I, for one, was always sure that I will have two kids. It never even occurred to me that I should give a serious thought to having a second child or be content after my first baby. Having said that, we waited for a couple of years before planning our second baby. We kept a healthy gap of 4 years between both of our children. This also gave us time to be in a better financial position. We are probably one of the few of blessed couples who were never prodded by our families for having babies. There were many ifs and buts besides numerous discussions between me and husband. But, what’s meant to be will be.
Having a second child brings many changes in the ecosystem around you. It also brings a lot of changes in the dynamics of the relationships between people around. It can be challenging to deal with two children at the same time. It’s not a cake walk, for sure. Just imagine for an instance that you were given exclusive attention for quite some time and then suddenly comes another person who becomes the talk of the town. How would you feel? That’s exactly what happens with the first-born children. They start feeling neglected as soon as the second baby arrives. It’s a very delicate phase that needs to be dealt with extra care.
If you are thinking about having a second child, then there are few things that you should think about before taking the plunge:
- Are you prepared? – By this, I mean being prepared both mentally and physically. Mentally because you already have a child who needs your time and attention. Are you prepared to divide the time and attention, without making it tough for both you and your child? Physically because your body has already through numerous changes after the first child. Are you prepared mentally and physically to go through pregnancy and labour once again?
||Get hold of your thoughts and do some serious introspection||
- Did you think about your job or career? – Now, this is a tough one. If you are a working professional then, you have once already taken a career break at the time of your first child. Are you ready to do this again? I know several women who have successfully returned to their full-time jobs again after having the second baby. I also know many women who restarted and reshaped their careers by choosing options that gave them the flexibility of working from home. I also know a few who made a conscious choice of leaving their jobs to be with the children. I made a conscious decision of staying back at home to bring up my kids and I chose to do something on my own. And, here I am.
||Be sure of your decision so you don't regret later||
- Do your finances support your decision of having the second baby? – Let’s agree that the times that we live in, having a decent lifestyle requires finances. I am not even talking about luxuries. Will your earning allow you to sustain the same or better lifestyle after the second child? All of us do some compromises and sacrifices now and then. But remember, the needs of the family only increase with time as the kids are growing up and your parents are ageing. Are you ready to tighten your fist and finances, if need be? You also have to save for your children’s education and your own future as well.
||Discuss about finances with your husband without hesitation||
- Have you prepared your first child about the arrival of the second child? – If your elder child is grown up enough to understand then you must gradually prepare her for the arrival of the second child. Make it an inclusive experience for her. Always answer her question, no matter how awkward or funny they are. Remember, it’s going to be a massive change for her too. Talk about how awesome it will be to have a sibling and the cool things both of them can do. Invoking negative emotions and feelings will only do harm to the bond between you and your first child.
||Never evoke the feelings of jealousy or rivalry in your first child||
All the points above are from my experience during the time we were planning to have our second child. I would love to know your thoughts on this. Is there something that you would like to add to it? Leave a comment below.