Was it hard to get rid of your maternity clothes?

Phyllis - posted on 10/06/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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I have a 6 month old son and we have been leaning towards having one child. I thought I was ok with this decision so I whole heartedly got my maternity clothes prepped to be consigned. I didn't realize how emotional an experience it would be to get rid of these clothes. Anyone else go through this? Logistically it makes sense to have one child, my husband is 38, I'm 27, quit my corporate job, am now a SAHM. My husband is perfectly fine with one. I worked full time, was a full time student while I was pregnant and so maybe I'm just bored now? I had always pictured my self with two but love the freedom of having just one child to take care of and definitely enjoy having time to myself and activities sans child. I guess I am scared that 1) My son will be lonely being an only and 2) I will have some major urge 7 years from now really wanting another but it will be too late. Did anyone ever have any of these feelings? Any young moms who chose to stop at one?

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Laura - posted on 10/07/2010

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You are not alone with your thoughts and concerns! I think many of those posting here have experienced similar thoughts and emotions, though I can only speak for myself...

I didn't have any attachment to my maternity clothes--they had been packed up in a box and promptly forgotten until my family moved last year. Since I'm a bit past child-bearing years it was actually rather funny to re-discover them! I hope some newly expectant mom is using as I donated them to Goodwill. My husband and I chose to have one fairly early after my daughter was born anyway due to pre-existing health concerns (and age!) that made a second pregnancy much more risky. I've had no regrets about that decision! Remember that there is no right or wrong answer here--you and your husband need to decide what is best for your family situation. Try not to worry what others might think or say because ultimately it isn't their business!

Your concern about your son being lonely is a very common concern when choosing to only have one child. The long-standing excuse for having siblings has been that an only child will be poorly socialized and actually needs siblings for developing this important skill. That is utter hogwash! A recent study done by Ohio State University (I think it was OSU anyway) looked at that very issue. The results show that by the time onlies enter middle school, they are just as socialized as peers with siblings. The study could not find credible differences. Even when kids enter kindergarten, onlies' social skills, while slightly behind, improve dramatically. The conclusion: kids don't need siblings to develop social skills, they learn them just fine through regular interactions with people.

As for an only being lonely: Don't be scared! There are any number of things you can do that not only offer opportunities for developing social skills but combat loneliness too. When my daughter was young (before starting school) we had her in different programs and activitities--nothing that swamped our schedule, but enough to give her some structured time through the week. Here she had the chance to meet other kids her age and have fun learning and socializing. Some examples of what you can do include: reading programs through your local library; classes at a local YMCA; programs & activities through your local parks department. Some hospitals offer support groups for moms--check there as a way to possibly connect with other moms. Finally, you can always arrange for playdates with other families. Offer to watch someone else's child (or children) for a time in exchange for them watching yours. This provides social opportunities for your child and can offer you and your husband a chance for some "grown up time"! ; )

Finally, something to keep in mind as your son grows: He may tell you he wants a sibling! This is not uncommon among onlies; my own daughter expressed this desire. This usually starts around 4-5 years old and can last for a few years. Kids at this age are active and want playmates. They think that if they have a sibling, they will have someone to play with right away! This can be true for siblings close in age, but the more time between them, the less likely they are to even be able to interact. Kids this age (4-6) don't have a developed sense of time: to them a sibling will be a peer, someone about there age. Be prepared to explain this in terms your son will be able to understand. If, 7 years from now he asks this question, you will need to explain that siblings always start as babies (unless you consider adoption) and that a baby will not be able to play with him the way he wants. A baby will also take a lot of your time--time that he has come to expect from you as an only. When my daughter finally started school she met kids with siblings, both older and younger ones. It didn't take many sleepovers and playdates for her to announce one day that she no longer wanted a sibling! She didn't like the thought of having to share us (her parents) equally with another let alone share toys! She enjoyed having private, quiet time by herself and didn't like how her friends couldn't seem to get this. She chose to see being an only as a positive thing! I hope this helps and good luck to you and your family!

Nancy - posted on 10/13/2010

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Hubby only wants the one because parenting is so time and money consuming and I had a hard pregnancy and emergency c-section with baby in NICU for 6 wks. I can't get rid of my maternity clothes or baby toys, clothes or other items "just in case". I'm 40, he's not working steadily and my health isn't great. What am I holding onto?? I want another child, but so many reasons not to. It's not 100% certain that we're done, that's why you're hanging onto them, you aren't certain that you're done having kids yet. Explore that.

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Sinclairbrooks - posted on 07/16/2012

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We consciously made the decision to have only one child. I love it. I love our family of 3. We are a tight little unit! lol We have a lot of fun, I get a chance to spend a lot of one on one time with my child, there's more money to be able to do more things (we're not rich by any means, but if we had two, what little "mini vacations" we can afford now, wouldn't happen at all), I just love it. He is about 5 1/2 and I have NEVER regretted making the decision of one child. If you're having doubts about your decision, talk it over with your husband now. As far as I am concerned, 3 is a magical number!

Brynna - posted on 06/18/2012

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I feel ready to let go of a LOT of stuff I couldn't bare to even sort through a yr ago... and I think the only thing that changed is; I now feel my family is complete. My children are 12yrs apart and over the past decade I always had this nagging feeling I wasn't done. Now that I have my other child, that weight of not being able to let go is gone & I am ready to let it all go (minus a few 'keepsakes' I hope to give my children when they have their first born).
Maybe you are dealing with the same thing? A lingering hope, nagging feeling there is more to come, a subconscious desire to do it again?

Michelle - posted on 11/03/2010

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the only pregnancy clothing i had were 3 good pants, which i had gotten at the local thrift store, though im avarage size, i favor bigger t-shirts, i had used my shirts, and still have some that i used about 4 years ago, know the pants, i loved them, i love how they stretch, they were not tight at all, i mostly like the banded pants, i wore all my pants till they fell apart

Jennifer - posted on 10/26/2010

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My son just turned 7 years old and I still have my maternity clothes. I do have an attachment to them for many reasons... being pregnant was a wonderful time in my life and it was the beginning of my life with my son. My husband and I have also decided that we are happy with one child and the older he gets the harder it is to consider starting over with a new baby. We love the freedom that we have as he gets older because my husband I need and deserve "us time." He has friends in the neighborhood and play-dates that don't include all the moms sitting around (the kids rotate houses after school. :) Another big consideration is that college, etc is expensive and we want to be able to give our son as much as possible (my husband had very little while growing up and wants more for our son).

Your post reminds me of a lot of my concerns and only you know the answer for you. At times I felt surrounded by multi-children families, so sometimes just one child doesn't seem fair - no built-in playmates, but my friends with more than one tell me that their children go their separate ways at a young age anyway. I've begun to realize that the quality of my son's life has nothing to do with whether or not he has siblings. As far as the worry that you will want another later, I did begin to feel as though I wanted another child a few years ago. After my husband and I talked I began to realize that my motivation was fear. I was worried that I was running out of time and that there wouldn't be a better time for my family to grow. Then I realized how content I am with my life. I think that many moms have the same concerns and I hope that you discover what is best for you.

Brynna - posted on 10/22/2010

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I have 1 (she's 10 w/ multiple medical concerns & I had severe hyperemesis so we've tabled that discussion) and I still have my maternity clothes. I've pulled them out several times but they keep finding their way back into my 'storage' area along with all the baby clothes, toys, etc.

It is *never* a good week when I pull them out. It is best if they just stay safely tucked away 'just in case'.

I'm really afraid that hitting menopause will be a nightmare because the potential will be gone & I will have to face this being 'it'.

Sonia - posted on 10/20/2010

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I couldn't have said it better Laura. I'm a only child myself and a mother of one and life is full of thing to discover I never got lonely and my daughter is the same. Yes sometime she's bored but even when she is with friends they get bored and feel like they don't have anything to do! Kids will be kids no matter how many sibling they have.

As for maternity clothes, even though I knew i was going to have only one kid, i kept some, just because they were nice clothes but I finally gave them away and the only tears I shed was remembering that I paid a lot of money for wearing them for only a fews months ;)

Katherine - posted on 10/15/2010

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This hasn't been an issue for me - I'm still wearing some of my maternity clothes three years on! I'm 5'11" so it's really hard to get tops which are long enough in the body and I find maternity tops stretch down as well as out so I'm keeping them! :-)

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I sold my maternity clothes on Craigslist, and liek someone else said, I had no attachment to them. In fact, I sold ALL of my son;s infant things on Craiglist! Every single baby paraphanelia. For me, that symbolized more of a confirmation in our decision to just have one child. I never regretted that decision.

Dawn - posted on 10/08/2010

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I didn't have much maternity clothing since I was on house rest for most of my pregnancy, but the few items I did have I was able to give to a friend with little regret...I tend to be really sentimental so I thought I would take it harder than I did!! I don't concider myself a young mother, but I am not too much older than you (32 y/o) and my husband (age 43) and I have decided we will only have one for the same reasons; I enjoy being able to give my son all my attention and still having time for myself. And I always say I am 99.9% certain in this regard; I can not predict how I will feel years down the road, so I will leave myself a little wiggle room; but I will just buy new maternity clothes and baby supplies if that happens.

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