When you have only one child, you can’t avoid the question: “When is baby number two coming?”
My son, Niko, is about to turn 2-years-old and I get asked that question a lot.
It took my husband and me eight years before we decided we were ready to start a family. But I was wrong to think it was a hard decision to make. Determining the best time to give Niko a little sibling seems to be much harder. It troubles me that I don’t know why.
So, I decided to get advice from moms in SWFL to see what they had to say.
Some think having kids back-to-back is best. Others say waiting a while will allow you to dedicate individual time to each kid. The majority of moms I spoke with have agreed that you have to be financially and mentally ready to handle raising two kids into productive members of society.
“You definitely have to have, a good cushion in your bank account to have multiples back to back," Sofia Bermudez said, a mother of two kids who are 12 years apart in age. "Without an age gap because I don’t know, it would have been very difficult for me personally."
I wondered if having a big gap between children would somehow erase your ability to deal with sleepless nights, feedings every two hours and the constant diaper changing sessions. But, Sofia Bermudez said, “Your mother instinct just quicks in…your mom instincts just picks up and you know what to do.”
On the other hand, I wanted to understand what was the benefit of having kids back to back. “Having kids back to back will make them able to relate to each other more and have a stronger relationship,” Jessica Dunn said, a first-time mom. And being the oldest of three sisters close in age, I can understand the importance of a strong sibling connection.
There are also SWFL moms that simply stop after the birth of their first child.
“Since I’m a single mom, I have to do everything for Andrew," Jessica Ramos said, a mother of one child. "I want to make sure I have all my attention just for him."
Something I did learn is that there are a lot of things to take into consideration. Like finances, your overall health, daycare cost if you are going back to work. For Sofia Bermudez, it was a tough decision, but after ten months she decided to go back into the workforce.
She adds “Daycare is extremely expensive and as a mom you try to give the best that you can for your children, it’s difficult because you are here thinking I have to pay my mortgage I have to pay my car note an on top of that pay a second mortgage which is your daycare.”
The biggest take away is that there is no perfect time to have a second child. The best time is whatever works for you!