Being a parent is the most rewarding role in life. We watch our children grow as we help mold them into the person they will eventually become. Each day brings a new adventure. There is a choice we face when we choose whether or not to have another child. Is our limit two or three children? Will we have more than that? Or will we choose to have only one child? There are definite advantages and disadvantages to having one or multiple children.
The sibling factor is one that many people struggle with. Is a child better off to have a sibling? The question cannot be easily answered. One factor is how far apart these children will be in age. Another factor is their personalities, which is of course impossible to gauge prior to their birth. When children are born close together, the hope is that they will provide each other with a constant playmate and become close as friends as well as family. Many people choose to have more than one child for this reason. The problems can arise when these children clash with each other in personality. It is possible that rather than playing well together, the children will do nothing but argue. This makes the relationship strained for them and parents alike. When children are spaced much further apart, they may never build a bond. It is also possible that they will build a strong bond where one watches out for the other. This situation is really unpredictable, but it needs to be factored in when deciding how many children are right for your family.
The cost of raising a single child is of course much less than raising multiple children. This must be factored in when choosing to have additional children. Children have basic needs as any person does, but children are unable to provide for themselves so as parents we must be able to fulfill these needs. A child does not need every new toy or video game system, but they do need proper nutrition and clothing, which they seem to outgrow every month. Another aspect of the cost of raising a child is how much you, as a parent, want to provide for that child. Perhaps you want your child to be involved in anything he or she chooses. Dance lessons, karate, music classes, and gymnastics all cost money. These are not necessities but it is important for our children to find their passion. Money is an issue in every family whether you have a lot of it or very little. When choosing to have another child, it is important to consider how much this child will cost and whether you will be able to provide at least the basic needs of the child.
Another factor to consider when choosing whether or not to have another child is the time factor. Yes, we definitely have enough love to devote to each and every one of our children, but do we have the time to devote as well. We must also consider our own lives. It may sound selfish, but our lives do not stand still for our children and it is important to keep our own interests and identities alive. That being said, it is also important to be there for your children emotionally and physically. Every child wants their parent to attend a field trip every once in awhile, and every child wants to see their parents at The Spring Concert or baseball game. When we show up to these events, our children know that we care and support them. It is also important to spend time with your children just being a family. The family is our core support group and a child needs the reassurance that his or her parents are there for them always. When choosing to have an additional child, it is important to consider whether there is enough time for you to do all you need to do while still giving your child the attention they deserve.
Choosing to have additional children is not a quick and easy decision. There are many factors to be fully thought out before deciding to have another child or to decide that your family is complete. There is no “right” number of children that everyone can adhere to. Every family has its own “right” number.