Children are God’s gift to us, and the most precious thing on the planet. Once you’ve had a baby, then the chances are you’ll want to add to your brood, because the joy of having one child inspires you to wish for more. However, there are all sorts of things to think about before having another baby, including how it will affect your finances, career, your existing family, and any health issues you may have. If you are blessed with a child unexpectedly, then you’ll find a way to cope, but you can make life a lot easier for yourself by planning for your pregnancy.
This needs to be one of the primary considerations if you’re thinking of having more children. If you had a straightforward birth before, and are in good health now, then all should be well. If the birth was more complicated, or you have developed health problems -especially those requiring regular medication - you should speak to your doctor and see what their advice is. Many conditions can be managed without too much difficulty, as long as the attending medical personnel areaware of them. Your history when pregnant previously will also help guide you in the best care, so for example if you had gestational diabetes first time around, you will be closely monitored and have regular tests to pick it up if it returns. You can find out more about all things related to pregnancy health by searching for information on the Internet, but do check that the site you are using is written by people who know what they are talking about.
Babies are expensive, there’s no doubt about it. On the plus side, if you kept everything that you used for your first child, you will have to buy very little in the way of new things for the second baby. The main impact could be on your earning potential, if you are currently working but intend to stop when the baby comes for instance. It’s worth doing a few calculations to find out what the financial implications are for your family. Bear in mind that although you may be losing one salary, you could also be saving on tax and childcare costs by being a stay at home parent. That means that the net loss may not be as much as you feared. If you need or want to work, the increase in telecommuting jobs means there are far more opportunities for parents to stay at home, and work as well. Once you’ve settled into your new routine, you may be inspired to look at starting your own business from home, or doing freelance work.
Raising children is the most important job in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a career, or at least remain part of your professional community. However long a break you’re planning, if you have a vocational career that you love and find rewarding, keep in touch with your colleagues and stay up to date with developments in your sector during your time off. If you’re able to attend meetings, conferences, and seminars that’s great. Depending on what you do, you might also have the opportunity to work from home. Staying in touch and keeping your hand in will make it a lot easier to return to your career, but even if you take several years out altogether, by undertaking refresher training when you return you will soon be back up to speed.
You can never be sure how kids will react to any news you give them. You might have expected lots of tears when you carefully and gently told them Grandma had passed on, and been surprised when it barely gave them pause, or you might casually mention that the ice-cream maker isn’t working, and be equally surprised when they react as if it’s the end of the world. It’s fair to say that the best approach when giving children news is to be positive. If they aren’t sure how they feel about something, they will take their cue from you. If you look nervous or stressed when you tell them they’re going to be getting a new brother or sister, they will pick up on that and assume this is bad news. If you present it in a positive way and tell them all about the wonderful things it means for the family, they will be more likely to accept it as good news. It’s also a good idea to involve your child in the preparation of the new baby’s room, and talk about what’s happening. As you get bigger, encourage your child to feel the baby kicking and listen to it moving inside your belly. What you choose to tell your child about conception will depend on your beliefs and the age of the child, but it’s best to be as honest and clear about things as you reasonably can.
Looking after yourself
While you are busy worrying about how everyone else feels, and what effect the new baby might have, don’t forget what a joyous time this is for you. Even if you are struggling to cope with morning sickness or other side effects of pregnancy, you know it will all be worth it when you welcome a new life into the world. You need to take good care of your own health and wellbeing, not just because you are responsible for a tiny human, but because you will be happier and cope better with everything if you are well, unstressed, and rested. Bringing up children is hard work, and as you start life with a new baby having been through the long and sometimes arduous process of labor, you need to be feeling as strong as possible for when the baby is born.
Large families are a lot of fun, if a little riotous at times! But smaller families are just as precious, and if you have been advised not to conceive again or are having trouble, don’t let this spoil the wonder of the family you already have.