Neha and Kush had a lovely baby girl two years ago. They both love her and are very happy as a family. However, of late Kush has been insisting they have another child and Neha feels unsure of whether she wants this. In fact, since she works full time as well, she is not sure if she will ever feel ready to have another child.
Just like the decision to have a first child is a very personal choice, so is the decision to have a second child. Whether one decides to have their second child or third, the truth is that any new addition to the family is bound to bring about changes in the lives of each family member involved. Since the situation for each couple/family is different, here are some important factors to consider when deciding to have a second baby:
Are both partners ready to take this step?
Since the decision to have a second child may rest in the hands of more than one person, it is natural for individual needs and values to clash sometimes. As in the case of Neha and Kush, the important thing to remember is that neither person is right or wrong; rather they each have a different perspective on the same matter.
Sometimes, as in Neha's case, even if there is enough financial and family support to have a second baby, one or both partners may feel there might be a lack of ‘time' to manage two children and full-time work all at once. However with care, respect and an openness to listen to each other's point of view, the couple can work out the dilemma in a way that makes the relationship stronger, irrespective of the final decision.
The additional expense that is going to be incurred upon the arrival of a second baby is an important factor to consider. Although it is not necessary to be wealthy to have a second child, it is important to anticipate certain costs, such as education for both children.
If both partners have been working full-time so far, it is essential to plan out how you both would balance work and raising two children. For example, will one of the partners be taking time off from work or would both continue working? This is a key point to consider as it would impact the income earned by the family.
If you are considering the idea of having a second baby, you would want to ensure that you are physically fit enough to handle a second baby. For example, if you have had a C-section when you delivered the first baby, you might need a gap of 18 months to 2 years before delivering the second baby. It is crucial to consult your doctors while making this important decision.
Pressure from Family and Society
Consider your own feelings regarding this decision, before conforming to familial or societal pressure to have a second baby.
The Joys of Having a Second Baby
To quote the words of Monica Rodgers, a businesswoman and proud mother, "It's easy to get caught up in the conversation of the ‘expense' of growing your family but by letting that be the reason for not having another child, you may truly be missing out on what life is all about. Having a family and growing together can be one of the most joyous experiences in life."
In spite of the jitters and the fear that sometimes accompanies the decision to have a second baby, let us explore some of the joys of having a second child...
• Love multiplies. If you are asking yourself the question "Will I love my second child as much as my first born?" do remember that you will realize the ability of the human heart to expand with love upon the arrival of the second baby. "Each child is so very unique from the other and each one has a room of their own in your heart" (Monica Rodgers).
• Two is company. Siblings share a very special bond as they learn so much through their interactions with each other. Very often, one or both parents may be keen on having a second child so that siblings can be a source of support to each other over the years.
• Creative problem solving. Along with positive interactions, families also learn and grow through teamwork and conflict resolution. Often parents learn from this too, as conflicts between the two siblings are bound to arise at some point or another and will require creative problem solving on the part of all the family members.
And last but not the least...
• You've done this before! As a parent, you may find it easier to manage all the changes that come with pregnancy and childbirth the second time around. Although each child will be unique in their personality, you would probably feel more confident in your approach to parenting as you've experienced it before.
Remember, there is no right or wrong answer. These points simply serve as food for thought while making the decision to bring a second child into this world. As parenting expert Dr. Michele Borba says, "It isn't the size of the family, it's the interactions of the members inside that matters"