I can't quite remember life before having three children. Every time we find ourselves with one less due to nap time or play dates it's a foreign and almost uncomfortable feeling. It's like we can't wait to be a jungle of five once again. No matter how hard juggling three kids can feel on most days, there's something so fulfilling about being the mommy of multiple children. But how do you know when it's time to have another child?
For me, there were a few things to consider, but before delving into those, there was something above all else I couldn't ignore...
HOW I FELT!
Once my youngest who was pleasantly unplanned, was around two years old I had this undeniable urge to have and hold another baby. It was like I could feel it in every part of my being. I knew motherhood was for me and I knew I couldn't just stop at one.
Of course I couldn't have another child just because of how I felt - and this is key. If someone had a child every time their belly ached for one more imagine how repeatedly knocked up we'd be at the end of every baby shower or after receiving an adorable birth announcement? However, a feeling is a great start!
The first step should always be a discussion which hopefully comes well before even having your first child. You and your "baby-daddy" should discuss if multiple children is something you both want. If you haven't had this conversation and are considering it, here are some talking points that can help:
How financially stable are you? This is pretty basic but an essential aspect to consider. When we knew we wanted to have another child we waited another 18 months to do so. We were definitely not financially ready. We took those 18 months to become financially stable. Financial stability handles living costs and other details we'll have to consider i.e. added childcare, living expenses, etc. Logistically things will get tougher, but with time management and pre-planning this shouldn't deter your desire to expand the size of your family.
My husband and I also took the time to become more emotionally stable. For me, I felt I could mature in my marriage before adding more children. Emotional maturity is critical since children naturally add to life's stressors and take time away from your partner and first born. It's important to evaluate how you'll be able to emotionally manage the changes of having another child. Managing your time and handling stress should feel possible.
So no matter how much you "feel" like having another child, ask yourself if you are both emotionally and financially ready to take the plunge?
Finally, you also have your previous child(ren) to consider. If you believe you're ready for another child include your first, no matter how young, in the discussion of becoming an older brother or sister. Luckily you'll get 9 months to prep for this, but it's never too soon to start. You can prepare your firstborn about becoming a big brother or sister and what that means. Adding a new child to your usual family dynamic surely changes things for the older child(ren). One way to manage this aspect is by upping the one-on-one time spent with them. Though your attention will now be spread, it's simply a matter of prioritizing individual time spent with each of your children.
What have you thought about and worked through when deciding to add another child to your family? Please share your insights by commenting below!