use it. However in my understanding there is for more "user error" with that then there is with the pill. If you guys are already having lower frequency sex (say 1-4 times per month) it might work well, but if you guys have sex every other day (or more) then I don't think it will work for you without placing a lot of stress on you. 

    My kids are close and there were lots of reasons for that, but you better believe that I would have waited longer had our situation been different.

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  • I did NFP and it worked fine for me, but I wanted 2u2, and it might have failed us later if we continued to want to not have children. I still had doubts about it not working when I decided to do it, so after I read the material and started practicing it, I gave myself a couple extra days of abstinence on either side of my fertile time just to alleviate some worry. I would recommend it - it will work just as well for people in your kind of living sitauation as other people, as long as you do it diligently. Good luck with whatever you choose!
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  • I have a twin and we are 8 years older than my brother. We never felt like we didn't bond! We went to college when he was just 10 so he did spend a lot of time feeling like an "only child", but in those 10 years we did live at home we totally spoiled him. My parents also had way more money when my bro was born and were more stable and the kid never wanted for anything, when they were on a tight budget at a younger age with twins. He also got to have a ton of experiences his friends didn't because his sisters were old enough to take him places and treat him :) Also, from my parents saved on babysitters!

     I haven't used NFP, but I was using FAM (fertility awareness method). Check out the book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility". It helps you track and you can use it to avoid pregnancy or to try to get pregnant. I've used it successfully for both, but it may take you a few months to feel comfortable enough to use it exclusively if you are trying to avoid.

  • You ultimately do what's best for you and your family.  Siblings are either going to be close or not.  My siblings and I are pretty close in age and we are not super close but are there for each other when we need to be.  That being said.  My DD is almost 2, my SD is 15 and they ADORE each other!  My DD sometimes wants nothing to do with me and only her big sister and my SD is so good with her.  She misses her when she's gone etc.  I am not saying to wait that long but the gap in between means nothing.  It's how they are raised and who they are as people.  Good luck and tell everyone else to mind their own. 

  • image MrsG2B83:

    .

     We're broke. I have quite a few debts from the jobless days that I'm trying to pay off and at this point we can't afford daycare b

     

     

    this is your answer. No. you cannot afford a child right now. 

    My little girl is growing up! (born 12/09) Little brother is here! (born 5/2012) .  Missing our sweet baby lost in December 2013.  Thank you Lord for my precious family!
  • My kids are 3.5 years apart and very close.  My brother and I are 9 years apart and close.  We used FAM (fertility awareness method) from Taking Charge of Your Fertility and it worked for us (and we're very fertile).  However, I didn't use it when we really couldn't afford another kid; I used a back up method in addition to FAM then.  I'd wait until you can afford it. 
  • image groovygrl:
    image blush64:
    image RoxyLynn:

    OK I get why you thought pp was insulting but I think you are very off in stating that the pill ( around 91% typical use) effectiveness is the same as NFP (around 75-80% typical use).   In addition 'perfect use' of the pill is still higher than NFP even with the most generous estimates for perfect use NFP.

    I didn't make up the information and the NFP I am talking about is not the rhythm method or calendar method. People refer to it as FAM. (Fertility Awareness Method) I call it by this name because during the fertile window I would abstain when preventing rather than use a condom. I have heard it called a few different things but it's a scientific method that works well. Maybe the percentages you are mentioning are for other methods or including the other methods. (rhythm, calendar, using some sort of beads) None of those should be included when you are talking about the FAM or NFP because they aren't the same.EDIT (the NFP I use, not the others you might be talking about)

    EDIT to be more clear, The Natural Family Planning I am talking about is FAM that others have mentioned but using abstinence as well. The church I attend called it Natural Family Planning so I keep using that term.  This point on I'll refer to it as FAM so as not to confuse it with other less effective methods. (unless I am talking to someone in the church)

    EDIT I wanted to clear out some quotes.

  • image MrsG2B83:

    Some days I want to get on having a baby like yesterday. They're mainly emotional reasons. I want a little girl. I miss being pregnant. I see DS kiss his little teddy bears and call them babies and I would just melt to see him do that to a real baby. 

    The reasons I would love to wait another year....or 4.... are what quite a few people in my life call "over thinking". We both just re-started our careers a year (me) and six months (DH) ago and we need to get a little more settled in. We're broke. I have quite a few debts from the jobless days that I'm trying to pay off and at this point we can't afford daycare but at the same time make too much money to be eligible for Head Start (another baby would shift those numbers, but I'm not a baby-for-benefits kinda girl). Our apartment is a shoebox. Our car is a piece of......doo doo. We have a very old and angry chihuahua who can't take too much change right now.The list goes on and on.

    I don't think having a baby purely for emotional reasons is a smart idea.

    And the fact that you are broke is not over thinking whether you should have anotehr child or not.  If you don't have the money, don't have more kids.


  • image blush64:
    image groovygrl:
    image blush64:
    image RoxyLynn:

    OK I get why you thought pp was insulting but I think you are very off in stating that the pill ( around 91% typical use) effectiveness is the same as NFP (around 75-80% typical use).   In addition 'perfect use' of the pill is still higher than NFP even with the most generous estimates for perfect use NFP.

    I didn't make up the information and the NFP I am talking about is not the rhythm method or calendar method. People refer to it as FAM. (Fertility Awareness Method) I call it by this name because during the fertile window I would abstain when preventing rather than use a condom. I have heard it called a few different things but it's a scientific method that works well. Maybe the percentages you are mentioning are for other methods or including the other methods. (rhythm, calendar, using some sort of beads) None of those should be included when you are talking about the FAM or NFP because they aren't the same.EDIT (the NFP I use, not the others you might be talking about)

    EDIT to be more clear, The Natural Family Planning I am talking about is FAM that others have mentioned but using abstinence as well. The church I attend called it Natural Family Planning so I keep using that term.  This point on I'll refer to it as FAM so as not to confuse it with other less effective methods. (unless I am talking to someone in the church)

    EDIT I wanted to clear out some quotes.

    I understand what it is. Give me a reliable reference on this showing comparable success rates in a large sample of people as compared to hormonal methods. Oral contraceptives are 99.9% effective in a perfect circumstance and in the 90s for typical use over the course of a year.  I have never, ever, read any statistics citing natural family planning to have a 99.9% or even 90-something% effectiveness rate unless maybe if you are abstaining more than 50% of the time (and then basically have a week or so a month in which most women would be comfortable having sex b/c of menstruation) which really is not what most ppl do with NFP.  When the research is compiled for effectiveness & failure rates I believe it is on ppl using solely that method, not using a condom during fertile periods.

  • I agree w/ PPs...you have too much going on, too many debts to have another child.  I know you know that is the answer.  Your kid is adorable!  But if you have another adorable kid, they will grow up too!

    As for NFP.  The Catholics we know who supposedly used it, got pregnant almost immediately (unintentionally).  They're now on their 5th child...

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  • 2-Step2-Step
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    Don't listen to other people about how your children will bond. They will bond based on what type of environment you offer them and ultimately who they are as people. My brother and I are 20 months apart and have never been particularly close, we have opposite personalities and get along, but don't really hang out outside of family functions. However my DH has a brother 8 years younger and they are best of friends, he's over right now playing with my kids and watching sports. My mom also has a sister 7 years younger and they are very close. Do what you know is right for your family and right now that sounds like waiting to me.
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  • If you cannot afford another child, you shouldn't have one right now.

    My friends did Natual Family Planning (the "scientific way" not the calendar method).  They had two accidental pregnancies before the husband got fed up and had a vasectomy.

    Personally, I don't consider NFP to be birth control.  It's a great way to wind up with unplanned pregnancies.

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