When To Have A Second Child?
Photo by Kevin Gent on Unsplash
Wondering whether to have a second child while the first is all grown up???
I am a mother of two beautiful children who are 8 years apart. On this day, my son is aged at 11 and my daughter is 3. Though the conception was not planned at all but as a family we took the plunge and there was no looking back. Here goes my little story of how we eventually became the complete family.
Our journey as a couple started in 2005, as planned three years from there we conceived our first child. It was almost mutual that we are happy being a family of three and done having kids. We have one child and will do everything possible to give him the best. Time passed and we a happy family of three. We dodged each and every argument the elders in our family threw at us to have a second child. My son being an extremely loving, emotional and sensitive child, he grew up understanding and accepting (temporarily I would say) that his cousins were his siblings but as those cousins started having siblings he soon got after us demanding a sibling.
Since he would constantly hear a negative response from us, his desperation increased and to an extent that he approached his granny to get him a brother or sister. Quick enough he realised that he would end up having a chachu or bhua instead he dropped that idea too.
As we belong to the anything for our child league we gave the second baby a serious thought and decided to try for the next 6 months. This is where the giving your child the best and everything stepped in. I took pre natal tests as I have PCOD so some prep was necessary, kept track of our dates but we could not conceive and project second baby was stalled. According to us forever!!!
Exactly a year later… it’s the year 2016, my son is 7 years old and I am 33,as luck would have it I accidentally conceive… without any planning without any preparation a baby is on its way, and all I could visualise is my son with a big smile on his face holding his little sibling in his arms. 9 months later his prayers are answered and we are blessed with a beautiful angel and the visual is now a reality.
The journey ahead (though a little tough at the beginning) has been overwhelming and super satisfactory… given a chance I would go back to change absolutely nothing.
So if you are planning your second child it’s never too late but you could consider the following –
1. Mental preparation: This was the most important thing before I had my second one. I went ahead only when I was mentally prepared to take on the responsibility of another child. Something I skipped narrating above is that I conceived once when my son was 3 years old. Everything by the book was perfect, the perfect gap my health and age, but the only problem I was not ready and I reasoned my way out with everyone including my husband. Even though he was ready to have the baby I still decided to abort. Whenever you are ready is the perfect time.
2. Physical preparation: Since you are much older now than you were at the time of your first pregnancy do consider all physical aspects. Would be a good idea to consult your gynae for pre natal tests. Your second child will demand the same energy as the first as a matter of fact even more while you are already done with most energy consuming activities. Up your physical activity a bit as you start planning to build up the stamina will definitely help you in having a normal delivery.
3. Sibling preparation: In case your case is opposite. Good to make sure the elder one is absolutely ready as he/she is going to share something which was completely their territory for many years… the attention, the love, the time. Like any other sibling case, preparation for the sex of the second child is important too... was lucky that my son always wanted a sister but I would often tell him that you want to have a sister but she might not play cricket or car race with you.
p.s. - she plays with her kitchen set and the dolls but she loves to bowl to him build Lego buildings and demolish them and race the cars.
4. Financials: Very important aspect to consider as your expense will go up many folds even the delivery cost will be double of what you spent the first time (was a shocker for us). You may need to take a longer break from work as the kids will demand much more of your time and you will need more help. While I never felt the need for a nanny with the elder one the second time round I can’t do without one as there it’s difficult to match up to their energy.
5. Experience matters: Managing a lot of small things which you would panic about the first time around will be much easier. The fever and flu visits to the doctor will be much lesser. Other baby expenses can be handled in a much better way as you may exactly know age appropriate things to invest into or even reuse things you retained from the first time.
6. Equal parenting: The real good news that your partner is also more experienced now so that’s double the experience you had first time… you both will exactly know how many months of sleepless nights and nappy changing and bottle feeds you both are going to share. Also you will know which one of you is better doing tasks like putting to sleep, swaddling, bathing or changing. If luck goes your way like mine you have a third parent in your elder one... when my daughter was just born she would cry inconsolably at times and would calm down only once held by her brother and even doze off in his tiny arms. After three years my son can bathe, feed and occupy his sister in different activities without bothering me… which is why I can peacefully sit and narrate this to you.
The bigger picture is your own little world in this big world will have another member and will increase the happiness of being a family many folds. My journey as a mother completely changed(difficult getting back to diapers, feeding and sleepless nights) but thanks to a loving husband a caring brother and an angel like daughter, family has a new definition and life has a new meaning.
Will be happy to answer any query any of you mom’s out there have. Just reach out!