You may think that after having your first baby, you’re ready for anything and everything. But the truth is that having a second child can be just as life-changing. Right when you start to feel like you’ve got the hang of this parenting thing, another little human comes into your life and turns it all upside down again.
Although there are plenty of reasons to have more kids after that first one, you have to be sure that you and your partner are on the same page. Life will change even more when you have not one but two tiny people to care for.
You don’t have to let your older child dictate when the next one arrives, but you should definitely factor them into your considerations. Even before the nine-month clock starts ticking, begin preparing them for the adjustments that may come with a sibling, even if that just means spending extra time together so they never feel second best.
New babies can introduce friction into even the most devoted relationships—and that friction can just be multiplied with every subsequent child if you don’t take the time to focus on re-establishing your connection with each other. There’s nothing wrong with pausing for a year or two (or even longer) to lay a new foundation for your life together.
Resist the temptation to romanticize. Do you have room for another crib? Will you need to transition your older child into a “big kid” bed? Experts recommend starting that process at least one to two months before the sibling is due. Think about the timing and logistics to avoid growing pains down the road.
If your first child is already school-age, you may not have had to think about childcare for a few years. But if you both work or if you need any kind of extra assistance, that’s just one more complication and one more bill to add to the pile.
As you already know from having your first child, kids can bring a lot of joy and light into your life. But don’t let yourself forget how much time and dedication a newborn demands. Will one of you need to put your career on hold to make things work? Are you willing to sacrifice some of your personal and professional aspirations, even if only temporarily? If the answer is yes, great! However, it’s also okay to devote some time to yourself and your goals.
In addition to steeper childcare costs, you’ll see all of your costs increase—raising just one kid can cost $233,610 from birth to age 17 (and that’s not including college tuition)! Do you and your partner feel ready to double that amount? Are you in a financially stable position, especially if one of you might have to stop working to care for a new baby?
Babies are a lot of work, even for those who don’t give birth themselves. They come with sleepless nights and a thousand emotionally fraught moments, plus all the other physically demanding aspects of providing for a newborn’s every little need. It’s perfectly acceptable (and even smart) to wait until you feel fully prepared for the physical and emotional tolls before you have another child.
Deciding whether or not to add to your little family can be a special time. None of these questions alone can determine for you whether or not you are ready for a second child, but they can be a useful place to start when you’re exploring the possibilities of a second child with your partner.
(Image: Pexels / Pixabay)