Never Say Never

Never Say Never

03/02/2024
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You may be set on one kid, but don’t say you’ll never have more.

Before you have any kids, you may be set on only having one. It may be because of stories you read online about one being the perfect amount, or simply from being an only child yourself. After you have your first child, you may be set on only having one child. Going through pretty sleepless nights, physical pain, and the stress of parenting it simply may not be something that you want to do. And that is fine.

But don’t say never just yet. If you want to tell yourself never, that’s fine. But you may change your mind yet. If you are saying to yourself that you’ll never change your mind, then you’re not alone. Many parents are dead set on never having more...and then they do. Not by accident either but by choice. The ability to change your mind is something that you have the right to, and realize that it may happen.

It’s pretty remarkable that someone chooses to have more than one child after the nightmare of the first few months. However, our minds work in a unique way that they can shut out those memories and focus on the happy and enjoyable memories. Rather than thinking about all of the sleepless nights, it remembers the first steps, the times of laughter and the times of pure happiness that occur.

There are two primary reasons that someone changes their mind about having a second child. The number one reason is because they get past the baby years. For many parents, the baby years are the hardest part of parenting (at least until the teenage years, but that’s a different type of hard). You don’t sleep, you do everything for your child, and they can’t tell you what they need or want.

It’s truly a magical experience to see your child start to understand you and do the things you tell them to. It’s just as awesome to see them learn to say words and express their feelings and desires back to you. As your child grows into a stage where they understand and can express their feelings, it often becomes much easier to be a parent. Yes, there are still misunderstandings and sleepless nights, but they become far fewer as your child grows.

It’s at this point that many parents begin to realize that parenting isn’t just changing diapers (get that child potty trained) and waking up multiple times per night. Your child is going to grow into a full on adult at some point and you’re having a major influence on that - it’s exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time. While it may not change your mind, it often expands your mind to understand why people choose to have more than one.

The second reason, which is very related, is that parents begin to feel that their child really needs a brother or sister to learn about many things in life. Obviously, if you hate parenting, then you shouldn’t have a child for this reason. However, this reason combined with the first will often convince a parent that they want another child. Your first child will have a sibling to interact with on a consistent basis.

This isn’t to say that you will love your second child any less than the first. Just because your first child convinced you to have a second doesn’t mean anything. You will love all of your kids, albeit you’ll love them for different reasons. Regardless of how you love them, they’re simply loved in different ways.

Having more than one child can seem like a scary thought to some, especially if you don’t have any, or if you’re still very early in the baby stage with your first. While it’s totally fine to have only one child, keep your mind open to the possibility of a second at the very least. Never may turn into someday, which many turn into today.

Kids are a lot of work, but they are also some of the biggest sources of joy. A second is just as much work, and just as much joy. You never know what you might decide.

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