Should You Have Another Baby?

If the question is, “Should you have another baby?” the answer is “No.” I’m just kidding. Bigger families seem to be making a comeback. I’m not quite sure why, as it is harder than ever financially and organizationally to have more kids. It is probably our overachieving tendencies. Now, you can’t just throw them in the back of the station wagon, they each need their own seat. You can’t buy them a bike (no helmet) and a Swatch watch and tell them to get there and back on their own. You not only have to drive them to every single after school activity, you either have an integral role or you are a spectator at all of them. And, speaking of after school activities, rec baseball and girl scouts has morphed into high intensity sports and uber activities.

The expectations on parents are high and while there are amazing things about being a mom today, I imagine it was way more fun, and way less pressure, to be a parent in the 80s. It was also cheaper. Back then, another child literally just meant another mouth to feed, so the cost was just the necessities of keeping someone alive and well. I thought as my kids got older, and we didn’t need sitters anymore, we would have more money. The opposite is true. Now, all that money and more goes to clubs, tutors and cell phone bills. Soon, it will be going to college. With five kids, at about $250,000 each for four years of college, we are looking at 1.25 mil that could be going toward retirement (that’s if we can even figure out how to fund all of it.)

Back to the question. Should you have another baby? Maybe. Here is what you should consider.

  1. Have you always seen yourself with a big family? If so, the answer may be simply yes before you consider anything else. You will never regret a child you have, but you may always regret the one you really debated having. If you are feeling incomplete, stop reading and go for it.
  2. Can you afford another baby and STILL be able to live the way you want to live. It is not just college, everything is more expensive … vacation, food bills, therapy (yours not theirs), etc. Do you want to give your kids everything from a material standpoint, do you want to retire early and well and will another mouth to feed impede
  3. Can you easily and happily picture growing old with the family you have? If you look at your 1 or 2 kids and think, I can absolutely picture our unit staying the way it is, maybe your family is perfect for you now.
  4. How flexible are you? In order to not completely lose your mind, having a big family requires a great deal of go-with-the-flow-edness. If chaos and disorganization make you nauseous, unless you can afford a lot of help, maybe stick with a small, more manageable, still so incredibly beautiful, family.
  5. Do you and your partner both want another baby? Once you go from man to man defense to playing the zone, it is crucial to have all hands on deck, and nice to have these hands be on that deck willingly. As it is impossible to be in more than one place at the same time, more kids mathematically requires more adults. Another child is a huge responsibility, and yes, sometimes burden, to both parents. Both parents should be strongly on board.

Don’t get me wrong. I love having a big family, and I highly recommend it. But … I highly recommend it the same way I recommend the yellowtail ceviche with jalapeño. If you don’t like fish or spicy food, it probably isn’t for you, and the veggie risotto is also delicious.


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Author: Karen Latimer

Karen is a Family Physician, Wellness Coach, and founder of Tips From Town. She is passionate about sharing her medical expertise, her coaching techniques and her parenting experience to encourage happier and healthier lives.

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