Due to the way our lives pan out in the modern day, couples need to make tough decisions all the time about their family. From the everyday choices about what kind of food to buy pertaining to any diet goals, all the way to the very hard choices of where to live, medical treatments, and financial planning. Couples have to constantly be thinking about the future, unfortunately, there is no other way of raising a family other than to be vigilant about how your lives are changing. However, when you are in a committed relationship and you truly want to raise a family together, then making the decisions of how, when, where are merely formalities that have followed the ‘if’ and the ‘why’. So when you can relax and feel satisfied that you are both going to have children, provide a home and stable family life, the only thing left to do is, to do it. The mentally exhausting bit is over, and now although it will get tiresome at least you now have a set path that you have both agreed to follow. After a few years, you have children, the home is being financially paid off, you’re both still in love with each other just as much, and you’re both living fulfilling lives. What if you want more children? What if you’re wanting too much? How should you decide on whether growing your family beyond the size it is now?

It's just getting started

Before you jump to any kind of long drawn-out thought process about having more children, ask yourself are you steady enough right now? If you have had more than one child, after the first few years of parenting, things can become monotonous. This is because you’re used to your children’s cries, their feeding and naptime. However, soon they will be old enough to go to daycare and or the very early stages of school. A whole new world of parenting challenges will then begin to befall you. Helping them with homework, taking them to school after getting them dressed and fed will be a new lifestyle for your family.

In other words, it's just getting started. Your parenting skills are going to be put to the test as your children leave their infant years and head into being toddlers. If you were to have another child, could you balance the newborn and your existing children? It isn’t just the fact that it's a new child, you’re back to square one again. Somebody will need to be on call 24-hours a day, ready to attend the crying baby all throughout the night and day. Can you and your partner juggle these responsibilities right now if you were to bring home a newborn tomorrow? If not, what could you do to make preparations? Is your home ready? What about your finances etc?

Are you both aligned?

In the beginning, when you and your partner decided to have children, it was because both of you shared a similar goal in life. You both wanted to start a family, but now that your family is here and life has since normalised, does that flame still burn in both of you? One of you may want more children, but the other may not. This is a tough and rough road to drive on when you’re both in a committed relationship and marriage. You don’t want to bring a child into the world without both parents actually wanting it to be born. Right from the beginning, the child will be lacking two strong loving entities. In other words, there may be regret in one or possibly even both of you if you have a child that wasn’t wanted and or planned.

Occupational security

Newborn babies cost a lot of money, not just to look after, but to accommodate for their lives in the home. The crib, cot, clothes, food, medicines and more can slice a portion off your monthly disposable income. Many families that have infants and or toddlers, will have one parent work full-time while the other parent stays at home and looks after the children. If this is the case with your household, then you need to have a serious talk with each other regarding job security. Say you had a new child, would you and your partner’s current job be stable enough for at least 5 years or so?

Economic downturns come around every two decades or so, and sometimes even earlier. Is the job you or your partner has, secure in this regard? Everyone is replaceable at their work, but some more so than others. Do you have a senior position which is important to the company that will be one of the few jobs that aren’t looked at for cuts? Does the job offer bonuses for targets met and good team leadership of any kind? As long as the occupation of the person that will be needed to fund the new baby is secure, then that is one less thing to worry about when he or she arrives.

Are you capable?

When women get passed a certain age, such as over 40, it becomes harder and harder to have a baby safely. The biological clock is ticking and the best years to have a child are in your early 20s to your late 30s. It's a fact of life that you need to accept and not argue with. If you do, it could put your life or the baby’s life in danger as the stresses and strains are sometimes too much on the body. However, some couples opt for the man to take measures and not be able to impregnate anymore as they get ‘the snip’. If this is something that is relevant to the father in the relationship, consider the vasectomy reversal cost after the operation. It's a frequently asked question, whether or not it can be reversed so the man can perform again. However, it's a case by case basis and not everyone is going to have the same chance. The simple answer is, if one was to get this kind of operation done in the first place, it's best to treat it as something that will be permanent, so as to not run any risk of regret or possible medical complications when trying to turn back time.

The family harmony

The family dynamic is also an issue that needs to be carefully considered as it will be the most affected in the short and long-term. The psychology of the family dynamic is not very well understood by many parents, and this can cause rifts. Children are all vying for the attention and affection of their parents. The child or the children that you already have, know where they stand in the family hierarchy. The parents are going to be at the top, while siblings will be in another group. If you have brought them up equally, there won’t be much rivalry as they’re both worth the same to you, is how they will see it. If you do treat them differently due to age, responsibilities and or anything else for that matter, there will be a bit of figurative pushing and shoving to receive your attention. If a new baby is injected into this, now the children will feel as if they are second to the newborn. So if you are going to have a new child, it's best to sit your children down and inform them of how life is going to change for the family.

Do you have the room?

Chances are that you will have to move your children in together into one room if you can. Most family homes are 3-bedroom, which means that if you have two children you’ll have to move them into one room so the baby can be on his or her own. Consequently, will you be selling the beds of the children, and getting a bunk bed instead to save room? What if you simply don’t have enough room in your home to have a new child, what are you other options? The only other ways are to save up for a home that does have more than three bedrooms, or possibly, extend your current home, such as making a spare bedroom in the attic or basement. Bear in mind that you should be planning for the home to have enough room for growing children, as one day that little baby will one day be like your other children that need space to themselves.

To grow or not to grow, that is the question. The thing is, that many parents had a plan, they followed it and only later did they realise that they underestimated themselves. And, now when deciding on whether or not to have another baby, there are a whole new set of circumstances. The first and most importantly for your safety is, are you still physically capable of having a baby? Don’t put yourself in unnecessary risk if you are heading toward 40. However, if you’re younger, then factor in all the possible issues that could make life harder for you before going through with anything.

*collaborative post

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