Should I have a second child | Mahak's birth story
*This is a podcast interview in the series - Regular Moms | Regular Birthing Stories*
Shruti Sinha, mom of 3.8 year old baby boy, recently shared with me that she is confused whether she wants to have a second child. She is a working woman and now that life is just getting back to normal, she wonders if she wants to do this again. I'm sure all mothers have been in this place where we have been in two minds about having another baby. So what is the solution? Is there a right or wrong here? Well, the answer is that- this is a very personal decison. However when we listen to how other mothers made their decisions, it gives a framework to think towards.
Which is why we spoke to Mahak Goplani, an Instagram influencer and mom of two! She has given very valuable insights on going from 1 to 2 babies and what to expect!
Watch her entire video interview here (This is Bilingual-English and Hindi):
Mahak also busts somegender prediction myths! She has a son and a daughter and she talks about both her pregnancies and how different they were, her cravings and much more!
If you have just started enjoying your parenthood, you will suddenly have a bunch of “well meaning” family and friends who will ask the dreaded question-"when are you getting a sibling for your child!"
What is the answer to this question? Are you depriving your child of a sibling? Or are you depriving him/her of your undivided attention and resources by getting a sibling?
This is an overwhelming and confusing time. So we speak to mothers like Mahak who has shared what brought her the clarity to have 2 kids and the practical difficulties that come with raising 2.
“We knew we will have to deal with the sleepless nights and be stuck in the house. We divided the responsibilities as we were mentally prepared.”, she shares.
It makes a lot of difference when you know what's coming, what are the hardships and what are the rewards. This interview is real and honest look at motherhood with 2 children.
We also have some pointers further along in the blog to help you get clarity on planning for a second child!
You can also hear it in podcast (audio only) here :
So should you have a second child?
Lets show you some research!
As a mother myself, I am obsessed with research! I have done tones of research on this topic and not interestingly, there is research supporting good and bad of having another child. Its not a surprise to me, since every coin has two sides. However, its a huge help in coming to a decision. How many of these statements have you heard?
Only children are lonely.
Your child needs a sibling for when you are no more.
Sibling rivalry and jealousy is real.
Most siblings don't get along in adulthood.
Is there truth to this?
From my research I have figured that THERE IS NO TRUTH. Reason being there are many factors at play when it comes to deciding on life satisfaction for adults and children. It all depends on the upbringing and support system you have.
So a single child can be perfectly happy in a well rounded and supportive environment and a child with 5 siblings may experience bullying and loneliness.
Here is some research in support of all of this!
A research paper has proved that women who have a second child are never more satisfied than those who have only one child, regardless of their family orientations.
Another research concluded that parents with more than 1 child have less well being but more life meaning.
Parents with more kids experience more life satisfaction- this is however contingent on the individuals characters.
Another research examined 22 variables and concluded that family size has no effect on life satisfaction.
A research article also concluded that more kids increase family stress and each child reduces marital satisfaction.
Older parents of only kids are likely to receive less assistance or see their kid less often than those with more kids.
Mothers with two kids have least risk of cardiovascular disease.
Toni Falbo & Denise Polit, in their research of only children, gathered 115 studies to address information and evidence for personality, intelligence, adaptability, and relationships with peers and their parents. According to their findings, only-children surpassed all others in each category except for children who were in similar circumstances to them, such as first born. One of their biggest findings was that the parent-child relationship was positively stronger compared to those children with siblings.
From these pointers its clear that pros and cons are seen whether you decide to have one or two children. So there is no “magic formula” to predict the future hapiness of your family unit!
So if you decide that two kids suits your family GO FOR IT!
Did you know? 83% moms reported less anxiety when they took care of themselves. You can start by getting this lovely blue maternity kurti Mahak approves now!
Here are 5 things you should know while planning for your second child!
Every baby is different!
And you will be surprised at how different your own two kids can be!
“My first one loves swinging, second cant tolerate it. First one was a great napper and with the second, I have barely slept last 6 months. My first one could bottle feed easily and the younger one just rejects the bottle! Its so different!” shares Surbhi, a mom of two.
Just learn to go with the flow, while you learn about your baby and how you can care for them. Accept that they are and will be different and there is little you can do to change it. One solid advice - Please do not compare the two children. Its another way to cause a rift unknowingly.
You will be a different mother, the second time around!
“I was so calm with my firstborn, my second one has sent my anger through the roof!”, shares Shruti Sinha a new mom of 2!
Sounds relatable? Well its very common for you to be a different person after each of your babies. And when no two kids are similar, your parenting strategies will also have to be different.
Firstborn is a saint and second one is a rebel?You are not alone mommy, and you will learn to parent your children based on their own individual traits and unique personalities!
Its okay to lower your expectations!
When you transition from 1 to 2 kids, there will be a lot thats beyond your control. There will be that less time you have for yourself and your spouse. Please know that its okay! Give yourself some grace and love and accept that you wont get everything done everyday.
There will be days you won't have time to give both kids a bath and somedays where they get more screen time. Know that its Okay!
Always prepare your first child beforehand!
This one is so important!
Its not easy adjustment for a child to go from being the apple of their parents eye to having to share attention. Its also something that if not handled carefully, will be the reason for sibling rivalry and jealousy. Its okay for the firstborn to feel jealous in the initial days, but with the right support, they should come around! Here are a few things you can do help transition your older kid:
Read books to them on having a sibling. Some good suggestions that I personally like are : Waiting for baby by Rachel Fuller and I'm a big brother/ I'm a big sister by Joanna Cole.
Let the older one touch your belly, feel the baby move. This helps them form a bond and know they are not left out.
Get a baby doll for the older one. It will teach them how to be gentle and care when the baby comes along.
Set up a snack and play station for your older one. When you are pregnant and when your second one arrives, there might be times you are not able to give attention to your older one. A snack and play station with their favorite munchies and toys will keep them occupied and happy!
Sometimes your older one can regress to their baby ways!
This one is the most frustrating of it all! But knowing that it can happen and its normal reduces the stress manyfold!
So what exactly can you expect?
A child sleeping through the night suddenly has wake ups.
A potty trained child suddenly has pee/potty accidents.
A child who speaks clearly may suddenly start “baby talking”.
You may see food rejections of previously loved food items.
A child might start showing some “baby behaviors” like crawling around the house.
A sudden increase in meltdowns and tantrums.
Please note that these need to be dealt with utmost patience and grace. Its a huge shift and change for your first child to adjust to a sibling and they will need time. Try to not react and approach your child with love. With time, these will settle!
So what is the bottomline? Is it easier or harder to go from first to second child?
As you would have realized by now that there is no one recipe that fits all. There is no guarantee of the future and you will have to take the call based on your personal experiences, future goals and financial support. We hope the pointers above will help you prepare for your second one and make your journey even more rewarding!
Please share in the comments what helped you to transition from one to two children!!
Its definitely an overwhelming decision and there will never be a perfect time for this. Chances are deep down we have helped you make up your mind!
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