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The Pros and Cons of Adding Another Child

By Devan McGuinness |

My baby fever is in overdrive this week. After a flurry of friends announcing that they are pregnant or having gorgeously round pregnant bellies I’m more convinced then ever that I want more children.

I am not sure if I am any closer to having more – but I think my husband and I are closer now then a few months ago.  At least we are closer to a decision – I think.

When my husband and I first started talking about the idea of adding another child into the mix we talked about what needed to happen for it all to come together. If there was anything specific holding us back from trying now. We came up with a list of things that, in an ideal world, would be what our life looked like before we decided to go for another child.

Both my husband and I are big ‘planners’ – we don’t generally like to leave things to chance. With our pregnancy history we can’t really leave the decision to add to our family up to chance either. Not to say that it can’t happen; we aren’t using any hormonal or barrier birth controls right now – but we are trying to not let it happen right now.

In our ideal world I would be planning to become pregnant sometime early 2012 – my husband doesn’t have a timeline but a to-do list that would be more of an indicator. Talking a lot about both of our feelings about our family size and timing has become a regular conversation in our house. Thankfully we are both open to each other’s opinions/thoughts so there is no stress around talking about this subject.

Some of the points on the ‘perfect world check list’ we can agree on – like reducing the chaos a bit in the house. At one point, not that long ago, we had three kids three years apart – which was a lot of work. A lot of sleep deprivation and crying and diapers and well, chaos.  We are just settling into a routine where our kids are older, a little more independent, sleeping better … and all toilet trained.

I guess where I worry though is that every level of raising kids – no matter what their age – there will be challenges, stresses and chaos. It kind of goes with the whole parenting thing. I worry that if we wait too long that when we do achieve that level of ‘lowered chaos’ that we (read ‘he’) will be too comfortable in that phase that going back to the newborn phase will be frightening.

I would love to hear about your family dynamics – do you have older kids spaced out or are your kids closer in age? Give me a pro/con list – I could use it!

Read more from Devan on Accustomed Chaos & Unspoken Grief
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Photo credit: Adapted from phonton_de via Flickr

 

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About Devan McGuinness

devanmcguinness

Devan McGuinness

Devan McGuinness is the writer of the lifestyle blog Accustomed Chaos. After surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan founded Unspoken Grief, a resource and support site for perinatal and neonatal loss. Read bio and latest posts → Read Devan's latest posts →

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0 thoughts on “The Pros and Cons of Adding Another Child

  1. Ruth says:

    I don’t have any experience but I wanted to say if you know you are ready and you can handle one more, then I would start planning for another! You have to be ready in all aspects so that you can be the best parent you can be.
    I got pregnant with Corbin when Colt was three months old. Talk about freaking out, I was not ready! I was really excited to have them a year apart but where you have three kids already, I think three years apart is a comfortable number. It’s best to have the older kids organized and potty trained before you have another. Mainly to help your sanity. <3

  2. Allyn Milojevich says:

    I don’t have a huge perspective on this since my partner and I are just now trying for our first, but I can add a few things I have thought about. I have always been staunchly in the “two child camp.” I recently read the book by Bryan Caplan “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids: Why Being a Great Parent is Less Work and More Fun Than You Think.” He’s an economist but the book is written is really, really down to earth tones, but he does review a bunch of research showing that parents should have “more kids than they intended.” So for me, that means that maybe I should have three instead of two. We’ll see how #1 goes, but it is a great read, easy and not too long but with great information. Hope that helps!

  3. http://theydonttellyou.wordpress.com/ says:

    So, wait, you have three kids already and you want one more? Why? You talk about wanting to be pregnant and planning things but why exactly would you want another child? (I know this sounds aggressive but I truly, sincerly wonder this.)

  4. mbmom7 says:

    Why? Why not! Kids are fun – they grow and develop in such amazing ways! Adding one more to the mix will add to the joy!
    I have a bunch of kids -from 17 months to 3 years apart. The individual personalities of the kids really made more of a difference than the years between them. It’s nice to have some closer together so they have similar interests. My older ones don’t want to see another kids museum right now, and the younger ones have to go to the basketball games of the older ones. But mostly, given a positive family framework, you work out a rhythm for your family. Don’t sweat what the experts say – do what seems right for your family.

  5. SassyModernMom says:

    For the last 7 years we’ve gone back and forth about the baby question. My girls are noww 12 and 10 so really, it felt like we would have to have 2 more! My sister just had her 1st last week, for the first time ever, I think I’m done!

  6. EJ from OH says:

    I have two boys right now- one turned 4 a month ago, the other will be 3 in two months. We are expecting a baby girl in March. She will be our last. I am 37 and
    this pregnancy has been really difficult for me.
    Last October, my husband and I decided to try for #3. We decided not to take temperatures or do anything aggressive and leave it up to the Lord’s will. When had come and gone without me becoming pregnant, we thought we had our answer and believed God liked our family “as is”. But we were committed to hold off hubby’s vasectomy until the end of the year. Lo and behold, I got pregnant in June and am due with baby Emerson (we’ll call her “Emme”)
    in March!

  7. Teri says:

    I am 36. I have an 18 yr old son who will be graduating this year & moving out on his own. I have an almost 9 yr old son & a 3 yr old daughter. We were not sure we were going to try just yet. I had my Implanon removed 2 months ago & we were charting to make sure I was regular & so we would know my body when we were ready. Well let’s just say plans don’t always work out and I just found out that I am pregnant! Only 4 weeks, alot can happen, as I have had a still born at 21 weeks & a miscarriage following that all before I had my daughter. I am scared & hoping everything goes smoothly. I was actually considering not having anymore because I am getting older, I have one soon leaving the nest & I am finally getting used to not having to diaper. Plus my 18 year old can watch the youngest for my hubby & I to go out a little. I will be losing that soon. But someone had other plans for us & I welcome it! So I say go for it! We only live once! And this will be our last! I am hoping that the grand kids will start in the near future :) I can’t wait to be a grandma, but I don’t want grandchildren wile I am still having children, lol!!

  8. Alexis says:

    i say go for it!!! i am 22 years old and i have 2 boys. my oldest turned 3 in december, and my youngest is 8 months old. you and your husband are planners, as you mention, so im sure in the 9 months time, you can have things prepared enough that having a new baby would be an amazing addition!!

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