Should I Have Another Baby?
Recently, one of my readers asked me to do a piece on the “seven year itch.” But she wasn’t talking about her marriage. With her youngest daughter about to turn seven, she and her husband have been discussing adding to their family.
“I want another baby—we both do—but how do you get back into diapers and bottles?” she writes.
After passing the “baby stage,” with nighttime feedings, diapers, and poopy blowouts a dim and distant memory, many parents may struggle with the decision to plunge right back into the front lines of baby territory. And then there’s the inevitable look forward, calculating the age that you and your partner will be when that last child leaves the nest. Adding another baby after your kids have grown also means delaying that entry into early retirement.
For me, I chose to have my babies rather close in age—I have three children, all spaced two years apart. My husband and I are both young and I liked the thought of doing the diaper stage and the heavy lifting all at once. I’m just not sure, however, if our family is “complete.” Somehow, I have the sneaking suspicion that after my kids start growing, I will miss snuggling a baby in my arms.
When you think about it, parenting a baby, with all the gear, extra time to get out of the house, and loss of a free arm, is the “easy” part. Parents with older children know that the complications of parenting merely change as the child grows—homework, troubles with friends, the shaping and molding of a young adult. In retrospect, the diapers and the baby food aren’t always the most challenging parts of parenting—although they can be the most exhausting.
On the plus side, adding a baby to your brood may also mean the addition of some extra helpers in your older children. My girls are always excited to fetch me baby supplies from upstairs, help me give their brother a bath, or entertain him while I cook dinner.
The “baby years” are short, and I fully believe that if you feel that inkling and yearning towards adding to your family, you should go for it. Only you know what is best for your family, but adding a baby after you’ve become a seasoned parent only means that you may just be a happier, more relaxed mama this time around!
How do you decide to add another baby to your family after the “baby years” are over?
Photo credit: Chaunie Brusie/ J & J Brusie Photography