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The decision to have a second child is one of the most important that parents face. It is also a decision with lasting implications. The cost and time commitment of raising children are significant factors in this decision, as are personal values and family circumstances. If you’re contemplating another child, here are some things to consider:
How can a quiz help you decide if you should have a second child?
Our quiz is based on real life mothers and their advice and questions to ask yourself before deciding to have a second child.
This second child quiz is made to help you reach a conclusion of your own. Only you know yourself enough to know if you're ready or not. Look at this quiz as an advisor of sorts.
We also have a quiz for parents who are thinking of having a third child.
How long ago did you give birth to your first child?
If you’ve had your first child recently, you’re ahead of the game when it comes to understanding the demands of having a child and managing your current lifestyle. Having a child is an incredible experience. It also comes with some challenges, so if you’ve already been through this, you have some insight into what you can expect.
If your first child is 2-3 years old
If your first child is 2 or 3 years old, things are a bit different. You’re probably in the thick of potty training, learning how to manage an active child, and dealing with sleep issues. If your first child is still an infant, you haven’t experienced the full range of challenges and rewards of parenthood.
Having another child while managing a young infant is very different from having another child when your first is 2 or 3. You’ll have a better understanding of what having a child entails when your first child is more mature.
Are you financially stable to handle a second child?
Finances are a significant factor for most families when considering having a second child. Having a child is expensive. The average cost to raise a child from birth to age 17 is about $245,000. Childcare, education, and health care costs are the biggest expenses.
If you had a child when you were younger and are now in your 30s or 40s, you may be further along your career path, with a higher income. You may also have more savings and assets now that you didn’t have when you were younger, which can help offset some of the financial costs of having a second child.
Do you feel secure in your current relationship?
If you and your partner are happy with your relationship, there’s probably nothing that will strengthen your bond more than having a child together. Through the challenges of pregnancy and parenting, you’ll learn a lot about each other and what you’re each capable of.
Having a child binds a couple together in ways that are difficult to understand until you’ve been through it. But having a child can also be stressful during an already challenging time in a couple’s life, and it can bring underlying issues to the surface that need to be dealt with.
If things aren't going great
If you’re struggling with your relationship and having a child doesn’t bring you closer together, you may be adding to the problems you’re facing. Couples counseling can help you explore the issues that are causing tension between you and help you find solutions for them.
Is your home big enough to have a second child?
If you have a small home, do you have room for another child? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Are your cabinets and shelves well stocked enough for another child?
- Is your family calendar well balanced for another child?
- Do you have enough family time for just one child?
- Is your yard large enough for another child to run around in?
You’ll have less flexibility if you have two children under the age of 5 or 6. You can probably manage two preschoolers and a toddler, but two younger children will require more supervision and limit your ability to travel or take vacations. If you’re considering having a second child and your home is already overflowing, you may want to consider expanding your living space before adding a new member to the family.
Most parents want to make every effort to avoid getting rid of furniture or giving away prized possessions when a second child comes along. It’s much easier to plan than to try to make room for a new child once a new baby arrives.
How will a new child affect your current life and career?
If you work full-time and are considering having another child, you need to consider the impact on your career. It may be difficult to wrangle two young children to childcare or school if you have to work full-time. If you’re a working parent and considering having another child, you also need to consider the impact on your family time. Having a child is time-consuming.
When you add one more child to the mix, you’ll likely have less family time. If you already feel like you don’t spend enough time with your existing family, adding another child may not be the right decision for you.
Pros and cons of having a second child
If you haven't yet decided if you should have a second child or not, here are some pros and cons to consider.
- If you have a child under 2 years old, you're already in the right mood to have a second child
- A second child can bring you and your husband closer together
- A new child can bring you happiness
- Your first child will have a sibling to play with
- Another child can give you a new purpose and joy in life
- A second child can take all the attention away from your first child
- Can be expensive
- Can cause relationships trouble if your relationship is already weak