When to Have a Second Child


Rooney is almost 2 (!!!), and a lot of people who have babies younger than Rooney (or who I was pregnant with at the same time) are announcing their second (or third) pregnancies all over my Facebook feed. It's exciting for them (of course!), but at the same time makes me wonder if we're not as cut out for this parenting thing since we're not in that mindset yet. We're still overwhelmed with one kid lots of times! Even my little brother is going to have two kids before I will (I had no chance with my sister, who had twins the first round)!

In addition, people are starting to ask me (in person and via blog comments) when we're "gonna have another one." We don't feel quite ready to try for Baby No. 2, but I think, just as we could have never been fully ready to have our first kid, that we will also never be fully ready to have our second.

Don't get me wrong. There are times when I think we can handle it. Times when I crave it, even. Wanting to be pregnant again and go through the wonder of it all and share the news and find out what sex it is and have people ask me how I'm feeling and pick out a name and try breastfeeding again (uffda) and have people go gaga over how cute my child is.

So we're just kind of stuck here in the middle. Trying to focus on Rooney and the joy she brings us while also making a smart decision on when to add to our family.

Thoughts on When to Have a Second Child

  • When the first one is potty-trained. We haven't even started the process with Rooney...so I'm not holding my breath!
  • When we have more money. I don't often think like this, but Eric does. He's so practical. We'd want to load up our flexible spending accounts with at least $4,000 for hospital bills again (making our take-home incomes lower), PLUS save that same amount to cover my income during leave. Yikes! I do have different insurance now, however, so maybe it would be cheaper on my current plan? (I'm also planning to get Aflac supplemental insurance again for short-term disability and hospital confinement, so maybe we won't need to save quite as much.)
  • When Rooney can help. Rooney has an incredible love for babies. It's adorable. I think she'd like to have a real-life baby doll -- I'm just hoping she feels the same way when we actually bring another baby into our home. She gets a little jealous now when she sees me holding another baby.
  • When Rooney's day care rates go down. This will happen when she's 2 and again when she's 3.
  • When we have a bigger house. We are currently in the process of finishing our basement, which will nearly double our living space. In addition to a separate playroom, we'll also gain a guest bedroom downstairs so our third bedroom upstairs can be converted into a nursery.
  • Whenever we feel like it! I think I'm a little more ready than Eric (I totally thought I was ready when she was 3 months old...ha!), but we're both sort of terrified of it, too.

Other questions I'm trying to answer are: Do we want our kids to have birthdays in the same month or should we try for a completely different time of year? I liked being pregnant during the cooler months, but Eric's birthday is three days after Rooney's, and it's kind of a crazy week/month for us. If I lived in China and could only have one child, would I be upset about that, or relieved? Should we just be a family of three? If we do have another, will our next pregnancy be our last? I can totally see the short-term benefits of only having one or two children, but I think it's smart to think long-term and realize how much Roo would love at least one sibling!

Ideally, we think we'd like our kids to be 3 - 3½ years apart. But, we know from the first time that it's not something we can control. Just trying to relax and have faith that God's got it all figured out (because he totally does).

How did you decide when to have another child?