“Should I have another baby?”
If you’ve stumbled upon this article, I’m sure you’ve echoed this sentiment before.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Lots of parents struggle with this feeling.
After all, how are you supposed to be sure your family is complete? Some parents claim they just know, but others have this lingering thought in the back of their mind about having more kids.
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Should I Have Another Baby?
I’ve heard a lot of good advice on the subject, but one of the best is to imagine the family you want 10 years from now.
There’s no doubt the baby stage is hard. But it’s a just a stage, it’s temporary.
In 10 years from now, what do holidays look like? How big is your dining room table for family dinners? Kid sporting events? Vacations? Or even the simple things like Friday movie nights.
How many kids are cuddled on that couch watching movies with you? How many are seated around the table for family brunch? There’s your answer.
The Case for Keeping Your Family As-Is
For many, it’s tempting to stop having kids because they feel like their family is in a good spot.
You may feel comfortable with your current state of finances – juggling daycare costs, travel, excursions, and college funds.
Maybe you like the ratio of parents:kids as you have it right now. You and your partner have a good balance of time with each child, time together, and time for yourselves.
Or maybe you’re just relieved to be past the baby stage. Everyone is out of diapers, sleeping through the night, and your babyproofing is minimal at the point.
I get it, you’re in a good spot. However, that’s not reason enough to be done expanding your family.
Reasons NOT to Have Another Baby
Of course there may be various physical reasons you shouldn’t have another baby.
If your previous pregnancies were very demanding, if your doctor has told you it would be dangerous for you to carry again, are post-menopause, or have struggled with infertility and don’t want to go through the process again.
In these cases, maybe the answer to ‘should I have another baby?’ should be no. Biologically, that is, adoption and surrogacy are still great options!
If you will be disappointed or depressed about having one gender over the other, you should double think going for another child.
Considerations for Adding Kids
Here are some additional things to think about when you are deciding if you want to have more children:
– Don’t make the final decision when you are pregnant or in the newborn stage. Give yourself time after you have adjusted to one baby before you make the decision about more. Or at least keep your mind open.
– Consider if you want your youngest to remain the baby or be upgraded to “middle child” status.
– Do you think you will regret not having more children later on down the road?
– What did you like/dislike about your number of siblings growing up?
Isn’t it Difficult to Add More Kids?
Honestly I’ve heard it all when it comes to what number of kids is the most challenging.
Some moms claim first babies are the hardest transition, while others say it’s when you go from one to two.
Most often, however, I hear that increasing to three kids is the most difficult.
I even found this cute article written by a mom of three on why having a third baby was the most stressful.
Adding more kids to your family means more diapers, daycare costs, college funds, to-do lists, schedules, and late night wake ups.
But it also means a lot more love, giggles, and cuddles!
Having a Third Child Pros and Cons
While parents can struggle with the question of “should I have another baby?” with any number of kids, the most common time is before upgrading to a family a three.
So lets briefly discuss some of the considerations when going from two to three children.
– Not all vehicles can comfortably fit three children, much less three car seats
– Parents are “outnumbered”, more man-to-man defense
– With three, one kid may feel left out when playing
– Standard hotel rooms are usually capped at four occupants
– Restaurant seating is much easier for parties of four
– Many games work better with three kids
– The kids have another sibling to turn to if they get into an argument
– You now have a clear “oldest” who can help with little chores and baby duties
– More sibling support and love when it’s needed
Surviving with More Kids
I’m not going to sugarcoat it, adding a new baby to the family is work.
Of course it will be a bit chaotic at times, you should expect that. But you’ll get into a new groove with time as they get older.
Our advice is to put in the hard work in the beginning. Encourage them to be as self-sufficient as possible.
As soon as they are old enough to start helping with something, allow them. They want to put on their own socks? Let them. Unload the dishwasher? Great!
At first it will actually be more work instead of just doing it yourself. Stick with it and eventually your children will be easier, more capable, and feel good about themselves.
Look for the Answer in Your Bones
Deep down, most parents know if they are done or not. Their parent-soul just doesn’t feel at peace.
Some have even gone so far to suggest that if the answer isn’t immediately no, it’s yes.
After all, you won’t regret having more kids. However, you may regret not expanding your family.
Don’t ignore that shaking feeling. If you’re on the fence, see if another baby is a feasible option for your family’s circumstances.