I didn’t think I wanted a second kid. After having my oldest son at 42, I honestly didn’t think I could or would have a second child. My doctor seemed as doubtful as I was, so it was a surprise (no, a shock) to discover I was pregnant again just one week after my son’s first birthday.
It took awhile to embrace the idea of being the mother of two children. A lot of mental gymnastics were involved in preparing myself to have more than one. And along the way, I heard so many women tell me I’d love having two boys that eventually I started to believe I would. And I do.
There is a lot to be said for having two kids. They’re not only close in age (21 months), they're close in every way that matters. They are the best of friends and the bond they share is incredible to watch. I would have been perfectly content to have had only one child, but seeing my oldest son with his little brother, I’m so glad we have two. How great is it? For awhile, I considered having a third. Had I been younger when we had our oldest, I'm sure we'd have three or four kids by now.
For our family, having two kids was the best thing in the world. If you’re on the fence about having a second child, consider these comments from other moms who have been there and done that. Maybe their experiences and advice will resonate with you as it has for me.
“The second one makes you feel like a parenting expert. You’ve got this mother thing down now. It’s a piece of cake.” — Maggie, mom of two
“I only wanted one child, but I ended up having twins. With that decision out of my hands, it was easy to just accept it. And it’s been incredible. There is so much we, and they, would have missed out on if we’d only had one child.” — Deanna, mom of two
You are more forgiving of yourself (and them) when you have two kids. With one, there is so much pressure to be the perfect mom who has the perfect kid.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘You don’t have as much to give if you have two.’ The truth is, you have more to give two—more love, more family, more opportunities to grow. An only child never knows what it’s like to have someone with the same experiences growing up, someone who shares all the same memories, good and bad.” — Tracey, mom of two
“My first pregnancy was really rough and I didn’t want to go through that again. It was a my 3-year-old daughter who convinced me, when she came home from my mom’s house crying because her cousins (three siblings) got to live together. She so desperately wanted a sibling that we decided to try again. I’m glad I did. The pregnancy went so smoothly and the whole experience was so much better, it was as good for me to have another baby as it was for my daughter to have a sibling. And because it went so well, we had another baby after that. I’m glad my daughter convinced me she needed a sibling. Now she has two and we have the perfect sized family for us.” — Kayla, mom of three
“One word: playmates. Mine are 26 months apart and they play together so beautifully. They both seem to have so much more empathy than their school friends who are only children. They share well. They look out for each other. They help each other get over fear of trying new things. I wouldn’t change it for the world.” — Robin, mom of two
“I was an only child and I hated it growing up. I felt so alone, especially after my parents divorced. I did have cousins I was close to, but it wasn’t the same as having a brother or sister to share everything with. I see my two girls together and I’m so grateful they have that experience. They’re best friends and talk about going to the same college. Two is perfect, absolutely.” — Maryann, mom of two
“I have so many friends with just one child and the kid seems lonely. They don’t want for anything, and they have more playdates than any one kid needs, but at the end of the day it’s just the kid and the parents. I grew up with a big family and I knew I wanted the same for myself. So having a second kid was never even a question. The question now is, should we have a fifth?” — Rene, mom of four
“I didn’t want a second baby. I was convinced I couldn’t handle two kids. But you know what? Two is easier than one. Two is a kind of balance that you don’t have with one. You are more forgiving of yourself (and them) when you have two kids. With one, there is so much pressure to be the perfect mom who has the perfect kid. With two it’s like, ‘Eh, I’m doing the best I can and they’re doing OK.’” — Sarah, mom of two
“If it has ever crossed your mind, go ahead and have another baby. You won’t regret it if you do, but you might regret it if you don’t.” — Meghan, mom of three
“They play with each other and I am able to get things done while they play. That has been a lifesaver in terms of working from home.” — Ellen, mom of two
“I didn’t want a second baby—until I had her. And then, wow, what an amazing experience. It was just as intense as my first baby, but it was different. I felt at peace with the world. It was such a great experience, I did it again two more times.” — Karrie, mom of four
“Have two kids. Just do it. There are a lot of reasons to have only one kid, the cost being the biggest. But if you can afford one kid, you can afford two. So why not? Just go for it. You’ll be happy you did. (But not for a couple of years, when you stop being tired all of the time.)” — Shari, mom to three