Deciding Whether to Have Another Child

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Deciding Whether to Have Another ChildFor most Americans, the days of having a large family is a part of the past. Today most families consist of two to three kids. As women wait longer to have their first child, there are only so many years left to bear children without imagining chasing them in a walker.

For some families, the first kids are all the same gender, be it boys or girls. This leaves some of them with the question of whether something is missing from their lives by not have at least one of each gender.

The risk of course is that the next child could also be a boy or a girl, depending on whether the baby’s room has been permanently painted either blue or pink, respectively. There are enough stories about fathers storming out of the delivery room because they were not gracious enough to accept having another daughter.

There is no guarantee that the long awaited girl or boy will be what one expects, given having a house filled with the other gender. How will the boy react to a house filled with older sisters? Will the girl in a house full of boys become a tomboy or will she try to spend all her time with her friends?

Of course there are financial considerations as well. The cost of raising a child from birth through college can cost upwards of $900,000 these days. With the rate at which college tuition is rising, this may be a low-ball number.

For some women, there is the thought that they want to slip one more baby in before the age of 40.

Some people favor waiting several years or even longer between children. Others say that having the children close together allows for them to have playmates and you won’t have small children in your life for the rest of your life.

If you do decide to have another child there are several things to consider.

First, the relationship with the other parent may change. There are studies that show that each child causes a sharp decrease in marital satisfaction. This is in contrast to couples who have no children and experience a more gradual decrease.

Second, you and your partner should try to agree on having another child. This increases the support each of you will provide. Remember, if your partner was not helpful with the first child, they are not going to be helpful with the next one or the one after that.

Third, you will need more help with more kids. It is that “it takes a village” concept. Do you have family members or friends who can babysit so you and your partner can get away for a while? Can you find help with the errands or the chores?

Fourth, a newborn needs all your attention, but your older children need attention also. Are you capable of handling two babies? If the sibling is older, will you have time for homework and extra-curricular activates? Remember sibling jealousy is a real issue that will need to be handled.

Finally, always expect the unexpected. Everyone hopes for and plans for a healthy baby. But sometimes babies are born prematurely. Sometimes they are born with health conditions. And there is always a chance of having multiple births. If you are planning to use fertility treatments, remember that you will have a 44 percent chance of the baby being twins.