DadblogUK shares an incredibly honest and thought-provoking post about deciding whether to have another child…
John writes: To have one child… or more? I thought this sounded like a great subject to focus on. Until I hit a wall. I suffered a bad case of writer’s block because this is such an incredibly personal issue I wasn’t sure how to tackle it.
Each and every couple has their own set of circumstances and these will dictate how many children they have. In our case, it largely came down to age. My wife and I aren’t the youngest parents but we’ve always known we wanted more than one child. When we started dating I made no secret of my desire to have children. If it had scared the future Mrs Adams off then she clearly wouldn’t have been the person for me. I have vivid memories of discussing the thorny issue of having kids with my wife in the early stages of our relationship, long before we got married. She looked up at me and, in her beautiful Glaswegian accent, said; “Well I’m no spring chicken ‘ey.”
It sounds brutal but that’s the beauty of dating when you’re older. You don’t have the time to play games so you’re more honest about what you want and expect out of a relationship. It’s a horrible phrase to use but the clock was ticking and we knew that if we were to have more than one child it would need to happen reasonably quickly. My wife sailed through the first pregnancy without any issues whatsoever. Second time round she was, ahem, the other side of 40 and quite comfortably so. While it was a straightforward pregnancy, she was permanently knackered and grumpy. She’ll freely admit she didn’t find it an easy experience. If it happened a third time I think we’d have to live in separate houses for nine months!
As I’ve alluded to above, age can be a good thing. My wife and I maybe don’t have the energy of younger parents but I’m a firm believer that older parents often have greater confidence. Age was also a major influence on the decision for me, the dad, to become the kids’ main carer. I’d had a career and was quite happy to put that on ice while I went on an entirely different adventure as a stay at home dad. I’m not convinced it would have been such an easy decision if I had been in my twenties.
So there you have it; age was the main factor in our case. Other people have different pressures. I know of a couple that had a child with horrendous sleep issues that went on for years (ie, their child was out of bed every 20 minutes) and they just didn’t feel they could have more than one. I know a woman that had a very complicated birth and had no desire to go through it again and a couple that just don’t think they can afford the childcare costs if they increase the size of their family. What I will say is this; if there’s one thing that sends my blood pressure stratospheric, it’s when I hear the phrase “so when are you having the next one?” As I said at the start, this is such a personal issue that it’s wrong to pry. It’s no one’s business but you and your partner’s and that’s the way it should be.