Since having our first kid, there’s been continual questions about whether we were going to have a second. Obviously, the missus is currently 21 weeks pregnant, so the answer to that question is “yes, yes we are”. However, the decision to have a second child hasn’t always been as definitive as it is now – and that’s actually surprised me.
You see, growing up, I always saw myself with two kids – not one, not three, but two. This was probably influenced heavily by my own childhood with a brother. However, something changed when we had L. I began to question whether I wanted a second kid and was happy with the fact that we were a one-child household. For a long period, the thought of juggling a baby and toddler had no appeal to me – particularly as the stay-at-home parent.
Being quite a logical person, I looked at it analytically. Although I could see the positives of having another, particularly around Toddler L having a sibling, I wasn’t totally convinced. Emotions aside, I didn’t fancy going through the whole newborn and baby process again, a second would impact us financially, I didn’t want Toddler L to be ‘forgotten about’ and I didn’t think the ‘hassle’ of another child outweighed the ‘benefit’.
This may sound cold, but that’s where I was at. I’m not going to apologise for failing to feel broody or viewing a baby as anything but a miracle. The missus was the opposite though. She was ready to add to our family and probably has been for quite a while. We had multiple conversations – and disagreements – about a second child, but I was the one who continually held off.
I slowly started to come around to the idea last Christmas – I wasn’t 100%, but at least it wasn’t a “no” anymore. It’s difficult – and sometimes impossible – to plan for kids with everything that can go wrong, but we (or should that be me?) earmarked April / May to start ‘trying’. A few months to get more into the idea. Again, thinking about it logically and assuming everything went to plan, this seemed pretty ideal timewise.
Toddler L would be 3.5 years old and be in a much better position to understand – and help – than when she was younger. It would also give us six or so months a family of four prior to Toddler L starting school – this way, she would (hopefully) not feel pushed out or replaced. As the stay-at-home parent, I also didn’t really feel like juggling a baby and toddler on my own each and every day. Selfish? Maybe, but also realistic.
Fast forward a few months and we’re well on the way to having a second. We were lucky that the missus became pregnant quite quickly, meaning that my ‘planned timeline’ is actually pretty close to the actual one. Even when biology is at play, I’ll still always be a project planning management consultant at heart…
Now, I’m obviously on board with a second child – it’s a bit late if I wasn’t! I’m appreciative and grateful of the fact that we have another on the way, particularly as this pregnancy hasn’t been the easiest so far. However, I don’t think it makes me a bad person to say that I have slight reservations. I know that it’s going to be bloody tough with two kids.
However, it’s pretty awesome that in four months time, we’ll have a son and Toddler L will have a brother. I’m excited – if not a little terrified – of what the future will hold.
What’s your experience of having a second child? Did it go to plan or not? Did you always know you wanted another? Let me know below!