In Life, Parenting

On having a second

I must confess. As of late, I have been consumed and obsessed with the idea of confirming to myself if I should have a second child or not.

PROS TO A SECOND CHILD

A sibling for Little Bun. They can play together.

I would have another little baby to love all over again.

Little Bun would be a fantastic, loving, big brother. I can see it.

I keep seeing a fourth missing spot in the bed where we all sleep.

I always imagined at least two children (original decision), and now that we are all sleeping, it seems doable… and crazy.

CONS TO A SECOND CHILD

If I leave this contract (The Perfect Contract, I call it), I may never get called back again.

What if my pregnancy is much worse and terrible than the first time around which was so easy and happy go lucky?

Can I go through another sleepless year or 5 years? We are all sleeping SO WELL now.


How long can I take as a maternity leave? 3 months? 6 months? I would want to re-secure this contract again ASAP.

What if they replace me and do not need or want me back?

What if I run out of money? I have a lot for now, but what if I go 3 years without working? <–Fears of a freelancer.

What if my relationship with my partner breaks? It is strong now, and we are in a VERY good place. Would a baby ruin that? Lack of sleep kills your brain.

What if my partner doesn’t want the second? I have a feeling that he does but he sees the work in the second being quite unbearable without family help.

Would Little Bun hate his sibling? I don’t want animosity.

What if the second is worse than Little Bun when he was a Baby Bun? OMFG. What if he/she is the DEVIL?

What if my partner resents the second child from not being able to retire earlier?

Do my pros outweigh my cons?

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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23 Comments

  1. livingalmostlarge

    I wish I had convinced DH to leap and have the 3rd we strongly considered. But timing just wasn’t right. It wasn’t meant to be. That being said I’m very happy to have 2. I could have easily have “slipped” off birth control like pretty much every woman I know who has a 3rd has. No birth control = baby, um what part of that don’t you understand? You want another kid if you don’t use birth control. I pointed this out recently to my cousin who had a third and said it was unplanned then I said what birth control were you using? Her answer? none. So I said then you wanted a third, it wasn’t unplanned.

    But I once heard “a no always outweighs a yes when it comes to having kids.”

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      A no definitely outweighs a yes…

      Reply
  2. Jamie

    Sorry, I am way late on this post but I was studying for a course and behind in my blog reading.

    1) I have a younger brother and we did/do not get along. I resented him a lot growing up as he was the baby and got a lot of attention even when he did bad things. I was one of those quiet does their own thing kid and kept my stuff in pristine condition. Then someone else comes along who steals and wrecks your stuff and your parents (who told you to keep your stuff nice in the first place) just shrug. I heard a lot of “boys will be boys” when he wrecked my dolls and when older would beat me up for just calling him names (granted I might have provoked, but he always got physical). We get along a bit better now but I wouldn’t call us close. We are 5 years apart, from what I’ve seen siblings that are closer in age tend to get along better (so this doesn’t help since Bun is already 4).

    2) We only have one son and I kind of get what you are saying about wanting another to ensure the older one isn’t lonely (our daycare keeps saying our son plays alone – but I did too – remember the age difference!) I think mostly when I see younger kids or small baby clothes, sure you get a but nostalgic but its kind of like breaking up with someone, sometimes all you remember is what you loved about them and forget all the bad stuff but if you got back together with them the bad stuff would come back very quickly. In a baby’s case, its the sleeplessness (which you JUST got figured out, girl!), expense and grossness of dealing with diapers, spit ups, crying and not knowing what your little one wants, etc etc etc so many reasons I’m not planning on having another. On top of the fact that my guy is VERY, like EXTREMELY active. I can barely keep up with him now and he doesn’t stay with us when we’re out and doesn’t listen when we call him (he ran out into a parking lot the other day!) So, yeah having a little baby that I have to take care of on top of the one I have is a non-starter for me.

    In the end though, this is my experience and some siblings get along great, some only children really wish that they had siblings, and some only children (actually all of the only children I know, lol) love being only children. For me the one thing I think you should think long and hard about is the age gap because I think that’s going to make this more difficult than anything else. The money will be there, even if you have to get a different contract or may take more time. Anyways, my 2 cents, but of course, you should do whatever you think will make you the most happy.

    Reply
  3. cantaloupe

    If my mom hadn’t had my younger brother… I would be a far less happy person. For Little Bun’s sake is, I think, a pretty good reason to do it. I also was a huge help to my mother while she was raising my baby brother, like would tell her his needs to the point where it delayed his speech. And I do not doubt that my (single) mother enjoyed the freedom that my brother and I afforded her: we took care of each other, were playmates, as you mentioned, and left her time to do her own thing. We needed her to be a referee sometimes, but most of the time we were off in our own worlds until dinner time. Also, my brother is the one who still lives at home and will always be near my mother, even when he and his wife do eventually save up for a house, while I quickly skipped town. And in theory, maybe I wouldn’t have done that if I was an only child, but one never knows. I vote for Baby Bun 2!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Just because it worked out for you it doesn’t mean it would for him. There are equally as many terrible examples of siblings people wish did not exist.

      Reply
  4. Elizabeth

    I had the same debate with myself for a third child for many years. When I turned 40, I decided that I would likely regret not having the third child, so I had the baby, was cured of the dilemma, and no longer had a desire for more children. I have fewer resources than you do, yet a larger family has been manageable, and enjoyable. I don’t freelance though, I have a full-time job, perhaps that made my decision easier?

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Could be. A full-time job means I would be paid while on maternity leave and have a job when I come back. Freelancing is such that if I leave, I don’t have any guarantees and can go 3 years without a job.

      Reply
  5. Virginia

    I had the same fears, but we had a second and we don’t regret it. I’ve had to kiss a clean house goodbye and we probably let our oldest watch too much TV but it helps us handle two.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I would never regret it if I had a second, it is more the leap into choosing to have a second and not sticking with only one kid.

      Reply
  6. Rach

    Whenever I have to make a big decision, I try and choose the bigger life.
    Usually this is the scarier option which is why I’m having a hard time. Choose what will give you a bigger, richer, fuller life… whatever that looks like to you.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Both look big, rich and full. One is with one child, which means freedom, more money, less stress, focus on one and resources all go to one.
      The second is two kids, which means less freedom and money, more stress, but an extra child who in the future we will have as an adult child as well, and a support for our son now.

      Both are great. Which one is greater? 🙁

      Reply
      1. Rach

        Based upon what you just wrote, one option sounds much better than the other.
        It’s hard for me to advise, I decided long ago to not have kids. Unfortunately, society, family, social norms, etc. create tremendous pressure to have a baby, then to have another… it is hard to ignore it. There were times when I seriously contemplated having a child based upon these things, rather than what I truly thought.
        With that said, I don’t have a child and I don’t know the joy that you do of having one. It’s a tough decision. I’d definitely talk with the people that know you best and try and truly decide what you want.
        While there a lot of moms joining in here, I did want to say that it’s ok to decide yes, but it’s 100% ok to decide no.

        Reply
        1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

          Thank you so much. The only child option, for me lately, has been gaining more ground in my head. I am thinking of the sleepless 5 years, the strain on the money and the stress of having to deal with that and a second. But then the long-term benefit is that Little Bun has someone to lean on and connect to. We would be sacrificing ourselves, for him, basically.

          Reply
  7. Anna

    I have one child as well and have often thought about having another, but one difference between our situations is that my child has a disability. It is not life threatening, but it is (relatively) serious and even having a public healthcare doesn’t solve all the problems. Public health care covers some of the costs involved, but certainly not all of them and it covers none of the ongoing therapy/treatment required. It also doesn’t cover the opportunity lost to my career (and my partner’s) nor does it cover the time we spend dealing with paperwork, doctors, inefficient systems or the stress we’re all under. Public healthcare does not cover the stares or comments we get from random strangers. These are all things we deal with daily and there is a cost to that. Before deciding to have a child I asked a lot of the same questions you pose above re: partner, work and money. It’s only clear now that I never asked myself a question about how I would cope if the problems were not the typical ones I had thought of.

    I am not trying to discourage you or even to add to your list of questions. I am also immensely grateful for a number of things in my life, including my child (who it goes without saying that I love and am so happy to have) as well as my relationship, career and the fact that I can afford (for now) all of the associated cost with my child’s issue. However, I honestly never thought about this until it happened to me. It is now the single thing I think about when wondering if I could or should have another child.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Oh my. More to think about. Thank you.

      Reply
  8. Life we learn

    I’m currently expecting my 2nd and I don’t even know how to prepare but I am trying to mentally prepare for those really hard first 3+ months. I know once I get into a routine things will start to calm down a little. I know it will be hard and I accept that but this is something both my husband and I want so we wouldn’t have it any other way.
    I think your pros outweigh your cons and if you feel deep down in your heart that you want this, you should go for it, provided that your partner is also 100% onboard. We can’t predict what will happen in the future but most of the time things work out fine 🙂 wish you all the best in whatever decision you make!

    Reply
  9. Jewels

    I always think about the long-term. In ten, twenty, even thirty years, I want a table full of my own kids and their spouses and kids. The bigger, the better. That starts with some sacrifices now (sleep, a bit of sanity) but I’ve never heard of a parent regretting some short-term pains for long-term gains. Think of it as an investment, but one you can’t put a price tag on. Giving my son a sibling has been one of the greatest gifts I see that I have given him. Another person to love him and vice versa. Their relationship is truly blossoming and seeing as he has a playmate now, I find myself stepping back a bit to finally drink my coffee in one go.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      A playmate is what I am thinking of I think…

      Reply
  10. Suba

    A pro/ con list can only be so helpful. You also need to write down your priorities in a list and put it in a prominent place. Whatever decision you make, staring at that list will reinforce your confidence in that decision. For instance, I stuck mine on the fridge (the only paper you’ll see in my kitchen) and I am confident in my decision to work instead of being a SAHM.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I will definitely go back to work. I guess I just have to save up as much money as possible.

      Reply
  11. Alice

    Yeah, I see your dilemna here. You can calculate some of the cons on paper, but you can’t really put a number on your feelings for the pros. I’m leaning toward the pros, but unfortunately I can’t really explain why other than life is short? And you’re still in a really good position to have children, considering it’s similar to when you had baby bun.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      That’s true. That’s what I keep saying to myself. And I can work and save like a mofo up until I deliver.

      Reply

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