The decision to have your first child is obviously a huge deal (assuming it’s planned). It is to forever change life as you know it and to invite an entirely different vibe to your family and your home. What I never knew was how much harder it would be to make the decision to have subsequent children. There are so many variables — age difference between siblings, daycare and finances, what kind of car you drive, how big your house it — the list goes on. That is why deciding to try for another child is never easy.
I saw a post on Reddit recently about this subject and for this couple, finances are the biggest factor to consider:
Our first child is just over 2 years old, and we’ve discussed having a second soon. We’ve been “trying without trying” (no condoms, but not monitoring ovulation and the like).
I talked to him about it before and he was all for it, although, there is always the financial discussion with having a child, whether first or fifth. He’s concerned because married, we are just barely in the next tax bracket and he would like to make a little more a year, just for the what-if rainy day fund. Before his last real raise, we were at the top of lower tax bracket and now there’s a lot more taxes being taken out. Together we make 45,000/year with FANTASTIC (I work for the state) insurance.
How did you decide for number 2? Was there anything you wish you had known before having more kids?
Finances are, of course, possibly the number one factor for all couples considering any kids but with subsequent children, it seems to be a bigger issue. Once you have a child, you truly understand the associated costs and how prohibitive they may be. If you work, another child could mean another daycare bill depending on your situation. No matter what, another child means buying diapers, possibly formula, clothing and a whole host of other things depending on whether your first child is old enough to be done using them. It’s certainly not a choice to be made lightly. As a parent, you have a firm grip on just what it means to have a baby — more so than you did before having any kids at all.
I know for us, deciding to have our second child was relatively easy since we always knew we wanted two and I was at home with our daughter anyway. It was the third baby that took us years of hemming and hawing before finally getting pregnant somewhat unexpectedly last fall. And then, miscarrying. We would have been thrilled to have another baby but now that we’ve been through this, we know more than ever that we need to stop at two children. Sometimes, the decision is made for you and that seems to be a lot easier than being left to grapple and question. Regardless, after what we’ve been through, it’s easy to see that the choice is very individual for every family but overall, it seems that it’s rarely something a couple lands on lightly. There’s just too many factors at play for these decisions to be cavalier.