Childrearing

Ready for a Second Child? These 7 Questions Might Help You Decide

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5. How will this child affect our respective goals and careers?

As you already know from having your first child, kids can bring a lot of joy and light into your life. But don’t let yourself forget how much time and dedication a newborn demands. Will one of you need to put your career on hold to make things work? Are you willing to sacrifice some of your personal and professional aspirations, even if only temporarily? If the answer is yes, great! However, it’s also okay to devote some time to yourself and your goals.

6. Can we afford a second child?

In addition to steeper childcare costs, you’ll see all of your costs increase—raising just one kid can cost $233,610 from birth to age 17 (and that’s not including college tuition)! Do you and your partner feel ready to double that amount? Are you in a financially stable position, especially if one of you might have to stop working to care for a new baby?

7. Are we both ready physically and emotionally for the newborn phase (and everything that comes after it)?

Babies are a lot of work, even for those who don’t give birth themselves. They come with sleepless nights and a thousand emotionally fraught moments, plus all the other physically demanding aspects of providing for a newborn’s every little need. It’s perfectly acceptable (and even smart) to wait until you feel fully prepared for the physical and emotional tolls before you have another child.

Deciding whether or not to add to your little family can be a special time. None of these questions alone can determine for you whether or not you are ready for a second child, but they can be a useful place to start when you’re exploring the possibilities of a second child with your partner.

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