Making the decision to have another baby is one of the most important choices you’ll make as the impact it will have on you, your family and your lifestyle is huge. Having more than one child is an entirely different proposition to having just one, so before you embark on this next step there are a few major considerations to make from looking at your finances to how it will impact your career and most importantly, if you’re genuinely ready. Here are a few of the critical things you need to think about before you embark on the path to growing your family.

 

Your frame of mind and physical health

The process of having another child can be such a special time, and your mental and physical health should be one of your primary considerations to ensure you’re 100 per cent equipped to deal with the highs and lows it brings. It can be a demanding time on your body, your emotions and your mind so you need to be honest with yourself to determine whether you are in fact ready to welcome a new baby. From going through a pregnancy another time to dealing with the sleepless nights — are you honestly ready to do it all again?

 

Your finances

Fact: kids are expensive. When you factor in the costs involved of having another child, from pregnancy to birth to the seemingly endless array of must-haves afterwards, things start to add up. So, before you think about welcoming a new addition take an honest look at your financial situation. Do you have enough to cover all your new expenses? A new child is wonderful but it often comes with its own stresses and you don’t want to add money worries to that list, if possible. So, start early and plan ahead. Can you top up your savings? Where can you cut back? How will you manage on a reduced income? These are all things you need to consider before you start trying.

 

Your career

There’s no doubt your career will be severely impacted by a new baby. How will a new baby affect your career path? Are you ready/wanting to take that much time out of work? In most circumstances, the mother is the primary caregiver in the first few months so you will need to look at how much leave you’re going to take, and also what entitlements you are eligible for from work and also from the government. And in the long term, you need to determine what your child care arrangements are going to be, as both are going to affect how seamlessly you’re able to transition back to work.

 

Your support network

Having more than one child can definitely bring you so much joy, but the juggling act it entails is also very real. Do you have people around you that can provide help and support? This is particularly important in the early days when you’re juggling a newborn and another child (or children). Having family or friends you can call on when you need them can often make this time a little easier. On the flipside, if you don’t have people you can call on, it’s important to have a plan in place of how you’re going to manage early on.

 

Your relationship

If you’re planning on having another child with a partner, then it’s important to be realistic in how deeply it will affect your relationship. A baby only magnifies a relationship’s existing issues so, as much as possible, try to address those concerns early on. It’s also useful to set aside some time to have an open and honest discussion about your expectations, your worries, and how you both plan to juggle welcoming a new addition to your family. These are all conversations you need to have to ensure you are both in a good place to be able to tackle your growing family as a team.

 

Your lifestyle

As most parents can attest, babies don’t just magically fit into your existing lifestyle — they have a funny way of completely upending the status quo! So, look at how you and your family are currently living your lives. Everything from how much space you have in your home, to your current personal and professional commitments to how you see yourself living life in the coming years. How do you see a new addition in that scenario? It’s often important to be able to answer these questions before you bring a new addition into the mix.

 

By Tania Gomez