On having a second child

My wife and I always knew we wanted one child. Even when we wavered on having any children at all, we knew that if we did, we’d want an only child. We both loved the idea of the one-child lifestyle, the extra resources, traveling more, getting back to restful sleeps and feeling like ourselves again sooner. It was set in stone.

And then we had one.

We certainly have not decided to have another child, but the conversation is starting to happen. It started when people asked us if we wanted more and our answer changed from a unanimous “NO” to “never say never.” 

One day we were talking to a friend who said she felt her ovaries screaming as soon as her friends started having kids and my wife and I unanimously said “babies are addictive.” We looked at each other like, “oh, you feel that way too?” And then there was the time I expressed some nervousness about babysitting a friend’s kid while taking care of Avery and my wife said “it’ll be good practice.” “For what?” I asked. We left the answer unspoken. We’ve also casually dropped baby names that would sound good with Avery. A big 2nd baby trigger came when our donor family had their baby over the weekend. We haven’t met her yet, but the pictures were TO DIE FOR. The picture of the older sister holding her new baby sister made our hearts melt into a puddle on the floor.  

We really have no idea what the future will bring, but the fact that we’re subtly exposing to each other that we’ve thought about it is a big development. And as I deal with every big decision, I’ve started thinking about this in terms of a pros/cons list. 

Cons To Having A Second Child

  • IT’S HARD! Holy shit is it hard to be a parent of a baby. I don’t know how much easier it gets, if it gets easier at all, and there are moments with Avery where I even vocalize how I couldn’t go through this again (e.g. sleep deprivation). 
  • I’ll likely just be starting to build my career when we would try for another because I have a couple of years left on my PhD and we would want kids close-ish in age if we had another. Even if my wife took the parental leave (I’d be carrying again), I’ve learned that having a baby DESTROYS my mental acuity and motivation for brain-work.
  • If I didn’t have a job yet or if I were just starting to build a client base as a self-employed consultant, we’d be just as broke as we are this time. A 12 month maternity leave would be SWEET, but I’m so far from that.
  • I’m afraid that our life would be completely overtaken by “the kids this and “the kids that“… I’m still 90% mom, 5% student and 5% wife, and I’m really hoping this ratio balances a little better as Avery gets a little older. I don’t know where the extra percents would come from if we had a second baby.
  • Even part time childcare for one child is going to be tough on us financially. 

Pros To Having a Second Child

  • Although it’s hard, it’s also the most amazing experience we’ve ever had, and Avery is the most wonderful and beautiful thing in our lives. Another child would add more amazingness, wonder, and beauty into our lives. 
  • I would love another crack at my dream home water birth experience. 
  • I LOVE being a mom. I feel like it’s my calling in life. 
  • Every exciting milestone, every heart melting smile, every laugh, every hug, every new personality characteristic… times 2

9 thoughts on “On having a second child”

  1. I hear this. After one I was excited for another but never expected to want more than two….the beauty thing is that since you wouldn’t start in the next six months, you’re going to hit a lot of different milestones that are going to change your pro/con lists drastically! It may be more obvious to you that either you’re done or you’re really not!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. For quite a while, we changed our minds on a daily basis about whether we’d have a second child or not. There was a period of time when I couldn’t stop thinking about having a second kid. For me, that feeling passed and now we’re about 99% certain that our family is complete as a trio. I like us this way. It just feels right. I have my fears about not giving Charlotte a sibling, but none of them are enough to make me want to go through with it.

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  3. I’m fully on board with two + for us, and I really think (selfishly) that you should have two too! I’m wanting #2 to arrive SOON so that I can convince my wife we should have three before #1 gets to the terrible toddler stage and she re-thinks the whole thing, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Totally. We’ve been thinking about #2 for awhile now. If money were no object, we’d likely be trying soon. Alas, money is very much an issue and we’re waiting until 2018 to make a final call. But I’m already missing that tiny newborn baby stage!

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  5. Our son is 13 weeks now, and our daughter is 2 and a half years old. It’s hard, very hard, but in some ways easier than I expected. The biggest difference is that I know that it will get easier. I have lived through the first year once already and I know that it will be so much better after that. But we always intended to have more than one child.

    Liked by 1 person

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