In this millennial era where people do not want to marry or have kids, people often ask me how did you decide on having two kids and what is the right age gap?
I am Nikita Jain, mom of two boys aged 3.5 years and 8 months old, living in Dubai. Coming from joint family atmosphere, always surrounded by siblings and cousins, our childhood was full of fun and adventure. After our first kid was born, me and my husband regularly discussed and debated if we should have second baby? Are we ready? When is the right time? In this article I am going to share my personal story and how we went through this process.
Here are key reasons which prompted us to have second baby:
- Unlike our childhood, our son did not have any one to play with at home. To keep him engaged and to ensure he is learning social skills, I had to play with him all the time at home, take him out to play areas, find same age group kids in neighbourhood to play with … that really required lot of efforts
- In this global age, you never know in which country you will end up for your work and professional needs. Once we are out from home country, siblings really become immediate support for each other as we get settled in new place
- Family support is always needed in good and bad times. Whether we need advice on something, share feelings and emotions, celebrate happy moments or need physical support. Of course, friends and extended family can also help but in our opinion and experience, immediate blood relations are generally first one to help and are reachable
Now once we decided on having second baby, immediate question was “what is the right age gap between kids”?
While there is no ‘ideal’ age gap between kids, there are things to consider or prepare for as you expand your family:
- Physical readiness: Mother’s physical readiness is an important point to consider before deciding on second baby. As she goes through a lot of physical changes post first delivery, it is important to make sure she is ready and consult doctor for any doubts. As per experts, a gap of minimum 24 months is recommended between kids
- Emotional readiness: As mother is coping up with initial motherhood period, many of them go through postpartum depression, hormonal imbalance, mood swings, frustration and anger. In some cases, this period may go beyond a year post delivery. It is important that both, mother and father, are physically as well as emotionally prepared to have second baby
- Financial Readiness: Raising a kid these days is a whole lot expensive than it used to be earlier, everyone wants to give best things to their child. So, it is important that we consider our financial position, commitments and plan accordingly
- First child’s readiness: Another factor to consider is to assess if first kid is independent enough, can manage basic things by himself/herself and if needed, we have support system at home. This will ease mother’s pressure during pregnancy and post pregnancy period. If you are pregnant, make sure we continuously talk to first kid and mentally prepare him/her for arrival of newborn
- To be vocal with first kid and keep explaining him about pregnancy period and that he is going to have sibling to play with
I am sure above reading will help you clarify some of your doubts. Again, keep in mind, there is no right or wrong answer and it really depends on individual case and preference. I will not say it is easy to raise two kids, I have had my share of ups and downs, mood swings but everything vanishes away when I see my two little boys playing together. In the end, it is important that husband and wife talk and mutually take decisions.