11 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Deciding to Have Another Child
Once upon a time, you endured pregnancy, gave birth and had a beautiful little baby. You are exhausted and seem to be on a ferris wheel that never ends. Diapers, bottles, spit up, crying, more diapers. Then one day it happens. Your little baby turns one and is officially not a baby anymore. You start to miss that baby stage and all that comes with it. That’s when your ovaries kick back into high gear. You think to yourself “I want another one!”
The decision to have my second child was A LOT harder to make than my first. The first time was easy because I knew I wanted to be a mother. The second time I had a much better understanding of what I was in for. I had to decide if I really wanted to go through it all over again. My brain and my instincts were at war with each other. It was a struggle between:
Brain: “It’s a big responsibility. Let’s think about this.”
Instincts: “LET’S HAVE A BABY RIGHT NOW!”
My brain was trying to rationalize my reasons to add another child while everything else in my entire being wanted another baby. Good job Mother Nature! I of course ended up having a second child, but it was decided after months of consideration and getting to the core root of why I wanted another one, not just because my instincts said yes. Brain: 1, Instincts: 0.
Deciding on having baby #2 shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are some questions to consider before pulling the trigger.
Are you financially able to care for another baby?
Children cost a lot of money, as I’m sure you already know since you have a little bub already. Statistics say the cost to raise a child is around $233,610 from birth to age 17. Are you prepared to double that number?
Are you thinking past the baby stage?
Babies don’t stay babies forever. Are you thinking beyond the baby stage? Are you prepared to raise another toddler, teenager? If you want another baby for the sake of having a baby, then that is not a good reason to have another one.
Are you only doing it to try for a boy/girl?
If you are considering having another child merely to try for a specific sex, then you should really reevaluate your decision. There is no harm in wanting a boy or a girl, but it shouldn’t be your sole reason for wanting another child.
Do you feel like something is missing?
This was a big question for me. Before my second child came along, I always felt like something was missing; in pictures, at the dinner table, on family vacations. It was an itch I couldn’t scratch. Now that my second daughter is here, I feel complete. She was exactly what our family needed. Ask yourself this question and
see where your heart takes you. Are you completely happy and satisfied with one child, you do you feel like there is something missing?
What is the main reason you want another child?
If your answer is because you want another kid, well I suppose that’s fine. For me, the main reason is because I wanted raise another person to be kind and to leave the world a little better than they found it. Will that happen? I have no idea. All I can do is try my best and hope that I am able to guide them in the right direction to be good and do good.
Are you doing it for the playmate?
One of the perks of having 2 kids is that they can play with each other. They will both have someone to grow up with and experience life together as siblings. But again, this shouldn’t be the only reason to have another child. You never know if they will get along or if your toddler will adjust well to sharing Mommy and Daddy. They may even grow up and never speak to each other again, which is what happened between me and my sister. Yes, having a sibling to grow up with is great but it shouldn’t be your main reason to pull the trigger.
Is your family pressuring you?
My first daughter was only 2 weeks old when my Grandmother asked me when the second one was coming. It seemed like there was a lot more pressure to have a second kid than having the first one. It can be hard to stay true to yourself, especially if you are a people pleaser, but don’t base your decision on what others want. You are the one who will have the responsibility of taking care of another child, not them. The decision should be between you and your spouse only.
Is it just your hormones talking?
Remember stepping back and rationally thinking vs letting your hormones run wild? Make sure you are really thinking this through and not just doing it because Mother Nature wired you this way. I know, seeing a baby in a store makes my ovaries pulsate too, but don’t make impulsive moves and think things through first.
How will you feel if you DON’T have another one?
This was another big question I had when I was considering another child. Would I regret not having another one when I’m older? Would I look back and wish that I could redo it? In the end the answer I came up with was yes, I would regret it. This is of course another decision you have to make for yourself, and it is not easy. Think into the future and picture your life years from now. Do you see yourself with 1 kid or 2?
Are you ready to do it all over again?
Do you really want to endure pregnancy and birth again? All those middle of the night feedings and never ending diaper changes? Trying to calm a crying baby while chasing a toddler around all day? Is your heart prepared to have double the love? It can and WILL get hectic, but one thing for certain is that this is a crazy ride that I love to be on. So ask yourself, do you want to do it all over again?
Can you accommodate another child?
Making room for a baby is no joke. Those little bubs come with lots of accessories, sold separately unfortunately. Does your house have enough bedrooms for 2 kids? Can your vehicle fit 2 strollers? Growing up I came from a family of 5 and we all lived in a small mobile home. I’m proof that it is possible to squeeze everyone in a small space, but an ideal situation would be for everyone to have breathing room and to live comfortably.
At the end of the day, having a second child is all up to you. It is a lifelong decision that only you can make. For me personally, I was terrified of having to start all over again, but my pros outweighed my cons. I am very glad I had my second daughter. I couldn’t imagine life without her and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.