Things to ask yourself before you plan another child.

This is going to be a long post so grab a cuppa, maybe? I am pouring my heart out in here because we are on our way to think about planning another baby, so not only am I thinking of all these things that I am going to talk to you about, I am actually trying to follow them. And I do feel that I might throw off some negative energy here, but this is what real and raw life looks like.

There is no perfect planning for one single unit of parents. Some face loss after loss after their first child. Some are still trying to conceive. Some don't want a child. Some crave for a child. The journey to becoming a parent is not easy. And if you have been there, you know that very well. Planning differs to each and every parent. Some don't even get the chance to plan and have a baby right after having another one. And at times, they might feel like they weren't ready but in the end, you are a parent and you love your child and that's all that matters.

If you have had your first child, there are certain things that you might need to ask yourself before you plan your next one.

1. Is your body ready?

This is the first question that one should ask themselves before planning another baby. If your body is physically exhausted, pregnancy, child birth and raising them will take a toll on your body and honestly, would you rather enjoy parenting or just writhe in pain every time you stand up from the sofa? You need to make sure that your body is ready for another child. If you have had a child through cesarean, you need to give your body the time it requires to heal. If you have had a vaginal birth, you need your internal organs to settle back in their own place.  You also need to make sure that you have your vitamin, iron and energy levels in check. So before you plan your next child, make sure that you are physically ready for it. Some mothers also like to lose some baby weight before they have the next child so that the weight doesn't keep on piling which also leads to other difficulties.

2. What is the perfect age gap?

Now, this is a personal decision for every parent but sometimes, when you are planning your second or maybe a third child, you might want to look into the age gap. While there is no set age gap that is suitable for a parent, it is recommended that 3-4 years between the first and the second child should be there. This way, the older child is more independent with doing many things and there isn't a constant struggle with both the children. With the first child a little older, there is a proper routine set for the entire family especially when they are of a school going age and it is easier to manage a second or third baby with that routine. But then it all comes down to personal preferences. Some parents like to plan their children with very little age gap so that it is easier for them to raise the children together all at once if that makes sense?

3. Are you mentally ready?

After making sure that your body is ready to have another child, you also need to make sure that you are mentally ready. Post natal depression hits every 10-15 in 100 women and it literally sucks all the life and energy out of you. I know how that feels. I have been there. There is absolutely no will to do anything during the day except feed your baby grudgingly and cry your eyes out. You need to make sure that your mind has had a refresher break. And not just post-natal depression. You need to have an open head space for the things that have to come all over again after having your first child. Morning sickness, sleepless nights, tantrums from both the children, the guilt factor kicking in every few days and the extra workload that comes with it. Now, obviously, when you love children and parenting, these things don't really matter but you always need a clearer headspace so that the children latch up on to your happiness instead of the dark side of parenting.

4. Does finance really matter?

I personally feel that what is meant to be, will happen. But when it comes to financing, you really need to think about it. Having a child takes up a chunk of your income. Diapers, clothes, baby furniture, toys, and all the other things. Once you have a child, you slowly get to know the things that your child really needs and what they don't need. So with the second or third child, you are more careful of things that you need. Sometimes, budgeting is really important to look into when you are planning another child.

5. Do you have enough space?

I personally grew up with two other sisters in a really confined space. But my mother planned us in such a way that we were a bit independent and were on our way to playing on our own. We grew up in a joint family so of course, naturally, space was kind of restricted and we were always sleeping in our parent's rooms. And now, as a parent, when I come to think of it, I realise how difficult it must have been for them not just to have enough space for the stuff but to have a private space for themselves.

6. Are you prepared to wait?

If you are on your way to planning another baby, ask yourself this: Are you prepared to wait? There are going to be many frustrating moments when you are just going to be sitting on the toilet seat with a negative result in your hand. Don't loose hope and keep trying. But just prepare yourself mentally that you might have to wait before conceiving again.

7. Make sure that you have help around.

Many parents think that they can make it on their own and they do. That is not wrong at all but there is always a positive outcome and energy when you have help around. Don't be afraid to ask for help. There are going to be lots of people ready to help you out and all you have to do is just ask. With a little bit of help around, you will be able to focus on your new born and not worry about the little things. Your eldest child will not feel neglected and will have someone around to be with them.

8. Do you have strong relationships around you?

When you are on your way to becoming a parent, it is important to have strong relationships around you. And they will not just affect you but will also affect your children as well. Make sure that you have a really tight bond with your husband. Once that is established, you know you both can fall back on each other and talk about anything and everything. Strong relationships don't have to be just with your partner. Parents, in-laws, and friends have to be in your strong circle as well. Make sure you have close friends around you so that you have someone to fall back on. Like I previously stated, that post-natal depression is very common after child birth, you WILL need friends and family to support you and make you feel positive and happy.

9. Do you have a strong bond with your first born?

If you are planning your second child, it is VERY VERY important to make sure that you have a really strong bond with your first child so that they don't feel neglected and have envious feelings towards you and the new born. Make sure that you actively spend more time with them and go on small dates with them to make sure they know that they aren't going to be neglected. Tell them and talk to them about the changes that are going to happen so that it is not all of a sudden for them and you don't end up feeling guilty about spending less time with them afterward.

10. Are you saving for yourself?

Now, this is a completely different situation from the finance one. After becoming a mother, you feel the need to look nice and presentable not just for the other people but for yourself. Make sure that you have something saved for yourself so that you can spend on spa days, clothes, makeup, food and whatever that you feel like spending on. It will make you have good vibes along with you and that is definitely going to radiate through your children.

At the end of the day, some things might go with the plan and some things might not. You might have control over certain aspects and some times, even though you want to, you won't be able to. Becoming a parent for the first time is magical but becoming a parent for the second time or the third is a whole new level of love for you.