Mujer, are you thinking about having another baby? Are cute images of soft-skin, rosy cheeks and baby-powdered-smelling-babies popping all over your head? If your clock for another baby is ticking, you might be weighing the pros and cons of having another bundle of love in your arms.
We’ve put together a list of questions to help you in your decision-making process. Making good decisions is all about taking the time to reflect, and take into consideration the realities of our circumstances. You might find it helpful to answer these questions in writing, on a sheet of paper or in your computer.
1. Why do I want another child?
This is the most important question you should ask yourself from the get-go. Make a list of all the reasons you have for having another baby. Reflect on each of those reasons. Do I want another child because, deep down, I feel alone, bored, in need of love, want to feel loved, want to love someone else, do something important? Gain insight into your deepest thoughts and wishes.
If you realize that the main reason for your desire to have another baby stems from an unmet emotional need, take some time to evaluate how else you could meet that need (without having to go through 9 months of pregnancy and a life-time of caring for another person).
2. How will having a baby affect my other children?
Consider the ages, developmental stage and needs of your other children. Are they still in diapers? Do they require a lot of hands-on care? Would bringing in another child affect the quality of time or care that you are able to provide?
3. How will you juggle having another child?
Will you be able to balance your work and family life? Will having another child create significant imbalance in your life? Can you juggle all the responsibilities you now have with those of having a newborn? If so, do you have the support, help and resources to deal with that?
4. Can you cope emotionally and physically with another baby?
Do you have the time, and the emotional and physical energy to care for a newborn? Can you afford the sleepless nights, the breastfeeding (if you choose to), the constant care, attention and supervision a newborn requires?
Have you been working hard on achieving a particular career or life goal, which could be side-tracked by having another child? Can you drop those goals and seek them later?
6. Can you afford financially another child?
As you know, raising children is very expensive. Too often, we minimize how much the overall care of a child is. Can you afford the diapers, baby gadgets, furniture, clothes, and, most importantly, child care (if you’re planning to go back to work)?
7. If I wait longer to have another child, will my choice be limited by my age?
Are you at an age when waiting longer would jeopardize your chances of getting pregnant or having a healthy pregnancy? Having a child at the age of 41 is totally different than having a child at the age of 31, those 10 year difference can make a huge difference in terms of conceiving, carrying out a healthy pregnancy and giving birth to healthy babies.
8. Can my marriage or relationship afford another baby?
Is my marriage overwhelmed by responsibilities right now? Can the relationship afford more responsibilities and commitment?
9. Does my husband or partner want to have another child right now?
This is another question that women commonly neglect to consider. We might be fully ready to take on the new challenge of another child, but how about our partner? How does he feel about it? What concerns does he have? How will a new baby affect his life, work and career? Is he happy with the number of children you both have?
What other questions should we ask ourselves when making the decision to have another child?