When Is The Right Time For Crazy?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

As you know by now, I currently have 3 kids running around like wild animals under my watch. The oldest is 3 and 1 month old. So, with some advanced math you can discern that my husband and I had 3 kids in 4 years. New year new kid! We obviously were on the FastTrak approach to creating a family--once we had our first, we came to the conclusion that we wanted to have kids that were close to each other in age. Both of our sisters are less than 2 years younger than us, so that likely influenced things--so many times, it seems, we try to replicate our own childhood and adolescence in our children no?

I got to thinking about all of this when a friend of mine asked me how we knew it was "the right time" to have our second kid. My first reaction (read: quip) was "there is no right time," and though I was joking my retort was laced with seriousness--there is always going to be something that gets sidetracked when you have a child, whether it's career, nest-egg building, social life, vacations, etc. As I thought about it more, I realized I didn't have a real answer for my friend. I'm not sure why we decided to have our second when we did. There were no long discussions, pro/con lists, Excel spreadsheets (I know a couple who uses Excel spreadsheets for every major decision in their life. And the not so major ones too. S and I are probably the anti-Excel-spreadsheet couple. Not because we are "better" than that. But because one of doesn't really know how to use Excel and the other one of us would probably make the spreadhseet and forget where he put it.) We just sort of talked about it and (no joke) wham, bam, second kid...that's just sort of how my husband and I work I guess...

I'm curious: What do you guys think about the "right time" to have a second kid? Are you considering only one child? What is the process with your partner like in this regard?
17 comments:
Anonymous said...

we are dealing with this right now! i think we have concluded the same as you: there is no "perfect" time.

Sari said...

you know we always thought we would have lots of kids. now? one looks better and better. no joke. this is in part exactly because we CAN'T figure out a good time to have the second.

idina said...

This sort of goes with yesterdays post: the happiest parents I know are the ones who have a life that centers around their children but that also includes pursuits or meaningful work just for them. We waited five years in between out first and second and while I don't see that age difference as ideal, it was the time we needed to focus on ourselves and our marriage before becoming a family of four.

sara said...

In my opinion: don't get to that blissful post-diaper stage and then have a second. It's horrible! Just when you've reclaimed some ownership if your life and your kid us more self sufficient, you go ten steps backwards. I am admittedly not a "baby person" but even my friends who are agree. If you want more than one pop em out quickly! Haha!

Anonymous said...

We have a 1 year old and are beginning to contemplate a second. We would be fine with just one but there is soooo much pressure from our families. (is this an Indian thing? The unacceptability of only children?).

j.y. said...

totally agree that we try to replicate our own childhoods--at least the good parts! I have a younger sister and there is something primal in me that wants to give my daughter a younger sister too. It's weird not even u fully understand it. But to the above poster; yes it is definitely an Indian thing! I have heard people " feel sorry" for couples with "only" one child. It's silly.

Anonymous said...

i am dying to have a second but my husband is in the "no way no how" camp. he thinks our life has changed enough as it is. the thing is he is an only child and i would never never want to give that life to my kid. so lonely! would love any and all advice on changing his mind i have tried everything and am currently just on the "wait and see" plan

bahar said...

I have 2 kids, 2 years apart--pretty typical but it works well. When the younger was born, the older was still pretty oblivious to all the change which proved helpful. Now, the oldest is almost 4 and he is SO helpful. We are definitely done having kids though, can't imagine adding another to the bunch, though my husband would love it.

S. Khanna said...

the best time to have the second is as soon as the memories of the first difficult months fade from memory! i think there is some actual phenomenon that happens to make this happen. otherwise NOBODY would ever have another! hahahahaha :)

Neesha said...

There is no best time and adding a second disrupts life much much more than adding a first. It is of course worth it! But it's like many people say: One is an accessory but two is a lifestyle.

Auntie N said...

Make sure you have spent some good time alone with the first; you are happy with your partner; and your job is secure. My two cents.

Anonymous said...

The irony is just when you are ready for your 2nd - and life seems to be going fine with 1 - the working parents are in that stage typically where they are rising steadily up the career path. With the 1st most of us were newbies/getting experienced at our jobs, managing 1 was fine between 2 people.

What we saw in our case was that with the 2nd one coming, hubby got promoted and too busy for home/kids.It has caused a lot of pain especially to our relationship.

We have all heard that the 2nd one needs more help from both parents - so I think the best time for 2nd one is when parents are done with their career ambitions, or can keep their ambitions in check especially when it comes to picking between sick kids at home and fancy meetings instead at work.

SM, DC said...

As a new mother (very new) the thought of a second child couldn't be further from my mind. But in response to those posters who are concerned about having only children, I would offer my opinion that everything depends on how the parents raise them. I am an only child, and my relationship with my parents is (knock on wood) wonderful, I have a very close relationship with my cousins (some of who are closer to me than their own siblings), and I have been able to life live from a different perspective. If I were to think about having a second child, it would be only so that I could be sure that my half Indian child will have another companion to share their experiences with

tani said...

agree with everyone who says to make sure your marriage is strong before going for number 2. we all worry so much about giving our kids good habits, culture, experience but the best thing we can give them is a truly happy hope with parents who are in love.

How About One? said...

honestly? why can't we be happy with one child? maybe the right time to have the second is, without the jokiness, never. think about how much we all discuss "balance" and "juggling" and whatnot. maybe the best way to "balance" is to have one kid. granted this is coming from the POV of somebody who always thought i would have a few but who, more and more, is thinking one sounds pretty nice, and pretty much all i can or want to manage right now.

A said...

I guess I'm a minority in that I don't believe in popping them out one after the other. I treasured the three years I had alone with my oldest and being able to give her that focused attention, and am now able to do for #2 bc big sis is in school. Would love to have a third bout 2 years down the line, but hubby says no way!

The Gori Wife said...

I have a 2.5 year old, and I've wanted to get cracking at #2 for almost a year now. Our biggest struggle has been getting on the same page. My husband did not think it was "the right time" and I didn't want to pressure or rush him, but I still wanted him to RUSH! As time went on I did in fact, start to pressure a bit, but hopefully not at I'll-resent-you-for-the-rest-of-my-life levels. Also, visiting friends and relatives with (quiet, calm) newborns helps motivate!

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