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Planning for Second Child

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from 1stTimeMom90709. Show 1stTimeMom90709's posts

    Planning for Second Child

    Hi all,
    Just looking for some input from those who have a second child or are planning a second or awaiting his/her arrival.

    My first is almost one and I am starting to think about having the second because I would like them to be close in age.  Thinking about having a second raises some concerns namely financial and the difficulties with raising 2 young children.  So I would like to just hear from people with some experience on handling a second child.  Also, have people had experience where daycares give a discount for the second?  My husband and I both have busy jobs, usually don't get home til 7, eat dinner at 9 type situation.  This is sort of a ramble but I think people will get where I am coming from.  I think I just need a little reassurance!

  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from bean78. Show bean78's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I have a four year old and am expecting my second in a couple of weeks. We had wanted them MUCH closer in age but had many setbacks along the way that led us to a four year difference. We recently moved to CT from MA for hubby's work and I have now become a stay-at-home-mom, but back in MA I had a career and still would if we hadn't moved. My son went to daycare there and we found a center that met my travel for work needs and was really close to my office. I know that they offered a 10 or 20% discount on the second child when enrolled at the center. It doesn't add up to much of a discount really when you are paying for two kids. At one point, I had found a home daycare that I was going to move my son to, but then I got laid off anyway so I didn't need the care. Weekly, I was going to save a reasonable amount of money there, but I don't know if in-home day cares offer a discount on a second child.
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    If you are fortunate enough to have a healthy child and to see yourself remain healthy after the pregnancy,then you should consider the financial burdens which must be overcome to have the second child.
    Foolish men and women are disgusted when they find out money is the leading cause of divorce.Somehow they disconnect the relationship between having children and increasing financial responsibilities.
    It also creates tension concerning the neatness of the home,and the relationship with relatives who might be called upon to assume more duties for the second child or first child.
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    We go back and forth a lot about whether or not to have a second child. On the one hand, we could give our daughter more if we didn't have a second. On the other hand, how much does she need? And can material things compensate for never knowing the love of a sibling? And if she is an only child, will I drive her crazy by being totally focused on her at all times? (Yes.)

    And it's so much easier to get things done with a todder than it was with a baby -- the idea of going back to the 2-hour nursing, night wakings, barfing/pooping is very daunting. But then again, having a baby is the most wonderful thing in the world -- a soft, sweet, snuggly little baby who looks up at you with those big, alien eyes and curls her tiny fingers around you and smiles her gummy smile.

    I've been told by friends who have twins or kids around the same age that it's tough at first -- very tough -- but once they hit about 18 months it suddenly gets much easier because they can play with each other and entertain each other, so the parents get a break.

  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I am newly pregnant with our 2nd child, DD is currently 16 months - I'll be honest that I thought this spring that life would be a lot easier with just one.  Much like Lemon said we'd be able to provide more opportunities, travel, etc.  Then I would think of the other side and how much I love my siblings and all the fond memories I have from growing up.

    I do get nervous thinking about the financial aspect and just managing when the new baby comes home from the hospital.  I think about how will I deal with lack of sleep and caring for an active just about 2 year old.  I have great family that lives close by that will help me anytime and I'm trying to not get too far ahead of myself in worrying.
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    Also on the "pro" side -- we'll be SO much better at it the second time around! None of the "I can't believe they let us take this baby home" stuff.
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from KT75. Show KT75's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    Funny, I was just talking to my mom and she was saying the same thing.  You already know what the cries mean, when they have gas pains, etc - Lets hope she's right!
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    And you also know that sometimes they just cry, so you won't drive yourself crazy trying to get them to stop. I mean, of course I would always comfort the crying baby, but I wouldn't get all panicky about it. We once called the pediatrician at 3 am because our daughter was excessively cranky. Of course she stopped crying and fell asleep while we were waiting for the call-back. Embarrassing.
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I probably should keep my opinions to myself as I'm approaching my due date with my first, but I've always "planned" (as much as you can plan these things) on having two ... I'd have loved three or four, actually, but between my age and the staggering cost, I think that's out.  As eager as I was to trade my sister in for a puppy during our formative years, I can't imagine life without her (or my other two sibs) now.  I agree with Lemon -- I don't think the material advantages of limiting our kidlets to just one outweigh the gift of a sibling.  Even when they drive you batsh*t nuts. 

    To the OP's original questions, I can tell you that my in-home daycare offers a decent discount for kiddo #2.  Two kids in this daycare is still a staggering figure that makes me want to vomit, but as I keep reminding myself -- it's finite and in today's "real" dollars (as opposed to college savings).  Honestly, I'd be more focused on the hectic schedule you mention.  That's where I see my friends start to fray -- when their 9-5 doesn't offer the work-life balance they need to make the family scene hum along.  In this economy, we're just luckky to have jobs, but if there's room to modify the work schedule to be more family-friendly, I think that's going to be a huge stress reliever for both of you. 

    DH and I talk about this a lot -- I've already changed my work setting so that I'm closer to home, have more flexibility and can work from home when needed.  Over the next five years, the deal is he's going to try to do the same.  It's tough with his industry, but that's the long-term goal and it helps evaluate some otherwise tempting job offers that would detract from that. 

    People will always say, "things will work out," or, "there's never enough money or a right time to have kids," which I kind of agree with ... but I do think there's a certain level of cool-headed realism that needs to go into the planning process.  I get made fun of a lot for being an uber-planner, but it helps take some of the question marks out of these big life decisions.  PS -- things don't just work themselves out.  There's usually one or more over-tired and over-worked martyrs keeping the balls in the air. 

    I'm VERY lucky that DH and I are on the same page, and both have good jobs and have options.  But we also have been planning for having kids since we got engaged, in ways big and small.  Certain decisions get made for you, but the ones that are up to us have been made with the assumption that they will need to sustain a family of, God willing, four.  Helps keep us from getting distracted in the interim.  

    Good luck!  I think you can do it.   

  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    The more kids you have, the better your chances are of being cared for in your old age. Plus they'll be paying into our Social Security. It's your patriotic duty to have more children. The world must be peopled.
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from KAM2007. Show KAM2007's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I tell myself readiness for the second child comes when you've surrendered to the fact that your life will never be as organized, neat, and clean as it once was. Once you're okay with that, bring on that second baby!

    DH and I talk about what we could provide for DS if we only had him. But what a sibling can provide outweighs the material things. Having more family, even if you don't get along, is more beneficial in our minds than that cool trip to Europe, the latest fashions/gadgets etc.

    I believe most day care centers proivide a discount for siblings, though I'm not sure it makes it a "bargan."

    The timing and spacing of siblings is what we're wondering about...what's the "perfect" age difference...
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from 1stTimeMom90709. Show 1stTimeMom90709's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    Thank you all for the comments.  It's helpful to hear others with similar concerns and experience.  There is no doubt that we want more kids and God-willing that we will be able to have more sooner rather than later.  The time and financial factors are concerns.  I think you are right lemon that it will be difficult at first but once the younger gets to the age where they can be play buddies it will be much easier and also we are seasoned veterans at this the second time around (we hope!)  I hope at some point to be in a position where I can cut back hours at work to be home more but I think that's where the financial concerns come in as less hours working means less money coming in.  I don't have a problem scaling back on material things but there is always that point where there are bills that just need to be paid. 

    And GC I totally agree with you things only work themselves out to the extent that you have to work to get there.

    I think I am ready to move forward, though I think DH wants to be a little more cautious a wait a little and save a little.  So we'll see what happens.  Thanks again for discussing this with me!
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from GC1016. Show GC1016's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    FWIW, we're probably looking at a similar time-table to you (I'm due this September, will probably start thinking about TTC this time next year --wild to put THAT in writing), but I'm turning 36 this week, so time is a factor.  If I weren't already AMA, we'd probably be on a less aggressive time table. 
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I keep thinking that if my daughter gets a spot at the public nursery school in our area, we'd only have to pay for a babysitter for one. But that's putting a lot of faith in the city of boston's public education system. And I don't know if I'd want my daughter in school so young. I'd prefer to wait until kindergarten to have the joy of learning taken from her.
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichelleandtheBoys. Show MichelleandtheBoys's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    It sounds like the financial aspect needs some consideration, particularly where it sounds like you both work demanding jobs.  That being said, I cannot imagine my kids not having each other, and me not having my second child.  My boys are 23 months apart and are BEST friends!  Of course it does not always work out that way, but even so, they will always have someone to talk to, play with, fight with, negotiate with, learn from, etc.  I can't believe my husband and I ever contemplated not having children, for the same reasons you are mentioning not having more than one.  Once my first son was born, I was IN LOVE, decided I was made to be a mother, and wanted three more just like him.  When the second one was born, I planned to have a third with the same age difference.  However, two was a lot harder than one, and I kept saying, "not yet, maybe next year".  Now my youngest just turned 8 and my oldest is about to turn 10 and I wish I had just done it five years ago! :(

    There are advantages to having them closer together and further apart.  From what I hear there is no "perfect" age difference.  But even though it can be challenging at times, two years has been great for us. Even though they are always at somewhat different stages, they still are close enough that they have similar interests, which works out awesome.  We spend tons of time doing things together as a family, and my husband and I love to play with them.  However, it's nice to be able to go for a long car ride where they can entertain themselves and play games in the backseat (I refuse to get a dvd player or handheld video games). The same thing at home, as well.  If one has a friend over, they can all play together because they are close enough in age.  And although they have plenty of school friends, I don't always feel like I have to be scheduling play dates every minute because they play so well together.  Whereas a friend of mine with a 9 year old son is always looking for someone to play with and always takes a friend on vacation with them. 

    It's hard to explain, because when I was pregnant the 2nd time I remember being sad and nervous that I wouldn't be able to just spend every single second doting on my oldest anymore.  I literally would sit there and stare and think how cute he was, even when he was just eating.  Now I know that having a sibling was the best thing I could have ever done for him.  Besides the counseling he'd need if I still sat there watching him eat, his life and our family life would be so different.  I can't imagine it, to be honest.  It has always given us so much joy to watch them play together and share things together.  And it's so cool to see how different one can be from the other.   

    It's not all fun and games, and there are moments when they are trying to kill one another, and I am screaming.  Or when one just wants to be alone and the other is crying that he is mean.  But at the end of the day, it's all good...  
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from MichelleandtheBoys. Show MichelleandtheBoys's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    Wow...didn't realize I had written so much.  Sorry! :)
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    "Besides the counseling he'd need if I still sat there watching him eat"

    ha ha, that's what I'm talking about!
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from ModeratorJen. Show ModeratorJen's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I hesitated to post about this because so many women struggle with fertility, and never want to come across as, well, something.  We've been very blessed, and I know that.  So...

    I had four children in 5 years.  Yup.  Only the first was planned.  The other three were big surprises -- you know how they say not all birth control is 100% effective?  Um, it's true.  Embarassing!

    My first two are 13 months apart.  Number three came 2 years after number 2.  And number 4 was born ON number 3's first birthday.  Almost to the exact minute.

    Would I have planned it this way? NOPE.  Not in a million years, though DH and I wanted a big family.  Just not all at once.

    So, my advice.  It's hard.  It was hard then (3 in diapers for a lot of years), and it's hard now that they're older.  But I think parenting is always a challenge whether you have one or six -- the challenges are different, for sure.  But I think it has a lot to do with your own temperment, being willing to accept a bit of daily chaos and conflict, and yes, a house that's never really clean and always having laundry and a full dishwasher.  Financially it's a struggle, since with so many little kids at home my teaching salary didn't cover day care costs.  We don't vacation or buy things or, frankly, do a whole lot that involves paying for anything.

    But, I don't feel like we missed much not doing all that.  And while I do wish we didn't have to limp from paycheck to paycheck, my kids are AWESOME.  They are great friends (each pair is like a set of twins, BFs, all that) and watching them together is such a joy.  Don't get me wrong -- they bicker and fight and stomp away all the time -- but being so close in age, I think they are more like buddies than anything.  I really hope they continue to be super close for the rest of their lives.

    Everyone has a different opinion about the space between kids, and nobody's wrong.  It's such an individual, personal decision.  Just by asking, wondering, it's clear that no matter how you choose, you will know what's right for your family.

    (I'm not sure that was at all helpful!  But I hope it was, a little)
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from missJB. Show missJB's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I got pregnant with my second daughter on DD's 1st birthday, so they are 21 months apart.  I just had my second DD 3 months ago.  It is so true when people say that the second one is much easier.  Whether it is because I'm more knowledgable of raising an infant or that her temperment is so nice I definitely find this go around much easier.  Yes, things are chaotic and having two kids in diapers feels like you are constantly at that changing table but that family dynamic is even more powerful than before.  My older daughter does get jealous but the first thing she asks about every morning when she wakes up is "Where's my sister?"  I feel so lucky that my daughters will always have each other to lean on and will grow up together with a strong sense of family.

    Financially, we cut back but it's the little things that we do that provide us with the most value and entertainment.  My 2 year old flew a kite the other day for the first time with my 3 month old watching and laughing at her sister for being so silly.  I'm sure these things will mean more to me years down the road than a nice vacation away with my husband.

    I'm fortunate to only work 3 days a week, and have family to babysit, but my oldest does go to daycare one of those 3 days.  Her daycare is a fairly big center that will give a 10% discount when enrolling a sibling.  Keep in mind that discount is usually on the older child because an infant costs more to enroll than a toddler.

    If you can find ways to cut back to save on all the extra diapers and daycare, I say it's worth all the sacrifice.

    Good luck!
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from enjar. Show enjar's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    When we had our second, we worked out ways to have my wife stay home.  It didn't happen immediately, but my wife was not happy with her workplace and the daycare tuition amounts were absolutely horrifying, to the extent that her salary was only providing $3-400/month at best, with the rest was being eaten by daycare expenses.  Not to mention the overall stress level from her absolutely horrible boss and messed up company culture plus all the other stuff that makes life as an adult, spouse and parent stressful.

    We did Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover" to make the financial things work ... paid down a lot of debt (both cars and student loans), cut out a lot of expenses (cell phones, cable, cleaning lady, groceries, etc) and our only vacations are to visit with family now.  Also we had to cut the 401k contribution (not an easy decision to make).  Not to mention tracking coupons, a refi on the mortgage and very infrequent "date nights" out.  We also make and keep a monthly budget on paper, too.  This did not happen overnight, and we did have to endure a lot of stress while we lived like hermits and paid down debt while my wife had to keep her horrible job just to pay stuff off.

    So I guess if you are looking at two and are feeling a lot of stress about the financial picture, try running the numbers and seeing if it's possible to make some form of life change that will make it possible for one parent to stay home.  Oftentimes when you take a hard look the gap isn't too big, and depending on occupation, you might be able to make it work with part time, freelancing or something else.

    I know it's not possible for everyone, though, times are indeed tough and I am fortunate to have a good income that can make this remotely possible.  The kids enjoy being at home and we really don't miss a lot of the stuff we have cut out of our lives.

    Also note that this is not intended in any way as a critisism of mothers who work outside the home, either.

    Our daughters are great, though.  There are some aspects of the second that are a more than a doubling of work ... more like squaring of work.  But now that they are 5 and 2 they do play well together (mostly) and a lot of that first year stuff is a mere memory.  We aren't having anymore, either.  We can see the light at the end of the diaper tunnel now, and naps are getting shorter and shorter so scheduling stuff isn't as hard as it used to be.  And now the eldest has more activities and friends, and is starting school.  I was very reluctant to have the second, but now I think it's fine.  I want no more, though!
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from rysmom. Show rysmom's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    So, here is something stupid and small to consider when planning #2.  Car seats (and many other gear things) have a life of 6 years (some are 10).  I just realized that my 2 yo's car seat is going to expire in November.  She won't be ready for a booster at that point so it means we need to purchase a new car seat.  Rather annoying.
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from canukgrl. Show canukgrl's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    We just welcomed #2, DS and DD is exactly 2.5 - as for the mechanics of daycare costs, ours (a mid sized center) offers a 10% sibling discount, on the less expensive/older sibling, but for us, the bigger bonus will be that DD will be 2.9 years and into preschool when DS starts - which costs about 30% less that the toddler cost.  So, one infant or toddler is 1350-1500/mth but one preschooler and one infant will be about 2400-2500... still boatloads of money, but as my financial planner points out, it's really a short term expense - the big dollar years at least.

    DS is not quite two weeks old and we're still in the sleep deprived chaos stage, but already I can tell you I wouldn't change a thing!  DD is so in love with him already and I can just see how much fun we'll be having with 'the kids' a year or so from now!  It didn't occur to me until I went into the hospital that I could no longer focus 100% on DD... it was a strange feeling and one we're all still adjusting to, but also something that I think will be good for us all in the long run. 

    FWIW I wasn't sure until DD was a year that I wanted a second.
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from lemonmelon. Show lemonmelon's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I must be sending out some sort of signal, because in the past week three different people have unloaded their single child misery on me. I don't think it's bad to be a single -- as one of five it sounds positively alluring to me -- but they've been telling me that they're all alone in this world, that they don't know how to play games, that holidays are meaningless, that they were always lonely and always will be. Maybe if I have another baby everyone will start telling me about how their siblings made their lives a living h3ll.
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from IPWBride. Show IPWBride's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    Lemon, I think for so many people, the grass is always greener.  There will always be only children who want siblings and those with siblings who wish they were onlys.  But... I must say, as I always need to stick up for onlys... my holidays were never lonely and I certainly knew how to share and play games with other people.  I really don't understand when people say that you can only learn these traits from siblings.  Serious?  Maybe if you were an only child and home schooled and never allowed outside the house for 18 years.  But as an only, I made some amazing friends during my school years... one best friend that I compare to a sister (will be the godmother to my little one).  I am so amazingly close to my mom, and also have many cousins who provided that same-age-as-me family dynamic growing up.

    That doesn't mean that I only want one... we will definitely consider two at some point.  But I just wanted to throw it out there that for those considering having just one child, it isn't tantamount to torture and you are not bad parents for having only one. :-)
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from merilisa. Show merilisa's posts

    Re: Planning for Second Child

    I have no solutions for you, but I am in the same position.  My first is nearly six months old, and we don't know what/when we are doing next about children.  We like to plan way, way ahead.  On the one hand, we want to give our little boy everything.  On the other hand, doesn't "everything" include a sibling?  I wouldn't go back and give up my kid brother for anything in this world, not even privledge, private school, more toys, etc.  Why would I assume that my son would value more stuff and luxury over another playmate?  That is where I am about it right now, anyway.  Who knows where the conversation will evolve!