When you have a child, your whole world changes. All of a sudden you are not able to do what you want, whenever you want anymore.
If you are exhausted, you can’t just go to sleep, especially if your little one is still not sleeping through. If you want to go out with friends, you need to plan well in advance.
Days are filled with Disney movies, play dates and parks rather than long lunches and busy work schedules, and nights are filled with baths, books and early bedtimes rather than late dinners, night clubs and midnight movie screenings.
However, there comes a time in many parent’s lives when they start thinking about going through the madness all over again and adding another one to the mix.
Being an only child is fine but many parents want their children to grow up with a sibling or friend. This can make every day play and holidays a lot more fun for everyone. There is no right or wrong time to add to your family. Some parents will think about this when the baby is only a few months old while others will consider adding to their family once their first has started school. A Mum friend of mine always gets clucky when her youngest turns three!
Here are some of the questions you should consider when deciding if you are ready for a second.
Are you financially ready for another baby?
You may already have all the newborn gear, the baby clothes and even the feeding essentials, but this doesn’t mean you will be off the hook money wise. While Paid Parental Leave can help with some of the added costs of adding to your family, you are going to be responsible for your child’s wellbeing for the rest of their life.
Are you financially able to take care of another baby, or will not returning to work, spending more on the grocery bill each week and putting money aside for college leave you and your partner fighting and struggling?
Are you emotionally ready for another baby?
This can be hard to determine. You may get clucky anytime you hold another newborn baby, but does this mean you are really prepared for do it all over again. Your routine is going to change and you will be pushed out of your comfort zone all over again.
Are you prepared for the ups and downs that come with pregnancy, labour, delivery and the sweet hereafter?
Are you physically ready for another baby?
For many parents, the sleepless nights, constant changing and feeding will be a distant memory. However, for others, you may still be waking up several times a night and feeling like a walking zombie most of the time.
Newborns rarely sleep more than a couple of hours, and thus, your body is going to take a huge beating, especially during the final weeks of pregnancy as well as the first few weeks after delivery. Is your body ready to handle all of that? Furthermore, is your partner ready to be supportive and help out as much as possible?
If both of you are simply too tired to clean up from dinner as is, then adding another baby to the mix may push you both over the edge.
The decision to expand your family is a big one. However, as long as you work as a team, as long as you are willing to be flexible, and as long as you communicate during the rough and rocky patches, then expanding your family can be a blessed thing, even if it’s a little unexpected.