Katie Holmes and Baby #2

So, yesterday I came across this blog post about Katie Holmes and an apparently  “overheard” conversation (I can’t find the link, by the way) regarding her (and Tom’s?) decision to try for baby number two. Her reason for the second baby? “Suri would love a brother or sister to play with. I think it would be good for her. It’s hard to say no to her.”

First, I’ll say this: Poor Katie. If all my overheard conversations with girlfriends were repeated and dissected on blog posts, I would look like the worst mother of all time. But, having said that, I can’t help but feel fascinated with her line of reasoning.

Jeanne Sager’s post on The Stir is ruthless in its dissection of Holmes’ reasoning. Sager hates the “my child wants a sibling” approach to parenthood that she believes way too many families are taking these days.

She wants to know why in the world parents would consider the idea of having another baby as “giving” a sibling to a child. I’ll quote:

“Our kids don’t carry our babies. They don’t breastfeed them. Or get up in the middle of the night with them, pay for their diapers and shoes and college. They don’t bear the emotional burden of raising their siblings to adulthood. In short, they have nothing to do with the important issues upon which a decision to have a child are based.”

I can get behind what Sager is saying here. Obviously, I’m not a fan of giving children everything they ask for. And I’ve got serious issues with someone who would make massive life decisions based on an inability to say no to a child.

But here’s my question: Is it that crazy to take into account that a sibling would be really wonderful for your child? I’m having a second child for several reasons, but one of them is that I love my brothers and I love the experience I had growing up with siblings. My husband would say the same. I love the idea of a house full of noise and messy teenage boys. I love the thought of my boys learning how to be compassionate, caring men because they’ve been forced into sharing and playing together and interacting with one another constantly. I love the thought of my boys stuck sharing a room and whispering to each other from bunk beds in the dark at bedtime.

So, I can’t say that our love and dreams for August had nothing to do with our decision to go for baby number two. August was already a part of our future. Of course he affected our life decision in that way. But having another child is far more than simply offering your first a playmate. And if it’s a result of your toddler’s demands, you’ve got troubles.

All that to say, will you read the post then let me know what you think? What’s a legit reason? What’s not? And do you still think Katie Holmes is the cutest ever? Because, come on, she kind of is.

  • http://www.sundayschoolrebel.typepad.com Sam

    Absolutely Katie Holmes is still cute, but she has all the money in the world to make sure she is! I still feel a wee bit sorry for her. She is so young, and has to be the wife of a big movie star. Not to mention all the CRAZY that surrounded her when she was pregnant.

    As for reasons to have a second child, definitely the sibling issue comes into play. Anyone who doesn’t consider that or say they don’t – well, whatever. Now, I don’t believe you should have a second child just so your first can have a sibling…but having a brother or sister is a good thing, for the most part. I like to think about issues beyond childhood – it’s so great when you can sit down with your adult sibling and talk about your family (the good, the bad, the ugly). It is so comforting to me that my brother and I can vent a little if we need to. Also, one day we’ll have each other to lean on when we have to take care of our parents, and when we lose them to death. I think the burden of being an only child is a big one.

    What I don’t agree with is when people insist on having children close together “so they can be friends”! I think that’s just crazy talk. I know that, when spaced closely in age, they are more likely to share and play, but you never know what personality combination you’re going to end up having. I would personally lose it with a stair step situation, or at least, think I would.

  • http://chaseafterwind.blogspot.com Amy B

    (The following diatribe is not aimed at you for linking to the article! It is aimed at the article itself, and all those – myself included- who would read it and talk about it with impunity.)

    First of all, I think that article at The Stir is just unconscionable. Who does the writer, and us as readers by extension, think we are to nose our way into Katie’s private conversation and private life? I find myself talking about the lives of celebrities all the time, as though their lives are free open fodder for discussion. But it’s gossip, pure and simple, and I am personally trying to make an effort no longer to engage in it. Celebrities are people too, and when we talk about them in such ways we are committing the sin of gossip.

    That being said, I do think wanting to give your child a sibling is an excellent reason to have a baby. My son is only 5 months old, and I am already looking forward to giving him playmates. I see how much he already enjoys being around other kiddos. Obviously other things need to be taken into consideration, but I think that article is way off-base in every way possible.

    And yep, Katie Holmes is a cutie pie. xo

  • http://mommymonk.wordpress.com Micha Boyett Hohorst

    Amy, I love your passion! You’re right, who are we to be discussing a supposed conversation Katie Holmes had with her friend at restaurant? Gossip, gossip, gossip…

    That said, I agree with you. Once a child is in your life, how can their presence not affect your decision to have another? Of course, it can’t be the only reason but I think we’re fooling ourselves if we think the decision can be completely separate from the affect it will have on your kids’ life. My biggest problem with the blogger’s belief that the birth of a child is only about the parent’s decision is that it affects the entire family, whether or not the parents are doing the raising.

    I agree, Sam. Not having a sibling is a major burden…especially for an adult child. The decision we make about having second children is a major choice in our child’s life.


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