Y’all, I’ve started to write this post several times, and It’s just a hard one to write. I feel like the decision to have children, or not to have children, is a deeply personal one. But I’m writing this post in hopes that mine and Chauncey’s decision on whether or not to have a second child may help one of you in making your own decision. Here’s why we said “Yes!” to Baby #2.
Before Chauncey and I got married, we decided we were going to have three children. Three seemed like a nice, round number and we both agreed on it. But we knew that children were still a little ways off in the future since I was getting ready to enter law school. Side note: we were married the summer in-between my graduating undergrad and starting law school. If your marriage can survive law school, then it can survive almost anything.
Four years into our marriage, Kane was born. With Kane, so many hopes and dreams came true. Everything should have been perfect, right?
Wrong. Being a parent is hard. In fact, it’s just as hard as everyone warns you it will be, and then some. Especially when you add in that Chauncey and I are both in demanding career fields (he in tech management and I as an attorney), I was working on my MBA, and I launched the blog when Kane was just 9 months old. We had so much going on–life was more stressful than we had probably ever imagined.
I distinctly remember the day that Chauncey told me he didn’t want anymore kids. We were on our way home from a friend’s house, after a stressful day, and he turned to me at a redlight, saying Kane was it. I was crushed. I was devastated. Poof–there went my dreams of more children up in smoke.
This single moment had a long-lasting impact on our marriage. At first I was furious, but then I came to resent Chauncey at times. And just when I would think that my resentment had died down, nope–it would come bubbling back to the surface. We would talk about having a second child every so often, which would always end with anger, frustration, and tears. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to have a child right then, but I wanted it to be an option for the future.
Chauncey is such an amazing daddy to Kane, and an awesome husband. At that time, he was shouldering a lot of responsibility at home and at work. Looking back, what I should’ve done was be more understanding of his position, but I was completely irrational when it came to that topic. I’m so lucky to have a husband who not only deeply loves myself and our child, but who cares enough to push back on important decisions when he feels that the time isn’t right.
Over the next few years, however, Chauncey’s feelings toward having a second child softened and he liked the idea of trying for another baby. We got through the baby stage and the terrible twos. Heck, we even made it through the threeanger year and we finally made it to a spot where we decided that if we were going for Baby #2, then it was time. But was having a second child the right decision for our family? Here are the questions we had to work through.
QUESTION #1: Were we both on board with the idea of potentially having a second child?
As much as I wanted to consider having second child, I knew that Chauncey had to be 100% on board. I didn’t want him to resent me or hold anything against me in the future because I pushed him into something he didn’t want.
QUESTION #2: Were we financially able to support another child?
Y’all, babies are EXPENSIVE. Diapers alone are a small fortune, but what’s super expensive is daycare. Daycare is the equivalent of a mortgage payment in and of itself. Honestly, it wasn’t until the last year that we felt comfortable picking up an additional daycare payment. And Kane and the baby will only cross in daycare for about two months before Kane starts Kindergarten (nailed that timing.haha).
QUESTION #3: Could our relationship handle the stress of another child?
As much as we love Kane and love being parents, our marriage is super important. And as I said above, raising a child isn’t easy. It adds stress to your relationship, and can push things to a breaking point. We had to make sure we were in a good place marriage-wise and ask ourselves whether our relationship was sound enough to add in the stress of another child. At the end of the day, remember that sometimes, you have to put yourself and your relationship first–yes, even above your children or potential children.
QUESTION #4: Was it fair to Kane to have another baby?
Kane is such an amazing little boy with a BIG personality. Was it fair to him to add another child to the mix? Could we emotionally accommodate two children? And we stay so busy, so did we have enough time and to fully dedicate ourselves to both Kane and another child? Now, Kane was all on board with this as he had been asking for a sibling for over a year.
QUESTION #5: Was our family complete?
Even when the answers to all of the other questions slowly became yes, this was the ultimate question. At the end of the day, if we decided not to have another child, I was OK with just having Kane. But, at the same time, Chauncey and I decided we’d love to add just one more baby to our family.
At the end of the day, the decision to have a second child wasn’t easy, but it was the right decision for us. I’m so thankful each day for the life growing inside me. It’s been so much fun watching Kane grown into his big brother role and be excited for the baby. But this is also the end of the baby road. So long as everything goes well, this is my last pregnancy. Therefore, I’m trying to cherish every moment–every little kick, every little milestone.
Have you been down this path before, or are you currently exploring the thought of adding another child? I’d love if you’d share your experience in the comments!