I’ve often heard people discuss the necessities of having more than one child. I personally love large family pictures when it has several children, grandchildren and, if lucky, great grandchildren. Plenty of websites today discuss the pros and cons of having more than one child. And then you will find your very own loved ones compelling you to have more children and sending you on a guilt trip if, by error, you mention that you are happy with just one.
The comfort you have with your sibling is something you won’t get anywhere else, not even with your own parents. But I believe that if we, as parents, can befriend our own child, they won’t need a sibling to confide in. Ambitious parents look at having more than one child so that their first precious one has ‘someone’ to play with and they themselves are free to do as they please. Is this really fair to your second? Sadly, some women claim that after their first, they have no idea how the second one grew up. Astonishingly, a friend once told me that the need for having more than one kid is that you still have support in your old age in case something happens to one of the children. Are you serious?
Other than, perhaps, the sibling comfort, I couldn’t agree with any of the other reasons for having more than one child. If you are having a similar dilemma under family or peer pressure, let me help you arrive at a decision in five pointers.
1. Do you, as an individual, want more children? – No matter how helpful the father may seem, the child will always want you at all times, at least, at the beginning of its life. Will you be able to handle all that again? Are you up for it? The nine months, the labour pains, the sore nipples, the cleaning of poop, pee and puke every single day and the sleepless nights even when you are unwell? Will you be able to handle it within your temperament? Only you will be able to decide whether you are ready or not.
2. Sibling relationship – A few siblings do turn out to have extremely close relationships but all of them don’t. Many a times you find inferiority complex, jealousy, envy, greed or total ignorance between siblings right from the beginning and in case the parent is too busy to notice it from the start, it fuels even shoddier feelings. As a parent you may do your best for all your children, but there will always be that one kid who will feel like the odd one out, whatever the situation. You, as a parent, will be required to monitor this from the very beginning. Can you do this?
3. Travelling – Personally, I find travelling with one child a lot easier as I feel independent to go where I please. With two, firstly air travel is difficult as many airlines state that no one person can be responsible for more than one infant. Travel by bus and train are even more risky as you will have to leave your babies while you go use the ladies room. Of course, staying at home until your babies are older is the best option but can you handle being confined within the four walls of your house until they are older and you are much older?
4. Financial strength – As a couple, it is imaginable to live on a bare minimum but when it comes to your children, you want to give them the best. If you have one child, you can give him much more than if you had two. In today’s world, everything is expensive and only an angel will take care of both your children together in your absence. But, of course, it is not impossible. Keeping your financial stability in mind, you can plan to have plenty of little ones.
5. When one spouse is absent – Danger, divorce or death can always keep one parent away and then you find yourself struggling to make two ends meet or totally dependent on someone else in order to feed your little ones. While you tend to ignore your own health in search of decent wealth, your children are busy looking for intimate attention elsewhere. I know a woman who passed away from a life threatening disease and her two boys are being taken care of two different families so not only did they lose their mother, they are also away from each other and their father, who wasn’t able to financially take care of them. Sad but true!
So, if all the above questions were answered positively, you are ready to have more than one child. But then, even if you answered negatively, after an ‘oops’ moment or if you have been given twins, you will have to get ready to positively look at my pointers and live your life anyway. 😉