Even before you meet Mr. Right, there is always a mental picture of a husband, yourself (as a wife and a mother) and the kids that you will have. Often when women hurdle in coffee talk, there is always that casual question “So, how many children do you want to have?”
When you land on the real-life scenario, started a family and had your firstborn, knowing the right time to have your next child is an elusive question and one that really needs a lot of contemplating and planning.
Spacing sibling is something that should be covered in your family planning talks with your husband. Some women say ‘no’ just thinking about those crazy nights that they have to deal with a screaming, never-sleeping baby, preparing food and changing dirty diapers every hour. Not bearing another child right away is more than giving yourself some time to take a break, spacing your kids also means that you are giving more focus and attention to your first born, learning the ropes and basically just savoring your first shining moment as a mother.
So when is the right time to have another child? Here are some thoughts to consider.
2 years apart (or less)
Women who get married at a later stage (30 and above) would want to have their kids spaced shorter because of physiological reasons. Some mothers prefer that they just have the motherhood-baby experience at one go. Having kids one or two years apart is like hitting two birds with one stone because you learn and do things to two of your children simultaneously. But do prepare for chaos. Having two kids at almost the same age can create jungle.
Sibling jealousy is also a serious issue. Make sure that you spend time and give affection to both of your children making sure that no one feels estranged or left out. To keep your sanity, ask for outside help if you need it and don’t try to do everything yourself if you can’t.
2-4 years apart
Hopefully, at this time, you have honed your motherhood skills and you are ready for the next one. You’ve gained a lot of knowledge from baby number one, took some notes and you are ready for combat once again. When your preschooler is out in school or doing some kiddie stuff, you have your time to cuddle and ‘baby’ your youngest. It is a cool thing that your two children can still enjoy the same things and activities.
If you feel that sibling rivalry is coming, it can help a lot to have your older kid help with the baby’s needs like giving a hand cleaning the bottles or let him play or ‘babysit’. This can also add to your precious bonding time.
5 years apart (or more)
The biggest benefit of having your children spaced a couple of years apart is that you can give them lots of individual attention. You are a little wiser by now with your second child but you may have to do a little review on doing your baby routines. You also have ample time to prepare your older kid for the coming of a new baby. Good thing is that they can enjoy their time together while showing their own individuality.
How about you Mums (and Dads?) When do you plan to have your second child? (For Mums) What factors do you consider before conceiving another one? SHARE your thoughts with us!
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