They say when you have a baby it changes your life. True, it did. The good, the bad, the ugly and it was all beautiful (so far, in hindsight). And I’d like to think I have a pretty chilled baby (touch wood) so even though we don’t have close family in Australia, we got through fairly unscathed.
So now that my son Hugo is coming up to a year and a half, naturally we’re thinking about having number two. We want a good gap between the two, my partner and his brother are four years apart and he feels it’s a really good gap. Whereas my sister and I are nine years apart, we were never in the same life stage and made it hard to relate to one another or even to hang out together so we grew up as two separate ‘only-child’ basically.
I’ve always wanted three children because my partner and I both come from a family of two, but when I asked parents in my circle who have more than one child – their answers left me with very mixed feelings about when and how many more kids to have. Here are the pros and cons from my impromptu interviews:
THE BAD(ISH) STUFF:
Time: You don’t get the luxury to comfortably sit for an hour or more breastfeeding your little one because you have the older on to deal with too.
Splitting your time so your older kid does not feel flicked to the side, also because you’re still their mother too.
Saengtip and her son, Hugo, after a few months.
Apparently, the biggest impact with your first is the lifestyle, with your second is time-management. (Then she left it at that - what does it mean?!)
Routine: Sleep - the kids (and you) will not sleep at the same time. Joy.
Logistics: Getting out of the house - someone's missing a shoe, someone's done a poop in their nappy, someone's crying, someone's spilt something all over themselves.
Getting in and out of the car. And breathe.
Listen: We talk about the number of kids that are the most stressful. (Post continues after audio...)
Not forgetting one of the kids!
Harder for other parents or other people, in general, to help you out because they rarely have room for more than one child.
Some people have simply said, "Just don't have more than one kid."
THE GOOD STUFF:
Love multiplies by the number of kids. The love you felt when you had your first one and you think you can't possibly feel more love? It's possible.
They can entertain and play with one another, so you don't have to and it frees you up #winning. But when you have just one kid, you are their playmate.
You become the boss of multitasking. Great experience for any job right there, let alone great life skill.
Saengtip and her family when Hugo was six-months-old.
You lower your standards massively. And you don't even care. You may have insisted that your first child had to have new-everything (so much money) but with subsequent children, it's all about reusing and recycling.
Your subsequent children will 'do' things much faster e.g. first hot chip because of lower standards, time and pace of your older kid.
You are in the exhaustion phase for a long time but then that's it, you're done. YAY!
I don't know if it's just me but I feel the pros, although fewer than the cons, have more substance to them so I'll take those!
As for the when and how many kids I will have? Well, we've survived thus far on our own with no family around us because we've really stuck with our mantra of going with the flow (as much as possible), so I'm going to stick with that too.
Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess, right here: