Birth Of A Second Child

Some people think that it is easier to have a second baby; after all you have already had one, right? Wrong! It is much tougher for the very same reason. You have had one baby, and you know exactly how much hard work a baby involves. Yes, there are pleasures along the way, but the challenges are actually more and different. I read somewhere that “Having a second baby is even more difficult because this time you are changing a family!”

Birth Of A Second Child

This is so true! When you plan for a second child, you are already a family unit. Your elder child is the apple of your eye and has been used to your undiluted attention and pampering. Now, you bring a second baby into your lives and your family unit is undergoing a huge metamorphosis. Your elder child resents the intrusion in his/her domain and especially in mom and dad’s attention and love. And, the brother or sister does not seem like too much fun, now do they? They are too little to interact or play with. The little one just cries, sleeps, poops and pees, and mom and dad are now at that one’s beck and call!

In my case, it was very tough when I planned for the second baby. I was trying to get back to active professional work. We were just past the initial turbulent years of child rearing. Our child was now potty trained and had started school. Life was looking like getting back to normal. And I was considering throwing all this away and descending into chaos? And there were pressures of a different kind. My son wanted a sibling! He, in fact, demanded one. All his friends had a sister or a brother to play with. Why couldn’t mom go and get one from the hospital? Damn! I wish it were that simple, and they could have come with return policies as well from the hospital :).

Jokes aside, the thought of going through another pregnancy, the physical and emotional upheavals, the delivery and recovery, the constant sleep deprivation, losing my regained figure and becoming a cow were all playing on my mind. And this time around there were emotional and physical issues of doing the balancing act of letting the older one not feel neglected yet giving optimum attention to the newborn. I had no clue how tough that would be. Did I have it in me to go through it again? I was really in a dilemma. Both of us were confused.

What finally made us go for the second child was the fact that somewhere in our hearts we wanted our son to have what both of us had – siblings. I have a brother and a sister, and they are precious. The bonding we share is something else. Same applies to hubby who has two elder sisters. How can we deprive our child from having that? I wanted them to have each other long after mom and dad were gone.

And so we went ahead. Our family got bigger and more beautiful when my younger son joined us. So different from his elder brother and a darling of all of us, it is now difficult to imagine that there was a time he was not in our lives. And despite all the yelling and tiffs that the kids subject us too, it is heartwarming to see their camaraderie and love for each other. All the troubles were indeed worth it!

Yes, my sabbatical got extended. We as a family including my elder son pitched in to cope, but end of the day we are happy to be together as a family!

Rachna Parmar is an avid blogger, a passionate cook, fitness enthusiast, loving wife, and mom to two feisty sons and a Labrador! She is also a Freelance Content Writer and an entrepreneur. She co-owns her startup, Tranquil Software Solutions Pvt. Ltd.  Reach her at http://rachnaparmar.com or @rachnaparmar her twitter handle.

  • Jas

    To be honest, I am terrified even at the thought of a second child and. Very true what you said but it is a tough decision…

    • Yep, it is a scary decision. I still get goosebumps thinking about it :).

  • Ahem! I think I am terrified enough with the prospects of being a father. The thought of a second child is light years away.
    But yes, I have seen families go through turbulence initially.

    • Oh no dear, the turbulence is here to stay :). But let me not terrify you. After all each one of us discovers our own madness :).

  • Look, how times have changed? It wasn’t long back when we had a joint family systems, each family had anywhere between four to six children. During those days, women were not the office going types where as, perhaps, in metro cities every woman wants to work…. and why not.
    So,it has more to do with changing social norms, women becoming more work oriented. With economic pressures on the rise and women now being educated, there is justification of smaller families.
    I support this.
    But, in my opinion, it won’t be long before our old joint family systems will come back in may be some other form.

    • I don’t know about whether joint families will make a comeback or not. But in my opinion both the parents and the children deserve their own space. Perhaps having an arrangement where the parents stay close to their children but in a separate house might work but only where both sets are not intrusive. And that is always a delicate balance to achieve. My deepest appreciation for my mom and other ladies who raised kids beautifully, so many more of us and with such patience. I just have very different interests. Perhaps, I am more selfish and want more for myself.

  • Roshni

    I know what you mean about big brother wanting a tailor-made baby! My son asked for me to make a little sister and a dog in my tummy!! Unfortunately, I couldn’t give him either, but I do believe he is now pleased with the final outcome! 😀

    • Amrita Thavrani

      Ha ha.. My mother said, I always asked her to give me a elder sister. Good for you and Rachna that kid atleast asked for a younger one. Practical and thinkable 🙂

      • hehe Amrita! Now that was a tough ask :).

    • Roshni LOL! Yep, I didn’t mention it but the elder one and the parents were desperately praying for a baby girl. We didn’t get that and the elder one was placated by getting to choose the younger one’s name :).

  • Uma

    Like Jas, I’m terrified of having a second too! And, yes, disrupting the life just as it is getting normal is a huge decision and cannot be taken on a whim.
    Thankfully, my son isn’t asking for a sibling. As yet!

    • I know Uma! Sort of a scary prospect. Their emotional blackmail can also get to be too much.

  • Saru Singhal

    Go and get one from hospital, wish it was that simple. LOL!

    It is very difficult and beautiful at the same time. A beautiful read. I just read ‘Beautiful Mornings’ on your blog and this one seems to be a continuation from the pages of a Family album. 🙂

    • So true Saru! The beautiful things in life are often very difficult and exhausting. But that is the beauty of life. And, I do write posts like “Beautiful mornings” so that I don’t lose sight of the precious moments in life in the midst of the cribbing and the hard work :). Thank you so much for reading and connecting.

  • Love this post! Being a single child, I do sometimes think of how different things would have been had I had siblings. But, reading this, I can understand my parents’ dilemma.

    • Awww Thank you so much, Medha! Perspectives they make all the difference in the world.

  • Fab

    ‘Return policies’ – that would be ideal, wouldn’t it?? I am currently going through the exact same phase. Cub is four and has begun to demand a sibling, not to mention well meaning (and not so well meaning) relatives asking their usual intrusive questions :-). But we are really wary of upsetting the delicate balance in our household, not to mention horrifying memories of sleepless nights and like you so aptly put it – ‘feeling like a cow’!!

    • Yeah the pesky relatives are another problem! And haven’t all parents with a child been through the same? I guess it really must be a very well-thought out decision just like the first one but for different reasons.

  • Jenny

    I dont have any kids, but I know the want and the feeling of having a sibling. I had none, but so did my cousins, and hence we all ended up being super close. And as you so subtly but rightly pointed out, it is kind of difficult to think of the times before they were in my life.
    I am really enjoying reading these family posts. I hope there are loads to come 🙂

    • Thank you Jenny! Oh yes, you will find loads of these posts on my blog :). There is something beautiful about a sibling as they are your closest companions. We can do what we like with them. And like you said, one can have equally deep relationships with cousins or even close friends like it happened in your case.

  • i and my wife has decided that we will adopt a child after our first child is born..

    am not really sure if its real tough to have a second baby because what i heard from one of my friend who already has a 2 years kid and now planning for the 2nd child..

    they say, that the time and efforts you are already investing in first one, can be utilized simultaneously for the 2nd one…so she’s way to excited about it and see no challenge in it 🙂

    Cheers!

    • That’s really wonderful, Rahul! I wish you and your wife loads of luck! It would be interesting to compare notes after you’ve had the second child! Yes, some people prefer having two kids closely spaced together. I could not do it but kudos to those who could and who enjoy it :).

  • It is important for a child to have a sibling. For us, Aaryan came very late in our lives and that too after various medical issues. So, by the time, we thought of a second child, I felt I was too old to go through the whole process again 😀 Incidentally, Aaryan has never asked for a sibling!

    • I felt the same, Shilpa though I feel it is better not to jump into it unless one is completely equipped mentally to handle the challenges. And, how nice of Aaryan. My elder son kept praying to God for a “behen.”

  • So, somehow I found out that my mom hid the fact that she was pregnant with my younger sister from my dad because he didn’t want a second child. Obviously, when she came, she became the apple of my father’s eyes.
    But how I have playfully used that not-so-secret fact to taunt my younger sister! 😀

    • Wow now that is really interesting. She did that? I can imagine how this must have been used by you against your sis :).

  • We thought our son should have company when he grows up. So, had a second child. But it was very tough to bring two kids with just two years’ gap! But later on, it was fun bringing them up.

    I feel that having a sibling will help in ther later years. They can always fall back on the other sibling.

    • Yes completely agree with you! Initial years may be spent fighting with each other and even competing with each other. But when we grow up we appreciate the deeper nuances of our relationship with our siblings. Like you pointed out, initial years are tough even with a 4-year age difference in my case. But I am in a much better state that will keep getting better with passage of time :).

  • Yes! It is one thing getting into something without really knowing what you are getting into and it is another to do so fully conscious of all that getting into it entails 🙂 But having siblings is so wonderful that it is great that you gifted your children that lovely experience.

    • Totally agree. Once you get into it with your eyes open, you really are more patient and tolerant of your mistakes :). Thank you for saying that. Apart from that reason, it is sheer madness to bring up two young kids.

  • I get jitters at the thought of planning for second child. Going through everything all over again! Now after 10 years, not possible. My daughter has never asked for a sibling, making things easier for me 😉

    • Lucky you that your child did not harangue you. It is definitely more peaceful with one child!

  • They say that the first child is for the parents and the second one is for the child. Knowing the travails that motherhood entails, it requires incredible courage to go for a second child.

    I was chicken. I stopped at one.

    • You are absolutely right on both counts. I think after the courageous decision of marrying, having the second child comes next :).

  • If you ask me the same question, my answer would match your post word by word. We always wanted to have ONE and only ONE child all our life. That’s why it took us six years to come to a decision. Had it not been for the older one, we would have never opted. My hubby just said one thing, you have your sister to share everything..won’t this guy be alone after we are gone? 🙂 Even we cannot imagine a life without our daughter 🙂

  • hehe Latha and how incredible is that! In one generation, we have suddenly stopped wanting kids. You are so lucky you have a daughter. The second time around, each one of us prayed for a girl. And sometimes I think why is destiny so cruel. We wanted a girl and we didn’t have one :(. Of course, that has no bearing on the love I have for my younger son.

    • aww..I know how it feels..I have seen dozens of friends who cried for not having a girl…but then as you said, the love would be no less if it’s a boy…and you know..let me make a secret confession to you…I was also so scared…what if it’s a boy? How am I going to deal with three mad men in the house 😛 I just couldn’t imagine the sight of jeans, shoes, trucks in the house ….sigh!!!

      • hehe Yeah I have 4 boys now including Coco 😉

  • A very good post. Rachna you took a very wise decision to have the second baby. It psychologically affects the child, if he/she is the only child.
    Rachna, I have nominated your post for the prestigious Liebstr Award. Kindly send me your accetance,so that I can send you the details. This a deserving post!!

    • Thank you so much Ushaji! I am honoured to get the award from you.

  • I agree Rachna, even me and my husband believe that having a sibling is a beautiful thing……

    • Thank you Jaish for reading and connecting with the post!

  • Hi Rachna.You have been nominated for the Liebster Award.For details,kindly visit my post, ‘The Liebster Award’ and also Google.com Congratulations!