You’ve seen the adverts portraying the perfect family. Dad, Mum, older son, younger daughter: it’s a perfect 2×2 situation where everyone is happy and smiling. The ideals of what makes up a perfect family differ from person to person. Some are one and done while others are onto baby number five and still get the urge to add more to their brood. Then there are others who look at their oldest child, become super broody but don’t have another baby because of their circumstances. Every family takes into consideration space, time and money whenever they are thinking about adding another little critter into their family, and nearly everyone waits and stalls and delays that next miracle because the circumstances ‘just aren’t right’.
Children are so much more than a status symbol of perfection. They are a blessing and your little piece of immortality right here on earth, so expanding your family often feels like a very natural decision. When you find yourself plagued with doubt on whether or not you should expand your family, ask yourself why you feel that way. Is it because society says you have enough children as it is? Is it because you’re deemed as ‘too young’? Is it because you don’t have the time to manage more children among life? Or is it money? Whatever the reason is, grab yourself a hot drink because you’re about to find out why you shouldn’t wait around for your next baby adventure.
Issue 1: Space.
There’s currently three of you in a smaller house or flat with just the two bedrooms. The rooms aren’t tiny, but they’re not big, and so the idea of fitting in another child with all their baggage is not ideal. But what if we told you that you didn’t need an extra bedroom to have another baby? Babies are small but they do come with a lot of stuff. They grow faster than you can imagine – which you already know – so the Moses basket or crib won’t last that long before you need a bigger bed. This need for newer things that fit your growing child means finding the space in the house you have to fit the bigger things. Most people like to get invested in a larger property, but for the most part people make do with the space they have. All they have to do is make adjustments. In the first three years of a child’s life, you can make arrangements to move to a bigger house to allow them a room of their own should you want one for them. It gives you time financially to get your ducks in a row, and look into mortgages and loans for when your credit is bad, if that’s what is stopping you. It also gives you time to seek out exactly what it is you want for your family. Space should never be a reason to stop you from expanding your family, because there are always ways around it! If you come to the decision you can manage in a smaller house with an extra baby, then you should check out these amazing space saving ideas. There are so many ways you can make your family fit your space rather than make your space fit your family ideals.
Issue 2: Time.
Time is a luxury we don’t always have, and when you have children it slips through your fingers like sand in an hourglass. One minute you’re looking at your freshly born baby, and the next you’re getting their uniform ironed for their first day of school. It is something that you only begin to truly treasure as they grow up. It’s for this reason that you may feel like adding another baby would be impossible, because there is just no time in the day for what you already have in life. You have a partner to spend time with, a job to work, a toddler to run around after. The thought of making time for a pregnancy, leaving your job or cutting down your hours, and getting your toddler into childcare can often feel too overwhelming to even comprehend. The good thing about children, is that if you want them in your life they seem to just fit. Your job can be changed to one with more flexible hours. You and your partner just naturally adjust to the demands of a new baby in the house. The housework is just not as important as you imagine it to be when you could instead be cuddling the baby and entertaining your other children in the house. If you found yourself pregnant in an unplanned but wanted surprise, you’d make the time for a child. Time doesn’t have to be the thing that stops your family from expanding, and you can learn here how you can prioritise the hours you have in the day to make your family what you want it to be.
Issue 3: Money.
Ah, money. It’s the one contentious topic. People will tell you that you should wait to afford a baby before you decide to go ahead and have one. The truth is that if people waited until the opportune moment to have a baby and waited until they were financially solvent, there would be no babies. You could be financially secure, with a wonderful home that fits many children. You then get pregnant and bam – a recession hits. No more job, no more financial security and no more lovely home fit for a large brood. Of course, that doesn’t always happen, but the point is that at any given moment the world could tip from under your feet and change without you knowing how to cope with it. It’s probably never a good idea to decide on a baby if you’re eating tinned soup every day because of how tight money is, but children don’t have to be expensive. Breastfeeding is free and it’s an option that you can get a lot of help with. Cloth nappies are a larger cost up front, sure, but in the long run you will save money by not throwing it away on disposables. Social media selling sites and websites like eBay are constantly flooded with second hand cots/prams/clothing bundles, that getting set up for another child is not going to cost the earth. As long as you can afford your regular utilities and your bills, then money doesn’t have to be the issue when it comes to having another child.
There will always be a reason not to go ahead and expand your family, but if it’s something you want then all of those issues are easily overcome. Society may not agree with your choices; and by society, we mean those in your life who feel they should have an opinion on how you do things. The thing is, they’re not the ones living in your house and doing the night feeds with a baby. If you are fortunate enough not to have to work for a living and yet still be stable financially, it doesn’t make having a child any easier. There is never an ‘easy’ time in life to expand your family in the way you want. There is only a time where you feel that things are right.
The other thing to consider is that you could wait for too long. All the worrying about time, space and money could lead you to wait too long and find your fertility has declined with age and therefore, getting pregnant is no longer an easy option. It’s usually things like this that make hindsight cruel and 20/20 – you wanted to wait for the right time, and waited too long so now there are difficulties. Children are a blessing, whatever age you happen to be and the idea that you need to be financially secure to bring a child into the world is one that is unusual. After all, security to one person is going to have an entirely different definition for another. As long as you can feed, clothe and keep your child warm, then that’s all they need. It often takes a little more than love to have a baby – but it doesn’t mean you have to be wealthy to manage it!
If you do decide to have a child and anyone comments on your financial situation, or how busy you are already, then you have every right to explain to them the fact that stagnant wages do not match the soaring living costs will not dictate how you live your life. Being made to feel like you should wait for perfection before having a child will result in no one having one, so my advice? If you want another baby to bless your life, have it anyway and don’t feel guilty for it! Your family is your business and not for anyone else to comment on. So go for it.
*this is a collaborative post.