The work isn’t double. It’s exponential!
Not the most encouraging words from a friend after having their second child.
Especially when I had started getting used to the idea of being a family of 3. Three’s a good number I thought. The whole family fits on a single row of an airplane flight.
Then my wife said she thought now’d be a good time to have another child.
Not sure why I was so caught off guard. We’d always spoken of having at least 2 kids.
But as my son’s gotten older (4.5 yr), life’s gotten into a good rhythm. We’re currently in a comfortable life vs work balance.
In the mornings we drop our son off at pre-school, head back to our home office, work until the early afternoon, pick him up from pre-school, take our lunch break, work an afternoon shift, take turns exercising, dinner, bed, rinse & repeat.
He’s also now old enough that we can leave him with a babysitter (or overnight at grandma’s) while we head out for a date night.
My first fear was actually financial. Fortunately for us though it really isn’t a valid concern since we actually can afford another child.
But one always worries “What if business gets slow?” Plus as my wife states you have to think about the long-term costs. Good news is since our son will be graduating from pre-school to a public elementary school that’ll free up some money for the diaper tax.
A summer vacation that I’ve dreamt about for ages is to visit Yellowstone National Park for my son’s 5th birthday. But if a new baby comes into our lives I’ll have to put that vacation on the backburner.
Depending on your financial situation, travel plans might not be the only thing you’ll have to sacrifice.
Sleep or Lack thereof
I don’t recall spending too many sleepless nights during my son’s infancy. However, I’ll admit it was mostly my wife who woke up during the night (though I have a good excuse since he usually wanted to nurse 😜.)
I know a new baby is going to throw a wrinkle in my previously mentioned comfy schedule. Since we work from home, I know I’ll either have to wake up earlier or burn the midnight oil to make up for time spent with the new baby.
The next thing that crossed my mind is “there’s no guarantee of a healthy baby”. We were lucky with our son. I couldn’t have asked for a more wholesome boy. Healthy as an ox.
Currently, the Zika virus is making headlines but there’s a myriad of other complications. There are so many weird health issues that you’ll drive yourself crazy if you start worrying about all the things that could go wrong.
In the end, it’s not something we have control over. The mother needs to do her best with taking care of herself during pregnancy but any issues that may arise are in God’s hands.
Dr. House is right. Are you ever really ready to have a first child, change careers, go back to school, start a business, etc.?
If you can comfortably afford to have another child and are prepared to spend some sleepless nights, deal with colics, baby proof the house (again), change diapers (again) and sacrifice some leisure time; then you are now way more prepared than ever.
Another thing to consider is that even though some siblings may fight like cats and dogs. There’s nothing quite like the relationship and love that you feel for a brother or sister. It’s different from the love you feel for your parents or spouse. And I’d really like my son to experience that bond.
So if doubling our family means doubling the workload. Then I’m ready.
Luckily our son has been a handful (very active and strong-willed), so I don’t really expect our second child to take more effort than him — hopefully not famous last words 😉.