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difference between one child or multiple

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Funkybutt
LIF Adult

Member since 4/15

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difference between one child or multiple

I have 1 son who's 10 and I'm dating someone with 4 kids (ranging from 5-12). I'm very used to the only kid dynamic and my son is a great kid. I've gotten used to the quiet (although he can definitely be loud sometimes) and now that he's older he can entertain himself without bugging me every 5 minutes to play with him or for a snack.

So, I find it difficult sometimes to hang out at my boyfriend's house with the constant chaos of 4 kids. The 2 boys have ADHD, and one of the boys is mostly blind.

We're not even close to getting to the point of moving in together, but I do occasionally think about our future. So - I'm curious about the differences in having an only child vs having multiple. What is typical sibling behavior? How did you navigate going from 1 to multiple if your kids have a wide age difference?

Posted 2/12/20 9:06 AM
 

b2b777
LIF Adult

Member since 9/09

4474 total posts

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difference between one child or multiple

Hmmm this is a tough question to answer. I have two boys. They are both loud and energetic most of the time. They play nicely together one minute, the next they are wrestling and jumping off the furniture. They are good kids, just very young with lots of energy. I think the main difference is that there are not "your" kids. You are walking into a house where the rules are established and they are not your own. I think that is where things vary more than 1 vs 4. Maybe someone who is a step parent can weigh in.

Posted 2/12/20 9:35 AM
 

LSP2005
Bunny kisses are so cute!

Member since 5/05

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L

Re: difference between one child or multiple

I think there is a huge difference between one and two, two can entertain one another. But one and four, or five if you add in your own child is an entirely different animal. The number of schedules to coordinate, the background noises, the jumble of shoes, etc. is such an enormous difference. That is not even taking into consideration any special needs. I am one of three kids, and growing up my neighbor was one of six kids. There is always someone in your business, but at the same time, there is someone to play with.

Posted 2/12/20 1:54 PM
 

lululu
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Member since 7/05

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Re: difference between one child or multiple

I don't think that 4 kids between 5 and 12 years old is a wide age difference. that would make them all roughly 2 - 3 years apart.

As for having more than one children, I have three and yes it can be very chaotic. Way more chaotic than I would imagine having one child is because now you are juggling 3 or 4 times as many schedules, 3-4x the amount of homework, doctors appts, laundry etc. The list goes on...

I'm not sure I could move in with someone that had kids if I was divorced. I think I would wait until my children and theirs were all out of the house in college.

Posted 2/12/20 5:59 PM
 

PitterPatter11
Baby Boy is Here!

Member since 5/11

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Momma <3

difference between one child or multiple

Houses with more children are going to be noisier and potentially more chaotic. I have an only child. He’s well behaved and can entertain himself. Our house is relatively quiet. He can, however, be a crazy 5 year old at times.

My sister, on the other hand, has three children very close in age (3-6). They are great kids and play well together but her house is way more chaotic than mine. Someone is always yelling or having a meltdown. When we visit, my son adds to the chaos and then there is just one more kid who is screaming or melting down. I think it is the nature of the beast when you’re talking about more than one kid - especially when it’s family and they’re comfortable with one another.

Message edited 2/12/2020 8:40:38 PM.

Posted 2/12/20 8:38 PM
 

nycgirl
Angels!

Member since 3/09

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Re: difference between one child or multiple

We have 3 kids and have a very loud, chaotic house. It’s not bad in any way... they are loving, helping, competing, fighting, testing boundaries and growing. It’s definitely different when they have older and younger “equals” to boss around and bother. It’s definitely a different relationship between a kid and parents or a kid and friends.

It sounds like you are getting in a more complex situation than my 3 kids.

Posted 2/13/20 7:51 AM
 

Funkybutt
LIF Adult

Member since 4/15

2990 total posts

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Re: difference between one child or multiple

Posted by nycgirl

It sounds like you are getting in a more complex situation than my 3 kids.



The ADHD and blindness certain have their challenges, plus add that he has a difficult co-parenting relationship with his ex. I co-parent with my ex, and while it's not perfect, it's certainly better than some I've heard about. It's all going to be a challenge, I suppose, as a single mom dating another single dad.

Posted 2/13/20 11:02 AM
 

LuckyStar
LIF Adult

Member since 7/14

7146 total posts

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difference between one child or multiple

I also have an only child. I don’t think I could deal with the chaos of 4 more kids.

My DH is one of 3 and it sounds like they spent more time in the ER then at home. Someone was always breaking a bone or slicing their foot or whatever they did. The kids never really got along, either. Fought constantly.

If you don’t plan on living together I think it’s perfectly ok for you to limit your time with his kids. If you do want to eventually live with him you’ll need to accept the kids. I would think long and hard about that not just for your sake, but for your son’s.

Posted 2/14/20 10:43 AM
 

Funkybutt
LIF Adult

Member since 4/15

2990 total posts

Name:

Re: difference between one child or multiple

Posted by LuckyStar

If you don’t plan on living together I think it’s perfectly ok for you to limit your time with his kids. If you do want to eventually live with him you’ll need to accept the kids. I would think long and hard about that not just for your sake, but for your son’s.



Yeah, that's part of why I'm curious about what's normal behavior. I certainly don't want to make things difficult for my son, but I don't know what's typical sibling dynamic vs me having low tolerance after only raising 1 for so long. It's definitely easier for me to change my outlook than for 5 kids to give me peace and quiet. Chat Icon

Posted 2/14/20 12:25 PM
 

BaysideForever
LIF Adult

Member since 1/11

9976 total posts

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Re: difference between one child or multiple

I only have one kid and can't imagine adding 4 more into the mix practically overnight. But... Think of it this way. In 8 years, your ten year old might be going off to college or getting a job. Now his 4 kids aged 5-12, I am not quite sure where the twins fall into that mix and how much the adhd and blindness might affect their futures (meaning being reliant on the parent still)... but by like 13-16 the kids start to want to just be in their room, hang outside of the house with their friends more and overall start doing "adult" type things. there will be less rough housing and kids going all crazy. I mean it will still be hectic. there will still be noise and fights. but 5-13 is the crazy time. once everyone is over 13 the dynamic will shift majorly and by 18 they could maybe even be out of the house or more focused on work and academics.

Posted 2/17/20 12:42 PM
 

Straightarrow
LIF Adult

Member since 2/11

3534 total posts

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Re: difference between one child or multiple

Posted by Funkybutt

Posted by LuckyStar

If you don’t plan on living together I think it’s perfectly ok for you to limit your time with his kids. If you do want to eventually live with him you’ll need to accept the kids. I would think long and hard about that not just for your sake, but for your son’s.



Yeah, that's part of why I'm curious about what's normal behavior. I certainly don't want to make things difficult for my son, but I don't know what's typical sibling dynamic vs me having low tolerance after only raising 1 for so long. It's definitely easier for me to change my outlook than for 5 kids to give me peace and quiet. Chat Icon



My SO only has one son, but it was definitely a HUGE transition for my son who has always been the only kid. It wasn't so hard on my SO's son because he has siblings at his mom's and he's only there on the weekends, so it is more him sharing my son's space (because they share a room, lol) etc.

But I do think, and we do have issues with him, it was overwhelmingly worth it. They both have learned a lot from each other about a lot of things.

But four more kids is a lotChat Icon

I am also going to just throw in something too, the whole long term not living together is tough. My BFF got married and she and her husband can't live together because they both have 50/50 custody and they live in NJ/PA and it is really hard on them and the their kids. They will be able to live together in like 9 years.

Posted 2/28/20 12:53 PM
 

Funkybutt
LIF Adult

Member since 4/15

2990 total posts

Name:

Re: difference between one child or multiple

Posted by Straightarrow

I am also going to just throw in something too, the whole long term not living together is tough. My BFF got married and she and her husband can't live together because they both have 50/50 custody and they live in NJ/PA and it is really hard on them and the their kids. They will be able to live together in like 9 years.



Yeah, I'm definitely not interested in dating long term without living together. And that's one of the things I have to decide eventually - if it doesn't seem like we could live together, then I want to find someone else where it'll a possibility. We've only been dating a year, so there's no rush, but eventually it's going to be something that has to be seriously discussed.

And yeah - going from being an only to being 1 of 5 is A LOT! But right now, we're opposite kid schedules so if we moved in together next week, he'd still basically be an only - with occasionally overlap.

Posted 2/28/20 1:10 PM
 

Straightarrow
LIF Adult

Member since 2/11

3534 total posts

Name:

Re: difference between one child or multiple

Posted by Funkybutt

Posted by Straightarrow

I am also going to just throw in something too, the whole long term not living together is tough. My BFF got married and she and her husband can't live together because they both have 50/50 custody and they live in NJ/PA and it is really hard on them and the their kids. They will be able to live together in like 9 years.



Yeah, I'm definitely not interested in dating long term without living together. And that's one of the things I have to decide eventually - if it doesn't seem like we could live together, then I want to find someone else where it'll a possibility. We've only been dating a year, so there's no rush, but eventually it's going to be something that has to be seriously discussed.

And yeah - going from being an only to being 1 of 5 is A LOT! But right now, we're opposite kid schedules so if we moved in together next week, he'd still basically be an only - with occasionally overlap.




IMO my friend didn't think it through. And they are even on the same kid weekends, it just is hard because they're all pre teens and play sports and have lives, etc. So they basically see each other with the kids one or two days a month.

It seems like you know what you have to consider long term, and that's the best you can do. Chat Icon

Posted 2/28/20 1:33 PM
 
 

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