When I became a new father to a handsome baby boy, I couldn't help but wonder about all the benefits of having a second child. I'm the youngest of two kids myself, so a family of four sounds nice.
However, the decision to have a second child should not be taken lightly. If you're a parent, you know it takes a village to raise even just one baby!
It takes a caring, responsible parent to carefully weight the pros and cons of having a second child. So props to you for researching the benefits of having two kids and taking the time to think things through.
After all, every child deserves an equal amount of love, care, and nurturing. Some couple choose not to have any kids, or are content with “one and done.” Others feel perfectly balanced with two kids. Meanwhile, some families don't seem to stop expanding even though the cost to raise multiple kids can get very expensive.
Pros And Benefits Of Having Two Kids
As luck would have it, I became a father of two in 2019 when our precious baby daughter was born. My wife and I feel very blessed to have both a daughter and a son. It's been a delight having her join our family. And also quite eye opening in just how different and unique each child can be.
So now let's talk about the main benefits of having two kids.
- Both kids can play with each other and develop a strong bond
- Your first child won’t be lonely having another child in the house
- Each child will learn patience, sharing, empathy, and taking turns with a sibling
- The kids can look out for each other as they grow older and into adulthood
- Having two of the same sex kids can have a lot of synergies
- Or having two different sexes can bring about new wonder and experiences
- Easier time for the second kid to get into the school your first kid went into
- Feels great to reuse baby gear, toys, clothes, etc.
- Higher chance of at least one kid taking care of you in old age!
- The kids will have each other to lean on throughout their entire life
- You'll become better at multitasking
- Some things that were hard as a first-time parent will feel easy the second time
- The amount of love you feel as a parent will grow and expand
As a parent, I will say that having kids is the best thing ever. It's more incredible than I imagined. When you become a parent, you will finally realize what it means to love someone more than life itself. As a result, it’s natural to want to have more kids.
Cons Of Having A Second Child
But, what about the cons? It's important to also consider the potential negatives of having two kids versus one. On easy days, the benefits of having a second child seem like a no brainer. But we all know that there are plenty of hard days when you're a parent.
Kids are unpredictable. In addition, things are always changing when you're raising a child. Change is actually the one reliable constant when you're a parent. Thus, it's important to analyze not just the benefits of a second kid, but also the negatives.
Here are some cons of having two kids to consider.
- More responsibility all around
- Increased day-to-day and long-term expenses
- Less 1×1 time with your first child
- Increased guilt when you are away from one or both kids for work, etc.
- Less free time for yourself
- And also less 1×1 time with your spouse
- More stress from being stretched in more directions
- Potential health risks to the mother and second baby during pregnancy and childbirth
- Your patience will be further tested when raising two kids
- Sibling jealousy and fights can be frequent and stressful
- Your current family dynamic will change
Unless you have a tremendous amount of patience, love, time, and money, raising kids may be very difficult for you and your relationship. Some couples say having another kid is more than TWICE as hard. Other parents say their second child was a breeze.
Divorce After Having A Second Child
Plenty of couples divorce after having kids as well. The COVID-19 pandemic sure put many marriages through the wringer as you can see below.
For some, it can be hard to imagine why parents with kids choose to divorce, especially those without children. But once you're a parent, you know very well that raising a kid(s) can put even the strongest marriages to the test.
Ultimately, you just don't know how things will turn out if a second child enters your life. There are just so many unknowns. But, unpredictability is also just a part of life.
Keep A Positive Mindset No Matter How Many Kids You Have
Personally, I always try to focus on the positives in any situation. Hence why I entitled this post the Benefits Of Having A Second Kid.
I truly believe there are a lot of benefits of a second child. Now that I'm a father of two, I can't imagine not having our daughter in our lives. She is absolutely incredible! And my wife and I both agree that a lot of things have been easier than we expected the second time around.
We also were able to be much better prepared. For example, we knew we wanted to hire a night doula, so we built that into our budget.
If you decide to have a second child, consider hiring a night doula during the newborn phase, and/or an au pair. We were hesitant to hire help with our first child and eager for help with the second. It's helped us so much.
Ultimately, however, you and your spouse need to review the benefits of a second child together with the cons. It's up to you to make the best decision for your family.
Whatever you decide, and whatever fate unfolds, make the most of it. Keep a positive mindset no matter how many kids you ultimately have.
Also, check out this post Should I Have A Second Kid? Weighing The Pros And Cons.
When Is It Best To Have A Second Kid?
The other thing to think about is the timing between having kids. If the second kid is four or more years apart, like my sister is, it’s not as easy to be close because the kids are never really in the same elementary school, middle school, high school, or college for very long.
I’m not very close with my sister because she lives in NYC and I live in SF. She is four years older and has her own life to live. It would be great if we lived in the same city, or at least on the same coast, but we’re both settled.
Finally, don’t forget that the journey from conception to live birth can be very, very difficult. Think about all the doctors visits, shots, miscarriages, chances of birth defects, genetic defects, weight gain, trauma to the mom’s body, sleepless nights, worry, and so forth that go on with being a parent. You may need to undergo IVF or other infertility treatments to conceive.
I’m a pretty calm and rational person. But boy do I worry about my son’s future where jobs are going away due to technology and automation, and globalization is making everything more competitive. The world in 25 years will be quite different from the already competitive world today.
As such,by running a business for him to learn from and perhaps work for or own one day.
When I first wrote this post as a father of one, I decided I'd love to have a second kid. But it was easy for me to say because I’m the dad. The answer was ultimately up to my wife first and foremost. When she felt ready, she said yes.
We felt the benefits of a second child were right for our family. And now that we have two kids, we count our blessings every day. We are also both lucky to be two stay at home / work from home parents.
I will say that having a family of my own is one of the keys to happier and more meaningful life.
Related:A biological and economical analysis.
Recommendation For All Parents
If there's one thing the pandemic has taught us, it's that life is not guaranteed. We must do everything we can to protect our children while they are still dependents.
As a result, please get life insurance. Not only should you get enough life insurance to cover your liabilities, your life insurance term should last long enough to get them through college.
The best place to get life insurance is through PolicyGenius. PolicyGenius will help you find the best plan for the lowest price tailored to your needs. PolicyGenius provides free, no-obligation quotes so you can get the best rate.
In the past, you would have to get a life insurance quote by applying to individual carriers – the process was completely opaque. Now, you can have multiple qualified life insurance carriers compete for your business after applying on PolicyGenius. It's so much more efficient!
After eight years of owning life insurance, my wife decided to check on PolicyGenius for free to see if should could do better. Lo and behold, my wife was able to double her life insurance coverage for less money. All this time, she thought she was getting the best deal with her existing carrier.
If you don't have life insurance, please get some before you need to. Check out this article on the ideal age to get life insurance. It gets more expensive the older you get. If you get sick, depending on the severity of your sickness, you might not be able to qualify.
If you do have life insurance, I highly recommend checking PolicyGenius to try and get a better deal. Chances are high you're not getting the best terms.
About the Author: Sam began investing his own money ever since he opened an online brokerage account in 1995. Sam loved investing so much that he decided to make a career out of investing by spending the next 13 years after college working at two of the leading financial service firms in the world.
During this time, Sam received his MBA from UC Berkeley with a focus on finance and real estate. He also became Series 7 and Series 63 registered. In 2012, Sam was able to retire at the age of 34 largely due to his investments that now generate roughly $200,000 a year in passive income. He spends time playing tennis, hanging out with family, consulting for leading fintech companies and writing online to help others achieve financial freedom.
FinancialSamurai.com was started in 2009 and is one of the most trusted personal finance sites today with over 1.5 million organic pageviews a month. Financial Samurai has been featured in top publications such as the LA Times, The Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal.