How to decide to have another child?


#1

How/When to decide when to have another child. We have a soon to be two year old, and she is fantastic. I am happy with one child and I thought that my wife was as well. But, now she has expressed interest in having another, and trying in the fall. I am not sure that I want another, with all the work, money, exhaustion etc. Just not sure what to do, and I hate to disappoint my wife and to have her always to have wanted another and never know what it is like. I am just looking for a little advice, so this is such a broad topic.


#2

Have another child.

I was lucky, I just had twins, one of each.

Financially it will be very hard but it is worth it.

Which is greater? Your wife wanting another child or you not wanting one?

The most important thing is if you talk to her about this.


#3

Do not decide about having another child, just choose to trust in your wife instincts. You will be grateful for your choice in a few years from now, and for the rest of your life.


#4

The last few days my daughter has had an ear infection/fever and has been crying and miserable. We have not slept and are exhausted, and then have to go to work. I just look at this situation and think do I want to go through this again. I am not opposed to another child 100%. But, I worry about having a child with disease or mental issue and it freaks me out. We rolled the dice once and it worked out. Not sure I am mentally prepared to do it again. I also look at the cost of another child, and hate that this is one of my issues. We have good jobs, but basically at the end of the month the money is spent on house/bills/groceries etc. I know that we can save more each month and change our lifestyle for another child. But, there are things like travel and other things that I wanted to do, and I feel selfish to not put my wife and possibly another child ahead of that.


#5

When you get to the end of your life, which can you imagine yourself thinking:

"Gee, I wish I had never had so many kids. They were nothing but work. It wasn't worth it."

OR

"I am so thankful that I put in that time and energy to have you with me here now, as I am on my deathbed. I am leaving such a good legacy."

We have four (so far) and each one has been more enjoyable and less stressful.


#6

[quote="kristacecilia, post:5, topic:238840"]
When you get to the end of your life, which can you imagine yourself thinking:

"Gee, I wish I had never had so many kids. They were nothing but work. It wasn't worth it."

OR

"I am so thankful that I put in that time and energy to have you with me here now, as I am on my deathbed. I am leaving such a good legacy."

We have four (so far) and each one has been more enjoyable and less stressful.

[/quote]

Fantastic point.


#7

Our experience has been that the second one is easier than the first one was. And the third one is easier than the second one. And at least so far, the fourth one is about the same as the third one.

Or let me put it mathematically:

Consider a scale of difficulty, where higher numbers mean higher difficulty (more work). For example, Difficulty = 2 is twice as much work as Difficulty = 1. Now, many people would think that the difficulty increases linearly with each additional child, like this:

Difficulty level of one child = 1
Cumulative difficulty level of two children = 2
Cumulative difficulty level of three children = 3
Cumulative difficulty level of four children = 4
(etc.)

But we have found it to be more like this:

Difficulty level of one child = 1
Difficulty level of two children = 1.7
Difficulty level of three children = 2.2
Difficulty level of four children = 2.6

. . . or something like that.

In other words, yes another child would be more difficult, but perhaps not as much as you think. At least this has been our experience, though yours might end up being different.

One reason for the decreasing difficulty of each additional child is that children who are close in age will play together, which helps give the parents a little more free time. And older children will help with younger children and help with tasks around the house too. Also, you'll find that you don't have to buy nearly as much stuff for the second child, because you already have everything from the first child. And if the children are of the same sex as each other, then you can even re-use most of the same clothes, since they outgrow them long before the clothes wear out.

Also, think of what happens when you invest for your retirement. Maybe you sacrifice $400 per month now, which you could use to buy a lot of fun stuff now, so that that money will grow and grow, and leave you with much more money when you retire. Kids are a little bit the same way. You have to put in a lot of work and sacrifice in the beginning (and for years after the beginning too), but in the end, I think that many parents would say that all that work and sacrifice pays out more than you put in.

If you said that you had three kids, or four kids, or six kids, or eight kids, and you were discerning whether to have another, maybe I would say it could go either way. But if you have only a two-year-old, and you and your wife both are in good health, then my advice would be to go for it, and trust in God to provide.

But obviously don't just take my advice. Pray on it, maybe talk to an orthodox spiritual advisor, and obviously talk with your wife about it. Let her know your concerns, and talk through them.

I wish you the best!


#8

How? Pray, pray, pray, pray, pray. Pray on your own AND with your wife. Pray about all of the issues you mentioned and anything else that comes up.

God, and the Church, ask us to be open to life. And part of that is continuously examining our circumstances and asking God if we have proper reasons to postpone for now. If there are good reasons, as one radio therapist and his wife I love to listen to suggest, you should also be looking to see how you can fix those circumstances (if they are fixable. None of us can tell you if your reasons are proper (that's a prudential decision between you, your wife, and God), but it is important to properly form your conscience - do a LOT of reading to figure out what those licit reasons are.

Above all, PRAY. As you recognize that some of your own impediments include your thoughts/worries about another child, one of the things you might pray for is that God will help you deal with those worries and trust Him more. God provides.

Like I said... Pray, pray, pray, pray, and pray. ;-) Continue to discuss it with your wife and PRAY with her. I think that's the best advice I've ever heard (and I've heard it from multiple sources.


#9

Pray, pray pray...


#10

[quote="PaulGH, post:7, topic:238840"]
Our experience has been that the second one is easier than the first one was. And the third one is easier than the second one. And at least so far, the fourth one is about the same as the third one.

Or let me put it mathematically:

Consider a scale of difficulty, where higher numbers mean higher difficulty (more work). For example, Difficulty = 2 is twice as much work as Difficulty = 1. Now, many people would think that the difficulty increases linearly with each additional child, like this:

Difficulty level of one child = 1
Cumulative difficulty level of two children = 2
Cumulative difficulty level of three children = 3
Cumulative difficulty level of four children = 4
(etc.)

But we have found it to be more like this:

Difficulty level of one child = 1
Difficulty level of two children = 1.7
Difficulty level of three children = 2.2
Difficulty level of four children = 2.6

. . . or something like that.

In other words, yes another child would be more difficult, but perhaps not as much as you think. At least this has been our experience, though yours might end up being different.

One reason for the decreasing difficulty of each additional child is that children who are close in age will play together, which helps give the parents a little more free time. And older children will help with younger children and help with tasks around the house too. Also, you'll find that you don't have to buy nearly as much stuff for the second child, because you already have everything from the first child. And if the children are of the same sex as each other, then you can even re-use most of the same clothes, since they outgrow them long before the clothes wear out.

Also, think of what happens when you invest for your retirement. Maybe you sacrifice $400 per month now, which you could use to buy a lot of fun stuff now, so that that money will grow and grow, and leave you with much more money when you retire. Kids are a little bit the same way. You have to put in a lot of work and sacrifice in the beginning (and for years after the beginning too), but in the end, I think that many parents would say that all that work and sacrifice pays out more than you put in.

If you said that you had three kids, or four kids, or six kids, or eight kids, and you were discerning whether to have another, maybe I would say it could go either way. But if you have only a two-year-old, and you and your wife both are in good health, then my advice would be to go for it, and trust in God to provide.

But obviously don't just take my advice. Pray on it, maybe talk to an orthodox spiritual advisor, and obviously talk with your wife about it. Let her know your concerns, and talk through them.

I wish you the best!

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#11

Take a deep breath and say "Lord I trust in you." Now let Him decide what he wants to do. He may decide to give you ten more or He may decide that this is it. Don't waste your time wondering what YOU want because it is counter productive.

Good Luck!:)


#12

Talk to your wife about your concerns.
And maybe you two are meant to have another child, but now is simply not the right time. Fall is a long way off anyway, who knows...one or both of you may have changed their minds by then. :shrug:
We have four.
If I could go back in time, and have none, I absolutely would. I love my children, but life was just better before we had them. :shrug:
Once you have them you can't go back, so choose wisely friend.


#13

It will please God for you to to sacrifice more by having more children.

If you truly can’t cope with more then God will not give you more, trust in Him.

It would also be a shame for all that hard gained experience you have gained with your first to go to waste for the rest of your life imo.


#14

[quote="mkipp, post:1, topic:238840"]
How/When to decide when to have another child. We have a soon to be two year old, and she is fantastic. I am happy with one child and I thought that my wife was as well. But, now she has expressed interest in having another, and trying in the fall. I am not sure that I want another, with all the work, money, exhaustion etc. Just not sure what to do, and I hate to disappoint my wife and to have her always to have wanted another and never know what it is like. I am just looking for a little advice, so this is such a broad topic.

[/quote]

I think that's a decision that your going to have to make on your own.Is it that much more difficult to have 2 children than one?You will have to make sacrifices but your wife if willing for the pleasure of having a second child.What pleasures are greater than children?I love my cat,traveling,and lots of other things but they can't compare to a child.That's just my opinion.


#15

[quote="mkipp, post:1, topic:238840"]
How/When to decide when to have another child. We have a soon to be two year old, and she is fantastic. I am happy with one child and I thought that my wife was as well. But, now she has expressed interest in having another, and trying in the fall. I am not sure that I want another, with all the work, money, exhaustion etc. Just not sure what to do, and I hate to disappoint my wife and to have her always to have wanted another and never know what it is like. I am just looking for a little advice, so this is such a broad topic.

[/quote]

hi mkipp,
what did you and your wife agree on before you got married?
My last boyfriend said he would like two children.. to which I responded I'd like to have 10. Though he knew I wasn't all serious, I definately wanted him to know that I do wish to be a mother of more than two unless I suffer from infertility or psyc. issues at that point.
Withholding children from a marriage is BAD news and cruel actually. Quite a few women I know have no children or only one and they are desperately trying to have more with either age or sickness against them.

If people get married they also say yes to having children. Today its very hard for many to even commit to marriage, let alone children, because we live in the ME-generation of lazy entertainment seeking people;) The only time where we feel very well is when we are off and just sitting on the internet, eating a delicious meal.. basically when no one demands things from us. if you don't see your self in any of this, good for you, but in my country there is a generation gap between those happy and fullfilled older people who found their life in work and family, and the unsatisfied younger generations who feel like these things are nothing but an unfair burden.

Dont worry! You will grow with the assignment. You have sacramental grace to back you up and when you "get out of yourself" and really give yourself to others, then you grow as a person. Your life will have meaning. Like the Church says: its in selfgift that we find ourselves.
The children will bless you and love you in return. Besides.. no kid wants to be an only child. Believe me, I know!

:)


#16

Before my wife and I got married I didn't want children. I became Catholic in 2009 and saw that it was Gods plan for us to have a child. I just feel that everyone is telling me that if we only have one child we are going to screw her up. She will not have siblings and that some how will affect her when she gets older. People that I have discussed this with seem to think that we are bad parents if we don't have another as a playmate for our daughter.


#17

It’s not just your wife who will always have wished she had more but soon your daughter will be begging for a sibling!

I was in the same place as you after having my 1st but I went on to have a second and then a 3rd and likely more in the future and both DH and I are glad we did!

Financially I didn’t feel it was THAT much harder but from every other point of view it’s indescribably better. It’s amazing for the kids to learn how to share, to be patient and overall to understand that life is not all about them., and it has made DH and I incomparably better parents, we don’t baby our eldest as we would if she were the only one, we are more organized, more disciplined more patient and so much more bendable than we used to be.

I know you won’t regret a second child but you might regret not having one


#18

Why didn’t you want children?

The Bible speaks of children as a great blessing. In my family we are three children and I always dreamed about having more even.
Human life is a positive thing. When you love, your heart grows.

My own dad, I have heard, preferred not to have children. It was moms wish. I didn’t know that growing up, but I always missed having a dad who loved to be with me, play with me and treat me like a princess. I wanted love him immensely and be loved back. Thats the richest and most meaningful thing you can do with your life. Love and be loved. Be generous. But he was often absent minded or treated me like a nuissance… Some great potential was lost, and still to this day our relationship isn’t what it should be, although I love him.
Being a dad is a great thing and its such a beautiful vocation.
You mus understand that a dad not only gives, but also receives a lot.
Like the famous psychologist Erikson once said: Man needs to be needed.

I don’t think your kid will necessarily be messed up because she will be the only child, although spoiling is always a bigger danger when she doesn’t have to share attention, gifts etc. with others.
My mother lost her older brother when she was very young and she always missed having siblings so much.
As for me… my sisters are my best friends in the world. When I have problems, they are there for me and love me unconditionally like only family can. I never meet a person who wouldn’t like to have siblings… when I meet Catholic kids from big families they always appreiciate all their sisters and brothers and wouldn’t do without a single one.

But ultimately its your choice.
It would interest me though… Did your wife agree to not having children before you got married? And were you surprised about how you felt about your daughter when she actually arrived?.. like, you say she is fantastic.


#19

[quote="mkipp, post:16, topic:238840"]
Before my wife and I got married I didn't want children. I became Catholic in 2009 and saw that it was Gods plan for us to have a child. I just feel that everyone is telling me that if we only have one child we are going to screw her up. She will not have siblings and that some how will affect her when she gets older. People that I have discussed this with seem to think that we are bad parents if we don't have another as a playmate for our daughter.

[/quote]

A second child is MUCH more than just a playmate for your daughter. A second child changes the whole dynamic in the family and even if you are great parents now, it will make even more so.


#20

+/9/*9 /

[quote="rwillenborg, post:12, topic:238840"]
If I could go back in time, and have none, I absolutely would. I love my children, but life was just better before we had them. :shrug:
Once you have them you can't go back, so choose wisely friend.

[/quote]

That is the most heartbreaking thing I have ever seen; I hope your children never find out you feel that way.

Was life before kids easier? Yes. Did I get to spend more time on me and things I wanted to do? Yes. Did I get to sleep more, eat better, exercise, and have more time for things like daily Mass and recreation? Yes on all accounts.

Is having kids HARD? Definitely. Does being overweight, exhausted, and often-times frustrated make you feel awful? Yes. Is it expensive and a lot of work, time, and effort? Yes, yes, and yes.

Do you think life for Our Lord was easy? What about his mother? They were poor, they were hunted, they were threatened. Their whole lives revolved around shelter and food- not TV and free time. At the end of His life Our Lord knew what was going to happen to him.

I wonder, in the Garden, if he thought how he might like to go back in time and just never -create humans because His existence was just easier without them.

I, for one, hope he felt like we are worth His time, effort, and sacrifice.


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