Are You Ready for Number Two?

When to Have a Second ChildMaking the decision to have another baby is a big one. The first time around, you had only yourself, your partner and your future child to consider. Now, you must also consider your first child.

Everyone feels differently about the prospect of having more children. For me, it was a scary thought. I suffered with PND (postnatal depression) with my first baby and not only was I worried about whether I would cope a second time around, but also the effect it may have on my eldest son. The last thing I wanted was for him to suffer.

Here I am going to discuss some common worries and questions that mothers and fathers have when considering adding to their families.

Can We Afford It?
It is very wise to take into consideration the financial aspects of having another baby. However, unless you are in dire straits, it’s not usually something that should stop you. Second babies are cheaper than first babies; you often have a lot of things you need left over from the first baby, and second time around you usually aren’t so worried about buying every little thing you possibly can. The novelty of baby shopping wears off by the time you get to #2, and more often than not you will be happy to accept hand-me-downs and make do with what you’ve already got. There are many ways to obtain dirt-cheap second hand baby clothes and equipment also, and second hand doesn’t necessarily mean the quality will be bad. Baby clothes especially aren’t usually worn for long, so will be in good nick by the time they make their way to you.

What About My Career?
If your job is important to you, then you may also be taking this decision a little more seriously than some. Not only will you probably have to consider childcare (and paying for it), but you will also have to think about taking time off work after having your baby, and how that may affect your prospects. However, if you are even thinking about having another baby, chances are there is a part of you that is happy to let your career take a back seat for a while. You could even ask about taking a career break for a while to focus on your kids.

What About My Oldest? How Will Another Child Affect Them?
I think this is something that worries pretty much every parent. You love your first baby so much; they are your entire world, your everything, and you can’t imagine ever being able to love another little one in the same way. You worry about how you will split your time between them. You worry about whether your oldest will feel like you have somehow left them behind. You worry about the day-to-day logistics of Life With Two Children. How will you find time to do everything? How will you cope with sleepless nights again? The answers to these questions are… answers I cannot provide you with, because they are all questions that are running through my head at present – my second baby is due in just under two months. All I can say (and what I keep telling myself) is that millions of women have more than one child, and manage fine. Millions of children are blessed with siblings every day, and they all cope with it eventually if not a lot better than we expect them to. Having a sibling is an enriching experience and although it may be hard at first, no life lesson will teach them more or bring them more joy than having a little brother or sister.

What Will My Family Think?
This is something that a lot of parents worry about. It may be a question more in the forefront of your mind if you are perhaps quite young, not married, or otherwise not in an “ideal” situation (what does that even mean?!) from your family’s perspective. The only thing to remember is this — it’s your decision. If you are happy in your situation and confident that you can cope, it really doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. Thank your family for their concern, and reassure them that you haven’t taken your decision lightly. You know what’s best.

I’d love to read your thoughts on this subject. How did you feel about having another baby? Is it something that frightened you, or did you jump in head first? What worries ran through your mind, and how did you resolve them?

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