Posted: Dec 26, 2012 4:00 AM
 
Making the decision to go from a couple to a trio is hard enough. But turning that trio into a quartet can be an even more difficult choice to make. Is it OK to stop with one kid? Inevitably the biggest feeling couples experience when trying to decide if they will remain a one-child family is guilt...

Guilt that their one child won't have a sibling. Guilt that they may regret not having more kids. If you're on the fence about whether or not to stop at one kid, here's some food for thought.

Zzzs

Your child is sleeping through the night. You're finally getting rest. This is about the time when you may seriously consider a second child. Are you ready for another year (or more) of sleep deprivation? There's no telling whether your next child will sleep better or worse than your first. Can you rise to the occasion again -- or has your multiple, middle-of-the-night rendezvous in the nursery reached an end?

Do remember though how sweet those infant snuggles can be in the dark, quiet wee hours.

$$$$

Babies are expensive. A multi-child family considerably lowers your expendable income (if you even have any). Ready to take on the cost of more diapers, food and clothes? Ready to invest in more car seats and double strollers? Ready to doubly celebrate each holiday? Prepared to pay for another education?

Money is the deciding factor for some families. Others trust that the money will come and they can budget accordingly. How financially savvy are you?

Physique

Maybe you're finally getting your body back -- and it feels good. Are you ready to house another human for 9 months? Ready for the nausea, exhaustion, stretch marks, weird cravings and discomfort? Ready to experience all of this with one kid hanging out beside you? Or on you?

Then again, what would you give to once more feel those amazing little kicks and punches, knowing that you're nourishing another human being into existence?

Family

You come from a big family and think you might like to recreate that (or not). Or you come from a small family and always wanted more siblings (or were happy alone). Do you want your one kid to have a sibling to commiserate with, complain to, play with and just plain enjoy? Or can you fill that void, trust that they'll find friends to bond with and believe that your three-person family unit is enough for everyone?

It's A-OK to make the one-child family choice logically, creating a pros and cons list to avoid the emotional decision. Consider too where you and your partner are (and how solid your relationship is after one kid). It won't be easy, but you'll never regret it if you do have another child. Just be sure, however, that your regrets will be zero if you don't.

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