Every time I see a 2year old something, I feel like grabbing her . Off late, that’s been the case. I have always loved 1 year and 2 year olds more than babies. I just adore them talking in their funny broken language, running around like a drunk person and even their sloppy wet kisses. So, when I told my dear friend about this, she asked me if I wanted to have second baby. Another baby – that’s a BIG question. A question that daunts every single child parent initially. Your parents ask you, relatives joke around that question and few close friends even advise you to take the leap. But, are YOU ready for a Second child?
So as I wondered what my friend had asked, I realized there was no easy answer to that question. At least in my case. Here are the dynamics you need to reflect on:
Pre and Post-pregnancy Health
I had a somewhat difficult pregnancy. I was on meds all the time and could barely eat for first 4months which finally led to hospitalization. Post that, I had other problems cropping up every now and then. But thankfully, I worked till the very end and practiced Yoga till 8 months. So, I was pretty ok. But post-pregnancy was like hell. Nothing had prepared me for it. Thinking about it alone gives me shivers. No thoughts of a tender and sweet smelling baby can dilute the agony I went through. Everyone has gone through a similar or more gruesome experience that pushes to think twice before taking another plunge.
For those who managed a good time, think about your current state of health. Give yourself time to recover from previous child birth. Child birth is stressful, so, relax before you jump in again. For a healthy baby, research suggests that mothers should wait for 2-3 years between pregnancies.
Besides the physical fitness, you would want to consider your mental health as well. It took me quite some time to recover from post-natal depression and feel whole again. With a second child, chances are you will be more exhausted both mentally and physically. So, consider and evaluate both your mental and physical fitness before you take the plunge.
Age and Career
It is not unfair for a woman to opt out considering her career goals. Babies take good time out of our lives and so it is only prudent that we decide if we want to give our careers backseat yet again. Age is another factor to bear in mind. Personally, I don’t want to be raising a teenager or taking care of a young adult in my 50s.
Let’s keep it straight – raising children is an expensive business. Though money does not rule this decision but it should be a big consideration. Gone are the times when school fees and extra curricular activities hardly counted in the family budgeting. Remember you have to save for the college too.
Love for the Firstborn
Many of us opt for a second child for the sake of the first. We want to give our first one a lifelong confidant, a lifelong companion. So if that’s the thought behind the second child, Stop. No one can vouch for the relationship between the siblings. Of course as parent we would want them to bond but we cannot and should not force it. There is no assurance that both your children will bond. That said, if you want a second child for yourself, go ahead but don’t do that for tying your children.
There is a lot to deliberate here and no easy answer. It is not a decision to make in a jiffy. Every family is complete in its unique way. A child whether first, second, third or last should always come from both heart and soul. Nothing else matters.